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Thursday, November 5, 2015

While these balmy days and nights feel like someone forgot to shut summer off—and I’m not complaining, mind you, it feels like there’s a bit of ominous-ity lurking in the shadows as well. (I know. That’s not really a word, but… you get my point.) Tell me you haven’t thought it too, that we’re being primed, maybe even appeased, before the real stuff hits in a few weeks. Hmm! Probably so, but we’ll take it.

We’ve been raking leaves, and blowing leaves, and yes—missing all the leaves that, until just a couple of weeks ago, shaded BackPorch like a lovely tree-house. It feels exposed out there now, nothing but bare branches and skeletal silhouettes. It even feels windier than usual with no leafy branches to protect us now.

Ah well, ‘tis the season—time for inside pursuits. Time to cozy the nest, break out the quilts and cozies, bring in a good supply of wood for the fire and well… make lists. And a list maker I am: To-do lists, to-make lists, restock pantry lists, holiday lists, winter-project lists and… the list goes on. At some point, I will need to get up and be a do-er, I know, of all that’s on these lists!

Lady Fivelina is a do-er. I’m not sure if she makes lists or not, but really, how else would she keep track of all her responsibilities? I’ll bet when the little ones are tucked away for the night, and Sir Fivel is whittling some wood creation by the fire, she sits in her rocker, sipping her tea, a pad of paper on her lap and a wee pencil stub ready in her hand, just jotting it all down in good order!

Of course MouseHouse Village is a busy place this time of year too. They are preparing for their Harvest Feast when friends and family will gather, each bringing an offering for the table. The children are already planning their day of games—indoor or out, weather permitting, and the ladies are thinking about which recipes to share and looking forward to catching-up with each other. A good time will be had by all before they settle in for the long winter ahead.

There’s been lovely aromas wafting from MouseHouse of late: dried berry tarts and corn bread loaves baking, pumpkin seeds roasting, and if I know Lady Fivelina, each item is then carefully wrapped and stored for the festivities ahead.

Bic and Ben, already becoming young men-mouselings, are helping their father in the woodshop after school these days, and just recently they’ve been working on another bench for the long tables at SchoolHouse, to use for the Harvest Feast. Bic still struggles to keep his mischief-mode in check, but little by little—and after not a few hard knocks—he’s learning. Ben, the soberer of the two, but also the most easily led by said-mischief maker, is learning self-discipline. As most will agree, that’s a life-time feat for most of us!

Bitsy is growing into a lovely young lady-mouseling, excelling in her needlework and baking skills as well. Fivelina appreciates her help these days, with all of the extra cooking and baking going on. Bitsy babysits for her sister, Betina’s quadruplets after school each day, and yes, she remains somewhat shy and demure much like her mama.

Miss Winklesnout and Tina are doing well after their adventuresome summer. They too are well prepared by now for the cold and winter-weather ahead, their little cottage well-plumped with pretty quilts and cushions, cozy braided-fiber rugs on the floors and their larder well-stocked. They are both changed-for-the-better after Tina’s runaway experience. It brought them closer and both now realize the importance of communicating their thoughts and concerns with each other.

Well now, speaking of lists, I’m realizing that I need to make a Thanksgiving Dinner grocery list, and then the prep-for-guests list, oh and the flower arrangements and decoration list. Goodness! I better get to it!  Let me just put the kettle on…