Overnight the day got dark an hour earlier. Frightful gusts of warm wind make the leaves dance and twist high in the sky, on the ground they swirl at my feet.
Three children who can be the best of friends - but not always - gathered together for a little carving party at the kitchen table. In the evening, three jack-o-lanterns appeared, two at the front door, one out the kitchen window.
The weather is stormy and I've already seen two trees down. Fingers crossed & prayers for safety all around where this storm is passing through.
The children are excited about parties and friends Thursday evening.
On the menu tonight - pumpkin soup (recipe soon I hope!) and homemade bread. I'm trying out a new recipe tonight for foccacia with olives & sun-dried tomatoes, and rosemary. The dough smells so good!
The first time I truly consciously inhaled the delightful fragrance of lavender was when I was about 12 in the south of France. We visited perfume factories and nibbled on candied roses and I purchased a small bottle of lavender fragrance as a souvenir. I believe that scents and smells often possess a more powerful memory trigger than a photo or a snippet of music. A scent has the ability to take you back so immediately and clearly to moments in the past.
However, as exciting as it could have been, those two weeks in the south of France at age 12 were not exactly a highlight for me. I could not take the heat, I was horribly homesick, I couldn't get a bite down and the bus travel on winding, hilly roads just upset my queasy tummy even more. For years after that experience, I sniffed at my lavender fragrance wondering did I love it or hate it, as it quickly brought me back to unpleasant memories.
Despite the negative memories, I realized that I really truly loved the fragrance. I remember consciously trying to CHANGE my association! As time passed, old associations faded and eventually disappeared.
Before age 12 I did not know what a lavender plant even looked like.
I was thrilled when the day came that my 3 year-old daughter identified lavender and basil and rosemary that was growing on our balcony at that time. I am thankful my children are growing up with a vocabulary of plants, scents, and tastes. My parents offered me a different vocabulary, and that's fine. One of the treasures of being a parent is that you pass on what's important to you. And then your children will hopefully have the fundamentals to go on and discover what's important to them.
I've never been back to the south of France since that summer in the early 1980's. But how I would like to! One of my dreams is to travel around in Provence with my husband and visit markets, galleries, cafes and lavender fields. Perhaps we would hike and bike and swim and sketch and of course, take many photos.
When you are waiting for a dream to become reality, you start making little bits of it happen in small ways. For me, that is the dozen lavender plants I have growing in our garden. There are probably two dozen. Our Rhine climate is sunny and warm and conducive for lavender. I'm sure the first Romans even brought it here. Every spring I seem to buy a few more plants and then wonder where to put them! In the summer there are days when my hands begin to ache from the repeated motions of trimming the flowers. (perhaps a better garden scissors?)
And then the really monotonous work begins, that is, if you want to use the dried flowers. This fall, my sweet mother-in-law worked for hours filling up a large bag of lavender for me to sell at the upcoming Christmas market. And my daughter and I also sat with the late summer sun on our backs pulling off the buds....hours at a time. I'm very thankful for my helpers! I have prepared dozens of lavender sachets. The little hearts and birds to hang on hangers are still waiting for pretty mother-of-pearl buttons.
Monotonous or meditative? (One of my current philosophic musings, you may have noticed). Whatever! I simply enjoyed working with lovely fabrics and sewing these sachets! I will also enjoy sewing on the buttons while basking in the lovely scent of my favorite fragrance.
There are so many beautiful images of fall homes and decor I've been seeing lately and I've been having fun pinning some favorites on my autumn board. It's also inspired me to take a few photos of fall in our home & garden to share with you.
To me, fall in the home is celebrating the colors & the harvest, bringing in nature, lots of DIY crafts (from now and from years past), many candles and of course, cozy cats lounging around! What is it for you? I'd love your comments!
A basket of real apples & sewn pears are pretty on the table.
The hedge out the front window becomes bright red in September, it's short lived but a simply glorious red that just glows! Now it's nearly all gone. I love this little bird hopping around under the peach tree. He reminds me of a bird I sewed many years ago...
...on this felted, beloved sweater, which was upcycled to a bag, which I didn't like, so then it became a pillow a few years ago. I love it on the sofa! Even the buttons were upcycled finds from the thrift shop.
Sofas and chairs must have generous piles of pillows and blankets and dozing cats to become really cozy!
The sunflower & lavender wreath I made last year hangs on the front door. You can see it here. A cat at the door isn't bad, either. Is he guarding us or just amusing himself with the little black bird hopping around? You know cats are great multi-taskers, it's probably a bit of both! (and a nap at the same time, too!)
My little son and I gathered some gorgeous things from the garden and made a nature mobile for his bedroom. Our favorite part was the gathering! It turned out lovely but got a bit wilted by the time I had a good moment for taking a photo. You'll just have to trust me on that :)
Oh hi, it's me! My sweet husband took a snapshot of me the other day. One thing I love about the fall is getting out the sweaters. When we hike around in the forest I love wearing this gorgeous wool poncho - I bought it years ago and remember really debating it as it was organic and even marked down very expensive. It's definitely been worth it! Less things, better things....better in the end.
Sunflowers in the kitchen. The last ones from the garden this year....oh how I love them!
Also in my kitchen...snuggled amongst my collecting of cups and teas and this and that, a Halloween candle and a ghost who feels right at home with my angel.
On Saturday I lugged a few of the MANY & very HEAVY pumpkins down from the veggie patch to my favorite little outdoor spot, only to find out that my favorite little spot now has to make way for firewood. I was a bit mad. But it happens every fall. I should know by now! Plus my husband is right....warmth over prettiness....I'll really agree with that once it gets cold!
Our yard and veggie patch yesterday. It has been unseasonably warm - even hot - this week, although as I type it is raining cats and dogs so don't be jealous of our beautiful sun.
Goodness that was a lot of photos! Hope you enjoyed seeing our crafty, natural little home in the autumn - thanks for looking and have a lovely day!