Musing with Max

Musing with Max

October 27, 2013

In the Fall

At this time last year we were preparing for what would become one of the most devastating hurricanes in the history of this country...and in the Northeast no less. Sandy roared on shore and proceeded to destroy, leaving a disastrous mess behind the effects of which are still being felt. A week later we were hit with a massive Nor'easter which dumped a huge amount of snow on the remaining trees which still had their leaves on. We went from a hot humid Summer to the dead of Winter in an instant. We had no Autumn, the prettiest and usually shortest of seasons. So I think it is only fitting that this year, after a pretty crappy Summer; too hot, too cold; too humid; too dry; too wet; too many bugs ALL the time, we are experiencing what has got to be one of the best Fall seasons in a very long time. The temperature has cooled gradually as the days have grown shorter with crisp cool days and clear blue cloudless skies. The trees' changing colors have been slow and methodical inching towards peak putting on a spectacular show. I'm not sure my photographic skills can do it justice but I'll give it a shot.

Bob and Suzanne's red leaf maple:

The little tree in the middle of my flower bed:

My Japanese Maple:

South Mountain Reservation, Essex County, New Jersey:

The summer-flower has run to seed,
And yellow is the woodland bough;
And every leaf of bush and weed
Is tipt with autumn’s pencil now.

And I do love the varied hue,
And I do love the browning plain;
And I do love each scene to view,
That’s mark’d with beauties of her reign.

* excerpt from Autumn, by John Clare

October 21, 2013

October flowers in the house

I hate to miss a party and I really thought I was going to have to bow out from Jane's FITH today. After two weeks of heavy booted workmen with complete disregard for what they are stomping on coupled with cooling temperatures and waning daylight hours, there isn't much out there in the way of flowers. And I missed my weekly sojourn to Trader Joe's yesterday where I could have picked up something to make a showing of some sort. But darn if impervious men, Mother Nature, or plain old laziness are going to keep me away! So with pruning shears in hand I called upon my trusty little hound helper

and we set out on our mission to see what we could find.

And lo and behold, there is something after all.

These white little flowers that grow through the wisteria, and by the ferns in the back. Frankly they're all over the place,

same as the little pretty blue ones. I always thought they were weeds, cute weeds but weeds nonetheless; then a couple of years ago it dawned on me that someone must have planted them so that in this time of quickly barren yards there will still be flowers in the house.

So now, armed with a renewed confidence I looked around to find the pots of geraniums still going strong by the back porch and since they won't be lasting long when the big chill arrives later this week
we'll just bring some inside to liven up the bathroom.

And truth is, if all else hydrangeas dry to perfection.

I wonder if cute little pumpkins count as flowers?

Doesn't matter, I made it! Now I'm going over to see who else showed up.

October 14, 2013

The Color Purple

When I was a kid and loved football I had a huge crush on Fran Tarkenton, he was the quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, this is their helmet:

Purple, nice no? My junior high school in Miami was Shenandoah Junior High, now known as Shenandoah Middle School; our school colors were purple and white. My favorite Prince song is Purple Rain. One of my favorite fruits is the plum,

the last gift my Mother gave me was a plum sweater. Are we seeing a pattern here? So when we decided it was time to paint our house and, like Frank says, "shake it up a bit" we thought of two colors. One was green but none of the ones we chose worked out, once we put them on they turned drabby and just plain blah. Not so when we went back to our original thought...plum!

And are we glad we did,

Front porch with its bright white trim,

here's more of the front porch and some of the side where the color really shows up!

the side, with a peek of the garage and our nice new charcoal roof.

speaking of which, the garage!

I love our new cedar stained porch and the new dark gray basement door.

And the back porch was just made for our extremely comfortable wine barrel chair...really!

And the ugly weird Trader Joe's pumpkin.

But I think yellow mums and pumpkins were just made for my purple and white house. Right Max?

Shake it up, do the bugaloo! Can it be Autumn all the time?

October 7, 2013

Winner-Champ-Top Dog....

Well I happily won Jane's very generous giveaway. The gift is the very beautiful book derived from Marie's equally very beautiful blog, 66 Square Feet. Well I don't mind saying I was giddy and ecstatic! I've never won anything...well except for a few times when I've won $2 from a lotto ticket, once I won $118 and a couple of times somewhere between $25 and $50, and then there was the time when I won $250 from Powerball which is a bit of a letdown considering the size of those jackpots. But I digress, this was so much more exciting and fun, and Jane said she didn't cheat which I think she did but I'll take her word, wink wink. Anyway, I waited for my book, and waited, and waited...and then last week I got an email from Jane apologizing profusely; she would be running out of her house in a rush every day and forget the book on the shelf, but now it was on it's way. Thank goodness since I was wondering, how do I say "Where's my book?" without sounding demanding and nasty. (I'm sure Jane doesn't mind at all my telling this story). So on Saturday I go out to get the mail and see a package...oh joy

my book has arrived. And with a sweet note attached no less

and it is even more beautiful than I imagined

and I let it sit there next to the sugar pumpkins which I bought for pumpkin soup until I can savor it.

So on Sunday afternoon I started to go through it page by page taking in the stunning photos. I read the first line of every month, in awe of how each first line describes New York in that particular month to a tee and studying every recipe which I am now so eager to make. And then I stopped at October

(see what I mean?), and not just because we happen to be in that month...but...let's see. Jane decided for this giveaway to happen on her birthday, September 18th, was a little slow in sending it due to unforeseen circumstances...but it arrived just in time for my birthday which is tomorrow...and October has this

the October birthday menu. Kismet I say!