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Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) The official start of Autumn is only 2 weeks away! My Summer was completely derailed due to an unexpected illness and I'm determined to get back on track this Fall.

Here are some of my goals for this Autumn so far:
~Spend as much time as I can outside so I can enjoy my favorite time of year (I spent most of the summer stuck in the house but with the heat waves, that was okay!)
~Write 6 pages every day
~Study for at least 1 hour every day (so I can complete my online Interior Design course this Fall or this Winter at the latest)
~Help Hubbs find a new job closer to/in the area we want to move to
~Continue the purging I started yesterday throughout the house
~Get started on knitting Winter scarves, especially ones for Christmas gifts
~Work on getting physically stronger (I've lost close to 30lbs since being in the hosp in July which is Great but I literally have no muscle tone whatsoever and need build that up so I don't injure easily)

As I note more goals in my journal, I'll update this post.

What are some of your goals for this Autumn?

message 2: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 3501 comments Some of my goals may have to be curtailed as I have once again irritated my left shoulder and it protests when I dig. I wanted to dig up a bunch of stuff that needs to be divided, but we'll see how that goes.

I always cut back all my perenniels in the fall so I don't have that mess waiting for me in the spring.

I have been babying a few things in pots that need to get in the ground before snow flies.

Have started on a quilt for my grandson for Christmas at his special request. Will also probably make some quilted table runners for friends and my daughters for Christmas.

Am meeting with the trainer at the gym tomorrow to get started on some strength training and excercize classes for fall and winter---us old babes have to stay active when the gardening season is over.

Will be a reading mentor for a 2nd grader for the school months.

Continue working on getting rid of all unused items in my house. This has been an ongoing project and I'm now left with the dreaded basement which has been the family repository for "what should I do with this?" for many years and it is past time to shovel out.

I'm having a new countertop and backsplash installed in my kitchen at the end of the month and also have new furniture on order for my dining area and back entry. Another opportunity to get rid of unused items as I have to totally unload my bottom cupboards for the coutertop install.

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) That's wonderful about being a reading mentor!

Purging is incredibly liberating isn't it?

message 4: by Miriam (new)

Miriam I too am in the purge mode. Some of it is hard since I inherited some things of value, that I don't really like, so now I have to research where to sell them. I have given a few of the valuable items away- twice out of ignorance, but didn't really mind since I knew the recipients would treasure them. Anyone know a specialty shop in oriental antiques? Antique silver tea sets? I love the glass and crystal I inherited- they catch the light, and I am all about light!

I am finishing some edging that never got done- I have such a problem with quack grass here, and plastic edging helps some. I then hide it under mulch and border with rocks. LOVE my rocks.

I am also starting to think about giving away some of the more labor intensive perennials. I repeat, STARTING to THINK ABOUT it... not yet able to do it.

I also purchased some shrubs that were tiny, so started them growing in the back, but now need to reposition them. And I purchased an everblooming lilac that I have been very disappointed in. The leaves are coarse and ugly, and the flowers are not very noticible. So that is going to get pulled.

Finish painting the upstairs hall. Paint the wainscotting and walls in the dining room. (Both require lots of prep work- patching cracks, etc.)

I have started knitting an afghan for my soon to arrive granddaughter. It is fun using pink, after having three sons, three grandsons. I also have a quilt top that needs the back on and tied for the baby. I have yarn for a pastels afghan too. Already hemmed two fleece blankets.

Oh, my wood floors are due for another oiling. They were so neglected that they just suck it up, look dry in a matter of a month. Working I just never had the time to get them into better shape.

The flower bed next to the house, on the south side, needs redone. I have never really done much with it, and it has some things I don't like, like mullein, in it (scratchy and coarse looking), some volunteer roses, and thread leaf coreopsis that gets lost in all the other plants. It does have star of bethlehem in it, which has naturalized, and has kept me from doing too much in it. But the other plants are starting to crowd out that now, and it is so pretty when it blooms. It may wait until spring, since like Cheryl I have to baby my right shoulder and my knees.

