Monday, September 22, 2014

In the Quiet of the World

I've been rereading 7 this month, trying to write a few posts ahead for 31 Days in October (because the whole point of 7 is that it's a mutiny against excess, and worrying about trying to write a blog post every day while battling our spotty internet and attending to Brooklyn seems excessive to me), and I'm currently on the chapter about stress. It's gotten me thinking about Sabbath, and peace, and rest, and quiet.

(The square cube on top of my iced vanilla mocha is a handmade marshmallow - I savored nibbles between sips)

Part of what makes Autumn so appealing to me is its invitation to rest with walks outside and cups of tea and sitting socially around campfires. Inside and out alike become more congenial as warm sun lures you outside during the day and cool air makes blankets indoors a cozy evening prospect, and it feels like there's less noise in general.

It's also a knittier time of year - the concept of working with fuzzy fibers is more appealing, as is the idea of wearing the completed item. I finished up Beorn's Bees just in time for cooler weather - and my nerd heart is delighted by the chance to publish it today, on Bilbo's birthday, since it was inspired by his adventures in The Hobbit. I had a lot of fun with this design, despite it being a huge experiment in knitting physics (I was nervous as I bound off, wondering if it would work) but I'm looking forward to consistently cooler days so I can wear it (it was a little warm for it the day of our photoshoot).

Also today is Adam's birthday. We spent the weekend in Fayetteville, celebrating with family, and enjoying the opportunity to spend an afternoon at the park reading, talking, walking, and sipping coffee together while Brooklyn ignored my parents in favor of carrying things around their living room (which is her current favorite activity).

A season of comfort deserves cozy food. I've been dabbling with baked layers lately, and my current favorite is this gluten-free Layered Pasta Bake.

Prepare one package of the pasta of your choice (I used Kroger's store brand gluten-free penne). While your pasta is cooking, brown 1 pound of ground meat (I used lamb this time - I've also used beef. Use sliced portobello mushrooms for a vegetarian version. Whatever floats your boat). Drain meat, and drain pasta then immediately toss pasta with about 6 ounces of spinach, until it wilts. In a couple of loaf pans (or equivalent) layer pasta/spinach mixture, ground meat, pasta sauce of choice (I used Classico because it's gluten-free and we like all of their different flavors), and spoonfuls of ricotta cheese - repeat, then top the whole thing with shredded mozzarella and bake on 350 for 20 minutes. It's great fresh, and also reheats really well (especially in a toaster oven).

Things are slowing down and speeding up at the same time - I'm looking forward to 31 Days and Socktober next month (it still counts as Socktober if I design something using sock yarn that isn't socks, right?), and our third anniversary on the first (yay!) but also pausing to enjoy the now.

How do you find the balance between busyness and rest?

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