Autumn Renewal

As we move further into autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, I can’t help smiling at the instantaneous replacement of whatever falls away. I see this most obviously in the garden, where hibiscus leaves turn yellow and burgundy for fall, while two of our four bushes sport an unexpected second round of blooms:


Making room for new food in our chest freezer the other day, I found last year’s harvest of North Star cherries from my Goshen permaculture garden. Today, I boiled those into a tart cherry sauce for vegan cheesecake to be served to a friend from our Madison days who had visited me in Goshen right after I took over the blue house next door as an office. She and her husband will join us for a gluten free vegan feast this week:


Old into new, continuing a red theme, which the Kalamazoo garden echoes right now, too:


You can see pineapple sage in bloom above, with (not) habanero peppers (what are they??) and salvia below:


As the world outside puts on a vibrant display of blooms and harvest before it goes dormant, so, too, I’ve found this time period extra productive. At our “Living a More Magickal Life” workshop at Lake Tahoe, sweet friend and student, Allison Jacobson, presented Tania Marie and me each with a gift of her new Inspire Organics product called “Light Up.” This superfood drink mix contains all sorts of adrenal supportive herbs and fruits, and Tania and I have both found it useful as a recovery drink. Others use it to replace coffee or other stimulants.

Both here and after long Tahoe hikes, my body gets a surge of non-jittery energy about 15 minutes afterwards. I also notice extra productivity and focus, which is why I chose to picture it here with “My Shining Life 2018” Leonie Dawson goals workbook:


Between Light Up and my new matcha latte habit, pictured below with homemade pumpkin oat breakfast “cake” from Kathy Hester’s OATrageous Oatmeals cookbook, I love the smooth, clear focus and intentions:


My nervous system normally does not like caffeine, but I find Light Up and matcha both work well for me. BTW, that’s the actual color of our dish and my soy matte latte. I hadn’t planned the match, but it snuck in to delight me last Friday.

In other news, Kathy Hester’s books have revolutionized our lives. Both the “OATrageous Oatmeals” cookbook and especially “The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for your Instant Pot.” Taurus David loves kitchen gadgets, whereas, I trend much more towards minimalist. He wanted an Instant Pot years ago, but I thought, “Hey, we have a pressure cooker and a crock pot. Why would we need an Instant Pot?” Apparently, because rice cooker.

Even so, I held out for years until a couple weekends ago when our nearby Costco featured such a super sale on Instant Pots. I’m not exaggerating when I say our lives will never be the same. First, we discovered Kathy Hester, and then we found all the other things you can do with an Instant Pot like easy homemade yogurt, super efficient broths, easy reheating of frozen leftovers and much more. After years of growing our food and then making almost everything from scratch in Goshen, we’ve been uninspired to cook since moving to Kalamazoo. Between all the special-diet friendly restaurants in Western Michigan, groundhog wars in the garden, plus flash sale Veestro deliveries, we just haven’t felt like putting much effort into the kitchen.

The weekend I returned from Tahoe, we celebrated in Grand Rapids and Grand Haven, then bought our Instant Pot the next day. Since then, I don’t think we’ve eaten out at all. We feel so jazzed to create new meals and also to revamp some of our old from scratch favorites. In some ways, it finally feels like we’ve settled into our new life, ready to cycle through the spiral journey and reclaim some old yummies along the way. Meanwhile, we’ve upgraded our process, made it more fun and more efficient. We originally intended our move to Kalamazoo as an optimization, but it’s taken us awhile to find our new normal.

After much experimentation, exploration, some deaths of loved ones, connecting with neighbors, new (and formalized old) studies for me, and a new job for David, life feels focused, with a firm foundation, and ready to expand. Love and gratitude abound!


15 responses to this post.

  1. Ah, the joy of Yummies! Life is meant to be full of yumminess. Creating delicious meals full of love and gratitude fortifies the spirit and soul as much as the body. Snd is a powerful meNs of energy shifting.

    One wonders what the energy signature of mass production commercial frozen meals is? Versus homemade fresh or frozen meals made with love snd intention? Quite a world of difference, I’d venture.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Yes, I’m sure quite a difference, Sky! That said, the Veestro really has been wonderful for us. No preservatives, all vegan, no-GMO’s. For the six months we just really didn’t feel like doing much, Veestro brought delicious, nutritious main courses while I harvested fresh greens or made side dishes from organic purchased veggies. I only bought them on sale, as they are pricey, but it really made a difference in allowing us to focus our main attention on setting up the new, writing my book, and preparing ourselves for the bigger shifts we intended this move to facilitate. 🙂 In general, though … yes to homemade foods!



  2. Sorry, those aren’t habaneros, but I do wish any kind of cherries grew here on the Cali coast!

    Liked by 1 person


  3. A girl after my own heart.. Making use of everything.. And yes Love this time of year too, as things constantly change colours, leaves fall, and unexpected blooms in my garden to as if the plant doesn’t want to let go, as spring flowers come into bloom again.. I have a primrose in bloom and a spring clematis flowering again..
    Loved your garden and your breakfast cake.. ❤
    Have a wonderful week Laura

    Liked by 1 person


  4. I’m a chilihead, so it’s my reasonable guess that those are “Thai chilies,” usually about 7 or 8 out of 10 hotwise. They’re about 2-3″ long. But if I’ve got the scale wrong and they’re 4-5″ then they’re probably cayennes, 9-10 hot!!!!

    Liked by 1 person


  5. love the reds and burgundies! in the vein of red themes, my tomatoes ripened lovely red and used on a homemade pizza last night 😉 so happy you two feel anchored and ready to blossom ❤

    Liked by 1 person


  6. Posted by Kieron on October 9, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    “Nature’s blooms do not want to let go this year..” No kidding. My amaryllis sent up a bloom stalk in mid-September and is flowering now (normally they are blooming in Feb/March if handled right in the N. Hemisphere). I may have over-fertilized it over the summer, or else it was really happy to have sun and abundant rain. Not sure how to treat it now since by now the leaves would be yellowing and time to go into winter storage to rest. very strange, like most else nowadays, but welcome!

    Liked by 1 person


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