Happily cool and rainy

Wet, cool fall has decided to officially arrive in northern Michigan after making a brief appearance then quickly running away for the blazing hills for about two weeks. It’s actually quite a relief because I don’t have the guilt of not playing in the backyard when I’ve got a mountain of indoor projects that I’d like to tackle. Funny how that works, isn’t it? After a trip to the grocery store and long enough at our local children’s museum, we’re settled back in our nest while the rain coats the windows outside. It feels good. Looks like this weekend will be chilly and rainy too and I’m looking forward to lots of indoor (nesting) projects like figuring out what I want to do with this surprise bounty of October tomatoes. I’m starting with about six pints of salsa and then moving on to tomato jam if I have some tomatoes left. Any other ideas, lovelies?

What fun things do you have planned for your weekend? Are you looking forward to a lazy weekend in your nest? I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Bundling up in northern Michigan…

Happy Fall! Click on.

This photo was taken at our wedding – it’s been seven years this weekend, yahoo!

Happy fall, lovelies! My favorite season is officially here. Welcome pumpkins & bittersweet, apple cider & cozy scarves, curried squash soup & jeans, wool socks & beautiful leaves. I’m fond of sharing with people that I think summer is really a bit boring with its predictable and hot palette of blue, green and brown. Fall is so dynamic in northern Michigan with its sweeping storms, ever-changing clouds and wild colors. Green turning to orange, yellow, red.  And pops of aubergine! It’s odd to be so full of vigor and yet death and dying at the same time, no?

As Zane wrote the other day, we’re also now entering my birthing season (!) so welcome to you too, little birdie #2. We look so forward to meeting you. And soon! Today marks 35 weeks. Where has the time gone?

Do you have plans this weekend to nest, harvest, pick a bushel or two of apples, watch a football game or plant some hope-filled bulbs? If you have a few minutes while you’re cuddling up inside with a mug of hot cocoa, click around here.

Enjoy your first fall weekend! XO

nesting: dark, leafy greens

The little birdie and I worked in the empty patches of our garden yesterday afternoon. Early summer’s bright greens and peas are only a healthy memory now. It was time to turn our minds and spades toward fall. We weeded, turned soil, dug trenches, planted seeds and watered. Hardy, healthy, robust, iron-rich kale and spinach will take up a couple rows. We threw in a couple rows of beans too because somehow I forgot to plant them earlier this year. We’ll see how they do…

It dawned on me as the little birdie was burying the seeds with soil (her favorite part of gardening so far) that–with a bit of luck–we’ll be harvesting these dark, leafy greens right around the time little birdie #2 is due to arrive. Must have been on my mind as I chose these particular things to plant. Probably what my body will need most. And, who am I kidding?, some halloween candy to balance things out…

the Pflaumenkuchen days

Leaves–some orange, most green with the ends dipped in color–danced more quickly across the sidewalk as the needle plunged into the low 50s. I tightened up my scarf and pushed the stroller with haste, purpose. Let’s go home and snuggle up, I said to the little birdie. That’s pretty much all I felt like doing last week when the World’s Worst Cold hit our nest. Oof. The only other thing I felt like doing was baking something beautiful and delicious. Pflaumenkuchen – a German plum tart-meets-cake slice of loveliness. Yes.

I picked up some beautiful plums from the farmer’s market and truth be told, I don’t LOVE the taste (maybe it’s the texture?) of a fresh plum. But I cannot resist their beauty. I love how they perspire when I take them out of the fridge and let them show off their blue and purple swatch books.

Most fruits I prefer in their raw, unadulterated state. But plums? Slightly caramelized in a not-too-sweet crust with a hint of almond? Um, OK, bend my arm. Sooo, I turned to my buddy, the Internet and perused for Pflaumenkuchen recipes. I ended up combining a couple and tweaking them a bit to create this perfect fall treat, which uses simple ingredients and reveals a great plum taste. Aah, fall.

Give it a try!


I used a 9 inch spring-form pan, but any shape/type baking pan about that size will do fine.


1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. almond extract
About 15 or so fresh plums, pitted and cut in half.


Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and almond extract. Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture and combine. Butter your 9 x 9 inch pan. Spread batter in pan and then press the sliced plum wedges into top of batter, cut side up. Yes, I told you I was keeping it simple…

Then bake  your cake 375°F for about 40-45 minutes. Enjoy warm or cold, maybe with a dollop of whipped cream and a cup of hot tea! Or with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and a cup of coffee, like I just did. Sorry, waistline. Maybe tomorrow.

I’m thinking of using this post to start an “Ode to Oktoberfest” series. All things fall, German and fun, wrapped up in a Cyber-bundle. What say you, dear readers, does that sound like a good idea? What fun fall things do you have planned?