Friday, October 23, 2009


I finally got out and bought my haystacks, pumpkins, mums and apples as well as an assortment of baby pumpkins, gourds and fall scented candles. I feel complete at last... Now I have to do the same for the lakehouse. Sigh. No, actually it is fun. These things are fun and that is why we do them. We anticipate the holidays and then we complain that we don't have time, that we are stressed out, that we are spread too thin. But it's what we anticipated. We start out loving it. And then the love slowly fades and the complaining starts. Bah Humbug! I refuse to let that happen. I may have been late with every holiday this year, but I will be on the ball with the rest of them (hopefully).
Now, how did I go off on this tangent? I don't know. About an hour ago I was outside arranging my little scarecrows on my huge haystacks and the wind was whipping and the leaves were flying and it is only about 60 degrees here in Chicago. I was enjoying every breath of rain sodden, leafy smelling air. And that is the way it should be. I want to live in the moment, even if I am late for the moment. And who determines what late is?? Me. ME!!!! Why am I always late? Because I simply follow my own clock.

I am not too much of a cute person. I really don't do cute well. But these are for all the little kids that walk by on their way to and from school, wearing my children's former uniforms. The littlest ones stop and point. I can see them out the window and it makes me smile. I have been making fires in the fireplace about 5:00 every evening, lighting my candles with scents like Spiced Cider and Clove Bud & Citrus. I do this before The Husband and Kevin come home just so I can have a little time to enjoy the quietness, the savory smells and the crackling of the fire. I'm peaceful inside.

After awhile it will feel like the weather is holding us hostage. A short trip out in the car looms in front of me because it means dressing up warm, maybe cleaning the snow off the car windows and waiting for it to warm up. Even my feet hitting the cold floor in the morning is a reason to mumble to myself. Curling up at night with a good book and a warm throw over my lap has remarkable qualities until I think of having to do it all again tomorrow. How to stay positive... How to live in the moment when the moment isn't so hot.

When I bought this threesome last year, it was supposed to be Me, Emily and Abby (we were going to use a black marker on Abby's hair!!). Abigail came home from school this weekend. I picked her up at the Greyhound station. Just the other day I remarked to Emily, "Doesn't it seem like it hasn't sunk in that Abby has gone away?" To which Emily replied happily, "Nope." And other than the first week, where I would sometimes think that she was home, I have been fine. I am remarkably fine. I hope it isn't my usual denial reflex kicking in, but everything just seems to keep going along at it's normal pace. Sitting up at the lake one weekend not too long ago, I realized all of this. And I thought of how one by one I had sort of lost a child to the lake. They reached an age where they didn't want to be up there and away from home, away from their friends. Green Acres just wasn't the place to be. So one by one they stopped coming. For the last two years or so, The Husband and I have been alone there on weekends, sometimes longer. And so I realized, I have said my goodbyes to all of them, including Abby. I may have been the one who left.

We used to refer to my mother as 'the old crow'. Don't be shocked...she got some sort of kick out of it. We'd be out shopping and we'd say "C'mon you old crow!" and she'd laugh. Yes, I come from a family with a quirky sense of humor. Well, I remember her sitting in her chair in the evening with her book and a cup of coffee, while I prepared to go out to some party or event. I felt sorry for her. That she was going to sit there alone. My father was usually quietly watching television or dozing on the couch. Of course there was absolutely no reason to feel sorry for her, just as there is no reason for my children to feel sorry for me. But I wonder if they do. I am usually sitting there at night, book in hand as I say, "Have a nice night. Be safe." I'm content. I am not yearning for more than what I have. My wants may be more simple now that I am older, and even that is enough to be happy about So I say to myself, "Hey, you old crow. Look at what I'm doing. I'm just like you. I hope you were happy..."

