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?

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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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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

PNC Conference Recap

I recently attended the Preservation North Carolina annual conference last week. This year's was held in downtown Raleigh and the theme was "1964: The New Historic."

As you can probably tell, several sessions focused on modernism and recognizing resources from our recent past. The conference offered a great primer on modernist buildings, particularly mid-century resources in North Carolina, and the issues and challenges of preserving these for our future.

One of the sessions I attended given by my former professor, Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll, detailed how we need to be looking at the integrity of historic resources from our recent past not only through the lens of its physical historic fabric, but also using a values-based approach. It's interesting to think of the meaning of historic integrity with the community in mind, but it certainly makes a lot of sense and is something to be considered more often. The session also explored the seven aspects of integrity (location, setting, materials, design, workmanship, feeling and association) and how these need to be addressed in terms of preservation and National Register significance for our mid-century resources.

Another session I attended highlighted the ability of lasers and other technologies to record and document buildings to scale as a form of measuring and creating rectified, scaled imaging. It was so cool and really demonstrated just how much new technology is changing the field of architectural history and historic preservation.

And lastly, the keynote speaker on Friday, Steven Semes, offered a really fresh and needed perspective, in my opinion, on designing new and compatible infill in historic districts. So often we preservationists interpret Secretary Standard No. 9 that calls for:

"New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the historic integrity of the property and its environment." mean that we need to be constructing new structures or additions that are clearly and wholly different from the old, yet compatible in massing, scale, etc. This often results in a contemporary addition or infill property that does not fit in with the character of the district or allude to its stylistic character. Semes reminded the audience that it is okay and perhaps better to be designing stylistically compatible buildings that can still be differentiated from the old so that the character and historic integrity of the place or district is not compromised. An infill structure does not have to be modern or contemporary in all cases. It was certainly an interesting stance that I hadn't heard--a backlash to the current line of thinking for a lot of preservation purists.

Unfortunately I did not get to enjoy many of the social gatherings and activities that were offered (the costs of being a new mother, haha!) but I am looking forward to future conferences for sure. Next year's is going to be in Salisbury!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Updated Living Room

I have been meaning to post our updated living room for some time now. It's been on my to-do list for a llllooonngg time and I'm finally ready to share it with you!

I showed you my plans for the wingback chairs and updated you on what we had accomplished so far in this post. If you remember, we removed the stain from the legs as best we could to achieve a natural looking, aged finish. I've only full completed one chair and the other one is still a work-in-progress.

I chose a neutral-colored fabric from Ballard Designs (Trilby Basketweave in Natural) to cover the chairs.

Here they are!

Other living room updates included DIY new curtains, DIY throw pillows, some tweaks to the gallery wall, different end tables (my mom's hand-me-downs), and the use of the top of the mantel as a display space. I think it feels more pulled together now and it certainly is a room consisting of items collected over time that each have a special meaning. Several of the pieces are family pieces or hand-me-downs.

the little end table between the two chairs is an old milk carton crate with a butcher block top

this trunk is a family heirloom on my mother's side- it still has the original owner's initials, "EMT"

The curtains were made by my mom while I was on bed rest with the twins. The fabric is Waverly Ballad Bouquet Robins Egg. I really liked the combination of the colors and even though it's been around a while I've always been drawn to a soft, classic floral. I think it provides some much needed color with the neutral furnishings.

I moved some of the larger items that were in this room to above the fireplace mantel. I think they fit better up there and don't take up as much space below since they aren't really functional. The railroad lanterns/lights belonged to my husband's Grandpa, who worked for the railroad in Slaton, Texas. The fan is something I picked up in college for super cheap and the hand-blown glass piece was made by my husband.

Have I ever told you how much I hate the fireplace box inserts they put in these when they renovated the and moved the house? Just another little thing that irks me.....there are quite a few areas where the landlord/owner cut corners or where the work is shoddily done. I can't complain too much though.

Where these vintage suitcases sit we are actually going to place my husband's keyboard set up permanently. It is much easier on him if he doesn't have to keep getting it out and since he doesn't have much space in the house where he gets to control the decor, I figured I should allow him this concession :)

Although I'm not a huge fan of having a separate living room from our family room now that we have kids, because we have two this one stays very neat and clean for the most part and allows a more formal space where we can have guests and celebrate Holidays.

I hope you enjoyed the living room tour. The pumpkins on the mantel are part of my heirloom pumpkin stash that I enjoy getting every year from a local market. The photo is just a snippet of what I hope will be my next post- a fall home tour!

Thanks for visiting!

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