The Writer’s Almanac posted all sorts of trivia about Michaelmas today (and got a little far out at the end of their sentence here):
In the Christian world, today is Michaelmas, feast day of the archangel Michael, which was a very important day in times past, falling near the equinox and so marking the fast darkening of the days in the northern world, the boundary of what was and what is to be.
Other activities for the day that don’t sound like Led Zeppelin lyrics included settling of accounts, giving geese to the poor, and eating blackberries, because “it is said that when Michael cast the Devil from Heaven, the fallen angel landed on a patch of blackberry brambles.”
And there’s your trivia for the day.
Thanks to generous family and friends with fruit trees, I have both peaches and pears to can this week, which means I had to break out the canning cookbooks. Before this, I’ve skipped the chapter introductions in The Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, but now I know what I’ve been missing. From the chapter introduction to “High-Acid Foods”:
As you gaze with pride on the colorful jars in your pantry packed with nature’s best, the sense of accomplishment you feel is rivaled only by the sumptuous goodness you’ll enjoy when you unseal them–for one delicious meal after another.
Or consider the lead to the “Soft Spreads” chapter:
Preserving is about more than food. When your home is filled with the fragrant aroma of sweet spreads simmering on the stove, you are preserving memories that last a lifetime.
Questionable use of “sumptuous” notwithstanding, well done, Ball Cookbook Writer. You are selling the hell out of the concept of home canning. Maybe I need to join your team, because I haven’t been able to muster that sort of enthusiasm for technology, hotels, or insurance benefits in a long time.
Look! I finally finished the leopard pencil skirt!
This is a direct copy of a now-sold out version I admired at J. Crew. J. Crew’s was unlined stretch cotton. J. Crew’s was $118. Mine is lined, with a kick pleat (versus a vent), and put me out about $18. J. Crew, who needs you?
Now that this is done, I’m thinking about a jacket of some sort in this black and white leopard. Because cat ladies love dressing like cats.
It’s Monday and it looks to be another Not So Fun week so I am coping with cat videos set to catchy songs that involve swearing.*
I love the faux excitement throughout and especially, especially the opening line. I’m going to go around humming “Holy [redacted], it’s another [redacted] day, it’s the best day ever AGAIN” today. And of course I’ll be humming it ironically.
*Disclaimer: There’s swearing throughout this, so d0n’t watch it if such things are offensive to you. And of course I don’t think cats are stupid as a rule, but you have to admit that there are some animals you meet that are happy for exactly the reasons the song states.
1. It’s the autumnal equinox today, which I would like a lot more if it didn’t signal the beginning of the long descent into darkness. At least it’s only three months to the solstice, right?
2. Blue Moon Ranch is having its seventh annual Open Barn Days this weekend. They’ve expanded to have the event on both Saturday and Sunday, so if you’re attending a yoga retreat one day, you can still see alpacas and crias like Jethro here on the next:
Not to give you another emo post today (sorry about that), but I’m going to share another coping strategy I’ve discovered this summer: Exercise. (I know–who am I?)
I’ve always been pretty sedentary, beyond an occasional hike or an easy bike ride, but as I said Monday I’ve been exploring Millcreek nearly every weekend–and that’s in addition to going to yoga once a week. I’ve bought actual active wear. I’m attending a “yoga retreat” at the Cliff Lodge this weekend. I replaced my old hiking boots. Last Sunday I even woke up and did an hour of yoga with an online video. (Needless to say, my inner hippy has never been happier.)
But as active and outdoorsy as all this hiking and yoga is for me, I still am nowhere near the trail runners I see, or even the backpackers, which is why this song made me smile.
(And yes, I heard it on KRCL while driving home from yoga this week.)
Have you been reading long enough to realize that I post space pictures when things are tough? (If not, I guess I just gave myself away there.) Anyway, here is the Milky Way seen from the Himalayas (via).
I don’t read a lot of Robert Frost but The Writer’s Almanac featured this poem over the weekend and I thought it was just right. I’ve been hiking in Millcreek Canyon pretty regularly since June and, climbing “the hills of view” on Saturday, I looked around and it was fall. Sigh.
by Robert Frost
Out through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
And lo, it is ended.
The leaves are all dead on the ground,
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
When others are sleeping.
And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question ‘Whither?’
Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?
I may end up memorizing this one instead of the Neruda for September/October–I think the rhythm would be nice to work on while hiking and I’m still not feeling my first choice. Also, I don’t have any rhyming poems in my list, let alone any that allow me to say “and lo.”