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happy tuesday, everyone!

evening walk

it’s a quiet evening at our house; home from a long day of work (me) and classes (john), we’re relaxing. homemade granola in the oven, john on the phone with his mom, lamps casting a soft glow into the evening darkness. the granola, a modified version of this is warming our house, filling it with the sweet scent of warm oats, toasted almonds, vanilla, and cinnamon – such a wonderful smell!

the end of daylight savings time caught me off-guard this year, and the early onset of night makes me a bit despondent every late afternoon. too soon, it will be dark both when i leave for work, and when i come home. with winter coming, we’re both craving lots of starches and hearty foods (storing up for hibernation?); chili, cabbage soup, breads spread with apple or pumpkin butter, potatoes and other root vegetables. i’ve been stocking our freezer, too, and am so pleased at the rows of jars filled with preserves (i’m a little gun-shy on the whole canning thing, and not wanting to experiment alone, i opted to freeze the butters, rather than risk botulism. good idea? i certainly think so).

our hallowe’en party went quite well! nearly everyone came in costume: john was a wwii bomber pilot (and very handsome – what is it about a man in uniform, even if it’s just pretend?!), i was Miss Scarlet, from “Clue,” complete with a candlestick. our little living room was full to the bursting, with two civil war soldiers, a woman of ancient rome, a little fuzzy blue bear (6 months old), a gentleman from the ’50s, a pig-man, a blue woman, and a vampire. i watched my first zombie movie, and handled it quite well until it was time for me to walk down the dark hallway, into our pitch-black bedroom, and try not to imagine that john, already in bed, was a zombie. ugh! a quick dash and a leap later, i was safe – and fortunately didn’t land on the already-sleeping john.

how are you preparing for winter? and did you have a good hallowe’en?

hallowe’en dinner

This is terrifying!

fall days

after nine hours in a building at work every day, nothing cheers me up more quickly than walking out the door, breathing in the crisp air, and rustling through piles of beautifully-colored leaves.

stepping outside and feeling the cool air on my face, the woolly scarf around my neck, and my boots rapping the sidewalk, all help me leave the stress of the day behind. it wakes me up, makes me glad to be human, happy to be able to be outside, to be finished with work, knowing that john’s waiting for me.

lately, with the early onset of evening darkness, we’ve been staying close to home, rather than out and about; sharing apple crisp, watching “Mad Men,” and roasting pumpkin seeds (removed from the depths of the pumpkin john carved). as much as i loathe the late darkness in the morning, driving to work in the dark, the sun not rising until i’ve been at work for more than half an hour, i love how how the early evenings make everything seem cozier, the glow of the lamps casting beautiful shadows on the ceiling, the chilly air making us huddle closer on our night-time walks, our breath rising in small clouds as we walk under the streetlights.

quiet night

john’s out of town this weekend, and it’s crazy how big and lonely this little apartment feels in his absence. i’ll probably end up sleeping on the couch, because it’s the only cozy place i can find, swaddled in quilts and blankets, falling asleep with NPR on low.

i’ve had a very long, full day; a dash to the farmer’s market before work – the shortest time i’ve ever spent at the market! and yet i still got to scritch-scratch a cute border collie (named Jan) behind the ears, and had time to talk about a man’s “hoop house” while i bought the last of the season’s tomatoes from him. after only ten minutes, my bags were loaded down with a pink banana squash, a butternut squash, collard greens, 2 kinds of onions, cabbages, the aforementioned tomatoes, and a bunch of sage. i’m really sad about the last farmer’s market day of the season being 1 week from today – i am so going to miss it.

i worked a very long shift today, ran some errands, and am finally, finally home. chili is warming on the stove, i have a silly, girly movie to keep me company, a bag of apples just waiting to be made into apple crisp (can you believe john had never had it before i made it last week?!), and a bunch of quilts to keep me warm.

i hope you have moments of peace in your weekend.

after the hiatus

I didn’t mean to be away for nearly (but not quite!) six months, but I got caught up in life.

we’ve been staying busy with school and work; john graduated on july 25th, but we’re staying put until next july or august, probably, as he takes even more classes, in order to get teacher certified. the plan is for him to get his teacher certification in secondary education, as he wants to teach high school history, then move to wherever he can find a job – and hopefully where we can have a little bit of land, enough for a huge garden, a treehouse, and maybe a few chickens, and room to grow.

john and i have been going to the local farmer’s market as often as we are able. the market is on saturdays from 8-12, and wednesdays from 4-6, which is much smaller than the one on the weekend; the saturday one proves to be difficult for me to get to, as i work at 8:30 nearly every saturday morning. that one time a month, though, that i get to go to the big saturday market totally makes my day and starts my weekend off on an absolutely beautiful note. i love the sense of community that i always feel whenever we’re at the farmer’s market, seeing so many people come together over local, beautiful food. we spent $14 last saturday, and came away with such bounty – 2 sweet red peppers, 3 zucchini, 2 cucumbers, 2 huge tomatoes, 1/2 peck red potatoes (which turned out to be a huge grocery bag full!), 2 bulbs of garlic, a big bag of collard greens, broccoli, and the most enormous cauliflower i have seen in my entire life.

we’ve really been interested in local + homemade foods, aghast and dismayed at the statistic that shows that on average, each item on the supermarket shelves has traveled 1500 miles. on average! of course, that number doesn’t seem high enough when you have navel oranges from South Africa, apples from New Zealand, and garlic from China nestled in your shopping cart. there are times I’m at the supermarket, wanting to buy a green pepper; pick one up, see the “grown in mexico” sticker, and put it back, because I can’t justify the purchase. I can wait until the next farmer’s market, where I know that the pepper traveled a maximum of 30 miles, rather than several hundred (besides, then they’re 33 cents each, rather than $1.99! another bonus).

books that I’ve found fascinating lately:

Plenty, by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, by Molly Wizenberg

Sleeping Naked is Green, by Vanessa Farquharson

The Produce Bible, by Deborah Madison

Slow Food : Collected Thoughts on Taste, Tradition, and the Honest Pleasures of Food, by Carlo Petrini

time to go, I think; john’s quoting “Top Gun” along with the movie.

I’ll be back soon, I promise.

1-4

loving:

suddenly -

blue skies
living-room curtains billowing in the breeze
Molly’s book
all the color that’s springing up outside – all the fruit trees are flowering, and absolutely gorgeous!

(also, today is my dad’s 58th birthday. happy birthday, dad!)

have a lovely weekend, folks.

spring is in the air

april 18 017

april 18 011

april 18 013

delight

—-

lately, we’ve been trying to not stress out about the next year; where life will take us, where we’ll be, what we’ll be doing, we have no idea. we’re not very successful at this whole letting-it-go, taking-it-in-stride thing, especially when it potentially involves a lot of money.

warm weather + beautiful plants + bare feet help, though.

I hope you all are well.


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