When the leaves of the Japanese maple outside my kitchen window turn this color, I know the frosty fall nights have arrived. I love the feeling of the crispy air and the colors, and although this year fall has been slow in coming, and leaf color has been predicted to be less than ideal due to the drought, Mother Nature has started the transformation. And fall means it’s also time for my annual pilgrimage to Yankee Candle‘s flagship store in Deerfield, Massachusetts.
If you’ve never been to one of the two flagship stores, you are missing something amazing. I will take you to one on another day.
They call themselves “the world’s best Christmas shop” and I always find plenty of ornaments to add to my collection. I need them for things like hanging in my windows as you saw in my Resolutions and Confessions post a few years ago.
And speaking of pumpkins, the New York Botanical Garden is having its annual pumpkin and scarecrow exhibit. I always like to think of jack-o-lanterns with happy faces, like this one.
There were plenty of smiling pumpkins in the children’s garden.
But the fields were filled with these creatures coming over hilltops …
and surprising us at every turn through the woods.
The exhibit is lit at night, and must be terrifying!
I’ll only show you the least scary scarecrow. The crows don’t seem to be worried.
I prefer my scarecrows to be smiling, too. He is one of my favorites and is on my kitchen table right now. And since I haven’t seen any crows around I think he is more effective than the one above!
Fall here means it’s time to plant bulbs. I’m trying Colorblends this year. This crate of 310 bulbs arrived a few days ago. That is a huge amount of bulbs, and I wish I had my camera handy when Mr. Fun saw it. I’ll give you a peek inside it next week.
Some of the crocus bulbs (croci??) will go into the fairy house area. Right now the inhabitants are still enjoying these pretty impatients, and I can’t bear to pull them up.
As you can see, the weeping maple is still green, but any day now it will turn into this:
or even this:
When it’s this color the fairy people only need to add a little “pumpkin” berry to the front porch.
Last year it looked like this.
The fairies who were occupying it were into fall decor and decked out the front yard with a river stone, moss, a pine cone, some chestnuts (which always fall on our cars in the driveway) and some sedum as hedges.
In addition to the usual fall chores of bulb planting, leaf peeping, and checking up on the fairies, it’s time to start feeding the
squirrels birds. Last year I filled my bunny’s dish (and the bird feeders!) almost everyday, and apparently this squirrel remembers because he has been investigating to see if those seeds have magically appeared!
Although I love all the colors and changes of fall, the thing I love most is all the family birthdays. Charlotte, Will and now our son-in-law Chris are all September and October babies, so we’ve been going back and forth to Boston to bring presents and cakes and to sing and blow out candles. Sunday it was Will’s turn, and we stopped to see George’s monument in Dorchester Heights. It was the first day of the fall color, and the sky was perfect fall blue and white.
~~ and now for me ~~
It recently came to my attention (actually one day a few months ago it hit me like a rock ~~ truly it felt like someone had slammed me with a huge boulder) that before October closes I will no longer be able to say that I’m fifty-something. My age has never really been an issue and usually I don’t even know which year I’m in until I go back and do the math, but this time it has caused a tremendous amount of soul-searching. Why, I don’t know! Maybe because I have always been so busy and haven’t had time to even think about what will be next, but all that is changing soon, with Mr. Fun’s retirement looming and another move for us, but WHERE? No job or school to make the decision for us! I have decided to embrace the opportunity and focus more on the continuing evolution of me! I haven’t set a new table for you and me to enjoy this year so I’ll share photos of this one from the days when I first met you all.
And since I love wrapping and giving presents,
I’m giving away something for one of my blog friends. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of hearing Frances Schultz speak about her book The Bee Cottage Story. We chatted for awhile, about life and change.
And I have a signed copy for one of you.
I’ll also find the perfect ornament for the winner, which I will chose after the random number generator does its thing.
