Day 180- Heather

For Julia and Cynthia who were absolutely with us in spirit as Jen, A, and I reminisced about our time together in college.

Today, I’m really grateful for the annual tradition of Bag Day, where the bag gets you 20% off an item (or sometimes your entire purchase) in participating stores.  I’m done with holiday shopping 🙂  I also bought new glasses and splurged on a pair of winter boots (which I’ve needed for 3 years now….)

Seriously love how many people are shopping in town today, because the local stores are making big business.  Every item I purchased, from my first coffee, through the many gifts, and now my late lunch were purchased at small, independent, locally-owned stores, and the food all came from as many regional sources as possible.

And now I’m off to the independent bookstore for an author reading, as if this day hasn’t been fantastic enough.

Days 131- 148- Heather

It’s been quite a stretch since I’ve posted. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had the time to write. And that’s ok, because I’ve been spending the last few weeks enjoying the glorious weather. It is my favorite season and I wait 9 months for it come around again. I wish I lived in perpetual Fall.  I think there is no more splendid place to live than New England in autumn.

In the intervening days since my last post I :

  • went to Denver for a conference and am really grateful for that experience, it was incredibly rewarding
  • spent Columbus Day weekend with E and S visiting our fav places in the valley, made a pit stop at Frontier, went to the top of Sugarloaf, and we finished the weekend sitting on the sofa enjoying bowls of chili and cornbread, while watching comedy (though I didn’t find any of it funny, because I apparently have no sense of humor, or so I was told.  But I wholeheartedly agree.  I’m frakkin hilarious damnit!)
  • saw a bald eagle flying over the CT River
  • went on a few walks in the woods (into the woods, into the woods, yes I’m singing in my head)
  • roamed around Noho for Arts Night with my college BFF
  • had some Delhi papri chaat and I want more, always
  • worked on the farm shucking stalks of brussel sprouts. Let me tell you, it was 27 degrees on Saturday morning, so my hands were FREEZING!  But it turned into a beautiful day, so I….
  • spent the perfect Saturday with Z doing typical leaf-peeping activities: visiting a maple sugar shack, eating maple soft serve and some maple cotton candy, visiting the forever awesome Bookmill, and getting the best Mexican & margaritas around
  • saw the last morning glories of the season bloom
  • watched a swarm of ladybugs hover around the hummingbird feeder that has been abandoned til spring

Finally, I played with my dog and spent hours laughing at his antics. He joined our family 4 years ago this week. I love my dog!  I’m sharing a picture of Hunter and his cuteness from his first days with the family. Wasn’t he the cutest??! So damn cute!

Hunter- Cuttest Puppy in the World!

Days 124-127 -Heather

Back again! I was just so deliriously caught up in the GLORIOUS fall weather that I couldn’t bring myself to be online. Sorry blog, I have serious commitment issues. It’s not you, it’s me.
Day 124- farm, farm, farm. Great day to be at the farm. And a grateful kitty who loves when I visit.
Day 125- knit, knitty, knit and filling the freezer with peppers, stuffed peppers, and cauliflower.
Day 126- went by in a Bllluuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrr, but I still saw the heron in the lake. Such a funny looking creature.
Day 127- for the gorgeous blue skies and the bald eagle soaring above.

Have I mentioned that I LOVE fall! LOVE. My absolute favorite time of year. Sorry blog.

Days 114-123 -Heather

Dear blog- I do love you and I’m sorry for cheating on you with books, fiber, leaves, and farming. I apologize. And with email being down this morning I can finally tell you what I’ve been grateful for this week. I’ve been keeping a list hoping we’d see each other again soon.
Day 114- for friends who can pull me out of the blues.
Day 115-Books! Piles of books brought to the library for donation.
Day 116-for the end of an emotional week and a weekend to myself at home, alone.
Day 117- crockpots + bushel of apples & spices =applesauce
Day 118- the last crop of tomatoes, that also ended up in the crockpots for tomato sauce.
Day 119- I’ve said it before, but I’m grateful for Z introducing me to Delhi Papri Chaat. It’s always a special day when we go to NoHo for some seriously good food.
Day 120- for my goofy damn dog, Hunter, who always makes me smile. Even/especially when he’s being a dumbass.
Day 121- for the lovely sunshine filtering through the leaves during my walk.

