Fall is Falling

Temperatures have dropped. Vegetation is changing colors. It rained three different days last week.

Sweaters, jackets, and long-sleeved shirts have all been unpacked from the last of the big closet boxes in the garage.

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies were baked and we ate them all in 48 hours.

Also, I baked a loaf of whole wheat bread, but it was an epic fail because I was distracted and added dark corn syrup instead of molasses for the sweetener. The dough was weird, but I didn't figure out mistake until the molasses bottle on the counter triggered the realization that it was NOT the one I used when I was mixing the dough. Discarded the whole wheat brick I chipped out of the pan after baking it and bought a soft loaf at the store. It doesn't have the desired effect of filling the house with the smell of baking bread, but at least now there is some decent toast for breakfast.

The kitchen is in disarray (again) (some more). My plan was to shift things to their proper places now that I know where the silverware and plates and cups really should go. I have looked for them enough times in the WRONG cupboard that I have determined it is really the RIGHT cupboard so they must be moved. However, my best laid plans have been interrupted by an ant invasion in pantry. So every flat surface is covered with stuff that can't be put away until ant eradication is complete.

So I guess it's a good thing we ate all the cookies before the ants moved in.

Speaking of treats, we hope Owlbert is eating the gophers in our backyard. Mr. Last spotted him/her swooping around from tree to tree a few nights ago, and we are very happy to have him/her in the neighborhood. 

We think s/he's a barn owl who lives in the tall eucalytus tree in the back of the lot, but we haven't been able to spot her/his hidey-hole just yet.

This weekend we got three loads of laundry washed, dried, and put away. Another stretch of the back forty was cleared for future landscaping and planting. Two liters of pomegranate juice was squeezed in preparation for jelly-making.

The White Dog got a cushy extra-large chew-resistant doggy bed. We noticed he gets stiff and rises slowly lately, just like the rest of us, and thought perhaps a little cushioning for his old bones might be comfy. No attempts to chew it to pieces have been made yet, so perhaps it is indeed appreciated.

So. That's the update from here. What's up in your neck of the woods?


  1. Well fall is long gone here. Snow followed us both to Logan and back home again. Can't say I'm thrilled.

    I'm interested in the pomegranate jelly... how do you make it and do you need oodles of poms or are a few enough for a jar or two? We have some and they intimidate most of the inhabitants of the house- though I'm happy to eat them as they are.

    Glad The White Dog appreciates a little TLC.

    Love you.

  2. We juiced 10-12 poms. Some small but most were softball size. The juice will make a batch of maybe 8 to 10 little pints of jelly for gifts. Hate to discourage you, but it's very time intensive to pick all the arils (juicy seeds) out. Mr. Last and a big bowl of water at the sink is my secret weapon there. The other secret weapon is a very spendy commercial juicer he purchased. It hasn't been a thrifty or economical endeavor -- more of a satisfying hobby, but we plan to increase jelly production each year, eventually from our own poms.

    If it was a Little Red Hen production, I'd never do it. It takes lots of patience. Mr. Last is a good worker and great encourager. He gets me to do all kinds of unthinkable things: hike Mt. Whitney, make pomegranate jelly, fold laundry. He makes long, tedious jobs fun. I don't know how. Magic?

  3. Does your "barn owl" ever make a lot of noise at night with loud screeches or does she fly around in circles doing relatively quiet clicking sounds? The ones we have in our neighborhood do that and I like to go outside and watch them. They have a big wing span. One Sunday morning we found a baby one(very fluffy owlette) on our front door step huddled in a corner. There was no way for us to return him/her up into the high nest in our palm tree where it came from so we carefully put him in an aquarium and took him to a wildlife shelter in our community as soon as we could find one open. He was so cute and we took pictures of him but had to be very careful in how we handled him because he, of course, was very afraid of us and baby barns owls have very sharp beaks and tallons. The poor thing was also very hungry and kept begging us to feed it. If you end up with baby barn owls in you're yard you will find they call their parents loudly at night because they grow fast and are very hungry - and they can be very persistent in calling their parents!! We weren't sure what all that loud noise at night was about the first time we heard it but we got used to it and have enjoyed the owls ever since. Protect them if you can. They are precious.