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Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall on the Erie Canal

The canal is richly painted.

 Fall on the Erie Canal

Fall is my favorite time of year. It's like mother nature decided to get our her crayons and color each tree a different color. The trees haven't been that spectacular this year, but I thought I'd share some of the prettier views.

On the home front side, Fall also means crunch time. Fall reminds us with it's crisp air and falling leaves that winter is just around the corner. When I was a new homeowner, many moons ago, I had to real clue how to winterize my house and belonging for the winter so I thought I'd create a list for any newbie.

My neighbor's farm so pretty with all the trees!

  1. Make sure to schedule a heating inspection early.I typically schedule mine in July or August. Last year our life just got too crazy and I didn't call until September which netted me a heating inspection in December! The later you call, the more competition you are going to run into for premo spots. Call early so you'll have piece of mind when the temperatures plummet.

  2. Test out all your snowplowing equipment and make sure your car is ready to go.It is far easier to do this when it is warm than when it is cold. Make sure that you get your snow tires on the car, the car is clean and all the fluids are filled. 
  4. Put away your summer garden, wrap trees in burlap, cover delicate crops, and put up the snow fence.It is much more rewarding to put away the garden in the fall than to deal with slimy, rotten plants in the spring. You'll thank yourself for your due diligence. Small trees (1-3 years) should be wrapped in burlap and tied with twine. Ironically, trees die in the winter not because of the cold but rather because they dehydrate. Frozen water everywhere and not a drop to drink. Covering your crops with straw or hay will help them make it through the winter and the snow fence helps to break up the driving snow which can obliterate a driveway in no time fast.
  5. Drain outside hoses, close off faucets and drain them. Frozen water expands and if left inside the hose or God forbid the spout, you can be dealing with a broken pipe when the temperature outside is bitter. Not fun.
  6. Wash all your outside windows.You are going to be stuck inside for five to six months dealing with gray skies. Make those windows sparkling to let in as much light as possible.
  7. If you can't afford new windows and your windows are drafty, get a window plastic kit.Before we replaced many of the windows, our windows were horribly drafty. One window in particular had about a 1/4 of an inch of space between the two windows. If you can't replace a plastic kit that you attach to the window with adhesive tape and blow dry it taunt will help some.
  8. Now is the time to buy and plant winter hardy perennials. Now the growers are trying to get rid of them and its a great time to put them in the ground to get them acclimated before the cold. Be sure to wrap them as well in burlap before snow comes.
  9. Use all those fall leaves for compost. Put on your garden.
  10. Finish all painting projects and do fall cleaning.While its still warm enough to open the windows, finish all those painting projects and clean your house. I think it is so much more important to do a fall cleaning than a spring cleaning any day. Again, you're going to be stuck in this house for five to six months so you may as well make it clean while you can still air it out.
  11. Finally, enjoy the season. Towards that end, here is my carmel apples I made yesterday

Large baking apples like Granny Smith or 20 oz. for    


each person
2 TBSP carmel powder from carmel apple kit
2 crust Pie crust (see recipe in PIE entry)
Sliced almonds or walnuts (opt)
2 TBSP brown sugar
1 TBSP cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water

Core apples. In a small bowl, mix carmel apple powder, brown sugar and cinnamon. Place in the hole where the core was removed.

Roll out the pie dough and cut large squares to fit around your apple and wrap apple.
Place in a glass pan with high sides.

Meanwhile heat 1 cup of brown sugar with the 1/2 cup water in a saucepan until boiling. Once the sugar becomes dissolved and liquidity, gently pour over the pie encrusted apples.

Bake at 425 degrees (Fahrenheit) for 45 mins. Serve with ice cream

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