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Local greenhouses are a great place to pick up Fall Decor items for your home

It’s Autumn in Southwestern Ontario. Leaves are beginning to change colour. Apples are hanging heavy on trees. Pumpkins are scattered in farmer’s fields wherever you look. All of these fall elements can be seen in more than farmer’s markets though. Homes are decorated with dried corn stalks, hay bales and tumbles of colourful gourds to welcome in the crisp season. Businesses sport seasonal wreathes and planters at their doors. And many restaurants take advantage of the bounty from the fields, tempting patrons with mouth-watering dishes made from fresh, local finds.

 

The smell of warm mulled apple cider makes a home irresistible during an open house

Who am I to resist? Especially when I always have an eye to presenting a home in its best possible light. Autumn has so many pleasing options when it comes to staging a home for sale, whether it be light and airy grasses waving from a planter at your door, or the delicious smell of autumn in the presentation of steaming apple cider at an open house. And if you were wondering, Fall is just as good a time to sell your house as any other.

 

Fall colours are a wonderful addition to any home’s palette

In fact, many people list their homes for sale in the Fall. As noted, during a long Indian Summer, such as the one we are experiencing now, homes often look their best. As long as you can keep up with your Fall maintenance (think raked leaves, gardens ready for bed, and no hot or cold days to frighten a potential home buyer away), you will find that your home takes on a whole new look in the Autumn. Plus, if your curb appeal is at its best, then you just might find that you have more potential for a sale with fewer houses on the market, as compared to the busier Spring market. Don’t worry though, as folks that have gone on vacation in the summer will be home again to start house hunting, before getting ready for Christmas vacations (and another slow down in the real estate market).

So if you think that you have to wait until the Spring to sell your home, think again. Now is the perfect time to sell your house! Make sure to point out any of the upgrades that you have done to your home (you should be doing your Fall maintenance regardless, but it helps boost your home’s appeal when it is on the market). And if you are exhausted at the end of the day with all the work it takes to keep up a sparkly home when it is for sale, do yourself a favour and schedule a few more crock pot meals into the rotation, like this seasonal one from Allrecipes.ca. And if you get a last-minute visitor that has to see your home tonight, all you have to do is turn down the slow cooker and let them savour the scent of your seasonal dinner that will be ready whenever you get home again.

SLOW COOKER PUMPKIN TURKEY CHILI

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups cubed fresh pumpkin
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chili beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can seasoned black beans
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat; brown turkey, stirring often, until crumbly and no longer, pink, about 10 minutes. Drain and discard any fat.
  2. Transfer turkey to a slow cooker and stir in diced tomatoes, pumpkin, chili beans, black beans, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and chili powder. Set cooker to Low, cover, and cook until pumpkin is tender and has started to break apart, at least 3 hours.

Now that October has arrived, fall fun is in full swing. As London, Ontario is surrounded by forests, fields and plenty of farms, we’ve got a pretty good handle on what it takes to enjoy Autumn in these parts.

Kustermans has a 7.5 acre corn maze, plus attractions aplenty during their annual Fall Festival

We’ve got corn mazes,

Appleland has gotten in on the corn maze sensation now too!

It’s hard to beat the 10 acres that Leaping Deer Adventure Farm turns into an amazing corn maze each year

there are a few pumpkin patches with plenty of gourds to pick through too,

There’s full Fall fun at Clovermead, including pick-your-own pumpkins, pumpkin canons, tractor rides, pumpkin seed spitting contests, and so much more…

You’ll find plenty of pumpkins at Talbotville Berry Farm, plus a few other spooky activities if you can handle it…

You can get apples, pears, pumpkins and other gourds at Great Lakes Farms

plus our parks are ablaze with colours, begging for walks, photo shoots, and picnics while the nice weather holds. Check the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, Lower Thames Valley Conservation AreaOntario Conservation Areas, or the Ontario Parks fall report for more information.

Westminster Ponds is beautiful this time of year.

What is your idea of Fall fun in Southwestern Ontario?

 

I sense that you are looking for something to do this weekend. You live in or near London, Ontario. You are an active person. Your kids are actively driving you nuts. Or maybe not? Maybe that is just the neighbour’s kids and you are looking for an excuse to get away from them for a few hours this weekend. a

You know, this clairvoyance thing isn’t that hard. Maybe anyone can do it? Nah! Leave that to the professionals. They will be in town this weekend. If that’s not your cup of tea, there is other stuff going on in London to get you out of the house too. You don’t have to be a clairvoyant to figure that out. Just check back in the pages of this blog every Thursday to see what I have come up with to do in and around Southwestern Ontario.

