November 12, 2017:


It's hard to believe, but winter has arrived early in my hometown. One week it was in the 70s and gorgeous outside, the next week it dropped down into the 40s and then boom, less than a week later, into the 30s. We've already had several hard freezes, the earliest that's happened since I moved here in 2014. Anyway, the trees had not even begun to turn color yet in the neighborhood - and now most of them are bare due to the many hard freezes and strong winds that blew most of the days last week. Wowsers! Today, however, the sun stayed out all day, there was no wind to speak of, and the temperatures felt positively balmy outside. I was very glad because I had to be out and about today.

So, the poor trees did not have a "fall" this year but we did get enough rain to ease my mind that my pines and shrubs will have enough moisture in the ground to survive the winter. The squirrels are SO fat and SO furry, I can't help but think they know we're in for a bad winter. Sigh. I'm way behind in everything including lots of garden clean-up that now I won't get to unless we get a few days of "Indian Summer," which doesn't seem likely this year. I did, however, get everything outdoors pretty much put away, except for the area rug (it needs to be "washed" with some soap and rinsed off) and the mosquito net curtains on my Shezebo. Now I'm already thinking about Christmas, and soon it will be here, before we know it! So, I figured it's about time I put up my "autumn" photographs from prior years as the seasonal header here at Maison Newton. Enjoy your Thanksgiving, that will be here soon and then it's into full-tilt Christmas decorating. Take care, everyone!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Autumn is Here (Almost)

Hola Darlings!

I'm taking a short break from continuing my current "The Look for Less" series today, as something mysterious happened to me overnight Thursday and I have to tell you about it.  It seems, somehow, that the Spirit of the Fall has fallen (har :)) upon me because I woke up Friday morning and all I could think about was decorating my mantle/mantel for autumn!  That's right, you read it correctly.  After weeks of ignoring the seductive efforts on all the blogs I visit to lure me into saying goodbye to summer and hello to autumn, I said nope, nope, and nope, and steadfastly ignored all attempts to convert me to the Autumn Leaves Mindset.  But Friday morning, it was like "I really need to get to the Family Dollar this weekend and see what they've got for fall." 

Now that is STRANGE, people, me ever wanting to go to the Family Dollar, for one thing.  I tried to shake the feelings off, but they stuck with me all day despite working through yet another day from Hell at the office (my boss is going to kill me from exhaustion and stress, I swear).  But they did not go away.  On the bus ride home Friday evening, I had to talk myself out of hiking from my regular stop to the Family Dollar and then home, adding an extra mile to my usual walk.  I was drained from working and knew it just wasn't wise to push myself any further.

But I got up bright and early this morning.  It was beautiful outside.  Bright blue skies and scudding fluffy clouds of white and varying shades of grey, lots of sunshine, and a brisk breeze out of the northwest (FINALLY) bringing cool temperatures and dry air!  Hooray!  The soccer kid teams were soon out on the other side of the road  on a vast playing area not far from my house and their cheers and yells were carried clearly on the wind.  They always make me smile. 

I set out for the Family Dollar about 10:15 and by the time I lingered there, deciding over this and that, putting things into my basket and then taking them out and hemming and hawing (the clerk probably thought I was a nut case) , then stopped at the Pick 'n Save down the road, and then home, I'd done a near three-mile circuit and it had clouded over.  No more sunshine today, it seems.  I arrived back home right around noon. 

I'm still feeling that autumnal thing despite the disappearance of the sun so I guess it's not going to go away.  Tonight I'll start redoing my mantle/mantel for autumn.  I don't have a clear idea of what I want to do, but I will probably incorporate most or all of the items that I used in my first ever fall mantel/mantle last year.  You've probably guessed by now that the photo above is my haul from the Family Dollar.  Here's another pic:

What I bought:

One medium/large ceramic pumpkin cookie or candy jar: $5
One ceramic autumn maple leaf dish: $2
Three floral piks: $2 each
Ceramic pumpkin salt and pepper shakers (so cute): $2
Paper mache' pumpkin with floral pik on top: $2
Two glittery pumpkins: $2 each
One 16 ft. string of foil mini autumn leaves: $1

Total: $22 plus tax

Yeah, went a little nuts at the Family Dollar (they should call it Family Dollars) -- and put some things back only because I knew I was going to stop at the supermarket and haul at least one bag of wine and groceries home!  I may go back for a set of squirrel salt and pepper shakers (so darn cute!) You know I've got a thing for squirrels :) 

I clipped some grape vines out back, stripped off the leaves and formed a rough wreath.  My wreaths never turn out round; maybe because I don't wire the vines together?  I just interweave the vines and they stick out here and there, refuse to curve in other places where they should curve, etc. etc.  So I always have cockeyed wreaths hanging around the deck, but this year I didn't even make one!  Just a little while ago I dashed outside and made my very first (maybe my last one) of the season.  Not sure I'll use it, it's pretty skimpy and sickly looking...  I'll be back tomorrow (I think) with a finished mantel/mantle.  Just in time for the Autumnal Equinox. 

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