Before the Leaves Leave


Cooler temperatures, vibrant colors – delicious!  Before the leaves float away on the fall winds, making their annual descent to cover the ground, here are a few of the sights we’ve been admiring:

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These little guys are taking in the views as well:


Blue Jay found himself an acorn!


Do you think the birds will pose for me one day?  I’d like to get some close-ups better pics!

Until next time,

Fifty Shades of Green Acres




My Midsummer Night’s Dream

My midsummer night’s dream…

Getting ready for our evening walk with our well behaved dogs…


…Mr. Fifty Shades went outside before me.  A few minutes later, he stuck his head in the door and said, “Honey bunch, you better get a sweater, it’s a bit chilly out here.”

…And, then I woke up.  It was all a delirious dream.  It’s hot and steamy here and has been so for FOREVER.  Has it been hot where you are?  Part of our desire to move up here was to enjoy the cooler weather.  In wishing for a cool down, we know we’re not alone – the whole country has been enduring the high temps. The heat must be due to the nonexistent climate change.  That’s all I can think.

Just for something fun to occupy his time, Mr. Fifty Shades began a new project.  This mower has earned its keep and should not endure the indignity of having to share space in our garage…see how pathetic this is?…


After it was determined that this tough little mower deserved a building of its own, Mr. Fifty Shades designed the building and began laying it out. The Deere’s new digs will feature a garage door and two additional doors, electricity, three windows, a 50 inch television, and a spa.  Ha!

Coincidentally and concurrently with the planning, our 14 year old (soon to be 15) friend was looking for a way to earn some money this summer.  Wow – don’t you love coincidences?  Mr. Fifty Shades and his young assistant tackled the job…

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…and the rest of the summer is kind of a blurry, humid, impossibly scorching span of time.

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Here is the status as of today:


…still some work to be done, but Mr. Fifty Shades believes it will be move in ready in about six weeks or so.  We are all so happy for Mr. Deere.

In milestone news, these are the three little chicks that hatched on June 12th.  They grow up so fast…

Time will tell if they are hens or roosters (they aren’t saying).


Until next time,

Fifty Shades of Green Acres





It’s felt like summer for a while.  Officially, though, summer arrived in all its sweltering glory on June 20 at 6:34 p.m. (thank you Farmer’s Almanac) and this picture was taken about 30 minutes following the start of summer.  It looks pretty steamy out there!


Random Happenings at Fifty Shades of Green Acres…

  • We are expanding the chicken coop…

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…because two of our hens hatched some adorable chicks.

Aren’t they cute?


Oh, wait.  The pictures come out better if you remove the lens cap first.

Here they are!  Two Momma Hens are taking care of three little chicks.  They are a week old here.  They were a bit camera shy for their first week and the Momma Hens were quite protective.  We learned that the Momma hens need to be kept apart from each other while they tend to their chicks, as well away from the other hens and rooster for about a month, so they are in temporary quarters for now.

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  • The hummingbirds are back!  They stay busy sipping nectar all day.  We often see four or five of them vying for position around the feeders.

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  • I managed to get into some poison ivy.  It was an itchy mess, but, I only complained a little…only once, really…for a three week period of time.  🙂  I’m all recovered now.

Until next time,

Fifty Shades of Green Acres


Snowzilla 2016

Since this storm delivered historic snowfall, we felt compelled to record the event in our little corner of the world.

Our Snowmobile

Our Snowmobile

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Dogwood Tree

Dogwood Tree

You can see our foot and paw prints leading down the drive and to the pond

You can see our foot and paw prints leading down the drive and to the pond…

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Pond with the floating (and frozen) dock in the background

Pond with the floating (and frozen) dock in the background

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"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."...except for Snowzilla 2016

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”…except for Snowzilla 2016!

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Our Winter Garden...

Our Winter Garden…

The photographer pauses to gain the courage to climb up this hill...

The photographer pauses for dramatic effect and to gain the courage to climb up this hill…

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Western view

Western view


Walkway to porch

We think we’ve had about 10 inches of snow over the past week.  It’s now in the 20’s, the sun is shining brilliantly and we expect we’ll be slip sliding on the ice when we take the dogs out today.  The impact of the storm was far greater all around our region – to the south, north, and east.  We’ve been places where the brunt of a hurricane affected us and we feel grateful that we were spared with this snow storm.  We never lost power and we stayed warm and toasty as Mr. Fifty Shades had our wood burning stove churning out the heat.

