Amy Artisan

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Month: July 2016

Recently…July 2016

Ah JULY…a month of…celebrating the birth of this country…the zaniness of our political process through conventions…heat, heat, heat, heat, humidity – and all the ways to beat the heat…in the midst of it all, these are the things that filled my July days…

Reading…after a full read in June, I managed to actually read “ahead of goal” in July and completed 6 books which I will review soon: In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume; Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Marie Semple; Before the Fall by Noah Hawley; Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough; The 14th Colony by Steve Berry…

July Knits

July Knits

Crafting…a stash dive while sorting through the spare room yielded a skein of “charity” yarn from a blog friend’s fundraiser years ago…a baby knit started 6 (!) years ago has been found in the sorting and now being finished for an upcoming baby arrival…a few dishcloths knit and a “found” stack of dishcloths finally had the ends woven in & put into service…ending the month with a another stash yarn on the needles for a simple travel knit (& potential Christmas gift)…

All sorts of joy sparked!

All sorts of joy sparked!

Sparking Joy…in myriad ways as I dive back into KonMari and sorting “the stuff” in my spare room as the KonMari continues…GreenDrop made 3 pick-ups this month…a large box of yarn was culled from my stash & sent on its way to a longtime blog friend who will put it to good use…

Where knitting began…

Finding…Grandma’s handwritten recipe for “the” dishcloth that was the impetus to have her teach me to knit almost 19 years ago…I have plans for this & the last knitting that was on her knitting needles…

Streaming…really enjoying Foyle’s War on Netflix as I sort through things and knit…in addition to good stories, I think it offers some good insights into what life in the UK during WWII was like…

Watching…the latest season of Death in Paradise on a local PBS station…getting pulled into The Great British Baking Show

Listening…thoroughly enjoying the new Need to Breathe album…the Hamilton soundtrack is still in heavy rotation…

Sipping…all the iced drinks to beat the heat…

Farm stand goodies!

Shopping…the farm stands on Saturdays for so many fresh fruits & veggies…and long lasting “you cut” zinnias…and the annual visit to my local sunflower farm…

Kitchen goodness

Cooking…focusing on simplicity and the tastes from the farm stands…highlights include ham steak with roasted radishes, green beans & onions…a simple zucchini, sausage & ricotta bake topped with homemade tomato sauce…easy roasted chicken & veggies…a blueberry-rhubarb cobbler…a pin-spired stuffed pepper: buffalo chicken & spinach…easy skillet suppers of eggs & whatever leftovers could be chopped into a hash…

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

Traveling…one trip…two destinations: a week in Milwaukee with a weekend stop at home in the ‘Ville…

Milwaukee summer scenes

Milwaukee summer scenes

…the time in Milwaukee was busy and intense…the work days were long but the evenings included plenty of good, local restaurants…on Thursday evening, we checked out the Bastille Day Festival – after dinner we found a pub along the river walk with great outdoor seating to end the evening in good conversation as we watched the bridges raise & lower for boats…

Papa Cardinal brunching in the 'Ville

Papa Cardinal brunching in the ‘Ville

…the time at home in the ‘Ville was just what was needed…it was great to see Dad’s continued progress…the weekend was low-key…Saturday was a good day for a scenic drive around the area…the birds in the backyard and feeding on the deck can entertain for hours…

Looking ahead…While August vacations plans have been delayed, a fun weekend with the WI-fam is on the agenda…at least 1 business trip to Milwaukee…work kicking into hyperdrive as a deadline on a massive project looms…inevitably staying up too late to watch the Olympics…seeing my TX girlies as they settled into life in PA…

What filled your July days?

Linking up with Leigh’s What I’m Into round-up.

Beat the Heat

A timely prompt for this Tuesday that is in the midst of our 4th heat wave so far this summer…10 ways to beat the heat!

Farm Stand Flowers

Farm Stand Flowers from early morning errands

  • Drink plenty of water – My S’well water bottles are used just about every day of the year. During these heat waves, an extra bottle is in the car with me no matter how short the run.
  • Batch food prep/oven use – Turn on the oven once & do as much as you can in as little time as you can. On Sunday, food prep included an early morning oven run & an early evening oven run – and viola, food stuffs for 6+ meals this week were ready to go!
  • Run cold water over your wrist pulse points – I first read about this years ago when I lived in Chicago with only 2 window AC units in my apt. Even now, I do this before I go to bed as well as if I’m up during the night.
  • Avoid errands in the heat of the day – On Saturday I was up before 7am & so I pulled together my errand list for the day and was at Target as they opened – my list was finished & I was home well before the worst of the heat descended on the day.
  • Eat lighter – Farm stand produce is prime these days…making it very easy to have all the tasty fixin’s for all sorts of great salads!
  • All the iced drinks – While iced tea and iced coffee are in frequent rotation year round for me, even more is consumed in weather like this – although I do make sure to balance these with water! On Sunday & Monday, iced candy cane coffee was a bit of Christmas in July!
  • Take in a movie in a well chilled cinema – I was more current on summer blockbusters when I lived in my last Chicago apartment…many a Saturday afternoon was spent at a theater.
  • Splash your face – Whenever I’m at my bathroom sink here at home, I take a moment to liberally spray my face with my favorite rosewater tonic – just a moment and so refreshing!
  • Be grateful – In the midst of the seemingly extreme temperatures, take a moment to be thankful that we live in a time and place where we have so many options to help us pull through the heat waves.
  • Take a mental snapshot – Capture the heat in a memory for those snowy and bone chilling cold sorts of winter days that have you wondering if warmer temps will ever return. And remember, to everything there is a season…

The forecast shows that later this week this heat wave may break with a high of 88 on the horizon. In the meantime, many of these tactics (and more!) are in rotation to keep the heat at bay – as best as possible.