Just tell me something ~~ anything ~~ how you like your pumpkins or scarecrows, or what you do for your birthdays, or what you think about changing decades, or whether you have read the book or like ornaments or plant bulbs, or anything else you wish to mention! I’m always available for chatting (can you tell?)
joining the fun at Rattlebridge Farm and BNOTP and Monday Social
30 thoughts on “Pumpkins, Scarecrows and My Birthday Giveaway”
Linda, I love the title of your post – a birthday giveaway. Maybe that’s what we shall do as we hit this new decade (I’m just months behind you, sister) – just give the birthdays away!
I have Frances book, and am in love with it. One of my sisters told me when she read it, it reminded her of my own story. Flattering as that was, I’ve only had a few similarities to Frances’ story. Nonetheless, your gift opportunity is very generous. I wish you all the best as you blaze your trail on the next stages of life and living. Make it memorable! Happiest of Birthdays to You!
Linda, I’m knocking at the door of a new decade in another year. It’s an eye opener for sure when one begins to think about each new decade after the 50s. So happy, happy birthday tomorrow! I hope there are some fun times planned for celebration. My advice for welcoming birthdays in the later decades is to celebrate with friends and family spreading out lunches, dinners, and visits through the month. Celebrate your birthday month. It’s time spent with those we love and care about that are the precious gifts, so that’s my favorite birthday present.
Thanks for taking us the to NY Botanical Gardens. What a treat! I love autumn and the abundance of pumpkins one sees everywhere this time of year. Your pumpkin ornaments are gorgeous. I’ve not see these before. Are they the ones you have hanging in your windows? Darling idea! I like my Halloween things to be whimsical and fun. Not into the scary side of Halloween.
I have Frances Schultz’s book, and it is great. How nice that you met her.
Enjoy your birthday weekend, my friend. Happy, Happy!
Dear Linda…. happy, happy birthday. You are six months ahead of me. Sounds like you have a lot of celebrating ahead of you with all the family birthdays! So exciting that you met Frances Shultz – I love her book!! Love all your pics and your Halloween decorations. I hope that this will be your best year yet!!!
Linda, I always look forward to a post from you. Love your writing style, too. Fall is my favorite season, October is my favorite month! I love my scarecrows to be cute, or charming. When I turned the big 6-oh, I went to Tuscany for a week, by myself, and had the time of my life. Of course, it involved some (lots?) of eating! 😋. That was in 2014. My excitement this year is the SS check.
Oops! Happy, happy birthday to you! Be blessed always.
Linda, I am a new follower to your blog, I enjoy your thoughts and pics which resonate with me so much! The milestone birthdays, 30, 40, 50 did not bother me that much and yet as I turn the dial to 60 in 3 weeks I am wondering where did the time go? Blessing to you on your new decade,
Happy birthday, Linda! It’s truly amazing how time gets away from us. I’m 58 right now, the exact age my mother was when she passed away. Let me tell you, this has been a year for a great deal of soul searching. I know it seems a cliche, but truly, as long as we have our health everything else is bearable. We, too, are facing some big decisions in the next few years, and the ambivalence isn’t all that comfortable. I remember the glass pumpkins from your earlier post, and that lovely gift-wrapped package. So pretty! Oh, and I think the plural of crocus is crocuses. The root is Greek, not Latin. I found myself raffling off crocuses last year for work, and I had to look it up.
I also like smiling Halloween decor, my pumpkins are forever smiling and so are my scarecrows. Love you blog!
Happy Birthday! I really enjoyed the pictures of your fairy house. It is adorable! I haven’t read the book you are giving away, but it sounds interesting. Fall is my favorite season. Thank you for the lovely post!
This is my first visit to your blog. I enjoyed seeing the pictures of the Yankee Candle Co as my Mister and I were just there last week after first making our way to The Freight House for some mixed berry scones. (Christopher Kimball approved!) We rarely go west, the beaches are my happy place, but warm the autumn days were drawing us to explore. Your photographs are beautiful and caught the colors as they are. I am glad I stumbled across your blog. It is nice to find other bloggers from my area.
