First Signs of Fall 2014

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The first signs of fall have been making their appearance this past week. We’ve been enjoying the drop in temperature and spending more time outside.

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We are also loving the fact that we can open up our windows and let the breeze in.

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Here is part of my view from the kitchen sink. It overlooks the flower garden and usually I can see hummingbirds and golden finch flying from flower to flower. It’s such a beautiful sight to see!

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Early this week I noticed that the leaves on some of our trees are slowly starting to change. It was very subtle at first, but now the change in color is becoming more noticeable.

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In the past 2 days I am noticing more and more leaves falling from the trees.

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John will have his yard work cut out for him every fall for the rest of his life here. Here is a picture of my dad from several years ago. Just look at all the leaves that fall on our property! And this is just the front yard. Luckily John enjoys yard work so he isn’t scared of a few thousand leaves.

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This past weekend we also started decorating the front porch for fall. Aren’t the mums beautiful? We set the yellow mums into our wedding candelabras. I just love re-purposing them! It brings back such nice memories of our wedding.

Shared at Maple Hill Hop and Down Home Blog Hop.

Planting Our Fall Garden

Although we close on our house in 2 weeks, we have been enjoying living here since Labor Day weekend. Now that we are in our house and actually have a backyard, we wanted to have a fall garden. We didn’t get to plan ahead because of the move so I started off very small. I’m using this time as a learning experience so if my efforts don’t yield much this time around then I am ok with it.

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First step was to buy some transplants at the farmers market. I picked out 2 types of cabbage (hoping to make some good sauerkraut later!), romaine lettuce and beets (for beet kvass). I wanted some kale too but I didn’t like the selection so I passed on it.

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Once I was back at home I finished weeding and pulled out all the plants that are no longer producing. Here is what the garden looked like before I started working in it.

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While I was laboring in the soil, my husband was enjoying a beer while watching football in his new favorite room.

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Lola was enjoying the nice crisp air in her favorite spot. The weather really was beautiful and made working in the garden enjoyable.

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Back to the garden…the soil was loosened and ready for planting.

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Here is my cabbage.

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My romaine lettuce.

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My beets.

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About an hour later I spotted this little gal inching closer to the garden.

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Soon a few of her buddies were making their way over too.

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Here is John all perched up on the railing like a fellow chicken. The ladies left the garden area for a little bit, but eventually they did climb up into the garden and started scratching and pecking around so I had to chase them away.

This post was shared at Down Home Blog Hop.

We Are Buying Our Dream Home!

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John and I will close on our dream house in 2 weeks! This has been a 2 year process and I cannot describe how amazing it feels to finally be able to own our forever home. Our home’s story is a bit unconventional as we just so happened to buy it from my parents.

My mom and dad bought the house in back in 2000 (I was about 15 years old at the time) and over the years they have poured their hearts and souls into making it the house that it is today.

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This is the original house as purchased before they renovated and added an addition in 2008. There was no garage and not much landscaping.

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Besides expanding the house, they also built a 1,400 sq foot 2 story barn. The barn is now all John’s domain and he has some pretty cool plans for it. My parents also added the pergola.

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My dad and brother designed and dug this beautiful koi pond themselves. It sits right off of the pergola. It’s home to a couple koi fish, many gold fish, a turtle, a bullfrog and many little toads.

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At one point there were numerous koi stocked in the pond, but over the years predatory birds killed most of them. How sad 🙁 but we plan on restocking the pond and will try our best to ward off any predators.

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My dad and brother also built this amazing pizza oven themselves. It sits next to the barn and we have plans to build an outdoor kitchen around it.

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Last Thanksgiving we even cooked the turkey in the pizza oven! It came out delicious!

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The house also comes with the chicken coop my parents built! Isn’t it cute? We will most likely be keeping their chickens unless their new neighborhood allows them. Their current flock isn’t quite this big as in this picture, but I’m already researching chicken breeds in hopes of growing the flock again.

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We will also be adopting our outdoor family cat Lola. She is about 14 years old and very comfortable here. We wouldn’t dream of relocating her in her old age.

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There is a lot of custom wrought iron all over the house and yard that my dad created himself…my dad is a blacksmith after all! He is so talented!

While my mom and dad were getting comfortable with the idea of downsizing over the past 2 years, they couldn’t stand the thought of completely letting go of the house forever to a stranger. They just put so much into the house over the years and to be honest, the thought of my family losing the house was painful to me too. Even John felt attached to the house and he didn’t even live in it like I did. In fact, I think John may love the house just a bit more than I do! No joke, he is obsessed with it.

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We love the house so much that when we got engaged last year, the only wedding venue we considered was the house itself! We had a beautiful front yard ceremony this past June…

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and a tented reception in the backyard.

Although the house is beautiful and has so many wonderful features, we do have a looooong to-do list with ways to continue improving it and truly making it our own. We are here for the long haul so we have plenty of time to get everything off our list checked off!

This post was shared at Down Home Blog Hop, From The Farm Blog Hop, Simple Saturdays, Homemade Mondays & Maple Hill Hop.

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