What I See Happening In Your Neighbourhood This Weekend

What secrets lie within that you are dying to know?

For example, this weekend is the London Psychic Expo. Whether you believe in it or not, the Psychic Expo comes to town every year, so there must be enough people around who want to know something about their past, present or future. Of course you can buy jewellery, books and crystals, as well as get hands on healing, have your Tarot cards read, palms read, or even the bumps on your head. They offer light and sound therapy, an opportunity to talk with the spirit world, and a look at numerology, among other spiritual and paranormal offerings. So if there is something that you have had a hankering to know or try, head to Centennial Hall (550 Wellington St) this weekend. The $8 admission gets you in all weekend. Hours are Friday 12 – 9pm, Saturday 11am – 9pm, and Sunday 11am – 7pm. You even get a free crystal just for walking in the door.

 

Calling all Actors!

So what if you already own a crystal, or decided to get rid of them all last weekend when you were cleaning, organizing or just settling into Autumn around your house? Well then, if crystal gazing isn’t your thing, then maybe acting is? Isn’t that half of any decent clairvoyant’s shtick? Now you have your chance to show the world what you’ve got, as Out of Sight Productions has an audition call out for 3 men and 3 women who think they’ve got what it takes to shine. Clear your throat and head over to the CNIB Auditorium at 749 Baseline Rd E on either Thursday, September 26th at 7:30pm or Sunday, September 29th at 12:30pm. You will need to perform a 2-3 minute monologue. if you are wondering about what, the play is called “Naughty Little Christmas” and is set at a house party in mod-era England in the 1960s. The characters in the play are an interesting group, but any budding thespian should have fun portraying one of them. Do you think you could fit in Norman’s shoes? Check the website to get a taste of what they might look like.

 

Time to explore London!

I know that not everyone wants the spotlight to shine on them though. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t interested in what goes on around you though. And it doesn’t mean that you might not be curious about what goes on behind closed doors. The curious minded are in luck this weekend, as doors are being opened around the city for another Doors Open London. This year’s event runs September 28th – 29th and hours vary by location. Speaking of locations, there are over 50 sites participating this year! That’s a lot of doors to peek behind! And they are all over the city. There is a guide available on their website, that lists participating locations, which divides the city into districts. Why not try an area of London you don’t normally go to, or a building that you pass every day, but have never had the chance to stop in and see? Whether you go Northeast, Northwest, Southwest, East, or Zone 1 or 2 Downtown, there is plenty to see and do this weekend. I know there is something for everyone, including a special Walking Tour and Kids Fun Guide to explore. Plus it is all Free.

This is your city Londoners. Why not explore it this weekend!

A short week ago, we were looking for a break in the rain. This week, a break in the humidity might be nice. Yes, we are under an extreme heat alert, with the humidex pushing temperatures into the 40s this week. The Middlesex London Health Unit issued the area’s second heat alert of the year yesterday, and it is expected to last until Thursday. I’d say that’s a perfect time to find any way possible to escape the heat in London, Ontario.

Escape the Heat

  • Have you been to the beach yet? Now is certainly the time! Grab your swimsuit, towel, a beach umbrella and don’t forget your sunscreen! Make sure you drink plenty of water while you are there.
  • You are never too old for a splash park. The City of London operates splash pads at several locations between 9am and 9pm. This is a great way to cool down fast, plus it’s FREE!

    Splash Pads are a great way to beat the heat

      • Gibbons
      • Rowntree
      • Lambeth
      • Forks of Thames
      • Kiwanis
      • West Lions
      • Bonaventure
      • Jesse Davidson
      • South East Optimist
      • Oakridge
      • Ed Blake Park
      • Medway
  • If a splash park isn’t your thing, head to one of London’s many Libraries or Community Centres. They’ve got air conditioning, activities planned throughout the summer, and are free for you to beat the heat.
  • A cool shower can bring your body temperature down quick

    Another great way to cool off is to step into a cool and refreshing shower or bath. Whether you have air conditioning at home or not, a quick trip into a stream of cool water will bring your body temperature down and help you to cope with the  extreme heat we are suffering through.

  • Along the same kind of lines, bring down your core temperature with cool cloths to the body. How about tucking a set of sheets into the freezer, pulling them out at bedtime, and melting into their cool, crisp embrace to drift off to dreamland.
  • How about a spritz every now and then? If jumping into the shower every 10 minutes isn’t possible, but you need something more than a damp towel on your head, then how about a spritz bottle to prevent a meltdown. Start at your wrists and move on from there.
  • Take regular breaks to ensure you keep cool during the heat of the day

    Take a break. From whatever activity you are doing. Even if that is typing away at your computer. Make sure your computer takes a break too, as when it goes into a low-power state it will produce less heat. Doesn’t that make sense all around?

