Sunday, October 29, 2006

What a Difference a Year Makes!

In 2003, my son and DIL brought me a snippet off their Jade plant. I first planted it into a 4" pot where it languished for a full year with no appreciable growth. The next year, I repotted it, added a bit of variegated ivy and placed it outside. This picture was taken in February 2005:

After spending the summer of 2006 outside on the deck again, it just took off! This is the picture of the same plant taken today. I think she likes her summer sojourns on the deck!

We have been experiencing high winds and rain since early yesterday afternoon. At 6:45 last night, the power failed and gratefully, we have a generator, so we are not completely in the dark and I'm able to get my "Blog Fix" today. I'm hoping the power comes on again soon as the generator really eats up the propane! Hope everyone is enjoying a warm, cozy Sunday.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Wierd Sunset

Last night's sunset was very unusual, quite eerie actually. The clouds were hanging over the mountains of Mt. Desert Island and there was a break in the clouds in just one spot. My next door neighbor took the second picture and his was a better angle than mine.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Garden Claw

Here are a few pics for Zoey, who asked what a garden claw was. I love my claw! It's really great for loosening soil, adding amendments and getting into tight spots to do some weeding. I use it often to dig into the compost to add a bit of air so it will "cook". I purchased mine at Home Depot last year. I also put my shredded papers into the pile. I'd like to see the identity thieves find anything personal in there!!! "-)

My compost is also in the shade, but I got some pretty good stuff out of it last year. I also read somewhere that if you want to give it a bit of "oomph", you could pour a stale beer over it or sprinkle a cup full of sugar on it. I don't recall H ever letting a beer get stale!

The name brand of this one is Garden Hound.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


No, I don't mean Orson Welles' sled in Citizen Kane, but remember the New Dawn bud I found a couple of days ago and wondered if she would make it to full bloom before a freeze got her? Well, here she is in her full glory! Now bear in mind, that today is Oct 22nd and we are 80 miles south of the Canadian border!

I have two planted whiskey barrels at the top of our driveway which are also still blooming madly. I haven't had the heart to pull out the plants and prepare them for the coming winter. They still look so lush!

After the freeze, I'll pull them out and put in pine and spruce boughs with some winterberry or bittersweet, if I can find it.

We headed out to Acadia this morning and had a wonderful 6 miler down Jordan Stream and around Long Pond - one of our favorite hikes. The weather was beautiful and we are now both dead on our feet, but happy, happy, happy. Most of the maples have lost their leaves, but the oaks and beeches were in full red and golden glory.

We began our walk around Jordan Pond in Acadia on our way to Jordan Stream. This is a picture at the outlet of the Pond into the stream with a view of "The Bubbles" in the background.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Blustery Day

We were planning on a long hike in Acadia today, but despite the blue autumn skies which follow a strong cold front, the accompanying blustery winds are keeping us home snuggled by the wood stove. Sounds like a good day for a bubbling pot of good old fashioned chicken soup!

We are fairly well protected from the elements as we sit high on a bluff overlooking the bay with a small island and cove between us and the bay, so it is very seldom we actually see whitecaps in the cove. You can tell the wind is "really" blowing when the whitecaps appear on the cove. This is a photo taken just a few minutes ago!

The waves got even better a few hours later as the tide started going out.

Since it was not a good day to putter in the yard and the chicken soup I mentioned was sounding really good, I decided to put a pot on the stove for tonight's supper.

The Ingredients (fresh herbs from the garden include sage, parsley, lovage), carrots, celery, garlic cloves, bay leaves, a tomato from the garden and two whole onions, stuck with three whole cloves (onions were washed and skins left on for color)

And, in to the pot they went with the three chicken thighs and three drumsticks. I add a pinch of turmeric for color and about 10 whole pepper corns for more flavor. Cover the whole thing with water, cover partially and simmer for a few hours. The house is smelling mighty good right now with the heady aroma of chicken soup!

Life is Sooooo Good!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Well, Pooh!

We just found out yesterday at work that we will be having the State in for an inspection on Oct 31st, therefore, we are not to dress up for Halloween! Shucks, I was gonna be a Labrador Retriever this year. Black sweats, purple dog collar and leash (kept when our dear Lab, Boudreaux passed away), and put my now, much longer hair into long, floppy "ears". Oh well, maybe next year.
Thanks to all of you who have been posting comments on this blog. I promise you that I am reading lots of yours, as well, but with my horribly slow dial up, I just can't get around to commenting on all of them, as much as I would love to.

