Metatalktails: Must be the season of the ... which? September 26, 2021 10:28 AM   Subscribe

Fall / Winter is coming ... or maybe Spring / Summer, or the wet season, or the dry season, or school is starting or ending, it's getting warmer or cooler, and some vegetables are growing sparser, while other are ramping up. (When is ramp season, anyway?) So, tell us — what are you doing to prepare for whichever seasonal change is looming on your horizon? Is it fun? Or is it more like chores you have to get through? Are you excited for the change, or not so much? Do you get to switch over to your favorite outfits, or do you have to bid your more beloved attire adieu for now?

Or just tell about whatever is happening with you, a recent discovery, deep thoughts, amusing incidents... Just no politics, please and thank you!
posted by taz (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 10:28 AM (71 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Last night was the first time of the season that I stepped outside and came back in to grab a jacket. Since we didn't really get much of a spring this year (winter straight into summer, my energy bills have been atrocious), I'm hoping we get a nice long fall.

Record highs on Mon/Tues aren't a good omen. I would really like a solid month of no furnace or A/C, but it's not looking good.
posted by hwyengr at 10:56 AM on September 26 [3 favorites]


I'm doing a big chore day today, seasonal laundry turnover, sweeping under things, that kind of day. Since covid I have face masks around, and - obvious insights that somehow took a global pandemic - turns out it's way nicer to do super dusty chores when you don't inhale all that stuff.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:28 AM on September 26 [9 favorites]


I'm happy to see the end of a hot dry summer. About a week ago it started raining a little after midnight, for the first time in...I dunno, months. I got out of bed and stood still on my (covered) deck in the dark for about 15 minutes, watching the drops sheet down through the cone of illumination from the street light, listening to the pitter patter on the dry grass and leaves, and smelling the petrichor. It was lovely. I'm sure I'll be sick of the endless rain and gray by December or so, but that night it was a blessing.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:52 AM on September 26 [7 favorites]


My fall idyll is being disturbed by mice. I would tell you more but it’s too upsetting to talk about. LobsterMitten, the mice have made me share your appreciation for masks. Also good for wildfire smoke, from which we have been blessedly free for a few weeks now.

Otherwise, life is good. Just took the pup on a lovely long hike, cleaned out the car, and am having a beverage on the deck before running some errands on my bike. A pleasant interlude before getting back to the mice.
posted by HotToddy at 12:12 PM on September 26 [2 favorites]


I got my classroom ready for fall by adding leaves and pumpkin decorations. Also a "Welcome Fall" sign on the door. The babies did art for a new bulletin board with ripened apples (my babies are very talented). We also had a welcome to a new school year ice cream social and art show at work.

I made some free form apple pies yesterday from leftover pie dough and homemade Stouffers copycat harvest apples (much better than the boxed kind).
posted by kathrynm at 12:28 PM on September 26 [6 favorites]


My fall idyll is being disturbed by mice. I would tell you more but it’s too upsetting to talk about.

Fall here too and I am still mired in the Operation Sell Magic Castle (aka mom's house) which is just never-ending. I sleep here at the house because my sister lives up the road and we're both happier when we're not sharing a house b/c of wildly different sleep schedule/temperature preferences. So I was here, in a bed I kind of like, reading a book just about to shut out the lights and... a mouse ran across the floor! And I am sleeping on a mattress on the floor so... I needed a plan. I could not see where it went.

Long story short, I dragged in a piece of plywood we'd been using for a loading ramp, scared up three milk crates and one old wooden box, shimmed one of the milk crates when the box was too tall, and then got the mattress back on this makeshift platform and wound up actually mostly able to sleep, with no other mouse incursions that I noticed.

Heading back to Vermont today, Massachusetts is in PEAK APPLE PICKING SEASON which means traffic and too many people clogging the narrow streets to go hang at the orchards. No big deal really, tourism is good for the communities, but I'll be happy to leave it behind me and head back to "leaves are just starting to really turn" Vermont and be there for a few days.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:46 PM on September 26 [7 favorites]


My beloved wood stove behave badly last year so I got a replacement and am trying to get it installed/ chimney swept. The wood has been piled for a year and must be stacked. The garden did poorly, no idea why, but the tomato cages need to be stacked, and some pots have to be stowed on their sides; freezing water expands and wrecks them otherwise.

During the last year I've bought a down jacket, a light wool coat, wool sweater, and new cotton turtlenecks. New hat backordered. May need new boots. Curse you, cold weather! I shall go outside and be warm! With my newer wood stove I shall stay inside and be warm!

I found a person to come do work inside and out, who I hope will be flexible. This is encouraging.
posted by theora55 at 1:10 PM on September 26 [4 favorites]


Oy, here in Anchorage we had a September snow day off school on Friday. I grew up here and have taught here for 20 years and cannot remember any kind of pre-November snow or ice day before. Parts of town got 16 inches of snow, trees down all over, electricity out and I apparently live in the banana belt so only got an inch or two overnight that immediately melted in slushy rain.

I was shocked they called it but when I saw pictures from elsewhere it made more sense: no one has winter tires on yet and the hills are steep. And perhaps a tiny bit of it was the highest rates of covid in the country (by a long shot, our mayor and governor are objectively pro-covid) and a completely collapsing and isolated health care system so a few more car crashes would not have helped anything.

Today it is bright, 38 F and sunny and lower elevations have melted and I need to get my potatoes out of the ground before it gets bad again.

I am absolutely a winter person. Our falls suck- damp, 35-40 F and raining constantly, leaves last about a week and we don’t have maples for good colors, so I am completely in favor of a straight summer to winter transition on, say, Labor Day weekend. Bring on the skiing and fat tire biking a month early and avoid the sogginess!

My husband was living in New Hampshire when I met him and still has a place there, so over the last few years as he has mostly retired he leaves Alaska around the 10th of September and goes to NH until the end of October. He gets a real, non-gross fall and when he comes back it is for sure winter here. I really like the first couple weeks of me-time and by the time I miss him a lot he comes back soon (plus he takes the dog and thus leaves me responsibility-free) so it’s a pretty perfect scheme overall although I know it wouldn’t work for lots of people.
posted by charmedimsure at 2:04 PM on September 26 [15 favorites]


I'm so freaking thrilled that it's finally cooling off and I can make cool-weather food and be outdoors without feeling like I want to die. Just the reduced humidity alone!!!!!

