What I’m Into ~ July 2014 Edition

What I'm Into ~ Plumfield Dreams{This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks for supporting Plumfield Dreams!}

I work for a university, which means I am in the midst of the busiest time of year, workwise. Our personal life has been chaotic this month, with two separate (but sadly equal) bouts with illness in our family, and two deaths close to us. It feels sort of strange to be retrospective right now, because I still have my head down going full-tilt. If I stop too long I fear I’ll lose all my momentum and end up curled up under a big blanket reading a novel, while I listen to music through giant, noise-canceling headphones. <I can’t he-ear you!>

Can you tell I’ve given this some thought?

What I’m Reading

Busyness has kept me from being a prolific reader the last couple months, but what I have read has been uncommonly good. I’ve devoured these books.

The SilkwormThe latest from Robert Galbraith, the J.K. Rowling mystery pseudonym. Interestingly, I thought this one felt more like a Rowling book than her first under the pseudonym. I wonder if she let herself go back that direction a bit once everyone knew it was her doing the writing? By no means did it detract; Rowling is a master storyteller, regardless of the name on the cover. This one is quite adult in content. If you are a sensitive reader, you’ll probably want to pass it up.

The Book Thief ~ This book is considered young adult, presumably because the protagonist is young, but like all good literature it transcends its label. Unusually voiced, it is a haunting account of the power of words. Read it.

A Homemade Life ~ Beautiful food memoir with thoroughly-described recipes. Wizenberg is a master of her craft.

Currently reading: Dear Mr KnightleyAt HomeMy Bookstore; Notes from a Blue Bike; The Nesting Place

Read in June: Since I never got my June post up, I’ll tell you here that Bread & Wine and The Rosie Project are so very worth reading. Get Bread & Wine in the hardcover – you’ll be glad you did.

What I’m Listening To

Sister and I (and some friends) went to another Nickel Creek concert. I am telling you. I could do that monthly for the rest of my life and it would not get old, because they are GOOD, and they just keep getting better.

I watched Andrew Lloyd Webber: 40 Musical Years on YouTube, and now I’m on a musical theatre kick. It’s the dominant music of my youth, so now it is nostalgic in addition to being plain ol’ fantastic and oh, so singable. (I’ve started treating our lives as though they were sung-through. Aria (2 1/2) is not always the biggest fan of my propensity to sing absentmindedly all the time, and today when I sang to her that I was getting her out of her carseat, she looked at me with her “No, I don’t like it” face and sang back at me, “Noo-ooo-ooo”.)

Around the Web

While I think the title is a bit hyperbolic, there are some amazing places on this list of 17 Bookstores that will Literally Change Your Life.
I’ve decided to read the title as though it were being said by Chris Traeger.

I hate clutter, and it’s been driving me nuts, but I still needed this kick in the pants to clear off my kitchen counters. A serious cleaning-out is in order.

Good, good advice on How to Really Give Our Children an Education, from a woman who has earned the right to give it.

I’m loving these posts that challenge me to be a good steward of my food resources: 9 Ways to Cook with Garbage and 3 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Eat. (Also, this post on How to Adapt a Recipe to Make it Healthier is a keeper.)

We don’t do nursery in our church, quite on purpose, so I appreciate Kendra’s advice on teaching your toddler to be with the family in the service (notice I didn’t say sit with the family).

While we’re sharing Kendra’s countercultural perspectives, I love this post about How to Marry a Man You Just Met.

What I really need to know is why is there no Jane Austen festival near me?

This post about Capturing the Once-in-a-Lifetime Moments is an inspiration to be positive and intentional in our interactions with our children.

I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for What I’m Into. Check out the other fantastic blogs for more fun and inspiration.

You can see what else we’ve been up to this month by checking out my 5 on Friday posts:
The One with the Crazy-Busy
The One Where I Cover Three Weeks in One
The One with Noah’s First Chiropractic Appointment
The One Where I’m Finally Refreshed…Because I Went to Work
The One with the Vacation of Sorts

Five on Friday: The One with the Crazy-Busy

5 on Friday ~ Plumfield Dreams

  1. I had every intention of writing a blog post last week, honest. At least one. But we decided to go a second round with illness at the end of the week, instead. Late Thursday night Noah started running a high fever. It went up and down all weekend, and on Saturday Aria caught it, too.
  2. Early in the week we had calling and funeral for Andy’s aunt, who passed away from cancer on Noah’s birthday. It was extremely tough, but we all made it through. The kids did well. Our empathetic little Aria did great until mid-funeral, when she saw both me and her aunt, Kelly, silently crying. She studied my face, studied Kelly’s face, and burst into loud sobs. We were in the back of the room, but I still had to step out with her to help her get calmed down. She feels deeply, that one.
  3. Even though last week felt like it lasted a month, and this week has been fairly tough, too, we have had some good times. We attended a TinCaps game (the local minor league baseball team) with Andy’s coworkers, and had a wonderful evening. I went to another Nickel Creek concert – there’s just no downside to that. It was glorious. Jo, myself, and most of our high school girlfriends went out for coffee at the best coffee shop around. Every time I spend time with those ladies I leave feeling overwhelmingly grateful for the many, many wonderful people God has surrounded me with.
  4. I took the kids to the zoo for a short visit on Tuesday. We were already in town, so I figured we might as well make it a bit fun. We had a great time watching the sea lion feeding show and then visiting the petting zoo. I was amazed to watch Aria let herself into the goat pen with complete confidence, go get a brush and proceed to brush every goat in turn before returning the brush. She’s never been in the petting zoo. Apparently she feels some ownership.

