"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Long Time No See.

     Hello again to my faithful readers. I hope you hadn't given up on me, or worse, thought I had given up on you.  Yes, I have been busy, but the main cause of the long break was my accidentally leaving my computer at the spice shop for a week.  I hadn't realized what an addict I had become.  I suppose there are worse things I could be addicted to, right? Right, there are definitely worse things.
      I will touch on a few of the happenings you may have missed:
1. I put my money on the table and stood in the blazing sun to watch B and M participate in the school wide  Fun Run. This is the Cross Timbers fundraiser. The kids take money pledges, so much per lap run, and then they all run together (by grade). Both kids did a great job, in spite of the heat and general mugginess.

Abbey and I cooled people down and practiced some relentless cheering for a couple of hours.

2.  There have been more little league games. I don't make it to nearly all of them but now and then I am able to join the fun.  Both boys are doing well and still having a good time, so I hear.

3.  We had our third anniversary at Savory Spice Shop last Saturday, complete with the Annual Sweet and Savory Pie Contest.. This of course meant a full day of pie making fun the day before for all of us who were not at our regular jobs.  We gathered at Audra's and whipped up sixteen pies.  Here are the stats: 4 apple, 2 peach, 2 cherry, 1 blueberry chai chess pie, 1 lemon, 1 peach apple, 1 strawberry rhubarb, 3 ultra pumpkin. We had about 12 actual entrants in the real Pie Contest.

    Here are the winners Rick and Loretta (on either side of yours truly) with Able and the judges: Dave Cathy "Food Dude", Lesie of "The Pie Junkies", and OKC's own famous Chef Jon Bennet.
     I think everyone had a good time and there was lots of pie to share with our customers all day. Well, until we ran out at about 3:00. Last year we make sixteen pies and had six left over. This year we made 15 and ran out too soon. Hmmm…..
    The day of the contest was also West Fest, the Fall festival for Western Avenue.  If I had figured that into the formula I would have made 10 more. The crowd wanted more lemon, cherry and strawberry rhubarb.  Okay. Noted. We plan on having the contest in conjunction with West Fest again, if we can, so we will adjust next year. I think perhaps we should make some of the pies ahead, freeze them, and cook them on Friday. Either that or have pie making at two houses simultaneously.  (Where would be the fun in that? I love having everyone flour covered and having fun in the kitchen together. Here are Zane and Rowan helping with the crusts.)

4.  One of our contestants was a woman, Gina, who took a pie baking class (for a week) in North Carolina, at the John C. Campbell Folk School. She and I visited extensively about the school. It sounds like something I would love to do (not necessarily pie baking, but maybe). They teach all sorts of folk skills there and it is open all year round. The first class I'm enrolling in is Hammer Dulcimer. Yipee! I have wanted to learn this instrument for many years. This Spring it is going to happen. I am excited beyond words.

5.  Maggie and I headed to the flower shop early one morning this week to buy mums and pansies for a grand morning of planting.  This was my house warming gift to Abbey for her new house: planted flowers for Fall and Winter. Audra and her boys came over and joined us. All the kids were great helpers.  They all know the drill by now, since their grandmother is a gardening fanatic.      We had a picnic on the patio when we were finished and then everyone joined in a bike and scooter ride around the neighborhood.  Making memories, as usual.  The littlest boys jobs were handing us the pots of pansies. Here they are, below, resting on the curb while we finished the front of the house. What a couple of cuties.

6.  The landscaping is finished at my house for now, meaning the hardscape is done. I am going to do the planting myself, both now and in the spring.  I have transplanted some things out of the other gardens already, things that were crowded or overshadowed.  Audra came and helped me transplant some Iris and Peonies today as well as moving a few more rocks into the beds. Here is a picture of the back side of the house. I keep forgetting to get a good one of the front, but it is the same kind of rock with big rocks here and there. I'll get one soon. This side looks so much better than before. I love it.

7.  I'm enjoying spending nights and early mornings at the Richard's house when I am in the City.  I enjoy the casual time with them and I think Abbey is happy for the help. It is so nice to come dragging in from the spice shop, of an evening, and have a wonderful, home cooked meal ready and waiting for me. Abbey cooking for me now reminds me of her helping cook for harvest when she was eleven or twelve. She started young, has kept at it, evolved into her own style, and is a fantastic cook.
    This picture is part of the planting crew after they were all soaking wet and hyped up from the picnic.

8.  For some reason I continue to imagine it is Fall. The light has changed and every once in a while we have a lovely cool  morning and my heart surges with happiness. Autumn, one of my favorites. After all, October is in this season and you know who's birthday is in October. :)
     Nature knows it is becoming Fall; putting on her fancy garb especially for the frolic. Acorns are formed and ripening and making the squirrels earn their nibbles every day, dawn to dusk. Clouds of white Chives and scarlet spider lilies grace the gardens. Morning Glories have insinuated their way up every available stick and post and have woven themselves into the inner circles of the caged tomato plants. Nothing is safe from the windings of Miss Morning Glory. In all honesty, who would want to be? Come hug me close and kiss me with color, you beauty.
9.  And yet today, when Audra and her boys came to the farm for a play day, it was so miserably hot we were all panting like lizards and ducking indoors at regular intervals to escape the heat. Sigh.

We did manage to do some snacking in the tree house, swinging on every swing on the place, playing in the sand pile left by the landscapers, planting Iris, moving some rocks, rebuilding a couple of the north steps, exploring the prayer gardens, checking on the birdhouse gourds (which are huge) AND playing on the hay bales. It was really too hot for that last one but we powered through, in the sacred name of tradition.

     Rowan is still a little short for leaping bale to bale but he did a lot of watching his big brother and I'm sure will jump by himself soon enough. Here he is, getting a few pointers on form from his mom, who is a pro if there ever was one. All of us had to have cool showers, once we went inside, so we wouldn't have a heat stroke.
10. I saw and heard a Chickadee this week, returned from the north. The dragonflies have mated in masses and left us. My Hummingbirds and the Cliff Swallows from under the bridge have gone as well.  (I didn't even get to say goodbye).  I have seen a few Monarch Butterflies this week, not the whole migration but more than usual. The Yellow Sulphur butterflies are busy on the chive blossoms.
     I will not mow Maggie's Wood again before the cold comes down upon us. The many different kinds of grasses and flowers are a foot tall and topped with seed heads. The little critters and birds will need some protection from the cold and predators and lots of seeds for the winter months.  One of these days I will need to remember where I hung my blue jacket.

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