Thursday, October 13, 2016


A simple harvest table...just some apples and pumpkins from the grocery store.  I'm trying to do things in a more simple and thoughtful way, embracing the natural beauty of autumn.  I may soon be scattering damp leaves and twigs all over the house if I keep this up.  

We are only just feeling 'autumn~like' today with the temps dropping and continuous rain.  Sort of makes me want to make a fire but tomorrow will be sunny again, albeit a little brisk.  Today was the absolute last day in my memory that I had no where to go or be.  No appointments, errands or excuses to "Go bummin'" as my mom used to say (her expression for shopping).  So I stayed in my PJ's until about 2:00 and did some serious laundry, bill paying, catching up on emails and had maybe a fleeting idea to bake something.  Or not.  

I did a minimal amount of fall decorating on The Monster Mantel.  I put away a few summery things like starfish and lanterns and dried flowers, but I still like the blue vibe so I'm glad I have that going by just adding the little Cinderella (or baby boo?) pumpkins.  I found the cotton boll wreath at Antique Farmhouse (I really have to stop opening those emails!).  It came from Georgia and I must say, even The Husband was impressed with my purchase.  

So the truth is I have not so much as ventured into the storage room downstairs to pull anything Fallish out.  Very strange behavior for me.  I feel a little bad that I have collected so much over the years and its just staying packed up this year.  We all talk about downsizing, most times at Christmas.  Just go a bit more simple than the year before.  But we see something in a shop and we just have to have it.  And the collections grow as the years go by and there you are the day after Thanksgiving surrounded by boxes and bins and strands of lights wrapped around your neck.  I'm feeling pretty good about realizing that the less I fuss, the less I try, the better everything looks and feels.  

I know a bit of what I'm feeling has something to do with trying to put the lakehouse back together.  As I unpack boxes I look at things and wonder, "What was I thinking?"  In the kitchen I found three turkey basters.  I've never made a turkey at the lake EVER!  Multiple cork screws, too many linens and pot holders and pleeeeease, a set of china?  Okay, I got a really great deal at an antique mall but really, china at the lakehouse?  I'm really starting to feel uncomfortable even admitting this to you guys.  Maybe we can have a virtual yard sale.  

Can you tell we just love scarecrows in Illinois?  If you've been hanging out with me over the past seven years, you have to be familiar with my fave garden center.  I was holding off on getting any pumpkins as they are so much cheaper at the lake, but I'm sorry, the sun was shining yesterday and my porch was looking bare.  I simply love going to this place, especially for the memories.  I remember being twenty-eight years old with Emily in the cart and the boys running ahead.  I'd give them 50 cents to get a can of Sprite from the vending machine and that made the trip worth it for them.  Later it was Abigail in the cart and Emily jumping up and down for her quarters and in true form, picking out flowers for the pots.  Em and I were there with Elsie this past spring.  Amazing how life circles around.  Going there alone as I did yesterday didn't bother me, I've shopped for our Christmas tree alone.  I thought about it for a second and then truly knew this is the way it is now, or at least for this little jaunt.  Just as I've grown accustomed to a more quiet house, the rhythm of The Husband and I sharing dinner with just each other and going about our evenings in our acceptable sort of retreats (he likes CNN and MSNBC in the living room, I'm all about HGTV and Chicago P.D. in the den)...we seem to ease into the changes.  I have gone all melancholy (baby) on you here so I'll stop.  Could it be something in the water?

I removed the flower boxes with their faded blooms off the ledge of my bay window (gosh how I hate the way my cafe curtains look from outside but this is a hard window to dress).  The pots hold pansies  which are just starting to open blooms and I'll get a better shot later.  

A little vignette on the top step.  The ivy on my house spreads right over onto anything it can leach on to.  The Husband hates it, I hate to tell him it's a little too late to kill it off.  And you simply don't want to know what the wisteria vines are doing to the lakehouse.  :(

I have an urn here that holds my main porch planting (MPP).  I was so tempted to buy some gorgeous purple asters to plant and then I knew I'd probably put off planting them and they'd die.  Just me, I guess.  The easy thing to do was make a little vignette of pumpkins and stick in a generic scarecrow (do you love them like we do here in Illinois?  Maybe we have more fields than you).  I'm hoping Elsie gets a kick out of this when she visits.  I think no one else will.  ;-D

