When Autumn Comes – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #43

I knew where I wanted to go with this one. Then I had an internal struggle. Then a physical struggle. Then the words would not come in the format I had envisioned. They say that is part of the process, writers do, say it, that is.  So I took a step back and started over.

Welcome to Crispina‘s weekly challenge. Anything goes, as long as you don’t go past 150 words. Click on her name, the rules and regs, soft as they are, are right there!

When Autumn Comes

It hangs on a hook, waiting till autumn comes.  Different garage, different hook.  Yet it was placed there as soon as we arrived. I don’t even know if it was me or one of the boys who hung it up.

It’s just a stupid flannel sweater-cum-jacket.  Older than – hell, I have no idea how old it is!  It seems like it has always been there. It has been worn to rake leaves, tie bushes, change tires. It has been thrown on in dead of winter just to cross the street to get to the convenience store.

I wear it now, when autumn comes.  I rake my leaves, do my best to do the yard thing. No, I don’t change my tires – that’s what family are for!

It is the first item I reach for when I’m doing the stuff you used to do. When autumn comes.

 

Word count: 146

 

Mom, I’m Out of Clean Underwear!

How did this happen, you ask?  Well, let’s see now…

It all started when we asked Claude, our electrician friend, to install ceiling lights in our dining room.  You see, this room was originally a small living room which we never used because you could not even fit a decent sized couch; nor could you really put a television.  It’s a rectangular room with a fireplace on one narrow wall, French doors on the wall to the left and a doorway, sans door, to the hallway & kitchen, and patio doors on the wall to the right.  Either you have to put a TV kitty-corner with the fireplace and the patio door (which the previous owner did) or above the fireplace (which is too high and would look ridiculous).  A loveseat is about the only piece of furniture along with a small coffee table and maybe a one-seater.

Soooo…. the year after we moved in, I suggested to hubs that maybe if we put our dining room table in here and the sofa in the kitchen (where the table was) we would use this space more.  Besides, as most families do, we always hang out in the kitchen – might as well put a couch so more could sit!  He did not think it was a good idea but when I ran away from home for a week-end of solo time, he did the switcheroo!  And, funny thing is, EVERYone who saw it, thought it was a brilliant idea!  Goes to show, eh?

As a result, we do indeed use the dining room way more often – especially when we entertain.  We light a fire and a gazillion candles (slight exaggeration) – otherwise we would not see what we are eating.  A couple of corner lamps just didn’t cut it.  Yes, it was romantic, but let’s face it, for the average day-to-day, it was a pain in the arse to have to light all those candles…

Enter Claude.  Of course, what seemed like such an easy task at the time ended up being a major headache!  For every hole in the ceiling, three more needed to be made.  This house does not have an interstitial space between the ceiling and the floor of the storey above.  These means, passing wires is no longer a simple thing!  Make a hole for the fixture, make a hole in the beam, make a hole beside the hole for the fixture, and so on.  Our ceiling looked like cottage cheese!!!   Of course Claude and his crew decided to come on a Friday that I was entertaining friends for dinner… Thankfully, it was gorgeous outside and we were able to dine al fresco – with candles!

We left this mess for a couple of weeks as the lights we wanted were out of stock…  When all was installed, we could then get to work.  We had a friend who was to come help with the putty work but he was only available Labour Day week-end and we already had a date to go visit the same friends who came over during our mess!  Hubs is more than capable of plugging holes and doing the putty work necessary so. He did.

Meanwhile, the crew came to clean out our interlocking patio (pavé uni) which had become overrun with weeds, was stained and looked like crap!  We had the thermo pump guys come to disconnect said item and put it in the garage so the guys could clean up the side of the house.  Since it was being disconnected, we had the brilliant idea of moving the  thermostat OUT of our bedroom on the second floor and to the hallway wall on the main floor. (Why it was installed there in the first place, we’ll never know!  Problem with this stupid set up is that hot air rises so we could set the temperature to whatever and it would be reached upstairs while we froze our buns off on the main…)  Another great idea.  Another Swiss cheese situation!  In order to pass the wires from the thermostat, through the kitchen ceiling, into the garage…. we had to do the same thing as the dining room!

Of course it rained before the pavé uni could be sealed so the thermo pump could not be put back and be reconnected.  Did I mention that THIS is when we had a heat wave?  Yeah. No air conditioning for three days and the temperature was up, up, up!  How quickly we become spoiled by cool air… but now it looks good!

View from my office

View from my office

During this heat wave I was canning and cooking for clients. (How did I know that when I bought my tomatoes and other salsa ingredients, the A/C would be turned off and we would also have to paint in between batches?)

So now… the dining room is mostly finished (few touch-ups here and there) and we need to find a new chandelier.

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Now we have to tackle the kitchen, which has SOOOOOOO much detail work!  It took me forever to just tape the area…  Plus there was loads of plaster work to do (to be able to install the TV on the wall, we had to pass more wires (yeah, that again!) and now, I hear hubs calling as it’s my job to do the “découpage” for the ceiling (and walls – but not today!)

And they want me to do laundry?

Thunder? Pfft! That Doesn’t Scare Me!

I am not a list-maker by any means, not even close (though, maybe, just maybe I should think of trying it). That said, it doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally have a mental “To-Do-List” going on in my head. For example, today, I had on my list to clean the bathrooms (blech!) and to weed the front gardens.

Of course, I still seem to be on vacation-mode so I have a little trouble “gittin’ in gear” so to speak! By the time I had written today’s post and cleaned two toilets (again, blech!) the thunder that my lovely neighbour/Global Weathergirl (woman!) Aalia had predicted decided to start. The sun hid behind the clouds and the rumbling started.