The kids are back at physical school, so I'm adjusting to having NO SMALL PERSON AT HOME WITH ME for the first time in 12 years, and not having all three of them here all the time for the past 18 months. Not doing daily distance learning is SUCH a relief, and my house is a lot cleaner already now that they LEAVE sometimes. I'm still adjusting to the fact that I have "free time" in which I can accomplish complex tasks, rather than trying to squeeze them into quiet moments when my kids are all on zooms, or doing them while people shout and play right next to my head, or staying up until they're all asleep so I can get things done! I mean, it's still work, but it feels like such a luxury to be able to concentrate on a task and not be interrupted 47 times that it FEELS like free time. I'm still working on rearranging my mental real estate to be productive during school hours instead of "during tiny breaks during the day, and then very late at night."
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 2:05 PM on September 26 [8 favorites]


It got cooler here all of a sudden last week, and I am loving it. Fall is my favorite season. I like the cooler weather and shorter days.

My closet has been bugging me for a few weeks, just too many clothes for the space. So last week I weeded through and designated a bunch of stuff to go to Goodwill, and packed all my most summery stuff away for storage. We hauled all that out of here yesterday and my closet feels much more manageable now.

We don't really do a lot to mark the turn of seasons. I make soups all year round because they are super easy in the crockpot. I suppose at some point I will switch to drinking hot coffee in the mornings instead of iced. I resisted the urge to get a pumpkin at the grocery store yesterday because I never carve them (nowhere to display it if I did) and an uncarved pumpkin lasts for-fucking-ever creating the Christmastime dilemma of it's too good to throw away but I don't want a friggin' pumpkin in the middle of my Christmas. So no pumpkin this year. I consoled myself with a bag of candy corn and a Reese's peanut butter pumpkin instead.

I did order a new Samhain-themed oracle card deck, and in the process picked up a Yule-themed one plus this book which is a slightly darker take on traditional Christmas lore so I'm pretty excited about those.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 2:26 PM on September 26 [2 favorites]


I love fall weather.

The first squash of the season is about to go into the oven for soup-related roasting!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:32 PM on September 26 [3 favorites]


Here in England, looking at the forecast today is/was probably the last day of warm weather for a while, quite possibly until deep into next spring. Yesterday evening was also the last sunset after 7pm in this location, again until some point next spring. It feels like this summer (which, apart from eight days in July has been warm but never hot) is finally drawing to an end. Endless days of random rain showers are now forecast, which feels reassuringly English. In some ways I like autumn (no hot days, lovely colours, places are quieter), but the rapidly diminishing hours of daylight narrow in opportunities for longer walks, and Druidic rituals in rain aren't that much fun.

I've spent some of this calendar month (as it's a birthday one) having my usual review of the year gone; though this time it turned into a more detailed review of all years gone, where I'm at, the possibilities open to me (plus the risks), and so forth. It's been a bit harsh and raw at times, but eventually useful.

So for autumn I have two writing projects I'm about to start, marking this sort-of new season. One is work-oriented, some freestyle research into the niche of games in education I inhabit. The other is something more for fun, some literary media which may or may not work out, and is based around several core interests.

I'm fairly sure I know where I'll spend Christmas and the New Year (under a 100 days to go now) here in England. However ... Norway has partially opened up, so I'm keeping an eye on that situation with a view to maybe (25% chance) going there for the depths of the dark months. Lots of factors will play into that.

But for this season coming it'll be mostly writing, worked around when it isn't raining. I'll be spending it in the southwest of England, which is fine. Since the pandemic and returning to England 18 months ago, the furthest NESW I've been (this could be the subject of another MetaTalkTails?) is Lichfield, Avebury, Glastonbury, Weston-Super-Mare, all in one quarter of England. That's a tiny roaming area for me (the longest axis, Lichfield to Glastonbury, is 152 miles). But in retrospect that doesn't seem to matter so much now. I'd still rather be in Scandinavia though, then and now and in the future.

Preparations for the season ahead? Good pens, quality writing paper, and freezing or deleting several social media accounts so there are less distractions.

I wish all MeFites a peaceful and healthy autumn of seasonal foods and drinks, bonfires, good weather and clothing to match, {reads up thread} a lack of mice, and whatever else fulfills your personal needs and desires.

Toodle pip.
posted by Wordshore at 2:43 PM on September 26 [15 favorites]


This is well timed, because it feels like the fall weather has just arrived this week. Here, that means highs merely in the high 80s, of course. We had a very wet summer here in Arizona -- nearly record breaking -- which was a relief after two pretty dry summers, but even with the rain the temperatures stayed hot pretty late.

The onset of fall also means the onset of cycling season, and one thing I'm doing to prepare is trying to switch to a tubeless setup for my bike tires, on the advice of my local bike shop. This comes after having to cut a training ride short after patching not one but two punctures in my rear tube. Alas, I've been fighting with this tire on and off all day, and I've yet to get it to seat in the rim and hold any pressure. Wish me luck.
posted by egregious theorem at 3:39 PM on September 26 [3 favorites]


I've spent the better part of the last year actively searching for a new job, and as of a few days ago I have an offer. It is... so much money. More money than I ever expected to earn in my life. And yet I'm really not sure I want to take it. I've been an academic in one form or another for my entire adult life, and after several years of crushing misery in my current job I thought I was ready to leave it... but I'm not sure I am. And I don't know if my hesitation is just nerves at making a big change, or a gut intuition that's responding to some red flags with this company, or a stubborn refusal to give up on the things about academic research that I do still love. Or just my stupid brain trying to sabotage anything that would improve my life.

The good news is, it's not the only option on the table for me. I've got a non-tenure-track research scientist job with a (not yet formalized but seems quite serious) offer as well, no salary attached yet. And an interview with a much more well-established company (with a reputation for high job satisfaction) that may or may not pan out, but at least I'm starting to have a lot more success with my resume. My colleagues are advising me to just take the first job because I can always quit if something else better comes along, and I think that's probably the smart approach, but I know myself: I simply won't have the energy to devote to looking for other options once I start embedding myself in the new work, and I really think there's an opportunity cost there. But I'm chasing my tail on this decision a bit still.

