Autumn crispness

I can't get enough of the fall colors and beautiful weather. This morning at 9 we were outside cutting down the yellowed peony and asiatic lily stems. We were the only ones out (you see, for us, 9am is three solid hours into our day around here) and the wind was blowing pleasantly. With the leaves rustling and the cool air tussling our hair, it was magical.

Look at the color of the Japanese maple.

And Ollie is big into learning the leaves around here.  His favorite, the oak tree because "it's points are rounded."  It must be noted that this piece of paper is truly loved. He slept with it by his bedside last night.

Ansel likes the leaves too.  That is, he likes eating them. 



Some days, you feel like a machine.  These are days when you get 25 things done, and 10 of them were all done simultaneously.  You are a mega-multitasker and there is no denying it.  In fact, you are kind of surprised by yourself.  Then you realize that you can only pull this kind of performance off for one day and that's about it.  You need a rest.  Oh, but wait, the laundry is not yet folded.  I don't think I will ever get that done even if I really were a machine.


Doesn't Autumn speak soup?

I don't know what it is, but when the leaves begin to fall and the air crisps, I think soup.  I found a wonderful soup recipe and adapted it to my liking.  It uses apples.  There's something about an apple in a savory dish that gets me every time.


On hosting

I've recently met some individuals who have hosted their fair share of parties, get-togethers, and book clubs.  I can tell in the way they throw a gathering.  The decorations are abundant, the place settings and tables placed perfectly, the serving dishes are always complimentary for the accompanying food, and the food.  Oh the food!  It is always well thought out with always more than one dish or side or treat that compliments the meal, the activity, even the season.  And how in the world do they calculate how much to make?  I don't know, but they are right on the money most times with some extra left over. Which I have learned (the hard way) is better than having too little.

When I go to meetings to plan some of these activities, I sit back and rarely talk.  Which, if you know me, is rare.  I'll pipe up when volunteering to make caramel popcorn, for instance, but its all I can do from feeling somewhat bad for hardly adding anything to the mix.  But I consider these meetings gems. I am learning what people like and what key things are needed to make a party successful.

I am hardly the perfect host, but I must say that learning from these ladies is helping me feel more secure about the possibility of hosting.  And that's a step in the right direction.

And as a side note, one of these ladies has a husband who is currently climbing Mount Everest.  Sometimes I feel like I am living in the Twilight Zone.  I told the lady, jokingly, that I had never heard of Mount Everest, I was so taken aback when I heard what she said.  She looked at me like I was in the Twilight Zone.  Note to self: don't use sarcasm when somebody hardly knows you.  Or don't use sarcasm at all.  Maybe I need social conversation tips as well as hosting tips.


I pegged my pants in elementary school

Yesterday at church, I spotted a hip youth wearing pegged pants.  I think pegged is on it's way back. 

I kind of didn't like going through all the pain of pegging my pants when I was young and I don't see myself doing it again anytime soon, but I guess I should never say never.



This kid is moving all over the place and discovering everything in his path.  He's about as fast as a speeding bullet.  He is now officially crawling (no more caterpillar), has three teeth (with a fourth on its way), and can pick up Cheerios like a champ (or maybe a semi-champ).  He's so smiley, it's easy to capture a happy photo at anytime.  Check it out.
Here he pulled himself to standing, nice going!


Making sense of it all

It's neat to see the mind of a four year old making sense of the world. Below are a couple of fun examples:

- One morning, Jess was saying a silent prayer over his breakfast.  Oliver asked Jess what he was doing.  "I'm saying a prayer quietly in my mind," Jess responded.  To which Oliver replied, "I say prayers in my mouth."

- Oliver's friend from across the street was explaining to him one afternoon that her bedroom is painted hot pink.  The next day, Oliver held out a pink marker and asked, "Is this marker hot pink or cold pink?"

- With these beautiful skies, I often tell Oliver to look up at the clouds.  One afternoon he looked up and said, "They are gi-mantic!"

- One afternoon we were having a picnic with Oliver's two-year-old cousin.  She was answering a question by saying "No" but it sounded like "Nee-o."  Oliver then explained, "Neo* is something you put on underneath a band-aid." *neo is what we call Neosporin around here.

- Often when I tell Oliver he has 10 more minutes to play until he needs to get ready for bed, he says to me, "But Mom, how about 9 more minutes?" as if 9 more minutes is more than 10 minutes.

More to come...


Poor Gluten

These days gluten sure is getting a bad rap.  It's kind of the food trend of the moment.  Don't get me wrong, I know that gluten doesn't agree with some people's stomachs, and celiac disease can really torment the few (I know some individuals who really don't mess around when it comes to gluten), but eating gluten every now and again shouldn't be all that bad for most of us.  The other day at the entrance of the grocery store I saw a sign for the Gluten Free Expo.  The sponsors were grocery stores that I am assuming are loving gluten-free food popularity.  What's more, gluten-free foods that have always been gluten-free are now advertising it on the package.  On milk, canned tomatoes, rice cereal, almonds - there below the product name are the words "GLUTEN FREE"!  I like to bake homemade bread, so I love gluten, and maybe that is what's gotten me on my high horse.  I just wonder when (or if) this whole thing will die down.


Buster Keaton

Oliver and I are into watching the silent movies of Buster Keaton.  I'll watch the whole movie then find the funny parts and have Ollie watch them with me.  He loves them.  The other day he told me he was acting like "the black and white guy" and proceeded to run around very fast.  If you are up for some good ol' entertainment take a peek at one of these classics.

And no, Ollie does not usually get this close to the screen.


The app: Days

A family member of a family member (okay, its my bro-in-laws sister's husband) developed this awesome app that I like.  It's called Days and it allows you to take pictures (including gifs) during your day to create a daily photo journal.  You can keep it private or make it public.  It's loads of fun and right down my alley.  I started a project called "picture of the day" back in 2000 when cameras used real film and getting your photos developed was pure excitement.  It was a lot of fun and a great record.  With this app, seeing how your day comes together is the excitement.  It creates a great record too.  Something I can definitely get in to.


A crumb here and there

Today I found a sunflower seed shell in our mail.  It's good to know the postman eats healthy snacks, eh?