Photo: That, my Dear Reader, is some paella. On the grill. I know I don’t own a real, true paella pan, but I did my best and it’s like, shablam! And it was delicious! You, too, can make this deliciousness with this very straight-forward Chowhound recipe.  I should note that the chowhound recipe didn’t call for squid. I did. And it was awesome.

 

Ok, admit it: did you watch entirely too much television this weekend trying to keep up with the Olympics? We let the boys stay up 90 minutes past their bedtime to watch the Opening Ceremonies. They were delighted to sit in their little chairs in front of the television with little plates full of tiramisu (“Special Olympics Dessert!”). Of course, we were the suckers who showed up at 7:30 for a party that NBC clearly planned for 8. Oh, and then there were the million-billion commercials in the first hour or so. Every time a new commercial break started, Minor would sigh. “Can you make it go faster? Are there more ‘lympics?”

I felt the same way, frankly. I wish we were cool people who streamed it on some international network. Next time!

When there weren’t commercials, little boys had many questions: “What are they doing?” “What’s happening?” “That’s supposed to be a rainforest?” “Why are they dressed that way?” “That’s a cool ship!”

We had to explain to the boys that the Opening Ceremonies is art. You’re supposed to think about it while you enjoy it. When the reggaeton got started and those folk started dancing on the buildings, my two boys were up and moving, too! They were like, “this is great!” Major, of course, had to ask, “where is the electric guitar?” Lordy.

I sent them to bed a little while into the parade of nations because, well, it’s boring. I mean, it’s fun, but it’s long and it’s boring. To make it more interesting, I sent my mom texts whenever there was a particularly attractive flag bearer. She would do the same, encouraging my bad behavior. Of course, she went to bed before the world was introduced to Pita, the glistening gift that Tonga sent. I mean, oh my God. I know, I’m objectifying… I’m sorry! My husband was… not as enthusiastic about Pita’s presence as I was… but don’t feel too bad for him, because the Samba section with plenty of bare behind and fluid gyrations set everything to right with the world.

Can I just say that I think this Olympic cauldron and flame is the coolest one ever? Speaking of art, that beautiful rotating fixture behind the flame is spectacular. I hope every other nation emulates that. It looks like the sun! I absolutely adore it.

Between the many things that we accomplished on Saturday and Sunday, we made sure that if the television was on, it had some sort of sport on it. The boys got to watch some archery, rugby, soccer, shooting, volleyball, and even some cycling. We didn’t get to see the crazy Men’s finish on Saturday, but we did watch live as the Dutch cyclist had her nasty fall during the women’s race. And we cried, seriously, when we watched Mara Abbot lose her race in the final meters. The finish line was right there, but she had nothing left in her, and her chase group just swept past her, putting her in 4th place. Heartbreaking. Big lesson for our boys, though: sometimes you give it your all, and you still don’t win. It’s hard, but you carry on.

I promise we didn’t sit inside all weekend. Matter of fact, some cool things happened:

20160807_171937

The Husband finished our little wood rack and the boys “helped.” They also broke down a few of the fallen trees, taking off the branches and sorting them into piles. The Husband split more wood, as you can see, resulting in much soreness this morning. Just to be clear: this is a house without a fireplace and a firepit has yet to be built, so… while this is a pretty thing, it serves absolutely no purpose.

There is also this: 20160808_171151.jpg

That’s right! I’ve been experimenting with that rag doll pattern! I was actually able to complete two of them! I made one yesterday completely by the book and it came out suuuuuper creepy, so I won’t post it. Things I learned: the star pattern used in the book for the doll’s eyes is not for me, and I don’t like to cut out the mouth and attach it to the doll. I want to learn how to embroider my own. Also, hair is a bit of a bitch, so we’re working on that. Anyway, above is actually today’s efforts. I embroidered her eyes and mouth before I constructed her. Me and my sewing machine are speaking the same language now, so I was able to make this doll relatively quickly and with few issues. She’s not perfect, or at least, not what I envision… so I’ll be trying again tomorrow. There is plenty of soil left (this is actually cut from a lighter shade material than the “potting soil” shade I picked up at the fabric store). I want to make the eyes bigger, at least. And maybe play with their shape? I dunno, we’ll see. Hair, though getting better, takes more effort than you would think, and it requires a finesse that I am just now starting to understand. Anyway, through all of these little mistakes and experiments, I keep telling myself, “hey, it’s faster than quilting!”

It’s going to be a week of new things to try and a lot of hard work. Rain is coming, if ever so brief, and the tomatoes are finally ripening. I’m so excited to start another week with you, Dear Reader. I hope you’ll share what you’re up to with me!

Until Wednesday, take care.

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