Have I ever told you how much I love to shop with my daughters?  We really compliment each other as far as what we like to look at, buy, where we eat or get coffee.  Emily and Abigail are like day and night.  Emily is bossy, steers me toward clothes and home items that I never would have thought to look at.  She knows how to sell.  Abigail is like a little ghost behind me that sort of sweeps me into unknown territory.  She is my barometer of fashion.  The girl could look fantastic in a paper bag.  I am not the sort of woman who is trying to relive her younger days but I do love style.  I had seen Abby with these shoes on only in blue.  I casually remarked on them in a store and she was super helpful.  I never let her in on wanting what she had or she would have said I was 'copying' her.  Ha. But we share shoes and boots and jewelry quite a bit.  Now if I weighed 115 pounds.... 

The days seem to be flying by.  It's hard to believe that Em will be having her little baby in four weeks.  I am so excited to meet this little girl.  I feel Emily's tummy, it's rock hard.  Madelyn's little bum is facing forward, you can almost feel the rounded cheeks.  And then little turkey legs that Emily feels moving on each side.  It's absolutely amazing.  I loved being pregnant.  I remember taking a bath when I was about eight months pregnant with Abby.  She decided to completely roll over, I saw and felt my stomach do something similar to watching a whale jump in the ocean. And it felt pain, just life.  Incredible.  I would do it all again in a heartbeat, even the pain.  

So this is son Kevin strolling through the park with Elsie.  They both have tennis rackets.  I never thought I'd see my son with a doll in his hand. lol! And the pictures I received on my phone are of he and Elsie on the tennis court and I simply have no idea what this was about!  As you may know, Kevin is a golf pro and he has promised he will begin to give Elsie lessons when she turns three.  Understandable (I wonder if he'll have her fitted for clubs...).  But tennis.  At twenty months?  And the girl insists on carrying her racket!  Definitely determined.  

Son Jeff and Deirdre are getting ready for their baby, too.  We are getting bombarded with babies!  I want to make it easy for everyone at the lake so I'm looking for inexpensive baby 'equipment' so none  of them have to haul a bunch of things up.  

Progress at the lake is going well although I have to say we aren't up there as much as I thought we'd be once the house was almost done.  The drywall dust is a huge factor.  You can mop this stuff up and ten minutes later its back.  We usually drive up after The Husband gets off work and arrive late...Michigan is an hour ahead of us in time.  So it's really nuts that we get there at 10:00 when it's really 9:00 for us.  And we walk into drywall dust.  Oh yeah...let's just go upstairs and lie on our dust bed and get some shut eye.  Doesn't work.  We have succumbed to commercialism and invested in Swiffers.  His and hers.  

I've been having some fun, although not so much in a financial sort of way, picking out the things we need.  Bedding, curtains, linens...everything is coming out of our pocket until we can 'convince' our insurance people that we actually lost things that weren't documented before they were tossed in the dumpster.  I have been buying bed linens and comforters and towels...its a lot of stuff.   I try to get the best deals yet quality as we all's a challenge and I like it.  No matter, we chip away, buying what we can over time, hoping we will get reimbursed at some point. more complaining!!

As I said, it was a rainy day and this is where Layla loves to do her early morning action watching  the neighborhood.  Spotting squirrels, dogs being being walked, people being walked...anything moving.  I'm by myself all day so I truly understand how little bits and pieces of moving life keeps us awake. 

So let's hear how all of you guys are decorating for fall this year.  Any new ideas or changes?  I think of all the years I've been blogging, seeing the changes and trends, the best is individuality.  How we choose to do things.  I'm so happy I no longer feel I have to dig through boxes to get my spirit for a season.  

See ya soon!

Jane x


Linda Ann said...

I tried to scale down for fall but took a trip out to Lancaster County, PA last week and loaded up on pumpkins! It's amazing how many they have and how cheap they are. The pumpkins sparked my fall spirit and I ended up pulling out a lot of my decorations anyway....maybe next year.
I know what you mean about settling into a more quiet normal now that the kids are all out and on their own. Funny that we have the same evening routine....dinner and each off to our own sanctuaries to watch our favorites (which we never share!)
My favorite part about cool, rainy fall days is burning my fall scented candles when I get home from work....a little piece of heaven!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Your fireplace is beautiful! I don't decorate for fall inside but spend a lot of time on the outside putting in a fall garden with many colored pumpkins, kale, cabbages and pansies.

Theresa said...

