Wednesday, September 21, 2016

All the signs












August and September really haven't been my months. Aside from the craziness of the new school year, we've been almost endlessly sick around here for more than a month. It's been one cold after another; such is life with two kids in elementary school. I think we've all been sick twice so far, in the space of just over a month. Right now, the Bear is the sick one, but I'm starting to feel that scratchy throat that usually heralds another cold. I'm doing everything I can to keep it at bay, including sleeping on the couch to avoid the Bear's germs at night. It will be fine, but I'm tired. I need a day to sleep and relax. I'm not going to get one, but it's nice to dream. I'm accomplishing very little lately. Blogging has fallen by the wayside. I love to be busy, and I certainly have the busy part in the bag, but I'm looking forward to fall break in a couple of weeks. We're all ready to build a blanket fort and hibernate for a while. I'm not really looking for sympathy, by the way, I'm just complaining.

In the past couple of weeks, it's suddenly becoming fall around here. I can't believe how quickly it goes. We never get the really vibrant fall foliage here, but the trees are definitely looking different. Green has become gold or brown. Our pyracantha berries are completely changed to orange now, and many of them have already been eaten by birds. The nandina is changing too; the berries are just starting to develop a pink blush on their sun-facing sides. It's much cooler outside now, which is a very welcome change. I'm cooking fall-ish foods again and baked my first apple pie last week. I used homegrown apples, a combination of some from our tree and some from a neighbor's. I still want to make apple butter and might do it this weekend. We haven't made applesauce or leather yet and I hope to make at least one more pie. We'll need to use the ladder if we're going to make all of this; we've picked everything within reach already. Our apples are better than ever this year and it makes me feel inspired, even if we end up running out before I can make all the apple things.

The good news about feeling sort of lousy is that I've been reading a lot, and I've watched some good TV. Not everything I've been reading was especially good, but at least I had time for it. I'm reading Amy Poehler's Yes, Please right now and really enjoying it. I love her. I should have read her book sooner (it came out a couple of years ago) but I'd read Tina Fey's Bossypants around the same time and didn't really understand the hype, so I put it off.

I've read a couple of novels lately, which is kind of unusual for me these days. The first was The Girls, by Emma Cline. Talk about hype. I waited months for a copy from the library. It's a fictional story of a young girl joining up with a cult similar to the Manson Family. I freely admit to enjoying crime-related books, anything about Manson being a particular interest, but this story felt contrived, like the author was trying too hard to prove the place and time. It's one of my pet peeves in period novels. Details are important, but I don't like being barraged with endless references to music, food, television, movies, clothing and hairstyles, cars, literally anything that helps make the case for a specific setting. I also read The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell, which I liked a lot. I'd tried one of her books a few years ago and never really got into it, but this one was good. I see she has a lot of books so I'll look for some more. TV-wise, we're watching a lot of PBS lately. We're looking forward to Poldark starting on Sunday. I LOVED Royal Wives at War. I can't wait for Victoria this winter, not to mention The Crown, coming soon to Netflix.

What's new with you? I'm sorry to be so behind with blogs lately. I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the change of seasons wherever you are. Make an apple pie or three, I guarantee you won't regret it.

21 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you're feeling under the weather, there's a lot of germs going around here too, though I've managed to avoid them so far. The nights are drawing in here now and it's definitely autumnal, though I'm still refusing to let go of summer, I fear I'll have to very soon through. I'm loving both Poldark and Victoria, I haven't watched this week's episodes yet though so I'm looking forward to spending a little time catching up when I've got time.

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  2. I'm sorry you've all been unwell. Hopefully your scratchy throat won't come to anything! Enjoy making your apple pie - and eating it too! :o)

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  3. I'm feeling a little sore in the throat today as well. As you say, it's good to dream about a lazy day. I've been struggling to find a decent book lately. I gave up on three, and I'm ambivalent about the one I have at the moment. Maybe it's me, not the books. Cults intrigue me, how charismatic leaders brainwash their followers. Also accomplishing very little at the moment, but any minute now all will change. I hope you are all much better very soon. CJ xx

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  4. Our days are much shorter already and lots of people are hacking and coughing around us. Yes, fall has arrived. I do hope you get a chance to rest and you're all recovered soon and you enjoy all of the fall goodness around.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  5. Jen, you can't be behind with blogs, that isn't even a thing you noggin'! Blogs are for dipping and fishing and finding. Rest up my friend and keep reading and relaxing. Sending you happy thoughts. Jo x

