by Deanna Piercy
by Deanna Piercy
I’m happy for everyone who is so eager to embrace their favorite season. Truly, I am. And it’s not that I don’t like fall. Early autumn is quite lovely when the sun begins to lower in the sky and bathes everything in a golden glow. And I do look forward to those first few mildly cool and rainy days because there is little I like better than curling up under a quilt with a steaming cup of tea and a good book and that’s the best weather for it.
I’m rather late with this but we just returned from our New Orleans trip late Monday night and I’m still recovering. David and I both started with some mild cold symptoms on our way home. So far we’ve kept the crud at bay with regular doses of “The Potion” (I’ll post the recipe at the bottom of this post) but it’s nipping at our heels and adding to our usual post-NOLA exhaustion.
When we left for New Orleans it was still October and the landscape was still mostly green. We came home to Apple Tree Farm swathed in hues of red and gold. It’s quite lovely but damp and cool. I did my best to enjoy the warm weather in New Orleans and even managed to get just the perfect amount of slightly-pink-sunburn on my shoulders one afternoon by the river. Unless we win the lottery and take a winter vacation to the tropics that will be the last dose of color my fair skin sees for months.
So, let’s take a look at what I was into for the month of October:
Trips and Fun Stuff
We took our usual 11 day trip to New Orleans which was an absolute blast. As always. I’ll have a post devoted to that probably tomorrow, complete with pictures. For now I’ll just say that we enjoyed beautiful weather, delicious food, incredible music, and best of all – good times with great friends.
Around My Home
David installed our new wood blinds in the family room and I decorated for Halloween/Autumn. You can see photos of my decorated house in the post, “Getting Cozy for Fall”.
Reading – Books and Blogs
Our local library’s annual book sale is always a favorite event for me. There’s nothing quite like a new stash of books. You can see a photo and a list of this year’s treasures on my post, “Library Book Sale Haul”.
I started reading “Forever Chic” by Tish Jett for our first book club selection on the French Chic Yahoo Group I help moderate. I was in New Orleans for Chapter Two but I’ll catch up this Friday. You can read my review of Chapter One here.
In addition to “Forever Chic”, I’ve been reading two books this past month:
Watching – Movies, T.V. and YouTube
I’m not sure that we watched any movies this past month. I know we didn’t go to the movies and I really don’t think we watched any at home, either. We watched the first few episodes of The Big Bang Theory on Netflix but otherwise I can’t recall watching much of anything except The Daily Show which we usually watch while eating dinner.
Listening – Music
I’ve been listening to a lot of blues, both on Spotify and on the Bluesville station on XM Radio in the car. I discovered Solomon Burke on Spotify. I also listened to the new Avett Brothers album.
Since we would be out of town for eleven days I opted to skip the monthly big shopping trip with my daughter. I focused on using up perishables and made do with “A small grocery haul” from a local store.
As you might expect, we enjoyed some amazing food in New Orleans. Highlights included dinners at:
On This Blog
– I shared my thoughts about family and how we are called to care for one another in the post, “Living in Community”.
– I chose the important over the urgent and spent a little while “Soaking up the sunshine”.
I’m getting a late start but this month I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo. David has encouraged me to get serious about writing a book so I’m using this as a jump start of sorts. Because of that my posts here may be scanty. And if you follow me on Facebook you’ll find me less prolific there, as well. In fact, if you see me posting much please remind me I am supposed to be writing!
So, that’s what I’ve been into this past month. I’d love to hear what’s been going on in your life. Leave me a comment and if you have a blog, I’ll pay you a visit.
Check out other “What I’m Into” posts linked on Hopeful Leigh and if you blog you can add your own.
1 oz. water
1 tbls. elderberry concentrate
1 dropper full of each:
3 drops oil of oregano
1 packet Emergen-C
Mix all, adding Emergen-C last. Stir, shoot, chase with more water.
(The original recipe also includes echinacea which I don’t take because I’m allergic to ragweed and they are related, and goldenseal which I just don’t happen to have on hand. I also usually add a shot of vodka to my bedtime dose. I figure the alcohol might kill some germs and if nothing else, it will help me sleep.)
So, Friday night was another late one – about 3 or 3:30, I believe. We were supposed to then go to Oklahoma City on Saturday to see Our Mother’s Martyr perform up there and spend the night but the show was cancelled. So we decided to cancel our hotel reservations and stay home one night.
