The wind has been blowing balmy air into and around the house these days, but I’ve enjoyed some cool walks in the early mornings. Somehow this year the autumn atmosphere is calling me outdoors and I’m actually hearing, feeling the pull. I want to soak up whatever it is in the air while I can, before I get all wimpy and chilly all the time and just want to sit by the fire.
On the subject of fires, this warm wind has fanned the flames of a wildfire in one of our favorite nearby parks — eek! Mr. Glad and I saw the smoke from our front yard where we were working on the lawn and flower bed. Thank God, it was put out fairly quickly and burned less than 200 acres, of vegetation only.
In preparation for the controlled indoor fires I’m anticipating, my husband and I had just finished moving a half cord of firewood from our driveway, to stack in the side yard. My own method of carrying wood involves loading several pieces on my left arm, which was bare on this warm day, and right off was getting a bit roughed up.
I dug around in the rag drawer and contrived an arm protector from a section of worn-out sock. I’m showing you two pictures so you will be sure to see how clever I am.
|Two logs loaded on….|
Mr. Glad showed me a concave piece of bark that fell off a knobby oak log, and we admired the design of its inner side, one bit of art work that must be representative of gazillions of other lovely bark designs that no one ever sees. Then I made it our computer desktop background.
I’ve had to interrupt my outdoor reveries to cook up some of the bounteous harvest. Old friends hosted a women’s potluck and that offered me the chance to try out a new cake on the other ladies.
When I defrosted the freezer last week I had found various flours that I want to use up, and Mr. C. dropped off a bag of Golden Delicious apples, so I tried this buckwheat apple cake. Everyone loved it, and took home what was left over, except for the slice I saved for Mr. Glad.
The recipe calls for so many apples (six), that they completely solve the problem of buckwheat being a dry sort of flour. It was not overly sweet, and would be a good sort of cake for people who like to eat cake often. I used limoncello instead of the maraschino liqueur. I don’t understand how the cake on the original blog came out so pale. It’s as though the cook used refined buckwheat flour, which I’ve never heard of.
For the potluck lunch I also made a big bowl of tabouli, my method long ago adapted from a Sunset Magazine recipe called Bulgur Salad. Next summer I’ll share it. I was able to use parsley, mint, and tomatoes from our garden. I forgot to take a picture until after I’d stirred in some tuna to make half of the batch into a main dish salad for Mr. Glad.
Back out in the garden again, I’ve been deeply digging to break up the clay for planting some ranunculus bulbs and pansies where a shrub used to be. Some of its big roots were still hanging around and for the first time in my life I used a chopping maul to get them out of there. That was satisfying work.
One of the jobs on my autumn to-do list was to take out the Cécile Brunner rose in the far corner of the yard. This picture shows it four years ago, before it became a burden that is more trouble than it is worth.
I never thought I would say that about such a lovely rose bush, but this one is so vigorous, and vigorously invading three neighbors’ yards, that it requires hours of pruning three times a year, from which I come away scratched and bleeding, and wishing I could have done something else with the time. The bush is in a place where we don’t even properly appreciate its enthusiastic blooming.
I forgot that it likes to bloom in October, until my glance landed in its corner yesterday. It won’t do to whack it down in its glory, so I’ll have to wait a couple of weeks before I tackle the job. I will sadly remove one more rosebush from my life, trying to live with the reality of my limitations. In the meantime, I cut some stems to make one last bouquet.