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It's Fall, Y'all! My Garden and I Both Love It.

The cool breeze is carrying a much-anticipated break from the oppressive heat of summer. The cooler air is not only a welcome respite for people like me, but my garden loves it, as well. I've never had such great pepper and basil crops in my life.

Last Sunday, I had the rare pleasure of staying home all day. I took advantage of the nice day and opened the windows in my house. The fresh air blowing through the rooms inspired me to get out my Crockpot and make a big batch of chili. It smelled so good cooking that I had a hankering to bake. I baked a vanilla cake and iced it with salted caramel frosting for dessert. I wanted to bake bread, but I didn't have all of the ingredients, and I wasn't willing to drive to the grocery store to buy them.

While our supper simmered and the cake baked, I mosied out to the garden to dig the potatoes I planted a few months ago. I was amazed by the fact my basil had already reproduced, and I had baby basil plants everywhere. I picked a good handful of basil leaves, which I have set out to dry. I brought a couple of the baby plants inside, and I'm going to try my hand at growing an indoor herb garden. Why not?

I washed the potatoes I harvested, cut them up, tossed them with olive oil and ranch seasoning, and roasted them. They were quite possibly the best potatoes I've ever made. There wasn't a single morsel left after dinner. The best part of my potato crop is that I grew them from eyes I removed from potatoes I bought. It was still cold outside at the time, so I put them in some damp soil inside and planted them in the garden once it was warm enough. Next year, I'll plant more. I'd love to have enough to preserve.

My bell peppers are going crazy right now, so I harvested a bunch of those, which I'll be freezing this week. There are still several small ones on the vine that I left to grow a bit more. As long as the frost holds off, they should be ready in a few days. I may even make myself a stuffed pepper for dinner tonight. I haven't had one of those in several years.

My husband, who is an incredibly picky eater, has recently discovered he likes green peppers, and I've never seen him so excited to help in the garden. He's already talking about how many plants we'll buy next year. If I could just get him to eat tomatoes and onions, I would really feel like I've accomplished something.

My tomato plants were disappointing this year. All of tomatoes were incredibly small, even the ones that were supposed to be slicers, and they didn't have much flavor. I'm not playing around next year. I will be planting Big Berthas and Beefsteaks.

You may be wondering how my book signing at The Joplin Writers' Faire went. It was great! I connected with several people, sold some books, and was recruited for a speaking gig. I call that a good day.

I hope you enjoy the cooler weather in your own way and take a moment to bask in the breeze.

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