Before Summer's End
- The Simple Life
After a hot summer day, as the evening pleasantly cooled,
Richard and I puttered around the yard. We've been enjoying picking
the corn as it ripens, the tomatoes that ripen daily, faster than I
can can them, and watering the fall crops of pumpkins, squash, and
cabbages that grow larger each day. Richard was telling me about
the Bald Eagle that sat on a tree branch in the field behind the
house early this morning, along with several crows, who looked like
midgets along side him.
I told him about my day, a fun day spent with my cousin
Dawn, who lives a couple hours away. We took a day and met in the
middle and just wandered aimlessly through some downtown shops as we
talked and caught up. A mini-retreat that was so nice.
Dawn and I are both in the "empty nest" stage, learning
how to live as people without children. Sometimes it feels like we
are eagles soaring in the wind and other times we feel like we are
missing a limb. Ah, well, such is life. We both are facing
possible career changes and there are always family situations to
discuss. We cleverly agreed that no family is without problems,
unless, of course they are riding the river of denial. Ha. We even
had a few laughs.
Back at home, I decided that two of the nice orange pumpkins
needed to picked before the deer started trampling them with their
sharp hooves, to get to the sweet inside meat, as they did at our
As I watered the remaining pumpkins, I pulled a few weeds.
I thought of how much gardening is like raising children, with not
nearly as much at stake, of course. We try to keep the weeds pulled
from their lives, we water them, feed them, cover them when the
nights get cold and try to point them in the right direction. We
pray for them, and sometimes worry over them, we try to protect them
without fencing them in, but, ultimately, they will grow in their
own directions, all on their own. We'd like to think that if we do
a good job, they will grow straight and tall, and produce fruit of
their own. There are no guarantees in gardens, or children.
One family I know they "date" their children. Starting at
elementary age, Dad takes his daughters out occasionally, opening
doors for them, using his best manners, and while enjoying time with
them, he is also teaching them how to expect to be treated when the
young men begin to wander into their lives.
Mom takes her son to dinner, and teaching him how to treat a
lady. All these lucky children will one day be better adults for
their "dates" with mom or dad. What a respectful way to make your
children feel loved and special. Such a simple idea, with such
* * *
Find a purpose in life so big it will challenge every capacity to be
at your best. ~~
David O. McKay
Self-respect is to the soul as oxygen is to the body. Deprive a
person of oxygen, and you kill his body; deprive him of self-
respect, and you kill his spirit. ~~Thomas S. Szasz
* * *
We had a picnic Sunday afternoon with some recipes that I
have to share with you. My friend Deane bakes the BEST onion bread,
and we practically had a riot over the delicious slices. Here is
her onion bread recipe: She uses her bread machine to mix the
bread, but makes it into two loaves before rising and baking the
final time, baking in bread pans in her oven: (If mixing without a
bread machine, add wet ingredients, yeast and then dry ingredients.
Deanne Down's Onion Bread
1 1/2 cups hot water 4 c bread flour
2 T oil 1 pkg yeast
1 t lemon juice 1/ 4 c sugar
2 t salt
2 T dry milk
After 20 minutes add 1 c chopped onions (save a few sprinkles for
the top) (if mixing by hand, add with flour). When finished rising,
make loaves, brush with egg white, and sprinkle with reserved
onions. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush
with margarine or butter. For plain bread, omit onions.
I experimented with some salsa this past week, boldly letting the
neighbors be the judge of the result. I was trying to come up with
something close to the bean and corn salsa from Meijers. After
looking at many recipes, here is the recipe that I made up, and it
wasn't bad! One person suggested he'd like it hotter, (add
jalapenos) and one person said she liked the vinegar, but I thought
next time I'd decrease the vinegar to 1 cup instead of two. It is a
good sweet salsa, tho.
Sheryl's Simple Salsa
2 pecks tomatoes, peeled and chopped
several onions and peppers chopped (peppers seeded)
1/2 t grd. Cloves
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 T salt
2 T celery salt
2 t cinnamon
1 t cumin
2 c black beans
corn cut from 2 lg ears
1 (or 2) cups vinegar
Simmer until thickened. Can. Makes about 7 pints.
For a fun summer's end invite friends, neighbors, family (go to a
park for a REALLY easy party), invite everyone to bring their own
grill meat, and a favorite recipe to pass. Have a cider party.
Have a party after dark to look at the stars, take the kids to a
fall festival - what ever you decide to do - HAVE Some Simple FUN!
Notes from our Readers:
Yes, a recipe exchange would be great! Also, gardening ideas. I
don't have a garden yet as I live in an apartment but I would love
to store ideas for the time when I do!
How 'bout it? Maybe this week you want to send YOUR fav salsa
recipe, or another fall favorite.
Please do! I will post them under Files in the Recipe section!
Thanks all! Send your favorite family activity, as well!
Have a great week and.........
Keeping it Simple,