Posted tagged ‘Pumpkin’

“It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man.”

October 8, 2018

Every morning the weather is the same: cloudy and damp. The sun usually appears later in the day but never stays around too long. This morning, like every other morning, is quiet. Only the birds are noisy. I’m watching a godawful movie called Zone Troopers. I don’t recognize a single actor. Aliens help GI’s in Italy fight the Germans during WWII. The aliens have giant hands each having two fingers and a thumb. The aliens chatter, eat tobacco and point a lot. The males all have blond hair. The females are ugly and look like giant bugs. I am easily entertained.

I finished my last book around 2:15 this morning. The ending was only a few pages away  so I decided to keep going. It was a Mrs. Murphy the cat book by Rita Mae Brown and her cat Sneaky Pie Brown. My cat has no writing ability. She doesn’t even use her litter box anymore. She pees on puppy pads. She stares at me and meows. I suppose she is conversing, but I don’t speak cat.

My dance card has been empty for over a week. All I’ve done is errands. I don’t even have a to do list and now I have no books left to read. I’m thinking to bake and use up the two cans of pumpkin I bought. It is, after all, pumpkin season.

I need to start decorating for Halloween. I have the most amazing decorations including a few rats, spiders, a zombie, a scary clown whose eyes light up and stuffed monsters, all the great monsters, even a Mrs. Frankenstein.

When I was a kid, we carved pumpkins, and that was about it for Halloween decorations.  I remember a Halloween party. It was in our cellar. We dunked for apples and tried to eat donuts hanging by strings without using our hands. The donuts used to swing back and forth and hit our faces on the swings. It took a while to get a bite. The best way to get an apple was to try to hold it against the sides of the tub. I knew the trick but still wasn’t all that good with apples. Mostly I just got wet. There was a pin something on the witch game, but I don’t remember what. There were refreshments including apple cider and unbitten donuts.

Henry is barking at the front door. I’m going to check to see what has his dander up.

 

The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools.”

September 24, 2012

It was dark when I woke up, but the sky has brightened with morning. The papers were just delivered. Gracie is sleeping on the couch. She doesn’t like early mornings. I’m starting to dislike them myself.

A few errands need to be done today, and I want to stop at the farm stand for those mums, a couple of pumpkins and some apple cider. I love the colors of autumn, and I love them in the garden best of all.

Carving pumpkins was a Saturday event. My mother would put newspapers on the kitchen table, and she’d do the cutting of the pumpkin. Our job was to clean out the guts. We never thought cleaning the guts was gross. To us, it was the perfect kid job. We’d reach in and get a handful of pumpkin insides mixed with seeds, make appropriate noises and pretend to toss the guts at each other. I remember strands of pumpkin guts hanging from my hand and that would always send us into peals of loud laughter. It’s a kid thing.

I know winter is waiting its turn, but I can’t help but love these crisp mornings. The air smells fresh and the humidity is gone. On the morning of the first frost, I love to walk across the white topped grass and hear the crunch of my footsteps, but I’m not wishing for that frost to come too soon. I’m perfectly willing to wait.

The sun still warms the day but casts shadows different than the summer sun. The leaves are dappled, no longer bright with  morning sunlight. The afternoons die quickly. I don’t guess the right time anymore. I always think it later than it is. My mind still has its summer setting.

“Happily we bask in this warm September sun, Which illuminates all creatures…”

September 23, 2012

It must have rained during the night as the street and driveway are wet, but I never heard the rain. The morning is warm. The sun rose without being seen, hidden as it is behind clouds. I went to bed really early and woke up in the dark. I can’t seem to shake the last time zone. My newspapers aren’t even here yet.

This is my favorite time of the year. The Cape stays warm. Red leaves dominate the trees, the scrub oaks, which are everywhere. Tourists are gone for the most part. The weekends, though, will still be a bit busy through Columbus Day when the Cape closes up for the season.

This is also the tour bus season, and every bus is filled with senior citizens taking advantage of the off-season rates, the still open souvenir shops and the all you can eat restaurants. The buses pass me as they go down cape, and I can usually see the tour guide standing in front with microphone in hand. On Route 6A, I figure the guide is describing the captains’ houses and places like the Edward Gorey house. That is the prettiest road on the whole cape, and it extends from the bridge to Orleans. I usually take that road when I’m going down cape.

I need to buy some mums. I noticed they are blooming in my front garden, and I think I’ll add a couple of different colors. The mums always seem like the last gift of the season from my garden, the memory I’ll hold onto until spring.

I have a wonderful memory. I can see things as they are and how they used to be. I was giving directions to my friend and told her exactly how many lights she’d go through: seven of them. I just closed my eyes and saw the road and each light. I have the worst accent when it comes to languages, but I remember the vocabulary, even my high school French. I may mangle the sounds, but I get my point across.

Nothing tastes better than sweet, fresh fruit. Pineapple is my favorite, but the paw paw in Ghana I ate this trip moved up to a close second. I keep bananas around for a quick snack. I love them in my cereal. They even perk up corn flakes. Cold, crisp apples scream of fall, but it’s pumpkins which are fall’s best fruit. They stand out in every farm shop usually lined up in the front inviting us to stop. I always do.

