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Archive for the ‘Fall’ Category

Where I live in Michigan, winter weather gets to be a little overdrawn.  Winter seems like it is never going to end.  My way of coping is to dive into seed catalogs and gardening magazines.  It is like feasting on dessert after you have been on a starvation diet.  All of those plants with their lovely greenery and colorful blooms just lights up the soul and lifts the spirit.  Not only that, but when you are trying to buy fresh produce you quickly realize the high cost of fresh fruits and vegetables during the winter.  Cold frame gardening can help relieve the burden on your wallet if you build a couple of frames to supplement your produce needs.
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     Today has been one of those lazy, do nothing and enjoy it kind of days.  Those are few and far between…but, so very necessary for the soul to rest and build up strength to do what must be done every other day of the week. 

      It has been cold and wet.  We woke up this morning to a growing blanket of fluffy white snow…the first of the season, to lightly coat the ground.  Of course, it did not stay there because the ground is not frozen yet…so, the warmth of the earth melted the brilliant, white snow early in the day.  This is just a mini preview of what is to come in the next few weeks.

       The snow brought joy to my child’s face…and, a look of acceptance to mine 🙂  Now is the time to contemplate making a nice homemade, chunky sort of comfort meal…like maybe a hot, hearty chicken noodle soup with homemade dumplings…or maybe a rich, smooth, smoky pea soup, or possibly a filling fall harvest kind of soup with some happy orange carrots, and some limey green cabbage surrounding floating chunks of the all american staple of potatoes in a nice rich broth of ham pieces or some pieces of bacon. However, this is work…and, cannot stand alone.  One must complement the meal with some fresh- from- the- oven homemade doughy, buttery rolls.  This is the treat that we offer ourselves when the reality of 6 months of cold, wet, dark and dreary winter comes sneaking upon us.  Oh, if that sounds ominous…then you will have to come back on another day when the snow is cherished and given glory…just not today when i have to grow to appreciate it’s beauty.

       Golly, you will just have to check back in a few weeks, when i paint the picture of a cheery morning; when the snow crystals sparkle in the sunlight and underscore the weight of the evergreen branches that bow under the weight of the heavy flakes of snow that have fallen overnight, much to our surprise.  Then you will see that the human spirit is flexible and has the wisdom to recognize all of the gifts in life. 

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       You know how people are always saying that they need more hours in a day ~*~  well, today, they have it.  If you didn’t remember…you were supposed to set your clocks back(Fall back) an hour (in most states in the US).  So, remember…you may need to do so in your settings on your blogs as well.  🙂

        Enjoy your 25th hour today!  Put your money where your mouth is…what did you do with your extra hour?

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       November is here finally, I am glad for several reasons.  One, the election will be over and things will attempt to settle in the political world.  It will be traumatic for a time; no matter who wins, i am sure. 

       One of the other reasons i am glad…is that it is the first of November and it was near 60 degrees in Michigan and, it will remain in the 60’s during the day for most of the week…Yeah!  That is cool…often by October 31st we have seen our first signs of snowy weather; not this year, that is a blessing.  November begins the holiday season and kicks off spending family time together. 

        But, my November cheer just took a slight turn when i remembered how many days till December; not enough, and by December…we will definately have snow.  In the meantime, I have spent two days raking leaves…with many more days of raking to go.  There are still alot of leaves hanging onto the trees; and, i dont want to go out and rake them when the temperatures drop into the 30’s.   So, come on winds…knock them down so that i can rake in sunshine & warmth with a smile on my face…saying-how lovely fall is!

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        I find things that are the most interesting to me, are often things that are going on right around me; figuratively, in my own backyard.  That is why, when i read an article today about a man who lived less than an hour away from me; and actually at one time in my life, lived less than 10 minutes from my childhood home…i took a major interest in the story of his life and his death.  He was an inspiration to watch and learn from.

         This man’s name was Lewis (Luke) Arends.  He lived in Sparta, Michigan.  You might find by reading this post that you may share a connection with him as well.  Luke was 91 years old when he died on Monday.  But, what i found is that he was the man who “discovered” the Paula Red apple, that many of us know and love.  Paula Reds have a sweet/tart tingle on your tongue and when you taste them, they almost remind you of a ripe strawberry.  When mixed with a couple of other variety of apples…they make a wonderfully, tangy applesauce to feed to your family.  The texture is smooth and cool.  The skins remind me of the old saying, red apple cheeks. 

         It seems that Mr. Arends was an apple grower in the 1950’s.  One day, he noticed an apple tree that was a little bit different than the rest.  He continued to watch this tree grow and eventually, produce apples in time.  He learned that this apple tree was different, in the fact that the apples began to ripen much earlier, in August, than the other apples that he had growing in his orchard.  This new variety of apple tree was good and he decided to name it after his wife, who’s name was Pauline.  The tree is still standing there…a natural tribute to the man; and to the fruit growers who were wise enough to recognize a gift from above.  The tree provided early income needed to bridge the gap from one season to the next…helping fruit producers to ride out the ups and downs that naturally occur due to mother nature’s temperment year- to- year.

         This is when the apple called Paula Red was born.  So, through patenting and propagating the species…everyone gets to enjoy a good tasting, early ripening apple before the first bite of autumn makes it’s presence known.  Thank you Mr. Arends for paying attention to the gift growing in your own backyard.  God bless!

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       Today was one of those days where…i felt..i had little to contribute in my normal sphere of interaction.  Others relieved me of my duties out of a regular shifting of schedules and it was an opportunity to rest and relax.  It was nice…but…feeling a little lost as i was out of my normal comfort zone.  It didn’t help that i have been fighting sinus pain and pressure, off and on, for a month or so…today, it was right there…my constant companion.

        However, when i got home…i had an agenda.  I “needed” to clean, process, and can some tomatoes that have been sitting in a box…silently taunting me with their presence.  I was procrastinating for the last couple of days…because i hadn’t been feeling well. 

         Since the sinus pressure was not going away…i had strengthened my resolve to get those babies canned; and, to do the same with the salsa that i had prepared days ago and was letting “marinate” in my fridge waiting for the primo opportunity to put them up!  I had made a committment to myself.

          I dug in and got to work.  I feel good because i actually like canning once I get it started.  It is getting prepared and getting started that annoys me.  I just want to see progress…my impatience is showing i guess.

            When my hubby gets home from his business trip tomorrow…he will find the table littered with my accomplishments.  The jars have to sit undisturbed for 24 hours before they can be moved.  But that is fine with me…it is the “proof” of what setting your mind to accomplishing your goals can achieve.  Now, i have a bit of tomato juice prepared for the winter as well as some wonderful, homemade salsa, all ready to go!  Tomorrow is the first day of fall…that means that winter is right around the corner.  Time to get prepared for it…by being a good steward of the harvest season.

          Ahh…now on to the preserving of the squash!  Oh my…we are blessed…thank you God for providing for us! 

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