Friday, October 30

Millers Corners Cemetery, Ionia NY

Millers Corners Cemetery is in Ionia, NY, the town where I grew up. This cemetery is a wealth of historical information and is a gem to genealogy addicts like myself. Not only are many relatives burried here, but the town founders, the Millers, are here as well.

I always like to visit this cemetery, even though I know alot of the stones, because it just feels like there is always something new to discover about someone. Today I wandered over to a stone of a WWII casualty and I remember the name as someone I have numerous newspaper articles about in a folder back home. And I started wondering about how many people in the cemetery have WWII, WWI, Civil War and maybe even Revolutionary War connections. So now I have another project for another day - and I can't wait to see what I find.

Thursday, October 29

leaves, mint and rainy dull days

Today was a fall day that did not impress me. Fall days usually impress me to no end - the bright crisp blue skys, the frosty coating on anything still resembling a plant, and the brilliant yellow leaves still hanging on the branches of the dark, dark brown maple tree.

But today it was rain. Cold, damp, rainy and dull. Rainy fall days cast a vail of "dank" over my fall colors.

I tried my best to enjoy it regardless with a trip to my parents house and the warmth of a wood burning stove and a home made toasted cheese sandwich for supper. There are usually a million things that catch my eye on the drive over to take pictures of. And today, even though it was overcast, I took some anyway. This one above is of a field where a herd of buffalo used to call home. I grew up a mile away and used to ride my bike down and watch them when I was young. They met with an untimely death which I will not go into due to the sad nature of the story.

After a nice visit, I am home now. The baby is in bed, I am relaxing with peanut butter toast and my husband is reading one of my "girly" magazines. Learning how to get flat abs in a week from Self Magazine. He's not interested in tonights episode of CSI, I guess.

But back to fall. My vegetable garden is gone, all brown dirt and the wayward rock. And, of course, the few brave green weeds that are making one last stand. I have started trimming back all the flower gardens - taking stock of what is growing where, what I need to divide and ripping out by the roots the horrible weed called mint that has attempted to take over a few of my gardens this year. The year of the mint invasion is what 2009 will go in the gardening journal as. Currently thriving in the lily garden, the veggie garden and the rose garden by the house, I have been flighting it all season. The veggie garden is my own fault but how it got into the other two is beyond me. They are all so far away from each other. Another mystery for next season.

Roy has trimmed most of the banches that needed to be gone before winter and the yard has seen it's last mow. The leaves are falling and we will be raking soon.

I just don;t want to rake wet leaves.....

Friday, October 23

Indian summer is an informal expression given to a period of sunny, warm weather in autumn in the northern hemisphere, typically in late October or early November, after the leaves have turned due to an onset of frost but before the first snowfall.

According to Wikipedia anyway.

Wednesday and Thursday of this past week were beautiful - sunny and breezy and warm and perfect for fall yard clean up. I spent every minute possible outside working around the yard. (Thank you Mom for coming over and watching the baby!). There is still so much to do but I am just glad for Indian Summers.

My favorite days are Indian Summer days. It is still fall, which is the perfect season. The leaves are all colors of, well, fall. And there is no humidity or exhausting heat and need for sunscreen. It's warm but cool, breezy but no bitter wind chill, and kind of cloudy, kind of sunny... kind of perfect.

Today it turned back into the kind of fall that I'm not crazy about. Chilly, rainy and everything looks dull and dead. The leaves that were bright yellow and oragne and red yesterday are still there, but they are damp and dull now. Today was a laundry day. An inside day. But I'm hoping for more of my favorites to come before the snow flies.

This also marks when my attention shifts to inside projects. Fall is crochet time, which I love. I have more afghans in this house than I will ever need. So in true homesteading spirit, I have taken on learning new skills. I am having a great time learning knitting, piano, and I am looking forward to trying my hand at soap making.

Which is why I love Indian Summer days - it means the colors I love, the weather than is perfect, and it promise of coming inside days full of afghans, key of G, and waiting for the Baker Creek Seed catalog to come in the mail....

