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Mammoth Pumpkins, Hugelkultur, and a Bit of Knitting (for fun)

Posted by mrssmythe on November 15, 2017 in Crafting, Garden, Seasons, Week in Review |

It’s traditional here in New England (and probably lots of other places as well) to set out a pumpkin or two on the porch steps in celebration of autumn.

Historic Deerfield, though, takes it a step further. During a walk there with my sister, we saw plenty of porches just loaded with pumpkins. Some of the pumpkins were massive! It was amazing. I imagine Historic Deerfield’s Christmas decorating is noteworthy as well, and I’ll have to make a point of checking it out, firsthand, some time after Thanksgiving.

Right now, though, we’re a bit behind the curve on the holidays. It wasn’t until this week that Ginger finally got around to carving her pumpkin.

This was the first year she managed the job solo, and here’s the result:

So cute!

We were out of tea lights, so I used a bayberry candle from Old Sturbridge Village to illuminate it, which gave the whole lighting-of-the-jack-o’-lantern a historic/Old New England-y feel. It reminded me of Tasha Tudor children’s book, Pumpkin Moonshine.

Rain kept me indoors most of this past week. As a result, I started chipping away at my stash of Lion Brand Bonbon yarn. Here you see some of the cotton Bonbons in a bowl. They’re just the right size for Christmas ornament crafting.

And, when the weather was dry, I was working on my latest gardening project:

a Hugelkultur bed (or the start of one). This German gardening method has been popping up in a lot of the books I’ve been reading lately, so I thought I’d give it a try.  The next step will be to cover the wood with soil, grass clippings, and leaves. Then, it sits over the winter. Come spring, it should be ready to plant. I’m thinking pumpkins might be a good first crop.

And, finally, I dug out pieces of the sweater I knitted in September and October. I’d put them away for my sister’s visit…then forgot about them completely! They need to be blocked before being sewn together, so that’s what I’m doing now. Everything looks to be the right size, so I’m hoping the finished product will be a good fit. (That hasn’t always been the case for my sweaters).

If all goes as planned, the sweater will be done in time to wear for Thanksgiving. Wouldn’t that be nice? We’ll see how it goes.

From the dining room table, with a box of Kleenex and a cup of coffee close by (I have a bit of a cold),

Mrs. Smythe






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Fall Fun – and a Sister’s Visit

Posted by mrssmythe on November 5, 2017 in Baking, Chickens, Crafting, Critters, Family, Garden, Seasons, Week in Review |

First off, I want to share this fun photo of CPT A, working on his computer in the backyard with the dogs. Since this was taken, we’ve lost all of those colorful leaves in the back woods. A wild storm came through on Halloween and knocked everything down. Much of our town was without power […]

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Milkweed, Bees, Caterpillars…and a Dryer Repair

Posted by mrssmythe on October 16, 2017 in Critters, Garden, Seasons, Week in Review |

It certainly feels like Fall today. And, we have our first freeze predicted for tonight. Meanwhile, the Milkweed has gone to seed… Have you ever seen these? They’re amazing. I’d never seen pods this big. They were in a nearby neighborhood where I often walk while Ginger has her music lesson. Milkweed is such an […]

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Breakfast with the Chickens…and other odds and ends

Posted by mrssmythe on October 3, 2017 in Chickens, Critters, Garden, Week in Review |

Some mornings, it’s still nice enough for CPT A and I to pop out onto the patio and drink our coffee while watching the chickens. It’s good for the chickens. It’s good for us. This week, though, the chickens were extra friendly. Everest jumped onto my lawn chair. (I was so startled, I almost spilled […]

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Chickens, a Hawk, and the Hatching of a Monarch

Posted by mrssmythe on September 28, 2017 in Chickens, Crafting, Critters, Garden, Seasons, Week in Review |

At last…Fall. For our chickens, this has meant rapidly decreasing daylight, molting, and – as a result – lower egg production. I actually had to buy eggs at the store this week – something I haven’t had to do in over a year! Another challenge these days – hawks. Hawks are commonplace in our area, and […]

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