As Golde from Fiddler on the Roof would say, "A little bit of this, a little bit of that . . . ."
1. My nerves rested for one whole hour today! Goodbye, Mrs. Bennet. It was a dry, almost sunny day today, and I told Aidan and Avery that we'd find a place for them to rollerblade. I had my eye on the neighborhood elementary school since those covered basketball areas in the playground usually have such nice, smooth concrete. Unfortunately (but not surprisingly) a sign was posted: NO Skateboarding, NO Rollerblading, etc. We drove on.
My next thought was to hit a small nearby park. I had noticed that the trail surrounding it seemed just the right size -- small enough to be encouraging yet big enough to be exciting. I pulled up, read the sign carefully, and -- relieved -- gave my kids a thumbs up. Out they rolled. They grinned down the sloping hill toward the park and wove their way around and around the perfect little trail. Even more perfect was the convenience of my parking spot: I could see them from where I sat and thoroughly enjoyed my tea, my book and . . . the quiet.
2. Speaking of books, I'm enjoying two reads right now. A friend recommended the Mitford books (I know, I know -- I've never read them!), and I found myself immediately falling in love with that quaint town and the delightful characters. Yes, I think "delightful" is the best way to describe At Home in Mitford.
I'm also reading A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael by Elisabeth Elliot. (I know, I know! I've never read it!) Her life was so beautiful, so inspiring, so selfless. I look forward to meeting her one day. (I knew that she was especially remarkable when she gave up having cream in her tea in preparation for her work overseas!)
I found it interesting that she didn't like to be photographed, saying, "I wish it were possible to keep from this mode of embalmment." Elliot writes, "For the rest of her life she resisted being photographed . . . . She could not understand why anyone should wish to be preserved as he is when Christians have the sublime hope of being some day like Christ." What would she think of us today, in a world full of "selfies?" Oh, dear.
(Also on my nightstand but not yet started, Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. Ha!)
3. We finished Pride and Prejudice last night. Bethie loved it, and Avery . . . will someday. They were most entertained by Mr. Collins, and frequently adopt the posture and mannerisms he uses when speaking with Lady Catherine. It's all quite diverting.
4. I'm trying to catch up on Downton Abbey and, girls, I have to be honest with you: I'm not sure how much more drama I can take. Does it seem like we're just going in circles here with the same type of plot being recycled over and over? I feel like the cast of likable characters grows more and more slim. I really feel more at home with the warmth of something like Lark Rise to Candleford. There. I said it.
5. My second batch of panetone is on its third rise. I'm learning how to make my grandmother's Italian fruit and nut bread, and I love that I have her handwriting to look at as I measure my ingredients. My mom figured out how to adapt it for the bread machine, making it quite a bit easier, and she makes it every year around Christmas time. I figured February was pretty close.
6. The Olympics are on! Time to go. But, before I do, I leave you with this, the ideal Olympic treat: edible torches. You're welcome.