The rains have passed once again, and the weather is back to muggy and warm. October is on the way out, but summertime still tries to linger.
The weather has been cooler; a sign of things to come. It is cool enough for my husband and I to make a trip to our storage to fetch my winter clothes out. By winter clothes I mean closed-toe shoes, long sleeve shirts, a couple light sweaters and a light coat. Winter is a mild season here. Fall is more like “late summer”, with the temperature usually hovering in the mid-80’s during the day, the mid-60’s at night. It really is a beautiful time of the year. That is, when it isn’t raining and the mosquitoes aren’t trying to turn us into human juice boxes.
The fall pot garden is really going now. I realize my mistake of planting some of it far too late. I am hopeful we can coax a harvest from it yet, if the warm weather holds. I really need to thin out my seedlings. I am also bad about this. I almost get sad yanking those poor seed babies from the ground after they fought so hard to reach the sun. It must be done, though, or they will choke eachother out, and there will be no radishes or tower lettuce. The mixed greens I am just letting run wild. Picking out the baby greens for eating will be thinning enough.
The patio princess tomatoes ripen still. They have such a fantastic flavor. They are dark red and tangy with a little sweetness. I suppose if I saved some back I could actually make some sauces, but they are so nice for fresh eating. We just can’t manage to not stay out of them.
More tomatoes have been growing. I hope they mature before the weather gets too cold and the days too short, but they just keep on blooming and setting fruit. Maybe I will just have to pickle the green ones.
There is a lemon tree on our property. It is hearty and full of fruits that we hope to see ripen soon. Last year, my mother saw a harvest of over 150 lemons. The whole neighborhood shared in that bounty. I had lemons all winter. There are not so many this year. I am sure the heavy rains had something to do with that. It is a healthy tree, though. No sign of blight or pests, just dozens of fist-sized lemons, still green, turning to yellow, but slowly.
We had some bandits in our yard. A huge mother raccoon and her four baby trash pandas have been making regular visits to our yard. They love to overturn pots, knock over trash cans and scatter garbage all down the driveway. I believe they have been testing the chicken coop, to no avail. It holds and my girls stay safe.
We are taking no chances, though. We set a trap, baited with crunchy peanut butter, out by the trash cans. We have caught two of the babies so far. My father takes them far out of the subdivision, into the National Forest, to release them. We haven’t caught the momma yet. Though I have my suspicion that her big, fluffy backside won’t fit in the trap. She is enormous.
We haven’t seen her, or the other two babies, for the last few days. Maybe the rains keep her away, or maybe she has figured out that it isn’t safe for her little ones over here. Either way, good riddance. They sure are cute, but we can’t be having all that nonsense over here.
I just gave Cookie a flight feather trim on one wing. She is quite adventurous. She has flown on the coop roof, I am guessing because that is where I set the treats during coop cleaning, you know, so they WON’T get them. She has also flown up on the woodshed roof and to the top of our fence. This concerns us as she has no fear, and the neighbors have dogs that enjoy chicken, I am sure. So I trimmed the flight feathers on her right wing. Now when she tries to get lift, she gets kind of lop sided. She still can fly low over the yard, just not enough lift to get over the fence… for now.
Doodle is my sweetest girl. She likes a good petting, though gets nervous when she is picked up. She enjoys sitting in my lap. I have gotten her to make her purr noise a few times as she dozes. Such a cute hen. She is my talker. She can be so noisy and is never quiet, especially if she isn’t getting her way. She can be incredibly loud.
Jewel just assumes anything in my hands is for her. When I sit with them in the morning, she takes interest in my coffee, or muffin, or whatever. She eats all the time. She knows where the chow is kept, also. Anytime anyone goes into the workshop she is hot on their heels.
According to Jewel, it truly is all about her and her belly all the time. She is a sweet girl, though. Perfectly content to nap in my lap, as long as I keep up the petting. If I stop stroking her back and head, she is off once again to find those tasty treats. She is just an Eating Machine.
All my girls are laying now. Cookie is my every day layer. The other two seem to alternate, but every day for the last week I have collected at least two medium sized eggs from the nest box. Well, except for the rainy days. They couldn’t leave their tractor, and someone laid an egg in the mud. Why? I don’t know. Out of protest maybe.
Cinder, the small cat, has stopped plotting against his family, but only in exchange for unlimited access to hair ties. He’s obsessed with them. He has stashes all over the house. When I run out of bands for my hair, I go and find the stashes and gather them back up, only to start the process over again. He can’t stop. He is a hair tie addict and proud of it.
Sampson tangled with what we think was a copper head snake. He had a bite on his foot, which swole up to the size of a large orange. Poor baby. A vet trip later the next morning and 18 pills a day for the next week and he is just about good as new. Though he was back to his squirrel chasing the very next day. I guess you can’t keep a good dog down. I am glad he will be ok, we were worried there for a bit.
Now that the days are growing cooler, we are enjoying spending evenings around the fire pit. The mosquitoes are still pretty awful, but that is what bug spray is for. It is very relaxing sitting out there with an adult beverage, watching the flames and listening to the forest around us. There really are very few better ways to spend an evening. At least, that is what I think.
Halloween approaches! My mother was bitten by her own Pinterest bug and we spent an afternoon painting little Minion pumpkins for our front porch. They turned out pretty adorable. I am sure they will please the trick-or-treaters that will soon come to haunt our doorstep for candy.
October is nearly over. Soon the bustle of the Holiday Season will be here. I will have to enjoy these days while they last, as this is my favorite month of the year. Soon my youngest will come to visit and we will enjoy our traditional scary movie marathon and snacks while we pass out the Halloween candy. Good times ahead.
I will have much to be thankful for next month.
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