Saturday, November 2, 2013

November
















November is golden. The glow of last month continues, though there will be much more darkness after this weekend when the clocks change. Gold and blue, those are the colors of daytime during this month, as the trees are at their peak of color right now where I live. The tallest ones across the arroyo are bright yellow and if I lean over the garden wall and look east, I can see orange and red ones along the walking path. Soon we'll be in desert winter, which is brown and dry. We'll have sunny days but they will seem colorless except for the blue, blue sky. Or it will be cloudy and the mountain will be obscured by clouds, or hung with trails of grayish mist. Just this week, the highest peaks received their first dusting of snow. Soon, this will be a common sight. I'm savoring these dwindling weeks of gold.

November happens to be the month of my birth, which adds to the anticipatory feeling I always have in this month: Thanksgiving is my favorite of the big holidays and that period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is easily my favorite time of year. I love being at home during the day when the Christmas tree is up. We put ours up during the Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving is a relatively simple affair for our family, especially since it's usually just the four of us at home. But I adore the whole process of the holiday: planning my menu, shopping, starting to cook a few days in advance. I have been looking through recipes, trying to decide what to make. The only side dishes I'm absolutely certain we'll have are homemade cranberry sauce (so easy and so much better than the canned type) and roasted Brussels sprouts (we've been eating them this fall and they're so good!). The turkey will be the same as previous years: the Bear will cut it into parts, giving me the breast to roast in the oven. The rest will be brined, then smoked in the backyard. We don't have a huge turkey - maybe a 15-pounder. We usually have four or five side dishes. We always make our favorite bread recipe and a pumpkin pie for dessert. We're creatures of holiday habit.

What will November be like for you? We're busy with school and work and household life, of course. We'll be having progress conferences with both small Bears' teachers; they're doing fine and I enjoy chatting with their teachers. The Bear and I are both working on their Christmas gifts. It's getting cold here now. We may use the fireplace by the end of the month. We've had outdoor fires on weekend afternoons. I'll need to take my birdbath into the garage soon; I don't want it to freeze. We may even have snow before the month is over. We're wearing afghans whenever we're lounging at home, glad to be in the cozy time of year. November is a month of gratitude and remembrance, a good time to stop and think - to be thankful for warmth, home, each other.

43 comments:

  1. I hope that you have a great November Jennifer. xx

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  2. November is a busy time in the Abbott household.We are doing a bonfire for bomfire night next week.We are getting preprared for christmas buying cute things for little Abbott and family. lastly we are all indoors wrapped in jumpers how cozy.Enjoy November Jen x

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  3. I think your November sounds nicer than mine. I often find myself panicking and stressed in the run up to Christmas. How and earth will I fit everything? I always get there in the end, and usually enjoy the December part, but am aware that the anxious feeling is starting to well up.

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  4. Sounds like your November is going to be a good one. It's my birth month also and ours is similar to yours.

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  5. Yum homemade cranberry sauce.
    Love having outdoor fire this time of year.
    Glad your little bears are so well rounded in their learning with music included :)

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  6. Roasted Brussel sprouts - what a good idea! My Mum always boiled them (disgusting) and my sister has stir fried them with bacon (fiddly). I'd like to give the roasting method a go....! Jx

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  8. What a wonderful gentle picture you paint of the way your month will go, enjoy it. I'm loving those golden pictures!

    My November will hopefully be cozy, as i type it's pouring with rain outside and i can't imagine it getting any better, but i'm tucked in my blanket with a cup of tea and looking forward to staying in with some baking and making to brighten my month.

    Cate, x

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  9. Jennifer, I like this month too. My birthday is also in November. There is so much to look forward to this month. We dont of course celebrate Thanksgiving (although we have visited the US lots of times and love it so much I feel we should !!) but I love how most American families decorate their tree for Thanksgiving and leave it up until after Christmas.

