I am aware that I often begin my posts with a description of our weather. That’s because the weather greatly affects what we do that day. Sunny and cool means more outside tasks, warm and humid is torturous, rain equals coziness, heavy snow means I’ll be outside snowblowing the driveway. Weather also affects what we wear: t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, or winter coats. You get the idea, I’m sure. Rain was forecasted for every day this week–and into this weekend–with percentages that kept changing downward. However, although we had some cloudy days, mostly the rain did not appear–either going around us or dissipating altogether. It did rain lightly during a night or two, and it is raining now, which means a cozy day of indoor tasks.
I heard that southern Michigan had severe storms on Tuesday with a possible tornado or two. When that storm moved through, the temperature turned much cooler, even for us in the north, with highs in the 50s or 60s (F) and overnight lows in the 40s. Definitely jacket weather.
Autumn seemed to have taken forever to arrive, but suddenly it is here, and now I feel as if winter will arrive before we get all out projects completed. Every year we never seem to finish everything we hope to get done, but we just shrug and say “We get done what we get done.” Every year we complete a few more projects than we did the year before.
The chickens leaped into our strawberry patch, which is in an old unusable hot tub that the previous owners of our house left behind. They scratched some of the straw out, exposing the plants, so I put wire fencing around the hot tub. I did it quickly in the evening and actually need to go out and do it more thoroughly but it was enough that the chickens aren’t going into the hot tub anymore. When I cover the other plants, I will put more straw on the strawberries. I also need to put fencing around the raised garden bed with the beets in it. They ate the tops. The chickens seemed to leave every planter alone that is surrounded by the fencing.
We still have to buy another roll of 7ft wire fencing to put around the apple trees to protect them from the deer. We hope to buy it after next payday.
On Tuesday the gravel guy arrived with a dump truck-load of gravel for our driveway. Two years ago the gravel was dumped out in piles–I think because our driveway was in such rough shape that we had to shovel the gravel along the edges where we needed it. This time the guy simply opened the tailgate and elevate the truck bed so it slowly dumped out the gravel as he drove down the driveway. It was done so skillfully that I didn’t have to shovel the gravel. I just had to rake it out a little. I’m really glad I didn’t have to shovel it since that would be tons of work. It would be even better if we had a grader to smooth it out, but we don’t, and it’s not bad the way it is. I think we could use another truckload for the bottom half of the driveway. Maybe we can still do it, but it’s not terrible if we can’t.
Kyle, the guy who brought the gravel is the son of the guy who owns the company. He had delivered most of our gravel two years ago. I was surprised that he remembered us. He said that when he heard we were ordering gravel again, he eagerly volunteered to bring it to us. “Most of our customers are not very pleasant,” he said, “but not you. You are good people. You are very good people.” That was a spirit-lifter. Kyle had brought us our potato stones two years ago at a reduced price. Those are the stones I’m using for my dams. He told me to let him know if we needed any more. He said he was starting his own business–delivering landscape stones. He orders some of his stones through his father’s company so he isn’t in competition to him. He said he bought his own truck, but dump trucks are expensive so he bought a used one and has been fixing it up. It was interesting chatting with Kyle.
Yesterday was a pleasant enough day that I decided to mow the lawn–possibly for the last time this year. It was chilly enough that I started out wearing my jacket, but I quickly warmed up enough that I took it off. It is much more enjoyable mowing the lawn when it’s not sweltering hot. Because we have fenced in most of the back yard for our garden, I have less to mow and I’m able do the whole lawn–the little that we mow–with just one tank of gas.
While I was mowing, I came across Thor’s Hammer lying at the edge of the driveway. It was very heavy, but I was able to pick it up. I believe that means that I have been deemed worthy to wield it. Ok, ok, it actually probably fell from Kyle’s truck rather than Valhalla because it was located near where he had parked. EJ called the company last night to let them know we had found it and they said someone would be out–probably on Saturday–to pick it up. I prefer the imaginative version of the story and I am hoping Thor will stop by to claim it. LOL.
Earlier this week I cut a bunch of herbs and I’ve been dehydrating them in our Magic Mills food dehydrator. I’m trying to get as many herbs cut and dried before I have to cover the plants with straw.
Before the people came to clean out our septic tank earlier in the summer, we had to dig down and uncover the lid to the septic tank. This is the first time we’ve done this since we’ve moved here, and while EJ knew the general area, we weren’t sure exactly where it was located. We dug quite a few holes in searching for it. To prevent digging a bunch of holes in the future, we planted a wooden post where the lid is. Rather than have a random post sticking up out of the ground, we decided to have fun with it. Since the post is on the north side of the house in Northern Michigan, we call it “the North Post.” We would call it “the North pole” but it’s a post, not a pole.
We considered many different ways of creating our North Post. We discovered that a decorative porch post is much, much too expensive for a whimsical project. We can’t paint the post because paint won’t work on a treated post. We decided to hang the sign. I searched for decorative brackets on the Internet, but the cheapest was almost $30 for one that was big enough and I didn’t want to spend that much money. So we are going to make a cross post and hang the sign from that. I’ve been painting a sign that says “North” on it. Wooden letters don’t stand up to our weather, so I ordered a few letters from a company and traced the letters, which I then painted. I also painted a thinner board with numbers to measure the snow. I am going to order an inexpensive thermometer and rain gauge from Amazon and turn our North Post into a weather station. I’ll take photos of the post when we get it set up.
At this time of year, when the weather is getting cooler and the days shorter, the wolf spiders tend to linger on the porch. They scared me, so I scan the porch before I take Hannah outside in the early mornings and evenings. EJ sometimes goes out with us in the evenings. I make him go first so he will be eaten first. Just kidding! He goes first so he can “shoo” away any spiders that might be lurking. He saw me checking the porch the other morning before I took Hannah out and he asked, “Looking for spiders?” I replied, “Of course.” He said, “It’s not spiders you have to watch for. It’s bears. Bears are much more dangerous than spiders.” Thanks a lot, EJ. Well, I haven’t seen any bears lurking on the porch like the spiders do…but I took along a flashlight, just in case I heard a noise. I like to see what’s going to kill me. LOL.
I think it’s funny that whenever I go out into the garden, the chickens follow me around. I’ve read that the chickens consider their human to be the leader of their flock. I thought I’d leave you with this video I took this morning: