Friday, October 31, 2014

Put It In a Box

It feels like this week has gone by in a flash. It can't really be Friday already, can it?

I baked six pies yesterday and I gave five of them away. There is something entirely satisfying about filling the house with the aroma of apple pie, and yet, somewhere along the way, one inevitably bubbles over, dripping its juicy contents into the bottom of my oven. The following pies are then "smoked," as is my kitchen. The whole house would be smoke-filled unless I open the vent and suck all the delicious aroma (and smoke) out of the house. I'm finding that "smoked" pie brown faster and end up a pretty golden brown.

I think I need to make a list of people to whom I've given pies and another list of people who might like one. Not because I need to know how many I've given away, but because I don't want to leave anyone out. (Now you know I'll never make any money at this, but I will be smiling (and fat, because folks like to eat pie together).

I must also learn the best way to pack pies. I like the idea of boxes, but don't want to spend exorbitant amounts of money on already made pie boxes. Yesterday I turned three giant Honey Nut Cheerios boxes inside out and they were perfect. Only thing is, that means someone has to eat a whole lot of Cheerios... (Good thing for grandchildren.) Perhaps I will need to save my cereal boxes throughout the year so that I can turn them into pie boxes in the fall. They work out so perfectly that it seems an utter shame to waste them in the recycler.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Seven, Apple Pies,

Yesterday my oldest grandson turned seven. That's kind of hard to believe. I'm pretty sure grand- children shouldn't be allowed to grow up quite so fast, and the really sad thing is that all the others are racing along right behind him. (Did you know when I started blogging I wasn't even an expectant grandma yet?) sigh

I am in a pie making craze. Not wanting my apples to rot or be eaten by mice (They're in boxes out on the wood pile...), I have determined to bake at least a dozen this week. (Okay, so maybe I didn't really determine this, but I'm well on my way in spite of it.)  Maybe this evening I can actually deliver a pie to last week's intended recipient. Now if only I could remember all those folks who I promised a pie. Oh, dear...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Today and Yesterday, and Maybe Tomorrow Too

It was an absolutely wonderful, gorgeous, perfectly splendid kind of day! I stayed home and cleaned the downstairs potty room. It took me an hour. I even cleaned the window screen and chased away the spiders. And then I washed the kitchen floor, with a fresh bucket of water, of course. (You know, putting my glasses on and then looking at the floor is rather revealing...)

Yesterday I took advantage of the sunshine and bright weather by taking Sofie for a walk int he orchard. She was very pleased with the adventure as I typically leave her home. The apple harvest is nearly complete. I believe the crews who come in to pick apples will be headed home by the end of the week. It looks as though they won't be bringing in the entire harvest this year. Perhaps they will have left some good pie apples out in the back corner.

I've given some thought to baking and selling pies... but I know not how to market them or which days to tag as baking days. Perhaps I should get this figured out soon, like while I still have apples. I have plenty of disposable pie tins, lots of shortening, and several bags of flour. All I really need is a little bit of time and a ton of motivation, along with some hungry customers. Anybody hungry?

It looks like our Indian Summer is on the way out. Dark rain clouds moved in late this afternoon blowing our sunshine and fair weather away. Tomorrow won't be quite the summer-like day that we had today and I likely won't be out chopping up fallen leaves and trying to set my lawn mower ablaze. I hadn't raised the mower deck and the leaves got packed up under and around the engine. I knew there was a potential problem when I smelled smoke, and then again was quite certain when I saw it. I'm happy to report that neither myself nor the tractor blew up. The only loss was a few blackened leaves with glowing red edges. What an adventure! On my next attempt I made sure to have the mower deck at its highest position and watched that the leaves didn't collect up on the deck or behind the wheels. I'm a good learner. :0)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Going Home

I spent a little time in my childhood home this morning. An appointment with the county water authority found me spending several hours in the little house where my sisters and I grew up. Although I'd taken along some things to keep me busy, I found myself instead wandering the rooms, moving a few pieces of furniture (there are a few left), and wiping down dusty surfaces.

My sisters are ready to sell the house and move on. James and I are not so eager to let it go. With the advent of adulthood, most of our seven children have moved out of our home and away from the farm. (It's an animal-less farm...) Keeping up with 3½ acres, 3 barns, and a house is a big job even with help. Without our kids it will eventually be nigh unto impossible. One day we will be looking to downsize, and probably in the not-too-distant future.

