Saturday, October 29, 2011

Thankful Thoughts of You

Hello again gals.
I'm popping in to tell you something.
This makes 2 posts in 2 days ... for me that may be a record.
Today I took a long drive through the countryside.
At the end of my drive I met with other like-minded ladies to talk about putting our gardens to bed for the winter. 
There was only one man in attendance.  You can see him above.
He didn't add much input to the meeting as he's made of chicken wire.  But, he was probably the best dressed person there and you may have guessed that I really dig his bike.  :-).

While we're on the subject of well dressed ... didn't God do an AMAZING job with nature?

Okay, I told you I wanted to tell you something.
I always enjoy hearing from each of you through the comments you so kindly leave for me.  There are times, however, when I sit down and read the nice things you have to say and I feel so happy, lucky, blessed and truly thankful to have come to know such a wonderful group of people.  It's like receiving a big warm hug and it feels so nice.
This may sound really strange, but somehow I think many of you will understand this.  Many years ago I saw Bette Midler on a talk show.  She had just lost both of her parents and she made the statement that no matter how old you are once your parents are gone you become an orphan.
I now know what she meant.  I accept the fact that my own parents are in a better place now.  I accept the fact that they both lived nice long lives and I was blessed to have wonderful parents.  I accept the fact that I am a grown woman, but there are times when I would love to feel their unconditional love once again.
In many ways I feel I receive that here ... from you ... and I often feel like my parents smile down on you for showing their daughter such kindness.

So, tonight I just want to make sure to tell you how much your words mean to me and to thank you.  As we head into November and pause to remember all that we are thankful for, you all will be at the top of my list.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Happenings Around Here

Greetings Gals (& guys ... if there are any who happen to be reading).
I'm sitting here tonight in my kitchen smelling the scents of Cinnamon-Sugar Roasted Pumpkin Seeds wafting through the air.  Outside the rain is falling and the temperature has dropped significantly, but inside it is warm and cozy.  Brett is busy carving the pumpkin.

I hate to admit this, but last year we did something that I always thought I would never,ever do ...
I thought it was something only old people or mean witches did ...

For the first time ever we shut the lights out on Halloween and ...
left the house to go out for dinner.  Since our kids were grown it didn't seem quite as fun or necessary to be here to pass out candy, but at the same time I kind of didn't like it. 

So, this year the lights will be on, the jack-o-lantern will be carved, the candy bowl will be filled to the brim and we will be happily passing out candy to each and every little trick or treater who happens to stop by.

I've invited some neighbors and fellow empty-nesters to join us for chili, cornbread, salad and apple cake.  It will be fun to catch up with them as we pass out the candy.

Tomorrow we'll be outside stringing pumpkin lights from the arbor, hanging pumpkin lanterns on shepherd's hooks and bringing the jack-o-lantern outside to keep us company.  Around here the kids trick or treat on the trail that runs behind our house.  It's supposed to be COLD on Halloween night.  Perhaps I'll warm up some spiced cider to keep us toasty out there.

Happy Halloween!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkins on the Porch and Perfect Weather

Our fall weather has been nothing short of glorious this year.
The bluest of skies accompanied by cool temperatures and fresh, fresh air.  In fact, on Sunday the weather was so perfect I wanted to figure out a way to make it last forever.  I took a walk, washed my car, planted flowers and sat outside feeling so thankful for such a beautiful day.

On a day like that I find it hard not to smile.
It just feels good to be alive. 

When I bought my pansies and mums, I couldn't resist adding this pretty coneflower to the cart.  It's called "Hot Summer", but I think it looks more like fall.

Speaking of mums, I was thrilled to find this one at a small local nursery for an unbelievably low price.  It is so huge I could barely find the pot when I went to lift it up.  The mum is completely covering the pot and looks a bit like a big mum ball.

The big mum now has a big pumpkin to keep it company.
Brett and I have been slackers in the carving department since the nest became empty.  I'm bound and determined to change that this year. 

