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Sunday, 20 October 2019

A Woman's Purse

There is something about a woman's purse. It is a place of mystery, a treasure trove, a cherished item, a coveted possession, a thing from which one cannot be parted, or nowadays - nothing at all.

My husband has shared that his mother told him as a child, that you never go in your lady's purse! On the rare occasion that he needs something, like a set of keys for example, that might be in my purse, he asks first and then asks for directions, and even then often has a hard time retrieving the item. I'm not sure why it is so difficult to find something in my purse. It's not that complicated, although there is an outside pocket and an inside pocket and two sections...


I don't think I have a lot of "stuff" in my purse. My mother, long before Wet Wipes, used to carry a damp washcloth in a plastic bag in her purse. You never knew when someone's sticky hands might need a wipe. Currently in my purse is my wallet, a grocery list, a lipstick (or two), two pens, a set of keys, my reading glasses, an assortment of mints from restaurants provided with the bill, a sample of dental floss from my last dentist visit, a variety of pills (most of them travel headache related), a couple of business cards (must remember to book a time with the massage therapist), and a Tim Horton's card. There might be other items - I'm not peering into my purse at the moment.


But you go ahead - there it is, leopard print and all. I do like my orange pen which is easy to find in the depths of my purse.

Do you have a full purse? My mother-in-law, who in her defense is suffering from dementia, keeps her whole life in her purse and it must weigh ten pounds. It is falling apart. It's an old black Joan Rivers purse that she ordered from the home shopping network on tv many years ago. She loves that thing and husband even used black duct tape to secure the inside of it for her. She will not part with it. She recently flew to see her daughter (with husband's help) and she almost wouldn't let them take her purse and put in on the little conveyer belt to go through the scanner at the airport.

My bag is not expensive or designer or anything fancy at all. I don't really have any friends for whom a designer bag is important. None of us have that much disposable income to put towards a purse. But it's comfortable over my shoulder and tosses easily on the seat beside me and has lasted a few years now.

This past summer, my daughter accidentally left her purse, which is more like a wallet with straps, in a McDonald's restaurant in Montreal. When she got home and realized what had happened she went into action cancelling credit cards and arranging for other i.d. to be replaced. She did a great job. She contacted the McDonalds, just in case the purse had turned up, but no luck. A while later, a person contacted her through social media. They had found her purse and wanted to know if she wanted it returned. Daughter said yes and provided an address and did an email transfer of a bit of money to cover the cost of postage, and the individual very kindly mailed it to her. Everything was intact! However, at this point all the i.d. had been replaced, but she still got her purse back and had some faith in humans!

Girls my daughter's age, or younger, don't really seem to carry purses anymore. They carry their phone. They slip their debit / credit card inside the phone case. That's it. They travel light. When I was that age, I was an eighties girl and my purse contained not only a wallet, but a full arsenal of hair products - brush, hairspray, teasing comb... My friend even carried her own cordless curling iron with its own cannister of butane! I probably had a wide variety of makeup, a couple of pairs of earrings, maybe an extra pair of nylons in a ziplock bag... but not a cellphone. There were no cellphones then (shock, horror). I likely had perfume, like Cinnabar from Estee Lauder or L'Air du Temps . I might have had a camera in there too, with it's 110 film. Yes, young women these days travel much lighter.

A woman's purse. Is yours a treasured item, a mystery, or nothing at all?





Monday, 14 October 2019

Definitely Autumn

First, happy Thanksgiving to all of my Canadian friends. It felt the most like autumn this Saturday, when I was driving into town and the leaves were blowing through the air and finally, the maples were turning colour. They are a little late this year.

The temperature is cold, it has been raining, and I am very thankful that we didn't get the snow that northern Ontario did, where my daughter is right now. She texted a picture of the snow covered scene she woke up to! Way too early for that. Sometimes we get snow around Hallowe'en, but snow at Thanksgiving is asking too much, even for Canadians.

I decided to put together a little fall display. Husband had purchased this two-tier unit, thinking I would like it as a fruit 'bowl', but honestly, the wires bruised the fruit and they would start to rot quickly. I was just going to stash it somewhere, but then Pinterest tempted me into creating this:


I found a little cheap framed word art at Walmart.


I added little Dollerama sprigs and fruit and pinecones, as well as apples.

This little fellow was another cheap Walmart find.


I added a small squash, some hydrangea from my garden, and some Chinese lantern plant that I didn't plant, but ended up in my garden anyway. 

