My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was just a week, nothing too exciting or out of the ordinary. Wyatt and I “visited” the Great Smoky Mountains, Billy worked, and then Saturday we added a new family member! A cute little fancy leopard gecko that we (I) named Harry! And we loves her/him! We have read so much on the whole substrate controversy as well – our kit came with this substrate and after some reading, we learned it is one of two brands that is acceptable. We have already decided we are probably going to go nuts though and build her a naturalist or bio type enclosure, so this substrate won’t be in there too long. So our creatures are now at two snails, one gecko, and three cats.

Harry!

Read Last Week:

My reading is almost at a standstill I am reading so little these days. I am still working on my Zola book, which I am really enjoying I just am not finding a lot of time to read it. I also treated myself to a new book which while I haven’t finished it, I almost have so I am counting it as done since I will probably finish it during Wyatt’s nap today.

Adventuring Together is totally my kind of read!

Reading This Week:

I will continue with The Masterpiece and I think that is it for the week, I want to finish it!

Posted Last Week:

Homeschooling, Summer Edition: The Great Smoky Mountains

Exploring Folk Music

Book Review: The Creative Family Manifesto

Watching:

We finished Rosemary and Thyme and I am sad – I miss it! We started Picard, which is so well done and the only sci-fi I have watched really, and Cursed on Netflix which I am enjoying as well, even though it is a bit cheesy. Picard is a little confusing since I don’t know half the back story but Billy fills me in. And I finished up the new Unsolved Mysteries and I can’t wait for the next installment. I am also listening daily to the Redhanded Podcast. I am apparently all about the true crime these days.

Stay safe everyone!

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was the definition of a slow summer week. We spent time outside, lazing about the house, and learning about fireflies. We spent time outdoors drawing together, and in my “free” time I researched curriculums for Wyatt’s school year. I am finding there are so many out there, too many options almost! The more I look the harder this gets. And of course all the homeschool families on Instagram are revealing their curriculum choices so I am writing all these down when I see them. I think I need to just stop looking at this point and choose. I had no idea the homeschool world was such a big and connected community but it is. I also had a great evening with my friends having socially distanced drinks together. I am also going to venture out of my comfort zone this week and try the curbside service at the library..

Read Last Week:

I didn’t read very much last week. I finished up Opium and Absinthe, which ended up getting really good, and started The Masterpiece which I forgot I had ordered until it arrived at my door. I was excited to read a physical book!

Reading This Week:

I will continue to read The Masterpiece but I feel the Dear Bob and Sue Part 2 calling my name this week. I am missing trips and travel! We had planned a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains and a side trip to Dollywood for this month pre-COVID which is now on hold.

Posted Last Week:

Book Review: Honey and Venom

Snapshots of Summer So Far

Homeschool, Summer Edition: Birds and Fireflies

Watching:

We have been watching Nancy Drew, and finally finished Season 1 – so good! Then I started Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix and am addicted. I am squeezing them in where I can. I even went on Reddit to see what other people were thinking of these – I guess I think I am Nancy Drew! For our movie night we watched Woman Walks Ahead which was really good. It could easily have been longer than the hour and forty some minutes and I would have been ok with it, and I don’t say that often. I usually hate movies over two hours.

Stay safe everyone.

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

So the first week of July is behind us – and summer has arrived to our little corner of the world with high temps, long lazy days, and our garden beginning to bear fruit, literally. Wyatt and I split the very first ripe raspberry from our garden, when it was still warm from the sun, bringing back so many memories of sitting in my uncle’s garden eating peas directly from the garden, peaches straight from the tree. We spent the fourth having a picnic in the park, then heading to my brother’s for a socially distanced get together with my family. Wyatt and my niece saw their first driveway firework and were very impressed.

Read Last Week:

I am almost done with Opium and Absinthe, and so far it is good but I am not enjoying it as much as Kang’s other books. Maybe the end will really bring it all together, we will see. I absolutely loved The Creative Family Manifesto, and am hoping to order some new art supplies today.

Reading This Week:

I have to be honest, I am not sure! I have a bunch of books I was planning on reading but I am not in the mood anymore, I am sort of in a reading slump but I think it is because we have been outside quite a bit and when we are inside I am usually doing stuff with the family. These are some contenders for the week:

Wyatt and I also finished Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne and have started reading The Little Prince as our afternoon read aloud. I have always loved that story and it will be fun to share with him.

