Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thinking of autumn

Pumpkin cookies

I have a book review to write, ponderings about kid's books going through my brain, and some thoughts on parenting typed out in draft. However, today I just feel like chatting.

Christopher started classes at the University this morning. He worked very hard at the community college to achieve good grades in science and advanced math to get accepted in the School of Science. It is one of the schools in the university which attract students worldwide (as with Engineering) and they do not like homeschoolers or junior college transfers (can we say science snobs???).

He did very well in the calculus class they made him take this summer and made good relationships with the two instructors and his adviser. His brother-in-law has two degrees from the school of Science and Christopher has already sought his advice (he could not understand the way they set up their grading system).

We always go out to breakfast on the first day of school (be it Kindergarten or as a college sophomore) but both of us decided we'd delay our tradition this year. He had to be at work early today before heading for class. We are enjoying having him living at home again (even if it means I'll have to get used to going to sleep when he's out past midnight all over again!).

Hubby is doing his seasonal security work (oh, excuse me... I mean greeter) at the bookstore. We have a long list of auto and household maintenance projects so the work he does is very needed. I appreciate his willingness to work the long hours last week and for the next few days to help our budget.

I must admit I miss working very much and it is so sweet when I get hugs from students I used to work with (many have graduated and others are Seniors this year!). They are my bookstore daughters.

There is the look and feel that autumn is just around the corner, even though the temps are on the warm side for a few days. My favorite primitive country shop has been sending e-mails with lovely warm and cozy pictures of their new autumn products. I suppose this is a new way of window shopping?

It is better than going into the store where the aromas of the spice scented candles, the deep oranges and rusts and reds and greens surround the walls and cabinets, and the sound of the dulcimer can be heard through the sound system... it all comes together to destroy my will power... although I normally come away with only a tiny candle.

Let's not even talk about the soon appearance of pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks. :)

I was asked if I have many cookbooks. I used to have lots and lots and lots. I have collected them since before I was married. I still have a nice collection, mostly of my favorites and I have received lovely cookbooks as gifts that I've held onto.

Stephanie has some of my cookbooks and Elisabeth has begun taking those she loves home with her (can we say... future chef... or perhaps a mommy who loves to cook?). I also have given a lot of great cookbooks to Goodwill, knowing how excited I get when I find a good book for $1.99.

Once cooler weather arrives, I will enjoy baking and cooking even more but the pain in both my arms and the inability to raise my right arm very far has slowed down my inner chef. :)

I love the tastes and scents of the kitchen in autumn, so many of my favorite flavors are in season at that time. Today I placed beef soup bones, a small bit of round roast, an onion, and two bay leaves in the Crock Pot and set it on low to simmer all day. I let it cool down before putting it in the refrigerator where it will set a couple days before becoming veggie beef soup. Perhaps I'll make some of the pumpkin cookies we love very soon (recipe on the recipe blog... of course).

It is to be nearly 90 degrees outside later today but inside we'll pretend it is October. :)


Ms.Jeanie said...

Good Morning,Brenda!

I love all the things associated with fall as well. I could swear I smelled my pumpkin spice candle when I first got up. It has never even been lit! ;) Fall is my favorite time of the year and we have had some cool temps here lately and makes me yearn for fall even more. We too start our reviews today before we officially tackle the new school year. I think Christopher will do great. Is it hard to get a child accepted into college because they are homeschooled? We still have a while to go...mine starts 6th grade this fall. The pumpkin cookies look great. I spent over an hour yesterday looking at your recipe blog. You do such wonderful things here. Thanks. You are a great blessing.


Mrs.Rabe said...

Autumn is my favorite season! I love all the colors, the weather, the smells and the foods we cook then also.

I am getting eager for it!

LBP said...

Those pumpkin cookies look delicious. I love pumpkin!

I can hardly wait until fall. My attic door is beckoning me to open it up and pull out all my fall decor! I am "trying" to wait until Labor Day. I might not make it!



scrappy quilter said...

I too love all the things associated with fall. Here we are seeing cooler nights (even though most of our summer has been cool). The gardens are winding down, the grass isn't growing quite has fast and the farmers are working overtime to get the crops off the fields. I can't wait to start making more soups and stews. To start baking bread again.

