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…we are not fixing it this week. According to the National Weather Service, we are in for some special weather. The lowest temperature this week will be 100 degrees Fahrenheit/38 degrees Celsius. And most of the week will involve temperatures at least five degrees higher than that. We want to make sure our air conditioning unit lives to see another summer, so we are running it at 84 degrees. Our ceiling fans are all running at high speed, and we have two pedestal oscillating fans set up to help with air circulation. I’ll say this: heat is a great appetite suppressant.

If it were just Engineer and me, we’d probably skip dinner altogether. However, Kidlette is not only here and miserable in the heat, she’s also going through a growth spurt. So we still need food. I went to Google and decided to see what The Minimalist (Mark Bittman, who wrote my favorite cookbook, The Food Matters Cookbook) had in the archives. And thankfully, I found this: “Summer Express – 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less.” I had our menu ready to go in about ten minutes, and it’s all very light and flexible, and as Engineer said last night, “It all kind of mixes and matches.” (Our menu this week: another round of hummus and steak on pita, guacamole and half-quesadillas, baked paninis on pita pocket halves, and tomato-and-bread salad.)

In spite of the heat, I’ve decided that it’s time to get back to my exercise routine. I let it fall down a 700-foot ravine at the wayside over the course of the summer, so I am busting myself back to week one of the Couch-to-5K program. Again. I feel better, my clothes will fit better, and it makes me want to eat more healthily. For some of my meals this week, I’m borrowing a page from the Starbucks playbook. Late last week, I got an e-mail about their new Bistro Boxes. In taking a closer look at the ingredients and individual components, they are all fairly simple, light, and healthy. And best of all, they are EASY to fix!  I will definitely be using these as meals for myself once the school year gets started – with my huge university class running from 11:30 to 12:55, I’ll need a pre-class lunchette and a post-class lunchette. The first one I tried, and that I will keep making/eating as long as it’s so stinking hot, will be Wheat Thins with goat cheese, dried cranberries, chopped nuts, and vegetables. (The original from Starbucks: vegetables, goat cheese, and cranberry almond crackers.) It’s delicious. I may even decide to make a cranberry- and nut-encrusted goat cheese cake for our next multi-family dinner event.

In crafty news, I have done the following: finished frogging the ugly orange sweater, mostly completed the oilcloth-and-foam-square booster cushion for Kidlette, and picked up my Sweet Eleanor shawl again. And I only jabbed myself badly with a straight pin once. I’m calling that all a success.