Yep, summer is almost over... only a couple of weeks left. Akkk. And we waited so long for it to get here! But I know that, come the third week of August, we' ll feel fall in the air.
Hubby and I have been spending this summer at home. Except for a camping trip or two. Summer in the city... almost. Almost in the city, I mean. And we have been busy, with a capital "B."
"B" is for biking. The Tour de France is over, but we're still biking. Two or three times a week. We're spoiled for choice as far as great biking routes go. Lots of biking trails in the city. And further out, south of us, lots of country roads that have more scope for scenic views. I love a beautiful field and a barn.
One day this week we cycled in pretty strong winds, just ahead of a storm. With dark clouds coming in, we'd be lucky to beat the rain. But I still stopped for a picture.
Hubby shuttled... waiting for me. Patiently, at first. This is him, on his third lap, shouting ..."Come on, Suz!"
Then he pedaled past, turned, and whipped on by me. Oops. Better pack the camera away and hurry if I want to catch a wheel. I hate pedaling in the wind... so I need my "domestique" to help me out.
"B" also means biking past the nests of really big birds. This picture was shot on the route that takes us along the Rideau River down to the locks at Burritts Rapids. I posted a picture of this nest earlier in the summer when the osprey was sitting on the nest and her mate perched on a telephone line nearby. We're pretty sure we saw two chicks in the nest this time.
Hubby always laughs when I stop to take pictures like this, given my rather fraught relationship with birds in general. I wrote a post about this last year called Beset By Spring. Birds and me... we don't get on.
This past week, unusually for me, "B" was for baking. I don't normally bake. But I love this cookbook by Jillian Michaels. She has some really great muffin recipes. So sometimes I go on a "baking jag," as my step-father used to say. A spree where I bake lots and freeze most of it.
I made a batch of my favourite blueberry banana muffins from Jillian's book. And a batch of pumpkin cranberry. Yum. And for good measure, I made two batches of pesto sauce for the freezer. Hubby planted pots of parsley and basil for me, just for this purpose.
"B" is for buddies too, especially in the summer. As in having a fun evening out with these two buddies. Many of my friends are still teaching and, while we schedule dinners out at other times of the year, it's easier in the summer when they aren't working. I've known these two girls... they'll always be 'girls' to me... since they were new teachers. We worked together as fellow English teachers, then fellow English department heads, then I retired and they both went on to become administrators. So proud of them. We had a great evening with good food and wine, and lots of laughter, and talk about school, and travel, and fashion... naturally.
"B" is for books. Of course. On miserable, rainy days like this, there's nothing better than to put the kettle on and curl up with a good book.
This is what I'm reading now. Alan Bradley's latest book just came in for me at the library. I've loved all of the books in his Flavia de Luce mystery series. Flavia, the young scientist cum detective, reminds me a bit of Cecil, the thirteen year old narrator in Rumer Godden's The Greengage Summer. So clever and perceptive, so precocious, so exasperating, and yet so vulnerable. I have great hopes for this sixth book in Bradley's series. And I'm still reading Tish Jett's Forever Chic. I've read her blog A Femme d'un Certain Age for years. And I'm really enjoying her book... taking notes, in fact.
So that's it, really. Biking (sometimes near big birds), baking (surprisingly), enjoying time with buddies, reading good books...oh, and blogging, of course. Can't forget that.
And ...speaking of words that begin with "B." Because Hubby and I live in the nation's capital... and this is a federal election year. And because the writ was dropped so early... giving us an eleven week campaign instead of the usual five week average. We must gird our loins, and prepare ourselves for the onslaught of 'bull.' Not the actual bovine creatures that Hubby and I see in the fields as we bike past. Not that kind of bull. The other kind.
What are you up to, by the way?