Thursday, 17 August 2017

Autumn 2017 Bucket List

I got into autumn mode at Lughnasadh, the first harvest of the year. While the people around me are trying to squeeze in every last bit of summer they can, I'm digging out my hoodies and getting into the swing of fall. Here are a few things I'm excited about doing this autumn:

1. Pick my own apples. There's a pick-your-own farm not far away. Jay and I try to go every year and usually come back with a massive haul. We're already planning this year's trip. I can't wait!

2. Make apple cider. I miss being able to pick this up anywhere but it's relatively easy to make, at least in small doses. I'm collecting plans for apple presses. Maybe I'll be posting about that soon? Depends on if I can beg Jay's bestie to make one for me...
3. Bake a pie. Jay and I have never baked a pie before. Ever. It's about time we did! You know... I say this every year. We've have GOT to try this!
4. Make caramel apples. Mmm.... caramel apples. I'm thinking of the sliced, on sucker sticks kind.
5. Make apple butter. I'm so lucky to have the amazing friends that I do. I've totally had my apple butter fix this year, thanks to my oldest friend, Rae, but I've been dying to try making my own. I remember we did it once in elementary school. Huh. I was just thinking that I'll need the same amount of adult supervision this time. 😁
6. Enjoy some apple sauce. Jay's mom made apple sauce every week, on Sunday, when she was alive and passed down her methods to us. Since they don't sell apple sauce in the stores here, like they do in America, it's nice to be able to make this whenever we want.
7. Visit a pumpkin patch. Or at least a farm selling pumpkins. Pumpkin patches are pretty rare here. If you're in Wales and actually know of a pumpkin patch, please let me know!

8. Carve pumpkins. I keep threatening to make my husband buy me 31 pumpkins so I can carve one every day of October. He thinks I'm joking... Lol.
9. Nom on some pumpkin seeds. Love, love, love my pumpkin seeds. Why can't I just buy a big ass bag of salty pumpkin seeds? *drool*
✅10. Eat candy corn until I feel sick. Er... um... who wants to send me some? 😇
11. Make home made soup. My mother-in-law used to make a good vegetable beef soup but neither Jay nor I ever learned to make it. Guess we'd better come up with our own recipe, eh?
12. Enjoy a steaming mug of hot chocolate. Or two. Or twelve. Wondra's Special Hot Chocolate is the best.

13. Have a picnic. While it's cool but not cold. It'll be a trick, doing it with the three mutt-skateers, but should be interesting.
✅14. Watch my favourite fall movies. Already started! This year, I'm on the hunt for autumn movies I haven't seen. Got any suggestions?
15. Bake cookies. What's better on a chilly day than a melt-in-your-mouth cookie, straight from the oven? I'm thinking these babies look good. What about you? Do you have any favourite autumn cookie recipes to share? I'd love to try them!
16. Hand out Halloween candy. Funny story. We actually HAD A TICK-OR-TREATER last year! 😲 But, because we hadn't had one in over ten years, we weren't home. We'd gotten bored and wandered off. Never again! Castle Vanian welcomes all trick-or-treaters!
17. Do something witchy. This time of the year always makes me feel witchier. I especially love leaf spells.
18. Send a letter to an old friend. Snail mail. Autumn reminds of those first days back at school after summer vacation, and the excitement of catching up with friends. That feeling doesn't have to stop now that we're (supposedly) grown up. Write a letter to an old friend and reconnect. I will too.
19. Take a long walk. Enjoy the changing leaves, the crisp wind, and the golden glow that come with autumn. This is an especially great time for people, like me, with social anxiety. The kiddies are all back in school, which means less stress. (Yes, I am a grumpy, old woman.)

✅20. Take a scenic drive - with no destination. With petrol prices so high these days we never just go out to go out. It would be lovely to drive around and see how the changing season has affected the rest of the country - if we get the chance.
✅21. Spend a night watching scary movies. Time to cuddle up under a warm blanket and scare the crap out of ourselves! We watch a horror movie most nights, here at Castle Vanian, but I'd love to have a proper horror movie marathon one night.
✅22. Watch a football game. American football, of course. You wouldn't think it but I'm a huge NFL fan. Go, Pats!
23. Play in the rain. Autumn in Britain is definitely the rainy season. Since we can't avoid the rain, we might as well go out and play in it!
✅24. Stay warm in flannel. Flannel is so snuggly and warm and it just screams cold weather. I've got a stack of flannel shirts, just begging to be worn. Let's do this...
✅25. Play in the leaves. I love the crunch of fallen leaves and I can't help kicking them up as I walk.
26. Leaf art. Instead of just sticking them in a big old book, it's time to get creative. I especially want to try a leaf bowl. What are your favourite leafy crafts?
✅27. Photograph the leaves. Although we don't get the vibrant reds and oranges that I'm used to, Wales in autumn is still beautiful.

✅28. Write poetry. I always get a little more poetic this time of the year. Keep an eye on this blog for some of my (terrible) autumn poetry.
29. Knit. I'm not a particularly skilled at knitting but now is the time to practice. Scarves for everyone!
✅30. Crochet. I've got two crochet blankets already in progress so the first step is getting those finished. Then? We'll see. Got a fun crochet project to share? Drop it in the comments below.
31. Visit a craft fayre/farmer's market. Support local artists, crafters and farmers this autumn!
32. Dress up. I love dressing up for Halloween. (It's one of those things you become obsessed with when your birthday is Halloween.) I don't have a costume yet for this year. What should I be?

33. Make a scarecrow. In time for Mabon. This is one of my favs. Do you put up a scarecrow in the fall? Do you make your own or buy one?
34. Upcycle clothes. Especially sweaters. I love turned old kiddie sweaters into hats. This year, I want to make mittens from an old sweater.
35. Make doggy sweaters. It's nippy 'round here this time of year - and poor Blod's nipples touch the ground! 😨
36. Stock up on fingerless gloves/wristwarmers. I'm thinking that I need to make a whole bunch of wristwarmers and buy a bunch of cheap gloves to cut the tips off of. Cold weather really bothers my poor arthritic hands so I need to keep them warm, even while typing.
✅37. Bake a lovely crumble. We just couldn't wait for this one! What are your favourite fillings for a crumble? Apple is good but I'd love to try something new.
38. Pick blackberries. They grow wild around here. Like, in our garden. All over our garden. Our garden is basically a blackberry patch. We might be in danger of being eaten by blackberries...
✅39. Spend a day reading. Because autumn is a perfect time for it. I've had a hard time concentrating on one book long enough to finish it lately (It's "symptomatic of the disease".) so I've got a few to finish. Maybe I'll actually hit my reading goal this year?

40. Perform Random Acts of Kindness. Not exactly autumn-themed, I know, but it needs to be done. Especially with all the hate in the world right now.
41. Cook Thanksgiving dinner. I force my husband to celebrate Thanksgiving every year. Downside? It's the one meal he insists I cook myself. *gulp*
42. Have an autumn photo shoot. I'd like to shoot some models in the fall but I'd also like to have some photos of me/Jay done. Takers?

I feel like this list gets bigger every year! Did I forget anything? What's on your bucket list for autumn?

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