I’m loving fall this year. It seems really colorful, and the weather has been really mild lately. Today was drizzly and breezy but 70 degrees! I stepped outside at 9:30 tonight and it was still perfectly comfortable in my indoor clothes. I can barely believe that on Sunday it will be NOVEMBER. I think my timing is off or something. I never seem to fully realize that a season is what it is until it’s almost over… strange. I’d say winter is the only exception to this, but there’s just something about that season that seems to go for miles longer than all the others.
This is the restaurant across the street from the food coop I go to. I never pay much attention to it, but on this day I noticed that the vines were all rainbow colored and downright lovely.
Another nice thing about all these leaves changing color and falling to the ground is all the LIGHT. Even though our front windows are south facing, our whole front yard is shaded by big maple trees. This is good for keeping the summer heat at bay, bad for my houseplants who were sorely neglected this summer (I’ll do better next year!). I started to admire them again once the sun made it’s way back into that big front window and onto their sad little leaves- plus I’m not making daily trips to the garden, so I’m getting my green fix where I can. I imagine them drinking all that sunshine in…
I’m also enjoying the little bit of quiet I get during Vera’s naptime. There’s always something I could be doing, but this past week our temporary live-in friend moved out, and it’s been kind of nice to have a little more "me" time. We loved having him here- he’s one of Jeff’s oldest friends- but I think we were all feeling ready to reclaim our own spaces. He’s actually over tonight, laughing away with Jeff. It was good for everyone, I think. Sharing a space with someone can be challenging at times, but I think the rewards are great in terms of the lessons you can learn if you’re open to them. I learned some lessons in patience and humility, loyalty and principle and discernment, what it means to be honestly generous, and just generally how to be a better friend (to myself, even!). A little extra quiet after all that, though, is definitely appreciated.
I’m loving soup. Soup says things like "nourishing" and "warm" and "peace" and "this is what you can do with a bunch of random things that are about to go bad in the bottom of the fridge…" Soup is great. This was a simple eggplant/veggie/meatball soup. I’m also having fun with what I’m calling "recycled soup". Basically I make an initial soup, then we only have a serving or two left, so I build on that by adding more stock and whatever I think might work and it becomes a NEW soup! It’s all very exciting. I’m finding that the subsequent soups have a much more complex flavor and are even better than the first. I have soup number three in the fridge right now, and I may go for number four. I’m wondering if it can go from a zingy black bean soup (soup number one) to something creamy or cheesy or something… This recycling thing is a major time saver, too. Instead of looking in the fridge and thinking "Oh, there’s not enough soup for us, I’ll have to come up with something new." or "Eeeh, we had that last night…" I can look at it with whole new eyes! Anyway. Soup. Think about it.
Dried apples. I’ll admit it, it’s sometimes hard to find the time to store all the food. All that food… BUT! I haven’t really been thinking about it as being optional, so I just have to do it. This is the way we all should be eating, and so I’m open to finding shortcuts along the way in the name of saving some sanity and vegging out a little at night. So, apple rings? Peeling those suckers? No thanks. I just used one of those handy slicers that core and wedge them all in one swoop and put them on the dehydrator with no futher prep (aside from washing them well). They are great, and Vera loves them. The skins have a little texture, but not a bad one, and they retain more of their nutritive value versus peeled ones. Voila! Took me hardly any time at all.
I’m actually sprouting things! They are super easy and delicious. I especially like my broccoli sprouts so far. I’m also finding out something really, really, really exciting for me. I sprouted this "salad mix" that has lentils and other seeds in them. Well, I’m allergic to lentils, sadly. I’m also allergic to peas and some other random legumes. However, this summer I discovered at a chinese restaurant that I could eat pea shoots with no reaction. This got me thinking… can I eat the things I am allergic to in sprouted form? So, I gave it a shot. So far so good. I’ve eaten little handfuls and waited for something to happen, and so far nothing. I’m really really excited. I’m hoping I can eat lentils now if I only take a little time to sprout them first! Maybe I’ve just grown out of my allergy, but I know I still react to peas, so I think I’m on to something here… I’ll have to take this news to my allergist.
And lastly, Vera. My baby… not so baby lately. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me just the teeniest bit wistful. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though. Every day she’s making me laugh. She’s spunky and smart and hilarious and so… herself. When she was a baby I was amazed by her. I loved her deeply, but in a different way. My sister and I were talking about this the other day. When they are babies you love them so much it hurts, but it’s because they are your baby. Because they are new and precious and sweet and a part of you. Lately, I’m learning to love Vera because she’s simply Vera. It’s kind of fantastic.
*Next time- I’m doing a serious post about food. Don’t let me off the hook on this one!
Quote of the day (and definitely a new favorite):
"There is nothing like a newborn baby to renew your spirit- and to buttress your resolve to make the world a better place." (Virginia Kelley)