    We stopped in the gift shop and the kids each got a stuffed animal. They were both thrilled, but Aria had reached an unpleasant point of exhaustion wherein having her picture taken was quite offensive. I did it anyway.

    We stopped in the gift shop and the kids each got a stuffed animal. They were both thrilled, but Aria had reached an unpleasant point of exhaustion wherein having her picture taken was quite offensive. I did it anyway.

  5. My book club met on Monday, and we were discussing this book. If you haven’t already, do yourself a huge favor and read it. This was my second time through it, and won’t be my last.
  6. Bonus, since I didn’t post last week: I owe Nicole Scherzinger an apology, because I have seriously underestimated her. I watched her as a judge on The Sing-Off, and found her vapid and inarticulate. Based on her performance there, and the career she had made for herself as the lead singer of a group not worth hearing, I was fairly certain she was all looks, no musical chops. Incorrect. Check out this fantastic performance (don’t just listen – watch her act).

Five on Friday: The One Where I Cover Three Weeks in One

5 on Friday ~ Plumfield Dreams

{I did write this post on Friday night, but then my website went wonky on me and wouldn’t post. So here’s Five on Friday on Saturday. Close enough.}

You may or may not remember me; my name is Katy, and I blog at this address. Sometimes more often than others.

It’s been a busy three weeks, and I just haven’t been able to swing the blogging. I’ve missed posting. I’ve had all sorts of thoughts to share with you all, including an entire “What I’m Into” post for June, but I haven’t had the margin to type it up. But here I am, covering three weeks in one, and promising that I do intend to put up that What I’m Into post soon. Probably before I do the July post. 😉

  1. This month we’ve gone on many long walks around our town. Fast, long walks are the perfect time to catch up on my favorite podcasts. Since I love to learn, I have a lot of favorite podcasts, so I need a lot of walks.

    Check out these cool old houses I had no idea existed. I hope they get repaired soon so they don't get too dilapidated to fix.

    Check out these cool old houses I had no idea existed. I hope they get repaired soon so they don’t get too dilapidated to fix.

  2. We’ve done a lot of swinging…
    The kid who is not mine is Aria and Noah's cousin, Aiden. He is sixish months older than Aria, and a really sweet kid.

    The kid who is not mine is Aria and Noah’s cousin, Aiden. He is sixish months older than Aria, and a really sweet kid.

