Friday, August 8, 2008


"The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air." Galadriel, Fellowship of the Ring.

It's Friday. The last day of my kidless week. It's been a lovely week, but you know what? I'm ready to see my kiddos again. I dreamt about them last night. It's time! I can't wait to hear how their week was. I can't wait to see how camp has changed them, because there are always changes.

It's time for changes, I think. I am sitting here on the back porch, with my coffee and a couple of blueberry biscuits left over from yesterday's bout of domesticity (recipe* courtesy of J. L. at I Live on a Farm). 

In about six months, I will be longing for a day like today.

It is a sunny day, but there is a refreshing cool breeze, and there is hardly even a hint of humidity in the air. It's another gift of a day...a misplaced fall day dropped here ahead of schedule. No complaints from me. I'll take it! 

[Edited: the day turned out to be Irish in nature...beautiful sun and clouds against a blue sky one moment, a rain shower without warning the next. The day went on like this, only enriching its beauty.]

But the autumnal feel to the day makes me think of what is to come. The first full week of August has passed. Neighborhood kids will be heading back to school in just two weeks -- two weeks! I've always kept fairly close to the public school dates in so far as beginning and ending our homeschool year. Last year we started nearly a month early, which was nice, because it allowed us to end early. This year our schedule won't allow for as much of a luxury. Still...we will begin soon. I need to take some time between now and then to get organized.

Autumn also means a busy time outside. With any luck, we'll have tomatoes to can (if they ever decide to ripen at all!). 

[Insert impromtu garden review here...]

I saw a hint of red peeking through the vines today. Hopeful, I picked it, only to see this indignity. Someone had the audacity to bore a hole into our first ripe tomato! The nerve! So I chucked it down over the hill.

The rest of them all look like this. Green, green, green. Perhaps it is only my imagination, but these two look like they're trying to turn. Maybe? Perhaps if they glanced over to their right, they'd be inspired...

...our neighbor's tomatoes seem to have the hang of this ripening thing!

At least there are peppers! Our first two! These aren't exceptionally large peppers, but I was afraid to leave them on the plants any longer lest someone decide to munch on them as well. They'll be perfect for stuffing.

Where we lack tomatoes we make up for it in potatoes! Kevin dug our first basket of potatoes last night, for which I celebrated by making french fries. Around here, it is never potato season, but french fry season, as Kevin insists there are no better fries than those made from freshly dug potatoes. I humor him. To me, grease is grease. :}

Seriously, though, look at the size of this bad boy! He's family-sized! There were two like this!

[Back to our regularly scheduled blog entry now.]

My husband and kids will work every weekend to cut fire wood for both our house and the in-laws' house. I know Kevin has other projects in mind to complete before fall ends. Even if these do not directly involve me, I will play a support role however I can.

As discordant an idea as it might seem, while autumn brings school and harvest and winter preparations to our world, it also brings calm to mine, mentally if not physically. Maybe it is my internal clock that for so many years centered around the school year. September always meant a return to a familiar routine. The details of the routine might change, but the routine itself is still present. And it is a comfort. There is much about fall that I love, but the re-establishment of routine after the laid-back nature of summer is usually at the top of my list.

Things are changing. Like Galadriel, I can feel it in the very air around me. Stay tuned.

*Just a note about this recipe...I tweaked it to use 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup unbleached white flour, which then required closer to one cup buttermilk. I'm trying to add more whole grains to our diet, and this was an easy substitution that still yielded a very tasty biscuit!

P.S. Lest the flowers feel left out, here are a couple gratuitous flora photos...

The coreopsis is finally blooming again!

Doesn't Nigel look happy nestled back behind the Black-Eyed Susans and the purple coral bells? Far happier than he was, I imagine, when he was stranded back in the weeds that were towering over his head earlier this summer! (Yes, we named our gnome Nigel. We're nothing if not alliterative.)

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