Monday, September 19, 2016

Getting Into the Groove

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year, and I tend to try and spend as much time outside as I can.  I am constantly saying to the girls, "This might be your last chance to get outside to ______ before the snow flies..."  And they get sick of it, but really, in Alberta, one never knows when the snow will come. 

We're had an extremely wet fall, and the mosquitoes are very bad - worse than they've been in the last 2 years, I'd say, so I am looking forward to a good, hard frost to kill those bad boys off!

We've got started on school, and it's nice to get into the routine of the year.  When we get our new school books every year, it's like Christmas!  Everyone excitedly opens the boxes, and then they scatter, each with a new book (or 6!) to read.

I love that our schooling takes place around the kitchen table.  It feels cozy (and sometimes cramped!), but it's great for me, because I can also get work done in the kitchen while the girls whittle away at their school work.

We've had a few fires this year, and after a late night, all the girls fell asleep on the lawn by the fire.... that is, until the dogs came along....

We've gotten out for numerous rides on horse....

....and on quads.  Both are so enjoyable!

My pumpkins are taking over my garden...

....and I can't stop taking pictures of the leaves changing on the trees

The other day, we joined our neighbors to get out on quads to some of their pasture land.  After a climb up a little hill, the view was outstanding.  You could see for miles and miles, and the leaves were all changing to delicious shades of red, yellow and orange.  Pictures don't begin to do it justice!

There's also an old barn that we poked around....

I love how the wood has weathered so differently from one side of the barn to the other.

Happy Fall, y'all!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Fall is Here

Last summer it was hot and dry.  This summer was cool and rainy.  Like, really rainy.  There were a couple of days that we received over 4" of rain.  So fields are green and wet, and the grass has done lots of growing.  The nights are cooling off, and I even turned on my furnace today.  The leaves are changing, there was a frost warning the other night, and I am looking forward to winding down on outside work and turning our attention inside.  But before that happens, I get to enjoy my most favorite season.... fall. 

It hasn't felt like we've really had a stellar summer - way too few days at the river, and not enough lazy afternoons, but it is what it is.  I've finally ordered all of my curriculum, and we'll start school next week.  Or perhaps the week after.... depending on the weather.  And my mental state. 

Every year, I have what I like to call, "The Fall Freakout".  I suppose I'm thankful of the fact that I'm consistent, and every year it happens.  I feel overwhelmed with getting back into the routine of things, and getting everyone back into "school" mode....wondering if we're doing enough school, if we've made the right choice for our family in homeschooling... The weight of responsibility is sometimes overwhelming.  Our girls are in grades 11, 9, 6 and 4 this year, and I realize that for our oldest, we have only 2 more years of her here with us, and that is terrifying to me.  I hope that we are doing well by her, and preparing her for her adult life. 

Fall in Alberta is a short lived season, and I find myself getting giddy at the thought of the long days of winter approaching.  Each fall feels like a race against the clock, to get done everything that needs to happen before the snow flies.  We have wood to cut, pens to clean out, cows to move, the garden to clean out, lawn furniture to put away, calves to choose for 4H, and the never ending other projects that need to be complete before it gets seriously cold.  I'm hoping we're still a couple of weeks away from frost, and if we're lucky, 2 months until snow.... But one never knows in Alberta.  And that's the fun of it.

Here's the good news: 

1.  It's the long weekend.  The weather is supposed to be crummy, but that's ok, because we're working on a pumphouse, so it won't feel so bad to be working all weekend when the weather is crummy. 

2.  My house is decorated for fall.  My most favorite time to decorate.  And I bought new fall pillows last winter that I totally forgot about until I pulled out my fall d├ęcor.  It was like fall.

3.  I bought mums the other day at Costco.  They were beautiful.... until the dog ate them.

4.  Flank steaks are marinating for dinner.  

5.  Art is coming home early (to work on the pumphouse... but that's ok!  He'll still be home early!)