Fall is here.
I know this displeases some of you, but for me, this is delightful. I love fall. It is, by far, my favorite season. I love the crisp in the air and the apple crisp* in my kitchen.
The weather has taken a wonderful turn for the cooler here in Virginia. Last Saturday, I sat on the sidelines of a soccer game wearing jeans, a long-sleeve t-shirt, a long sweater vest, a scarf, and boots. El was sitting next to me in long pants and a heavy fleece and was huddled under a blanket. (Pete, on the other hand, was coaching while wearing a t-shirt and shorts.) (I know you’re surprised by that revelation.) (Oh boy, do I wish I had a sarcasm font.)
This week, it has been a bit warmer, with highs in the 70s. Really, not all that chilly, but compared to the highs we had just a month ago, it feels downright nippy out there. I’ve seen lots of people breaking out coats, scarves, and other layers. I’ve even worn long sleeves and long running tights on a couple of my recent early morning runs. (Gettin’ ‘em in while I can.) Heck, I pulled out gloves for a bike ride last week because a local friend warned me that he’d already been out on his bike and his fingers were practically frost-bitten.
The funny thing about this is that six months ago and again six months from now, a 55 or 60 degree day is going to seem downright balmy compared to winter in Virginia. We’ll be shedding layers like snake skins and basking in the so-called warmth. But for now, we’re all reveling in the chilliness.
Out in the garden, I’m getting things ready for the cold months. I’ve cut back the asparagus, weeded thoroughly, and generally cleaned things up in that part of the garden, so as to avoid an infestation of asparagus beetles. Trust on this one, if you have asparagus in your garden, do not forget to clean the bed out or else you’ll regret it come spring.
The tomato plants are gone, not because they were finished producing, but because some fucking deer decided to frolic through them one day and pretty much trampled the hell out of my Brandywines and Yellow Pears. (So help me, next year is the year I put up an electric fence.)
My roses are putting forth one final display of color for me, as are the hydrangeas, which are El’s particular favorite out in the garden.
I desperately need to weed the mulched areas in the front yard, but my knee simply won’t allow it right now. And yes, that is how I weed — down on my hands and knees, pulling plants out by the roots. It’s therapeutic and I highly recommend it.
Did you know that blueberry bushes turn vivid red in the fall, just like burning bushes? It’s true and mine are in the early stages of going scarlet for me.
It’s raining here today, but I don’t mind.
Normally, I’ll go for a run in the morning just as soon as I walk with the girls to the bus stop. Today, however, because of the rain and because I needed to go to the grocery store to stock up on ice cream sundae fixin’s for Graceful’s party, I drove the girls to their respective schools first. Graceful got Adele’s latest CD for her birthday and I can now report that it takes exactly the first two songs (“Rolling in the Deep” and “Rumour Has It”) to get from Jenworld to Graceful’s school, then those same two songs again to get from Graceful’s school to Elegant’s. I’m sure there are other great tunes on the album, but right now, we’re listening to the same two songs over and over.
The kitchen smells good, due to the pound of beans simmering in the slow cooker. Because of Graceful’s birthday yesterday, we broke with tradition and did not have our usual Thursday night dinner. She requested grilled salmon, mashed potatoes, and creamy tomato soup, so that’s what we had.
Tonight, we’ll have Thursday night on Friday night, then tomorrow night, we’ll have Friday night (pizza) for dinner at Graceful’s birthday party. For Sunday, I’ve already decided to use the leftover mashed potatoes, some leftover pot roast in the freezer, and various vegetables to make cottage pie.
I’ve been fooling around online all morning and have stumbled across some fun things that are surely going to lead to blog posts next week or, at the very least, spirited discussions on Facebook.
As I type this, it’s coming up on noon and it’s still raining. Rain or no rain, pain (in my knee) or no pain, I will be going out for a run shortly.
And on that note, I’m going to wrap up this scattered randomness and hit “publish.” Have a good weekend, my friends.
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* Super easy apple crisp: Chop and peel 3-6 apples and put them in a pie pan or baking dish. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and maybe drizzle on some vanilla extract. Melt one stick of butter and then mix with one cup of flour and one cup of sugar. Add cinnamon to taste. (The flour mixture can be easily modified to include oats, wheat flour, etc.) Bake at 375 until lightly browned on top. This should be around 15 minutes, but watch to make sure the crisp doesn’t burn. Eat with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. This is excellent as a leftover for breakfast.