...there are myriads of thoughts visiting our minds.
For most folks it is time to unwind from summer and proceed with planning for the upcoming harvest season of autumn.
In September many things on the "unattended list by the builder" are now complete. (clap,clap,clap!)
This summer, more scaffolding was hoisted up and placed once more in the same locations as last summer, where previous winter ice damning caused severe damage up there, and the spring thaw provided plenty of water leakage damage inside of our garage. To my poor hubby's chagrin, his BBQ was not available for quite some time, his favorite pastime of cooking left to indoor efforts only for a time.
Once again this year, there were ladders leaning upward against further damaged interior walls inside the garage, with drywallers working hard to replace sheet rock, checking for mold and insulation damage possibilities behind, and then re-taping and re-mudding entire areas of damage to the walls, and ceiling, where not long ago, water poured in everywhere (and I mean it broke through the ceiling, down inside of the walls, everywhere!), and buckets below were continually filling and being emptied.
The view from my kitchen sink window was something like a steel platform view, it was, with men bidding me a good morning before 7:30am.
Yesterday the drywallers came for the last time and the painters gave the walls a fresh coat of paint to cover the repaired areas any remaining staining on walls and ceiling. YEAH!
Meanwhile, with only nine bundles of shingles left in our builder's possession (because our roofing materials are no longer available), crews set out to remove the damaged areas from last year, throwing them all over the ground and sometimes atop of my new garden areas below.
In the end, they were able to create a more commercial detailing system which included thicker and higher flashing, heating coils from the front of the house to the back, (with electricians working their buzz guy magic) right over the roof to prevent more ice damning on higher portions of the upper outer walls in winter, and then wreaking havoc once the spring thaw arrives.
Just in case, the heating coil wiring even runs into the length of the downpipes, including three NEW downpipes installed to assist in the run off from the upper most roofing area, in order to avoid more ice buildup in the first place.
It was interesting to note another home built similar to ours by this same builder also had these same issues from the architectural flawed designs, theirs now repaired like ours. All good.
... we are reminded of the beauty amidst our surroundings, when there are telltale signs of seasonal changes.
The animals in the forest are foraging already, in preparation for gathering their winter's food storage fare. As our property seems to be a haven for food supply with acorns aplenty, as we scoured about removing fallen branches from this week's storm, we noticed the vast nut supply on the ground.
I'm thinking a "nut picking party" is a great idea.
Perhaps we can use these in some way, other than crafting of course. Does anyone have suggestions?
I was thinking we could even load up and redistribute into other areas of the property to deter the critters from populating one particular part of the front garden, where the animals are not welcomed to destroy it any further with new underground tunnels, making the surface all spongy and loomy again since our great landscape work was complete.
... we prepare once again for getting back to the school books, but absolutely not in sync with traditional institutional schools local to us. We prefer to wait a bit, and since we only settled on a schooling summer break in July, we can do this.
I remember myself entering into Grade 8, the first day of school being September 7th, and finding out the next day we were excused from our second day of school due to the feast day of "The Nativity of the Blessed Mother's Birthday". That always left an imprint in my mind, brought forward through the years, to honor the day as a liturgical feast day of importance into my own family still today.
And so, we continue with that tradition as we always have since beginning on this path of homeschooling twenty-one years ago now, feasting and celebrating liturgical days of importance when able, leaving September 8th as one of those very special days counted on our calendar. The norm for us most years is to formally be back into the books the Monday after this feast day, and no earlier.
The suggested on-hand curriculum and favored learning materials were spread all over my dining room for two weeks, ideas flowing and learning styles changing this year as in years passed. The school syllabus was worked on, containing yearly, monthly and weekly goals, broken down by subject and child.
A lovely liberal arts year awaits! AND, along with a few other homeschooling children, our younger ones will be attending a french class with "Madame" this year. And piano lessons will soon resume. YES!
Instead of rushing back to school, we look forward to several visits at the zoo (there's a brand new baby monkey there right now), the science museum and will head to the beach for less crowded options and more opportunity to take our time and not feeling hurried when elbow room is at a premium.
Meanwhile, in September,
- about an acre of grass requires a feeding (on foot using a spreader - now DONE!)
- the bird feeders see a change of food to attract new birds for colder weather
- the windshield washer and bags of salt used in the water softening system are stocked up again for winter
- the undercoating protective shield has been applied to both vehicles (smelly!)
