Yep.

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)

Gracie
Gracie

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Comments (36)

  1. wolfteaparty

    Those vines look awesome. Around here lately, it’s pretty much been all yellow (I missed the opportunity to take aspen pictures at their prime).

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      I think the yellow is so amazing! But the firey reds and purples do always catch my eye first… What are aspens like when they turn?

      Reply
      1. wolfteaparty

        Brilliant yellow, and sometimes bright red. They’re in the mountains ’round here, and there are some in town too. From a distance, you can sometimes see patches of fall aspens. Wish I had gotten pictures this year!

        Reply
  2. prophetsong

    Fabulous post and wonderful photos as ever. i feel exactly the same way about my Zakary! Being a mama is just the best thing in the world.

    I’m obsessed with soup this autumn. I’ve brought several great recipe books and am planning to work my way through them seeing what is good and what isn’t. I’m also into the recycling idea myself, although with mixed results so far. Last night I made a pumpkin soup which was a little lacking in flavour so I’m planning to jazz it up a bit for lunch today.

    Those sprouts look amazing. How do you do that? I know virtually nothing about sprouting but would love to learn as it looks like something else that would be contained enough to grow in the house along with my chillis and sweet peppers and herbs. xx

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      It’s so fun to have that in common! We have a lot in common, actually. How’d your pumpkin soup turn out?

      I’m just a beginner sprouter- but it’s so easy and fun so far. You just take some seeds (soaked overnight) and rinse them a couple of times a day in a container. In a few days you have sprouts! Check out this site: http://www.primalseeds.org/sprouting.htm

      I got a sprouting kit because I wanted to sprout a good amount (like enough to use daily and for an occasional salad at dinner or something). It’s like this: http://culturesforhealth.com/Sprouting-c9/
      That site is great. My only issue is that I have some info that says you can sprout just about anything, but alfalfa isn’t good for you (despite it’s popularity). Let me know if you want more info, I’m happy to share!

      Reply
      1. prophetsong

        Ooh those site look great. That is definitely going to be my new project for November. What seeds did you start with?

        You’re right – we do have a lot in common. I’m constantly glad I met you but sorry we live so far apart :S

        My soup turned out great. Just added some chopped apple and some carrot and a few more spices and it ended up five times more delicious than the night before. Yesterday I made slow roasted tomato and basil soup with basil I’d grown myself which felt like a real achievement too πŸ™‚

        Reply
  3. purerandomness

    Vera’s so BIG! I can’t believe she’s going to be 2 in February, where does the time go?

    I’m super excited about Monday! πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      I know! Even Ben seems so much more solidly baby, and it seems like yesterday you were just starting to talk about having one.

      πŸ™‚

      Reply
  4. poppleshatesyou

    Vera really looks like a kid and not a baby! dang! the time goes by so fast!

    I made soup this last week too! it was deeelicious.

    Love the pictures, love the update!

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      MWA!

      Reply
  5. 93_millionmiles

    I only have one pot so I make recycled soup all the time. I’m going to start calling it that too. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Oh you… my kindred spirit. What do you think about Wednesday morning?

      Reply
      1. 93_millionmiles

        Wednesday would be perfect. πŸ™‚

        We could meet at one of our houses or somewhere like Beezy’s or whatever works best for you.

        Reply
        1. Gracie (Post author)

          Your choice! I just like seeing you… We could always go walking up to Luwak and go through the park if the weather is nice enough. Whaddaya think?

          Reply
          1. 93_millionmiles

            Sounds fun. Let’s do that. πŸ™‚

          2. Gracie (Post author)

            Is 9 too early? I mean, it’ll feel more like 10 because of silly daylight savings… πŸ˜‰

          3. 93_millionmiles

            Nine is fine. Nothing is too early or too late with my lack of a schedule.

          4. 93_millionmiles

            It looks like it’s supposed to rain all morning. We should think of a back up plan to the walk in the park in case. πŸ™‚

          5. Gracie (Post author)

            Ok, sounds smart… I’m feeling indecisive. What should we do? Just Luwak? One of our houses?

