In which there is a brief warning from literature, and we catch up

"WINTER IS COMING."  --George R.R. Martin

The progression of seasons is never completely out of my mind, but perhaps more than usual during the beautiful extended-warm-and-sunny weather we've been having in the Swampland for the past few weeks.  I know it won't last.

Fresh homemade bread, sardines, fancy cheese, several kinds of figs, plums,
and apples, smoked oysters, snooty chocolate...

The Usual Suspects are all native Swamplanders, so when a "last picnic of the Summer" was proposed, we all enthusiastically stuffed the saddle bags with delicacies and headed out into what may be the last sunny weekend we have...for months.

Straight out of the camera.  Some days are just like that, here.

Fiddle and I have been enjoying the sunshine on solo rides as well, storing up "blue sky prints" in our eyeballs that will need to last us through the gloomy bits of fall, winter, and spring.

I've also been writing my tailfeathers off.

Executive committee meeting at the coffeehouse:
L-to-R: Monica (photographer), me, and Anne (editor)
The finished manuscript for Endurance 101  was delivered on-time to the publisher on August 31st...but there's still plenty to do, including talking about the layout, the website, and the press releases.

I'm still working on the other manuscript too, of course.  The main body of the Sex in the Library book has been submitted to the publisher, but my co-author and I still have more than 100 book reviews to write, edit, and re-write before we can submit that portion of the book and sit back and relax a bit.  We're on schedule with the's not due until the end of December...but the closer to finished we get, the more complicated it seems.  At least she and I are only 2 time zones apart this month--for most of the previous year, we had to Skype and email everything because I was here in the Swamp and she was living in Mumbai, India!  This is easier.

Speaking of here in the Swamp, our harvest season is starting to wrap up.
Italian prune plums...just about ready to be made into wine

The apples are too blotchy to appeal to humans...

...but the Dragon and her Minions think that blotchy apples are just fine!

Will is now "paying rent" at home, since he graduated high school in June.  Since he's currently unemployed, I'm allowing him to work off the debt by taking on some of the more complex farm projects, like re-building the fence around the garden....
Will and Jim, doing the carpenter thing

...because we've got to keep the zucchini from escaping!
Shhh.  Stealthy zucchini hope you don't see them!

The zukes are actually slowing down production a bit, finally.  But the butternut squashes
Squash v. sneaker.  The size-7 shoe doesn't stand a chance.

are still growing!  And so are the
"giant" pumpkin has a  54" girth, and it's still growing!

So far, the grapes have escaped capture by Chicken Twelve, but I don't imagine she will allow them to elude her much longer.  That hen knows where ALL the food on the farm can be found

...but we're still hoping to grab a tomato or two before she gets them!

We're ticking off the stuff on the to-do list, including fixing the starling-devastated holes in the barn ceiling,
holes ripped in the vapor barrier by starlings,
mended with Gorilla Tape and white duct tape
 and of course, bringing in plenty of hay.  We have three different types, of varying qualities.  On the right is the cheap local stuff I picked up in late July.  The middle stack is nice hay from the Dry Side, and on the left is a batch of timothy/orchard grass produced by a local farmer.  I got the timothy right out of the field during the middle of our dry spell, and am very pleased at the quality--it's rare to get non-weedy hay on our side of the mountains!

Oh.  HAY!

I guess you could say that although I'm not looking forward to Winter, it's gonna come anyhow.  So, bit-by-bit, we're getting ready.

But I think I'll go outside for a few minutes, now that I've written this post.  I can't help noticing that the sun isn't all the way down yet, and the sky is still mostly blue.

Life. Is. Good!


  1. aarene, thanks for the garden tour. must be nice to have a camera! poor me, this is twice in one year i've been cameraless. oh well not much to show here - the greenhouse was a disaster, the birds ate/are eating everything else. crows are breaking open walnuts on my roof as i type.

    hey, did i tell you about that quarab i liked? i don't think so. i planned to go out and meet him last week but he broke his splint bone! so your hana story was interesting. did this affect hana's endurance career or was that something else? odd that a leg bone can be so trivial - or not. so...heart condition, broken leg, am i not supposed to find a horse?

  2. Fall is so pretty. But I do think sadly of the muddy corrals and mud-caked horses that are inevitably coming my way (!)

  3. It's looking like early fall out your way! Love the garden shots & Will working away! Aren't teenagers Grand? You're staying way too busy with all your writing & yet getting in some saddle time! Multitasking whiz you are! Yet... :-)


Post a Comment

To err is human. To be anonymous is not.

Popular posts from this blog

In which we take (metaphoric) coals to Newcastle by boat and barge

In which we go to the Highland Games and there's a Henry photo dump