You are ahead of me in FALL decorating! I hope the dust settles and your lake house gets all put back together:) Have a blessed and beautiful day, HUGS!

Susie said...

Blondie, I love the mantle look. I normally would use apples in fall décor too...but this year there seems to be a gnat problem around here...I won't even buy bananas now I have apples in the crisper drawer...but none are out. I have those vinegar traps everywhere. LOL. So sweet the doggie looking out on a rainy day. I love seeing your son carrying the doll for his own little doll. Once my SIL came home from work with "Susie Doll" under his arm. My granddaughter at left it at a furniture store and Mark stopped by on his way home and retrieved the doll for Sierra. Susie Doll was named after me and she sits on a closet shelf in my daughter's bedroom...Sierra will be 28 next week. Unreal. Blessings to you young lady as you wait for your new grandbaby. :):) xoxo, Susie

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

I love your natural fall decorating. I am not doing much this year because we will hopefully be moving soon.

Summer said...

I just looove your styling. Your fireplace is a beauty ♥

Primitive Stars said...

Morning Jane, I love your simple Fall decorating, beautiful harvest table too. The mantle is wonderful, I try for a more simple look lately. Sweet fur baby looking out the window, Hugs Francine.

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

I think using real pumpkins is the nicest way to decorate for Fall! No boxing them up when the season is over! Last year I just put mine in the backyard and let them rot and the birds enjoyed the seeds all winter.

Lorrie said...

My autumn decorating is minimal. I don't like having tons of stuff to store all year long. A couple of bins for Christmas is plenty. But I collect leaves, cut hydrangeas to dry, and there's always a few pumpkins and/or gourds around. I like natural things. Your cotton boll wreath is gorgeous!
Life sure does change, doesn't it? And in such a hurry! I loved being pregnant, too - had energy, never felt sick, and the miracle of having that little one move around was amazing! Now our children are having babies and it's almost (but not quite) like reliving that time over again.

Linda said...

You know me! I NEVER scale down for Fall but I am determined to do less for Christmas.
What a nice little chat we have had, my dear! I love these conversations where 'we' confide in each other, swap experiences and feel better for the sharing.
That cotton wreathe really is an eye catcher! I wonder if Magnolia in Waco has one....

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

I did a little less fall decorating this year too. I'll probably cave and bring out a few Halloween themed things once it gets closer, but for now it's just a touch of fall around here. I love that you're looking to stock the lake house with some baby items to make it easier for everyone traveling there. So thoughtful of you. Those baby items take up so much space in the car. :)

Kathleen George said...

Awww love the picture of your son and daughter, memories when you were a mom with little ones. I had a couple of big scarecrows, now a handmade one that sits in his chair. Excellent idea to have baby furniture for The Lake House. Grandbabies abound, so fun! Love Mrs. Kravitz (sp) checking out the coming and going in her neighborhood:).
Beautiful Autumn table, Kathleen in Az

Linda said...

since our Thanksgiving is already over...and Miss V is now in school full time...I have her big nubbly pumpkin out front, and a few on the dining table still...I hate to say, but that will be it for me! No Halloween trappings...nothing...aren't I bad?
Hope the lake house starts coming together for you real soon...we hope to go down to the cottage tomorrow...too chilly and windy today...our rain did not arrive!
Enjoy your weekend Jane...your mantel looks charming!
Linda :o)

Lisa said...

Jane I totally get where you're coming from. Maybe it's the empty nester in us but it feels so freeing to simplify. Grand babies are the best aren't they? I tell everyone that mine sweat sugar and poop cotton candy. They're perfect aren't they? Love your new kicks! I have a gray pair that I've nearly worn out. They're so comfy and go with nearly everything. 😊

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

May we display your header on our new site directory. As it is now, the site title (linked back to your home page) is listed, and we think displaying the header will attract more attention. In any event, we hope you will come by and see what is going on at

Anonymous said...

Your Fall display is lovely and so colorful. It is cheery to and gorgeous. You did a nice job.

Kim said...

I have pared my decorating down considerably in recent years, which is funny, since as a blogger, I should be doing more! I guess the reality is that I just don't enjoy it as much anymore. I love the look, but I don't really want to spend the time or money doing it and I don't want to take up space storing it and dragging it out. ;-)

Debbie Freitag said...

