Hello sweet friends! I hope your week is going swimmingly. My sciatica has improved but is still lingering – especially when I lay down at night. My back definitely doesn't want me to sleep! I've been thrilled that the last two nights have become more comfortable on that front and look forward to it being healed once again and being able to move about freely.
Zinnia flower... I love how it is a flower with little flowers inside of a flower!
This past week was filled with more harvesting in the garden. The squash are getting larger but none are big enough to pull yet. I've been getting fresh tomatoes almost daily and they are beyond delicious. I had forgotten how good they taste fresh off of the vine. I also tried a fun experiment with a tiny green tomato that fell off of the vine before it was ready. I placed it indoors on the counter, next to the ripe tomatoes, and guess what? It ripened! Pretty cool parlor trick if I do say so myself. It's also great to know that I can do this to rescue the last of the green tomatoes before the weather turns. Typically, I always lose the last few tomatoes because they just don't get enough time to ripen. Now, I'll now to hang on to at least one ripe tomato to help them along!
My harvest from today...
The weather has definitely turned to Autumn here on the lake. With crisp, quiet mornings and cool September nights. The sweetie person and I plan to pick up some supplies for s'mores this weekend when we're in town so we can have some fall evenings with a cozy fire, a blanket, and a treat! I'm really looking forward to those evenings. We love to sit and chat or sometimes sit in silence and watch the fire dance about. In case you're wondering, we are very safe with fire here in the forest. We have a bricked-off fire pit area, we keep a hose handy, and always keep it small. We most certainly don't want to contribute to the awful forest and brush fires that are all over Oregon and Northern California.
View from the deck one evening this week...
On Saturday, we attended what I'm calling a "Blackberry Fiesta" with many of the YaYas. Our sweet friend, Betty hosted an afternoon gathering at her house. The sweetie and I arrived via our trusty pontoon boat, Goldie (named after Goldie Hawn). We always boat over to a friend's house when possible - it not only adds an element of fun to the day, but is so much more relaxing than driving. As soon as we arrived, we could hear Betty's husband Gerry calling out from behind the trees. He hollered "on my way down to pick you up!" What service! Gerry showed up in one of their OHVs at the top of the stairs. There was only room for one of us at a time, so he told me to hop in and he'd be back to get the sweetie. The ladies were already out blackberry picking. We zipped up the hillside, over the driveway, made a quick left turn, and up the hill some more. It was like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland – but in all the best ways. We went around the bend and we saw the ladies just getting started, wahoo! I joined them and Gerry left to pick up the sweetie and "hang". We chatted more than we picked and had the best time.
When we were all spent looking for more ripe blackberries and done being scratched up by the thorns, we headed back to the house for a potluck. The theme was Mexican food and if you know me, you know I love Mexican food the MOST of all the foods. There were Betty's incredible creamy, shrimp enchiladas and Laurie's delicious chicken tortilla soup filled with tons of delicious veggies! Jeanette made Mexican wedding cookies and they were AMAZING. Marge brought spicy refried beans - YUM! Terry made homemade chipotle empanadas with hand-rolled dough - wow, so good! Susan brought guacamole that everyone raved about – I know, it's hard to think this girl from Cali doesn't like avocados but I just never could get a taste for them. There were chips and salsa and Betty & Gerry kept the margaritas flowing! I brought coconut chocolate mousse for dessert and Betty also made a home-made pumpkin cheesecake that was incredibly smooth and delicious.
We chatted about everything under the sun. We laughed. We drank our margaritas and enjoyed the delectable food. It was a gorgeous day out. Warm with clouds – as my sweetie likes to say "Nature's Sunglasses". When it was all over, we rode home in the Goldie as the sun set behind us. It was an absolutely fabulous day!
Boat ride home from Blackberry Fiesta!
(I didn't get any pics during the party - we were having too much fun!)
