This morning I woke up to fall. Our bedroom window is cracked and a crisp breeze is blowing in; a 180 degree switch from yesterday’s heat. A few leaves have even blown through the window onto the coverlet. Today I’ll be gearing up for an Oregon fall/winter by brainstorming new craft ideas and heading over to the Polish Festival/Alberta St for some food, dancing (polka anyone?) and merriment. Then onto a friend’s house for boardgames and pizza. Fall is my most favorite season because of the cool breezes, the leaf color explosions and the onset of crafting. I find that a wet Oregon fall and winter are best conquered with homemade soups, sewing, embroidering, felting and reading. My recent crafts include:
New Years, 2009 was in London. Icy icy London. Andy had left his passport on the plane in London so we didn’t catch our planned connection to Dublin. Luckily we were allowed into London and that’s where we stayed for 10 days. My good friend Ashley lives there so we connected with her and had a freezing cold wonderful time.
This time Ashley came to visit the US and I got to spend a couple great nights with her and a bunch of other college friends. It was high time for a reunion and I feel so much better heading into this week with a weekend full of renewed friendship behind me.
I’ve spoken to Andy a bunch about the difficulty in making adult friendships. We no longer have the easy conveniences of living in huge houses surrounded by other college students who are on the same page in their lives. We’re settled into our one bedroom now and it’s sometimes a real struggle to maintain friendships with the fast moving current of work and school sweeping us along. However, Andy is totally people oriented and makes it a big priority to spend a few nights out of the week fostering friendships by making meals together, playing board games, brewing beer, watching football etc.
This weekend showed me that even though I haven’t seen/spoken with many of the college friends I saw for a couple years, it was easy to jump back into our friendship. I am glad because of it. Winters in Oregon can be icy cold, dark and wet but having a house full of friends around makes it bearable. We’re thinking a housewarming after Thanksgiving.
Every fall while I was growing up in Salem, I would love to play outside. There are a handful of magnificent days in Oregon each year that are perfectly crisp in the morning and then heat up throughout the day until people dress in their summers and then as the sun goes down, all those bare legs and shoulders are caught off-guard by the freezing air. I live for those days. Today was supposed to be the last of them for awhile, but the sun is hanging on and I want to play outside.
One of my primary outdoor activities growing up was working on my fort. The fort was located in the backyard under the plum tree, behind the blackberry bushes and next to the neighbor’s rotting wood fence. It always smelled like damp leaves decomposing and I filled it with broken kitchenware from my mom and a great deal of imagination. I think this tree hotel in Sweden has the fort feel for grown ups and I would love to visit!
Cell phone photos of the work-in-progress desk inspired by Will Mean’s work. Stencil details still need to be added and varnished and then lacquered. Coming along!
Today it was rainy and cold. I was very glad to be working inside. Inspired by the weather, I made a big pot of split pea when I got home. This time I made it without using a recipe. I went with the standard base of onions, carrots and celery. I honestly haven’t ever disliked this combo of ingredients in a soup (save a few like french onion). I added a heavy dash of rosemary. Instead of using potatoes, which I don’t really like, I used a cup and a half of lentils which I added at the same time as the split peas. Simmered for an hour and a half and then served with parmesan and crunched up cheddar crackers on top. Really turned out well. I’m glad I’ve gotten to the point where I feel pretty comfortable creating my own dishes. The internet has been crucial in guiding me to outstanding recipes and showing me images of how the food is supposed to turn out, but it feels pretty great to plan and execute on my own.