primsong: (pumpkin)
We had a storm blow through recently that apparently flattened a lot of corn mazes - I am quite sorry for all those little family farms that rely on the income from maze-goers each autumn to help make ends meet.  Going to one of the local ones today (what a glorious fall day it is!) to buy some sugar pumpkins and little gourds to help out in my small way.   I've gotten to where I only buy sugar pumpkins as then I can keep them around after October is past to and then have the option of eating them - those carving pumpkins could barely be considered food but a good sugar pumpkin is a lovely thing.

On the jobs front, my hubby didn't get the job in San Diego, so that's off the menu - but now there's people in Vermont considering him!  This could be an interesting year.
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: (rain tree)
The October rains have officially arrived here, right on time - I'm bringing in my outdoor cushions to dry and store, hung up the wooden windchimes back in the laundry room where they winter among hanging basketry and am going out with scissors to whack my cherry tomato plants.  Anything that isn't actively ripening an actual tomato at this point goes over the edge of the balcony, no more time for messing around with mere greenery here! 

We're planning for our annual Trunk-or-Treat again, doing a bathtub theme with white balloons in the back of the car for bubbles and a shower curtain, rubber duckies, etc. I'll be in a fluffy bathrobe with a towel on my head to warm my bald pate, doling candies out from a little baby's bathing bin.  At least that's the plan!  It'll be raining, I expect.
primsong: (fireplace)
We're in Phase Two of our large wintery thingy now, having graduated from Lots-a-Snow 101 we have Lots-a-Ice 102.  Sleet and freezing rain have successfully solidified all the drifty white drifts into concrete objects that only LOOK soft. Crunch, crunch, whoooop, argh is the usual progression if anyone is so foolish as to step outside.  My car is under a solid sheet of ice, so I doubt I could pry open the door if I tried to go anywhere anyway.

Hot tea. Warm cat. Sit in the recliner and watch the giant icicle forming on my back deck where warmth from the house has been melting one little spot so it trickles down into a pointy, formidable weapon indeed.  Would build a fire in the fireplace except that requires going outside (crunch crunch whoooop, argh) and prying ice-coated wood off the pile.
primsong: (seasonal)
Uh-oh, the Cold Winter of Doom that thus far we'd been able to hide from has apparently found us - quite the drop in temps and wow, look at all that white fluffy stuff out there!  A bit of a novelty.   I swept and salted the entry at the church so the few preschoolers we had and their families hopefully don't slip, some of the high school girls that usually wait on the property for their rides after school were huddled inside the narthex, can't blame 'em!  All the schools are out early and the roads are full of people creeping along at 10mph trying to not slide into one another.

Filled my birdfeeder out back and it already has a young squirrel and a handful of chickadees trying to get some food amid the snow, the little squirrel keeps getting blown over onto her nose when she tries to sit up to eat, obviously her first winter, the older ones are cozily holed up somewhere already.

Little yellow parakeet (now dubbed Lemondrop, slightly more complimentary than Lemonhead) is doing better every day, coming down to the middle of the cage instead of hiding up in the corner and even chirping a little if you talk to her.  I added a heating pad on low alongside the cage to help keep her warmer, so far so good - I'm figuring at this point on keeping them til spring to stabilize and forget about whatever it was they went through, then we'll see about maybe finding them a home of their own.

Time to make hot tea!

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: Mr. Morton (morton)
Just an updatey post thing...

Back from a few days at the beach for our annual Girls Trip (me, my mom and my two daughters) - weather fabulous, if windy, quaint bookstore was quaint, artsy shoppppes were artsy.  Replaced my defunct rainbow wind-spinner thingy which I have missed having on my clothesline when hanging up laundry, so all is well.  Rotten to wake up today all bleaurrrgh, but at least it didn't happen while on vacation and I'm almost back to human now.  Germs are most annoying at times.

Teen son did a good job of keeping all the pets alive whilst we were gone, though I should have remembered to define tomato plants as 'pets' I guess... still, a few pitchers of water and they rallied.  He's getting his turn now, off camping with his grandpa.