I'm sure Christopher is going to do great. Hope you have a wonderful day Brenda.

Beth said...

Your pumpkin cookies look wonderful! I tried your zucchini brownies last week and I have started a batch to make today! Yummy!
You're right, fall is just wonderful!
I have been worried about it being difficult for homeschooled children to get into college and that is why I decided to have my sophomore homeschool through an acreditted school such as Abeka. I'm not sure that was necessary but I don't think I am capable of teaching her all she needed to know anyway. I am also not the most organized so I think that having someone to answer to regarding her education is a good thing for us! My youngest is also doing their computer streaming but I am not paying to have her records kept by them until she is in high school.
Thanks for all your thoughts! (oh and those luscious recipes!!)

hmsclmom said...

I loved your post this morning. I read it right after I had been out in the garden watering and noticed that the leaves on one of the blueberry bushes and another bush are starting to be touched with red. :) The cooler nights have been a welcome relief from the heat and seeing the combines and trucks in the fields around me as they bring in the harvest always inspires me.
I am one of those former homeschooling moms that had to jump through hoops to get her son into college also. He took the SATs, did advanced level work, had a great GPA (and I am a hard grader)and we still had to write a "curriculum essay" outlining all of the materials we used and areas that we covered in order for him to be accepted. I used to teach full time in the public schools and am now a substitute teacher once again. I can tell you that it frustrates me to no end how homeschoolers are held to a higher standard than kids that go to "traditional" schools. You will find that as with anything in life, some strive for a spirit of excellence and others just try to skate by.


Helen said...

Its odd, isn't it, this being drawn by autumn 'thing'. I am too. I love autumn when it is here, and as the summer draws to an end and there is a hint of autumn in the air it seems to reel me in, as much as I look forward to it, against my will too, because I am trying to hang on to summer also. Its a long time till summer comes round again, and I really struggle with winter.I love the feel of autumn, the cosiness of it, warm clothes, warm house, nice cooking smells, battening down the hatches. I do look forward to it - whilst glancing over my shoulder too! Helen x

freetobeme - Anita said...

Autumn is my favorite season...but I don't want to rush summer away.
I love hearing about Christopher, maybe because he's on my prayer list!

matty said...

Autumn must be in the air throughout the country. When my son and I took the dogs to walk last night, I commented to him that "fall is here; can you smell it?" We have had 56-degree nights. I wake up in the middle of the night, cold, search for socks and a kitty and snuggle back down. I love the imagery in the posting, Brenda! Lovely!

For those of you who are worried about homeschoolers in college, don't. I promise you, at the community college level we are perpetually amazed that our homeschooling parents do such a fine job. No worries!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Brenda, I am with you! The cool mornings are giving us hints of fall, my favorite season. My thoughts echo yours today.

Raquel said...

Autumn is just THIS close here. We have been having cooler weather some and the early mornings are downright chilly! While shopping last night, hubby offered to buy me roses - but I talked him into a nice fall arrangement to hang on the door. I made applesauce bars last week and they have been requested AGAIN this week. Yep - Autumn is just about here - I am so happy as it is my favoritist season of all! Much love - Raquel XO

Anonymous said...

Yes, we too are ready for cooler temps, but here in NC that might be awhile yet. However this summer has been much nicer than the others since we moved here. I have always loved Fall...in college I dearly delighted shuffling through all the gorgeous fallen leaves on campus while walking between classes (that was in Idaho which always has 4 gorgeous seasons!!)

We faced quite a few hoops with our kids when entering college, but being all started Jr. College while we lived in Washington state, they had begun the program when our oldest was a Senior, that let them begin early. That is why we started them in Jr. College, as it was an easier way to get in. Our youngest had to get a GED. The other 2 did not.

hmsclmom said...

Elizabeth...your kids must have done the Running Start Program. WSU now will only accept Running Start kids IF they have also taken classes at a private of public high school. Sad...You also mentioned you went to college in Idaho. So did I!!! I'm a UofI grad! Go Vandals! My son Josh was a WSU Cougar for awhile before he entered the Air Force. :) Small world!


Kimberly said...

