July started out on a positive note with my sweet daughter's birthday:
And of course there was the 4th of July which we spent watching fireworks with friends. Well, until the local goofballs started setting fires. But we did get to finish the night with live music.
For a variety of reasons there is little to report on this front. I was getting a lot of cherry tomatoes at the beginning of the month but a grasshopper invasion of biblical proportions stripped most of the leaves and the plants are struggling. I haven't taken on any major household projects, either.
Reading - Books and Blogs
Books: I've been reading "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" by Rachel Joyce, which two of my readers recommended. I'm a little over halfway through and I can't quite decide what I think of it. On the one hand, it's rather slow and very different. But I also can't give up on it. I need to know how the journey ends. I'll let you know what I think when I finish it.
I've also been reading "Gracious Living in a New World" by Alexandra Stoddard. I love her books and own many of them. I've had this one for several years but for some reason never read past the first few pages. I'm really enjoying it this go round and will have more to share about it in a future post.
In the car I'm listening to "Emotional Awareness: Overcoming the Obstacles to Psychological Balance and Compassion" by the Dalai Lama and Paul Eckman. A little heavy at times but still quite interesting.
Despite the fact I've accomplished little around the house this month, or perhaps because of that, I've been experiencing a surge of interest in my home. I've pulled out some favorite shelter magazines to browse through and I've been spending more time reading home-related blogs. Here are a few of my favorites:
- T.V. - Other than episodes of Frasier and Cheers I can't recall much of anything we've watched this month. David managed to catch up on True Blood but I'm so far behind I'm not sure I'll ever get back into it.
- Movies - We finally figured out what the movie was which we saw on our first date - Dirty Mary Crazy Larry. I ordered a copy from Amazon and we watched it. Yep, that was it. Mystery solved. While looking for it on Amazon I also checked to see if Endless Love was finally available on DVD and it was. We saw this shortly after we got married and I'd also read the book. There were elements of the story which have always reminded me of the passion David and I have for one another, as well as the attempted thwarting of young love by family (I'll eventually get around to that part of our love story). David had managed to find a used VHS copy years ago but since we no longer have a VCR I was happy to finally find it on DVD. It's a Korean copy but was just fine. We watched it last Friday as part of our "at home" date night. Sigh...
- I also had the opportunity to watch "Midnight in Paris" again, this time with Lisa and Kadi as we enjoyed a nice girls afternoon. Kadi then lent me "Coco Before Chanel" which I finished watching Monday evening while David was at a meeting. Lovely movie.
- YouTube: This one made me cry and then made me more determined than ever to do what I can to alleviate the suffering of others.
Listening - Music
I've been feeling nostalgic and started putting together a Spotify playlist I named, "Childhood Memories". Simon and Garfunkel, Jim Croce, The Carpenters, Ray Charles, Glen Campbell, Gordon Lightfoot... It's a work in progress but if you have Spotify, you can see it here. I started looking for a copy of Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits album and when David heard I wanted it, he got on eBay and ordered an album for me. It arrived the other day and I'm going to make time to sit down and listen to it this evening. I did manage to find Cat Stevens and Steely Dan albums at a record store in Norman so they'll be on my listening list later tonight, as well.
Food - Recipes, Restaurants and Grocery Hauls
- I combined this and this, added my own touches and ended up with a delicious vegetarian casserole for dinner last night. I just had some of the leftovers for dinner this evening (David is out of town) and it is every bit as good the second time around.
- Last Friday for our at home date night, I made a traditional French roast chicken. Delicious!
David and I haven't eaten out much this month but when I was in California my cousin, Jeanne, treated me to a wonderful meal at the Savannah Chop House in Laguna Niguel. We both had the ribs with bourbon peach barbecue sauce, coleslaw and some amazing "Jalapeño Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes". The meal was delicious and the opportunity to spend time together was truly special.
Out and About - Trips and Events
I already mentioned Lisa's birthday and the 4th of July. I also made an unplanned trip to California to help my parents drive following my uncle's diagnosis of leukemia. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all. You can read my posts about the trip and my uncle here:
- California Bound
- Love in Action
- California Trip Update
- Beach Meditations
- Memory Lane Monday ~ Uncle Ed
I never got around to blogging about it but last Wednesday I did a solo shopping trip to Norman. I went to Barnes and Noble, Bed Bath and Beyond, Victoria Secret (had some coupons!), Guestroom Records, Sprouts and Forward Foods. It had been ages since I spent a day shopping for things other than groceries. I came home with three magazines, new sheets for the guest bed, a couple of kitchen items I've had on my to-buy list, new bra and panties, two vinyl records, and a few grocery items. It was a rather nice day.
Featured Blog Posts
- helping my parents make the long drive to California
- the opportunity to see my dear uncle one last time
- peeling and freezing dozens and dozens of peaches for my aunt
- making homemade peach ice cream for my dad - twice!
- reconnecting with a cousin I don't see very often
- watching special movies with David
- a few precious minutes with my feet in the ocean
- hot dogs and banana splits with my church family on a gorgeous summer evening: