For us, we are busy with the usual preparations that fall and approaching winter bring. Fall is the time when we try to get our freezer full of meat to get us through the winter. We purchased a large amount of chicken breasts through Zaycon Foods, and that all needed to be packaged up for the freezer.
My husband bought me this Food Saver machine a couple of years ago and I just love it. It makes packaging meat so much easier, and the meat does not get freezer burnt like it often does even when using the Ziplock Freezer Bags.
I use the Food Saver rolls, so that I can cut and seal my own bags for whatever size I need.
The Food Saver sucks out all of the air within the bag and then seals it. So, all I have to do is mark it with the packaging date, and it is ready to go into the freezer.
I have been very impressed with Zaycon's meat, and continue to purchase our chicken breasts from them each spring and fall. It is so nice to be able to meal plan knowing I have plenty of different meat in my freezer to choose from. It took an afternoon of work to get this meat put up, but we will enjoy it all winter long.
Sadly, we had another bit of chicken drama with my little flock this past week. I went in to lock up my chickens for the night, and did my usual head count, and came up short. With a heavy heart, I went through the head count again, and realized that one of my little white banty leghorn's was missing.
I found her in the garden in a little dust pile as if she had taken a dust bath, fell asleep and never woke up. I scooped her little body up and placed it in an empty feed sack. I was thankful that whatever happened to her, she died in a happy place.
We took her out to our little pet cemetery and placed her there beside Rudy and Cosmo. The little fir tree growing above the graves always speaks peace to my heart when we have to make another grave here, its gentle branches swaying in the wind reminds me that life goes on.
It is the tamarack's turn for fall splendor. The needles of the tamarack turned a golden yellow in the fall, and when they fall off... we all know that winter is upon us. You can count on it... when the tamarack's lose their gold, the snow begins to fly. But for now... their golden glories are drops of yellow sunshine across the mountains and hills, and beautiful to see.
As Annie and I briskly walked, I noticed this mushroom growing alongside the road.
I do not know what kind of mushroom it is, although it looks very happy growing right here.
Here you can see a fine example of just how prolific the tamarack tree can be. These woods were logged several years ago, and several tamarack seed trees were left. You can see by all the little yellow trees, that the seed trees have done a great job of starting new trees. Tamarack trees are highly prized trees valued for their dense high grade wood. Tamaracks are highly sought for firewood because the orange-colored wood burns hotter than other pine, and yet splits easily. An interesting fact about tamarack trees is that the bark is very medicinal. Tamarack pitch can be used to help heal cuts and bruises, which was a remedy used by the American Indians. They also used to make a steeped tea made from the bark to relieve coughs and colds. I personally have not tried these remedies, but it is good to know about them, and perhaps one day I will give them a try.
I always enjoy this scene as we walk. I often stop to talk to the horse, but she never really pays much attention to us.
She has very busy work to do, she tells me.... and so I just quietly watched how the light streamed around her as she continued noisily to chomp away.
She and the turkeys enjoy the field together.
Annie-girl and I always try to walk faster up the hills, but the view on this hill makes me want to slow down and just enjoy the horizon and the ever-changing sky.
Looking off in the distance, her gaze always intent.
The evening shadows were approaching in the late afternoon skies as we walked in the brisk, fresh air.
The sun's lengthening shadows here make Annie look like a wild wolf, lol!
Our neighbor's tree is losing its leaves quickly now.
It's time for burning brush! I'm always so thankful to see the brush piles burn up, up and away!
The rains have been near nonstop the last few days. On a recent trip into town, it was raining quite hard as we drove, but still, I couldn't help but enjoy the beauty of these gorgeous maple trees lining the streets.
They are losing their leaves fast as the rain comes down, and then it will be a soggy mess for the homeowners to clean up... but such is the season of fall... we enjoy its loveliness as long as we can. And even in the rain, my heart sings for joy, at the beauty that abounds around us.
Is there any place like home? After being out just for a few hours to take care of errands in town... it was a joy to return home to our humble abode where Roger waited for us, chickens rushed out to greet us, and a comfort meal of Southern Chicken and Dumpling's and Iron Skillet Biscuits were on the evening's menu, perfect for the rainy weather day!
There shall be showers, of course... life is full of puddles, clouds and showers... sometimes they are messy and miserable... but with all things considered... there can be showers of blessings in the midst of our everyday lives, along with simple blessings of lovely fall days - and whether they come rain or shine - they mean much to this simple-loving heart of mine. :)