Fall is definitely here, but its not what I expected. I pictured blue skies, brisk temperatures, and brightly colored leaves gently settling into crackly piles on sidewalks. We both looked forward to taking walks in the crisp, cool air. Instead, it rained steadily for six of the past seven days. What leaves have fallen quickly washed down the drains or clustered in soggy piles everywhere. And the temps went from hot to cold. Whoosh. Just like that.
Apparently, Little Rock's rainfall is already 12 inches or 25% greater than normal for 2009. And everyone keeps telling us that this weather isn't typical for Fall. I don't know what to think.
Today was much better. There was some sun. The temperature reached 60 for awhile. And I spent some time outdoors, raking leaves and sweeping my deck. It was nice.
We spent a happy hour this morning at the Fall Foodie Fest. Mick had created a free poster and T-shirt for this event and we went to see how it turned out. It was pretty well attended, despite the gray skies and chilly weather. Local chefs had been invited to create dishes using local produce from the farmers market. They came up with a nice range: I ate a delicious apple pie and a fabulous cheese and sausage quiche. Mick had stir fried kale and tomato/gorganzola soup. Really tasty.
Speaking of local chefs: Katie's deal with the Capital Hotel chef fell through after she delivered chickens that were too big. Her birds were about 5 lbs each, and he could only serve them at 3 or 3.5 lbs. She actually had to go buy another freezer to reclaim and store the 100 birds she'd delivered to him a couple days ago. These are her last birds of the season, and she'll have no trouble selling them to other people - including me - but the whole exchange made me appreciate the complex path from farm to restaurant table. I mean, consider all the variables that a farmer must manage (including breeding) to deliver a bird that meets such precise specifications! No wonder they say that small farmers have a hard job.
Honey visited our office while Katie was freezer shopping yesterday. And so here are this week's gratuitous pictures of her. She loves watching the Wiggles on her grandpa's fancy computer and taking all the items out of my purse. Thankfully, she also likes putting things back into the purse when she finishes looking them over. Now this family time, of course, is the payoff we expected to have when we came here, and we're delighted with it. Just delighted.
Anyway, we optimistically made reservations for ourselves next month at a lodge in the heart of Arkansas leaf-peeping territory. Maybe the weather will be foggy and wet, or maybe we'll finally see the crisp, clear Fall that we've been dreaming about. Either way, I won't complain.