Random 5 for October 21 – Frost, decisions, mice, cooking, wintering over

This is what our porch furniture looks like during the summer!

Frost on the pumpkin – We had our first frost this past week. The timing isn’t unusual. However, the temperatures again went from the mid-80s to the mid-50s in a matter of a day or two. We have been running either 15 degrees above or below normal all year. We are rarely seasonal. There were no weeks of lovely 70 degree fall weather. Jump right to flannel.

My pond in all its glory at the height of the season!

Closing up – The biggest problem with the crazy weather is knowing when to close up the pond and the porch. I have learned from experience to start the pond cleanup gradually in September. No one especially me, wants to go into the pond in November when the water temperature is in the 50’s. The porch is another kettle of fish. Bring in the cushions and cover the furniture too early and you find yourself with no place to have lunch on a beautiful warm October day. Wait too long and you freeze your patooder off. We did it this week. It was cold but it’s done. You know it’s time when the cats don’t hang out there anymore. Morgan is agitating to turn on the fireplace. She loves sleeping against it.

Have mouse? Will travel!

Speaking of Morgan – She got two mice this week. She gets them before there are any signs. No poop, scratched up packaging, nada. She leaves them dead in a nice package at the bottom of the basement stairs. No decapitations or half eaten bodies. Gotta love that cat!

It’s not only mice – There has been an invasion of critters looking for a warm 5-star resort to spend the winter. They are like retirees flocking to Florida. The ants sent in sentries to check out the accommodations. We made quick work of that and hung out the “no vacancy” sign. The fruit fly invasion seems to have run its course. The cats are always on patrol for anything that moves and could be a play toy. We have a resident basement spider that “monitors” insects too. Nature’s way.

I should know better – I look for cooking shortcuts. Easy peasy. (No, I don’t toss a can of condensed soup in everything.) I heard rave reviews for an upscale Chinese chain that sells their products in the frozen food section. I thought it would be great to serve a vegetable lo mein with some grilled chicken. I tried it this past week. Yikes! The seasoning was hot, hot, hot. I’ve never had spicy hot lo mein before. Not trying that company again!

So how was your week?

 

80 thoughts on “Random 5 for October 21 – Frost, decisions, mice, cooking, wintering over

  1. Pingback: Sassy cats – Mice, more mice and decomp | Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

  2. I LOVE spicy!! It sounds perfect 🙂

    Morgan has a good work ethic while Theo is slipping in his responsibilities. I discovered today that mice have moved into our basement too. I could hear them. So where was Theo? Sleeping upstairs 😕

    I am behind on my outdoor cleanup work for winter. I know I’m going to eventually regret this procrastination.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is hard to figure out when to do the winterizing when the weather is so weird! It’s warmer than usual in Anchorage as well. Good for Morgan! Nice that she is such a good mouser, and also not gross with the remains. That is very rare in a cat!

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    • I’ve seen one fruit fly this week. What has really changed is that there are no peaches on the counter! It’s funny how we start thinking about the holidays as soon as it gets very cold. It’s after the holidays that the winter gets long.

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  4. It’s been really cold here, and fall colors are escaping us. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a blizzard outside my window on Saturday. Yes, a BLIZZARD! I freaked out. Thankfully, it only lasted about twenty minutes and nothing stuck. Unfortunately, the leaves that hadn’t turned color yet had blown off many of the trees. Sunday was nice and sunny, but chilly. We took the dog to a forest preserve and still no colors. 😦

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  5. Last night was the first night with frost here. So in answer to your question about how was last week, I’ll say… boring. Gray skies, no pretty leaves on the trees, too early to close the screened-in porch for the season, BUT our lo mein from the local Chinese carryout was not spicy. So there’s that.

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  6. That paragraph about the incoming uninvited winter guests is hilarious. (Love the spider recognition)
    Been watching ant beds trying build up against the house brick weep holes so they can slip in between the brick and sheetrock for the winter.
    I love your pond – when you winterize it and your cats come in, that’s a sign winter is coming. It must have been fireplace weekend everywhere…wonder if the earth warmed up any due to extra glowing. We’ve managed 1-2 days of sun each week between drizzle and now chilly. Dog is thrilled. It’s good every living things find their joy, right?