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Until next time,

Fifty Shades of Green Acres Team

Sage Advice

Hi All –


This week we celebrated one year since I adopted Scout and Mr. & Mrs. Fifty Shades.  It is a lucky thing I found them since they really needed my advice.  For instance, Mr. & Mrs. Fifty Shades thought that sleeping past 4:00 a.m. was normal.  Can you believe that?  Fortunately, I have been able to convince them that this was a crazy practice, or as Mrs. Fifty Shades describes it, “a faraway dream.”  I think that means it was just plain silly.

Scout and I have had the best time ever this week since it’s been snowing and cold.  Scout likes to lay down and roll in the snow.  I like to do whatever Scout does.  Here are some pictures that show all the delicious snow we’ve been enjoying…



Bee Hives


Chicken Coop



The Pond



Bird House



Picnic Anyone?

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The weather predictions are for the snow to continue until Sunday.  It is also supposed to be quite windy and Scout and I just don’t know how much better it could get.

Here’s hoping you’re enjoying snow wherever you are!

Signing off,


Sage and the rest of the Fifty Shades Team

Happy New Year!


The Scout Report

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’ve been enjoying winter so far.  Today was our best day so far this year, because it SNOWED!  Yay.  Hurray!

You can see here my paw prints in the snow and just below where I lapped up the snow with my tongue.  


Sage wasn’t too sure about it at first, but, after a few tries she enjoyed lapping it up, too. Someone mentioned it might be like eating a snow cone, although we’ve been advised to avoid the yellow kind.  

Even though the cold weather is the best, I think Sage prefers staying inside with our new rope toy. We wore out the other one chewing and playing tug of war.

There might be a picture of us doing this one day with the new rope, but, Mrs. Fifty Shades says it will be difficult since most of the time we’d rather stop what we’re doing to see what she’s doing when she brings out the camera. 


This is what it looked like just a couple hours ago when Mr. & Mrs. Fifty Shades and Sage and I took our walk.  

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Now the sun is shining and the light snow is melting.  The temps will be in the teens tomorrow – really – it doesn’t get much better than that!

Until next time,

Scout & Sage

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The Anticlimactic Apple and Other Stories

After all our waiting and patience and hope for being able to pick our one beautiful apple off the tree, it fell.  It fell right off the doggone tree like the other one.  This particular kind of apple was described as late to ripen, so we thought it wouldn’t be ready to pick from the tree until October.  So, when we walked by the tree and did not see our coveted apple, we were sad.  We found it – a little banged up from the fall, and brought it in the house.  The apple was put in a place of honor, which was coincidentally high enough to avoid any unfortunate tasting events.  


By the time we trimmed off the bad spots, we had five little slices.  They were really good little slices – sweet and crispy.  Maybe next year, we’ll double our crop and have four apples.

In other news, as promised, Mr. Fifty Shades began a new project.  Last year, he laid outdoor carpeting on our screened in porch.  It looked really great…for a few months – until the first rain and snow occurred and boots and doggie paws put a real hurt on that carpet.  Then, one day Sage heard some tweets coming from below the carpet.  The sound drove her into a tizzy and she began to dig with all her heart to get to the tweets (little birds building a nest).  So, in addition to dirty carpet, there was also a hole in the middle of it.  We decided to install vinyl plank flooring.  

It is so easy to do!  Really a cinch.

First, you tear out the old carpet.  Sorry – no pictures, but you are not missing much.

Then, you put down Hardieboard.  20150902_192240


Next, you tape all the edges and make chalk lines so you know where to put the planks.


You start installing the planks, but decide that you need to put down another type of backing to support the planks. So you remove all the planks you’ve placed and put down the orange backing.  Then, when things still aren’t working right, you figure out the installation instructions have it backwards, which is what is causing the problem.  

So – you tear it out again and start over. 

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See how easy?  

When you get done, sit back, admire, and have a coffee break with your best buddy.


We have noticed that this flooring has a peculiar design flaw.  Within minutes of cleaning, doggie paw prints occur. Hmmm….

As you can see, from the picture above, we still have lots of tomatoes.  We’ve experimented with another way to preserve them – dehydrating.

Here are six trays of small paste tomatoes.


Six hours later…


The flavor is really intense.  We put them in the freezer and will pull them out for soups and stews throughout the year.

Next week, we are looking forward to fall weather – with low’s in the 40’s and 50’s.

Until next time,

Fifty Shades of Green Acres Team