Saturday, October 06, 2012


Cold morning. And colder night ahead. Not just frost warning, but freeze warning. That means most of the annual flowers will be giving it up for the year tonight.

A gray day. No point in eating in the sun room. Back to the kitchen for breakfast.

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Then, an unusual outing: we go to a political brunch in support of a Wisconsin candidate. I suggest to Ed that he may want to change into less torn pants. He chuckles.

The event is in a beautiful part of Madison.

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Ed wants a few words with the candidate...

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... to communicate his views on doing business in the state. The candidate listens, sympathetically. Soon after we retreat, not being the "stay and mingle" types.We take a yard sign with us.

At the farmette, I snip nasturtium. They'll continue for a while indoors. Here:

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And here:

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I have a large potted plant that won't make it if I leave it outdoors in the cold and only maybe will make it if I put it in the ground. So we bring it indoors. Maybe it'll stay happy in the sun room. Maybe.

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In a desperate move, Ed digs up the pepper plant that never went beyond an initial flowering spell. Maybe we could winter it over? He asks. The farmhouse is becoming a shelter for wayward plants.

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There's one last chance, Ed. Every last tomato has to come in before the night.
We survey the field that has served us so well. There are some green ones that still look like they wish they had a chance. And dozens and dozens of tiny red ones -- some shriveled in past frosts, some hardy enough to stand firm. We pick selectively. Sophie's choice: those that are likely to make it come in.

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There is this moment of great sadness for all that will be left behind. No, wait, let me rethink that:  the remnants -- the dried, or shriveled or spent tomatoes are what will make next year's soil better! The easiest way to let go of anything is to believe that it all will come back to greet you in the future in one way or another.

One last look at the farmhouse, framed in still blooming flowers. With a solitary corn stalk waiting... for not much of anything anymore.

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In the evening we go to another event. This is so not like us! Two in one day! This one is not political exactly. It's a vegan chili cook off, run by the Alliance for Animals. (Ed is a member.) Seven Madison restaurants are serving their (vegan) chilis. You get to sample all and then have a fine large portion of two of your favorites. And, add to it a hot dog. A vegan hot dog.

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There is a silent auction, too, and you can bid on things like a home vet visit for your kitty. Or knick knacks that announce a love of animals.

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We don't bid on anything, but we admire the generosity of those who have contributed to this event. As for the chili -- well, my own chili meter tells me all the chills are good and I'm thinking the Eldorado one is even better than good, but here's an idea: maybe vegan chills shouldn't feel compelled to put meat-textured stuff into their chills. You know, fermented something or other, rolled and then ground. Because there's plenty of goodness in plain chili without the meats. It's not as if we have to fill up on the pretend stuff.

We leave before they announce the winner. I don't like to see the disappointment in the faces of those who are not selected. 

It's nippy outside. We're only on October 6th and I'm already wearing my warmest scarves. How quickly we have shifted from that other season to this one!