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  7. Three days ago I was running the AC by 10am. This morning, it’s 42F, so we made one of our drastic flips. Some years we get nearly a month of Fall weather, other times it changes in an instant.

    Not doing the Halloween decor this year. Last year we went all out. Plastic Frankie and Drac out front, Cauldron on the porch. My first time living in a TrailerHood. We are now official Devil Worshipers according to half the park.
    I love your pond!

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    • I didn’t know that you had the big weather swings too. We have had some lovely extended falls but that’s not happening this year. Looking at the extended forecast there is no warming trend. I have a pumpkin on the porch and that’s it for me.

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  8. I love the synchronized napping – they look so comfy. Your pond is just beautiful – it must be a lot of work and I don’t blame you for closing it before having to deal with it once November gets here (even though it feels like November already). The mousies at the bottom of the stairs – oh my. But how nice to have a slayer of mice, bugs and crawly things – that would appeal to me a lot. Especially for the creepy-crawlies I am so terrified of.

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    • The pond is not really a lot of work. Open it, close it and keep tabs on the water. Not near as labor intensive as a pool. We had a weird bug last week. Looked like a desiccated lizard. We don’t have lizards here. Fortunately it was dead.

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      • See I didn’t know that Kate. I was assuming it would be like an aquarium and I knew someone who kept tropical fish – several aquariums, including a large tank at work, and I know there was a lot of maintenance so I figured it was the same for a pond. I learned something. That butterfly walk I went on last year – the woman had a beautiful pond with koi and I have to say that was the first time I’d seen an outside pond, before just saw pictures of them.

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          • We have a huge aquarium in Detroit at Belle Isle and each year they recruit volunteers to take buckets and gather the Koi fish to take inside for the year. It is a whole big event. Easier is nicer always in the garden – there is enough to do out there. I’m feeling badly for my “cat friend” Carol that I’ve mentioned to you before. She has decided not to go through with the radiation for the pituitary tumor – she was supposed to take Harley June to the local vet for Valium, then start the 5-hour trip to the large veterinary hospital for the surgery and radiation. She was going to stay there several days in a hotel. The money was not a factor – she would have done anything to save her. She is 12 years old. Felt badly when I read this message:

            Grief.
            Tomorrow morning I will take HJ in to be put to rest. Her pituitary tumor is very large and it’s not certain how well she’d do with daily anesthesia and the travel. They’re willing to try, but I don’t want to put her through any more than she has been through.
            My poor girl.
            Crying crying crying crying.

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              • I had to share it with you because I’ve mentioned her angst about Harley June these last few months. She had it to different vets, getting a second and even third opinion … one vet said it was Cushing’s Syndrome because her black fur was starting to turn brown. Carol said she had lost interest in everything and was listless and eyes staring straight ahead. Carol posted a second time showing us what the internist wrote her in an e-mail. She had been dogging him to please find a solution because everyone had a different opinion, but no one knew the cause. Carol’s husband lives in North Carolina – she only sees him a week in July and Christmas/New Years and no family (except her sister who is developmentally disabled and lives with her) so she’ll make the sad trip there alone. My neighbor went with me when I took Buddy, my canary, to the vet to be euthanized … he had a stroke. I have no family, and work from home, so I was very devastated. Here is what Carol posted after telling us about Harley June:

                I got an email just a while ago from the internist. Part of it:
                “You’ve done a tremendous job through the years (and even more so now) working with Harley June and keeping her comfortable and preserving her quality of life. If it gets to a point where that becomes too difficult to balance (for both her and you), please remember that a humane decision, despite being sad, is not an unreasonable thing to consider. I know you (and I) want to protect her well being as best as we can for as long as we can.”
                I’m sure part of that is form letter, but it was nice just the same especially since I’ve tortured the poor guy.

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    • Our fireplace went on over the weekend. It was cold and windy out. I’d love to be able to put window in our porch just for the winter and leave the cushions out there. With a nice sunny day warming it up, we’d be able to read out there.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The pond looked beautiful…perfect! It has not been the friendliness of summers or fall when it came to the weather. Trying to stay busy and not think about Mother Nature. Love that you are so kind to all kinds of critters. I am only kind to them if there are on the outside of my threshold! I even feel about about killing the spotted lantern fly…such a pretty bug…but so destructive. So they have to go.

