I can’t believe it’s already almost mid-October! Our local pumpkin patches bustle with kids running around and stores are decorated with orange and yellow foliage with crates bursting with colorful varieties of pumpkin. Although trees around our neighborhood are still hanging onto their greenery, mornings are chilly and stores with their festive decor remind me that holidays (and birthdays! we have a few fall/winter birthdays) are near. I saw heirloom pumpkins at Trader Joe’s that looked like monsters in the making, and it seems God has a sense of humor. And to one’s surprise, the “ugly” produce tend to be more flavorful (e.g., heirloom tomatoes, sumo citrus). I have yet to try and eat an heirloom pumpkin.
I’ve been meaning to make a list of things I wanted to do this fall/winter and some sites I wanted to visit. It may seem like the usual and typical, but sometimes it’s nice to have an ongoing list from which to refer for planning’s sake. Here’s my ongoing list:
- Pumpkin patch: If you live in SoCal, I’ve bookmarked some fun-looking places: Pumpkin Station (in San Diego), Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch (in L.A.), Children’s Nature Retreat (in San Diego), Live Oak Canyon Pumpkin Patch (in Redlands), Mila & Emma’s Pumpkin Patch (in L.A.), Pumpkin City’s Pumpkin Farm (in Laguna Hills), Pumpkin Fest (in Pomona), and Riley’s Farm U-Pick (in Oak Glen). Tomorrow we’re heading to Heritage Farm in La Verne with our church small group.
- Bake pumpkin bread/muffins. Here’s a potential healthy recipe I might use. (+ maybe maple butter)
- Make Korean pumpkin porridge (호박죽). Recipe 1 (by MyKoreanKitchen), Recipe 2 (by Maangchi), or buy some at a local Korean supermarket. haha. ;) Just a note: it’s mildly savory and pretty bland, so it’s not to everyone’s liking. I like it, though.
- Visit an apple orchard. Our go-to for the past two years has been Snow-Line Orchard in Yucaipa. Elaine’s been to Riley’s Farm for field trips and she’s had a lot of fun meeting Johnny Appleseed and learning about colonial life and the gold rush.
- Make pumpkin juice.
- Take Christmas family photos. We’ve been taking “studio” photos for the past two years, but this year I might want to change it up and take one outdoors.
- Speaking of photos, I plan to make a photo calendar for the grandparents using Elaine’s photos. This will be part of their Christmas presents.
- Go hiking, for once. I’ve had too many failed attempts. Maybe this year will be the year.
- Read 2 more books before the end of the year. This year was a reading-fail. I must have chosen the wrong books because I’ve been stuck on a few since the beginning of the year. I feel the need to reread some of my favorites to be able to finish at least two more by the end of December.
- Make hand-made gifts and cards with Elaine. Since she can’t purchase gifts, I’ll help her make some.
- Work on photo albums to recap the year. (I am three years behind. haha..) Time to work on 2016. Oh dear.
- Christmas movie marathon. Maybe on the weekends after Thanksgiving.
- Make a wreath or leaf art with Elaine.
- Rearrange closet and drawers — take out an warm clothing. Create a capsule wardrobe, maybe?
- Day-trip somewhere. (maybe one the pumpkin patches in San Diego, tree farm, Solvang, Ojai, Santa Barbara)
- Enchanted Forest @ Descanso Garden (tickets go on sale Monday, 10/15)
That’s all I can think of right now and I’m sure there’s more to be added. It’s still quite a handful, so let the festivities begin!