Sticking with the autumnal theme, I'm really feeling the lyrics to Joni Mitchell's Urge for Going (or possibly Tom Rush's version).
posted by biogeo at 3:40 PM on September 26 [5 favorites]


Ramp season in typically in the spring, but now's a good time to put your garlic in.
posted by Stanczyk at 4:13 PM on September 26 [4 favorites]


I was hoping to hold out on the heat until October, but the house dropped into the low 60s and...nope, time to turn the boiler back on. The late spring/summer skirts have now been replaced by the fall/winter/early spring denims. Still haven't had to break out the fall heavy coat, though.

My house was built in 1850 and so there have been some mice incursions, but they seem to have packed off again (with assistance from pest control). The real question will be if there were be further squirrel invasions, as I've already had to evict them from the attic four times.
posted by thomas j wise at 4:44 PM on September 26 [2 favorites]


Spring is in full swing here and I'm prepping for Summer. Got the old shed hooked back up to the old water tank and a new pump fitted so I can water my new veg patch. Have been tearing out weeds everywere and gave the roses their annual blood sacrifice. My pruning and weeding kit currently contains: 1 large pair of welding gloves that go up to my elbows, a pair of regular secateurs, a large bolt-cutter style pair of secateurs, an axe, a pole saw, a new chainsaw (birthday present from hubby) and a small flamethrower (not even kidding - it takes butane cans and is meant for clearing paving) that I use when I cannot spray for weeds, plus an old wheelbarrow and shovel that I found in the shed after the three truck loads of rubbish were taken away early this year.

I got the pool guy back for a quick chemical checkup and The Swamp from this AskMe continues to be clean and blue and kraken-free - we've had a few warm days and it's nearly warm enough to swim in. The Eastern long neck tortoises I evicted from the pool last year have so far failed to return (hopefully this means they were happy about being relocated to the neighbours irrigation dam), but the blue tongue lizard is back in the overflow gutter. Happy to see him back - he and his mates behind the shed are the reason there are no snails anywhere in the garden. Plus he's cute as heck.

Hopefully we'll be out of lockdown soon and can travel a bit - even within the state would be good at this point. The state premier said that people can go ahead and book Christmas holidays. I'm still unemployed (but looking at retraining) so it'd be nice to go for a road trip (maybe a trip to the Hunter Valley for wine?!!) before the chaos kicks off.
posted by ninazer0 at 4:44 PM on September 26 [2 favorites]


For the first time ever, this year I had to seasonally transition my loungewear drawer. In the absence of, you know, leaving the house, I've finally expanded my seasonal pajama situation beyond the capacity of my dresser. Someday I hope to wear shoes again, but it is not this day.

I made chicken soup today, because it's only 75 degrees. The end of summer in North Carolina almost makes living through July and August worth it.
posted by something something at 5:14 PM on September 26 [7 favorites]


Early spring here in Santiago. The nice fruit is showing up at the street markets. Riding my bike more.

We're having an in-person activity tomorrow with my 100 design students in a nice commercial area (Providencia), not so much because we need to do it in person from a pedagogical viewpoint as for social reasons: it's their 3rd semester and they literally don't know each other, have been to our very awesome campus once, etc.
So it's more of a field-trip/hang than a serious academic activity.
posted by signal at 5:37 PM on September 26 [4 favorites]


I am so glad it's getting cooler out here in New Jersey. I always appreciate when the weather doesn't seem like it's actively trying to do me in. Fall bird migration in is full swing and I've seen more Cape May warblers in my backyard in the past few weeks than I generally see anywhere during spring or fall migration.
posted by mollweide at 5:44 PM on September 26 [4 favorites]


The last little heat of a brutal and humid summer seems to have petered out this weekend, to the point that I was actually a little cold wearing shorts and a t-shirt yesterday, and the bedroom was downright chilly last night with the windows open. Being near Tokyo, it's almost certain that, at some point in October, we'll see temps shoot up again and be deeply unpleasant, but until then, I'm going to enjoy the two or three weeks that pass for fall here.

On the bright side, with the temperatures finally dropping, my jalapeno, serrano, and habanero plants are flowering like crazy, and it looks like I'll have an absolute ton of chilies this fall.

Any recommendations for recipe books for hot sauces? Never really made any, but I definitely have the chilies for it.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:24 PM on September 26 [3 favorites]


I put on socks today for the first time since April. That means summer is officially over. (Western CT)
posted by sundrop at 6:25 PM on September 26 [4 favorites]


I was cool enough to wear jeans today. We think the 100° days are over, so that is fall, such as it is. The smoke from fires near Sequoia National Park has made eerie light for days. It got me out of bed a couple of days ago, like a furnace outside the blinds at 6:30 in the morning. I have gotten out in the hills to take pictures, now that my van is in good shape again. Ahhh The Golden State! I had a great day outside, talking with my neighbors, in the relative cool. I can't wait for the smoke to resolve.
posted by Oyéah at 6:45 PM on September 26 [5 favorites]


Yesterday was brutally beautiful. Warmer than usual (low 20s C (70-ish F)) and sunny in a way that perfectly explicates sun-worship cults. The kind of day you feel guilty for squandering even if you are outside enjoying it. Of course behind the beauty is the knowledge that 'normally' this time of year in this neck of the woods (northern-ish eastern Germany, over towards Poland) the air starts to nip with cool and damp and so far there's been neither. Maybe this is the source of my reluctance about enjoying it.

