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Category Archives: Fall Shmall

31 Days: Personal Victories

Today was a busy one. So busy, in fact, that excuses for veering away from my original, well-ordered plan popped up at nearly every turn.

It was very tempting to listen to the little devil on my shoulder [a devil which sounds suspiciously like me] that was tempting me all morning long.

See, if the pre-school costume parade ran long, would it make sense to go for only the last little bit of bible study? I could always borrow the dvd portion and catch up on it later. Besides, there was so much to do at home! Maybe I should just forget about going to the study at all — I mean, there’s no way that I wouldn’t be at least a little late anyway — and just plan on going home.

The parade ended at 9:40. Hmm. That would mean there’s only…an hour and a half left. Oh. Well, when you say it that way, it sounds ridiculous. To Precept!

(Time well spent, as always.)

Then there was the question of whether or not to go to early voting to cast my ballot. With so many days left, is that really necessary? But I was practically passing by the polling place, so why not! Twenty minutes later, I was glad I could cross that off the list, too.

Ah, but here’s the real test: Was there enough time left to justify going all the way back to the gym to squeeze in a workout? By the time I got home, changed, and had a bit to eat, there would only be thirty minutes left. And no classes, and I love a good class.

Oh, who am I fooling?! As if I really spend more than thirty minutes on a treadmill — please! At the rate this week is going, I may not have another opportunity to go until the weekend, so I got up and went. And I was happy — thrilled! — that I had an excuse to leave after thirty minutes. Man, am I out of shape!

Did I feel like an idiot leaving after thirty minutes? Sure. But do I actually think that everyone there was agog that my commitment to fitness was so obviously lacking? Well, yes, but I also know that has more to do with my brand of crazy than anything based in reality.

All in all, a very successful day! I can’t believe I managed to get out of my own way three times in as many hours; that may be a record.

In other news, I put on a sweater this morning, realized that it looked just as unflattering as it did every time I put it on last winter, and decided to rid myself of the collection. You may see me in the same shirt every day, but at least it won’t make me feel like Grimace.

Also, speaking of cold, it’s been mildly chilly here for all of four days, right? My hands are already a dry, burning, flaky mess, and my lips are beyond chapped. Winter should be lots of fun! (Guess it’s a good thing we’re nowhere near winter….)


31 Days: Taking It Outside

We don’t get out much. Between the mosquitoes and the pollen and the ragweed, it’s very hard for me to bring myself to spend time in the yard. Believe it or not, that actually kind of kills me, because I love being outside. Love it!

(Surprised? Well, who could blame you — you’ve never seen me outside.)

Unfortunately, our yard very quickly slips into complete shambles if we don’t stay on top of it.  So many weeds…. And we don’t stay on top of it, so it looks really great right now. The thing is, it’s a pretty big job to weed the yard. Also, most of the bedding plants are from the previous owner, and that is some hodge-podge bunch of ugly. They did pick very hardy, low-maintanence plants, which would sound like a good thing, but remember that they’re ugly. Ugly, not ever going to die plants.

Ah, but I have a plan:

Now that the weather (but not the darn bugs or air quality) is tolerable, I’m trying to air the kids out before dinner time a little more frequently. It seems like we never have enough time for that either, but it turns out that we usually do — at least a couple of times a week. Today, while they were distracted by fighting over the bubbles and whatever else they find to bicker over, I pulled a ton of weeds out of the front bed. I would’ve pulled them all, but there was a giant fire anthill hidden under one patch; left that one alone. Next time, I’m going to test the limits of my upper body strength by trying to dig out some of the un-lovelies. Since they are green and alive, I might even find another home for them in the back. We’ll see. The main thing is to clear out the bed so that it can be mulched and I can stop weeding long enough to figure out what to do with this space. I need time to just gaze at the beds as a nice clear space and cook up a planting scheme for winter.

After that, I’ll take on the back. There’s only about a 1% chance of that happening in what remains of 2012, but we have been on a tear lately. Who knows?


Fake It ‘Til We Make It

We had three cool, beautiful mornings this week. It was all I could do to not break out the sweaters and whip up some hot cocoa; the 90 degree temps in the afternoon provided a good reality check. Still, if we wait for the REAL Fall weather to kick in, we might miss the whole season.

Hence the wreath:

Inspired by the completely awesome Agnes Blum , I’ve been wanting to make one of these for months. Since I’ve been housebound with Ms. Sickie this week, it seemed like now would be as good a time as any to just do it already. Once I sat down to wind the yarn (a remnant from my mom’s knitting leftovers, thankyouverymuch), it only took a couple of hours total. Longtime readers with a keen eye might even recognize the leaves and accent fabric from years past. No sense in letting them sit on a shelf like they did last year!

I already have an idea for a Christmas version, and one for The Girl’s room. The latter will probably be a way’s off, because I’m not sure what to use for the decorative elements. Maybe I should wrap the wreath and then figure it out?

Or maybe I should wash the dishes. Those might actually be the more pressing matter today.



Meeting the Minimum Requirements

A certain five-year-old, who has recently been appointed Minister of Holiday Cheer in this here house, has been expressing his deep disappointment over our lack of Halloween decor.

Sorry, boy — it’s just not my thing. But! We do live to serve:

A quick raid on the craft box yielded scraps of fun foam, felt, and construction paper; a good time was had by all. I need to hang them in their appointed places [the boy thinks of everything] today in order to bring us up to specs, and then I have designs on surprising him with a certain festive wreath. Here’s hoping that eases the pain of not having a giant inflatable whatever in the yard.

Fall Shmall

Wow. Where did the rest of September go?

Well, good riddance, I say. Sure, it’s Fall, but you wouldn’t really know it to step outside. To me, in our neck of the woods, this season is one big tease. You look out the window, and it’s all grey and cloudy and (lately) rainy. You think, Ooh, I bet it’s cool! But no—that would be incorrect. It’s oppressively hot and steamy. “Seasonable” weather is 88 degrees, which is technically cooler than it was in the summer, but come on. It’s in the high 70s when I wake up at five in the morning; that’s no cause for celebration, in my book.

Nevertheless, celebrate I shall, because to do otherwise is to waste a perfectly lovely (if only in theory, or other parts of the country) season, and that would be wrong. So I’m just going to fake it ’til we make it.


[These looked much better in real life. See what I mean about the dreariness?]

It seems I’ve been spending more time in the kitchen than at the sewing machine lately. Last week, I managed to turn out some of my very favorite pear muffins. They’re based on this recipe, except I omit the granola in the muffin, and substitute rolled oats for it in the topping. This time around, I got all crazy and used chopped sliced almonds with the oats in the topping, but they burned a little bit. It added kind of a toasty flavor that I, personally, liked, but I’d probably leave them out next time. Oh, and I only had whole-milk yogurt on hand, so I used that instead of the low-fat kind, thus diminishing the overall wholesomeness of the finished product even further.

I wish I had one of those right now. I might have to make another batch pretty soon.

And look who else has been bitten by the cooking bug:


Yes, inspired by Tasty Time with Zefronk, the Boy has been whipping up his own snacks. These are the Banana Dogs, which is funny, seeing as he’s not very fond of bananas, nor is he a big fan of bread. We also busted out the perennial classic Ants on a Log, but subbed apples for celery. (He didn’t eat the celery version the first time around, and I’m not one to criticize that. Blech.)

I know who’s getting some chef-ly duds for Christmas!

[Edited 10.07.09 to add missing muffin link.]