Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

Fall Back.

Posted on | October 30, 2013 | No Comments

Can we fall back yet?  ‘Cause I’ve been leanin’ in until it hurts.

First, the summer garden was putting a lot of pressure on the nightly dinner plan.  After all, I was running out of menu ideas to use up the eggplant,


and cherry tomatoes that were still coming in.

Grilled veggie panini is always a hit around our house.  Just not for more than 3 times a week.  Thanks to the last hurrah of the basil plant we managed to make some pesto veggie pizza, too.  But we were pretty close to having to fry or stuff the vegetables just to get the kids to eat them.  I’m pretty sure battering and frying eggplant or stuffing pepper strips with cream cheese and bacon negates all the nutrients and antioxidants of fresh veggies.  But if we must, we must!

Luckily we were saved from monotony by one (one!) pie pumpkin in the pumpkin patch that resulted in some scrumptious pumpkin muffins.

Plus three butternut squash (which only counted as one butternut squash thanks to the nibbling by the squirrels)….

….for a decent squash casserole.

In hopes of diversity, the fall transplants had to be put in and the seeds planted.

Then I moved on to fencing the chickens out of the front yard, spreading compost, and planting grass seed.  All as part of the Create A Lawn plan.

I know, I know.  Last year I was busy mulching the front yard and choking out the grass.  As part of the Create A Mulched Natural Area plan.  For me, growing grass is kind of like having bangs.  I wake up one day and decide my life would be so much better if I looked in the yard and was overcome with the blinding green of rippling grass.  Or looked in the mirror and was amazed by my fashionable and well-groomed bangs.  So I then get grass and lose my mind with the seeding and fertilizing and mowing and raking.  I get the bangs and freak out over the styling and straightening and trimming and, eventually, pinning back of the bangs.  It’s a vicious circle.  And it always ends with everything reverting back to it’s natural ragged and frizzy state of being.  Nature is always stronger than nurture around here.  But it’s not stronger than the desire to make the same mistake again and again.  And again.

Speaking of mistakes, Harvey got moved outside.  The farmer I got him from warned me that although French Angora rabbits were friendly enough to be indoor pets, they were stinky enough to be barnyard animals.  Who would’ve thought that a woman who’s been raising rabbits for 15+ years would know what she was talking about?  When the bunny smell from Pretty’s room started wafting down the hall, I started building Harvey a new hutch.

He ended up with 2 story townhouse on the deck.

With the added benefit of the fenced in deck as his personal patio.  So that whenever I was cleaning the house or working in the barn (or spending hours and hours seeding and reseeding the front yard), he could enjoy the freedom of hopping around, stretching out in the shade of the table, and nibbling the ivy.

Speaking of the deck, I finally found a place for the last crib mattress that was hanging around.  I used to keep that mattress under my bed for whenever a kid was too sick, too weepy, or too scared for his or her own bed.  Since sleeping in our bed was out of the question (keep your attachment parenting to yourselves, people!!), I settled for putting the crib mattress on the floor in our room next to our bed.  A sleep-sleep solution for everybody!

But now they’re all too long for a crib mattress.  And old enough to settle for sleeping on the couch in the den, next to our room when they’re too sick, too weepy, or too scared to sleep alone.  And in case of emergency that couch is just long enough to accommodate me, too.  A zombie emergency.  Like when I took Little to see World War Z and we both ended up cowering under the quilts on that couch together until the sun came up.  Just for the record, people, World War Z is not a kids movie.  If you’re picturing Scooby Doo zombies in that movie (like I was), you’re picturing it all wrong.  Wrong.  Wrong.  Stay-up-all-night-hiding-under-the-covers-Wrong.  Just so you know.


That crib mattress converted into a lovely new bench for the deck.  With just a few shower curtains and vinyl tablecloth.

I was going to get some outdoor fabric and sew a slipcover for the mattress and a pillow.  But the tablecloth and the shower curtains only cost $6 and took 15 minutes to hot glue together.  Which gave me more time to reseed the lawn again.  And time to move the water lettuce and flowering hyacinth into the greenhouse.

Lots of pond care magazines and plant nurseries will tell you that you can’t overwinter water lettuce and hyacinths in the greenhouse.  Supposedly, they’re too tropical and just turn to mush when nighttime temperatures get too cold.  I’m not sure why people who have been doing things for years and years think their experience is going to stop me from trying things on my own.  I’m just not the kind of gal that learns from others’ mistakes.  Learning from others’ mistakes.  Bah.  Booooring.

Besides, I’m trying to keep annual herbs in the greenhouse over winter, too.

Some kind of mite has already started in.

It’s a race to death.  Death by mite or death by mush.  Care to pick a winner?  Or is that a loser??

Regardless, the pond plants and the herbs were better off than the rest of the garden when the first frost finally arrived.

Which meant we didn’t have to worry about using up cherry tomatoes any more.  Hurray!  And, besides, the fall crops did just fine underneath their frost covers.

So now we’ll have lots of  lettuce and no….um,…..tomatoes.  Huh.  Kind of makes you want to trim your bangs by pulling your hair out.

That cold snap had some benefits, though.  By staying inside by the woodstove, I got caught up on some of the half-created crafting I’d been working on.

I finished the string art pictures I wanted for the hallway.

And the glass plate flowers I was making for yard art.

I even used some dollar store supplies to finish some new wreaths just in time for Halloween.

Lucky that I was caught up because the kids needed my full-on attention for Trunk or Treat.  With only an hour before the event, we had to find a black jacket, a robe, glasses, a trident, and a wand.   Good thing emergencies are my specialty.  Because the cyborg, farmer, Percy Jackson, and Harry Potter were ready with just a few minutes to spare.

I might have pulled it off but I did have the scars to show for it.  Hah!

So I’m looking forward to falling back.  I need that extra hour.  To take down all those bats.

Or rake the new grass.

Or start Christmas gift crafting.

But let me share a bit of my experience.  If you are wet felting beads out of scrap wool, keep your coffee on the opposite side of the table from your hot soapy water.  ‘Cause taking an accidental sip of hot soapy water kind of feels like you’re leanin’ in all over again.  For real, people.  For yucky-spit-up-on-your-crafting-table real.


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