FRIDAY FINDS

I really want to check out this book (hint, hint, somebody send me a review copy). And this one too.

Do you follow the One Room Challenge? Calling it Home organizes the One Room Challenge and selects bloggers to participate. The challenge is to completely redo a room in six weeks and post about it once a week. To me this sounds incredibly daunting. That's a lot of pressure. I can barely get my house clean in six weeks much less renovate a room!

Have you gotten your garden ready for winter? I haven't, but I'm extending the season as long as I can. The Prudent Gardener has a nice reminder sheet so you don't forget any steps.

New House New Home photo
This is a great reminder. Remember to take a little time to enjoy the season. You'll thank me come January!

Have you watched The William Shatner Project on the DIY network? I have to say, I liked it way more than most celebrity-renovates-house-on-tv-to-pay-for-said-renovation shows.

It happens every year: As the leaves fall, my thoughts veer toward indoor projects and I have a basement reno on the brain. This one is way fancier than I'd ever need or want, but it's awfully pretty.

Have a great weekend everyone!

APPRECIATING AUTUMN

Gosh, it's been such a busy week but I still can't figure out why. I'll put up my Friday Finds in a bit but I've had this post ready to go most of the week and failed to hit "publish" on it until today.

We are officially past the peak of autumn color here, but I think it has been a particularly beautiful fall. I couldn't let it pass without sharing a few photos.

Acer japonicum actonifolium never disappoints. In fact I'm seriously considering adding another of these beautiful trees to my yard.


This maple is always a stunner. I can't get enough of its bright orange leaves on days when the sky is a deep blue.


This is what it looks like when you peak up its skirt.


Many of its leaves have fallen. Right now our entire "front" yard is awash in yellows, reds and oranges. There is barely a bit of green to be seen.


And this is what happens at my house when you try to get arty and lay on the ground to take a picture of all the leaves.


 I hope you're having a beautiful autumn as well.

WHAT TO DO WITH AN ABUNDANCE OF PARSLEY

I grew parsley from seed for the first time this year, and as I was harvesting armloads of it over the weekend, it was a bit of a head-slap moment. It was so easy I can't understand why I haven't been growing it from seed all along.

Harvesting parsley
The big end-of-season parsley haul.

I really like parsley. I think it freshens up every kind of food (well, other than sweet things which deserve a helping of mint, in my mind) like no other herb can. And I grew way more than I could possibly use over the course of the summer. But there was no way I was going to let all that summer goodness go to waste.

I pulled all my parsley plants, roots and all, as frost is most certainly coming our way very soon. I plucked the leaves—well, as many as I had the patience for— and gave them a really good washing in my salad spinner (how did I live before I had a salad spinner?).

Then I just packed them as tightly as I could in the bottom of a large Ziploc bag, making sure to roll out all the air. I made three logs in this manner and popped them all into the freezer. When I need parsley, I can just pull out a log and cut off what I need.

Frozen parsley logs
Frozen parsley logs.

I did this with basil several years ago and it worked great, although you are limited to using frozen herbs on cooked items (it doesn't really work fresh in salads or anything). That's fine especially with parsley because that's what I use it on most anyway.

Margaret Roach has a slideshow on how to do this if you really need step-by-step instructions on this, but seriously, it's as easy as it sounds.

Parsley pesto frozen in ice cube trays
Parsley pesto frozen in ice cube trays.

I also made a small amount of parsley pesto (well, sort of pesto: just parsley, garlic and olive oil) which I froze in ice cube trays and popped out the cubes to store in a plastic bag. I can see this being really good in soups.

I'm not a big preserver of food. Canning still scares me because I'm afraid I'm going to kill someone by not sterilizing or sealing a jar properly. But I can freeze stuff and I love to eek out the last bit of goodness out of the garden.

Did you save any of your home-grown produce this year?




FRIDAY FINDS

How to make beautiful, delicious (and chemical free) colored sugars with edible flowers.

Autumn container
Deborah Silver photo
Deborah Silver (who I like to call the Queen of Containers) never fails to disappoint. Look what she did for autumn.

Rusted steel in the garden is such a great look.

I like fashion but I am not a fashionable person and to be honest, my style motto is generally "Try not to look like a slop and be dressed at least somewhat appropriately for the occasion." Accessorizing befuddles me. Yet this time of year is when I start thinking about updating my wardrobe a little bit (or at least replacing jeans that have unwashable dirty knees). I like to consult a few fashion bloggers before I spend any money. I'm a fan of You Look Fab because you can find advice for an age, shape or style and it's not overly trendy stuff.

Since I won't be getting my arm workout via weeding, paddleboarding or sailing during summer, maybe I'll give this series of exercises a try.



Newfoundland puppy

This little guy (whose name is Odin; I don't think we had decided on a name when I first mentioned him on the blog) is now 4.5 months old, 50 pounds, mostly fur, very sweet and starting to be plenty naughty. His sister Rita is still not thrilled with the new member of the family, which may have something to do with his habit of attaching himself to her ear and pulling. There have been a lot more walks for the whole family, which is a good thing (the whole household was getting pretty lazy before Mr. Energy came along) and Rita is discovering the liberal treating policy in the house to be working to her advantage as well.