Our Daily Walk

Every day, we try to get in a brisk walk. Generally, we shoot for a graded or paved area. In the next county, where we do most of our shopping and dining on outdoor patios when we eat out, there is a Rails to Trails grade. This trail begins in one town, ends about 9 miles away in the next town, but in the past couple of years, it was also extended with a connector trail that goes another 7 or so miles still in the same county, but in our direction, terminating at the pond we frequently walk around. Our walks aren’t long, varying from about 2 1/3 miles to 2 2/3-3 miles. We also live a few miles down the mountain from Mountain Lake Conservancy where the hotel used in the movie Dirty Dancing was filmed and there are a number of trails and graded paths to be walked there. Some of the walks are nearly flat with only a few gradual ups and downs.

We do this to keep us strong and to improve our health as we are both well into our 70’s.

When I had my primary care physician visit after my hospitalization, I made the comment that I wasn’t your typical 70 something from this area and he whole heartedly agreed. Life has been hard on some of the residents here and many even a decade or more younger are much older physically than either of us.

Today, we decided to do a section of the Huckleberry we had never walked before, it is in the newest section. There is parking at a heritage farm park and the trail passes through it. We had wandered the paths in the park before the trail was put through. We started at the park and walked back towards town. It was a lovely section to walk with a wooden causeway over a wetlands and much more contour than the other sections we normally walk so a bit of a challenge. If we had walked one more mile, we would have been back in town.

Sunday Morning

A blogger friend challenged to begin Sunday morning with a 25 second video from the front porch/door to show the changing season from Autumn to Winter. Here is this morning, a mostly clear, sunny, but chilly 43 f (4.1 c), quite the change from the past few weeks. We aren’t getting the pretty fall colors this year, most of the trees are yellowing or browning and the leaves dropping already. Some are already bare or nearly so. I don’t seem to be able to link it as a video, this is just the opening shot. The video can be viewed on my Instagram if you follow me there at spn_knt.

The last time I mowed, I had hoped it would be for the last time this year. The mower needs an oil change and the blades sharpened or replaced. I picked up a chunk of erosion fence in the blade last time and it was quite the challenge to get to free from the blade it wrapped around. Day before yesterday in late afternoon, I brought the mower and line trimmer out again and though I didn’t do all the acreage I usually mow, I got around the house and coop and trimmed around the flower garden in the back. The chickens love when I mow and run into the area I have just passed, gorging on newly clipped grass and the insects it disturbs. I am always amused when the Perdue chicken commercial comes on TV and the actor tells the family what chickens from other breeders are fed and to go down to the Perdue booth, that Perdue chickens are given only clean grain feed. If you have ever watched chickens, they are Velociraptors, they will eat snakes, mice, frogs, bugs, grass, seeds, and just about anything, they are definitely not vegetarian and chickens fed that way are not healthy.

We have two aging pups, the younger of the two has never been a healthy dog and for the past three mornings, I have had major accidents to clean up while they are outdoors and before I can feed them. That is not the way I prefer to start my day and though I really dislike scented candles, I have had to use a wax warmer with a sliver of eucalyptus scented wax with a chunk of beeswax to clear the air.

Our daily schedule generally involves a walk after lunch, today we are headed out this morning, so hubby can watch a football game and I can prepare Sunday dinner for Daughter and her kiddos. I think this will be the first walk of the season where I don my jacket that hubby gave me for my birthday a few years ago, maybe a knit hat as well. At least it is sunny and not wet and windy.

The End is Nigh

The past few days of early summer like weather is in the process of ending as we speak. A strong cold front is moving through with rain, some wind, and much lower temperatures. Last night’s low is today’s high and by next weekend, we will begin to see night time temperatures in the 30’s. We have passed our average first frost date, but it is rare to see frost yet.

The garden still hasn’t been fully cleared, some tomatillos and tomatoes are still out there, some dry standing corn stalks and a single Hubbard squash still on the vine, the rest have been brought in. The winter greens bed has nice rows of seedlings of radish, spinach mustard, spinach, and lettuce. They will be covered with row cover by the end of the week and later by heavy plastic as real freezes are forecast.

I decided to bring the spider plants in after all. There are two hooks in the utility/panty room with north and south facing windows, though heated only by leaving the door open to the main house. There is a wall installed space heater, but it is noisy and expensive to run. All of the baby shoots were removed from the plants and a flat of Jiffy Peat blocks started with a dozen tiny spider plants. They will be planted in the hanging pots to fill them in once they have roots. I figure they won’t all take. If they do, some will be potted in one of the various empty pots around the house and they can adorn a step or table next spring.

I couldn’t resist bringing in the begonia that has sat on the front porch table since the porch was restained and decorated last summer. It was just too pretty with it’s sunny yellow blooms to not enjoy for a while longer.

The jungle of succulents joined the pothos and Thanksgiving cactus that spent the summer on the shelf at the end of the kitchen counter, with the second shelf they had spent the summer sitting upon on the front porch.

The large Dracena that also summers on the porch is in a less sunny part of the living room.

The hydroponics are already producing salads and herbs, though the spinach and the rosemary are not germinating. The rosemary in the herb bed outdoors generally survives the winter tucked up against the southwest facing stone wall and I can cut from it as needed.

The season is ending, always a relief and a disappointment. The garden is in good shape to start next year. The paths that I so carefully covered with cardboard and mulch are mostly grown over with grass again, but the paths are wide enough now to use the line trimmer to keep it short. The coop needs another clean out once the rain ends and that spoiled straw will be added to another bed to hold down weeds and feed the bed during the winter. That will be an ongoing project all winter as they spend more time in the coop. The shortened day length is beginning to show in egg production. Last night there were only 8, the least I have gotten from the hens since they all began laying in early summer. They may stop altogether for a while, or maybe there will be enough to keep me in eggs through the winter, we will see.