The rest of this week has been filled with work and projects around the house that need tending to before the rains come. I'm working on tiling an outdoor pub table – the tall sort of table for standing with cocktails or sitting on a tall bar stool. The table is one of the first real pieces of furniture I've ever owned that my mom purchased for me back when I had my first little rental house on my own. We brought it here, knowing we didn't have much room for it inside of our tiny cabin, but it's been a wonderful addition to the outdoors. A nice spot to sit and eat and I use it often as a potting bench since it's nice and tall and I don't have to hunch over when potting up a plant.
When we moved here, I sealed the wood with a clear sealer that I thought would hold up to the elements since it was made for flooring. Alas, it did not hold up and the top of the wood had become pretty weathered. I decided that I would tile the top of the table to preserve it and I found the most delightful iridescent orange glass tiles for it. The tiles change to hot pink and gold depending on the light they are in and the angle you are looking at them. The process was a bigger project than I thought it might be! I had to purchase a bit of wood to put on top of the original wood just to make sure the surface was as smooth as possible to lay the tiles on. I glued that down with Gorilla Wood Glue. Then realized I had to wait 24 hours for it to adhere fully and three more days for it to cure. I had to wait for that first bout of sciatica to clear up to get to adhere the tile to the top and I finally got to that about a week after I glued the wood down. Then I had the second bout of sciatica preventing me from finishing.
Yesterday, I knew the rain was coming this weekend and that I had better get that grout in there before the entire project was ruined. I mixed up an adobe-colored grout and went to work. My back was stiff as a board by the time I finished, but I got it done and rested with a PB&J for dinner in bed. We did decide to bring it indoors. I was too nervous that it would get damp outside last night as we often have coastal fog that rolls through in the evenings and early mornings. Now, it will need a good clean-off in a day or two once the grout is really set. I can't wait to show you the finished results! Here's a picture of it after the grout, and before the cleaning.
Pub table... grouted but not cleaned off yet
Other than all of that, this week has been filled with one of my favorite Autumn and Winter activities... kitty cuddles! It's that time of year when the cabin cools off enough for all of the cats to come closer and cuddle tight. Waking up slowly with kitty cuddles in the morning is one of life's treats! The purrs and the warmth and the coziness all give me an appreciation for the cooler seasons.
Rocky, my love
There is still lots more to be done before winter arrives but we have a couple of months to do it all. The hard part is many of those days will be rainy so it's back to getting outdoors as often as I can, whenever there is a break in the rain, to get things done! I've got plants to move indoors to the cabin and to the greenhouse. I've got plants to tidy up under the eve of the house (the ones that can stand the cooler weather but not all of the rain). I've got empty pots to clean up and tidy away. And I've got to finish getting my greenhouse "winter ready". I need to get a little heater in there, bring my little fan out there to keep the mold away, and get my light connected to power. I plan to spend some of the long, winter nights out there in the greenhouse with my little heater on and the light and do some crafting! I'm very excited about it because I can get a project out and not have to put it away until it's done. There isn't anywhere in the cabin that I can do that since we are in such tight quarters. I think it will make winter much more interesting and I'll be sure to share photos of whatever I get up to out there!
Here are a few pics of my little greenhouse. It got a new floor this year (it used to be dirt) and a new potting bench around 3 sides. Half will be for plants and the other half (facing the lake view) will be for my crafting.
My greenhouse with just the crafting moved in - plants will move in, in the coming weeks before it gets colder
Little iron bird planter I found at the thrift store - I got the cute blue pots from a sweet friend for my birthday last year and they fit perfectly into the planter!
Let there be light!
What are you doing this Fall to prepare for winter? Do you have lots of little projects? I would love to hear what you've gotten up to this past week as well! Let me know in the comments.
Looking for some Fall Fashions or Autumnal home decor? I've got some pretty things for you to peruse! Click here to see my Fall Collection.
Here are a couple of cute new products I created for my boutique this week...
(Choose from black, navy blue, or forest green hoodie)
Chicken Stack T-Shirt - yes, my first stack ever!