I also have a short trip to Chicago planned. My "step-father" (mother's third husband, married when I was in my twenties) is having a 90th birthday celebration in October. My oldest sister and her daughter, my namesake, are coming from Boulder. We will do some sightseeing together. Miriam 2 is interested in architecture, as I am. We are staying in Oak Park, so the Frank Lloyd Wright houses will be one tour. It is always amazing to me to think that he was designing these very modern looking houses at the time that Victorians were the norm. Perhaps a boat tour along the river (no walking, good for my knees). Can't go to Chicago without going to the Art Institute, either. My sister suggested renting a wheelchair for the Art Institute, not sure I am ready to be that disabled. Although the last time I visited this sister, we went to Denver, and I was in such severe pain from her "short walk" to the restaurant. She was oblivious to my discomfort, but my son was about ready to start carrying me! Parking is such a hassle in Chicago that using a chair inside might be a good idea.

Recently read "The Help". It was a great book. Brought back many memories of growing up in Nashville, with help doing most of my parenting, during the civil rights era.

Oh, did not get the library job. Darn. Days just didn't fit with the days I take care of my grandson.

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I'm sorry about the library job Miriam, hopefully another, better, opportunity will come along that works with your schedule!

I haven't read The Help yet but since I've been elected to lead it for our in person book club in the new year, I'm going to wait a little longer before starting it.

message 6: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Jo, I hope you end up having women who have lived with help in your group. It will add greatly to the discussion.

message 7: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 3501 comments Having a mini high school class reunion today I put together to honor a classmate who hasn't been back here for over 20 years. Should be fun and good for many laughs.

message 8: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 3501 comments I started reading "The Help" tonight because I can't find the book I was reading, "The Solace of Leaving Early", which is strange, but okay if that makes any sense.

Today was a stellar day here in Minnesota. Pure blue sky, little wind, colorful leaves flying through the air and NO RAIN. We had 3 1/2 inches in one afternoon last week and there are toadstools everywhere. Also, now that the sun has come out there are boxelder bugs everywhere. For those of you who are not familiar with these incredibly creepy crawlers they are black and red, have hard shells, can fly short distances, like to hang in clumps on places like the siding of one's home and leave nasty brown stains all over the place. My cats are having a field day trying to catch them. Yuk!

message 9: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Gorgeous day here in Iowa too!

My granddaughter was born on Monday by C-section. She had some trouble breathing at first, but is doing fine now. She weighed 8 lbs 14 oz and is named after her grandmas' middle names- Cayleigh Ruth.

I haven't had time to go to the library (small town
=limited hours)and am completely out of books to read! Heading there this morning! No job right now means no book buying means no stack waiting to be read! I hate it!

message 10: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 3501 comments I hear you Miriam--I get twitchy when I'm out of books. Fortunately I have some favorites I re-read from time to time and use them to tide me over.

Sorry to hear you didn't get the library job, but hopefully it means somethings better is coming along.

Another great day here. Rearranged a grouping of heuchera and added some new ones. Picked a big mixed bouquet of hydrangeas to dry for in the house this winter.

Congrats on the new grandaughter--what a pretty name and glad to hear she is doing well. Love those grandbabies!

I'm currently waiting for the first frost so I can start cutting back perenniels. Also bought a box of 70 tulip bulbs on sale at Home Depot and need to get them in the ground. Haven't had tulips for quite a few years and miss them and have a good place where the can die down after blooming and be covered up by something else.

I'm not enjoying how early it gets dark in the evening. My favorite part of summer is being able to go outside after supper and putz around in the yard. Guess I'll just have to be more industrious during the day!

message 11: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Cheryl, I cheated and cut back some of the perennials on my banked "hell-strip". Mostly the peonies, iris, and day lilies. Am hoping to get all the iris in my yard this afternoon. Iris did incredibly well when I lived in Idaho (don't remember borers being a problem) and I love them, but here they are more of a challenge. Many I have planted, only to lose them. And they can be pricey! I got my Idaho ones free, they were always needing divided!

