Saturday, September 30, 2023

Would You Follow A Different Path?

Here's a hypothetical question for you.  If you could go back to a certain time in your life and change the profession you chose, would you?  It seems to me that as we gain the knowledge and experience of years . . . well, if we had only known then what we know now.
When I left for college, my father told me there were only two professions I should pursue.  I was to become a teacher or nurse so I could always support myself.  (This was way back in the early 1960s, you should remember.)  I should forget any inclination to follow my "artistic" aspirations.
Although I never became a teacher or nurse (good thing for both professions), I did have a successful career working for a vice-president of a large company.  My pay scale was extremely good which would have enabled me to support myself, if needed.  I believe I did a very good job.  Was my work truly enjoyable or fulfilling?  Nope. 
I've always wished I had pursued a degree in Fine Arts or Interior Design or Drafting and Design.  (In high school I wanted so much to take the Drafting classes offered.  "Sorry," said the administration.  "No girls are allowed to take Drafting."  Oh-kaaay.  I no doubt missed the chance to become a famous architect.  Or not.)
That's my "if I could go back in time" story.
You're next.  Would you follow a different path than you did? 

Monday, September 25, 2023

Can You Stand One More Trip Through The Garden?

My second planting of lettuce still looks good, 
but is becoming a titch on the bitter side.

The coloring on the strawberry plants 
could hardly be more in fitting with 
this beautiful fall season.

With all our rain the last couple of weeks,
these slicing cukes got away
from me.  These are so big they're
bitter tasting. 

I purchased a special packet of
colored gourd seeds that
promised a big variety of
different shaped and colored
gourds for my
decorating purposes.

Ninety-nine percent of them are
either this or the above shape.
(Yes, this one seems to be
growing upside down.)

Look at the mum sunflower that
just bloomed on one of
the stalks.

Our pumpkins are finally doing a
good job of turning orange.  
So far, names 
of four kiddles are
taped on ones they've picked
out for their own.

We're getting gorgeous red
peppers on our 
green pepper plants.

Last but not least, not in the
garden but cooling
on the back porch, is the 
first apple pie of the
season made with our
own apples. 

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Gingersnap Recipe

Katie C. had asked for my Gingersnap recipe in the comments section of my last post but I've been having trouble getting it to her so said I would post it here.  It's a perfect treat for this time of year and I hope you, Katie, along with anyone else who tries it will like it as much as we do.
Here goes:
3/4 C butter
1 C sugar
1 egg
1/4 t salt
1/4 C molasses
1 t cloves
1 t ginger
1 t cinnamon
2 C flour
2 t soda
Cream butter and sugar.  
Add egg, salt and molasses
and mix in.  
Then mix in cloves, ginger,
cinnamon, flour and soda. 

Shape into walnut size balls and
roll each ball in granulated sugar.

Place balls on greased cookie
sheet and bake at 375°
for 6-8 minutes.

Cool on cookie sheet a few 
minutes before cooling
completely on racks.

Store in air-tight tin and
immediately hide tin 
or cookies will be gone
by end of day.

My husband prefers them super-soft so I tend to bake them only the 6 minutes but I actually like them to "puff" up a little bit if left in a minute or two longer.  As they cool, they "crack" to give that traditional gingersnap appearance.

Good luck making yours, Katie.  And thanks for your interest.

Monday, September 18, 2023

The Best Time Of Year

Crisp days, cool nights, color galore and no bugs.  (Well, except for those nasty ticks that one has to take precautions to avoid.)
I'm always energized this time of year (good thing).  It enables me to (puff, puff) get the last of the garden harvest in and processed.  Even though the garden itself looks terrible now, it's still giving all it can to make the last of the harvest worthwhile. 
I was thinking of making potato pancakes for dinner last night so went out to dig up a couple of potatoes.

One would think I got carried away, but I found these spuds under just two plants.  What a haul.  Six and one-half pounds.  (No, we didn't eat them all last night.)  Methinks our potato harvest this year is going to be a bonanza.

Most of our pumpkins still look like the above.

But a few of them do show signs of coloring up properly.
We've had a too-long period of wet, damp, dewy, drippy weather.  Mowing the grass for the last time this season has been put off and put off which has resulted in thick, matted, green stuff that is impossible to get through with the lawn mower.  Papa Pea has had to "knock down" most of it with the rotary mower on the old Gravely garden tractor which leaves a lawn that would definitely not measure up to Martha's standards, but it was all we could do.

