Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I do not know what possessed me... I truly do not!  Except that I found the costume in a clearance bin AND I happened to have a dog the right size and our local highschool's mascot is the Red Devil.

I have a friend who's dogs are amazingly, frighteningly photogenic.  And I LOVE to pretend that someday, Nana is going to appear different in photos than her usual self.  I realize, after today's experience, that this is false hope!

So, armed with the camera, the costume and a leash (cause you know I'm not gonna need it, but just in case...)
I head to the porch, which is wet and tumbled with leaves and a general wreck.
(Hey!  I'm still in the post band season cleaning phase!)
Naturally, the big dog thinks we're going to play.  You HAVE to love that expectant adoration in her face... she KNOWS that we're going to play!
Armed with the costume and the camera at the ready, I slip the cape on her... front side only....
the velcro on the back side got tangled up in her legs.
Then it got stuck to my pants, then we somehow got into a dog on top of human situation...

I kinda gave up on that...
I got the little hood, with devil horns and quickly put it on her, forcing her big funny ears through the slots... this is where she picked up on there being something seriously wrong...
dogs, especially country dogs, do not relish the wearing of costumes.
I fire off a shot or two... (with the camera, of course).
Then, oh.... no.... she's off... and running.
She picked up on the fact that I was about to employ the leash to bring compliance into the afternoon... NOoooooo..... noooooo... no!

She streaked across the yard, across the road and into the neighboring pasture.
ARgh.... must get the dog from the pasture.
It's raining... I have on ... er... um..... no bra...
(I know, too much information, but face it folks, I'm telling it like it is!).

I race off to the pasture (ok, so I trot a long... it could hardly be called a race...)
and about the time I get my posterior stuck halfway in the barbed wire fence, I hear it...
a car... a nice, pretty, sedate large black luxury sedan, full of folks who no doubt got off the interstate, looking for the state park.  
At this precise moment, the large, and scantily clad dog (oh, wait... it was me that was improperly clad!)
bolts from the pasture, soaking wet from the creek, and with the costume on upside down and backwards, gallops back across the road, into the yard.... leaving me standing, wet and mortified, in the road with the leash.

Waved at the tourists... (I mean, really, what else is there to do!?!)
I realize that I have just singlehandedly ruined the bucolic drive along the peaceful little quaint country road, all clad in autumn colors on the way to the waterfall... I might as well wave, huh? 
And now, they do not know when wild life of any hue and type might bolt into the road in front of the car...

I am grateful that I will not see these folks again... seriously.

And just to prove that I have NO cooperative dogs, here is Bailey, and as  you can see, she realizes what is about to happen... and then is not happy about the situation, but in her wise old age does not give chase... (and naturally, people... by this time, you can see I've figured out to use the leash!)


I am now done embarrassing my angelic, adorable, happy, wild dogs!
Not to mention myself!

Sigh.... Happy Halloween!

I'm off to bring in the dog... so that she doesn't sit on trick or treaters and lick them to death...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Soup's on!

This time of year just begs for setting the big old soup pot out on the stove.

It demands that you pop in a couple of slices of bacon, chop a big sweet onion from the summer garden, three or four cloves of garlic (two if you're timid), a polish sausage, diced and stir them around on high heat until they're nice and brown.  While that was browning, you dice a couple of pounds of new yellow potatoes, washed but still wearing their skins.  They get to brown a bit too, then you add a bit more than 2 quarts of nice homemade chicken stock, some salt and pepper to taste, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

You simmer this until the potatoes are tender. (Twenty to thirty minutes, long enough to get in the laundry from the line, call a friend or feed the chickens.)  Then you throw in two or three good handfuls of julienned spinach and at least a cup of milk.  When it's all warm through and the spinach is wilted but still bright green, you call the menfolks ( the youngest of whom had earlier inquired if this particular soup could be had for dinner) and ladle up some 'first fall weather' soup.

Truth be told, the darling daughter called while the soup making process was happening to ask if we had a fire in the fireplace. " Not yet", I said, " but soon."  as she lamented that her city apartment had no fireplace to warm her tired self. (I interjected 'tired self' here, as she was just getting off of a 30+ hour shift... what I would give to be close enough to share my evening soup with her.)

There is no mystery to making a pot of soup.  You throw in ingredients that 'like' each other and taste it here and there.  You bump up the nutrition factor by using fresh and simple ingredients and adding things like spinach or any fall greens. Wholesome, hearty and just the thing to stave off the dampness and cold that seems to have settled over us like a blanket.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Simple things~!

It's October... and these past couple of weeks have brought rain and dampness...
and the leaves just beginning to turn, while beautiful, sort of herald a shortening of days and the whole 'harvest home' on the farm feeling... We've had a bumper crop of wild, strange mushrooms all over the place from the moisture and the alternating warm and cool temperatures.
As summer gives her final performances and the signs of fall approach, I find myself in between seasons and with a fluctuating state of mind.  I relish cooler weather and traditional fall meals, but I miss the vibrant greens of summer.  I love a fire in the fireplace, but really don't care for layering on the clothes.

Then one morning this week, in the faint natural light of early morning,
as I'm on my way to start the coffee, I realize that an orchid is blooming.
This is a small phalaenopsis that my daughter gave me a while back.
I think that this is the third or fourth blooming phase it's had.
I really enjoy the intensity of color and the exotic nature of orchids. 
They're really quite easy as houseplants if you have the right window and light.
The longevity of the blossoms make for many smiling mornings. 
Regardless of the season, the happy  blooms of the orchid bring a smile to my heart. 
What a nice start to the day...