Hodge Podge: The Autumn Edition

This post is part of the weekly Hodge Podge feature with Joyce from From This Side of the Pond.

  1. Volume 478. Sounds like a lot. Where were you in 1978? If you weren’t born where were you in 2008?

I was a year old in 1978 and from what I was reminded of this week (on my birthday) I didn’t want to crawl. I just went to the center of floor, swung myself up backward and started to walk. It came up with my parents when I was talking about how my daughter (now almost 8) had also never crawled. She pulled herself up with the help of a baby chair and started walking so she could get to her older brother. She was 9 months old and never stopped afte that. 

2. Raise your hand if you remember records playing at a speed of 78 rpm? What’s a topic that when it comes up you ‘sound like a broken record’? 

We had a record player when I was a kid, but I don’t know what speed the records played at. I think the topic where I sound a broken record is when I tell my daughter to brush her hair and my teenage son to clean his room.

3. What’s the last thing you recorded in some way? 

My young cat climbing up a tree in our backyard. She does this quite a bit, but now she can get down the tree. Last autumn she got herself stuck up maybe 70 feet in the air and was there all night. In the morning, the neighbor, who is on our town (or borough as it is called in Pennsylvania) council, called the fire department for us and in the afternoon they sent a fire truck to come get her. In the end, the fireman chased her down and then my son was able to retrieve her from the bottom limb.

I wrote about all that HERE and here is a photo I took of her in the tree last week:

Here is a shortened version of the video I took:

4. Thursday is the first day of fall (in the northern hemisphere). How do you feel about the changing seasons? Something you’re looking forward to this fall? 

I love the changing seasons and how where I live you can really see the difference from season to season. I used to really love fall and I still do in some ways but I know fall leads to winter and I battle depression in winter so I sort of dread it. I am trying not to think this way, however, because my mom, who is originally from the South, said she used to dread fall for the same reason but one day God put it on her heart that she was spending so much time dreading winter that she wasn’t enjoying the good moments of her life.

This fall I am just looking forward to cooler days with hot tea with honey, or cocoa, and a good book, as well as jumping in the leaves with my youngest. I’m also looking forward to my daughter, son’s and husband’s birthdays.

5. In what way (or ways) are you like the apple that didn’t ‘fall far from the tree’? 

Well, I am a lot like my mom in a few ways. I worry a lot, but then remember to pray (or try to), I like to read like she does (though she is much more of an avid reader), and like my dad I have a tendency to be anxious and also, when very tired, extremely sarcastic and sometimes biting. I hope, though, that I also have my mom’s good qualities of caring for people and my dad’s same good quality of caring about others.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Monday was my birthday and when my daughter woke up she slapped my arm and the fat jiggled. She thought this was hilarious. I sent my husband a text that said, “Nothing says you’ve hit 45 like your seven-year-old giggling while your arm fat jiggles.” In addition, my dad dropped by with a blood pressure machine he’d picked up at a yard sale. It wasn’t my gift, but it was a sobering moment in my day. Sigh. Reality really does bite sometimes. *wink*

Really, though, it was a super nice day of relaxation where I read books, watched a Thin Man movie (William Powell and Myrna Loy), watched The Man Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain with my family, and wore a cozy nightgown all day (even to the bank where I’m sure the tellers thought I was drunk).

Autumn saves the best for last

I didn’t think the leaves were going to be very pretty in our area this autumn, and in some places they weren’t, but they waited to save the best for last in some cases, especially in our side and front yard where our two maples transformed from greenish-yellow to bright yellow and orange, fringed with red, in a matter of days.

I grabbed a few photos of the trees in our side yard and front yard before the rainy, colder weather sets in tomorrow and possibly blows the leaves off. And, of course, I grabbed photos of the kids playing in front of the trees before the leaves all fall off (whether in the rain or later) and we’re stuck with naked skeletons for the rest of the winter. Luckily, we have a tree that is a “late bloomer”, so to speak, which often doesn’t change colors until November and takes it’s time losing its leaves. That helps autumn to stay around a little longer for us.

My son also finished the shed he and my dad have been working on, another project they wanted to have completed before cold weather sets in.

We were late on decorating for Halloween this year, but the children managed to put up a few decorations this week before trick-or-treating, which was held a day early to avoid the heavy rain we’re expected to get.



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.



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.


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.



My son said this was the Donald Trump caramel apple.


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.


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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