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Hard to believe time has arrived already to change our clocks back an hour this past week. Though we love fall, neither of us is really a fan of the early darkness that comes with it. Instead of focusing on this aspect though, we enjoyed a great fall weekend outdoors, as well as accomplished some necessary outdoor fall cleanup.
We began by taking Shirley on another hike at the local State Park. What a perfect fall day for a hike as fall colors were at their peak, the sun shining and temperatures cool but comfortable. We then took advantage of the good weather, getting some necessary fall cleanup done. Bret, Shirley and I, as well as Bret’s mother worked together accomplishing quite a bit. Yard furniture is now put away, flowers around the house cleaned up and many leaves collected, disposed of in the woods.
Living in the woods means LOTS of leaves. It is SO beautiful, we all love it despite the need to clean them all up eventually. Something new Bret did this year was using the Bobcat bucket to dispose of the leaves in the woods after rounding them up. It worked great, speeding up the disposal process. Works for snow, why not leaves.
Shirley participated as well, running through piles of leaves or just sitting on the sidelines observing all of us. If anyone stopped, she was sure to be there with a ball for you to throw to her. We gladly took time to play with her. Another favorite of hers to fetch is black walnuts. We have a number of these around so there is always one readily available. Now when you start playing with one, you have to continue playing with the same one. Shirley will retrieve only that one. With numerous black walnuts on the ground, not to mention many leaves, she will look for until she finds it. Her patience and persistence is amazing, she does not give up. We think she actually likes the challenge, as she returns with the original each time very proudly.
After we all worked up an appetitie, what a better way to warm up than with some homemade stew. Fall and winter are probably my favorite times to cook. This may be because of the early darkness and less likelihood of something outdoors in the evenings or barbecuing. It may also be because I love to make (and eat) homemade soups and stews. Bret enjoys these as well already putting in a request for some lobster bisque. Though I have never made this before, I always like trying to make new recipes. Bret has already chosen the recipe,so we will be trying this soon.
To finish off a couple of days of fresh air and excercise, winding down curled up on the couch with a good book and cup of tea is always relaxing and cozy. Shirley at this point is ready for a nap, though don’t be surprised if she has another burst of energy wanting to play. She will carefully select a toy, drop it at our feet, encouraging us to play with her which takes little convincing.