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  10. P.F Chang’s does a wonderful frozen Beef and Broccoli. I just tried it out on 2 blogging friends and their husbands (I had been with them all day and did not want to miss any major parts of the conversation so I needed something quick and easy). Everyone seemed to love this (or they lied very, very well). I highly recommend this.
    PS – I added extra fresh broccoli and baby carrots — not needed – but fits in well if you are a veggie lover! And it contains no hot spices!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. We aren’t experiencing much colder weather yet, and in our “hot” climate we can’t put real pumpkins on our porches. They’d rot! So we have some lovely replicas. Isn’t that hysterical? We have to at least pretend we can play along with the season. We had raccoons in our pond this week and they thrashed our lilies to shreds, but this happens every year about this time. Strange fall ritual! Go Morgan! I could use the help…I’ve seen evidence. 🙂

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    • I always worry about raccoons and our pond. We have them. I see them on the bird feeders but I’ve never seen any pond damage. Fingers crossed. Next year I am going to get a wood pumpkin to display. We are set back from the street so I need to get a very large one and they are getting very expensive. I’ll still get a smaller one for the squirrels.

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    • It was PF Change but another person commented on how good something else in the brand was, maybe it’s not an indictment of everything they make. Send your summery fall here. Throughout the entire year we never had those wonderful 70+ degree days where you aren’t sweating or freezing your butt off. We went from winter to summer and now it seems we are going back to winter.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I always look at those PF Chang dishes in the freezer case, but because they aren’t gluten free (I believe) I haven’t bought any. But sometimes I buy non GF frozen stuff to eat myself. I ought to try one and chime in haha. We eat at PF chang restaurants fairly often because they are so reliable at serving gluten free food! It’s been in the 80s here and dry (80s is a lot hotter when it’s humid) so it’s a very soft and pleasant air.

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  12. I’d probably go by the cats not using the porch because I’m a soft touch for cat preferences–LOL! The pond–you’re smart to get an early start.

    I had a cat once who would bring the mouse-gift to lay at my feet no matter where I was: having company over for dinner, on the toilet, in bed–didn’t matter to her. She’s find me because I praised her lavishly. Yes, fall was gift-giving time supreme when I lived in the country. No mice all winter. She was worth her weight in gold. 🙂

    Love seeing pics of your clowder. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • What I love about this group of cats is that they get along. Once in a while there will be a skirmish but they don’t fight over food or places to sleep. They can be in the same room at the same time too. Not all cats are that great.

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  13. I know that fall is almost here because we went for a bike ride at High Noon without melting! 😀

    Glad that Morgan is making mincemeat of those mousies . . . without beheading them! Tell Morgan to enjoy his well earned rest before the fire!

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  14. It’s great that you have such a talented mouser! We have no mice or ants this fall, but the crickets seemed to have found us. Our mouser doesn’t know what to do with them. She usually pulls the legs off the poor things in the middle of the night then leaves them about. Ew.

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  15. We neglected to bring in our cushions from the porch last fall because, well, we live in Florida. So keep them out there all year, right? But the problem is that we live in northern Florida and so we had all kinds of wet and cool/cold temperatures last winter. To our great surprise (ignorance) the cushions were all moldy in the spring. We’re bringing them in for the winter in another few weeks. – Marty

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    • I didn’t realize there was such a difference between northern and southern Florida. We had such a wet and weird summer that our one decorative pillows had some mildew on it. Fortunately I could wash it. The cushions were ok.

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  16. Gosh, it seems like pond season comes and goes in a flash. Like you guys, we went from hot and humid to cold. I’ll be putting on the flannel sheets soon. Big game today…of course, I won’t be pulling for the Panthers despite living in cat country. 🙂

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  17. Always sad to hear that it is time to close up your pond. And the closing up of the porch is a BIG sad but if it means the Sassy Cats can cozy up to the fire that makes it okay… 🙂 Love the top picture… that is contentment cat style! Your cold weather fronts are slowly slipping down our way and cooling off the nights and lowering the dew points… Yay! Morgan is such a good girl… 🙂

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  18. Miserable week nurturing a cold, which Hubby has now got 😦
    I was nominated for the Sunshine Bloggers Award, and would like to pass it on to you by proxy (I believe you are award free) as your posts always raise a smile and I consider you a friend as well as fellow blogger.

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