It’s Monday (October 4, 2021)

Hi and happy Monday. Hope you had a good weekend. Last week started out with nice chilly autumn weather. But then towards the weekend, it was back to summer weather again. So we took advantage of the warm weather and did a lot of swimming. The pool isn’t heated though so the water was still cold!

Some things last week:

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Grapes and pomegranates at the farmers market. I don’t really like pomegranates though..! But I did see one stall that had persimmons and quickly picked some up.
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Xiaolongbao and what the restaurant called “snowflake dumplings” which are joined together with some lace-like batter.
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Sheng jian bao (top) which are soup dumplings that are panfried so the bottom is crispy. The bottom box has green onion pancakes that are rolled with lettuce and thinly sliced beef.

Currently…

Reading:

Quiet in Her Bones – Nalini Singh

Watching:

Well, last week I rushed my way through the K-drama Reply 1994. It left Netflix on September 30 so I wanted to finish it! And I did! Phew. It was a great show! If you enjoy slice-of-life type series with ordinary people, great storylines, good humour, some romance, the 3 Reply series (Reply 1997, Reply 1994, Reply 1988) are really great ones to watch. My favourite was Reply 1988. I loved how the storylines involved not just the high schoolers but also their siblings and parents, who all lived in this one street in Seoul. The director and writer of this series are also responsible for Hospital Playlist, which is currently on Netflix, and also an incredible series.

Listening:

The Flight Attendant – Chris Bohjalian

(I’m finally on the last stretch!)

Eating and Drinking:

I had some pulut hitam or sweet black glutinous rice porridge for breakfast.

Cooking:

Oh I am clueless…what to cook this week? I do have some yellowtail collar (hamachi Kama) so I might grill that in the oven. Serve it with some rice and vegetables. It’s a favourite dish in our family, something that we used to order at Japanese restaurants. A few years ago, I discovered that I can easily make it at home. The Asian supermarket here sells a pack of frozen hamachi kama (it’s the part just below the head of the yellowtail fish) for a decent price. Definitely cheaper than ordering it at a restaurant. It’s also easy to cook in the oven. The only other ingredient you need is salt!

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This is an old photo, but thought I’d put it up in case you’ve not had Hamachi Kama before.

Last week:

I read:

The House in the Cerulean Sea – TJ Klune

My Lovely Wife – Samantha Downing

The Taking of Jake Livingston – Ryan Douglass

I posted:

Library Loot (September 29 to October 5)

Top Books with Plant Covers #TopTenTuesday

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

It’s Monday (September 27, 2021)

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Woke up this morning to find that it’s actually raining. What a wonderful way to start a Monday. We’ve been so in need of rain. I know it’s a drizzle and won’t do much to water levels, but it’s better than nothing…

Some things last week:

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It’s been ages since we bought charsiu (roasted pork) and duck.
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The Chinese eatery also has a ton of dim sum
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The kids wanted doughnuts for breakfast…
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Earlier in summer, we joined a tennis club (it also has a swimming pool and very small gym). And what I like about this place is its location, the club is surrounded by redwoods and set against the hills. There are usually horses up on the hills.

Currently…

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Watching:

Reply 1994

It’s so interesting that all the shows in the Reply series (Reply 1997, Reply 1994, Reply 1988 – by the same producer/director and writer of Hospital Playlist) use the same actor and actress for the father and mother roles. The rest of the actors are different. Some make cameos in the other Reply shows.

Listening:

The Flight Attendant – Chris Bohjalian

Eating and Drinking:

Cooking:

It may be a bit chilly and rainy this morning but looks like it’s going to heat up again from Thursday. I guess I might as well make some baked or roasted foods earlier in the week. Maybe a baked rice or baked pasta. And I’ve been wanting to make a potato gratin.

Last week:

I read:

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The Heart Principle – Helen Hoang

How We Fall Apart – Katie Zhao

I posted:

Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin #RIP

Library Loot (September 22 to 28)

Books on My Fall 2021 TBR List #TopTenTuesday

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

It’s Monday (September 20, 2021)

Hello, it’s Monday again. How are you? How was your weekend?

We had a nice cool weekend in terms of weather. But as with California weather, the moment it’s officially autumn, the heat goes back up! This week’s going to be a hot one…not looking forward to it.

Some things last week:

The husband was busy this weekend with work stuff so we didn’t do much. Took the kids to play tennis and swim. They wore wetsuits but said it was cold so didn’t stay too long.