The grass between the raised beds always grows extremely well because of the fertility of the raised bed soil which "leaks" out to the surrounding area.  My dear husband will have to take his heavy-duty weed whip to these areas (the Gravely mower is too big to fit) because when I try to do it with the regular lawn mower, everything clogs up and the motor dies over and over. 

The weather has put the baking bee in my bonnet.  Yesterday I made a pan of brownies and early this morning a batch of Gingersnap cookies magically appeared from the oven.  Gingersnaps are a family favorite, and I personally think they go perfectly with autumnal weather.
Yesterday I made a batch of Stuffed Green Peppers for the freezer.  Ended up with sixteen servings for us which provide a quick and easy meal all winter long for the cook in the house.
This week we're planning our annual hike to a favorite spot which allows a gorgeous overlook of surrounding territory and the fall colors.  I told the troops I want to go as early in the day as we can get it together because it's such a popular hike that as the day goes on, the trail gets close to being downright crowded.  It may make me seem antisocial, but I don't think it's any fun hiking when there is a string of people in front and in back of you.

Isn't my new blog header photo stunning?  Another great photograph by our daughter.  Not taken this year but rather a few years ago as the colors aren't quite as full-blown yet as the photo shows.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

And Didn't It Blow!

 Yesterday turned out to be the last day (for the time being, at least) of our extreme heat.  Even so, as early in the day as we could, Papa Pea and I took our bowls and stools out to the blueberry patch to gather ripe berries.

I've been watching this bush (one of them planted two years ago) because of the intense pink coloring of the berries as they wend their way toward ripeness.  I can't remember ever seeing this particular coloration in any of our berries before.  Of course, the tag we keep on all the plants indicating their variety is missing from this one.  I could pull out my records and look it up, but I'm too tired to do so tonight.

I also knew there were pickling cucumbers to harvest so even though it was already getting hot, I filled a large bowl with a smidge over nine pounds of them.

Then to make sure I heated up the inside of the house, I came in and canned them.

That about took the stuffin's out of me so I tried to stay as cool as possible for the rest of the day.

In the late afternoon, the sky turned dark and started to look as though we might get some of the rain that had been in the forecast.

And rain it did along with winds so wild we weren't sure much would be standing when it quit.  It was a bit scary.

This trellis with colored gourds growing up it was staked on the four corners, but when I took a tour of the garden this morning I could see it was definitely listing to the south at an odd angle.

Cosmos stems are always a bit delicate and brittle.  These took a beating in the storm.

The two rows of sunflowers didn't fare well either.

Some fell on the pickling cucumbers next to the cattle panel on their left.  Some are left standing, some are upright but leaning at a precarious angle.

The wind damage could have been a lot worse.  But I did spend a bit of time this morning doing some earlier than usual garden clean-up.  We appreciated the rain which measured a good two inches, but could have done without the accompanying heavy winds.  But the storm did bring in a "cold" front and pushed out the heat.  Our high temp today reached only into the 60s and the same is forecast for tomorrow.  It will good sleeping tonight!

Monday, September 4, 2023

We Are Melting!

Hot, hot, hot.  Too hot for us northern people.  
Week before last, we were sure fall had arrived.  The colors started to turn, the temperature began dropping long about 5 p.m. each day bringing that feeling of autumn to the air, and our lawn was starting to collect leaves drifting down from the trees.
Then last week temperatures nearly caused whiplash to those of us ready for sweatshirt weather.  They soared right up to the hottest of this summer season.  Well, perhaps the apples, sunflowers and pumpkins will have a chance to reach their full potential yet.
As for humans, we've had a couple of sleepless nights.  Our body thermostats just don't adjust easily to 80-some percent humidity with sweat dripping off our noses.  
The lack of rain, for yet another period, coupled with the high temperatures has caused forest fire danger in the surrounding area to be listed as way too high for comfort.  Not much to do but put on our coolest (while remaining decent) clothing and keep our fingers crossed for mid-week when promised rain arrives along with lower temperatures.

Here's a lovely, wild bouquet a sweet nine-year old girl gave me when she came in yesterday from a walk on our property.  I was touched.  And impressed.  The rugged beauty of nature.  And the thoughtfulness of a child.