Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy Fall!

It's only been Fall for a few days but we've been feeling it here for a couple weeks really. The nights are especially cool and the heat has been coming on most mornings. Other than that the weather has been really nice. It's sunny with just a few gray days so far and usually while I'm at school so it doesn't seem to bother me as much.

Speaking of school, we've been very busy in preparation for seeing students this coming week. I think I'm ready! I only have two schools this year instead of three but I'll actually be out of the building more days though not all day. The first week or so we are trying to work out the kinks so we'll see how it goes.

I had a three day weekend since Friday was a Developmental Day and aides aren't required to work. I used that day to run my errands so I've been able to do some things I wanted to do instead of had to do this weekend.

Like make these refrigerator pickles.

And make sure the onions were dried out a bit and ready to put in the basement for storage.

I did make a trip out to the garden yesterday afternoon. I was there for over two hours and it hardly looked like I'd been there at all when I left. I pulled up the spent tomato plants and brought the cages home. I had planned to pull some carrots but while I was there I decided I might as well pull them all and for two little packets of seeds I got lots of carrots. I've not sure if this is a worthwhile crop or not. The planting was easy and they didn't require much upkeep but the cleaning and putting up of them was pretty labor intensive. I was able to cut and freeze 3 large bags and then I had this large bag of whole carrots that I'll have to either use up or finish cutting up and freeze them too for soups and such.

I also picked two eggplants, some grape tomatoes and a few banana peppers.

The purple cabbage is coming in nicely. Mine is small compared to the community garden cabbages but I figure I still have another month left before we get a frost (fingers crossed) so they will have some time to grow yet. I also have lots of blossoms on my eggplants but I doubt I'll get any more of those, just too late in the season. I left the broccoli in too because it's still putting up new little arms and does well in cooler weather.

The pups were so happy to go to the high school field both days, on Saturday with H and today with Scott. This is before

this is after!

I also baked this today.

What? It's only a couple weeks late! Ok, I'm guilty. I was just really busy that first week of school and a bunch of other excuses but Scott really wanted me to bake him a cake so, today I did. It's a white cake with double fudge icing. Yum!!

Speaking of Scott, no, he hasn't gotten a new job yet. He's working 3-4 days at the warehouse still.

I love my iPad! It is the best thing I have ever, ever, ever bought!! I thought Oprah was exaggerating but NO, she wasn't! It is the best thing ever. Right now I'm on my computer but listening to music on my iPad. Curious minds might want to know what I'm listening to?? The NEW Stevie Nicks album, In Your Dreams. I just found out about it! How did I miss this? I love Stevie Nicks, love, love, love!

We also did this with it this weekend!


I also did a bit of this

The Tigers are playing so well and it's been fun to watch them win. Can't wait till the playoffs!

So, that's about all the news from Michigan. Here are a few signs of Fall's arrival.

The birds are still flocking to the feeders except I haven't seen a hummingbird all week.

This little squirrel was really enjoying the remains of the sunflower I picked from the flower bed. It was starting to get a bit moldy instead of drying out so I just threw it out in the backyard for the squirrels.

This isn't a sign of Fall, I just thought it was pretty!

Tonight for dinner we had coleslaw made with purple cabbage and carrots from the garden. We also had mashed potatoes made with potatoes from the garden. It was all so fresh and good! Yum!

Ok, this post is a lot of this and that and not much meat. Guess I'm done.

Have a good week!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

And We're Off!!

To the start of the school year, that is. It's been a whirlwind and as usual, I'm putting in extra time to get ready to start seeing students soon. We've been out testing and doing paper work because the rumor is we will be audited by the State this year and everything has to be in order.

Bunco has started up again and so has bowling. Friday night's bowling was rough. The team we bowled only had two bowlers there so they started out 20 below average and still we struggled to take just one point. Not a good start. I have to take responsibility for a large part as I didn't bowl well at all. I was tired and the ball felt like it weighed 50 pounds! Oh well, my average will go down, which will be good.

These guys are still hanging in there. Not as many this weekend but they are still coming. Yesterday I put up a nice full container and this morning it was empty! Darn racoons!! I'll have to remember to bring it in tonight so I don't have to make more nectar in the morning.

These guys are hitting the thistle feeder hard too. All their pretty bright yellow feathers have turned to brown and they are constantly at the feeder.

The weather has been cool. Usually the start to the school year is still in the summer heat but we had an early cool down and it's pretty much stayed around. I've tried so hard not to have to turn on the heater but after using just the fireplace a few evenings I finally had to give in the other morning when the outside temp got down in the 40's. That's just a little too chilly!!

Thankfully there's been no frost yet so we still have flowers around. This sunflower, courtesy of a squirrel is still shut tight.

This zinnina I planted from seed has finally come up but it's not looking too good.

The shrub roses are in their second or third bloom and will keep going until the first frost.

But if you look closely you can tell Fall is coming. This Japanese Maple is feeling it.

Last night we had company for dinner. We don't seem to do that much any more. In the old days we did it all the time but now, not so much. We invited a guy H works with and his wife. He's German, she's Brazilian. They've only been in the US for 15 days. They are young and well traveled. It was a nice evening though the shish-ka-bobs were a little dry, at least to me. It was a little too cool to eat on the deck but we managed to sit out there for a little while before dinner. Seems like it's either been too hot or too cold to use the deck much this year.