Wednesday, October 21

Our Friend the Coyote

My neighbor owns and operates a big tree farm next to/behind our 2 acres. He has graciously allowed us to walk our dog on the property and generally go hiking around and exploring. The best part however, is the wide array of wildlife that calls his tree farm home. Deer, fox, hawks, beaver, rabbits, woodchucks and coyote - and probably many more. I try to have my camera handy when I'm out and about in the yard but it's hard to get a nice pic of a deer for some reason. I managed to snap this blurry one of a cheeky buck who stood just long enough for me to get the camera button half way down.

Last Saturday night the coyotes were in rare form, howling at the moon in what sounded like a large group of at least 6 or 7. In the darkness, I could not see them when I looked out the back window but they were close - probably in the back yard.
If we had a nice solar dusk to dawn light (that my husband has promised to install since we moved in over 4 years ago), I would have been able to see them.
It was both exciting and scary to have them so close to the house making all that noise. So exciting becasue I love to watch all the aniamls around here and I love living in a place that is still "county" enough that they are still living here. There are, of course, much more "county-ish" places, but I consider myself lucky that we were able to move out of the city and that I can call these two acres on a quiet road home.
Scary, however, becasue it's a COYOTE! Lots of them, in my yard. They eat small animals. We don't have the chickens that I want yet - hopefully next spring - but I do have my three cats. They are indoor cats but two of them are bound and determined to escape every time someone tries to carry in a load of groceries into the house. Just the mom in me, but I worry.
But I would not trade this wonderful house and these two acres for any type of living arrangement that would ensure coyote-free nights. So, let them howl and I'll enjoy every minute.

Tuesday, October 20

I thought this picture was so telling of how much I love fall. I love the colors, the smells, the sounds...
When Lily was alive, she and Snowy would love to play in the dry leaves all over the yard. I would rake them up in big piles and they would jump in them and play, attacking eachother, barking and jumping around. Now Snowy is older and it is just she and I in the yard with the leaves. And she prefers to lay in the grass and watch me rake.

I look forward to the first day that I can smell fall. It is usually around the middle of September and it is early in the morning when I get up to let Snowy out. It is just getting light and there might be a very light frost and it is crisp and a little chilly. It smells like the early morning at a camp site in the 1000 Islands after a late night of campfires. It feels like I should be standing on my front porch with my hands cupped around a big mug of steaming coffee, just like in the commericals. But I don't like coffee so I will settle for hot cocoa. For me this marks the end of summer and the beginning of cleaning up and closing up for the colder months to come.

Fall in the Yard

Sorry It's Been So Long

It's been a long time since my last post - sorry to those who read this. Things have been crazy here at the homestead.

First the hot water tank went and we needed to bite the bullet and get a new one. We tried to get the most efficent one possible and it works well but it took a bit more out of the budget than we would have liked. I guess I was just under the impression that hot water tanks were supposed to last a long time, like longer than 20 years.

And fall is finally here - the beautiful leaves, the crisp chilly weather, and the massive amounts of yard and garden clean up. Most of it will end up in the compost but a few things, like the Chinese Lanterns and maybe some sedum, will be dried and used for decoration in the house. The beans that I left on the vine are all nice and dry now so they will be saved to plant next year. We really enjoy the purple pole bean, so I think I am going to plant more rows next season.

Part of the before mentioned fall clean up included cleaning up the remains of the trumpet vine that used to be growing up the side of the barn. My loving husband, patient and wise as he is, decided that he was tired of having the vine growing into the tracks of the big sliding doors of the barn. After having quite a time opening the closing the doors to get the trailer out the other day, I looked out the kitchen window to see the trumpet vine waving wildly in the air and crashing to the ground. This was no ordinary vine - it was BIG - about 3 inches in diameter at the base. And now it is gone. I yelled and complained and my husband explained that he was tired of that vine knocking the door off the track. So, today I cut the rest of the stump and carted off the remains. There is another vine, almost just as big, growing up the other side of the barn where the is no door so I am very happy to report that this vine will live a long and productive life.

There are a few flowers trying to give one last showing before the snow starts flying. I have one very pretty little yellow rose and a few wayward poppies in the garden, as well as a small branch of little white climbing roses. It is always nice to see flowers still trying to make a go of it when the leaves around them are red and yellow and brilliant orange. There has been one hard frost here but they seem to have survived.