Snowy Sunday

I told myself that I would not capture an image of the first significant snowfall of this season.  Sunday afternoon the snow began.  It became more intense.  I tried to ignore the white blanket.

In the evening, I turned on the Christmas lights and made the mistake of looking out the window.  Camera in hand, I opened the front door and captured this image.

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It was so beautiful . . . until the lights went out.

Fortunately, the emergency generator took over, but I turned off the extra lights.  About six or seven hours later, commercial power was restored.

In the dark, a neighbor reports taking a tumble but is going to survive.  She was glad when the lights came back on a short while later.

Thoughts from My Notebook

I keep a pocket-sized notebook handy.  It’s nice to have something to “capture” my thoughts for later review.  Some of my younger friends use a small tablet computer for that, but my arthritic hands prefer pen and paper.

I need to convert my notebook into a sleep log for the next month.  For that reason, I began to remove spiral-bound pages.  Most had no further value, but some are “keepers.”  Here are three fragments that I’ve woven into a single [not completely coherent] story about day morphing into night.

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Twilight gently nudges the weakening sun over the horizon. Night slides in on velvety slippers as the sun flees its appearance.  Night nibbles away the failing light.  Creatures of the day find rest as denizens of darkness become active.  A cloud-draped sky conceals distant light from a realm far beyond our skies.

As the chill of night dispels clouds, a panoply of starry hosts spangles the firmament.  Later, a waning gibbous moon rises, lighting the earth and making the stars seem dim.  Now is the time for folks like me, and perhaps you, to go to bed.  Pleasant dreams, my friend.

Giving Thanks

ThankYou

Psalm 100  —  New International Version (NIV)

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

So much to give thanks for.  Not just today, but for everyday of life that we enjoy here on this good earth.

I am most thankful for family.  That means starting with biological family first and foremost, but extending to our community of close friends who have become like family to us.

There is not enough space to list all for which I am thankful.  Many of the items on my list cannot be held or touched.  Perhaps at top of those is Love.  Healing can also be found on that list.

Went to bed with a bump on his head

On the same day as my last blog post, I took a tumble.  Sylvia and I were getting ready for a small group meeting at our house–the final one of this year.  Sylvia had baked a cherry pie to celebrate.  In the hustle, I stumbled backward over a foot stool, hitting my head on a knee-high oak table that our TV sits upon.

We cancelled our meeting and Sylvia took me to the ER.  The staff cleaned me up and the doctor installed six staples on the two-inch wound on the back of my head.

Two days later, we had that cherry pie with our small group.  It was delicious. :food:

This week, a nurse removed the staples.  The wound looks good and I am healing well.  I did suffer a headache, but it was a very low-grade one.

You

Sylvia joins me in wishing you a wonderful day of thanksgiving.  We know that many of you, like us, will be with family.  May it be a good day.

 

Thus Ends a Tale

In my most recent post there was a pic of our make-shift frost cover.  Sylvia and I had fashioned it with a garden tripod and a blue tarp.  On seeing the image our son, Scott, thought of the line from Shakespeare’s play, Richard the Third.  He quoted it this way, “Now is the winter of our discount tent.”  He’s a clever one.

We had hoped to keep that jalapeño plant alive beyond that first frost.  The next day, I removed the tarp to inspect for potential damage.

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Sylvia went out and harvested the last 43 peppers from that plant.  We estimate about 200 jalapeños from that single plant.  It was the most prolific of the four plants we grew this year.

We missed our goal of November 20 by one week.  Still, we were happy for the extended season.  (First frost here is usually October 20.)

Ode to Fall’s Finish

The fall has fallen
The leaves now litter the ground
Prepared for winter

While Earth is ready for winter, I have a few more tasks to complete.  I should be ready on time.

Frosty Night

We experienced our first frost of the season last night.  It was a hard one too.  What’s a body to do?  How about pitch a tent in the garden?

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That’s what Sylvia and I did last evening as the sun was setting.  Call it a science experiment.  We are trying to keep our jalapeño plant alive until November 20.  (Typical first frost date for this area is October 20.)

We’ll see how our pepper plant survived when the tent is gone.  For my part, faith and hope continue . . .

My Hot Peppers Are Cool!

