I adore the end of summer. I revel in its vivid blue skies and sharp, cool nights, so tangy and sweet like fresh apple cider. I luxuriate in my sated cellar and freezers and call up my friends to come pick the tomatoes and red raspberries and take them away because I’m done with them already. I dream no longer of cucumber salads and ice cream, but of spicy chilis and cinnamon rolls. And there's gradual realization that I am ready—and eager!—to spend time with my little pipsqueaks doing cozy inside things.
It’s invigorating, this shift from hot to cold, from outside to in, from hustle to hunkering down.
Most mornings, I’ve been going for walks. During the heat of the summer, my husband would be up and out of the house before the sun crested the ridge, but these days I’m often the first to rise, leaving him to savor the warm bed for a few more minutes before having to face a day filled with hammers, saws, and poopy toilets or new shingles, or whatever it is the brave man has to face. (If I were in his shoes, I wouldn’t get up.)
This morning the skies were crystal clear but there was mist in the valley. I had to run back inside for my camera.
I don’t exactly look forward to heading outside as soon as I wake, but once I’m out there (and the compulsive yawning stops), I enjoy myself. Sometimes I give my mind free rein to wander, letting it nibble at a variety of ideas, and other times I force it to go where I want, slogging over rocky terrain or through the thick muck, so to speak. I always come back energized.
(Not all my walks are pleasant. Last week I had two bad ones. One walk involved two skunks—one of which was in heart-stoppingly close proximity to me—and the other involved a full bladder, a sneeze, and a cornfield.)
When I get back from my excursions, most of the kids are still sleeping, so I fix my coffee, check emails, and plan my day. This morning I made the kids eggs-to-order for their breakfast. For myself I made Oatmeal Jacked Up.
Every other morning I cook a heaping half cup of rolled oats in a salted cup of boiling water. When it has finished cooking, I scoop half of it into a bowl and the other half goes into the fridge for the next day’s breakfast.
Then comes the jacking-up part. I add a scoop each of flax meal, raw wheat germ, and nuts, in this case pecans. I sprinkle on a bit o' sugar, either maple or brown, and, as a final touch, crown the mountain of goodness with chunks of fresh nectarine or peach. A glug-glug-glug of milk, and I’m ready to chow. It’s delightful.
What are your mornings like? Do you eat the same breakfast every single day, or do you like variety? Have you tried jacked-up oatmeal? If so, what enhancements do you suggest I try?
Oatmeal Jacked Up
Inspired by Aimee of Simple Bites
raw wheat germ
sweetener, like maple sugar, brown sugar, honey, etc.
fresh or dried fruit
Top the cooked oatmeal with whatever you like. Enjoy!
This same time, years previous: why I don't teach my kids science, losing my marbles