A Trip to the Orchard

Door creek logo

It’s hard to believe that fall is here AGAIN. Wasn’t it just fall last year? My sense of time gets more warped the older I get.

Door creek truck

It seems like we were just here picking apples last year. This year is even better for we had an excellent growing season. I love the apple logo at our favorite orchard. It’s so quaint.

It’s even more adorable on this old truck.

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Our youngest son was rather reluctant to come apple picking. He quickly changed his mind when he realized how beautiful the apples were. He now tells me he wants to work here some day.

golden apples

We came home with bags of Empire, Golden Delicious and Jona Free apples.

We sampled each one on the drive home.

They were all excellent.

grapes

The orchard also has several different types of grapes that you can pick. The vines were loaded and we brought home a bag full of Concord grapes to make jam.

More on that soon!

mason bee house

I always enjoy seeing how professionals find ways to use sustainable gardening methods. This Mason Bee house was one of several along the orchard groves. The bees make there homes in here and pollinate the apples in the process. I love it!

black sheep

This farm raises black Welsh sheep. They sell their wool for yarn and you can buy fresh mutton, although I can’t imagine eating such a darling creature! They use the sheep to clean the orchards after the picking season is over. The animals eat the fallen apples and even find the weeds. Such smart farming!

Isn’t this ewe adorable? She quickly decided that I was not worth her time. She ran off to find someone who would feed her handfuls of grass.

black sheep grazing

I could get used to a view like this. I am quite sure that I must have been a shepherdess in another life.

Yup, sheep are my thing.

silo doors

Even the barns are so interesting. I love this round Silo with the rusty doors.

red barn

The red barns are so lovely. This one has a beautiful stone foundation.

Although we were just here, we have eaten almost all of the apples we picked. I guess we will just have to make another trip!

 

 

Nail Head Pumpkins

 

Viginette lead

 

I have never done very well with decorating pumpkins. They never seem to turn out quite how I imagined they would. My experiment with Nail Head Pumpkins proves this point.

When I was in the 5th grade, my Girl Scout Troop had a pumpkin carving contest.

I was determined to do great things and win the contest.

I carved BIG ears on my pumpkin, and put BIG rhinestone earnings on them.

I added BIG red wax lips, and drew a pair of BIG eyes on it complete with BIG eye lashes.

The crowning glory was my favorite blond wig. It had long, stringy blond locks and looked amazing on my giant pumpkin. I always wanted to be a blond you know. I let the big ears and rhinestone earnings stick out from under the greasy blond locks.

I set my pumpkin atop a pair of my favorite Converse tennis shoes, and she was done.

I was so proud.

nail heads close up

The judges came around and whispered among themselves as they studied each and every pumpkin.

They spent considerable time whispering over my pumpkin, and I was so hopeful that I had won the contest.

X pumpkin

Then they made an announcement. I had been disqualified. According to them, I didn’t carve enough of my pumpkin to be a winner, or even be in the contest.

math

Bessy Messy won the contest, for her stupid little carved pumpkin. It was awful. Her pumpkin didn’t even have hair. It was carved crookedly and out of proportion. I was devastated.

birds eye view

 

My Mamma, who lives with us, told me that I had brought home the most BORING WHITE pumpkins she had ever seen. Click To Tweet

I was determined to prove her wrong.

 

 

pumpkins on table

I went and bought these lovely copper finish upholestry nail heads at Hobby Lobby and couldn’t wait to start pushing them into my pumpkins. My husband loves math and I thought he would be super impressed if I incorporated a MATHEMATICAL element in our decor.

Except, I had to look up mathematical symbols because I really couldn’t remember any. I drew the shapes onto the pumpkins with a pencil, then inserted the nail heads. It was probably the only time in my life that I actually enjoyed math.

Don’t tell my kids. Or my husband.

I thought the Pumpkin Pi was so much fun. I think it looks amazing with my $5.00 thrift store lamp. Kind of like the wig on my beautiful pumpkin way back when.

I think the coppery nail heads looks tremendous with the gold picture frame we rescued from the neighbors trash heap down the street. And the thrift store potpourri.

table

Besides, mathematical symbols would be educational for the kids, right? They would look at this display and think “Gee, I should go do my math homework.”

