November 08, 2019

Full Days, Happy Heart

I feel like we've packed a lot of living into the last couple of weeks. I'm honestly surprised at the passing speed of the days, weeks and months. I thought life as an empty nester would be more quiet than it actually is. I still haven't found my footing really. It will take as long as it takes and that's just fine.

I'm finding time to cross some longstanding WIPS off of my to do list. This sweater is much too cute to ditch because of a little hole so I decided to mend it.

I thought paying homage to moths was a good way to put good karma into the world so that I might be spared that particular nightmare in my life. I'm happy enough with how it came out and I have several more mending projects waiting to be done. There is something that makes me feel so virtuous when giving something a second life. I love mending and making do. Well sometimes (my kitchen) I can't stand it much longer!

The weather has been quite chilly off and on here which has me wanting to cook and bake. I don't really eat much sugar these days so bread feels like a nice way to express that part of myself. I have baked 5 loaves in the last week and half which means lots of sharing. I've never known anyone to turn down freshly baked bread. I really want to delve deeper into this subject and am considering going down the sourdough rabbit hole so if anyone has bread cookbook recommendations, I'd love to hear them.

 I also recently made fresh ricotta for the first time ever. It's incredible. In fact looking at these pictures has me feeling hungry and thinking I will need to find a way to use the rest of this with tonights dinner. Speaking of which, cooking for 2 takes practice. I'm starting to get better about the amounts I cook but I find that I don't really need to plan a meal for every day as there are still more leftovers than I anticipate. We do eat them for lunches but even's too much food and I try to avoid wasting it. I do feel more like trying new recipes these days. I don't know if that is because we like most everything or maybe because since I don't really need to cook every night, it's more fun to put more effort into cooking fewer meals.

Last Sunday it warmed up enough for me to accompany my love on the outdoor course at his archery club. It was a gorgeous day and I loved getting to capture him in his element. Archery is his golf (or knitting) and he does it as often as he can. It made my heart happy to see how much it meant to him to share this with me. I love him more with each passing year. With each, wrinkle and grey hair. With each challenge that we are confronted with. I never could have imagined when we were first married, nearly 20 years ago, how much more I would love him now.

If you are looking for something lovely to watch this weekend, I recommend these two movies:  The Bookshop and This Beautiful Fantastic. No gritty reboots, superheroes or explosions to be found in either of them. Wishing you all a beautiful, cozy, creative autumn weekend.

October 21, 2019

Seasonal Contentment Syndrome

I was going to title this post "Contentment" and then I thought it seemed familiar so I looked back at previous posts and almost exactly a year ago I had a post with that very title. It wouldn't surprise me to find one with that title every October for as long as this blog has been around.

There is something about Octobers that amplifies all of my feelings. I love a little deeper, I smile a little bigger, I get a little quieter, I begin to slow down a little more and more than anything I feel a little more grateful. When you're grateful even chores can give you pleasure.

Things I'm grateful for today:
-A stormy Monday morning to begin a week with no obligations, other than the pleasant kind
-Lying on the sofa watching the rain fall through a crimson canopy of dogwood leaves
-Stairs for playing fetch with Clover when it's too wet to play outside
-Traveling with friends
-Traveling, just the two of us
-Having Emma home for the weekend
-Sitting on the sofa in the semi darkness with candles flickering and windows open
-Getting back to a routine
-Seeing the Village come alive in a riot of autumn color
-Studio time
-Finishing projects and beginning new ones
-Breakfast for dinner
-A husband who builds me a bonfire, tucks me in on a hammock, brings me wine in a jelly jar, delivers me a s'more and tells me I'm beautiful
-Thunder and lightning

So far life in the empty nest has been busier than I expected. I'm still figuring it out but truly enjoying the journey. I still long for more studio time and although Clover has calmed down considerably at the age of 2 (!!!), she still requires quite a bit of work and usually owns my mornings for the first two hours-if she has had the proper amount of physical and mental exercise. I'm so thankful that the hard core puppy days are behind us though. She's beautiful but...she's a pill. ;) The flow of life is different now. We are more spontaneous than before. There is a shift that happens when you don't have any children to consider. There haven't been a lot of weekends that we've been home and it's been just the two of us, but when it happens there is a lot of hobby time and an easy, unplanned flow to our days. While things are not getting marked off of our to do list with any regularity, we are enjoying every moment of it.

Autumn is well and truly here in the midwest. It seemed awfully slow in arriving but seems here to stay. This marks the beginning of my favorite time of year when I embrace all the cozy things. I was Hygge before I knew what Hygge was. What do you like most about this time of year? I'm looking forward to a week of granola and soup making, bread baking, autumn decorating, organizing, mending, yoga, making and a couples dinner. Simple pleasures. I even thought I might whip the studio into shape and do a little video tour that I will post over on youtube if you think you might be interested. I'll keep you posted.