31derful days

Ah, October. Thirty-one glorious days that pass too fast.

…a blur of last-chance outdoor projects and garden rearranging

fencetostain
A new fence section to stain and the gate still to install
An exhausting move of two giant "dwarf" weigela who outgrew their old home and will now anchor a new bed-to-be in the front yard (assuming they live, which Mike will kill me if they don't)

An exhausting move of two giant "dwarf" weigela who outgrew their old home and will now anchor a new bed-to-be in the front yard (assuming they live, which Mike will kill me if they don't)

The endless fire pit rebuild, with the newly moved and now spindly Mighty Big Pink hibiscus in the background.
The endless fire pit rebuild, with the newly moved and now spindly Mighty Big Pink hibiscus in the background

…long walks taking in the leaves and sky, the mums and pumpkins, a monkey ball or two

outthewindow

Mums're the word of the month

Jack

monkeyballs

…a Saturday day trip (instead of working)

OK, so it wasn't the Macy's parade, but the 50th annual Ft. Ligonier Days parade was a real slice of America.

OK, so it wasn't the Macy's parade, but the 50th annual Ft. Ligonier Days parade was 2 hours of pure Americana -- and packed

…8 birthdays of friends and family (plus my own), and our wedding anniversary

One of life's happiest inventions: cards!

…rediscovering the harvest and Halloween decorations tucked away since last year

tableau

Boo

buddies

…gifts from generous neighbors to see to

apeckofpeppers

A lot going on, and all of it good. The annual deep breath before the holidays (Christmas again? already?), and the glowing finale before weather worries, bleakness, and hibernation set in.

Ah, October.

Even the azalea is cheering it on this year.

azalea in October

Bittersweet October.
The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause
between the opposing miseries of summer and winter.
~ Carol Bishop Hipps

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Aahhh…ctober

I breathed a sigh of relief today when I could FINALLY flip the calendar over. I don’t know why September was such a chore, but it was. Maybe some of it was the sheer anticipation of my favorite month to come — many birthdays to mark (including mine), our anniversary, our vacation, the leaves, the coolness, Oktoberfest brews, the impossibly blue sky. I just love October.

Oh yeah, and there’s Halloween, no big deal for me, but which has somehow morphed into something it never was when I was growing up — a Spectacular, Spectacular (to quote Moulin Rouge). I attribute it to a few things: cheap goods from China, the home decorating explosion, lots of consumer spending on non-necessities. How can it be that the best part of it — the candy — has taken a back seat?

You wouldn’t believe my wonderful neighbor’s house — she spent days decking it out in about 1000 orange lights and all manner of seasonal finery. (Can you believe it all has to come down and be replaced with Christmas decorations? Why don’t they invent lights that can change color with the holiday?)

We are invited to her Halloween party — costumes optional but encouraged. I suggested to Mike we go as exhausted homeowners.

Really, though, I keep wracking my brain for an easy costume that’s still somewhat clever. Any ideas? The last time I dressed up for a Halloween party, I did the witch thing — but that wig and accessories are long gone. (It was long enough ago that people liked the black nail polish the best — imagine, black nail polish was unusual.) Mike’s last foray was the hippie thing (yawn). Really, I think it would be fun if you had money to waste to go rent a costume — all the fun of choosing and none of the chore of making it. That I could get into.

Oh but we have a whole month before we have to worry about that at the last minute. Big beautiful October is before us. Get that cider warming!

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came –
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
                                                ~ George Cooper, “October’s Party”