Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Get Away. . . . . . .

We'll be on the road in a few days time. . . . . . .a pre-birthday (mine!)
 trip to the big city.  

A place full of memories of days long ago.  
A place where I arrived 56 years ago today!  
There I started a new phase of my then young life
 when I came to work in the USA.  

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sunrise on Sunday. . . . . .

I've rarely seen such a magnificent sunrise off to the east across the garden.

My best sunrise memories are from Autumn mornings at the coast, viewed from a 
high floor hotel balcony. Watching the sun creep up from the horizon, throw
 down a golden carpet and unroll it across the pewter ocean, sometimes all the way
 to tide line along the beach, is breathtaking.

This morning's surprise came close. I grabbed the camera and dashed outside.
Sunrise or sunset. . . . . they are always too brief.
Thankfully, the ancient mariner's rhyme, 'red sky at morning sailor's warning' 
 forecasting rain, isn't expected. Here, the entire day looks close to perfect. 
At last we can enjoy true Autumn weather. . . . . . . this morning I actually
 felt quite a chill in the air, and I welcomed it.

Sunrise ~ 7:20 AM today

Have a special Sunday wherever you are.

Friday, October 12, 2018

October. . . . . .come to the fair

As I write, the 2018 North Carolina State Fair is opening.

This should have happened yesterday but a visit from 
Hurricane Michael postponed the celebration.
Fortunately nothing was blown down, or away, as far as I know.
Today the sun is shining and the temperature is comfortable. . . .
. . . . .I'm sure opening day will be a good one.

We are still here, surrounded by yet another mess to be cleaned
 up over the weekend once the garden dries out. 
Power blinked off and on for a while, our landline was knocked out,
but we were grateful the tornado watch only lasted a few hours.
The wind was terrifying and rain torrential off and on for 
several hours.
The falling debris was only small branches with a lot of 
twigs, acorns and leaves.  For a while we had a creek running
 through the garden. 
Compared to parts of Florida hit so hard and with so much 
devastation, we have been lucky. . . . . . but come on Mother Nature,
don't you think the southeast has had enough for one year!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Always seem to be waiting -

The North Carolina State Fair opening scheduled for today has been cancelled.

Today we will sit out the last throes of Hurricane Michael which is already
 bringing us strong gusty winds. Possible tornado activity and flooding from
 the heavy rainfall is also expected. 
I'm getting tired of moving things to safer places off the porch, deck etc. 
I'm worrying about the big trees falling on us, power outages, and heavy
 water runoff through the back garden. As the wind bands come around
buckets of acorns fall from the massive oaks, rattle down the roof and roll
across the back deck.
 I am so sad to see the devastation in Florida, this was a huge storm.
These days I seem to worry about just about everything, much more than
 I ever have. Perhaps it's an aging thing. . . . . .as aging I am!

Meanwhile, with the heat continuing daily, early autumn decor displayed
 outdoors is not doing so well. I've already lost a pumpkin - it 'exploded' on
 the porch and is now in the compost bin!
Chrysanthemums are beautiful, most of the buds are now fully open,
 hopefully they last a while longer until cooler weather arrives.
I've moved them today so they will not get damaged in the wind and rain.

My cooking pumpkins and squash are my simple indoor decor for the
 season. . . . . until they are enjoyed roasted and made into tasty dishes.

Freda's delicious Apple Butter from her pumpkin farm.
A really much appreciated tasty gift.

The great British author P.D. James got it right when she wrote ~

"It was one of those perfect English autumnal days
 which occur more frequently in memory than in life."

Oh how I'm longing for golden days such as those of my own English childhood.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Autumn. . . . . . it's in the air!

The past few mornings crept up on us with the somewhat morose feeling of a
 seasonal change. Invisible skies, the garden cloaked in thick white fog, the
 grass dew covered. 
The now giant fig tree has laid down its first layer of dank leaves.
Later in the day, when the sun appeared and the ground dried, they 
metamorphosed into a cloth of gold, almost inviting one to sit beneath
 the branches and enjoy a late afternoon picnic. . . . . . . .or at least a
 cup of Darjeeling tea!

I have longed for Autumn this year following one of the most disappointing Summers
 in memory here in the southeast US. Nothing seemed quite right. Travels north 
and west brought the best Summer moments where I actually enjoyed the season.

No sunshine expected today, showers later, and now we are watching
 Hurricane Michael approaching the Gulf Coast of Florida.
This morning it has become an extremely dangerous category 4 storm. By 
tomorrow afternoon it will also start to impact North Carolina with very
heavy rains after making landfall and moving north. 

Friends and acquaintances in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina - we'll be thinking of you.

Monday, October 8, 2018

September in Seattle. . . . . .

Happy Thanksgiving Day to all my fabulous Canadian friends.

Outdoor art at The Pink Door, Seattle.

