A few notes from here in Nashville, here in this first week of October:
1 / An autumn that’s all big mums and our neighbors’ porches filled with pumpkins, right alongside bare feet and sundresses.
2 / A few blog updates, some obvious (design changes) and some not (new hosting). If anything seems wonky when you stop by this space, it probably relates to one of the things we’ve changed, and we probably don’t know—so please tell us.
3 / A a new library book I’ve been waiting for, an interview with its author (posted here) and my favorite quote from that interview: “My description of this room will differ from your description of this room will differ from everybody else’s description of this room because we are limited and graced by our own pair of eyes, the things that we notice in the foreground versus the background—That’s the beauty of creative work.”
4 / A good chunk of time thinking about this story, especially because of one line about always wanting everyone to understand what you do, and why you can’t and they can’t, so just stop: “For several years I felt this overwhelming need to explain ourselves and the decisions we made as a family to other people. I hated that I lived in that trap, and yet I couldn’t seem to get out of it. But God slowly freed me of that in Oklahoma.”
6 / Extra work hours, new projects, more social activities and several upcoming trips—and how all of these things, with the tighter schedules they bring, are good things we are being given right now.
7 / Remembering August, when I cried in the middle of Wal-Mart, by myself, walking the aisles to buy copy paper so we could print out paperwork to try to get back earnest money from a house we thought we’d buy, but lost.
8 / Remembering last night, when I cried in a Goodwill parking lot, next to Tim, out of sheer and overwhelming joy at how shockingly we have been comforted and encouraged since then.
9 / Words like these, from Naomi Shihab Nye : “I want to be famous to shuffling men who smile while crossing streets, sticky children in grocery lines, famous as the one who smiled back. I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous, or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular, but because it never forgot what it could do.”
10 / A mug filled with creamy, frothy pumpkin pie you can drink—recipe below.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (Made with Acorn Squash)
Makes 2.5 cups (20 ounces)
We’re calling this a pumpkin pie smoothie because, sipping it from a mug on an October Saturday, you’d swear you’re drinking pumpkin pie in a cup. But actually we made it this time with acorn squash; of course you could swap in pureed pumpkin (or butternut squash or perhaps even sweet potato if you want to be daring). Also, below the recipe are instructions and a photo explaining how to roast and make squash puree, for your reference.
1 cup (8 ounces) pureed, roasted acorn squash (from two squash)*
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) raw goat’s milk (or your favorite milk)
1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup (2 ounces)
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a strong blender or food processor and mix until combined. Adjust to taste as you like.
2 small acorn squash
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt
Dashes of pepper
Preheat oven to 375F. Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Rub the flesh side of the squash with coconut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set squash, flesh side down, in a 9X13 glass baking dish or other rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes and let cool. Scoop insides out into a bowl; if chunky, puree in blender or food processor. For a recipe like the smoothie one above, that’s unnecessary, both because the squash was fairly smooth and because the squash will get blended in the smoothie itself.