September already…

I love autumn. I really do. It was a bit strange, though, to wear a sweater on my birthday. I don’t know that I’ve ever done that. Anyway, the wave of cooler weather has been welcome around here (and will continue to be unless there is an unexpected frost- my veggies are not finished!). My birthday was beautiful and I felt really loved and supported. What more could a girl ask for? It’s good to be 20-something and in love and happily mama-ed and content. I lead a very fulfilling life, all told. That day I was bursting with gratitude for all the love around me, and I spent a lot of time reflecting on it. Not a bad way to spend a day, eh?

I picked some flowers out of the garden and put them on the table to make the day a little more festive. Next year I hope to have lots of flowers planted so I can do this more.

We were out at this little hole-in-the-wall Korean place that I love. Kimchi… mmmmm. That night my dad and Vera were playing a strange chopstick game… They are so cute together.

She’s getting so big, isn’t she? On Monday she got her bangs trimmed for the very first time! She had never had a hair cut before. She’s also been asking for a "pony" and when I put her hair up it almost all fits into the band (and is psychotically adorable)! It’s just crazy, is all. She’s still my baby, but I see those little baby days just slipping right by me and here we are with this joyful and feisty kid. I’m loving it all.

I’m also loving this picture that my dad took of her the other day. It just slays me.

The day after my birthday Jeff treated me to a day of rest with just our family. It was exactly what I needed. We slept in together, ate our meals slowly and talked, and we took a long walk down to this old graveyard near our house that I think is just one of the most peaceful and beautiful places around. The pictures don’t do it justice at all.

I love this one, despite its blurriness, because you can see Vera mid-fall. I’m sure Jeff and I said "Ka boom!" right after I snapped it.

I find that each year that goes by I’m attracted to simpler things. Things are complicated enough as it is! This is definitely true when it comes to my food. I’m learning to keep things easy and fresh. I’m learning more and more about what is healthful and nourishing, and it leads me in a direction that takes time in other ways. Rather than slaving over the stove for one meal, I’m making a simple meal and storing much of it for later by either freezing it, drying it, or canning it. I have to think ahead now and soak my flour or oats or beans overnight. Soon I’m going to begin making our own yogurt and tortillas and sourdough bread, and also learning how to grow sprouts throughout the winter. It takes a little bit of extra work now, eating the way that we do, so when things can stay simple I tend to keep them that way. Thankfully, this only enhances my ability to be creative, and I find that when I focus my energies on using what’s available I end up with recipes that I love and will make again and again.

This was a very satisfying lunch- green beans and tomatoes and tarragon out of the garden, tossed with Israeli couscous in some lemon and butter and parmesan, and a little Celtic sea salt. Yum.

The garden is booming, despite the battle I’ve been having with powdery mildew (it’s been a wet season and most people I know are dealing with a lot of it. I have been mixing water and milk and spraying it on the leaves and it’s actually improving things! Yay natural alternatives!). This is an average harvest size lately. Lots of tomatoes, hot peppers galore, the last of the broccoli, herbs and green beans and swiss chard… and we’re still eating salads! I’m already excited for next year and what we could do on this little piece of land…

It’s starting! I’m not complaining, but didn’t this summer just fly by? I suppose it’s not technically over, but it just was so busy for us that I feel a little sad that it’s close to over already… I actually really enjoyed the heat and sun this year, and I’m usually not that into it. Anyway, I’m sure the pregnant mamas I know are feeling differently, so I’ll just zip it right there. πŸ˜‰

Oh, in other news- Dill (our other rat) died. We knew it was coming because he was old and Walter died a few months ago. I watched him go, and it really got to me that day. We buried him next to Walt, and it was okay. The strange thing, though, was that the minute he was gone Vera came over to the cage and said "Buh bye!" and then promptly asked me for milk. It was almost like she knew.

Quote of the day:
"Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life." -Bertolt Brecht

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