Frost Drill

I’m still gardening.

Isn’t that crazy?

Here it is the last week of October and I’m still picking green beans and peppers!

Not that we haven’t had our close calls. We had a couple of mad dashes to the garden at sunset to cover plants, pick remaining produce and once to cut back all the sweet potato vines – just in case.

Plants got nipped both times – but we’re still gardening!

The melons, squash and pumpkins are done.

IMG_1670I’d say we did pretty good!

Take that you varmint squash bugs! I won this year!

Now to try every pumpkin recipe known to mankind to use them all up.

The sweet potatoes were dug for the first time ever.

They too were numerous – and in some cases – monstrous.

Like this one…

sweet potato It almost looks like a human heart! It’s actually several grown together because our soil was too clay to give them room.

It made a massive amount of sweet potato fries!

And remember those cabbage, broccoli and kale plants I put in for a fall crop?

They’re still alive! And growing!

We had kale for several meals and fresh lettuce again. The cabbage and broccoli are making nice heads – but they need a little more time.

I’m not sure we’ll get it though – the forecast calls for a killing frost Friday night.

Grow little broccoli and cabbage – grow fast!

Maybe my amazing husband can engineer some cold frames or hoop houses?

Or maybe I should just let the season end – thankful it was the best garden we’ve had in years.

Or maybe I should make another new pumpkin recipe while I decide.

Yes,  definitely that one.

The Orange Chair Adventure

Three generations of women.

One grandma. Four aunts. A slew of cousins.

One day of adventure.

One amazing niece who hosted and made the arrangements.

Many miles traveled to enjoy a day of memory making.

EmporiumA flea market. Antique stores.  Curiosity Shops. The Emporium.

Giggles. Laughs. Secret purchases.

Crazy driving.

El BashasA Mediterranean lunch.

Discovering gyros, schwarma, and garlic sauce.

orange chair paradeFinding the perfect orange chair and recruiting cousins to help carry it out of the store, across the busy street, and down two blocks.

Then watching two amazing aunts figure out how to get it in the back of the mini van already packed with bodies and purchases.

cousin photo shootSeizing photo ops to remember the day.

A snapshot in time.

Precious people.

Precious memories.

mom and her girlsAnd of the course – the big orange chair.

Priceless.

Of Flea Markets, Hedge Hogs and Kettle Corn

My parents were here last week.

It was an impromptu visit to fit in a little more adventuring in the gorgeous autumn weather.

Which we did – in grand style.

They were here long enough for my dad to work on my list of projects and have time for an epic fishing trip and my mom to play multiple games with the kids.

Then on Saturday we took them to the Rutledge Flea Market.

Sixty acres of treasures just waiting to be discovered!

Everything from junk to antiques, guns to tupperware, pot bellied pigs to hedge hogs.

Yes, hedge hogs.

hedge hog

Of course Buddy fell immediately in love and thought we needed one. Desperately.

At least until he held it and it sneezed – causing him to be poked and drawing blood in three places.

Since we didn’t really need a hundred dollar pin cushion, we left him there.

When everybody had found sufficient treasures, we bought a bag of fresh hot kettle corn and headed home on the scenic route.

Taking in the fall color, enjoying the warm weather, watching the combines at work and then stopping at several Amish stores.

Cheese curd samples, local pecans, fresh peanut butter, free ice cream.

We ate our way home, tired but happy.

Of Bridges, Parks and Puppy Chow

My niece Sarah came to visit.

10665206_10204999968018216_6736673193094802581_nWe love her.

We love spending time with her.

We love going to thrift stores and antique stores with her. She always finds the craziest things.

10686652_10204999970258272_8071903550618517225_nLike the same creepy cupid print in every place we shopped. It was following us.

We love driving back roads with her and soaking up the beautiful fall views.

And laughing.

10620800_10204999973138344_6768824139870526135_nLots of laughing.

And puppy chow and pot de creme and raspberry scones and pumpkin cheese cake muffins.

And silliness.

1554528_10204999970858287_155935240697903953_nAnd long walks and deep talks.

And beautiful parks with bridges.

10670228_10204999971338299_7207709068947523214_nWe love our Sarah.

Come back again.

Soon.

Fall Garden

Normally at this time of year I’m ready to be done with the garden.

Ready to pick the pumpkins and winter squash – then ignore it’s very existence until January when the gardening bug hits me again.

pumpkinsSometimes I even pray for a frost so it will go away.

But not this year.

This year I planted more.

Crazy, right?

I had a few empty places where a crop had finished – so I decided to try some fall plantings of cool weather crops. Things like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.

purple cabbageIn the spring I start my cold weather crops inside and transplant them when the weather is right. For these fall crops I planted my seeds directly in the ground.

Germination was very spotty. It could have been too hot, or too much rain, or maybe Buddy and I didn’t prepare the soil quite as well as we should have for these much smaller seeds.

Whatever the reason – I figured it was worth the experiment! We already had the seeds and the ground was just sitting there. Anything that grew was a bonus.

kaleLike my first homegrown kale.

Happy, happy, happy day!

I wonder just how long we can stretch this fresh food season?