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Our golden leaves are pretty much on the ground right now. Less than half are still clinging to the branches. They are (were) so beautiful with the sun shining on them. We have had two hard freezes this week, but in spite of that my petunias are holding their own and will probably do so until the snow is upon them. They are such tough flowers.
With the temperatures dropping, I got busy and re-did my kitchen. I removed the three, white, freestanding cabinets and replaced them with two heavy-duty, black, metal shelves and one small unit with a wooden top. Now the kitchen looks so much bigger, too, and the heat from the baseboard heater should be able to circulate much better than in past winters. Plus, with the open shelving I am able to see what food I have and which needs to be restocked. I’m sure I do have at least a year’s worth of rice, pastas, and dry beans. There is quite a variety of rice and the pastas are all from alternatives to wheat. What a selection of dried beans for making soups! Those are good foods that we just don’t eat all that often. But, beans, and boy do I have a variety of those, make wonderful soups that warms the body and soul during the winter.
Yesterday I cooked up a big, beef stew with turnips and turnip greens (from our garden), onions, parsnip, carrots, and celery. I added ground cloves, cinnamon, and allspice for flavoring. It not only tasted wonderful, but the smell was terrific! There was just enough left for dinner tonight, so I added a can of organic black beans, a little miso, and some beef broth. Everybody had another wonderful and filling meal.
We have also been eating lots of salmon lately. Salmon steaks and salmon patties have found themselves on our plates several times in the past month. We are still enjoying the bounty. With all the salmon and food from our garden, we have truly been blessed!
Rain is predicted for the next three days, so it should be a bit longer before we get our first snowfall. Looking out the window, I see little patches of blue sky. Unfortunately, there is a much larger patch of heavy clouds following. The next heavy rain or windy night will bring down the rest of the leaves, too. This week I will have to have the studded tires put on the car so I’ll be ready for driving on the icy conditions that will soon be here. Thank goodness for front wheel drive and studded tires as they make winter driving so much safer.
Daylight continues to diminish and today we have a total of 11 hours, 27 minutes, and 21 seconds between sunrise at 8:10 a.m. and sunset at 7:37 tonight. We lost 5 minutes and 31 seconds of light over yesterday. The aurora forecast would be great IF the clouds were to conveniently leave as it is forecasted to be active with the northern lights tonight. Well, the clouds will get a good view anyway.
For the state’s temperature extremes for yesterday, it was a high of 56 at Cold Bay and a low of 20 at Deering. We are noticing that our daytime highs are in the mid to upper 40’s and at night, we’ve had two nights hitting 27 degrees this week. Guess that summer and, pretty much, the fall are behind us as we charge into winter.