I like patterns and rhythms and yes, dare I use the word? Schedules.
Before assuming responsibility for Mosaic Monday, I was in a weekly posting rhythm, consistently linking to a short list of memes. I thought I could adapt to a twice-a-week schedule - one for Mosaic Monday, and one to connect with other linky parties. But I only managed it for one week before life took over. So I am pretty happy that I can see a path for two posts this week, including one that links up with my old (well, not OLD, but FORMER) meme buddies. Coincidentally, this is my November summary, and the last time I published two posts in a week was my October wrap-up. Maybe this is my new pattern?
|View from our second floor
My forays outside have been naturally limited by shortened daylight hours. Also, we have invested those very hours in key projects such as sowing wild grass seed mixed with prairie flower seed. Nevertheless, I can offer a few outdoor photos.
Upper left and lower right: I have never seen fungi like this
Upper right: Beavers are still active!
Lower left: The low winter sun casts long shadows ...
Checking the trail cam provides a good motivator for me to lace up my boots and pull on my woolly hat; the pictures above were taken while going to and from the camera location. We cheated a little bit this month by 'baiting' the trail cam site with our leftover Halloween pumpkins … it's like chocolate to deer, as you will see in some of these photos.
|Yes, they are fighting over the pumpkins!
Top: looks like this buck survived hunting season
Lower left: hare lingering under goldenrod just outside our side door
Lower right: coyote moving fast
As I return across the fields, I can see the warm glow of the lights inside the house. And I am looking forward to the dinner menu, even if I am head chef! Somehow, meals are even more satisfying when it's cold outside. This month, I led the cooking for three meals - close to my goal of cooking once per week. (The only keeper is the Greek Spinach Rice.)
|Steak bites with carrots and mashed potatoes
|Greek spinach rice with meatballs
|Coconut lime chicken with asparagus
Speaking of cooking, no November summary would be complete without at least a mention of Thanksgiving! I didn't get many pictures of our dinner, but I have a good excuse - we were occupied hosting 8 folks from our neighborhood. In the calm before their arrival, I focused on pictures of the table … For those of you celebrating U.S. Thanksgiving, I hope it was a blessed family celebration. Our gratitude is deep this year, for our home, our children, our family, our neighbors, our health; the list is endless!
What kind of cranberry sauce do you like? We bought this can for
our neighbor, who claimed it as her favorite (and I like it too!)
Center: Our neighbor made this cake for her son, whose birthday fell
on Thanksgiving. The 'flames' on the fire were made with melted
Lifesavers. So clever!
FIVE: NIFTY NEW NOOKS
Of course, Thanksgiving is the entry door to Advent and the glory of the Christmas season. Ever since our kids were young, Spousal Unit and I have dedicated one day to shopping (it was as much a date as it was playing Santa!!) In a new twist on our holiday shopping day tradition, Spousal Unit and I enjoyed a one-night stay in Missoula. We drove 2.5 hours south, and found ourselves in a winter wonderland with a blanket of 4 inches of snow. The pretty white stuff added to our Christmas spirit as we shopped our way through a mall and then the downtown area.
The "haul" - sometimes we hit the mother lode on these shopping trips - Spousal Unit found three jars of
Branston Pickle (hard to find in small towns in Montana!), HP sauce and Chocolate Digestives!!
All in the same market!
Dinner followed at the Iron Horse, and then some dancing at the Union Club. A fully satisfying day! (A special shout out to Kit at A Montana Life for her Missoula recommendations!)
The next day, on the way back, every curve brought another amazing view. If we had any hope of arriving home at a reasonable time, we just couldn't keep stopping. Sigh.
But even Spousal Unit was amenable to pulling over to absorb this alpenglow over Flathead Lake. A glorious end to the month and a promise of the wonders that Advent will bring. Rejoice!
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