- some of the summer floral annuals have been pulled out and replaced with autumn mums for further seasonal beauty outdoors
- ice hockey gear had to be replaced in a big way! Our 13yo son grew so much in just a few months, his foot four sizes larger than his skates, let alone all the other gear we've scrambled to replace with either older sibling hockey stashes saved for this purpose or having to purchase a few pieces. Tryouts were last night. Hockey Fever our way is once again about to begin! :)
- we prepare for another horse show next weekend as our younger daughter will be participating in a fall fair competition. She and the other young ladies from the barn are so excited!
- our second oldest (married) son arrived here this week, currently visiting on his own for a few days. There are a few projects he'll be assisting us with, so good to have his company and capable hands here to offer us a little help.
...it's always a juggle to get everyone back into the groove of all things schedule and routine, though the summer was filled with routines and busyness. It's just not the same when one wakes to a dark rainy day, or realizes how tired they are not having to rise early and get out of the door. As the days slowly become shorter and everyone begins to get to bed earlier, a different type of routine is well on its way.
... the fruits from our summer labors are realized, the decluttering, the donations to "Freecycle" leave imprints with added room and the feeling of "organized" in our minds. We filled two vehicles to the brim with oodles of offerings for others to take home for FREE.
Rather than have all recipients who took our offers online come to our home in the country for pickup, we chose instead to load it all up and take it to a parking lot at a local shopping mall in town for them to pickup.
Over thirty folks took part in our giveaway, such a fun thing to do. Wow, as our family stood and handed over bikes, scooters, skates, clothing, books, and so many other goodies, it sure felt good to see those happy smiling faces as they scooped the items out of our hands to take them to their homes.
For the past few months, I've been going full steam ahead with the finality of settling in to this new home, even though it's been only a few months shy now of two years since our move here.
During the summer months, in between children/teens working hard at their jobs, the younger ones discovered and attended a couple of summer sport camps.
During those longer days in between keeping up the driving schedule and pickups, I turned off the telephone, cranked up the music and blitzed through this house like a tornado, working hard, sweating mightily and breaking new ground with all I was able to accomplish.
One of the largest projects was sorting, organizing and sifting through our vast family library. The pile below was a part of that handling when I was able to either attend a local vintage book fair as a vendor, sell many of them online, or give away and donate locally. My oh my - that felt GREAT to have behind me!
As history is our telltale, and I'm unsure of how others tick, I've found it takes me at least two years to feel the semblance of the re-rooting our lives to a new home and/or location.
Finally, I feel as though things around here are fairly much where I'm more at ease and comfortable with everything in its place and the (invisible to others, in my face to me) clutter has been lifted.
I am now much more confident about mapping out and getting around our geographical area, feeling like a local as we've now come to know short cuts to town, knowing routes to avoid during 'cottage country' peak periods, and amenities via "word of mouth" are now coming in quicker than ever.
For all of these things, I am very grateful.
... we feel led to begin preparing not only for autumn, but also for winter when strolling about the property and noting how windy storms are affecting our forest. There are about two dozen smaller trees choking out others in their surroundings, or worse yet, rotting and about to spill over.
Not long ago we woke to some fairly serious damage on the ground, and noticed a tree had broken in the night and lay on the ground.
Safety first is our motto, so we romped the main areas we trek in the most, either with lawn mowing or assorted other activities and decided to take preventative action and fall them. Better safe than sorry.
Trees falling in the night aren't our idea of safety....like the stump above as a direct result from a wind storm's damage.
As summer is almost passed, thank you for sharing my summer with me by keeping in touch, sending cheery notes via emails, texts and facebook.
As you may have figured out, many of my "summer's sweet and simple" posts were written in advance and postdated to arrive on dates selected for them to appear.
That time out allowed me the ability and luxury of additional time to blitz through my home, keep my head above water with the long awaited "what next" medical updates for my hubby, keep the feast days celebrated during summer's liturgical flow, and still allow me the true appreciation to be most utterly thankful for all of summer's many blessings.
As always, we continue to celebrate the ordinary, bound ourselves up in prayer and keep on the cheery train to the many blessings in our midst.
I am so looking forward to the newness of yet another new season ahead.
I would love to offer you an invitation, cheering you on into the final days of - "September" to enjoy the many blessings of all its promises to the entry of another new schooling year ahead, and a wonderful springboard into the season of Autumn.