Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Happy Equinox Day!


Okay, so the equinox won’t be until 8:54 pm (CDT). Then we get to welcome autumn. I love autumn. The colors, the smells, the lack of bugs, the impending arrival of winter–wait. Nope, not one of the things I love about autumn. Then again, if we could have winter through, say, January, so we have a white Christmas and all that, then we can do spring. Who’s with me?

This past week we’ve had rain. Not just any rain. We’re talking record rain for September in MN. We’re talking wheelbarrow rain here.

water wheelbarrow No, that is not a kid-sized wheelbarrow. Nor is it parked under a waterspout. We figure we got somewhere around 5-6 inches over the past week. Or more. We don’t have a rain gauge, just the calibrated dog dishes on the deck.

Needless to say, I was apprehensive about going out to the garden, with all the rain and the mud and the mutant zucchini. I tugged on my trusty garden treads and headed out anyway, because I had a blog post to write. ๐Ÿ˜€

And this is what I found:

Yep, it was a jungle. Things are winding down in the garden about now. The green beans are done, the zucchini are still going, but I might pull them out soon. The cukes are still going, and the tomatoes are in the thick of ripening season.

Speaking of, tomatoes and tons of rain don’t get along all that well. It’s the main reason I went out to the garden sooner rather than later. Take a look:

If I can get the tomatoes right away, we can eat them before they go bad. But if I can’t pick them soon enough, the mold sets in, and the flies start gathering like rats to a piper. Hubs made a batch of spaghetti sauce this week, and I think we need more bacon (BLTs with homegrown tomatoes are the bomb!)

The kale is looking super, but I’m going to try to wait to pick it until after the first frost (if I can wait that long). Some people don’t like it, but I love brussels sprouts, and kale is in the same family. It’ll sweeten a bit after a frost, and it’ll last until it snows.

kale row

Black (aka Dinosaur) Kale (with curly kale in the back)

I promised someone I’d post pics of the peppers I did last weekend. Hubs and I go through phases where we’ll eat pickled peppers as snacks. Think of the pickled peppers you find in the salad at Olive Garden. You can buy them in the grocery store. They are pepperoncini peppers, and a bit on the spicy side, but not too bad.

This year my hubs asked if I would plant some of those peppers so we could try pickling our own (regular pickles from the store are cheaper than the peppers, but the peppers are so tasty!). Well, I found pepperoncini seeds, and voila!


Pepperoncini peppers

They are prolific! I have done two batches of peppers already, a smaller test batch (which is half gone ๐Ÿ˜€ ) and a larger batch, and there are enough peppers still out in the garden to do more. A good thing, because I don’t know how long the ones I’ve already done will last.


Homemade pickled peppers

I planted some small snacking peppers as well, but I couldn’t get a good picture of those. I also see another batch of pico de gallo salsa in my future, even if my cilantro is mostly flowering now. I’m sure I’ll find some volunteer cilantro plants since they reseed like crazy.

On the writing front, I’m plugging along. Only about 700-1200 words a night, but more than zero. Slowly but surely, like the tortoise. Or Dory.



So, enjoy the first day of Autumn, and Just Keep Writing!

Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for over a decade, I have been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, six chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

25 thoughts on “Happy Equinox Day!

  1. Thank you Julie for reminding us that today it is officially autumn. I know you like it and so do along
    with all the other seasons. ๐Ÿ˜Š . I am full of admiration of all you grow and harvest for winter.
    Nothing as healthy as that. Hope the rain holds off for you so you can rescue the rest.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Miriam! It’s been dry for a couple days now, so I’ll have to head out to the garden today and pick whatever’s ripe. I’m kinda scared to look at the zucchini–they’ll be the size of a small child by now, I expect ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      Enjoy your weekend! Happy Fall!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love autumn, too! Where I live now, we don’t get much in the way of ‘real’ autumn. But it is such a great time of year, isn’t it? I love those ‘photos of your garden and of those peppers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think autumn is too short, or at least the part where the trees change color. Trees around here are starting, and I always try imprint the scenery in my mind (because taking pictures during rush hour traffic is not recommended ๐Ÿ™‚ ). It’s finally cooled down enough that I can start baking again. I’ve got some apples past their prime, and some frozen pumpkin, so I think some apple bread and pumpkin bread is in my future. The smells of autumn!

