weekending: mid fall

there was a last hurrah for the beautiful fall colors in our parts.... a few sourwoods and maples remain brilliantly red and orange, but in general the "mountains on fire" illusion has come and gone and the oaks are brown and the hickories are fading from mustard yellow to a crunchy brown-gold.  I'm realizing, just now, that while I used to think of the brief explosion of color as being fall, I now see it as the opening act to this fine season that will lead us into colder days.  maybe it's part of my attempt to be present, maybe it's that I'm just not ready to call fall quits after a couple weeks of glory.  whatever it is, I like it, and I like the way I'm not feeling rushed out of fall this year because of this new thinking.

Claire and I made an important stop to fulfill our (they had a kid's voting table, where she happily scribbled away on a "ballot" as mama filled out the real deal) civic duty.

we made a stop at our favorite little honey stand..... maybe next year we won't have to purchase honey. we'll see.  the bees are holding their own but needing a little help as we head into winter, and certainly can't afford us taking any of their sweetness away for ourselves.  yet.  we are ending the season with two hives, after deciding not to combine them upon finding that the weaker hive did indeed raise a new (and seemingly successful) queen.  we are feeding them both a bit to help build up their stores before it gets cold.  fingers crossed that we'll open them up in spring to hear lots of happy buzzing.

I took Claire to a little Halloween festival in town last night.  Little, but still a bit overwhelming for us, um.... her.  okay..... us.  she wanted to go in the bouncy house.  it was dark by the time we made it to the front of the line and then she realized I couldn't go in, too.  it was a brief bounce that ended in tears. should've just used my mama veto powers, but I did not.  we'll find a smaller and more well lit bouncy house for my girl.  afterwards, she told me "but the other little kids liked it", as though apologizing for not, and then this morning she told Mike "I'm sorry I didn't like it. I will when I grow up. I'll be grown up soon."  ah geez.  we were pretty emphatic telling her she need not apologize and that really, she could hold off on the growing up thing for at least a little while.

something about this age seems so raw in ways.  there is so much emotion, constantly.  so much up and down.  such huge leaps in language development.  there is no question as to whether or not we are able to fully communicate with her and her with us.  she is vivid.  don't know if that really makes sense, but that's the word that pops in my head.  vivid.  I find myself simultaneously feeling as if I can't listen to her whining for one more second and as if my heart is going to burst from feeling this starkly intense love for this little being.  and wanting to hold onto her and breathe her in more and more.

today we made garlic elixir.  10 oz chopped garlic, 16 oz cider vinegar, 5 oz honey.  stew for 6 weeks, strain, use liberally to fend off yuckies.  she was quite the helper as we made our medicine together.

it was time.  we couldn't ignore the river of oak leaves in the driveway any longer, so Mike raked them into a long pile perfect for jumping (and hiding) in.  I raked the leaves in the backyard into a "leaf cylinder" (a circle of fencing that we dump leaves in to contain them) to use for leaf mulch after they sit and stew for several months.

and then I picked the last of the peppers, unsure of how cold it will get these next few days (we've had a fire going all day today and it's supposed to be chilly next week) and not wanting to happen upon frozen and mushy peppers that could have been hot sauce and chili.

and then we had friends over for Claire's inaugural jack-o-lantern carving experience.

*linking up with amanda at habit of being


  1. YOUR words are so 'vivid'... I become so absorbed in every detail and lovely activity--be it: THE BEES, THE HOMEMADE ELIXIR, THE FALL,PUMPKIN CARVING,OF COURSE, CLAIR,THE ABUNDANT GARDEN, etc. Love it all! Continue to write, Amanda! Love you, ca

  2. love that jack o'lantern!

    and the garlic bit you make...i just made something similar this morning but mine includes onion and some other goodness. and it works. wish i'd thought to make it earlier.

    also, love the honor system honey stand and the instructions on how to back out. not sure why but stuff like that always makes me want to roll my eyes and smile simultaneously :)

    1. thanks~ it had a little rotten hole that we made into the mouth, and just went with it from there. It was MIke's design, mostly. I'd be curious to hear about your syrup. I've heard of cooking onions down and mixing with honey as a syrup, but what else do you add? I keep intending to make elder-ginger syrup this year, but have yet to buy the elderberries.

      people are funny, aren't they? funny and charming and weird all mixed up.


thanks for taking the time to read and comment~