More of autumn and burning Dad’s hat

My daughter flopped back on her back in our backyard the other night, looking up at leaves brilliant red and orange and declared, “I love fall.” A few moments earlier, though, she had told me she didn’t like Fall because “I don’t like when everything dies.” About-to-be-6-year olds are fickle, I suppose, but they’re also starting to think deep at that age, which I don’t really like.

I thought I’d share a few more autumn photos today to distract us all from the tension in the world these days.

I also thought I’d share the photos of my dad’s farewell to his old straw hat, which was in very rough shape and he decided had to go.

We had a very solemn (not really) ceremony where we burned the hat while playing funeral music, saluted it, and then talked about the fact that it was probably over 100 years old and maybe we should have saved it afterall.

My son even cried at one point – or so we thought. It turned out he had smoke in his eyes.

Autumn comes to Pennsylvania

I recently had a couple of my blog followers ask for some photos of the fall foliage in the northern states since their states aren’t lucky enough to have the leaves change colors. The colors aren’t very bright this year, or at least not yet, but I still took a drive up on the hill overlooking the small valley we live in to take some photographs for those who asked for them. I’ll try again as the season progresses and see if our leaves brighten up at all color wise, but I don’t think they’ll have time since they are falling off so quickly.

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Some books to read, a lake to visit. The Week in Review.

Last weekend our family finally made it to Seneca Lake in Watkins Glen after months of saying we were going to do so, but one thing or another delaying us. We made it just at the colors are starting to come out on the leaves on the tree, which meant there was no swimming for the children at Klute Park but there were pretty views to see, as usual. There was also good food to eat at the Stonecat Cafe, overlooking the lake on the hill in Hector, N.Y.

I had a grassfed burger (didn’t eat the bun), with melted smoked cheese and bacon to top and homemade fries on the side. My husband had roasted potatoes and french toast with peach preserves spread over the top. Our daughter was supposed to have scrambled eggs and roasted potatoes, but she ate more of my fries than anything else. Our son had fish fingers (fried catfish) and also ate a large helping of my fries. When I asked if the fish was good, he said: “It’s okay, but it’s not as good as grandpa’s fish.” My dad bakes haddock in the oven with butter and lemon pepper from time to time. It is quite good. It’s so good, though, that I won’t even try it at home so I don’t hear the same type of comments.

Down at the lake, we walked to the end of an area of land that protrudes out and is covered with large boulders to take some photos and I ended up running into a man who was fishing, visiting the area from Bethlehem, Pa. He may, or may not, have been a little drunk and rambled on and on about his various travels and places he likes to visit and fish. I feel bad saying it but I was glad to finally pull away from him and head back with my family because his slightly tippy chattiness was making me nervous. Before I left him I did recommend another area of land along the lake near the pier and marina that might be better for fishing. He seemed to take me up on the offer as I watched him leave later, with his fishing gear in hand.

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IMG_0471IMG_6547IMG_6539After lunch and the visit to the lake, we headed to an apple orchard, where we intended to pick apples. I don’t know if it was the weather, the big meal, the slightly chilled breeze, or the relaxing view of the lake, but none of us were interested in walking among the trees to pick apples so we took the easy way out and bought some apples, pears, peach jam and seven homemade donuts at the orchard store instead. We also bought the children a caramel apple, since I think my son has had one in his entire 13 years and my daughter has never had one.

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My son said this was the Donald Trump caramel apple.

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When we got home there was a delivery from Christianbook on our porch and it was a stack of books I’d ordered during a “slightly imperfect” sale they’d had the week before. It was so fun to pull them all out and then pile them all around me and look through them while we watched The African Queen for our family movie night. Being able to hug so many books at one time was a very weird, thrilling feeling for me. I may need therapy. Among the books I bought were a couple of devotionals for children, a book of essays on writing by C.S. Lewis, a collection of essays by AW Tozer, two Christian fiction novels, a couple of children’s books for my youngest, and some educational books for her as well.

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I’ve been reading books slowly lately but managed to finally finish The Runaway Pastor’s Wife by Diane Moody and start another book by her, Memphis & Me. I started another Cat Who book, but this particular book in the series was written in the first person and I could tell by the first few paragraphs I wasn’t going to like it, not because I don’t like first-person stories (Memphis & Me is written in the first person and I’m loving it) but because Braun usually writes in third person and this threw me off. I don’t enjoy when an author changes the point of view in the middle of a series, even though it’s their prerogative to do so. As a writer, I’ve also learned I’m not a huge fan of writing in first-person, even though my first novel is in the first-person and I’m continuing the sequel in the same tense. What I like about third-person is being able to switch from the perspective of different characters throughout the book. With first-person everything has to be seen through the eyes of the main character, which can make it more challenging in some ways, but that challenge can also make writing it more fun.

Books I am planning to finish or start this week:

  • The Hobbit (I swear, I will finish this book!)
  • Of Windmills and War by Diane Moody
  • Murder at Cherry Hills by Paige Sleuth
  • Memphis & Me by Diane Moody

Ramblings from the blog for the last couple of weeks included:

So, how about you? What have you been up to? What good (or even bad) books are you reading? Share with me in the comments!
This post is part of the Sunday Salon. Check out more weekly posts (centered mainly around books that bloggers are reading) at Readerbuzz’s blog.

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Finally some fall colors: 10 on 10 for November

We waited for it patiently and that patience finally paid off this past week when the leaves on our trees finally changed from dreary brown to bright yellow and then scattered the ground, creating a blanket of bright for us to walk in and inspect.

My daughter and I spent part of a day picking up leaves and tucking them away in her bicycle pouch if we (or rather she) deemed them pretty enough.

We still have one tree that hasn’t changed yet, but always changes late. The tree blesses us with amazingly beautiful and uniquely patterned leaves even as the cold weather sets in and the snow starts to fall.

This post is part of the monthly 10 on 10 blog circle where a group of photographers share ten photographs from the previous month on the tenth day of the month. Find the link to the next blog at the bottom of this post.

DSC_7581DSC_7601DSC_7629DSC_7655DSC_7661DSC_7670DSC_7688DSC_7759DSC_7771-2DSC_7662To continue the blog circle, please visit Erika Kao.