Saturday, September 02, 2023

Friday Five on Saturday: Little Joys

"September is dressing herself in showy dahlias
and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias."

It's the little things giving me joy this week. These heady dahlias were photographed last autumn at the St Albert Botanic Park. Their late summer display still makes my heart go zing.

How can it be September already? I love this gorgeous month of the year so I'm not sorry it's arrived. As I begin to put away the summer things, I want to browse my shelves for books that suit the season and start shifting our meals of summer fare to more hearty and warm dishes. Some folks 'sniff' at all the pumpkin spice items available this time of year. Me, I'm eager for that first autumn latte. Which could even be this afternoon. I have always loved the pumpkin spice of pies, so why not add it to muffins, waffles, and beverages.

I started this post on Friday so please consider it a Friday Five on Saturday. Happy Weekend!

One - Sunsets and long shadows 

September's sunsets and long shadows are usually a favourite delight at this time of year. But some days the sun is hidden in smoky skies—some days there are no shadows. And when the sun shines, it's amber orange. Still, trees are turning, and tiny piles of leaves gather along street curbs, enough to scrape one's toes into and hear a crunch. I've haunted the shops looking at new notebooks and pencils; let me just say I had great restraint from buying more, remembering a small pile of notebooks I bought last autumn still waiting to be pressed into service.

Two - Gently used book finds

Had the urge to pop into the thrift store for a quick look around the book section. In about five minutes, maybe ten, I had five books in hand—buy four and get the fifth free. Then I had a book to drop off at the library, and after a fast glance at their sale rack, the two Dorothy Gilman Mrs. Pollifax mysteries were added to the pile.

Driving home with my treasures, I giggled to myself, thinking I'm like a squirrel, stashing provender for winter. Food for the mind is as necessary as food for the stomach. There's a gleefulness to seeing my shelves bulge with new reading possibilities. I don't think of myself as a book hoarder, though someone else around here might think they should take my temperature. Ha!

Three - Bees in the Joe Pye Weed

The other morning I was standing by this 10-foot king of a plant called a weed—it's a gorgeous weed— watching the bees in the blossoms. I don't hear their hum as well as I used to, but the sight of them continues to give me a thrill. Alas, when I went to take photos this morning, every last hummer had gone elsewhere. So we're imagining their presence today.

Four - A stubby 8B pencil and a greeting card box

Why does this 8B sketching pencil give me joy? I don't know exactly, except I love holding it in my hand when I'm reading. In case I need to gently underline or mark a passage. It needs to be short and stubby, well-used. I've laid the pencil on an old greeting card box, which gives you an idea of its cute short stubbiness. That box once housed a lovely set of greeting cards I ordered years ago from Victoria magazine. They were paired with translucent creamy velum envelopes. I never quite got over how exquisite they were - a real joy to write in and send out.

Five - Repurposing a scented soap box 

I found a beautiful box of scented soap which smells like 'the scent of a garden in bloom'. When I set the bar out in our bathroom, I could smell it on the air for days. I was loathe to discard the box; not only was it pretty, it smelled good even empty. So, I cut it up into tiny bookmarks. They are now tucked inside books I'm reading, and when I open the pages I still get that tiny whiff.

"But the days grow short when
you reach September."

Before I sign off, I wanted to mention that I won't be around for the next week or two. We're doing some home reno projects which means our house will be a little upside down. I probably won't get to a blog post. So I'll take this time to wish you a beautiful month ahead. I hope it's filled with tiny pleasures and a few big ones too. Stay safe, be well.

Wishing you a beautiful day,

Photo credits:
All photos are mine, except the
Trees at Sunset by Mabel Amber from Pixabay


  1. I've never read the Holmes September quotation before even though he's a hero of mine. How lovely with your photograph! Your sunset picture makes me so very ready for autumn and I do like your fall cooking plans. Why wait for October? Let's stretch the season out! I have the Patrick Taylor An Irish Country Christmas so I wonder if the Yuletide one is different? I do love the Christmas one. And I remember being so moved by the Poisonwood Bible, as well as her other books. You do have some treasures there. That excerpt from September Song reminded me I forgot to get out my Willie Nelson album and listen to it on September first. I love it even though it makes me remember how sad it made my mother. To me it's kind of a delicious sadness. How exciting that you're getting some home projects done before the holidays! I hope you can share later.
    Even though I clicked on to comment with my Google account I'm still showing up as anonymous so I'll sign my name!

    1. Dewena, I do hope the source where I found that quote was accurate in attributing it to Mr. Holmes.
      The Yuletide book is not the Irish Country Christmas novel - it's a novella. In this volume, Dr. O'Reilly and Kitty are married six months, according to the opening paragraph. In the earlier novel, they were still courting, I do believe. I won't read the book until December. Something to look forward to. I do enjoy that whole series.

      Thanks for your lovely note, wishing you a beautiful day.

