September First marked Meteorological Fall! And the Autumnal Equinox is not far off. So. it’s time to share my annual Fall Planner. This year, I’m tasking myself with as many things to do in one season as there are weeks in a year.
52 Things for Fall 2022
Art Gallery Work Days
Since we have a family membership at my favourite art gallery, I’ll bring work-work as well as my own writing projects on the laptop and get things accomplished [both professional and creative] in the museum’s many “salons,” cafés, and parks, and in the members lounge.
Basement Bathroom Facelift
With one family member in university and another in grade 12, there’s no way we can afford a basement bathroom renovation. But we can do a little zhooshing in small stints as we save up for that bigger fix.
Bring Hardy Plants Indoors
Time to crowd the indoor-outdoor plants in and amongst the indoor-only plants at the one sunny window in the house.
Canning: the Fall Fruits and Savouries edition
So many people have been making chutneys and posting their jars online that I’m dying to try. So send me all of your chutney recipes and your savoury jams. It’s fall canning time!
Coat Closet Clean-out
Due to a lack of “going out,” we haven’t cleared out and reorganized the front coat closet in a few years. This is going to require music. And wine, maybe.
Contemporary Dance Classes
I’m loving evening, in-person dance classes at The Pink Studio. They’re an amazing way to unwind.
Dinners From Scratch [Eliminate Delivery!]
We got into some bad habits during the pandemic, particularly ordering dinners delivered to the house. Since we came back from our August trip to Montreal, however, we’ve been cooking up a storm. Here’s to most, if not all, fall suppers from scratch! And since groceries are so darn expensive, it will be an extra challenge to make healthy, filling meals on a budget.
Evening Strolls and Star-Gazing
I am such a morning walker that sometimes I forget what a night stroll can do for the soul, especially when you’re with your partner.
Explore Surrealism [Again]
I’m just really missing some people. And surrealism[s] is[are] the answer[s].
Fall Sewing Playbook
Stay tuned for my Fall Sewing Plans, of which I have many. Too many.
Farmers’ Markets / Flowers on the Table
Visit as many Farmers’ Markets as possible for local produce and staples. The prices have been comparable to grocery stores, these days, if not lower. So, why not, indeed, shop local? If possible, fill the table with flowers from these markets….at least, once a month.
Great Big Garden Clean-Up
Putting the gardens to bed for winter is NOT my favourite task. I tend to leave as much as possible, claiming the fallen leaves, etc, will function as additional compost or mulch, and that ALL dead things provide “winter interest.” This, however, is rarely the case. And I find myself, in Spring, cleaning up piles of dead leaves and mushy seed pods which could have been collected or saved. This year, I’ll create a mulching area, collect seeds from plants in need of deadheading, and do a better job of clearing before the first snowfall. My 2023 self will thank me.
Handmade Tablecloth and Napkins
Our vintage dining table has seen better days. And we still haven’t gotten around to having the top restored and re-stained. [Too late for a DIY at this point, I’m afraid.] I’ve seen some really awesome handmade tablecloths with embroidered hands and plates or printed with blocks. And I’m hoping to create or thrift and update a few tablecloths to use everyday instead of just on holiday. We already use cloth napkins. But, of course, we’ll need coordinating serviettes!
More of it. And with fancy pens. On fabulous stationery.
Hike Through The Fall Colours
Time to hit all of the local trails, and perhaps explore new ones.
Intermediate Serger Skills
I feel as if my serger skills are at a stand-still. I’m great with finishing edges [that won’t be seen] for garment sewing. But I’d really like to learn fancier edge stitches for handkerchiefs [I’m a collector] and those table linens. Time to take a class, or watch some videos, or read one of the books I already own.
Jackets for Friends
Sewing isn’t just for me anymore! I’ve finally started sewing for friends and family. I’m determined to make some Wiksten Unfolding Jackets for three of my besties before our fall get-together!
Jump-Scare Weight Lifting
I’m keen on combining my seasonal appreciation of scary movies with a more consistent practice of heavy lifting. If you can’t escape the movie monster, might as well have some muscle to defend yourself…as long as you don’t drop a dumbbell on your own foot.
I have a feeling Toronto wind-fest coincides with some of my travel plans [travel plans!] this year But I’m bound and determined to make a little stick and tissue paper kite and fly it up this season.
Ladies Weekend at the Cove
All of it. I am here [and will be there] for all of it.
Lakeside High Tea
Fall isn’t only for picnics in the woods. [Although I’ll take that too!] This year, once the wasps have vanished, I’ll head down to the beach for a fancy tea.
Live Music! Concerts!
I’m finally ready for a crowd. And live music is the best reason to be with other people.
Make a Traveler’s Garment Bag
Inspired by some gorgeous handmade garment bags I saw on a certain someone’s Insta stories, I’m interested in making a garment bag to carry all of my handmade dresses on vacation. The one I envision can fold or zip into something of a duffel [such that the dress bag creates a storage area for travel essentials] and has a shoulder strap for portability.
Who isn’t sore? And I still have my entire insurance budget [okay, that’s only one or two massages] for the year.
Mulch the New Garden
Having broken up a new part of the backyard grass for a flowering Dogwood tree, a rhododendron, and a few hardy perennials, it’s time to mulch the new area [and the whole back garden, really], creating a clear outline of the bed[s] before it snows and we have to shovel goat paths for the dog and to access the wyrdshed.
