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Fall is on the way, summer is nearly over and winter is coming!

Aug 25 2017 -
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Ever heard the term “Winter is coming.”? Well, before George RR Martin wrote Game of Thrones and it got made into a tv show, Minnesotan’s had been saying it FOREVER and with the same dark, brooding and depressed tone. Fall is really on its way and here in northern MN we’ve been experiencing a cold snap that was only supposed to last the first week or two of August… Well, it just keeps on going and I think we’re all watching the forecast getting more and more gloomy. It is still nice here, really we can’t complain, but I do believe our swimming, tubing and lake days are basically done. With temperatures dropping down in the 50s and 40s at night, even with highs in the 70s, our summer activities are rapidly coming to a close.

Fall winter is coming to northern Minnesota, harvesting the garden, finishing the to do list, looking forward to the pumpkin festival and missing summer

I am holding out on the promise I read by weather forecasters that we’re looking forward to a long and warm fall. (Why do I even read this stuff? Its not like my hoping for nice weather is gonna change anything!) Remember last year? I have a picture of Joe and I sitting by our fire pit in November on a 72 degree day and then, five days later, we got over two feet of snow! Regardless of what kind of fall and winter we are actually going to experience I am beginning to feel (and see in the people around me and in our town) the beginning frantic scramble before winter hits to get our summer to-do lists complete.

Winter is coming to northern Minnesota, harvesting the garden, finishing the to do list, looking forward to the pumpkin festival and missing summer already

“What do people who don’t have winter do in the fall?” None of us know! We live by the finicky mistress that is the weather and there isn’t a person who lives in a northern climate who doesn’t have a very different life in the summer compared to that in the winter. Summer we run so hard and are so incredibly busy and then winter we’re all losing our minds out of boredom. Joe is tackling our wood situation because we do NOT have enough stacked yet for winter and I’ve been splitting my free time between helping him and building things for our deck 🙂 Can’t wait to show you!! My list for the deck is as follows: Built-in bench, Two Sun Loungers, End table with built-in cooler/planter, Deck rails and Deck gates. So far, I’ve built the bench and the sun loungers! I’ll be sharing them on the blog here in a few weeks.

Fall winter is coming to northern Minnesota, harvesting the garden, finishing the to do list, looking forward to the pumpkin festival and missing summer

With our 2 year anniversary approaching (September 5th – which also happens to be our 4 year anniversary since we started seeing each other) Joe and I are going to squeeze one more night of camping in even if it kills us… The weekend before our anniversary there is one more “summer” festival in a little town near us that neither of us has ever had the chance to attend. So, we’re going to camp in the forest and party in the street! How many blankets and layers of clothing do I plan on bringing? Oh, its going to fill the back of my car for sure. Even when we camped over July 4th I woke up at dawn with frost on my nose and my teeth chattering while Joe slept blissfully beside me, totally unaffected: he’s a real northern man.

I am already missing summer. August is usually our hottest and driest month and losing that this year seems to have taken a serious bite out of our summer and I don’t think I’m going to get over it any time soon. Joe and I don’t have air conditioning and I can remember at least two months of 80 degrees in our bedroom at night last year. About the time I got used to it this year the temperatures plummeted. Yup, I miss it. Meanwhile Joe is gearing up for his bow hunting season to open and I am preparing myself for the all consuming months of my husband spending every waking moment in the woods (or talking about it) and my waiting for the hard work of butchering the results and freezing it for next year.

Fall winter is coming to northern Minnesota, harvesting the garden, finishing the to do list, looking forward to the pumpkin festival and missing summer

I’m forcing myself to focus on the things I’m looking forward to in the fall. Something new I’m going to try is rendering venison fat into tallow! I’m going to use it to try my hand at making soap this winter and making suet for the birds and I’m also hoping the tallow will be tasty enough to use as cooking oil too so we don’t have to buy it! We shall see if any of it turns out I’ll definitely let you guys know 🙂 Also with fall comes a quieter time for all of us with less events to go to, less family gatherings scheduled and a lot more time to work on the projects we were hoping to get done this summer. Fall will bring me the final completion of our deck which is something I’ve been wanting to complete since we moved in 2 years ago!

Fall winter is coming to northern Minnesota, harvesting the garden, finishing the to do list, looking forward to the pumpkin festival and missing summer

Fall also brings us the pumpkin festival that Joe and I take a date to every year… Are we the only adults without kids just going cause we enjoy it? Probably… and that’s really very cool with us 🙂 We hold hands and sip apple cider and I cuddle with him on the wagon ride as we admire the pumpkins. It is one of the things Joe and I set aside just for us, like a secret no one else gets to know about. I think all couples have these things that trademark them and this year I think Joe and I might have added another one. Twice we sneaked down to the lake and floated on our tubes in the sunshine, just the two of us (when we should have been working on our to-do-list) and it was wonderful. I was really hoping to have one more chance at that this summer and that might just be why I am so bummed that it seems to be over. Ten months is an awfully long time to wait to get to float again!

All the pics I’m sharing today are of our bountiful little garden! Our peas kinda died off with my horse and I sharing the dozen or so that were produced (he ate the shells while I ate the peas.) The cucumbers, green beans and tomatoes however just keep getting better and growing more and more produce. We’ve already had several meals of green beans and with organic green beans going at $5 a pound – they have already paid for themselves several times over. I just read a post that said now is when all gardeners are planning for next year instead of weeding their current gardens like they should be… lol GUILTY! Joe and I already have next years garden all planned out! One night we ate a meal of venison steaks, green beans and fresh cucumbers and I finally got to know what it felt like to have harvested or grown an entire meal all by ourselves. It was awesome 🙂

Fall winter is coming to northern Minnesota, harvesting the garden, finishing the to do list, looking forward to the pumpkin festival and missing summer

There’s a couple of very exciting things on the blog that are going on. The first one just happened: we hosted our 50th To Grandma’s House we go link party! Ohmygoodness 50 weeks of wonderful DIY shares, recipes and crafts! When I started the link party I certainly hoped it would get this big but with the addition of my two co-hosts it has taken on a wonderful life of its own 🙂 Thank you Kate and Stephanie I couldn’t have done it without you two and all of your hard work! And coming up next week a first for me in the blogging sphere: me and five other DIY bloggers will be sharing a compilation of themed projects on the first Friday of every month for the next FOUR months. The projects have already forced me to flex my creativity and try things I have NEVER tried before! You can read all about it here: Farmhouse Friends Decorate.

Fall winter is coming to northern Minnesota, harvesting the garden, finishing the to do list, looking forward to the pumpkin festival and missing summer

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Iris Nacole
Making a shoe rack and closet storage out an old ladder

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