Tag Archives: seasons

Festive Fall Tips for the Domestically Disabled

Considering the fact that middle class white women are freaking out over everything pumpkin flavored, it’s safe to say that fall has arrived.

Seeing as I hate 90 humid degrees and 90 inches of snow, fall is a great season for me. Along with the beautiful foliage in Michigan and the chance to finally wrap up the horticultural hospice I’ve been harboring for the summer, it also means playoff baseball, college football, hockey and hoodies—just a few of my favorite things.

I know some people are already freaking out over Halloween, but seeing as I deal with it five months out of the year for work, I’m over it. Plus, I believe my tips from last year shall remain eternally relevant, so we’re skipping ahead to my tips for a fabulous fall.

Outdoor Decor

Start by putting a wreath on the door that says “festive, yet I’ll dive behind the couch if you ring the bell and expect me to put on some pants.”

wreathdoor

I might be a Publisher’s Clearing House million dollar winner if not for the fact that I perform a death roll behind the furniture the second I hear the doorbell.

If that fails to ward off those looking to interrupt your upcoming preparation for winter hibernation, simply build a corn maze in your front yard that never quite leads to the door (this also works well with your desk at the office.) The added value with this situation is that you can charge a bit of admission, which might come in useful when exploring the next tip below.

Seasonal Shopping

Shopping for that festive wreath is a great chance to get your Christmas shopping done. Who doesn’t love pumpkins, decorative corn and Halloween candy? I’ll tell you who. People who don’t appreciate you thinking ahead and being proactive with your gift-giving prowess.

Shopping early—and economically—leaves more time to drink spiked cider come the harsh winter months.

Indoor Decor

You don’t have to be Martha Stewart and devise a centerpiece out of unicorn hair, sparkly pine cones and the tears of kittens. You can basically take crap that you find in your yard and call it festive. Just spray some pine cones with apple cinnamon air freshener and stick them in a basket with a few colorful leaves and acorns.

Plus, after the season is done, you can take the tops off the acorns and use them for fashionable little berets or tiny serving plates for your traveling gnome.

juneberet

Sorry that it’s a bit blurry, but Uncle June never stands still for long.

The trick is to gather these things before you “rake,” and by rake of course I mean wait for a windy day and gently urge the piles of leaves to migrate into the neighbor’s back yard.

Speaking of which, the neighbor kids’ basketball—the one they are constantly bouncing loudly against their garage door every. single. day.—looks quite similar to a pumpkin. Considering they’re back in school now, you can sneak over while they’re gone and turn it into a festive-looking decoration to be used for an impromptu pumpkin chuck.

Not only is this festive fun, but it’s a physical activity you can do together as a family. After all, someone has to keep lookout.

Happy Fall!

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Wish You Were Here

As much as I complain about the weather in Michigan—the horrendous heat and humidity in the summer and the feet of ice and snow in the winter—this time of year is truly something special.

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(Sorry my pictures are small. You can click to enlarge.)

The colors are spectacular, and if you don’t live in an area that experiences the changing of the seasons, I sincerely mean it when I say I wish you were here to enjoy them.*

*Unless of course, you’re an emotional vampire or just plain annoying, in which case I would dive behind my couch ninja-like to hide when you rang my doorbell.

At any rate, we’ve had unseasonably warm temperatures the past week that have reached the 70s, and I’ve taken advantage of that by enjoying the incredible mum display at the botanical gardens, going on a hayride and mini-color tour and just generally taking the time to appreciate the fact that nature will constantly leave me humbled and at peace.

gardensFM

I don’t know where you are from, but I can tell you that Michigan—and my city specifically—has a lot to offer. We might not have a Trader Joes or Whole Foods within 300 miles or many celebrity sightings, and we only have one vegan restaurant and the aforementioned craptastically unpredictable weather—where was I going with this?

Ah yes, those issues aside, we do have things distinctly our own, things that make Michigan—and Grand Rapids, specifically—not only a great place to visit, but a great place to live.

