Posted by: Valerie | October 3, 2010

Of golds and reds – and blue?

 It’s October and for the first time this autumn we have had to put the heating on. And for the first time this fall we have had a frost. Of course I had a couple of house plants outside still and one of them has suffered a mortal blow. Ah well, easy come, easy go.

Did you ever see a truly blue house? The next house down the road from us is really and truly blue – the neighbour admitted that he is colour blind! Usually I find it a bit of an eyesore but with the fall leaves behind, it is really quite spectacular.

Our blue neighbour

Right now, at the time of writing I am suffering from a surfeit of apple crumble. We have been harvesting the apples and there are soooo many, although perhaps less than previous years. We have already given generously to the neighbours and almost every evening we have been eating apples in some form. On top of the crumble we have a concoction of my own devising which is plain yoghurt strained and mixed with a spoonful of apple butter. Oh, too yummy!

Seemed to have been a busy week since I last posted. Our quarry rehab guy turned up again on Tuesday in an absolute a deluge, accompanied by a young forestry expert called Samantha. Joe went along with them( Joe really hates to be wet!) to mark scratty poplars to be removed and explained their plans for stabilizing the sandy slopes at one section and how they are going to plant mainly hemlock and spruce which grow well. This will fill in some spaces that Joe and Pam missed when they planted 3,000! The rehab guy, Paul, also had a great idea and on the flat open part of the back lot they are going to spread straw to give some organic matter and hopefully encourage wild grasses to grow. All this is going to happen before the snow – yahoo!

On the subject of our back lot, we are absolutely infested with mushrooms. They are everywhere! There are tiny ones and great big slimy ones and everything in between – even some that look edible. Honestly we have thousands and thousands of the things. I lay down flat on my stomach to take a photo yesterday and found my clothes plastered in squashed mushroom slime.

For those who are interested in this sort of thing, our water problems are on the way to being solved. The well guy has installed a filter to keep the sand at bay – now the water softener guy has to come and reinstall the system so that we are not bathing in soap scum. Personally I am totally bored with the topic of water systems. I’m sure you are too.

In spite of all the problems of an old house, when Joe and I were walking in the woods this afternoon we looked at each other and said “We don’t want to move, do we!” But it’s easy to feel that way on a bright and shiny autumn afternoon.

We have been dismally expecting a visit from Joe’s daughter Liz and her husband tomorrow as their ancient dog Winston was going to be put down on Monday and buried here with the other family dogs. However he must have got wind of this because he has perked right up and is eating voraciously although he is somewhat shy of turning cartwheels! Saying goodbye to our animals is an emotional ordeal and one almost all of us has had to face at some time. Sniff. Anyhow Winston lives on! Go, Winston!


Tuesday the water softener guy, as already mentioned, then Wednesday the bat man cometh to clean the old bat droppings and reinsulate the ceilings. Wish Joe had reminded me about that before I spent half the day (or so it seemed) cleaning and vacuuming up there today. My office has been completely reorganized and I can’t remember it ever being so neat and tidy. I am not at all sure I will be comfortable working in there. It even smells better although I am sure it didn’t pong before.

On Wednesday I’ve got a lunch date with two old girls (both over 80) who are extremely spry and have better social lives that I do! Both ladies are English in origin and both are full of stories so it will be enjoyable.

All in all, life has been busy but rather dull. Faced with writing a blog post about nothing much I have been tempted to make up something more entertaining. I haven’t succumbed to the temptation yet but you will probably be able to tell if I do.

In the meanwhile I have made a web album of photos taken on our autumn walks and mini expeditions.

Here is the link


  1. Good grief, Val … why would a blue house be an eyesore? To the contrary such a house should brighten up the boring sight of the endless vistas of today’s lookalike houses. They don’t have that yen for visual conformity down East and are better for it.

    I envy your ability to roll about in fields of Shrooms! Here, the buggers have tapered off in anticipation of a long, dark winter.

    Rest assured that I can help you get rid of your apples so please bring some the next time you are in Ottawa. Fruit, sauce, butter, pies, crumble – I’m not fussy.

  2. Autumn is here–the temp dropped to 80 degrees. Blackberry and apple crumble was my favorite–do you get hedgerow blackberries?

  3. I love most any kind of apple baked – crumble, pie, you name it. I’ve been saying lately that I crave pie but I haven’t made any. I have yet to find a store-bought pie that was anywhere near as good as mine. So I don’t get any pie unless I make it.

    • Ain’t that a bitch? I’ll think you some apple crumble and if I come to Ottawa before they are all gone, I’ll bring some apples with me.

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