So, I got those zinnias I wanted… Aren’t they pretty? I went to Hillview Farms yesterday, wandered into their little shop, and was told that they didn’t have any flowers already cut. I got a pair of scissors and a bushel basket and hiked out to the field to cut my own. I was kicking myself for not bringing the camera along – I saw so many beautiful butterflies, and a tiny furry creature that may have been a baby mouse, or possibly a baby rabbit. It was tiny, dark gray, and sitting outside of its hole. Cute little thing, and it didn’t even think to run away when I got close.
The flowers look so pretty on my coffee table. Zinnias are kind of a tradition for me. Years ago, when I worked at GAF, I would often stop on my way home in late summer/early fall, and buy a bunch like these. There was one lady who sold them at her house – you pulled in the driveway, beeped the horn, and she’d come out and sell you a small bouquet for $5. If I took a different route home, past a small farm, there used to be a cart out on the lawn where they’d have self-serve flowers. You could take a bunch and leave $5 in the box. I haven’t had a job to drive home from in 7 years, and so there haven’t been many spur-of-the-moment late summer bouquets around the house during that time, and I’ve missed them!
I also picked up a basket of apples while I was at the farm yesterday. It’s just not September without apples! I was told these are Honeycrisps, which is a new variety that’s pretty much got it all – sweet, tart, crispy, juicy, good for eating, good for baking – everything! After that endorsement, I couldn’t wait to try them, and I ate one on my way home. They were everything the apple lady said they were. Well, except “good for baking”- I have yet to test that claim, but I will, and I’m sure they’ll pass! I just need to figure out what to make with them. There’s always the old Apple Crisp standby, which I love, but it might not be the best thing for my waistline right now Neil suggested Baked Apples like we had at The Blue Violet Mansion in Napa, CA on our honeymoon, 12+ years ago. I’d forgotten all about those. If I can find a good recipe, maybe I’ll make them for breakfast tomorrow. It would be a nice change of pace from our usual granola bar or Pop Tart breakfasts.
I joined ArtsyMama’s Sweet & Sinister Swap last week. It’s the first of its kind for me. I’ve done polymer clay swaps before, where you make 15 of the same thing, send them all to the swapmeister, and get back a package with 15 different things within the swap theme that other people made. This swap is different, in that it’s a one-on-one thing. I was assigned a partner, and now we have until October 1st to mail each other a box of items that fit the swap theme. This is going to be a challenge – staying within budget ($15) and finding things that fit the theme (something sweet, something sinister, something handmade, and something home decor-ish). Oh, and did I mention that everything has to be black & white? I know what I want to do for something sweet. As for the rest, maybe I can just handmake a piece of sinister home decor and kill three birds with one stone
I’m thinking some books & magazines might help me get a handle on what I want to do. I’ve never been a huge Halloween fan, but something about the vintage-creepy feel of this swap appealed to me, and I’d like to focus on that. That look is not really my forte, so it’s a bit of a challenge. Coincidentally, Somerset Holidays & Celebrations showed up last week. If anybody’s got vintage-creepy down, the folks at Stampington do. I flipped through it once, but I’m definitely going to have to go back to it again and see if anything sparks some ideas. I am also pretty sure I have a creepy Martha Stewart Halloween book around here somewhere that has got to have something worthwhile in it.
So, anyway, between the zinnias, the apples, and the swap, it’s looking like summer is fading fast around here. The boys start school next week, and already the early mornings and late nights have been sweater-worthy. My feet, which are up on my desk right now, barefoot, are feeling a little chilly as we speak. Oh, poor toes, the day is coming when you will be confined to socks. Enjoy your freedom now, little ones, and when the time comes to envelop you in warmth, I promise to do my best to find you soft and pretty clothes. You deserve better than white tube socks with holes in the heels.