Sweater on, sweater off, sweater on, sweater off.   No, it’s not me that can’t make up her mind.  It’s good ol Mother Nature who’s having trouble figuring out if summer’s over and time for fall.

For a couple of days it’s in the triple digits, then we drop like 30 degrees and by the end of the week we’ll pop back up in the 90’s.   Talk about weather whiplash!

Still taking care of Am, making sure she gets hands on massages, everyday hoping that will work out whatever is wrong with her neck.    If it weren’t for her scrunched/crooked neck, everything else is working fine.  Actually, she’s gained back her weight after we had her on 72 hours of just hydrated fluids and liquid supplements.  So that’s good.  Just to make sure we were doing the right thing, we wanted to see if there was someone in the area that treats ducks with hands on holistic approach.  An avian vet would just give her some more anti inflam meds (we have our own natural ones that we rather use).   Any good that would do!   Anyhow, most around here don’t even treat ducks.  One that I found said she’d give it a try but really only works on dogs and costs a little more than we can afford.   I know tissue or ligament injuries take time and I am pretty confident with what we have been doing to treat her – it’s been a hands on/jump into the deep water and swim learning experience, believe me!

She is looking better every day – today she seems a bit more “centered” in her posture and she’s walking forwards more. So that’s great!  Actually this whole experience has taught us that when treating our animals we need  to listen to our gut even though we might not actually “know” what’s going.  You learn a lot by watching and feeling the animal (where their body is hot – sign of inflammation)   Though these critters can’t talk, an animal’s eyes gives you pretty good indication of its condition

During the last heat wave,   our black little bantam cochin Bella ( aka “Hells Bells” or “Beelzebub” Jordanne calls her – yeah, she’s a little devil) developed a slight case of prolapse.   She’s always had a weak heart and when it gets hot she starts to stress a bit – her heart beats a little faster causing her body to heave a bit.  But we caught the prolapse problem in time.  Cleaned her up, pushed it back in (you gotta do what you gotta do!) and off she went to scratch away for bugs or have it out with one of the other chickens.  Yeah, told ya she was a little you know what.

With it actually feeling like fall (for now), it was time to bring out the winter squash and we enjoyed our first baked winter squash of the season.

Knitted dishcloths are flying off the needles faster than saying “knit one, purl two!”  And the craft room is slowly taking shape.  Already we have plans to turn out a few new aprons, finish our few knitted projects and just tackle the stacks of fabric and yarn that call out at us.

I’ve gotten back on kombucha train – whipping out weekly batches of this wonderful fermented drink and I am glad I did.  Actually I suspected a few family members are addicted to this bubbly drink.  No cause for concern because this stuff is actually good for ya, so drink up!

And I just realized that I have a new food addiction. Jalapeno jelly -especially on crackers with cream cheese.  Yummy!

The new shed (aka honey house) is coming along nicely.   Mr Up-in-coming Beekeeper (Justin) is thrilled so have just a place to store the honey equipment.

Long-time Beekeeper informs me that we’ll be harvesting honey soon.  Can’t wait!

Here are  a few snapshots from the urban homestead.


  1. judy says:

    Your story remind me of the book “Enslaved by Ducks” by Bob Tarte, complete with veterinary mishaps. Sounds like you are doing all the right things. Keep up the good work!
    And thank you for all the work you do.

  2. Karolin says:

    I can’t express how much fun I’ve had getting so much information from your web sites and videos. THANK YOU! I ordered some of your seeds for the long squash almost as tall as an adult! I just picked one that was on the big side and wanted to make some of the 007 Soup? Did you post a recipe or can you just share some ingredients? I’m just not sure what to do with the baseball bat that is sitting on my counter!!! Since the weather cool a little I’d like to make soup.

    This is my 2nd year gardening. I’ve been inspired by Animal Vegetable Miracle and Urban Homestead!

  3. rob says:

    WOW!! What in the world are those strange looking flower things in the 10th picture from the top.

  4. Joanne Poyourow says:

    Rob, the orange flowers are Leonotis Laurentis a.k.a. “wild dagga” – a South African plant that totally self-seeds in So Calif climates. Annual, hummingbird magnet, grows about 6ft high, and underneath those orange blossoms are spiky balls that get really lethal when they dry out at end of season.

    Anais, what are the round orange things in the 2nd photo from the bottom? are they fruits of some type of palm? I’m seeing similar on streets around LA, wondering if they are edible and if so how.


  5. Joanne Poyourow says:

    oops, I meant the round orange things in the THIRD photo from the bottom!

  6. Deb says:

    Looks like kitty likes a mouse now and then…or at least she likes the mouse pad! ; )

  7. DoubleD says:

    I hope the duck continues to mend under your watchful care. We are into the pumpkin and winter squash season here. The fall greens are doing well but the root crops, winter squashes, and the potatoes are all staples now and will provide for us through the months to come. Definitely a higher carb diet during the winter.

  8. Bob says:

    Like your cat , we have four who are our tech squad also. Your site is great and has helped me think about local and growing more for self and others, a few of us are starting a community garden at our church in Oklahoma City. Thank You

  9. Lesli says:

    I have a quick question about kombucha….I am definitely addicted and have been recently brewing my own…..I don’t get the bubbles I love from the “bought” brands. Any hints? I have a great mother mushroom and use green tea, apple cider vinegar….would love to know any and all hints.


  10. LaVonne says:

    If you want more fabric, I have a hamper full of all types, colors, etc., from when I thought I’d go into the business of making tote bags. Turns out I’m not that into sewing. 🙂 If you want it, next time you come down this way, I’ll be happy to bring it to you. Email me and let me know. Oh–yarn too!

  11. nika says:


    Sandor Elix Katz suggests putting some of your kombucha in a jar with a tight lid overnight. This traps the carbon dioxide in the jar and forces it back into solution, causing it to effervesce like you get with the store bought types. Just dont let it go too long – jar might fail or, alternatively, the kombucha looses vitality.

  12. Ariella says:

    HI Anais and Fam!

    I was considering making my own kombucha for health benefits, but then I read an article in Jan. from Dr. Andrew Weil saying that the various claims were unfounded. He also mentioned that the risk for contamination is too great and advises people not to make their own kombucha.

    Hmmm. That article left me pretty disappointed.

    what are your experiences with kombucha?

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