I bought yellow and white mums. I thought they would look good with my blue shutters. I also bought some pansies to switch out my pots of impatiens with. I've never done that before. Pansies can survive a frost. Here in Chicago, in the spring, after all the tulips and daffodils have died off, you see the pansies everywhere. The first flowers that will take us into summer. And we can't wait...we are done with spring. Bring on those hot, sunny days. Well then you know what comes after that...I do feel so bad for my friends in the South and in Arizona and California (did I miss anyone) who are still trying to cope with the incredible heat they have been having. We were so lucky here in the Midwest with perfect weather. But as with any season, one day starts to blend in with the next, punctuated by holidays, and while time marches on, it also flies by. Suddenly we are older and we want time to slow down. Yet we still push forward with our seasons.

Everything is looking a bit shabby here. I once confessed to my sister that about August, I began to tire of taking care of my garden and yard. I wasn't out pulling every little weed or fertilizing like I should. She admitted that she felt the same way and we laughed. I don't know if any of you feel that way. So you can see that I have not been out with the hedge trimmers lately. Hey, I like 'shabby chic', indoors and out!! How does the blue and yellow look?

My geraniums refuse to let go. And I can't toss out a live plant. To the right of the plant you can see a new pot of lavender I bought. What a deal I got and look at the size of it. When my geraniums finally succumb to the frosts. I will plant the lavender in the pot to winter over. Then I think I'll keep it on the patio where I can smell it. Mmmmm!

What a funny guy this is, on his swing. I think he loves fall. I think I do too. Soon I will be replacing these decorations with some balsam wreaths and Christmas lights. But the old crow says "Wait. What's the hurry? I'm having fun!" So that's the way it is. I'm slowing down. The days may be shorter but I still have 16 hours. And now I am going to throw another log on the fire and curl up with a good book.
Have a wonderful weekend! :-)


Mary said...

Hi Sue,

I just left you a long comment on your White Wednesday were probably posting this one as I was writing! Love your pumpkins and scarecrows...I haven't purchased anything yet, and if I don't hurry, it will be over! Your home looks so autumny and ready for the falling leaves...we are still in the high 70's and my roses are still blooming, so its difficult to get into the mood. No doubt, it will change overnight, and we'll go right into winter!

God bless,

Mary said...

I meant Jane! Sometimes, I don't even know my own name...when we blog hop, it can get sooooo confoosing!

God bless,

Brenda Pruitt said...

I guess I was always an old fuddy-duddy. I had my first child at 17, and when others were busy going out to bars and I was home, I never resented that. Because I thought of going out at night as sort of depressing. I still do. I've always been a hermit and a homebody! I love to read your posts, because I do feel as though you're talking to me. I know I've said this before, but you just have a way of writing that is casual yet intimate. Yellow and blue always looks good together. And it's very sweet of you to think of the school children. Have a nice weekend! I'll be here reading too!

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

Ok....I won't say it looks cute...althought those 3 scarecrows together are kinda cu....nice! You did a great job decorating and I say...let's not hurry Christmas. In fact, I could take another 2 months, even 3 of Autumn....but then thats just me!
Have a wonderful weekend.

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Since I obviously do "cute", I'm loving your scarecrow family-so cute (sorry). I don't do "pretty" or "elegant", but I sure wish I could. laurie

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

Too cute! I love the idea that you are making things sweet for the children that pass by. I love, love, love the Fall! Have a great weekend.

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Beautifully said my friend... I love that you dance to your own time clock... You are just to precious for words..
have a super w/k..hugs ~lynne~

Julie Marie said...

Hello Jane, I love this post, so many of your sentiments are the same as mine... although I did decorate a bit earlier than you... I love that the little children walking by point and smile at your decorations, that is soo sweet...I have no children, so sometimes even though Jack is right in the next room, I feel sort of lonely... then I make myself snap out of it and realize how many blessing I really do have in my life... I love sitting by my little fireplace too with a good book or lovely magazine... thanks for sharing your special memories about your mama too... love to you... Bisous... Julie Marie

blushing rose said...

It is 'cute', you underestimate yourself. Everything blends so nicely & has a warm seasonal touch for all to enjoy.

Have a warm wonderful weekend. TTFN ~ Marydon

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Hey, Janie... I really like what you did, and that trio of scarecrows with the little crow are darling. Pretty mums and pumpkins, too.


Sheila :-)

Ribbonwood Cottage said...

