October 4
The beautiful weather continues!  Though we've been blessed with plenty of sunshine, the temperatures have been on the decline and our highs are in the 60's with our lows in the 40's.  It was, however, 35 degrees yesterday morning according to the thermometer outside the kitchen window.  I got a fire going in the fireplace and put some cinnamon rolls in the oven so Tim and the kids woke up to a nice cozy house.  No frost yet, but with a high only in the 50's predicted for tomorrow and a low in the 30's, the 

the forecasters are calling for "patchy" frost by Wednesday morning.
       The trees here are just beginning to change color, but there are plenty of other signs Fall has arrived (and a hard winter is on the way according to some).  Apples, pears, pumpkins, cornstalks and mums are available in huge quantities everywhere one goes and squash is beginning to appear.  Believe it or not, we saw one farm stand on Saturday that was still selling fresh sweet corn!  The walnut and chestnut trees are producing abundantly this year and the squirrels and chipmunks have been kept extra busy.  Some enterprising kids have taken to setting up tables along the roads and are selling chestnuts for $1 a bag.  Another sure sign of Fall is wooly bear caterpillars and they are everywhere this year.  If you believe that their color predicts the severity of the winter ahead......start preparing as friends and family report mostly all blacks.
       Matthew celebrated his 18th birthday this past Saturday.  Like most teenagers he is chomping at the bit to be grown up and on his own......if they only knew now, what they will know in a few years.  Matt registered for both the upcoming elections and the draft a few weeks back.  He did not want a family party this year so we took him out to breakfast on Saturday then into Monroeville to Guitar World to buy his present.  He wanted an electric bass guitar and amp.  It seems to me that is what most drummers take up if they learn a second instrument.  That night he went out with his friends for wings and midnight bowling.
       We stayed home from church yesterday and spent the day working around the house.  I was a bit behind on laundry and cleaning so enjoyed having a whole day to get it back under control.  Tim worked out in the yard, cutting the grass, trimming and cleaning up in general.  He cut down all the sunflower stems for me.  Those things were like small trees and had to be sawn!  With the ones around the chicken coop gone I was finally able to plant some English ivy I'd bought on clearance at Wal-mart back in July.  I'm hoping it will take off on the wire of the run and provide shade for the chooks next summer.  Tim also helped me empty out all the pots I had on the deck and get them put away.  We still need to cover the pool for the winter and wrap the deck furniture.  After that we'll be ready.
       Two new critters have joined our household.  I've been missing having parakeets since our last one died two years ago.  I've been looking at them lately and would really have liked to get an real Budgie which is 2-3 times the size of a parakeet, but looks the same.  Unfortunately, the price is 2-3 times bigger, too.  Friday's mail contained a coupon from our local pet store to buy a cage and get a parakeet free.  Tim said I could do that so I came home with a cage and one parakeet Friday night.  I would have liked to get a second one then, but they had the price jacked up to $25.  We stopped at a large pet store in Monroeville while we were out on Saturday and their parakeets were much less so I was able to get a second one.  One is bright green and yellow and is a real singer so I named him Bing (as in Crosby).  The other is blue and white and Megan named it Little John, who the kids tell me is a singer, too.  You couldn't prove it by me.  I thought Little John was Robin Hood's buddy.
       Tomorrow I'm only working half a day as I'm to get my root canals done at noon.  As much as I hate going to the dentist, I'm going to be glad to get this done and hope that the rest of the work will be scheduled promptly.  I've lost more of the filling in one of the teeth and it is like having the Grand Canyon in my mouth.  It doesn't hurt, but I'm always working it with my tongue and everything I eat gets stuck in there even though I've only been chewing on the other side.  My boss has been on my case to postpone, more so than ever since we had a driver quit on Friday, but I finished up a round of antibiotics last week and need to get the work done before the infection returns.
       I've started working on a hooked rug.  I think I'm going to give it to my mom and John for Christmas if I get it finished.  It's a new craft for me.  I've done latch hook, but this is my first punch hook project.  I picked a fairly simple, colonial looking design so I'm hoping I can get it figured out and finished.
       Before I scoot on back to work, let me give you a really delicious recipe I found for using hot peppers.  I just made these over the weekend and Tim and Matt thought they were great.

Time Out Jalapenos
8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 lb. bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. chili powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 lb. jalapenos, halved
1/2 c. dry bread crumbs

Combine cheeses, bacon, salt and seasonings; fill each jalape�o half with mixture.  Roll in bread crumbs; arrange on greased baking sheet.  Bake at 300 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.  Makes about 2 dozen.

Carpe diem!