November 2018

 

In November the smell of food is different.  It is an orange smell.  A squash and pumpkin smell.

 

From the poem "In November" 

by Cynthia Rylant

Sunflower II

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

* * *

The rains came again today and brought November with them. . . . all day, a heavy drip.  Then at sunset a break in the clouds turned everything the most beautiful yellow orange color I think I've ever seen; and suddenly for about 3 minutes, the good earth and sky, the air itself around our home said, "Hello!"  

 

Into the Woods

I've been trying this week to keep the leaves swept off the patio out back, but the rains haven't helped.  Acorns and hickory nuts are falling by the bucket-load in the front yard, and an uninvited squirrel ate all of my daisy bush down to the ground.  The only thing left is a black nub, which is actually fine with me since now I don't have to trim it myself.  Ha! Joke's on him. 

 

Inside the house I've started the push to declutter and streamline everything so I can stroll through December, calm and confident.  It's a nice thought, isn't it?  I have it every year. 

 

I started with the kitchen since it seemed like the most slap-happy room.  I was pleased with the results until I realized everything I decluttered was in the dining room starting to cause chaos there.  You can shuffle and rearrange all day, but can you undo?  The answer, I suspect, is "not really."   

 

But no matter.  For one brief bounty of time this evening, I stood still and listened and saw November tiptoe in, turn around and take a shining bow, and then run offstage.  At least that's how it seemed to me.  It was one of those things you can't orchestrate yourself, and for me it was the quickest way to "reset" before the Holiday Train carries me away. 

 

I'll wave to you through the window.  

 

 

"If it isn't there, it isn't in the way, and doesn't have to be cleaned."  

 

Don Aslett

Until next time,

The Head Rabbit

Saturday, November 10, 2018

November Table

I'm sitting by the fire this afternoon, wondering if it's coffee or tea I'd prefer, while I consider the two new chairs I ordered last night for the living room table---our "cafe" corner.  

 

Changing out a piece of furniture, or replacing a worn rug is one of my favorite ways to energize both myself and Rabbit Hill before going deep into November.  I like to start out  with both feet as near the ground as possible, since the imaginary feast I love to plan gets bigger every year.  Why, there could be 50 or 60 people here to experience Thanksgiving at Rabbit Hill! You never know. 

The truth is, however, much more humble than that.  Perhaps only three of us this year.  Still, the planning is pleasant and thoughts of dressing up the table in its fancy finest is a holiday tradition that needs no crowd.  It only takes two, I tell my family, to make a party.

 

I've been dressing up my tables since I found out 20 years ago it was possible to have more than one set of dishes at a time.  My sister and I discovered this joyful truth together, and went on a spending spree that we still talk about. Thanksgiving represents the pinnacle of that joy.  

 

I don't know about you, but it doesn't take much to send me off on another adventure in home living. . . a new lamp, washcloths, those dustpans with long handles.  Last week I bought an olive spoon and as a result, my whole kitchen has been rearranged and organized! 

 

That's because I'm prone to "running inside," as I call it, so it's especially important this time of year to stop and ponder, to drink coffee, and make sure I still am able to put one thought in front of another in an orderly way.  Maybe that sounds easy to you, but I personally can't always be sure. 

 

So far so good this year, but it's still early.

Until next time,

The Head Rabbit

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Broomstraw

 

The rains came again and again this week, soaking everything and matting down the leaves that had fallen.  Most things in the garden have been trimmed down, taken out, or harvested which makes it all seem a bit dreary after so much summer bounty.  But that's the charm of seasons. . . they aren't like each other. 

 

By November animals aplenty are out and about, getting ready for winter.  We saw a fox crossing the road near our house a few nights ago; the first one I've ever seen.  His tail was long and bushy and he wasn't in a hurry, so we got a good look.  He was so small that I thought at first it was a tomcat. 

* * *

And like the fox, we too have been preparing for shorter days and stark, cold nights.  We've cleaned up the yard, stocked up on chicken broth and shortbread cookies,  covered the beds in thick blankets, and  started taking herbal supplements for colds and flu.  It's good, satisfying work. 

 

Just as satisfying was the harvesting this week of two stalks of broomstraw we planted in July before the rains came. Broomstraw and I go back a long way to when I first discovered it as a gift from my daughter.  Not only is it used to make hand-crafted brooms, but it is the source of that sweetest of all southern traditions, sorghum molasses.  

 

I dreamed of growing my own small patch of broomstraw every year, but what I have actually grown is two or three stalks a season.  I harvest, then hang them to dry in October or November when the seeds ripen into tiny orange-gold, red, and straw-colored balls that hang up and down the tall stems.   

 

Well, you can understand my attachment. 

 

 

 

Millions of massive raindrops

have fallen all around;

they have danced upon the housetops;

they have hidden in the ground.

 

They were liquid-like musicians

with anything for keys,

beating tunes upon the windows,

keeping time upon the trees.    

 

Classic Children's Poem

Until next time,

The Head Rabbit

Happy Thanksgiving!
Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving Table

Well bless my soul! 

The Day is done.

Thanksgiving came early this year,

in more ways than one;

and so, early it is behind us,

turkey and all.  

It was a wonderful day,

full in every way.

I hope yours was the same!

Until next time,

The Head Rabbit

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Soapmaking

A good bit of soapmaking has taken place around here this month; and I must say, the house smells great.  With first two, then three, then four batches going all at once on separate days, soaps and their exotic aromas fill every spare corner of our small home.

* * * 

Soaps line the breakfast table, soaps line the loft railing, and soaps line the dining room table. Mint and clove and cinnamon all mix together in the warm air of our living room just in time for me to start thinking of playing some Christmas music.

 

It's been almost 20 years since I made my first batch of bergamot soap using the wrong molds, the wrong oils and the wrong temperatures.  But I still was able to salvage what I had and was thrilled with every little crooked, flattened bar I managed to cut.  Now I have a handful of loyal customers and a house that smells like chocolate and herb gardens all rolled into one.  

 

Soon I will wrap each cut bar into a package all to itself, attach a label, and place it in a cardboard box to wait for the Christmas rush.  It's good, proper work for a rabbit such as myself.  

Soap Just Cut

Until next time,

The Head Rabbit

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Sunflower Over Couch

It's late evening and a calm has settled on our home, one that doesn't fit the busy excitement we've had these last many days.  There is a fire in the fireplace, the dog is sleeping on the couch, and I just finished putting away the dishes from dinner.  All is well with the world. 

 

We are standing on the edge of November, slipping almost unseen into December, and I can't help but think how fast these last weeks have been.  Already it's time to put away my three knobby pumpkins sitting at the front door, already time to close up the potting shed for winter.  We've eaten all the pumpkin pie and halloween candy, and cleared out a spot in the living room for the Christmas tree.  The Christmas Train is at full speed.

 

I'll see you in December. . . 

 

 

Until next time,

The Head Rabbit

* * * * *

Go to December


Note:  You too can use the same soap we use at Rabbit Hill.  Just go to the Marketplace page and click on "Handcrafted Soap."