Hi Janie. Boy do I love those blue shutters...they are stunning. And then the blue planter you have your mums in just pulls it all together. What a gorgeous look for your front door area! I love it. Everything looks so is still hot here but not in the 100's anymore...thank goodness. I have been sipping hot chamomile tea in the evenings dreaming of cooler weather! ha!

Bonnie said...

Ok, Jane...I have my own "old crow" story. We had a very old Llahsa Apso named Kenji, he must have been about 12 or 13. He was nicknamed "the old man." I get home one day in the late afternoon and Kenji wasn't there to greet me and I said to my mom "where's the old man?" To which she says "he's taking a shower!" OMG! She was talking about my dad - haha!

Love your pictures and I LOVE the blue and yellow combo. How sweet you put up "cute" Halloween for the little kids and I'm lovin' that crow on the swing.

Hey, it's the weekend ~ Bonnie

PS - Sadie sents a shout out to Milo!

Kat said...

I really love this post. It sounds like you have found your "new normal" and are comfortable with it. That's a very good place to be, my friend. I love all of your fall decor and I think the front of your house looks lovely, not shabby at all. Has hubby grown to love the blue shutters yet? I think they look wonderful. Have a great weekend, Kathy

xinex said...

You are so right about the blue pot with yellow and white mums, Janie! They make the blue shutters pop, very pretty together. I also love your scarecrow trio. So cute with the uniforms. Well, I am still planting, believe it or not, although it is cold today, the high was only 61....Christine

Julie@beingRUBY said...

HI Jane
Well although Australian seasons should be the norm for me, I must have watched to much tv as a kid, as it always seems a bit about face. We are about to hit summer.. so no fall decorating leading up to christmas.. and although it is spring it is not marked by any special holiday to welcome in the season [eg Easter].

I'll just have to suffice with the lovely decorating efforts of yourself and other bloggers.

Love the little crow!!

xx Julie

Barbara Jean said...

cute cute cute cute cute!!!!

Love it all!


barbara jean

Lori E said...

Right now I have two hydrangeas and two day lilies waiting to go into the garden before winter. Nothing has been cleaned up and I don't care. I totally give up about August.
You know as I watch the young people flit around before going out somewhere, answering tons of phone calls about what they are all going to do I can't help but feel they are trying too hard to have a good time. You know just so they can get together and all talk about what a GOOD time they all had. Sounds like work to me.

Elaine said...

Very pretty. Sounds wonderful, lighting the fireplace and the spiced cider candles.

I know what you mean about the anticipation of a holiday and then getting tired of it. That's because some people start their holidays too early. Like doing Christmas before Thanksgiving.

My pet peeve is listening to people say "I'm glad it's over" the day after Christmas. If they didn't rush the season they wouldn't be tired of it.

Paula@SweetPea said...

It's never too late for holiday decorating. Many people decorate for each season way too early, imo. The weather around here has been very nice, too. You'd better enjoy it while it lasts in Chicagoland because you know that it will be cold before you know it!

Nancy said...

"I like to live in the moment even if I'm late for the moment" ....laughing but how true! What a poignant post this was and I can relate on many levels. I always enjoy a visit here, Jane. Well written. xoxo Nancy

Kathleen said...

Hi Jane,
You Fall decorations look very pretty! I am sure the kids walking by with love them too!

You are not an "old crow" !

So next week get out the Cmas decs, because before you know it it will be here!
I have to start earlier and earlier to get done in time!
Have a great weekend!

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Ok I think it's "CUTE" ha ha!! there I said it...and girl I also have my own time clock I march to...And you know what I did fall way to early this year and am thinking about taking it down now ha ha!!
And Jane I never do fall otside my house..First year I moved up here I did and the deer's thought I put out a buffet for them...ate every pumpkin I had ha ha!! Really I never has to throw food out...I just toss it in the yard and the deers and racoon will have it gone before the morning light comes up...They also eat every flowers I put in the yard...
Now Jane I love finally having my time alone without my children...But then I had my first one at 15 and last one at 20 so I had kids all my life and now I can do what I want to do and still enjoy the grands and great grands...Girl I have a daughter older than you ha ha!! I also like knowing where all my stuffs at without looking in there rooms for it...I never could find even my blow dryer when they were all home ha ha!! it will get better my friend...just take some time to do something for just yourself..Like sit and read that ggod book take a nap...Hope you have a great weekend my friend...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Linda (Nina's Nest) said...