And that about wraps things up except for this little snippet I filmed of OMM playing “House of the Rising Sun” for us:
Today is the Autumnal Equinox, the first day of Autumn, that perfect balance of light and dark. I’m truly a summer girl but Autumn certainly has its charms. Our temperatures are cooling but still nice and warm during the day. This coming week we should see highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s which is pretty darn near perfect.
Over the past couple of weeks as I’ve walked Shiloh I’ve been taking note of the changes. Some of the leaves are changing color, the Virginia Creeper has turned red, the goldenrod is in bloom and even a few leaves have fallen. The angle of light has changed and has a golden quality to it which is truly gorgeous. Of course the hours of light have lessened and that part isn’t quite so appealing to me but I’m trying to ignore that for now.
In recent years I have come to dread winter with a passion. I truly despise being cold and I dislike having to wear a lot of clothes. Or “real” shoes. However, I did some thinking about it and determined that it just isn’t a good idea to dislike approximately 1/4 of every year. Life is too short for anything less than embracing each and every day. That has really been brought home to me as we’ve attended several funerals in recent weeks, including one for an 18 year old yesterday.
Last year I did try to look on the bright side of the colder months and made myself an “Autumn Bucket List”. I didn’t complete everything on it so I’m pulling it out and giving it another try. One thing on the list was to buy a fire pit so we could enjoy the outdoors a bit longer. We finally bought one in June for David’s birthday party. It was just barely cool enough to use it for the party and we haven’t used it since. Tonight I’m hoping to talk David into building a little fire and enjoying a bit of stargazing before we go to bed. In fact, I’d like to make it a nightly ritual until it gets too cold.
Something I really do love about fall is pumpkin bread. I’ve got several cans of organic pumpkin in the pantry and I just might bake some this week. I’ve also got some sourdough starter on the counter which should be ready to start baking with in about a week. There’s nothing quite like home-baked breads and I intend to get back to baking all of ours again as the weather cools.
The other day I had to pick up something at the dollar store and happened to see a special hanger for scarves. I’ve got a pretty good sized collection and needed a better way to organize them. That’s something I hope to get around to this week. I’m also on the lookout for a couple of new ways to wear scarves. (If you have any how-to videos to recommend, please leave me a link in the comments.)
While I’m generally loathe to switch from summer to autumn decorations too soon, I did buy a couple of pumpkins for the porch and will probably pick up some mums soon. In the meantime I’m enjoying living on the cusp of seasonal change with my geraniums and pumpkins sharing space on the front porch. And that’s a bit how my life feels right now. I love where I am now but I have lots of plans for the future. I think it’s important to keep growing and changing and embracing new challenges throughout life. There are so many things I want to do and learn and experience. And I’m taking steps to make at least some of those happen. I’ve recently started taking piano lessons which I’m really excited about. I’m also taking an online philosophy course from Berkeley and looking for a good French course.
I’m embracing and celebrating change, not only in the seasons but in my life. It’s time to pull out the cozy sweaters and pretty scarves. Time to wash all the afghans and drape them over sofa backs, all softly scented and ready to warm chilled skin. Time to choose a puzzle to work on in spare moments. Time to stock up on hot chocolate and tea. Lots of tea. And it’s also time to take stock of my hopes and dreams and plans and ambitions. Some dreams will be tucked away for later like favorite summer sandals while others will be dusted off and polished up like favorite fall decorations.
Autumn is a perfect time for a change in routine. A renewed focus on what (and who!) is truly important. And a cool evening under a starry sky is the perfect setting for pondering these changes. Time to put on a hoodie, pour myself a glass of wine and do just that.
On this eighth “Day of Thankfulness” I am thankful for sunshine. As my regular readers know, I’m a summer girl. I need warmth and sunshine. I enjoy the occasional rainy afternoon but for the most part I like to see the sun. It’s been beautiful since we returned from New Orleans earlier this week (we aren’t talking about what lies ahead) and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.
During our time in New Orleans the trees here turned the most glorious shades of red and gold. I’ve really been enjoying my walks with Shiloh as I admire the beauty of this season here on Apple Tree Farm.
See what I mean?:
Just look at the contrast against such a brilliant blue sky:
And there’s my old friend, Sol:
Are you seeing pretty fall colors where you live? What’s your favorite season?