I hate the early dark- why I hate fall and winter so much. I hate to say it, but I head for bed with a book as soon as it is dark. That is when living alone seems loneliest, in the dark evenings. So I take my friends with me to bed- my books and my cats. And use my full spectrum light bulbs all over the house during the day.

I too have some bulbs to plant. Some dwarf iris that I am moving to a more visible location, and some bulbs from the downtown park I maintain. I found a huge cache of them when I was digging around the Russian sage for quackgrass roots. Some animal must have been storing them there. I had already placed mulch in most of the beds, and didn't want to disturb it, so brought the bulbs (about twenty) home. I have donated many shrubs to the park. It all evens out.

The whole history of my tending this little park (where a building was torn down) is an interesting gardening/cultural study. Small town Iowa, the park was all donated materials, basically just plopped down wherever there was room, mostly from one little old lady. It is basically a 20'square garden surrounded by wide sidewalk, and another maybe 15' square next to the existing building, sitting on a corner of the one block downtown street. She died, the city didn't have a gardener or full time park person, so it just sat there going to weeds. I decided to clean it up for my master gardening hours, and it became "my" responsibility. Looking 100% better without the weeds, but still an unplanned bunch of perennials that needed dividing from this lady's yard. Enter the new "city manager" (new position as well as person) from Arizona. Accustomed to very sparse vegetation. He wanted to tear it all out, put in MORE sidewalks, and a few shrubs. He did put up a god-awful ugly clock in the corner. But the ladies in town protested most vigorously about the memorial garden... and so he had to leave it be. I am trying to slowly introduce more planfulness to it, by making a hedge of peonies along the new limestone sitting wall edging the streetside sidewalks, slowly moving things around, and slowly hoeing out some of the wilder perennials (like campanula). Nature is on my side making the change subtle for the community, since you know,

"The first year transplants sleep, the second they creep, and the third they leap."

I am babbling... sorry.

message 12: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 3501 comments You can babble all you want. I think the story of your park is terrific. We have an ugly clock in our small town at the insistance of an old mayor who just thought it would be wonderful to have the thing bonging every quarter of an hour. It drove the workers in the nearby stores crazy and now is limited to playing Christmas carols over the holidays and only ringing on the hour.

Since I worked nights at the hospital for many years and slept during the day I don't like to waste daylight. Fortunately I enjoy quilting, other handcrafts and scrapbooking so fill my evenings with those passtimes. TV for the most part doesn't offer me much entertainment. I also go to a lot of sporting events for my grandkids and my book and garden clubs are held in the evenings as well so those things help too. If I went to bed as soon as it's dark in the winter I'd be going to bed before supper!!

I want to try growing iris again, but my issue is squirrels. They dig them up as fast as I can plant them. I wonder if someone has a good way to discourage the little rodents?

message 13: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Chicken wire works well for bulbs, some even make cubes or lidded baskets of chicken wire, but I am not sure how one would use it for iris, since the rhizomes like to sit right on the surface (without mulch, too). I suppose one could still put the wire over the rhizomes. I have heard moth balls can keep them away, but have never experimented. Red pepper, sprinkled liberally over them will help, but has to be reapplied after each rain. You can also try just offering them something else they like better, like corn or peanuts in a feeder.

I, too, have no use for TV. I do a lot of needlework and quilting. The garden club in my small town takes place during the day, since most of the old ladies that attend are of the era when women did not work outside the home. There have only been a couple of people express an interest in an evening club, but they are so busy with kids in activities, that we have never found a good evening for the meetings. But in the dead of winter, I go to bed right after supper and read until time to sleep. (I also live alone, don't heat my house much when I am the only one home, and have cats to keep me company in bed. I also have dogs, and retreating to my dog-free bedroom is nice, getting away from the dogs' constant demands for attention!)

message 14: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 3501 comments LOL, Miriam! I lock my cats out of my room at night because they won't leave me or each other alone. The big one wants to sleep draped over my middle and at 18 pounds he's something I can do without. I already have enough around the middle without adding him!