      Have a wonderful weekend, Margot!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s been raining like crazy where my sister lives, too, in Indiana. She could have written this with you–between her drowned garden and wet bees!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, drowned garden! Farther south of us had it worse; there were some nasty storms that went through, and a tornado that hit an airport. Nothing like they’ve had in N. Carolina from Florence, though. (thank goodness we’re too far inland to get stuff like that (we just make up for it with winter cold))

      Have a great weekend, Jacqui!


  4. Your canned peppers are beautiful! When my grandmas used to can them and her other bounties, they were the hit in our family. That is a lot of rain
    …wish you could send some to us! I’m ready for it. I’m going to start some brocolli, peas and lettuce in our green house later today. Fingers crossed this goes well. I agree with Dory…I only got 300 words done yesterday but better than 0! Have a great weekend Julie!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My mom used to can tomatoes and pickles. Loved Mom’s pickles! I like to do the peppers because they are so colorful (and easier to cram into jars than cucumbers for pickles). It’s the waiting that’s tough ๐Ÿ˜€ !

      Good luck with your seed-starting! I do mine in the early spring. I love watching the seedling grow ๐Ÿ™‚

      Enjoy your weekend, Denise! Write on!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this time of year: your produce posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Julie, in our latest posts, both you and I have autumn on our minds.
    Enjoy the season!


    Liked by 1 person

  7. We havenโ€™t had much rain this summer in Maine – very dry here. But right on cue temps dipped into the 30โ€™s last night on the first day of autumn. We fired up the furnace this morning after sleeping with the window open. Your tomatoes look gorgeous and Iโ€™m impressed that kale lasts until the snow flies. I love brussel sprouts, especially locally grown. Your pickled peppers look scrumptious. Isnโ€™t it fun to look at a shelf filled with home made pickles? My husband is the pickle maker in our family and I am his helper. Sounds like you are writing enough to keep the muse at bay. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Molly! We’ve been leaving the windows open and enjoying the cool weather, but it hasn’t gotten that cold around here yet. Up in northern MN is another story ๐Ÿ™‚ . I just opened another jar of my first batch of pickled peppers–bonus, you don’t have to wait as long to eat them as you do pickles (3 weeks vs 3 months). And I love looking at the shelves of pickles and tomatoes. Reminds me of my mom; she always canned tomatoes and pickles when we were growing up. Loved Mom’s pickles! She never did peppers, but I like doing them. So tasty!

      I think my Muse must be satisfied with my progress (maybe not happy, but satisfied ๐Ÿ™‚ ), because he hasn’t been lurking with the bullwhip or fedora lately. A good thing!

      Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. We’ve been clobbered with a lot of rain too, and it took a toll on many of our tomatoes. At least we managed to have a few of those wonderful BLTs with homegrowns before they all went belly up.

    Your garden is amazing. I bet the zucchini are going to be wonderful ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oh–and I’m with you on the season thing. I would love if winter only lasted through early January and then we moved directly into spring!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, your tomatoes are done? Bummer. Although when I went out to the garden yesterday, most of my tomato plants were wilted, which is really strange. I attribute it to the cool (upper 40s) night we had a couple days ago, but I don’t remember it happening before. At least there are still some good tomatoes starting to get ripe on those plants. Wish I knew what happened.

      Have a great week, Mae!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your tomatoes look great, Julie, even with the few that didn’t fare well. I put most of my garden (a much smaller garden than yours) to bed yesterday since my September has been a bust over all. But the kale, acorn squash, and brussel sprouts are still going strong. Good for you for writing every night. It adds up. Enjoy the autumn and the peppers!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy Fall…may your Autumn harvest be bountiful!


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