Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Our Red-Riding Hood themed costumes. Of course, we waited until after the Halloween event with Cora's school on Sunday to take them, when patience was low--but c'est la vie! Wishing you a lovely Halloween night!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Pumpkin Patch

A few weeks ago, we went to a local pumpkin patch with C's preschool. What a marvelous day it was; the sun came out and all of the children had played rowdy games at the otherwise peaceful farm.

C selected a choice pumpkin (one that was small enough for her to carry). This took a while, as there were many variables to consider.

Then she pretended to be a pumpkin for a while.

This morning, we carved them up. Hers is the one with the heart eyes.

Happy (almost) Halloween!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

These Fall Days

Oh my, what a busy autumn it has been so far! We have had much happening around here but I haven't taken the time to write a post in a while, so here are some scattered thoughts and notes about our lives right now.

My novel is now up to 75,000 words (almost 250 pages)! I'm getting closer to the climax, which is quite exciting, and I feel like writing nonstop until it's all done. In fact, it's becoming quite the all-consuming project. I may look like I'm washing the dishes, or walking to the train station, or going to sleep, but I'm actually writing in my head, pondering plot directions and weighing my options. I am sure this must be a bit trying for my loves, especially Brett, who is often being asked questions out of the blue like, "What's your favorite German word?" (He doesn't speak German.) Or, "How would you throw a pack of angry dogs off of your scent?" Oh, they are very patient with me! (I can't wait until my messy, messy first draft is done and cleaned up, so that he can finally read it and know where I've been all this time.)

Last week when we were at our "secret garden," D said, "Oh, my almost forgot something. My forgot to check the mail." Then, picking up a little hollowed-out acorn, he said, "Oh, here it is! From the shell tree." C actually had to sit down, she was laughing so hard.

C said today, "It makes me feel kind of peaceful to be a big sister, when you have a little brother who's always cracking you up." And the other day we walked outside after a rain, and I breathed in deep and commented on how nice it smelled, and she said, "Mmm, it smells of the earth."

We have been stocking the root cellar. A month ago, we bought twenty pounds of organic Honeycrisp apples to store for the "winter," which have since been eaten. Yes, all twenty pounds, eaten fresh. (They were just so tasty!) So last week we purchased nearly fifty more pounds for storage and processing (into dried apples, applesauce, and probably apple juice), and this coming week 20lbs of Concorde pears will arrive. We also have several pie pumpkins, lots of squash and garlic and onions and shallots, some frozen fruit (peaches and plums), and some jams (fig-lemon-thyme, apple butter, strawberry, peach-vanilla, green gage plum-ginger, purple plum). Not enough to last our family for long, but it's a start!

Today we played outside in the rain. I pulled out the tomato plants and brought the remaining green tomatoes inside to ripen on the vine. C took a picture of D (love the expression on his face):

And she contemplated the sunchokes:

And they ate a few wintergreen berries:

We're heading to a pumpkin patch this Tuesday, and beginning preparations for a Red Riding Hood-themed family costume for Halloween. Then, it will be on to planning for Thanksgiving, and Christmas! How these autumn days fly by!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mid-Autumn Festival

This past Sunday was Mid-Autumn Festival, and we celebrated by digging a box of paper lanterns and Chinese brocade out of the basement, decorating the dining room, and cooking a big feast.
 The festive dining room

 Dumpling soup

 The main course: Sweet and sour tofu, stir-fried long beans and gai lan, and chestnut fried rice

The children stayed up a bit late so that we could watch the harvest moon rise from the front steps, big and bright and beautiful, while we enjoyed our "moon cakes" (not the authentic kind, but steamed red bean buns, a favorite treat around here that happen to look just like a round white moon). 

The moon that night... a beautiful sight!