Go Team Slavik

Oh my. How is it the middle of November already? I’m feeling a little cheated by how quickly the fall is going by, it being my favorite time of year and all.  Of course, being cooped up for three weeks with pneumonia hasn't helped, either. 

This fall has certainly been a blur of projects at our house. (For the record, I hate that I am about to post a massive photo dump, but if I was sorely behind in posting updates three weeks ago, I don’t even want to know what is the appropriate adjective to describe how far behind I am now.) So here is what we have been up to in a somewhat chronological order…

Mums are probably one of my favorite plants in general, but there is just something about that final hardy burst of color in the fall that I love.  Maybe it's a reflection of my own desire to thumb my nose at the cooler temperatures and say, "Hey!  Not so fast!" 

I was really drawn to these dark red mums.   I'm a sucker for deep, rich tones, so despite the fact that the first garden center we visited only had smaller plants in this color, I bought them anyway.  I definitely reconsidered my decision on more than one of the many trips to local garden centers looking for the right size and shade of red to fill the flowerpots, but as soon as we found a way to make it work, it came together beautifully.

One of the things that helped tie it all together was the facelift we gave to the front steps:

After deciding that restoring the previous white paint didn’t really work (it looked funny) and couple of unsuccessful tries to match the steps to the sidewalk gray proved to be a more time intensive project than we could afford a few days out from our fall party (and it still didn't look quite right), Mike suggested that we continue the trim color on the front steps (thank goodness changing your mind is easy when you’re working with paint!).

As usual, the paint color selection process was the hardest part. I totally get a kick out of the fact that some of our most intense decision-making impasses are over paint colors.   

It’s probably a subtle thing that most people would never notice, but to us, it makes all the difference in how the front of the house looks.

The front steps were not the only thing we took a paint brush to this fall. Our dining room, upstairs and downstairs hallway, stairs, porch, and a few ceilings were given fresh coats of paint (no color changes, just some sprucing up). 

You might also remember that we had ourselves a little bit of a muddy situation in our backyard this summer. Well, it wasn’t perfect by any means, but we did have a respectable lawn in time for the party (updated: these are now the actual September photos). 

Just this past weekend we threw down the final round of grass seed where it is still a little thin. With a little luck, we should be in great shape after the snow melts next spring!

There were also a number of little projects that were a part of the cause and effect of the big lawn project.  Since the yard was pretty squishy most of the summer and we didn't want to disturb the delicate new grass, we had a little catching up to do on some minor things like removing storm damaged branches, cleaning out the back storage shed, and some exterior painting touch ups.  Also, with our big old concrete back step long gone, my father in law helped us put in a temporary back step to make it possible easier to navigate that door without the 18” drop (or step up).  It should get us by until we tackle a permanent solution (likely a deck) next year. 

And then of course, there are all the things we eventually have to start thinking about and doing to get ready for winter (boo). We were doing a great job of staying on top of blowing and raking leaves, and even making a lot of progress on cleaning out the garage.  And then I had to sit things out for about three weeks thanks to an old fashioned aches and fever flu bug that turned into pneumonia (boo and double boo).

Thankfully, we were both feeling well this weekend and had an amazingly productive Saturday: the leaves are all raked, bagged, and positioned around the house to provide extra insulation for the winter; the plastic is on the windows, where necessary, inside and out; the lawn has been mowed for the final time; the landscaping and gardens are clean and good to go (save for some mulching of the strawberries and garlic); all the summer stuff is put away; the Christmas wreaths have been moved to the front of the storage shed; the snow blower has been started (I even had my first lesson – I might not have an excuse this winter)… we worked until we ran out of daylight! It’s a good feeling to be ready (well, as ready as we are going to be) for what’s next and an even better feeling to have such an incredible partner in all things. We really do make a great team.

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