Don’t Have a Hurry in Me

To say that we have no sense of urgency since the wedding would be a bit of an understatement.

You could say that our “get up and go has got up and went”.

We just can’t find a hurry.

But then, when you consider that in six months we’ve had 2 graduations and a wedding – all pretty major life events – in addition to 3 extended family trips, county fair, and VBS that I planned and directed, it’s understandable.

All we’ve done is plan, hurry, plan some more, hurry some more.

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But there’s some things about fall in the country that demand a bit of urgency. Important things like fencing and preparing the critters for winter and bringing in the last of the garden produce while cleaning up the garden.

And there’s storm doors to install, cold frames to plant, and I should really make a path through the basement and put away wedding things.

This gorgeous weather has lulled us into a false sense of complacency.

Maybe this lovely, lingering autumn will never end.

Maybe that late frost will forget to come.

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After all – my flower beds are beautiful and I’m still harvesting green beans and peppers from my garden.

But then we turned the calendar page to November.

November!

That’s the month before December.

In a few short weeks we’ll be eating turkey with stuffing and doing Black Friday, and putting up a Christmas tree!

Hallmark is already showing Christmas movies!

Vacation is over.

Time to get busy!

Winter is coming!

And I’ll get started right away – just as soon as I finish this chapter and check email.

I wonder who’s on Facebook…

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Adventures

Our suitcases have gotten a work-out the past month.

With my niece’s wedding and our annual family reunion almost back to back – I didn’t even get the suitcases back in the attic before we needed them again.

As soon as we got back from the reunion – Angel Girl had just enough time to wash her clothes and repack them before leaving on an epic adventure with three cousins.

11999053_903684599725264_6864385375566096415_nTo Disney World.

Yes. My baby girl flew on an airplane and is spending a week exploring the Magic Kingdom far, far away.

And she’s having a wonderful time.

I do get a daily text.

“Magic Kingdom, lots of rides!”

“We’re in line to meet Anna and Elsa!”

“Epcot!”

Meanwhile – back at the farm – we were busy getting Buddy packed up for his week in South Dakota at Teen Pact Survival.

While his sister is hobnobbing with Mickey and Goofy, he will be in the Black Hills dressed in camo, sleeping in a sleeping bag and learning survival skills.

And loving it.

IMG_2931He obviously didn’t pack lightly.

But I’m just thankful he had something to pack!

Would you believe that he outgrew almost all of his jeans over the summer? Talk about a growth spurt!

So yes, I am that mother who ran to town the day before he left frantically buying her son new socks, undies, and jeans. 🙂

And now, with my children in different parts of the country – I am that mother with a very quiet house – temporarily, at least.

Am I feeling left out on this adventure thing? Oh no.

I didn’t put my suitcase away yet either.

Jan and I have a 25th anniversary trip in the works.

Our turn is coming – soon! And my suitcase is ready and waiting!

But for you – I’m enjoying the quiet – because I know it won’t last long!

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.

Buggy Issues

Have you ever noticed that listening to the crickets chirping outside your open window at night is a beautiful symphony of fall that will lull you to sleep?

But one cricket chirping incessantly under the freezer in the basement is so annoying it drives one almost to insanity?

10363853_10204754165637991_3338193488871808662_nAnd leads to extreme methods of extermination.

Or that a few fruit flies enjoying the ripening tomatoes on the counter can easily be ignored.

But if left unchecked – those few fruit flies can become an militant army in the midst of a covert invasion almost overnight.

IMG_20140917_131721_498Which leaves you fighting a losing battle armed with several fruit fly traps and massive amounts of apple cider vinegar.

But sometimes the most annoying bugs are the ones you don’t see – the ankle biters.

These are the seemingly invisible ones that attack you in the grass and the yard.

You don’t even know were there until the next morning when you when you discover your ankles and feet are covered with tiny little itchy bites.

These – my friends – are the pressing issues that bug me today.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

DSC_0399‘Tis cold my friends.

There’s frost on the pumpkins in the mornings! Oh wait – there are no pumpkins in my garden because those evil squash bugs killed them!!

But I digress.

It is cold enough to start craving some tummy-warming soups, like this family favorite Chicken Tortilla Soup. (Especially after a cold day outside cleaning up the remains of the pathetic, pumpkin-less garden! :))

I was able to use some of the bits and pieces of remaining garden produce to make this already cheap meal even cheaper.

For the can of crushed tomatoes, I took the skin off some fresh tomatoes and quartered them.

For the can of chile peppers, I used fresh jalapenos and sauteed them with the onion.

I added more chicken broth in place of the water for more flavor.

It’s a great way to use up some left-over chicken and can be made in advance and kept warm in a crock pot!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 pound chicken, cooked and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can (28 ounce) crushed tomatoes
1 can (10.5 ounce) chicken broth
1-1/4 cups water
1 can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chilies
1 can (15 ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional but yummy!)
1 package corn tortillas

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and saute onion and garlic until soft. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 – 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cut corn tortillas into strips. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until crispy. Watch them carefully!

To serve, scoop the soup into bowls and top with corn tortillas. You may also add sour cream, cheddar cheese, onion, peppers, or even black olives.

This is really yummy over a pile of rice, or with a hunk of homemade bread!

For you THMer’s  – this would be a solid E with either the baked corn tortillas, a side of brown rice or a piece of plan approved bread. Substitute 0% fat free yogurt and a wedge of laughing cow cheese for the sour cream and cheddar.

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up with the THM Tuesday at Gwen’s Nest.