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Homemade ramen with fish cakes, spinach, mushrooms
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Got our usual takeout sushi for Saturday dinner

Currently…

Reading:

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We are Satellites – Sarah Pinsker

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A slight departure from RIP-related reading cos this hold came in from the library!

Watching:

Last Thursday was the last episode of season 2 of Hospital Playlist! It looks like there are no plans for a third season!

Meanwhile, I’ve also been binge-watching Reply 1988. It’s by the same director and writer so there are some similarities. Although of course it’s very different. Reply 1988 is set in a neighbourhood in Seoul and revolves around a few families who live there. They have teenagers about the same age. I really appreciate how it’s not just about the teenagers but also their siblings and parents.

Listening:

The Flight Attendant – Chris Bohjalian

Eating and Drinking:

Toast and tea

Cooking:

What to cook this week? Maybe I’ll make some pasta salad. I suddenly feel like eating pasta salad.

I also have some premade laksa paste in the pantry that I need to finish up. That means I need to get some fish cake and bean sprouts from the supermarket.

Last week:

I read:

Leviathan Wakes – James S.A. Corey

Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms – Crystal Frasier

I posted:

Library Loot (September 15 to 21)

Books with Numbers in the Title #TopTenTuesday

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

It’s Monday (September 13, 2021)

Monday again! How was your weekend?

We did some swimming, tennis, and all matters of trying to keep cool during this warm weekend.

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Korean food on the weekend. Fried chicken (including one with that magic cheddar powder). Corn cheese. Two types of kimbap (bulgogi and kimchi).
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Some things last week:

Currently…

Reading:

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32123B9C-9029-4832-88D9-00CEED7DE748

Watching:

Reply 1988 on Netflix

Eating and Drinking:

I had sourdough toast with tea as usual. Nothing exciting!

Cooking:

Shepherd’s pie. Korean style noodles. I also need to make some sandwich bread for the week.

Last week:

I read:

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Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin
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The Near Witch – V.E. Schwab

Water Ghosts – Shawna Yang Ryan

Runtime – S.B. Divya

I posted:

The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab

Library Loot (September 8 to 14)

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

It’s Monday (September 6, 2021)

It’s Labor Day in the US and Canada, so if that’s where you are, hope you’re enjoying the long weekend.

We had no travel plans, so hung out at home. Played tennis, went swimming, the kids went biking. It was nice and relaxing.

Some things last week:

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The husband made sushi for dinner. Or rather, I prep all the ingredients, and he does all the rolling.
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A visit to the library and a peek at the new arrivals shelves.
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Korean BBQ at home. We also had some bulgogi (marinated thinly sliced beef), rice, lettuce.
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It’s grape season at the farmers market.

Currently…

Reading:

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Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy and The Merry Spinster by Mallory Ortberg

Watching:

Last week, there wasn’t a new episode of Hospital Playlist… sad…

But I finished watching the first season of KDrama Let’s Eat. Which always makes me hungry as they feature some tasty looking foods every episode. It’s a story about a woman who reluctantly becomes friends with her two neighbors and colleagues. She’s a foodie but can’t eat out by herself. The show has its problems, such as the “ugly” character, who is used as fodder for laughter at times.

Eating and Drinking:

For breakfast, toasted homemade sourdough bread and tea.

Cooking:

Something simple like fried noodles, or noodle soups.

Last week:

I read:

Forest of Memory – Mary Kowal Robinette

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion – Margaret Killjoy

I posted:

The Disaster Tourist – Yun Ko-eun

Library Loot (September 1 to 7)

Ham Helsing: Vampire Hunter – Rich Moyer

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

It’s Monday (August 30, 2021)

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Happy Monday!

We made it through the first full week of school! The kids are happy to be back. And I am happy to not have to deal with making sure they’re paying attention to Zoom classes!! I’m so glad schools are open. Of course I still have to make sure they do their homework but that’s been ok so far.

Last week, there were 2 positive Covid cases in the school (although apparently the kids may not have actually been in school at the time). The school district sent an email out to all parents. And supposedly, close contacts were notified. The number hasn’t increased since then, so I guess it means that it’s ok?

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Went out with some friends on Saturday for what the kids called a “mom date”. Our kids all go to school together and all started out in the same kindergarten class so we’ve been friends since then. We had lots of delicious food from this izakaya style place that also had Malaysian food. It was fun to have a night out without kids!

Some things last week:

Currently…

Reading:

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Meddling Kids – Edgar Cantero

Watching:

Season 2 of Full Bloom, that delightful flower competition on HBO Max

Listening:

The new Butter remix

Eating and Drinking:

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Singapore-style peanut pancake, called min jian kueh. It uses yeast and baking soda to create a honeycomb look within the pancake.

