Weekend Journalling – Fall cleaning, Forest bathing & Recipes from the vault

Happy Autumn everyone!  We’ve been blessed with beautiful sunny days for a good week now.  I couldn’t help but raise my eyes to the sky as we walked under the trees during our forest walk, the leaves fiery reds and oranges set ablaze by the sunlight shining through them.  It was warm. I removed a layer half way through our walk, I was actually overheating.  We cherish these days, cool and crisp, knowing once the clouds roll in off the cold Pacific, they’re likely here for months.

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Sunday was Thanksgiving here in Canada.  We celebrate closer to the Autumn Equinox. My mother in law hosts the feast each year at her home, a turn of the century character house with the original wainscotting, stained glass windows and pots and pans hanging from the ceiling rack in the french country inspired kitchen.  Friends and family gathered at 4pm for homemade stuffing with roasted pine nuts, candied yams, mashed potatoes, turkey and a glazed ham.  I contributed with my gingered carrots (mentioned in my “What I Loved in September” blog) as well as a big ol’ bowl of peas with bacon and shallots. Every year, both for Thanksgiving as well as Christmas, I have a movie marathon while I cook and get ready for the festivities. They’re usually the same films year in and year out. I love the comfort of tradition.  This year I watched Trains, Planes & Automobiles, Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving, Addam’s Family Values and Dutch.  Other’s I recommend around this time are Big Eden, Jack & Jill and Home For The Holidays.  Thanksgiving is one of my favourite Holidays although I give thanks every day. As a daily ritual, I go over 10 things I’m thankful for before getting out of bed in the morning. It’s a wonderful and positive way to start your day, to shift your energy into a positive state and rewire the paradigms we may have been taught to believe throughout our lives.  My paradigm today is that of abundance and gratitude. Even our local grocery store was ready for Thanksgiving.

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After all the indulging in carbs and gravy we were feeling pretty over huge meals.  For the rest of the week we’ve been eating light-er; Warm oatmeal for breakfast dressed with cinnamon, currants and walnuts. For lunch a board with fruit, fresh truffle hummus with rice crackers, olives and pickled onions to graze on.  Our wedding is in under 2 months, we shopped for Seth’s suit this week and the shop assistant joked as we left: “no gaining any weight from here to the wedding”.  We’ll do our best.

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The colder months are always a good time for those chores and activities we don’t get to during the light half of the year.  I took the time yesterday morning and pulled everything out of the kitchen cupboards, threw out any expired food and wiped them down.   The pantry was exploding with projectile spaghetti and boxes of crackers every time we opened them and whatd’ya know? after reorganizing everything, they all fit!  I keep opening the cupboards just to peak inside and feel the satisfaction of a clear space. Ahhhhh.

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Every week I do an infrared sauna session.  One hour detoxing, drinking more water than I do on a regular day and meditation.  It does wonders for my soul.  Infrared is said to boost the immune system, aid in weight loss, even kill cancer cells. For me it’s an hour a week of complete solitude and the warmth is especially comforting as it gets colder late in the year.

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I  finally went through the recipe box I got for my bridal shower.  Each guest shared one of their favourite recipes with me and it was fun to read through them, all handwritten by my sisters, mother and friends.  My fiance’s grandmother’s homemade Bailey’s Irish Cream recipe will get good use.  We like to spike our hot cocoa with it over the Christmas season. My sister shared her Colombian style beans. I’ve never made them but remember really liking them when I lived there.

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As I finish up this blog post, the sun is setting.  It’s changed position, lower on the horizon and setting behind the hills to the West.  In the summer the sun was setting behind the city but the axis has shifted and we make our journey into the darkness of Winter.  Immediately after dinner clean-up, I changed into my cozy flannel pijama.  Salem is perched on the back of the sofa watching the crows fly home for the night. Merlin is playing with his toy mouse, he’s still very much a baby.  We’re going to pull warm blankets out of the big basket in the living room, find an Autumn themed movie and hunker down for the night.

I hope you’re having a lovely Fall.

Love,

Jennifer

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