Monday, October 14, 2019

The Simple Woman's Daybook: October Edition

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

“I suppose I will die never knowing
what pumpkin pie tastes like
when you have room for it.”

Today is Thanksgiving Monday here in Canada. Although Monday is the 'official' day, Canadians tend to celebrate the holiday any day over the long weekend. We had our family get together on Saturday so today is quiet in our household. Turkey, gravy and stuffing, not to mention pumpkin pie with whipped cream, are just savoury memories now. And yes, we have wondered what pumpkin pie tastes like when we have room for it. We beg off saying, Oh I couldn't eat another bite, and then we polish off that slice the hostess sets in front of us. hehe

Since it's still a holiday around here, rather than chatter on forever as is my usual wont, I'm taking to heart the 'simple' in the title and aim to keep this October edition sweet and simple. Hope you enjoy. 


Looking out my window... a mix of snow and rain, grey on grey,
dripping leaves in weepy masses.

I am thinking... thoughts of gratitude as I count my many blessings
on this Thanksgiving Day.

I am thankful... for a day to sit, read a book,
watch a movie, think quiet thoughts.

One of my favorite things... being cozy inside when the weather is inclement.
Especially knowing a special treat awaits for teatime later on.

I am wearing... black leggings, black sleeveless top, silver bracelets, Body Shoppe's
'British Rose' eau de toilette, Revlon's 'Softsilver Rose' lipstick.

"Hand me my purse, darling. A girl can't
read that sort of thing without her lipstick." 

I am creating... a temporary mess in my study as I tackle, sort, and tidy
some unruly shelves and drawers. 

I watched, and loved... the very moving 2015 biographical drama film
Woman in Gold about Maria Altmann, the elderly Jewish woman
(portrayed by actress Helen Mirren) who tried to reclaim family possessions
seized by the Nazis during WWII, including the famous portrait
of Maria's Aunt Adele: Gustave Klimt's "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I". 

by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
Love, love, LOVED this book. Gentle, wistful, humorous.
One review said it's a book for firesides or long train rides. Oh yes!
Or, sitting in the autumn sunshine in a sunny spot in one's living room.

Slow reading... Autumn, An anthology for the changing seasons,
edited by Melissa Harrison. A delightful collection of poetry and essays
old and new filled with evocative word pictures that takes this reader
through the season of rich scents and colourful patterns.

I am hoping... to get my house in order over the next couple of weeks
so that I can enter the Christmas season without
any unfinished business hanging over my head.

I found... a lovely article about Susan Branch from the MV Times by Alison Armstrong.
It's entitled "From Scratch: The Way of Susan Branch". If you are a fan
of Susan's, you will enjoy reading this recently published piece.

“That’s the whole point of creativity —
you have to make it up.”

In the garden... our resident bluejays are busy. Peanuts mound up in tiny piles around
the yard as these industrious birds stash their cache under autumn leaves.

In the kitchen... onions, celery, dried bread cubes, and seasoning sit
on the counter waiting to be transformed into a savoury batch
of stuffing for two -- our way of extending the festive celebration.

Shared Quote... from somewhere on my Facebook page, author unknown:

"There are three months
left in this decade.
I think you should go for it." 

That really jumps out at me. It never even crossed my mind
until I read those lines that we're shortly closing out
the 2010s and opening the 2020s. Oh my! Is there something
we need to get done before then? I think we should go for it, don't you?

A moment from my day...

* * *

Wishing you a glimpses of heaven in unexpected places.


I've linked to the October Edition of Simple Woman's Daybook here.

Monday, October 07, 2019

Monday Medley: September Events, Autumn, Garden Finale

"Autumn is
an adventure, a season of transformation, and a time
to prepare for the long winter ahead. It is a
thousand leaves falling and nourishing the soil beneath,
it is heavy rainfalls that catch you off guard and drive you to shelter;
it is the refreshing winds that sweep the haze of summer away...
It is the changing of landscape, the subtle anticipation of winter.
Autumn is to be enjoyed."

It hardly seems possible that we're finished with Summer and September. Being away in Hawaii for a few days last month really messed with my autumnal sensors this year. I could never quite get a proper feeling of the season shifting. It was still very much like summer when we left but a week later when we got back, trees had turned and dried leaves were scampering down roadways, heaping in corners and under shrubs. And then last weekend, it got really cold and in parts of the province, people were digging themselves out from under snow. Although we missed the snow (thankfully), we felt the drop in temperature. Summer was now definitely over, even my skewed season sensors picked that one up.

But then, after that initial blast of pre-winter things settled down, and we've been enjoying some proper autumn days. Those crisp and sunny days with rainy patches and wind tearing leaves from bending trees. Flock after flock of migrating birds on the fly. Combines creating dust storms as grain fields are harvested. The neighbourhood was filled with robins the other morning. It sounded so much like Spring, but with my autumn sensors now in working order I didn't pretend -- I reminded myself that, no, the birds were heading south now. 

