I feel like this month has been short, but when I look back, I can see there’s actually been enough time to do some fun stuff. I took a class on native trees… (This is an American Hornbeam. Look at that crazy beautiful bark!)
saw a Cubs game…
and traveled to Madison, WI for the first time…
I’ve been gardening like crazy, too. It’s been hot as hell in Chicago, so I feel like the watering just doesn’t end. But I’ve been able to harvest a whole lot of yellow squash, peas, carrots, and kale. The tomatoes, hm, not so much. I’m going to have to troubleshoot those and try again next year…
I’ve also been doing a lot of reviewing activities lately. Of course I’m always reviewing books and stuff I get through Amazon, but I was recently asked to be a part of a product discussion panel for a major US furniture company. That was a fun experience. And even cooler, I was asked to join Yelp Elite! I’m still figuring out exactly what it is, but I guess Yelp gives top reviewers opportunities to try out restaurants, festivals, markets, and other fun experiences in the city for free. There’s no explicit expectation to write reviews for all of it, but of course I do anyway. It’s been cool so far and a nice way to meet people.
Also, we got a dog!
My kids are over the moon. My husband is ecstatic. And I’m…cautiously happy? She’s a rescue and oh-so sweet, but cleaning her poo off of our area rugs is getting reeeeeaaaallly old.
Now on to books… Seven, in total, and they were all pretty good:
- The Minimalist Kitchen—every recipe I’ve tried in here has been excellent
- Culture Trails—an inspirational travel guide spinoff from Lonely Planet
- From the Corner of the Oval—a memoir written by Obama’s stenographer that’s a little heavy on the relationship woes but still entertaining
- The 30-Minute Money Plan for Moms—basic financial advice that’s best for younger or less knowledgeable investors
- Campaign Widows—a somewhat confusing but still engaging story about how romantic relationships change during election season
- A Place for Us—a melancholy and moving story about an Indian family trying to make a life in America
- Lawn Boy—a somewhat odd but also sweet coming-of-age novel about a poor Chicano kid who is trying to make something for himself but can’t catch a break
Not a bad round up. It’s been a good month, and what I’ve been feeling lately is gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. Life has its ups and downs, but boy I sure am enjoying this moment of calm. Hope everyone has a good August!