November at home

by Alissa

Making gluten free gingerbread cookies with my favourite girl. Yes, that is Texas in the dough, and a very snazzy holiday baking apron my mother sewed.

The neighbour’s oleander lights up at sunset. At least I think it’s an oleander. A little reward for standing at the kitchen sink in the evening.

Amazingly ripe papaya. Delicious seeds.

Custom filter: my dirty kitchen window in a rainy sunset.

Mustard sprouts. I thought they needed more direct sun, and then took them outside where they swooned in the heat. Five of them came back, so I transplanted them last night. More leaves are on the way.

Trial run almond crusted apple tart. We’ll do it again next week for American Thanksgiving. Thanks, Ace, for those nonstick tart pans you bought in Toronto. I guess we bake a lot to feel at home, wherever we are.

Sunflower! Progress report from the garden: Germination rates are moderate. The cucumbers and sunflowers are doing well–the ones that haven’t been pecked apart or disappeared from their seed holes. Tomato, bell peppers (from seeds from a pepper we ate last month!), look good. Melon and squash only half came up. In the greenery department, I’ve seen three tiny lettuces and some mystery sprouts.

You can see we’ve had a cozy couple of weeks at home.

I’m grateful for each of the moments in these images in part because each has an inverse. A windowless kitchen past. A garden ploughed under by an oblivious landlord. Christmas cookies in November to make up for the gingerbread men I didn’t let Octavia eat at playgroup last week. (They had ‘O Du Froehliche’  on the stereo and talk of Santa, too. The stores are loaded with garland, etc. Really, Australia? Already?) This week, Octavia decided she would rather stay home than go to playgroup. Fine by me!

Life is starting to feel good in this house. Last weekend we did another round of organization and move-in sorting and I even have a little office nook. We’ve switched to the summer-weight bedding. I’ve started dreaming about things here sometimes instead of rehashing old moves every night in my sleep. The lawn service guys left me grass clippings for the garden.

The thing is, we’re not staying home a lot because we lack places to go or things to do, we’re staying home a lot because we like it here.

And maybe because I don’t want to deal with Santa right now. Or continue the string of playground injuries O has sustained lately. Or update my resume from 2008. (Spare me the notices, LinkedIn. I’m working on my pie crust.)

All that aside, we’re doing okay here. The weekend has arrived. Ace and O are vacuuming and singing Michael Row the Boat Ashore from the other room. We’re expecting dinner company. Maybe someday some of you will stop by, too. If you come in March, there is a chance I will feed you melon from the garden.