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Friday, September 27, 2013

signs of fall

I have gone from lamenting the end of summer to relishing my favorite hallmarks of fall: fleece in any form, our down comforter, using my oven again, scarves, cooked apples and squash and turning my focus to the inside of my house instead of the outside (which if you must know is so severely neglected I feel like someone should report me to whatever agency monitors household chore abandonment).
The girls' transition to school has been unexpectedly uneventful (phew).  I'm feeling way too busy with my responsibilities at the school and still figuring out how to use all my time efficiently (especially when the house needs its first post children thorough cleaning out) and how to not over commit myself to things I don't want to do. 
Also, Maya got a bunny leash.  Pink camo.  Cinnamon is no ordinary bunny and she has no ordinary leash. 

Another random fall thing: the chill in the air means bundling up for bike rides and combating some serious wind.  For my birthday I asked for neoprene booties to cover my clip shoes and these little sleeves of brilliant innovation are my new best friend. I no longer have frigidly painful feet while I ride! This will make fall riding 100 times more enjoyable. And while, I admit, I do prefer shorts and bare arms for cycling, there is something equally nice about not getting over-heated and salt-depleted and the beauty of the fiery red maples this time of year is its own reward.

Fall also means apples! I bought a bag of "utility" apples (the ones that drop off the trees)- 1/2 bushel for $11- and this past Sunday was all about applesauce making.

Side note: this weekend was also about the Great Hamster Search of 2013.  Ella bought herself a dwarf hamster with some of her lobstering money (after an all out persuasion campaign) and has been doing a stellar job of caring for the critter herself.  From water changing to cage cleaning, Ella has been the model pet owner.  Except when she was cleaning the cage Saturday afternoon she didn't realize a hatch door had come loose (and actually fell in the trash necessitating three trash inspections between two mothers) and by Sunday morning the hamster was GONE. 
This is what I spent most of Sunday, when I wasn't making applesauce, looking for:

It's Thursday and, despite the awesome trap Sandi set, we have seen nary a beady eye or stubbed tail of the poor missing "Sugar." 
Maya's new favorite word is "thingamajig."  She loved my apple peeler, corer, slicer which L.L. Bean nicknamed the apple thingamajig.  Perfect for Maya.

The entire time she used it she was saying, "I can't wait to do this again!  This is so fun!  I love this!"  I said, "But we're doing it right now!  You don't have to wait for next time!"  and felt a kinship to Yoda.

Every now and a blue moon the girls work as a team and it makes my Momma heart beat proud.  (Opposed to the times when they compete and claim the inequality of their position and I want to go sit on the patio.)
A full pot of apples makes for about half a pot of applesauce.  All that goes in is a little water and some cinnamon and maple syrup.  I slowly boil it until the apples are soft (the time depends on the type of apple but typically about an hour).  I like my applesauce chunky so I don't blend it but just mash it with a potato masher.
Fall is also the time of the sunflower.  We like to grow the "mammoth" variety.  It is has been such  fun for Maya this year to watch the seeds morph into chunky stalks that grow bigger than her, bigger than us and soon tower over the car.  When the dinner plate-sized sunflowers exploded in all their cheerful glory, it nearly sent Maya over the edge with joy.

This morning I leave for my weekend retreat to Kripalu.  I've been feeling kind of anxious about going, a little guilty and a touch of lonely at the thought of going alone.  But as people have reminded me, going alone is sort of the point.  This has been an inward journey and, while support is great, it is one I have to travel on my own.  That being said, I had to remind myself why I want to go by watching the video about this amazing yoga center (you can watch it here) and was brought to tears by the relief of taking my exhausted heart and mind somewhere so wonderful for restoration.

So today I will go despite the pull of my heart strings telling me to stay.  I have my own continued awakening to behold.

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