The pumpkins are coming in (only three bitty ones from our own garden), mums, purple and yellow asters, apples, cranberries, and "bird berries". And that sky! Summer is so crushingly green-- its amazing in June, but by August it can feel almost suffocating. The colors of Autumn have a distinctly different, feel. Crisp, deep, and warming.
* The cranberries are just beginning to ripen. Apparently a ripe cranberry will bounce like a rubber ball. The ones I picked bounced a bit. We'll try again in a week. For my birthday Rob got me this cranberry rake. It was made in Maine by a company that makes blueberry rakes primarily--but I guess they custom order. I just saw an amazing looking recipe for cranberry relish--can't wait to try it.
* The kids and I went apple picking last week at Mainly Apples in Dixmont. They had a ton of apples. Some of the trees were so burdened it would have looked painful if it hadn't been so spectacular. The Galas were amazing, all pink and yellow. We came home with Galas and and Macouns, and will likely go back soon for Ida reds and Goldens.
Wylie was so not excited for picking that I contemplated not going. When I mentioned there'd be no applesauce if we didn't pick he relented. But, once we were there the kids all had a good time, pulling the wagon, sorting the apples (drops vs. picks) and tasting all the different varieties. And despite all his initial fuss, and the 25 minutes it took to drive there, we had filled our 3 1/2 bushels in about 15 minutes. The farm stand also had honey, in bitty little honey bears--how could we resist? and cider, yum.
photo by Wylie, or Juniper?
* One of the kids took this picture, and even though I'd rather not display the disposable mini yogurts that I hate to buy (but occasionally get suckered into by my cuties) I love the light and the angle here. When the sun is like this in the morning it can stop me in my tracks and I think, Man I love this place. I feel so fortunate to have a bright, warm, efficient home.
* My zero waste ecochallenge started this weekend. In preparation I moved out a pile of hard to recycle items (ie those damn mini yogurts) I'd been storing up (a friend recycles them for me) and made this handkerchief bag. The front pocket holds rags for blowing your nose--cut from some soft scrap jersey, and the bigger part of the bag is for the used rags. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner. I also stocked up on more glass jars from Goodwill for food storage. I am slowly replacing all the plastic bags that I have washed and re-washed for months, but which eventually bite it in the end. By switching to glass it'll last longer, and I think it will be easier to organize our food.
* Kale has been talking in three word sentences, and now refers to himself as "Na-na". We're all getting such a kick out of this kid and all his talking. "Mama, Na-na sipawata?" Mama, can I have a sip of water? "Where Juju? Na-na go Juju?" Where is Juni, I want to go with Juni. "Upa drivay?" Up the driveway, "Bobo ruck!" Big truck! "Mama Tum!" Mama come! At which point he will take my hand and lead me to see whatever feat he is wanting to show off --the trains he has linked together, his latest drawing (hopefully on paper), his mad ball skills, anything really. He is so proud--and so are we.
photo by Rob
* How's this for a Jack O'Lantern smile! Yikes! I think Kale has more teeth than him now, truly.
photo by Rob
* Rob took the big kids down to the Deerfield fair and Kale and I stayed at home for a quiet weekend. Really quiet. The near silence was amazing. A few times throughout the day Kale would suddenly shriek, I think just to fill up the space a bit. It was such a nice change, and I reveled in the calm and peacefulness of it--until the second night at dinner when it suddenly seemed much too quiet. It brought me back to evenings alone with two little ones, when Rob was working late, and that sinking, alone feeling--a need to speak to someone who can speak back (in full sentences). Fortunately it doesn't happen often anymore, so I was able to push through it, enjoy a nice quiet snuggle with my youngest then put him to bed. Followed of course by ice cream (homemade from a friend in town, YUM!), knitting, and a bit of Hulu on the couch. Just right.
Happy Monday to you.