I'm going to try a couple of new hobbies this winter and will be signing up for classes soon. I'm going to try needle punch and wool roving. I never tire of quilting, but I am tired of the cross stitch, crochet etc and want to try something new. I'm also looking for a knitting group close to home. My garden club meets throughout the year and I look forward to the chance to think and talk about gardening during the winter. I didn't attend the last meeting as it was a visit to a winery and I'm allergic to wine. Bummer.

message 15: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Cheryl,
18 pounds is a big cat! My oldest son has two that size. My vet would have a fit! He is always fussing about the few of mine that are slightly overweight. I tell him I give them all access to the same food, and play with them all. Some are just genetically programmed to be bigger. I suspect that after generations of being a farm cat or wild cat, only the ones that best metabolize their intake survive, hence the huge cats that show up.
I have been doing a little knitting, very basic, just knit not even pearl afghans for the babies. There aren't a lot of groups in small town Iowa.
My sister just took up beading with a group from work, and having a ball. She was never crafty at all, so it is funny to hear about it. I dabble in beads, but would love to do more.
In Boulder this past week, head home tomorrow. Was in Chicago the week before.

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) One of my kitties is probably 15 lbs.

After planting bulbs, I always generously sprinkle the area of dirt with red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to keep the squirrels from digging them up and replenish it once the red color fades.

I haven't made much head way on my goals so far. Now that my 2nd surgery (a week ago today - talked about it in the Autumn 2010 thread) is out of the way, I can actually fully begin to recover. This surgery was harder on me than I expected so while I very relieved it's over, I'm not feeling so great just yet!

message 17: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Jo,
Sorry to hear about the surgery. It is no fun. My thoughts are with you.

I have had so many health issues lately that have really interferred with my goals. It gets frustrating, doesn't it.

My biggest kitty is about 13 pounds. One of his identical sibs is 12 and the other is 11. Weird. Their sister is only 9. Fluffy black with a tiny white bib and white diamond between their back legs. The sister is solid soft fluffy gray with a darker gray tip of the nose- so cute. I "fostered" them for my vet from 3 weeks of age, dropper feeding them, and couldn't give them up or break apart the "set". Not that I needed any more cats. I have ten. Have trouble with that No word, when it comes to animals needing a home.

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) It's frustrating, maddening and disheartening! I'm sorry you know how it feels as well!

I'd love to win the lottery so I could by a huge farm - part of it would be devoted to taking in animals and they could live there until it was their time to pass.

message 19: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 3501 comments My big cat has a large frame, so he doesn't really look fat. His sister is tiny, about 7-8 pounds, but is the aggressor when they tussle around. Pretty funny to see her go after her big brother. They are both black and white short hairs and when they sleep together it's hard to tell where one leaves off and the other one begins.

As far as goals are concerned, I'm still waiting for a good frost and perenniel foliage to die down before I cut back. Planted 70 tulip bulbs the other day and have some crocus to plant as well.

After our rainy summer we have now gone 27 days without a drop of precip. The dust is terrible and I was filthy after chopping leaves with the mower yesterday. It seems to be the year of extreams.

Did some fall decorating outside the other day. I haven't done anything in the house as I am in the process of some updating in my kitchen and dining room. New countertops and kitchen sink were installed this week. Next week the ceramic backsplash will be put in, then it will be a new dining room light fixture and after that paint. I had to totally unload my bottom cupboards for the counter install which was a great opportunity to get rid of a bunch of stuff. My kitchen had not been updated since the 70s with the exception of new appliances and flooring a few years ago so this has been a major change and long overdue. I also purchased a new dining room table and chairs, a center island for the kitchen and a table for the back entry. I purposely waited until I retired to make all these changes so I would have plenty of time to shop around and make decisions. I just hope I like it as much as I think I will when everything is done!

message 20: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Cheryl,
I laughed out loud at your description of your cats. They do bring joy and fun to our lives, don't they.