          6. 93_millionmiles

            How about we meet at Luwak at 9:00 and figure it out from there?

          7. Gracie (Post author)

            Sounds perfect. πŸ™‚

          8. 93_millionmiles

            I’ll see you there! πŸ™‚

  6. pithy_epigrams

    I let a friend stay with me for a month a while back, I found it very challenging. That’s awesome that you always find something good in just about every challenge you face. I need to work on that.

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      It is challenging, isn’t it?! I was surprised by the end of it how many thoughts I had about it all. What was challenging about your live-in friend? I remember when that was all happening, but I don’t remember a follow up really. Maybe I missed something…

      πŸ™‚

      Reply
  7. ladyfaith3

    I love the pics you post! You’ve got a knack for photography! I posted to my blog on the holidays and my opinions. I didn’t give any sites or info from the internet because that can be looked up and my five year old is sitting here chattering my ear off while I try and think of how I wanted to write that. You know I mean no offense I hope. =} It’s there, I may take it down later as I don’t like disputing it. I frequently teeter with the idea of joining the mainstream and doing things like everyone else but I can’t get myself to be ok with what I sincerely feel is idolitry.

    Trish

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Thank you! I’m hoping that I can somehow score a cheap, used, semi-professional camera someday. I’m sure it’ll happen…

      I’m really looking forward to reading your thoughts on this! So awesome that you wrote it all out. I’ll comment over there. πŸ™‚

      Reply
      1. ladyfaith3

        actually I think I will send you a message tonight NY time, because I didn’t like having it posted on my blog. I’d like to keep it simple in my expalining. Basically the history of the holidays are my problem with them. I’ll get to that later. =}

        Reply
        1. Gracie (Post author)

          Cool, I read your blog, but I’m curious about your specific reasons behind not celebrating/celebrating certain things. If it’s too much for you to write much on then no big deal. I’m really curious because we’re thinking more and more about how to handle certain aspects of holidays and it’s harder than I thought it would be to get my thoughts straight on this one.

          Reply
  8. aamour

    i love sidetrack! it’s a great place πŸ™‚

    also, your soup looks so so good (sans the meatballs! ha!)!

    i also love how in the black and white picture of you – you can see ‘peace’ through the window.

    oh grace, let’s get together for coffee when i get home.. would that be ok?

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      That would be more than ok! I’d love to see you again… it’s been years. Plus I can’t wait to hear about Africa!

      Reply
  9. stupidfool

    i’d never thought about dried apples before–those actually look like they’d be really good! and i’m not a big fan of soup in general, but i saw that picture and i really wanted to try that meatball soup, too… maybe i’m just hungry… πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Even if you are just hungry, you’re bound to be hungry again, so you might as well go with those instincts. πŸ™‚

      Dried apples are awesome and I’m afraid they won’t last us because Vera is a huge fan and that batch is just about half gone already… You should definitely do it. If you don’t have a dehydrator you could do it on a really low setting in your oven too.

      Reply
  10. unicorntapestry

    I love Depot Town. The vines kind of look like a reindeer launching from a rooftop; it’s like it’s heralding Christmas!
    Also, you’re awesome and I love you and I wish Michigan were closer. I think I’ll make some lemonade.

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Make that lemonade!!!

      Reply
  11. robinbronwen

    Wait…is Doug the friend that was temporarily living with you or was someone else living with you until Doug moves in? I’m confused! I don’t know what’s going on. Anyhow, I miss all of you here on the west side of the state! I am extremely interested in your upcoming post about food!! You really got me thinking about food a lot since I’ve been reading yours posts. I’m always looking for ways to improve the way I eat now…even though it does not show yet πŸ™‚ I learn a lot from you!

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      No, Doug has been living downstairs in his own apartment since September. We love him! It was another friend of ours that went through a break up and asked to stay with us for a few weeks… it turned out to be four months in the end!

      Thanks for your encouragement! I’m hoping to get some time today to start writing it. I like your new icon!

      Reply

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