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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Embracing the coming of fall

Putting out a little something everyday to help ease the transition. It was significantly cooler today -- a hint of what's to come.

A fall welcome for the front door.

Pumpkins, gourds and greens for the table in the entry hall.

The harvest cloth for the kitchen table. It was a perfect afternoon for fresh baked bread.


  1. Very pretty! You have a knack for decorating.

    1. Oh, thank you, Cat! It's probably no where near fall where you are.

  2. It was a cool day in West Michigan on Monday. My daughter told me it smelled like Fall in the house. I was getting tomatoes ready to freeze so I quickly threw them in a pot of water to loosen the skins and had leftover chicken and potatoes in the oven and the cumulative smell equaled Fall to her!

    I opted to freeze tomatoes instead of canning them I think there were about 9 quarts which will be delicious this coming winter! I think everything else is now done in terms of garden produce.

    Your table cloth looks so pretty with that loaf of bread. I have been looking for a new tablecloth as well. Over the years I have used the plastic or canvas type of cloths due to children spilling I could easily wipe it down. Now the kids are grown up and I want something different. I do, however, like an elastic so it fits tight around the table. We do have cats that like to jump and if they get their claws in the table cloth they won't pull the entire cloth off the table! I love my cats so much that they have privileges to jump on the table though they rarely jump up when we're eating. They just want attention when we're talking or balancing the checkbook! I need to get to some goodwill stores to look for some tablecloths!

    I had my parents over on Sunday night for homemade sourdough bread with homemade peach jam and homemade peach/plum/raspberry jam. They just loved the homemade food!


    1. Hi Alice,
      it's funny what smells conjure up what images. To your daughter, it was your cooking on Monday.

      For us, there's a large wildfire just over the mountains and for several days in a row, there was a haze in the air with a hint of smoke, and it just seemed fall-like. The smell of smoke reminded us of people using their wood stoves for heat in the fall.

      That homemade jam sounds so delicious! Especially with the peaches. And how nice to have your parents over. What a wonderful evening for you all!

  3. Lovely! My parents keep mentioning the cooler temps and crisp evenings they are starting to experience. We probably won't see anything like that until sometime in late October. Right now we're experiencing one of the rainiest summers in history and Florida feels even more swampy than usual!!

    1. Hi Laura,
      Oh the humidity! Friends of ours took a 3-week vacation to Florida late July/early August and they said it was so humid beads of moisture just appeared on their skin when they walked out the door each day. Your dehumidifier or A/C must be running overtime this summer. I feel for you!

      I notice humidity here in September. We don't use the furnace in September (the furnace dries the air out), but the rains come back and it's warm enough for the air to feel quite damp. I always notice how the wood doors swell and don't operate very well for about a month or so (they drag on the floor and stick on one of the rooms).

      I hope your weather improves shortly, for you!

  4. Being so frugal, I don't allocate much spending on froufrou interior decorations (usually I stick to whatever is best value...often cheapest... and the most practical) do you cross the line of frugality and convince yourself to spend on seeming "wants", and may I ask how much did you spend on those decorations?

    BTW, they are very beautiful, and while not knowing how much you spent, so worth it as it cheers up the room!!


    1. Hi YHF,
      here's how I look at spending for seasonal home decor --

      I'm a very visual person. So, visual pleasure is an important value to me. Life without these pleasures seems monochromatic.

      if I spend a few dollars on seasonal decor to change up the room a few times per year, I won't feel the desire to spend money or time on major redecorating, as my home has a fresh look with the change of seasons. And for the most part, my seasonal decor pieces are obtained frugally. I acquire them over time, and keep them from year to year, in the same way that families acquire and keep Christmas decorations. In years when our income is lean, we still have these items which cheer up our home.

      The door hanging was made, originally with craft items on clearance, about 12 years ago. I added the small "welcome" pick about 5 years ago. I think I spent about $5 to $7 total. The table decor piece in the entry hall is about 18 years old. I get it out each year. I did buy this pre-made and spent about $20 for it. But as I will most definitely use it longer than 20 years, my cost per year will be less than 1 dollar. And it fills a void where I usually put fresh flowers from the garden each week. The table cloth I bought at Fred Meyer 7 years ago. It was not expensive (maybe about $12?), and has really held up well. (I love that it has a print as stains never show.) I would have placemats or some other table cloth on the table anyway. This will last as long as we keep this table, and probably follow whoever takes the table to their future home (hint, hint, kids!).

