Lovely Monday, awesome soup, back to Downton

Lawd a'mercy was it nice to drop my sweet boys off at school this morning. It is absolutely remarkable how much I can do and how quickly I can get it done when I'm on my own. I took a 45 minute nap! Ran four, count them FOUR, errands! Worked out! Made them a wonderful hot dinner! Built and lit a fire and played Brain Quest in front of it! And so forth. It was all so nice and really, it felt good to get back in the saddle of everyday life. Normalcy is often underrated! Do you know what I will now suggest any parent gift to their children in addition to empty boxes and rolls of tape? A rotary pencil sharpener! You know, the old manual type that you can bolt or suction to a surface. I have had so many crappy electric ones over the years, and while we have many of the small plastic ones that look like a rectangular lip- or eye-liner sharpener, they just don't get the job done like the old-fashioned model. Because my three-hole punch has literally disappeared -odd- we went to Staples after school to get me a new one. While there, I shrugged off pleas to buy enormous fake money, a box of 1,000 paper clips and other random don't-needs, but I did acquiesce when we spied the pencil sharpener. The boys proceeded to over-sharpen every pencil in the house and finally I had an intervention; the sharpener is now in a time out. That said, if you need an inexpensive and (mostly) beneficial/functional tool/toy, consider adding this to your list of ideas.

T returned home just as we were about to start bathtime and took over like a champ so that I could make our dinner. A friend who is neighbors with a master gardener recently shared with me an enormous bushel of fresh sunchokes. I love sunchokes and while I enjoy them in many preparations, the cold front blowing through made soup seem like an awfully comforting meal. So, I made my Leeky Sunchoke Bisque which I loved even more this time than I ever have before.! You simply must try it next time you come across sunchokes. Gah!! I can't wait for leftovers tomorrow.

Now, I heard that Downton had jumped the shark, but I myself enjoyed most of this newest episode. The sitch with Carson and the other singing Charlie seemed rather preposterous and Edna just blows, but the Dowager was fabulous as ever, and I was happy to be back with the Grantham clan. How does Thomas find the energy to continue being so conniving?