of gardening for this year! I picked the spaghetti and acorn squash -
and the pumpkins. Helayna and Meadow each took home a great big one too.
And the last 2 boxes of green tomatoes came off because the forecast is for frost at night now. It really was a bountiful harvest and the growing season was a full two weeks longer than normal for us. The credit for this garden really belongs to Bob who kept the weeds under control, watered regularly and was so keen about the whole project. I would not have done all of this on my own!!
The marigolds and nasturtiums with their brilliant oranges and yellows linger on - they always cheer me up!
If you know us, you'll know that we are not into home renovations! Bob and his dad built our house 31 years ago and it's been a great place to raise our 4 children. After redoing the shingles a few years ago, we knew the next project would have to be a new floor. Insert a picture here of our kids nodding their heads vigourously and agreeing wholeheartedly :)) Earlier this spring we bought bamboo hardwood and it's been acclimatizing in the basement. So - today we started the big project of removing the old carpet in the living room. The first thing we had to do was find a place for all the furniture to rest. Some went downstairs and some went into the garage for now. In the process, several bags of recycling were generated and a great many cords and a few outdated electronics were sent away. Then the baseboards came out and the carpet was rolled up and moved out. The underlay and wood tacking strips, in assorted pieces as we were able to remove them, were hauled to the dump. Now Bob is fixing the squeaks and screwing down the subfloor. The kitchen linoleum will also have to go, which is likely an even bigger project but I am so happy with our progress today! I'll keep you posted - hopefully it won't be too, too long before we have everything back together.
It's Bob's mom's 83rd birthday today. She has been such a constant in our lives, always willing to help with anything we need and sharing her baking and garden produce at every visit. She cares for their home, has a huge garden and entertains often. Her winters are spent quilting and sewing blankets for great-grandchildren and charities. She has been an amazing example of how to be a good mother-in-law and I hope that I've gained a little of her wisdom, common sense and faith.
1. It's taken 3 days of steady work but the garden is pretty well empty! Some pumpkins, spaghetti and acorn squash remain on the vines and the late tomatoes are still green as grass. Today Heather and Naomi both helped - thank you SO, SO much!!
2. Big huge thanks to my husband who dug all the potatoes. That was a big job!
3. These two have been so much fun this week!! They were just standing by the toybox, giggling and jabbering away to each other yesterday afternoon. Thanks to Heather for the picture and to House of 3 for the digital frame, which I remembered how to use :))
4. The great 2009 crop of twisted carrots were quickly processed (thanks to Naomi and her food processor) and many bags of grated carrots are now in the deep freeze, waiting for winter baking and cooking.
5. We were out in the sandbox by 9:00 a.m. this morning! Later Meadow came over and together they "baked" strawberry pies.
6. I had a vaccination in my left arm today and it hurts so much! I can hardly move my arm!
7. Do you ever go to your freezer, open the lid and just marvel at all the good food that's tucked away, waiting to be used inside?! It's a pretty marvelous feeling - trust me!
8. The bane of my existence these days are the flies! There are so many of them and they keep finding their way into the house. We've taken to vacuuming them off the ceiling every evening. This warm weather is just what they need to stay active and continue to be a nuisance. Anybody else having this same trouble?
9. I bought a new swimsuit last week. It was an "interesting / challenging / shaking my head / knew immediately it was the right one" kind of trip! It's called a "Miraclesuit" - gotta love any suit with a label like that :))
10. This little man loves his cars! He spent a very long time on the patio this morning, going back and forth, back and forth. He can go really fast and gets pretty impatient when he hits a wall or an obstacle. He's going to be quite the driver some day!
When Helayna comes to stay overnight with us, she sleeps in my scrapbook studio aka guest room. Last night as she was getting ready for bed, I was grabbing a few things to bring out to the kitchen table to work on and she really wanted to scrapbook with Heather and I. So before she went to bed, she punched and cut and glued and stickered and created something for Meadow! It was so cute to watch her and Heather talking and creating together. She loves scissors so she practiced for a bit with them too.
When she was finally ready for bed Mommy decided she positively must go to bed, the promise was that it would all stay out on the kitchen table and she could create again. So guess what's front and centre today?! But we are very busy outside, emptying the garden so the creating is on hold for now.
Outside my window. . . a very hot summer day but with golden leaves and combined fields! It's +28 degrees C and the forecast is for +30 tomorrow. This is not a typical September at all!!
I am thankful . . . for help with emptying the garden today!
And I am also thankful . . . for such a bounty of fresh produce that we can store up for winter eating.
I am praying . . . for good health and safety in the weeks ahead.
I am thinking . . . about things I can make with all the small and short carrots that we've dug out of the garden.
I am celebrating . . . the great pictures we got yesterday with four of our grandkids. (We missed you, Samuel!)
From the kitchen . . . "The Thigh Who Loved Me" ( a chicken dish), baked potatoes, sauteed beets, corn on the cob and watermelon. - maybe some more applesauce and a fruit cobbler tonight.
I am wearing . . . blue capris, pink sleeveless tshirt and crocs.
I am reading . . . A Blade of Grass by Lewis DeSoto - still working on this. It's quite a story!
I am hoping . . . that my visa will be delivered tomorrow! I know it's in Edmonton now.
I am hearing . . . Helayna chatting as she draws "paths going up the big hills" in a little paper book that we made. She's using "the very large crayons" and says "the white only dries out". I love her conversations!
I am creating . . . a mini travel album - actually got a few pieces of paper cut for this!
Around the house and yard . . . beets, carrots and potatoes to pick up from the garden where they were dug out this morning - laundry to change up - and lots of toys scattered around as Helayna, Silas and Heather are visiting with us for a few days!
