Hello my forgotten blog!

I’m dusting off the old laptop (after first taking it back from the teenaged son who has hijacked it all summer), and flexing my fingers, and trying to rid my brain of the cobwebs that have grown from lack of writing all summer.

Fall is slowly rolling in and with it, my thoughts turn to apple dumplings, pumpkins, crisp cool days, falling leaves, and writing on my blog.

Today was our first day back to school. The weather is mild and porch season has begun, and that’s where I am, with a candle lit to keep away the mosquitoes, pencil in hand, a cool drink, and children playing in the yard in front of me. I am writing down my thoughts, which I will later type into the computer and share with you all. It has been a nice break, but I miss my little spot here on the web.

An update is in order, so I’ll be back later to catch you up on what we’ve been doing. I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you all again!

Blessings,
Nancy

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Autumn Beauty

A rainy morning brought in some cooler weather this afternoon. I went out for the mail and was captivated by the beauty of the colors of the trees and the yellow leaves laying all over the ground. I pulled out the camera and took a few pictures.

It seems like the last few days the trees have really started to turn. Most of the trees around our property turn yellow in the autumn, except for the Crepe Myrtles by the house that turn a beautiful fiery red around the end of November each year. The pond area is especially beautiful with all of the trees turning and falling down into the pond. The pond is very low right now due to our drought this summer, but the banks of the pond are covered in yellow leaves – a lovely sight!

I love when the leaves start to fall all over the driveway each year. By a few weeks from now there will be a thick blanket of leaves here ~

It was a very nice walk out to the mailbox. The changing seasons are such a wonderful blessing from the Lord! Are the leaves changing where you are?

Blessings,
Nancy

A delightful change in the weather . . .

Today, for the first time in what seems like months (and maybe is!) we woke up to a nice soaking rain. We broke the record yesterday for the most 100 degree days in one summer, and to go along with all that heat, we’ve been experiencing drought conditions. All I can remember seeing all summer long was a couple of drops of rain, maybe on two different days. This morning the skies were cloudy, some thunder rumbled overhead, and finally the rain came. The sound of the thunder was like an old friend returning from a long time away. The forecast is for possible showers each day for the next week – a welcome change!

The rain cleared up by afternoon, and the kids and I sat out under the trees sketching nature pictures, and it was very pleasant. After dinner we were back outside, me on the porch, and the kids playing on the swings and trampoline. We are inside now, driven in by the dark, but are looking forward to many more days spent outdoors in the coming weeks!

Blessings,
Nancy

Welcome September!

I’m so happy to welcome the month of September every year! The searing heat of August is probably the reason, leading me to crave the coolness of fall. And while September 1st doesn’t necessarily mean instant cool weather – it’s 102 degrees today! – it does give me hope . . . hope that fall really is coming around the corner, bringing with it all of the bounty that I am so looking forward to. So, every year on September 1st, I feel a bit like celebrating. I won’t be bringing out the decorations yet, but I will endure the heat with a little lighter step, knowing that its time is running out.

Blessings,
Nancy

Warm Caramel Apple Cake

This is a recipe that is in the Betty Crocker 2010 calendar for the month of September. It looked so yummy I had to try it. It did turn out to be quite yummy, and a wondeful addition to my Fall dessert recipe file.

I only took a few pictures of this one, after it was already baked and ready to eat, so I’ll just give you the recipe and then tack the pictures on at the end.

Warm Caramel Apple Cake

Cake Ingredients
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 large cooking apples – peeled, cored and thinly sliced (about 2 1/3 cups)
1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice

Topping Ingredients
2/3 cup Betty Crocker Whipped fluffy white frosting (from 12 oz. container)
1/2 cup frozen (thawed) whipped topping
Caramel topping, if desired

Baking Instructions
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In 1 qt. heavy saucepan, cook butter, whipping cream and brown sugar over low heat, stirring occasionally, just until butter is melted. Pour into 13 x 9 inch pan. Sprinkle with pecans; top with sliced apples.

2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, eggs and apple pie spice with electric mixer on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Carefully spoon batter over apple mixture.

3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Loosen sides of cake from pan. Place heatproof serving platter upside down on pan; carefully turn platter and pan over. Let pan remain over cake about 1 minute so caramel can drizzle over cake. Remove pan.

4. In small bowl, mix frosting and whipped topping. Serve warm cake topped with frosting mixture and drizzled with caramel topping.

I did not use the white frosting in my topping, but rather I used the remaining whipping cream in the carton and whipped up some homemade whipped cream to serve on top. We also did not drizzle caramel topping on ours, but it would be extra delicious with it, I’m sure.

Blessings,
Nancy

Fall Decoration

We’re all decked out now in Fall decoration, so I thought I’d share some of them with you. The picture above was taken on the front porch. The white bench is one that I found this summer in an antique store. It is really special to me because it is just like one that my grandmother had on her screened porch. My cousins and siblings and I used to sit on it and play cards and visit. I was so excited when I found it! The pumpkins add a special touch of Fall to this special bench.

Next to the front door, I have placed my annual pumpkin in the ladder back chair. I just love the way it looks, and so I place a large pumpkin here every year ~

Around back I have placed two pumpkins by the white picket fence – another annual decoration ~

Coming in the back door ~ there is a new Fall rug just inside the door. I love the gingham and pumpkins on this rug ~

Here are a few pictures of the Autumn decorations scattered around the living room ~

Into the dining room and kitchen ~

And finally, you can even see a touch of Fall in my quilt basket – this fabric makes me happy!

How are you coming with your decorations?

Blessings,
Nancy

Welcome September!!

September blew in Fall yesterday, which I am more than a little excited about! It was a rainy day with cooler temperatures, and today looks to be the same way. Usually gray days make it hard for me to get going, whereas bright, sunny days give me lots of energy. The only exception to this rule is the first days of Fall – when the kind of weather we’re having now has just the opposite effect – I am all excited about digging into the projects around here and can hardly sit still.

Now, I know that it is not “officially” Fall yet, but for all intensive purposes, mine anyway, it is. When the weather starts to change, and the trees are looking old and tired, and school starts back (next week) – to me that’s Fall!

So, I’m in a celebratory mood and I say “Welcome September – Welcome Fall!”

Hope things are changing around your area too!

Blessings,
Nancy