Tag Archives: autumn

Today: Passing through.

I’ve always looked at spring and fall as transition times, not giving them the full respect of actual seasons.  Spring gets us to summer (Thank you, Jesus).  And fall gets us to winter (Happy Birthday, Jesus… and, in the case of winters such as the last one, Help us, Jesus).  These are months for passing through, for preparing.

This has never felt more true than this year, as I look ahead to our son’s arrival and attempt to (sort of) have my act together before that moment.  I’ve made lists (and added to them, like… an unhealthy amount). I’ve even accomplished several items on those lists.  I’ve pinned all kinds of crap to Pinterest boards and tried to imagine what the holidays will be like with a newborn and a nearly-two-year-old (the words magical and wild come to mind… I like both).  I thought about making and freezing food to tide us over on the most wild days… but I mostly just ate it.  

I’ve Googled things like “How do you dress up yoga pants?” and “Okay, but what if I no longer own a Beadazzler?” and “Skinny black tuxedo pants are out of the question” and “Does dry shampoo really work miracles?” and “Right, but it’s possible that I haven’t showered in days.” and “Why are you being so mean, Google! In this imaginary scenario, I JUST had a baby!”  And then I feel badly for wasting twenty minutes that could have been spent organizing baby clothes or making homemade jam for Christmas gifts.  Or, you know… napping.

My mind was feeling particularly busy this morning.  I must have been making more lists in my head on the way to Grace’s gymnastics class (which is basically the most amazing, most adorable hour ever), because I pulled into the parking lot without remembering most of the 30 minute drive. 

I’m doing all this preparing and passing through, and completely missing the view.  This is an actual season, despite my being prejudiced against orange and yellow and red and brown and turkeys.  It’s one that provides the opportunity to (spoiler alert!) dress Grace like a strawberry and Clark like a banana, stick them in a very oversized yogurt cup (that I need to invent) and call them a smoothie.   It’s one that makes me kind of itchy, but doesn’t make my hair frizzy… so I can forgive the allergies.  It’s one that brings us apples (and therefore, apple crisp) and leggings and dark nail polish and hot tea.

Instead of just passing through, I’m trying to stay for a while. 

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your fall checklist?

 

Today: An afternoon in the pumpkin patch.

Reasons why I am the least enjoyable person to be around this time of year (an abbreviated list):

  1. The only pumpkin-flavored things I like are pumpkins.  I don’t want my coffee to taste like a gourd.  I want it to taste like coffee.  Same goes for my M&M’s and my gluten-free beer.
  2. And don’t get me started on fall colors.  I love our condo.  I don’t want to make it ugly with brown and orange stuff.
  3. I am allergic to wool.  Your sweaters had best keep a safe distance from the hives that are about to creep up my neck.
  4. I’m not ready to say goodbye to tomatoes.  If summer tomatoes were a person, and that person was my boyfriend and that boyfriend broke up with me, I would not give his stuff back.

Ward's Berry Farm pumpkins

Nick (who is very much a real person and was once my boyfriend) and I were married in the fall of 2012 and our caterer nearly sent me to a home with her “festive” dessert display at our menu tasting.  I like to think I was a pretty easy-going bride (don’t we all?) and also thought I had made my firm “no fall colors” policy quite clear, so when she rolled out a table festooned with fake leaves and plastic pumpkins, I barely contained a simmering rage.

baby in pumpkin patch

This year, though, I can’t help but look forward to cooler mornings, crinkling leaves and carving pumpkins.  I am guessing I have my daughter to blame thank for that.  Seeing her experience new things is just the best, whether it’s her first time in the water, her first time eating solids, her first time being held by a strange man dressed as the Easter bunny or yes, even her first Fall (I felt like capitalizing the season would help you see that I meant that, and not that I delight in watching her tumble over and potentially become injured). Watching Grace reach for a giant pumpkin and squeal in delight as she grasped its stem has me changing my ways.  All those adorable fall outfits hanging in her closet don’t hurt either.  And if I really dig deep, I guess I could cop to an affinity for soup and scarves.

