Monday, October 24, 2016

Sunday Afternoon Hike

Now that the fall weather is *really* here, Sunday hikes are happening!  Yesterday we changed clothes after church and went straight to our picnic spot at the base of one of my favorite mountains, and then we hiked up that mountain.  It's a 1.5-mile steep ascent.  I hiked it so much as a teenager and young adult that I feel I know every nook and cranny, but hadn't hiked it in at least a decade!

Our children were such troopers. It's not an easy hike--there's no real "level" place.  They didn't complain a bit, and Annie hiked so well that she left older hikers in the dust!  

But it's worth the cardiovascular exertion once you get to the top.  

Looking east to the flatlands......

Looking northwest to the gentle mountains.....

I don't have any photos of the southwest where the Real Mountains are!

And here's my favorite hiking buddy.  He's the best. 

We are so grateful to be able to enjoy this little tiny pocket of God's great big beautiful world.  

Friday, October 21, 2016

A Perfect Day

Last Saturday was a perfect day.....

my husband won the 5K race has has been diligently training to win (strict, strict training for over 9 months, with many many hours of running commitment on his end and cooking commitment on mine!)......

I had a fabulous post-race nap (all the emotional energy of the race exhausted me! I was a nervous wreck while he was racing).....

and we had our annual bonfire/hayride/cookout with our church.

A beautiful full moon rose in the east as the bluegrass band played and the bonfire crackled.  

I went to sleep feeling so happy, and woke in the darkness of very, very early morning to the sound of a Great Horned Owl--my favorite.  

Perfectly perfect in every way.  Congratulations, Mr. Polly!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Applesauce Day

Yesterday I bought a bushel of "seconds" apples at our local orchard.  

That was 167 apples, if you're wondering.  Finn and I counted them as we washed them this morning.....

And my dear neighbor Naomi and I spent all day making applesauce.  She graciously offered her kitchen and her equipment for this (and fed us lunch!).  I'd never made applesauce before, and it was valuable to have a guide.  

*7 quarts canned applesauce
*5 quarts fresh applesauce (to be made into apple butter) 
*19 one-cup portions of applesauce, frozen
*3 two-cup portions, frozen

Our total yield was just over 18 quarts.

One of my children doesn't like applesauce.  This will last us all winter for sure! 

 Finn and I plan to make apple butter within the next few days and sell it as a fundraiser--he has decided he wants to raise $1,000 to donate to helping build a medical clinic in a developing nation.  The apple butter is our first step, and we're brainstorming additional ideas. For past fundraisers we've sold his artwork on notecards and sold Christmas tins of gluten-free goodies, and we'll probably do both this year.

Now it's time for a hot bath and bed.....applesauce day was exhausting!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

What is Already in You

"Claudia said, 'But, Mrs. Frankweiler, you should want to learn one new thing every day.  We did even at the museum.'

'No,' I answered.  'I don't agree with that. I think you should learn, of course, and some days you must learn a great deal. But you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up inside of you until it touches everything.  And you can feel it inside you.  If you never take time out to let that happen, then you just accumulate facts, and they begin to rattle around inside of you.  You can make noise with them, but never really feel anything with them. It's hollow." 

--E.L. Konigsburg, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler