I didn’t sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge this year, but I am reading. While I was up in the Big City with #2 daughter last week, I went with her to a cool place called Half Price Books. It’s an enormous bookstore filled with, I guess, remainders. I got a book on Photoshop that taught me how to do those pesky panels right. Yep, that’s my work on the left. I’m comically proud of that fade.

Mostly I bought books for work, but I also got a Williams-Sonoma baking cookbook, a Terry Pratchett novel, and a little book called Better Than Beauty: A Guide to Charm, written in 1938. I really like old books of instruction for women, from cookbooks to sewing manuals to books like this one. I don’t know why. This particular one is quite practical, though. I can see Hepburn and Bacall following this advice.

There were surprises — did you know that women used to wash their hair with soap, change their underwear only every other day, and use salad oil for hand cream? Me, neither. And I really liked the advice about buying hats: buy a hat on a day when you look your worst, so you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you put it on instead of getting a terrible shock.

Overall, though, it seems to me to be a very sensible book, filled with good advice. I’m going to pass it on to #2 daughter.

#1 daughter and I finished our first week of working together in the same office. She got a lot done, and turns out to have a positive talent for video. Check out our “Beauty and the Beast” video or the ones on octodogs and sea creatures at her YouTube channel.

Her fiance came up to visit this weekend. We had beignets for breakfast and I made an orange cake for dinner. Dinner will involve steak because that’s what I took out of the freezer, but I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do with it yet… Maybe I’d better decide…