THE HOMESTEAD IN EARLY FALL
|Tiny crab apples against the background of the dying garden|
Some things have begun their inevitable decay as we now find ourselves in the dying of the year. The garden, tired and overgrown, yet produces some tomatoes, peppers, green beans and herbs, for which I am most thankful. Is it a metaphor to say that we, who have left youth behind and are steadily on our own inexorable march have still yet something to offer, some fruit to produce? I like to think of life being like that. Some of these garden offerings didn't even begin to take off until the intense heat of summer was over. Now that's an analogy to ponder!
|Roses from my flower beds|
As you might guess from reading any of this blog, I am a person quite in tune with the seasons and the mysteries of the natural world. I like to decorate the house seasonally, change out furnishings, and eat what is in season. I think it is very healthy and rewarding to live according to the natural rhythms of life. There is a time and a place to do everything, and this especially is good for children and for those whose emotions have been strained, or are otherwise under some kind of pressure. Wouldn't people and society in general be more well-adjusted if they got up with the sun and went to bed at a reasonable hour, so that their bodies could repair themselves at the optimum time for doing so? For more information on this topic and many related to it, click here
I also think this would improve our shared life, since people would feel better and thus be more productive and less anti-social. Couples would be in bed together instead of one surfing the web while the other falls asleep in front of the TV. There would just be a lot less trouble for folks to get into, and a lot less money spent on foolishness.
The season we are now in lends itself to settling down earlier anyways. Fall is the time that the outward turns inward. We gather the harvest in, we bring the lawn furniture and trappings of summer in for the winter, we ourselves settle in due to shorter days and cooler temperatures. I happen to love this. Today is a dark and rainy day, so I've got my electric candles on in the windows and a Yankee candle burning in here. The fragrance is called Farmers Market and its pretty yummy. I made my hubby his good Irish oatmeal, and I know what I am making for supper tonight.
This is when I start using my oven again and I have an old recipe that I will be making.It is an Italian dish that my mother used to make in the fall when the big, red sweet peppers are at their finest. I stuff them and bake them with a stuffing that has a bit of anchovy in it - you cannot really tell what it is but it makes it delicious. (Please do not mention this to the kids, OK? In all these years, they haven't found out about the anchovies or the chicken feet I use when I make up some serious chicken broth). It is baked with a bit of red sauce covering it, then we add a little more along with some grated Parmesan, at the table. I will probably just serve this with a really crisp Romaine salad.
Tomorrow perhaps I can update this post with a picture of the stuffed peppers. I definitely should have taken a pic of the golumpki from Bob's birthday supper last week. Another oven dish that turned out so nicely.
Here are some other things going on in my home this week:
The roses pictured here are cut from my beds - I went out early yesterday morning and dead-headed several, and picked these beauties to grace my counter. I love the way they smell - there is just nothing quite so special as fresh roses, in my view.
We finally got our youngest over to the eye doc for a check up and new contacts. That is a load off my mind. His eyes have not changed - another good thing! We don't have to replace his glasses which he uses when he is at home, and just need to buy contacts. We went to a new place that opened, called America's Best Eyeglasses and Contacts; they charge 99 dollars, which covers a yearly eye exam for three years, with additional exams (say, for an eye infection) as necessary. Then they give you a discount on the contacts/glasses. We also paid an extra 15 dollars so that our son could get the exam where they look behind the eyes without having to dilate them (a new process, I guess). Awesome!
I am trying to set up the same son for his SAT test. He doesn't want to take this, so we are having a little back and forth about it. He is wonderful student, taking college preparatory courses but he hasn't sold himself on the idea of actually going to college. So this needs prayer and discernment for all involved.
My friend JoAnn is going on a woman's retreat at our church this weekend and so I am involved with doing something on her behalf which I am not at liberty to discuss right now, just in case she reads this post!
I reorganized my freezer and shelves of canned goods (out in the garage), and inventoried these along with the pantry so I knew exactly where I stood before going to the commissary yesterday and bringing back tons of supplies. It had been awhile since I was able to do this, and it was just such a blessing to be able to finally get there and restock. Now I can bake and do everything I have been planning on. In the process of going through stuff, I also was able to put together several bags of food for the food bank. From what I read in our paper, it is in dire need of donations right now, with even folks who used to donate to it having to line up to ask for food from it!!
So I gathered some cans of things I had bought in case we had that hurricane, and also took one of everything that we had two of, and put those in the bags. I felt that the Lord was specifically instructing me to do that, so it felt good to be obedient to His call.
As well as food, I have a large bag of clothing to donate, probably across the street at the Salvation Army. Some things that are too big (yay), and some stuff of the boys'. I will do this today, as yesterday I had the pleasure of going shopping with my grown daughter and son, and she drove her car, so my errands are waiting till today.
I also applied for a couple of jobs - a time consuming experience, for sure.
Monday night I picked beans, basil and hot peppers from the garden and made a wonderful, hot and spicy vegetable soup with chicken broth, the aforementioned veggies, onions, fresh parsley, garlic, crushed tomatoes, chunks of chicken, sea salt, and acine de pepe pasta. I have been having allergy problems which affect my sinuses, and boy does that kind of soup (especially spiced up with those fresh off the vine, little red peppers) minister to my condition!
Yesterday, upon taking inventory, I saw that for some reason I had two opened boxes of whole wheat rotini pasta, and I knew I had some chicken breast meat left over from the night before, so I made a pasta and chicken salad with shredded cheddar cheese, onions, broccoli, carrot, green and red pepper, parsley, and my homemade mayonnaise. I served the leftover soup alongside this, with Italian bread.
See, this is why none of them can stay mad at me for long. They get hungry, and that's when I get them, ha, ha!
I am going to a young college lady today in math and also help her with her report which she has to present in front of her English class. I am actually looking forward to that, more so than I am in doing some more weekly housecleaning chores. But once I get going in them, I tend to not want to stop, so its all good!
Now I am off to start those chores, so I will end this tale of a happy housewife here. Lord willing, to be continued..................
|View from the front porch|