Posts Tagged ‘summer’

strawberry book breakfast

After a hot, humid end to May and a truly frigid beginning to June (two days of April-like chilly drizzle and occasional downpours), the weather is behaving a little more like summer. I’m already drinking my favorite summer teas and eating strawberries with my breakfast – but there are a hundred other things I love about summer. So here are a few I’d like to indulge in:

  • Eat all the summer fruits (rhubarb, peaches, tomatoes and every kind of berry I can find)
  • Related: go to the farmers’ market at Harvard and maybe the one over at Copley Square
  • Wear skirts and shorts as often as possible
  • Get a pedicure (or two)
  • Snuggle my friends’ baby, Evie, whom I met last week (isn’t she precious?)

katie baby evie

  • Go visit my family in Texas
  • Laugh and laugh with J at episodes of Modern Family (we’re newly hooked)
  • Go kayaking on the Charles River (I went for the first time recently, and it was fantastic)

charles river view boston sailboat

  • Drink lemonade and sangria
  • Eat lots of ice cream (and fro-yo)
  • Take lots of long walks (to counterbalance the ice cream)
  • Soak up every bit of summer sunshine – summer in New England is lovely but fleeting.

What’s on your list for this summer?

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beach summer sunset

I have blogged about a lot of the big events this summer: our glorious trip to PEI, two days with my parents in Rockport, the four-year anniversary of our move to Boston. But as often happens, some of the smaller summer joys have gone unblogged.

In mid-June, we revived a fun summer ritual and had small group at our beach. We had to wait for ages for our fried clams, but I hung out with Sarah, age 2, and hunted for shells and rocks.

sarah shells beach

Once we finally got our fried clams and calamari, they were delicious. (Abi agrees.)

abi clams beach

The hubs and his a cappella group had their big summer show in early June, and he sang a solo on “Pompeii” by Bastille.

jer mass whole notes

They are an ambitious group: their repertoire includes Mumford & Sons, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin and a highly entertaining mashup of Tom Petty and the Notorious B.I.G. (known as “Mo’ Free Mo’ Fallin”’).

Later in June, we celebrated our sixth anniversary with an Italian dinner at Bacco in the North End, and dessert (gelato for me, cannoli for him) at Caffe Vittoria.

jer katie anniversary

In early July, the lovely Rachel Bertsche came to town to read from her new book, the entertaining and relatable memoir Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me, and I got to hug her at the reading.

rachel katie booksmith

That same week, Shanna and Grace came to visit from Atlanta, and we drank tea and stayed up late and talked for hours and laughed and laughed. I wish these ladies lived closer to us. I love them.

shanna grace beach

After we returned from Rockport, we took my parents to Top of the Hub for drinks and appetizers. J and I had never been there either.

top of the hub view boston

The food is delicious, but the views are sublime.

Later in July, we had a small group picnic, complete with bocce ball.

small group picnic

The kids really got into it.

sarah bocce ball

August was mostly about savoring summer as I went about my daily life: long walks, trips to the farmers’ market, Friday lunches in Harvard Square with the hubs. (Pictured below: Shake Shack.)

jer shake shack
I have worn sandals nearly every day, eaten handfuls of fresh berries, and stopped by Crema for more than a few glasses of strawberry limeade.

book limeade harvard yard summer

The basil on my balcony is thriving, and I’m using it on everything: pizza, pasta, bruschetta, ratatouille, scrambled eggs with veggies. The latter have been my dinner on many nights when J works late.

eggs dinner fruit book

This summer took a while to get started, and then it has whizzed by. We’ve been caught up in work, family, church, the usual round of life – and sometimes I feel like summer has passed by without our noticing. But we’ve taken day trips and grabbed dinner with friends, eaten dinner on the patio when we could and lit candles inside when we couldn’t.

In short: we’ve done our best to savor this season, and we are looking forward to a glorious fall.

What have you left unblogged this summer?

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This winter, I decided my one little word for 2014 would be light.

coronado ca sunset

I did pretty well at chasing it for a couple of months, especially in the winter when looking for the light becomes a survival technique. We chased it all the way to San Diego in March, and then I followed it to Texas in late April.

austin mural waterloo records

And then spring came, and though we had some gray days in late May and early June, it has been a summer flooded with light – so much so that I haven’t paid it much attention.

But when I stop to look, the light is everywhere.

It’s in the cloud-streaked blue sky as I walk to work.

blue sky cambridge

It streams in through the big picture window in my temporary office.

new office desk computer

It greets me when I walk down to our beach.

sunset beach boston ma

And though it hid from us for a while, it eventually blazed out in glory during our vacation in PEI.

sunset blue mussel cafe pei

We’re headed toward the turning of the year: already the mornings feel a little brisker, the nights a little cooler. The quality of the light will soon shift from summer’s mellow golden to autumn’s crisp, lucid clarity.

I love autumn in the Northeast with a passion, but I also want to savor these last, gorgeous golden days, and watch the transition day by day. I don’t want to miss it. I want to be awake, to pay attention. I want to keep looking for the light.

If you’re following one little word this year, how’s it going? Do you get off track sometimes and then come back, like me?

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Scenes from a day out in Gloucester.

tea plates cafe table
Tea at the Pleasant Street Coffee Bar & Tea Company (with a raspberry jam turnover).

flip flops sidewalk
Enjoying flip-flop weather for as long as it lasts.

jer bookstore
The hubs did some reading while I browsed at the Bookstore of Gloucester.

guitar rug
And we found a super cool rug outside Mystery Train Records.

Hope you’re having a gorgeous weekend.

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Lots of blue around today. At the breakfast table:

blue breakfast

On the way to work:

blue sky cambridge

At the office:

august calendar sea glass

Happy weekend, friends. Hope you have the blues in a good way.

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As a displaced Texan, I complain a lot about the near impossibility of finding decent Mexican food in Boston. Most of the time I just give up and make my own.

But sometimes there are fresh tamales – made by a woman from south Texas – at the farmers’ market. And the heavens rejoice.

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percy jackson books 1-5

You carry the hopes of humanity into the realm of the eternal. Monsters never die. They are reborn from the chaos and barbarism that is always bubbling underneath civilization[…]. They must be defeated again and again, kept at bay. Heroes embody that struggle. You fight the battles humanity must win, every generation, in order to stay human.

The Sea of Monsters, Rick Riordan

I’m rereading the Percy Jackson series, which follows the adventures of a group of half-bloods or heroes (the children of mortals and Greek gods). Although the above statement comes from a conversation between a centaur and a half-blood, it struck me as applicable to our own human world, here and now.

Percy Jackson and his friends fight monsters they can see, with weapons like celestial bronze and divine electricity, but we face the same forces of darkness in our everyday lives. We fight the same battles in every generation, against fear and hatred and greed, in order to stay human. Our battles are less easily defined, but they are still real and vital. Percy and his friends may be half immortal, but they face the same choices and struggles as all human beings do – which helps explain why I love this series so much. (It’s also fast-paced, funny, full of heart, and packed with snarky-but-informative references to Greek mythology – perfect summer reading.)

(Image from onehundreddollarsamonth.com)

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