Wow, I would have a hard time finding spots for 70 tulips. I have so much in my yard, and I tend to forget where everything is, so planting bulbs in the fall is often trial and error. I will dig a spot I think is empty, only to come upon bulbs. So frustrating.

Your work in your kitchen and dining room sounds like what I am doing. Except I am doing the work myself. I painted the kitchen- cabinets, ceiling, walls, trim, even the ceramic tile backsplash since the previous owner was color blind (flourescent yellow, orange, army green, dark green, cheap beadboard just varnished). I took out track lighting (in a Victorian?) and hung a chandelier (I want to paint it eventually but needed to get some light). I am painting the wainscoting in the dining room (dark green) and the walls (orange/flourescent yellow sponged). I hung a chandelier in there, too. No money to redo the counters yet, but did replace the BLACK kitchen sink with a period appropriate white one, with period appropriate faucets. It is slow work, especially since my energy level is often low.

Do you have pictures?

message 21: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 3501 comments All of your improvements sound terrific. Painting really irritates my carpal tunnel issues so I have to have someone else paint. Fortunately one of my daughters actually enjoys painting and I'm hoping to get her to do it when she is on break from school.

My old countertops were bright red/orange and the backsplash was rough brick which shed all over everything. The new countertops are marbled black and blue/green and the backsplash is green ceramic tile and the walls will be blue. It sounds kind of horrible, but the colors are muted and it really does all go together. I also put in a new sink to replace my hated stainless steel. It's such a change I find myself just staring at it in disbelief. I'm almost afraid to work in the kitchen--everything is so shiny and new!

We finally had a hard frost and I started cutting back perenniels today and will keep at it till I'm done. I had space for tulips because I ripped out something else. Have lots of pots to dump and decorative stuff to put away, but should be able to finish with all that this coming week as the weather is supposed to stay nice and in the low 50s which is pretty normal for this time of year.

We had this incredible wind here last Tues--gusts up to 60MPH. I've never seen anything like it. I had a lot of twigs and branches to clean up, but thankfully nothing very big came down. A lot of people lost trees and were without power--so I feel lucky. It sounded like someone was trying to get into my house through the exhaust hood over the stove. Lots of banging and clanging, drove the cats nuts, they kept looking at the ceiling and running out of the room.

message 22: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Cheryl,
I have had carpal tunnel surgery on both wrists. Now the only thing that really bothers them is raking.

Sounds like your kitchen was from the 70s. Overdue for an update! Your changes sound nice. What type of sink did you put in? I had to go with a single sink, since the hole wasn't big enough for a double, and I would have had to completely redo the island to make a bigger hole. I put in a white old fashioned sink, to fit with the Victorian house.

We had the same winds and frost here, but no power outages. I don't cut back all my perennials- I read that leaving the foliage helps the plant through the winter, except for those with fungal problems like peonies and roses. I cut back the hell strip, since it is so visible, but leave a lot of the yard until spring. I, too, have the decorative stuff to store, and I also want to do a really good job cleaning/ repairing my tools before storing them.

I am so frustrated with my painting project right now. I have been painting the wainscoting in my dining room all week. I had to get more paint, so went down to the new local hardware store, Hardware Hanks. They had advertised that they have Valspar paint, but it was labelled Hardware Hank. Anyway, I did a coat, should have been the final coat, with the new paint. Same latex, semi-gloss, pure white I had been using. It went on weird, and didn't cover, so yesterday morning I did another coat. About half an hour after I finished a section, it is like it melted. It was running in huge sheets! I have never, in all my years of painting, had paint do this. I am now going to have to use my paint eater to completely strip all the paint, and then redo it all. Not only am I going to have to undo a week's worth of work, but my house will be full of paint dust that I will have to clean up, and then do another week's worth of work! I am soooooo discouraged. I feel like crying. And I don't have any new books in the house to hide in! I finished the last yesterday evening.

message 23: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 3501 comments Grrrrrrrrrrrr on the paint. I would definately ask for a refund and try to get someone from the store to come out and take a look at it. I don't blame you for being discouraged and feeling like crying after doing all of that work. I've never heard of this happening either. What is a paint eater?