Still, September was a good month. No, no, it was a most excellent month ... let me give you a little recap.

Of course, you already know that we spent a lovely week in beautiful Hawaii with our dear friends. If you didn't catch it earlier, here's the link to the previous post for details and photos.

Then came the long-anticipated Downton Abbey movie. I know friends who got all dolled up and made it a very Downton-y event with high tea and everything (what a splendid way to celebrate). Hubby and I didn't take it to that level, but we did go out for supper first which was lovely.

Did you see the movie? Wasn't it wonderful? We love, loved it. If you were fans of the series, I can't imagine you not loving the movie. If you haven't seen it yet, I hope you get to. So many wonderful  scenes. And Lady Violet was her witty self through it all, although I think Moseley stole the show during the Royal Supper scene. When discussing the movie with my sis-in-law the next day, we were howling at how that moment unfolded. Poor Moseley, we felt his anguish and we weren't laughing 'at' him, but it was just too comical to keep from chuckling. Of course I can't say more as not to let out spoilers. So if you haven't gone, go go go. And if you need to know what happened, I can private message you.

Several days later after that, we spent a delightful afternoon at the book event with our very own Canadian best-selling author Louise Penny when she came out west to Alberta. The sold-out event was hosted by one of Edmonton's awesome independent stores, Audrey's Books. I ordered tickets as soon as I knew she was coming. On the day, we made sure we got there in plenty of time; though we had tickets, it was general seating. We got wonderful seats near the front. Louise came out on stage to a standing ovation. We sat enrapt as she shared stories about her writing and how she got started. It was over all too soon.

Louise is an amazing speaker ... articulate, very funny, and so, so humble. She said she never ceases to marvel at all the amazing people who come to see her and buy her books. And never takes it for granted. She remembers how it was in the beginning, at the publication of her first novel, Still Life. She humorously relayed how she used to dream about her books being published while soaking in the tub. When her first book came out, she didn't hear from her publisher so she called him and mentioned she was ready for the book tour. He replied, you're not scheduled for a book tour, nobody knows who you are at this stage, nobody cares. What? Acutely disappointed, she says one day to her husband, we should take all the advance money and (deliberate pause). We assumed she was going to say and put it into doing our own book tour then. What she actually said, we should take all the advance money and use it to go out for a very nice lunch at ... (pause) ... MacDonalds. Well, she had us eating out of her hand after that.

It's hard to remember it all. I did find an interview written some years ago when her third novel came out (she's working on her sixteenth) that shares some of the stories she told us that day. If you are interested, here's the LINK.

Ah yes, thanks to my sister, I do have an autographed copy of Louise's newest book A Better Man. Louise didn't do personal book signings that day, they were all pre-autographed. My sister bought one of those (I had ordered my copy online months earlier and I brought it along). She suggested we trade copies and so now I'm now the possessor of the autographed one. Louise was in Edmonton that weekend for a family wedding, so we were grateful she shared those few hours with us, and we hardly begrudge (wink) that she had to fly off afterwards. It would have taken her hours to meet up with several hundred other fans. Anyways, she's a beautiful lady and I can see why her books are so full of kindness and goodness even in the midst of hard, terrible events like murders happening in Three Pines. I'm so glad I got to see her in person.

We went for a walk in one of our natural areas a couple of Sunday afternoons ago. Made sandwiches and a thermos of tea. It was pleasant and warm that day. Sunny, but still with autumnal crispness. The woods was quiet that day. Hardly a breeze. Sometimes we'd hear the grass rustle, but we never spotted any little critters. The birds were still too. Families were out with kids and dogs on leashes. One woman with youngsters in tow, heading back, asked if we were anywhere near the entrance. We could confirm to her relief, that, yes, it wasn't too far away. Maybe her feet were hurting, or her kids were ready for their video games and snacks. The dogs were all happy to be out.

The tail end of the month saw us celebrating family birthdays, where I brought the tea sandwiches (egg salad with lemon zest; rosemary ham, cheese, and fancy mustard; cucumber on white), with Sister bringing the most delicious red velvet cake. It was one of those days where we didn't fuss too much yet it was a lovely afternoon in the fine company of loved ones. The egg sammies went down nicely. So did the cake. 

Bringing in the last bouquets of cosmos

As you can see, the whole month was a feast for heart and soul -- treat after treat after treat. My heart overflows with gratefulness.

And through it all, the garden continued to give us just a few more photo ops before the frost hit. Now, every morning that we wake up without heavy frost on the said pumpkins is a bonus day. I've gone through the garden and said my thank you's and my goodbyes. It's a little sad. They say it's coming this week. So we're ready. I think.

Below is one last hurrah of the front garden.

"...the blaze of summer flowers slowly fades"

* * *

I hope you've enjoyed your visit.
On that note, I'm wishing you a beautiful day.


PS. I forgot to mention earlier, I did an little review of
Sarah Clarkson's delightful and beautifully written 'Book Girl'.
Here's the link if you are interested.