Sorry for the quiet, but…

Sorry for the quiet, but it's the last week before school starts again, and so it's an odd mix of frantic activity and determined relaxation. Some of the highlights:

  • I actually cooked dinner properly, three nights in a row.

    • Sunday: Thai green chicken curry (with Maesri curry paste, a new discovery courtesy Roshani that I am madly grateful for, since A Taste of Thai failed me long ago when they totally blanded up their curry paste). One tin paste + one tin coconut milk + 2 T fish sauce + 2 T jaggery (brown sugar) + 1 T Thai basil (in jar, from Whole Foods) + one tin bamboo shoots (drained) + one pound chicken thighs. Dump it all in pot, simmer 'til cooked, serve with jasmine rice (or Japanese rice works well too). It came out great, and I had three servings that night, which turned out to be a good thing, because Kevin accidentally left it out where Ellie could reach it and she finished it off. That was spicy!

    • Monday: Curried ginger-garlic lamb cooked in coconut milk, reduced to a thick gravy coating the meat, served with mustard-seed potatoes and carrots (cooked like home fries, essentially), on toasted naan (from store). A little too messy for a sandwich, but that was the basic idea, and gods, delicious.

    • Last night, simple ground beef-tomato pasta sauce with elbow macaroni, because somehow, we have three boxes of elbows we need to use up -- also, less messy for toddlers than spaghetti. Onions, garlic, basil, a little wine in the sauce, a little apple cider vinegar, half a bag of spinach, and it was all good. This one will actually have leftovers for dinner tonight, but I plan to walk Kavi over to the mid-week farmer's market and get some nice salad stuff (or other green vegetable, depending on what they have).

    It's been a while since I've cooked properly -- when I was seriously dieting, it was much easier not to cook. And at a lot of other times in the past year, I've been too stressed and/or busy. I like cooking. It's good to have it back.

  • Kevin watched the kids while I cooked, which is a little tough, because that's the time when they get fretful. So after dinner the last two nights, we took them out for a walk. Down to the house to see progress, back to the park to run around in the grass. It was nice, relaxed family time -- if it weren't for the emerging mosquitoes, it would have been perfect. Question: Would you let your kids run barefoot in the grass of a suburban park? A nice older gentleman (retired school bus driver) was worried that Kavi wasn't wearing shoes, because he thought there could be broken glass there. That seems fairly unlikely to me, and it's a reasonably small risk when set against the joy of running through grass in bare feet. But maybe I am just a reckless and uncaring mother.

  • I had planned to watch a matinee every afternoon this week, to celebrate the last week of summer, but I missed Monday. Too busy. But yesterday I went to see Eat, Pray, Love, which was full of eye candy (both human and landscape), but kind of boring otherwise. Still, very pretty, very relaxing couple of hours. (And all the gorgeous cities and homes gave me some decorating ideas for the house. I want to block-print curtains for our bedroom, using a lovely bird printing block that Karina sent me for my birthday, I think light brown print on white cotton. Of course, then I'll need to learn to sew curtains properly, eep.) A large popcorn is only a dollar on Tuesdays, and they don't mind if you bring in a drink from Starbucks too. The temperature is nice and comfortable too, not frigid like a lot of movie theatres. I like the Lake Theatre. I'm hoping to see Inception today or tomorrow. What else should I see? Here's their current playlist.

  • I've been writing most mornings, and am up to chapter 19 (of 20, I think), of my YA fantasy novel. That's very exciting and satisfying, in part just because I set it as a goal to actually write it this summer, and I did it. (Or will, by the end of the week.) It'll need a second draft, of course, but I think maybe just one -- I'm really pretty happy with the overall shape of the book. All I want to do with the second draft is go through and add a lot more background material and scenes, adding depth and richness. Well, and punch up a few boring scenes, sharpen some dialogue, etc. and so on. But no major structural or character changes, I think, which is great! So far, my early readers seem to really like it too -- Jed and Dan and several others. That makes me very hopeful that when I send it to my agent this fall, he might be able to sell it. It's the first book of a trilogy -- if it sells, I get to keep working on it for the rest of this year. Which just sounds super fun. This book (and this fantasy world) makes me happy.

  • Work continues to progress on the house. I'll post some photos soon, but the foundation for the addition is poured. Today drain tile. Tomorrow inspection, then backfill. And then walls. Walls!!! It is so good to see things finally happening there.

  • I watch 1-2 hrs of tv in the evening, after the kids are asleep. Ideally, I straighten the living room, and then either cuddle with Kevin or knit/crochet. Sometimes both. This week I finished an elephant bib for a baby gift (see previous entry), and am progressing well on my elephant hat (either for myself or for Kavi, depending on whom it fits). I'm finally to the part where it starts decreasing, so I'm hoping that it'll go faster from this point forward. (Should I switch to double-points? I'm not sure that the circular needle is a small enough loop for the decreasing part of a hat -- in fact, I'm not sure I shouldn't have been working on double points all along.) I find that I love stranded colorwork -- I enjoy watching the pattern emerge. Helps keep it interesting! And I'm doing better at catching my floats smoothly; that was really slowing me down for a while because I kept getting confused about which way the yarn went, but I think I've got it now. Maybe. Also, I figured out a fabulous yarn-based gift for someone, which I can't talk about anymore here, but I'm really excited about it and can't wait to get started making it. If it comes out well, I might be making one for me too, because it's just that cool.

  • Also finished my stained glass window for my dining room, yay! I'll put up photos, but I'll probably wait until it's installed in the house (a few months from now, I think), so you can get the full effect. I've started work on designing the replacement stained glass for my foyer window (there's stained glass there now, but sadly, I really don't like it).

  • My house is almost unpacked, and mostly clean. We're getting ready for a bunch of old college / grad school friends coming to town for Kevin's 40th birthday (Labor Day weekend), so I have motivation to clean. Slowly, slowly, it progresses. I have at least three loads of laundry to do today.

But now, more writing. On to chapter 20!

2 thoughts on “Sorry for the quiet, but…”

  1. This all sounds great—glad the week’s going well!

    Re movies: I want to see Despicable Me, Salt, Inception, and The Kids Are All Right, but haven’t seen any of them yet. Maybe I’ll spend this upcoming whole weekend in the theatre. 🙂 Wish I could come join you for the matinees.

    I think Cats & Dogs got terrible reviews (the ones I saw, anyway), Dinner for Schmucks sounds like a major humor-of-embarrassment fest (and thus not my kind of thing), and The Expendables was sounding potentially fun to me (in a totally mindless actiony sort of way) until I saw that it was written by Stallone. (I know that Stallone’s writing wasn’t the only thing that made Cliffhanger awful, but I suspect it was one of the major things.)

  2. You could always block print the fabric & then take it to a seamstress/tailor to actually make the curtains. In my case, that would mean they would actually get DONE instead of sitting in my project box for ages!

    I’m seeing Eat, Pray, Love tonight, really enjoyed Inception, & would like to see Despicable Me & Salt before they leave the theaters (chances are slim-to-none with 2 kids & school starting shortly).

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