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  6. The signs of Autumn are around us too, and I keep discouraging the scratchy throat business by tasting local honey, and trying to drink lots of tea and keep up my vitamin intake...you know the drill. I just read a three book series set in Nantucket...light mystery, growing relationships, relaxing and fun to read. Last night I crocheted another row on my Fall shawl I started several years ago, and my interest is rekindled in it. I have been focused on Tiny House HGTV programs but watched NCIS last night. This morning I had enjoyed our crochet and knitting group and learned more about possible patterns for preemie blankets. The pool was more crowded this afternoon so I got most of my exercise by avoiding contact with the swimmers around me. May you and yours be well, Jennifer. xx

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  7. Your apple pie looks lovely. We've just about finished all our eating apples but the tree full of Bramleys still has plenty - I just need to get the stepladders out. Look at LB practising his guitar - so sweet. I love your stools by the way; our piano stool needs recovering but I haven't got around to it yet. I'll add it to my ever growing list! Hope you manage to fight off the latest virus. xx

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  8. You're right. It's the season. Heavy with a cold here too and it's just not shifting. Get well soon Jennifer.

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  9. Hope you all feel better soon. The signs are all around us of the shift in seasons and I have been preparing for it but I am ever hopeful of a little more sunshine and dry weather so that I can finish some much needed jobs doing in the garden. I too am a great fan of apple pie and crumbles.

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  10. I am sorry you have been feeling lousy Jennifer, and in autumn, too. I know it is your favourite season. I cycled into work today, just after 8 am. There was dew and sunshine and a pleasant chill in the air. Lovely. We have been enjoying apple and blackberry crumble but must try making a pie with the last of our apples. x

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  11. Hey Jennifer,
    It's cold season around these parts too. I am totally rubbish when I have a cold. I always feel very sorry for myself. Your pie looks lovely. Olly and I have been making a lot of apple and blackberry crumbles. His little fingers are brilliant for crumbling the crumble mixture. This morning the sun is streaming in through the windows, and I have the conservatory doors open. There is a nip in the air though, and it won't be too long before I'll have to get up and close them. Hope that you all feel better soon.
    Leanne xx

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  12. I vividly remember the days of chronic colds when we had young children at home. I know you weren't looking for sympathy, but I'm giving you some anyway. :-)

    Fall is simply the best season, and I was so happy when I got up this morning and realized that it has officially arrived. As for programs, I'm already watching Poldark and Victoria on my Slingplayer app (it's connected to my friends' tv in England) and they are both terrific. I've not seen Royal Wives At War, so will check that one out.

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  13. I celebrated the Autumn Equinox by climbing to the top of the Michelangelo piazza in Florence, Italy to watch the sunrise. Phew, I'm so happy to be in Autumn after, frankly, one of the most challenging years of my life. Tell me about September colds Jennifer, I do hope you all feel better soon. Your glimpses of Autumn all look so homely and comforting. I arrived home from Florence today and almost the first thing I did was to go to the allotment to pick supper: I have a potato and leek gratin and an apple pudding cake in the oven as I write.

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  14. Sorry to read you've been under the weather. It's that time of year, as you say. Your apple pie looks delicious. We have lots so I think I'll make one for pudding tonight. Hope you're back on top form very soon. Sam x

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  15. Hope the bugs give up soon. I'm making apple pie here too x

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  16. Ah, the change of season colds. I hope you are all feeling better this weekend. I need to think about making an apple pie. I'm good about going to the roadside stand and buying the apples -- not so good about actually turning them into pie. Maybe because apple pie isn't at the top of my list -- although it's hubby's very favorite, so I should do it for him. Have a good weekend!

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  17. Sorry to hear you're under the weather - let's hope you're all getting illness out of the way now and that the Bear household will enjoy a healthy winter. Hey, a person can hope, right? :-) I share your interest in all things Manson. Have you heard about the podcast "You must remember this"? They did a 12-part series on the Manson family. I'm on the final episode and it's been really interesting. You can find the series in their archives.

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  18. Sorry you have all been so ill, not a fun way to start the school year. Have you read Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series? I think you would love them. Get healthy my friend!
    Meredith

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  19. I'm so sorry to hear you all have colds...do you have a diffuser where you can mist healing essential oils into the air? Drink lots of water and herbal tea, too. I'm sure you know the drill. ;-) I haven't baked anything fall-like yet, though I saw a recipe for sweet potato bars the other day and my hubby asked me to make those soon. Cool thing is, they're made with pure maple syrup, so no processed sugar. Guess we'll have to indulge soon. Take care and be well!

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  20. I recently asked our pharmacist for advice regarding multi-vit's/supplements etc, and he said the best thing to take is zinc. A daily dose really helps ward off colds, and if you do succumb, you can double, or even triple the dose for the first few days to help it go more quickly. X

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  21. This resonates so much with my post today! Do you take multivitamins? I don't but I'm thinking I might, it can't hurt surely. Apples, plums and lots of slow cooking here too. Here's looking forward to an illness free October for both of us. Xx

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