Mom Outfit

Sweater - Madewell, purchased on ThredUp
High-waisted Jean Shorts - Gap
Watch - FitBit


Book Review - The Water Dancer

This was my book club pick for July. I was so hoping that I could make a really good Southern spread for my book club - BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches, collard greens, steamed okra, corn on the cob, etc... But alas, the dumpster fires of 2020 rage on so again we meet by Zoom. 

This book is lovely and deeply emotional. Hiram is a slave. He was born into slavery and then his mother was sold. He cannot remember his mother but has heard stories of her magic power. When he experiences the magic himself, he has so many wonders about his mother. The imagery of the magic of this book and the memories which keep the magic alive are so beautiful and yet so haunting. I really enjoy how the story is told, there's a surprise with every chapter. And some of those surprises are absolutely awful, because, well, slavery. I think reading about the betrayal is my least favorite, simply because I had been rooting for Hiram the entire time not wanting him to have any setbacks (possibly a spoiler?? Possibly not??). 

Sometimes the book stalled out, almost as if Hiram lost himself. Almost as if the book was going to end and become a short story instead of a full novel. It seemed there could be an ending at a few different spots but then there was an added twist to the story and once more, it would be an engaging read, which can be a telltale of a first novel - or so I've noticed with the last few first novels that I've read. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but just an observation.

I also like how this author provides us with an alternate history - with the added magic of Conduction and the memories that Hiram has, this books leads me to believe that slavery - in this book - had a better outcome than reality. Systemic racism still reaches everyone today. I also really love how Harriet Tubman appears and is known as Moses, a magician in the book. It makes the wonderment of history and the hope that slaves escaped instead of died so much more. Reading about Harriet Tubman as Moses made me stop to think - and read up on The Underground Railroad more to refresh my memories from school, and also learn new things since they don't teach everything you need to know.

I really enjoyed this book. And find it appropriate to read this summer - with all the racial tensions, this is something that you can physically buy to support a Black author and to raise Black voices. 


July Garden Updates

I've been tearing out more grass this year in our front yard. It's been tough work but it's also been fun. Over the years I've realized that I can do whatever I want and it's been really hard to embrace - because I want things to look a certain way RIGHT AWAY. I need to let that go and just let the perennials do what they do. So I'll try that approach for awhile!

I hope that by next year over half the front lawn will no longer be lawn.

I need to add in brick border pavers along the neighbors lot line so that it's easily weeded for me and easy to mow for her. 


The Quarantine Life

Oh man. My last post was so long ago. The computer was basically hijacked for distance learning. Now it's used for tv time. I'm around my family 24/7. Haven't quite lost my mind yet but I feel a bit freer than two weeks ago - having to schedule time for school, and quiet time and crap.

Baby Chewie is 4. He had a Halloween Racecar Birthday party with family only. He can also now ride a bike with pedals, no training wheels.

I'm sewing masks during this Pandemic to donate. Holy shit, it's seriously like a dystopian novel these days. George Floyd was killed by police and for a week there was riots, police helicopters. We heard the flash bangs at night and sirens were basically non-stop. It's quieted down now that law enforcement has realized they're the assholes (yes, I am a FUCK THE POLICE person, they've literally only been helpful since we've become middle-class and homeowners, and that's not ok at all, they need to stop killing black people). So in any case, our President Cheeto is awful, there's been fires, floods, diseases, etc... I can't wait to vote out the asshole in November. 

Happy Monday. I'm hoping to post more this summer now that distance learning is done and I can hopefully regain control of the computer to do what I want to!


Serious Sewing

I've sewn close to 75 face masks in the past two weeks. Oy, it seems like more than that some days. In any case, now that face masks are recommended in public, people are needing them more and more. And the government has recommended homemade masks for the general public when buying essentials in stores. This is straight up, the strangest time period to be alive - I'm glad the science is here to back it all up during this pandemic but it's all so counterintuitive because humans are social creatures. I'm an introvert though, so I do miss people - but not as much as I thought I would.

In any case, below are photos of what I've been doing. I switched from regular pleats to pocket pleats because it seems to frame the face better AND it's easier to sew.

At the end of the day we're all going to get sick, it's just spreading out the sickest patients so that we can all be taken care of. There's lots of people out there and we need to normalize wearing masks - other countries that have dealt with pandemics before immediately started wearing masks and are doing much better than the US (with the freaking idiot Orange Cheeto in charge). 

I just hope that we can help protect the elderly and the high risk patients. Covid-19 is a freaking killer of even those who are not at risk. Ugh.

On that note. Here's my week in mask photos. The sunshine this week is going to be amazing and we really need it!


And Today There's Snow...

Phil got to dig in the pool for a bit on Saturday - and then on Sunday it snowed three inches. Today the kids built a snowman. I think on Friday it's going to be around 50 degrees again. HA!

Hopefully this weather will keep people at home to stay healthy. This shit is getting bananas. I've watched neighbors socializing on purpose in their front yards all week last week - and then take the party into their backyards. Ridiculous!! Hopefully this cold, snowy weather will keep people home. 


Meal Planning for 3 Weeks

To meal plan for 3 weeks to keep us out of the grocery stores, I decided to turn to my current favorite cookbook - Eat At Home Tonight.

I choose to make tried and true recipes and throwing in some new ones but not too many - I need enough meals to get away with leftovers for lunch the next day, school lunches are available to pick up Monday - Wednesday up at the school, which are free. Tomorrow I'm going to run up to school and grab 3 extra lunches - one for Nana, my mom, and my mom's neighbor that we're delivering a few things to.

So here's my list:

Tacos Al Pastor
Skillet Chicken Pot Pie
Pulled Beef and greek yogurt pitas
Beefy baked sweet potatoes with cheese
Chipotle steak tacos
Lazy Marinated Chicken
Italian Sausage and peppers on hoagies
Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches
Italian Chicken and Parmesan Pasta
Autumn Chicken with Cranberries & Gorgonzola
Magic Chinese Chicken Salad
Bahamian Johnny Cake (serve with Chili OR leftover Chicken Souse from freezer)

More meals that we have ingredients for:
Ramen bowls
Chicken Soup
Pasta with meat sauce or meatballs
Macaroni & cheese
Fruit smoothies

Meal planning for weeks is kind of tough - Bimmer Man still likes frozen pizza a lot, it makes my stomach hurt and the last time, Baby Chewie refused it and The Monkey only eats the crust. I don't see a point in making it again - unless the kids can make their own pizza because then they will eat ALL of their pieces. But Bimmer Man just likes frozen.

Then I have to remember which meal uses up the fresh ingredients first so there's no waste. And plan for lunches - I love having things already made for lunch OR making specific meals for the adults that you just microwave and eat. I did that last week and it went really smooth. We'll see what happens this week!