Saturday, July 09, 2011

A Hodgepodge

Summer has been, well, summery. We've been on one (of 3) trips away from home, have wrapped up the bulk of the school year (one child still has work to finish in one subject), and I'm happily plugging away at my summer goals.

One of those goals is to READ! What with working at the computer and knitting, reading hasn't been really happening. But then, I got a Kindle for Easter. (As well as the Chocolate Easter Bunny that I didn't eat between Easter 2010 and 2011. If my kids don't say something, I'll pass it back to mom for my 2012 Easter Basket. Shhhhh.) With my Kindle, I can listen to books AND knit. And read the books when I don't want to knit. It does happen. Especially when the book is interesting and it's taking too long for the computerized voice to get to the really, really interesting part.

So this summer (since Easter, actually), I've read - and remembered to write down -
  • Heir of Redclyffe (Thanks, Willa!)
  • Rilla of Ingleside
  • Common Sense
  • The Praying Life
  • The Next Story
  • Tortall Stories
  • The Man who Knew Too Much
  • Bloodhound
  • The Hero and the Crown
  • The Blue Sword
  • Walden
  • Bleak House
  • Ralph the Heir
I'm working on The Art of the Commonplace (Readaloud with the kids) and The Warden (by Anthony Trollope). Defintely too much fun. I've got Children of Hurin on the shelf too, and hope to read it before it has to go back to the library ... and then there will be The Wandering Arm, one of Abigail's college books. Reading is fun. But it can take away from knitting time.

As to knitting, I'm plugging away on the mittens. The picture from my last post is pretty representative of how things look, so no new photo. I am 6 diamonds into the mitten now, and start the top decreases at 8 diamonds. The end is in sight! I suppose the question is ... will I finish the mitten beFORE I finish listening to The Warden, or will I abandon the mitten briefly to read the book, or is the book shorter than the mitten?

One of my 'to-do' things this summer was to weed out unloved foods from the pantry and either use them or find a new home for them. One of the unloved things was Real Non-Instant Tapioca. I now have Tapioca Pudding in the frirdge. Mmmm. But why don't any of the recipes or instructions for folding in egg whites say to let the pudding cool first? The recipe on the bag even says "Beat Egg Whites until stiff. Fold into hot tapioca mixture." Snippets from Google Books suggest folding the hot tapioca mixture into the egg whites. Other advice is to let the pudding cool, then fold in the egg whites. Any opinions?

And one of my favorite recipes this summer so far (apart from homemade barbecue sauce and homemade baked beans with aforementioned barbecue sauce) is homemade pita bread. My last batch had perfect pockets on 6 of 8 pitas, and partial pockets on the rest. With baked beans and lettuce inside, a half pita makes a perfect lunch. Mmmm.

Not really planned or on my schedule, but happening anyways, is sitting in the passenger seat while my daughter practices driving. Not entirely in the passenger seat. I'm her brake pedal. Seems like most parents, when they drive with their children, have the liberty of letting their right foot weigh heavily upon an invisible brake. Not me! Due to Minnesota's shut-down, Filia's evaluation for hand controls is on hold, so we don't know what sort will work best for her. She's not about to trust her feet (which don't reach the pedals to begin with) to finding the right pedal and being able to exert the right amount of pressure ... so I get the job. And get to practice controlling that AAAAAAAH slam-on-the-brake instinct. Our van idles at a nice steady 5 mph -- perfect for cruising around a little-frequented cemetery and practicing turns. The ground isn't perfectly level, and thus a bit of brake pedal is needed from time to time.

And that is a hodgepodge of what's been going on around here!


Gillian said...

I like your reading list! Rilla is my favourite of the "Anne" series, and I love the McKinley books and Bleak House :)

I can't wait to see those mittens finished.

C said...

Those silly people and their tapioca instructions! We've done it both ways here and the most recent was with a very hot egg mixture. The result was a gazillion tiny marshmallow-like pieces. Okay, not so tiny. More like almost popcorn size. It was awesome and is now, according to the offspring, the preferred method. I think it's impossible to mess up sugar and vanilla and creaminess. Have fun! (PS - I love how much fun you're having with the Kindle. YAY!)