You are so right about the 70s look in my kitchen and the update was long overdue. I put in a white porceline double sink with extra deep wells and a curves in the back which enlarges the wells lengthwise. Really nice for large pans, roasters, platters etc. I finally got the mess cleaned up and everything put back in its place yesterday. There was a lot of dust from the tile install so the vacume got a big workout. I've been quite busy otherwise and have yet had time to actually cook a nice meal in my updated kitchen. Meeting friends for dinner tonight so it won't happen today either.

The only thing I leave standing in the fall is sedum. I'm so anxious to get going in the spring I don't like to leave foliage standing and I do worry about the disease factor. I put leaves on my beds which are easy to rake off in the spring and seem to do a good job of protecting the plants. I turn the bowls on my birdbaths over and love to see them covered with snow in the winter or in some cases they just dissapear. I wish I had more structures in my yard for winter interest, but I'm planning some things for future years. Will give me something to plan for and dream about this winter!

message 24: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Ah, a Paint Eater is a wonderful appliance. It is like a sander, but has these plastic pads that don't get clogged with paint. I used it a lot on the exterior of my house, taking off all the old alligatored or peeling paint. It is tricky to use- it can sand off wood very quickly, so takes a light touch but strong grip. So much faster than scraping, but one still has to scrape some where it won't reach. Marvelous invention! I was halfway done with the exterior before I discovered it!

I have installed tile, both professionally for a contractor friend, and for my own home. It is messy, but fun to do.

I have slowly added some architectural features to my cottage look garden- three arbors (cheap vinyl ones, but they still look nice, and one is totally covered by porcelein berry vine), some obelisks that were on sale at the end of the season, and an old fashioned wrought iron gate. I have another matching gate, but haven't figured out where to place it. I have a wrought iron headboard that I use for a hand rail where the meter reader has to step up to get to the meter. There was an antique plow in one bed at the back of the house when I bought the place. The wood is really rotting fast, but it still looks okay. I also have lots of shrubs, and I leave the cone flower and black eyed susan intact for the birds. The picket fence looks nice too. I really enjoy looking down on my garden from the second story. I have all the beds and island beds edged in rock, and even when it snows, I can see the outlines. No one but me (and the cats) gets this view, but it is one of the best views of the garden! I do use leaves for mulch, and pine needles from my 109 year old white pine.

I have been so discouraged with the paint situation, that I haven't done anything in that room since it happened Saturday morning. I did get a refund for the paint, but no other compensation except an "I'm sorry." I raked leaves yesterday from the paths of grass I have. Today I have yet to make it outside- I went to the library yesterday and have a pile of books tempting me! Have fun tonight!

message 25: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 3501 comments It sounds like your garden really accents your period house. My house is a boring three bedroom rambler with an open porch on the front, a deck on the back and a cement patio off the garage end. I have the grill, a patio table and potting bench on the patio which is shaded and a great place to work when it's hot out.

I've tried to plant my beds cottage style as I like the mixed casual look and try to keep something blooming all the time. Because this past year was so strange with snow gone and higher temps than usual starting in March my plants bloomed very early and I had a dull period for a while until the fall color started.

My veg garden out back is fenced with an antique gate and there is a pergola of sorts I created out of my kids old jungle gym---covered with woodbine, grapevine and bittersweet and underplanted with perenniels. I have an island bed in the middle of the back yard which is my focus for plans right now. I will enlarge it next year adding more shrubs especially things that provide fall color, but some annuals and perenniels as well. I also have a continuous bed starting in front of the front porch on the north continuing all the way around the house to the west end of the patio which is planted with shrubs and perenniels. There's also a shade bed along the driveway.

My yard is large and there are still areas I would like to develop so I just keep on taking baby steps. As long as I can get out and enjoy the work I'll keep trying to add something every year.