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  10. Wishing you and yours a lovely November beautiful photos. Love sprouts roasting them is a great idea x

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  11. I'm with ya - my birthday is 1 December, and life here is basically one big party from Halloween til New Year's! I do Thanksgiving here in the UK (did I ever mention that I'm American?), and a 15-pounder is considered a Monster Bird over here! Tee hee! I'd love to see pics of your smoked bird...enjoy the party and feast plans, I'm enjoying your photos very much! Chrissie x

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  12. Great photos, I love that blue sky with the golden leaves! Wishing you a great November, sounds like it will be wonderful month! xx

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  13. Hi Jennifer, Beautiful post as usual. I love your comforting holiday traditions. It's definitely the busiest time of year for our family but the kids love it so it makes the crazy all worth it. I'd really like to try the roasted brussel sprouts - I've never had it and it would be fun to bring something new to the family gathering. Enjoy your special month.

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  14. Such a gorgeous post today my friend. November is a time of gratitude, I love as the days get shorter and the sun is slightly less intense. I usually get pretty tense in November, preparing for Christmas, I am always running behind.
    hugs to you,
    Meredith

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  15. I love all the little details here. Wow, you put your tree up early! Here, trees usually go up one or two weeks before Christmas. I really like the way you said November is a month of gratitude. Here, November is often a long, grey, wet month when autumn is no longer pretty but real winter has yet to set in. Apart from bonfire night it's a dull month. Yours sounds better! x

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  16. A special month for you, indeed Jennifer! November looks mighty fine there in your neck of the woods! Love all the family activities you've pictured here today; the house must be a fine mesh of lovely sounds and smells; so cozy and comforting, especially when it's cold outside, home is warmth and togetherness.

    Happy weekend!

    Poppy

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  17. *H*A*P*P*Y* * *B*I*R*T*H*D*A*Y*!*!*!* -- I enjoyed seeing the distance over your garden wall. We'll have 10 of us around the Thanksgiving table.. our two boys and their four boys and the two DILs. I can't wait to set the table with my new turkey dishes and silver. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  18. Jennifer, I just read your Halloween post and the November post. Your photos are as always, wonderful. I love seeing what you and your family are doing, and I smile to see the kids, and dad doing the pumpkin, etc. families are so special, and anyone can see that you believe so, too! For Thanksgiving, we will have eight or nine at the table. I usually make Thanksgiving, as it is also my favorite holiday, so I am planning my menu, too. I go a little overboard usually, and am exhausted, but very content when it's done! Enjoy your weekend, and your Fall. xxoo. JO

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  19. What lovely photos, a real variety and a beautiful snapshot of life in the high desert of New Mexico. It fascinates me to see the countryside and garden where you are, it is so different from here. You do make November sound wonderful. I like it as well. The coldness and the dark are new again, and the cosy feeling of being at home in the warm is new too. Hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend Mrs Bear.

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  20. Happy,happy family days. The best days whatever time of year it is. I love the picture with you husband and son. Memories that will last forever.
    Thank you for all your supportive comments over at Chalky's

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  21. Hi Jennifer, what a lovely seasonal post! I love your photos from your part of the world, so completely different to here where it is always raining!
    I hope you have lovely plans for your birthday,
    best wishes
    BH x

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  22. It looks and sounds like November is a wonderful month for you and yours Jennifer - thank you for sharing your plans with us - and your beautiful pics give such a lovely insight into what is happening presently. Warm hugs, Joy xo

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  23. Lovely post, as usual. My November at the minute it's all about looking and travelling around, so...we'll see what happen.

    Have a lovely November darling!!

    Lluisa x

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  24. Are you a Scorpio???
    My boyfriend is a Scorpio...
    I get my tree on December 1st...that way I can enjoy it for a whole month...
    I have already set up 2 dinner parties for the coming weeks...and that makes me very happy♥
    November is like a transition month....moving into Christmas...darker dinner hours...cozy fires...
    Love your blog........

