Monthly Archives: September 2013

September

imageFor me September is the only month with a consistent scent. I don’t know if it’s the fruit that is ready for harvest or the change the weather takes but it truly heralds in fall with its fragrance.

I have had the house almost a year. We took possession in Oct. even though I didn’t get fully moved in until January. So I have seen the garden at this time of year. Last year the little apple tree had apples but nothing like this year and this is after I thinned some of them out. It almost makes you feel sorry for the little thing. The picture doesn’t do it justice and it looks like it’s almost groaning. Kris was over and picked quite a few so at least it’s getting some relief now.

I have really loved watching the garden over the months. I’ve posted pictures of some of the flowers and hope to do more out there this coming year. I have four raised beds and I’m not much for vegetables so I’m toying with leaving the one for a tomato and cucumber plant and doing the rest in spring bulbs.

September is one of my favorite months. I loved school so that didn’t deter me. It isn’t a slow month as yards, and gardens need tending and getting ready for winter. So I’m not sure why I like it so much but I do. For me it means;
• Cool mornings and nights
• Ball games with excited fans
• Fresh cucumbers and tomatoes
• Shorter days – but not to short yet
• Fair – oh yeah. I knew Jack from school but we started dating at the State Fair (another story).

Again, these are my first thoughts when I think ‘September’. What about you, what does September bring to mind?

More Acts of Kindness – a Reflection

Today for me, as for many, is a day of reflection and remembering and I think it’s an important day on a global scale. I had the opportunity, one year after the 9/11/2001 disaster,  to submit my thoughts to our local newspaper. I was one of five selected for print. I re-read it recently and found it still applies today. So I thought I’d reprint an excerpt of it for my blog today:

More Acts of Kindness?

In the aftermath of this disaster, we have all learned to live with different truths. We are not invulnerable. There is no guarantee of safety anymore. And I think we are all more aware. But has this changed us?

The world goes on and some of what happens isn’t good.

As  for me, I don’t get as upset at the person who cuts me off in traffic these days. I try to practice more kindness with people. But I still find myself with moments of impatience or intolerance. When I review the events of each day, I find myself lacking. There were changes I wanted to make after Sept. 11th, but didn’t.

But I also see progress I have made. And I’m not the only one. Even with all the financial woes and the pain in the world, I see more acts of kindness than I used to. Are they really occurring more often? Or am I simply more aware?

I believe we have changed. Our awareness has increased. And hopefully, we will continue to create a kinder and more considerate [world]. My hopes are strong.

Ice Cream Pie

chefpic A friend makes this pie and it is so good. I’m going to make a few just have in the freezer. They are so handy and you could garnish them with berries or oranges or whatever.

6 oz. frozen concentrated orange juice or lemonade
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
8 oz. Cool Whip Topping, thawed
1 6 oz. graham cracker crumb crust

Blend juice and ice cream and fold in whipped topping until smooth. Freeze until mixture will mound. Spoon into crust and freeze until firm (4 hours or overnight). Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.

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The I-Hate-to-Wait Blog

by Theresa Scott Have you noticed how fast-paced modern life has become? Way faster-paced than in prior decades. I think the main reason for this is related to one thing: we’ve become accustomed to the widespread immediacy of information on … Continue reading

Yep. I Know. I’m Late.

I can’t even pretend to be late for a very important date like Alice’s white rabbit. And anyway, where exactly was he going? If he was afraid of disappointing those crazy folks at the tea party, they probably couldn’t even tell what time it was anyway. God forbid if he was trying to make the Queen of Hearts happy since she was all about “off with their heads” and that jazz. How’d she even get to be the Queen of Hearts anyway? Someone as unloveable as she was sure didn’t deserve such a title, did she?

