The Battle Is On

A week after Halloween and we are divided.  What side are you on?  Is it still fall or are you in Christmas mode?

My feet are firmly planted in the current autumn season.  I love it WAY too much to end it so abruptly (not to mention prematurely).  And luckily there are many people I follow on Instagram who feel the same way, like Mayra who posted her beautiful mantle.

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(Courtesy of @cupcakecountrygirl)

But there are just as many pictures of Christmas decorations in my feed which I like, too, for ideas and inspiration.  Just like this gorgeous tiered tray by Crystal.

Crystal

(Courtesy of @crystaltara).

But I cannot start Christmas decorating at the expense of Thanksgiving!!!  I just can’t!!!

Some people let the seasons collide, sort of like at the retail stores where this time of year you can find Halloween clearance, Thanksgiving decor and Christmas items on display together.  This was evident during a recent trip to one of my favorite places on earth, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (not sponsored).  They are promoting their delicious menu for Thanksgiving along with their beautiful Christmas decor items.

The ambiance in the restaurant is very much all autumn:

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And the General Store is well stocked with fall items, too:

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CB kitchen towel

CB grit and grace pillow

But Christmas is in full swing at the Store as well:

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I just L-O-V-E this tree topper hat!!!

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And these two are my favorites of all their pretty ornaments.

cb gingerbread house ornament      cb barn ornament

Even though Halloween is over, Cracker Barrel still has plenty of mega-sized candy available that could be a great gift for a difficult person on your list who may have a sweet tooth:

cb kit kat

cb mallo cup

cb rice krispie treats

So, what season is it for you right now?  What does your decor look like this time of year?

Now for a song.

This summer we lost a singer who was a sentimental favorite of mine.  Not just because he had a great husky voice with a blue-eyed soul thing going on, but because he was also family.  Community family.  He grew up in the same town I did and graduated from the same high school I went to.  And he put us on the map for a good reason after a lot of bad publicity stemming from an extraordinarily mortifying book banning incident.

He initially tried to join the family business as a cop in the NYC Police Department like his grandfather, dad & brother did before him.  However, he soon realized his heart was really in music, so he headed west to begin his career.  His debut album was released in 1977 and he was off.  He had more hits in the 1980’s & 1990’s, but his first one has always been my favorite.  In today’s social media driven world where many struggle to be  thankful for what they have vs. what they see, the lyrics are as relevant as ever:

“Don’t be thinkin’ ’bout what’s not enough, now baby
Just be thinkin’ ’bout what we got
Think of all my love, now
I’m gonna give you all I got.”  

Eddie Money    Eddie Money 2010

  Eddie Money’s 1977 album cover & in 2010 at the LI Music HOF ceremony (original sources unknown).  

I had the chance to meet him in 2010 at the Long Island Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Huntington, NY.  He was sweet, kind and gracious and reminisced with me about our junior high vice principal.  It was a great thrill for me to meet him and a fantastic night of music to be a part of.  He was also a quiet champion for our veterans.  Rest in peace,  Edward Joseph Mahoney.  And thank you from all of us in your Levittown and Island Trees families.  You made us unbelievably proud.

Baby Hold On” – Eddie Money (1977, written by Eddie Money & Jimmy Lyon).

I do not own the rights to anything in this post.  I just enjoy sharing what I love with you.

Until next time, happy listening!!!

 

 

 

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Welcome To The Season Of “Ber” Months

 

October photo image

Image found on Pinterest.  Original source unknown.  

“The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky.”   William Butler Yates

It is finally October.   Hallelujah.  I feel this way every year after surviving another summer of triple H weather (hazy, hot & humid).  It’s not just the cool weather I embrace.  It’s all the fairs this time of year, the activities like apple and pumpkin picking and Halloween.  I may not trick-or-treat anymore, but I still watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and hope he gets more than a rock.  It’s also a great time for decorating, cooking and baking.

What are some of your favorite ways to welcome October and the coziness of fall?

The weather here in New England has cooled off considerably during the overnights, but a lot of the days still have temperatures between 75-80 degrees.  Even though the leaves have started to change and pumpkin patch signs are everywhere I turn, I still need a push to welcome fall.  And what better push than music.   Enjoy.

Eric Clapton:  “Autumn Leaves” (2010, written by Joseph Kosma, Johnny Mercer & Jacques Prevert).

Happy Autumn & Happy 70th Birthday, Bossman!!!

snoopy fall

Courtesy of Charles M. Schultz.

Fall is finally officially here.  Yay!!!