Since I don't have a good topic about which to blog today and I wasn't able to get out to snap a pic of the whiskey barrels at the top of the drive in which the flowers are still blooming madly at this late date, I am posting another one of my favorite autumn sunsets over the bay! Giddy bids you all a wonderful day. Life is Good!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Costume Dilemma

Halloween is fast approaching and the girls at the clinic always plan a big party lunch and we are expected to come to work in some sort of costume. Unfortunately, my fall colored scrubs don't qualify as a "costume"!
Last year, being originally from Kentucky, I came dressed as a little redneck girl - you can't see them in the photo, but I had brown freckles all over my face.

My contribution to the lunch party was a jack o lantern dip with crudites and chocolate "creepy crawlers", which were quite tasty as well as being high fiber as they were made with Fiber One cereal.

The fangs are slivered almonds and the eyes are M&M's

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

In every garden, there are things that are beautiful. Today, as I was cleaning up a few things in anticipation of the garden's long sleep, I found this bud on my New Dawn Rose. I had just planted it this spring, and while I did get a few blossoms, I didn't expect much out of it the first year. How sweet to find yet another bud this late in the season. I wonder if it still has time to come into full flower?

One thing in my garden I try to hide is the inevitable compost heap. This one is usually concealed behind a stand of birch trees, brambles and other weeds growing just on the other side of the parking apron in the door yard. Now that the leaves are falling, it has become a bit more visible. Oh well, it will soon be covered with snow and no one will know it's there!

This is "Spike". He is perched on the fence right in front of the gate and when you walk past him, he screams at you and his eyes light up and blink. I bought him last year as a Halloween joke, but H has come to love him and the way he always greets us upon our return home. He does, however, give any visiting neighbors quite a fright!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Night Visitor

It was still dark and very early this morning when we heard the rustling outside. Upon investigation, we discovered who was skulking around our deck in the dead of night:

The little "Night Bandit" raided the bird feeders and emptied them of all the sunflower seeds. The ear of corn set out for the squirrels and blue jays was also stripped clean. Guess I'll have to bring the feeders in at night til he searches for better eats! He's cute, but he could get expensive to feed as he's such a glutton.

Temps got down to 32 degrees last night, but frost has still not touched the flowers. I don't consider it a real frost until I look out and find the impatiens black. So far the only things touched by the colder night temperatures are the coleus.

We had a nice road trip yesterday with no agenda. The sun was shining and the autumn colors were absolutely fluourescent!

"Just before the death of flowers,
And before they are buried in the snow,
There comes a festival season
When Nature is all aglow". - Anonymous

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Fog Arrives

After work this evening, I looked out the glass doors to see the fog and clouds rolling in. What a spectacular sight and it changed by the second. I kept snapping pictures and each one was more beautiful than the other.

The next shot shows how the clouds and fog have moved. It's difficult to see, but the "Crespillian rays" emanating from the clouds were beautiful! It looks like the cold front is finally arriving.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Recipe Critique

Yesterday's Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie, whose aromas filled the house with scents of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves was a bit of a bust. The flavor was definitely there and the streusel topping added lots of crunch, but the filling, rather than being creamy like a pumpkin custard, was a bit loose and watery. I give this recipe an overall 2 stars. In my opinion, it's difficult to top the good old favorite - just plain ol' pumpkin pie!H and I cut down a dead cedar tree over the weekend to split for kindling this winter. After H had it down and cut into rounds, we carted it over to the splitting stump. H was going to wait til tomorrow to split the rounds, but he couldn't wait - this fella just can't stay away from his wood pile!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Asian Beetles

Both yesterday and today find the Asian Beetles swarming around the house and garage looking for any place they can hibernate. I've spent the whole time sweeping them back outdoors only to find more where they came from. I don't dare squish any of them as they leave a foul odor when crushed. Ah well, I shall continue with my broom duties and hopefully get most of them although I can't get the ones snuggled up in the corner of the 16 foot ceiling in the living room!

This morning, while taking my daily dash up the drive, I noticed that the woodland critters had discovered my autumn vingnette in the new daylilly bed and had feasted on the pumpkin! So much for my creativity.

