primsong: (gadgets)
Wow, where did September go? Why do I remain astonished at the rate life goes whipping by even though it's done so pretty much since I left grade school?

Been stuffing time into fixing the house trying to get as much done before the autumn October Rains arrived - this week was the start of the rainy season here, so I'm grateful I (barely) managed to finish sanding and staining the boards to fix my front deck before the temperature went down. They'll wait in the garage til I can get them put into place but at least they're done. Steps are fixed, back patio is fixed, yay!

Most of the month I was tweaking gutters, installing two rainbarrels, connecting them and getting an overflow system put into place via digging a drainage trench, lining it and filling it with pipe and rocks... lots of rocks... rocks...are...heavy... Then edging it all in cottage stone, filling in with soil and planting bulbs in there. End result looks great, wish I'd done this years ago. Hopefully this will help stave off a repeat of the water seepage we had last year.

Time to rip out tender potted plants and get the pots into the green house, put away hoses, etc. Booyah, here comes Autumn!
primsong: (fireplace)
Yay! I landed a nice fire pit online when the Labor Day sales were going by and it arrived this past week.  It's a 'heat wave' which is a portable fire pit with wheels and a top lid, something very important here where the continually falling fir needles and rain are an issue.  Also, if we move I can take it with me that way.

Now that they are unfortunately made in China they do take some extra tweaking - I replaced the cheap hollow plastic wheels with nice steel ones (reviewers said the wheels MELT), and sprayed it with 2 coats of high-heat bbq paint (otherwise it will rust away, apparently).  Drilled drainage holes in the bottom also (this is Oregon here...) and got a cover for it.  Added L brackets to raise the cooking grill to a level it can actually be used, though I don't really plan to use it for cooking, as otherwise the grill would sit right on the firewood.

Then there's where to put it - Spent a couple days leveling a nice space in the yard with my son's help and placed pavers to make a mini patio for it to sit on. Got paver sand packed between the pavers. Whew! 

Been a bit of work, but now it's ready to go - once the current batch of rain goes by - maybe have a nice fire to sit around in a couple days.  I've always wanted one of these, so happy to actually get one. Ah, ambiance and camp fire smoke!  Marshmallow roast, anyone?   ^_^
primsong: (eagle)
I've seen two Vs of geese honking along this week, headed south. Kind of strange when it's over 90 degrees out and we haven't seen a drop of rain in what seems like forever - a welcome promise that this unending summer will indeed end one day, the sound of autumn in the sky.

Plums are coming in like crazy cakes, need to get out there and pick some.
primsong: (pears)
One thing about having a smallish number of relatives is every time we get together for a major holiday (I'm looking at *you* coming up, Thanksgving) it always feels like there really ought to be more people around, like a poorly attended party even though everyone invited showed up.   You know it's a bit pathetic when you try to have a board game going and if a couple people wander off to the kitchen or something you no longer have enough people to play.  :-p 

My eldest says she hopes she will get to marry a man who has a HUGE family so she can finally enjoy the chaos that comes with lots of cousins and aunties and so on at a holiday gathering.

Oh well. Back to buying the small ham and and teeny turkey for now.  Hope your own holiday plans are going well!
primsong: (kitty jump)
What is it about the scent of a cat coming in out of the cool rain - I just want to pick her up and snuffle my nose down into her fur, she smells of pine needles and fresh air and small green leafy things nodding under silver drops.

My daughter agreed that it was irresistible, even if (like her) she is actually allergic to the cat and suffers for her giving way to the beauty of Damp Kittyness.
primsong: (pumpkin)
Just got back from a run to Trader Joe's (gosh I love Trader Joe's....) and found they were going seriously into the realm of "let's see how many things we can make that taste like pumpkin!"

Ended up with pumpkin cookies and pumpkin flavored corn chips - picked up pumpkin biscotti and managed to put it back down.  Thankfully the pumpkin mochi ice-cream balls were gone or that would have been my doom (the cashier assured me they were 'inspired' and he had ripped through an entire package of them in his short commute home). 

Yoooom yom yom num num num.
primsong: (percy lud love me)
Woke up this morning and for some reason decided it was a good day to wash all the curtains in the house before the weather turns cold again, as I'd never gotten to it in the spring-cleaning phase this year.  Or last.  Kind of regretting it now as I still have two more large ones to get hung up again, but the amount of crud was a bit surprising - not that it should be, I realized it had been probably four years since a couple of them were sloshed, yuck.  Plenty of spiders hanging around behind the curtains it seems - perhaps coming in as they know the cold weather is on its way too. 

But gee, it's nice to have them all clean again, I feel a strange juxtaposition in my self-image between being a slob who hardly ever washes curtains and being a neat person who does, a sort of guilty self-righteousness ("Look, I made sparkles! Never mind that they were way overdue!")
primsong: (jo keys)
Started thinking of what we could do for small summer trip in celebration of my daughter's upcoming high school graduation and ended up picking the Oregon Shakespearian Festival (which is quite good, but expensive and far away from me so I haven't been since high school m'self) - wow, I'm thinking as I preen myself,  I'm ahead of the game! I'm gonna get us something nice this summer because I was clever enough to think ahead! 

