Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fall, I think.

I heard my first public Christmas carol of the season yesterday, at the gas station.  It felt right in that it was crisp and cool, with a touch of winter in the fall air, but it was missing one thing--digesting turkey.  I prefer my Christmas season to be short and intense, the tree goes up a few days before Santa comes, cookies baked, traveling, wrapping presents, (all bought before the turkey comes on the scene, I hate to wait in lines and I like to have a choice) all that holiday cheer crammed into a week and a half.  Some folks like to start the holiday shortly after the kids return to school, but I don't belong to that club.  Unfortunately, we've had to bend the "no carols before the turkey" rule in the past few years. My daughter is in the school band and each year they have a winter concert featuring songs that the students have been practicing since September--so those chestnuts have already been audibly roasting in our house for a while.  Luckily, the chestnuts roast more beautifully each year.

The leaves peaked here this past week and are now starting to fade and drop, that must mean that it is time to start hauling manure again to make new raised beds in the front yard.  The back garden is too close to those walnut trees causing too much shade and juglone issues.  This past year the tomatoes all stretched laterally toward the sun, I'd tie them back and a few days later the new growth would be straining back in that direction. This coming year I won't fight it, they will receive the garden where the pumpkins went wild with full sun blazing above.  I will tote in soil for a new garden bed for the pumpkins over the next few months.

Snacking on millet
What eggs?
The chickens are enjoying their extended adolescence, they are due to start laying any day now, in fact, they might be laying and hiding their eggs from us, ignoring that lovely next box I installed for them.  They will be 24 weeks old tomorrow, according to the books and websites they can start laying anytime from 20-26 weeks, but there has been no sign of eggs.  They have started to make horrendous noises that sound like strangling geese, which chickens do during and after laying an egg.  I have searched to see if their are any little warm brown orbs awaiting us, but I have found nothing.

The girls are also enjoying all the millet that falls from the bird feeder. The birds are starting to discover it, but the squirrels will need to remove their fuzzy little behinds once in a while for the wild birds to have any chance of tasting the sunflower seeds.  The first winter we were here, we didn't see any squirrels, this year we are very nearly overrun with the critters.  Maybe it is because we have had two mild winters in a row, or maybe it is because I asked the neighbor kid with the BB gun not to use it on our property. (When we bought the house we had to replace two windows because BBs had damaged them.)

Three more "starting at 500K" houses have begun to be erected down the street. I have visited people who live in similar homes, they seem like giant caverns and are not very homey.  The ones I have seen have almost no furniture in them, so they seem that much more cavernous.   I find it interesting that the lower ceilinged rooms adjacent to the caverns have furniture and appear as if they are used, unlike the cavernous spaces. The practical New Englander in me thinks about the heating bills for cathedral ceilings. I am certainly glad that I won't be writing those checks.  The tree hugger in me thinks about the energy wastage associated with having those soaring ceilings and the real spacial needs of an average family.  The city planner in me thinks about the traffic that will be caused by the sprawling American landscape and the disconnected society caused by poor neighborhood design.  The farmer in me thinks about the loss of the farmland that the houses have usurped and that it would be cool if they landscaped with food bearing plants.  The mom in me thinks about how many more kids will be crammed onto my daughter's bus (which was an issue earlier this year), they forget when they set the bus capacity that each child will be bearing a 25 lb or more backpack and half of those students will tote band instruments three times a week.  I hope no one  in those new houses plays the tuba. It would still be better than the third world buses I have ridden with women carrying baskets of flowers or crates of chickens on their heads, with everyone packed so tightly that there was no chance of standees falling down if the bus stopped suddenly.
I digress, but my whole blog is one giant digression...

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