Wednesday, October 29, 2014

An October Day's Garden Harvest

I can't believe I am still getting veggies (planted in spring) out of the garden in October!

Granted, I took this photo about a week or so ago, but still I was happy to have anything left at this point.

We did plant some more garden crops for the fall such as lettuce, garlic, kale, arugula, and peas. The rest of the garden now has to be pulled up and the soil prepped.

I have a lot of green tomatoes left on the vines, so I'm thinking of making a green tomato relish and doing some fried green tomato sandwiches here in the next few weeks.

Are you growing anything in your garden for fall?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Autumn at the Roost

I just love Autumn. It's my favorite season. One of the things I love about fall is the beauty of the outdoors and I love bringing some of that warmth and fall color into my home.

It seems as though in "blogland" everyone posts their fall decor so early these days--before the leaves even begin to change. It's almost reminds me of how the stores now have all their Christmas stuff out before Halloween even gets here! Well, I certainly am not following this trend and therefore am a little behind everyone else in sharing my fall home tour with you  :)

I thought we'd start at the front porch and then work our way back through the house.

A touch of fall in my entryway:

I'm a big fan of using natural decor for the seasons in my house, especially during fall, not only because it's cheaper and easier but I think it's simply more beautiful plus there is less waste and less "stuff" you have to pack up when the season ends. When we are done we simply use all our pumpkins, apples, etc. for cooking or saving seeds, and compost any flowers or foliage. I save and use my pine cones over again too.

I always like to decorate with different varieties of heirloom pumpkins and squashes. We have a great local place that sells beautiful ones of all sizes. They save their seeds and grow them on site! We planted pumpkins late this year, and I'm afraid we don't have any fruit to show for it :(

We don't have too many fall flowers in our garden, but I like to cut foliage and leaves for some nice natural color and use my brown transferware as pretty containers. Our leaves aren't quite turning yet, so they have a little while before they reach their full color potential.

My dining room table centerpiece:

I plan to put some fall foliage in the coffee pitcher when we have company over for meals.

I actually made the fabric scrap garland for the girls first birthday party...but since it's not until next weekend I am using it on my dining room mantel for now!  I also might still make a pine cone garland as we have a wealth of pine cones in our yard and I can reuse them for winter decorations.

I really do like to keep it simple.....not too much decor going on here- just a touch here and there!

And I couldn't resist throwing in a photo of my lil' pumpkins too :)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Goodbye Rosemary

I knew this day would come, but was hoping she'd last a few more years. Poor Rosemary at four and a half years old has bit the dust.

 I had noticed several months back she had been a bit sluggish and breathing was a bit heavier when she was roosting at night but I thought maybe it was just due to old chicken age. I saw she had a trail of flies following her bottom and when I examined her that she had flystrike. I won't go into the details of this condition (because it is super gross and I don't want to cause you to lose your last meal) but I cleaned her up the best I could and have been treating her, gave her some antibiotics, wormer, etc.  I noticed when doing this her abdomen below her bottom is HUGE and swollen. It is squishy and likely filled with fluid--apparently this condition is called ascites. 

Apparently for ascites you can drain the bird with a needle syringe and they may last months or years longer. However, a lot of times it's caused by liver disease, cancer, congestive heart failure, or some other serious illness :(  I had isolated her in a pet cage with food and water on the screened in porch so she could live out her last few days in peace and quiet and it would keep the flies out. We drained her some and wasn't sure if she would make it. She improved with the isolation and we were able to put her back outside with the flock for another three or so months. However, she fell back into the same predicament and unfortunately we had to put her down to end her suffering. 

I will miss dear Rosemary, as she was the last living hen from my original first flock that I acquired back in the spring of 2010. She was an old-timer and had survived many a predator strike. She was not afraid to try new treats and goodies that I set before the flock (unlike some of the other chickens) and during her lifetime she hatched out and mothered one brood of chicks. She was indeed the matriarch of my flock.

Goodbye Rosemary. 

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