But just as important as the start of the new season is, so is the fact that 70 years ago today Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen was born.  And in case you are wondering, this is what 70 looks like on him:

Bruce on the beach.jpgOriginal source unknown. 

OK, this picture was actually taken six years ago.   But judging by his most recent album (his 19th) and its companion movie, Western Stars,  Springsteen looks just as great now.  And add to that the fact that we see him on a horse………well, say it with me:  saaaaaaaaaa-wooooooon!!!

The word is he will be touring next year which gives me yet another reason to say thank you to this incredible man.  For his words, his music, his heart and his voice.   And for Jungleland.  I cannot thank him enough for Jungleland.

So, today’s song is Jungleland.   Enjoy all 9:37 of it.  Especially the gorgeous intro.  My God, is it beautiful.

Happy Autumn, all!!!

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, Happy Autumn

Bruce sp

Bruce Springsteen (original source:  Ed Murray | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com).

It has been one heck of a year for this man who has already racked up decades of good ones.  Since his last birthday, he has been starring in his Tony Award winning Broadway show.  It was originally supposed to run for only about two months, but due to the incredible demand for more performances, he extended it to the end of this year.  While several singers have chosen to headline residencies in Las Vegas, Springsteen has chosen a more intimate setting that has reinvented his epochal music in a new and even more illuminating way.  That is an unbelievable feat that could only be accomplished by a talent like his.  Happy birthday, Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen.  You are a beautiful man with a beautiful soul.

We are also officially in the fall season.  Yay.  That deserves a song, too.  So today I am sharing two with you.

For The Bossman’s birthday, I chose the title track of his 2009 record.  In typical Springsteen fashion, he describes holding on to a vision of a better life despite all the road blocks that appear in its way.  And how love will help the dream along.

I’m working on a dream
Though trouble can feel like it’s here to stay
I’m working on a dream
Well our love will chase trouble away.

Bruce Springsteen:  “Working On A Dream

The second song honors the new season.  This iconic singer/songwriter performed here in Connecticut yesterday with a little help from some of his fellow musician friends at this year’s Farm Aid concert.  It sets the tone of this new autumn season perfectly.  And how love makes everything better.

When we were strangers
I watched you from afar
When we were lovers
I loved you with all my heart.”

Neil Young:  “Harvest Moon“.

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some of the people & music I love with you.

Until next time, happy digging.

Fall Kinds Of Fun: The Garlic & Harvest Festival

Hello, Vixens!!!  How are all of you enjoying this beautiful fall season???  You know I am loving it which is why I have not had the time to blog.  But I indulged in a Connecticut fall tradition that was so fantastic I wanted to share it with you:  The Garlic & Harvest Festival.

Held every year in the scenic little town of Bethlehem, CT this autumnal feast celebrates all things garlic and more varieties of garlic than even an Italian American woman like me could imagine (Please forgive the quality of the pictures-they were taken on my iPhone and the weather was overcast, so some of the pictures are a little hazy).

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These pictures are only a taste (sorry, had to!) of the many different varieties of garlic that were showcased.  But there was so much more to do…and see…and buy…and  EAT!!!  Like…..

Wall climbing for the kiddos and some brave adults (i.e. not me!!!   🙂

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Seasonal ceramic shopping…..

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Country life shopping…..

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Time travel shopping back to the 1970’s courtesy of macrame crafts…..

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Or all natural hand-made soap shopping.

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If shopping for food was what you wanted, there was plenty to choose from like……

Smoked pork (the poor little thing…..it still has its curly Q tail!!!)…..

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Or cupcakes.  I asked if the whole truck was for sale.  For some reason, they looked at me funny…..

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or stuffed bread.  I sampled the potato & onion version because if you are a carb addict like me, two are ALWAYS better than one!!!  (Later in the day I had roasted corn on the cob followed by cider donuts.  I was so overloaded on carbs I forgot to take pictures but they were the best tasting part of my day!!!!!)

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And of course, you need something to was it all down with, right?  My choice……….

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This is mere glimpse of what this festival had to offer.  There was live music, food sampling galore, carnival rides, cooking demonstrations and so much more.  It was really a lot of fun.   I enjoyed it so much I was planning to go back on the second day, but the rain stopped me.  And if the festival was not enough of a joy in and of itself, I got to explore the charm of another adorable small town in CT while I indulged in the beauty of this season:

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And saw more pumpkins than even Linus, the Great Pumpkin believer himself, could imagine……

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Hope you enjoyed this glimpse into a great New England fall festival.

