My Fall Bucket List

Things I can do now before the falls colors/activities start:

  • find some great apple cider recipes
  • stock up on marshmallows for cocoa
  • buy fall/ winter cozy reads–also there are some cozy mysteries  on the Hallmark channel that I should watch!
  • watch the sunset
  • join a book club

Things to do when the leaves start changing:

  • visit a farm
  • visit an apple orchard
  • go on a hayride
  • go on a horseback ride
  • pick out a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch
  • go hiking
  • bake pumpkin bread
  • watch a fall movie
  • visit a corn maze
  • catch a college football game–bring thermoses of hot cocoa and apple cider
  • make chili
  • window shop
  • go antiquing

Goodbye Summer

Temperatures for the past two weeks here have been in the 70’s (21 celsius) and overnight in the 50’s (10 celsius). Some of the birds that we have been feeding are now migrating south for the winter such as –the redwinged blackbird, the baltimore orioles, robins, and soon the hummingbirds. We are truly lovers of all birds. We know it is spring when the lone red-winged blackbird arrives back to the marsh in front of our deck. There he sits in a tree competing with the robins for the first sound of morning. This usually happens around 5 a.m. every morning until both migrate south for the winter. After they’ve left there is no morning call, though our finches, nuthatches, chickadees, and others remain waiting for us to begin the fall/winter/spring feeding. Also added to our little friends these last couple of years is a pair of mourning doves. I have no clue if feeding birds is something one starts enjoying when they slow their life down a bit? or arrive in their 50’s with a greater appreciation for some things? All I know is that in the last 10 years I’ve become very fond of bird-watching, feeding them, and caring for them. My seasons are built around the times they come to our deck and the times they last see us before they head out for winter. I do miss all of them until they or some like them return in spring.

Now it’s time to clean up our deck and look for a place to feed the birds all winter. We are thinking about a feeder in the marsh vs. our deck. We will have a new neighbor living below us and goodness knows how receptive that one will be–the last two haven’t been bad, but then I’ve always cleaned every day and also swept off their patio daily. I’m not planning on doing that anymore–it’s a lot of work in the winter. I’m already doing that April- October and after 10 years of doing it, we need to come up with a better plan. Which we will because I want to continue feeding the birds and seeing them, even if from afar, every day. I’ve also noticed they need water–something I figured they found in nature, but in fact, they rely on us to give them. So, we have a small bird bath on our deck used daily by the finches and two dishes filled with fresh water. Something for those that love to feed and care for birds like we do to keep in mind.

We have some fall plans, but right now we’re just trying to get through overtime and my husband hurting his back/pinched sciatica drama. It’s virtually impossible to get a chiropractor appointment around here so we’re trying to do what we can ourselves to keep him moving, reduce the pain, etc. We’ve scaled back on hiking/walks, even though it’s important to keep moving, it’s hard for him to sit in the car to get to a park or area that we walk in. I have been going grocery shopping and picking up our CSA veggies alone to spare him the car ride. We’ll both be happier when this issue resolves. My garden is cleaned up for the year, though my friend the tree frog is still around keeping me company.

Look at how dirty I was!

As summer winds down I will miss the regular toads lining up a foot apart all the way down the sidewalk catching bugs, and maybe miss or maybe not the skunks up by the garbage bins (when I haul garbage out in the dark). Of course I’ll miss running outside without having to grab a coat, scarf, mittens, and boots. I’ll miss all of nature’s noise as everything readies itself, including us, for the winter ahead. Which by the way, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, is going to be a cold one.

I went on a pumpkin hunt because the kind I like are hard to find and once they’re out they’re gone. My favorite kind of pumpkin is

Photo/art by Maureen Rose

Alas, I don’t think they’re ready yet? So I got these–

I’ll be back soon with a list of all the local produce we bought and ate this spring/summer and how much it cost plus two ways to prepare greens.

Until next time- 🐝 safe and 🐝 well.

Late Summer Days

The last days of summer are here and we’re feeling it in Wisconsin. I believe I was spot on when I said fall is going to come three weeks early this year. We took a long walk this past weekend and noticed almost everything had died–milkweed, long grasses, and even a good deal of goldenrod. The temperatures have been all over this summer. There are some trees turning just a few miles from here, but peak fall color isn’t going to be here until the first week or so of October. I spend a lot of time on the weekends buying produce and cleaning it, blanching it, and freezing it. So far I have squash, green beans, Roma tomatoes, Sungold tomatoes, sweet corn, zucchini, and pumpkin in the freezer for winter eating. Canning tomato juice, trying brownie and madeleine cookie recipes out for holiday baking, sunflowers, goldenrod, glads, and brown-eyed Susans. These are the type of things I enjoy doing/taking photos of every end of August.

Lately hubby and I have been working a lot of overtime. Just like so many other things in life–our work has been overwhelming for almost two years now. Unfortunately the community we live in is mostly not vaccinated. While that may not have been my business or concern most of my life, it is now. Because, the county I live in is worse this year at this time then it was last year. Slowly, but surely the counts are ticking up and outbreaks being reported in local news, and soon no doubt more restrictions. Hubby is back to wearing his mask due to several co-workers having already missed work due to being ill with the variant. One co-worker’s wife, just 47 years old, passed away last week. All this to say it makes the hours long at both of our jobs due to call-ins and lengthy illnesses/hospital stays, even deaths.

For those wondering if we are still planning to travel to France for our anniversary. Unfortunately we are not going to be able to do that this year. Even if Covid/variant were a thing of the past, my husband’s employer really needs him to continue to work overtime at least until the end of October. Our trip was scheduled for mid-Oct and with things the way they are here and in France there is no way we could travel out of the country right now. The reason we were going to travel this year vs. when our 30th anniversary is was because at that time in the future, God willing, we will be moving into our forever home. It will be a lot harder to travel somewhere and stay two weeks when we’ve got a new home to take care of. Thankfully we work with a wonderful travel agent who was able to get refunds for all of our deposits. We will tentatively plan another trip for sometime in 2022.

This is the cover for my new guide that is set to be released sometime in September. I had originally wanted to release in it May when it was a simple living/organization guide. But, I had a few messages recently about stocking up the pantry and decided to go ahead and include that kind of information instead of organizational information. It is definitely a topic that is in demand, and for obvious reasons. Adding this additional information has caused a delay, but it will be done in September.

It’s fall cleaning time around here at the weekend with carpet shampooing, paint touch-ups, deck staining, and getting fall/winter clothing checked, laundered, and ready to go. Temperatures for the next few day are in the 70’s. Fall plans include a tour in a haunted mansion, apple orchard tours, last of summer bbqing, fall hiking, and decorating soon for one of my favorite times of the year–Halloween 🎃 🦇 🕷 🕸 👿

Happy September 💙