time to catch my breath

the busier i am, the less i write, but the more i have to write about.
i doubt that this is a revelation to anyone except the very young or naive.

the garden:
my former garden is persevering despite my neglect.
i have one butternut squash and one eggplant awaiting harvest. the parsley, celery, zucchini and rosemary came back when the weather cooled down. the tomatoes sprang back to life, except for the cherries which i killed. i can't eat them as fast as i grown them, tonight or tomorrow i will make sauce i think.

my new garden is trying mightily. the ground is hard with poor drainage and i don't think that bodes well for the peonies that i transplanted. its great for the salvia and sages, and the yarrow is coming back. i've been stockpiling bulbs and large perennials that i find on sale at walmart, home depot or the portland nursery. i've been collecting seeds from flowers as they bloom and on the receiving end of some divided plants.

i have plans to ammend the back and front beds with compost and gypsum. work the beds up deep and hope that the drainage improves. in the spring i will do the same along the driveway and turn it into a cutting bed for dahlias, sunflowers, zinnias and anything colorful and fast-growing.

against the fence i've erected to reign the chickens in, i intend to create another flower bed. potential residents include: lavender, clematis, foxglove, sunflowers, jasmine. plants that attract hummingbirds, butterflies, plants that are colorful and smell nice. i've debated growing trumpet vine along the back fence, i haven't decided how much sun i think it gets and if it is enough.

if you can't tell, i want a yard full of color.

the chickens:
the chickens that are laying currently are: sophie, io, iphegenia, heloise, odette, and maude. i think. i don't like maude much but she is starting to look better and may or may not be laying again.

they make a great ruckus after squatting one out and an even bigger one if the cats harass them while they are trying to, poor girls. i took most of last week off and it was great to have so much time to hang out with them and relearn their quirks and schedules. the small eggs make fantastic poached eggs on an english muffin, but as they lay their eggs seem to be getting bigger and bigger.

they are confined to the back part of the yard by a cedar picket fence lined with plastic chicken netting. they've yet to try and jump over, much to my delight.

my guess at the pecking order, bottom to top:
sophie, beulah, heloise, odette & isolde, maude, iphegenia & io.
iphegenia and io don't hurt anyone. sophie likes to keep their company, i think she feels safe. odette and the rhode island girls pick on her quite often. maude picks on everyone but only every once in awhile, and even the buffs keep their distance. she's a rouge chicken.

the house:
its looking good. the painting is done.
(except for the closets if you want to be picky.)
the guest room looks great and completely serves its purpose. i have screens made so bugs can't get in and with the cool weather its been perfect to leave them open all the time. come winter, when i am feeling antsy i think i can work on putting nice switch plate covers in, painting the closets, and other little stuff—the lazy susan, the basement (just a little.) saving for and finding nice furniture that i really like.

the fence will be finished in time for a halloween party.
with the painting done i turned most of my attention outdoors, gardens, fences. the computer tells me its 57 degrees outside. fall is most decidedly here. my time in the garden is severely limited.

with the weather turning i can focus on the kitchen too.
last week alone i made: freezer jam, 4 loaves of banana bread, peach pie and peach butter. i've been itching to make cookies and i might have enough peaches for another pie. i'm in a mad dash to capture what i can of the season and share it with anyone i can.

alas. time for lunch. today it's french onion.

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