And don’t forget, “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” turns 50 this year (the first time we heard that pitiful sigh, “I got a rock” was on October 27, 1966) so don’t forget to wish this Peanuts classic a happy golden anniversary while watching Sally swoon over her Sweet Baboo, Linus!!!

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Wanderings

Hello, vixens!!!  How are all of you?  Are you as happy to say goodbye to summer & welcome fall as I am?!?!?!  This is truly my most wonderful time of year!!!  I am so happy to be going from seeing displays like this:

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To this:

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So we all know that over the last several years the back to school sales include many new items for fall.  I have come across several interesting ones.  I am not sure if Kellogg’s does this every year but this is the first time I noticed my favorite flavor of my favorite treat has been updated for fall:

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Or if you are a pumpkin pie fan, there is also this one:

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Isn’t the skeleton Snoopy a scream???  I promise it has two eyes, but my iPhone just did not pick it up.  As this year marks the 50th anniversary of “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown“, I have come across a lot of Peanuts items that celebrate that milestone & the season of fall/Halloween itself, like these adorable window clings I saw in the supermarket:

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I also loved these old school Halloween decorations.  They remind me of the ones my mother hung on our door for the holiday when I was a kid:

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Have you noticed that it starts to get dark around 7:30 pm now???  Yeah!!!  The other thing I have noticed since I have been in Connecticut is that even if the temperature during the day is still in the 80’s this month, overnight the temp drops town to the 60’s or 50’s.  Wonderful sleeping weather, as they say.  Speaking of CT, I have been up here an entire year now.  It’s hard to believe but I am happy and finally getting settled.  And this time of year makes everything better, right?  🙂

Nothing herein is sponsored, just sharing my weekend finds with you.

So how was your weekend???

Until next time, fellow vixens, happy digging!!!

 

The Ides Of Michele

Hi, Vixens!!!  Doesn’t this whole “lose an hour to spring forward” thing kind of make you feel like you lost more than just 60 minutes???  I cannot wait another 7 months to get it back.  I want it NOW   😦

We are six days away from the first official day of Spring but it already feels like the season has arrived thanks to last week’s mid-50’s temperatures here on the east coast-and this week promises more of the same.  I know the majority of people prefer the spring and summer months so much that they actually suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) waiting for the warmer weather to arrive.  But this is my time of year to be sad.

Getting-Through-Winter-SAD

Source:  Boatingtimesli.com

I get that some people have had it worse than me this time of year-Julius Caesar, for one, comes to mind.  But I prefer the fall to winter months, and let’s face it, we really did not have much of a winter this year.  It was not just the lack of snow, but except for a handful of days, it was a very mild season.

But this season’s holidays-Easter, Mother’s Day & Father’s Day, not to mention the birthdays of my grandmother and father plus my parent’s anniversary-and I need a morphine drip to get through the whole season.  Then come the hazy, hot & humid days of summer and I spend almost every waking hour in air conditioning.  I wish I was a bear so I could hibernate for these two seasons.  There is nothing to decorate for and even my magazines do not help as they are all chock full of “how to enjoy every second of the summer” articles.  Ugh.

Of course, there are some things I look forward to:  deliciously fragrant lilacs, paid days off (Memorial Day & Fourth of July),  fireworks, outdoor concerts and, of course, garage sales.  But other than that I would rather sleep through the next six months.

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Source:  flowerpatchfarmhouse.com

So this weekend as I nursed a fever and felt sorry for myself for being sick, I thought about ways I could make the next six months easier to tolerate.

Despite the fact that I have a black thumb, I am going to try to grow something if it kills me.  I will try a tomato plant, a basil plant & a cilantro plant in containers outside my apartment.  Maybe I will be successful since the plants will be outside in the sun as opposed to inside my dark 60 degree apartment.

I also want to up my baking game.  Every year I promise myself I will make Christmas cookies but I never do.  I also want to learn to make my own pie crust.  What better time to experiment than in the summer when the house will be nice & cool thanks to the A/C?  I will start honing my baking skills with this beautiful Speckled Malted Coconut Cake courtesy of Country Living that I want to bring to my book club’s luncheon coming up next month.  You can find the recipe here.

Country Living coconut cake

Source:  Country Living Magazine. 

So that is my plan so far.  I hope it works.  If not, it will be a long six months.

On a completely random note, I stumbled upon these adorable Lady Bug golf ball crafts online.  Too cute for words, don’t you think???

How-To-Make-Golf-Ball-Ladybugs

Source:  EverythingOrganized.Org

Hope you all have a great week.

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!