One of my favourite things . . . sitting outside on the patio on warm evenings as the stars come out.
A few plans for the rest of the week . . . major garden digging, windows to wash, laundry and mending to take care of, lots of playing with grandchidren, a haircut and appointment in the city.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you . . . taken by Jonathan as seven of them hiked from Moraine Lake to Lake O'Hara on Saturday. They crossed a glacier along the 20 km trail and have many stories to share. Bob has been out on the trails alot this year!!
Do you associate the seasons with certain smells? If you stepped into my kitchen today, I think you would say it smells like autumn! And that's because I have a pot full of apples, from one of the three trees in our garden, simmering away on the stove, well on their way to becoming applesauce.
Today I'm using some Parkland apples which make a lighter colored sauce but the Rescue crabapples give a beautiful pink color when they are cooked.
Melinda and I had a little chat this afternoon and she told me about a recipe that Bob's Auntie Irma published in her family heirloom cookbook, that makes applesauce in the oven. I had never heard of such a recipe or such a technique!! Unfortunately Mel's recipe book is packed away in a box in Nova Scotia but I googled and found this great looking applesauce and apple butter . I think I'll try it on another batch as soon as this one is finished.
I have a foodmill that I use to press the apples through after they are completely cooked. I only use it at this time of the year and it's perfect for crabapples because you don't have to peel them first.
Mixed with a little brown sugar and cinnamon, it's a perfect dessert for the first day of fall!
Other smells that I associate with this time of year are the damp smell of leaves and pumpkin pie. What smells trigger thoughts of autumn for you?
Harvesting of grain is nearly finished here but some canola is still laying in the fields, drying down. There was so much late green growth, due to poor germination this spring, that now harvesting is delayed. The yields are greatly reduced - a complete reversal from last year's bumper crop. Hay crops are a fraction of what is needed to get animals through the coming winter and lots of grain crops in our area have gone into greenfeed or silage. Pastures are pretty well grazed off and some people are starting to feed their cattle already. This has not been a good year for farmers!
I like driving through the countryside at this time of year, especially in the early evening. As the sun sets, everything takes on a lovely golden hue and the sky is always interesting. The leaves are slow to change color this year and I don't think we're going to see the bright reds that we got last year. Daytime temperatures are still in the mid-20's and we haven't had any frost yet! Hopefully this warm weather will continue for a few more weeks.
Seriously - this working all day is interfering with finishing my canning, blogging, taking pictures, phoning people and even reading my email!! Tomorrow is the last day of the week for classes here so hopefully I'll be able to get a few things accomplished over the weekend.
All that being said, I have really enjoyed my time at this school with kids from grade 1 all the way through to grade 5. And the weather has been marvelous - warm and sunny - so even supervision has been fun!
Outside my window. . . a beautiful Indian summer day with bright sunshine, a bit of a breeze and warm temperatures.
I am thankful . . . that I can easily call our children and talk to them frequently.
And I am also thankful . . . for evening bike rides along the shore of the lake.
I am praying . . . that we can have patience to understand God's leading and His will.
I am thinking . . . about the social and science lessons that I have to teach tomorrow.
I am celebrating . . . because I got a new scalloped border punch from Stampin' Up! Now if only I had time to use it!
From the kitchen . . . pasta beef casserole, corn on the cob and peaches with cream.
I am wearing . . . brown capris, yellow striped tshirt and Skechers.
I am reading . . . A Blade of Grass by Lewis DeSoto. Set on the border between South Africa and an unnamed country, it's the story of 2 women, 1 black and 1 white, and their friendship amidst war. This book provides perspective on what it means to be black and white in a country where freedom is precious and often tragic.
I am hoping . . . to get my visa problem corrected - quickly!
I am hearing . . . the clock ticking.
I am creating . . . a mini travel album but it's going very, very slowly. All this gardening and canning is seriously interfering with my creative time :(
Around the house and yard . . . a few more tomatoes to can, dusting desperately needing to be done and more crabapples to pick.
One of my favourite things . . . fresh cinnamon buns.
A few plans for the rest of the week . . . more subbing, filled jars to be wiped and put away, chocolate zucchini cake to bake and a playdate with Meadow (it's been a long time since we've had a day to just ourselves!).
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you . . . teacher resource manuals open on my temporary desk at school.
Our garden is still growing like crazy! That probably has alot to do with the water we've been giving it regularly. I think the watering is going to stop so we can finish some things up.
These tomatoes were planted really late and they are just starting to set fruit now. They were extras from Naomi and we rescued them but they will need until Christmas before they make much fruit. And at the back you can see the corn which should be ready now that we've had 3 hot days in a row.
This is my first attempt at growing acorn squash.
The pumpkins are great.
Most of these zucchini were made into relish.
And I left this one growing! I think it's going to grow into a complete circle!!
Even though the weather has been warm and we haven't had any frost yet, the signs of autumn are starting to make themselves evident. The last few days have been Indian summer warm and the usual rainy first week of school didn't happen. The leaves are slow to change color this year so perhaps we will be very lucky and have a long autumn.
I was reminiscing this morning about the happenings of 2001 in New York City. I distinctly remember hearing the news and even the exact spot where I was at on the road, as I drove home from an early morning walk with my friend, Audrey. Then upon arriving at school, how everyone - staff and students - were clustered in the library and watching coverage in between classes, all day long. Where were you 8 years ago? I know so many families were personally affected that day with the loss of family members. I want to acknowledge that today is a day of remembrance across the USA and around the world.