Friday, November 20, 2009

Goodbye Autumn

Here are a few autumn blessing visuals, some of the last ones from this season fast closing its door before winter officially begins and the list of winter preparations are now fairly complete.

Are we prepared for winter? Yes! Yes! Yes! :)

How does one really prepare for seasonal changes while not becoming infused with WORK galore, rather just allowing for a natural rhythm to take hold anyway?

Our natural instincts for rolling into seasonal changes with ease ends up becoming list making moments to assist in those preparation measures without having to reinvent the wheel for necessities, and plugging along on this basic and tangible reminder list so we can rise up into action bit by bit, at least for those of us who are preparing for harsher climates which from our own personal experience living here, do require thoughtful consideration.

Living in eastern regions requires thoughtful planning. Easing into our winter preparations have been ongoing with almost one year's notations written on a perpetual calendar, recorded for future timing on remembering how to store individual things, and when to do them.

We like a natural, spread out and divided prepping time mostly so we don't overload by slacking off and waiting for the first day of winter's snowy arrival to get into gear.

In other words, if we prepare in a natural rhythm along the way, rather than scrambling, we can relax when in the thick of winter arrives, remaining indoors with our hot cups of tea near the fire, admiring the gentle dance of the snowflakes faltering to the ground through picture windows.

To date, we've had to assess all facets of what this winter's preparation should include and it's been a continual work in progress it seems since our move here. Finally we are beginning to feel established in this new adventure we're walking.

One cannot becomes seasonally organized especially for a season like winter without first thinking of all areas requiring attention.

Hooey! I've compiled something of a list below we've already tended to, some I've mentioned here before, and some we are just completing now.

Admittedly, at first glance, it looks overwhelming and really, really (!) LONG, doesn't it?

However, that said, I'll bet it's nothing much different than most other folks with the exception perhaps of the pets and such.

Without further ado then:

Our Winter Preparation List

Here it is, fully loaded and goodness, surely there are things I've even forgotten already or overlooked on here. ha ha

  • Furnace and hot water check by the professionals.
  • Change both of the enormous furnace filters this house requires for the system installed here.
  • Clean out and wash filters in our HRV air exchange cleaning system.
  • Clean out the air purifiers on each floor.
  • Will the hot water heat pump blow again when we require its use after the warmth of the summer/autumn seasons? We're on guard!
  • Stock up on salt for our water softening system, ten bags are neatly stacked now for the winter season.
  • Stock up on windshield washer fluid, the good stuff for under -30C and beyond, and bagged salt for the drive, walkways and stairs.

  • Leaf removal on the property so we are ahead without a rotten leaf clean up and mosquito/fly nesting temptation for spring.
  • Re-organize the garage for the fifth time this year due to our move with three feet of snow all about, resulting in just throwing all those boxes in there. We've already revolved spring/summer items for winter ones. Yeah! Snow shovels are handy!
  • Re-organize the cold storage area downstairs under the front stoop, moving things about on the shelving system in there, making easy access to Christmas bins, yet shuffling and organizing all things from other seasons for later.

Leaves are now gone!
  • Putting the garden tools away and bringing out the snow shovels.
  • Power washing the lawn mower, the lawn tractor, the lawn whipper, garden tools and trading their spaces for the snow blower.
  • Have the serviceman come around to winterize lawn mowers and prepare the snow blower for fast and carefree usage after all our surprise snow falls during the night.
  • Clean and haul the patio furniture inside.
  • Clean and haul all yard toys, bicycles, flower pots and baskets all inside.
  • Check out every light bulb and lighting situation inside and out. Replace dead ones because you know winter days are much shorter and require more light. :) What weird light bulbs we must have for some here!

Weird Lightbulbs!

  • Protect any vulnerable smaller garden trees and shrubs.
  • Clean the gutters of all debris, leaves and bird nests.
  • Hire professionals to install gutter guards so we don't have the ice buildups like last year where water poured into our garage after things began to thaw.
  • Bring liquid bird feeders inside, change bird seed for winter.
  • Insulate dog houses, providing nesting material for those days our "winter" dogs prefer to be outdoors.
  • Declutter the garage door areas for easy entry and exit for animals, vehicles (yes, we can park inside this year!)
  • Remove all liquids from garage and basement cold storage areas. Remember the car wash bin this year! And then there are those liquids in the vehicles, the ones in the first aid kit that exploded everywhere last year.
  • Checking out the boot wear for the entire family, making sure the stock for very warm boots is sufficient for the weather to come.

Growing feet require bigger sized boots

  • Checking out the baskets of winter woolens; gloves, mittens, hats and scarfs. We never wore scarfs much living out west, they are essential here!
  • Checking out the coat situation for the entire family because we found the extra cold climate after our moving day required thicker and better insulation in our jackets.
  • Hung up extra steel coat hooks in the garage for snow pants and other extra bulky winter wear.

New gloves from Grandma and Grandpa

  • Setting up the calendar with winter activities; ice hockey, snow tubing, the church's ski trips, visitors to come, special feast day celebrations, travel to meet and greet our new grandbaby in the new year, and prepare for my hubby to enter the same respiratory rehabilitation hospital once again for 4-8 weeks in the dead of winter.
  • Stock up the kitchen pantry for those winter days when we are stranded at home and it becomes too danger to run to the store.
  • Wash the windows now before it freezes too badly outdoors (company coming to do the outdoor work)
  • Garden hoses were emptied long ago and brought into the garages. We found great metal hangers at our dollar store which were screwed into the wall for hanging the hoses on for winter. Thankfully our outdoor taps are frost free and require no winter preparation. Whew...
  • Rodent removal systems in place (non-poisonous ones at that!). My hubby used insulation spray in every hole, crevice, entry port imaginable for less heat escape, and/or more rodent entries. Patrolling the outdoor perimeter is so important, so all areas of entry are now well sealed. Wish I could convince hubby of a cat, a mouser, but too many allergies in this house for that.
  • Winterize the barbecue and ensure the cover is tightly tied. Place bricks on the bottom shelf to keep it from walking in wind storms.


... we're still officially within this season - says our calendars, so here are a few more photos of autumn's last days ...

Crafty daughter working her blitz of gifts for friends

Fascinating reading and more crafting time

Always, we're just always (!) attempting to take the time to "live in the moment", celebrating and feasting through each season however simple or fancy it might end up to be, absolutely making memories to grasp onto, those lingering on forever in our hearts and minds.