Cream puffs, a rainy day and a book

Book Group book

Of all the kids in the seventh grade at Camillo Junior High, there was one kid that Mrs. Baker hated with heat whiter than the sun.  Me.”  So starts the The Wednesday Wars,  a Newberry Honor winner and deservedly so. It is set in 1967 and the hero, Holling Hoodhood (a name if there ever was one), is starting seventh grade and convinced his teacher is out to get him.  It is funny and beautifully written and appeals to young and old alike.  Shakespeare, baseball, acceptance of others and all in one great read.  The cream puffs are there, too, and you will want at least one after this book, maybe two.

crazy gorgeous rainbow cake

I can’t stand how gorgeous this is and how much I want to make it – but it is late on Friday night and although today was rather easy (take them when you can get them), I am not up for a bakefest tonight. I will make this soon and let you know if it is as tasty as it is beautiful.  A friend sent it to me from  http://www.whisk-kid.blogspot.com and everything on her blog looks this amazing.  Check it out.

Hot for Housekeeping

Capability Mom's favorite housekeeping bookWell, not really, but the house is clean and, God willing, will stay that way for at least the afternoon.  I do like to know how to do things whether I actually use this knowledge is another story.  For instance, one of my favorite books on housekeeping is by Cheryl Mendelsohn, Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House.  I prefer to read it than actually do the things you are supposed to do after reading it.   Actually, I refer to it so often that the binding is quite loose.  Chapter 27 – Sanitizing the Laundry is a personal favorite.  I know, I kind of need to get a life, right?  I do also think that Martha Stewart (do not scoff) knows what she is talking about and all of her house stuff is wonderful – she runs a tight ship and is thoroughly detailed oriented – something I aspire to  – but I think my character, for better or worse, is probably pretty set by now.  Oh, well, hope springs eternal.  Do not think that my house is anywhere near this together – it is not.  I do, however, have a designated bag of white rice (thank you, Verizon) for drying out your cell phone and battery when it has gotten wet inadvertently (I do actually know that water and electronics are not happy together).  We do not cook with this rice – ever ( aside from the ick factor, I know I will need it again)  – so fear not if you are dining at our house.  Check out My Store in the sidebar to connect to Amazon.   You, too, can read about the right way to run a house.  

Cooked – in a good way

Friends have a way of keeping you connected and grounded.  They can also teach you a great deal.  This week I learned how to make a delicious rémoulade, baked rice and that stuffing garlic butter and herbs under chicken skin isn’t so gross if you do it with a friend.  I co-hosted a PTO progressive dinner (not here – thank you, R & G) and spent a day prepping dinner, running errands and ironing table linens. My co-host (and an amazing cook) did that and much more.  I will post the full recipes under the recipe page. All wonderful.

My favorite part of the day was, well, all of it. Prep-work flies by when chatting with friends and adding special ingredients and fielding  a flurry of calls for add-on items while shopping keeps things interesting.  The connections are wonderful: a local florist, the fabulously organized friend (and the point person for last night) who delivered gift bags to the hosts on her bike, and the other interesting parents we got to meet and re-connect with last night.  There was a nice balance of quiet and busy time, I ironed while watching an old movie with my children and later our children and a family friend helped serve the dinner and clean up.

Connecting with the school community is more of a challenge when middle school years start.  There are no hallway conversations at drop-off, pick-up or on the playground so you have to make more of an effort to connect with other parents and the school community. Not to worry!  There are always plenty of volunteer opportunities, both large and small.  Help with a teacher appreciation lunch or Principal’s coffee.  Heck, if you have more time – volunteer more!

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