Welcome to Autumn! It’s the most wonderfulest of seasons, this disappointing reminder notwithstanding. (Color-rich friends and family, spam us with photos! Please, and thank you.)

Here, a strange bright ball in the sky made quick work of burning off the morning’s dense veil of fog. Following what felt like 40 days and 40 nights of grey, sodden mess, the sun seems foreign, its intensity causing me to walk even indoors with squinted eyes.

The cats, who spent the last week huddled under the safety of the dining room table as cracks and flashes and gales raged outside, emerged to chase patches of sunlight on the floor with a rare enthusiasm usually reserved for food bowl replenishments. Us humans, on the other hand (paw?), are excited that afternoon art fair plans aren’t spoiled; less so at the prospect of tending an overly watered yard.

Most disappointingly, adding insult to injury, my garden suffered a potentially permanent demise. Suspicions of foul-play were unearthed with the five okra plants whose crude “replanting” (shockingly) didn’t take. The helpful folks at the NC Cooperative Extension confirmed my careful post-mortem hypothesis that I involuntarily relinquished control of the garden to root-knot nematodes: “[M]icroscopic roundworms that… injure plants by feeding on root cells… to the point where the plant cannot properly absorb water and nutrients.” A fatal blow.

And so this weekend’s raised bed tasks: 1) harvest the remaining eggplants, bell peppers, onions and herbs; 2) remove and dispose of the plants + their infested root systems; 3) burn the brush cuttings inside the bed’s walls (along with, hopefully, millions of the nasty perpetrators); 4) scour the internet for rapeseed seeds to sow as a “restorative cover crop”; 5) snivel and blubber about the fact that even if I find rapeseed then let the garden lay fallow for a year after tilling in its six-month cover that I probably can’t successfully plant anything until 2018. HA-rumph. Time to stock up on potters, I suppose.

Stormy day kitties

Our Weekly Suppers were mostly uninspired, cobbled from leftovers with late nights and travel for work. Though Friday night pizza — sun-dried tomato sauce with broccoli, feta, chives, chillies + aged balsamic — was a bright spot. And tonight should be as well: the last of my birthday bison, I think doused in more balsamic with some of those garden rescue onions and rosemary + wedges of grilled romaine.

How about you? What are you up to this weekend? Looks like some will enjoy an early Indian summer, and others strong storms. There are some great college + NFL matchups on the schedule, and barbecues in the backyard or tailgate and a hearty stew or chilli in the living room are equally as good viewing options. So, rain or shine, you’re covered!

Hope everyone has a beautiful Saturday and Sunday, and before you go, pop down for a few of my favorite links from around the interwebs this week.

Cheers, Heather

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Some interesting, fun, delicious reads:

  • It’s not always easy, but sitting down at the table with your loved ones is worth it. September is Family Meals Month — read about why they’re beneficial + get links to dietitian- and family-approved recipes.
  • Apparently switching from white to red wine in an evening increases likelihood of tooth staining. I’ll stick to reds.
  • The longest straight-line distance across the United States (FL to WA) is 2,802 miles. Multiply that by 15.7, then imagine using wings to fly it. For the birds, right?
  • Saplings rescued from the 9/11 site are receiving tributary new homes in other cities recently attacked.
  • Books reviewed and given a letter grade to help you pick your next read.
  • Roald Dahl come to life!
  • This week’s pinned words of wisdom — might adopt this as I cry into my garden tomorrow afternoon…

Recently on HGN:

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p.s. I love hearing from you! Check back if you ask a question, because I’ll answer it here.

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