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Pat’s Bits & Pieces– School’s back and the race is on!

Pat Maurer, Review Correspondent

patWell school is back in session — both for the granddaughters and for us this year with all of the extra-curricular activities…
There is soccer practice, volleyball practice, dance lessons, band practice, babysitting duties and half-time performances at the football games – so much in fact that Lisa has made a calendar so we can keep it all in order for those three days a week we will be running the “taxi” service while she works.

September is looking pretty full, but it sure is fun to be involved in their activities.

It may be the unofficial onset of fall, but it still feels like summer out there to me. We just returned from a long weekend at the camper and enjoyed really beautiful weather for four of the five days we were gone.

We had a great time and even made a trip all the way to Gaylord for dinner at the Sugar Bowl – yum.

I don’t know why it is, but no matter how long we have up there, it still seems to be much too short of a time. Seems like we just arrive and suddenly it’s time to pack up and head for home again.

One more trip up in a few weeks will wind up our camping season this year and we will be winterizing our little home away from home until next year rolls around again. I am hoping our next trip up will include some color-touring too, although so far, there aren’t many signs of the leaves turning to those beautiful fall colors.

Actually I wouldn’t be unhappy with about six more weeks of this kind of weather to enjoy before the seasons do change again.
I had to go back to work after we got home yesterday [Tuesday], but the hubby has the whole week off. But then, since he doesn’t really know how to relax, he is working too though. The rest of Jack’s vacation week will be spent painting the house. In fact while I worked in here on the computer, he finished most of the front already. Friday I will begin painting the rest of the trim while he works his way around to the river side. We have changed from blue with cream trim to dark grey with white trim. It always looks so nice when it is freshly painted.

We didn’t accomplish much of our “summer to-do list,” but now we can cross off a couple of things anyway. We are still planning to replace the garage doors and the bottom of some siding which has deteriorated. Another small task will involve moving the walkway that curves around the front of the house and cleaning up the flower beds before they are buried in snow.

In between chores like that, I’m sure mowing will be ongoing since the rain has the grass growing enthusiastically again.

Fall sure is a great time for meals. We have been enjoying “the fruits of someone else’s labors” with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and green beans. We didn’t plant a garden this year, but we still get some of the goodies thanks to the generosity of friends and neighbors.

We gave away our share too when we did have a garden – many years ago now. The “kids” don’t remember those times as fondly as I do since they always had to help weed, and pick the tomatoes and beans that just kept growing and producing until we were all pretty sick of them.

I always put up beans back then and had a chance to do it again this year, when Bob David arrived at our door with three sacks full for us. Guess I won’t be buying any beans this winter…

I never even qualified as a “Suzy Homemaker, but I used to make my own stewed tomatoes too and when our apple trees cooperated, made applesauce as well. I don’t know why, but fresh garden produce is the absolute best and home frozen, or canned goods are especially great in February and March.

I’m afraid those gardening days are gone, at least until I decide – if I ever do – to fully retire.

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