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Monthly Archives: October 2010

New blooms

Some new blooms appeared today. Above are the fall-blooming camellias, planted a few months ago on the eastern side of the house. Below is a toad lily, which was sent to me by a friend in Hawaii. The toad lily lives in the double windows behind the kitchen sink.

Shepherd's pie

James-Michael, who returns to California tomorrow after a 10-day visit to the abbey, cooked tonight’s supper. It’s shepherd’s pie. This kind of all-in-one dish makes great sense for working people like James-Michael. Make the dish on the weekend, and the leftovers will help get you through the week.

A nice home for some lucky chickens

Here’s a good sign that backyard chickens are going mainstream: Leonard, a maker of prefabricated outbuildings, is making chicken houses. I saw this chicken house in a shopping center parking lot in Winston-Salem. This building is particularly stylish and is a very practical design. The front lid covers six nests. You lift the lid to […]

Ahh … cool weather

I rarely post photos of myself, but today I’ll make an exception. James-Michael, a friend visiting from California, took this photo of me mowing beside the driveway. It’s amazing how weather makes all the difference. Mowing the grass in the heat of summer is a miserable job. But when it’s 69F out, mowing is a […]

Zombie cookies

The SafariCookies control panel I have been carefully watching, and manually managing, my browser cookies for quite some time. It’s quite a lot of trouble. And it’s also disturbing. Most disturbing is that I’ve found that cookies have been regenerating, even though I never visited the site that the cookies belong to. I’ve also found […]

First fall-garden harvest

Ken and James-Michael pick mustard greens. The chickens want to know what’s in it for them. Ken planted the fall garden, so I was very happy that he was able to be here for the first harvest. He has a short fall break at school, and he stopped at the abbey while on his way […]

Pumpkin pie

All done. Fall is probably my favorite time of year. Making pumpkin pie is a sacred ritual. Cooks who I would have sworn knew better sometimes tell me that they make pumpkin pie with pumpkin-pie filling bought in a can. They probably buy frozen crusts, too. There is no excuse. Pumpkin pie must be made […]

Can you espy the cat?

Can you espy the cat? The photo was taken at dusk as I was returning from shutting up the chickens. Lily doesn’t like it when I go out of the house and leave her. Solution below. She’s standing on her hind legs with her paws on the windowsill.


It’s acorn season. I’ve long been curious about foraging for acorns, learning how to prepare them to be eaten, and seeing what they taste like. During October, a small troop of children probably could gather bushels of acorns in the woods around Acorn Abbey. I’d like to find a good anthropological history of the acorn, […]

What's growing at the abbey, early October

Every year at this time, I discover more wild persimmon trees that I previously hadn’t noticed. Persimmon trees are easily spotted this time of year not only for the persimmons hanging on them, but also because the leaves redden and develop interesting spots and patinas. I found this young tree just today at the edge […]