Category Archives: Beautiful world

ST4S – It’s Monday Already

This was supposed to be the second installment of “Some Thing (4) Sunday”, but…

Yep, it’s Monday already.

Apples at Vosseslag - De Haan, BelgiumThat’s okay.  I can still write this post.  I still have my ROW80 check-in to make, I still have fun things to write about… and I’m still awake.  (That last part might not be a good reason.  At least, it is true.)

So what is the ‘thing’ that I was going to bring to the table today?


Why?  (mostly because we went to the Greenville  Town Park this evening and picked apples from the old trees that grow there).

Apple scab on a crabapple, lesions are visible...The park used to belong to the Vanderbuilt family (I have written about the park before here).  Indeed, many of the old barns still serve for the local food pantry, storage, and even a shelter for kids to play in.

And there are fruit trees.  Several varieties of apples and pears and even some actually tasty crab apples (I know I tried some this evening).   This year it seems that all sorts of fruiting plants have produced bumper crops.  Earlier in the year we had peaches upon peaches.  The grapes in our yard I posted about last week.  Now there are apples everywhere.

Or so it seems.

Most of the fruit I harvested this evening is unattractive.  The huge tree over where the old playground used to be is covered with apple scab, flyspeck and sooty blotch.  Only the scab is a  problem for personal use.  The other two fungi usually either wash right off or at the very least do nothing to humans.

English: Diagram showing the cyclis life of ce...Thanks to this evening’s trip, I now have two large grocery bags of apples and golf ball-sized Bartlet pears to trim down and prep in the morning (not bad for not having planned this venture, and not having any equipment with us).  Apple sauce, apple butter….  Even an apple crisp or two is in the works.  I even found a recipe for a quick and yummy looking apple butter made with crab apples that I hope to make with some of the fruit from the tree out front of our house.  The tree is suffering from Cedar Apple Rust, but there is a lot of fruit on it.  Since one of the best ways to prevent a continued infection is supposedly to keep fallen fruit from accumulating on the ground…  why not use the good stuff?

I’ll let you know how it turns out.  If it goes well, I might try some of the recipes that a nice person gathered (about half-way down the page) in this Chow Hound forum.

 ROW80 check-in

ROW80LogocopyHmm, kind of in a holding pattern here.  I’m squeaking out my five sentences, but only just.  Reading is about the same…  I’m almost done, however with the series I’ve been plowing through.  I’ll see if writing picks up after that.

It would be nice, after all, to have something plotted out for the upcoming NaNoWriMo.  I think a lot of what is holding me up from getting more than five sentences done is the fact that I’ve basically run through all my “notes” (I can’t call what I had prepared an outline given that it wasn’t that organized).  Now I’m back to pantsing the story except for the major plot points I want to hit, and I keep heading down dead ends that I need to rework.

Since this ROWnd is almost over, I’m going to deal with hometending (cleaning, canning and winterizing) and leave the things as they are.   Next ROWnd, I’ll start with a week or two of notes and organization of the remainder of Swan Song before attempting any increase in word count.  After all, it is still progress, and it makes a lot more sense than scrambling for the last few days.

As for my ROW80 Fitness goals?  More activity…  more walks, more free weights…  and unfortunately more sitting.  I’ve got to learn how to read and walk… and how to not spend three hours reading up on various apple diseases because my intended walk in the park became a “shopping run”.  (Alberta Ross wrote a wonderful post on discipline last week.  I totally get where she’s coming from.)  😀

How about you?  Any progress?  Any challenges?

Related Articles:
Photo credits:
  • Apples at Vosseslag – De Haan, Belgium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Apple scab on a crabapple, lesions are visible on the leaves. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • English: Diagram showing the cyclis life of cedar apple rust. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some Thing Sunday — Concords

A generous harvest

A generous harvest

Welcome to my first installment of “Some Thing (for) Sunday”.  (For those her for a ROW80 check-in, there’s a short one at the bottom of the page.)

If you’ve followed this blog any amount of time, you know I’ve tossed ideas right and left for a regular blog series.  Thing is, I realized, I’m not much into “regular” anything.  It’s part of why I go with group posting projects most of the time such as the WIPpet or ROW80.  Weekly, or even semi-weekly, themes just frazzle me.

But I’d really like to spend more time with you all.  And I wouldn’t mind posting a bit more often.  I think that it would actually be helpful to maintain a bit more of a firm schedule, even if it’s scheduled chaos.

And that’s what this is–scheduled chaos.

CRW_1874_tweakI will be waking up each Sunday morning and offering you something.  Today it’s some lovely pictures of the concord grapes growing outside our house on a trellis made of 10ft wooden poles and chicken wire.  In this image you can see the spot, complete with my 3ft tall peach tree (for such a tiny tree, we get a lot of peaches out of it–almost an 8qt handlebasket’s worth this year, and it produces every year).  You can also see my (now faded with the ending season) clematis, my lavender (which is almost as tall as the peach tree), and the fact that I am an abysmally poor gardener.  This plot is a little over  5ft by 5ft, and it’s engulfed by Queen Anne’s Lace, goldenrod, various wildflowers…

It usually is empty

It usually is empty

It also provides shelter for my butterfly house and lots of color year round.  In spring, the soft pink peach blossoms and bees fill the air with activity.  In summer, the purple clematis and green young grapes make a cool counterpoint to the warm orange and golds of the young peaches.  In fall, the grapes are succulent indigo, and the leaves are changing to reds and yellows…

Even in winter we have color… fading grapes up above easy reach feed the birds who stay all year, blue jays, cardinals with their colorful wings, merry chickadees who sing for seeds by the front porch…

Nature's candy

Nature’s candy

It started out, as so many of my gardening projects do, with a sense of purpose and order.  But it shifted as Nature took over, and the bed needed my assistance less and less to support itself…  Now it grows mostly unhampered.  This year I did support the peach tree while it sagged from trying to produce so much fruit.  In fact, next year it will start the season with its own crutch.  I’ll remember to trim the lavender down before Spring takes hold so it doesn’t have to work so hard to survive.  I’ll pull some of the chicory and wild carrots from the main bed and add a new layer of mulch and seashells.

Until next year, I’ll savor this year’s returns.


Just a quick check-in here….

Some for later...

Some for later…

Missed my Five Sentences the other day, trying to stay on track, but my head wants me to read, read, read and little else.  Sometimes note-taking…  The good thing is that I’m getting my head better into beta reads than I had been.  All this reading has been good for my line-editing progress on my own stories too.

And ROW80 Fitness progress…

Exercise?  Mediocre progress, at best.  Maybe it’s the changing seasons and the “knowing” that Winter’s on its way.  I can’t imagine so, given that I don’t feel inspired to scurry about at harvesting and gathering.  If anything, I’ve been evacuating and cleaning my house obsessively.  Maybe I’m in the wrong hemisphere?  😀


Friday Photo — Finally! London

This gallery contains 23 photos.

Here were are, almost a month after our initial plan to reach London in this photoblog.  We’ve made it despite computer crashes, camping trips and lost software. If you haven’t followed the series, here is the last link (it contains … Continue reading