Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Snow Fun!

Our first snowman of the year, complete with carrot for a nose. The kids had a ball, with just enough snow on the ground to pack into this snowguy. We didn't light the torches, but it would make quite a sight if we did!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's what it's like today in our part of Northern Indiana. Pretty, isn't it?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Living With the Seasons

One of the things we really try to do here is live in touch with the seasonal flow and celebrate each phase as it comes. We consciously try to celebrate each day, realizing how fleeting it all is.
Yesterday was a day of joy. The trees around us were so bright yellow they tossed in the wind like dancers, and I felt giddy with the joy of it all. We had to make a quick trip to town, so took along the camera to capture places of particular beauty.

There's a stark quality to some already harvested fields these days, sort of a clearing away of the clutter to leave the bare fields ready for spring.

In contrast to that, there's the jubilant variety of colors in the woods that form a backdrop to it all.
This morning, our Anna is with us, and it's cold and sleeting outside. We always want to get her outside when we can, so decided this was the time to try out the fireplace in the teepee. She loved it, and we all had fun, sitting on the ground inside the teepee, watching the small fire and hearing the sleet patter on the walls of the teepee surrounding us. It was amazingly warm and cozy inside with that little fire going. Next Jim's going to set up a spit and cook a cornish hen.

When he told us of his plan, Anna told him spitting is nasty! Hmmmm, I guess there's only one kind of spit in a three year old's mind.

Sometimes I wonder what kind of memories we're implanting in that child's mind. Good ones I hope, and some she'll remember and teach her children about someday.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Bounty of Fall

Jim and I have been working lately to button up the house for winter. Jobs like put up storm windows, coil and hang away the hose, dump leaves into the garden and clean away all the plant debris to let it all rest until next spring, have to be done this time of year.

I gathered the herbs from the herb bed to hang in bunches and let them dry for winter. They'll add wonderful levels of flavor to the soups we plan to simmer on the wood stove in the cold days to come. This year the oregano sort of ran amok through the herb bed, so we have lots of that there, but also lots of lemon balm, tiny leaved thyme and parsley to dry and hang on the back porch to wait until we need them.I've formed the habit lately of taking a daily walk to gather sticks for the stove. It serves several purposes: gets me away from the computer for a breath of fresh air, exercise, cleans up the woods a little, and provides bunches of free firewood for those short time evening fires that really don't need big heavy chunks of wood to burn a long time.Being out there daily lets me notice all the changes too, as our place turns toward winter. This path struck me yesterday as being particularly gorgeous. It's the space behind the blueberry bushes, and always looks like an entrance to a secret space to me. Today, with the yellow leaves on the ground, it looked like a scene after the party, with the party favors and confetti left laying about. Do you suppose the deer and raccoons were dancing late into the night here last night?Today was one of those blessed days, when we were especially grateful to be retired. We needed a good brisk walk, so headed up to Warren Woods for a long walk under the giant beech trees there. We were amazed to see the giant trees that had fallen during the recent winds. Trees that measured up to 4' across the base had grown hollow in the center, as beeches do, until there wasn't enough strength to hold up their 70' height anymore. They came crashing down, taking other trees with them, and look like elephants laying there, but still dignified in their stillness. Beautiful trees, and they'll slowly melt back down into the soil to enrich another hundred years of trees to come.

After we left the woods, we wandered a little on the way home and found a roadside market with eating pumpkins and squash for sale. Karren chose this huge heavy beauty to bake for a while in a cast iron pot on top of the wood stove, then make into soups and pies. Jim chose a small acorn squash and brought it home, baked it right away with brown sugar and butter to eat for lunch.

We also found a vineyard loaded with overripe grapes, and the farmers who owned the vines. They were glad to let us pick lots of them at a very low price. We brought about a half bushel home and now have to decide whether to make them into jelly, or juice!Now this one's just silly, the result of two goofy people, with time to spare and a camera to play with!