A couple weeks ago I went, very briefly, to Ireland: dammit but Ireland is a beautiful country. Just have to mention that. I have memories of Nova Scotia that hit me the same way (the fjord at Tadoussac, too) (maybe also the whole delta around Mont St.Michel) (and Death Valley) (and the Azores Islands, which spring up like something primordial) (also an odd little Spa town down by the Czech Republic called Oybin that sits in a sort of bowl or depression - the town is just a smattering of houses but the forest is dark and strange and beautiful, limestone outcroppings sprout out of the earth like beasts where you least expect them.) And to get there, Ireland, I had to fly and... god how I wish I never had to fly again. Flying itself is tiring (oy! my arms!) (*eye roll*) is tiring but the heavy part is looking out the window and seeing the layer of smog, the brownish-reddish smudge at the horizon. I once told my kid I remembered when that wasn't there and then regretted saying that and regretted

My (there's this good term used in German, "Lebensgefährte/in" meaning the person who is accompanying you through life and I like it so much more than spouse/wife/husband because frankly it seems so much more apt) my Lebensgefährtin got her bike powder-coated last month and I fought with it for the last few weeks putting it back together - literally every single thing I wanted to do had to be done two or three times: where screws went had been filled with paint and had to be re-tapped, new cables had to be sourced and run, a bunch of parts that looked like rusty crap and to be polished, etc. The thing finally got back on the road and we went over to a friends' for a small party. The bike (new bottom-bracket and fresh grease everywhere) rides like silk. She's so damn fast on it!

At the party had a funny/ curious conversation about ageing and how it sneaks up on you and clonks you when you least expect it. And how clonks is not necessarily bad, just surprising.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:00 AM on September 27 [8 favorites]


Time to dig out the Uniqlo fleece-lined hoodie that gets me through autumn, winter and spring in a draughty single-glazed 1880s tenement. On the plus side, cool temperatures make running so much easier.
posted by Klipspringer at 2:45 AM on September 27 [4 favorites]


Such a beautiful tenement, though!
posted by taz (staff) at 2:52 AM on September 27 [3 favorites]


It's autumn coming on in my new home town. In a month's time I'll be on the hill overlooking the city watching the fireworks displays. I've scoped out all the local woods and cemeteries. At the moment we have blue skies, bright hot sun, cold when a cloud passes over, still-green beech trees and the first aspens and birches going yellow, the conkers and sweet chestnuts have fallen. Today is the first blustery, rainy day, and soon the beeches and oaks will be orange! The nights are getting longer and last night I sat chilly in a beer garden looking at the city lights with a nice ginger beer. Walking home under streetlights with all the car headlights and shop signs. Looking out my window at people hurrying in the rain and the streets shining in the rain! Hot falafel wraps, porridge for breakfast, wearing my denim jacket and warm socks. My favourite time of year!
posted by Balthamos at 3:19 AM on September 27 [2 favorites]


After suffering through my fifteenth summer here in Japan, I'm looking forward to dressing much more to my liking again. I jumped the gun for an evening walk with a friend last Friday in the manner depicted here, optimistically imagining that conditions on the ground would immediately change what with it being the first full day of autumn. Ghidorah's right that there will inevitably be some October backsliding, but still, not much longer until I can break out the whipcord and cavalry twill trousers, Donegal tweed, wool knit ties, etc. When it rains later this week I might even be able to wear my trench coat without melting.

Other than clothing, I'm also looking forward to regularly making Champ again.
posted by Strutter Cane - United Planets Stilt Patrol at 3:23 AM on September 27 [3 favorites]


The weather is just starting to cool off here, and it's one of the nicest things going on in my life. Being able to go outside without hating life is pretty great, even though I know we're headed towards shorter days and less sunlight and seasonal depression which will be on top of my depression-in-process.

Covid numbers have been abysmal here, and a lot of us are hesitant about eating indoors or seeing movies, despite vaccinations. So pleasant weather means being able to meet up in parks or at restaurants with outdoor dining options.
posted by bunderful at 5:43 AM on September 27 [2 favorites]


It's spring! Australia rolls over the seasons on the first of the month (so September 1 is officially the first day of spring) though of course it's a wet wintery kind of spring.

Today Mrfeet, littlefeet and I all wore shorts at the same time (last summer littlefeet didn't have the ability to open her nappies so just went without pants in her cute cloth nappy covers- this year we need the security of clothing over the top.)

Beautiful blue skies.

Compost and getting the garden going. All the serious gardeners have been going for while now with bed prep and seedlings, we are a bit slacker with our gardening. Though with our magic compost juice (bokashi) we do ok.
posted by freethefeet at 6:14 AM on September 27 [2 favorites]


I finally got sick of our overgrown front yard and ripped just about all of it out. Now I can find some fall bulbs to plant in that space!

We're also getting in to peak mushroom season, and it seems like it's going to be a bumper year. One of the wettest summers on record here has yielded loads of mushrooms where we hike with the dog. We've gotten several pounds of black trumpets over the past couple weeks, harvested some puffballs for the first time, and now just waiting for some of the coral patches to get bigger.

Also started taking some wild game as the season begins, and I'm planning to make a terrine out of local wild ingredients.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:27 AM on September 27 [3 favorites]


This weekend I'll drive a bit north with my still-new person as a birthday treat, we'll go apple picking and look at the leaves and enjoy the fireplace where we are staying - just for one night, but I love this time of year so much I just want to breathe it in. We are both October babies, born on opposite sides of the world one year (minus a couple of weeks) apart.

If only it were easier to know what to wear in the fall (I know, I know, layers).
posted by wellred at 6:51 AM on September 27 [3 favorites]


You know that expression, they use it for lots of geographic places, "If you don't like the weather, wait 15 minutes"? Thanks to menopause, that's me these days. There's no point being glad the hot summer is over because I will still spend many moments every day and night feeling exactly as if there are flames shooting out of me in all directions. Too cold? I won't be in three . . . two . . . one. I won't need my driveway plowed this winter, because I can just point my firey hands at it and all the snow will instantly melt like in a cartoon.
posted by JanetLand at 7:20 AM on September 27 [11 favorites]


I have already moved and stacked a cord of wood into my wood shed, a shed that my kid and I built last summer as a pandemic project. Our house is heated but we keep the heat at an even 68 and light a fire in the fireplace most nights during the winter.

Yesterday we went apple picking and came home with a peck of apples. Macs, cortlands, and macouns. The holy trinity of New England apples.

I'm still wearing shorts, I refuse to give in just yet, but soon I'll be putting jeans on in the morning. Sigh.

Not ready to take the window screens down just yet. We keep the bedroom window open at night because sleeping with a ton of blankets when the air is cool is The Best.
posted by bondcliff at 7:50 AM on September 27 [7 favorites]


So, this summer was a total shit-show. Summer is always hot and muggy and icky in New York City - years ago, when I first read Carrie Fisher's Postcards From The Edge I had to agree when one of the characters said that "New York in the summer is like a cough. It's like the whole country came here and coughed." The thing that usually offsets that for me is the absolute glut of free cultural events - free outdoor movies, free weekend hiking events, free museum days, free concerts, free arts programs, you name it.