Anyway, I could analyze Alice in Wonderland all day but who wants to do that, right? Is everyone ready for fall? I am. It’s been a long summer of death and sickness all around and it’s time for some fun and what we all love here in the south- Food on a stick season. In this area, we have a ton of fall celebrations including the seafood festival, arts festivals, the fair and Halloween carnivals. At each of these events, you can get all kinds of goodies served on a stick. We have kebobs, teriyaki beef and chicken, corn on the cob, Shrimp on a stick, candied apples, caramel apples, and even candy floss (cotton candy).

What’s your favorite fair or festival food?

A Flutter of Summer

One of the spectacular things to have happened this summer in the UK is the proliferation of bees and butterflies that appeared. This, in spite of the doom and gloom mongers that claim they are all in decline and on the verge of dying out (the bees and butterflies, that is). Piffle! These so-say experts ought to come and visit my place and see what’s really on the wing. Mother Nature has a wonderful way of making things right and she had done so this year with a flourish. All it takes is the right plants, the right weather and hey presto, the gardens, woods and sky are filled with the flutterings of a multitude of wings.

I had a feeling this was going to be a good year for them when back in May, I saw for very the first in my garden an orange tip. These are apparently exceedingly rare and this was only the second time I’ve ever seen one, the first being the previous May in my mother’s garden. At first glance these beauties can easily be mistaken for cabbage whites but that bright one spot on the front wings is very notice when they are close. I tried taking a photograph but it wouldn’t keep still or land, so apologies for the blurred picture, but it is there on the left by the tree! (Note to self: learn how to use the movie setting on my camera!)

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The Orange Tip – too quick for me!

Many butterflies are attracted to purple flowers which is why buddleia plants are so attractive to them, but not all buddleias are purple. There are yellow and white varieties too. The garden opposite my house has a large white buddleia in the front garden and that, like mine, has been smothered this summer. My small rear garden has three buddleias, one mine and two overhanging from my neighbours’ garden but I don’t mind in the least. They are lovely flowers and the reward this year has been fascinating to watch, both for bees and butterflies.

Just some of the butterflies on one bush.

Just some of the butterflies on one bush.

The garden has been alive with all many types including the dratted cabbage whites (more on them in a moment). At one point we counted 18 peacocks, 9 red admirals, 4 commas, 11 tortoiseshells and 7 painted ladies one bush. Several holly blues were about and also the common wood. Never have we seen such a profusion. Another first was the arrival of the brimstone, pale green underneath and pale yellow up top. We also had one come in that we’ve never seen before and I have no idea what sort it was. It was bright orange and about two inches across. I haven’t been able to find out more on the internet about it and it flew away long before I could get the camera out. (Another note to self: always keep camera to hand when in the garden!)

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The Red Admiral (with a Peacock in the background)

On top of all this, the cabbage whites had a field day. They were everywhere, fluttering in clouds above the garden on a daily mating dance before laying their eggs on mainly the nasturtiums. Dave was seen on several occasions shooing them off the brassicas where they liked to settle at night. Whilst they are a nuisance with their caterpillars eating for England on the leaves, they are such a summery sight we leave them be and just remove the leaves that host eggs and caterpillars. No doubt next year we will see even more whites.

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The Tortoiseshell

At first glance you’d think all cabbage whites are the same but seeing so many together I was amazed at the differences. Some had a spot on the front wings, some not, some on all four. Some had black markings on the tips of the wings, others not. Some had black markings and no spots, some two spots on each front wing. Many folded their wings when feeding, others kept them open. Some looked yellow underneath, others veined with pale green. And they were all different sizes, some small, some larger.

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The Brimstone

We’ve also had lots of moths, the most exotic being several visits by the humming bird hawk moth that feeds in daylight and hovers just like a small humming bird. Again, something we rarely see in our garden, likewise a squadron of dragonflies circled our koi pond most mornings. A pity they never settled, and I simply must learn how to use the movie setting on my camera – they were a wonderful sight.

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The Humming Bird Hawk Moth – photo courtesy of the BBC

Oh well, summer is on it’s way out sadly, but listen all you beautiful butterflies, you all come back next year… Please…!