Sunday, October 30, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Becoming more intentional about enjoying the seasons

What a difference a week can make!  Last Sunday, we were at peak color and our world was bejeweled in shades of deep burgundy, gold, chartreuse, red, rust, and orange. The brief Indian Summer had truly brought the leaves from pretty to stunning in the intensity of their colors.

The forest around us has lost most of its colorful leaves and more trees are now bare. When we were driving to our son's house on Saturday for Oliver's birthday party, we could really tell the difference. The forests that were at a distance from the highway were now all a muted brown color.  All it will take is another windy week (or perhaps even a windy day) to bring the leaves falling to carpet the forest floor.

Very soon, we will be "falling back" with our time change and for at least a week it will seem like the days have suddenly become a whole lot shorter.  Small children and pets do not understand that their internal clock will be off for awhile.  I fully understand since I always have a difficult time adjusting, too.

I love to decorate for Fall and I make it stretch as long as possible, starting on the beginning of Meteorological Fall of September 1st and going through Thanksgiving.  While I enjoy the sparkle that Christmas decorations bring, I am not willing to give up Fall until we celebrate Thanksgiving.  

Through the years, I have collected realistic looking Autumnal bouquets and other natural looking decorations that make it very easy to place in various containers, wooden bowls, etc.  Since I have been following Parisienne Farmgirl now for many years, I started looking for beautiful pitchers to use as vases around the house.

My favorite find was the large brown transferware pitcher similar to one she uses quite often.  It looks good with my brown transferware collection and currently holds a lovely faux bouquet of Fall flowers and grasses.  A few smaller pitchers contain smaller bouquets.  All the pitchers were purchased while thrifting.

A green transferware vase holds a faux evergreen branch all year.  It remains in one room most of the year but is given a place of prominence during the Christmas season.  This kind of decorating is budget friendly and the same items can be used for a very long time.  

The most expensive items were the faux Fall bouquets but even then, they were not all that pricey and they last practically "forever" so there is no need to buy something new each season.  My annual Fall decorations are refreshed with real items from nature such as gourds and pumpkins.

An author friend often says that she needs beautiful places for her eyes to "rest" upon in her home.  She creates such places, whether a cozy corner of a room or small vignettes created with items she finds beautiful and peaceful. I appreciated what she has written.  It helps to understand our need for beautiful spaces in our homes.  Of course, it is never perfect this side of Heaven but it can be good.

I had planned to enjoy an hour or so looking through the Antique Mall for inexpensive finds after the appointment with my specialist last week.  His nurse had been very kind when I had to cancel due to vertigo just hours prior to my appointment the week before.  She also has vertigo come out of nowhere from time to time.

She was able to squeeze me in on Tuesday, not an easy task since I was not only to receive a monthly eye injection but this checkup was to include quarterly scans and photos of both eyes.  The numbing drops and bright lights can make me feel quite ill and last week it seemed worse than usual. 

Perhaps this was due to the recent bout with vertigo.  So, I had to put off going to the antique mall, which is not far from the specialist's office.  What I did decide to accomplish was to stop by our favorite drive-in to purchase hotdogs for my husband, coney dogs for me,  and an order of onion rings to share.  

The drive-in usually closes around November 1st unless the weather is unseasonably warm and I cannot tell you how many times I let their closure take me by surprise.  This year, I was going to make certain we celebrated our favorite summer food before it was closed until next Spring.

I did the same thing with the sweet corn this year.  When I saw his truck was in the parking lot and there was corn left for the buying one day in August, I knew it would be one of the final opportunities of the season to purchase sweet corn from the farmer. So, I stopped on the way to Aldi and purchased a dozen ears of corn.  Half of it went to the deep freeze to enjoy perhaps in January.

If there is one lesson these past few years have taught me, it is to embrace what God gives us while we can.  Sweet corn is only sold by the farmer parked near a restaurant in July and August, sometimes it is available in early September if he has not sold out by then.

Drive-in food is mostly only available in March through October.  If we do not take advantage of it then, before we know it the warm weather season is past and the leaves are falling to carpet our yard. I also made a decision to include more butternut and acorn squash, more local apples (albeit purchased from Meijer), more pumpkin, and other Autumnal fruits and vegetables in our meals.