But this summer I was contending with the tail end of broken knee recovery; I broke my knee almost exactly one year ago (tomorrow, the 28th, is the anniversary) and I'm still not quite up to speed yet. I can walk without a cane, I can walk up stairs properly, but I can't run, and I don't have the hip strength to walk DOWN stairs properly. I didn't start walking at a "normal" pace until just last month.

But even THAT would have all been okay if I hadn't also had to move. My old landlord sold the building mid-May, and the letter from the new landlord that said that he would not be renewing my lease came right before Memorial Day weekend; I would have to either start over with a new lease with him (at a greatly hiked-up price) or move out by September 1st. So this whole summer has been a blur of "can we fight back" meetings with the other tenants (no, we couldn't), and then apartment hunting, and then applying for a place and then hiring movers and sorting through 15 years' worth of crap and then figuring out how to get everything cleaned up and then unpacking in a new space that was smaller and figuring out the new neighborhood and how it worked and....sigh.

However.

The new apartment is actually turning out to be really good. It's cheaper than the old place, it's still the same neighborhood, and it's actually slightly closer to transportation that can get me around easier. I'm a 5-block walk from a free shuttle bus that can get me to work, and I'm one block from a supermarket so I can run up there for some ingredient if I'm making food and realized I'm missing something.

The apartment itself is a duplex, and my roommate has taken over the whole downstairs space as his bachelor suite; he's got a sweet setup down there, with space not only for his bed but for his desk (complete with huge 3-monitor setup), and a bookshelf/TV area, and space for him to put up his dart board. He has to come upstairs to use the kitchen and the bathroom, but he rarely cooks and is just fine with this. This left both of the tiny bedrooms as "mine" - and I have just enough storage space for all my clothes in one closet, which left the other bedroom and closet available for "Random crap". I turned the other bedroom into an office, with some other "random crap" hidden in that second closet. And just yesterday I finally unpacked the last box (the pictures and artwork, which I was saving for last) and hung everything that's being hung.

I've pretty much gotten my sea legs in the kitchen - just in time to have started with the Rancho Gordo bean club, so on weekends I can make a pot of some kind of bean and use that in various soups and stews through the week. Fall also means a lot of crock-pot cooking and homey comfort-food baking; this weekend I celebrated the hanging of the last picture by making a super-simple apple cake, and I've started adding a few different "clear out the fridge" free-form meals to my rota (quiches, soups, and casseroles can be thrown together pretty easy). In fall I also do a lot of savory pies for some reason so that's going to ramp up here as well.

I'm even starting to like my view from the bedroom window - it looks out onto a boring, bare concrete slab in lieu of a backyard, with the building's bike parking rack to one side and the super's tool storage shed on the other. But there's ivy starting to grow up along the fence around it on three sides. And I'm on the ground floor, which means I can finally wash the outsides of my windows. This coming weekend I'm going to get a squeegee on a telescoping pole and do exactly that - I have never been able to properly wash my windows in any of the apartments I've lived in before this, and I am ecstatic. And even better - being on the ground floor, and having a key to that back "yard", means that I can rig up a bird feeder just outside my window and be able to refill it.

And speaking of being on the ground floor - I am a lot more prone to getting out of the house and going for a walk, which is going a long way towards knee rehab. A couple weekends ago I walked two miles - to a hardware store for some things and back - and on that return mile I was carrying a bunch of flower pots and some dirt to boot. And even went back out after to show my roommate the fancy-ass donut place I discovered only two blocks from the new place.

So this summer was a wash. But the cooler weather is coinciding with "oh thank god I am also finally done with this move" and "hey I really like the new block" and "oh hang on this apartment is working out okay" and "hey having a separate dedicated office kind of rocks" and "oh I bet those beans would be killer in a stew this weekend" and basically a lot of good stuff is coming.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:25 AM on September 27 [12 favorites]


It's a mast year so the big valley oak we live under is dropping acorns. Every few minutes, another "thunk" from the ceiling or the patio. We planted some glass gem corn which grew all summer -- can't eat it, but so beautiful and I tied three ears together to form the traditional Fall door-decoration; first time in my life, so hopelessly suburban. And last week, for the first time in a year, meine Lebensgefährtin finally went into the office, with the promise of more Me Time coming this week. I love Autumn.
posted by Rash at 9:27 AM on September 27 [5 favorites]


When I moved to New England, I was exceedingly disappointed to find out that it just. doesn't. have. spring. We have mud season instead where it's just kind of 50 degrees and raining and then you get like, a week of lovely 65-70 degree days of sunshine before jumping right into summer.

But fall. Fall in New England is exactly as freaking advertised. Oh let me just throw on my flannel and walk up the street past the farm with the friendly horses and the heritage breed cows and then stroll up to the hill to the cemetery with the 200 year old gravestones to look out over the town and see the church steeples and little New Englander houses and old mill buildings and gaze into the distant mountains. And I live in an urban area of the state.

I'm slowly getting back into running after a pandemic induced hiatus, and my absolute favorite thing is to run my same routes around town week after week and just watching the colors get more and more glorious. And the weather is perfect for running this time of year, too, so it's just such a mood boost.
posted by damayanti at 10:32 AM on September 27 [11 favorites]


We had a lovely, lovely couple of days here where the temps dropped and the daytime temperature was in the low 70s. Just the kind of weather that says "do you really want to go back indoors? Here's a nice, pleasant breeze and enough cloud cover to diffuse the daylight without being gloomy."

This is my time of year, from late September to ~April or so. When I break out the hoodies and the sweatshirts and can sleep with the window open. Soon! The cats start getting real cuddly because they want the extra body heat. Love it.
posted by jzb at 11:05 AM on September 27 [1 favorite]


When I was still on twitter my personal Official Start Of Fall was when I'd seen tweets from three different women extolling the onset of "tights weather." I'm not a person who wears skirts so at first I was just bemused by this before I realized through repetition how much of A Thing it is for some people.

