Sunday: More Leaves, More Cooking

It was another very busy Sunday in our house.

More leaves to haul away.

leaves and wheelbarrow

Stowaway in the wheelbarrow!


Uh on – preschooler among the leaves!

Our “helper.”

preschooler and leaves

I’ve got this!


The rake wasn’t nearly as close to his eye as it appears

Big pot of collard greens to go with the leg of lamb I’m roasting tomorrow!

Greens simmered w/ red onions...yum

Greens simmered w/ red onions…yum

Homemade nut-free granola bars for Daniel’s school lunches. Here’s the recipe. Very easy and he LOVES them!

nut-free granola bars

Smells SO good!

We’re exhausted now. Tomorrow is another teacher workday for Daniel, so he’ll be going to grandma’s and I think it will make for a lower-stress Monday, which is good since I have several meetings tomorrow.

How was your weekend?

The Dark Side of Fall

I usually wax ecstatic about Fall and my love for it: the glorious color, the holidays, the takeover of pumpkin. Today, though, I discovered the dark side of the season. You see, those gorgeous leaves? They have an irritating tendency to fall (hence the name of the season) off trees and blanket your yard.

But those leaves become the stuff memories are made of as you and your children throw armfuls of leaves and jump in them! You relish the crunch of them under your feet. You delight in helping your son find the maple leaves that resemble starfish so he can construct a family tree out of leaves on the porch!


Our family tree in leaves

Beautiful, beautiful Fall. Until the day your husband comes to you and tells you he borrowed his friend’s leaf blower so he could clean up the yard. It turns out that the grass doesn’t like to be covered by leaves, and the leaves choke the soil; this year, Jimmy decided that our normal policy of benign neglect for our yard had come to an end. We needed to save the grass.

So, Jimmy spent a few hours blowing the leaves into piles that snaked around our yard. Daniel and I filled wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow with leaves to dump way out in our backyard. Seeing that it would take us days to dispose of the leaves this way, Jimmy bought a huge tarp for us to rake the leaves on and then drag to the backyard.  Three times we filled the tarp and took it to the spot in the backyard where Jimmy composted it with the mower. After that third trip, we called it quits for the day. We still have at least two more tarps worth tomorrow.

I could focus on the quality family time we had outside, the priceless time to bond over rakes, giant tarps and brown leaves. I am, but I’m also beginning to wonder what our yard would be like without trees.

leaves on the tarp

Third time filling the tarp

November Hodge Podge

Today is a hodge podge post.  It was a gorgeous weekend in North Carolina.  Warm and colorful. We spent some time outside, and I love seeing how our neighborhood looks in the Fall now that the leaves have changed.

View from our driveway

Our house from the street, hidden behind trees


View from our mailbox

Some little boy also loves to collect leaves.

Gorgeous tree and beautiful boy


Sweet Pea with leaf

We went to the grocery store today, and we found Christmas sprinkles that Daniel demanded we buy.  He didn’t have to twist our arms too much because I am a sucker for Christmas cookies.

We have a deal going right now that if he naps, he gets a naptime surprise.  Typically that involves ice cream, whipped cream and sprinkles (I know, I know).  Today, Daniel wanted his Christmas sprinkles.  I watched him shake them onto his ice cream with bemusement because I am sooooo excited and ready to prepare for the holidays with him.

Hmmm which sprinkle to choose?

I’m not the only one I know participating in NaBloPoMO.  Here are a few other awesome bloggers who would welcome a hello:

I hope you had a great weekend and may your week be wonderful.  I’m in the office all week, which makes me feel happy.  Very few meetings!!!!!


Welcome, October

J and I are big lovers of Fall, and I especially love October.  September holds the promise of Autumn after the heat of summer while by November, the leaves have yellowed and browned, and our thoughts are turning to the holidays.  October holds the promise of changing leaves, cooler temperatures and Halloween, one of my very favorite holidays.

October is perfect. Here are a few of our favorite things:

Potent Potables.

Pumpkin Beer!

Red, red wine. Can't go wrong with Bordeaux & Cote du Rhone.

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere.

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins

A new book about Fall

Leaves collected during a walk outside.

Changing colors already

Cookies baked and decorated (though maybe not Food Network quality).

Sugar cookies decorated by Daniel

Sweet Boy and a cookie he decorated.

Welcome, October.  We can’t wait to enjoy you more.

What do you love about October?