Junie's announcement

I've been waiting for Sam to post this on his blog but he hasn't yet, so I guess I get to be first.  Really, just because he drew the picture shouldn't mean he gets to take all the credit.  Who designed the rest of the announcement and made that bird silhouette and selected the fonts, for crying out loud?  Me, that's who.  (Of course, everything I know about Painter and Photoshop I learned from Sam, so . . . )

I didn't ever post pictures of our announcements for the other kids, but you can find the baby pictures Sam drew for them here.  It really is lovely having an artist in the family.

I also didn't mention when we sent these out so you can imagine that it was months and months ago.


This person apparently belongs to the same pagan sect that performed this strange rite

I've been slow admitting Fall this year.  I was totally convinced that since summer was late starting, it should be late ending, and the fact that nobody ever guaranteed any such thing is just dawning on me now.  We've had nice summery weather, but it's chilly up in the canyons and at morning and evening.  I do love Fall.  I'll be posting lots of pictures of changing leaves, probably. (This blog is "light-in-leaves," after all.)

Looks like the colors are a little behind where they were last year.  There are lots of yellows and oranges here and there, but not many big clumps of foliage where everything is colored.  I love how the tips of trees acquire a slightly toasted look just before their transformation, like a paper about to burst into flame.  You can almost see those flames spreading over the mountain ridges---more trees everyday.

This is going to be a long wait

Here is what Sebby said the other day, in his Disneyland-ride-loudspeaker voice, as we were playing "roller coaster" together:
"Please, no eating or drinking on the ride.  Keep your hands and arms inside at all times.  If you have a baby, please exit the ride until the baby is grown up."

Watermelon Lemonade

I buy melon all summer and what we don't eat right away, I always freeze in baggies to make smoothies later.  (I got the best watermelon a few days ago which yielded me 10 bags full of fruit to freeze!)  Cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon smoothies are some of my favorites---but lately I can't get enough of this watermelon lemonade.  It's so easy to make that I almost hate to insult you with a recipe, but this will give you a starting point.  Feel free to adjust the ingredients to your taste.  I think it's particularly amazing with fresh mint in it, but I have made basil- and rosemary-flavored lemonades, and they're delicious too.

You can also make this with un-frozen watermelon, in which case you will get more of a traditionally thin lemonade.  I love it with the frozen melon because it makes a thicker, slushier drink.  It settles into a beautiful deep-ruby-to-pale-pink gradient as it sits in the glass---I think it looks so lovely.  The best kind of summer drink.  We sit out on the porch swing drinking it in the evenings, feeling like we are sucking up the marrow of life---er, or if we prefer not to use Thoreau's rather smug and unappetizing metaphor, we could say it's like we're hummingbirds enjoying the last of our summer nectar.  Try it!

Watermelon-Mint Lemonade

1 small baggie-full of frozen watermelon chunks (16-17 oz.), thawed slightly in microwave (I open the ziploc and microwave for about 40 seconds---enough to loosen the melon so you can get it out, but it's still mostly frozen)
1 c. water
1/2 c. lemon juice
1/4-1/2 c. honey or sugar
A handful of mint leaves

Add all ingredients to blender and blend.  Serve immediately, garnished with mint.

We-pick berries

Yes, so it's "the agricultural equivalent to a private liberal arts college."  We like to pick our own berries!  The McBrides are the nicest, friendliest people ever (we even like their dog!) and we go to their Briar Patch every year.  I wish I had pictures of the armful of flowers I took with me on the way out---purple, pink, yellow, and orange zinnias, and orange and yellow sunflowers.  They were GORGEOUS.
 A very small taste


A coming storm

Sometimes I feel so sad that summer has to come to an end.  I love the realities of Fall---yellow leaf-light, football, woodsmoke---but I've always had a hard time enjoying things with the impending doom hovering overhead.  It's the same reason I like Friday better than Sunday, Spring better than Fall, Christmas Eve better than Christmas.  Sam reminds me that if we don't call 3:00 p.m. "almost-night," we also shouldn't think of Fall  as "almost-winter."  And certainly not late summer as "almost-almost-winter."  So I'm trying not to.  I lay outside on the grass with Junie the other night while everybody played with the Stomp Rocket Sebby got for his birthday, and watched a storm roll in over the mountains.  The silent flashes of lightning were beautiful, and I thought about how it's not so bad, waiting for the rain to come.  I need to remember that the cycles work all the way around---rain brings snow brings winter brings spring.  Storms come, and they have their own beauty, and then they pass by and there's beauty in that too.

Anyway, it's still summer and there will be nights like these---many of them.
We peeled these socks off of her when we went inside.  There were THREE SOCKS on that foot.  (Sebby's socks.)  Three!!

These clouds look like the Aurora Borealis.

Biggest stomp ever

Junie against an ominous sky

(Abe=sympathy jumper)
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