Meteorological Autumn is Here!

Wow we had a busy Labor Day weekend but it was all good.  It is no secret that autumn is far and away my favorite season but I do my best to enjoy each season and holiday in it’s own time.  This weekend we managed to combine the best of summer: swimming and grilling out, with the best of autumn: apple picking and college football.

We started out with an after dinner swim on Friday night which was marvelous.  It is dark here by 7:30p and it feels so different swimming under a night sky.

On Saturday morning  I had my first bowling of the season with my once a month league and Saturday evening it was time for Wildcat Football.  Yes they lost but the marching band still rocked it!

 

Sunday we had a quiet at home day planned so we could recover from the late night. (Will the Pac-12 ever see reason and schedule for the convenience of the team and the fans?)  I did some laundry and watched the Cubs win and then we all went for a swim.  Luckily we grilled our burgers early as a rumbly thunderstorm dropped in.  So after dinner we played Sagrada and then retreated to our separate spaces to read , listen to the rain and in my case watch “Bridget Jone’s Diary”.  We got a nice amount of rain overnight, always appreciated here.

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The pie and ice cream smile!

On Monday we drove to Willcox and Apple Annie’s to pick apples, pears and peaches.  We shared some pie (apple crumb and pecan) and ice cream and enjoyed the very blue sky and a refreshing breeze.  We came home for one last swim joking about how the pool would be closed the next day.  (That idea completely confused my son.) We played with my son’s waterproof camera taking all kinds of crazy pictures and movies and had a blast.

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No autumn temps here for at least two more months, maybe longer, but mentally I am already switching gears. I washed my fall quilt today (same weight as my summer quilt just a different design) and pulled out my new orange ‘Life is Good’ t-shirt decorated with leaves that I have been saving.  The weather channel announced it is now meteorological  autumn and that is good enough for me!  Over the next two weeks I am sure I will be slowly sneaking bits of autumn into my life.

DSCN0585Yes, this is one of the silly pictures of me.

Good Bye Summer!

Joy List Monday

I have been waffling about what to do with my blog.  I know you are supposed to focus on one area, post on a regular schedule, blah blah blah.  I have been an orderly rule follower my whole life and now in my dotage I have decided to be capricious. I have decided to post randomly about whatever I so desire. So there, take that world.

We start with a random Monday Joy List…

  1. I am glad I am not really in my dotage!
  2. Books, always.  I am currently reading “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah.  It is not an easy read emotionally, a very dark subject but I have hope for an uplifting ending.
  3. Our pool temperature is still quite warm, about 88° making swimming a pleasure each evening.
  4. Go CUBS Go!  I really enjoy listening to the games on the radio and “treat” myself on Sundays to watching the game on tv.
  5. I am learning so much from my on-line writing class.  Why didn’t I do this years ago?
  6. My son is going to a new school this year and they got a grant to set up a lunch program and for this year all the kids get to eat for free.  Not having to make a lunch everyday…priceless.  Apparently there is such a thing as a free lunch. (Of course next year it will probably cost a fortune but I won’t think about that today.)
  7. I reorganized and gave my office a good cleaning. I am spending a lot of time in here these days.
  8. I swapped out my wax scents.  Just a little thing but it brings me joy.
  9. I have been buying little bouquets of zinnias at the Farmer’s Market, beautiful colors.

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Have a Great Week!

Fabulous February

Fabulous February?  I have been battling a ferocious head cold these past few days but I am trying to not let it keep me down. I pick my projects for the day wisely, enough to feel productive but not so much as to overdo it. I give myself permission to take breaks as needed, drink lots of fluids and know when to say enough and go to bed early.

So in my attempts to dwell on the positive and ignore my alternately stuffy and drippy nose here is a joy list for, yes,  Fabulous February:

  1. My last batch of rose blooms have been marvelous. So large and velvety.
  2. Weather.  We have actually had a nice variety.  A few windy days and a few rainy days interspersed with the typical sunshine.  Even had a ripping thunderstorm one evening.
  3. AFRIN  before bed allowing me to get some badly needed decent sleep.
  4. Using the lemons off my very own lemon tree –  yummy.
  5. I am addicted to “The Great British Baking Show”.  I allow myself one episode a day and now that a season is being rerun that I hadn’t seen before (on my local PBS station) I am getting quite good at picking  the ‘Star Baker’ and who is going home. (Yes, that would be before they are announced!)
  6. I rearranged my small bedroom to see if I could make it feel less cramped.  I think it is better.
  7. Making progress on my quilted dresser scarf.  Do I dare hope I may finish it this year?
  8. How much progress I have made this month on doing tasks mindfully and staying focused on one thing at a time.  This has made me feel so much more at peace.

 

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Sunshine and Lemons!                                                                                                                                                                                          It may take a minute but look for something Fabulous in your February life!                                                                                                                                                           

October Happiness

Still in the mind numbing 90’s here ( ten degrees above “average”). But I am finding ways to cope, still making my own autumn and finding bits of happiness:

  • All things pumpkin at Trader Joe’s, round two. Especially loving the pumpkin spice popcorn for Cub games. Go Cubs Go!