Still being in a creative mood, however, I spent a bit of time in the kitchen this morning trying out a new recipe I found on the web for Apple Butter Pumpkin Streusel Pie. YUM!!! It sounds luscious and like a great thing to do with the apple butter I had left over after canning a dozen jars. I'll give a critique on tomorrow's blog. The pies in the photo are being showcased among three of my favorite kitchen things: a wicker tray from our years spent on the Azorean island of Terceira, a Bavarian lamp given to me by my sweet aunt, Paula, who is no longer with us but thought of fondly every day while spending time in my kitchen (one of my favorite things, besides gardening), and the owl cookie jar which my mother made in her ceramic crafting days. All three of these articles are what make my kitchen a warm and inviting place, full of memories. I love spending time here. Of course, the aromas emanating from the oven don't hurt either!

I sit here the computer blogging and as I look out my office window, I have to wonder what kind of fool is it that sits inside when Mother Nature, in all her glory is putting on a spectatular show. This fool is off to enjoy the afternoon sunshine and glorious leaf color. The best things in life are free and life is good!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

4th Annual Trek

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a tradition for H and me - an annual trek up Day Mountain in Acadia National Park. We started out early since it was Saturday and the tourists were sure to be out in full force.
The autumn colors were spectacular, but just a wee bit short of peak in our neck of the woods. The trek is a fairly easy 6-7 mile one, but quite a bit uphill so we got plenty of exercise.

H packed us a lovely picnic lunch which we enjoyed after reaching the summit. Fried chicken, cheese and crackers, fresh fruit and just a little bit of wine! The view of the Cranberry Islands was spectacular although the haze kept the leaf colors from really popping.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Another Pass

This morning's forecast frost did not materialize, so we have yet another beautiful day in which to enjoy the last of autumn's beauty in the flower garden! In anticipation of the event, I decorated the whiskey barrel I placed on the stump in the new daylilly bed I made a few weeks ago up the hill. In another couple of weeks, it will be time to put the winterberry and pine boughs in before the soil gets too frozen to stick the limbs in.
It's a sunny, crisp day up here and H and I are off to make our annual trek up Day Mountain in Acadia National Park. It's a fairly easy 6 - 7 mile hike via the carriage roads, and the view is to die for (pictures in tomorrow's blog)!
I'm using the new Beta Blogger and so far, so good. Everything transferred nicely and I've not had much time to play with it, so I don't know if there's really that much new to make it worthwhile changing. If anyone has any hints or tips, please let me know.

Here are a couple more pics of H's wood stacks. He loves his wood and is beginning to put tarps on all of his stacks in order to keep them dry over the winter. If any of you have watched Home Improvement on TV, you will appreciate the fact that he calls this the "Binford 6100 Tarping System"! Note: The weights holding down the tarps are plastic coke bottles filled with water. We Mainers make use of everything! "-)

Thursday, October 05, 2006


A large, cold Canadian high pressure system is on it's way! We are anticipating our first frost of the season tomorrow night, but we have been having what we call "fun fires" in the woodstove in the evenings, just to take the chill off the air. I think this weekend will find us stoking the stove in earnest. Fear not, however, as we are prepared! This is a photo of just one of our wood stacks. We have a couple more in the door yard and four more on the side and in back of the garage. I think we'll stay warm.

I did get out and take a quick picture of the nasturtiums on the rock garden. They're finally coming into their glory, just in time for the frost!


Zoey of Perennial Passion has been prompting me to get out my Lone Star quilt top and get to quilting. Well, today I looked high and low for it and for the life of me cannot find where I may have stashed it when we moved up here 4 years ago! I did, however, find my very first quilt - a simple block thingie. I made it from scraps I had left over from various sewing projects so there's really no rhyme or reason to the color scheme.

This morning, the sun came shining up over the house and illuminated the birch tree with the most beautiful light. The golden color of the leaves with the early morning light on them was so pretty. Unfortunately, as usual, the photos just don't do nature's beauty justice.

Monday, October 02, 2006

No Moose Trip

Although the trip up country was beautiful with all the fall colors, we did not see a moose! Oh well, maybe next time.

I did, however, spend the rest of the weekend busy as a bumble bee, getting most of the pots dumped out, making a soup out of the turkey carcass I had thrown into the freezer and cooking down another batch of apple butter. Here's my "Tower of Apple Butter".