It’s FALL!  I love fall!  The cooler temps, the changing weather and the harvest.  While driving over the weekend, I loved seeing the fields and farmers working hard to bring in their crops.  I know from growing up on the farm they are in a state of constant work – long hours, hard work, and worry over whether the crops will sell well.

Fall has always been about canning, freezing, and prepping food for the winter.  At this point in my life, we aren’t doing this as often.  In fact this year, we aren’t doing any canning at all.  I did get apples but we will probably eat them as apples rather than making applesauce or slicing to freeze.

This has made me wonder what I’m harvesting this year.  What have I done, created, and so on that I’m going to harvest.  There’s nothing in my life which has to be grown and harvested at a particular time.  I’ve published many things this year and still have a few to get out.

I’m in the middle of making holiday gifts.  I’ve been working on several for the past couple of weeks.  My sister asked me to work on some blankets for her – she has fleece which she wants a crocheted edging around.  I have one or two other things to finish which should be done tonight or tomorrow night.  I’ll move on to doing the crocheting for her before I work on my next group of projects.

My craft room is in chaos and in need of a good cleaning.  I’m hoping to get it organized again and move forward with all these projects.  If I get my sister’s stuff done, it gets two or three bags of things out of my craft room.  After that, I’ll be working on my own holiday gifts which will empty many things out of my closet.  Then it’s back to the skirt and afghan I’m working on.

I think for this year, this is my harvest.  Getting all these projects done before it’s too late is a good goal.  One I’m hoping will be accomplished.  On top of this harvest, I have several things which still need to be published and finished.  Now things have calmed down a little with my middle daughter, I’m hoping to spend my weekends working on projects and publishing.  However, I’m aware that the best laid plans…. generally don’t get accomplished because of life…

Definitely Fall

The smell of cooking apples is one of my favorites for fall.  Ken stopped at his cousin’s to pick up apples.  Yesterday with all our other things we made applesauce. 
My recipe is simple.  Buy MacIntosh apples because they are the best.  Cut them up – leave in seeds, skins and just slice them up into big chunks.  Place them in a pan – with either a bit of water (to prevent burning) or Mott’s applejuice.  This is just a couple tablespoons.  Cook until they are mush.  Put through the sieve.  Put in half pint jars.  Put in a water bath for about eight minutes. 

We did one batch this way.  The second batch we added red hots to.  Both turned out beautifully.  When the applesauce was hot, I had some over vanilla ice cream.  It was delicious!

Ken kept one of the jars from the water bath because the two pans we have hold seven jars each.  The left over applesauce got made into applesauce muffins today.  I think they will be scrumptious.    

Fall has come and with it one of my favorite activities – making applesauce.  

Slip and Fall

Last night we had a wonderful time at the Chancellor’s house for dinner.  It was great to meet people I didn’t know and to get a nice meal.  We sat around talking about almost everything.  I was amused at one point in the conversation when two men (husbands of two in the conversation) were talking about how good it was women here in the states had the choice to have children and a career.  The three women in the conversation were all like yeah but not always and not really.  I could see the women wanted to argue about it but we were all trying to be polite.  It was stimulating conversation and a pleasant evening. 
However, it was also a tough night for my knees because we did a lot of standing around.  When we left I asked Ken to drive as my knees were bugging me.  This was my downfall.  We got home and he stopped to let me out before he pulled in the garage.  There are several factors leading to us not being able to park in the garage and have the passenger get out.  We have too much crap in our garage – it is a project and we are working on it.  We have a minivan which is bigger than cars and the garage was built before mini vans.  We have a car in the other half of the garage.  All of this led to Ken stopping just outside the garage to let me out.
I was careful as the ground was wet.  Put one foot down and it was fine.  Got out of the van, shut the door, took one step and bam down on my right knee and hand.  Ken was baffled why I fell until he got to my side of the van and realized there was a patch of ice about four foot square.  It would have been funny to watch me trying to get up on the ice.  Eventually I slid down the drive until I got to just wet pavement then hoisted my bum up off the ground.  I stepped over on the grass.  Ken hurriedly scattered salt on the icy patch and then held out his hand so I could step from grass onto dry pavement. 
Hurt like hell!!!  Ken took good care of me though.  I got to my recliner and got my leg up.  He brought me an ice pack and glass of water.  I spent three hours with the ice pack on.
Today – well I hurt everywhere.  However, I think the knee is in better shape than if I hadn’t iced it.  I did manage to make it to work.  Vicki helped by crawling out of bed long enough to make my lunch.  Alicia rode to work with me today just in case the sidewalks here were slippery.  She also helped me get down to the lunch room.  My student workers – Danielle and Gail – fetched for me.  They got me water and took care of all the things requiring legs. 

