Last Week On The Homestead: Fall Has Arrived, A Skunk Visit, And A Trip To The Beach!


September 23 - 29, 2023

Hello!  And just like that, October has arrived.  Is it warm this week where you live?  It's in the upper 70's to mid 80's here most of the week.  The nice thing is that the overnight temps should stay in the upper 40's to low 50's.  It's officially fall so I crave soups, bread, sweaters, wool socks and all things cozy.  We've been blessed with some of that already (and a lot of crunchy leaves on the ground) and will be back to the cool weather this weekend.  

I even had to break out my hot water bottle for 2 evenings, which, might I say, got my husband making fun of me.  But guess what?  I quickly found out it was because he was jealous.  Yup, he wished he had thought of it first.  He even admitted that on the first night of using it he looked for it when he first came to bed but didn't want to wake me so ended up not "borrowing" it.  He used to laugh when I would pull it out until I put it under his bare feet, and it was then that he realized how good it felt.  Don't feel sorry for him (although he would love that!) - I have encouraged him to take it when he comes to bed since I am already asleep when he does.

We've been adjusting since Oliver's passing.  It's been very quiet, and I haven't had a tight schedule to adhere to anymore, so it's a matter of getting used to all of it.  We miss him tremendously.  Jackson was curious for a few days, I'm sure wondering when he was coming home, but he now just enjoys the extra attention.  

We've been asked a few times if we will be bringing another dog (or dogs) into our lives anytime soon, so I will answer that here as well.  I've learned never to say never, so I won't say that, but we both agree that it would be quite some time before we committed to another dog.  We kept a few of Oliver and Emerson's items for sentimental reasons, but everything else we've donated to a local shelter who was very much in need of it.

We've always had cats since we've been together but, unfortunately, I am now quite allergic to cats so Jackson will be our last cat only because of the allergy.  I am also slightly allergic to dogs, so I do have to be careful but so far, I've been fine with most dogs.  It's more the commitment - time, financial, emotional, etc.  We LOVED having Oliver and Emerson in our lives.  They were the perfect match for us, health problems and all.  We feel very fortunate for the time we had, and will always treasure that, but the answer to the question is a solid no.

We decided to take a couple of days off last week and headed to Rhode Island.  We used to go once or twice a year to the Point Judith area but haven't been in about 5 years because of Emerson's brain tumor (Oliver's brother) and then Ollie's medical and emotional needs.  Unfortunately, it wasn't the right time to go as we are smack dab in the middle of making products to get ready for our last busy season of the year with our soap business, so we only took a couple of days away.  It was a great time, nonetheless.  We walked the beaches, basking in the scent of salty air, and just relaxed.

The chickens are loving their free-range time.  We used to limit it because, well, chicken poop seems to be a delicacy to dogs and so we had to keep that under control.  But now they are out just about every day for almost the full day.  They are all into their fall molt so there are feathers EVERYWHERE and, of course, very few eggs.  And a side note about the automatic chicken coop door, it was wonderful while we were away!  I didn't have to have our pet sitter come to let them out or to lock them up at night, only to come and care for Jack (he takes medication for heart disease).  We had a skunk visit us 2 weeks ago and he/she had been in the outdoor coops, so I was happy to know the coop girls were all locked up at night while we were gone.

As a side note, the skunk visit was a whole dramatic event where my husband was convinced that he was going to trap the skunk and relocate it.  He had done this as part of his job many many years ago and thought it would be no problem.  Oh brother....  Although my husband did not get sprayed, the skunk did spray the driveway and the tote (yes, tote) he was trying to trap it in.  So, when the skunk finally ran away into the woods my husband, who didn't realize the tote had been sprayed, threw the tote into the barn and came into the house.  We were on our way out somewhere, although I can't remember where, and as soon as I walked into the kitchen, I directed him to drop all of his clothes outside (sorry neighbors....) and get into the shower immediately.  He smelled like skunk spray, so he must have walked through the spray.  Anyway, as he was taking a shower I went outside and realized he had thrown the tote in the barn.  As soon as I opened the barn door the skunk spray smell was so strong that my eyes were watering.  The end result was that the smell came off of my husband and his clothes (thanks to a little hydrogen peroxide soak), we threw the tote into the garbage (thankfully they were taking garbage the next morning), and the barn took about a week to get the smell out of.  I asked him to please not attempt relocating anymore skunks.  Especially with a plastic tote.

These are the books I have this month from the library.  I haven't read any of them as of yet so I can't recommend them but am hopeful!  I enjoy the writing of both Louise Penny and Peter Mayle so I have to imagine those books will be good and I can't believe I haven't read Big Magic yet.  

And I am thinking about repainting our entry room from the lighter shade of blue you can see on the wall in the background to one of these darker grayish blue tones.  I'm going to purchase small cans of each and see which I prefer.  I love freshly painted walls! 

I'm off to make peanut butter cookies (I use this recipe and cut the sugar in half).  How has the start of fall been for you?  Hoping you had a wonderful week as well!


  1. I'm sure it wasn't funny on your homestead, but the skunk story got me chuckling! Though we haven't had a skunk incident lately, the boys both got into deer funk the past week (it's hunting season here). It seems to finally be all gone, so they'll be getting a bath tomorrow. That's excellent to know about the automatic chicken door. We may get rid of our flock, once we start traveling in the skoolie, but if not, that would be helpful. On a few occasions, I've warmed bricks on the woodstove, but have never tried a hot water bottle. I bet it does feel really cozy!

    1. Laurie - it was pretty funny once it was all over, however when he was walking with the skunk around the property while trying to convince him to get into a christmas-green plastic tote, that was a bit stressful for me. ☺

      I will tell you that with this particular automatic chicken door, I wouldn't trust it for long periods of time only because the door slides on a track that is on the bottom. The problem, is the chickens walk on the track all day and if anything from their feet gets stuck in the track it prevents the door from either opening or closing. We've only had it happen once but I'm glad it did so that I know not to count on it as a long-term solution if we weren't home. I don't know if any exist that have a side track or even a track at the top for it to run on.

      Warmed bricks sound wonderful and yes, the hot water bottle is soooo nice. It's still slightly warm 8 hours later! Have a wonderful week!

    2. That's excellent info to know, on the door opener! Thank you!

  2. OMG skunk's only something I used to see on cartoons as a kid here in Australia. Pepé Le Pew!! Glad you got away for a couple of days. Have a great week. Kathy, Brisbane, Australia

    1. The smell is worse than you can imagine.... Wishing you a wonderful week as well!


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