Sunday, September 18, 2011

How Do You Like Them Apples!

I really enjoy the fall season, but its arrival always seems to sneak up and bite me in the behind. One day it's a balmy summer afternoon and the next it's downright chilly and there's frost on the pumpkins....

... not that I've got a pumpkin patch. Or even a pumpkin at this point.

I've been a bit slow to get my fall decorating groove on - just haven't felt the motivation.  But yesterday's visit to the apple orchard was just the thing I needed to get my head around the fact that fall officially begins in just a few days.

We're lucky to have a number of apple orchards within a 15 minute drive, and yesterday was perfect apple picking weather.

McIntosh were on the left, Delicious were on the right.

The trees were full of apples, and we barely had to reach for them.

... a little bit closer...

... got it!

McIntosh apple 'before'

McIntosh apple 'after'

Can you believe that there are 7,500 different apple varieties world-wide.

We came home with dozens and dozens of apples and a few other goodies.

The candy apple got eaten; the pumpkin pie and caramel apple pie are gone now too. The caramel apple pie was so good!

For a little while the apples will have a decorative role in the house.  I knew this bowl would be perfect for apples in the fall!

I guess I'll be making apple muffins, apple crisp, apple pies, apple oatmeal, apple butter, apple pancakes etc. over the next few weeks!

How do you like your apples - straight up, baked in a pie, diced into muffins or covered with red candy coating?

As of yesterday, my new favorite way to eat apples is baked in a pie with caramel filling!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I know... it's not January 1st, but that date has always seemed like a false new year to me.

To me, the day after Labor Day - when summer unofficially ends, and people head back to school or ease back into their routines - is the real New Year.

Tomorrow is my kids' first day back at school after nine weeks of summer vacation.  The start of a new school year brings a fresh sense of potential, optimism, and the wonder of what's to come.  The beginning of fall is all about New: new grades, new beginnings, new teachers, new friendships, new clothes, new pencils....

When you're a kid, "back to school" can be the ultimate do-over.

As much as I'm excited for my kids, and looking forward to getting back into a routine, I think many parents will agree that this is a bittersweet time of the year. A new grade is a reminder that our children are a little bit closer to growing up and leaving home.  That's the whole idea of parenting, after all.

Confession: I'm the mom who got all teary when I dropped my little kids off on their first day of kindergarten.

I've never felt like crying on the January 1st New Year's holiday (well, at least, not for the same reasons as the post Labor Day new year), so this must be a special season!
Whether you are headed back to school, or back to routine, I wish you health and happiness for this new year!