Posted Last Week:

Currently…July

Paris In July – Parisienne Farmgirl

We Made Shampoo Bars

Friday Favorites: Hair and Skincare

I didn’t get a chance to post our summer homeschool roundup about birds, which was a great week! I hope to get that up tomorrow or Tuesday.

Watching:

We are still watching Nancy Drew, Rosemary and Thyme, and then Friday night we watched a fantastic movie from the French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet called The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet, which is on Amazon. We had not heard of it but the cinematography looked amazing in the trailer and it also had Helena Bonham-Carter in it and I love her, so we gave it a go. This movie is so beautiful visually, rich and vibrant, clever, and quirky, all things I love. The ending was sort of weird but other than that, I loved this movie and thought it was very well-done!

Stay safe everyone!

Currently – July

Today I am linking up with Anne in Residence’s monthly post, Currently… This month we are sharing what we are cooking, photographing, sharing, trying and wondering.

Cooking: We are not too exciting on this front right now. Mostly summertime foods on the grill, easy stuff like burgers and salmon, and fruit and veggies and cheese. We attempted to make strawberry jam the other night, and I stood over a hot stove full of boiling pots while my hair curled up like crazy, only to not have any of our jars seal! I am not sure what I did wrong; I feel like I did all the things, the only thing I can think of that I didn’t do is give them enough space for air flow while they were cooling. So, back to the drawing board and try try again!

Photographing: We haven’t been venturing too far from home, so I’ve been mostly photgraphing my son, who loves his photo taken and asks for it, my garden, insects, and my cats.

Sharing: This month I will be sharing French-themed posts on my blog for Paris in July, hosted by Thyme for Tea. I also “shared” all of the black swallowtail eggs and caterpillars I found on my carrots and dill with my sister-in-law and niece, who are raising them. I found a few more yesterday though so it looks like we might be raising them too..

Trying: Lots of new projects! My sister-in-law showed me how to make shampoo bars the other day, which was the perfect socially distanced social time, since it was outside and we had to wear PPE anyway. I was very nervous about working with lye and she showed me that it was not as scary as I had imagined. (I’m hoping to post about this tomorrow or the next day) I also have an embroidery kit to try, and I bought my son a kid’s beading/sewing kit. I thought if we did it together it would be neat, plus he likes stringing things together and bonus, fine motor work for my cp warrior! However, my husband has to teach both Wyatt and me..

Wondering: Like everyone else, how to stay sane. How to keep our kids happy and healthy and non-traumatized by these world events. When and if things will return to normal. When I will feel comfortable enough to get ice cream from my favorite ice cream place again.

Stay safe and well everyone!

My Sunday-Monday Post!

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was sort of crazy – I had my virtual conference, where I watched about two hours of workshops a day. I have lifetime access to them so I can just keep going though so that is good. I learned so much! Then Wyatt had a 90 second focal seizure on Wednesday – it was terrifying for us both. It required another call to his neuro and raising of his meds so please keep your fingers crossed and say all the prayers that this dose is the right dose. Needless to say, my reading was not really on par last week. I did finish my book Honey and Venom, and the review should be up this week. It was pretty fascinating!

Reading This Week:

Then this week I am reading the same books I posted as reading last week, since I didn’t get to them.

Posted Last Week:

I did post once or twice last week – I talked about Paris in July here and then about our Homeschooling, Deer Week Summer Edition here.

Watching:

We watched The Order Season 2 this week – start to finish. It was so good! Now we have to wait all over again for a season 3 – if there is one! We also watched Nancy Drew, which I am loving as well. For movie night, we watched The Current War (Amazon Prime) with Michael Shannon and Benedict Cumberbatch. It was really really well done – and highlighted to me how little I know about that part of history, and how much Billy knows. The movie is a little confusing I think if you are not familiar with the whole A/C vs. D/C debate, or Tesla’s contributions, at least in my opinion. Billy had to explain some things to me as we watched which made it easier to follow. I really enjoyed the movie though, despite my lack of knowledge, because, well, now I know more!

My Sunday-Monday Post!

