While many begin the frantic two-step of holiday frenzy I try to remind myself that these cooler months call for a slower, more introspective way of life. I am nearing the end of a horrible cold so I have in fact had plenty of time with my thoughts. Even now as I type and my mind flirts with the notion of a hot bath and warm bed I sigh with relief that the month of November has arrived. I suspect our first fire shall be lit early next week and I shiver with anticipation. In honor of such a colorful month I put together a gift of sorts, for those in need of some encouragement or perhaps a sweet morsel to lift their spirits. Spiced ginger cake, akin to gingerbread but not as robust. Rosemary apple butter, a flavorful spread to grace any slice of toast (or cake). And lastly, a small journal and pencil to gather one's thoughts, prayers, dreams and inspirations. Everything budled in a sea of cotton muslin, sealed with brown paper, twine and foraged treasures from the yard. A simple way to share the harvest of such a illustrious time of year. These next weeks the shadows will slowly gather and lurk at our windows. The herald of skylarks will warble one final song before flying to warmer ground. And the richly colored leaves shall make one last procession down our streets until all is bare, stark in the bitter cold that will knock its staunch hand at our front doors. So in the meantime, join me as I relish this beautiful month and begin to turn my heart, which is so easily self-seeking, towards others. Happy November to you all!