    and sliding… Sliding Summer 2014Sliding Summer 2014 2.png

  3. Unfortunately, that picture where Aiden is drinking out of a sippy? Aria drank out of that sippy, too, and then we all came down with a cold. That was the beginning of the overwhelm that’s kept me from writing. The kids and I got over it pretty quickly (thank you, essential oils!). But Andy got it pretty badly, then immediately also got pinkeye, went on an antibiotic, and got even more sick. He’s still coughing pretty badly, but otherwise he’s on the mend. I’ve started coughing again, as well, and not done as well at essential oiling myself, so I’m not kicking it this time like last time. I’ve got to get on top of it. Noah got some of the infection in his eye, but we’ve been treating it with breast milk (yep, breast milk in his eye), and it’s working wonders. Noah’s birthday was Wednesday, and he spent the entire day sleeping off a stomach bug. Are you catching on to the fact we have been living in a medical state of woes?
  4. We intended to have a big 1st birthday bash for Noah last weekend, but we were so busy/sick we gave it up and rescheduled for this weekend. This week we’ve had two deaths in Andy’s family, so we’ve given up the big birthday bash altogether. We’re going to settle for a couple small birthday parties with immediate family on each side (his and mine). I feel badly for Noah that his birthday party has been blown to smithereens and he spent his first birthday sick. The more rational part of me recognizes that it makes no difference to him. He turned one, he has zero comprehension of birthdays. Really I feel badly for the rest of us (read: me), who don’t get to have the fun of his big party. Here’s hoping next year runs more smoothly.
  5. Noah has now been to the chiropractor several times, and his last time did not require an adjustment. He has started warming up to chiropractic care. Which pretty much means he doesn’t cry much. We don’t go back for a month now, though, so that’s plenty of time to forget and have to start over again. By the last appointment in his series, Aria informed me that she wanted “him [chiropractor] to do my back! My back is boken!”. So I informed Lee, and he obligingly adjusted her back. The tool that made Noah cry made Aria giggle, and she did quite well. She went around for the next couple days telling people “The chiopacter did my back…see?!” before turning her back, leaning over awkwardly, and looking over her shoulder to gauge whether they were appropriately impressed.
  6. Work for me has been cray-cray (as my sister would say). Andy and I have the welcome problem of both being consistently overly-busy at work. Job security, am I right? (And when I say “at work”, I don’t actually mean at work for me, since on a daily basis I go zero miles before I start working.) I enjoy that my job (marketing for non-traditional programs at a university) allows me to engage in many different areas of interest. But sometimes the learning curve is steep, and my limited hours can make it feel overwhelming. When weeks like the last few happen, I feel as though I’m treading water as hard as I can just to keep my head above the waves.
  7. Despite the busyness and the illness, I’ve managed to squeeze in time with most of my close friends in the past few weeks – my lifelong bff, my college roomy, and some of my other best friends from college. Each visit has been a welcome respite from stress. Right now my high school girlfriends are trying to work out a get-together for the next couple weeks. (Actually, it’s more accurate to call them my since-grade-school friends, because we were all homeschooled together from the time we were kids – some of you didn’t know homeschoolers were ever together, did you? Just shot your “homeschoolers don’t socialize” stereotype to pieces, didn’t I? Sorry/not sorry.)
  8. We got this fantastic couch. It’s going to be a bit tight in our current living space, but it should fit our needs perfectly in the new living room once it’s done. I am looking forward to the increased seating! We got a great discount on the piece, because Andy’s recliner, which came from the same store, has broken and is no longer available for a replacement. The whole thing worked out perfectly, because Andy’s chair has served its purpose, but it wasn’t going to fit into the new living room well, and I don’t like the look of it anyway. We used it for four years and then got a store credit in the amount of the entire price of the chair.

    It comes with six pillows, but I was able to choose different fabrics without increasing the price. The change does push back the delivery date, but that works just fine for us, since we don't have our new space ready, anyway.

    It comes with six pillows, but I was able to choose different fabrics without increasing the price. The change does push back the delivery date, but that works just fine for us, since we don’t have our new space ready, anyway.

  9. I’m enjoying my new Fitbit bracelet. There are some minor tracking problems, but since they cause it to under-count my activity, rather than over-count, I don’t mind too much. The last week or so has been a wash exercise and calorie-tracking-wise. I’m at peace with it. It’s where I am this week, but it won’t stay this way.

Okay, I think you are basically caught up on our goings-on. The next week is an eventful one, so I’ll have plenty to tell you next Friday! In the meantime, I’m going to start pulling together that June What I’m Into post. Maybe I’ll even get it up this week. That’s probably delusional, but a gal has to have her dreams.

Five on Friday: The One with Noah’s First Chiropractic Appointment

5 on Friday ~ Plumfield Dreams

  1. I got new glasses this week. I love ’em. My sister described them as “nerdy chic”, which I think is apt. They’re adorable and they’re turquoise, and I feel more like myself when I wear them. Also, they make my hazel eyes look perpetually green, which is an interesting side effect I hadn’t considered.

    I do not like this picture of me, but you can see the glasses and the cute appendage that is always attached to my hip, so I decided to go with it. Also, because I am HORRIBLE at taking selfies. I need to take a class or something.

    I do not like this picture of me, but you can see the glasses and the cute appendage that is always attached to my hip, so I decided to go with it. Also, because I am HORRIBLE at taking selfies. I need to take a class or something.

  2. We had a lovely Father’s Day, spending time with both Andy’s and my fathers. We got to feed my family, which you know I love. And then we spent the evening just hanging out with Andy’s parents. The kids and I got Andy two tickets to Alton Brown Live!, which is the best Father’s Day gift I have ever given myself. 😉
  3. I just got this little beauty. I think it’s really going to help me as I start really working on getting myself back in shape. I’ve even worked out – get this – two days in a row! Which really is remarkable, and I don’t like that I’ve gotten to a point where that’s an announcement. But I really have, and I’m determined to change that now that Noah is more independent.
  4. I took Noah to the chiropractor this morning. I went myself on Monday and mentioned that my back is tight because I have a fussy guy who doesn’t go to sleep easily, and my chiropractor said, “Have you thought about getting him adjusted?”. Huh. Duh. No, I had not thought of that, which is quite silly of me, because I believe in the power of chiropractic care. So, today we went, and Noah didn’t care for it one bit. It startled him, but he got over it quickly. Our chiropractor was excellent with him. He showed me that Noah’s left side is weaker than his right and gave me some tips for helping him strengthen it. Apparently he was pretty markedly out of alignment, so hopefully this will help.
  5. A new HelloMornings session started this week, and I am participating, as usual. The difference this time is that I am adding the exercise component, in addition to my usual Bible study and planning. I have high hopes! I’ll report on progress soon.