Hello October!

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers”.

Yes and yes, L. M. Montgomery, you hit that nail right on the head. October, you are my favorite month!!

I have talked about this ad nauseam I am sure, and I apologize. But seriously, fall is my favorite, and October is it’s queen. September builds up to it, and November is about saying goodbye to fall, but October rules the season. From London Fog Lattes, my Starbucks of choice, to crunchy jewel colored leaves to the sweaters and boots and crisp weather and cider and bonfires, and most importantly, Halloween, I am the ultimate fan.

This month I feel like I have tried to curtail our planned activities so we can just enjoy the season and its slow unwind into winter, but when I look at my calendar it is still brimming with fun things to do. Bat Festivals and Trick or Treating, the orchard and pumpkin carving, a girls trip with friends, a first birthday party for one of my nieces, to name just a few. We plan on creating more family art and baking, or at least trying to bake. (that’s me – Billy is a much better baker lol)

I have jumped into fall and Halloween themed books and I am loving it. I am participating in Readers Imbibing Peril for the somethingth year in a row, and I have a full line up of spooky or mysterious books for this month. I just read Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and The Spook in the Stacks by Eva Gates to ease my way in and they were the perfect start to October. I also am excited to watch all my favorite Halloween cartoons with Wyatt – The Legend of Sleepy Hollow for sure is on our fall bucket list. We watched We Have Always Lived in the Castle yesterday, a cold and rainy day, and it was the perfect day to watch this crazy movie based on the book. Seriously, all the actors did a phenomenal job, especially an old favorite of mine, Crispin Hellion Glover. I will probably watch the classic Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis and who knows what else – maybe the Johnny Depp version of Sleepy Hollow?

I also have Wyatt’s costume – he is going as Max the King of all Wild Things from the book Where the Wild Things are, and he looks super adorable!! I can’t stand it. However, we were goofing around the other day and I realized I could have just dressed him like a little country music artist… maybe next year?

I had lunch with my cousin and honorary brother today, and we talked about how we were raised with traditions – every year we went on a family summer vacation together, we had holidays together and ate the same food every year, in the fall we went to the pumpkin patch and back to my aunt’s house for chili and to celebrate my uncle’s birthday. It’s just how we were raised, together and with traditions. I am thinking about this a lot lately, and how I want Wyatt to have those traditions too. I want him to have these certain things he can rely on every year, these traditions, and now it is up to Billy and I to create them.

Do you do anything special in October? Any movies you like or traditions you have?

Currently..October

Currently..is a meme hosted by Anne in Residence. It is my first time participating and I am excited to link up! Today we are sharing what we are currently….. arranging, loving, embracing, purchasing, and sharing.

Arranging: Mostly doctor’s appointments and coffee dates! One fun, one not so much but necessary. I am working on taking time for myself every week, which sometimes is hard to allow yourself the time to do. I am making myself a priority too!

Loving: That it is October, and that means fall has arrived! My very favorite season of all. I am loving all the fall things, from books to being cozy with my book and tea, to pulling out my comfy fall weather clothes and boots. I also am looking forward to all the autumn outings as well! I bought Wyatt’s costume the other day and I can’t wait to see him in it!

Embracing: The idea that there is and always will be something to do. Something that needs to be checked off my list or completed. It is so easy to get caught up in trying to get all the things done but sometimes that list seems never ending. I’m telling myself that there is always something to do and that I will get to it, but I don’t need to make myself miserable in the process.

Purchasing: I have started Christmas shopping and my goal is to be #donebyDecember! I might not accomplish that but no matter what I will still be farther ahead than I usually am by that point. This year I am focusing on gifts that are nature based or books, at least for my own kiddo. He is not a big toy kid. He does like to play with toys, but he is more interested in doing, like looking at books or playing music or drawing or coloring or being outside. So that is where I am putting my focus this year. I have already gotten some neat stuff, like binoculars for his little hands and a magnifying glass, and today I am adding a few things that I found on Magic Cabin and a few other things on Imagine Childhood.

