Friday, October 31, 2014
This day of cold blustery winds will be stripping the trees bare of their remaining foliage. The origins of our current day all hallows eve are deeply rooted in Celtic belief. Today, as we light candles in windows and in jack-o-lanterns, we mark the end of our harvest and beginning of the darker months. The sounds of laughter and running shuffles through leaves will fill the air as children of all ages run from home to home performing in their costumes for a treat. When we return we will warm ourselves with a shared meal, hot apple cider, spiced wine and apple cake. As the kids settle in to count their cache, the adults will be thankful for glowing warmth in the darkness a bountiful harvest and remembering those who came before.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
circa 1995, halloween right after we bought our first house in Las Vegas. Carrying on my families tradition of carving the giant pumpkin, this beauty drove back from CA with us in the back seat of our car.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
What a difference a few days makes! We had a beautiful weekend, temperatures reaching 70 made it perfect for being outside and working diligently on the fall cleanup. It was a weekend of:
and pudgy pie making
Thankfully we got a big chunk of the work done last weekend, as this weekends highs are predicted to be in the low 40's, and windy with the possibility of a few wet snow showers! Gotta love these late fall weekends!
Monday, October 27, 2014
Last week I was tagged in a black and white photography challenge on facebook. For five days I posted a black and white photo and tagged another photography friend to do the same each day. I really enjoyed the exercise and how my wall filled with amazing photos taken by friends. I have always enjoyed black and white photography, but amid trying to capture all of the brilliant fall colors, I had not thought about it recently. As I have spent the last several days eyeing the world around me through a black and white lens, I was reminded of how striking the light and depth of field are in b & w. I realized that I need a challenge once in a while, a tangible reason to get out of the daily routine and re-invigorate my eye, such fun!
Friday, October 24, 2014
With slightly warmer temps and no rain in the forecast, our weekend is looking to be bathed in golden autumn sun. After a hectic, unexpected, exhausting week, this weekend is welcomed with open arms. I am hoping for a mixture of work and relaxation as we put the outdoors of the farm to bed.
We cleared the front porch this afternoon, vacuumed the runners and nestled them into the attic until next year. It looks so bare and unexpectedly spacious, yet rather inviting in this beautiful soft light, a perfect spot to sit and read for a while. See? Work an relaxation.
What are your weekend plans? Whatever they are, be sure you get out and enjoy the weather. My mantra with the kids has been, get out there and enjoy it, there are not many more days like this left!
::check out julie's post on architecture, great minds think alike, and were obviously awed by the cityscape of our times in New York!
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Saturday, October 18, 2014
A windy rainy week will be capped off tonight with a frost advisory. It is beginning to look a lot like fall around here. Crisp temperatures make grabbing a sweater the norm, walking across the yard is a shuffle amongst the fallen leaves and the Halloween decor made its appearance this week. Sadly, the beautiful gourd display that I normally decorate the porch with will remain hidden this year. I suspect a mischievous puppy and a basket full of gourds would not be a good mix!
The cool weather crops are enjoying the temperatures. We are still pulling leaks, peppers, kale, flower sprouts and onions from the garden. As you can see the one light frost that we had last weekend finished the winter squash plants and this weekend will see them harvested and nestled into their new root cellar home.
It looks like after this weekend we will see a string of dry days together. With more than half of the garden beds closed down, and frost in the forecast, I suspect that the next couple of weekends will be comprised of finishing the remaining beds, topping the asparagus, pruning berry canes, planting garlic, and beginning the task of next seasons compost by way of a mass mowing and the beginning of leaf pick-up. Just a few little tasks, mid to late fall on the farm is the last big push towards putting everything to bed before the darker and much colder months ahead.
Friday, October 17, 2014
I am bundled in a sweater this afternoon looking out onto an incredibly grey and blustery day. Life has presented me with many opportunities and seen to it that I have lived a number of very different places. I grew up in Long Beach, a suburb of Los Angeles, and had a wonderful neighborhood upbringing with friends walking to each others homes in a close knit, albeit large community.