I don't really think about fall in terms of wardrobe. I mostly look forward to being able to bake without also having the air conditioner running. I get back on a regular schedule with the sourdough and make more bagels when I'm not worried about waste heat and high electric bills.
posted by fedward at 11:37 AM on September 27 [2 favorites]


It's pecan time in Austin. I have a tin roof and there's the frequent sound of pecans thwapping on the roof then rolling and tumbling down to drop to the ground. Weather is changing soon to a tiny bit cooler and wetter for a few days. ACL is ON this weekend so Austin will be crammed to the gills with music lovers in Zilker Park.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:41 AM on September 27 [3 favorites]


We had a somewhat humid and wet weekend in Maine, tho' not very hot, and I did run the A/C for a few days, because I hate humidity. Shut it off yesterday, and opened the windows after the rain had departed.

Last night it got down to 47 F, and think I slept better than I have in a while. Ran the furnace for one cycle this morning, to take the chill off. Today it's getting up to 70, but going to be in the 60's, with possibly one 50-something degree day later this week.

I've ordered my fall boots, found on sale. For wet days, I have some Bogs clogs, which have served me well for many years. Though to be honest, I'll still probably wear my flip-flops for a while, until it gets really cold.

I also found some nice sweatshirts, Hanes men's in X-L, which are big and roomy enough, soft enough, and not too thick. I spent too much time last year, in October, hunting down the perfect sweatshirt, so I ordered one to see if it was a good fit, and then 2 more to have a good rotation. I hate tight clothing, and I hate sitting down and having a top creep up from the back and exposing me to the cool air. Big and roomy and comfy, especially when at home, is more my style.

Think maybe it was from an AskMe question on leggings, I ordered a pair of Starfish leggings from Land's End. They look to be a nice thick material, and the sweatshirts come down far enough that they should give me good coverage. I already have a bunch of turtlenecks, but usually, I find them hot, so I wear some long-sleeved t-shirts underneath the sweatshirts and a pima scarf wrapped around my neck when I go out. My blood tends to get thick very quickly in the Fall: I might get chilly at first, then I get hot, so I dress in layers and peel them off or put them back on as needed.

The other day, I made a favorite soup of mine: sweet Italian sausage, browned, then remove and add 1 chopped onion, 1 sliced fennel bulb, a leek (optional, but I had it), lots of grated garlic and ginger, a bit of hot pepper (I used the tip of a habanero, but prefer serrano if I can get it, or red pepper flakes will also do), then a can of white beans, 2 peeled and diced sweet potatoes, add the sausage back in, and enough broth or water to cover. It actually takes very little time to cook, once all the dicing and veg sweating has been done. Could be done with squash, or add late-season corn, etc. I threw in some Swiss chard at the end, oh, and the stems of that and a chopped red bell pepper after the onion, but before the ginger and garlic. It's sweet and savory, and very comforting to sit with a steaming bowl of soup on a Sunday afternoon while watching Brit flix on TV, and 2 cats snuggled up against me.

At the beginning of the month, I got an oil change and new tires, as I was thinking maybe there would be a wait on tires once it gets really cold. I did all-season instead of snow tires, as I don't really want to switch them out in the Spring, and I don't drive enough to justify the expense. But I did go with a higher range of tires (Goodyear Eagle). I had had the car inspected last January, and the tires were still okay, but I don't trust factory tires, and certainly not these, through another winter, after having gotten stuck a few times.

Lastly, I got on a craft-supply buying binge. I've done jewelry making in the past, just easy beading type of stuff, nothing fancy. Decided I want to learn how to make fringe earrings, and also maybe fringe wall hanging art. And some suncatchers, just an easy kind with crystals at the bottom and interesting glass beads along the top. I found this fringe earring tutorial to be both very informative and relaxing at the same time.

I also got some cheapo mini-Led light strings at Dollar General, and have ideas for putting them around the living area, to keep it warm and cozy for when the dreaded time change comes, and it will start getting dark at 4:30 p.m. I have several other easy craft projects in mind, and have a notebook for all of my ideas. I've done a ton of research, and feel like I have a good handle on what I want to achieve, which is a sunlit rainbow space in the mornings, when the Fall and Winter sun shines brightly through my picture window, and cozy nights with ambient light and warm fuzzy socks.

In reality, I still have a lot of cleaning and clearing out of stuff to do, but it gives me a lot of pleasure and sense of calm to imagine things, research things, and then make it all come together at the end. I may never be perfect, but I love the anticipation of the seasonal change, and all that goes with it. It gives me hope, and it gives me apple cider donuts as well.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 12:30 PM on September 27 [10 favorites]


Update. If you have ever wondered if it's possible that two mice could arrange their affairs such that they were perfectly positioned at the same blob of peanut butter bait at the crucial moment, the answer is yes.

Jessamyn, I feel you. Actually what I felt was a giant moth landing on my face in the dark and of course all I had on my mind was mice so that was a moment.

Does anyone have any idea how many there might be? They only just showed up a few days ago and I've caught six of them so far.
posted by HotToddy at 12:48 PM on September 27 [5 favorites]


looking forward to busting out my fabulous knee sock collection, layers, snuggling with cats under blankets. roasting some stuff...
posted by supermedusa at 1:00 PM on September 27 [6 favorites]


Lastly, I got on a craft-supply buying binge....

I felt this so hard - literally the only thing that is stopping me from going on a similar binge is having just had to pack, carry over, and unpack my stash, and easily about 40% of it never made the cut because of "why did I have this again?"

The only item I brought over 100% of was yarn, because I figured that "it's okay, I'll just dive in and make a shitload of baby blankets for the local NICU and hats for other charities and it will use it up!" ....I'm already looking ahead to other yarn I want to buy when that yarn is all gone, though. (At least it's baby blankets. Babies are small. Their blankets are small. Knitting things for them moves quickly.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:01 PM on September 27 [2 favorites]


I wait all summer for the goddamned scorched-earth-endless-blaring-daylight sticky blast oven season to finally be the fuck over. And that fucker always drags right the hell on into November like the ASSED HOLE that it is. It was 88 degrees today, and I am ready for murder, only point me at the deserving.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 2:59 PM on September 27 [8 favorites]


Sounds like someone needs a Pumpkin Spice iced coffee!
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:18 PM on September 27 [2 favorites]


Sounds like someone needs a Pumpkin Spice iced coffee!