Sharing: Food. Our apple tree is just dripping with apples and we have been giving them away by the bagful to our friends and family. Soon too, two of my friends and I will be sharing labor and making soup together a few times a month so that we have dinner done on those nights. And so much more fun making food with friends!

What about you? What have you been up to lately?

Flannels and Farm Markets

This weekend was one full of fun, flannel, and a fall farmer’s market! After being cooped up for a week or so with coughs and respiratory issues, we were able to get out of the house and have some adventures over the weekend.

We started strong on Saturday morning, by heading to Greenfield Village and hitting their Fall Farmer’s Market. I love this every year! So much to see and do and buy! It is not just fruits and vegetables sold at this one, they include traditionally made brooms, honey, soap, maple syrup, flowers, tea, coffee, chocolate, and homemade pasties to name a few.

And these dried flowers, candles, and smudge sticks are gorgeous! I have never smudged anything but I did recently read that apart from the whole bad energy thought behind it, that it actually can help eradicate germs in your house. Maybe that is the origin behind the idea? I might give it a whirl if it will help to cleanse my house of germs, especially in cold and flu season! These are from Anchored Roots and are sold at Grayes Greenhouse. I am always so tempted by all the lavender items on display but I try not to go crazy and buy it all. Lol. And that popcorn looked so lovely! We are reading Farmer Boy right now as a family read aloud, and in it Wilder describes popcorn as such an American food, and she is so right.

I am always in love with these brooms from Brooms by Henry. Handmade in the traditional ways, there is just something about them that I love. So I bought a hearth broom although I don’t have a hearth. I just really liked the twist in the handle and the craftsmanship of it. I really don’t know what I am going to do with it, but for now I have it hanging in my kitchen. We also always buy the maple syrup from Doodles Sugar Bush. This year we bought the Bourbon Maple Syrup and it is funny, we talked to my brother later and they had bought the same one while they were there! It is really good. Also pictured up there is wool from Aunt Bea’s place. It is made from sheep at their own farm, and they spin the wool themselves.

After shopping at the market, we walked around the farm at the village a bit, watching the hay get processed. They shake the seeds from the stalks, then it shoots out the other end and gets baled. It was pretty cool to watch. We also watched corn husk dolls being made, which was neat as well. We were told that they originated with the Native Americans, who made them after the corn harvest. We could have made one but we didn’t have any cash on us, just our debit card. I really need to start carrying a few dollars in my pocket! We were thinking we could still make them at home – and get the corn husks at a store where they sell tamale ingredients. Is that cheating? Lol.

After taking in the events at the village, we went home for a bit for lunch and because Wyatt kept asking to play. Lol. So we went home and chilled out before heading to an event called the Fire and Flannel Festival. Billy really wanted to see the big draw, the Jack Pine Lumberjack show. The Jack Pine Lumberjack show can usually be found in Mackinaw City, but they were here for the event and we had a great time watching! People were supposed to wear their flannels to the event, so it was good of the weather to sort of cooperate. Lol. It was the first year for this event, and while it was good, I think next year if the event planners stick more to the theme, it will be more fun, if that makes sense. Plus, it was in a parking lot instead of green space, and for some reason that bothered me. Lol. But, first year kind of stuff. I am sure they will work the details out as they move forward in the future. The Jack Pine Lumberjack show though was really fun! If you are ever in Northern Michigan and get the chance to see them, I definitely recommend it!

We spent the rest of the weekend being lazy, and even had pie for breakfast on Sunday! Coffee and pie warm from the oven on a chilly morning was a pretty perfect moment. I might have to do it again over the winter as a surprise for my guys!

My Sunday-Monday Post!

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

Can you believe we are already at the end of September? This month flew by so fast, it’s crazy! Last week was a busy one, full of appointments and even a field trip! I was lucky enough to be able to accompany my niece on her school field trip to the pumpkin patch and I had such a great time with her. We picked out pumpkins in the field, rode in little pumpkin carriages like we were Cinderella, and of course ate doughnuts! Then over the weekend my guys and I went to a Fall Farmer’s Market and to the our town’s Fire and Flannel Festival, complete with ax throwing and lumberjacks! A perfect way to end the month.

