Pumpkin and Sunshine

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Oh, the sunshine. The sunsunsunshine. It shines and shines and shines. Like, 88-degrees-everyday-and-no-shade shines. It just keeps shining. Every single day. Into October. We're now in October. And it's still 88 degrees. (Note: That was yesterday, when I wrote that — today, trying to finish this, it is cool and cloudy and I am thrilled.)

We went to the pumpkin patch! Everyone wanted to wear plaid and flannel, so they did. All were sweating by 1 p.m. But darn it, it was worth it. Hasten autumn! I am ready for you! My retinas at the very least are ready for you!

Thank you so much for the orders for the new kit and patterns! I truly appreciate every single one of them. All of the Pumpkin & Moonshine kits were shipped last week. The patterns for the kits and for the future Christmas kits are all here; I'm waiting for one more bolt of fabric and then I will at the very least launch pre-orders for all of those. I'm excited about them. Three very different things. Stay tuned for more.

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I took the week off of cross-stitching now that I'm kind of in a waiting mode — waiting for fabric to arrive, waiting for Andy to pull floss. The hard parts for me (basically the pattern writing and proofing, and sending off for printing) for this next batch are done, so I treated myself to some plain old knitting. I made a really cute sweater for Amelia from the Stopover Cardigan pattern by Mary Jane Mucklestone. I knit it in NatureSpun worsted on size US11 needles (huge!). It made a very floppy, very loose fabric (that has grown like crazy with blocking, but hopefully will still fit her). I made the women's size XS. It's a steeked cardigan so I'll steek it once it's dry. I gave three big bags of Amelia's outgrown hand-knits to my friend yesterday to pass down within our friend group who has younger girls and it was very liberating. And now I see that Amelia needs stuff. I couldn't see it before with all of the old, too-small stuff hanging around. So on the list for her are new mittens, new hat, new legwarmers, and new ballet sweater, for a start.

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If there is a folded-up quilt around, Agatha will find it and put herself into it and take a nap. Isn't that the cutest? She totally put herself here.

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Amelia helped make cookies (we made butterscotch chip cookies from this recipe which I think is the absolute best best best — I have never been able to make good chocolate-chip cookies myself from the Tollhouse recipe but now with this McCormick recipe I do and I am happy to have found it; I think I originally stumbled upon it on Pinterest). Then I made this Spicy Chicken Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Cabbage by Sohla El-Waylly and it was possibly the best soup I have ever had in my life. Not just made, actually had. I used four bon-in, skin-on chicken thighs but otherwise did everything exactly the same, down to the Fritos (also possibly the first time I've ever bought Fritos — you could definitely just use any kind of corn tortilla chips here). WOW. It was so great. Amelia and I had it for dinner and then Andy came home and ate the rest of it. There was not a drop left. It was that good. Highly recommend. I love Sohla's videos and recipes. (I watch a lot of cooking videos on YouTube streamed to my TV, which is so nice.)

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Kind of a cool thing happened yesterday when Andy and I were about to leave the house. Some people showed up and said they were from Salt Lake City and their relatives used to live here from 1946-49 and they brought us some pictures. The first one is of the house (obviously) and the second one is of the daughter of the family who lived here. She's with her fiance or husband (I think the man said this might have been an engagement pictures?) in front of our fireplace. She was 18 and he was 20. Aren't they just so lovely and fancy and sweet? Look at her gorgeous dress! What is that flower spray on the fireplace behind them? And look, the shelves had doors! And the woodwork is so nice and clean. And their carpet is gorgeous. The people didn't stay very long but I gave them my card and I hope they get back in touch and send more pictures. They said they would! Fingers crossed. It was such a random and cool thing!

23 comments

I love learning the history behind places that are important to me, so I would have loved a surprise visit like that! I'm always trying to figure out more about the people who lived in our current house, which was built in 1920. We moved here in 2020, so I often think of how much life happened in these walls in the 100 years before we showed up.

This is one of the latest times I can remember that the frost has held out. Last year we got our first frost around Sept 20, but this year it still hasn't come (and isn't even predicted yet in the 10 day forecast!). As we have a little backyard flower farm, I don't mind in the slightest, as it's significantly extended the time when I can sell flowers, and I'm especially loving the show all our dahlias are putting on right now :)

I love her white dress! I thought it might be a wedding gown. Hopefully they'll come back.
Is that black horse real? It seems too perfect-looking to me, like it can't be real, and it's looking at the camera with a bit too much awareness, like maybe it's a prince or something, and not really a horse. Did anybody else notice this? Or I'm flipping out.

It's a statue?

Where do you go for pumpkins? I have become quite interested in the growing of pumpkins and flowers this year and I started following Gordons Skagit Farms, who grow pumpkins that are so beautiful! I copied down your cookie recipe to try it. I am always looking for a good cookie.

How cool is it to see your house so long ago?! Ours is about to celebrate its 100th birthday, and I often wonder about who lived here and how the house looked before all of our tinkering.

Thank you for the soup recipe. Soup season is the best!

