Fall Has Arrived...Finally!

Just when we thought it would be Summer forever...and ever..., Fall put in an appearance here in the Piedmont of NC. Instead of temperatures in the 80's and 90's (!) during the day, we've had more seasonable 60's and 70's. And, the night-time temps have even dipped into the 40's. Ahh...much better.


The football games we've attended have all been scorchers. Not score-wise, mind you, 'cause we are fans of the Duke Blue Devils (scoring a touchdown...finally...in their game against Miami over there in that photo, left...you don't want to know the final score), the Carolina Panthers, and the Memphis Tigers...none of which are threatening to win a single game, much less have a winning season. Sigh.

No, temp.-wise. Mr. T donned his Duke sweatshirt on Saturday, saying it was a little chilly outside when he took his morning Coffee Walk in the garden; so, I followed suit and found a sweater to layer over my Duke T-shirt.

Did not need either one of those toppers! As soon as I sat down in Section 20 at Wallace Wade Stadium, I shed that sweater...and started wishing I'd remembered to use some sunscreen on my exposed arms. Fortunately, my face was covered, shall we say, since my make-up has SPF 15, and I had remembered to wear my new sun-visor I got in Hawaii. Mr. T did the manly-man thing and kept his sweatshirt in place...although I noticed he pushed the sleeves up as high as he could. He had a baseball cap to keep the blazing afternoon sun out of his eyes, but he said it was too hot on his head. Whew!

"So why do you even go to those games, if you know your team's likely to lose?" I was asked that by a friend recently. Well, simply put, I like football. What can I say? It's a Southern thing, where football has been compared to religion in this region of the country. Grew up going to Tiger games, always anticipating a winning season...or, at best, a win over Ole Miss. I like to think that contributed to my positive outlook on life. Hope springing eternal and all...anything being possible if you want it bad enough. Right.

Anyway, in my advanced age, I've embraced the whole pre-game rite known at Tailgating. What fun! We've about got it down to a science, too.

  1. Ice down the cooler.

  2. Add cold drinks from the 'fridge. Bag up some extra ice for those team-color Dixie cups.

  3. Either pack sandwiches, salads, 'n chips...or plan to pick up some fried chicken 'n fixin's on the way (depending on what the weather is...hot or cold). [Hot foods require another cooler to keep them warm.] Mr. T is not a fan of fooling with charcoal away from home, so grilling is not on our menu.

  4. Don't forget the cookies...or cupcakes...or, some kind of dessert.

  5. Grab the picnic basket, which stays packed with all those necessities: plates, napkins, salt 'n pepper...even a cheese board and knife, red-checked cloth napkins and tablecloth, along with a corkscrew, if we want to get a bit fancy. [I'm a fan of fancy...:)]

  6. Toss the folding camp chairs and table in the back of the car, along with a couple of blankets and our gel-pack stadium seats (which can be pre-warmed in the microwave, if it is a really cold day...:).

  7. Plug in the I-pod, on which I've created music mixes for game day...go [insert team mascot name here]!

  8. Arrive at least an hour ahead of kick-off and find a parking space where you can enjoy all the above...and soak in some of the atmosphere.

  9. Have fun!

Of course, Fall isn't all about football fun. This year, it's been about a productive Fall veggie garden, too. I am so thrilled with our success with this first-time adventure that I can't wait to go out each day on the Coffee Walk...almost like I was in the early Spring!

As you can see in that photo (right), the turnip greens (Seven Tops, in case you are wondering what I planted; they are good for just the greens, which is the only part N/M/E and I like...not the turnips) have taken center stage. The peppers are still producing, especially the cayennes, which are loaded with red-hots. I've put up about 10 jars of pepper sauce, so far (see same photo...:)

And, I've dug up over a bushel-basket full of sweet potatoes already...with many more still growing in the ground. I think I've shared this photo (below, left) with you before, but it's the only one I have of this harvest...so far.

It appears that every single one of the 57 onion sets I planted recently will make it, with lots of slender green shoots dotting the four rows. The broccoli plants I put in are all healthy looking, although I've yet to see evidence of actual broccoli heads...since I've never grown broccoli, I'm not really sure what to look for anyway. The English (or garden) peas are producing quite spectacularly, albeit with small daily yields due to the small number of seeds I planted; makes me certain that I will plant more of these babies next August! And, the lettuce and spinach are supplying enough for satisfying salads at least a couple times a week. So tender...so tasty!

Meanwhile, I'm doing some prep work for an upcoming challenge. Yes, if Fall has arrived, then November can't be far behind. Time for the Annual NaNoWriMo! You can follow that link to learn more about it, or I'll give you the synopsis: 30 days of November = 50,000 words = 175 page novel. This year will be my third year to participate...and it will be the first year I win! (Don't you just love unbridled enthusiasm?) You "win" NaNo by writing a 50,000 word novel and submitting it for verification/word count on or before midnight November 30th. So, if you don't hear from me for say, oh 30 days or so, don't be concerned. I'm writing...and writing...and writing...etc.

Of course, when I'm not going to football games, gardening, or writing, I'm knitting...another fun Fall activity. I need to get some "before" and "during" shots of my current projects to share with you. I'll be sure and do just that, as soon as I can find some extra time...

NOTE: This post was composed using the "old" editor setting on Blogger, due to a glitch in their "new" editor involving the uploading of photos. Blah, blah, blah...[insert lots of technical jargon here]...bottom line: where there's a will, you can always find a way. Perserverance, determination...and being just a tad stubborn...help!


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