Thursday, November 17, 2011

Understanding Autumn

Autumn means waking up when it's darker, and never missing a firey sunrise that completely glistens over the frosty ground.

It means soaking up those few sunny days outside (and maybe saving school lessons for later in the day when the temperature starts to drop again).

Autumn means roasting lots of root veggies and winter squashes (and scrambling for as many different recipes one can put persimmons in).

It's a time to collect raspberry leaves to dry them for a lovely labor-prep tea down the not-so-distant road.

Autumn means walnuts!  And realizing gathering them is most of the fun and a fraction of the work to prepare them.

We quickly run back outside as we notice the day is fading sooner than we're used to and we do the last of the outdoor sqramblings. We soak in the glorious colors and outrageous sunsets as we gather the night's firewood for the stove and we shell as many walnuts as we can until it's too dark to see.  It's time to make dinner, anyway...

Autumn means tucking ourselves in bed earlier, thinking about the rapidly approaching holidays to come, and calling to mind with affection the loved ones we create little treasures for.

As I learn to dance with autumn, I love all it brings more and more and realize how very fleeting it seems to be.  If only the trees could hold their brilliant leaves a little longer.  If I could just get one more pumpkin in the oven before dinner.  And I could never make too many apple, pumpkin, and pecan pies before the joy of them wears off.  It might be a short season, but I drink in every last ounce I can with each changing, colorful, cozy day.

I'm sharing this at Gratituesday, Farm Girl Friday.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Last weekend, we visited Oregon.  It was cold enough to snow, but there was none.  
And then, there was.
And the children rejoiced.

And the parents tried to stay warm long enough to let the kids have their fun in the snow.

And they did.
Everyone was thankful for the memories made.
Even though it was quite cold and we weren't completely dressed for it (no gloves or mittens.  Or snow boots, for some).
A new season is here, and boy am I glad of it.
New routines, new pastimes, new menus.
I love it all.

I'm sharing this at Gratituesday.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Fifth Baby

This little person is constantly squirming around in my womb.
I can't complain, I really can't.  It's the feeling of life.
This person, by all accounts of the ultrasound, is right on track and wonderfully healthy, according to the measurements and activity.

This little one is currently breached, but I'm trying to not let that get to me.  They change positions all the time and our last baby wasn't head-down until 38 weeks.  Oh but baby, you will move into position when the time comes, won't you?

This child is a miracle.
Every one is.
Each movement is cherished, even if it makes me gasp every now and then.
Through the hormone changes and weight-gain, the many midnight bathroom trips and achy adjustments this body goes through; I remain in awe of the Creator and the life He breathes into being.

The bigger the blessing, the larger the sacrifice.
I'll give up my coffee, my waistline, my energy levels, and even my sleep-filled nights to partner with Him who knits in my womb, bringing to this earth a miracle that will change the world, even at birth.

It just doesn't get old or less miraculous, even with the fifth baby.

I'm sharing this at Gratituesday.

Friday, November 4, 2011

White Chocolate Macadamia Lara(ish) Bar ~ A Recipe for Travel

We're a' hittin' the road and we need us some vittles.  Lara Bars are a favorite, but the nuts aren't soaked and they cost an arm and a leg.  Also, I wanted a new flavor.  Enter the White Chocolate Macadamia Cookie Dough Bar.  We crispify the nuts by soakin' 'em in water for several hours, then in to the dehydrator they go until they're, well, crispy.  The soaking process neutralizes the phytic acid, making it more digestable.  Don't have white chocolate or macadamias on hand?  Throw in some raisins, dried cherries or cranberries, or whatever happens to tickle yer fancy instead.  Normally, homemade Lara Bar recipes will tell you to encase them in plastic wrap, which is something I avoid because of it's many toxins and hormone disruptors.  Instead, mine were wrapped in unbleached parchment paper, tied up in cute little bows made of baking twine, and placed in a glass container with a lid.  Will I always present them in such a cute manner?  Probably not. But they were being introduced to the family for the first time and for the kids (just like their mother), cute packaging makes them giddy, so this helped them go over much smoother.  As far as the taste goes... everyone gobbled them right up!  Yee-haw!  I'm going to take the cowboy boots off now.  They're having an effect on my writing.

Raw White Chocolate Macadamia Cookie Dough Bars
Makes 10-12 bars
  • 1 1/2 cups cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or if you make your own and happen to run out but still have those beans in the jar like I did, go ahead and stick a whole vanilla bean in there.)
  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • 1/3 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  1. Put cashews, cinnamon, and vanilla in food processor.  Turn it on and add 1 date at a time until they're all blended.  Add the macadamias and chocolate chips and pulse just to chop them a little bit.
  2. Form dough into bars, balls, or squish them into a pan to cut bars out of them.  Chill or freeze.  Take them out when you're ready to stuff them into lunch boxes, an ice chest, or just to throw one down the hatch right away.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Garlic in the Ground

It felt amazing to have the energy (and the stomach) to get my hands in the ground again.  The sun was bright, the air was crisp, and oak leaves crunched under our feet.  We absorbed the season with great delight.

We might not have a massive fall crop underway (this year), but now we have two beds of garlic.
What a wonder that when we unearth the many bulbs in the summer, I'll have a little babe strapped to me.  That makes my heart skip a beat.

This morning wasn't just about planting garlic.  Questions and conversations sprouted as we quietly dug, seeded, and covered.  Ponderings of little people had space to be voiced and talked about.  Small hands touched the seeds that will produce, in time, bulbs that will be pulled up and used to nourish growing bodies.  Those hands will practice braiding as we prepare the garlic to dry.  Fine motor skills will be honed, and I look forward to what will be talked about as we braid those garlic heads in the summer.  

Dear God, thank you for garlic.

I'm sharing this at Simple Lives ThursdayFarm Girl Friday, Gratituesday.


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