Archive for September, 2011

{this moment}

…taking inspiration from SouleMama in celebrating {this moment}.    There are no words to this Friday ritual.  Just a sweet and simple moment from the week to remember, cherish and absorb just a little bit longer.

Read Full Post »

100.  The feeling of summer.

I’ve realized throughout this summertime list that what I really love about each one of these things is the feeling they evoke from me.  The sweet and breezy feelings.  The high and bright feelings.  The warmth, the freedom, the ease, the joy… it’s the feeling of summer that I love.  The best part about loving a feeling, of course, is that you can take it with you whether the things and conditions come with you or not.  Oh I love summer with all my heart, I do.  I’ll be whooping it up every summer solstice for all my days.  But.  I love what summer evokes from me more… and I have access to that even on the darkest, coldest January night.  I can think about the swimming and the hiking and the delicious abundant food.  I can think about the road trips and the breezes and the sound of crickets chirping through the night.  I can think of the gatherings and the flowers and the smell of a kitchen full of just-picked fruit.

I can think of my niece rocking it on the trampoline on the clearest, brightest day of summer.

It’s been a good summer.  A really good summer.  I’ve milked my favorite season for all it’s goodness day after glorious day.  And now, I dare say, I am eager for the crispness and colors of the autumn that is upon us.  Hello, fall.  Bring it on.

Read Full Post »

66.  Kayaking.

Eli has been used to riding with one of us when we take to the lake in our kayaks.  This year, he tried his hand at paddling his own boat… while getting a cozy little tow from my mom.

67.  Dressing beachy.

It’s probably no dramatic surprise that I love to dress my babes in nautically-inspired clothing.  My own style of dress is equally relaxed and beach-y.  My sister has said, “You always look like you just stepped off a boat.”  Not sure if that’s a compliment or not, but I’ll take it as one.  Anything that makes me feel like I’m at the beach is a good thing.

68.  Kite-flying.

It’s a true summer pleasure to take to a windy beach and watch a kite dance wildly.

69.  Sleeping with windows open.

I’ve so loved the breezes that lap at any exposed limbs during the night, keeping us cool and refreshed.  Our windows are inching lower and lower now as the cooler night air of September slinks in.  We’ll keep them cracked as long as we can…

70.  Cherry tomatoes.

We’ve had such an abundant tomato season in our little yard.  Delicious chocolate cherry and egg-yolk cherry tomatoes have graced our salads and made their way into salsas and coulis.  The best thing to do with these beauties though, is to roast them with some olive oil, maple syrup and salt and then top everything and anything with them.  Delish.

71.  Wearing skirts.

I’ve had happy, carefree knees for many a summer day.

72.  Campfires.

73.  S’mores.

74.  The summer triangle.

This constellation is the true mark of summer.  My first summer baby, Eli, has the summer constellation marked on his cheek with three freckles.  He carries summer with him all the time.

75.  Summer feet.

2 1/2 months of barefoot exploration can certainly toughen the feet.  Feet that used to wince at a pebbly driveway can now make their way easily (well, easier, at least) across rough terrain.

76.  The sound of cicadas.

77.  Beach balls.

78.  The summer-squash overload.

So what I really mean is chocolate zucchini cake which is always the natural consequence of too much squash.  And it freezes really well, which means they’ll be more cake come January!  Our summer squash days have made way to winter squash days and those too, bring delicious delights all their own.  It’s almost time to roast up those kabocha squashes that were happily harvested as compost pile surprises.

79.  Colorful produce.

Purple peppers, pink carrots, purple beans, yellow beets….  Vegetables are even more fun when they come in pretty and unexpected colors.

80.  Water tricks.

“Mama watch!”  “Okay, now, NOW, watch this one!”

81.  Cucumber Agua Fresca.

It was a good cucumber season for our CSA and while I do heartily like cucumbers, there are only so many you can eat (and only so many pickles you want to put by).  Cucumber drinks have kept things deliciously interesting.

