Where Have We Been?

by Stefani on 2-July-2009

Sorry for the way this little blog has languished this week, friends. We've been a bit lazy… taking some very much needed R&R time. 

What have we been doing with our time? Hmmmm…. soaking in each other, and the rain, sipping lemonade and reading. That's about it really.  

Yep, you read that right… blessed, blessed rain. 

Do you know those time-lapse videos of the desert blooming after a rain? That's just how we felt when the thundered rolled and at long last big fat drops fell down….  quenched, and alive. You could almost hear the world around us taking a long deep drink. 

Rain Dance

Yesterday, at 11 AM, the temperature was 75. SEVENTY FIVE!!!! 

We heard angels sing, I swear it. 

It's set to be back over 100 today, and everyday for the foreseeable future, but just that small break has made us feel like we might just make it. 

Catching the Cool

We saw UP! yesterday. Its crazy how much it costs to take your kids to a show these days. It was a monumental treat for us. I'm glad we went though. The movie was really sweet. All about how stuff is just stuff and love, real love, the kind between two people who have been married along time, is the best kind of adventure there is. See it. You won't be sorry. 

Other than that, we've spent a lot of time lounging about reading books. My oldest is into the Henry Huggins books these days. The middle kid has become a big Roald Dahl fan (he's reading "The Witches" at the moment). I'm reading "The Prince and the Pauper" to them aloud, and getting lost in "O Pioneers" after they've gone to bed at night. It's kind of an odd mix right? Works for us though… call it escapism if you will, but it's getting us through these long hot days. 


What are you up to these days? Reading anything good? Got a recipe for a cool drink you want to share? We're all ears!


There's a bit of Book of Days news over at the Ranch today. 
Cassandra July 2, 2009 at 10:52 am

The Witches was one of my all time favorites. Such a good book!

The last book I read was Shantaram, and it was amazing. I’m moving on into some lighter literature: Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, and Casting Spells.

heather July 2, 2009 at 11:01 am

i love your lemonade pic stefani. 🙂

currently reading “prayers for sale” – it had me by page 14 with “Some people can tell where a woman is from by the way she walks or the way she talks. I can tell where she is from by her quilts…”

pink and green mama July 2, 2009 at 11:07 am

I loved Roald Dahl when I was a girl, The BFG, Danny the Champion of the World, the Witches, and of course James and the Giant Peach were favorites. I read James and the Giant peach out loud to Emma twice last year.

Right now we’re working our way through the “Betsy” book series from the 40’s and 50’s, I think we’re on the 7th or 8th book.

Just finished “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” and am finishing up “Momzillas” as my fluffy summer trash novel.

The lemonade photo is fabulous!! Love it!

kristi July 2, 2009 at 11:57 am

my daughter commented on my iced tea today, “said it was yucky, it had grass in it” Love my simple iced tea and mint all summer. I liked James and the Giant Peach, I bet J would too.

Our Green Nest July 2, 2009 at 12:08 pm

I so wish we had got some of that rain up north! Love these shots by the way! I’m reading LLL’s “Gentle Discipline” and “Your Money or your life” right now…I really want to see “UP”! And lately in the afternoon as a little treat I’ve been putting some crushed ice in a glass and filling it with leftover coffee from the AM…it’s pretty darn good!

Stacey B July 2, 2009 at 12:17 pm

I loved “Danny Champion of the World” as a kid, another less known Dahl. As for grown up reads this summer we’ve been pouring over The Backyard Homestead trying to figure out what to do with our new acreage.

steadymom July 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Lovely pics.

I’m reading “To Destroy You Is No Loss,” a stirring memoir of a family living under the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. The slogan of this evil regime was “To keep you is no benefit, to destroy you is no loss.” Shocking.

With my three little people, I just started reading The Classic Tales of Brer Rabbit today. They loved it! And I couldn’t believe how long it had been since I’d been reminded of these sweet stories.


Molly July 2, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Such a great list of books! I read The Witches out loud to my father when I was a kid, and I loved O Pioneers! Willa Cather is pretty amazing… perhaps if I go on to do a Ph.D in lit, she would be a good one to study. I recently saw The World’s Fastest Indian, and it was great–a movie, indeed, and about perseverance, but also the main character had a wonderful sense of humor and patience about all the things blocking his way to his goal. You might like Anita Brookner’s Hotel du Lac.

Julie Alvarez July 2, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Hi, Stefani! I am happy that you got a little water from the sky!
We went to see UP! ourselves this week! We all love it. Miss Zoe just sat there on her papa’s lap in silence (with occational screams here and there with a question or with a “Look, but LOOK mama!”, or things like that) watching the whole story with a lollypop in her mouth.
The story touched me deeply. I thought it was about something totally different and more shallow. But the message there is fantastic! That scene with the album where he discovers the pictures and his wife’s message… Aw.
Movies are really expensive here too. I hate that.
And I love those flowers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Julie Alvarez July 2, 2009 at 1:46 pm

I came up with this drink:
Make a mint syrup (there are plenty of recipes out there on the net).
Add some sparkling water and ice.
Ta da!