I don't do "cute" either, but I love it that you did it for the kids who pass by - Cute! Linda

Laura said...

What a wonderful post. I love how you cut straight to the chase about feelings.

I was outside working in the yard fighting worried feelings. What is that about???



Betsy Brock said...

You know, Milo and Layla would look adorable in some of my discarded sweater sleeves! ha!

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Your fall decorating looks wonderful! I love that mother nature helped and scattered real leaves on your front stairs...

Sue said...

Hi Janie girl... can I call you that?
I can understand your pensive mood. It is always difficult when the last one leaves. In my case, it was the only one... It was hard to realize that things would never quite be the same again for me- an only child, doing everything for and with him... They grow up and we grow older. Now THAT is a melancholy thought- yikes!

I like your outdoor decorating. And just think of how much pleasure it gives the school kids who walk by your house. Love the crows. I hadn't heard the expression "the old crow" for so long now!

I need to go out and finish my Halloween decorations. It's actually nice out today- no rain. yea! I wait til the last minute-I don't like lights and pumpkins glowing until a couple of nites beforehand.

take care, my friend, xoxo Sue

Rita said...

Hi jane,
what a nice decoration with those lovely pumpkins and scarecrows for passer-by schoolkids to see. That's a very sweet and CUTE idea.
We do not celebrate Fall in Italy, and Halloween itself is quite new, but love so much what you've done. It's truly a way of celebrating Fall.

Winchester Manor said...

Your decorations are lovely and crows are darling and I love the pumpkins with the mums!

Hugs and love,

Anonymous said...

Hey Blondie, Don't you worry one little bit. The kids will back at the lake before you know it.....I promise you. :) I will be up your way in December. Sure hope the weather is good to me. xo Lynn

santamaker said...

Blondie, your place looks great. Love all of the fall touches. That crow cracked me up!

sarah { abeachcottage } said...

love the mini pumpkins and those scarecrows, just too cute!


xinex said...

Good morning, Janie. I was just thinking about you. When are you going to visit us? Our guests left last Friday so I am able to relax now but I still have lots of work to do, changing bedsheets and doing laundry, etc. Kerri uses all 3 guest bedroom when she is here so I have to clean all 3, lol. Come visit our yard and see if you like our new fence!...Christine

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

I love every bit of this beautiful post, Jane!

It's raining here, in the StL area again! It flooded in November, 27 years ago. I remember that, because it was the week, J and I had our first date and we had detours all around, to work and homes, because of flooded roads. Wonder if all this precipitation will cause flooding this year!!

savvycityfarmer said...

your front door sreams come on in!!

isn't there the fall-est feeling in the air ...

Barb said...

Hi Jane, I love it all. Every picture made me smile.

You should write!

Hugs, Barb ♥

Lorrie said...

I very much enjoyed this post. I am right there with you in wanting to live for the moment even if I'm late for the moment.

I think the idea that you may have been the one "moved" and not your children is one of those "light bulb" moments. For so many years our lives totally revolve around our kids, but then that slowly changes as they develop their own lives and as parents we "reinvent" ourselves and pick up the threads of our own adult lives. Saying goodbye becomes a process, not a moment in time.

bj said...

Everything looks fabulous and I adore your pretty blue shutters...
xo bj

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

Oh who cares about the "late" part, Janie. Your decorations look great. And it's not Halloween yet is it?

Can't wait to hear what you think about the "Green Tomato Cake"...just chop the tomatoes real small. You are going to love it...just make sure you have others around so you don't eat the whole think. It is that good!

Enjoy, Carrie

Cass @ That Old House said...

OK, you want to talk late? do you k now when we finished decorating our two big Christmas trees last yesr? ON Christmas Day!

My girls came home, I had been decorating the trees for about a week, but I have more than a thousand ornaments -- I needed help! And didn't get it till they got home and pitched in. And you know what? No one fainted!