This weekend we took advantage of the late summer (very-nearly-fall) weather and spent the afternoon at Ward’s Berry Farm in Sharon, Massachusetts.  It’s about 30 minutes from the city and not far from where I grew up.  After walking around a bit, we ventured out to the pumpkin patch to find that their healthy, growing pumpkins were bigger than our healthy, growing child (and too big, frankly, to fit underneath her stroller… or like, in my handbag).  So instead of picking one up there, we took 100 photos and then ventured back to the farm store and purchased a smaller, much more portable, sugar pumpkin.

white pumpkins

I also picked out a few of these gorgeous heirloom gourds and white pumpkins.  They’re like the gateway drug of fall decor… fall-ish, but not brown and orange.  I am dying to make one of the succulent topped pumpkins I saw in the fall issue of Country Gardens (side note: I am 900% obsessed with Next Issue… which is how a city dweller with no garden comes across such gems as Country Gardens.)  Perhaps I can make green and white the new black brown and orange?  And then maybe I will get a show on Netflix about my life as an over-tired working mom who wastes time making succulent topped pumpkins when she should be, like, sleeping?

heirloom gourds

In addition to a tremendous selection of farm fresh produce and local treats, Ward’s is also home to Sunny Rock 4H Club’s barnyard animals.  Grace was sort of ambivalent about the goats, but Nick got right in there.  The man never misses a chance to feed the animals.

goats

Did I mention they have mini horses?

fly fly lil sebastian

If you asked me who my all time favorite television mini-horse is, my answer would obviously be: It’s a tie between Lil Sebastian + MiniDuh.

You know, fall’s looking pretty good, after all. (But do not tell that caterer I said so.)

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your fall bucket list?

Today: A taste of fall.

If I had my way, we’d skip from summer to winter, mostly so that I’d have reason to decorate for Christmas in early September.  Since moving to our new place, though, I’ve had a chance to crunch through the fallen leaves with Clark each day and I am beginning to think that fall isn’t so bad after all.

While I am still counting down the days until I pull our twinkle lights, glittery wreaths and sparkling ornaments out of storage, I am passing the time by embracing a taste of fall.

Nespresso Spiced Apple Coffee

This festive fall drink is perfect for warming up family and friends.  And for keeping small children awake for six days.  Just kidding.  Don’t serve this to children.  And pretend I didn’t suggest that.

Ingredients:

  • 1 capsule of Linizio Lungo Grand Cru (or Decaffeinato Lungo)
  • 1 caffeine free cinnamon apple spice tea bag (the original recipe calls for apple and ginger tea, but this was what I had on hand — so delicious!)
  • 2 teaspoons of maple syrup
  •  3 tablespoons of milk froth
  • A pinch of ground cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Place the herbal tea bag in a Cappuccino cup and prepare your Grand Cru directly over it
  2. Allow the tea to infuse for 4 minutes, then remove the bag
  3. Add the maple syrup to the coffee and set aside
  4. Prepare the milk froth using the steam nozzle of your Nespresso machine or the Aeroccino milk frother
  5. Place 3 tablespoons of frothed milk on top of the coffee and sprinkle with ground cinnamon

Recipe provided by Nespresso

Boots and tall socks

Finding normal-ish maternity clothing should be an Olympic sport.  I am not sure who decided that pregnant women want to look weird for nine or ten months, but I’d prefer to look like… myself.  I don’t like wearing wool, which eliminates 98.4% of all cozy, fall sweaters on the maternity market.  Fortunately, my tall socks and boots still fit (knock on wood, but the feet swelling thing hasn’t happened yet).  So there’s that.

Seasonal scents

Fearing it might be too soon to break out the Christmas Yankee Candles (they are like a gateway drug for overzealous holiday decorators like myself… light one candle and the next thing you know, you’ve chopped down your neighbor’s decorative fir tree and have hauled up to your condo to adorn with lights and garland), I borrowed this idea from BuzzFeed’s list of holiday party hacks.  Citrus, rosemary and vanilla seems to strike a balance between fall and winter.

