After a spending a hectic summer a-swirl in activities, it’s nice to know that fall is finally here.  We’ve had a few nights down in the 40’s, but Indian Summer is still holding on, even as the Calender has almost reached October.  All the same, I know it’s time to begin to prepare for winter, and dare I say it?  Christmas!  It will be a different Christmas, with no husband, but it might actually be a better holiday for me.  I don’t come from a religious family, so Christmas has never been faith-based in my household, but it was still a very strong family-based holiday, with lots of togetherness and steeped in Yule-tide traditions such as tree-trimming, a holiday dinner featuring roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and a wide variety of special treats for desserts.   My sister and I both played several instruments and our mother player the piano, so there were evenings of carol playing and singing, and we also enjoyed the tinny tunes that came from the radio.  If it was cold enough, we had ice-skating parties or made snow-men or snow forts; in short, it was an idyllic season.  But, my ex-husband has no such feelings about Christmas and looked on the entire holiday with scorn.  He would grumble for weeks before hand that “there’d better not be a bunch of relatives coming over!” and refused to participate in doing any of the decorating, except that he did like to hang the lights outdoors.  So, I’d try to have a nice Christmas in spite of him, but it was somewhat challenging.   This year will be bitter-sweet; but I’ll have my family and friends around me and I hope to be able to host a family dinner with all the trimmings without the unrepentant Scrooge co-hosting.  In the mean time, I’ve been shopping the big sales, gradually accumulating the Christmas gifts that are being squirreled away in “Santa’s Closet”.  I can’t afford to buy anything too fancy, but each present is bought or made with each recipient in mind.    But, that’s enough of Christmas….. let’s get through Halloween, first!

Christmas 2010

Yes, Halloween is coming and with 4 grandchildren under the age of 9, it will be a fun day!  Let’s face it, kids are what bring holidays to life and I love the preparations that go into all the things that seem so magical to children and make up so many lasting childhood memories!  My eight year old grand-daughter has already asked if I’m going to help carve her pumpkin this year and has her Halloween costume all figured out.   She also enjoys roasting pumpkin seeds and eating them- as do I!

Besides the holidays, I’ll be tacking my outdoor chores, soon:  harvesting the root crops from the garden and putting it to bed for the winter.  I’ll also build my new beds in the expanded part of the garden and extend the fence to encompass the new section in anticipation of working the Farmer’s Markets next year.  As part of shopping the big sales, I managed to find a ‘gazebo’ tent for $54.00 and some folding tables for $20-something each, so I have my market booth, but I’m still looking for folding chairs so I can sit if I need to.  I found bales of heavy-duty colorful fabrics ($4.50 for a 3 or 4 yard piece) that I will make into cloth shopping bags to be sold at the markets along with my veggies and whatever else I have to peddle.  So, my plans for next summer are moving along nicely.   I don’t care if I don’t make much money; anything will be better than cleaning well-used ( and sometimes bug-infested) vacation rentals.  UGH.

I’ve seen the first few flocks of ducks and geese making their annual migration.  I’ve heard the quacking as the ducks stop-over at the pond behind the house and rest themselves before taking wing again.  The lush wild grape vines are now tinged with rust as the fall nights bring fiery color to the autumn woods and the grapes are being eaten by the critters about as fast as they can ripen.  I’d given some thought to making grape jelly this year, but as with the blue berries and black berries, they are being consumed by animals before they can be picked by man.  That’s okay; they need them more than I do.

My dog Sammy & I still enjoy our daily hikes and in fact, find them even more pleasant as the days become cooler.  As the leaves drop from the trees we are able to see more of the woodland ponds that we pass, gleaming gem-like in the middle of the forest.   But, even amidst all this natural beauty, my ex-husband still manages to intrude himself.   He works almost across the street from where I live (Which made it very amusing when he tried to claim in court that his work hours had been cut back; helllloooo?!?  I live across the street!  I can SEE you when you’re working!  Geez, I declined alimony, so there wasn’t even any need for him to lie!) at an excavation company and he used the company’s heavy equipment there to bring loads of sand in and blockade the path where it comes close to the property.   It was a stupid thing to do, because I’m not the only one who uses those trails, and I’ve seen other people’s foot prints, horse hoof prints and wild animal tracks climbing and descending the new sand hill, but I’m sure he did it just because he knows that Sammy & I walk home that way, just to be a pain in the rump and make his presence  felt.  Well, what can you say about that kind of mentality?   I can only be glad that I’m away from him and that I didn’t waste anymore years with him.

Onward and upwards!  Happy fall!

Fall Kitty