Mom has been on my heart often lately and the day of her passing wants to play itself over in my mind. From the beginning I have either pushed the memories away or stuffed them back inside, refusing to let the pain surface and the tears flow. I endured that morning without the support of close family members. Strangers came and attempted to revive the empty shell that once held my mother's soul, but she had already taken wing and flown away. They couldn't bring her back and she wouldn't have wanted them to. I didn't really want that either. Besides, God had just spent several days getting us ready to say goodbye.

I have a hard time releasing. I have a difficult time with change. I desperately want to live in two separate places, here in the house I have called home for the past 13 years and in a little house on Mohawk Street where I was once a little girl. This is a feat which is impossible. I'm not quite ready to let go of either home, though I am trying. *sigh* Maybe we could keep Mom and Dad's house and call it "The Cottage".

PS. That's my dad's old rocking chair. I think I love it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Fall is fleeting in upstate NY. Most have the trees have turned to gold, red, or bronze, shed their leaves, and now stand at least partially naked in the cold autumn winds. We decided to grab the opportunity and together headed out this morning into a rainy drizzle. We stopped for breakfast in Geneva and then headed south toward Watkins Glen.

Had the weather not been bone chilling, we might have paid the parking fee and ventured into the glen. Instead we drove a few miles further to the sleepy little town of Montour Falls and took a peak at their waterfalls. We found them sleepy too. Not much water coming over the rocks today, but pretty just the same.

We had all afternoon to drive, so we headed west, away from Seneca Lake and the town of Watkins Glen, toward Keuka Lake and one of our favorite wineries.

There is something about autumn that can make even a cold, gray day feel warm and cozy. Both the colors and the landscape conjure up thoughts of warm sweaters, fireplaces, and steaming hot cups of coffee.

I found myself soaking in the shapes of trees and buildings, the earthy colors of autumn, and the grey blue skies and clouds, and wondered at the artists of old who didn't carry a camera in their packs. If they captured the landscape at all, it was either in their minds or a sketch on paper. But then again, I don't suppose they were in as much of a hurry as most of us are today.

Unless I sneak away early this week, which isn't likely, my autumn travels are  over for this year. *sigh* Maybe next year I will have a little more freedom while the leaves are in full color and the sun is still warm. For now I have a few treasures in photos from this year and maybe, just maybe, if the water authority comes to Mom's house early tomorrow, I might find a moment or two to wander one of my favorite farm markets.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Just Stuff

Last evening our house was filled with the aroma of roasting peppers; chile, pablano, cayenne, and red bell peppers. Smelled so good! And looked so pretty all piled up in the pan afterward.

Today I took my crabby self out to run errands. I went all the usual places and then a few more. I was on the hunt for a burnt orange colored, double sized, fitted sheet. I checked Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Kohls. Only Target sold single sheets and they weren't in the pretty shade I desired. I perused Goodwill and came out with a small yellow serving bowl and a small crock pot, but no colorful, double sized, fitted sheet. I briefly considered K Mart and Walmart but ended up at a Savers instead. The sheet I found was not orange. It was red. I decided to take the red one and will use it to cover my pretty, burnt orange, suede-like futon cover that so readily collects cat hair. Maybe I will find a burnt orange one another day. Well, it could happen...

Remember my Random Acts of Kindness Pie? Well, God had a different plan for it than I did. The intended recipient, did not end up with the pie. His wife could not make it to our Thursday night Bible study, so I left it instead down the street at Martin's door. (You might remember him as Jasmine's friend.) I put it into a cardboard box and wrote note on the cover so he wouldn't be afraid to eat it. Perhaps next week I will send a pie to the other individual. I'm pretty sure he can still use the encouragement.

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Little Bit of Golden

It was a golden autumn day. I took the little people out to run in the yard but it only gave them more energy upon re-entry and sapped mine. Nothing an oft interrupted nap and a couple cups of coffee can't cure. ha! (Okay, so maybe the attempt at a nap wasn't so successful, but I just couldn't keep my eyes open no matter how hard I tried.)

 It was the kind of day that would have found me traipsing trails through the woods somewhere if I dared to take three rambunctious youngsters with selective hearing. Instead I found a nice big box, and while they bounced on the yet-to-be-put-away-trampoline, I picked the remainder of our October chile peppers. The kitchen will smell nice tonight while they're roasting.

PS. My blog settings are still set to accept anonymous comments, but I've been told by several friends that they aren't able to leave any. :(
I do think you can set up a blogger account without actually having a blog, or maybe a google account would work too.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Happy 29th to my beautiful daughter!

Once upon a time we were a family of four; a mommy and a daddy and two little boys, and then God surprised us with a new baby girl. She filled our house with girly screams and girly toys and clothes. She brought her own special ray of sunshine and her own brand of torment to especially one of her two brothers. She wiggled her way into our hearts and our lives would never be the same.