I, however, was not deterred! Even when the big raindrops started. They were few and far between and I’m not made of chocolate, last I heard, so I worked on. Zeke was NOT pleased that I asked him to remain on the front stoop under the awning. Wet woman vs wet dog just ain’t the same stink!  Sorry, Boy!

Just this morning I was reading my friend Joy’s blog at Joyfully Green where she was talking about meditating; well actually, she was more talking about clutter and cleaning and straightening out her thoughts but what it all boiled down to was this is her way of meditating.  (I am like her – sitting down in some awkward position, getting cramps in my legs and trying to empty my mind just doesn’t work – gardening, photography, cooking – DO!)  So true what she says:  that when life gets too busy and we feel we can’t think, getting something in order helps to clear the mind, ergo, meditation!

It was raining just enough to see a pattern form on the driveway and I found myself thinking of that silly commercial where the mother is gardening, flowers are blooming, sun is shining, bees are buzzing….but in reality it’s raining cats and dogs and her kids are watching her from a house window, thinking she’s crazy.  Can’t for the life of me remember what the product being peddled is but I was smiling to myself thinking of it while rain was making a pattern on my back!

I didn’t even think to get my gardening gloves as I just started pulling here and there, till next thing I knew, my bag was full!

Gardener's hands

Gardener’s hands

More thunder and I keep thinking: “That’s it, in a flash the skies will open up and drown me!” But no, it didn’t.

I sat back on my heels and perused my work, feeling quite satisfied!

Before I knew it, I was looking at the sad state of the roses and decided to prune them.  The rain had come and gone and come back a bit and I could hear my neighbour working on his trailer while I pruned away.  And then, just as I finished and was sitting on my stoop going through the rosehips, the rains came – for realz.  My neighbour disappeared though I don’t know if it was the squeak of my need-to-be-greased pruning shears that drove him away or the heaviness of the rain…

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And the rains came…

I was safe from the rain, sitting on my porch, cutting away the rosehips.  Seriously.  I think they will do me no good at all.  I don’t think they are ready to be turned into jelly.  Methinks I should have left them there to mature and get red… Oh well, it may be considered a waste of time but I prefer to think of it as a reason to just sit out there and enjoy the scent of petrichor (which I did not expect as the day had not been all that warm) and the sound of the rain falling.

Un-ripe rosehips

Un-ripe rosehips

As I was squeaking away, the rain stopped completely… Mother Nature is truly confused today!

A perfect afternoon!  Now off to prepare my salmon for the cedar plank treatment!

So all the “todays” really mean yesterday!

Last Day of May…Already

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Is it my imagination or did this month just fly by?  Or maybe, as I get older the words of Andy Rooney become more and more true!

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The garden is planted and already needs weeding (!).

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The lilacs have bloomed.  We planted this lilac tree last year and I never expected to get over six blooms!

Lilac

Lilac

The azaleas have come and gone – their presence is so fleeting, isn’t it?

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We had our first camping trip…. in the mud and rain but still managed to have a most excellent time!

The first anniversary of losing Dad…

Happy place

Happy place

And I was even treated to a spa!  What a great month!

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Come tomorrow, we are officially in June! Let us hope it is nothing like last year as it was bloody cold!

Bring it on!

 

Let the De-Cluttering Begin!

You can’t turn in any direction without being told to DE-CLUTTER, DE-CLUTTER, DE-CLUTTER!!! I’m starting to think that maybe there is a reason for that. Whether you want to Get Rich, Lucky Bitch; find true love; find your true calling; or whatever book you are reading now to help you obtain what you want; for sure there is a chapter on de-cluttering! There must be something to this besides streamlining your shelves.

A cluttered closet/house/garden will apparently hinder you from a) getting more money, b) finding your true passion, c) finding x-y-z! Things that make you go Hmmmmmm.

Well why not? Why not put everything in my favour? It sure as hell can’t hurt and will benefit my whole family in the long run… less things to trip over, less “Mooo-ooom, where is my _____?” and maybe just maybe I’ll find that bottle of hoisin sauce I KNOW I bought?

I decided to start with part of the garden… They were calling for rain later on in the day so I figured I’d be forced to stop before putting my back out! Besides, I have to take advantage of the clement weather when possible – we can always do the inside when it’s yucky outside anyway!

It was a comfy 22 C (about 72 F) without being too muggy. There weren’t too many skeeters out trying to eat me alive, so that was good!

It was so nice and quiet. A perfect time to meditate while pulling weeds and dead-heading the yellow, orange ad reddish “pom-poms” as we used to call them when we were kids. (Suffering from a major brain fart and cannot for the life of me recall what they are called!

I could just hear Dad telling me to dead-head the flowers so that the will produce more. He showed me how to remove the dead flowers by just snapping them off. Pretty much every summer it was my job to plant them around the pool. And to think I used to hate them. They are not the prettiest of flowers and they sure as hell do NOT smell nice!

. It is kind of ironic that I now choose to plant them! They apparently ward off bugs! Looking at the state of my garden right now, I’d say they are the ONLY things not totally eaten up by the bugs, slugs and other ughs!

I got a chance to clean up a good section before the rain came down… Looking good!

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The boys are still on summer vacation time so getting them to crawl out of bed before 9:00 is quite the feat! Of course, enticing them with some home-made strawberry waffles made the task just that much easier!

Have I done any other de-cluttering today? Well. No. Dishes, lunches, physiotherapy (for my bum shoulder – that’s for another story!), Kumon, back at home and off to see the Alouettes (Montreal Football Team) try not to get their butts whupped in the rain!

Tomorrow IS another day!