While all of these foods are available year round, there is something special when they are made into seasonal recipes... in that season.  It is another layer in embracing each season as we walk though it. Because it seems we just blink our eyes and that season is now in our rear view mirror.

I am finding the more that I am aware of the seasons... the food they provide and the way nature looks from my kitchen window... the more I can keep my mind on those things that bring peace.  Which is just the opposite that I feel after spending very much time viewing a screen these days.

While I do filter what I allow to come into my thoughts through various screens, concentrating on that which brings peace and spending less time on that which flames the fires of the Joan of Arc side of my personality... I have been reminded this week that Jesus said we are to be the light of the world.  The city built on a hill.  

We are to be His light in a world growing increasingly darker.  Of course, when the world is dark then it doesn't take much light to fill the room does it?  He doesn't call us to be a perfect light.  He is the only Perfect light.  We are not to run to the hills and hide, although it is a temptation. 

In a world where everyone seems to be in a bad mood, when we smile and say hello to someone who looks sad or thank the person who waits on us for a job well done... we are His light in this world. Those of us who know His peace will, I think, eventually be noticed by those around us.  

Our "ministry" can be one of kindness to others in a world where kindness seems to be lost.  While I do enjoy a good Bible study to go deeper in learning about His Word, it is when I have been spending a lot of time in the Psalms that I find my feelings of peace to gain strength... enough to share with those around me.

This week I plan to enjoy Fall a little more, in spite of nature beginning to look more like Winter out of doors.  I still have pumpkin bars to bake and pumpkin chocolate chip quick bread to make.  As usual, time has flown by far too quickly.

Speaking of which, I was asked last week for a recommendation of some favorite "prepper" vloggers.  I didn't have time to look up those I still listen to (it would be easier to tell those I now avoid but that would not be a good idea) but I can say that the person I always listen to is Prepper Dawg.  

I have recommended him before. He is good about sharing and commenting about news events and he always ends with a Bible verse.  He also has two cute dogs but don't tell Florentine or Mouse I said that.  I also like that he usually keeps his vlogs at around ten to twelve minutes.

I also appreciate southernprepper1, especially his Boots on the Ground segments where he shares information about shortages, etc. that has been sent to him from around the world.  Although, I do not watch him every time there is a new vlog.  

He is also a Christian so there will be no swearing or putting down people of faith. His Boots on the Ground segments are usually around nineteen minutes long. He also provides some "how to" information from time to time.

I will provide a few more names of people who provide good information without stirring up fear next week.

Mentioned in this Blog Post

Parisienne Farmgirl... here.

Prepper Dawg on YouTube... here.

Southernprepper1 on YouTube... here.

Note:  Please forgive any typos and weird putting together of sentences.  I am finishing today's blog post quite late and my brain went to sleep about an hour ago.  ;)

ImageCookbook and Apples print


Vee said...

Hi Brenda. Funny that you enjoy briefer vlogs and I prefer those that are at least half an hour. 🙂

Your hot dog lunch sounded wonderful. My big thrill is going to Dunkin Donuts and getting a breakfast sandwich...egg, ham, and cheese on a plain bagel. It is still affordable at $5. Lots of things elsewhere are too much.

I hate vertigo and I had a two-day bout with it last week. It's miserable stuff.

My sister brought me a bag of pine cones from her recent vacation to South Carolina. I thought...just what I need. 😵‍💫Turns out that they were! Pine cones are very autumnal.

Hope that you get the chance to visit the flea market or thrift store and find something sweet to add to your collection. Retail therapy can be cheaper than many things.

Anonymous said...

If you have any good recipes for acorn squash or pumpkin that aren't pies, or soup based on them, or just the usual "bake/serve with butter & sweetener" - please share! I do not like the taste of either squash or pumpkin, but they are healthy and cheap in season - and I always end up with some as decor! - so I am looking for ideas of how to hide the flavor and put them in something else that tastes better to our family.

I hope you get out to your shops soon and find a few treasures!

Deanna Rabe said...

I love what you've said about being a light and like a city set on a hill! I agree!

I love to embrace each season, even though I love some seasons more than others. Our color is still pretty here but it is now past peak. We had a stunning autumn, and I'm grateful. I love autumn!