I enjoyed big city living as a college student in London, a city that has my heart and if ever I were to live in a big city, that one would be it. From there I got my first taste of the country living in a Midwestern college town called Manhattan, Kansas 'the little apple'. This is where I met B and began to fantasize about that 'little house' life I had romanticized as a child.
As college ended a young couple looking for work and adventure ended up where else? Las Vegas. Here, I learned to love the outdoors in a way that I had not before. There is something magical about sitting on your porch at midnight when it is still 100+ degrees and it feels great...remember it is a dry heat! We had our first real garden where we learned the merits of xeroscape. This wild west town was on the cusp of major growth and we grew with it.
Eight years later, once we were firmly ensconced in adult life, and my stomach swelled with the beginnings of a new adventure, we moved onto opportunities in the upper midwest. Here our little abode has encompassed the best of all worlds; the rural lifestyle that we both had craved yet close to several larger cities.
Last weekend while visiting 'the big apple' I somewhat expected to have the feeling that I had living in London. Though both large bustling cities, they felt vastly different. I saw first hand a population density that created its own vertical architecture. I gazed into buildings on top of buildings for miles at a time and saw floors upon floors of small homes full of vitality. A vastly different life from the one that I know, or have experienced. As I walked the streets I could imagine the early days of the city, almost hearing echoes of those generations past. A very cool, yet surreal experience for this now smallish town girl.
It lead me to think about where we have come from and where we are going. We begin as a clean slate, a foundation and our experiences create our own unique architectures. We build on our experiences to become fully constructed. If we are lucky, we enjoy the ride, and continue to grow and maybe do a little remodeling as we go. As I write this I think of Sid, off on her own first real travel experience alone, a school trip to DC. I wonder what little bricks will be put into place in her foundation this week? At least the boy is contented building his foundation out of Lego's....for the time being. :)
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Life is a whirlwind, but never more-so than when an intimate group of friends get together. Especially friends who have never technically met and do so in amazing and invigorating backdrops.
Experiencing the city in this context allowed us to roam from place to place in awe, yet as would be typical of me, our meals comprised some of my favorite moments. Whether it was dining in a community that was making the most concerted effort towards locally supplied food that I have ever seen or a dessert composed of a mind-blowing cheese platter or paper thin carpaccio or skewers of beef on the street at 3 am, the company and conversation arising from such meals are what makes memories.
It is also funny to me that as people ask me to recount the experience, I cannot seem to do so entirely. I float from scene to scene, and then after the conversation I recall precious little tidbits that are probably the most interesting, but I guess they are mine to savor, and maybe share here as time goes on.
As I continue to digest my trip, get back into the swing of things and catch up on sleep, here are a few tidbits:
:: Wow, I can make it to after 2 am two days in a row!
:: Though our little town is know widely for its 'Danish' Kringle.... I found out that it is not so much something actually found in Denmark!
:: People watching in NYC is fun, but even more so when Comic Con is in town.
:: There is something spectacular about giant laundry lines stretched across the countryside in Amish Country.
:: Grand Central Station has the best and most expansive apple store. #eyecandy
:: You are never too old to have your caricature drawn.
Sunday, October 5, 2014
I have decided that slowing down is just a figure of speech. I have always envisioned that slowing down means reducing the calendar commitments for more idle time, but really it is more about how you view the calendar and use the time in between. So many times the calendar can be seen as something overwhelming, the days looking so full there is little time for breath. But really thinking about it, even if there are multiple commitments, the trick is not letting the prospect of what is next up take your breath away. It is more about how your utilize those spare moments in between. As I went home the other day, a route that I drive multiple times daily, I passed this tree. I thought, oh I should take a picture of it before the leaves all drop. Yesterday, I stopped and I did. Slowing down is more about stolen moments consciously taken to do something that would otherwise just be a fleeting thought.
Speaking of stolen moments, they can also be the conscious effort to do something. I am so excited to meet a couple of blogging friends this week! I am sneaking out of town to spend 48 hours in Pennsylvania and another 36 hours in New York, the ultimate girls weekend with a couple of girls that I have 'virtually' known for many years. I am so thankful that B will be taking over the kiddos commitments so that I can make this trip!
Happy Sunday, spend some stolen moments enjoying the fall colors that are appearing brilliantly around us!