Lovely Day

The weather was gorgeous today!  I spent some time at Towson Town Center picking up a few things from Williams-Sonoma for Thanksgiving as well as a couple of Christmas presents.  A massage place opened up apparently recently (as they were having a Grand Opening special).  I’m a sucker for a good massage and couldn’t help but stop in for my 10% discount on the cost of their stress-relieving acupressure.

One of the trees in the front yard has the best variety of color I think its ever had.  Different shades of green, yellow, orange, and red dress this tree in style.  I raked the backyard, pulling the fallen leaves into a big pile under one of the trees opposite the deck.  A recent newsletter from something I subscribe to said that there are some birds that will nest in the piles of leaves during the winter.  So that pile of leaves is for the birds!

Josh called this morning.  We had a nice long chat about a lot of different things.  It was a nice way to start the day.

Well, I’m in a cleaning mood (could it be Spring instead of Fall?).  Think there’s a closet calling me …

Eating Autumn

Fall has, without a doubt, always been my favorite season.  There is nothing about this time of year that I don’t enjoy (oops, double negative – my bad).  Let me share with you all that autumn has to offer …

The changing colors of the leaves, from gorgeous greens to an abundance of oranges, reds, yellows, and browns.  There’s the way the crisp fallen leaves crunch happily under your feet.  Then, at least where I call home, the backdrop of the hills and mountains swathed in blankets of variegated hues of all of the shades of autumn.  Leaves, gently wafting downward in the cool breeze of fall, landing in the streams and creeks, the cold waters taking them on a journey as the sun glistens around them.

The smell of fireplaces – although I don’t own one, the minute I step outside I can tell if a neighbor is using theirs.  I envy them, cozying up in front of the fire with their family or friends, or maybe snuggling up with a good book (and I don’t care if it’s a hardcover, paperback, Kindle, Nook, iPad … whatever … just read!).

The cooler days, the crisper nights – the frost on the thin blades of grass in the morning that dance with droplets as the sun strikes and Buddy’s leash grazes over the top of the grass.  Bundling Buddy up in his sheepskin jacket to let him out – he’s such a cute little dachshund!

Setting the clocks back an hour – I always make good use of that extra hour doing whatever strikes my fancy.

Eating autumn – the Tastee Apple Caramel Apples, the pumpkin pie, eggnog ice cream (yum!), stews and chili and soups, and apple cider.  I overdose on caramel apples every year because they’re available for such a short time.  There’s nothing like the tangy sweet apple, the buttery caramel, and the chopped peanuts to let your taste buds enjoy the season too.  Oh, and let’s not forget about Girl Scout cookies!

Time, schedules, commitments – a lot got in the way this year of making it up to the Catoctins to take photos of fall.  I kind of regret that, but there isn’t a morning or afternoon when I’m driving between home and work where I’m not taking in the beauty around me.  This was a very colorful fall this year.  When I talked to Josh, he said the colors in Vermont were good too, but they’re starting to fade.  It’s that time.

Enjoy the colors, the scents, the tastes, and what’s next – the nearing of the holidays.

The Busy Month of September

September was quite a month.  I started cramming for a certification exam on Labor Day weekend and basically did nothing but work, study, sleep, and eat for a little over two weeks.  All that focus allowed me to pass the exam – I am now a Certified Supply Chain Professional through APICS.  Besides the exam content material, I learned a couple of other things.

Learning #1 – set a deadline.  I purchased the self-study course in the Fall of 2009.  I did not set an exam date until I was informed that the material and exam were going to be revamped in 2012.  Thus, the cramming to pass the exam by the end of this year.

Learning #2 – breathe.

Josh decided to come home the weekend prior to my exam, which in itself was a nice thing, but his trip back to Castleton was somewhat eventful.  Eventful to the point I nearly had to drive up to meet him in northern Pennsylvania – that wonderful son of mine left home with barely any money in his wallet and no debit or gas card to use.  But Josh is resourceful and made it back to campus with just about a quarter of a tank of gas.  Oh, normally it wouldn’t have been an issue, but one of the legs of his trip, I-88, was shut down due to issues resulting from Hurricane Irene.  He had to rely on his phone’s GPS to get him to Castleton.  And it all worked out.

That Sunday when all of this was happening, I was a mess.  Between the stress of studying and the worrying about Josh, it felt like my world was a jumbled-up pile of crud.  Luckily, my mom called – I vented, I was emotional, and it all turned out good.  Later, my sister reminded me that I’m a worry queen.  Yep.

The weekend after the exam was the Maryland Wine Festival.  Jamie and I went on Saturday and both wound up buying more bottles of wine than we had planned on.  But again, it’s all good.  It rained on and off while we were there but it didn’t matter because we were having a good time.  I really like wines – especially the port –  from Little Ashby Vineyards on Maryland’s eastern shore, and sadly, they don’t distribute on this side of the Bay.  Next year, we’re going to remember to take our own oyster crackers to help cleanse our palettes in between wine tastings.  And a bigger umbrella (just in case).  And shoes that are a little more comfortable.  And lawn chairs.  That should do it.  Oh, and more money would be a plus.

And then there was Castleton’s Homecoming Weekend the last weekend in September.  I drove up to Vermont, hoping for more fall colors, getting slightly disappointed there was still so much green.  I had a great time with Josh on Saturday, taking a boat tour of Lake Bomoseen and shopping around Rutland.  The drive home was uneventful but foggy.  I started listening to a new book, “A Cup of Friendship”.

My next big task is to get back into writing.  There’s another short story competition coming up with a November deadline, and I’ve had this idea rolling around in my head for the past several weeks.  Now I just need to get the thoughts on paper and see what happens.