One more month before the end of summer and we enter my favorite season of the year. Football starts next week (anyone want to join our fantasy football league? 🙂 ) and eventually, some day the weather will start getting cooler. I’m proud to say that we have only run the air conditioner in the new house two or three times this entire summer. That’s not to say that our house hasn’t gotten pretty warm at times, but it’s nothing compared to our old place, which I’m so thankful for. We invested in a little window fan (it’s cheaper at Target) for our bedroom and it gets downright chilly in there at night, which I love.
In other news, we had a bad hailstorm here on July 1st and just found out last week that our roof will need to be replaced. We knew there were some minor cosmetic things…. the shutters in the front are all broken, there are dings in parts of the siding and the screens in the front have holes in them, but I think we were hoping (though not particularly optimistically) that our roof had been spared. We were also told that our two front upstairs windows might also need to be completely replaced. I am thankful because our deductible is only a tiny bit of what the final estimate came in at and the personal property portion was enough to get the kids a new sandbox (the cheap plastic lattice that the former owners used as a cover for the current ancient sandbox was destroyed in the hail, so they covered the cost of fixing that along with the 3.5 million solar-powered yard lights that came with the house and literally exploded in the hail, which we probably won’t replace). I am also thankful because many of our neighbors had broken windows in their homes as well as their cars and we managed to escape without either of those.
In the end of July I’m into….
This month, I finished Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. This was a lot of fun, especially for anyone who loves 80s pop culture and has played MMOs. I’m a child of the 80s, especially the dorky 80s, so the first part rings especially true for me. But I’ll also admit that, yes, I’ve played my share of MMOs. You can all laugh at me now, because that’s the only embarrassing thing I’ve ever admitted to here. 🙂
Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave. I really, really liked this….all until the end, that is. The majority of the book was engrossing and the characters were deep and multi-faceted and likable (even the unlikable ones), but then the end came and it just kind of….ended. There wasn’t much closure and it was just sad. I don’t necessarily feel that every book has to have a happy ending, but I think they do have to have some kind of ending and this one just felt so abrupt and unfinished.
We finished Broadchurch. Oh my. We binge-watched the second series and managed to finish it in less than a week. Now we’re going through withdrawal. I love Ellie.
I also finished the first series of The Bletchley Circle. It was entertaining and I love Millie, but the end was eh. I should try series 2.
It seems we like watching BBC shows…. any suggestions for others?
We managed to watch Bridge of Spies, which was interesting, but not particularly memorable.
The Best Flourless Brownies. These are fantastic with vanilla ice cream!
BBQ Chicken Burrito Bowls. E wasn’t a fan of these, but I thought they were great, especially considering how easy it was to make one big batch and split it up into 4 lunches.
My washer and dryer. Truly. I had no idea what I was missing. When our old washer and dryer in the old house finally called it quits last year (they were the original ones put in the unit in 1998), we just went and got two more cheap ones and one of those discount, dinged-up appliance places (because no job) and I didn’t think I really needed one of those fancy HE ones (though I did secretly harbor some major jealousy for friends who had them). We were actually going to bring the two cheap ones to the new house because of job worries and we wouldn’t have to buy new ones and all that, but when we discovered that our water bill was going to be substantially higher here, we decided to leave them behind and spend the extra cash on HE models. I had to do quite a bit of research to find HE top-loaders that would work well for diapers and weren’t outrageously expensive and these were the two I ended up with. With my dad’s military discount and an appliance sale at Lowe’s, we got them for a reasonable price and my laundry life has changed completely. I can fit an entire hamper in just one load in this washer and it still uses less water than our old washer. My diapers are fantastically clean and I absolutely love them both. I told E that I can’t switch to a tiny house now because I would miss my washer and dryer too much.
Hanging clothes to dry. There’s a laundry theme this month… I’ve been hanging our diapers and whites to dry outside instead of using the dryer and it’s been so nice to just let them hang out on the back patio all day in the sun without taking up the entire deck or worrying what the neighbors think. I use a drying rack right now (and have been since B was born to dry diapers – it’s now just starting to fall apart), but eventually I’d like to get a retractable clothesline.
Nailpolish. Silly. I know. But it’s been fun to have painted nails lately. I can’t wait to do this with C!
Haircut. It’s been NINE MONTHS since my last one. I could’ve gestated a human in that time. Instead I gestated swamp thing hair. I feel much lighter now.
On the Blog.
Hope. “Hope isn’t naive and it isn’t a complete waste of time. Hope is the stuff of life. It’s the stuff of love. It’s the stuff that keeps us going when we feel overwhelmed with all the darkness. When we hope together, when we act on that hope and fight for it no matter the odds, we not only make the world a better place for these children, but also for everyone else. Hope isn’t just for people who want to fight these fights. It’s for every single person who has an opportunity to improve the world.
We all need to hold on to this hope together.”
Charlotte Mason “Ourselves” Quotes (Part 3). “Life isn’t easy for anyone, yet we often expect it to be that way, even so far as feeling cheated if it isn’t. But I know that for me, the times I have felt the most satisfied and fulfilled have been when I’ve worked hard for something. Profit doesn’t only come in the shape of the thing worked for, but also in the work itself.”
We have just one more bird that we added to our collection this month….. a Say’s Phoebe. Its little phoebe call was going out in the neighborhood for the last few weeks, but it’s hard to identify a bird just by its call. It finally landed on the roof in front of B’s window and we got a good view of it so I was able to ID it. We also have a phantom mountain chickadee somewhere nearby that refuses to come to our feeders. I miss chickadees….they’re my favorites.
And there you have the state of the Reb. 🙂