  • What about the obvious one – drink more water! Skip the colas, coffees and coolers. Alcohol, caffeine and sugary sodas just dehydrate you. Stick to fruit juices, sports drinks and good old-fashioned water to quench your thirst.
  • Prevent temperatures from soaring in your home in the first place. Keep blinds closed during the day to keep the sun’s punishing rays out. Open windows at night to let in the cooler breezes. Don’t use the oven or stove to heat up your home. Turn off the lights to reduce your power usage and any heat that your light bulbs create. Set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature for when you are home, but allow it to raise during periods when you aren’t home (programmable thermostats save you energy and money). Think smarter, not harder!

How are you beating the heat wave in Southwestern Ontario this week?

 


The forecast in London is hot, Hot and HOTTER this week. Summer has arrived on a heat wave that sports our first Humidex advisory. In Canada, a humidex advisory is issued when temperatures reach 30°C or higher. The humidex is really a combination of heat and humidity though, which is a better gauge of comfort levels. As all folks that have lived in Southwestern Ontario can tell you, humidity is the amount of moisture in the air. So a high temperature might be hot, but when you factor in that saturating humidity, the result can be stifling.

Environment Canada doesn’t announce humidex advisories just for fun. When the humidex rating inches higher, your body has a harder time keeping up. All that moisture in the air means that your body can’t properly perspire and regulate its internal temperature. You should increase water intake, reduce physical exertions, and seek cooler conditions when possible. Wear loose-fitting clothes, sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen. The elderly, young children, people with compromised immune systems, and pets are all more vulnerable, so require more attention. If you have spent any time outdoors in the heat of one of our heat waves, you know how miserable they can be. Air like sludge isn’t fun for anyone, and that goes for the fit and feeble anywhere. It’s a wonder that it took until 1965 for Canadians to come up with the humidex scale!

Here is the Humidex Table and Humidex for Relative Humidity Scales from 100% to 65% from the Environment Canada website. As you can see, it doesn’t take much to go from fine to fried.

Humidex Degree of Comfort
20 – 29 No discomfort
30 – 39 Some discomfort
40 – 45 Great discomfort; avoid exertion
46 and over Dangerous; possible heat stroke

☼☼☼

Relative Humidity (%)
Temperature (°C)
100% 95% 90% 85% 80% 75% 70% 65%
21 °C 29 29 28 27 27 26 26 24
22 °C 31 29 29 28 28 27 26 26
23 °C 33 32 32 31 30 29 28 27
24 °C 35 34 33 33 32 31 30 29
25 °C 37 36 35 34 33 33 32 31
26 °C 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32
27 °C 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34
28 °C 43 42 41 41 39 38 37 36
29 °C 46 45 44 43 42 41 39 38
30 °C 48 47 46 44 43 42 41 40
31 °C 50 49 48 46 45 44 43 41
32 °C 52 51 50 49 47 46 45 43
33 °C 55 54 52 51 50 48 47 46
34 °C 58 57 55 53 52 51 49 48
35 °C   58 57 56 54 52 51 49
36 °C     58 57 56 54 53 51
37 °C         58 57 55 53
38 °C             57 56

So how do you combat the heat in Southwestern Ontario? It’s time to dine after dark, ditch the oven for the grille, and take up swimming versus sun worshipping. Remember to drink plenty of fluids (water or other salt-replenishing drinks), and think about joining your kids in the sprinkler (on your water days – If your street address ends with a 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8 you may use water outdoors on EVEN numbered calendar days only. If your street address ends with a 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 you may use water outdoors on ODD numbered calendar days only). If it’s your off day, head to one of London’s many splash pads or pools. Plenty of them are free, while others host days with reduced admission throughout the summer. Most libraries and community centres have air-conditioned facilities as well. Heck, even a trip to the movie theatre is a great way to entertain the family in a cool environment for a couple of hours! It is well worth the gamble of heat stroke, heat exhaustion, or any of the other uncomfortable aspects that come with our summer humidity.

Keep cool this summer Londoners!

Welcome to In Your Neighbourhood!

Allow me to introduce myself. The name is Jim. You want to know more? Well, check out my "About Me" page! Don't forget to take a peek at my "Local London Listings" while you are here too! I update it regularly. Enjoy your visit and drop me a line to let me know you were in the neighbourhood!

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