Read Last Week:

I finished The Simple Wild (loved it!!) and read The Other Mother as well, which was a great big mind trip. I tried to read Wild and Crooked, but my heart was just a little too sensitive right now to get through it. I am planning on buying it and keeping it on hand though, I feel it could be an important read somewhere along the line. I plan on doing a mini-reviews post this week of the two I did read.

Reading This Week:

The Spook in the Stacks was a whim pick up at the library the other day. I must have been in the cozy mystery mood, and I am loving this one. And now I want to read Sleepy Hollow again. I am such a Sleepy Hollow fan – books, movies, etc. And then I just love Rainbow Rowell, so I am looking forward to Pumpkinheads too.

Posted Last Week:

Book Review: The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs

What Wyatt’s Reading – September

Watching:

Veronica Mars! We remembered we hadn’t started the new series yet and we are OBSESSED! I love Kristen Bell. Lol. We are also watching The Great British Bakeoff too – so good! Although one of my favorites went home. 😦 When we take a break from Veronica we also watch Criminal Minds and Death in Paradise.

RIP 14 – Readers Imbibing Peril

Spooky season is here! I am a little late joining up this year, but I am so looking forward to participating again in Readers Imbibing Peril! I’m all about the fall as you all know and my favorite holiday is right around the corner, along with hard cider and apple cider and bonfires and comfy sweaters and boots. And I am really looking forward to a scary story or two!

This year I plan on participating in Peril the First and Peril of the Screen – or reading four books that fit the qualifications and a horror movie or two…

If you are interested here are the details, copied from the Readers Imbibing Peril website!

The purpose of the R.I.P. Challenge is to enjoy books that could be classified as:Mystery.Suspense.Thriller.Dark Fantasy.Gothic.Horror.Supernatural.The emphasis is never on the word challenge, instead it is about coming together as a community and embracing the autumnal mood, whether the weather is cooperative where you live or not.

The goals are simple. 

1. Have fun reading.

2. Share that fun with others.

As we do each and every year, there are multiple levels of participation (Perils) that allow you to be a part of R.I.P. XIV without adding the burden of another commitment to your already busy lives. There is even a one book only option for those who feel that this sort of reading is not their cup of tea (or who have many other commitments) but want to participate all the same.

Multiple perils await you. You can participate in just one, or participate in them all.

Peril the First:

Read four books, any length, that you feel fit (our very broad definitions) of R.I.P. literature. It could be Stephen King or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Shirley Jackson or Tananarive Due…or anyone in between.

Peril the Second:

Read two books of any length that you believe fit within the challenge categories.

Peril the Third:

We all want you to participate. This Peril involves reading one book that fits within the R.I.P. definition.

Peril of the Short Story:

We are fans of short stories and our desire for them is perhaps no greater than in autumn. We see Jackson in our future for sure! You can read short stories any time during the challenge. We sometimes like to read short stories over the weekend and post about them around that time. Feel free to do this however you want, but if you review short stories on your site, please link to those reviews on our RIPXIV Book Review pages.

Peril on the Screen:

This is for those of us who like to watch suitably scary, eerie, mysterious gothic fare during this time of year. It may be something on the small screen or large. It might be a television show, like Dark Shadows, or your favorite film. If you are so inclined, please post links to any R.I.P.-related viewing you do on our book review pages as well.

Peril of the Review:

Submit a short review of any book you read and you may see it here on the blog! Again, you may participate in one or all of the various Perils. Our one demand: enjoy yourself!The R.I.P. XIV Challenge does not require you to read from a pre-selected list of books, but like many of you we love to get ideas from what others are thinking of reading. If you want to include a pool of potential reads when you sign up, either in the comments or on your own sign up post on your social media channel of choice (not required for participation), please do!This challenge is always a joy because of one thing: you! You sharing your passion for books, reading, films, television, etc. helps bring us together and ensures that we all have a great time. Thank each and every one of you who choose to participate on any level. We are honored that you would choose to do so.

