Saturday, September 02, 2006

New Year Squash

Just recently, I have come across more than one blog whose author is getting things in order now that summer is drawing to a close and autumn is fast approaching. To me, September, seems to me to be the propitious time to re-evaluate old things and, perhaps, begin new things. The kids go back to school, and the bittersweet tang of changing seasons already hovers in the air. It's the real New Year in my opinion.

Last year, my new beginning took care of itself. Many of you might recall that that it was then that we undertook our momentous, across-province move. But has it sunk in that it's been a year? A whole year! It's almost beyond my ability to fathom. The barely visible hands of life's speeding timepiece spin faster and faster.

We've settled in pretty well: taken up line dancing, been to concerts, become security guards for a weekend, and, as a result of having escorted so many visitors about the area, have been enshrined in the local tour-guiders hall of fame. What now?

Now becomes like other Septembers. Now, we think about what's next. Next does not necessarily have to be anything radical or new but may simply be the picking up of things that have been partly neglected or even almost forgotten: a mid-course correction if you will.

For one thing: I will begin a new online course. That's not exactly a new thing for me, for I have taken any number of such courses over the past few years. But it feels like the right and proper thing to do right now. It's a course in Photoshop that will concentrate on adjusting photos. It seems odd to say that, odd to emphasize photos in Photoshop, but a lot of people get very arty with the program and do a lot of madly creative things with it, things that are well beyond the tweaking of pictures. Me? I use it for its primary purpose – to adjust photos. Although I think that I do a workmanlike job already, there's always more to learn and much to review. I forget easily, you know.

A bigger thing: several years ago, I slimmed down quite a bit. I didn't put the weight right back on either – kept it off for two years as a matter of fact. As diets and their rates of recidivism go, two years is not bad, But, somehow, I lost my way over the past year. My surroundings changed; I was closer to family and the concomitant get-togethers (always involving lots of food, of course); we've explored our environs and eaten out; we've shown guests around and ended up sharing both home-cooked and restaurant meals with them.

And so, pounds have crept back onto my frame: not all that were lost for sure but too many. I don't want to go back to where I was, so it's time to take action. Hopefully, the change in diet will begin to be detectable on my body by Christmas.

To begin to achieve that goal, I made spaghetti squash last night. For those who don't know, you can replace the starchy noodles in spaghetti with the scrapings from this squash. After baking at 350 for 90 minutes, you discard the seeds and take a fork to the meat of the plant. The meat scrapes off in spaghetti-like strands. By replacing pasta with these squash noodles, I was able to eliminate the usual plethora of carbs that reside in pasta. I also used lean meatballs, low fat sauce and sprinkled light Parmesan cheese on top to serve. It was a tasty yet nutritious and satisfying meal.

That's part of the September change too: turning on the oven. We don't cook much in summer. We grill, forage, and get by. But come the cooler days of September, we switch modes and begin to cook anew.

Yes, it's the real New Year as far as I'm concerned, and I think I've begun to address it with the care and consideration that it deserves. I have even bigger news, but I'm a little shy about it, so it must wait until I am able to screw my courage to the sticking point. I'm not sure when or even if that will happen.


PBS said...

I can see your point about autumn seeming like a beginning. To me it's the beginning of going inward to winter, while the outside (gardens) are finishing up and ending their cycle. The years do seem to go by faster and faster, it doesn't seem like a year since you've moved. Good luck on the new changes and adjustments and I can't help but be curious as to what that last past is about!

mreddie said...

Time does seem to speed up after retirement - it only seems about a year since mine and it's been four. The spaghetti squash sounds like a good idea, that is one squash species that I've never grown - need to change that. Hope the diet goes well. ec

Gina said...

Don't be shy!

You know you can't write something like that and then just think I am going to ignore it!

Tim Rice said...

Just thought I let you know that I enjoyed reading your reflections. It is good to once in a while to stock of where one is at and what one wants to do. I marked your blog as one to come back to.

swamp4me said...

You, Mr. Anvilcloud, are a tease!
September is probably my least favorite month of the year -- very likely because of all the reasons you listed in your excellent post. For me, the "new year" begins in April.

Heather Plett said...

Oh, come on - you can't throw out a hint like that and then leave us dangling! Cough it up!

You're right - I think this is a better time to consider as a new year. I definitely started mine off with a bang!

Madcap said...

A tease is right! COME ON!!!

wthenrest said...

Haven't been by in awhile...was on a little adventure myself. I agree September is more the New Year than January. Some similar thinkers were saying the same thing just days ago. You are one of many. I get the secrecy bit.

luna pie said...

I Looooooove spaghetti squash! Looks like I am coming for a wee visit this coming Wednesday! Could you or the Dip send me driving directions?? Thank you!

The very nice man said...

Great post and so true!
I, too, have done a bit of re-evaluation and looked at things which must fade and others which might start.
To this I have just started learing Italian! Always wanted to learn this beautiful language but was too lazy.
Wish me luck.

I, too, have much to much weight on me and I am getting quite concerned as to how (and if) I will be able to shift it!

Here is wishing you a good September!

Cathy said...

Lovely post. Particularly :"the bittersweet tang of changing seasons already hovers in the air. It's the real New Year in my opinion." AC - I couldn't agree more. I've rented a stroage unit and the key to its lock is my talisman for 'change'. Yes, time is moving rather quickly and these days of diminishing light stir the blood. Change is in the air. Time to prepare. For what? No matter, it feels good to be out of summer's doldrums.

Kathy Trejo said...

Autumn/fall my favorite time of year.
you & cuppa have a wonderful day! :)

Anonymous said...

I love the Fall, even if it is short lived and winter is the eventual outcome. To me, summer is often a time of self indulgence. Good weather, vacation, barbeques. Fall is the time to get back on track, back to school, back to facing the reality that summer is once more a long way off. :-)

oshee said...

I completely agree. September is much more a time of reevaluating and change. I feel it every year.

Melodee said...

I have always thought of September as the true start of the year. That's probably why I felt the need to organize and declutter and all before school started.

Good luck with the weight loss!