October 2020 on the Croft: Wrap Up

Pottering and Puttering

October 2020 on the Croft

Pottering: As in pottering around | definition – to spend time in a relaxed way doing small jobs and other things that are not very important He spent his holidays pottering around the house/garden. (From Merriam Webster)

Puttering: As in puttering about | definition: to busy or occupy oneself in a leisurely, casual, or ineffective manner: to putter in the garden. (From Dictionary.com)


October is the very heart of Autumn and because I love this season, I have a soft spot for October. In Iowa, it starts with the peak of the bird migration as most birds flee south. It signals the end of the garden, and the wrap up of many of the summer outdoor chores such as lawn mowing. Days are consistently cool and the sun no longer wakes me up nor allows me a couple hours of getting things done outdoors after work. And of course it ends with Samhain or Halloween which ushers in the dark half of the year.

In October 2020, in the U.S., it has been nearly impossible for me to not be in full on panic mode. The anxiety has been overwhelming and has stripped much of the joy from this month.

October Journal

Looking back on my September musings, I am surprised at how much of the details of the month I recalled. October, in contrast, is a blur. It was a little busier work wise and that coupled with the impending election and skyrocketing covid cases in the U.S. have warped the reality of everyday life. To be honest, while I enjoy Autumn, I also do start to dread the end of the growing season; the coming winter. How very Game of Thrones of me.

So what are the things that have given me joy? The fall colors were actually spectacular this year though they didn’t last long. I planted my prairie! Exciting, though now I am worrying over it like a mother hen. I made homemade pumpkin puree for the first time and remembered my love for roasted pumpkin seeds. My cat, Hera, has finally, after almost a year, decided to settle in at this new house. She has started to play more, eat more and she wants to hang out where I am which has led to some lovely cozy scenes of all the critters sleeping around me while I work.

I got a new foster rabbit named Ink Blot and she was given to the rescue by the NE Humane Society because of aggressive behaviors. She was full of aggressive energy when she got here, lunging and boxing but it’s been a joy to watch her slowly settle in here and do less suspicious lunging and more playful binkying!

Ink Blot no longer always seeing hands as the enemy

Wrap Up

Since taking on Keeper’s Croft it has helped me to set some monthly goals. I had eight main goals for the month of October!

  1. Bury my Sump Pump discharge hose? Yes! This was the biggest, most out of my comfort zone project that I have tackled and I got it done! 95 feet of trench dug and discharge outlet installed. Not fun but I felt very accomplished and it has given me confidence to tackle other projects!
  2. Vote? Yes! On the first day of early voting. I have since had stress dreams that my vote was not counted. Not to be overly dramatic but this election may actually kill me.
  3. Work on cutting back on food waste? Yes! And No! I didn’t really come up with any kind of formal plan but I did give some thought to it, clean up my fridge and pantry and made a more concerted effort to eat up everything and I do believe it has resulted in less waste. Will continue to work on this!
  4. Plant Garlic? Yes! Super early because it got cold early. But of course we are due for a week in the 60s (Fahrenheit) here in the next couple of days and I just really hope the garlic doesn’t decide to sprout!
  5. Plant Prairie? Yes! Though see anxieties above coupled with the fact that there is no rain/snow in sight for days and days yet.
  6. Lots of FIRE? No:(. It’s been a very windy month – we were even under a burn ban for a while – so this didn’t happen. I will try this again in November.
  7. Mulch some Leaves? Yes. The garlic and blueberry bushes are tucked in all cozy. I do need to do a little more for a couple of other plants (roses, rosemary, etc….)
  8. Put the Mower to sleep for the winter? No, because actually I just had the opportunity and weather to do the final grass cutting yesterday. I did have to mechanically troubleshoot a couple of things – successfully because I am a genius – and I did look up what all needs to be done to get it ready for winter. Both of these things have made me very confident I can tackle this which I will during that week of 60 degree weather mentioned above.
Voting. Done.

Posts This Month

I was not as ambitious this month on the blog and did not always post two posts per week. This is likely how things will continue. The blog may also take a more conversational and not always instructional tone. I realized I was writing for Pinterest and it was really not working! I’m just beginning this homestead journey and so being instructional is a stretch in many instances. I mean, what do I know?!?

I’d love to hear what you all would like me to write about? Here’s this month’s posts.

October’s Best Reads

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Buying the book below from amazon will earn me a commission.  

First of all I think it’s worth mentioning that I re-read the entire Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer in the first 1.5 weeks of the month. I love this YA sci-fi, fairy tale mash up series and this was probably my second re-read and won’t be my last. First book for this series is Cinder where Cinderella is a cyborg.

However, my favorite new read was Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier. Marillier is famous for her lush and intricate retellings of fairy tales, justifiably so because she is really good at it! I’ve really loved some of her books but others have left me a little cold. Her heroines are always fairy tale heroines, and she tries to stay true to their fairy tale roots (unlike Meyer above who completely reimagines the character).

Dreamer’s Pool is very different however! It still has Marillier’s signature lushness and fairy tale sensibility but it’s not a re-telling and Blackthorn, her “heroine”, is a grumpy, traumatized, damaged 30 something who hates people. I loved her! It’s set in a medieval, imaginary Ireland and starts with Blackthorn and big hulking Grim escaping from a stinking prison. In the past, Blackthorn had worked as a healer aka wise woman and in exchange for her escape she must promise a mysterious fae man that she will travel to a specified place and help anyone who asks for her help for 7 years. Grim is devoted to her and follows along and becomes an indispensable friend. Upon arrival at their new home, there is a cottage to fix and a mystery to solve for the nearby prince. It’s great and really engrossing!

That’s a wrap for October! How was your month? Any notable accomplishments or things that brought you joy? Thanks so much for reading!

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