Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Oh, October.

I'm back, Estate Sale behind me, (yay!) and most of October with it.  I've been busy as a bee, getting ready for the holidays and winter. I know most people do their major cleaning in the spring, but something about the idea of being trapped inside for the winter makes me want to redo everything. Everything!
So along with trying to get things cleaned up and ready for cold winds blowing, we have also been enjoying another good apple harvest. Our wild crabapple was loaded with beautiful little apples again this year and we made a big batch of crabapple jelly using this recipe. It is sooo good! I am not usually big on jams and jellies, but this stuff is the bomb and my favorite way to have it is on fresh home made bread, slathered with warm brie. Something about the tart flavor of this jelly just sets off the creamy richness of the cheese in the best way imaginable.
 We had 14 jars of the clear, ruby red jelly so we made some of my Honey Wheat French bread, got a wheel of brie and added a jar of the jelly for each of our pastors.  It is pastor appreciation month you know. 
 If you haven't told your pastor you appreciate him/her, you still have 4 days to do it in October. Of course don't let missing it in October stop you. Appreciation can be expressed any time. :)
 Finally, look at what we passed last night on our walk. Just look!  It seemed that every tree was in its full glory, each one prettier than the last.
 There was that spicy scent of leaves in the air, could someone just bottle that? Please? I left the path just to hear the crunch of the fallen leaves.
The air was cool and crisp, the setting sun shone through the leaves like stained glass, and I couldn't help but think how fleeting this all is. It has to be breathed in and soaked up and stored in memory until it happens again next year.
Enjoy your October, I'll see you in November!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

This and That

Isn't Autumn beautiful?  It's warm but threatening rain today so I'm catching up on some indoor stuff and that includes a quick post. I sometimes wonder how I found time to post so often back when I began this little journal.  I think we all have an appreciation for how long the photography, editing and posting can take.  Sometimes I find it hard to fit in with all that is on my plate.
So while I have a moment, I'll just do a quick recap of what I've been up to lately.

1. For the past two weeks I have been helping a friend set up and price an estate sale for her late mother in law.  I strongly encourage anyone to do this because I guarantee it will give you the final push to clean out all those possessions hiding in closets, basements and drawers. Do it for yourself. Do it for your children.  I mentioned we have been at it for two weeks right? Sometimes it has been 10-12 hour days. This weekend is the sale. Needless to say, I won't be back posting until after it's done.

2. Yesterday I took the day off to go to the dentist, (blerg, there is a root canal in my very near future). and since it was a warm sunny day, and possibly the last we will have for a while, Earl and I tackled washing the windows.  In my head, before I start, I always think it won't take me long.  I am so silly.  But after washing the windows, and scrubbing the screens I am so happy to see the sparkling clean view I have to say it was well worth the effort.  I used Rain-X on the outsides of the windows hoping they will stay cleaner longer. I saw it on Pinterest, I'll let you know how it works. Of course it was also the day the ladybugs decided it would be the last warm day for a while because they were trying desperately to get in while we tackled the job. How do they know? 

3. I am working on some new designs for the etsy shop.  Loving how they are turning out. I can't wait to show you. Soon!

4. The leaves are at their peak, the garden is mostly gone due to a couple nights below 32 degrees, but my little golden marigolds are hanging strong.  I love you little golden flowers.  Unfortunately, as soon as the rain is past, I need to go out and dispose of the last hanging baskets and do some garden clean up. But the marigolds stay until the last.

5. It was another good year for apples and we made some of the best cider from our apples, our neighbors apples and an old tree we found growing wild. I have heard that the more varieties you use in your cider the better, and I have to agree with that. Best cider ever! I have some frozen for when daughter and son-in-love come to visit from PA, made some for daughter and son-in-love who live nearby and I plan to make more in the next week.  Also, today is wild crabapple jelly day.  I'm thinking a jar of that with some brie and home made bread for Pastor appreciation this month. :)

What is keeping you busy?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Pumpkin Patch

I have been wanting a big pumpkin patch for several years now.  A patch big enough to satisfy my pumpkin greed would take up a huge area and the thought of either killing all the grass underneath the vines or having a mess of weeds covering 1/4 acre or more has kept me from pursuing the patch of my dreams.  This year we planted a large galvanized tub with pumpkin plants, gave the vine a structure to climb and waited for the magic. 
We got lots of vines, huge showy flowers, and not a single pumpkin.  
Kathy's Cottage Oct 2015
Around mid summer we noticed a healthy plant sprouting from the compost pile.  As it grew to amazing proportions we realized it was a pumpkin, or actually several pumpkin vines.  I must have tossed last years decorative stock on the compost and never thought another thing about it.  This is the harvest from those vines.  A few got eaten by wildlife, and there are still many little tiny pumpkins forming on the vines.  My favorite is the really warty one.   Aren't they wonderful? 
Kathy's Cottage The Pumpkin Patch
Proving once again that God is a far better gardener than I will ever be.  I think these will go back on the compost when I'm done with them.  Maybe I can keep the pumpkin patch going :)

The trees are just beginning to turn here, a few in full glory and a few just starting to change.  The sun is shining today and I need to be outside for a while. I can hear the birds singing and there are apples to pick and make into cider, crabapples to harvest and make into crabapple jelly. It's been another good year for apples and I have to use as many of them as I can.  There is a walk in the state park along a path completely golden with oak trees in our near future, and I can't let the week pass without a fire outside and possibly some s'mores.

How are you enjoying the autumn season?