Monstrosities

October is finally here, and with it, a few cooler days. We will have our first frost by Sunday, according to the local meteorologist. Those little birds were right once more. Nature knows best. If we would listen to it, we would know best too. I will be collecting what’s left on the veggie garden before Sunday, green or not. The Halloween vibes are louder this year in the stores. There are a few monstrosities on the shelves as well as on the food isles, pricing continues to go up. This weekend we will be cleaning up tons of leaves and branches left by the remnants of Ian. Thank God that is the only thing we have to clean up, because my heart truly goes out after the victims of its devastation in Florida.

Once October arrives, one tends to think of frightful things and pumpkins; it has been engrained in our culture for long. One of my favorite movies, if not my favorite, is Silver Bullet (Stephen King). When we bought this farmhouse, I found an old wooden baseball bat amongst the tall weeds. I cleaned it up and kept it, but I immediately thought of “the peacemaker” in that movie and named it so.

Inspired by Silver Bullet. Photo by M.A.D.

We got another dose of October fright when we went to pick up the pellet fuel. The increase in pricing will translate to $100 more per month ($2 more per bag) on a ton (50 bags/2,000 lbs.). We use about a ton per month. Is this type of heating worth it anymore at that increase? The electric companies are saying that the average customer will see the electric bill go up by $40-$60 a month, depending on who you listen to in the news. Will pellet stove fans revert to electric heating as a primary source? I think a wood stove or fireplace is the best choice, that is, if you chop your own wood. A cord of wood used to be around $250 on the cheap side of things, not anymore.

A month’s worth of pellet fuel. (Photo by M.A.D.)

There are lovely monstrosities as well. A week or so ago, I found the biggest mushroom I have ever seen. It was bigger than my hand, so I had to take a picture and send it to my sister.

Monster Mushroom that resembles a loaf of bread.

All this accelerated increase on the cost of living, a monstrosity, has me thinking and evaluating the way we do things around here, and looking for better alternatives. It looks like the whole nation is about to wake up and reevaluate its path, its core values, and at the home level, the paths we have taken so far, and the need to ponder and redirect our lifestyle.

October Fright

October is almost here, and with it, the Halloween decorations start appearing in stores and homes. When I was a child I loved Halloween, and as an adult, I enjoyed making elaborated candy bags for the neighborhood kids, as many as a hundred bags, and many times, all of them went before 8 PM that day. I enjoyed seeing the little kid’s costumes, and in the back of my mind I always picked a favorite – the winner for the day. I dressed up for work on a few occasions – alien, ninja, enchantress … Although I don’t celebrate Halloween anymore, (my views of the celebration have changed considerably), I think most people enjoy dressing up for it, and enjoy the day with their kids. In lieu of it, I have decided to post a few four-line poems, quartets.

White Lies

Coward surrounded by white

Eagles left behind.

Rotten soul hiding behind the mask,

slowly decaying, festering in lies.

***

A Broken Touch

Not Midas, nor gold

Broken is the old man’s touch.

Chaos, disarray, disdain …

IT brings forward a broken world.

***

The Boogie Man

Everything he touches crumbles,

taste of decay and desolation.

Lonely soul awaiting fate

Days run short, darkness engulfs him.

Photo by M.A.D.

A Few Culprits

There have been a few rainy days, two good soakers, and cool weather seems to be settling down. It seems that the veggie garden is done, not a good year; most plants died or did not produce. While collecting the last of the veggies, I spotted a few caterpillars that have made the garden their home. We cut the stems and relocated them to another part of the property, not wanting to harm them.

The end of the tomato plants. The caterpillars had a good breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
We counted four large ones. I have no idea what the white egg-like things in their backs are.
A closer look at one almost cute caterpillar.
The last of the cucumbers and carrots.
Believe it or not, some of these are supposed to be full size tomatoes that did not grow to their full potential, and a few grape ones.
And turning the page, I move on to welcoming Autumn, in its dance of light and shade, one of my favorite things.

And as one season ends another starts, and for me, the end of a dry spell. The other day, while sitting, I had an urge to write, almost as an urgent call, so I grabbed pen and paper and was able to write an entire chapter; it has been quite a long time, but the dry spell is broken.

Everyday Thanks

Thanksgiving will certainly be very different this year across the country. So much has changed for all of us. For me, it will be just my husband and I, and the cats, of course. Just a simple meal, and we plan to enjoy the day while relaxing and thinking about so many things we are grateful for. However, there are so many little things to be grateful for every single day. All we have to do is observe with intention, and we see miracles everywhere. I truly believe that, and moreover, I choose to believe that in this crazy time we are living. Yes, 2020 has been though for everybody, but it also has its blessings.

This morning was cold; it was 30 degrees outside. However, I spotted two beautiful miracles.

The “rose bush that could” has a few more roses. This was a little rose bush we rescued. It was covered in weeds, but it made it and grew to be beautiful. I see those last roses in a 30 degree morning as a thank you offering.
I even spotted a few buds ready to open.
This little forsythia bush (another rescue) keeps blooming. I noticed more flowers this morning, and more are ready to open. Another tiny miracle of nature.
Yesterday, I observed one of my favorite autumn moments that I look forward to every year. When most of the leaves have fallen, the sunrays filter through and it looks as if light is dancing through the woods, and parts of it become orange-red. It only lasts a few minutes, not much longer, but it truly is a magical moment.
During that brief time the tops of some trees are set on light-fire.
It is truly a beautiful sight that doesn’t last long and can only be appreciated during this time of the year.
And when the sun sets, and that brief moment of magic is gone for the day, I am thankful that tomorrow, I might get to see it again.

Even in the midst of worldwide sadness, a pandemic, unrest, and other less than perfect situations, we can still be grateful for the glimpses of blessings we have, no matter how simple or small we may think they are; but are they? May you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving day, and for the rest of you who live in other countries where this day is not celebrated, may you find much to be thankful for every day of your lives.