New Piano Pieces
Choosing them. Figuring out the fingering. Changing the fingering. Creating a dynamic plan. Learning the pieces slowly. Changing the dynamic plan. Okay, and occasionally playing through when you should just be learning a few measures at a time.
Nineties Wool Coat Redux
I had a wool coat that I bought at Contempo Casuals at the start of University and which I finally wore to tatters [20 years later] towards the end of my second pregnancy. I’d like to recreate that coat, and perhaps upgrade it, replacing the cheesy embroidery motif on the band and pockets with hand-embroidery or bespoke ribbon, and by adding a hood!
Order and Plant Bulbs
I’d like to fill in a few holes in the front garden. But I haven’t planted bulbs in the back garden since about 2010, and there’s maybe ONE blind daffodil surviving. This is going to be as much fun to plan as to implement, if not more so!
Pick Local Apples
If we can’t make it all the way out to our favourite orchard for pie apples this Thanksgiving, we’ll do our best to “pick” local once again at the weekly markets. Or, perhaps, we’ll forage a few crabapples for jelly?
Picnic in the Woods
Since I’m moving my fall high tea to the beach, I’ll be bringing a huge picnic to the woods. Perhaps it’ll turn into a full day of “camping.” Who knows?
Pillows for the Couch
You know how you house-sit for a friend or visit an AirBnB and you fall in love with the sheer number and softness of the awesome, artsy pillows they have piled on the couch? Yeah, that was me this summer. Time to plump it up at home.
The most wonderful time of the year…aside from Christmas day.
I have a bit of an outline or theme for a chapbook this year. And I’m excited to begin!
Prep and Paint Indoor Stair Treads & Trim
Confession: We haven’t painted most of the walls in this house since we did the whole Shazam after taking possession in 2009. Well, not the whole Shazam. We never painted the trim and treads on the main indoor stairwell. And boy do they need it now. Time to caulk and otherwise prep and paint the main staircase treads and trim. I wouldn’t be surprised if this leads me to paint the entire entrance and hallway white. Ut ohhhh!
For Bea. With ridiculous amounts of whipped cream. Always.
I’ve taken a quilt piecing workshop and done some of my own basic quilting for garment projects, but I’ve yet to learn how to apply batting and a backing, how to quilt the top, and how to bind the edges. Time to sign up for a workshop, maybe, or watch a series of youtube vids.
Repaint the Bedroom Ceiling & Accent Wall
I don’t want to talk about it, but it needs to be done.
Sauna Sauna Sauna Sauna Sauna
Russian sauna. Spa Sauna. Gym Sauna. Aufguss. Hell, your basement sauna. Sign me the eff up.
Spiked Apple Cider
Honestly, I haven’t spiked an apple cider since we put cinnamon Schnapps in a big pot of apple juice at one of our keggers in university. [With thanks to our neighbours, half the Northwestern football team, for carrying our kegs up the steps.] There must be a better way, than the Schnapps, I mean. And I’d certainly be happy if said spiked cider coincided with watching some U.S. College Football. Go Cats!
Stratford Long Weekend
I’m really excited to get together with my dearest friend from over the border for a long-awaited reunion in one of my happy places and to catch a show at the renovated Tom Patterson theatre. One of our favourite Stratford restaurants closed and, sadly, our go-to family motel burnt to the ground, so it’s definitely time to explore Stratford as if we’d never visited before!
Swim at Secret Beach
What happens at secret beach stays at secret beach.
Tarot and Tea Leaves
I mean, what is all this witchy stuff for if you’re not gonna use it?
Thanksgiving Weekend Made Easy?
Get out the good china, maybe, but don’t do too much cooking. This may be one occasion on which we break with our “make dinner from scratch” mantra and order takeout. Ohh, or should we make Peking Duck from scratch again this year?
Failed to do it last year, so it’s back on the list: find someone to trim the backyard trees and to teach us proper maintenance.
Actually, I don’t care if it’s tufted. I want to make a foam upholstered headboard-slash-giant-pillow to fit into the odd space behind the bed, 2/3 of which is a sticky-outey-chimney, 1/3 futher-away-wall.
University Care Packages
This was a major hit last year. Can’t stop. Won’t stop. Though I don’t think I need to repeat “Sock-tober.” Maybe something more Halloweeny, then.
Upgrade Budgeting Skills
Read a few new budgeting books and “leave them out” [ie toss them on bed-pillows] for the young people to read.
No budget for a hotel staycation. Time for fiction and poetry weekends at home in the wyrdshed. I mean, what’s a #wyrdshed for?
Xeroxed Nature: Cyanotype Printing
I am so going to cyanotype some fabric with fall flowers and leaves. This is so going to happen.
Yellowstone & All Creatures Copycat Looks
I’m obsessed with the fashions from both the TV Series Yellowstone [give me all of Beth’s outfits! Especially her plaid flannel bias-cut slip dress and soft cardigan] and the PBS remake of All Creatures Great and Small [Helen’s overalls and that red linen skirt with insanely sophisticated pockets!] Re this particular set of sewing projects, and of fall 2022 in general: #ilovethisjourneyforme
Zen Out: Walk a Labyrinth
When we were in Montreal, I found the most insane meditative labyrinth, in that it was neither concentric nor seemingly uniform in shape, as are most I’ve walked. This jagged child’s sketch of a labyrinth came with its own charming street sign, or map [sign pictured at the top, the path itself, below]. And it was probably the most relaxing labyrinth I’ve taken. I know of a few labyrinths in the city. And I’ll be seeking these out [and searching for more] throughout the season.
I love this!!