Falling into Fall

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“Fall has always been my favorite season,the time when everything bursts with it’s last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for it’s grand finale.” –Lauren DeStefano

Hi friends– It’s here.  My favorite season.  Fall.  Or call it Autumn if you’re feeling fancy.  Cooler days, cozy sweaters, fires burning in the hearth, mugs of tea and all that apple-y baking!  I’m happily anticipating the next few months.

So I’m making plans.  Or hopes or even happy dreams.  And writing them down to step into all the fall days that lie ahead…

Here’s thea list:

#1.  Carve some silly pumpkin faces with the grand-girls
#2.  Spend an evening over mulled wine with old friends
#3.  Take long walks through the leaves at Craig Park
#4.  Mail off Halloween treats and pumpkin notes to our kids far from home.
#5.  Bake a Dutch apple pie
#6.  Go to a Cal football game against UCLA with Ani & Brian (Go Bears!!)
#7.  Have friends in for soup by the fire place
#8.  Pick that Laurel up at the airport and bring her home to celebrate her BIG birthday!!
(the pumpkin dessert will be ready in the kitchen when you get here girl!)
#9.  Go for a Big Bear weekend of reading under pine trees rustling in the wind
#10. Make a cake to celebrate with Micah for his birthday!!
#11.  Bake a loaf of that crusty Dutch oven bread
#12.  Make a visit to play & read with baby Mae in SF
#13. Eat corn candy
#14. Decorate the house with leaves from the maples in the yard
#15.  Find an occasion to make that Pumpkin Tiramisu
#16.  Sit with a book on the sofa the first time it rains
#17. Send notes to dear friends to say how thankful I am for them
#18. Make Thanksgiving dinner place cards with the grand-girls
#19.Make a November Thankful Heart Chart– filled with blessings
#20. Gather as many family and friends as I can manage around our Thanksgiving table

So enormously thankful for this fresh new season and the particular joys it brings… God is good.

P.S.  The photo is thanks to Fox archives and looks nothing like fall here in southern California!  (But I’d like to be wherever it is!)

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Before Summer’s Gone…

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From a summer birthday walk a couple weeks ago with Jenon at Laguna Beach.

Hey there– It’s looming– the end of summer.  There’s just 2 weeks before school starts and I’ll be spending my days with a room of (hopefully) adorable 3rd graders.  So to wrest the last bits of summer fun out of the days left, I’ve made a list:

TEN BITS OF SUMMER FUN (BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!)

#1.  Take one last summer trip to San Francisco — to walk, to eat, to talk with our kids and, of course, get in all the books and cuddles we can with our Little Mae.–and a stop in Ojai to see the bigger grand-girls on the way home!

#2.  Bake a one more fruit cobbler — to be topped with generous scoops of ice cream.

#3.  Morning walk with old friends to eat outdoor breakfast and catch up our summer stories from near and far.

#4.  Spend one day lazing on the couch with a stack of library books.

#5.  Sit an evening in the jacuzzi laughing with my young moms group.

#6.  One more evening beach walk with Larry–kicking off those shoes to in wade a bit.

#7.  Pick the last summer tomatoes and make that recipe for a tomato tart on the cover of the August Food Channel magazine.

#8.  Bar-b-que some skewers and make a bright salad for dinner with friends out back under the maple trees on a warmish summer evening.

#9.  One last summer walk to Yogurtland (Larry figures the walk just about offsets the calories consumed in the cup of yogurt).

#10.  Spend a morning by the open back windows to think and plan and pray for the months ahead…  God is good.

Well, that should about do it.  It I can happily squeeze all this into the 2 weeks left, it will be a fine finish to our summer.   I do love a good list.  Do you have one you’re checking off?

Turning 60

Walking into the next 10 years with Larry

About the time I turned 50, my mom sent me a card saying, “Enjoy your 50’s.  It’s the decade that you have energy and resources to travel.  Your kids get married and you start having grandchildren.  You have good time with friends and chances to accomplish important things.”  She was right.  The 50’s were grand!

But this week I jumped into a new decade with both feet!  I’m glad to be 60 (aside from a few aches and sags).  There’s a perspective, one you don’t have at 20.  You know who you are and what you hold dear.  You can see all those years behind and can anticipate how to make the best of what’s ahead.   So I’ve been thinking  and here’s what I’m hoping…

GOALS FOR THE NEXT TEN YEARS:

#1. Retire.  Yep, it’s really on my mind since friends all around me are retiring right and left.  Oh, the things I could do if I had the luxury of all those unfilled days!

#2. Acquire a few more grandkids.  I know I have nothing to do about this.  But I maintain high hopes for more reading buddies and cookie making assistants.

#3.  Travel– I have a list of places in the U.S. I’d like to set off to with Larry (Seattle, Charleston, New York state, Nashville, the Appalachian Trail…)  and places beyond I’d
love to see (Hong Kong, Slovakia, Viet Nam, Sweden, Quebec and Spain again–and again).

#4. Time with our parents.  I’d love to spend more time with them, dinner in the backyard or breakfast pancake talks.  No one else will listen to all my stories like they do.

#5. Learn to be a real photographer.  I could blame it on my camera, but I think I’m just an impatient photographer.  I need some skills.

#6.  Make loads of trips to Shanghai and San Francisco with Larry– sitting around the table, exploring new places, late night talks, walks through the park– all with our kids.  What could be better?

#7.  Bungee Jump — No, not really.  I just wanted to make my list a little more exciting!

#8.  Keep on blogging– there are not too many 70 year old bloggers out there, but I’m on my way!  It gives me a lot of joy.

#9.  Keep growing with my Monday night Bible study friends, my Tuesday young moms group, my faithful prayer friends–J & D.  They keep me on track and remind me of what is true and important.

#10.  Learn to use my phone like a 30 year old.  (I have a long way to go on that one)

#11.  Make 10 more quilts.  One for each year.

#12. Read a book a month.  Thank you Fullerton Public Library.

#13. Tackle a few major house fix-it-up projects before we retire.  I have list of the top 50 re-do’s  starting with a new front door.

#14.  Teach English in China another summer– hard but so rewarding.

#15. Be more prayerful.  Love God more.  Why has this been on my to-do list every year since I was 20?  Lord, have mercy.  I need you more than ever.

So that’s it.  Being 60 is just fine.  I’m hopeful for the years ahead.

Thanks Ani for the photo–I stole it off Instagram.