The mayor and a panel of community leaders recently ran a contest—My Grand Rapids in Six Words  (MyGR6) — inviting anyone “who has lived, worked or played here to share their sentiments about the city using only six words.”

They won’t announce the winners for a couple of weeks, but almost 8,000 people submitted entries, which says something about community pride. Mine was initially related to sports, but serves as a theme for the city as a whole:

Minor league city. Major league feel.

But if you’re into sports—as you know I am—right now is a great time to be a fan. The Tigers are in the American League Championship Series, the Lions are undefeated, the Wings have started their season 2-0—and the minor league baseball and hockey teams for those parent clubs are right here in Grand Rapids.

fifth-third-ballpark-sign

In other words, we see the stars before they’re stars.

If you’re into art and culture, we just wrapped up ArtPrize, the world’s largest art prize based solely on a public vote. Artists take over and cover the city and venues with their work, visitors come from around the world and conversations result about community, creativity and possibility.

Sports, culture, natural beauty—those are just a few of the things we have going on right now where I live. I’m not trying to sell you on the city—as I said, winters and availability for overpriced hippy food sucks—but rather share with you a little piece of fall where I come from.

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And the changing of the seasons also serve as a reminder to me that no, I don’t have control of everything in my life, but sometimes the most beautiful things happen when I let go and simply enjoy whatever may be.

At least until the snow comes.

Then even I wish I wasn’t here.

But for now, I’ll simply wax poetic about the colors and hope that if you aren’t able to enjoy them where you are, you were at least able to enjoy a piece of fall from where I’m at—which unfortunately, is not Trader Joes, but you take what you can get.

And for now, we get major league beauty.

I’m glad that I’m here.

How would you describe your city in six words?

Another round of FYIs

I haven’t felt much like blogging lately, so I thought I would compile another rousing round of FYIs. Instead I came up with these…

The best way to make yourself feel better about having to wait in a long line is to look at the people behind you. You’re ahead. Gloat a little.

It’s perfectly acceptable to wait in a long line to see the winner of ArtPrize, especially considering the fact that it made “The Today Show” a couple times.

Teeth are jewels, not tools.

Maybe you only need to be good at one thing? Good to know, but I have to find that thing, as practicality often trumps passion. Let’s move on to pretty colors…

Fall really is beautiful in Michigan and the perfect time to go for a hayride through one of your favorite towns.

rockford1However, tripping and falling face first into the side of one of the horses is not a pleasant experience. (At least that’s what the woman who face-planted into the sweaty side of the Clydesdale said.)

A lot of times I think I really want something, but then when I get the opportunity to possibly attain it, I get freaked out and don’t want it anymore. I’m working on this (this is not related to the hayride mentioned above. Or teeth, although I value my teeth immensely.)

My blog world and real world are starting to collide, and this doesn’t make me happy. The end.

I know I’m not one to talk, but sometimes celebrities just look creepy when they get skinny (Drew Carey, Al Roker and Alton Brown come to mind.)

drew-carey

al (But he did do the ArtPrize story, so he gets some credit.)

Free popcorn is like crack to senior citizens. Get out of the way, or get your toes run over—nuns are not exempt from this maniacal phenomenon.

A little integrity is better than any career.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

I really want to like “The Office” this season, but it’s just not happening.

This week I have been summoned for jury duty. To prepare, I plan on watching the judges on “The Next Iron Chef” tonight and taking meticulous notes (yes, it will have skinny Alton Brown.)

And also this crazy, self-absorbed “Duskie” lady who scares me, even when she’s not holding sharp objects.  I’m all about local food, but wearing pigtails…really?

“We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.” –Anais Nin

There are  times I don’t feel like going and doing something “social,”  but then half the time I end up enjoying myself and wondering why I don’t do it more often. However, that does leave the other half of the time. I suppose it evens out.

The “clean house” smell you spent a couple hours working on will be instantly negated by cooking salmon. However, it’s worth it (plus, if you drop any on the floor, you feel better about picking it up and popping it in your mouth.)

This just makes me laugh.

 

So now it’s your turn. Give me something to look forward to reading when I get home from a day of civic duty.

What are your FYIs?