A WORTHY TARGET FOR MY IRE AT LAST
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 4:35 PM on September 27 [15 favorites]


Fall is preserving summer by other means: canning soups and sauces, drying fruit, freezing pulp, saving seeds, planting trees and bushes. It's the prep of going through closets and realizing that I wore most of what I had chosen for spring and summer, and as for the rest, it's moving on to others (for the record: I thought the little floral purse was cute, but I now know that I am just not a flower-bearer in any sense and that my friend's young daughter will love playing dress-up with it). September is for rediscovering my cowboy boots and goddamn ROCKING them. If ever there were a magic piece of footwear, it is the boot. There is still so much to do outside--my list is long, and days grow short--and tasks are becoming more meditative as I finish them for this year. For the first time in a while, I am at the end of the garden season looking forward to next spring instead of beating myself up for the overgrown weeds and things I never got around to planting. I'm combing my shelves for winter reads, and getting my cold-weather hobby ready; my prep-tart heart is in its element, planning, stocking up, battening down.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:40 PM on September 27 [7 favorites]


I still have tomatoes ripening on the vine, but I have never been so desperate for a killing frost before - my house has been invaded by boxelder bugs for over a month now, and I want them all to die so much. I’ve never experienced swarms of boxelder bugs like this before - our nextdoor neighbor (and multiple boxelder tree owner) put their house up for sale, and I am planning to bribe the next owner into chopping those weed trees down. Please, climate, come and kill these awful bugs.
posted by Maarika at 5:21 PM on September 27 [2 favorites]


Sounds like someone needs a Pumpkin Spice iced coffee!

Other delicious natural drinks of the season are available.
posted by Wordshore at 8:59 PM on September 27


Wordshore, I will never forgive you for putting the idea of that taste into my incredibly, horrifically vivid imagination. For shame.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 12:29 AM on September 28 [4 favorites]


My stomach turned when that picture turned up, Wordshore. I'm still shuddering.
posted by kathrynm at 8:32 AM on September 28 [1 favorite]


Other delicious natural drinks of the season are available.

That's not "natural" at all.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:08 AM on September 28 [1 favorite]


I've been more attentive in the past few years to swapping my light summer moisturizer out for something heavier in the winter, but I must have hit some hormonal cliff this year because god damn. The second week of September apparently in addition to "is it hay fever or is it a cold or is it COVID?" I now have a full-body dry skin emergency with like, hives and creepy exfoliation and shriveling up like a raisin and looking 15 years older overnight and hives??? So... yeah. Many unguents have been regularly applied, I have returned to whatever age I used to look like, and I'm blaming the hives on a laundry detergent issue. "Winter moisturizer" is on my calendar for Labor Day 2022. Perhaps when proper menopause hits, I will get a car, just so that I can dig it out of the snow by pointing my firey hands at it à la JanetLand.
posted by All hands bury the dead at 2:49 PM on September 28 [2 favorites]


Mice. I have had several infestations in the car. Unpleasant and expensive; they use the ventilation ducts and wreck the flaps that choose heat or AC. and they smell so nasty.

Yesterday, found lots of evidence of mice in my living room, which is used a lot less since I started doing some work from home. Traps will be set. Have found piles of dog food, because mice are little preppers, and one area of lots of dry poops. I wonder if having to smell mouse in the car desensitized me to smells in the house. In any event, Nope. They are really destructive.
posted by theora55 at 4:16 PM on September 28 [2 favorites]


Have found piles of dog food, because mice are little preppers

One winter a few years ago they stockpiled Spanish peanuts inside my car vents.
posted by HotToddy at 8:06 PM on September 28 [2 favorites]


So I was at our local library last night (oh yeah, the new place is only two blocks from a branch that is open until 8 pm twice a week) and discovered a cookbook with a ton of delicious-sounding soup and stew and other recipes, including this amazing-sounding stew with scarlet runner beans and merguez sausage - and I just so happen to have gotten a pound of scarlet runner beans recently, and the local supermarket just so happens to carry merguez sausage so that will probably be made sometime in the next couple weeks now that the weather is right for it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:13 AM on September 29 [4 favorites]


Yesterday, after over a decade of working towards it, Mrs. Example and I became British citizens.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:54 AM on September 29 [24 favorites]


My husband turned on our heated mattress pad last night for the first time since last spring, and it was heavenly.
posted by hydra77 at 12:07 PM on September 29 [3 favorites]


Autumn charity shop (US: "thrift store") wardrobe-update success: I found a beautiful apple-green brand-new fruit of the loom sweater in exactly my size. It is still fleecy inside from being so new. Just like a new school uniform jumper. Also a lightweight royal blue rain jacket, perfect for the showery weather which is not settling in. They go well together and with all my trousers and cost £7.50 all together. I am pleased.
posted by Balthamos at 2:02 AM on September 30 [1 favorite]


Those of y'all fretting about the increased presence of mice -

It could be worse. I am welcoming fall because it is leading to a decrease in the sightings of big huge enormous horkin' palmetto bugs. That's the one downside to my new place - it is on the ground floor and there is a restaurant right next door, so we're a tiny bit more prone to that, particularly when it's really humid. I put out three different kinds of bait last month.

But so far any such bugs have very graciously and conveniently agreed to crawl inside the emptied-out moving boxes and die in there just before I get a chance to break them down and cart them out to the trash. I'd still rather they not be there at all, though.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:54 AM on September 30


Pulled my wool socks out of the back of the drawer and am getting my list of scary movies together for my annual mid-month home marathon (old AskMes, as always, have been helpful).

Iced coffee travel mug has been washed and stored until spring.

My wife and I have begun our annual discussion about which of our various disintegrating secondhand blankets are so far gone that they need to be pitched.

Even though it's 80 degrees here today, the fall train is rolling.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:29 AM on October 3 [1 favorite]


I have become the thing I have hated: a leaf-peeper.