Catherine Sanchez July 2, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Love Henry Huggins books. I live in the Houston area and we finally had rain on Tuesday, and I took the exact same picture of my 5 year old catching water in his hands. Its amazing how us Texans get so excited when it rains in the summer, especially me since my grass was looking more like hay as each day passed without even a sprinkle.

RhubarbSky July 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm

My favorite drink last summer was a Rhubarb/Rosemary spritzer. . . with all of the raving about rhubarb soda around blog town this summer, I feel a bit ahead of the curve! Check out my recipe here.

RhubarbSky July 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Ooops, my link didn’t work. Check out the rhubarb drink here: http://rhubarbsky.com/2008/07/01/just-wait-until-the-bartenders-get-their-hands-on-this-one/

Catherine July 2, 2009 at 5:48 pm

I LOVE a Texas rainstorm – the sunsets and the rainstorms do just seem to be bigger in Texas….I’m reading A Secret Garden to the girls, C. is loving all things Captain Underpants, G. is reading book 2 of 39 Clues, I’m reading Chocolat at the neighborhood pool…Summer is a perfect time to read.

Latest cool beverage:


can of frozen limeade
empty limeade can full of tequila
1 Corona or Sol or Dos Equis

Combine…Fill to the top with Lime Italian soda or Sprite.

The mom’s at the Mother-Daughter Book Club loved this!

Amber July 2, 2009 at 6:11 pm

I think that pink lemonade is the very best kind. For some reason you don’t find it too much around these parts, to my eternal sadness.

And I think you can never go wrong with Roald Dahl. He still cracks me up no end. 🙂

Treemama July 2, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Alice Hoffman’s “The Story Sisters”. I finished in three days. She grabs me before I even finish the first page….every time.

Em’s is doing the Magic Treehouse and of course, Ramona Quimby (one of my favorites).

Lia July 2, 2009 at 7:41 pm

I loved Dahl’s Esio Trot when I was little, as well as all of his others. And I recently read Boy and loved it, too. I’m actually in the midst of writing a post about books, including a list of many of my recent faves, for both adults and kids. I can email it to you when I’m done, if you’d like.

Stefani July 2, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Ha! I haven’t heard of either of them, but anyone who agrees that “The Witches” is so stinking fantastic… well her book recommendations merit serious attention!

Stefani July 2, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Yup…. that and the title do sound awfully appealing!

Stefani July 2, 2009 at 8:54 pm

I don’t know about the Betsy series… must look into that!

Stefani July 2, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Oh yes… James and the Giant Peach was his very first Dahl fave, for obvious reasons.
Grass in it. That’s pretty sweet 🙂

Stefani July 2, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Mmmmm I was doing that a lot last year, but I put the leftover coffee in icecube trays and then popped a few in the blender with a little milk and a little chocolate syrup. Yes… must resurrect that tradition! Thanks for the reminder!

Stefani July 2, 2009 at 8:56 pm

eeeeeek! Did you say new acreage? Those are words that I would SO love to say some day!

Stefani July 2, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Wow… that’s quite a leap, Cambodia to Brer Rabbit!

The first sounds riveting and the second… most definitely something that I need to be sure my guys don’t miss!

LivingSimply July 2, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Just started – Hit By A Farm – It’s a hoot!

J.T. @ Living Simply

Stefani July 2, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Duly noted… and yes, yes you should definitely do your PhD on Cather. And then send it to me to read, okay?

Stefani July 2, 2009 at 9:00 pm

I cried… more than once… big ol’ snot snorting sobs.
I was really very pleasantly surprised at this movie!

Stefani July 2, 2009 at 9:00 pm

Mmmmm and maybe a little lime! I think you’re on to something there!

Stefani July 2, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Don’t I know it! We’ve been so trying to keep our little butterfly garden alive, but it has not been easy at all!

Stefani July 2, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Oh gosh that sounds so delicious! If only I could get my hands on some rhubarb!

Stefani July 2, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Beer-a-rita??? For real??? Okay you’ve got my interest piqued. I’m going to have to give it a go.

And yes… my middle man is all over the Captain too. His interest, is blessedly, beginning to wane just a bit. That, after reading no less than 15 of those goofy books.

Stefani July 2, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Ah yes… I think we have if not every Magic Treehouse, then all but one or two. I always thought they were kind of goofy, but the boys just ate them up. Now Ramona… gotta love Ramona!