    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  25. Perfect post full of family fun and love. Happy Thanksgiving preparation it sounds so homely. Jo x

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  26. This is one of my most favorite of your posts, Jennifer. Beautiful photos and moving narrative :) November is the month of celebration for family birthdays and anniversaries as well as Thanksgiving for me. We usually put our Christmas tree up on Thanksgiving weekend, too. The beginning of cozy times... Happy Birthday month to you!
    Gracie xx

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  27. You nailed it! A time to be thankful and to remember what matters. So much color and beauty in your photos!! I like the shot of your husband and son playing the guitar together too...so awesome! A very happy November to you in these treasured family days of warmth! Your menu for Thanksgiving is my kind of meal!

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  28. Happy Birthday! What a beautiful description of your nesting! I do love the gathering in and sheltering that signifies this time of year. Sure, it means that winter's right ahead, but somehow I don't dwell on that as long as I'm enjoying the warm colors and everything else you mentioned!

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  29. Lovely photos! I hope you enjoy this lovely month. =) I always enjoy visiting your blog.

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  30. Gorgeous photos, I would love that view of the mountains. We have Guy Fawkes night here in November and it is my son's 18th birthday this month, so quite a busy time. I envy you Thanksgiving... such a nice thing, to be thankful and spend time with family. Julie x

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  31. I fully enjoyed your photos and words as well.It seems that november is so important and rich of activites and emotions for you. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving day here but of course this month introduces us in Christmas time and winter and I love this athosphere and its warmth. I'm sending you my best wishes for your birthday and all celebrations in advance.
    Hugs from me!
    Olympia

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  32. Lovely photos, sounds like November is a great month for you all.

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  33. Beautiful photos Jennifer and I love the sound of your November. This is a time where we all start to get a good mixture of butterflies swirling in our bellies and longer lists trying to ensure that everything is planned and ready. Last night was the second time our fire was lit and it is so lovely and cosy. This year however I fear that I will be a little ill prepared as I have my stall at the end of the month, so its making and sewing that will be dominating November for me, but it is all good and I love it. You do need to share the roasted Brussels with us, as I have never ate it like that, and as I am not a fan, maybe I would prefer it this way. xoxo

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  34. Wishing you a wonderful November, great pics as always, keep warm.
    Clare.xx

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  35. I loved this post, Jennifer. It made me wish I was celebrating American Thanksgiving this year. Happy Birthday month to you!

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  36. What a beautiful post, Jennifer. I love November too, and like you we are also "creatures of holiday habit", but I think that makes it all the more special. We all like our little celebrations so much, we want them to be similar each year. I've never made homemade cranberry sauce. Yummy! I loved all your pretty photos, and Happy Birthday month to you! xoxo :)

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  37. Jennifer, I adore this post! November is a time to reflect and be thankful for all that we have. Thanksgiving is also my very favorite holiday. It's always low-key, filled with family, and lots of wonderful food. It's a very cozy and relaxed holiday! We always have lunch at my mom's house with my grandparents and my brother and sister-in-law. After a long lunch we all head into the family room for dessert and coffee, and finish the evening off with a nice glass of wine. I'll be making the dessert this year - harvest chocolate chip cake. My husband also has a November birthday, it's the 14th, so we will be celebrating next week. And your photos are lovely today, as always. The mountains against the blue sky is simply breathtaking.

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  38. Jennifer a lovely post to celebrate November. The blue and gold in your pictures really stood out to me before I read about them. Wishing you a happy month.
    Sarah x

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  39. The last couple sentences of this post really warmed my heart. You're a beautiful person inside and out. :)

    ps -- I've nominated you for an award. If you'd like, you have the choice of answering fun questions which are on my blog along with the rules under "Sunshine award". It's my first time participating, and thought it would be fun to tag you as well. :)

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  40. Beautiful November photos!
    Have a nice day, RW & SK

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  41. Hello dear Jennifer! So beautiful photos! Wishing you a lovely November ♥ xxx Riitta

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  42. As ever stunning photographs ,yummy pumpkin pie sounds delicious

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  43. I always boil brussels sprouts, I love them, but I'm going to have a go at roasting them, I've never cooked them that way before. We had our first frost last night, winter is on the way.

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