Thursday, October 7, 2010

Raking It In

I love the fall season.  It is that fantastic time of year where jeans and a t-shirt is the perfect outfit.  The season where you can go outside without sweating to death or getting frostbite.  I love the smell of cinnamon, and the taste of almost all things "pumpkin spice".  The period in time where baseball season and football season overlap.  It is my favorite in almost every way.

I have few drawbacks to this time of year.  I know I shouldn't eat the delicious smelling, spicy tasting, treats that typically accompany this time of year - so that is a tiny one.  I think the biggest negative, for me at least, to this time of year is: raking.  I hate raking.  I don't know what it is about it, exactly.  I love the feeling of looking at the clean lawn when you are done, and the feeling of accomplishment that it provides.  Maybe I don't like it because I always feel like there are "critters" in the leaves, just waiting for me to pick up an armload of leaves, so they can jump out at me.  Wait!  Raking is second from the bottom!  All of the "critters" trying to get inside to stay warm is the worst part about this time of year!  (I have a nearly crippling phobia when it comes to mice.  I had a very traumatic experience in 2006.  I won't bore you with the details, but it was horrible!!)  I am hoping I don't have to deal with that this year.  If I do, I will try and embrace the experience for the "cardio" it will provide me while I am running away!!

It was 75 degrees on Wednesday, so I decided it would be a great day to do some outside clean up.  I yanked the dead flowers out of the pots, and hauled them down to the basement.  Since starting my house-sitting "job", this has been my biggest fear - falling down the stairs while hauling pots.  Not to worry!  We are all still in one piece!  A couple of them are pretty heavy - and I have now earned the name "Schwarzenegger" from Keith (the owner of this dwelling) for being so mighty!  Shout out to YC for getting me ready for the challenge!

I pulled some weeds, which have super-strength of their own thanks to the amount of rain we had this year - and then raked the front yard.  I found that Keith has the smallest rake ever made!  There were times it felt like it might go faster if I used one of those tiny gardening hand rakes!  I kid - it probably took me all of 15 minutes.  The worst part is that I'll end up raking it many more times before it is all said and done, because this neighborhood is a little manic about their lawns.  I just have to keep telling myself that I am burning calories, and enjoying the beautiful fall weather.

The back yard is another story.  I have gotten to enjoy the tree coverage while sitting on the back patio all summer, so now this is how I'll pay for that!  There are 2 huge trees, with what looks to be about 89 trillion leaves on each.  I am hoping I can just wait and do them once.  Is that possible?  Please let me know if any of you would like to come to Milwaukee for a raking party!   

To help provide me with some incentive, I decided to do some research.  According to, a person weighing 145 pounds burns about 283 calories/hour raking.  Doing the math for a person my weight means I will burn about 5,987 calories per hour when I get to do that back yard!  Bonus!  I wonder if I'll be able to talk YC into coming over to help?  I can always hope.

What is your favorite season, and why? 


  1. I do owe you about 90 to 190 hours of labor after the house project this summer...RAKING PARTY!!

  2. Ah, the raking of leaves ceremony. Such good memories you've trigerred! The last time I raked leaves was at my parent's home. I remember my dad telling me I was wasting my time because the yard would be full of them again the next day. And alas, he was right!


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