Saturday, November 9, 2019

Savoring Autumn - Weeks 6 and 7

"There are two times of year, autumn, and waiting for autumn!"

- Unknown

Whew!  It's been a busy couple of weeks to say the least, and today, I've decided (for the most part, because there is always laundry), to put my feet up and take it a little easier.  Care to join me?

Upon returning from a short vacation, we celebrated Halloween, began renovation on the van (I promise, eventually I'll go into more detail on that subject), October has given way to November, and now here we are, and it is time to celebrate my 58th trip around the sun (11).

Our Halloween was simple and cozy, I shared about our festivities in this post. But one thing I didn't get around to doing this year was carving a pumpkin. Kate had a friend over a few weeks before Halloween, and they each carved one.  But I intentionally saved mine.

I first came across the idea for carving a pumpkin house when they started popping up on my Instagram feed, and I knew I just had to make one. So I chose a pumpkin that seemed to be just the right shape, and with a gorgeous stem, and set it near my little pot bellied stove, anxiously awaiting. I considered carving it for Halloween, but somehow it just didn't fit. I suppose a haunted pumpkin house might be fun to carve, maybe next year. So held off for a week, and knowing that we would be celebrating my birthday a few days earlier (to accommodate for schedules), I decided to make it the centerpiece for the the table.

And didn't it turn out just lovely? I borrowed ideas from a couple of others that I'd seen, but also added elements that made it my own, like the little leaf curtains in the windows, and a wreath on the door. I was outside rustling through the leaves on the ground looking for the prettiest among them to adorn it. I'm not sure what the neighbors in the complex think, my guess is they've grown used to the crazy leaf lady, but honestly how could one not be crazy about this beauty!?  I think the locals are at a severe disadvantage. They have no idea that just on the other side of the Mississippi, the beauty of this season fails in comparison. Of course New England is the place to go for unparalleled beauty this time of year, but autumn in Virginia suits me just fine. I wanted to add some bittersweet to it. I found some growing wild last year while we were on vacation (pictured top), and I could kick myself now for not bringing some of it home with me. I'm not sure how well it lasts, but I can tell you that the florists in this area ask a pretty price for it. If I ever find it in the wild again, I won't hesitate to gather up a bit.

"Summer ends and autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide and a full moon every night; and thus he would never know the rhythms that are at the heart of life."

- Hal Borland

Because we were away for a few days before Halloween, I realized that we hadn't made time for some of our favorite seasonal movies. So I engaged in a bit of a marathon one day, and picked up my hook and yarn and started on a new scarf (I'll share pictures once I'm finished). I have a large collection of movies, including a number that I watch seasonally, and for Halloween I enjoy.

- Young Frankenstein (though we never got around to watching it this year)

And my absolute favorite movie to watch in the days leading up to Halloween is, 

Funny thing, I am not a fan of Judy Garland, and yet two of the movies I watch around this time feature her as the star. To be honest, the are probably the only movies I watch that she stars in. But the other characters in the movies and the sweet storylines more than make up for her lack of appeal. Obviously there a lot of people who like her, I'm just not one. Margaret O'Brien however, I do adore, and the Halloween scene with Agnes and Tootie is my absolute favorite. It also ends with Garland singing the beloved Christmas song, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, and making Hollywood music history. This is probably the only movie that I watch twice, once around Halloween, and then again at Christmas. If you've never watched it I highly recommend it, and if you want to catch the Halloween scene, and the odd custom of throwing flour in the faces of unliked neighbors, you can find it, here. Margaret O'Brien is now 82 years young, and still just as beautiful as ever!

"I loved autumn.  The one season of the year God 
seemed to put there, just for the beauty of it."

- Lee Maynord

And finally, we celebrated my birthday together as a family last night. Though it isn't actually until Monday (11), between Kate and Bill's work schedules, last night was the only time that worked.  I don't mind though. Bill is taking me to Williamsburg tomorrow for a little birthday getaway, just a quick trip up and back. And on Monday I'm having lunch at a favorite restaurant with a dear friend. Then, towards the end of the month, Bill is taking me to see A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, which I've waiting for on pins and needles since I first heard news that is was in the making. I wasn't sure about Tom's believability as the iconic Mr. Rogers, who I just adore, but I think, based on what I've seen, he may win me over yet!

The picture here to the left is the table I made up for the occasion. I was going to bake my favorite cake, but when I found these cupcakes marked down to $3.49, I knew it was worth my time to change the plan. I did spruce them up a bit with some blackberries, golden raisins, dried cranberries and candied pecans. I served pork roast (so easy, it cooked in the crock pot all day!), green bean casserole ( a favorite from my childhood!) and rolls for dinner. Kate bought me a t-shirt I'd been wanting for some time back in early October. She wanted me to be able to enjoy it during the season, so it was an early surprise. In recent years I've asked for experiences in lieu of presents. Most things I want these days I am able to get for myself, but having the family around the dinner table is priceless. Who knows what adventures Bill and I will be on this time next year?  Last year we spent my birthday in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia (A dream come true!) so that made this celebration particularly sweet. 

And now I suppose it is time to wrap this up, but before I go I wanted to give you the link to a little Thanksgiving planner I made up a few years back, Savoring the Season of Thanksgiving.  I've updated the calendar, but I will tell you that it begins about six weeks out and we are well past that now. Still, there are some yummy recipes included, and just enough time left to put it to use. I've already noted that I need to update it for next year, and I'm hoping to make it bigger and even better. For now, I'll leave you with this sweet picture of my little pumpkin house all aglow! 

"We'll leave the light on."

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Julie said...

Oh my goodness, Kim! I just discovered your blog via Dawn at By Sun & Candlelight. It's so beautiful and full of much of what I love - I can't wait to explore it!!!

Kim Lottman said...

Thank you so much, Julie! And welcome! I hope that you will enjoy your time here! <3

Melissa said...

Love the Pumpkin House! We don't carve pumpkins, but this, I just might try.
Wonderful thoughts on this post.
Have a great time in Williamsburg, we like going there also.

Kim Lottman said...

Thank you, Melissa. Our plans have actually changed a bit and we've decided to bump Williamsburg to around Christmas. But we have other fun plans in store! Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Your pumpkin how is darling! It looks as though you'll be/ have been well celebrated for your birthday; enjoy all the fun!


Kim Lottman said...

Yes, Pam, it kind of accidentally turned into a multi-day celebration! And thank you, I will! :)