Happy Birthday Linda! You are three years ahead of me and we don’t think of ourselves turning that certain age since we are still 30! LOL
One of my favorite tulip collections from Colorblends is “See View Plait”. It was a show stopper according to my neighbors that braked when driving by. I hope you hire a gardener to dig all those holes needed for 310 pounds of bulbs!
So exciting that you met Frances Shultz – I love her book!! I’ve heard wonderful things about the Yankee Candle store, and there are bus trips from our area which makes it a nice girls day out event. Love all your pics and your Halloween decorations. I hope that this will be your best year yet!!!
Your weeping maple is pretty is all it’s stages and I love your fairy house.
I’m six years ahead of you and haven’t had that soul searching until recently when so many of our friends are having health problems. Actually, today is my husband’s birthday. Our daughter and her family came which made it special.
That is a huge box of bulbs! It does make me think of a back ache though but I adore bulbs. I don’t plant tulips because they don’t come up again after the first year in our climate. It is too warm.
Enjoy your birthday, Linda. I enjoy your writing and sense of humor.
So enjoyed this beautiful and “fall” inspiring post – loved the pumpkin ornaments in the window.
Happy Birthday Linda! When I get depressed about my “number” I just remember how lucky I am to have a birthday! I also think birthdays are incredibly fun to celebrate, my daughter, who also has an October birthday, tries to stretch hers out for the entire month! I say, embrace it and throw yourself a big bash! Your photos are gorgeous, you always go on the best day trips and find the coolest stuff! Those pumpkin heads are wonderful fun! I am a huge pumpkin lover, you can never have too many! I love to stack them, and paint them, and fill my planters with them. I even painted some pink this year for October and for my granddaughters room! I know your new bulbs will provide a future beautiful crop, oh how I wish I liked to garden- Enjoy your birthday month and this beautiful fall, and I love the pumpkin ornaments, too adorable!
Thank you for sharing all this beautiful fall inspiration. I can’t get over the photo of the “world’s best Christmas shop.” I live in Texas and signs of fall are much more subtle around here! I’ve never seen a scary scarecrow before either. Thanks so much for joining Monday Social!
Happy Birthday! I love the name of your blog. It reminds me of one of my favorite Zen sayings: First the laundry and then ecstasy. 🙂 Your maples are stunning. I think I’d think I’ve died and go to heaven at a Yankee Candle flagship store. I bet the NY botanical garden was a special fall treat — looks like it! Have a lovely, fun filled week!
Where do I begin to comment on this FABULOUS post? First of all, happy birthday fellow October girl. I’m sure you’ll agree that October kids are the coolest. Second, I have never been to a Yankee Candle Store, but I would find it akin to heaven I’m sure. Those pumpkin ornaments really send me, wow. And the Botanical Garden…incredible! Not to mention your willow with that darling house. This was such fun to read this morning. Thanks for sharing.
The little pumpkin ornaments are delightful!
Happy Birthday! I am also an October birthday and always enjoy Fall. Just found your blog and it’s so nice! Your yard must be beautiful- I am grateful for my cordless blower as we have so many leaves on the ground now here in the midwest. Our home has pumpkin pillows on the sofa and various fall decorations, Isn’t it a perfect decorating season?
Happy Birthday. Deerfield, MA is a beautiful town and they really do a wonderful job of merchandising at Yankee Candle. Your fairy house is cute by the maple. Love your pictures.
When I think about how old I am in my head, I think about 45. For years, I was still 16, then jumped to 35, then jumped to 45… all in my mind. However, like you the next birthday is a jolt… for the first time ever. Happy Birthday and keep thinking of an age in your mind.
I love the pumpkins carved around their stems. Thank you for sharing all of them from the Botanical Garden… and for joining Monday Social.
