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I've got a new cover on order for the pool so next season I won't have to wrestle with the rotting leaves and frogs. It supposed to support a small elephant - or a small child which is the real reason I got it. I've begun the process of repairing the spots on the outside of the house that need attention while the weather's still warm enough for paint to dry instead of freeze. The garden is a close second: needs to be tilled under and then covered with chicken wire to keep the cats from using it as a giant litter box. Rain gutters need cleaning and the flower pots need to be emptied, cleaned and stored away.
The rest of the annual ritual normally waits until after All Hallows Eve when the leaves are typically all down and the air has that sharp bite. At that point, it's rake and load, rake and load. Actually, raking leaves is one of my favorite things to do. I light my pipe and set about a leisurely pace of raking. Everything goes into the garden where it will rot until the spring tilling.
More importantly, I simply love this time of year. I get rather philosophical and introverted - must be all the sweaters and hot-mulled cider spiked with rum.
So what's on your "to do" list and/or what's your favorite fall ritual?
Very organized and precise autumn schedule we've got going.
As for rituals, I like weekend backyard-fire dinners... this time of year there are no mosquitos left, and it actually gets dark at night, which makes it prime fire-pit season.
[edited by: mivox at 3:33 am (utc) on Sep. 30, 2002]
The Red Sea is blackish blue, crystal clear and cold. Visibility underwater maybe 500 feet, on land I can see the mountains of Saudi Arabia across the sea.
Nights are crisp and cool. You gather around the fire for bedouin tea and bread. Camels ruminating nearby, soon it's time to crawl into your snuggly sleeping bag and gaze up at billions of stars.
Now begins the best time of the year, from October until April. Time to push the 4X4 to its limits while exploring the ancient Sinai desert with its historical sites and fascinating nature. We find Roman inscriptions, pre-historic dwellings and ancient coral reefs many miles from the sea.
But I get a little homesick (as a Scandinavian) while reading about your preparations for a real winter, as I didn't experience one for nine years...
So how do we prepare for winter in the desert? We make sure the Jeep is always ready to go off-road, packed with sleeping bags, carpets, gas cooker, water, canned food, spare tyre, jack, tool box, fire wood, and sweets for the bedouin kids who help us when we get lost!
Wow - the Sinai desert. What a unique place to visit. I've always wondered what it would be like to visit the desert. Very interesting perspective you bring. How on earth do you get an Inet connection there?
That doesn't quite sound like you. Your posts always sound so ... together! Re: snow - geesh and I thought we had it bad anticipating frost any day now.
"Get my car serviced before the winter takes it's toll."
Here in Vermont we used to undercoat our cars with used motor oil and drive them down dirt roads to get a tough layer of grime packed on. Worked pretty well as a preventitive for the road salt.
Three month vacation?! Is this an annual thing? If so I'd like your job! :)
Oh cr@p... I blew my cover. ;)
My computer equipment is "together." My kitchen cupboards are almost impeccably organized. My purse is spotless. Other than that... I've never been much for house & yardwork. hehehe.
I have my priorities... as long as the fire-pit is ready for dinner, the yardwork is done enough for me. If the cold-snap doesn't hit this week, we'll have cajun pork chops over the fire this weekend.
Three month vacation?! Is this an annual thing? If so I'd like your job!
With the exception of last year, yes. Of course, I still have to put in 18 hour days for 9 months out of a year so maybe the work is not all that great.
Usually, I take the time to start a new Web project but alas I can't think of anybody to pick on this year. I've been considering finding a solution to the Kazaa scumware problem. I love a good challenge.
When the time comes, I will cut everyting in sight and mix it with the 1 year old compost pile. After a little break (see beer), I will mix the other pile (a 2 years old one) with the soil, add a few wheelbarrows of quail dung, and water it down. Seven days later I will test for PH and basic elements. After the required adjustments, I will cover the whole gardening surface with a thick black plastic film.
Next spring, the sun rays will melt the snow and heat the soil faster, because of this very same thick black plastic film.
Because of this stupid film, I will dream all winter long of putting my Italian neighbour to shame again because I grow pomidori better he does next summer. (you should hear the mamma!) ;)
Motorcycling weather is finally just around the corner. I can ride from October through April without too much discomfort. May through September it's just too hot here in Austin, especially with all of the leather. I've got several weekend rides planned with friends - can't wait.
add a few wheelbarrows of quail dung
I've got cow patties and horse apples here - naturally. A few wheelbarrows is easy for these large mammals but how did you happen by such quantities for such a small bird? Quail farm nearby?
Re: compost. I'm envious. We've only been in this house for 2 years and I'm just now getting into a regular cycle of food and lawn scrap composting.
If I got a barrel composter, I could keep it in the garage with a few bags of fall leaves, and compost leaves and kitchen scraps all winter. Then maybe I could get a garden to grow without commercial fertilizer.
Quail dung is no big secret. Chicken or rabbit stuff will do as well. Any bird dung will do since they leave high nitrates out. I just happen to have a "quail guy" in the family. He smirks when looking at the city boy I am, digging a few bags out of a REAL pile each time I visit. We trade for a couple of home brews. Ha! complicity...
I would need a lot of quick composters barrels to fit the gardening surface. I suspect they do no good in Alaska. Quick composters barrels are basically ventend black plastic barrels that needs sunrays to be efficient. Alaska is not reputed for sunlight in winter...
We throw away any compostable matter in a big garbage bin on the balcony during the winter for it to wait for the spring. Then we add it the the 1 year old pile.
Just means *%!*&@ rain for the next 5 mths or so in beautiful vancouver.
This thread stinks makes me miss the fall drives through the Laurentiens north of Montreal. Walking the streets bundled up in a sweater and have the leaves curling down the road in small eddies. The air gaining a little more bite everyday, and then...
We don't have fall and we don't have winter, my two favorite seasons. Don't know how I ended in this moss infested rainforest. grumble, grumble
I had a nephew that lived in Houston for a few years. He said your summer is like our winter. In the summer you guys run from your house to your cars - here we do that in the winter. LOL
I know you could tell me about hot that I could not relate to, but let me tell you about cold. Onr year in the early eighties I was surveying in the oilfeild a couple of hundred miles north of Edmonton, and it went down to 54 below zero. We had to build little fires to warm up the chainsaw to keep it running. (Never went above minus 40 for about two weeks!)
Fired up the furnance for the first time last week. They always smell the first time you run them. Turned the gas back on to the gas log fire place while I was at it.
Covered up the tomato plants a couple times last week, but thankfully, it didn't freeze.
Suppose I'll get out the snowblower in a couple of weeks and pull yearly maintenance on it.
Saw the first combine cruising through a corn field just today. The harvest is getting a bit of a late start around here this year. The mild 70'ish weather we have had isn't conducive to drying down the crops.
Other than that, everything is still pretty green around here, so we have to give it a few more weeks.
It was 85F here today.