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I haven’t been the best about getting a post written every day this summer. It has been a hectic summer, with a lot of “mom” responsibilities in addition to work and household responsibilities. In addition, we had vacation last week and I returned to have a less than great week this past week. I won’t go into any details about anything, sufficient it to say that all appears well, but there was a day in there when I was not feeling like things were going well at all. We had family and friends visiting this past week and it was really nice to spend time with my sister for a few days where there was no holiday going on that required our attention.
All the company is gone and we are in the final stretch to the beginning of school next week.
We always feel like autumn is in the air when we get back from vacation and this year is no exception. Cool nights and the tinge of autumn color creeping into the foliage definitely suggests that fall is right around the corner.
We often remark that when we come back from vacation, even though it is still just mid August, fall is in the air. Somehow, the evenings are cooler and there is just something about it that makes you think of fall colors, apples and crisp autumn air. This morning is a beautiful morning. The sun is shining, there was this awesome fog this morning that revealed every spider web in the area (only wish I had my camera then).
Here are some pictures of the mums on our doorstep — all dewy and sparkling.
Today is the first official day of Fall, which began with the autumnal equinox at 11:09 p.m. EDT last evening. It was also a special equinox since the full moon occurred last night creating a true “Harvest Moon” called such because it is when the full moon occurs closest to the autumnal equinox – it happened this year just about as close as it could get, within hours of each other. The equinox is one of the two times in the year that the sun rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west. While the actual day of the equinox can vary from year to year, it is interesting to note that it will never occur in my lifetime on my birthday. The last time it occurred on September 24th was in 1931 and the next time will be in 2303.
Everyone seemed to survive their first week back at school. “Hell week” at soccer came to a close about an hour and a half ago and there are survivors. Driving around it’s hard to sometimes remember that it isn’t fall – that for a lot of people school is still a distant memory. People are still on vacation and Labor Day (the “official” end of summer) isn’t for another week. The weather this week has felt autumn-y and with everyone being back on a school schedule, it’s just easy to forget about summer and start thinking, crisp nights, fires in the woodstove, apples and pumpkins.
Today was an absolutely beautiful day and from what I see, tomorrow is supposed to remind us that summer hasn’t left just yet. The tomatoes will be happy for some heat and maybe they will react by starting to ripen a little. Tomatoes like heat and this week just hasn’t delivered.
My favorite time of the year arrives today officially at 5:18 p.m. with the autumnal equinox. “Equinox” refers to the fact that the sun is directly over the equator, rendering the length of night and day across the earth to equal amounts. This occurs two times a year – spring and autumn. The other two important moments are the solstices – summer and winter – representing the longest and shortest days of the year, respectively. Essentially today, regardless of where you are in the world, the length of day and night are equal. It is the beginning of the astrological sign Libra – the scales, which represents a balance (my astrological sign so no wonder I have a partiality to this season). Autumnal equinox is commonly referred to around the world as a time of balance, equality and harmony in world. Pagan rituals adapted around the autumnal equinox revolve around the harvest and respecting and appreciating the bounties provided by Mother Earth.
Autumnal equinox is commonly called the first day of Fall here in the United States, but it is also known by the following: Cornucopia, The Feast of Avilon, Festival of Dionysus, Harvest Home, Harvest Tide, Mabon, Night of the Hunter, Second Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest and Witch’s Thanksgiving.
Traditionally, the full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox is called the Harvest Moon because it was so bright that the farmers could harvest crops by the light of the moon. It is also called the Wine Moon or Wine Harvest since most wine grapes are harvested during the lunar period beginning in September.
Relaxation is over. The RVs have been returned and the vacation is but a memory. Today I am wading through the contents of two trailers, plus all of the kids’ clothes and paraphernalia that has been accumulating in our den/laundry room through the summer, the canoe trip, the week at scout camp, the soccer camps, the electronics camp and now finally, vacation. Add to the mix, just for fun, the fact that our house is undergoing some renovations at the same time, and literally I cannot find a thing. I hope that someday I will find the things that I have pretty much given up on locating, figuring that they are the things that are hidden well underneath the piles that have been growing here and there.
Be that as it may, tomorrow is the first day of school. For the little one (relaxing so nicely in the photo above) tomorrow is his first day in middle school. For the oldest, it is the first day of high school. (Boy, do I feel old – high school!). The middle guy is entering 8th grade. Everyone is well back in the swing of things as soccer practice started for the 7th and 8th graders yesterday and TJ rejoined his team yesterday after coming back from vacation. Tomorrow is his first scrimmage. We have left the comfort and ease of summer’s lazy days for the more hectic, crazy days of school and fall sports. Our days are no longer our own, but at least we went out with a nice, lazy week at the beach.
