Puttery Treats For the End of Summer

August is a month tinged with preemptive mourning: a premature goodbye to warm days and late nights. Parting is such sweet sorrow: Summer is so wholly anticipated it is always a wrench to leave it behind and yet parts of us yearn for the drawing in of the night, for leaves bleached orange and the splash of little wellies through Autumnal puddles.  In the house we are faced with the remnants of hot days and holidays. The collation of all that we will need to re-enter real life. Rooms neglected in favor of the garden. And though the next Seasonal Scrub cannot be far away (check the September calendar me darlings!), we need a set of little treats to help us make the transition between August and (0h bliss!) September...

* Decorate a set of brown paper bags for a September packed with cheery, charming lunches.

* Mark out a date on your calendar to plan the season. Note events and celebrations on your calendar, plan new seasonal rituals and routines, create an intention board and make mission lists of all that you would like to achieve within the next three months.

* Celebrate Lammas by trying out a range of new bread recipes. Anyone for Beet bread?

* Plan a First Day Back at School breakfast party complete with streamers, muffins, juice and a teeny extra special little something for their pencil cases.

* Start auditing Summer clothes as they appear in the laundry room, tossing, recycling or giving or putting away as necessary until only the bare minimum of each family members Summer wardrobe remains in circulation.

* Stitch a set of pretty, oilcloth sandwich wraps...

* Eat a high tea of celery and cheese after A.A. Milne in his lovely essay on Autumn in Not That It Matters.

* Print out a Meet My Teacher sheet from At Whit's End, and prepare to ask new form teachers to fill it out for nervous little ones...

* Print out Back to School morning routines for children to ever so slightly ease the pressure on busy September mornings...

* Clear a shelf in the pantry for your very own harvest, gathered if necessary at farmers markets and artisan food stores.

* Add a countdown to Christmas app to your phone. It helps to have a sense of urgency when it comes to seasonal celebration don't you know?

* Use this wonderful list to plan a season full of bedtime reading with the kids.

* Start the search for a craft project that will see you through Autumn. Create a Pinterest file and fill it full of creative possibility...

* Rent the movie "Harvest" (2010), and watch it with a vast terracotta bowl of salt and vinegar popcorn.

* Capture the healing power of Summer in a jar when you buy a pot of +10UMF (the rating for therapeutic honey) Manuka honey to help you flight the flood of Autumnal colds and back to school tummy bugs.

* Bake gingerbread ladies and dress then in polka dot icing bikinis. The perfect after school treat for an Indian Summer...

* Sew autumnal printed vintage hankerchiefs on to plain aprons for a dash of old-fashioned pattern.

* Make the most of the farmers harvest by eating a vegetarian diet for at least four nights out of seven...

* Treat yourself to a new garden brush and thoroughly sweep every square foot of it. The purchase of a new stiff bristled garden brush should be a late Summer ritual for all of us.

* Make blackberry, mint and lime fruit leather...

* Start the whole family on a course of echinacea for the next eight weeks, then take two weeks off and repeat the cycle throughout Autumn into Winter to build immunity...

* Start knitting the pretty vintage equivalent of a Doctor Who style striped scarf.... knit in lengths of lace and ribbon, stitch with tiny buttons and add a crocheted fringe...

* Stitch coordinating corduroy or denim pockets on to light Summer dresses and prepare to wear them with long-sleeved vests, lace collars and tights as the weather starts to cool down...

* Follow this easy tutorial to make a lavender bottle for your bedroom...

* Set up a large wicker basket in the pantry or kitchen to fill with seasonal vegetables and inspire you to use them in as many meals as possible.

* Light a fire in the garden and sit out until the early hours with warm ginger tea and plenty of blankets.

* Fill Summer suitcases with small camping equipment, beach accessories, towels and clothes for easy storage.

* Make a long list of lunch box ideas in your food journal.

* Channel your inner Victorian lady by downloading and devouring all of the Godey's Lady's Books you can find online.  Start with this lovely September issue...

Happy Puttering Sweetie!

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