To join, visit the site and sign up!

What Wyatt’s Reading – September

We had a great month of reading! I won’t list them all, but here are the highlights!

As you can see we have gone full fall reading over here! There are so many great picture books out there and we are eating them up like apples. Wyatt loved Apple Farmer Annie, Apple, Scarecrow Magic, and How to Find a Fox. Especially How to Find a Fox. It was fun to see how the fox was hiding from the little girl while she searched high and low. So cute. We both loved Hello, Fall and read it multiple times. Saving Samantha was wonderful, I have loved it for years although it was a bit long for Wyatt right now. I am probably going to buy it for our home library, along with Fall Walk and Red Sky at Night. All were great wonderful books. It is hard to not just buy all the books for him, so I am trying to “curate” a library of his favorites and also books that we can reference in the future, and not just every single one, which is how I would like to roll. Lol. But space and money! Our library always lists how much we have saved using the library that trip and we generally average a “savings” of $175 a week! Libraries are awesome, I highly encourage using them if you are not regular library goers.

Finally, Little Tree and Little Cub. I was so in love with these two books. Little Tree shows how in order to change, sometimes we need to let go. And Little Cub was so heartwarming. I read it to Wyatt while Billy was making dinner, and Billy came out of the kitchen to comment on how sweet the story was. And I agree.

We still have two months of fall books to read! Any favorites?

Book Review: The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs

Goodreads Summary:

Connie Goodwin is an expert on America’s fractured past with witchcraft. A young, tenure-track professor in Boston, she’s earned career success by studying the history of magic in colonial America—especially women’s home recipes and medicines—and by exposing society’s threats against women fluent in those skills. But beyond her studies, Connie harbors a secret: She is the direct descendant of a woman tried as a witch in Salem, an ancestor whose abilities were far more magical than the historical record shows.

When a hint from her mother and clues from her research lead Connie to the shocking realization that her partner’s life is in danger, she must race to solve the mystery behind a hundreds’-years-long deadly curse.

Flashing back through American history to the lives of certain supernaturally gifted women, The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs affectingly reveals not only the special bond that unites one particular matriarchal line, but also explores the many challenges to women’s survival across the decades—and the risks some women are forced to take to protect what they love most. 

My Thoughts:

I loved The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, and I was so excited when I saw that Katherine Howe had written a new book as a sequel to Constance’s story. I read this one eagerly and quickly, and really loved it.

The story picks up ten years after the first, and Constance is a professor working on tenure. She is still with Sam and while they are having some ups and downs in their relationship, they are still solid. However, her family has a secret, one that she must find the cure for before time is up.

I loved how this book flashed back through the decades to Constance’s ancestry, all the way back to Deliverance herself. We see glimpses of what the women of her bloodline have lived through, and how their family history has affected them. I loved seeing these small hints of the past, and it reminded me somewhat of Anne Rice’s Witching Hour, and reading the Talmasca history of the Mayfair Witches. (one of my favorite books ever, btw)

In between these introductions to Connie’s past, we are caught up with Connie and her race to find the answers she needs. Zazi, the student that she mentors, is a great addition to this story and I loved her presence and interests. Her character widens the range from the New England Puritan witchcraze to the south and voodoo and other forms and studies of witchcraft. I really hope that we get a book about her!

My only complaint really about this book is that it lacked a certain sense of urgency. I know we were supposed to feel that the situation was urgent and dire, but it didn’t really feel that way, until all of a sudden it was, if that makes sense. I could have used a little more build up besides the exposition of being told that it was urgent. Otherwise, I loved this book. I love books about academia and witches so this one was right up my alley, and well done. A great book to start the spooky season, as it was not really spooky but definitely supernatural!