      I do like my home to look inviting, comfortable and pleasant. Some people gain pleasure from dining out, or getting fast food so they don't have to cook, or going to the theater. While I do enjoy a good restaurant meal or a night at the theater, I realize that I get more pleasure for dollar spent from what I look at, from what I taste or from just feeling comfortable., than I do from restaurant meals and theater seats.

      I only "collect" what I truly like to look at. And in that way, everything sort of looks like it goes together, and like I bought it all in one swoop.

      And, here's one more thing I consider, my family gets so much joy when they come home and see something put out for the season. It changes up their environment, too (though I'm not sure my husband even notices any of this, mostly the kids notice).

      When my kids were small, while they'd be napping/resting in their rooms, I'd get out the Christmas dishes, one afternoon in early December, without telling them in advance. The sheer joy in their eyes was the thanks I looked for. I like continuing that even now.

      (Okay, really, this time, just one more thing), I also like the crafting of some of these items. It's just pure fun for me to make something.

      I don't consider the expense of these purchases frivolous. they are definitely optional, but not over the top spending for me.

      As for how I can justify this spending, I budget a small amount of money every month to pay for home items, which include window coverings, decorative pieces, bedding/towels, kitchen accessories/small appliances, that sort of thing. I try to keep my spending on the decor items as low as possible, so we can save this money for the bigger ticket items like window treatments.

    2. I'm glad you mentioned crafting...I love crafting and funny don't mind spending money on craft supplies although as I work with a fixed budget, I question whether I'm spending too much (craft supplies are not cheap). But I have a hard time spending any amount on ready made decorations or furnishings (I guess I am not a visual person at all).

      I think the process of making, even repurposing, is what I enjoy, and seeing some modicum of idea success, although what I make may not be as beautiful as store bought. I would be content making every single thing I need or consume: food, clothing, furnishings. However, I'm not a purist and will buy what I cannot make well or efficiently.

      I'm taking some blog space here, but recently as I explore the design process in rug hooking, I came to the realization that I don't think I can design at all (not visual enough?), rather I think I have to stitch the rug intuitively if there is such a thing, going by the energy of colors I select, one color at a time, and in juxtaposition to one another and the whole composition, without any preconceived ideas where it is taking me and what it will look like. I just enjoy the process so much, very meditative and self affirming. But I don't dare give anyone anything I make...and I don't think anyone else would care to receive it (despite spending a small fortune on materials). I told my husband and children, the problem I have is what to do with everything I make, and they agree. I don't think I could even donate it. Now that is not frugal I know. Maybe that is why I am frugal, so I can splurge on my crafts.


    3. Hi YHF,
      I think what is often forgotten is that being frugal is really about being responsible in prioritizing your spending, not about "he who spends least, dies a winner". After the basic needs are met, how will the rest of the income be allocated? Each of us has different priorities, some out of choice and some out of necessity. It just sounds to me like acquiring supplies to craft is one of your priorities in spending. Because creating something brings you joy. That's a valid enough reason to allocate spending towards crafting.

    4. Thanks, Lili, I value your well reasoned input....I guess there is nothing wrong with spending money on what I enjoy regardless how insane it is...maybe one day it will be clear why, I just have to trust myself. Sometimes I think I'm doing this for therapy.


  5. Very pretty decorations & that bread looks yummy!

    1. Hi Rhonda,
      Thank you. Yesterday seemed to be the perfect day for baking bread, a bit of a chill in the air at 5:30 when I got up, so I began the dough early in the morning, to warm the house by mid-morning.

  6. While I'm really looking forward to the cooler weather of fall, I'm trying hard to stay in the summer mindset--the free days with no school I had as a kid.

    I seem to have more fall decorations than others, so they will be making an appearance soon.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      I understand what you mean -- summer is only so long, so why rush it out of here!
      I am trying to really squeeze as much out the end of summer as I can. And the cooler temps has made a lot my time outdoors much more pleasant.

      Enjoy the last few weeks of summer!


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