My son said, “Really Mom?”

“Don’t you think we already know what equals means?”

Well, what about the double lesser than? I bet you don’t know what that one is!?

“Yes Mom, it’s much lesser than. I get it.”

Sigh. I guess I still haven’t won the pumpkin contest.

The potpourri that I bought made me sneeze and had to be removed from the premises. Too bad, it was so pretty.

Of course, there is always next year. Maybe I should start shopping for a wig.

 

 

Decorating with Mums and Squashes

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We found the most AMAZING farm stand this week.

We were traveling a country road to a little school out in the middle of now where for a soccer game.

The only sites in the distance were pumpkins and the farm stand.

I knew I loved soccer.

I love finding little roadside treasures like unexpectedly!

What a wonderful coincidence!

I had been thinking about buying some beautiful squashes and pumpkins to decorate with, and I was itching to find some great Mums.

Suddenly, there they were!

Such a blessing!

There were WAGON LOADS of squashes, pumpkins, gourds.

All at .35 cents a pound.

SCORE!

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I could have brought home a truck load of stuff.

I could have shopped for hours, trying to choose just the right colors and textures.

I was swayed away from the traditional smooth pumpkins by the exotic squashes and gourds.

Mostly because we can eat the squash later.

I never met a swash I didn’t like.

We don’t have a ton of room on the narrow front porch, but there is enough space for a box display box.

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Room for everything but the Mums.

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I love Mums.

The colder it gets the more colorful they become.

They will last until Thanksgiving time. I usually pull them out after Thanksgiving, when I put up the Christmas decorations.

Thanksgiving really isn’t that far away.

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The roadside stand also had these beautiful ears of Indian Corn.

They are HUGE, about 12″ long.

I love their deep purple and golden colors.

I thought about adding bows and trinkets to them, but I decided I like them just as they are.

Completely natural.

I am a purist at heart, I guess.

Less is always more in my book.

Now all I need is to find some Kale.

Maybe we will come across another road side stand this week.

Enjoy your day!

Seasons of Change

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I have been sick this week. Stuffy nose and sore throat are no fun in the summer time. I haven’t had much energy to create anything new, let’s just say I am in my planning phase.

Summer is winding down, I am planning for fall. I see lots of things around me, ready for the change of seasons.

My plants are looking tired and wilted. They are ready to be replaced with some beautiful cool weather varieties with the coming of fall.

I am ready for seasons of change too. I am craving cool nights in front of the fire, and I just found my knitting basket today.

I can’t wait to sit and knit in front of the fire. It’s one of my favorite past times. It gives me time to think and plan just about anything.

I began organizing our homeschool books today, I am eager to get started on the school year. My older boys are going back to college soon, and those still at home have begun some early homework assignments. I have noticed all my kids seem more mature than they did at this time last year, they are taking on more responsibilities and have become more independent. I have more time to work on projects (which is not necessarily bad), but I miss the days when we would curl up together on the couch and read a good book together.

Fall isn’t far away.  Our rowing time on the lake has been cut short lately, it is getting darker each night, the air feels cooler. The crew team will continue until late October to row on the lake but I am not sure how dedicated I will be to the sport when the colder temperatures come.

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Our chickens have been under attack from a family of raccoons. We have fortified the coop with extra hardware on the doors and lock them in the peak of it each night. My husband came home to see the entire family of coons jumping up and down on top of the coop late one night.

Their time with us is limited I fear, the hunters will not give up until they have gotten what they want.

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We have decided not to winter the hens this year, since we don’t have the space in the garage anymore, but it makes me sad to think they will have to be sold in the near future.

We lost one hen to a hawk last week, Dumpling disappeared one day leaving only a small pile of feathers behind. I miss her.

We have also had a battle with chipmunks, mice and a big, fat wood chuck in the yard. There seems to be more wildlife here in the city than when we lived in the country. We are filling holes, insulating and hoping to get ahead of the critters before they try and nest for the winter.

Are you ready for the coming change of seasons?

What sort of changes are you making at your house?