Thursday, September 24, 2009

Autumn blessings

"By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather

And autumn’s best of cheer."

- Helen Hunt Jackson, September, 1830-1885

And so, Autumn begins...

The fall and spring have to be my most favorite seasons but if I had to c
hoose just one, I would always pick the fall.

The glorious autumn color palette will soon extend beyond the horizon for miles and miles. Mornings have become somewhat cooler, and signs of Jack Frost will soon once again suddenly appear.

It feels bittersweet to watch summer slowly melt away, though happily our days are still yet very warm and trips to the water's edge are still calling my name.

A few overdue rains have lifted our second level forest fire warnings around the area caused by our perfect three week heat spell this past three weeks. Having a wet and moist raindrop spillage is a welcome reprieve from the thought of it all, a positive thing. Along with it however came an abundance of extra steamy humidity, a negative thing. My poor hubby has endured several tough days with respiratory issues. I'm thankful as we have been promised a mild fall this year, at least according to the Farmer's almanac, sans humidity.

It's that time of year to think about seasonal preparations. Likened to "nesting instincts", I am experiencing this type of feeling each day. So far this past week I've been "in action", moving and shaking to get those instincts worked off, and here's what we've been able to accomplish to date;
  • All of our family's bedding has been washed and fluffed up; bedspreads, blankets, and even pillows are smelling clean and wonderful. A splash of lavender essential oil drops had been included in the washing machine during every load. It feels richly rewarding to plop into bed when exhausted by day's end only to have a sweet whiff of the scent exuding from my pillow, radiating all around my head and face. Sweet dreams ensue until morning when the next tasks are at hand.
  • All of the garbage cans were removed from the house and taken outdoors where they were filled with water, soaked and disinfected, and finally dried before replacing into their assigned rooms. This task included all indoor and outdoor garbage cans and recycling bins. The detailing included new garbage liners thanks to my lovely daughter's help with this task.

  • Our outdoor dog pen was raked, lawn was mowed, rockery scooped from another area and brought over to lay near the gate for eliminating mud making with the rains, and the dog house was washed and disinfected.
  • Our animals tend to require larger seasonal care, especially their habitats, so our indoor flooring where the interior dog pen is had its floor brushed and scoured. The rabbit pens were emptied, scoured/disinfected and all animal pet containers were washed and cleaned.
  • Our back patio canopy, the one held together this year with duct tape has been disassembled and packed away until next year. Hopefully we can stock up on more duct tape and use it again. (smile)
  • Several of the back patio furniture pieces were washed down and brought indoors for winter storage.
  • Our big gun bug killer electrical zapper (which proved to be MIGHTY and FANTASTIC) was packed up and placed back into its original box. The electrical cord was rolled up and the bird hanger hook is now stored away with the patio furniture.

  • All of our bathrooms were scrubbed out. It's always amazing to me to think about how diligent one can be with regards to cleanliness and chore success only to find a seasonal scouring producing surprises at every turn. Since I took this job detail to task on my own, I armed myself by carrying a garbage can into each of the four bathrooms with me, finding several empty shampoo/conditioner bottles from the shower shelves. a stash of empty toilet paper rolls in a cupboard (someone was saving), old bath toys not worthy of keeping, bits of old soap, dirty q-tips, dental floss pieces hiding in drawers, you know....all the things a mother loves to find stashed away in those rooms. They all went "plop" into the garbage can. Gone are the old days when only ONE shampoo bottle and ONE conditioner bottle resided in our bathrooms. When children grow to become teens and young adults, they tend to "collect" various smells and get sucked in by copious amounts of commercial ad promises, resulting in mounds of unwanted items and/or empty bottles laying about. Our newly washed outdoor cans are full of stuff again, wahoo and good riddance to them all.
  • Surprisingly after the summer season a bathroom seems to require a real good dusting! I find the windowsills, tops of picture frames, tops of shower doors or shower curtain rods, wood moldings on the wall bottoms super filthy! Add to that the detail of the wood crevices on a wooden door, buffing up the mirror my way (grin), gathering all of the hair in the sink/shower drains and restocking the toilet paper and this seasonal mom-chore fast becomes a huge ordeal. Jeepers! And not to mention of course washing the shower curtains, glass doors, window coverings and glass, bathmats, toilet covers, doilies and more. The job really isn't even complete until it's all complete, right? Admittedly - the joy of checking that awful seasonal mom assigned task off on my own chore list was well worth the labor!

  • Our bird feeders are now filled to the brim again. I will leave the bird hooks and feeders up throughout the winter as I usually do, and can't wait for the return of those feathery friends coming for wee visits.

  • All of the family's summer jackets and hoodies have been washed, and are now ready for storage at a moment's notice with warmer jackets now resting in their places.
  • Footwear is dwindling as some of the summer items are removed from the hall closet. Sunday shoes have been buffed up, scuffs removed and shoe laces replaced as necessary.
  • Summer items from within the garage space are slowly getting removed and brought indoors for the winter. Soon nothing of liquid content can remain stored in there for fear of a frozen explosion (read mess!) with the frigid temperatures we remember well when first moving into this home.
  • I have many pots of perennials still yet to plant, and I'm beginning to feel a bit stymied by all of the scaffolding around my front garden beds, in the way hindering the transplanting timing before us. I also have some ready for the back beds, still yet carved. During the next two weeks, my older son and I will use the grass spade and get to work to complete this task, yes we will.

  • Our grass seed seems to have sprouted nicely save for a few bare spots to work on for next year. The growth in general has slowed leaving my hubby with the feeling perhaps in only one or two more mowings it will be time to have the John Deere lawn tractor serviced and stored. Oh, and that reminds me, note to self - have the snow blower checked in soon for winter preparation!

Whew...those are some of the basic chores to date this past week and I've not even mentioned the busy happenings in my kitchen yet. Meanwhile we'll be continuing onward with more progress on our autumn checklists. Back again shortly with many more tales of "life in the east".

God bless;