Just before our guests arrived I took the pups to the park for a little frisbee. They really needed to get out. Today they have followed me from room to room, looking at me hopefully.

Are we going?

Are we going now?

No, we aren't going. I'm not feeling it. Sorry.

I'm just hanging around at home, watching the birds.

Looking at what's left of the flowers.

Charlie was checking out this sunflower. It was another one planted by the squirrels. This one was out in my flower bed by the street.

Something has already decided it's yummy and helped themselves.

I'm just sittin' around watching the grass grow.

Watching the sun's reflection on the pond.

In other news, Scott is still searching for a job while he works part time in Moosejaw's warehouse. It's not too busy right now but they keep telling him it will pick up soon with the holidays coming.

Quinn's little life will be changing soon. Her mommy has decided to quit her job in order to spend more time with her.

She's growing and changing so fast I'm sure they will both enjoy this time together. She's talking like a little chatty kathy lately and singing and playing make believe. She's doing all those darling things almost two year olds do. Such a fun time for the happy little family. Can't wait to see them again in less than a month, if even for a few days.

We're not hearing much from Tyler in Korea. He's back in school after summer camp and their two week break. We miss him.

So, other than working, which pretty much takes it out of me, I will be at home, enjoying the last of the impatiens and hydrangeas. They won't be around much longer.

Have a good week (or two)!! :-)

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Last Day of Summer

It's not officially the last day of summer but today it feels like it, both because of the Fall-like weather we're experiencing and because tomorrow is the first day of school here in our neck of the woods.

My impatiens are still beautiful because it hasn't been too cold at night.

These little guys are still hanging around so I'm keeping the feeder up.

We had a mostly uneventful week but a few crazy things happened. Thursday was an especially crappy day. I awoke to two piles of poop in the living room, later to be accompanied by two piles of vomit and then to top it all off, the air conditioning broke around 1:00 and it started getting hotter and hotter. By the time H came home it was 82 degrees in the house and pretty humid too. H checked things out and was able to diagnose the problem so we called our local repair guy and he said he'd be by the next afternoon. Not what we wanted to hear since the temp the next day was supposed to hit 95 but we had no choice. It was a very warm and uncomfortable night for sleeping. Then we had a nice surprise the next morning. About 7:15 the phone rang and it was the local repair guy stating that he was outside and believed he had fixed the unit and to turn it on. He was right! It was fixed. Thank goodness.
Sadly we ended that day by having to go to a wake for an acquaintance who lost his year long battle with cancer.

Saturday was a hot, sunny day and we ended up spending our last summer-like day at our friend's pool. It was a perfect way to end the summer season. We just relaxed by the pool all day and had an easy dinner of pizza.

Today I took the pups to the park since the weather had cooled down and the rain from yesterday had stopped. They were really enjoying themselves.

It all went well until we went home. I pulled into the garage, opened the door to let them out like I usually do and instead of heading toward the garage door Charlie shot around me and headed for the street and toward a woman walking her little poodle. Zoe caught on and was right after him heading toward the poodle too. By the time I ran out to the street Zoe was attacking (or trying to attack) the little dog and so was Charlie. I was able to grab Zoe but Charlie kept jumping away from me and finally the woman picked the dog up and Charlie was trying to jump up on her to try to get the dog. I finally grabbed him by the ear as that was all I could get and then was able to get his collar while profusely and sincerely apologizing to the woman. At this point I thought I had to walk in, just holding their collars, hoping they wouldn't get away from me. By the time I got in the house I was completely winded and gasping for breath, both from the tussle and from the anger. I was very unhappy with two very naughty dogs! And after I had been so nice and took them to the park and all! Brats!

After I recovered I decided I really should make a trip to the garden since it had been a week again since I was out there. My plan was to dig potatoes and that's exactly what I did. I also pulled onions, carrots, a few more green beans and one of my basil plants.

We had that big potato with dinner since when I was digging it up I accidentally put a gash in it. The guys reported that it was delish. I also made some pesto from the basil. I put it in the freezer as I'm not quite sure what I'm gonna use it for yet. I was also able to freeze some broccoli and carrots. I think I probably got 20 pounds of potatoes from those 10 little plants and some of them were huge. Like this one!

I still have 3 purple cabbage plants in the garden but I'm not sure if I'll actually get a head from them or not. If I do they will probably be small. The ones in the main garden look much bigger than mine right now.

And this little beauty finally pushed up past the carrots. It took a long time. Guess the carrots were overpowering it a bit.

Dinner tonight had quite a few things from the garden. We had a caprisi salad with grape tomatoes and basil from the garden. The boys split that huge potato. And we had bar-b-q ribs on the grill. It was a really good, fresh dinner. Too bad it wasn't a little warmer so we could have eaten outside!

So, tomorrow is the first day of school. I'm ready except for the part when I have to get up at 5:30. That's the only part I'm not looking forward to. I am looking forward to seeing all my friends and the kids. It's only a half day for the kids but a full day for teachers and staff. At least the kids will be tired so they'll be easier to manage!!

Have a good week!