Sunday, August 17, 2014

Books and Pho

Oh my!  I have been so busy with school and the change of routine.  One week feels endless.  I am getting up with the moon again and often working at home right up to the time I have to go to bed.  It's always a crush like this no matter how much I do ahead of time.

One of the initiatives I am working on this year is trying to get kids to read.  I have been collecting books so that I will have plenty around for anyone who comes to class without.  Focusing on this got me thinking about these little libraries we have around town.  Anyone is welcome to put one up at the edge of their yard or in front of their business.

At the entrance to the park

I love that this one is right where the sidewalk ends.

Anyone can freely take books they like away, and drop off books they don't need any more.  Of course, I LOVE this idea.  It's fun to see what people around the neighborhood are reading--or discarding even.  Today I took a book called Baseball for Everyone that I thought might interest some of my boys.  We also picked up a book about the Beatles which had a postcard inside and news clippings from the 1970's.
We put in some books that weren't really our style (though best sellers) that someone in our family likes to pass on.

We also experimented with making pho (a Vietnamese soup) this week.  We had fresh ingredients we didn't want to fade, so we made it two nights in a row.  The second broth was better.  It came from a packet.  The first was in a box.  (I don't think really excellent pho broth comes from either of those sources--but that second one was actually really good).  We didn't have quite the exact noodles either, but it was all yummy anyway.

Then today, I was finally able to get out and tidy up the garden.  It is looking wild, weedy, and neglected.  I've cut off the tomato plants in this picture because they have so many yellow leaves they are depressing.  The new growth is nice and green an healthy though.  I've tied bags of moth balls to the tomato cages in effort to keep away mice/rats.  It seems to work a bit.  At least we are getting a few tomatoes and not waking every day to find them chewed.
One big hooray: the tomatilloes we planted from seed are producing fruits!  It certainly took awhile.  We have had flowers and flowers and flowers and lots of bees, and now finally those little balloon lantern like pods.  We'll have to use those and our abundance of peppers to make a salsa.


  1. And here I thought "pho" was trendy slang for "photo". Obviously I don't get out enough. :)

    Those little libraries are great.

    My tomato plants have nearly all succumbed to spotted wilt. They bore plenty of fruit, which is all ripening very rapidly without any leaves to protect it, but the plants look dreadful. Ah well. How exciting that you have tomatillos! Mmmm - salsa verde.

  2. Those little book cottages are a perfect idea, really brilliant. I wish we had them here.

  3. I love your little libraries, such a nice idea. I'm working all day till I go to bed too - what am I getting myself into with this teaching malarky!