Cooking:

Chicken stew

Last week I made chilli and we had it with baked potatoes. The kids loved it. And I wanted to do more stuff with baked potatoes this week too. So I was thinking of trying something from this round up of stuffed potatoes. It made me think of when I was studying in the UK, and one cafe at the university had all kinds of baked potatoes and stuffings/toppings.

Also, the kids decided they’re having more school lunch this week. They tried it out last week for the first time. The verdict? The hot dog was yucky but they loved the brownie. Ha.

Last week:

I read:

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Ham Helsing – Rich Moyer

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Silver Silence – Nalini Singh

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The Disaster Tourist – Yun Ko-eun

I posted:

Library Loot (August 25 to 31)

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

It’s Monday (August 23, 2021)

The kids started school last Wednesday. It was both exciting and bit worrying being back in school. So many kids! So many adults! But the school district has required masks to be worn by students, staff, and parents when on the campus. And they’ve staggered the lunch times so there’s less crowding in the cafeteria. The kids also get to eat in the outdoors amphitheatre now, which they were happy about.

The school district said that 95% of the teachers have been fully vaccinated so I’m just glad that we are all working together to keep our kids safe.

The kids were excited to see friends that they haven’t seen since March 2020, when the schools here closed. They’ve met up with some friends regularly but there were plenty they haven’t seen for a long time.

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The air quality the last few days hasn’t been the best. It was better over the weekend, but we tried to stay indoors after school last week. I am thankful for the amazing firefighters who are working so hard to put out these fires. Hopefully the weather continues to cooperate so that the fires can get put out – it’s currently about 5% contained…

Some things last week:

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From bottom: belachan kangkung, KL-style Hokkien mee, char kway teow, satay chicken

Singapore’s National Day is August 9 but because of the pandemic, the National Day Parade got postponed to last weekend. So we got to watch it on Youtube. And we had to watch and eat with Singapore food!

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We had to pick up something for the kids in the neighbouring city, so we ordered lunch too. There’s panfried dumplings, xiaolongbao, snowflake gyoza, zhajiang mian. Not pictured was the deliciously spicy beef noodle soup. The photo looks a bit orangey as my patio umbrella is orange 😛
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I bought myself some flowers – a reward for surviving the mad rush to get the kids ready and out to school, perhaps? I loved the vibrant green chrysanthemums and the contrast with the purple and white carnations!

Currently…

Reading:

The Disaster Tourist – Yun Ko-eun

The Wolf and the Woodsman – Ava Reid

Watching:

Every week, Hospital Playlist‘s new episode (last week’s was especially good!). Also I started watching The Good Place season 4.

Listening:

No audiobooks at the moment.

Eating and Drinking:

Had some toast for breakfast. Am now drinking coffee.

Cooking:

I just placed a Weee! order – it’s an online store specialising in Asian and Latino groceries. So I hope to make some bak kut teh, a Singapore dish that’s essentially a pork soup with herbs and spices. It’s eaten with rice and vegetables. And youtiao or fried dough sticks.

Last week:

I read:

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Last Words from Montmarte – Qiu Miaojin

Oh well, guess I only finished one book last week. I’ve got so many going though…

I posted:

Reading: Last Words from Montmartre by Qiu Miaojin

Library Loot (August 18 to 24)

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

It’s Monday (August 16, 2021)

Some things last week:

Oof, I missed posting last week. No excuses, Monday just went by and I forgot about it…

But we did have a fun week. The husband took the week off and while we didn’t have plans to really travel anywhere, we wandered around the Bay Area, doing a bit of hiking, some back to school shopping (the kids needed shoes!), and lots of eating.

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Watermelon margarita at Pacific Catch
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I had Korean BBQ on my mind after last week’s episode of Hospital Playlist. So we bought a grill plate from HMart, as well as lots of different things for grilling. HMart is a big Korean supermarket chain in the US. They had all kinds of different cuts of sliced meats for grilling! We got some sliced pork belly, beef, and premarinated bulgogi. Also kabocha squash, leeks, and portobello. And yes, we grilled the pineapples too.
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All types of banchan (side dishes) at HMart in San Jose. It was so busy! Hopefully they will open a branch closer to us….
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Also, it’s going to Mid-Autumn Festival next month (it’s according to the lunar calendar). And so it’s the time to buy your mooncakes. We like the ones from Kee Wah, a Hong Kong bakery that’s also in parts of the US.
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Udon Mugizo in Mountain View. The udon is freshly made at the restaurant. So delicious! And their tempura is lovely and crisp and not oily.
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Mountain View has many lovely places to eat at. This is from Maison Alyzee. I have to say that the coffee eclair was beautiful and full of coffee flavour but the chocolate one was only ok. It wasn’t chocolatey enough!
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Something not food-related…finally! This is at Books Inc in Mountain View.
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The water really was green…
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All these photos above were taken at Point Lobos Preserve, which is near Carmel. It’s a beautiful place with lots of wildlife to see. We spotted otters, seals, pelicans and lots of sea birds. If you ever plan on going to Point Lobos, go early, even on weekdays. We got there around 930 and there were still lots to park in, but when we left around 2, the lot was full and people had to park outside the park. It’s quite a walk in!