Outside, on the porch, or by the door from the car port, I like to place a few mums and pumpkins.

Lastly, for a quintessential autumn touch, behold the wooly bear caterpillar. Is it the size of the caterpillar, or the size of the brown band in the middle, or the size of the black bands at the ends that is supposed to foretell the severity of our winter? Don't remember, but there are lots of these little fellows around.




Friday, 11 October 2019

Keep an Eye Out!

Spied this as I was leaving work tonight, walking out to my car.


This is all part of my world - didn't even bat an eye. Barely glanced down. Well, no, I guess it did catch my eye, or I wouldn't have taken a picture. 😉

Monday, 7 October 2019

October 7th

I'm done work, watching a recorded episode of Coronation Street, having a little glass of red. I tried to do some transferring from a savings account which is a separate institute from our regular bank. You access it online. When I was asked to answer a security question (which I had set up ages ago), I entered a slightly incorrect answer (used a plural instead of a singular for my highschool mascot) and it was rejected. When I tried it again, thinking maybe I had spelled it wrong, the online banking programme decided I was up to no good and locked me out of my account.

It is probably a good thing that the security is nice and tight, but on the other hand when I went online to try to rectify things, I couldn't talk to a person and tried (unsuccessfully) to get through the maze of entering various numbers and codes. After having a tiny freak out, I finally was able to call and talk to a human who helped me and reset things.

Anybody remember bank books?



So... our washing machine has decided to break down. I was planning on doing a load of laundry tonight. Husband knows what's wrong (because he's kind of smart like that) and he has ordered a part online. It may arrive by the 17th of this month. Or, for twice the price, you can have it in two days. I think we can save by waiting (for the price of the part, I wonder if it is made out of gold??). I said we can have a date night at the local laundromat. Can't wait!! For now, I'll be washing out my "delicates" in the sink.

I bought a big ham (on the bone) because there are lots of them available for the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. I'd planned the whole week's menu around this ham - potato, leek and ham soup, quiche with ham in it, and well, a ham dinner with green beans from the garden, tomatoes from the garden, mashed potatoes... except I took longer to get out of work tonight, then I battled it out with the online bank, and at that point it was too late to get the ham in, so it's toasted bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches, or for husband there's cold chicken sandwiches (blechh, I am not a fan of cold chicken, but he likes it) for supper instead. Ham will happen tomorrow night instead.

It was a lovely weekend in that daughter was home, and then when we took her back to her city, we planned on going to Costco (for some people it's a weekly thing, but for us, we go maybe once every four months), and she arranged for our son (who was visiting his girlfriend in the same city) to surprise us at Costco. So we all went out for supper and it was great to see everyone. Unfortunately, son is realizing that living with a roommate at college isn't necessarily all roses. His roommate is somewhat 'odiferous' and son is quite fastidious with his cleanliness. So me, the woman who can't handle any fake scents at all, broke down and bought him some Fabreeze at Costco so he can hopefully make his dorm room smell a bit better. Hopefully he will take my advise and have a bit of a chat with his roommate about stinky shoes, piles of clothes, and maybe some leftover food.

However, I do think that going through little tough times makes you really appreciate the good things in life. For example, I think every teenager should have to drive a bit of a clunker of a vehicle so that they work hard in life so they can drive a better vehicle later. I'm sure he'll be very happy to be back for the Thanksgiving weekend with pumpkin pie and turkey and a fresh room. (They can't even open their windows in their dorm rooms!).

Right, so there's my stream of consciousness for the day. Carry on, all, and we'll talk again soon.






Thursday, 3 October 2019

Aunt Gwen and fall fair

A few weekends ago, husband and I drove down to the community where I grew up. My cousin decided to hold an art "show" featuring her mom's work from years gone by. My Aunt Gwen was my mother's only sister. She enjoyed painting and produced quite a lot of work when she was younger. She died about a year ago, and so in honour of her, my cousin created a display of her work at a local fall fair (where Aunt Gwen grew up). My siblings and some other cousins gathered there, so this was a nice chance to catch up (as one of my cousins mentioned, it seems like it's only funerals or maybe weddings where we see each other, so this was a welcome change!).

