Monday, October 8, 2012

Berry Bowls, Brandy, and Bag Balm

We have neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. E., who very kindly invite everyone over on Columbus Day weekend  for an annual  berry bowl making party.

We assemble in the early afternoon bearing the glass bowls that we were issued several years ago at the inaugural event.  Then, out into the woods en masse with trugs and baskets to forage for partridge berries and moss. 

"Watch out," Mr. E. calls out as we trudge in.  "I saw a bear the other day." 

"He is kidding," Mrs. E. calls out in a sing song voice as some in the party hesitate. Then adds, "It was a raccoon." 

"Bear. Raccoon," Mr. E. shrugs.  "They are all the same when you grow up in the city."

Eventually, we head back to their barn which is decorated for the season with corn stalks, pumpkins, mums, and Halloween cut outs.  Mrs. E. passes around hot cider while we assemble our berry bowls.  Mr. E. continues to keep us entertained by putting records on an old wind up Victrola that he has. He found some new records for his collection at this year's flea market.  Some of the lyrics - like hotsie, totsie jalopy - are hysterical. 

Afterwards, we move into their house and watch the sun set amidst the autumn color of the trees.  We partake of a wonderful dinner of hearty fall food - roast chicken, mashed red potatoes,  cornbread, and apple pie.  We all compare berry bowls.

Here is mine

Thank you Mr. and Mrs. E.!

At home, we spent a good part of the weekend tidying up the garden.

Felco Pruners Pocketed for a Quick Draw

Yes, a rake.

It was ingrained when growing up  - not only for autumn tidying but in the spring when the entire yard was to be raked - that raking builds character. Besides, it is also good for the waist. I would rather use a rake than an annoyingly, noisy leaf blower.

Too many pine cones.  Some are put under a pumpkin.

Frost was expected so out to the garden to pick as many flowers as possible.  One can keep flowers after a frost if one goes out with the hose and sprays the frost off before the sun hits.  But not enough left in the garden to warrant that this year.

With the chills already setting in, it is time to stock up on two tried and true essentials.  Brandy. Bag Balm.

Brandy in our family is medicinal.  My first brandy - though watered down - was administered when I was a young teen on the very sad passing of a 17 year old beloved pet.

Bottle is kept on hand to use for:
  • Calming shocks and upsetedness
  • After  getting soaked - as in a rainstorm or falling out of the canoe into the river
  • Sleeplessness
  • Providing internal, long lasting warmth on a bitter winter day

 Bag Balm has been our answer for cold weather chapping for years.

 If one reads the testimonials on the web site, folks seem to readily share all the maladies that this can be used for - some quite "creative."


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