Tomorrow I’m going to be grateful I get to reconnect with an author I met in a remote Alaskan Native village in the Arctic when I was doing my graduate research and he was working on his first book.

On Friday I’m going to be grateful that I have the DAY OFF! So I’ll be out exploring WMass during my favorite season! I FALL in love with WMass every year 🙂

Days 95-98 Heather

As you can see I’ve been lax in posting daily. I’m chalking it up to weekends offline, an insane workload, and not wanting to type more than I absolutely have to. After spending 6 hours responding to emails yesterday I had to walk away. I honestly never imagined I would spend days on end writing email. I have to say, it’s making me a bit depressed.

So let’s flip that around! I’m grateful my hours spent communicating with people has lead to some great relationships and ties me to the broader campus community.

Now, for the fun things of this weekend:
Piles of heirloom tomatoes at the farm. Pass the basil, olive oil, bals. vin, salt, pepper and fresh mozzarella and I can eat like a queen for days.
For the bushels of corn, beans and broccoli that went into the freezer this weekend. I’ve said it a million times already, but working at the farm has been extremely beneficial for my family this year. And it’s been an immense source of joy for me.

Days 40 & 41- Heather

I had the house to myself this weekend, I didn’t have to work, and it was a weekend off the farm. So I had 2 whole days to myself to do any and everything I wanted to, when and how I wanted. Sometimes you just need solitude to breathe and let your hair down.
Day 40- went to the Dirty and had a latte. Actually stayed and drank it there in peace and quiet drooling over the recipes in “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home” plotting my next move for the weekend. Spent the afternoon at home in peace.
Day 41- a nice, calm day, making lots of cold vegetable dishes for this week’s meals. Everything I made was from the bounty of farm produce: beets, carrots, red & white onions, snow peas, snap peas, English peas, broccoli, kohlrabi, cucumbers, yellow and green zucchinis, spinach, 3 kinds of lettuce, kale, bok choy, garlic, tomatoes and raspberries.
It was a lovely weekend.

Days 26 & 27- Heather

Another internet-free weekend = many hours spent working on the farm.  Snap peas joined the farm-stand offerings this weekend and just in time too, because I’ve been eying the growing pods and getting ready to pillage the fields.

I’m grateful for my mother and grandmother who welcomed me into the kitchen when I was young.  Over the years I’ve become fearless with food/recipe experimentation. Saturday’s bounty of vegetables sparked my creativity and I spent a few hours whirling about the kitchen transforming this week’s offerings into bright, colorful and healthful meals/snacks.

  • Black bean-quinoa salad with a garlic-chili-lime dressing. This is a staple for my summer meals
  • Broccoli salad with cranberries, sunflower seeds, and a mustard-maple vinaigrette made with chive-flower vinegar I started a year ago (so frakkin good! Fill up a mason jar with basic white vinegar, pop in some chive flowers, throw it in the back of the refrigerator and forget about.  It’s supposed to be ready in about 8 weeks, but I left mine in there for a year and I’m not sorry
  • Cayenne-carrot salad with raisins and a honey-cider vinaigrette.
  • Chinese-cabbage stir fry with pak choi, bok choi, celery, onion, snap peas, red bell pepper, white rice, and shredded chicken. (my stomach just grumbled because it’s lunchtime and I have leftovers to eat 🙂
  • My “totally local” strawberry ice-cream with berries, milk, cream, and honey all from farms within a 10 miles radius from my house

Day 18- Heather

I’m grateful today is Friday!!! It marks the 11th day in a row I’ve had to come to work and be acutely “in the zone”.  Even though a few of those days were half days, it takes a lot of mental energy to get through this time of year and I need a break from the perpetual jigsaw puzzle.  So I’m spending most of tomorrow getting dirty on the farm!  🙂  A little manual labor to clear the mind is just what I need.