Walked the dog. Did both crossword puzzles, more or less. And I’m back to editing after a hiatus — easier than going back to writing after a pause, but still a hurdle.
Fall routines in progress here. We put the hammock away. Brought the Christmas cacti inside. Started (the endless) raking.
It’s a meatloaf or chili kind of day, but I already cooked chicken thighs, so we’ll have them along with a bean salad featuring Rancho Gordo’s cassoulet bean.
I’ll admit to checking my phone EARLY today with a ghoulish anticipation. But, don’t get me wrong — I hope our president recovers. I really do. I live for the day when he is repudiated in a landslide election and then prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
And no, I’m not talking about my family (could be, but I’m not). This year, our two black walnut trees have produced a bumper-bumper crop. This, after two years of worrisome sparse production. Look how many have yet to fall!
Don’t you love their spicy scent? For me, a buoyant appreciation for the trees is somewhat corrective. Without even really knowing it, I generally direct a muted ire their way. Why? Because their roots emit a toxin that kills a remarkable number of shrubs and perennials — even hardy natives. I won’t enumerate the losses, but suffice it to say, that if my efforts over the years had thrived the street corner’d be better screened (a view rendered even more naked by the recent felling of my neighbor’s four dead hemlocks).
Initially, I used the squirrel-smashing rock to roll the nuts free of their hulls. But since I squatted in view of a driveway full of already smashed hulls, I gathered those. The popping sound of nuts under moving vehicles is a distinctive fall sound around here. This year, I’m determined to serve a bowl of the nuts at Christmas. Never have. There will be washing, air drying, and stowing involved and then it appears, a fair amount of work to reveal the meat. It’s an awful lot of labor for a mouthful of nut, isn’t it? So far, using the hose on “jet spray” to rinse the nuts is the most wasteful part of the process. I might add a soak prior to cleaning to see if it abbreviates rinsing.
The improvised drying rack might better be called “Squirrel Buffet”!
We are enjoying yet another incredibly beautiful fall day here in New England. I hope you all have wonderful weekends!