I totally understand about pairing down. We're going to list our house in the fall and I'm trying to get rid of all of our excess stuff. It's amazing how much we accumulate. It doesn't help that my husband is a hoarder! I can't imagine having two houses. I scaled back so much that I don't have furniture in the basement family room and won't be able to host Thanksgiving. Someone else in the family will have to pick it up this year. I did some very small fall decorating but ended up buying fake apples at HobLob so I can use them year after year ( another thing to store away)!

Scribbler said...

I am not doing so much fall decorating either. Last year, I got rid of a lot of seasonal detritus and I have not replaced it. Spending a ton of money on pumpkins that just rot doesn't interest me much any more either. Of course, we have no little children in our lives, so maybe that is why I am turning into such a curmudgeon, I think. I did a little bit of decorating today with the things I had kept, (once I finally unearthed them from the husband's "organized" attic) and that is it. Not buying anymore!

I think it is true that empty nesters do tend to gravitate toward their own interests after dinner, and that's not such a bad thing. We have two nights that we jointly enjoy what's on the tube, and that's enough. I like to read, he likes sports, and the sounds of that drive me nuts. So some alone time is good!

Darling photo of your granddaughter with your son. Lucky you, about to have two more grandbabies soon!

Kathy Moreland said...

Love your mantel and the cotton boll wreath! Great job. You've probably seen my decor on the blog. I still did too much, although I was trying hard not to. I just keep adding a piece here and there and before long, there's way too much. I've used pumpkins to decorate this year, all faux except 4 white mini pumpkins on the dining table.

Hope you have a great weekend, and can relax at your lake house soon! I know you are excited about your new grandchildren!

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

I glanced through some of the comments and I could have written Kim's and Scribbler's, so I won't go into much detail, cause you get the idea ;).

I think it's so true that many retired couples do their own thing, and that's good. We all need some space from time to time. Like Scribbler, I dislike the sound of sports on the tv so I distance myself as far away as possible, but I'm sure hubby dislikes hearing 'I don't like the color of the living room' from HGTV as much. lol

I love the wreath you have on your fireplace. It's something that could be there for several months and look great. No wonder your hubby likes it too. He's got style ;).


Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I love your pretty mantel,'s styled simply and beautifully. It would be pretty for Christmas, too!
Family life sounds good there, preparing for babies...such a blessing!

Carla from The River said...

Hi Friend,
I love the photo of your son and his daughter. That is so special...I just love it!!

I love the relationship you have with your children. It makes me smile. You have a fun family and I love how you love each other. It is refreshing in this crazy world.

4 weeks!!! Oh my!! I am so excited for you.

ann said...

Hello Jane. Looks like you are most ready for fall. I scaled back on decorating this year. I seem to become more minimalist in my old age. So I do like the simplicity of your fall decorating. And I took a peak at the the website where you go. Good stuff, but I shall not subscribe! Also took a look a the baby shower post. The nursery looks adorable. So exciting. Have a wonderful weekend.

Vee said...

Damp leaves and do make me laugh! I like what you've done. I try to keep the autumn decor box to one. Let us not talk about Christmas boxes. Great idea about having all the necessary baby items at The Lakehouse...very thoughtful!

Rita C. said...

Jane, I love your harvest table. Your sentiments about what we collect and don't use rings loud and clear....I think most of us would be embarrassed to open our boxes and share with each other. But, that said, I think the idea of a virtual yard sale would be brilliant!!
I have the same color Chucks - love them, but they weren't so good for my normal 3 mile walks - :( - needed more foot cush.
Glad you were able to enjoy a day without commitments. Have a great weekend.

It's me said...

Like your de obstinaat Jane .....enjoy the weekend happy autumn love Ria ...X❤️

Vel Criste said...

I love your laid-back Fall decor dear, you have a lot of good things on your plate so no need to fuss over fall. So excited to meed your newest member dear, and I'm glad things are moving along with your shopping needs. That photo of your son and Elsie is precious. I'm sure you took a snapshot in your head with that one!Have a great weekend dear!

Kit said...

Hey Miss Blondie, You sound good. I have just my favorite groupings of Halloween that I put out each year. I seem to love pumpkin and gourd dolls and people. And tons of orange! I love this season. You take care and have fun with that lake house. :) Kit

Deb from frugal little bungalow said...

I like the minimal look. I don't usually do much for fall until mid-october and this year with the trees just beginning to turn it hasn't felt much like fall...more like just a few cold days :) Oh I remember the stomach rolls at the end of pregnancy and sometimes being all pregnant in front only just to one side , lol!

