August 20th is Fascinating

Hello friends!

It’s fall, y’all!

Okay, it’s not, and I’m sorry, but now it’s out of my system. But I’m fully bought in on flannel, coffee, pumpkins, baked goods, and sitting down to write the next great American novel (because that’s what you do all autumn long yes? Along with crocheting cute things and cuddling everything with any body heat at all?). I’m preparing, I’ll be ready for the full autumn experience.

Realistically, it is not quite yet fall, and realistically, I’m very okay with a longer slope into fall that allows me to hold on to my summer times just a little longer, but August 20th has hit, and despite the fact that it catches me off guard every year, I’ve learned that’s the cutoff day.

Do I sound crazy? Let me explain.

When you live in rural areas, you learn very quickly to put little stock in your tv forecast and much stock in your local farmer’s feelings on the subject. Most TV forecasters are lovely humans who are primarily focused on the areas in which their prime viewership lives, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, in fact, it makes sense to share information about where it will do the most good, but it doesn’t always help us that live way out in the boonies. So, often our weather is a little different than they suggest on the tv.

On the other hand, the farmers, ranchers, and random old gentlemen who make a habit of coming into town to have coffee and reminisce? They have it on lock. They can tell you what the forecast will bring, if it needs prepping for, and how much snow you should plan to shovel just by the look of that one tree on the south side of their farm or the way the crickets chortled that morning. One guy will say the arthritis in his knee says rain, and the other will tell you the cattle talk of storms rolling in.

“Mooooom, it’s too early to wooooork, and it’s coooooold! Moooooom, you’re the woooooorst!! ….Can I have cookies and a brush though? I’m awful cute and definitely deserve it” – Nellie, anytime I try to work them before 8 am lately

My family has its own legends on how to tell the weather, there’s a specific mountain peak I wait to clear before I plant my garden, and I learned to listen to the wind’s whistled tone for potential storms coming, as well as watching how the animals act to see if it’ll be a dry or wet storm. When the birds’ nest in, you should too, and if you walk out and the air is just all sorts of wrong, it’s time to secure everything, high wind is on its way. But the biggest and by far the most reliable legend, says that the weather fundamentally changes on August 20th each year, at least here in the valley, and no matter how long the summer lasts, after that day the nights really start getting longer and colder in earnest, the plants make plans to rest, and your sunny warm days are numbered. It’s been right on time every year thus far, and I don’t think it’ll change any time soon.

Ro wants you to know that she was totally justified in trying to steal cookies through the fence, and alsoI’m very mean for not moving the scary tarp that came undone in the wind storm again.

The valley is that orange soft fall wrapped up in warm nostalgia and slightly burned coffee. Absolutely full of fresh harvests, warm drinks, farmer’s markets and hayrides. Fall festivals and bazaars and anything else you can think of. I am very excited about the prospect of peach cobbler. I make it homemade, and not many each year because it’s a lot of work to peel the peaches, but it is my uncle’s favorite thing. Last year I prepped all my peaches, got everything put together, it smelled so good, everything was perfect…… and then I dropped it pulling it from the oven and spilled the whole unset thing on the bottom of the oven. I cried, my house stunk like burning peaches, and I didn’t try again. Luckily the dish itself survived to bake another day. So, this year, everyone is very excited for my peach cobbler since it’s two years waiting, and I’ve had several people offer to put it in and take it out of the oven for me, so I’m all covered there.

I’ve also got several requests for pumpkin bread. That isn’t a specifically fall recipe, but it is a much more common occurrence in the fall. The flavors just make sense during the cooling, blustery months. It’s my mom’s old recipe, I think she probably got it from my grandma, but I am honestly not certain. It’s super easy, I made the mistake of teaching my younger brother to make it and every once in a great while, I come home to a disaster kitchen and loaves upon loaves of bread. At least he’s good at it so it’s tasty.

My brother has a much appreciated habit of sending me animal photos when he knows I’m in a scary or stressful meeting. This was a rare Joe-Scooby cuddle, when they share a bed, you know it’s getting chilly. Photo Credits to Christopher

Well, I’ve thoroughly made myself hungry, so I think I’ll wrap it here. Maybe when I get around to some baking, I’ll also get around to some recipe sharing, and some photos. Life should be slowing down, and I should be out of the sling and more independent again soon, which will hopefully mean taking my actual DSLR out and about again. Such a pleasant thought.

Until we chat again, my friends!

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