The little getaway was an utter delight, but yo, the staffing shortage is real. Our hotel was in a desperate state. It all worked out though.
posted by wellred at 6:08 AM on October 5


I have found myself suddenly overtaken by a "must own ALL THE plaid" wardrobe mania. Oh dear.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:22 AM on October 7


I somehow wound up on "decorate the pumpkin skeleton thing" detail at the library today. It worked out well!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:25 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Fall arrived on the equinox precisely, in BC it is a glorious and mild season, full of sunshine and light rains, often simultaneously (rainbows!). Just cool enough to need a sweater in the evenings. I'm looking forward to layering up my flowy summer witchy wardrobe with more shawls and skirt layers and possibly a cape because YES I am that extra. I'm also transitioning to my fall / winter with hat, which is black with blue ribbons, instead of my fawn colored summer witch hat.

I also just scored a pair of $350 handmade leather boots for $40 bc out here no one knows the brand Freebird. I am well set for the winter!

It's supposed to drop to freezing in a couple days, so our frost-intolerant porch plants are getting brought inside or composted, and the garden and water lines are getting winterized.

Mushrooms are in wild abundance, --- I've already picked 20+ lbs of lobster and honey mushrooms. I dried about half, the rest we dont eat fresh get sauted in butter and frozen.

I'm not spending this winter here, so I'm heading south in just over a month. I'll miss my little forest home and my husband, but I'm looking forward to being in a city and seeing my friends and family again.
posted by ananci at 1:21 PM on October 9 [2 favorites]


One more autumnal note, characteristic of Fall in the US -- I hear snatches of the high school marching band practice, in late afternoon when the wind is right. On a home Game Day, that's augmented with crowd noise (and sometimes, a lot of cheering and automobile horn-honking after it's over).
posted by Rash at 2:53 PM on October 9 [1 favorite]


I started reading these posts last evening, and just finished, while enjoying my "one tiny cup" of morning coffee. So many of you resonate in such a familiar way with how we live.

Up until last Tuesday, I had been fretting/worrying over everything. We hadn't started any firewood, there is an important wedding coming up, MIGRAINES, work stress, family stress, NO TIME FOR MYSELF....you get it. Hot muggy weather, lots of covid happening locally...sigh.

Last Monday night, I had a semi serious unexpected health emergency. Early morning ER visit, driving through dense fog to get to hospital. Followup with a specialist this week.

All of a sudden, things didn't seem so bad. Stretched out on a gurney, IV in arm, nothing to do but wait. Amazing how everything levels out when things are suddenly out of your control.

So, I am feeling much better. We got the wood started, garden unplanted and are marching forward! Resiliency is a wonderful trait to have!

During that hospital visit, I decided to cut way back on coffee. I have one tiny cup, instead of multiple giant mugs. I have one piece of vintage Fiestaware, a tiny pink coffee cup. It makes me savor my morning wake up coffee. I also placed a tea order, to go into winter with a LOT of herbal and specialty teas! I love the ritual of making good tea, and have a nice collection of cups, infuser and nice honey.

My sewing is going in fits (see what I did!) and starts. I hope to finish the dress I may wear to the earlier mentioned wedding, if it's still warm. If cooler temps prevail, I have a favorite dress I made a few years ago that will work.

Lastly, we've been discussing impending retirements. I have 3 more years. Partner is strongly considering changing jobs, finding a part time gig. So, the looking at lifestyle, finances, day to day routines as well as long term plans has begun. It's scary and exciting and we're both tired and ready.
posted by LaBellaStella at 4:09 AM on October 10 [2 favorites]


Forgot to mention-the cards and postcards I have been getting from Me-fi card club peeps are a bright shiny part of my day!
posted by LaBellaStella at 4:12 AM on October 10


Earlier I mentioned that I was getting more motivated to take walks now - and boy, I hit the jackpot on my first one.

Brooklyn has the same kind of regimented grid-plan street system in places as Manhattan does - streets running straight for several neighborhoods, intersected by other straight streets at pretty regular intervals - but in some of the more residential neighborhoods you get these smaller streets tucked in between the main streets, starting randomly at one cross street and running for about five or ten blocks and ending at some landmark or another. I now live near the beginning of one such street, and recently learned that the whole street only runs six blocks and ends at a park. I walked down there yesterday - it turns out that walking to the park and back is the perfect distance for me to handle at this stage.

And - it's a beautiful walk. I start on my particular block, a quietly bustling little intersection with a couple of cute cafes, walk 4 blocks east down tree-lined sidewalks and past graceful brownstones, save for one block where some of the grittier-looking businesses are starting to mix with some modern-looking new houses, and at most intersections there are some little businesses tucked in - mostly either little indie cafes or Mexican restaurants (for some reason there are a lot of taquieras in my neighborhood, each inspired by a different region of Mexico), but also a couple mom-and-pop bodegas and hardware stores and stuff.

And then you get to a community garden first - a very, very active community garden, big enough to be its own park and welcoming enough that you can get in even when you're not a member. In fact, they had a little market stall set up where they were selling fruits and veg grown there in the garden, and teas and tinctures made from the herbs they grew as well. And tucked in the back was a food stall with picnic tables with different simple stews and nibbles. I grabbed a hand pie stuffed with cheese and mustard (I'm going to have to remember that and make my own version) and some of the ginger-mint tea they also had and head for the park proper.

And it was perfect - it's a smaller park, so it's not too crowded, but still big enough that the tuba players I passed on my walk could find a corner where they could practice without bugging everyone. Tall graceful shade trees, spots of sun, close enough to the street so you could get up and go get a snack if you needed one but far away enough where you could ignore the buildings if you wanted. For some reason it reminded me of Congo Square and Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans. And I have a feeling it is going to be gorgeous once the leaves stop turning, and I suspect that next weekend I will be bringing some extra cash along with me to spring for some dandelion greens from the market.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:52 AM on October 10 [2 favorites]


We got some blue skies! Hey now! It is cold in my house! Yesterday I got around to clearing the invasive native palms out of my potted plants. One geranium had eight palms in it. These native palms have seeds the size of BBs, and fruit about 1/8 inch thick. They grow in great bunches and taste sweet. I read all dates are edible. So, birds, and rodents feed on them and they are sowed everywhere. Now my pots are clear and maybe the plants will have a happy fall. The air is good today, and I will go for a little drive, maybe see some leaves.
posted by Oyéah at 1:43 PM on October 13


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