The Beauty that is Fall

We had a teasing taste of fall this past week as a cold front blew our temperatures down into the 60’s.  When you live in Texas to be able to play outside until lunchtime without breaking a sweat is a little taste of heaven.

This is my absolute favorite time of year.  The bustle of fall activities.  A hope of cooler temperatures.  Leaves, Bonfires, Hoodies, Football, Festivals, Renfair, Pumpkins, Halloween, a bazillion birthday celebrations. . . what’s not to love?

I cannot contain my excitement as I look forward to the coming months. I wish you and your loved ones a fun-filled fall season!


Summer Storms

I live in Texas and summers can be brutal.  August is particularly horrid.  While most people are enjoying their last bit of summer, those of us who live in Texas are wishing we could find a fast forward button so we can skip the miserable heat and get on with the rest of the year.

I usually enjoy being outside, but when you start sweating inside the house just thinking about opening the door, the prospect of going outside becomes a daunting task.  Anything that needs to be done is scheduled in the early morning with all tasks completed before noon or saved for evening after 7 pm when it’s somewhat bearable to venture out the door.  Anything from noon to 7pm will be done in doors, in an air conditioned environment (unless it involves a pool, river or lake).

Yesterday on my return from work when I ventured into my car the thermometer inside read 109°.  My car was literally an oven.  Rolling down the windows does little to disperse the heat at these temperatures, the only savior is to roll all the windows down and step of the gas and hope the movement of the air is enough to keep you from passing out before the air conditioner kicks in enough to make you stop cursing under your breath.

At about the halfway mark on my ride home everything started to change.  The air ahead looked cloudy.  It took me a moment to realize it was dust blowing widly through the air from a nearby construction site.  Further down the road grey clouds blanketed the sky.  I glanced at the thermometer on my dash which was still above 100 ° and watched it started to drop.  The closer I got to the grey skies the more the tempature fell.

I drove on into the storm.  The rain started out lightly, a heaven sent gift.  The thermometer dipped into the 80°’s.  I continued on and the light rain turned violent with winds whipping around me in my little car.  Traffic slowed considerably as we battled to see a few hundred feet ahead and I braced myself as the vehment winds blew pinecones off trees and pelted my car and those around me.  A wild summer storm had developed out of no where and was now raveging my area.

Finally the storm lightened and I reached my homeward destination only to find the power out.  80° inside the house.  It’s been a long while since we’ve been through a power outage that lasted more than a few hours.  You forget how it feels. Luckily for us, my husband is somewhat of a genius and hooked up a battery to his industrial work fan so we could at least sleep under a breeze.  Sleep didn’t come easy with sticky air swirling around us.

About 3:30am I was awakened to a chorus of barking dogs, the usually unwelcome sound was music to my ears as I knew by the growl of our dog at the front window meant relief was on it’s way.


Switching to Non Toxic Household Cleaning One Step at a Time

I’ve been slowly transitioning from commercial cleaning products to natural cleaning products.  I can’t bring myself to throw away the ones we already have, and will continue to use them until they are gone (and let me tell you it takes years to go through a bottle of windex. . .) but I have stopped buying any new cleaners.  I have started cleaning with more natural products and using things I already have around the house to make my own!

For Bathroom Cleaning I mix up the following:
Dawn Dish Soap
3 drops of Lemon Essential Oils (Or if I’ve run out of the essential oils I use the juice of 1 whole lemon)

I fill a 16 oz bottle 3/4 of the way with vinegar, I then add about 1 TBSP of dawn dish soap and 3 drops of Lemon Essential Oil or the juice of a whole lemon in a bottle, shake it up and then squirt all over the bathroom counter and bathtub.  You would be amazed that using this cleaner, a washcloth and some elbow grease really does get the bathtub clean (even after multiple uses by one grubby toddler and a husband in construction.)

When You have a Handy Husband- You Talk about Floors then Tear down Walls Instead

When you have a handy husband your three day weekend starts off with a conversation about redoing the floors in your house.  During this discussion you mention that if you really want to to do the floors it would make more sense to tear down the partial wall in between the living room and the dining room before new floors went in because if that’s a project on the list.  Otherwise you would end up having to do the floors twice.  Your husband agrees and you can hear the excitement in his voice as he has been waiting on an okay to tear down some walls for a while.  He arranges for a friend to come help him undertake this endeavor.

The sheet rock gets taken off to expose shiplap and we carefully took off as much as we could  to reuse somewhere else in the house (I was also happy to see today that someone stopped by and salvaged the rest out of the trash pile to use in their own project.)  After that it was tearing down the wood frame that was there and then adding a bit of new framing for reinforcement.  It was amazingly simple and inexpensive and I’m almost sorry we waited so long as it changes the entire feel of the house.

We still have some more finishing to do, painting and adding trim, but all in all I’m excited with what was accomplished. . . This little 1950’s house is becoming more and more what we imagined when we moved in and it’s quite exciting.  The next project will be the floors, coming soon. . .10989170_10205609266283893_183742528957277561_n 17662_10205609617452672_6632948037998140884_n

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