Start of Summer Update

Rock climbing is hard, yo!

I managed to get to the top of the 36-foot wall on my first try, mostly because my body didn't know what was going on until I'd already finished. Four subsequent tries ended in failure, with me using the hydraulic rappelling rope to slide back to the floor. My instructor said I should be prepared for the morning, when I most likely won't be able to tie my shoes. I'm so out of shape that I was using my hands and arms much more than I should have. Thighs! Use your thighs, Luke!

The class itself has been canceled because I was the only adult in Kenosha brave enough to take it on, but the instructor showed me enough to be able to return for open climb times. And I get my course fee reimbursed. This could get completely addicting.


I posted about Regina over at Unusual Historicals. Come learn about one of my favorite girls.


Jenn came down from the north on Saturday so she and I could partake in some outlet mall therapy. After a lovely lunch, we hit the shops. I wound up buying a new pair of walking shoes, plus two pairs of fancy Skechers for Nationals. They're gorgeous. I'm not a complete shoe hog, so these three purchases mean I'm set for a good two years.

I also found camisole tops at Eddie Bauer, and we invested in three cases of Ghirardelli chocolate, which broke down to cost $1 per gift canister. Nice. Jenn said they would make great gifts for teachers or exchanges, and I agreed--but I have four pieces here next to me.


Have I mentioned that the girls' last day of summer camp was Friday? Yeah. That's a shame. We haven't found our summer vacation rhythm yet, but we have a play date scheduled for tomorrow morning with our babysitting co-op. Thursday we travel to Milwaukee, and we'll spend Friday with friends for the Fourth. Those same friends will be babysitting the girls that afternoon, which means Keven and I can finally go see Ironman. Yay!


We went to the market on Saturday, where I actually bought more vegetables. The half share we purchased from our CSA has been good in that it gets us out of our food rut, but I'm using the market to supplement the vegetables and fruits we eat more often. The HarborPark market has expanded considerably from last year, with more vegetable vendors and booths from almost every downtown store. It's almost like an arts fair with food. People come from all over the city and line the streets with their cars, but the girls and I just walked.

Last week's CSA delivery included kale and grape leaves, of all things. Luckily, they also provide a newsletter with recipes. I made an absolutely delicious sausage, potato and kale soup, which I've been eating almost by myself. What is wrong with my family, that they don't understand greatness when they taste it? I also made stuffed grape leaves with rice, mint and sausage, probably one of the most adventurous things I've ever cooked. They turned out beautifully and, more importantly, they tasted fantastic. I'm really glad we've done this, and nothing so far has gone to waste--my main goal!


So this summer seems to be turning into one of experimentation and risk-taking for me. Have you tried anything new lately? New food? New hobby? I'm curious what everyone is up to.

It's always best when the light is off.
It's always better on the outside.
Fifteen blows to the back of your head--
Fifteen blows to your mind.
"Climbing Up the Walls" by Radiohead

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