Monday, July 25, 2016

The Dog Days of Summer

We are in those Dog Days of Summer. You know, those hot, sultry, I don't want to go outside and do anything but maybe swim kind of days. And it is so hot here in Ohio, I had to resort to painting the front of my house as early as seven in the morning. But it's done now. I scraped and painted the garage door trim, the entire front of the house, the mailbox, the shutters, and the front door trim. Bobby even put up new front porch lights for me, so now the front of the house is no longer an ugly peeling mess!

This week we also attended a pool party where my dinner contribution was cranberry meatballs. They are so easy and convenient that anyone can make them. All you need is two pounds of meatballs (for a big crowd), two bottles of chile sauce (which incidentally should never be mistaken for hot sauce as I once did), two cans of cranberry sauce with whole berries, and a jar of seedless raspberry jam or jelly.

Place the meatballs in a large oval crock pot. I usually buy frozen meatballs for convenience sake. Then in a saucepan you add the chile sauce, the cranberry, sauce, and two heaping tablespoons of jelly. Simmer it over medium heat until everything is melted and completely combined. Pour over the meatballs stirring to coat evenly and then put the lid on and forget about it until supper time!

I also made Emily some fabulous french toast smothered in butter and fresh maple syrup form one of my farmers' market vendors. Doesn't the picture below just make you hungry for breakfast?

So when it was time to dive into a pile of great reading material this week I decided to go with the dog theme. I know the Dog Days of Summer don't actually have anything to do with dogs, but it's a great theme and I'm going with it.

The first book I read was Cosmo Zooms. It is quite simple and oh so sweet. Cosmo is feeling a bit downhearted because all his friends seem to be good at something and he is not. That is, until he takes an unexpected ride. I don't want to give too much away, so I will simply say that Cosmo happily, if accidentally, finds out what he excels at. This book is quite a few years old, but I would check to see if your library carries it like mine did. If not, there are some used copies available on Amazon.

The next book I read was The Dog Who Cried Wolf. This is the story of Moka and his girl Michelle. Michelle takes good care of Moka and even takes the time to read to him. One day she reads a story about wolves, and Moka begins to be discontent with the life he leads. The next day he runs away to live free like the wolves. His adventure isn't all he imagined it would be and he finally realizes the life he was living with his girl was pretty good after all!

And lastly, I read Puppy. It isn't your conventional dog story, but it made me smile. Trog, the cave boy, has great toys like a stick, a rock, and some mud, but what he really wants is a puppy. He finds one, or so he thinks, and some interesting adventures begin. This book has a semi comic book feel to it and is a super story for both boys and girls.

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by and join the Literacy Musings Monday Blog Hop where you will find other great blogs, or my personal website, Fun With Aileen, where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own early grade Fern Valley chapter book series and my Quack and Daisy picture book series. And finally, you can find me on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days. 


  1. WOW!! That food looks good :)
    I hope you're enjoying the weekend!

    I agree with you on the hot sauce :)

  2. I agree that the food looks delicious! The books sound like really cute ones. Staying on the dog theme, have you ever heard of the book Harry, the Dirty Dog? There are several in the series. They are old, but quite cute. Thanks for sharing at #LMMLinkup!

    1. Thanks Miss Gayl, and yes, we own Harry the Dirty Dog and have borrowed several of the others from our library. Harry is classic :0)

  3. Your description of Puppy had me smiling.

  4. Thanks. And thanks for stopping by :0)