Saturday, November 19, 2016

Feeling fall












This week, I focused on calm, quiet things - home things and family things; small, intentional things. I spent most of my mornings at home, while the small Bears were at school, aside from one morning of errands, which included dropping off my finished cross-stitch sampler at the framing shop. I really enjoyed working with the framer to decide what to do with it. I debated making it girly, as well as giving it a little glitz like I've done with my dark-background stitched pieces lately. In the end, I went with something very simple and classic - natural wood and clean lines. It should be ready before Thanksgiving, and then I'll have to find a good hiding spot. I can't wait to share it here.

I crocheted for the first time since September. I started making a pile of butterflies using cotton yarn. This is such a simple little pattern and I think they're coming out really cute. I'll tell you more about my project soon; it's another Christmas gift for my gal.

Autumn has finally arrived in my neck of the woods and it's wonderful. We're having truly cold nights now - our first hard freeze was Thursday night - and I'm enjoying the crisp, sunny days very much. I enjoy my monsoon season and my tender early-spring evenings, but I love this kind of weather best of all. Yesterday, I sat in the park with some friends, watching our kids on the playground. I wore a sweater but was still just the tiniest bit cold when the breeze picked up. I wrapped my sweater around me a bit tighter and felt a little thrill.

Reading-wise, I've been sticking with cooking and crime, I guess you could say. I've just finished Tana French's new novel, The Trespasser. It was okay, but I didn't like it nearly as much as I've enjoyed most of her other books. I saw the mystery ending at least a hundred pages early. I didn't like the characters at all. I miss Cassie. I got annoyed with the banter. I'm still glad I put myself on the library holds list for it lo these many months ago; it kept me reading in the in-between times, the waiting time, and at bedtime all week. I've just started reading The French Chef in America by Alex Prud'Homme, about Julia Child's career after she left France. It's sort of like a sequel to her own memoir, My Life in France. I really like it so far. I find her so interesting. I've also been flipping through Anthony Bourdain's new book, Appetites, which has been entertaining. It's sort of a compendium of essential recipes to pass along to his young daughter - a family cookbook, if you will. As is to be expected from Bourdain, this book is packed full of potentially unpopular opinions, culinary irreverence and cursing. He's not everyone's cup of tea, but I like him.

I haven't been cooking anything all that interesting myself lately, but there is that big turkey-related holiday coming next week. My menu is planned and I will be shopping tomorrow. I'm kind of dreading the leftovers so I'm going a little bit spare. I'm going to make a pecan pie this year, which has been hit-or-miss for me in the past, but I'm willing to try again. I've already decided to serve asparagus, since I can't get enough of it these past few months. Otherwise, a smallish turkey and a reasonable number of side dishes and life is good.

Last year's amaryllis may actually be coming back, to my sheer amazement. I followed instructions I read in a gardening book from the library (wish I could remember what it was...) for making an amaryllis bulb go dormant for the summer months and come back in the fall. I left the bulb on the buffet in my dining room until early August, then I bundled it into a bag and stashed it under the kitchen sink until last week, when I removed it to find that it was sending up a shoot! There's a lot of green on the bulb too. I've got it in a sunny window now, hoping hard that it will keep growing and give me another beautiful red-and-white bloom at Christmastime.

I'm at two weeks of daily hand- and face-moisturizing. Way to go, me. I can see and feel differences already, even in my old, weather-beaten face, which I was beginning to think might be a lost cause. Because I love to get ahead of myself, I also started taking a multivitamin with added calcium, in light of my family history of osteoporosis. Look out, world - she's maintaining her skin AND her bones!

This weekend finds us mostly at home. The Bear is having a problem with his smoker, which he needs to get figured out before the holiday so he can smoke his half of the turkey (every year, he gives me the breast for oven-roasting and he takes the rest for the smoker). I'm going to work some more on my butterflies while has the GB at her guitar lesson. Mr. LB is with me, doing homework. Tomorrow, after my shopping and laundry are finished, we will have dinner out to celebrate my birthday, which comes mid-week and is the last in this household's birthday season: August-September-September-November, and then comes the holiday season, not to mention the academic milestones, the work victories, the successful medical tests. Celebrate everything; celebrate with all your might.

