Sunday, September 30, 2018

September Wrap-Up and Plans for October

I'm glad it's the end of the month and time for my Monthly Wrap-Up because I've had nothing to post for two weeks. Read on to find out why...


Obligatory dog pic
I'm still reading Catherine the Great, and Mary Balogh's The Arrangement on the side. This is why I've had nothing to post! I haven't even started an audiobook since I finished One of Us Is Lying because I've been catching up on podcasts. Though I did just take advantage of an Audible sale and now I have 3 new audio memoirs on deck.

I only completed 4 books total in September because of my devotion to Catherine the Great. No regrets though! It's been great to really sink my teeth into such a huge, rich tome. I'm looking forward to posting about it in....oh, about a hundred pages from now.


I've started a new podcast! It's called Last Seen and it's all about the Gardner Heist. If you're not up on the world of art theft and/or don't live in the Boston area you may not be familiar with this case. The largest art theft in history occurred in the 1990s at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum when two men dressed as cops entered the museum in the dead of night under a false pretense, tied up the two guards, and made off with priceless art by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and others. It has never been recovered and the culprits still haven't been caught. It's a fascinating case.


I've slowed down a bit on Jane the Virgin as I'm not a huge fan of long-term love triangles, but I'm sure I'll continue to watch at some point. I'm very excited that The Good Place has returned because I really need this humor right now.

My library has just subscribed to the streaming service Kanopy, which has a lot of the Great Courses, so I've started watching The Big History of Civilizations. My knowledge of history is very spotty, and I think this big overview might help me a lot. So far it's very interesting! (Like, did you know that the Paleolithic era constitutes 96% of the time there have been humans on the earth and it ended more than 11,000 years ago? It's crazy to think about how insignificantly short modern history has been in the grand scheme of things.)


I tried a couple of new recipes from Dinner by Melissa Clark. One was Garlic-Chile Chicken Breasts, which was extremely spicy but probably would have been good had I not overcooked the chicken. The other was the very simple Sardine Crostini, which was pretty delicious if you like sardines. And I made the Spicy Pork and Black Bean Chili again, but with ground beef and kidney beans, and I left out the sage, so it was more like traditional chili. I made some accompanying gluten-free corn bread from this recipe I found online.

For years, Moosewood Cooks at Home has been a go-to cookbook for me, but I hadn't ever made the Asian version of Fish in a Packet until this month. I'll definitely make it again! It was quite simple, tasty, and healthy.

I'm ending the month with a new favorite, Chicken Marsala Meatballs with Egg Noodles from Smitten Kitchen Every Day. Except my store didn't have ground chicken so they were made with ground turkey. It's still bird!

Also, I have finally bought a bundt pan! Today I made the Classic Yellow Bundt Cake from the America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook. It wasn't difficult and came out pretty well. Part of the reason I don't make cakes is because there are only two humans in my household and we shouldn't eat an entire cake. So Eric is taking a lot of it to work.


Saw this beauty in my aunt's yard!
I mentioned at the end of last month that I was having a get-together to discuss On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder as part of an off-and-on political discussion group that I started. We met, went through the book and discussed it chapter by chapter, and ate and drank and socialized. It was fun and we had a great discussion!

I saw a show called The Black Clown, which was based on this poem of the same name by Langston Hughes. It was an emotional and powerful show, filled with excellent music. I also went to the Museum of Fine Arts earlier this month to attend a knitting get-together with a friend, but then we checked out an exhibit on Casanova's Europe and then had brunch in the museum restaurant.

We finally got our back yard fenced in so the dog can run around off leash. She was extremely excited to chase after balls for a while, but now she is just obsessed with the tennis balls in an unhealthy way. I take her to the yard, she picks one up in her mouth and won't let it go for anything. And now once she does this, she won't let me come near her so I've become hesitant to even let her off the leash. Why you gotta ruin everything, Petri?

Unusual flower at Old Mystic Seaport
This month was also my annual family trip to CT. Every year my sisters and my niece drive down from Maine, pick me up, and we continue on to my aunt's house for the weekend. This year while we were there we visited Old Mystic Seaport which is not at all what I thought it was. I thought it was just maybe a cute little town on the ocean? But no, it's one of those historical villages like Plimoth Plantation or Sturbridge Village. Well. Had I known I would have visited years ago! This one's a little different though because the people who work there don't dress up and pretend to be old-timey people. But they still do demonstrations, which is the important thing. Plus it's a seaport, so there are ships you can go on in addition to visiting businesses and houses.

Also this month I finished the sock I've been working on and started the second of the pair! Still no movement on the sweater, but I'm determined that October will be the month I finally wrap up that project. I also went to Zumba a couple of times and, boy, I forgot what good exercise that is. I hope I start going regularly again because it's also fun. And I attended a fun sing-along that my library hosted, and dragged our new teen librarian along with me.

Plans for October

There's a professional conference I usually attend in October, but for various reasons I've decided not to go this year. I'm looking forward to just catching up on day-to-day work stuff, doing some planning, and having whole weekends (that conference eats a Sunday.)

I don't have many plans outside of work right now. I'll be getting together with a friend to cook, and I've got Cookbook Club at the end of the month. (I'll be using my new bundt pan!) And of course I plan to finish that sweater that I started two years ago now.

How was your September?

No comments: