Friday, September 10, 2010

A good harvest

The area next to our vegetable garden has burst into a sea of sunflowers (self-planting from last summer's flowers) and pumpkins (my planting). The birds have spent the past weeks delighting in the sunflower seeds, and luckily our cats are too sleepy to be out hunting!
My youngest son and I selected one of many ripe pumpkins to pick in our garden this week. I have planted various pumpkins and squashes in the past years and this French variety is delicious. This one pumpkin turned into several vegetarian casseroles and soups as well as sweet pumpkin & chocolate chip squares. In addition I gave a quarter of the pumpkin to my in-laws and froze several liters as puree. And that was only the first or many pumpkins!
I've been really motivated to making healthy meals lately. Perhaps it's all the delicious fruits and pretty colors in the garden right now, or just the reaction to the cold wet weather we've been having (trying to ward off the first sniffles and coughs I've been hearing /not in our family though!).
I've also been harvesting alfalfa sprouts in the kitchen and making the family colorful, vitamin-packed salads. The beets and parsley are fresh from the garden. I spent an hour chopping two bowls of parsley, now in the freezer for winter soups and salad garnishing.
My husband has raised gorgeous tomatoes but they just won't turn red. It seems like summer abruptly stopped in late August and it has been cool and rainy ever since. But we haven't given up hope yet! This weekend should be sunny.
But despite the cold and rain, nature is treating us to her usual generous beauty. The raindrops on the flowers are magical little sparkling pools that I find delightful and dreamy.
A few dry days gave me the chance to harvest an amazing amount of lavender. I hope to use it for making sachets and fall decorations, but I think it also looks simple & pretty in the basket.
Speaking of fragrant, isn't this a sweet little sweet-pea?
Yesterday I went to our local nursery and came back with all of these lovely things! I hope Saturday will be a quiet day to play around in the garden. Sunday will be full with various volunteer commitments and Monday I'm going to be at my new job all day! I'm doing creative work with patients for a few hours per week. I'm kind of stressed out wondering how I'm going to manage it all. I guess we'll just see! The first days have been good....
An amazing thing happened this week! My flickr friend Valerie sent me this huge package covered with gorgeous stamps! Even the delivery man had to comment on the stamps! What a surprise. Inside were the sweetest gifts and note ever and a lovely collage in a glass frame that arrived in one piece! I just love it. I will have to try to get a decent photo of the artwork in my next post. My son was thrilled as I (you can see his wrist!) - real mail is always exciting.
I truly can't get over the generosity of new friends I've made via flickr. I just have goosebumps all over and am so grateful to have met so many creative, positive people. The connections I've made as well as those I've observed others making are a truly inspiring.
Believe it or not, I HAVE been sewing! I hope to participate in a) a crafts fair or b) an etsy shop or c) both! and have started a collection of hand-made Christmas (or year round) ornaments and decor. Here are some glimpses of my gingham and toile de jouy hearts accompanied by happy zinnias.

Have a greet weekend! xoxo Karen