*goes online*....*discovers LOTS of people are waay more ahead of the game than I ever will be and everything suitable is booked up and/or sold out* 0_0

BUT - I was not foiled! At least not entirely.  After much virtual hunting and gathering yesterday, voila - we have a nice setup with four great plays and a cottage coming up, I just had to shove it all the way past summer into September to do it.  What a novelty, we get to go somewhere in September, as for the first time in 20 years we won't have anyone needing to be in school - what a grand (and alien) feeling!
primsong: (squirrel)
Autumn is in full swing and the trees are beautiful, the sugar-pie pumpkins are colorful on my deck and the cat is getting fatter and more rabbity with winter fur day by day, fluff by fluff.  Candy corn time!  Yellow and orange and chocolatey colored brown that doesn't really taste like chocolate but I like it anyway.  Acorn squash with brown sugar and butter melted in the hollows.  Warm slippers in the morning on the cold floor boards.  Coffee steaming up the windows as leaves go swirling past.

Just survived a houseful of teen gals for a festive sleepover, complete with shrieks and giggles into the wee hours and bodies in sleeping bags all over the floor in the morning.  Went through a lot of crackers, cheese, apples and, yes, coffee.  Now it's time to plan for things like a homecoming dance and the church 'trunk or treat'.... think I'll take the easy way out and revising the 'gypsy' theme with my bellydance stuff.
primsong: (lunch)
It inevitably happens to all of us (some more often than others), but when autumn comes around, the leaves begin their sprinkles and dances through the air and the hunt for the fluffy robes and slippers commences along comes the craving for what we like to call 'Comfort Food'.  This is nicer to our ears than 'Hot Starch with Plenty of Fat Please' and aids in rationalizing it well.  My son making up a huge pan of mac-n-cheese 'Dayglo Noodles' is one of the penultimate's of that category for us, right along with tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Today the air is nippy and after being outside cleaning up half-dead daylilies, the drooping, freckled remains of peonies and the squishy, be-browned blobs-on-stems that used to be my asters I reached a point where I could barely feel my nose and went inside.  The natural next step in that parade is some Hot Starch with.... er, I mean Comfort Food.  I managed to keep it 'healthy' this time by noting that the piping hot pan of Mexican Spoon Bread I shortly pulled from the oven had eggs and milk and corn (hey, it's a vegetable, right?) in it.  Mmmmmmm.  Snarf.  Nom nom nom.  Now to roast the cornish rock hens I have bobbing about as they thaw in the sink, at least they aren't made of starch too.

What are your favorite Comfort Foods?  Do you ever eat them in the summer?
primsong: Mr. Morton (morton)
...to try to catch up on some of my 'me' stuff at long last.  Like having occasional moments to see what my dear flist has been up to of late and maybe even post a little now and them myself, what a concept!

Shan't bore with long explanations of where I've been, suffice to say I was rather needed by Real World people in need at the same time my church also needed me to take on a batch of secretarial duties and school started again.  I shall dutifully queue up and pull a paper number from the "Take A Number" machine so I can join in that all too common human chorus of "Where The Heckity Ding Dong Did the Last Two Months Go?"  (fill in the number of months of your choice,, full orchestral backup optional).

Now in the (long) waiting game to see if one friend I am helping will qualify for disability, have completed the learning curve on the secretarial stuff (I Haz Publisher!) and am settling into the kid's schedules (mostly, kinda. My gal wants to be involved in *everything*, I swear...)

I miiiiissed yooooou,dear bloggy people! *flails air-hugs*

Anyone have a good recipe for any kind of hot drink involving pumpkin?
primsong: (squirrel)
As the Autumnal weather here turns from crisp, colorful confetti into the cold rain and soggy leaf phase, I've had to finally give up on my cherry tomato plants actually ripening any of their many remaining fruits... cleaned them all out of their planters along the deck, then went down to gather up the bodies for the yard debris pile. Little green tomatoes, so many! I hate to see anything go to waste if it's edible so I hauled them up to the bird feeder station and scattered handfuls of tiny green tomatoes over the ground. All around me the excitement in the trees became intense - "She's THROWING SOMETHING on the GROUND!" screeched the jays and thrushes and all the little birds agreed it was VERY exciting! What could it BE?"

As soon as I pulled the remaining greenery off to the sideyard I peered back at the feeder. Sure enough - jays, thrushes and a woodpecker were already checking it out, though only the jays gulped some down. The others considered it then decided while they were there they'd just have an enthusiastic go at the suet instead. The LBJ's (little brown jobbies) will get their turn once the Big Boys are done. After squirrels come through, I think they'll be gone... saw a squirrel this morning running along the side of the driveway with a mushroom cap bigger than his head, lol...

Here comes winter!
primsong: (Default)
Musical, steaming meatloaf - with a side of meatloaf!

Now I want to make some, one of those great cold-weather comfort foods. Mmm.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrj_scvwEWA
primsong: (Default)
We had a thunderstorm move through this morning, the muted sunlight and contrasts were stunning, we all just stood out on the deck and gaped and "ooooh"ed and wished we had a better camera. The pictures I took are mere shadows of the reality, but I thought I'd share a glimpse with you. If I could gather up the scent of the rain and the leaves, I would keep it in my home forever.

Four snaps of a rain-washed autumn )

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