Even though I splatted last night – I want to say thank you to everyone who helped and offered up concern today.  I’m sure I’ll be sore for a few days but I’ll live…

Saw My Breath

Rushing from the house, I stepped outside, took several hurried steps and stopped just a little short.  It is only mid-September but one exhale showed a short puff of white.  Fall has descended on us.  The nip in the air dipped below freezing last night.  It is a bit early but still it feels good. 

I LOVE fall.  It is my favorite season.  The humidity usually dies away as the hint of winter nips at the wind.  The fall flowers are persistently blooming.  The trees start to shut down and show their brilliance. 

Even the smells of fall are amazing.  There seems to be a hint of wood smoke lingering even if we aren’t the ones having a fire.  There is pumpkin with nutmeg and other fragrant spices.  There is apple cider hot or cold to sip at with cinnamon. 

Fall and harvest obviously go hand in hand.  The crops are starting to dry for harvesting.  The colors change and fade but don’t lose their appeal.  The smell of drying corn as you drive the back roads makes you want corn on the cob.  The bounty of the earth, the grains and fruits are plucked and stored. 

September is just the beginning of this here in Wisconsin.  The corn is still green, hasn’t gone that golden tan yet.  There is a hint of a red gold as the sunset hits the tassels.  Tomatoes plump and full of the summer sunshine are ready to be gathered from the vines.  Will they be a fresh reminder of summer in the depth of winter as salsa or sauce?  No matter the sweet fruit will be tasty when winter chills you to the bone.

Fall is the best time of the year…

Summing up the week

It has been an eventful week.  There has been a lot going on in the political arena.  It had the unexpected benefit of creating a family gathering with little arguing and a lot of agreement on the one topic which seems to have unified the family.  Surprisingly this is politics. 

One of my sisters has been going to the protests and she shared her experiences.  I loved the stories about the farmers driving their tractors and manure spreaders – seems very appropriate.  The rest of us just discussed whatever details we had heard and some of our fears.  When a topic negatively affects every member it definitely pulls the family together.

Mom’s 80th birthday was Saturday.  She is as spunky and sassy as ever.  She goes to Curves and the Aquatic center to work out regularly each week.  She volunteers to help out at the church.  She is busier than I am and seems to have more energy. 

All of my siblings were together on Saturday.  We were only missing two brothers-in-law and a lot of grandchildren / great grandchildren.  It was a good gathering.  My aunt came with her two grandsons.  They are very handsome young men.  It is strange how when you don’t see them for a while you lose track of how old they are.  Now these two young men are the same ages as my two younger daughters roughly.  However, when I saw them I was like – wow they got to be handsome adults.  What’s up with that?  I guess I still see them as the little boys that tagged along at the family gatherings. 

It was a busy and full evening with much delight, discussion, and even a scare.  My sister’s mother-in-law stepped wrong and fell down the basement stairs.  She’s about my mom’s age so you can imagine how bad this could be.  Fortunately, she was banged and bruised but had no serious damage.  We are all grateful no lasting damage was done. 

I submitted a poem and an essay to a publication today.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed to see if they get published.  I have to print out the new version of it though because I made some pretty drastic changes. 

For me the best news – I tried another pain killer and I think I may have finally found a replacement.  The first dose went VERY well.  No side affects and pain relief.  So hopefully my search for a new drug has ended.  I will still be careful taking it the next couple of times but if it continues to perform well then I will bid the Darvacet a sad but fond farewell.