Outside my window: the sun and the wildfire haze are duking it out. Right now, sun is winning, at least where we are.
It’s been hot enough that if I don’t run early, it doesn’t happen at all. But the morning light has been worth getting up early.
In the kitchen: on Wednesday, I did a minor cooking marathon while it was cool enough to have the windows open. We ate 24 breakfast burritos in 24 hours. (Before you judge, please remember that there are six of us.) Anyway, now they’re gone and I’m going to have to make food again tonight. Sigh.
Around the house: Honestly, it’s a mess. Yesterday I found one of the kitties poking at a group of ants carrying away breakfast crumbs. I did manage to get some laundry done, so at least we can wear clean clothes around the dirty house.
In the garden: Not much. I thought I had a lot going on there until I pulled all the weeds, and now I can see that there’s only a little bit of bitter lettuce, two carrots, and zinnias. Thank goodness for the farm.
In the school room: we are on official break. This is the first summer I didn’t set learning routines for us (normally, some math and foreign language.) Part of the change stems from my teens’ job schedules, and part of it is the desire to give my kids unstructured time to hang out together. I’m not thrilled with how much time is being spent on screens, but I am thrilled with the family game nights and the insides jokes they’re developing.
Meanwhile, I’m working on next year’s school plans. I’m outsourcing some science (AP chemistry for my 10th grader, Biology for my 9th grader), but I have a lot of prep to do for literature and history. We’re on the ancients again, so I’ve been reading Susan Wise Bauer’s History of the Ancient World. Her delightful sense of humor shines between her really insightful connections between the streams of different civilizations.
I’ve decided to use Bravewriter’s Boomerang (high school) and Arrow (5th grade) curricula as the framework for our literature/composition study. I previewed a few lessons last winter and was happy with them, so we’ll be doing more this year. I like the book lists, so I’m reading those and writing my questions for those as well.
Also on my reading pile: I’ve just reread Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country, which is one of my all-time favorite books. (It’s on the Boomerang list for the fall.) Every time I reread a favorite, it’s like a new book because I am a different person than I was the last time I read it. This time, I noticed all the times he talked about how the soil cannot keep the young people in their communities. What ties a young person to home? It’s a question planted deeply in Wendel Barry’s books, too, and it’s on my mind.
The book talks about fear, and the many ways that fear causes us to build walls and barriers between people and communities. The picture of forgiveness painted in the book is powerful. Lots to think about.
Grateful: My kids have attended a backyard theater camp run by a pair of retired teachers for 14 years, and they are hanging up the towel after this summer. This year’s play was Much Ado About Nothing. The kids managed to perform 21 pages of Shakespeare (cut down from 56 pages) after a week of rehearsals and set-building.
I am so grateful for Gracie and Don’s investment in my kids and for the weeks of low-key backyard fun and creativity they’ve given us.
Phoebe was Leonato, and Moriah played Beatrice. (Total typecasting.)
Praying for: so many people dear to me are struggling under depression. I am praying for them, and also for those struggling with chronic pain. Finally, my heart is breaking for the families torn apart at the border, and for refugees trapped in camps that, as horrible as they are, are marginally better than what they left behind.
What’s on your mind?