Happy Birthday!!!!….Wow, the flagship store is beautiful!!!….and how wonderful it was to meet Frances….Do you remember Christopher Lowell?….I love it when she was on his show!….Great book and what a generous giveaway!….I do not have the book and always meant to buy a copy!….She is such a talented lady!….On my birthday, I love to spend it with my family…that makes me happy!….
I loved this post with all of the charming Halloween decorations, most especially the little pumpkins hanging in the window and perched around your home! I am 75 and while getting older is surprising to me it has never felt like a problem. Life keeps providing me with many enriching experiences for which I’m grateful.
Awwww Happy, happy birthday, Linda!! Even though I’m 67, I don’t feel it one bit (oops…except when I’m caring for my littlest granddaughter like I have been since Wednesday. Sh-h-h-h, she’s napping right now!!). I love, love, love your hanging ornaments and must try that myself. How cute they are dangling in your window. The book sounds like a sweet one and thank you for putting my name in the hat.
Happy weekend, Linda, and enjoy your 60’s!
p.s .Oh, how I’d love to visit the Yankee Candle Flagship store!
Happy Birthday Linda,
Sixty is a significant birthday. It starts the decade during which most people retire. Now isn’t that a lifestyle change?!
I’m 56 now but when I turned forty I went through a real shift. I remember explaining it to someone who was trying to convince me I was still so young that it was not so much that I objected to being forty but that I did not want to be 60! You see I looked at life in chunks of 20 years. 0-20 flew. 20 -40 faster still. I knew I would blink and be 60.
But I look at things a little differently now. If we are fortunate enough to have our health our sixties will be magical. We are wiser. The bulk of the toiling is behind us. We have weathered loss in our life and are stronger for it. We still have a joi de vivre. We love cooking, traveling, decorating, wine, our girlfriends, families and of course HomeGoods!
We will savor this decade.
Happiest of Birthdays to you! May you enjoy the ride.
Happy Birthday , Linda! The flagship store looks amazing…I have Frances’ book and enjoyed it, great give-away! My birthday is tomorrow and I will be 63…when did that happen??!!
Your lovely post just reminds me of why I loved New England so much…especially in the fall. Thank you for sharing all the photos. At least I’m getting to enjoy some cool weather, colored leaves and a crackling fire or two while on our travels in Germany and Austria. Savor your birthday celebration and just remember, we are only as old as we feel. I’m sure you feel way younger than the calendar says. 😀
First and foremost, I love autumn becuase it brings back so many memories of my childhood…..and I love a great carved pumpkin! Isn’t the Yankee Candle store fabulous?………..I feel the same way about my age, often I have to do the math – and when I do, I can’t believe it!!
And today is your lucky day…you WON the ramsign from my blog! I will be in touch with the details!
I know it’s late for me, but I wanted to share.. my own Bee moment with you. I’ve rescued several animals .. and they gave my heart new life. As I’m writing this, they’ve jumped up onto my bed, nuzzle into my side.. got comfy.. and sighed.. well that’s how my life changed. And they love pumpkin.. so I grow my own. And we make pumpkin everything! They are ever attentive.. even to the bees. So I dressed them up as Bees -! I don’t know how to share the photo tho darn it. But they are the best pumpkin loving bees o my heart. Loved your post/blog. May have to try and find the book at the library too♡
Well happy birthday coming up first of all! I am hitting that milestone in January! I think it helps to have friends who are a couple of years older – because you see them do it and you go – ok, they survived! So far none of the big birthdays have hurt, but we are definitely beginning to ask others about their abilities in their 70’s – I do see people slow down so much! You will do great – it really is just the same as the day before – haha! How the years have flown by!!
Pumpkins – ahhhh – I love the new ones – the ghost ones, the warty ones, the fun ones and the baby ones. I just did two floral arrangements on them for a breakfast tomorrow. Love them, but they disappear after Halloween – we need them for Thanksgiving too, guys!
Enter me in your fun giveaway!