I laugh at our pictures of Christmas Day, with the halfdone trees!

Go at your own pace. As holidays approach, I usually pick a date, and say to myself, OK, what's done by then is done... and the rest can wait till NEXT YEAR. :-)

And I do think we leave our kids as much as they leave us. But don't worry -- THEY COME BACK.

Loved this post!
PS everytrhing looks great -- I don't have mums yet !!!

Rose of Sharon said...

Hi there! I came over from Linda's blog (LindanJake). Any way, you have a lovely blog here and I love all your fall decorations! I would love to invite you over to my blog for a cup of coffee and a good 'ol hen talk!

Hugs, Sharon

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

Jane, I can relate to the "leaving the nest" syndrome, even though Seth is living at home this year and commuting to the college he attends which is about 40 minutes away. Next year, however, he wants to go to Ole' Miss. Yeah, Ole' Miss! 4 hours away AND in another State! Out of State tuition! I told him I just didn't know if I could pull that off! He better be getting some scholarships!!

Your pumpkins all look wonderful! Thank you for yor diet support! I hate to diet, but alas, the time has come when I MUST do something, or I am going to have to buy a new wardrobe!!

I will keep you posted!

Have warm day!

Lou Cinda :)

Signing Out said...

Jane, your autumn decorations look great! I like the shabby look for fall, too. It just looks more natural.


Heartfelt living said...

Hi Jane,
I just found your blog and have been enjoying my visit. Everything looks so festive! I'm sure the kids will just love it.
Happy Halloween,

SmilingSally said...

Hey, Jane, that guy on the swing having fun ... he's and "old crow"!

I love your decorations; you KNOW I love the blue and yellow.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Jane,
You are deep girl! I so enjoyed reading this my friend. We leave for AZ early tomorrow morn and my son told me to bring a coat. It's only supposed to get up to 65 tomorrow in Phoenix! It's going to be 60 degrees here in Wisc. I e-mailed you too, I am so bad about checking my blogger e-mail. Sorry to be so late. Talk to you soon, Hugs, Cindy

Maryrose said...

Hi Jane,
Can you send me a little of that brisk fallness you are enjoying in Chicago and then when you have snow I'll send you a little Ca sunshine. Good trade dont you think?
I remember several years ago feeling the same way you do. One day the holidays were approaching, my kids were living their own lives and I thought wow, life is so quiet. I am no longer the center of the universe to my kids, thankfully my husband still liked me ;) tee hee. And then it seems like the very next day I became a grandmother to 3 very different little girls and I became the center of the universe again (maybe in my own mind) but boy does life change. I loved your post and related totally. I better think twice before saying my life is boring or I may end up with 3 more grandchildren.... sorry to ramble ... thanks for the visit, it is always my pleasure.
Maryrose :)

Tootsie said...

it is all just so warm and welcoming!

Sue said...

Hi Jane,
I just so enjoyed this post. I got so engrossed in your writing that I had to go back and look at the pictures. lol I don't know which I enjoyed the most. You have such a way with words, it's like I am sitting right there. You are truly gifted.
Your decorations are beautiful, And like you I have decided that I am going to slow down and enjoy the moment. Such freedom !!!! I will enjoy it without guilt if you will. LOL

Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

Oh I so enjoyed your post today.Wish I could write all my thoughts down as well as you do !

Simple Home said...

Beautiful photos. I just discovered your blog and I'm really enjoying it. I've joined your followers and I'll be checking back soon.

Melissa Miller said...

Hi Jane,
Oh everything looks so pretty and Fall-like. Love your adorably fun decor'! ~Precious.

Thanks for your sweet encouragement on my healthy lifestyle and weight loss. You are the first one to clap for me! I appreciate it so much my sweet friend.

Happy Halloween! ~Melissa :)

RobinfromCA said...

Fun decorations for fall! Everything looks very festive and it really doesn't matter when you put things up. I keep changing things around and adding to them until I take them down. Like you said - it's fun!


Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I have the same scarecrow trio! I think your home looks very warm and welcoming.

