As busy as summer is for us, fall is even busier. And each year, as we transition from summer chaos to fall’s schedule, I breathe a sigh of relief that I’ve juggled yet another 90 days of travel, summer camps, vacations, school transitions, spontaneous weekend fun, get togethers and accelerated work schedules and look forward to the routine that comes with back to school time. And normally that’s true. But this year, Drue is not in “normal” school. This fall I don’t have the luxury of calling her from the warm confines of her bed, rushing her through her morning routine, ensuring her backpack is stuffed with homework, lunch, snack, cell phone, gym clothes, etc and then sending her out the door at ten to eight and then jump into seven hours of peace and quiet and my work. Nope, this year Drue gets up around 8, snags her own breakfast, grabs her books and settles in on the floor, on the couch, outside, in my room or her room or wherever the mood strikes and gets right to work. And while that means a calmer, peaceful, more rested fall, getting here was an exercise in sheer overwhelming panic as I put together her curriculum for the next year, outlined lesson plans and gathered materials for the next three months, and bought materials, books and signed her up for classes to cover the areas I don’t have the time (or inclination) to create curriculum for myself. I’ve had some great help thanks to Ocean Grove Charter School and our wonderful Education Specialist. Don’t get me wrong; I haven’t been floundering along by myself. But I have felt a great responsibility to ensure Drue had her three R’s covered, along with a healthy dose of electives (programming, Japanese, etc) and a dash of accelerated Science and Math to keep her plugging along at the rate of learning she has now become accustomed to in her home school environment.
Add to that the new group we’ve formed of parents and kids to socialize with (and that is pure pleasure to organize and get together), acting as Site Director for Drue’s local volleyball league, and our work with a local marine science group and we’re beyond busy. Factor in time with the pups (and boy do we love our pups!), my own workouts, travel plans and spontaneous moments of must-have-at-this-moment fun, and we’re insanely busy. Actually, more accurately we are insanely, blissfully, happily, overwhelmingly busy and we wouldn’t have it another way. The one struggle I’m having is our adoption of and full embrace of a Primal way of eating that does not accommodate snagging fast food or hitting the twenty million local Thai/Chinese/Italian/other eateries that have lots of processed foods and carbs galore (okay I exaggerate.. maybe just two million). Basically, we’re having to do this weird business called “food planning” and this other weird business that I enjoy but need over and done with in 30 minutes or less called “cooking”. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE to cook and I love to bake and am brainstorming ways to make some of our favorite staples (homemade almond flour and sweet potato tortillas anyone?) in order to accommodate my and Drue’s need for fast, healthy, on-the-go Primal eating. Because as much as we LOVE eggs… we are getting a little bored with the omelet, scrambles, poached over veggies, souffle a la microwave with hot sauce and chopped veggies on top route we’ve been taking for breakfast, lunch and occasionally dinner. If not for lettuce wraps stuffed with roast beast or turkey or chicken, red peppers, mushrooms and other veggies, Drue might have declared egg mutiny on me awhile ago. And then there’s the whole grilling for dinner business. We do love our bar-b-qued meat. And we really love our bar-b-qued corn, and bar-b-qued asparagus and (well you get the picture) but it takes forever to light the charcoal, ensure the coals are the right temperature, move the coals around to ensure distributed heat, etc. and then actually COOK. So we’re contemplating adding a gas grill (GASP! I KNOW!) to our grill collection. You know for the whole ease in cooking, done in 30 minutes thing we’ve got going on.
It will be a few weeks before we have Drue’s homeschooling schedule down pat. And it will be a few weeks before I get settled in with a workout schedule, work schedule, volunteer schedule and the like. It’s been an amazing summer chock full of fun, family and friends. I look forward to the fall and travels to see friends and family, activities with friends here in the Bay Area, activities, work for my clients and down time camping, kayaking, and enjoying this amazing place where I live. In the coming weeks, we have canning tomatoes and pears to look forward to and by month’s end, I look forward to pickling green beans. In a month give or take a few weeks, there will be apples to put down, applesauce and apple butter to make. Figs and piccadily relish round out the fall canning season here right around the time we’ll start looking for the perfect pumpkins to carve and to chuck. Stanford football, volleyball games, cookouts in the park and maybe a visit back to the lake house round out a season that might not be as colorful as back East but is all the nicer for the weather. And Tahoe will always provide fall foliage if we find we miss it too much.
I hope you’re looking forward to an amazing fall filled with fun activities and wonderful people. What is the one thing you’re looking forward to most in the coming months?