Muses for a Friday Morning…

The Weather

For the past few days the weather has been beautiful. Every day between 10am and 11am the outside temperature has risen above the inside temperature.  With great pleasure I have flung open the doors of the house to enjoy one of the two small periods of the year where the weather is comparable to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Yesterday the high in the house managed to hit almost 80° in the kitchen before the sun went down. Since Ike our kitchen has warmed up faster and higher than before we lost so much of our shade. I only hope the trees that are left will leaf out fuller next spring so the summer temperatures won’t be too obsessive.

Last night we had a new cool front filter into the area. It reinforced the cool weather we have been having. This morning it looks as if we will have a hard time reaching 60°. But the sun is out, the sky is clear and oh so beautifully blue, and the day should be just great. I plan to spend some more time outside clearing up more of the leaves and limbs that fall regularly from what is left of my trees.


Yesterday I fired up the grill and put two nice Boston Butts on to smoke. Bar-b-Que North Carolina style…Normally here in my neck of the woods what we smoke is brisket. Slow and low…Low temperatures and long times are normal for this kind of cooking. After about six hours on the smoke (I can’t really call it a fire), I brought the meat in and placed it in the oven to continue…Slow and low.

Last night before bed I wrapped it up in foil and put it in the refrigerator. This morning it went back in the oven…Tonight we will have pulled pork and slaw for supper…Red sauce for the Texas traditionalists and vinegar sauce for the adventuresome…

It’s a heck of a note when the week before Thanksgiving the weather is perfect for Bar-b-Que…Only in Texas.


The aftermath of hurricane Ike will be with us for a long while. Blue tarps on roofs are still the predominate color on the horizon in a lot of neighborhoods. Wooden fences are laid low across the area. Contractor’s vehicles outnumber residents in a lot of areas.

One of the strangest things though is the pecans. They were stripped of most of their mature leaves (and a lot of branches) during the storm. Now, looking around, it almost looks like spring with all of the new leaves thay put out in the last few weeks. I can’t help but wonder what this will mean to next years leaf production since a lot of next years buds are already producing leaves. When the real fall finally arrives here it will be strange.

Fall Color

The only fall color we seem to have so far is the Chinese Tallow trees. Sadly, they are usually our best color in the fall. An imported “trash” tree, they grow in “disturbed” land…Old fields, along the edges of woods, along streams and bayous. About the only thing they appear to be good for is the fall color.

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