  2. What a good idea about the bookmarks. Those dahlias are beautiful. I don't think I will get up to my daughter's at the right time this year to exult in hers, so I appreciate your great picture and reminder.

    I do love this month, but it's reminding me that I need to hurry scurry and get ready for the winter, because my unheated garage needs a lot of organizing, and last winter I kept telling myself I would work out there in the summer. I haven't done half of the work yet, so I better get busy! But I'll try to remember to take lots of breaks in which I will notice the special air and light of September.

    1. Even the tiniest of breaks, a few seconds, when one is deeply aware of the moments can add joy to one's life. It doesn't have to be hours or days to make the soul sing. I keep trying to remember that for myself, too. Thanks, Gretchen, for stopping in.

  3. Oh my goodness Brenda!!!! Are you my “twin sister??”🤗😂
    Just last night I made a late stop at Hime Goods to hopefully find a new journal for Fall! I like the size of “The Fringe” notebooks along with larger, decorated, hardback journals by “Clementine.” I came away with 3 journals!!!! I felt a little like I really had gone wild so I love hearing that you “get it!!”☺️( I’m smiling as I write this!!” ( The Fringe notebooks are typically $6.99)
    My new “attempt,” with the help of an Artist friend and You Tube is to sketch “little Fall things” in my journal so I just purchased new pencils! ( I do love your stubby one!☺️) Soap boxes, I love them also. Perhaps I’ll get more creative with them!
    The beautiful Fall photo to bring us into September is lovely and I laugh again at your description of feeling like a squirrel as you “take joy” in collecting whatever it may be to usher in a new season!!!!
    As far as “Syncronicity,” earlier I was reading a chapter from “Something More” by Sarah Ban Breathnach. ( pg 27) It spoke to “the little things” that you obviously enjoy and that your readers do also.” I opened them your Post for Friday/ Saturday and what did your 1st sentence refer to but “Little Things!!!!” I love “Syncronicity “ and the “messages” or reminders they emphasize in a moment.🤗
    Good luck with your home renovations!!!!! Thank you for taking the time to post a lovely September greeting!!!!~ Ann from Ohio

    1. Well, Ann, I do see that we share so much in common. Twin kindred spirits.

      Hope you found that 'just right' journal for this new season. I am interested in your artist friend on YouTube sketching little fall things - would you mind sharing the link? I'm not a painter/sketcher in a big way, but I do love to doodle the little things.

      I so enjoyed Sarah Ban Breathnach's book - she was a bright star in my younger days on living life more beautifully.

    2. Hi Brenda,
      I have been thinking about you hoping that the renovating and improvements are coming along!🤗 You have no doubt figured out how to work with and around everything!!!🤣 I will look up that link tomorrow and send along! I’m afraid that I’m not spending the time daily to sketch as I had hoped!! I daily bring home something from a walk to try my hand at! Like anything you want to learn you must carve out the time!!☺️
      Was such a treat to see your reply!! Take good care!!!~ Ann

  4. How nice to see you are reading Heidi. I love going back to treasured childhood favourites, so comforting. Dahlias are such a vivid part of Autumn in the garden, and often go on far longer than I expect. Such a lovely post Brenda, thank you.

    1. Thanks so much, Barbara, for your note! It's been a while since I read that delightful story. My mom read it as a girl and she was glad to introduce her girls to the story years later. Those childhood favourites are, as you say, so comforting. I'm always intrigued at how quickly I can also remember and feel the actual place where I read these old stories - on my bed, under the trees outside, on the living room couch.

  5. You're a book collector, not a book hoarder! Thrift stores are a great place to find books at affordable prices.

    I have started decorating for fall, but haven't jumped on the pumpkin spice band wagon yet. We're in a heat wave and I need the temperatures to cool down a bit.

    Good luck with the home renovation!

    1. Thank you, Margie, I'll take the title of book collector anytime! With that heat wave, you are still in deep summer. I wouldn't be wanting a pumpkin spice latte just yet either. Around here, there's been heavy smoke from the Northwest Territories and northern BC - the days are overcast and cooler for the moment. The sun is trying to peek through the haze in its almost now normal 'orange tint'. Weather notwithstanding, life is still beautiful around here - wishing you a pleasant week ahead. xo

  6. I enjoyed your five things, Brenda, it is always the little things, isn't it? And nothing is as little-big as books and flowers. Well, perhaps cake. Hope you had a lovely Labor Day weekend and good luck with the reno.

    1. Oh yes, don't forget cake - it always turns a meeting into a party. Thanks, Amalia, for stopping by.

  7. How lovely to read of some of your joys in early September. (Like you, I can hardly believe it's here so soon.) I hope that September continues to bring a smile to your face, even as you are doing those house-y things which bring smiles along with a big of upheaval. :)

  8. I really loved your sunset and shadows photo. And what a clever idea to make book marks from the beautiful box. I save boxes like that with the hope of finding another use for them. Now I have one. Thanks!


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo