The carpet cleaners came, eventually, I took #2 son to his last final, I savored the last hours of solitude I can expect to have this summer, I picked the kid up again, we met #1 son on his lunch hour for a celebratory meal, and then we refurnished the house. I suggested that we could take the opportunity to put the furniture back in new and interesting places, but this suggestion was vetoed.

In honor of the last day of school, and in recognition of the approaching thunderstorms, we then chilled.

I am not sure that this is a felicitous use of that word. #2 son said, “Let’s hike some more tomorrow. Today, let’s just chill.”

So we did.

src073 I had read a couple of 1940s mysteries with plucky heroines. Nobody does plucky heroines like the 1940s mystery novelists, and Kelley Roos is particulary good. I think her books are not popular today because there are so many period references. Just as modern chick lit is filled with brand names and the names of current celebrities, Roos’s books have all kinds of pop culture allusions that mean nothing to us today. And I perhaps she not say “her” and “she,” since Kelley Roos is the nom de plum of a husband and wife writing team. I mused on these things a bit as I put the book away. Then I moved on to a modern plucky heroine, in a Laura Levine novel. Also good. And will readers of the future get her references to Jimmy Choos and Whoppers with cheese?

I blocked Cherry Bomb and left it to dry. When you start these worsted-weight cotton projects in the spring, they seem like a great idea, but they are too hot for summer, aren’t they? Maybe in the air conditioning. Otherwise, it is time to turn to small knitting projects.

6 I had gotten a good beginning on those socks, but decided that they were too “sleazy,” as the old knitting books put it, on size 1 needles, and frogged the whole thing and started again with size 0. I’m using Knitpicks Essentials and really loving it. The proof of socks is int he wearing and the washing, but this is a wonderful smooth yarn in the knitting at least. These are ordinary calculated traditional socks, and I’m doing a small lattice insertion down the side.

The insertion is no big deal — a simple k2tog, yo pattern with only two active rows. However, I had to frog and redo it about three times. This was my husband’s fault.

He has been following the story of General Vang Pao (you may also see his name in American style, Pao Vang) and his plot to overthrow the government of Laos. My mother passed it on to me, and my husband has been printing out the updates from the internet and studying them.

English is not his first language, so he sometimes needs assistance with unfamiliar terms in the news. So there I am, counting my k2tog yos, and he nudges me to ask what they mean when they say the insurgency was being paid for by human trafficking. I explained, and he responded thoughtfully that this could not be true, as all the Hmong people have chicken farms.

Sometimes, when these discussions become particularly surreal, the boys jump in to help with  the explanations. Their views on the precise difference between “munitions” and “ammunition” are just as accurate as mine, I am sure, but they are more humorous, so sometimes it gets hard to keep an accurate count and remember whether I am on a 3-yo row or a 2-yo row.

You can see in the picture how well this color goes with my sofa, so when I lie on the sofa and read, once it is 6cool enough to wear these socks, I can put my feet up on the cushions without fear of clashing.

This, for the Summer Reading Challenge, is the other place where I read yesterday.

I have finished What to Eat.  Nestle rounded it off with a suggestion that the various industries involved in food processing and delivery ought to consider changing their evil ways and being honest with consumers.

She says this to them directly, too, so she was able to share with us their answers. Sometimes they threaten to sue her, of course. In general, though, they say that it is not their fault if consumers eat the wrong stuff all the time. Nestle suggests that having thousands of people spending millions of dollars to convince you — from the time you are a small child — that Lucky Charms are part of a healthy breakfast and Baked Cheetos are practically a health food makes a bit of mockery of the idea that what you eat is all up to you.

6I read bits of the conclusion out to #2 son, who informed me that he would love to eat Toaster Strudel. He had a longing sort of voice, the voice of a child who had never had the opportunity to eat Toaster Strudel and knew that he never would.

We woke this morning to a truly dramatic thunderstorm.  The plants were definitely enjoying it. Falstaff has produced a blossom at last. Joseph’s Coat has not. That last hard freeze in April may just have been too much for him.

The zucchini are pretty chipper, and most of the others have baby vegetables.

The cucumbers are not climbing. My husband built them something to climb on, and still they do not choose to climb. He is going to have to be more firm with them, I can see.6

If it stops raining, #2 son and I are planning to do the Two Turtles hiking trail today, a five mile bit around a lake.

If it keeps raining, we will have to keep chilling.

Or perhaps that should be chillin’.