21 comments:

  1. love reading about the things that give you peace; that's so very nice!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Happy birthday. I feel the same way about Tana French's latest book, definitely a bit of a let down.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Happy birthday. I feel the same way about Tana French's latest book, definitely a bit of a let down.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The chilly afternoons are lovely aren't they. I have a Tana French book on my pile, "The Secret Place", not sure whether to try it or not. I hope you have a good week and a very lovely birthday. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lovely photos!

    Cooking and crime? Haha...that made me laugh!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Happy Birthday this week, Jennifer! Our little Sarah will be one this week so you have a birthday buddy :) The steady rhythm of family celebrations and community holidays and regional seasons is a calming joy. Over five days I drove 28 hours + to celebrate my oldest sister's 75th birthday on November 2nd with her. Home again we celebrated Hayley's 9th birthday, Nov. 8th. Then on November 9th we celebrated my youngest daughter's 33rd birthday. November 10th my youngest daughter and her husband celebrated their 3rd wedding anniversary and this coming week we will celebrate Sarah's first birthday, and the next day is Thanksgiving! Cheers for your progress on GB's gifts...you have me curious. We are finally enjoying some crisper days, too. I'm glad you are enjoying some interesting reading and are caring for your skin and bones as you are feeling your beautiful Fall xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. Birthday wishes are sent for you this week Jennifer, hope you have a wonderful day. We too woke to a hard frost yesterday morning, I wore a coat for the first time this season but no accessories yet hat/scarf/gloves. Looking forward to seeing the framed cross stitch and indeed what the butterflies will become.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Cooking and crime seems like an ideal reading combination. I believe the characters in the new Tana French are two detectives from her last one? I couldn't stand them but I think I'll read the book anyway. I liked Cassie. Your gentle rhythm of life sounds so lovely. I could do with a bit of this, too. Wishing you a Happy Birthday Jennifer. Looking forward to coming back here and see more of your butterfly project. xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lovely photos and a lovely post, Jennifer. Have a wonderful birthday - and, yes, celebrate everything with all your might! :o)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Excellent advice Jennifer: Celebrate everything! Happy Birthday to you, and have a lovely day. (My turn next week). Your butterflies are so pretty, and girly too, and I am trying to guess what you will do with them. Those golden leaves and your mountain bathed in golden light are just the epitome of Autumn - my absolute favourite time of year.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm really looking forward to seeing your framed cross stitch, it's such a lovely design and I'm sure you've stitched it up beautifully. The weather's turned much colder here too, we've had snow already and lots of rain over the last few days, winter's definitely on the way. Happy birthday, I hope you have a wonderful day.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm so happy for you that fall has finally arrived in more than just name. Although we live far apart it's funny how often our weather parallels yours. It has just this past week gotten chilly here too. Have a great Thanksgiving with your family, Jennifer!

    ReplyDelete
  13. It sounds like the break you took from the internet and focusing and home life did you the world of good. You seem energised and positive, and like you're really enjoying autumn and the build up to Thanksgiving and Christmas. xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. You are certainly giving off an air of calm, well done for knowing when to focus on home - it is an important skill. have a good week and Happy Birthday sweet friend. Jo x

    ReplyDelete
  15. The happiest of birthdays to you, apart from my eldest son who's birthday is in June mine, the youngest child and Mikes run in a three month block. I hope the gentleness in your life continues x

    ReplyDelete
  16. those butterflies are so pretty
    your daughter is so lucky to have a mother who spend so much time making such thoughtful things for her. She is going to love them!
    We are keeping Thanksgiving very low key.. not even making a a whole turkey.
    I used to make a chocolate pecan pie before D developed an allergy to nuts.. it was one of our favorite pies!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Happy birthday, Jennifer! I hope you have the loveliest time celebrating with your family. My skin doesn't like the cold so I have to be extra dedicated with moisturising too especially at this time of year. I've been prescribed Aveeno and it's the best one so far. Hoping to see more of the crocheted butterflies soon. Enjoy your birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Happy Birthday Jennifer, I hope that you enjoy your celebrations, I'm looking forward to seeing your crossstitch. :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  19. You have such a rhythmic, balanced life Jennifer which is so soothing to read about. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished Sweetie Pie sampler. A simple wooden frame sounds perfect for a little girl's bedroom. Wishing you a very happy birthday.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Glad you are getting a little taste of fall weather. It makes it feel more like Thanksgiving to have cooler weather. I've admired your cross stitch and have been contemplating trying it. That's one thing I love about reading blogs. I get inspired!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment. It's so good to hear from you! I don't always have time to reply but I try to answer questions when I can.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...