Eating: Hot, greasy pizza that I nabbed from an office event. It's divine. I'd love a second piece, but that would be unseemly, so I'm just hoping there's some leftovers when the event is done in a couple hours.
Watching: I'm not so patiently waiting for the new season of all my shows. Next week!
Reading: Yesterday I revisited A Man Called Ove, which I found uninspiring on a previous attempt. This time it caught, I think.
Listening to: NPR. I took a break from all-NPR-all-the-time after the devastating election last fall. I couldn't deal with all the Trump-related bullshit. I've finally recovered enough to enjoy it again. Although I'm still filled with despair at everything that man says or does.
Playing: With Thomas Minis. Blowing bubbles. Throwing balls, black walnuts, acorns.
Saying: "If it comes apart you can't put it back together." My son is at the stage where he's very concerned when things break, usually food. So with food this is usually followed by "but it's still tasty!"
Feeling: Disappointed. Something I was really looking forward to isn't going to happen and that's all I'm saying on the matter.
Looking forward to: This wretched heat breaking. It's obscenely hot and I am OVER it.
We did nothing of note this past weekend. We played in the yard, in the sandbox, on the swing set, with the water in the kiddie pool. But we didn't go anywhere, didn't do anything special. This was semi-intentional on my part, after weeks of Saturday activities (hiking, the Fair, a harvest festival). And partly because the heat has returned and I refuse to do fall activities when it's 85 degrees outside.
We stayed plenty busy (because in my experience toddlers are not exactly sedentary creatures), but it still feels like a wasted weekend. Like because we did nothing special, it didn't even really happen. There are no picture-laden posts on Facebook, nothing to report here on the blog. I'm left with a mild sense of disappointment, as though I didn't take full advantage of the time off with my son.
I really only have one opportunity each week to do something with him. Saturday morning is our longest chunk of time to set forth on adventures. If we miss that window, the only thing we can really do is wait until next Saturday rolls around. I expect I will be more motivated this coming Saturday, although the weather forecast is calling for more 80s. I guess apple-picking will have to wait.
On Saturday my son and I went to Second Home Nature Center for the annual harvest festival. We checked out a few crafters selling their homemade goods, ate some fresh sugary donuts, went for a "hike" with Grandpa before his volunteering shift started, and petted some animals at the petting zoo. The weather was delightfully cool and fall-like. We missed most of the crowds by getting there minutes after the festival opened and leaving before lunch.
I've been wanting to try the bread machine my husband left, but all of the recipes I'd found online said to follow the machine's instructions, which I do not have. I finally found one that didn't say that and didn't call for bread flour, so I tried it out during my son's nap on Saturday. But then, I lost count while adding the whole wheat flour and the dough was rock hard once it started mixing so I panicked and threw in some extra water. The loaf came out oddly misshapen and very, very heavy. Like heavy enough that it could be used as a deadly weapon. My son won't eat it, and I'm finding it requires A LOT of butter to make it edible. I probably won't use that recipe again, even if it was my own fault for losing track of the flour.
On Sunday during nap I threw together a family specialty, mac and cheese with only three ingredients. I didn't put enough milk in initially and then I didn't check it soon enough, so the top layer of noodles are too crispy for my preference. I spent most of dinner time last night picking them off one by one so hopefully the rest won't be so yucky. The rock hard crunchy noodles ruin it for me. Sadly, my son wasn't impressed with our family tradition and refused to eat more than a few bites. So not the most successful cooking experiences. But otherwise, weekends are wonderful, of course.
If you enjoy reading books in which everyone dies, I have the perfect book for you.
This is book four in a series, so I knew what I was getting into when I started it. And yet, good grief already. This book is just one awful, bloody mess. Each horrible thing that happens is worse than the last. And thus far, nothing good or happy has happened at all.
Also, if your cable goes out, don't read this before bed if you're anything like me. You'll be jumping at shadows and lying in bed listening to every random creak and bump in the night.
And for some inexplicable reason I've already added book five to my wishlist.
One of the items left behind after my husband's departure was his slow cooker. I'd been anxiously waiting for cooler weather to try using it (because those things actually put out a lot of heat when running all day). It seemed like such a good idea. Throw stuff in while my son is napping and then have dinner all ready without any fuss or muss. Or toddler wrangling.
Creamy Tortellini & Spinach Soup
1 bag frozen tortellini
1 small bag fresh spinach
2 cans Italian style diced tomatoes
1 box (4 cups) vegetable broth
1 block cream cheese
Put all ingredients in the crock pot, chunking out the cream cheese. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.
The results: the tortellini was beyond soggy, to the point of disintegration. The overall flavor was bland. It needed something. Spices? Onion? Garlic? Even corn might've helped. The spinach was the best part, otherwise it was just bland mush.
If I ever did this again (and I won't), I would exclude the cream cheese. It was weird and lumpy and added nothing to the whole affair.
I split the leftovers and froze two thirds of it. Maybe when my electric bill is sky high this winter and I'm feeling desperately broke, I will be grateful for the sustenance.
Rearrange/clean the family room to make it a usable space
Move books down there to make it a library/family room?
Get rid of items we don't use and/or don't like
furniture DONE *
Read at least 24 books - 22/24 **
Develop a system to ensure bills get paid in a timely fashion DONE
Hang wall art
Hang some sort of window treatment (curtains? blinds?) in family room DONE - 3/19/2017
Blog at least once a week - 33/52
Purchase new bras
Purchase new underwear DONE - 2/5/2017
Go on a date
Go swimming, preferably in a natural body of water
Take my son camping in a tent in the woods for at least one night
Frame a picture of my son for my desk at work DONE - 1/17/2017
Go to the Adirondacks
Take my son to the zoo DONE - 1/14/2017
Install anti-tip straps on the TV
Open a 529 account for my son DONE - 3/8/2017
Visit Second Home Nature Center at least once a month - 8/12 ***
* I finally got rid of the last piece of furniture on my to-go list (and it only took a year). When my husband moved out he left his giant ugly dresser which I've always hated. He said he would take it, but he never did. I finally got so sick of looking at it that I dragged it down the stairs by MYSELF on a super humid, almost 90 degree day. I made three trips with the drawers and then dragged the dresser down the stairs, out the front door, down the walk, and into the garage. Apparently it must have shamed him enough that he took it with him after only a couple weeks in the garage.
** Apparently I only read two books in August (hmmmn), but I'm still gonna hit my goal for the year without much effort, so it's all good.
*** Our August trip to Second Home Nature Center featured our favorite bog trail and yummy blueberries.