Why Fall is the Best

Here are my top ten reasons (in random order and importance) why fall is the absolute best season of the year. Ready?

  1. Goodbye, 100 degree days. Could that actually be a chill in the air? Or less than 50% humidity? Days in the 80’s are just pipe dreams in July.
  2. The grass stops its incessant growing. Lawn mowers can rest. The weekly grass cutting slows. Down. A. Lot.
  3. Pumpkin spice. Everything.
  4. Boots and jackets.
  5. Bare skin goes under wraps.
  6. You can be outside without sweating and having a heat stroke.
  7. Leaves turn glorious colors.
  8. Fall festivals abound (less so during a pandemic).
  9. You can build a fire in the fireplace and in the firepit.
  10. Flannel pajamas.

I can’t stop at 10! What about. . .

  • Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  • Football.
  • Hot coffee on a cool morning.
  • No more bugs, snakes, or creepy crawlies.
  • Fall decorations.

That’s my list. I’d love to hear what you would add or take away. Welcome, Fall!



CHEAP WEDDING WEDNESDAY: Suspense builds. . .

Yes, the suspense is building.  Will Natalie and Bryan REALLY tie the knot in less than two weeks?  Will all the friends and relatives who returned their RSVP cards REALLY show up?  Will the weather be beautiful as we are hoping?  Will there be enough food, music, favors, flowers, etc.?  Will Mama Wedding Planner be able to pull this off?

Ready or not, here it comes.  I thought I would tantalize you with some pre-wedding DIY photos.  See if you can guess what these objects are and how they will be used or have been used.  Confused now?  Check them out. . .

A couple of old doors and a bedstead?  Hm. . .

What is this?  Shadows on a chair seat?  Hm. . .

Steampunk butterflies?  Hm. . .

Something wooden with a label or sign. . .

Did you guess?  The answers will be revealed after the wedding, of course.  In the meantime, enjoy your Halloween evening.  My daughter and I are watching horror flicks and eating Almond Joys.  Don’t judge me.  I have to have candy just in case a trick or treater or two comes by.  (We NEVER have trick or treaters–I guess we are just too far out in the country. . .)

Happy Halloween!
Lucy posing for Halloween pictures


TEACHER TUESDAY: Teaching is spooky these days!

Tomorrow is Halloween and the natives (students) are getting restless.  I know this because I spent many a Halloween doing my best to keep my young charges busy as they squirmed like they had ants in their pants.  And they were teenagers!
Before standardized testing and its ensuing universal lesson plans where all the teachers of the same tested subject in a school district have to teach exactly the same thing on the same day, and before we became so sensitive and politically correct (Is that a run-on sentence?), I tried to add a little bit of spooky fun to my classroom at Halloween.  I definitely put up Halloween decorations–remember those cute little cardboard cutouts of jack o’ lanterns and witches and goblins?  It never even crossed my mind that someone might object.  It was all harmless fun when I was growing up.
I also brought in trick-or-treat candy if I could afford it, and when I taught English I would find a good scary classic film like “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” or “Frankenstein” or “The Pit and the Pendulum” that we could actually do literary analysis on.  I lit a jack o’ lantern while the movie was showing.  It was a nice change from the ordinary lecture and notes.
For a Halloween biology lesson I would bring a pumpkin from home and we would actually take it outside and carve it, identifying the different parts of the plant, fruit, and seeds.  Then we would place a candle inside once we returned to the classroom–or we had a pumpkin carving contest if enough students brought pumpkins.  Their carving had to relate to something we had studied in biology.
Nowadays there is so much pressure to prepare students for testing that teachers rarely have time to insert these kinds of activities into their lessons.  Or, if they do, they must get permission from a department chairperson or principal to deviate from the prescribed course of study.  I think we have lost a little of the fun we used to have in classrooms for the sake of test scores.  It’s even more important for parents to take time to do some of these fun things at home to provide these experiences for their children.
I heard tonight of a local group of school district superintendents who are meeting to come up with alternatives to “teaching to a test.”  I hope they succeed in not only convincing our legislators that the emphasis in education is wrong, but that they come up with a way to lead the change.


Most people probably think that their own birthday month is the best month of the year.  Teachers usually like the months of June and July for obvious reasons.  Kids love December because of Santa.  Some people like March and April for their spring blossoms and warmer days.  But me?  I love October the most.

Here are some reasons I believe October is the best month of the whole year:

  • Halloween–the best excuse to have candy in the house.
  • For teachers, the school year isn’t new any more and classroom routines have been established.
  • For parents, the school year isn’t new any more and family routines have been established.  
  • Grass growth has slowed down considerably, requiring less mowing.
  • Temperatures have cooled considerably, requiring less watering.
  • Fall festivals, flea markets, and yard sales abound.
  • The boots and sweaters can finally come out of storage.
  • It’s cool enough to sit outside in the evenings without breaking a sweat.
  • Archery hunting season!
  • Fall foliage is more beautiful to me than spring color.
  • Holiday decorating begins–Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!
  • New fall television programming.
  • Halloween!

Pumpkins, mums, and scarecrows!

I’m sure that is not an exhaustive list, but it should help explain why October rocks.  It’s almost over, so enjoy!



AT HOME MONDAY: It’s Fall, Ya’ll!

Even if it doesn’t feel like it!  Go away, 90 degree temps–we are ready for some cool!  I usually wait until October 1 to get out my fall decor, which requires a trip to the storage building and sorting through all the plastic tote boxes to find it all.  Last year I got it down to five boxes.  This year I want to downsize to four.  Hm. . .I wonder if that is possible?

But I didn’t wait to haul everything out this year.  As soon as the autumn solstice was announced by the calendar and weatherman, I dragged hubby out to help me gather the boxes.  Taking each item out one by one is like seeing old friends again.  But I will be ruthless.  If it doesn’t make me smile, out it goes. . .

That said, I just love seeing all the new fall decor in the stores and find it difficult to restrain myself from collecting more and more!  But my favorite things are always the vintage, well-loved finds that I discover while foraging at antique shops, flea markets, and garage sales.

Here is one of my favorites–a grinning little fellow I found several years ago at an antique shop in Waco, Texas for only $4.00!  I stopped there to stretch my legs during a business trip.  

That kind of stop is SO much better than a convenience store. . .you just have to hope they have a restroom as well.

Back to the cat–is he not the cutest thing?Don’t you love his Cheshire cat grin?  He’s either REALLY happy or he is hiding something!

I’ve almost finished my scaled-down fall decorating now. I just need to purchase some pumpkins and gourds and mums and such, and hope that the weather realizes that fall is here.  In a few days I will be traveling to Indiana where the weather did get the message:  It’s Fall, ya’ll!