Joe’s putting on the storm windows; we’re getting ready to leave for California next week and battening down the hatches because it will almost be Thanksgiving when we come back, late Autumn when the winds and rain start to roll over the island with more regularity and all we’ll want to do when we get home is light the fire and put on some MUSICA like this. So, pour yourself a wee spot of something delicious to drink . . . I think I should change the name of this blog to Tea with Susan ♥.
M m m m m, please pass the cream.
Joe’s ladder ~ he’s up there fitting the storm windows into place . . .
Although Jack considers everything Joe does as entertainment, I think he’s taking mental notes; planning to get himself born as human next time and hoping to be a handy one . . .
He follows Joe from window to window . . .
Before we go, we’re doing our part to make our neighborhood festive, we’ve got the pumpkins up, Casper is in the upstairs window, there’s a fall wreath, and Joe just painted and installed a brand new storm door.
Halloween is coming! We’ll be gone, but our friends are staying to take care of the kitties; they’ll be the ones opening the door to the hoards of children that come trick-or-treating through our neighborhood every year. We’ll be on the train heading for California. What a perfect time of year to travel. The views should be wonderful.
Here’s Casper looking out from the guest room.
I’ve been outside gathering what I am sure is the last bouquet of the season from our garden. It’s gotten cold enough that nothing much is venturing forth anymore . . . right in the middle of that bouquet is the last of the “Just Joey” roses . . . a bud. I hope it will bloom.
These hydrangeas are pure white in the summer but they turn this color in the autumn.
We’ve put the pumpkins on the lawn . . .
And we’re going on our walk as often as we can; we’ll only be away from home for three weeks, but we’ll miss it. I have walked this same walk almost every day of my life since I moved to the island in 1982. That’s over thirty years to the same place! It’s always been the best part of my day. Here’s our dirt road just after the nor’easter that came through last week.
It smells woodsy, piney, and leaf mulchy out there. The walk is almost three miles out and back, the leaves still haven’t reached peak color yet.
With the twitter of birds and not many other sounds, we dodge the water puddles, wearing hats and rain jackets. In the winter the puddles turn to ice.
There was a really high tide after the storm . . . we love this little cottage out on the end . . .
Here’s a closer view . . .
The tide was so high it came right up to the road where we’re walking . . . it’s cold, raw, salty, dark and moody out there . . .
Seagulls cry and dive under black clouds, over the beach grass and the shore . . .
There’s a HUGE crop of bittersweet on the island this year . . . more than I’ve ever seen before.
Tangles of it border the paths to the water . . .
I thought you might like to see some of the little beach houses . . .
They’re old and funky and real, no one has tried to glamorize them (thank goodness), they are perfect just they way they are.
This was the only Queen Anne’s Lace we saw out there; the last of the season and perfect.
The Queen Anne’s Lace was in front of this little place . . .
This is the other side of the red shingled cottage in the photo above . . .
And this is the view from that house, overlooking the brackish pond . . .
We followed the road down to where the pond opens to the sea . . . Joe has just found a piece of beach glass . . .
Behind where Joe was walking, if you look to the right, this is what you see. We owned one of these little places at one time . . . the one with the little peaked roof way down toward the end, you can see a tiny chimney just behind it. Note how little beach is left in front of these places . . . high tide attacking the rocks and sandy shore . . .
So vulnerable to the elements, but most of them have been here for over a hundred years. Fingers crossed for another hundred.
Here’s where we turn around to walk back.
past the pond, around the puddles,
through the woods . . .
Looking up at the sky through the drippy leaves . . .
Catching glimpses of the water as we go along . . .
Collecting colorful leaves to take home.
to tape on the windows in the kitchen.
Probably the best of all decorations, leaves, and they are free!
Of course Jack sees me with the camera and realizes it’s photo bomb time . . . but truly, he only makes everything better.
I decorate pretty much the same way every year, with just a few little changes now and then . . .
This is how the kitchen looked this morning . . .
And and here’s a photo from a couple of years ago . . .
I love touches of black in our fall/winter kitchen . . . Which is just one more reason I love that little kitty peeking out behind the quilt. He is the perfect touch of black.
We keep the kitchen floors bare in the Summer, the hooked rugs come back out in the fall . . . each with a little touch of black so they look good with Jack.
Last night we had Debby and Will (old friends who will be taking care of Girl and Jack while we’re away) to dinner. It was a spiralizer dinner, so I could show them how to use the “machine” while we’re away ~ I made them sweet potato, parsnip and apple “noodles” — and had fun setting the table . . .
I’ve owned these heavy dishes since the 1970’s, most of them were made by San Luis Obispo Artist Paula Teplitz. They have images from nature on them, animals and leaves.
This is my audience while I work. See what I mean about the touches of black?
We got a new dishwasher last week which meant we had to pull the refrigerator away from the wall to install it, and Look what we found under it! One of Jack’s stashes!
Back to the table . . .
Light the lights . . . set the mood . . .
Time for dinner!
Speaking of food I wanted to share a new, low calorie, high protein delicious snack I love, which is also gluten free. It’s rice crackers, hummus, pesto (all of which you can find in your supermarket), and a bowl of rice.
You dip the cracker into the hummus (which is good enough by itself),
Then into the pesto (making it even more delicious),
And then into the bowl of rice, making it more substantial. These are wonderful to help us keep up our strength.
Here’s the view from where I sit at the computer every day working on my new book. I’ve heard from several of you, wondering how the book is coming along. It’s funny, for a person who loves words, I have a difficult time coming up with the right ones to describe how I feel about this book. It’s so different from anything I’ve ever done. There is so much of you in it already, like with my other books, I think about you every morning when I get up and begin work while it is still dark. Saying to myself “Oh, they are going to love this” or “I wonder if they would like this?” I’ll wake in the night with an idea, an idea that becomes more and more demanding until I can no longer ignore it. I won’t be able to get back to sleep until I reach over my bedside table and grab the pad of paper I keep there for this purpose. I pat the top of the table in the dark, going lightly over terrain of water glass, books, lamp, vase, until I land on a pen and start writing as quick as I can before I forget what it was I half-dreamed. I write maybe five lines per page — I can’t see what I’m doing, but I don’t want to write over the sentences so I leave lots of space. After the fourth page I think, uh-oh, I hope this pen isn’t out of ink. I pat the table until I find my bedside clock and push the button on it to make it light up and use it like flashlight to see if there is ink on the paper. There is! Hooray!
I make little screams when I think I’ve written something that works (before I find out the next day that I was in a period of delusion and remove it!). It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, it might also be the best; I’ll know when it’s done. The book has gone to the editor, the first half of it is back, she said “LOL” to some things; she also said,”Get rid of these twenty-seven pages” ~ I love her because she is honest and I agree with her. I’ve been rewriting; the second half will come back to me next week. I still don’t have a date for publication, but I’m definitely getting closer, the little train that could, or would, or will, or else; I’ll be working on it while we’re on the train, in our room with a view. Almost as nice a view as the one in the photo above, our own view that says Home, a view I see every day, one that changes with the seasons and never fails to interest me. Do I watch over it, or, after all these years, does it watch over me?
Have a wonderful Halloween Girlfriends, watch for Twitter from the Twain; I’ll be sending photos from the road. If you’re in California, there are going to be two fun booksignings in November, be sure to check out EVENTS at the top of the blog and come see me if you can . . . Batten down the hatches Girls, and have fun with your pumpkins!
Off we go . . . ♥ XOXO