A Day in the Lonesome October

I am resolved to stop with beginning blog posts with “It’s been a busy couple of weeks…” Considering we have three kids, multiple house projects, two full time jobs, and holidays and visitors moving through the calendar and house that is obviously a “no shit, it’ll be like that till ya die” statement. So like, here is a recap of some of the recent goings-on.

First up in recaps-villa: the Garden!

Oh thank goodness it’s looking better! The temps have cooled a bit, the dead plants have been pulled out, some mulching has been done, and everything is looking much improved. The gourd vines are gone, with nary a gourd being produced, but the butternut squash is still going strong and even putting out new flowers- there may even be more squash in the future, depending on how long frost holds off.

The squash leaves tell you we water something around here, even if it isn’t the grass (we’re trying to kill it prior to a brick patio installation). For some reason when trying to caption this photo my brain kept coming up with the phrase: “That’s a spicy meatball!” even though that makes no sense whatsoever.

We’ve harvested three butternut squash off this one plant so far. First one looked like this:

IMG_2366 2
The hell kinda filter was I using? 70s crime scene photo?

We ate most of the first one cubed and roasted and then the remainder of it in a tortilla soup. But with absolutely no difference visible in the plant or change to the watering and fertilizer schedule, the next two that were harvested looked like this:

Mine eyes have never seen a more artistic squash photo


Not exactly gonna get the family through the winter

I gave one of the tiny squashes to my parents and the other to my aunt and uncle. Perfect size for cutting in half, roasting, and using as a two person meal side dish. If I could just get all of them that size I might like it, honestly- for the sheer novelty.

There have been a derth of flowers and therefore butterflies in the late summer garden- but we finally have some things starting to bloom again and therefore the return of these  beauties:

The massive size of this swallowtail doesn’t come through in the picture… pretty sure it’s bigger than the last few butternut squashes.
This pot has (finally) a few healthy plants of the orange marigolds I’ve been trying to grow for Dia de los Muertos for years. Just a few more weeks, my pretties!

The pot with the marigolds also has cuttings from the huge and really decorative basil we saw growing at the hotel in Castroville on my birthday weekend. I rooted it in water and it transitioned to being planted in soil incredibly easily. I’ll be trying to keep that one alive through the winter so I can take more cuttings in the spring and have more of them.

Here is the original plant at the hotel. It moved in the slightest breeze and was really lovely.

In updates on the cats:

The 2 longer haired cats are getting their winter coats, which is good because Lacey, the middle daughter’s brown tabby, looks so incredibly moth eaten in the summer.

She’s a pretty cat, but is allergic to something outside in the summer and loses hair due to scratching and chewing; she’s about half of the way grown back in here.

And Alabama, the adopted stray, is enjoying himself in the cooler weather as well:

I feel like a jerk for saying that’s the neighbor’s lawn… but it’s the neighbor’s lawn
I’m sure you can tell from these pictures what a miserable ol puss he is and how we all just barely tolerate him.

In other news:

With the onset of truly fall weather I was able to get back on the water and do some fishing recently (husband’s gone a couple of times with the older girls in the last few weeks, but was the first time for me), and it was the first time for me taking our new (to us) canoe on a longer paddle.

Gotta drop the seats just a smidge to make it a little more stable, but other than that a fantastic boat and it’s OURS- no more boat borrowing for us!
Might be my best one on this river honestly!

In other, other news:

It’s October and that means the ramp up to Dia de los Muertos has begun! The girls and I got the ofrenda up last weekend.

Singing: “It’s the most wonderful time… of the year”

I reposted the blog post from last year on putting an ofrenda together last week, found here, but below are some pictures of the one we put together this year:

We added more flowers to the arch, but other than that it’s very similar to last year’s.
It’s lovely and meaningful and one of the few things involving rituals in our secular life.

Happy October to all!

(The blog post title is a riff on the Roger Zelazny book title: A Night in the Lonesome October. It’s a favorite.)

4 thoughts on “A Day in the Lonesome October

  1. I know that butternut squash are not supposed to be small, but they do look really convenient for families with only 1 or 2 people.

  2. Nice fish, Lauren! What a great way to spend some time on the water. Our garden is pretty much finished. You’re lucky to still have things growing in yours.
    Your cats look happy. That swallowtail makes a beautiful header!!!

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