I truly don't have a judgement whether my Auntie Gwen was a fabulous artist or not. I'm certainly no artist, and probably one of the least artistic of all of my siblings. But I do know that her paintings were a constant in my childhood. "Over at the farm", many of her paintings hung in the big craftsman style farmhouse. My parents, of course, had some of her paintings as well, and so they hung in our living room or in the kitchen. I'm now lucky enough to have two of them to keep in my home. I loved their frames, and just the feeling they invoked - homey and contented. Some of the paintings at the art show, I had never seen before because they hung in her home in Saskatchewan where she moved with her husband after living on the farm in Ontario.








These aren't all of the paintings that were there, but it gives you an example of her style.

Aunt Gwen was a very selfless, giving person. She sewed all of my grandmother's dresses to her specifications (sleeveless and polyester prints), she mailed us big cardboard boxes of clothes and special little treats - all the way from Saskatchewan - which was pretty exciting when my sister and I were kids, and she and her husband, my Uncle Al, and their two children would make the long trek across provinces to come back 'home' for a few weeks in the summer to stay at the farm house and do "spring cleaning" and various other tasks, as well as have some visits with friends and family in Ontario.

It was lovely to look at her work and remember the special person she was.

At the same time, we wandered around enjoying a typical fall fair atmosphere. Here are some pictures of the 4-H calf shows and some horses that were taken through their hunter / jumper paces.





To top it off, we enjoyed some extra greasy, salty, ketchupy fries in the open air and then had a lovely visit with friends who live in the area that we don't see nearly enough.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Chicken Morning

To lighten the mood from yesterday, I invite you to join in my morning ritual. I opened the little chicken door and got my phone ready to capture the morning rush. They really do run and tumble out.


First out of the gates: it's Columbian Rock, followed by Barred Rock, followed by Columbian Rock (nope, I don't name them).


Following close behind... standard brown laying hens.


Wait for me!


Still more...
But let's turn on the light and go inside.


Still on the roost.


Giving me the eye.


She wasn't laying an egg, she was just sitting there.


Although they can eat exactly the same food inside the coop, they get very excited to dine al fresco and wait for me to feed them outside each morning.


On the chicken bench, surveying her world.

And those are my mornings. Have a lovely Sunday.

Saturday, 28 September 2019

As of Late...

I'm finally getting around to writing a post this morning. It's warm outside and wet - we've had some rainy days lately, but it is looking much more 'autumnal'.
Two weekends ago, we were a flurry of activity, assisting in getting ready for propane to be installed in our very old home. As we approach retirement, and therefore, will have less money coming in, we decided a good way to reduce our costs would be to convert to propane from our current heating oil. Husband did a wonderful job talking to a variety of companies and contractors and getting a good price for all the necessary work involved in changing over to a different heating system. Part of the deal was to do the 'trenching' ourselves, so a trenching machine was rented, and picked up (a pain in itself) and the ordeal was frustrating beyond belief. It did not cut down to the depth it was advertised to, so we were literally lying in the ground, trowels in hand, scraping out earth to try and create a deeper trench. This trench ran from where the big propane tank would be placed, around the side of the garage, along part of the length of the house, around a spruce tree and then back up to the house to be connected to the basement. The rocks we encountered were hideous. Our son, thankfully, was able to spare his weekend from college and drove all the way home to help, and then all the way back for Monday classes.


I threw my garden glove down to give you perspective in the picture, but this isn't the biggest one by far. Son now knows how to wield a pickaxe like a professional! As with everything, the process is still not done, with the contractor waiting on parts, or something. Thankfully, we are not yet into our full-on heating system and our yard remains a scene of trench warfare. Until they pressure check (? does that sound right?) the system, we don't fill in the trench, and plant grass seed. It's funny because we have a "country" lawn, in that if it's green, we mow it. We don't fuss with weed killer or over seeding with grass seed because we have an acre of land and are surrounded on two sides with empty fields filled with burdock, goldenrod, and various other vigorous weeds. So, when we do fill in the trenches and plant grass seed, we will end up with lovely green grassy sections, like a landing strip.


To move on, here is a picture of Samson, wanting to be taken back to son's college with him. It was heart warming, as son was packing up Sunday evening to start the drive back (yes, that's clean laundry in the back of his car!), Sammy jumped in and had to be removed by hand. They have a close relationship, those two.



As to all the other days in my life, when I return home from work, all I have in me is enough to prepare supper and do a few small 'chicken chores'. I am flat out tired. I never signed on , thirty years ago, to be a specialist in autism, a councillor, a mental health professional, a juggler of all things, but here I am, expected to do it all, with no support. This is a young person's profession, I believe. Or things must change, however, I won't be in it long enough to see change. So, I carry on and do my best and support my colleagues who are in similar boats.