All things apple

Apple crisp (easily made gluten free with the use of these oats), apples with nut butter, the limited edition apple cider Chapstick I hoarded from Target last year… I can’t get enough apple.

This post was just a ploy to distract you all while I download a few new Christmas jams and start tacking up the Advent calendar.

Also On Tap for Today:

Fall or winter? (And you can’t say summer, that’s cheating.)

 

 

 

Today: I hate fall. But I like autumn.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I was in a hideous mood earlier this week (I’d blame lack of sleep over the weekend, but after dressing up like a flying squirrel on Saturday night, I slept until 10 the next morning.).  Clark was feeling salty too, mostly because he hates the rain.  And because I imagine his moods for him.  I figured I’d wallow in my grouchiness, and then get over it.  Wallowing, for me, always involves list making.

A stranger left this pumpkin in Fort Point last fall. It looked very cool, but smelled like a compost pile.

This is what I came up with.

11 Reasons Why I Hate Fall:

  1. Fall colors are ugly.  Brown?  Orange?  That’s like a rotting pumpkin.  Which brings me to…
  2. I don’t like the taste of pumpkin.
  3. Why are people freaking out about pumpkin flavored coffee?  And pumpkin beer?  And pumpkins?
  4. I am allergic to wool.
  5. Boston is full of college students.  I feel old.  And nostalgic.  And old.
  6. All those leaves on the ground?  They’re slippery.  I will probably fall.
  7. I am allergic to something in addition to the aforementioned wool.  I don’t know what it is, but it just sprouted or hatched or grew or whatever.  I am itchy.
  8. I dislike squash.  And zucchini.  I wish berries and tomatoes were perpetually in season.
  9. I’d rather wear skirts than pants.
  10. Things always expire in the fall.  My parking pass expired on August 31st and my new one was denied because the person at the parking desk thought I was a student pretending to be a grown-up.  Then it was approved.  Seven days later.  I was annoyed.  Also, I accidentally ate expired Greek yogurt on Tuesday.  Use your imagination.  It wasn’t good.
  11. It’s sort of cold, but sort of hot, and sort of dry, but also humid.  My body (specifically, my hair) is confused.

I could have probably continued on to number 12, or number 40, but this whole exercise was not especially helpful.  In fact, I felt even more hideous than when I started.  I decided to make a second list, wherein I would call fall autumn, because it sounds more lovely.  And not unlike a middle school classmate from the late eighties or early nineties.

9 Reasons to Not Hate Autumn

  1. I am getting married in November (that’s a big one, obviously).  When we booked our date, people were like, Ooooh, fall colors!  Beautiful!  I got a lot of practice burning these same people with my eyes of death.  (See number 1 above.)  In all seriousness, though, I just cannot wait.
  2. After the wedding, we get to go on our honeymoon, which is a great way to bring sexy summer back.  Yeah.
  3. Soccer starts after a two week hiatus (um… our team didn’t make the playoffs last season…).
  4. Glutino makes a gluten free stuffing.  Which means I can freely overeat on Thanksgiving.
  5. Fall races are less sweaty than summer races.
  6. Apple picking (not a sentence, but I am going to punctuate it regardless).
  7. Nick turns 30 this fall, which makes us the same age again, meaning I don’t have to feel creepy for a whole five months.  My mother and sister also have fall birthdays.  They’re so cute.
  8. I have jury duty (and inevitably, I will be impaneled, knowing both my luck and inability to make up believable lies)… that’s always interesting.  I was on a jury for a medical malpractice case a few years ago and almost fainted.
  9. Leggings are socially acceptable in certain situations again.

I’m still recovering from the yogurt thing, but my mood has improved.  Daydreaming about a honeymoon (and jury duty?) will do that.  As for Clark?  He still hung up on his singular reason for hating fall: this jacket.

Please don’t call Sarah McLachlan on me.

Also On Tap for Today:

What do you love most about fall autumn?