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The Simple life - Fall Gardening

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  • Sheryl Simons
    The Simple Life Fall Gardening The awesome colors of fall have given way to shades of dull brown. We are getting a few nice days to put our gardens to bed and
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 2003
      The Simple Life

      Fall Gardening

      The awesome colors of fall have given way to shades of dull
      brown. We are getting a few nice days to put our gardens to bed and
      get a few more bulbs planted for spring. We are also squirreling
      away some winter heat by spending a few days cutting wood in the
      quiet forest carpeted with fallen golden leaves.
      My beautiful Maple trees have lost all their leaves. The
      leaves have blown into the flowerbeds, so all that is left to do is
      remove a few weeds and put down the mulch. If I don't mulch, I will
      be pulling weeds all summer. Leaves make a great winter mulch.
      I don't mulch where I have reseeding annuals, though. I may
      have to pull a few weeds, but I leave room for the seeds to sprout
      each spring. Or, if you want to mulch reseeding annuals, go ahead
      and mulch, save some seeds, but remove the mulch in fall or early
      spring and sprinkle the seeds on the bare dirt. After the seeds
      have sprouted and are up a couple inches, you can re-mulch.
      Since the tree trimmers have gone through, some of our favorite
      neighbors are sharing the huge piles of chippings that were left
      behind on their property. The few leaves that are left in the yard
      will be chewed up by the last lawn mowing, or tossed on the garden
      to be tilled in.
      If you are short on leaves, visiting any town you can probably
      find bagged leaves near the curbs, free for the taking – or you
      might offer to take the kids and rake an elderly persons yard –
      maybe a grandparent or church friend. What a great way to spend a
      Saturday afternoon. Ask the kids to bring their friends and make a
      real party of it. You might be surprised to find that some
      neighborhood kids love to help out with a `family fun' project.
      Throw in some homemade cookies and cider and donuts just for fun!

      * * *
      Our hearts go out to the people of Southern California and the
      devastating fires that are destroying homes and even lives. Houses
      can be rebuilt, but many things cannot be replaced. Times like this
      make us all think about the important things in life. We pray for
      the firefighters, volunteers, and families who are homeless. The
      incredible thing is the people who are brought together to help each
      other who were strangers but are now friends.
      Living in the woods can be a great thing until a fire comes
      along. Keeping brush cleared away and having a clearing around your
      home is important. Trees look nice around your home, but they don't
      look nice in a fire. Keep dead and down trees and branches cleaned
      up. It's the dry wood that fuels the hot fires. Home insurance is
      a necessity and even rental insurance is very cheap – often less
      than $100. a year – much cheaper than losing everything. If you
      have a large amount of woods, consider a select cut to harvest
      mature trees and make a little profit. A neighbor of mine hired a
      forest expert to mark the trees for cutting. Some trees were marked
      for saving, and others for cutting. This way you will have an
      honest estimate of the value of your woods. For a logger who has a
      dependable reputation, call the county extension office for
      suggestions or check with neighbors who have had their property
      logged. Many have lost thousands of dollars when they were never
      paid for wood harvested from their property.
      * * *
      Adoption

      Lately I have been working with some wonderful foster
      families. I am so incredibly impressed with these families. They
      have opened their home and hearts to children that could not, for
      some reason, be cared for by their own families. I visited with one
      of these families, recently. This couple has 5 children of their
      own between them, from previous marriages. These older children are
      all out on their own. They have adopted 6 younger children who are
      all in grade school or jr. high. Now they have two little ones,
      siblings, one and two years old, who they also hope to adopt and
      complete their family. These are beautiful, happy children. As I
      watched the older children arrive home from school, they ran to play
      with the babies. One of the grandmothers lives with them and helps
      care for the kids during the day. Both parents have careers outside
      the home. Not all of these children were babies when they came to
      live with this family, but that's exactly what they have become – a
      family.
      We hear so much about high adoption costs, but by becoming
      foster parents, you are given the first chance to adopt a child in
      your home when he becomes adoptable. Some people considering
      adoption discount foster care as a way of becoming adoptive parents
      thinking that it would be so hard if a child was removed from their
      home. I have another way of looking at it. If God puts a child in
      your home for 10 days or 10 years, that is your chance to nurture
      and guide that child. You are not responsible for the rest. Don't
      we have to do that with our birth children, as well? We have no
      guarantees with any children in our care. Contrary to rumors,
      there are many newborns and young children who end up being adopted
      through the foster care system. There are many older children who
      would love to be adopted, as well. With so many children needing
      good foster and adoptive homes foster care just might be an avenue
      toward adoption that more people might want to consider. Becoming a
      parent is a lesson in trust no matter how you become a parent.
      * * *



      Pumpkin Pancakes

      2 eggs
      1-1/4 cups buttermilk
      4 tbsp. butter, melted
      3 tbsp. canned pumpkin
      1/4 cup granulated sugar
      1/4 tsp. salt
      1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
      1/2 tsp. baking powder
      1/2 tsp. baking soda
      1/4 tsp. cinnamon
      1/4 tsp. allspice

      1. Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with oil cooking
      spray.
      2. Combine eggs, buttermilk, butter, pumpkin, sugar, and salt in a
      large bowl. Use an electric mixer to blend ingredients.
      3. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Add dry ingredients
      to wet ingredients and blend with mixer until smooth.
      4. Pour the batter in 1/4 cup portions into the hot pan. Should form
      5-inch circles.
      4. When the batter stops bubbling and edges begin to harden, flip the
      pancakes. They should be dark brown. This will take from 1 to 2
      minutes.
      5. Flip the pancakes and cook other side for the same amount of time,
      until dark brown. Serves 3 to 4.
      From International House of Pancakes Recipe Book

      If you have run out of brown sugar, create a substitute!
      Using white sugar, begin adding molasses to it,
      combining with a fork. Continue to add molasses until
      desired darkness is achieved

      Baked Pumpkin Seeds

      2 cups pumpkin seed
      2 tablespoons light cooking oil (vegetable, peanut, or other)
      1 teaspoon spice (cayenne, garlic powder, cumin, curry, or any
      favorite -more or less to taste)
      1 teaspoon salt

      Preheat oven to 350? F. Remove seeds from pumpkin and rinse with
      water to remove any remaining pulp. Dry seeds between two paper
      towels. Mix oil with spices and/or salt, and toss mixture with
      seeds. Spread seeds over a bakingsheet. Bake seeds approximately 30
      minutes or until crisp and very lightlybrowned, tossing occasionally.

      Simple Wisdom

      "Knowing your purpose simplifies your life. It defines what you do
      and what you don't do. Your purpose becomes the standard you use to
      evaluate which activities are essential
      and which aren't." ~~ Rick Warren

      May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing
      in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. ~~ Psalm 19:14

      Keeping things Simple,
      Sheryl
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