Today, Saturday, I will pick up a few groceries, perhaps bake zucchini carrot muffins, and try to take it easy (but I do have I.E.P.s to write which are individual education plans). On Sunday, husband's mother, who has dementia, is actually going to be flying on a plane to stay with her daughter in another province for a couple of weeks. Husband will be driving her to the airport in Toronto (about three hours away), getting her as far as he can until he passes her on to a person who is in charge of her care until she is loaded on the plane. It's a bit like arranging for a child to go on a plane. Friends of ours are Dutch and they had done something similar when one of their children went to Holland to be met by relatives at the other end. I do hope this goes well. I will be writing her a note on brightly coloured card that she can look at to reassure her, and remind her to what's happening, and who will be meeting her at the airport. Mostly, I wonder who will be seated next to her on the plane, as they will be engaged in a repetitive conversation for the whole way. I think it will be about two hours in total, but I'm not sure. Husband's mother has certainly flown on planes before, back when dementia was not part of her reality, so the idea of being in an airport and on a plane doesn't scare her. We helped her pack last night, but I suspect she will have gone through the suitcase already, checking and double checking. Although I don't relish the thought of taking my Sunday to be part of this, I may come along to help out. I'm not sure yet. I really do need a weekend to recoup.

To end, one morning, when I went out to open up the coop, I saw this hawk in the process of ripping apart some poor, unsuspecting bird. I went back inside to grab my phone. I couldn't get too close to take a picture, but when it did fly off, it took its prey with it. I love seeing hawks! I'm pretty sure this is a Cooper's hawk.


We've never had a chicken taken by a hawk, for those of you who are wondering. This is a medium sized hawk, not one of the big ones. I suspect it's far more interested in doves and other songbirds.
Have a good weekend, everyone!

Saturday, 7 September 2019

After the First Week...

Yes, I'm still alive. I made it though the first week. The first week of returning to work with 24 grade fours, and the first week of being empty nesters. I'm physically exhausted by the end of the day. I had a hoarse voice by the end of the first day. I stopped crying intermittently a couple of days ago.

Honestly, I'm not a super cry-ie person generally. I have always believed in raising children to become independent, responsible, capable human beings. But here's the deal - having the second (and last) "child" move out of the house was a whole different ball game. I turned into this ridiculous sappy mess leading up to the day he went away to college. I held it together on moving day until the very end when we hugged to say goodbye, then I started and then my daughter looked at me and started. I made sure we were outside the college entrance, off to the side, so as not to embarrass son, not that he knew anyone anyway. I don't mean I was a sobbing, bawling mess, clinging on him and wailing away, but my face was screwed up and there were some tears.

Then two days after that, daughter moved back to her university city. Not as many tears, because we've been down this road before with her. She'll be fine, she's established there, has friends, knows the score.

The next morning, as I was going through my routine, getting ready to go to work, I found myself in son's room - just standing there, taking in the nineteen-year-old-young-man essence that still hung in the air. I resisted texting him that morning!

Daughter, of course, texted the next day to show that there is now a cat living in the house she rents part of. Nice! Then texted about getting into a course that she didn't think she'd get into to, but there was one opening left, and she did. Then texted to show she was eating one of the muffins I had sent her away with (homemade - zucchini chocolate chip - made with love - yes, son got some, too).

Then, it wasn't until a couple of days later that I started to realize I now have another drawer in the bathroom. I do not have to shift and balance my way through four different bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, god knows what else... in the shower. There is an extra bed I could go to if husband's snoring gets to the "I want to smother you with a pillow" stage. And when I go grocery shopping tomorrow, the list will be considerably smaller. These aren't necessarily observations of "better", just different.

The whole getting back to work thing? To use an over-used phrase, it is what it is. It is what I do as a profession, I've done it before (30 years of it) and I'll do it one more time, and then that's it. It's a new group of students, we'll established routines, we'll work our way through the curriculum, we'll deal with all that is eight to nine year olds. We've already had our first staff meeting, we have "Open House" (formerly known as Meet the Teacher or Meet the Creature) this coming week. These make for long days when your body is just getting used to standing all day long and your throat is getting used to talking all day long and you're reminding yourself that patience is a virtue.