Starting to regret offering to host a church baby shower a couple weeks from now, looking at the mess my house is in it seems rather discouraging to think I need to get it into "company" shape by then.  Pooh.  Very glad for the baby, however, a real answer to prayer for a couple expecting her!  I expect this little girl will be the church mascot for a while.

Picking blueberries time again - brought in another big bowl, pears are starting to swell nicely, Gravenstein apples are already getting their red and yellow streaks, greengage plums are fat and ripening... can't believe another harvest is already approaching!  I still have stuff in the freezer from last time, I've been so disorganized this year.  Ack.  Didn't expect the library to snarf most of my hours, though...

Has your summer vanished into the mist the way mine has? 
primsong: (columbine)
It's Friday! This is a Good Thing.

I've organized what is turning into an annual event for the church, my "everyone come with your planters and little packs of flowers and I'll provide the dirt!" time - or "Color-Bowls". The first year I did this I had a whopping TWO people show up, but this round it looks quite promising and I even had to buy extra mushroom compost and potting soil just in case. I even have food to bribe them with, a veggie tray and whole wheat scones with candied ginger and golden raisins I just pulled from the oven.

Fun to swap around all the little plants so everyone gets a mixture instead of having 6 or 8 of the same thing to work with, and the kids love playing in the dirt - now if it would just *stop raining*! Sigh. I think we've only had one day without rain this month... today it's a persistent thick drizzle, so I'm hauling my heavy pop-up canopy along to put over the wheelbarrow lest it become a mobile pot-o-mud. Glad I can at least set up tables indoors with tarps under them to do the potting, but it's no doubt going to be a mess afterwards.

*clinks bottles of plant fertilizer* To spring!
primsong: (jimmy stewart)
Starflower got a long list of potential famous people from various points in history that she could write her main English paper for this year and on it was James Stewart.  She had no problem choosing!  Now we get to enjoy going through the various research (war hero! yay!) and revisiting some of the many works of that incomparable gentleman bean-pole, Jimmy.  
This bodes well.

We are blanketed in thick fog here (not unusual for winter) but driving up and over the mountain to take my son to school we abruptly lifted up and out into a world of sunshine, an 'island' of bright trees and meadows all hemmed 'round with an impenetrable white lake of cloud tinged in the pastels of morning.  All we needed was an air-boat to set sail upon it, lovely.

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: (pimpernel)
Out picking blueberries in the sun, enjoying the sound of the leaves in the trees when along came an ice cream truck playing.... La Cucaracha. I mean - really? 0.o

The regulars around our area every summer are 'Home Home on the Range' and 'Turkey in the Straw' with occasional appearances of a bright yellow one playing 'Ode to Joy'. We'll see if this one manages to make a living with that tune or not. *snert*
primsong: (Default)
I love Easter, it's such a wonderful time with all the yard blooming like mad, sunshine and rain showers and clouds of blossoms everywhere. We all work to clean up the church (our 'home and family' of the heart) and get it all pretty and scrubbed and weeded, etc. and it's a nice excuse to get a new dress sometimes. :-)

Maundy Thursday service was wonderful, always a favorite, so informal and intimate. Tomorrow I'll be trimming baskets of flowers to get them ready for Sunday morning when we pass them out to the congregation - everyone gets to put theirs into a wire cross we have that lights up when it's full of flowers and it's truly lovely, a nice way to give everyone something 'hands on'. There's a breakfast and special music, etc. as well. *happy*

And [livejournal.com profile] starbells and I indulged in a late night of watching Invasion of the Dinosaurs - I'd forgotten how truly delightfully fun this serving of excellent dialogue and action was. Benton gets to be Uber Awesome Benton, including punching out a General, he and the Brig get to face off against the bad guys to save the Doctor, the Whomobile gets a shiny time out and about (I love that car) and of course we get lots of Sarah-Jane and the Doctor all in blue, rubber dinosaurs and pterodactyl puppets, etc. etc.

What jolliness! I can't recommend it enough for anyone with a taste for finely aged cheese and crackers of the best sort.