S Larsen July 2, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Well, I was just going to mention that other rhubarb drink that’s been going around…so, if you do come across any rhubarb, well here it is if you haven’t seen it: http://www.culinate.com/recipes/collections/Culinate+Kitchen/Beverages/rhubarb_soda

RhubarbSky July 2, 2009 at 9:41 pm

If only you were nearby. . . I have a TON in my yard and I’d share! Glad it’s cooling down for you!

darlene July 2, 2009 at 10:46 pm

we are exactly opposite, been unseasonably cool and today was warm and it was soo nice!

AJ July 2, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Sounds like an incredibly fantastic time. Movies are getting to be pretty expensive these days. A family of four can cost the price of buying two DVD’s! We don’t go too often, but there are a few movies coming out that sound like they’d be great to see on the big screen. And it’s so cool that your younger one likes Roald Dahl, such a great writer!

Butzeballchen July 3, 2009 at 5:35 am

Henry Huggins is the best, as is Roald Dahl.

We are reading Little Bo by Julie Andrews Edwards; SkippyJon Jones; How to Murder Your Mother in Law by Dorothy Cannell; Austenland by Shannon Hale and watching at night when everyone else is asleep, The Tudors, on the Watch It Now (guilty pleasure!)

Amy@ProgressivePioneer July 3, 2009 at 10:00 am

Oh, we are all about delicious summer drinks here! Blueberry mint, pink fairy drinks, green smoothies, strawberry grapefruit… Most recipes are shared on the blog. Here’s one:

Erica July 3, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Just saw this watermelon lemonade on Smitten Kitchen this morning and am totally making it for this weekend…and probably next weekend.
We’ve also been loving mojitos, and they are good even without the rum. Crush/bruise mint in the bottom of a glass, add simple syrup, then soda water (and rum if you like), then a twist of lime.

Jennifer July 3, 2009 at 5:41 pm

I thought of your blog post when Smitten Kitchen posted their watermelon lemonade yesterday. http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/07/watermelon-lemonade/ Though I totally had to go out and pick up some orange juice concentrate and make the boys some orange julius for dessert tonight.

I just finished off The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale. It was an entertaining read and a good distraction from the heat, though I certainly wouldn’t call it a must-read by any means.

Jennifer July 3, 2009 at 5:42 pm

Oh, haha, I didn’t read all the comments before I posted the same link. 🙂

Colleen July 4, 2009 at 5:23 am

I’ve also been reading Magic Tree House to my 4-yr-old daughter, as well as Junie B. Jones. For myself, I re-read “Outlander” and am working on “Bringing Nature Home” and “Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World.” The last one is due to my interest in Haiti, where my newest daughter is waiting to be brought home.

Diana (Ladybug Limited) July 4, 2009 at 9:34 pm

OK, Up! is my new favorite movie– I think it’s Pixar’s best, and that’s saying something…

As for kids’ books, I (and my two kiddos) are totally addicted. Best one I’ve read lately that I feel I must recommend to you is Heart of a Shepherd. I included it in my Thursday review of kids’ books here: http://holesinmyshinyveneer.blogspot.com/2009/06/book-bags-june-18.html

Jennifer July 4, 2009 at 11:45 pm

Congratulations on the rain. I was thinking about you lately as temps have been in the 80’s and 90s (shrieking hot for us northwestern folks) for the past several days, and we can hardly stand it. We usually cool down quite well at night, and evenings and mornings are pleasant. Good luck keeping those plants alive!

Mary Smith July 5, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Seems like a break and rain were much needed! I adore your last photo!

Tracy July 5, 2009 at 7:57 pm

Here are two of my favorite hot weather drinks:

Citrus mint cooler http://houseofhodgepodge.blogspot.com/2009/06/keepin-cool.html

and a bit more work, but really yummy,
Watermelon mint cooler

Elissa July 6, 2009 at 5:54 am

love those photos, as usual 🙂 running in the rain is HEAVEN, no matter where you live. we’ve been drowning here in a little too much rain as of late and gardening and whacking down overgrowth whenever there is a sunny break… my boys have just started letting me read hardy boys to them… a real treat for me as a die hard ND, HB, bobbsey twins, trixie belden, meg myseteries kind of gal!

shannon July 6, 2009 at 7:47 pm

i’m reading Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist’s Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, or Why Pie Is Not the Answer by Jen Lancaster. i haven’t laughed so hard from reading a book in ages. it’s awesome.

shannon July 6, 2009 at 7:49 pm

and now i just scrolled through and realized that everyone is posting KIDS books!!!! ah well, us mamas need books too, right? we just finished reading Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary.

Karen July 7, 2009 at 8:07 pm

I’m so jealous you got rain…we could sure use it here in Southern California! I just finished reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and I couldn’t put it down. Loved it! Hope you have a summer filled with wonderful reads.

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