 

“Autumn is marching on: even the scarecrows are wearing dead leaves.”

November 25, 2011

The headache has come and gone all day, but I decided to get out and about anyway. I needed a blood test so the errand seemed perfect to add to the misery, but the day was so lovely and warm I’m glad I didn’t miss it. Well, the lab was closed so Gracie and I went to one of my favorite places to shop, and I bought two Christmas presents. I felt accomplished.

Thanksgiving was wonderful with great friends, the tastiest food and even a card game after dinner. My friend Clare made my favorite fall appetizer: a sugar pumpkin filled with bread and cheese combined with the pumpkin then put back into the pumpkin shell and baked in the over. Nothing tastier or prettier. We took a bit of a break before dessert out of necessity. We needed time to digest to make room for the pies: chocolate cream and pumpkin.

I have plenty of leftovers, and I’m hoping I’ll feel good enough later for a re-creation of yesterday’s wonderful dinner.

Now that Thanksgiving’s over, I can start concentrating on my Christmas list and seeing what I have and what I need. My outside lights will go up next week. The neighbors across the street always ask me not to park in front of the house so they can see the lights so I oblige and park at the top of the driveway so they can still see the lights strung across the gate and the huge lit wreath on the middle. When the lights around town go up, I’m always reminded of the ride we took every Christmas when I was a kid so we could see the lights. I think that was the only time we never argued about sides in the backseat. All of us were too glued to the windows to notice encroachment.

It’s been really warm so far for this time of year, but soon enough it will chilly and time to bring out the sugar cookies and the hot cocoa with melted Marshmallow Fluff floating on the top. I used to love that most of all when I was a kid.

“When the bold branches Bid farewell to rainbow leaves – Welcome wool sweaters.”

November 8, 2011

Glorious comes to mind in describing today. It is warm and beautiful. Earlier, at 9, I had a library board meeting then came home and went to the deck and filled the bird feeders. I then stayed outside a while in the sunshine and watched Gracie in the yard. She is enjoying the day as much as I am.

Lately I have had the urge to bake and have been going through cookbooks. I always used to bake, more during the holidays of course, but I would also spend a Saturday in the kitchen making my favorite chocolate cake, the family’s whoopie pie recipe or some cookies I might have been waiting to try. I think I’m going to bake this week. I want the house to fill with all those wonderful aromas wafting from the oven. Maybe I’ll give pumpkin whoopie pies a try. I’ll let you know.

The older I get, the more the cold and heat bother me. I think I am becoming a spring and fall person, especially a fall person. My sister chuckled that in all my pictures from Ghana, my head was soaked from sweat. She was absolutely right. This time of year I never used to wear a sweatshirt around the house or socks on my feet, but now I wear them all the time. Oddly enough, though, I don’t wear a winter coat. My sweatshirt seems to suffice, and besides, I am seldom out long enough to feel the cold. It’s a run from the house to the car or the store to a car.

At night, in winter, the animals and a quilt keep me more than warm enough. I wear a t-shirt to bed and though the temperature is set at 62° I am never cold.

My heat is programmed so when I get up the house is warm, but I still put on my flannel pants, my sweatshirt and my socks and slippers., and now I’m beginning to think I might have to add mittens to my winter ensemble.

“To be matter-of-fact about the world is to blunder into fantasy – and dull fantasy at that, as the real world is strange and wonderful.”

September 24, 2011

It poured last night, and I was lulled asleep by the sound of the rain. The window was open, and I could feel a bit of a breeze, enough to make the room comfortable. This morning I called my student Florence to say hello. After having lost touch for so many years, I wanted to make sure we stayed in touch this time. She told me it was raining in Bolga, and I didn’t have to imagine the storm. My memory is recent enough to see it in my mind’s eye: the wind, the pouring rain and the sounds on the roof. I miss Ghana.

Gracie and I went for our ride yesterday. We stopped at a farm stand, and I bought a couple of pumpkins, fresh bread, some yellow and red tomatoes and apple cider. It seemed only right that on the first day of fall I buy cider and pumpkins to usher in the new season. The pumpkins, one whitish and one orange, are on the front steps. For supper last night I had toasted bread with tomatoes and melted cheese on top. It was a delicious meal.

I have the worst hankering for travel. I was afraid that would happen. Morocco did it to me and now Ghana has revived the bug. The only hurdle is an empty larder which I will fill as quickly as possible. I figure if I live a bit austerely, I can travel out of the country again by late summer or early fall next year, destination yet to be determined.

I don’t mind traveling alone, but I do wish I had company. Every day in a new place has an allure and nothing is better than sharing the ordinary, the remarkable, the beautiful and, most especially, the extraordinary. I talk outloud when I am especially struck by the beauty or even the oddity of something. The words just seem to fall out of my mouth. I figure the people around me must be a bit perplexed by the woman talking outloud, but I don’t mine. Being a bit strange is often more fun and certainly more liberating.