That color. That taste. Their cute round little bellies. Pumpkins. They are just the embodiment of autumn. Pumpkins, and all squash (I’m also crazy for butternut and spaghetti squash) are the quintessential taste of fall. I started seeing sugar pumpkins way back in August, I think. THAT may be a bit early for me, as in August I am still enjoying my fun-fest of summer, but as soon as September rolls over on my calendar I am ravenous for all-things-pumpkin. In this house we have a funny story of the pumpkin. When (I will not name the child due to possible red faces) one of our tow-headed babies were young, they could not pronounce “pumpkin.” We had a new kitten, and said child asked to name the cat “Pumpkin” or Mucko as it was pronounced. So…we had a beautiful, burnt orange, kitty named Mucko Pie. To this day, I cannot look at a pumpkin without calling it a Mucko. So in this house, it’s all things Mucko for the season.
This afternoon I roasted some sugar pumpkins to make puree. That way, when the need arises…ok, this is every day for me, I have it readily available. The fresh roasted stuff is so much better than canned, when making any pumpkin recipe.
Roasted Pumpkin Smoothie
1/2 cup Fresh Pumpkin Puree
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
3/4 cup coconut milk (or any non-dairy milk of choice)
1/2 tsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 cubes of ice
After cutting, scooping, roasting and pureeing the pumpkin, *after it cools* place into VitaMix add add all other ingredients except cinnamon. Blend on high until well mixed and smooth. Pour into glass and top with cinnamon.
Living in a place that has four seasons is remarkable!! The beauty that lies in this area that I call home literally takes my breath away. Every day I step outside onto my deck, out into my neighborhood, or out into our little city and I just soak up the beauty that God has given us on this Earth. It is astounding! It’s beauty by an Artist that could only be from above. As Fall slowly fades into winter here in Coeur d’Alene and the landscape is awash with a current allure, I find myself loving the new. Loving the fresh, cool, air, the leaves, as well as the promise of snow.
The change in landscape reminds me that there is always a fresh start and something new is always around the corner. Another season, all four very distinct, very unique and every one is a thing of magnificent beauty from a divine Creator.
Leaf number three of my Tree of Thanksgiving is Seasons.
A shot from my front yard this morning of the beautiful powdered sugared mountain.
This has been one of the most unbelievable falls we have seen here in the Pacific Northwest. The sunshine and crisp fall days, along with the explosion of colors that have enveloped our little city is beyond compare. I watch as squirrels in our yard forage for those last pine nuts that have fallen from the cone, to carry home into their hiding spots. Preparing for winter to strike at any moment.
Every day I am thankful.
I had a hard week last week as we came upon the Tri Cities Marathon for which I was training. I really had to hold it together a few days, knowing I would be missing the race. Trained up for a race that an injury takes you out of is hard to swallow for a runner/athlete. I still decided to go to the race. For a couple of reasons. One, I wanted to support friends that I had been training with. And two, to visit friends that I have living in the TC. Out of a painfully negative dilemma, came the ray of sunshine. As with life…..God can use our weaknesses and failures along with our strengths and passions as part of the person and masterpiece he is creating. As it turned out, I was needed at the finish line, as tears of feeling dissatisfied fell from a dear ones eyes. If I look at the bigger picture, where my injury played in, that’s where my compassion took over. From everything comes joy. Every circumstance. Every bad day. Every injury. Every bad mood, sad feeling, negative outcome. There is always a reason for rejoicing and thanksgiving.
I decided a few months back as I was talking to my mom that I was going to make a tree of Thanksgiving for our home this year. A simple everyday reminder that in some way, shape or form we have something to be thankful for. Everyday. I am hanging daily leaves on my tree. I am encouraging the hubs and teenager to do the same, along with anyone who sets foot into our home over the month of November. Add your leaves of gratitude and thankfulness. My prayer is that by the end of the month, we go from a completely barren tree, to a tree so full of thanksgiving that it bows down with weight. Easier to realize and recognize joy, thankfulness and the abundance we have in our lives if it’s staring at you from a overweighted branch of love.
~Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. 1 Thes 5:16-18 The Message
~This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us be full of joy and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24