Autumnal Rapture

OK- it has been an amazing Fall.  I cannot bitch in the face of oncoming winter, because the weather gods have conspired to seduce me.

I cannot remember a string of  Autumnal days with bluer skies and better temperatures.  The cool nights mean open window sleeping, which means early leaf blower mornings. I don’t mind this rude awakening; it allows me to get to coffee and the papers.  Steve is not as big a fan. He is a fan of sleep learning the morning news.

As much as I dread What Comes After Fall, I have tried to make a punch list of autumnal fun. Some ideas I have already rejected.

These are things I consider doing to honor the weather and the joys of this season.

Decorate the front door for Fall.  Yes. Corn stalks, wreath, mums, pumpkins.  Gotta be honest- I might have slacked on this if Mary hadn’t had her Octoberfest birthday at out house.

I have added a few things...but you get the idea.

Fill the trough that Pat made me with seasonal decor. Yep. Out with summer, in with owls, pumpkins, mason jar candles and scarecrows. It is nice to have something on the dining room table since it so rarely sees actual food.  DSCN0008


Plant bulbs. NO.  Squirrels have the mistaken notion that bulbs are nuts, and they make off with them. I do not get that big of a rush from flowers peeking out of the snowy ground.  I think I will force a few batches in my dormant pots.

Work in the Garden. No.  My gardens looked like a goat’s butt this summer because June was wet and cold.  I have five different types of ground cover fighting each other, spindley trees, such excellent mulch that it choked every begonia I put into the earth. My pots, on the other hand, look lovely.  I have decided to claim fame as a container gardener.  Next year.

Swim. No. Pool is open due to clerical inefficiency by me.  Dollar signs rise in the steam every morning.  Leaves float and clog the skimmers.  A chipmunk did a suicide dive into it; I saved him only to watch him go through death throes.  (Ok- these are the same varmits that carry my bulbs away and dig in my pots.  Why the moment of altruism, Janet?) Steve disposed of him, but now I imagine that his siblings are lurking in the skimmer baskets.  EW.

Let Mabel Swim. Yes. Today.  She is wobbling toward infirmity, in the water she is forever young.  My melancholic Irish says she might not have another summer- 12 years is a long run for a fat, tumorous lab. Splash.MAbel in Heaven

Make apple crisp. Yes.  Did it.  Made a newfangled version with an upper and lower crust of sugar, butter and oatmeal.  Added caramels and cider.  It was twice the normal calories, twice the delicious, but ten times the guilt.  The last piece is on the counter taunting Steve and me- who will be the most shameless?  It may just be beyond edibility.  I’m going to throw it out.

OK. I am back. No more temptation.

Buy/Eat Caramel apples. Yes. We are both fans of Rocky Mountain apples, but we are fortunate enough to have a fruit store that makes them in town.  SO I can go in for Brussels Sprouts, and come out with decadence. It’s a perfect fake-healthy dessert. Steve cuts them into slices, and we eat them in bed, which is a big mistake due to the nuts. Worth it.

Prepare for Bears Game Day. Done. We replaced our strobing plasma Runco (RIP for 12 years of blazing HD reception) with an LCD Panasonic. 55 inches of  action.  Amazingly enough, this set cost about 1/5 of the original.  Good times. The best- The Little Guys installed a remote that even I can understand- the Savant.  I have the Savant app on my phone, and now I can override Steve’s volume or video selections.  He no longer has the only  mitts on the joy stick.  This will probably lead to divorce.

DSCN0387Prepare to lure family to Bears Game Day. Not yet.  BUT the BEARS drawer of the pantry is ready to serve.  The Bears themed server ware, grass printed paper plates, helmet chip dish, NFL tablecloth, pom pom serving spoons, football crock pot are poised for Sundays.  Life has interfered during this first month, but I can be ready at a moment’s notice.   My reuben dip has been field tested, the smoky links are in the freezer, Tom Thayer’s pulled pork recipe awaits a crowd. Lipton’s soup and sour cream await their date with Ruffles. It is just a matter of time. Go Bears! (Maybe I will post my recipes, but my reputation as a cook is not well known.  These are all no brainers)

See the Stanley Cup before it goes away. Yep.  I am a certified busy body.  I was    out to eat at Mecenet, a local restaurant, and saw our friend Jim Koehler, who runs the United Center.  He was flashing his Championship ring, and of course, I attached myself to it. His poor wife Dee was a saint as he blinded every diner with his diamonds, gold and rubies.  DSCN0240In the meantime, I wangled an invite to his family’s party with the Cup.  I wanted Matt and Justine to have a picture with it- you never know how long it’ll be before that precious metal gets to Chicago for another celebration. So Jackson (in utero) has been in the good Lord’s presence.               IMG_9700  (Thank you Dee and Jim- what great hosts, so generously sharing with the community) Then I bootstrapped myself to a party that Pat, Rachel and Henry had been invited to with Chris and Val Werner, the Blackhawks tickets director.   I have, it seems, no shame. Steve is genuinely embarrassed by me, but he went along to legitimize my butting in tendencies.  I love him for this. He hates me for this.

OK. More in a couple of days.  I don’t want to overwhelm you with my Autumnity.


But I am warming to the season, and I have not even started on the grandmotherly parts. To hear more Janter, as the kids call it, please subscribe.

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