One more week, and (knock on wood), l will finally have some slower days. I have no idea how it all happened, but this fall was absolutely too much. Too hectic, too full, too over-committed, TOO MUCH!
Among many things, our house was on a charity house tour, in which 1,300 - THIRTEEN HUNDRED people came through our home. That was a ton of work. In order to be ready, there were endless large and small projects. Some of the bigger things included re-working the living room and family room, painting the stairs, the landscaping and my least favorite- professional asbestos removal. Yikes! All is ok though, glad we got it taken care of.
We also had wedding(S), including one in New York, and one this coming weekend. Jon is a groomsmen, Noah a ring bearer, and I am a hostess. School began, and so did my volunteer duties. This is my fourth and final year as the "Vice President to Lower School New Families", which is just a way too fancy way of saying "The Welcome Wagon". I did some public speaking at orientation, and most recently, threw the annual new parent dinner, which my Mom and Dad VERY graciously helped to host AGAIN. Unlike them, I can not fit 60 people in my house! Well, not very comfortably.
We've also had various other projects going on in and around this old house. Our ivy covered wooden fence was collapsing in on our poor neighbors. We were able to save the fence by having new posts laid and securing the existing fence to them. It worked out great, and most of the ivy has been saved! Woo Hoo! :)
(By the way, have I ever told you that we have the best neighbors in the world? They're all great!)
Squirrels. SQUIRRELS have moved in......into our WALLS! This has been going on for a little while. In hopes of not shelling out some big bucks to a catch-and -release wildlife company, I scoured the web, trying to figure out how we could humanely remove these furry dudes. After careful observation, we know that they are a the small, American Red Squirrels. These little guys, ugh. I see them out the window. They have been carrying walnuts, still in their green husks, into a big hole underneath the eaves. Sometimes, like the Plinko game on "The Price is Right"..........
....... you can hear the plink....plink.....plink.....of the round walnuts as they bounce down the INSIDE of the walls. OH.MY.GOD. Interestingly, this always seems to happen when I'm peeing in the downstairs bathroom. Do you think they're trying to mess with me?
Long story short, the wildlife company that I finally gave in and called, wants $800 to fix everything- squirrel proof the house, and to build a couple tiny one-way doors so that the existing squirrels can get out, but can never get back in. Apparently, they feel, if you catch and release, more animals will just move in. It does kind of make sense. But, who has $800 laying around for squirrel emergencies? I'm still trying to figure out a homemade plan B.
Also, because I am afraid of everything always. Upon my instance, we tested for Radon. It's come back borderline "Do Something!" So, I need to panic and get that fixed too. Although, I hear it isn't very difficult. Half of our basement is a "Michigan Basement", being that it is more like a dirt cellar. So, I could see how, without cement walls, our reading might be a bit elevated. Fingers crossed that this is an affordable and easy fix!
We were also busy with lots of meetings and appointments, a new, little stray cat. We've had some out-of-town visitors, and I've been really really working hard to cook dinner everyday vs. eating out. It's nice to save money instead of spending it. On squirrel evacuation..... Which reminds me, I need to spend some money on storm window putting upping. Did you know, when you live in a very old house, the storm windows are A.) VERY needed as you might have old straw for insulation like us! And, B.) the old storm windows are two panes of glass, held in a heavy wooden frame? Our buddy and handyman extraordinaire, Robert, will come twice a year with his big ladder, to put our storms up in the late fall, and down in the late spring.
With everything going on around me, I've also been working very hard, to run this home like a well-oiled machine. It tends to easily become dusty here, so I spend a lot of time sweeping and vacuuming, cleaning and keeping everything in order. As most of you might know, the heaps of laundry and dishes, the meals to be made, the homework, it never ceases. But whether the following is crazy or not, I find a deep satisfaction in this particular kind of busy, so it's just fine with me. :)
All of that said and done, beginning in November, HOPEFULLY, we will be past a lot of the extra doings. I CAN'T Wait! Woo hoo! There are so many projects that I've been meaning to find time for this fall, like finishing up a crocheted fall/winter bag to use. I love the challenge of making a new bag when I need it, vs. buying one. We'll see how it turns out, I'm not so sure it will work!
I'd also love to blog more, don't I always say that? ;)
I don't think it will happen, but I have dreams of making homemade holiday gifts for everyone. Checkout my Pinterest board about homemade gifts. How much fun!
Our house can be REALLY cold in the winter. Since moving here, when trying to solve problems, I always say "What Would Ann Do?" Ann Stickney was the first person recorded to have bought this house. She bought it in 1868. (Although, it was built around 1860 by a mystery family!) If Ann was cold, she probably knit, crocheted or sewed herself a blanket. My hopes are just that. If there's time!
Oh! And there is SO MUCH backyard birding that I want to prepare for. STOP LAUGHING. I really mean it. We saw things like this last year, right out our window!
Who am I kidding though? I suppose I know realistically, things won't slow down all that much come November 1st. Jon's 35th birthday is the first week of November, Noah's 8th birthday is the third week. Then there's Thanksgiving, Chanukah and Christmas to shop and get ready for, holiday parties and New Years. It's never going to slow down really, is it?
Ok, I'll just breath, go day-by-day, and know it's all about balance. :)
At any rate, here are some things that's been doin'............
My sweet, wonderful friend Anna-Margaret sent me this recipe. She knew that I had some dinner events coming up, and her "Caramel Dip for Apples" recipe is PERFECT for a fall desert! I ended up making this for my friend Laura, and my family, in a tiny crock pot that I have. Super easy to make, just cut up a few apples and dip! Try it, so much fun for kids too!