Sunday, November 25, 2012

Autumnal Joys

It was such a treat to be able to fly home for Thanksgiving Break and spent the week with my family.
These are a few testimonials of my visit...
Three pumpkins greet guests as they come up the front step

By the back step wild fruit or berry of some kind can been seen that the birds love this time of year

I was surprised to still see the Johnny-Jump-Ups bravely blooming in the brisk late November weather. There must be a deep layer of leaves to protect them!

My sisters and I (minus one) on Thanksgiving Day. I think the only time I took my apron off was for the dinner. ;)

Sparkling Cider in my inherited glasses from Grandma. It (the cider) was a perfect addition to homemade pumpkin pie and chocolate pie.

My very tall brother (who also flew in for Thanksgiving) and I.

Now back in the south with just a little over two weeks of the fall semester, I cannot guarantee that you'll hear much from me. I would covet your prayers for physical, mental, and emotional stamina! :)

Anticipating Christmas break already, I've pulled out some of my favorite Christmas music. Can anyone recommend their favorite CD (preferably traditional or classic Christmas music of orchestral, symphonic, and/or choral? That is, nothing wild and crazy)?

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many--not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. ~Charles Dickens

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Butterscotch Oatmeal

A cup of brown sugar in this recipe, but it sure was yummy. Thanks, Mother-dear!

Today there are pies to be baked, quick errands to be done, laughs to be exchanged, and a brother to be picked up from the airport tonight (he's a college student too, but on the opposite side of the country from where I'm a student).

So much to be thankful for!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Greetings from the Cottage

I am home for a few days on Thanksgiving break.

There is a new cheery-looking ironing board cover to match the sewing room. Hoping to use it once or twice this week!
(If you're looking for those Tasha Tudor aprons I mentioned a few weeks ago, they are finally back up in the shop.)

Friday, November 02, 2012

Gathering Autumn's Last Harvest

This week as I was walking back from class, I was approaching the stone steps when I slowed my walking pace for an older women who had a small bucket with her and tucked underneath her arm. She was bending down in appeared to be looking for something of great importance.

Did she drop a keepsake?

Was she collecting prized leaves to press between wax paper like my dear Grandma used to?

I was getting curious as to her vigil and watchful eyes that were guided downward. Continue walking and wondering if I should ask if I could help her or not (lest my blog has you assuming I'm an outgoing extrovert, let me dispel those ideas very quickly to say that I am anything but that!) I glanced in an unassuming way (introverts master this skill...) and looking into her little container, I concluded that she was gathering nuts of some kind.

The trees all over campus have nut-bearing fruit dropping all over this time of year. There is one tree just outside the music building that releases orange-sized fruit that crack open leaving nut or seed bare to the squirrels or feet that walk by. I've been paranoid that I'll be walking by one day, and one will drop on my head. ;) I recently discovered these huge things are containing walnuts.

via Pinterest

Several other trees have much smaller clusters of hardened fruit that drop also, and they drop in abundance. My head has been spared of these, too, and these are what the grandmotherly-lady was gathering.

Sitting out on the stone steps near the music building this afternoon, I chatted with my sister who was at the airport about to leave for Africa. While in conversation, I saw an elderly couple with that familiar downward gaze to the earth, searching for these little treasures. They must have scouted other places since their bag was getting full of these little round things.

At my feet I saw one of these little oval shaped shells crushed and halved. The fruit inside was still intact. My curiosity had been satisfied. They were pecans! I don't know why I never figured it out before. Memories of when I was a little girl came to mind. Mother-dear would keep a basket on the light blue "mountain-weave" tablecloth (like these) that draped our antique maple dining room table during the holidays. That basket was full of various nuts with two silver nutcrackers. Happy times...

via Pinterest

There was one unbroken lying on the ground. I picked it up and am saving it. (Does anyone know if I can plant it in the spring?)

Someday I hope to have time to gather nuts, and loved ones around the table to share the fruit of them by hearing that old-familiar sound of the shell releasing its treasure inside...

Do YOU gather nuts? How does the "drying" process work? or are they ready to eat now?