Also, we went when it was low tide, so the boys had a great time spotting the crabs and the hermit crabs and all the little things in the tide pools.

Currently…

Watching:

Hospital Playlist, The Good Life

Listening:

Music only.

Eating and Drinking:

Had some baguette for breakfast. With my usual tea

Cooking:

School starts on Wednesday, so I’ll have to start thinking about school lunches as well. Usually the kids bring some sandwiches and fruit. Or something like chicken nuggets and carrot sticks. Or mini pizzas. Things I can just warm up during breakfast time.

Last week:

I read:

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I posted:

Library Loot (August 11 to 17)

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

It’s Monday (August 2, 2021)

Some things last week:

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The kids asked for watermelon and of course we had to get a giant one from Costco. So delicious and sweet!
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A new addition to our home library. It’s the throw I finally finished. I started it to use up yarn scraps. Then left it aside for months, because I got a bit tired of making those squares. Last week, I decided that instead of adding the proper number of squares that the pattern requires, I would just put it together with the number I already had. So it’s smaller than planned, but hey, it covers my kid when he’s sitting and reading, so that works!

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We tried a new udon place in Mountain View. I had a mentai (pollack roe) cream udon. Delicious!

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Bay Area bookstore Books Inc has a summer book bingo for kids. If you get a blackout, you get a $10 gift card and a chance to pick some books from their “swag boxes” ie ARCs. So the kids got these books.
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They also used their gift cards to buy these books
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I ended up getting a book for myself, and the husband got a comic.
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And we picked up some pastries for breakfast at Paris Baguette.

Currently…

Reading:

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The Secret Life of Groceries by Benjamin Lorr
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Dreadnought by April Daniels

Watching:

There wasn’t an episode of Hospital Playlist last week! Usually a new episode is released every Thursday but they skipped a week!

Meanwhile, I’ve been watching the latest season of Making The Cut on Amazon Video.

Listening:

Nothing at the moment

Eating and Drinking:

A mocha twisted danish from Paris Baguette

Cooking:

Some kind of fried fish, with the cod that I bought. I had already used it to cook a garlicky butter cod. But I might want to fry it with panko this time.

I also want to cook up the last piece of pork belly that I got. I may just slice it up and pan fry it in the cast iron pan.

Last week:

I read:

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The Black Tides of Heaven – Neon Yang
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The Legend of Auntie Po by Shing Yin Khor

I posted:

Library Loot (July 28 to August 3)

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

It’s Monday (July 26, 2021)

Some things last week:

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We went into the city on Sunday to help the husband clear his office. His company is reducing their office space and he’s been working from home since last March. But he still had a lot of things to get rid of!

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We did also squeeze in a quick lunch at Gott’s Roadside at the Ferry Building. They have a large outdoor area to eat at (we’re still not doing indoor dining).

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There were some tourists around as we saw a few double decker open-deck buses around with quite a full upper deck. But it looks like the cable cars aren’t in operation at the moment. Quite a few people were around the waterfront because there was a Giants game later in the afternoon.

Currently…

Reading:

Yolk by Mary HK Choi

Watching:

Last night, we watched Space Jam on HBO Max. It had LeBron James and all the Looney Tunes. The kids thought it was hilarious.

Listening:

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Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s The Pluto Files

Eating and Drinking:

I made a lemon cake and just had that with a mug of tea

Cooking:

I have no idea.

Last week:

I read:

My Beer Year – Lucy Burningham

An interesting enough look into the world of beer. The writer works towards getting a beer certification (she gets to be called a Cicerone). So she studies, attends beer festivals, visits breweries, spends two weeks in Belgium learning about beer.

Miss Meteor – Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore 

I picked this up after reading about it on Reading the End. I ADORED this one!

I posted:

Library Loot (July 21 to 27)

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date