Send a little sunshine to the East Coast, please. It's been pouring here since Saturday, and just a small peek of blue sky would be lovely.

Love your blog, long time reader.
I did the same thing after someone bought my parent's home. I would always drive by when on that side of town and one day they new owners were in the backyard. I kept old 1960's photos in my car of when the house was first built knowing that some day I would see the people. It probably took at least to years for the stars to align but it finally happened. I was so hoping they would offer to let me see inside and what changes they made but that didn't happen. Oh well, my mission was just to let them have those photos. The history of houses has always fascinated me. Your visit was meant to be, a few minutes later and you have been out for the day. I love that!

Lesley Ann says: October 05, 2022 at 11:49 AM

All the pictures are fantastic! How wonderful that the old pictures were brought to you. It appears what is behind her on the hearth is a common house plant called Wandering Jew (comes in purple/green and green/white). I have one about that size that looks like it. I’ve followed your blog since before Amelia was born. It’s so nice to see her growing into a lovely young lady. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Your pictures are so calming.

Your house always takes my breath away.

I haven't ever found a decent chocolate chip recipe either, so I'm eager to try your suggestion. I grew up on Bisquick Chocolate Chip Cookies. So 1970s! Here's the recipe if you want to try something different. https://laurakbray.blogspot.com/2022/02/nourish.html
I'm not a huge fan of Bisquick these days as I try to keep the processed foods under control but I just found a recipe for homemade Bisquick and might try to make the cookies with that.

P.S. I live in Camas. Will Fall never get here?

Dear Alicia, Yesterday a dear friend passed after battling breast cancer for 8 years. She was so brave with a strong faith. I was alone and so sad and empty feeling. I knew I always find beauty on your blog. I went through your October archives all the way back to Amelia as a baby. It was a peaceful respite for my eyes and mind. Thank You for sharing !

Wow! How exciting to see those old photos of your house from another time! And Agatha looks like something right out of Beatrix Potter.

Your blog always cheers me. So cosy and lovely, must try those butterscotch cookies, and I loved the bit about the previous owners of your house. I went to whittards tea on the high in Oxford once and said this was my great x3 grandparents shop once and they lived upstairs. Oh I definitely recommend visiting the haunts and homes of our ancestors.

Amelia in this flowered hat reminded me of Anne of Green Gables, it exactly the hat Anne would like:-)
Thank you for the cookies recipe, I've already did it yeasterday evening and they came out great! And the story of your house sounds fantastic. I love places with a story, love looking at old houses and wonder who lived there, were they happy, what were they like.

I'm so glad you posted on IG that you had a blog post. I don't think I am getting my email notifications anymore to new posts and while I love following you on IG, I absolutely don't want to miss a blog post. The photos and history of your home are so special. Our house was built in the 90's. But we do have the previous kids heights written on the inside of the pantry door and we decided to have our kids heights on the other half of the door. They stopped by this summer outside to have a peek (it had been over 7 years) and I liked telling them about the door.

Despite it being a tad warm for flannel, your photos from the pumpkin farm look so wonderfully autumnal! So cool that those people dropped by, how lovely to see photos from years before. Also Agatha😍 honestly I am more a dog person than a cat person but she is delightful!

Since he’s wearing a tux, I bet it’s a wedding photo. Would explain her corsage, too.

Kathleen Grady says: October 07, 2022 at 08:53 AM

Hi! How sweet to see those old pictures! I agree with others, the couple photo definitely looks like a wedding photo. Tuxedo and that lovely white dress, very fancy and beautiful.

Lovely fall - yay! We have had some hot weather here in Northern CA too and now it looks like it's cooling off! I am hoping for rain and cozy weather. Love your fall pics, kitty, and pumpkins and the soup sound sooo good - thank you for sharing. Darling pics and how nice to know who lived in your cute house! xo

Chris Biljan says: October 09, 2022 at 07:00 PM

I checked out your comments on Food 52 with the soup recipe - in the blog you said chicken thighs - in the Food 52 comments you said chicken breasts- which did you use, or does it matter ? thanks
And Happy birthday on the 14th to Amelia - we (still) share a birthday!

Chris

Beautiful post!! So nice to see all the Fall photos in your area of the country. Agatha has grown a lot! So cute! I see the excitement on your daughter's face! Cooking and baking are fun activities for kids. Your house always looks warm and inviting!

Oh! I forgot to add to my comment how much I loved the story about the previous owners and the photos!! Whau! It's incredibly great when stories like that comes to surface.

How lovely to learn a bit of your house's history! I would love to have old photos of our cottage!

Re the previous house owners - same thing happened in our previous house which was close to 100 years old. This was in a small town here in New Zealand.

One summer afternoon a couple of years back, I heard an American accent floating down our drive. A very nice chap from Denver and his wife were walking down our drive, and we had a great chat. Turns out that he grew up in the house and had many memories of who had what room and the old layout.

We invited them in and he had a great time reminiscing about it all. His wife was horrifically embarrassed and kept apologising to me quietly.

I loved it, great to know how other people lived the place as much as we did.

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About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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