Happy Birthday, Bethany!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

And Maybe Some Apple Pie Too

Today was quiet, dark, and drippy. I tossed the pie- making idea back and forth for most of the day. Remember Betsy's Random Acts of Kindness? Well, I have an idea in mind. It involves pie and someone who I think could use a little bit of encouragement.

I made more than one pie this afternoon, because it always feels like there should be one here too. *sigh*
 We'll all be nice and pudgy by the time the holidays arrive.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Valley of Decision

I've started going to a new Bible study on Thursday evenings. We're reading "The Best Yes" by Lysa Terkeurst, examining scripture, and learning to make wise decisions, or maybe to make any decision at all. "Miss Indecision," that is me. I am scared to death of making decisions, especially big ones. If I am totally honest, sometimes I even have trouble making little decisions, like what ice cream flavor to choose... unless it's soft serve pumpkin in October, then I know exactly what to do.

Every day is laced with choices (Like what to make for dinner... ug!). I typically get by without getting too stressed out, but making a final decision on something big and important can be pretty scary. I was blessed last night to read that not all decisions have a "right" or "wrong". Sometimes both decisions are good and we just have to choose one or the other. (It's okay to have chocolate ice cream sometimes and vanilla on other days, or even to try the soft serve pumpkin, especially if it's October.)

All this to say, I'm learning, or at least trying to learn, to make a good decision and go with it. Pray, weigh the options, pray some more, know the ramifications, pray some more, and make a choice. No second guessing or looking back over my shoulder at the other options. Just trust God and go for it.
(I'll let you know how it works out...)

And for your enjoyment, some friends we found on our outside adventures last week. Sometimes going outside is the Best Yes.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Out and About (again)

I got up this morning while it was still dark, hopped in the shower, and got ready for a drive through the countryside. Joe and I each poured ourselves a cup of coffee and set out a little before 8 am. It was a gorgeous day to take a drive and see what was left of the colors of autumn. I dropped Joe off at his place at nine, turned around, and headed back "from whence I'd come."

The little diner where I'd gotten soft serve pumpkin ice cream on Friday afternoon was closed. So was that antique shop I always want to stop in. I drove on past the Dunkin Donuts where I "always" stop to use the restroom, but I did make several roadside stops to snap a photo here and there.

Not too far into my journey home, I turned off the main road to find my friend Della from 18 Under One Roof and stopped in for a visit with her. She offered me coffee, but I was already coffeed up from my drive and opted for a visit to the lavatory and have a glass of water instead. I met a few of Della's 16 children and had some nice conversation with Jon who was snuggled down on the couch with a very furry and friendly kitten whose name I don't recall, probably because the list of things they call her was too long to remember.

When I got home I was too sleepy to wash my Monday bedding, so I checked my computer and then curled up on the couch with one of Mom's afghans and took a nice long nap. When I was all nicely rested, I got up and stripped the bed. Don't you just love fresh, clean sheets?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

October Gathering

It was a nice day for a family gathering, even if it was cold and somewhat wet outside, even if I did forget to get Ben's coffee and even if Jakie did spill the cup he eventually did get. It was a good day even if Dave did sleep through most of the afternoon.

I made regular chili and James made green chili stew. We had sopaipillas with honey and apple pie a la mode. Leta brought a pumpkin cake and there was plenty of coffee for the big people.

There were football teams on TV, children playing Hungry Hippos, and a few "time outs". I think everyone had fun even if Lucas did say it wasn't a "fun day".

I think I should sleep good tonight.

(Tomorrow morning I'll get up early and take Joe back to school, and then maybe I'll find a friend on the way home.)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Family Ties

We took Josiah out to meet his new nephew this afternoon. I'm always blessed to watch my boys hold these brand new family members with "relative" ease.

What a bunch of goofball kids I have! Maybe I did something right after all, and then again, maybe they just take after the other family goofballs. There are plenty to choose from, on all sides.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch

I had a few wild children on the way home from finding Uncle Joe this afternoon, but then again, they did fall asleep on the way there and I did sugar them up on the way home...

First we stopped at Dunkin Donuts and found some tasty treats, and then we went across the street and found something else sweet and yummy. (It was Della's fault. She mentioned the soft serve pumpkin ice cream and it was scrumptious! Hmm... I do have to take Joe back to school again, and that means I'll have to drive past that ice cream shop again...)

 Hey! I'm getting pretty good at this grandma thing. Don't you think?