I was going to do more work in my kitchen yet this fall, but am so happy to have everything back in order I think I might wait till spring to paint and add other finishing touches. Right now I'm looking forward to the holidays and helping plan a 40th birthday bash for my oldest daughter. I think I'm more freaked out about her being 40 than she is!

message 26: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Oh my! Forty! I was getting freaked out that my oldest is almost thirty! I guess we get freaked out at all the major milestones!

Your yard sounds great! I start off with smaller beds, and then just keep enlarging them when I have more plants than space to put them. When I bought this house nine years ago, there were only two foot wide beds along the inside of the picket fence, and a diamond shape bed in the middle of the yard. I kill off the grass with carpet over the winter, then pull as many of the quack grass roots as I can when it is good and wet in the spring. That gets it nicely broken up, ready to plant.

I love the jungle gym/ pergola! That is the sort of thing I do. I have a hard time getting rid of things, since I can always think of another use for them! I am trying to purge more, keep less, and actually get around to doing all the projects I currently have waiting. Is it from being poor all my life? Or just an overactive creative gene? I can't figure it out.

I can understand wanting to just enjoy the kitchen as it is. It gets so chaotic when renovating, and it is hard to feel calm in a chaotic environment. Right now my dining room is a mess, all the furniture pushed into one corner while I paint the other areas. I did finally get myself started again, after a week off to fume about the cheap paint messing things up. I sanded, primed, and painted twice. I have to touch up a few spots, but for the most part, about half the waiscoting is done. I will do the wall above, before moving all the furniture again! So Tuesday morning I will be "mudding" and taping cracks, filling holes.

Was it as gorgeous up there as it was here this weekend? We have good weather, sixties, predicted until Thursday!

message 27: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 3501 comments The weather has been terrific and it's a good thing as my fall clean up is taking me longer than I expected. Today we might even break a high temp record, but then it's back to reality after that.

I've been cutting back beds and throwing on compost, bone meal etc as I go. All the neighbors have been out doing yard work so there have been a number of conversations that have delayed the work, but we all laugh about how we probably won't see one another from now until spring. One neighbor, who has never quite fit in in our neighborhood, spent Sun aftn skinning three muskrats which have been laying on his picnic table right next to my yard ever since. I just try not to look. I have a terrible feeling he is going to feed them to his dog. Yuk!

message 28: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Cheryl, you often have the same weather I have, just ten degrees cooler. I did some clean up yesterday, but something was triggering my asthma. The only thing that really does that, besides getting sick, is pumpkin, so I suspect someone near by has pumpkins on their compost pile. After coming in several times to use the inhaler, I finally just gave up. The wind seems to be blowing the other direction this morning, so maybe I will be successful today!

Ick, the neighbor with the muskrats sounds horrid. I think I would be looking in to putting up a tall fence. I just hate that disregard for life. When my dogs actually caught a baby rabbit, and tore his skin, I paid for its vet bill so the shelter would find a home for it. (I did have a house bunny, great pet, who had the coloring of cotton-tails, so that might have contributed to my feelings. And the neighborhood kids brought me a nest of babies when they thought the mother had abandoned them, that I then raised and released.)

One of the pleasures of working in my yard is the conversations with those that pass by. I am right on "Main" street, and two blocks from downtown, so there is more foot traffic than in most areas. Also when I work in the park garden downtown, there are lots of people who stop and chat.

Enjoy the day before the cold returns!

message 29: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 3501 comments I'm nauseated to report the muskrats are still laying on the picnic table. Thankfully I am done with outside work having wound up the hoses two days ago which is always the last thing I do. Now I only notice them when I'm working in my sewing room which looks out into that neighbor's yard. Snow is perdicted for this week-end so if he doesn't move them at least they will be covered.

I have a friend who has bunnies as well as ferrits in the house and reports they are wonderful pets. I'm just going to stick with my cats, but I love all furry critters.

My neighborhood has no alley so we are truly cut off from one another in the winter. I'm having coffee a little later this AM with some of the neighbor ladies and then that will probably be it till spring.

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