My goal is to have that pumpkin turned into a jack-o-lantern long before the trick or treaters arrive.  Wish me luck =).  I think I'm going to need it ;-).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Finding Fall in the Dining Room

Wanting to create a fall centerpiece that didn't involve buying anything, I headed outside to gather up some more acorns.  My oak tree has been extra generous this year.  I've collected a lot and there are still a lot left for the squirrels.  Way up high ... where they can reach them ... and I can't. :)

Back inside the house I dug out my chunky, fall colored candles and rummaged around for three clear glass vases, hurricanes, vessels  thing a majigs.  Feel free to help me out here, gals.  The correct name is escaping me. Please tell me that this happens to you too on occasion.  If it doesn't,  don't bother telling me.  ;-).

In a matter of minutes I had a centerpiece for the dining room table. 

My dining room doesn't get much sunlight, so the addition of a few candles helps to brighten it up a bit.

Once I got the candles in place I stood back to take a look and couldn't help but notice the tree across the street.  Although I pass it every day as I pull out of the driveway or run out to get the mail, I hadn't really noticed that all this time it's been standing there quietly dressed it it's fall finery.

Today may have been an uneventful day at home, but time spent in quiet pursuits gave me the opportunity to slow down and really see the beauty that's been there all along.

The beauty of the fall season is fleeting ~ enjoy it while it lasts.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fun Fall Reading

As the fall frenzy of cleaning and sorting continues around here, I decided it was time to go through the books and see which ones we no longer need.
I have to admit that I don't always buy books because I intend to read them.  Sometimes I buy them for use in decorating and sometimes I buy them because of the cute pictures on the covers.

For instance, when I saw this book at the thrift shop one day I didn't think it looked like one I would enjoy reading.  However, I did think that this little doggy reminded me of ...

this little doggy and that seemed a good enough reason to bring it home.
  Because there are way too many an awful lot of books around here I was being fairly ruthless in what I was getting rid of.  I was thinking that maybe I really didn't need to house a book just because it had a picture resembling Peanut on the front cover.
Often when I am debating which book to read next I read the first page and if it appeals to me that is what I read.
So, before tossing this one in the donate pile I decided to read the first page.

Hmmm ....  jack-o'-lanterns, chrysanthemums, colorful gourds.
Maybe this would be a good book to read since it will soon be Halloween.  Kinda has that Fall feel to it. 

I think a good Fall read deserves a pretty Fall themed bookmark and luckily, I now have one thanks to Sherri at Sherri' Jubilee.  Sherri recently held a giveaway for one of her handmade bookmarks and I was so happy to be chosen as the winner. 

I think this beaded acorn is adorable.
Thank you, Sherri.  My fall reading has just gotten prettier :).

Just a little note:  I've been having trouble leaving comments for some of you.  After typing the comment and clicking Publish Comment, the comment disappears.  It is only happening on a few blogs so I'm not sure what the problem is.  Anyhow, if you've recently left me a comment and I haven't been back to visit you this is probably why.  I'll keep trying. 

Happy Monday!
I'm off to plant pansies before the rain begins.
What are you up to?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Off To A Fresh Start

Well, here we are in the beginning of October.
How was your weekend? 
Here in North Carolina we enjoyed our first cool weekend with not a lick of humidity on the radar.  The A/C was turned off and the windows were opened.  I've been on a cleaning mission around here and this weekend it was my closet.  Everything came out, the floor got vacuumed, the baseboards were dusted, the trunk of my car is now filled with things headed for the thrift shop and order reigns once again.

Hot, humid air zaps my energy.
But, cool, crisp air invigorates me.
Makes me want to open up the windows, turn on the music and clean and organize the nooks and crannies of my house. 
So, that's what I've been doing.

Now, we all know what all work and no play can do to a girl ... so, I think it's important to schedule in a break or two during the cleaning frenzies. 
The fresh fall air we are enjoying turned my thoughts to apple cider... cider.  We didn't happen to have any on hand, but since my husband was out and about I called and asked if he might be interested in stopping at the local farm stand to see if they had any.  He did and came home with a gallon of it.  He also came home with this:

Such a pretty surprise!
So once I got them situated in their vase, I returned to the closet cleaning while he did this:

U of M wins again.  Woo Hoo!!
Go Blue!!

When the football game was over we migrated to the porch to sample the first warm spiced cider of the season and ...

watch the clouds turn pink as the sun began to set.

Our October is off to a fresh and colorful start.
Hope yours is too :).