Saturday, October 30, 2010

The frost is on the pumpkin

Yesterday we had a good frost but today it is a hard freeze. As I looked out over the pasture in first light, a lone deer was slowly making her way home across the frozen grass. Whenever I see a single deer, I always think of my daughter.

Heading to an 18th century fair at historic Locust Grove this morning! I wish I could wear my dress, but it is more of a summer dress and besides, I need my daughter to lace me up in the stays! I need to work on getting some warmer long skirts! I am hoping I will find something for Christmas!

Cleaned up the garden some yesterday in the late afternoon sunshine. I love late afternoons in the fall! The sun plays so differently with the shadows! Removed the old marigolds and other annuals and mulched the lavender beds. I still have a lot to do! My forget-me-nots were still ok..but I imagine when I go out this morning...they will be wrapped in a frosty death.

Busy day today...bringing my parents to my farm for big Ohio State Football game. You can't grow up in Ohio and not be a Buckeye fan. Gives me pleasure to share this again with my Mom and Dad.

from along Turkey Run Creek...where the deer are searching for some acorns......

Friday, October 29, 2010

Odds and Ends...for October

I had fun carving my first pumpkin in years! I don't know why I haven't done one recently; (probably because no one comes trick or treating all the way up to the farmhouse) but I found a kit that we used when my daughter was little, so I decided to make a "Pumpkin Moonshine" as Tasha Tudor called them. Now mine, is not really a Pumpkin Moonshine, as that name reflects the man-in-the-moon face. Ours was a flying witch...! What took 4 lights to get enough to show up in the picture...but it was entertaining even for my husband!..I hope to do another one this weekend.

Speaking of my daughter, I found our two cats (Gold Nugget and Gussie) getting quite cozy on her chair! They fight mostly when my husband and I are around. As I was heading to bed...they both settled down for a long least till I took their picture! (I think they were upset that I caught them in a compromising position!!!)

I found this visitor to the farm the other morning! It has been a long time since I have seen a 'stick' bug or as my parents generation called them, "Walking Sticks". These bugs can actually re-grow a leg if it is lost or damaged! And...some varieties can reproduce without a male! This one made it all the way into our kitchen...but was safely escorted outside.

The farm survived the lowest pressure 'perfect' storm (according to all meteorologists) this past week. Lots of limbs and twigs down and some minor damage to the house. We got over an inch of rain...much appreciated, but we need so much more. Our pond is down by at least 4 or 5 feet. It is the dark of the moon, so time to go plant more bulbs. Also had our hardest freeze this morning, so it is time to clean up the annuals and cut back, put the garden to bed. Don't forget to add some color to your garden by adding some pansies.

As the English say "No flowers, no leaves, no bees, no birds - No vember"

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Home in Indiana and a farm update!

Hard to believe after all this time, but my parents ( 90 and 87 - born and raised in Ohio) moved last week to Southern Indiana...not 10 minutes from my farm! I am so excited to have them close and so relieved. Talk about stress reduction - I have slept like a baby for the past week.

The move was a very stressful time, but we made it! Their car was so full of their clothes and kitchen pantry items, I had to leave my luggage in Ohio! I figured it was mostly summer clothes...but once I got home, I realized my best pants and skirt were left behind too! Oh well, a trip to Ohio is planned soon, to retrieve more items...this time I will make room for my luggage! We are all adjusting well! I feel like a major weight has been lifted off my shoulders...I'm free to think about my farm again, flowers for the new gardens planned for 2011, lunch with friends and prepare for my daugther's visit in 4 weeks! YAY!

Farm update - I rode my first baby born on the farm on Tuesday! Skye was born 5 years ago to my mare, Cowgirl and Woody, my reining studly dudly! Skye was born mid of course I missed his birth, but my husband was there...beautiful baby boy, but he is now called "Special Ed" by my daughter due to all his problems! (quick list: blood transfusion at 2 days, knocked out front tooth at 3 months, punctured hoof which required 5 month stall rest, ripped off eye lid, get the picture!) Anyway..I promised myself that after the move, I would ride him, as I have had a trainer working with him since August! Well, I got on...but I don't think I would call what I did as riding! I felt like a bag of potatoes in the saddle! I need to work on that again...geesz.

First killing frost yesterday...lost just a few things..mostly my husband's favorite sweet potato vine. We are still in a drought and expecting rain this weekend. I need to work on my meadow...lousy year for flowers. I am going back to purchase some fall seeds from American Meadows to see if I can get a start on things for the spring. It just makes sense, flowers drop their seeds in the fall and let nature take its course.

Plans for summer of 2011 are a new flower (cutting) garden by the deck and hopefully a fish pond near the deck. We will see if I can get it all together by summer. I am also planning a new addition to the house. With my parents in town, there is just no room in the living room for the entire family!

One final word for today Lavender Essential Oil!!! I was making some fudge for my father and I burned my two fingers. (stupid on my part...touched the burner on the stove!) I've had a smooth top stove for over 20 years...first time I ever burned myself. Anyway, I soaked my fingers in lavender oil during the rest of the cooking time for the fudge. I also soaked a bandaid in the oil put it on my finger and went to bed. While, I 'killed' some skin from the burn, the pain is gone and there is no blister. Finger works great...except I'm having a little trouble using my laptop's mouse pad.

Hunter's moon is full and bright! Enjoy!

Coming soon - Long Apron Society!

from along Turkey Run Creek...where the vultures have moved on to better hunting grounds and the creek is dry and no turkeys in sight.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Vultures and clotheslines

Autumn is here...kinda caught me 'napping'! I've been on the road between Indiana and Ohio so much lately...that I missed all the signals. One of the new things that has happened at the farm while I was gone, is that the vultures have decided to use my roof as their private tarmac to warm up and dry their wings before their morning hunt. Not exactly something I am real happy about! Their feet make a horrible screeching noise as they try land, hang on or takeoff from our metal roof. Just a little unnerving early in the morning. Yesterday there were 15 perched on the roofline.

I love clotheslines! (I know, I know...dryers are so much more convenient and my mother tells horror stories of drying cloth diapers on a clothesline in the winter and stacking them like boards to bring them in!) But there is just something about the clean crisp feel of clothes dried on a line in the sun. There's a lot to be said about the wonderful smell of 'sunshine' on your clothes. Talk about your aromatherapy! The smell of sunshine lingers for days in your clean clothes. I have forgotten much about using a clothesline. The art of which way to hang your clothes, using clothespins effectively, keeping the lines clean and your clothes off the grass, etc. And in our planned obsolescence really can't find good clothespins that last more than one season. And to add insult to injury...some neighborhoods will not allow residents to have a clothesline. How sad...that you can not use wind and solar power to dry your own clothes. One reason I love living in the country.

from along Turkey Run Creek...where the turkeys are few and far between, vultures plentiful...and the creek is dry!