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was a pretty good week. Wyatt and I did some fun things, then Friday my mom came over and we socially distanced a picnic dinner. She brought her dinner with her and we had ours, just simple stuff so that we could spend our time talking and enjoying the weather. It was such a nice time. Then Saturday I got brave – I masked up and went to my favorite nursery to pick out some flowers. And it was a good experience. It is a giant nursery, all outdoors, it wasn’t crowded at all, and 99% of the people were masked. They had arrows on the floor to mark one way aisles, 6 feet distancing for the lines, and the cashiers had new plastic shields up. I was scared but soon sort of relaxed as I browsed, since there really wasn’t anyone around me. I went with a list but since I was going so late in the season knew I might have to make swaps. The only things I didn’t end up getting were snapdragons (my favorite!) and lettuce plants, but I bought pentas and swiss chard instead. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon planting everything. Today my brother is coming by to rototill my last little area that I need to work on and then I will be set for this year’s makeshift garden.

Read Last Week:

I read Summer at Lake Haven and it was just I had hoped, a light easy summer read. Perfect for my mood last week. Review coming very soon! I also started Honey and Venom, which I am also enjoying, but didn’t finish yet, so I will be reading it this week as well. I am learning some crazy things about bees – like the scent of bananas enrages them! So don’t eat bananas and then go around bees. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copies of both!

Reading This Week:

I have been waiting a long time to read this! I pre-ordered it a million years ago because I loved The Vine Witch so much, and yay, now it is here! I love witchy books and this world that Smith created is so fun.

Posted Last Week:

Homeschooling: Bee Week!

Small Steps

Picture Book Review: Under My Tree

Watching:

We are still watching Rosemary and Thyme, and we have one episode left of When Hope Calls. It’s not as good as When Calls the Heart, but I do like the relationship between the sisters. Both of the movies we watched this weekend left me unsettled. I enjoyed them both, but I felt sort of sad after watching both of them. We watched The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, which is apparently based on a true story, and then The Bookshop, starring Emily Mortimer and Bill Nighy, whom I adore in everything. Both were excellent, but definitely left you with lots to think about. These movies are both on Amazon Video.

And that about sums it up for me! Stay safe everyone.

Small Steps

This past weekend was all about small steps rather than big leaps. My garden is slowly, slowly, slowly coming along. My husband fractured his elbow back in May and he is still healing up, and unfortunately can’t do the digging for us. My brother has been coming over and helping me out – this past weekend we rototilled the front garden area and I hope to plant some things in there around the raspberry bushes soon. It is so weird to be so behind schedule, and off plan. I am a person who makes a detailed plan and then for the most part, checks it off. So this has been a learning experience in flexibility and rolling with the punches for sure. And honestly, I am ok. This just wasn’t the year I guess! Despite the setbacks, we are still doing great with what we have planted – I am super excited about all my radishes and I am going to pickle some of them today. We are also going to try our hand at baguettes (using sourdough since I can’t find yeast still!) and having our radish and butter sandwiches on baguettes, with radishes we have grown and bread we have baked. Simple but good, like my life lately.

We spend our evenings in the front yard, where we actually have some shade, all nestled on a blanket in front of the apple tree. We snack and chat and watch the birds flying about in the twilight. It’s a great way to wind up the evening before going in. We have been doing some read-alouds at night as well, poems from a book called A Poem for Every Night of the Year, and sometimes from Farmer Boy too.

Then this past weekend we took a spontaneous walk through the marsh. Most of our favorite hiking spots are now super crowded so when we go, we try to find some of the smaller, off the beaten trails. Sunday we headed out to one of the places we knew would be crowded, but we only planned on checking out the hive to look for bees, since we were starting bee week this week. Well, no bees, but we decided to wander down one of the less popular trails for a bit. It was such an impulse that kiddo didn’t even wear shoes, we didn’t have our hiking backpack – or sunblock, so it was a quick trip, mostly under the canopy of trees!

I am slowly learning how to live without a plan, something that is hard for me. But I am learning we don’t always need one.

My Sunday-Monday Post!

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week sort of went by in a blur. It’s funny how some weeks go by so slowly, and others fly by. I think last week seemed to go by so quickly because we were able to get some decent outside time in. We have been spending a chunk of our mornings and afternoons outside and it is wonderful! All that sunshine. We head back in during the heat of the day and do other projects then, but the mornings for sure are ours. We also shopped at a small farm over the weekend – Trillium Woods Farm near Lansing, MI. We placed an order online for different meats and then went to their drive-thru pick-up. I have always wanted to start supporting small farmers and this year I really am going to do better. Our own little plantings are doing well, our peanuts and radishes and carrots and beets are coming along!