I have enjoyed visits to Seattle several times over the years, often wishing
 I could have spent longer getting to know the city better.
This quick visit - really just half a day before heading to the airport to  
catch the red-eye home - was quite enough!  A fast walk through the aways colorful
Pike Place Market, a drink at the Athenian Bar overlooking the water watching 
the Ferris wheel turn as the ferries sailed back and forth between the islands of
Elliot Bay, and, as always, the visit topped off with a delicious dinner at my favorite restaurant.

The PINK DOOR is just that, an unmarked pink painted door in narrow, quaint Post Alley.
Enter the door . . . . down the steep stairs . . . . . the space is cozy with dining rooms, a bar,
 a stage for evening cabaret and burlesque, piano, even a trapeze, and opens
 onto water views from a lovely shaded lattice covered dining deck. 
The staff are friendly and totally laid back. Many are heavily tattooed, with
 multi-colored hair and unusual jewelry and clothing - all seem to love their jobs
 and some have waited tables there for years. The food, American-Italian
 is excellent. 
I think my only reason nowadays to be 'sleepless in Seattle', 
is if I'm offered dinner at The Pink Door!

Flying in to Seattle.
Elliot Bay

Have you visited Seattle?
If so, do you have a favorite dining spot?

Friday, October 5, 2018

Country drive for pumpkins!

This week has flown by.  We have been so busy. 
Here it is almost the weekend again which doesn't seem possible!

Last weekend we drove through the North Carolina countryside to get our pumpkins.
It was so hot, and still is, high of 90F today, with no color changes visible in the trees yet. 
Fields of corn, tobacco, sunflowers etc. had been plowed under and some 
winter crops were greening up. The clouds were beautiful, hanging in the
 stillness of the sunny sky. All seemed perfect for an early Autumn day, other
 than just being far too hot!
We stopped, as always, at Sunni Sky's for homemade ice cream - rum raisin for Bob, 
raspberry for me - yummy!

We still wear our summer clothes - whilst I crave sweater, coat, and scarf days!
Still just linen sheets at night, but longing to change to the cozy duvet, turn off
 the a/c and open the windows.

 Our lovely friends at the Johnson Pumpkin Farm welcomed us - and we 'sat a spell
on the porch swing' sharing stories of the past twelve months since we came down
last Fall for pumpkins and squash grown by Ms. Freda and Mr. Doug.
The bad summer weather here with too much heat and far too much rain, has
 impacted the pumpkin crop - fewer for sure than the other years when we've visited.

Sweet Lucky the farm cat has become more friendly than ever - he was up
 in my lap as soon as I grabbed a spot on the porch swing and purred non-stop. 
He is now about ten, and has become a bit of a worry for the Johnsons,
 insisting on crossing the very busy road to meet up with their
 cows in the pasture across from the farmhouse. Here's hoping Lucky
is not using up his nine lives!

More another day as to where I'm displaying my pumpkins.
Plus, I've already roasted one to use in this this pumpkin and wild mushroom tart
 for supper last night. It was really good with a small green salad tossed with chipotle
ranch dressing and toasted pistachios.
My garden green peppers - a rather small crop - tomatoes 
from my neighbor's patch.

We both got our 'flu shots yesterday - important as it may be a bad 'flu season ahead.

Here's to an enjoyable weekend everyone.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Scribble Picnic - Chicken

I definitely don't eat chicken - or any meat or poultry - but I do enjoy
 a freshly laid hen's egg now and then! 
Softly boiled, served in an egg cup with crunchy 'toast soldiers' for 
dipping, in the English childhood nursery classic way.
 Michael you know where I'm coming from . . . . . . . it's my favorite breakfast.

On a run out into the countryside on Sunday afternoon to gather 
some pumpkins, I also tried to find a sign by the road saying 
'Fresh Eggs for Sale'. . . . . . sadly nothing appeared.
Sometimes I think of getting a chicken coop but, with our visiting foxes
it's not a good idea!

Pop over to Michael's SCRIBBLE PICNIC today - our prompt is Chicken
and I'm hoping our creative scribbling group will come up with some 
interesting chicken art . . . . . and perhaps stories of chickens they've known!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

It's a new day. . . . . . . .

She greeted me in the morning, soft feathered and I think quite young, 
her tail feathers especially beautiful - Ms. Northern Cardinal. 

Enjoying the brilliant October sunshine from her perch on the
 shepherd's hook where the feeder hangs beneath the fig tree.
She stayed quite a while seeming to enjoy the warmth.

She and her family are non-migrators so will be spending the 
winter months here. They gather in small flocks of up to 
twenty birds and will definitely be looking for seed, insects
and fruits/berries in the garden no matter what the weather.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Early morning in the islands -

Crossing from Victoria, British Columbia back to the USA by ferry, is a scenic 1.5 hour
 sail through the 172 named islands and reefs of San Juan County, Washington State.
Leaving early morning, although not raining, it was overcast. Sadly, we didn't have a
 sighting of Orca whales who frequent these waters, and birds were few, but the 
smooth as glass water, lone sailboat, and atmospheric light was certainly
 beautiful. . . . . . . almost mysterious. 

This is peace at its best . . . . . . . and I would like more!

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