We are now just the two of us. But our conversations still often revolve around the kids. Today we are off to a little Fall Fair where we will see a display of my aunt's artwork. She died a little while ago and her daughter is putting on a display at a fair that is the "hometown" of her mom's youth. We will see my siblings, as we are all doing a bit of a jaunt to go there and enjoy looking at her paintings again. After, we will visit with my childhood friend and her husband, who are also now empty nesters, but not quite as much, as their son lives just down the road with his wife and new baby.

Time now to read some of your blogs and catch up on your lives.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Crickets, Yellow, Purple, New Beginnings - All that is Late August

Late August is always a meaningful time of year for me. It signifies so many things, and this year, it signifies even more.

In terms of my natural surroundings, August is a crickety time, a crunchy time, a very yellow and purple time. The fruit trees are laden, gardens are full, the corn is tall, many plants are winding down and becoming withered and tired. I love the "feel" of this time of year. The light is different.


Yellow.


Purple.


Yellow.


Purple.


Yellow.


Purple.


Yellow and Purple.

Yes, I'm seeing it, too. I need to plan my gardens better. What else is blooming right now that could provide a much needed change in colour? I do have some creamy whites with my hydrangeas. I can tell what time of year it is from this particular hydrangea (thinking it might be called something like Pink Diamond??).


The blooms start out white, but when they become pink, as they are just beginning to now, you know that summer is coming to a close. Soon they will be all a beautiful rusty pink colour.

My sad, sad, very sad vegetable garden would normally be producing scads of green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, and still lettuce at this stage. I am harvesting minimal amounts of beans, zucchini, and cucumbers. The lettuce just doesn't get eaten in any great quantity, so the chickens get to enjoy the stalks that are beginning to go to seed.


They rushed to the fence in hopes that I had something to feed them when I was taking pictures this morning. I didn't. I think I heard one of them swear as I walked away.

But there is hope. A tiny, little, pathetic bit of hope...


Do you see it, in all its cracked glory, amongst the blighty leaves? Toasted tomato sandwich, here we come!! (Another late August thing).


Shall we compare my struggling little tomato to this hearty beast? This is a plant that gets a bad rap - it's goldenrod. Another yellow of late August, it gets blamed for seasonal allergies. The real culprit is ragweed which is prevalent right now, but isn't as showy, so it hides in the background causing people to pop allergy meds. like tictacs. I think goldenrod is quite pretty, and lord knows, it grows well with no help from me at all.

The new beginnings part of my post title? Well that refers to a couple of things. Of course, for me, it's the approach of a new school year. Most people's years go from January to December. Mine go from September to June, with bonus months in between. This will be my second last new school year ever. It is odd to think that. It will be even more significant when it is my LAST start to a school year, but this is my last full year. I will only teach from September to January in my final year. That is when I can retire with full pension. So, this is my last time to have a class from start to finish. When you've been doing something for 29 years, and it's your last time at it, it makes me ponder, reflect, consider...

Another new beginning for myself and husband is the advent of being empty nesters, at least for most of the time. This September we launch both kids away to post secondary education. Now, this is old hat for us when it comes to our daughter. She's been away to university for a while now, coming home for the summer to work. However, this is the first time for our son, moving away to college in a town about three hours away. I must admit, I've been struggling a bit with this. Not to be interpreted that I care more about saying goodbye to one child more than the other, but now it means they are both gone. No more waiting to hear his car pull up after his shift at his part time job is done. No more preparing supper for four (or sometimes five or six depending on who's coming). No more knocking on bedroom doors to make sure someone is definitely awake in the morning. No more piles of shoes in the mudroom, or three different bottles of shampoo in the bathtub, or buying Nutella because son likes it, or sriracha chili sauce because daughter likes it. The house will feel so very empty. And oh my god... it's going to be just husband and I.      Let that one sink in for a moment.



Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Oatmeal Eggwhite Pancakes

When I was into "clean eating", I learned how to perfect these. Now I make them because I'm always wanting to use up some more eggs, and they are so darn tasty!

Oatmeal Eggwhite Pancakes

-1/4 cup dry oatmeal (quick cook is fine)
-a dash of water
-3 egg whites
-cinnamon to taste
-fruit for the top if you wish
-choice of syrup
-Pam cooking spray (or some other type of nonstick spray)

First, measure out 1/4 cup of dry oatmeal into a small mixing bowl. I use whatever "quick cook"oatmeal I have on hand - cooks in 1 minute, or instant... it doesn't matter.