I love the fall, the start of school, the beginning of a new year of sorts. I guess that it is perpetual student in me that thinks the year starts more at the beginning of the school year rather than at new year’s. Oh, and by the way, the weather tends to agree since evenings are forecast to dip into the 30s on Thursday night. Brrr…winter cannot be far behind.
Okay, this post is strictly for my hubby – who is grunging with the best of them out in Seattle. He is calling to ask me how things are going and it usually hasn’t been a good time for either he or I – so
in order here’s the scoop:
Black dog – not limping and appears happy to see the Boy at the end of the day. He seems quite happy to hang with her too.
White dog – amazingly still alive – although we do have another full day so there’s still a chance that she can screw that one up so I cannot make promises on her viability by tomorrow evening.
Goats – send their regards and Creme asks “WHERE ARE MY COOKIES?”
Fish – Still swimming but their world is getting darker – they need you back.
Chickens – Hanging around commenting that they like their new high-rise accommodations so much better than the swamp. Laying eggs, crossing the road to get to the other side (oh, wait sorry, wrong story). Chili is as angry as ever and getting his exercise running along the fence back and forth- kind of like watching chicken Pong and Chickenzilla is hanging around, being king of the roost as usual.
Kids – Well, as to the 2 that are here, they are fine. Sore, with the occasional grumble, but trooping through double camp week – leaving at 9:15 and getting home at 8:15 (personally I think that school is looking MIGHTY GOOD to them right about now) As for No. 1 son, he doesn’t call me, he doesn’t send me flowers anymore (little Barbara Streisand in there for good measure) so he either doesn’t love me anymore or he loves Rhode Island more. Haven’t heard from him but then again, haven’t heard from Peggy that he is hurt or driving her crazy – so no news is good news there I am guessing. Makes me wonder if we’ll ever hear from him when he leaves for college.
Renovations – I came home this afternoon to 6×6 thrown about the front yard in preparation for the porch removal. The cross pieces (supports, rafters or whatever they are called – Lou, no making fun of me, ok?) are on the roof part of the lean-to and there is a basement door in our basement (although it is being held up by the refrigerator and not the door frame). B. was going to order the decking for the porch and I ordered the siding and roofing for the barn lean-to. It should be here next week.
Neighbors – All appear to be doing well and carrying on their normal routines.
Birds – Now, they are complaining, seems that their feeder is absent this week. Guess I will have to remedy that and take over as stand-in feeder until you return.
In general – the whole State of Vermont misses your wit, humor, good looks and company. They wish you a safe and uneventful trip home tomorrow evening and will be waiting to greet you (now you see why we need the new porch people – has to bear the weight of all those people waiting on the doorstep for Tom).
and me – well, you know that I miss you alot and much like a bear on the first crisp days of fall – I need some sleep.
Hurry home. Love ya.
Yesterday I was doing my usual — several things at once — while running down the stairs to the basement to get something, there was this boot sticking out and well … the end result wasn’t and still isn’t pretty. My leg looks – well, let’s just say that I am glad it was 20 something degrees last night and shorts are not even a close possibility. It was one of those slow motion falls where you wonder just exactly why you can’t stop yourself. And the end, well the end was just like a bad joke …. a man walks into a bar (ouch). My head decided it was attracted to the metal pole at the bottom of our basement stairs and well….ouch my aching head. I was cleared of head injury ala Natasha Richardson by a very nice ER doctor but if I seem a bit ditzy in the next few posts, you’ll know why.
The calendar still says its fall. A look out the window clearly tells you that the hill where we live here in Vermont does not believe in the calendar. Winter has arrived. We have not had any “major” snow, but everyday there are flurries, which keep accumulating. The other day when things got warmer outside, into the 40s, we were guaranteed that the night would be cold and the slush which had accumulated everywhere would turn into ice, not just ice, not black ice, but rut ice. The tire marks and footprints and paw prints that were in the slush froze immortalized in time for now. Now when you drive out of the driveway and onto the road, you travel where others have gone before you, merely because of the rut ice and the fact that you have absolutely no choice in the matter.
According to the calendar, winter is still weeks away, but not here on the hill. It is rather amusing that you leave here all bundled and scarved and mittened and by the time you reach the bottom of the hill, the snow is gone and by the time you reach the town 6 miles to the bottom from our house, you would agree with the calendar and believe that it really, truly is still autumn. But here, on the hill, we live in a different world and evidently a different weather pattern as well. And I like that.