Art and Sand said...

Fall looks lovely at your house.

I brought down all my Halloween decor from the attic, but I think I prefer the simplicity of pumpkins tucked here and there.

Mereknits said...

My goodness Jane you have been so busy, all good I know but still exhausting. Hope you get some rest before all those babies arrive.

Bluebird49 said...

Hey Jane!
My cataracts are so to the point if driving me nuts. Even if the doctor said he could harvest the, I can't have surgery for about 5 more months because of the blood thinner. It hasn't gotten to the right place since May.
I loved your simple Autumn table, and I strained to look to see if they were actually cotton bolls on the chair.Then when I saw the mantle! That wreath is so beautiful with the other things scattered about. (I'm sure you "scattered for a couple of house at least to get it perfectly.) We have cotton fields all around us, and the spray to get the bolls to open, the smell is one of my worst allergies .
My eyes! I
am sorry Jane,

elaine said...

The only time I decorate the house is at Christmas so I am very impressed with your fall decorations. I have grown some pumpkins this year but they are so small they wouldn't even decorate one window sill :)

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

Jane, this is such a neat post. I read it twice so I didn't miss a thing.

I feel as though we just had a nice visit. Big hugs - and good luck in the next bit of time before Madelyn is born - how exciting. Being a Grandma is the BEST THING EVER!!!!!

Hugs and prayers!

designchic said...

I love your fall decor - so pretty! We went simple this year too with white pumpkins and a few scary touches of whimsy! Happy Tuesday!

Jacqueline said...

My opinion on decorating is to only do it if you feel like it! I read Unplug The Christmas Machine years ago and I determined then to do what I want, not because I feel I have to. I still do a lot, but I feel in control.
Have such fun shopping for the home goods! So many beautiful things out there now!

Gypsy Heart said...

I'm a firm believer in doing what you want, when you want! I have very few things out for fall and really nothing for Halloween yet. I gave away soooo much when I moved...which was just a few days after losing Abby. :( At that time, it was all just "things" to me and I've kinda maintained that thought. It was such fun when my kids were small and then decorating for the grands. All that is past so what I do now is for me!

Your home always looks so warm and inviting and I'm sure your decor is beautiful! I love the porch too. I don't know how you could spend much time at the lake house with all that dust and your asthma. Allergies have been so bad here! I give myself shots 2x a week and meds night and morning. Barely helping and today has been very difficult.

Ok, I won't write an epistle! :) Hope you're having a blessed week sweet friend.

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

I adored being pregnant too, Jane. I had five children (twins among them) but I would still do it again too! Minimal is fine...and sometimes even more lovely!

Helen Philipps said...

Your autumn decorations look lovely Jane. I like a more minimal look too and just a few pumpkins both real and fabric ones...nothing spooky! I always love reading your posts...there is always something that makes me smile or even LOL :)
Happy autumn days!
Helen xox

Penny said...

Like your minimalist approach this year Jane to save up for Christmas. I am going a bit further. I have skipped fall and started putting up my Christmas stuff. Don't laugh or groan. My house is going to be on a Christmas Walk tour this year on Dec. 3rd. and there is no way I can wait until the last minute. But your fall stuff looks great. Good luck with the lake house finishing touches.

Melanie said...

I'm definitely with the more is less look as I get older. Less fussy and easier to unpack then pack away again. Your mantle looks great. Can't believe it's almost time for Madelyn to be here...and then soon after that, a third grandchild! Exciting times. I agree drywall dust is the worst. It gets everywhere and then some, and is practically impossible to completely clean up. We'll be having some of that soon again in the near future with some stuff going in in our house.

Kathleen Grace said...

I have mainly decorated the front porch. I have a few bowls of mini pumpkins scattered in the house and some of my hydrangeas from the garden drying in containers but that's it for fall. I have too many other projects in the works for any more seasonal decorating this year.

You have so much to look forward to with babies on the way and getting the lake house finished so you can fill it with those babies and family. What a joyful time :)

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

WOW, so many little babies coming into your world, how exciting. Your smart about getting things for the little ones that you will keep there.

Sounds like you are very busy at the Lake House and it will take forever for you to get rid of that dust.

I have not done a lot of Fall decorations, just some pumpkins around and garland. I find that the older I get the less I want to do. LOL

Great post Jane, and I am so far behind in reading posts. I just don't know where my time goes to.

Enjoy your weekend.