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  • Creating this cute bat pumpkin with my son.  (So much easier than carving!)

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  • Lunch at Panera Bread which included a turkey cranberry flatbread sandwich and a caramel apple scone.
  • Gathering leaves up in the mountains.  (I spread them on the path to the front door on Halloween so kids get the fun of kicking through leaves.  It is my favorite Halloween decoration and I love having the leaves blowing around the yard for a few days after.)  I found true autumn at 8000′!  It was a glorious 61° with clouds and a few drops of rain.  The maples were red and gold and we found  golden aspen leaves too.  It was a wonderful few hours of fleece wearing, leaf scuffing, picture taking autumn heaven.

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  • The silliness of our cookie haunted house.

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  • After dinner walks to look at Halloween lights.  Though there seems to be fewer decorated houses this year.
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This is part of our yard. I love how the ghost in front seems scared of the ghosts behind him.
  • Tears of joy when the Cubs advanced to the World Series. Go Cubs Go!
  • Halloween boxer shorts to sleep in.  (Since it is way too warm for my Halloween jammies.)
  • Working on the November sketch for my friend Joe’s sketchbook.  It involves drawing and coloring  fall leaves. (No picture so I don’t ruin the surprise for him.)
  • Just finished reading “After You” by Jojo Moyes.  Next up is  “Trick or Deadly Treat” with “Before I go to Sleep” on deck.
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Boo!

Desert Autumn Joy List

Normally this time of year I get very homesick for a Northeast fall.  This year I am focusing on what I do have as opposed to what I don’t. Though the temperature is still well into the 90’s during the day I have been able to make it feel like autumn (at least inside my head).

  • There is a hint of coolness in the morning and evenings, enough so that I have resumed taking the dog on longer walks. This has led me to find some autumn color, desert style.

 

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These bushes are everywhere!
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Beautiful reds, oranges and yellows!
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My new chrysanthemum.
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Look at this brave flower squeezing out from under a cactus.
  • The inside of my house all decorated for autumn.
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I put leaves like this all over the house, hanging in front of windows and from light fixtures etc. I love how they flutter when the a/c kicks on.
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Watching football with a leaf garland and pumpkins in my line of sight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Football season! College marching bands at halftime are the best!
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On Sept. 17th the University of Arizona did a tribute for the USS Arizona and had one of the six remaining survivors to the game as well as other WWII veterans. It was very touching. (Sorry the battleship is upside down but our seats are opposite the press box so the band is always upside down to us.)
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That is a one big flag. (Again upside down to us.)
  • Pumpkin chili and  pumpkin beef stew made in the crockpot.  The pumpkin adds a wonderful creamy thick texture.
  • Taking pumpkin oatmeal spice bars to bowling.
  • Using wax scents to make my house smell like autumn despite the a/c still being on.
  • Cooking a pork roast in the crockpot also makes a home smell autumnal.
  • Some promising new cookie recipes that will be on the healthy side but still taste of fall.
  • Working on the outlining of  my autumn needlepoint tissue box cover.
  • Adding a Trader Joe’s harvest tea bag to my pitcher of iced tea.
  • Trader Joe’s pumpkin soup crackers, with a bit of cream cheese, crazy yummy!
  • Starting to wear my “fall wardrobe”. Not flannel and sweaters alas,  but capris and cropped jeans and autumn colors. I got two new pairs of LL Bean cropped jeans in pale spruce and vintage blue….love them!

 

Happy First Day of Autumn!!

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Yummy!

Birthday Joy List

Today is my 50th birthday!!  I have to admit I am pretty darn happy I have lived this long! So here is my joy list from the past few weeks:

  • Getting a bunch of small, lingering tasks done.
  • The public library (this would be on every joy list of mine!)
    • Some recent books from the library:
      • “Rebecca” (Daphne Du Maurier)
      • “A Fall of Marigolds” (Susan Meissner)
      • “Dead Wake.  The last crossing of the Lusitania” (Erik Larson)
      • “A Walk in the Woods”  (Bill Bryson)
      • “The Hiding Place” (Corrie Ten Boom)
  • Sitting on my swing at dusk watching the bats swoop around and knowing they are eating all those pesky mosquitos.
  • Two (in my lifetime) inventions that I find really useful:
    • the debit card
    • the DVR
  • Our local classical public radio station
  • Rain helping my rosebush bloom
  • The start of football season (Go Wildcats!  Go Broncos!)
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Some people put on their game face, I put on my game shoes.
  • My son getting to play outside more with the cooler weather in the evenings and the neighborhood bully moving away.
  • Cake for dessert tonight!  Specifically  Coconut Pecan Upside Down Cake (which my son and I are making together after school today)

 

Happy Birthday to me! And to YOU whenever your birthday is!

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Last Year’s Birthday dessert at Disneyland.