A week ago, I posted a picture of a bucket full of jalapeños that Sylvia had picked.  There is still one plant in the garden that is bearing  jalapeños.  Today, I captured this image to show that we will be harvesting peppers in November.  Can you believe it?

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We have preserved what we don’t eat fresh by dehydrating and freezing.  Sylvia just brought home the supplies so we can prepare poppers and put them in the freezer.  (For poppers, she removes the pepper core, stuffs it with cream cheese and cheddar and wraps in bacon.)  That way when we have a desire for poppers, we can take them from the freezer and pop them into the oven.  At least that’s our theory.

Other

Sylvia also planted giant garlic for next year.  In the process she discovered some unharvested corms that have started growing and will coming up next spring.  When it comes to garlic, I say the more the better.

We have been busy this past week finishing our window project.  Now, we are now about 99.5% completed.  Best of all, we have finished all of the difficult parts.

More News

Our garden continues to produce.  On Tuesday, Sylvia harvested a few jalapeños from our four plants.  (They are more like bushes.)

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This bucket was nearly full.  A layer of bell peppers filled it to the rim.  That evening she gave away six dozen jalapeños.  We still had a bit over half of the original amount.  This was from one day’s harvest–we don’t harvest everyday.  This single “haul” was more than we would reap in a normal year from four plants.  Organic fertilizer works wonders.

One plant remains and it is loaded.  We are looking forward to fresh jalapeños in November.  We’ve never done that before.

Replacement Windows

Yesterday the construction crew returned to finish the job of replacing all the windows in this house.  Only a small amount of work remained.  In about an hour they had finished their work, cleaned up the work area, took my check and hit the road.  Thanks guys!  Good job, well done.

Sylvia and I will have to put on the finishing touches.  She’ll paint and I’ll shorten and install window blinds.

Projects in Progress and Done

Looking into the living room last week, I saw this:

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The final phase of replacing windows in the house was underway.  It was a good feeling to see the guys at work.

I went back into the office to work on a website.  A bit later I returned and checked on the construction progress.

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One of the crew is here today to put final touches on the project.  Once that is done, Sylvia will paint and I will install the blinds.  We’ll be ready for winter this year.

Timber

I posted earlier about the tree that came down in a recent wind storm.  The County Road Commission sent a work crew to move the tree out of the road.  They left it like this:

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I made arrangements to have our lawn man cut the tree up so that we could toss it on our burn piles.  Before he came, neighbor Bob showed up with his chainsaw and started cutting.  Sylvia and I hurried out to help remove brush and stack the fire wood in a neat pile.  Before he left, Bob helped us burn the brush piles.  Recent rain did not allow the piles to burn completely.  Nevertheless, about two thirds did.  On Friday, we returned from running errands and saw that the wood was gone.  We were very happy.  The scene now looks like this:

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Autumnal Joy

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Beautiful fall day
Colors dance upon the trees
Perfect time of year

Helpful neighbors have made the last couple of weeks extra special for us.  It started with the gal that gave Sylvia a bushel of the best apples ever–crisp, naturally sweet, but tart and very tasty.  We made enough apple sauce for 26 pints.  Also an apple pie and some apple dumplings.  Sylvia’s benefactor had never had apple dumplings, so Sylvia took her two of them–softball size.  We still have some for eating fresh, making pie and dumplings.

I had lined up some help for this week to cut up the fallen tree that the road commission had pushed out of the way.  Last Thursday we looked up from lunch to see our neighbor at the tree with chainsaw in hand.  We quickly finished lunch and hurried out to help.  The mess is gone.

Thanks neighbors.  You prove the maxim: “A friend in need is a friend indeed.”

Purple

I went out to check the flower gardens.  Yes, we have three of them.  The theme seemed to be the color purple.  So many beauties clad in royal purple.  It started with the cone flower.

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This year, Sylvia decided to go with purple salvia instead of her usual red.  While not as bold, the purple has added a bit more elegance in my opinion.

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The purple that is most apt to attract your attention as you approach our door is the petunias.  I’ve always had a fondness for these and this year even more so.

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No pictures of the vegetable garden today.  It’s not very pretty but we’re still harvesting carrots, beets, jalapeños and a few green beans.

The forecast shows no frost for us in the near future.  First frost could come later that usual, which is okay by me.