Summer's End

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.”
―Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

I am never prepared for the end of summer. The return to school, work, organized days, and good habits. Let's face it, we all go a little feral over the summer months. Shower? A swim in the lake is a fine substitute. Dinner? Popsicles and popcorn work. Laundry? Dare to be an outfit repeater I say.

This summer we settled into this empty nest thing. We chased sunsets, read books, and one of us was known to yell "Get it" a time or two while watching Olympic events. I know it is not true but I think that if I hold my breath, cross my fingers, and only watch through one eye Michael Phelps will be assured another Gold Medal. It is a heavy burden but I will do it for you, Michael every time.

Sunset from Samish Overlook

This was also the summer of smoothies in all sorts of forms. Bowls, with toppings, layered; if you could Pin it I tried it. Yesterday I stumbled on one that just might make this back to school routine a little easier. It is easy to customize for you or your family. Choose your own nut butter, liquid, add coffee if you want. Frozen bananas and oats make it thick and creamy, the dates add a great caramel note. It is a winner around here.

Monkey on a Date (serves 2)
3 frozen bananas cut into 1-inch pieces
5 dates, pitted. Please don't forget to pit them. It is annoying to squish through your half blended smoothie to retrieve them. 
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 big scoop of the nut butter of your choice. Use as much or as little as you want. I think I used 3 tablespoons.
1 cup of either milk, almond milk, coconut milk, whatever you choose.
Optional: a shot of espresso or 1/2 cup cold coffee. Really.

Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until very smooth. It takes a bit of time so be patient. I love this with the espresso or coffee, sort of like a one-stop breakfast.