Have a wonderful weekend, all!
primsong: (Default)
We came home from church this afternoon to a plethora of robins. They were scattered and swooped and sprinkled and hopped all over our yard, we nearly ran one over on the gravel drive, she was so focused on bathing in a puddle, surrounded by golden poplar leaves - I slowed and she belatedly exploded out of her sadly-disturbed contemplative bath to fly up among her brethren in the trees.

And oh, the trees! We climbed out of the car and just said "Listen! Listen! Listen!" to one another in wonder, the air was filled with birdsong. Uncountable numbers of robins leaping about the branches, twirling about with one another in the air, watching us from shrubs, the back of the benches, the top of the fence; it was one of those lovely transcendent moments, the sunlight and rain-washed earth all aglow in their autumn finery and filled to the brim with the moving music of migrating robins.

Tuck moments such as these away and treasure them, such a brightness for any darker day ahead.
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 )
primsong: (flower)
All right, it's officially Spring. I can tell because I have dirt under my fingernails again and a nice tall stack of chickweed and dandelion carcasses scrabbled out from in, around and among the sea of daffys just starting to open. I went out before dawn this morning and it was warm enough to not need a coat, and all the world was filled with birdsong.

I planted a ceanothus this week, gave my lavenders a haircut, placed two fig trees for digging in and checked on my mason bees, who have not quite come out yet. The grasses are springing up beneath the trees in a green surely only seen in heaven, looking delicate as velvet and beautifully uneven in its thick, soft moundings. Everywhere I look the bluebells are putting up leaves, the crocuses are sprinkling their colors through the ferns and pine needles.

I need to get my more mundane vegetables in - the hellebores got its picture taken this morning, the cyclamen was oohed and aaahed at, but did I get the supports propped into place for the humble greenbeans? Try try again.
primsong: (Default)
Happy Pi Day to everyone!

To celebrate we coddled and spoiled our cat, Pi.

Then we pulled out the last two of the apple pies we froze in the autumn when our apple trees were overflowing and baked them, very nice. It was raining outside and the combination of the scent of pie baking with the rain spattering on the windows and all the lovely early-spring daffodils with fresh green-yellow-white tips waving outside was absolutely intoxicatingly pleasant. I sat on the sofa to work on my poetry book and listened to the kids chattering on, it was really quite lovely. I hope all of you have had such moments this weekend as well.

Simple holidays remain the best.
primsong: (Default)
I could taste it in the wind this afternoon, that it would be cold tonight - cold enough, perhaps, to freeze. Went in and checked the weather report, sure enough... 32 degrees. Not a hard freeze, but the beginning of the winter's delicate frost touches. I brought in a little firewood then began choosing and carrying my potted plant-children into their winter home.

My greenhouse is old, a home-made, paint-chipped affair and anything but weather-proof, really. Nevertheless, I love it; it has 'personality' and a charm all its own. We did what we could to prepare it, stuffing holes with chunks of foam, ran a bit of duct-tape where smaller cracks allow the rains to enter a bit too vigorously. The missing pane has a temporary covering against the coming winds, keeping that cold hand from swirling among the more delicate fronds. The last pot was lugged in and chose its seat on the wooden benches.

Work finally done, I slid the latch on the door and just stood a bit, watching the brightness of the geranium and fuschia blooms through the mossy glass, leaves of cannas lifting up behind them, a trailing froth of tiny white stars pouring down from a hanging basket, the tiny toddler-heads of a row of baby doug firs peeking up among them, waiting another winter before they're to go in the ground among their larger kin.

Sleep sweetly, little ones. Winds may rattle the bones of the grapestems across the glass, icy rains course nearby but it will not touch you. Spring will come again.

Photobucket
primsong: (Default)
I tend to avoid getting into political views online, but I couldn't have said this better:

The treatment of Bush has been a disgrace

That thought shared for any so inclined, now we finally get to turn to other things, like the way the morning light right now is making the trees in my yard look positively glowing flourescent, as if each leaf had its own battery power going. My entire driveway is glowing golden with fallen poplar leaves and looks like something from a fairy-tale illustration. Amazing.

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