Monday, October 20, 2008

Greetings from Pat (who is in the process of collecting whatever fruits, nuts, or other food he can find to harvest around our neighborhood), Lezlie (not pictured here, who is in the process of collecting her thoughts on life post-college, pre-second-child, and pre-election day), and Israel (who is collecting bits of nature for the house and words for his expressive vocabulary such as dog, cat, and down verbally, and "hey, look at me," and "please" in sign language). (Wow. That was quite a sentence!)

This post will likely lack some of the coherence of its predecessors, but it's about time to put something new up here. Our family has been trying to enjoy fall to its fullest. It's strange that both Pat and I feel like we start to come alive when the plantlife starts to die, but that's how it goes for us. We love the fall and squeezing as much as we can out of the few drops of evening sunlight left.

With the financial good (as opposed to "great") depression looming ahead, this is a great time of year to renew our efforts at living frugally. It's harvest time and we're doing all we can to keep the fruits of our labor (and our neighbor's labor and the labor of the fruit trees around that no one tends) from rotting on the ground. We're still picking yellow pear tomatoes from the renegade plants that grow in our garden year after year, whether we plant them or not. As I write, I have a couple bags of them as well as a bag of actual pears that I need to save from rotting in my kitchen. I've taken to canning this year, and it's really not that hard. I've put away yellow pear tomato preserves and pear honey and Pat and I worked on canning the green salsa together. It feels good to plant seeds, water them, pick their fruit, cook it, and have it in jars in your pantry. Talk about seeing a process through!
my first small attempt at canning pear honey

I have been heading outside during the days with Israel to enjoy the moderate temperatures and the colors. Pat and I went on a nature walk with him through Christy Woods here in Muncie this weekend, which he loved, since his new favorite toy was scattered all along the path: sticks. Israel loves to pick up, turn over, carry around, chew on, spit out, and share most any stick he meets, whether it is the size of his hand or twice the length of his body. He seems to like them even more than his second-favorite toy: rocks. (They get the same treatment as sticks.) So we spend as many afternoons as possible in the native environment of his inanimate pets.

Much of Israel's time outdoors has been with his friend, Judah. The difference in their approach to nature is funny to us moms every time they go out together, as Judah likes to run and explore the whole place at once, it seems, and Israel prefers to take it slow and appreciate each little twig. Every now and then their paths cross and they "play together." Lauren and I might still have more fun with their interraction than they do (since they share good taste in sticks, apparently...) but our times together make for camera-worthy events. Here are some samples.

Israel staying close by as Judah scopes out the scene.

sharing good taste in sticks

aah...the stick.

The dogs join us for fun, too. That's Judah's dog, Max, in front, and our dog, Sophie, in the back. They share good taste in tennis balls.

"I know there's a stick in here somewhere."

There. Now that you're enjoyed some of fall indoors with us, go out and enjoy a little of it outside! And feel free to drop by if your outdoor trek brings you this way.

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