What do you do to beat the heat?

Linking up with Carole for Ten on Tuesday

Recently Read…the June List

As the summer continues to roll along, I continue to seek out reading time – when and where I can. My summer reading goal is 15 books over the 3 months…as June turned to July, I managed to complete 5 books…so, will I be able to meet the goal? These are the pages that filled my June reading moments.

Slower Reading

  • The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichart – A quick & delightful read set in Milwaukee; appropriately, it was a plane read whilst on a trip to Milwaukee; reading this story set in Milwaukee & its restaurant scene has prompted another blog post, stay tuned…”A fog of comforting had perpetually blanketed her kitchen – an expression of her love so strong you could taste it.
  • Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate – The new story by the author of The One and Only Ivan. This one tells the story of a young boy who’s family has fallen on hard times – as he enters this phase of difficulty, a long lost imaginary friend reappears to help him through it by focusing on family, friends and the resilience within. “Imaginary friends are like books. We’re created, we’re enjoyed, we’re dog-eared and creased, and then we’re tucked away until we’re needed again.
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – I think I might be one of the last people to read this story & honestly I almost abandoned it.I pushed through it and honestly…it was just meh. A good reminder that just because everyone hypes a book that doesn’t mean it works for everyone.
  • Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave – A new, sweeping WWII drama focused around 3 young Brits and their search for belonging in the midst of the chaos of war. An engaging story that brings you in and keeps you through to the very last page. “Grief was contagious, and Mary would no more speak of her own than she would cough, in a crowded train carriage, without putting her hand to her mouth.
  • Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe by Bill Bryson – Actually, my first Bryson read, I started this when Rebecca & I “sat in salt” in May. It was a fun trek through Europe and I especially enjoyed his descriptions of places that I have traveled. In Rome: “St. Peter’s is a marvel, so vast and beautiful and cool and filled with treasures and airy heights and pale beams of heavenly light that you don’t know where to place your gaze.

So far, my July reading pace is a bit slower but I’m currently enjoying a Teddy Roosevelt bio “in my hands” at home & have some fun reads on the kindle as I’m on the road.

What are you reading these days?

Connecting with Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy for the monthly QuickLit round-up.

A Weekend 10

For this Tuesday, a prompt to share 10 things from my long weekend…

Old Glory

Saturday morning started with a road trip the Newark airport to complete the process for my Global Entry access…

…On the way home, I stopped at a new to me organic farm stand and picked up some beautiful things…and then stopped to snag a picture of this huge flag at an equipment rental…and stopped at a fave produce stand for more local goodies…

…while watching Olympic trials, I knit on dishcloths from the red/white/blue skein…

…I finished up one read (meh) and started on a book (fittingly, a presidential biography) from under the Christmas tree…

…I was on a mission to go through the “stuff” in my spare room which yielded some delightful finds…and also the joy of getting rid of lots of stuff via donation/trash/shred piles…

…I readied 8 large totes of “no joy” stuff for Tuesday morning GreenDrop pick-up…

…while sorting, I streamed and enjoyed TURN: Washington’s Spies – which seemed appropriate for this holiday weekend…

…I roasted radishes for the first time – delicious when paired with roasted onions, green beans & a farm fresh ham steak…and had tasty meals from my farm stand finds…

…I baked a delicious Blueberry-Rhubarb Cobbler because the 4th calls for red, white & blue desserts…

…I closed out the weekend watching A Capitol Fourth on PBS as is family tradition…love their 1812 Overture and Stars & Stripes Forever, each year…

Before I knew it, the long weekend was over and it was time to ready for another busy week ahead. This weekend was a good combo of tackling the to-do list and also getting some much needed relaxation.

What did your weekend hold? 

Linking up with Carole for Ten on Tuesday

Recently…June 2016

Ah JUNE…a month of…the official start of summer…local produce beginning to come in season…Dad’s continued recovery…long work days..and more…In the midst of it all, these are the things that filled my June days.

Flag

Reading…after sharing some spring reads, I’m making good progress on my personal summer reading challenge…5 (almost 6) books read toward my 15 goal: The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert; Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate; Me Before You by Jojo Moyes; Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave; Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe by Bill Bryson – to be shared in a July reading round-up…

Knit

Crafting…another “go to” Shawlette off the needles, after a winning round of yarn bind off roulette…

Lakefront

Traveling…only 1 trip to Milwaukee…which aligned with downtown dining week so each evening yielded a tasty meal…with this trip I broke in a new wheel-aboard – my previous one lasted thru 10 years of seemingly constant use & this new spinner is just what I was looking for…

New Suitcase

Listening…to the Hamilton soundtrack all the time…loving the wit in the lyrics…

Cheese Dog Pie

Cooking…keeping it simple…a tasty & simple supper discovery is this Cheese Dog Pie – paired with a bit of chili it is even tastier than favorite coneys at Sonic…

No Joy

Clearing…out the “no joy” items…7 bags already picked up by GreenDrop…2 more pick-ups scheduled for early July…

Streaming…Murdoch Mysteries whilst sorting through stuff…

New Summer Sips

Sipping…all the iced drinks, including a daily tumbler of tea or lemonade mixed with a shot of apple cider vinegar…

Finding Dory

Watching…Finding Dory in the front row on opening weekend at the Movie Tavern with Gretchen & her girls…we all agreed that the reclining seats plus meal service made a pretty great way to enjoy the delightful movie…the girls are already plotting our next movie adventure…

Go Dad!

Cheering…on Dad from afar – he walked out of rehab on June 3rd & continues to work on regaining his strength & mobility …

Looking ahead…more KonMari…more Milwaukee travel on the calendar…maybe some canning…and more…

Linking up with Leigh for the monthly What I’m Into round-up.

What are the things that filled your June days?

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