Dear Sunday Letter friends,
Well, fall was fun. I hope you didn’t miss it since it only lasted a sum total of six days.
I know when our local news channel brings in two weather guys to bring the immediate forecast, and they have removed their suit jackets and rolled up the sleeves of their starched white shirts, things are about to get serious in the weather department.
The day before our first forecasted freeze of the season, I ran around like a crazy person clipping roses and coneflowers, anything blooming. Even though this year’s first cold blast happened earlier than normal, this has become a tradition for me—I make the blossoms last a few more days by bringing them inside.
This day is always a little sad to me. Sad because I know that soon, unsuspecting flowers will be nipped in place like a game of freeze tag. (Remember that game?)
Thankfully though, inside our home, the fresh flowers smiling all around provide a final summer memory. And that makes me happy.
Something else I did before the first forecasted freeze… I studied my milkweed plants, looking for caterpillars and eggs. They won’t survive frigid weather.
I only found one caterpillar (and possibly two eggs).
Miss Caterpillar is now happily munching away on milkweed, living underneath a screen dome, probably wondering about the new smells and sounds inside our house, especially all the yelling during college football games. (The eggs? I’m not sure. I brought the leaves inside and they may or may not hatch.)
This time of year, we humans and schnauzers have learned to share our space with lots of plants (and the occasionally caterpillar). When this lady turns into a monarch, I’ll release her on a warm day and send her on her way to Mexico, hoping she has good weather for the journey.
In case you think I’m crazy to worry over my monarchs, just know there are limits to my devotion. I recently read about a lady who flew her monarch caterpillars via Southwest Airlines to San Antonio so they would have a better chance of making it to the monarch migration spot in Mexico… How about that?
Dogs and Balls
Lucy and Annabelle think we have a bowl of strange, not-quite-tennis-balls that they aren’t allowed to play with. Why are we being teased like this?
I explained that these are horse apples not tennis balls.
But now they think we are getting a horse. And our new horse is getting a bunch of balls to play with.
Horse apples, hedge apples, whatever they are called—they are plentiful in our neighborhood and make a fun fall display (in more ways than one).
Someone recently told me that they keep spiders away. I’m not sure about that, but thought I’d mention this just in case. One thing they are great for—hypnotizing schnauzers.
Black Apple Crisp
What do you do when Arkansas black apples are in season?
Make a pie of course.
Actually, I made a Black Apple Crisp.
It was delish and easy to make.
I tweaked an old Ozark recipe from an old cookbook that never fails to give me delicious dishes.
Who else likes to bake this time of year? Tis the season, you know.
This is extra yummy with a scoop of Blue Bell Salted Caramel Cookie ice cream.
If you want the recipe, let me know…
The new Judy movie is fabulous, y’all; we saw it last week.
Does this describe you…? Once upon a time the mailman delivered a weekly TV Guide to your house. You studied it, looking for movies and specials. You were thrilled to learn that The Wizard of Oz would be on that week. You watched it with a bowl of Jiffy Pop, and loved it even though the Wicked Witch of the West and the flying monkeys scared you a little (and the Lollipop Guild, too, if we’re being honest).
If this is you, I predict you will love Judy. In fact, I believe the movie will emotionally punch you in the gut (not that Judy focuses on the Great and Powerful Oz).
Renee Zellweger absolutely channeled Judy Garland and deserves an academy award nomination (in my knows-nothing-of-the-academy-awards opinion).
I mean, seriously, she did all her own singing!
Things Momma Says:
I’m sorry to say I have no quote from Momma this week. I’m sure she said plenty though…
Momma, what say you?
That’s it for this week’s Sunday Letter. Later, friends!
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
As I prepare for the release of my new book, I’m having a fall sale of The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee! This sale is only available through my website and author page by clicking THIS LINK.
Three dollars off will buy you a piece of pie or half a movie ticket on the cheap day.
Lest you’ve forgotten, books make fabulous Christmas gifts! (Especially signed First Editions.) And Christmas is only 73 days away.