Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall Preparations at Meadow House

Saturday was a damp dreary day and not wanting to venture far but wanting some fresh air, Kota and I had a walk through The Lanes, as I've started calling a network of grassy paths that link the local houses together.
There is an abundance of wild chives growing here which I've often used, and in the summer there are wild strawberries, black berries, wine berries and grapes. I've even spotted a few mushrooms and hope one day to be up early enough to claim them before the local wildlife.
I loved these knotty creepers which hang and stretch through many of the trees.
After our stroll smelling the earthy fragrances of autumn and noticing the first oranges and reds on the dogwood and bramble leaves I was in a fall decorating mood so back at the house I pulled down boxes and bags of decorations for fall and Halloween and got started.
I lit the first house fire of the season using twisted paper and pine cones with the kindling, then after cracking open a bottle of red wine I started transforming the living area into a seasonal grotto.
I got quite carried away using everything I had and then looked for more. Undaunted that I had no more leaves or scarecrows or gourds or orange lights, I realized that I could look forward to adding bits in the future weeks with all the natural resources  that I have outside the house. And I will. Satisfied with what I'd done so far I relaxed on the sofa and sniffed the wonderful aromas coming from the fireplace and the oven which had a steak stew slowly cooking inside.
On Sunday the weather had improved and it was time for chores. Rob decided to visit and had arrived armed with wasp sprays and so it was time for the demolition of the Bell Hornets' nest.
These humungous critters have been upsetting me for some weeks. Whenever I turned lights on in the evenings they were banging on the glass trying to gain entry and to be honest they frightened me. They're really big, fly fast and I know they'd think nothing of zapping me if they felt inclined. Their constant presence was wearing me down. We knew where the nest was located so Rob went up the ladder and filled the hole with both of his cans of insecticide while I hovered at the bottom offering moral support but ready to sprint if the occasion arose. After emptying his cans into the wall Rob then sealed the tomb with foam, an additional deterrent, just in case.
The next job was to unearth an old iron ring I'd discovered in the undergrowth at the back of the barn. I thought it would make a superb fire ring and Rob agreed. I'd sprained my back dislodging it from the earth into which it had sunk over the years so Rob rolled it over to the back of Meadow House.
It looked just right. On Tuesday afternoon I leveled the ground underneath it so it now sits straight, and I'm ready for a fire!
The next big job was getting shot of this huge old AC unit which had been sitting in my bedroom window. Rob lifted this out on his own, I have no idea where he got the strength from, it weighed a ton when both of us carried it to the shed. It certainly won't be going back in next spring. We also rigged up a better walkway for Kota to enter his cat flap in the window and he's been very happy with it.
I found an old axe in the barn so the final job was splitting a few logs for kindling. I'm absolutely useless at this but will endeavor to get better with practice at the back of the house where no one can see my feeble efforts. Rob filled up my explosive box for me so the next step had to be to light another fire and resume positions on the sofa while Kota curled up again on the rocking chair.Meadow House is now ready for the fall.

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