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Pat’s Bits & Pieces– Another week, another column

Pat Maurer, Review Correspondent

pat maurerWell it is looking like our fall temperatures may be here to stay for a while. We are sure enjoying these cool sunny days after three solid months of hot and humid!

I love fall.

No more air conditioning. In fact we actually started the gas stove her in the office twice already when the evening temperatures dropped down into the 40s (and once in the 30s!). We didn’t need it for very long, but it sure makes it cozy in here when a fire is going.

Hasn’t it been beautiful outside? In fact I’m finding it pretty hard to stay in here and work on this computer. I have to confess I’ve been taking lots of “mini-breaks” this week to go out and sit in the sunshine and watch the birds for a few minutes at a time.

I’ve even thought about taking the laptop out and writing articles on the porch, but I’m afraid I would spend most of my time “looking” rather than working. This week with a Fall Home and Garden section and plenty of other articles to write, that wouldn’t have been a very good idea at all.

The hummingbirds are especially entertaining this time of year. They are getting ready for their annual 10,000 mile trip south and are frantically “gassing up” at the feeder.

Between the middle of August and mid-September, Jack makes up a solution that is 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water and boy oh boy, do those little hummers like that!

They have been hitting it so hard he has had to refill it every couple of days this week. We sure enjoy watching their aerial antics as they fight for a drink of Jack’s double-sugar nectar. For their size they are ferocious fighters and very territorial.
With cooler weather here, we have had a lot more energy for our seasonal chores. This year it has been painting the outside of the house.

It is nearly done, the siding at least (we still have acres of trim to do), but I’m afraid the yard has suffered. Jack was complaining today that by the time the grass dries out enough to mow, it’s time for him to go to work.

With another season upon us, it is time to catch up on a little housecleaning too. The windows need cleaning again and in between my writing and running, we will really have to buckle down to get it done before the snow flies.

You would think as we get older, the housework would get smaller. But even with just the two of us here most of the time and one small dog, we still seem to have to run the vacuum regularly. Of course Peanut brings in about a half a bushel of leaves every week, so out comes the sweeper. About three times a year, we get out the carpet shampooer and give the rugs a once over too. That’s what’s next on my list.

Us old folks have to do that kind of thing in stages though. Those days of cleaning the place from top to bottom in one afternoon are long gone, I’m afraid.

We might be busy, but we can’t hold a candle to our kids. School is back in session and Don is making that hour and a half trip to Ionia to teach each day and around here, the extra-curricular activities are in full swing. With granddaughters Alea in dance and marching band and Alison in soccer, dance and volleyball, I know daughter Lisa – and I will have to be “on the go” much more than usual this fall.

Actually the start of school used to mean a little less activity for this grandma. But now we have the girls after school Wednesday through Friday so things are changing again. I still don’t get to see them as much as I used to though – unless it is in the car when I am taking them to another practice or school activity. Guess we will have to have a “sleep over” pretty soon so I can get my accustomed and much needed grandma “fix.”

We will have to make some cookies…

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