Then I pour in a little bit of water that is leftover from the kettle. It's often still warm, which I think helps to soften the oatmeal a bit first. I don't really measure, just enough to wet the oatmeal. Then stir it around with a fork. At this point I also add a few shakes of cinnamon, stirring that in.

I use our own chicken's eggs, so they are probably what would be considered "large" size, but again, it doesn't matter. Do you know the easiest way to separate yolks from whites? Crack your egg and separate it into two halves. Pour the contents of the egg from one half to the other, while letting the whites pour out and keeping the yolk in the half of the shell. It may take a couple of back and forths from shell to shell to fully separate, but it works like a charm. Don't worry if a little yolk gets in there. Either dispose of the yolks or keep for some other purpose in the fridge.

Stir the egg whites in with the oatmeal, water, and cinnamon. Mix with a fork until thoroughly combined.

Use a small nonstick frying pan. My nonstick frying pans aren't always nonstick, so I spray it with Pam. I generally spray the frying pan and have a little heat under it to get it hot while I'm making the mixture.

Pour your mixture into the frying pan and allow it to cook over medium-low heat for a few minutes. DO NOT TRY TO FLIP IT UNTIL IT IS NICE AND SET, ALMOST A LITTLE BIT CRISPY AROUND THE EDGES.  Honestly, just let it sit in the frying pan and cook. Walk away, check your phone, feed the cat... don't try to flip it if it's still a little bit soft and runny.

When it is browning up and the edges are a little crispy / firm, use a wide spatula to flip it, just once. This side won't take nearly the same amount of time to cook, so just give it a minute or so. It should come off looking like this:


This is not a light fluffy, cakey type pancake. It has the nice nutty texture of the oatmeal and an almost custard quality to the eggwhites. It's as if an oatmeal cookie married a custard.

Depending on the season, I might slice strawberries on it, or have fresh blueberries. However, right now it's peach season, so this is about half a peach cut up, with two tablespoons of maple syrup (actual maple syrup). For those of you who might be concerned, the pancake itself is 126 calories. Shown my way with the syrup and a half a peach it is 265 calories altogether.

Speaking of peaches, why is there such a limited window of opportunity when it comes to peaches?? One day they are sitting there, all lovely and pinky orange, just perfectly ripe and ready to eat, juice dripping down your chin. The next day they are moldy and grey at one end. I do take them out of the basket after I buy them and set them separately on a large serving platter. Doesn't seem to matter. Don't tell anyone, but I just cut off the yucky end and eat the rest! (But I wouldn't serve that one to you if you came for a visit).

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Bagpipes

Someone somewhere in our little village has taken up the bagpipes. They have practised every day in early afternoon. They are working on Scotland the Brave and aren't half bad. I've been known to almost tear up and have to choke down a lump in my throat when I hear bagpipes in a parade. They remind me of my father. No, he didn't play, but held on to his Scottish heritage.

Unfortunately, the only thing I can think of when I hear these pipes in the afternoon is this:


Wednesday, 14 August 2019

No Fruit, No Nuts

No fruit, no nuts - that's always been my insistence when it has come to planting any new trees on this property.  Although some favourite childhood memories come from time spent under a chestnut tree, collecting the shiny brown chestnuts, I know what a mess fruit and nut trees make. Since I am the gardener around here, it would be me cleaning it up.

Alas, we did not plant our old apple tree. It's been here longer than we have, that's for certain. Last year when we rented the beast of a wood chipper, we did a lot of cutting and trimming. One tree that got a good once over was the old apple tree. There were many dead limbs that needed pruning.

Well, naturally after that good hair cut, the tree has had a bumper year!

Unfortunately, these are not quality apples. They bruise the moment they hit the ground, are a rather soft fruit, and aren't terribly big. I think once I laboured over them to make apple sauce. It wasn't worth it. We don't spray, so there are wee critters that make their way through the apples. Mostly, I rake and dump. Sometimes I squish a few underfoot and toss them in the chicken run for the hens. They enjoy them.

To give you an idea of the magnitude of this task, here is a picture of having almost finished the last of the raking and dumping of apples.


I decided I would take a picture the very next morning to show you how many apples come down in less than a day.


I couldn't quite capture the full collection because they fall quite far (and roll) (into my flower bed). I didn't actually rake at all yesterday, so there is a tremendous amount out there this morning. I don't think I can leave it much longer without raking today! What about you? Any messy trees on your property?

And to round off the morning, I leave you with a hen in a box.


Her expression said, "Leave me alone, I have a job to do."