Breakfast this morning was toast with Pumpkin Spice Honey and a pot of Vanilla Tea. I'm trying not to rush the seasons, but I was overcome with irresistible temptation when I saw the jar at Honeyville this weekend. I was surprised at the leaves already changing as I drove across Colorado this weekend. Autumn is on its way!
PS=Love this pix for your real daughter's blog. :)

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

I loved you talking about fall and your cookbooks. I have been meaning to tell you that I love the picture of Stephanie and the children. That is such a sweet picture. I know you are so proud of her and the way she is raising the children. My daughter is crazy about her garden and all the yardwork. It amazes me. Back in those teenage years I would have never believed she would keep such a nice home and yard. I love hearing about Christopher. I know you are happy he's back home. I, too, am anxious for the Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I always think of you when I get one. I wish I could share some with you someday. Thank you for your posts. They encourage me.

Anonymous said...

I will miss walking and working in the summer garden but I too love fall the best. Why? I haven't a clue but just love the beautiful fall leaves and everything about this season. You mentioned your husband working again at the book store. I am so glad with his allergies and all he can work when he gets a chance like that. It just seems like a month ago you were thinking of what you would do with the money he earned and in acuality it was a year ago! Where does the time go? I just know I have enjoyed another year of your wisdom and ponderings!! :)
I do have a question...Is your husband home most of the time? Mine is to be retired pretty soon and I am wondering how you get our housework etc done with him underfoot? Do you share chores? I do all the homey things now and enjoy it so. When he has been home for long spells throughout the years I have had a hard time geting things done. He is wanting to go here or there at the last minute or needs me to do this or that. There is no time to do anything cept the basic cooking and clothes washing and such. No time for the extras or really a lot of the basics at those times. Do you have any hints? Maybe some of the other homemakers who have retired husbands could give ideas? I know he will have to take over a few of the yard duties he has not usually done. There just won't be enough time. I am used to 8 hours to do the shopping and cleaning and sewing etc,etc ..now I will have no hours alone. How do you organize your time? This has got to be something many have a challenge with. Sorry I didn't intend to hijack the comments this is just on my mind a lot.
Thankyou for the Christopher update. He {and you} have worked so hard to get him where he is. So glad others are aware of his abilities too. Jody

Anonymous said...


Yes, my older 2 children did Running Start. Both whom got their master's degrees in their fields eventually. My hubby and son graduated from WSU (Richland extention campus)in 1996. I (and for a year, hubby as well) started college in Nampa, Idaho when we were young. (But I could not recommend that college anymore...no use to pay for private school when it is not much different from a public one).

My older 2 children both attended public high school for a few courses each year, prior to college entry. But after all that occured with the 2nd one, we kept the 3rd one totally at home until jr. college. Well, we do the best we can...and hope that someday it will all work out for the best. And that "someday" might not be until THE FINAL DAY!!

Blessings, Elizabeth

Jennie said...

Last fall when you were talking about Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes I couldn’t resist getting one. I new I couldn’t afford that on a regular basis so I went to Wal-Mart’s coffee isle and got Pumpkin Spice and Peppermint Coffee the kind you can grind yourself. It was almost $8 for a small bag which is a lot to spend but it was cheaper than getting a Starbucks addiction. I savored the Pumpkin Spice for the months of October & November. I held myself back until December for the treat of the Peppermint but as soon as December 1st came I cracker open the bag. I also splurged on some of the Coffee-Mate Special Edition Creamers like Pralines & Cream and Blueberry Cobbler in the powdered form so that I could keep them longer than the liquid dairy creamers. I am still trying to use them up so I can buy some new ones this fall.

I also got some of the holiday teas you mentioned like Candy Cane Lane, and Sugar Plum Spice which I love. I also got Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride & Nutcracker Sweet which I didn’t care for but I passed it out to ladies I know who love tea. That way they could try before they bought it and not waste money if they didn’t.

As you can tell I too love fall.

DarcyLee said...


Can you give me some recommendations about good books to give my grand daughter. She is still a newborn but I want her to have a good library for when she wants to really read. I want to start building it now. The first set of books I want to get her are the Beatrix Potter books.

Ms.Jeanie-I've graduated 4 homeschoolers and we have never had a problem with getting any of our kids into college. Two of my girls took college courses while they were still in high school. It's important to know early on in high school which schools your child may want to go to and find out what they expect. Hope this helps.