Read Last Week:

I talked last week about how this book really resonated with me, and it really does. From start to finish, I devoured this book, and feel like I am on the right path for my child. Everyone has their own journey and I think this is part of ours, at least for now. I even joined the Wild and Free community online!

Reading This Week:

I am so excited to read this new RaeAnne Thayne book – it is just the right time for this summery type read. I am also looking forward to Honey and Venom – we are learning about bees this week and it seemed like a good time to start this one as well!

Posted Last Week:

Currently..June

Homeschooling: Ladybug Week!

Watching:

So this week we have been watching Living the Dream, When Hope Calls, and Rosemary and Thyme. For our movie nights this week we tried watching Winchester until it scared me too much and we had to turn it off lol. Then Saturday we watched This Beautiful Fantastic – and I loved it so so much!! I see myself watching it many many more times. Can a movie become an instant favorite? If so, this is one. It is beautiful and if you love books or gardens or quirky or unlikely friendships this is the movie for you.

Stay Safe everyone.

Currently…June

Today I am linking up with Anne in Residence’s monthly post, Currently… This month we are sharing what we are feeling, wearing, buying, craving, and discussing.

Wearing:

These two necklaces that were both gifts to me from special people in my life. My husband surprised me with the rabbit and moon necklace for mother’s day – he knows how much I love rabbits and the moon. He said he also liked the shape of this one, because he knows how much I also rub the pendant of whatever necklace I am wearing, almost like a touchstone. The other is a necklace that one of my best friends surprised me with after a particularly hard week in my life. She remembered how much I admired hers and wanted to give me a smile. And she did!

Buying: Lots of crafting and art supplies, and picture books. I miss the library! We also purchased a Schwinn Roadster for our kiddo! He has cerebral palsy and is not able to balance on a two-wheeler right now, and we wanted him to have something to ride around. His legs have gotten too long for his tricycle from last year, plus we didn’t want him to look too “baby” so we thought this was a great find for him! It is low to the ground, has a stable center of balance, and is very sturdy – sort of like a hybrid tricycle big wheel. Plus it looks cool. He absolutely loves it! We are working on the pedaling still but it will happen!

Craving: Fresh fruit and vegetables! I have been super nervous about buying fresh produce from the stores with the pandemic – I know it is probably cuckoo. But yesterday we finally did it and made this Mediterranean tuna salad with fresh veggies (including mint from our own garden), and oh my goodness, it was divine after three months of not enjoying anything fresh. Our own garden is slowly taking shape, after many setbacks – shelter-in-place and my husband’s fractured elbow being big ones.

Feeling and Discussing: So many things. Sadness, grief. Contemplative. I’ve been staying sort of quiet online about current events since I don’t feel like it’s my feelings that need to be heard. But there needs to be change, real change, in this world. So right now I am listening and learning and praying.

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was pretty focused on the outdoors – gardening, toads, ponds, playing in the yard and water. My husband worked pretty late all week and the kiddo and I are still on lockdown, but we made the best of it that we could. We even made sugar cookies cut out to look like dragonflies together on Friday – although Wyatt was more about eating the frosting straight out of the container rather than helping to decorate. I’m not the baker in the family, that is Billy, but these turned out pretty ok!

Read Last Week:

I was so excited to see this on NetGalley! I am really enjoying this series.

Reading This Week:

Well this book has been a sort of personal revelation for me – it is everything I feel in my soul as a mother! It resonates so deeply for me – I had bought the kindle version and then the next day ordered a physical copy as well. Needless to say I am loving it.

Posted Last Week:

Homeschooling: Ponds and Frogs

Book Review: A Death Long Overdue

Weekend Vibes..

Watching:

We finished up When Calls the Heart and I miss its simple, happy ease already! We started watching Living the Dream on Britbox and Rosemary and Thyme and are enjoying them.. but I still miss my Hope Valley characters. Our movie nights this weekend we watched the new Emma, which we thought was ok, not great. I kind of enjoyed the golden warmth of the cinematography, so much yellow and gold, like the sun was constantly shining on them. My husband and I are heathens though – we both agreed our favorite version is…Clueless. LOL. Then we watched The House with a Clock in its Walls. I was so excited to see this! John Bellairs was born in Michigan, not too far from here really, and I have stood in front of the house that inspired this story. So I was really excited to see this movie. It was a fun kids movie for sure! Kind of dark, so if you are not a fan of that for kids avoid this one.

Stay safe everyone.