I know it's hard to see children grow up and go off on their own. Been there, done that. I'm thrilled to be a grandmother now --a long distance grandmother, but it's still good :-)

Every stage of life has it's blessings and is as good as we make it. Enjoy it all and have a happy weekend!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Well....I saw nothing in your Fall display that said "late"..nope not a single thing! Always better late...then never! It all looks wonderful and that you had fun doing it is what is important! We have fun looking at it! :)

Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings... said...

Hi Jane... Loved your analogy of Seasons and Growing older!!! The reality is as we grow older the seasons come faster...nothing we can do about that though! Your preparation for fall is darling and I'm sure the little ones do stop and point...and you say you don't do CUTE!Ha! Your yard looks great, personally I like the Shabby chic yard! Love leaves in the yard. My man is forever blowing leaves..they make him crazy messing up his yard!!! We... I'm looking forward to getting out the Christmas decorations...I purchased a new little scraggely tree last year after christmas and am anxious to put it up....but...I'll least until Nov. First...Ha! Ha! Have a cozy fall by the fire, you old ----...sorry I just can't say it!!!, xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

Unknown said...

Your Halloween decorations are wonderful. I love the pumpkins cascading down the steps. Is the lake house far away? My dream has always been to have two homes so that I could change the backdrop. It must be so much fun to decorate the two homes.

I love the idea of those spice candles and the fire lit in the fireplace.

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Hi Jane!
Everything looks so festive. I love the old crows and the scarecrows. With the pumpkins it all looks so Fall(ish). I just love it. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for your lovely comments on my blog this morning. Amy was such a vibrant, beautiful young woman,and she touched so many hearts in blogland. I am so thrilled we were able to share with all of you. Your cards and letters made her so happy the last months of her life. She loved reading each one, and so loved the colors. She was an artist and loved color in and everything. Thank you Jane for stopping by to share your love. Country hugs and love, Sherry said...

Happy White Wednesday. Love those beautifully shaped pumpkins. Did you grow them?

come by for a visit

Beth at Aunties said...


You make me smile....:D
Wonderful Fall decor!!! The kids will love it. So many times the fun of the holiday is disappearing... ALL kids need it even the BIG ones!
Your scarecrows are so darling and I just plain love this time of year too and all the smells and sights which go with it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jane! Oh, my goodness, I love your Fallness of decoration! That trio of scarecrows are darling and love that you dressed them in your girls school uniforms. The pumpkins are really nice and those mums! I just love mums and do wished their blooms would last a little longer.
You're not too late! You're right on time!
Thanks for popping in to visit me.
Be a sweetie,
shelia ;)

Karen said...

What a wonderful post. Some of it so explained some of my feelings - it was amazing. But we do what we do for the Holidays because we love to do it. When we stop loving it, we should stop doing it. Because a simple candle and a star will suffice. Because a smile on the neighborhood kids' face - will suffice. but we do more because . . . well, because we want to.
The "reason for the season".
HAGD! Karen

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Janie, dropping back by here to say that I'm just so excited about something I've been doing with burlap. If you get a chance, please come over to my blog and check it out. You might want to do it, too!


Sheila :-)

Mary said...

I've so enjoyed looking at your decor for Fall/Halloween - just know the kiddies must love passing your lovely house.

Your trip to Vegas looked fun. Like you, I too feel I've been there enough - enjoyable, but one only requires a few visits, too many other naturally beautiful places to see in this big old world!

Glad you are comfortable as Fall envelopes us - leaves falling, cool weather, garden sleeping and time slowing down. Enjoy those early evenings as the light changes - my favorite time of day too.

Decor To Adore said...

Oh what happiness! I adore the crows.

The Summer Kitchen Girls said...

Jane - your post is wonderful as well as your decorations! We must have the same inner-clock! We just started to decorate the outside of our homes (of corse the store has been done since August...but that's the retail curse!) We are so in love with the thought of a log on the fire and a good book....perhaps after the holidays!
Enjoy your week!

Winchester Manor said...

I just wanted to stop by to say hello and thank you for your kind words. Hope you are having a wondeful day!

Love and hugs,

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