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So, this is how my November started.

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It has been a stormy month, both personally and meterogically. (Is that even a word? I’m just going to go with it.)  The weather cannot seem to make up its mind. Warm and sunny,  then cold and sunny. Warm and rainy, then cold and rainy. Life seems to go the same way.

Some days are good and flush with blessings, where on  other days we have been struggling to remember that it could always be worse.

We have been making our plans though,  despite the setbacks.. My husband and I still work twards our goals. We have enjoyed our Thanks giving holiday. Our youngest came to visit from college. It is always a treat to spend time, cooking and laughing. Everyone brought something to the table, football was on tv, and there was plenty of talking and being thankful for each other’s company.

The setbacks have been more of a puzzle, and it is sometimes hard to keep the positive attitude needed to overcome the challenge.

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To get my mind off things, I decided to take a walk and look for some fall color. It hasn’t been easy to find here. We go from lush green, to dull brown, mostly. The colors  are out there, though, if I just look hard enough.  We have some paths near our property used for 4 wheelers that are heavily wooded. The neighborhood has large lots with pretty gardens.  I grabbed my camera, leashed the dog,  and  off I went in search of fall and a quiet mind.

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The leaves have fallen away from some of our trees, exposing the birdhouse behind. The birds have been busy in it, making ready for winter.

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Ah! There is some color.

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Pretty leaves of a climbing vine.

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Yellow and rust colors adorn some of our trees.

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I just enjoyed the light in these. It is very peaceful out here. The mosquitoes even gave me a pass this walk. They were thick around me, but never bit.

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Another of the light through the trees. It was a beautiful day. The fall light was gorgeous  along the path.

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Pretty blooms still spring up here and there.

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Our fountain flowers are still blooming, also.

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I was suprised to see roses, still. They are welcome in the garden.

The walk did much to clear my head, and I could now give thought to future plans. My parents have asked us to stay for a while longer, as they are enjoying this arrangement. I must admit, we have enjoyed it also, but honestly we are in no position to leave right now.  Our bills grow, while wages shrink, making for a frustrating situation.

I have decided to go back to school. It’s  only a certificate, not a degree,  but it comes with the promise of a job that will provide more than I have currently.  It gives some hope, but not immediate relief. It will be a few months before study will become paycheck. I will just have to mind my patience until then.

My  husband and I have been making frequent trips to our storage to retrieve personal items. Most notably our bedroom furniture. We have been staying in an office/guest room here. We had all our clothes and belongings in laundry baskets set upon an enormous double desk with hutch, which took up 1/4 of the 11’×11′ room we occupy with eachother, a large dog and small cat. The furniture will be refinished (look forward to future posts about that) , but it is better to have it here, especially since we will be here a bit longer. It is nice to have my own things around me again. I also grabbed my crafting boxes and dehydrator,  as I need to now start on Christmas Goodies.

Our staying extra months has given me pause on what I should plan for next year’s garden. I will have to learn more temporary solutions to our temporary problem. Although I had hoped last year to have a greenhouse and raised beds built by now, I will have to be creative. I do not want to NOT have a garden. The family and I definitely enjoyed, and are still enjoying, all that fresh produce from this year’s efforts.
I have many large pots and tomato stakes, along with my other gardening extras still tucked away in storage. Maybe another weekend I will get those, but spring planting is still a few months away, yet.

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I do know that I will have to plan my fall garden better. My green onions are hardly more than sprouts. I should have reseeded this in July. Note made, next year I will do better.

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My peppers are still producing, though it is too cool for more blooms. I only hope they will be ripe soon, and that it is not too cool for that. If not, we will harvest them green. I will just have to hide them in meals from my father, who doesn’t enjoy green peppers.  I am clever, though, I will figure it out.

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The peppers have also produced a black/purple variety. These turn red while the green ones become yellow. They have the same issue as the green, as they are not ripening quickly enough. These Wil be harder to hide. I will manage, though. Maybe these will be good in some salsa.

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The lemon tree is ripening all at once. In another week I will have hundreds of enormous lemons ready for harvesting. The limbs are so heavy with fruit the droop near the ground. I see a bounty of lemon. Juice from a few days of juicing in my near future.

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A bird nest is snuggled in amongst the lemons.

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My Poo-Princesses keep on growing. We had a bit of a fright. We were thinking Doodle, my wyandotte,  may have come down with Fowl Pox. She never grew ill, though, thankfully. We believe the black specks and spots may have been the result of a hen-pecking. They have since healed, and the other girls never had even the smallest symptoms.

Meanwhile, Jewel the Orpington has grown to be huge compared to her flockmates. Weighing at least eight pounds, she is a hefty,  healthy girl. She doesn’t throw her weight around too much. She has a sweet personality and likes her pets. She likes her treats more, but pets are pretty okay, too.

The hens are still laying well. I get at least 2 eggs every day. Most days 3.  Cookie, my Easter egger being the top layer, as well as top hen, giving an egg every day. I don’t think she has missed but 1 day since her fist lay in October. All the hens are very healthy and I enjoy so much just watching them do their chicken thing in the yard every day.

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Except when they destroy my plants. My radishes have been resilient, but the girls are relentless. It’s like my Poo-Princesses have a hatred of radishes, digging them up, but not eating them. Just want to throw them, and the dirt around.

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Hiding behind a tomato cage, some have grown well. I will get maybe 12 radishes this year, if I can keep them safe from a spiteful hen.

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My girls do graze on the lettuce. These pots are the hens’ salad bar. They especially enjoy the green tower lettuce.  They don’t dig it up, just trim it down as it gets taller, then let it grow back and do it again.

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They hate radishes…

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They leave the mixed baby lettuces for me though.  Next year’s garden will have to be set up differently than this year to prevent my girls from getting to it, like they have this year. That, or the girls will have to be confined differently. I am figuring for the garden fencing, as I really enjoy giving my chickens run of the yard..

November has been a study of ups and downs. I know there will always be challenges, and I must just work that much harder and smarter to overcome them.  December is here, and it is a time for celebrations, more family time and holiday gift giving. I have a busy month ahead, and classes start soon after the first of the year. My parents are soon to set off traveling again after the Christmas holiday. I will have less chores and plenty of quiet time to study.

I just have to remember to mind my patience, and do what I can do in this moment.

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