Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall colors of leaves in Connecticut

"Listen! the wind is rising,
and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings,
now for October eves!"
poem by Humbert Wolfe

Photo taken by my husband on a trip to Connecticut, 10/23/2010.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Autumn leaves in Connecticut

My husband was in Windsor Locks, in Connecticut and took this photo October 23, 2010. In the next few days I will share more of his photos of fall here.
We live in a more temperate climate now and miss the autumn display of leaves in oranges, yellows, pinks and reds.
"Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees. " Faith Baldwin
And in the immortal? words of David Letterman
"Fall is my favorite season in Los Angeles, watching the birds change color and fall from the trees."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dreams of pumpkins

field of pumpkins
Originally uploaded by rasdourian

Dreams of Pumpkins
A field of pumpkins warmly glows
With cheerful orange tones
Not just round but many shapes
All ready to come home with us.
Eager hands pick a little one
or a gigantic orb
To set on porch or table
Leading us to Halloween,
Then Thanksgiving ,
and on to the Holy Holiday.
                    Poem by Terra Hangen, that's me

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Santa Claus hand painted by my friend

This Santa is a new and treasured possession. My friend hand painted this wooden Santa Claus, and this year it joins my home's decorations. She painted it in 1992, I know because she wrote that on the back.
My friend was an expert in Tole painting and in Folk painting, and took classes as far away as Russia and taught many artists over the years.
What new Christmas decoration are you adding this year?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My adventures as a peanut farmer

Originally uploaded by nanaow2006

Shall I give up trying to get the local squirrels to stop planting raw peanuts in the shell, all over my backyard?
Oh the naughty dear ones dig up a plant, bury the peanut and leave, so each morning I am likely to find the plant lying on the soil, and I quickly replant it.
When this happens to a plant several times it begins to look quite raggedy.
I tried sprinkling cayenne pepper at the base of the squirrels' favored plants and the verdict is not in on that. It seems to have some limited success.
One friend on Facebook suggested I take away the squirrels' shovels.
Another finally tried covering tulips bulbs with netting, which worked and he grew beautiful tulips.
Several people think I should give in and become a peanut farmer. I wonder how much money I could make growing peanuts?
Meanwhile, I am trying to catch a squirrel and get his shovel away from him. Wish me luck.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Legend of the Christmas Spider

The year is moving along at a very fast pace, for me, and Christmas is on its way.
Starting today I am occasionally posting Christmas related posts, as I know many of my readers love this holiday, as do I and many of you know I co-wrote a book about celebrating it.
Legend of the Christmas Spider 
Do you have a spider ornament for your Christmas tree?
The ornaments themselves can be quite cute and not at all scary. I have always liked Daddy Long Legs spiders and usually rescue them when I find them in our shower area, but I know some of you may think ick when you see a spider. I have one handmade spider ornament made of clear and gold faceted beads and another made of a shell with glitter on it.
The legend of the Christmas spider explains why a spider ornament is welcome on many Christmas trees.
A humble spider, according to the legend, watched a family decorate a tree one Christmas eve. He was fascinated by this activity and when the people went to bed, he crawled all over the branches looking with wonder at each shiny ornament. He wished he had a way to help decorate the tree as his gift to the Holy Child. As the spider examined the ornaments he left a trail of spider webs which covered the tree.
When Santa Claus arrived he turned the web into gold and silver strands that shimmered brightly.
 So when you decorate your tree with angels, fish, reindeer, Hallmark ornaments, Santas and more, consider adding a reverent spider to the tree too and share this story with your children.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Swiss chard recipe

light through swiss chard
Originally uploaded by greenhem

Do you like Swiss chard?
I grow the Rainbow Swiss chard, which has stems that are red or yellow or white, since it is so pretty.
Last night I cooked it in my favorite way. First I cut off the thickest stems and sauted the stems in olive oil with plenty of chopped garlic.
I put the rest of the chard in a pot with a steamer tray and an inch or two of water, and steamed it covered until cooked, about 10 minutes.
Drain the chard and toss it with the olive oil, cooked stems and garlic and you have a delicious side dish.
How do you prepare chard at your house?

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Fog

Sailing In The Fog
Originally uploaded by Cynnerz Photos

There is some fog off the coast near our house, which is cooling things down to a perfect 75 degree temperature here.
You know I love cats and here is a favorite poem.

The fog comes
on little cat feet
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

By Carl Sandburg