happy first day of autumn

I had a lovely time yesterday morning at Dayton Fruit and Vegetable. The air was crisp and fall-ish and I had all the time in the world. A local farmer was there, delivering a truckload of squash and corn stalks, and the place is all decked out for fall with bales of hay, lovely mums, and pumpkins everywhere! I bought some ornamental corn, pumpkins, and gourds. From a stand on the side of the road, I bought carrots, cranberries, and another little sugar pumpkin. And (I'm saving this picture for later) I found a beautiful antique wooden rocking chair by the side of the road! It will be perfect in front of our lovely new wood stove. I'll post before and after pictures after I replace the seat and back cushions. All told, it was the perfect fall morning!



The lanterns are lit! They're the most vibrant orange imaginable, definitely my favourite fall plants in the yard. Now if we could only get around to weeding around them...


In Praise of Slow

Tonight I started reading "In Praise of Slow: How a worldwide movement is challenging the cult of speed" by Carl Honore (there's supposed to be an accent on the last e, but I forget how to do it on the laptop). Anyway, I read the first chapter this evening (slowly, by the fire while Adam perused an amazing Andy Goldsworthy book) and thought that it would probably be beneficial to jot some notes as I go along, to better synthesize the ideas. Firstly, I just finished reading "A New Kind of Christian" by Brian McLaren (which, incidentally, is a very poorly written book with some amazing insights and commentary on the modern christian church). Worth reading, despite the contrived structure and very dated references. Point being: one of the things that seems to be wrong with 'modern' christians (you really need to read the book to get the full understanding of 'modern' in this very specific context) is the lack of real and meaningful connection between people. Maybe he really focuses on it less than I read into it, since that's one of my pet issues. Anyway, "In Praise of Slow" comments on the problem of this culture of hurried-ness - it leads to superficial existence, superficial relationships, etc. The same idea in two very different contexts really caught my attention.

Being Slow isn't just being slow. He explains the idea of the Slow movement in a bit more detail: "Now is the moment to define our terms. Fast and Slow do more than just describe a rate of change. They are shorthand for ways of being, or philosophies of life. Fast is busy, controlling, agressive, hurried, analytical, stressed, superficial, impatient, active, quantity-over-quality. Slow is the opposite: calm, careful, receptive, still, intuitive, unhurried, patient, reflective, quality-over-quantity. It is about making real and meaningful connections - with people, culture, work, food, everything." (pp14-15) Two small instances come to mind immediately of when I have been struck with Slowness amidst the hurry of everyday life. Instance #1: In Saint John, driving somewhere with my in-laws, my mother-in-law took out her lip gloss-y glaze-y stuff and put it on. Unlike me, putting it on as quickly and efficiently as possible and tossing it back into my bag to be forgotten until required, she took her time. Not even so much in the putting it on, but closing the tube and screwing on the top. I thought "I can't imagine myself doing that so slowly." And not at all in a negative way - I was just realizing the importance of savouring moments and how good it can be to take one's time. The other instance, relating more to the quality-over-quantity issue, instance #2: a friend of ours is staying with some other friends, and as I was washing my hands in their bathroom, I noticed the most beautiful carved wooden box on the shelf. It was slightly ajar, and I saw that it contained mascara and other makeup. It was the most beautiful receptacle for the most mundane items, and it struck me that I was surprised not to see the stuff encased in a cheap-o plastic zip-up case. It was pleasing to see.

In trying to decide how to best live our lives, I've determined that we want quality over quantity, and enjoyment rather than money or transient things. Which is why we don't buy many processed foods, use environmentally friendly products, I've started making household cleaners rather than buying them, and I don't stress out over not having a perfect new house. Of course, there's always room for more Slowness. Life feels good this way.


Wallace Brothers Farm

We spent a little while today picking apples and pears at Wallace Brothers Farm, and it was magical! I wish it were possible to post apple samples - they are heavenly. I'm planning on making pies, crisp, sauce, and trying my hand at jelly. The trees were laden with fruit - what a beautiful sight as you're driving down the driveway - it was a perfect thing to do on a September afternoon.

beach bocce

We just got back from a lovely time with friends at Sandhills Beach near Barrington, where we played bocce. We were promised all week that the weather today would be sunny and 25 degrees. You can see from the picture that it was in fact foggy, and I was comfortable in a wool sweater. Anyway, here's the story about the bocce set: we found it at Frenchy's for 18.99 and bought it, although it was missing the little white ball. So we went to the company website and ordered a replacement. There was no place on the form to enter payment info, so we assumed they would contact us. Nope, they sent it for free! I thought that was fabulous and pleasantly surprising.