82.  Kitties napping in secret places.

We lost our sweet orange kitty, Nowan, this summer.  He was here one day, and gone the next.  While we at first were hopeful that he was merely on a little vacation, it’s looks likely now that our furry family member has moved on to kitty-heaven.  We miss him terribly.  Nowie was calm and patient, sweet and still. Affectionate.  He smelled like sunshine and fresh laundry.

Losing a cat is heartbreaking in a surprising way.  Our cats have been the undercurrent of our household.  They don’t demand much of our attention, yet their presence offers a steady and significant feeling of well-being.

Cats nap with carefree abandon, particularly when they are curled up or stretched out in the sunshine, soaking up the warmth and light.  The feeling that they evoke, that relaxed, carefree goodness is really the essence of summertime for me.  I intend to carry this with me into the autumn that is just days away.  And, I’ll carry the image of a sweet orange cat aglow in the afternoon sun, emanating a constant rattle of purring.  We love you, Nowan.  Thank you for sharing 13 years with us.

83.  Sandals.

84. Pretty toes.

85.  Summertime meals al fresco.

86.  Shucking corn.

It’s so nice to have  some extra (and eager) helping hands when it comes time to shuck the corn.  Oh corn-on-the-cob, how I love you with butter and salt.  I can eat a plate of you for dinner with nothing else.  You are what is divine about summer.

87.  The company of songbirds.

88.  Big sun hats.

89.  Lavender.

90.  Sun-dried laundry.

It’s really not a chore for me to hang the laundry on the line.  It’s a sunny meditation, really.  I watch the clouds, listen to the birds and the chatter of a certain 1-year-old pattering around the yard.  It’s a quiet treat disguised as a chore that yields crisp sheets and clothing that smells like summer.

91. Preserving.

Though it can easily turn into an entire day’s work, I get such a feeling of accomplishment from preserving food.  While what I’ve put by might be modest by farmer-standards (our farmers measure their canning progress in quarts vs. my pints), this is certainly my busiest year of preserving thus far.  Our pantry shelves are bursting with strawberry, blueberry, raspberry and nectarines jams as well as beet relish and pickles.  Our humble freezer has delicious tomato sauce, pesto, corn and greens pressed within its frosty walls.  It’s going to be a lovely winter…

92.  The smell of grapes.

Driving around these parts in late summer with the windows open, one can catch a heady whiff of grapevines heavy with wild concord grapes.

93.  The license plate game.

With road trips all over New England this summer, we’ve had plenty of time for our favorite car game.  Our last trip to Maine, we grossed 46 states.  Including, I might add, Alaska and Hawaii.  It was Idaho, North Dakota, West Virginia and Nevada that eluded us.

94.  The hostas in bloom.

The previous owners of our home went a little hosta-crazy.  We have many, many hostas.  Truthfully, these leafy shade plants have never been high on the list of my garden loves.  When late summer rolls around; however, these beauties transform our walkway into a lilac-colored fairyland.

95.  Secret swimming holes.

We’ve found a few winners in our days of summer exploration.

96.  The first apples.

What’s better than the hearty crunch of a just-picked apple?  Maybe only the promise of the apple crisp and applesauce to come….

97.  Stone fruit.

How many nectarines have I eaten in the last two weeks?  Too many to count….  It’s the first year that we’ve picked them and after so many happy bellies (the neighborhood kids come into the kitchen… “Do you have any more of those nectarines?”) and jars of jam on the shelf, I know it won’t be our last.

98. Crickets.

99.  September swims.

September is really the best time to go to the beach.  The ocean is still warm and the beach is empty.  We never know exactly which swim will be the last of the season (we’ve been lucky enough to swim on Columbus Day in years past), but we know to really, really savor any September swim.

Read Full Post »

61.  Sunflowers.

The sunny faces of late summer.

62.  Lying in the sun.

It just feels good.

63.  Pool parties.

A whole bunch of cousins, some pool toys and a warm August afternoon.

64.  Outdoor fun.

Eli had his first alpine slide run and adored it.  The bungee trampoline was not so much a hit.  He’s a speed, not a heights guy, as it turns out.

65.  Driving at night with the windows down.

I love the nighttime summer air blowing my hair back while the crickets chirp along with the hum of wheels on the road.

Read Full Post »