Tuesday, October 25, 2022

A Fall Road Trip

Last week we took a road trip back to our home state.
Winding our way through Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and, finally, Michigan, the fall foliage becoming more vibrant as we went.
This rest area in Ohio gave us a welcome chance to stretch our legs and have a snack while enjoying the autumnal beauty.

The main reason for our trip was to visit my sister and brother-in-law.  What a surprise it was to all when we arrived at their house along with a gentle snowfall.  This was early, even by Michigan standards.  As we sat around the table enjoying Norma's delicious homemade chili, the weather outside seemed a bit confused.  The sun was peeking through lighting up the beautiful leaves on the trees as the snowflakes floated to the ground along with a leaf or two.
Inside, memories of my family together around the table warmed me.  The first 42 years of my life took place in Michigan with family together around the table at every holiday.  A brief reminder of those days washed over me as we enjoyed our meal together.

It's hard to go back "home" and not get a bit sentimental.
One day we visited Northville, the town we raised our boys in.
The downtown area was decorated for fall with these gorgeous planters lining the main street.

Another look at the main street decorated for the fall season.

High on our list of places to visit was the local cider mill.
That was always a fall tradition and one that we have missed.
It was worth standing in line for that freshly made doughnut and apple cider.  Naturally a bag of doughnuts and a gallon of cider came home with us.

It was nice to see that the wooden train was still there.
It was once a big thrill for my boys.

Of course I had to check out the unique shops in Northville and nearby Plymouth.  I thought this Thanksgiving display was especially pretty.

We went down memory lane when taking a drive by our childhood homes.  The home that Brett lived in through 3rd grade hasn't changed much.

This was not either of our childhood homes.
It was in the area and we always found the roof to be interesting.  

Since Brett's childhood home was near another cider mill, we felt obligated to pay a visit.  Apple butter and apple sauce came home with us from this one.  When it was time to head home, Brett wasn't sure he could fit everything in the car.  It seems we stocked up on all of the local favorites that we can't find in North Carolina.  


On our last day, the temperature went into the mid 70s feeling much more like a summer day.  In some ways it felt like a condensed version of all of the seasons in Michigan all put together in a week.
So now as the fall color change is just getting underway here, we will fill our glasses with apple cider, head for the patio and watch the squirrels scamper and the trees put on their seasonal show with warm memories of our visit back home.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Outdoors in October

Something red caught my eye as I started out on a walk the other day.
Bending down for a closer look, a photo opportunity presented itself.
Here our fall color change is just getting underway which makes me want to be outdoors enjoying the show before it comes and goes for another year.

A fall outing to the local pumpkin farm put me in the mood for decorating my outdoor spaces.

The coleus by the front door were looking a tad scraggly.
A few gourds and a happy scarecrow were added to cheer things up.

This year that wreath is a bit bittersweet.
Around this time last year a neighbor friend made it for me.  She had so much talent with making wreaths and floral arrangements.  Shortly before Easter she passed away unexpectedly.  She would never take payment for her creations.  Instead she requested a homemade apple pie for Thanksgiving.  She will be remembered as I am preparing my pies next month.

It won't be long until my house plants will be moving back indoors for the winter.
In the meantime, I added a few pumpkins to the patio to herald the season.

I added a leafy garland and a pumpkin to the patio table.
The garland lights up adding nice ambience to the evenings.

Over the weekend we took a walk through the woods and noticed that somebody had been decorating in there.

In the woods there is a tree house built around a large old tree.
It's a popular destination for visiting grandchildren.

Small pops of color to be found here and there.
I see many more woodsy walks in our future.

Somehow I always seem to pick up treasures on my woodsy walks.
Pockets and hands are filled when I get home.
There are some really cool nut pods that are partially opened.  I think they might be hickory nuts.  Might have to pop them all in a basket for another fall decoration.

Monday, October 10, 2022

Fun Fall Projects Courtesy of the Local Thrift Shop

One summer day I was strolling through the thrift shop and came across this lovely loaf pan.  My thoughts turned to autumn and how nice it would be to make a loaf of pumpkin bread that not only tasted good, but looked pretty too.

I know the Nordic Ware brand makes some beautiful baking pans.
Having never used one before, it seemed like a good opportunity to try it out.  The pan looked as if it had never been used and the price was only a few dollars.  An internet search tells me that they go for much more than that at places like Williams Sonoma.

Once home I hopped on the Nordic Ware website and printed off this recipe for a Spiced Pumpkin Loaf.  I tucked the pan and the recipe in the cupboard and waited patiently for autumn's arrival.

Today was the day to pull it out of that cupboard and spend a little time in the kitchen baking.

There you have it.
One pretty and tasty Spiced Pumpkin Loaf.
Brett & I shared a slice to see how it turned out.
He claimed we needed a few more slices just to be sure we liked it.

Before we got carried away and ate the entire loaf, I put it under cover for safekeeping.
That domed cake stand was another recent thrift find.
I decided I wanted one and the next time I was thrifting, there it was.  Just waiting for me.  
The dome part is very heavy.  Perhaps that is so we think twice about how hard we want to work before going back for another piece?

Another recent thrift store find was this silicone squirrel and acorn
mold.  When I saw it a little light bulb went off.

A little more time in the kitchen to make some little fall soaps.
I had some simple soap making supplies from another time I made soap.  It was just enough to do these.  Since they are white, I added some grated nutmeg to give them little flecks of brown and to add a subtle fall fragrance.

A Very Happy Thanksgiving To My Canadian Friends.