Sunday, October 29, 2017

Time to hunker down...

 Fall Nature Journal entry.

The daylight hours are becoming less and less and our autumn days are growing colder and colder.  We had our first snow squalls on Thursday along with crazy winds.  Today was cloudy, chilly, and windy too, but the coming days promise even more cold with highs near or below freezing along with snow and wind, of course.  This will be one of those Halloweens when the trick-or-treaters will cover  up adorable costumes with heavy coats, mittens, and hats.  Living in the north, we experience blustery, snowy Halloweens a lot. Sometimes it's just best to buy a funky stocking cap for a Halloween costume or dress as an Eskimo! 

I rather like that it's getting dark earlier.  After a very busy summer and fall, I am ready for some slowing down.  The dark evenings mean that the menfolk will be in early from their work and we will have some long nights together inside where it's cozy and warm.  We start playing cards -- Canasta or Kaluchi or Cribbage or Hearts, depending on the number of players.  Hot buttered popcorn is a favorite cold-weather snack,  and I start making cups of tea in the evening and spend time with my embroidery, hoping to have a few handmade things to give as gifts.   Have you tried the Yogi Bedtime Tea?  It's very good and has a spicy, sweet blend of herbals.

Tomatoes ready to be roasted.
Today I share a couple pages from my Fall Nature Journal.  My Black Star chickens are doing so well, and all of them are laying an egg a day so I usually find 25 eggs when I go collecting.  I figured the girls deserved a page in the journal for their generous gifts.  I thought I ought to add the tomato in my pages since I complained so much about only getting green tomatoes all summer.  I picked SO many green tomatoes and ripened them in the garage and well... here's yet another pan of beautiful tomatoes ready to go into the oven for roasting.  As I was slicing, I kept on grabbing a slice and shoved it into my mouth.  Each perfect, red slice was just too irresistible.  So I gave in and gobbled down many a perfect tomato slice.  These were the last of the tomatoes, save 4 others that didn't fit on the baking sheets.  I'll eat those myself.  Lastly, I've been noticing a great influx of ladybugs.  I'm not sure why we have so many ladybugs now, but I suppose they are trying to find  their way inside for the winter.  

If it's cold where you are, I hope you are sporting your wool socks and slippers and a large cardigan.  Or perhaps you have a favorite afghan or soft blanket that you like to wrap up in on these long, dark nights.  It's been "nice" long enough, now it's time to hunker down, stoke the fires, light the candles, and put the kettle on.

"We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, 
small (and yet really not small) gifts." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer


  1. I'm cozy in a blanket, the dog is at my feet, the fire is blazing, and I have a cup of hot cocoa in hand. Meanwhile, the wind is howling like crazy and snow is pelting the cabin. I just started looking at my fabric stash and am contemplating my next quilt. I got my lights on Amazon from brightown USA

  2. I had to enlarge the photo of your Fall Nature Journal to see its full beauty - what a talent you have. Your winter is a lot different than ours, which is much much milder.

  3. We are definitely colder today, but I'm sure not as cold as you! Your black stars look very nice. I need to remember that breed for next year. Pretty tomatoes! Isn't that amazing! And they have hardly any calories, so do not feel guilty about popping those into your mouth. They're good for you, esp. this time of year when fresh veggies/fruits are hard to find in our gardens. Yes, I'm ready for dark, cool nights to be inside. We have a long way to go before we get snow though.

  4. I love seeing pages from your journal. I am always undecided about the time change, yes, I like the being inside earlier but that first week or so, I have such a hard time with it waiting for everyone to come home and its dark.
    It sounds like your fall is almost gone and winter is on its way. We finally get temps down in the 50s this week. Halloween was always the first day my kids had to wear coats and shoes. I hope you have a lovely week, and your tomatoes are wonderful.

  5. It's always a toss up on whether there will be rain or not on Halloween here. Everyone is always happy and boisterous on the non rainy Halloweens. Sounds like the perfect evening activities for the cold dark nights. Yum, tomatoes that taste like tomatoes right off the vine. :) Good for those chickens! What do you do with your excess? Do you sell some? Love your hen page!

  6. Yes, those lovely Black hens deserve to be recognized for all the eggs they give you. About the Ladybugs and luck. I think if those are the invasive ones imported from 'somewhere else' then they are decidedly unlucky. Especially for the native ones.
    Roasted tomatoes are so good. I have only started roasting them in recent years and I don't know why I didn't do so before. Even an inferior tomato, once roasted, tastes good.

  7. We just try to get bulky costumes that layers will fit under, lol. It never seems to fail that Halloween is cold even if the whole month has been fairly warm. Wool socks, warm slippers, fleece blankets, the whole nine yards! I enjoy winter indoor activities and lots of hot beverages! Great journal pages! Glad those chickens are laying so well. God bless!

  8. It's up and down here, though down means 65. Colder this week, though, and I'm looking forward to it!

    I remember trick-or-treating in a winter coat. That happens less and less here in the Southeast, but back in the day, you could get a cold day in late October ...


  9. Your post makes me smile and smile- we went to Liverpool on a long, slow boat and back over the weekend, and when we got back to Ireland it was suddenly, coldly, beautifully winter! Our fleece blankets are on the bed, and hats and gloves are out! This is the second time in a few days that I have read your Bonhoeffer quote. I think he's talking to me!

  10. Hi Jody! I thought for sure I commented earlier. Silly old Pom Pom.
    Gorgeous chickens! I wish I loved tomatoes like you do!

  11. Yes to hunkering down...and there aren't any small gifts. Not to my mind anyway. The header photo makes me smile really, really big.

  12. I love this time of year and it sounds perfect where you are. Well, maybe except for eating all those tomatoes -- I love tomatoes, but too many bites and I end up with a stomach ache LOL. Happy Stitching as the big even approaches!


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