Dance, Cook & Love.

And pray. And Eat. And smile. And learn . . . That’s all what I’m trying to do this season.

Here I am at the page again, with my fingers dancing away at these clicking lettered buttons. Life’s been busy lately and I’ve been tired. I’m working just under 40 hours a week, when I’m not at work I’m either spending my evenings with my family, cooking supper for them occasionally, baking an autumn inspired treat, or seeing friends. I’ve seen friends a lot so far this fall and I’m absolutely loving it! It’s been a long time since I’ve spent time with people my age and I’m glad to have this time right now.

Seeing my friends means driving two or three trips into Lincoln each week the last couple weeks to meet with them at church for bible study, talking as we sip green teas at a coffee shop in Haymarket or swing dancing, but when I can carpool with a friend or two from around here the hour and a half drive there and back is definitely worth it. Besides, when you’re stuck in a vehicle with a friend for nearly three hours a couple times a week you really get to know them well, and it’s good to have close friends like that.

Swing dancing. Yes, I mentioned that. What a smile that brings to my face! I went for the first time last Sunday and plan to go again this next Sunday to practice for a second time before a harvest party I’ve been invited to where there will be lots of dancing along with hay-rack rides, a bonfire and other seasonal festivities. One young man kindly brought me out to the crowded, loud dance floor to patiently teach me a few swing dance steps last weekend. I don’t know what he thought as I spun the wrong direction . . . more than once, and was so concentrated on the steps and following him that I blocked out everything else . . . including the music–but I hope he had fun, I know I did and I can hardly wait to return to the dance floor.

Fall is the most inspiring season for me. I’m not exactly sure why, it sounds so cliche, but it’s something in the air (I’m just sure of it). Maybe the leaves. Maybe the damp smell on foggy days. Maybe it’s the tantalizing aroma of spices in a warmly lit kitchen. Maybe it’s the memories of past autumn seasons that are brought back by seeing the same trees lose their leaves, hearing the same corn driers hum their tune, or tasting the same holiday treats as I had the year before, and the year before that. I love to be inspired, but it’s sad when life gets so full and busy I hardly notice the inspiring feeling which wells up inside and wishes for a release. I can express my inspiration in different ways. I could speak to someone (though that usually comes out sounding a bit too much like it came out of fantasy land), I could write, I could photograph the beauty I see, or I could create something in the kitchen. Writing takes awhile, so I’ve really laid off on it recently and just spent more time with people, but I’ve also spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen, and dreaming up what to make next.

I’m planning a Christmas party for many of my girlfriends this coming December. One of the girls eats only gluten-free food, so I’m especially trying recipes to recommend to her and to bake for this party coming up. (I’ll keep you all updated on this party and let you know what glittery fun craft ideas I come up with to do with them and decorate for the party.) For this party, and for recipes to make for my family I’ve been searching blogs (and loving Punchfork). To keep track of my recipes I’ve pinned several I want to try out onto my kitchen plans Pinterest board. Check it out if you’d like to drool over what I found to slap on the board.

Here are a few photos of the recipes I found . . . (this weekend I’ll post a recipe I made yesterday and absolutely loved for gluten-free almond butter chocolate cookies. You’ll love them too, I’m positive.)

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