I have to admit to a certain amount of uneasiness and even depression  this past week. I’ve been glued to the news and scrolling through social media for the latest photos and status on Harvey. I’ve been systematically overwhelmed, sad, horrified, and often hit with feeling helpless, and useless. And finally, hopeful. I still have a bit of survivors guilt. I know this situation could easily have been Florida. But it wasn’t. This time.  Hence the guilt. I needed to do something besides sit around and feel horrified and wring my hands. So I donated.

A length of grain sack material with a faded gold stripe and few of my old brass candle holders add just the right feel to this early fall centerpiece

Look y’all, I know it’s people first.….but seeing the faces of terrified animals sent me over the edge. I felt helpless and more than a little angry. Don’t leave animals tied up, don’t leave them in fenced areas or locked up in garages or barns. Leave the doors and gates open. Let them at least try to find high ground. To leave a dog chained to its doghouse during a flood is beyond cruel.  Having a dog chained outside is cruel even when the weather is good. Don’t do this. Don’t have a dog if the only thing you can offer it is life at the end of a chain.

The image of dogs fighting for their lives at the end of a chain while flood waters rose kept me awake at night. Or paddling in outdoor kennels, or horses tied and locked in stalls. Some say, leaving horses locked in a barn keeps them safe. I ask, how can they be safe during a flood when stalls are flooded to chest height or in the case of Katrina, and now Harvey, much higher? This is a case of I don’t know enough and maybe shouldn’t be commenting. I lived through a flood. A horrendous flood, but not a Harvey. I do know what floods can do when it comes to companion animals. It’s devastating.  But I confess to a certain amount of ignorance when it comes to keeping livestock safe.

I  have a recurring nightmare about Harvey or a storm like Harvey, hitting Florida. We are sitting ducks here, Harvey would have covered our state. And demolished it. While we wait to see what Irma will do, I’m making a list of what to pack when if we must evacuate some day. If not Irma, then some unnamed super storm. I pray not. But if it happens, my dogs will be in the car before my clothes and shoes, that’s for sure.  And I’m praying for Texas and her people.  I donated. And now I’ll pray that my donation gets to real people who need it.

And since you don’t read my blog to hear my social commentary, let’s get to the Transitioning to Fall part.

It’s September, Blogs and Instagram and Facebook groups have been chomping at the bit to get to fall for weeks. There’s even a Facebook group dedicated to all things fall. (Check out Pumpkins and Spice) I shared one photo with a peek at what I’d planned for fall at the Brown abode, but as usual that’s already changed. I have a hard time thinking Fall when it’s 93 degrees and thunder storming every five minutes. I envy those who post, “It’s crisp here this morning.” Actually…..I hate those people. How cruel to taunt those of us who don’t live north of the Mason Dixon Line with words like, crisp, and fireplace  and jeans and boots??? Have they no mercy???

I got all my fall crap out of the attic and risked being instantly cooked by the thermal blast of heat that accompanies that task. I was standing on that flimsy drop down ladder, head and shoulders in the attic, reaching for the “Bin of Fall” when I suddenly realized my entire head was wet!! Did we spring a leak? Someone leave a hose up there and forget to turn off the water??? Noooo, it was sweat! Icky, dripping sweat. Gross sweat. I wasn’t even all the way IN the attic! I grabbed the “Bin of Fall,” slid down the ladder gracefully, (this is a big fat lie, I all but fell, skinned my shin, and broke a nail!) The lengths I will go to for Fall.    It’s my favorite season……says every human on Facebook, Instagram and on blogs. And judging by Pinterest, Fall is HERE! NOW! So I’d best get with it or risk my blog appearing out of touch and behind the seasons.

I dragged the “Bin of Fall” Um…..Let’s dispense with the quotations marks and the hype and just call it the bin from now on. mmmkay? Soo, I dragged the bin into the kitchen, hobbled off to shower, slapped a bandaid on my shin and cut the remainder of my broken nail off. Then the contents of the bin began piling up on the kitchen counters and island. It’s a large bin, my friends. And I purged last year when I told myself I would do simple Fall from now on. Remember how well the Simple Christmas went last year?  Multiply that by 10. Yep, that’s the bin.for.fall.

I artfully piled greenery and faux pumpkins on various and assorted flat surfaces and quickly realized I didn’t get the pine cones. OH NO!!! This requires another trip into the attic!! I went to my favorite chair, iced Barqs in hand and binged watched Netflix. Fall can wait until it’s crisp.

After the last notes of the theme to the second season of “The Last Kingdom” faded away, I threw a couple pieces of faux foliage on the dining room table, went outside and cut a few trimmings from shrubs, got my Grandma’s bowl down from the cupboard and tossed some apples in it. I call it “Early Fall (ish).” I spent a lot of time arranging things just so. All of 10 minutes. I had to wait for the rain to stop so I could clip a couple of leaves from the bushes.

Real Pumpkins will not be seen in this part of Florida for weeks, and I wasn’t feeling the fauxs that I have. It’s not time for pumpkins here. It’s not crisp. Unless you count the fact that most things are fried crisp by the sun at the end of August. Except we’ve had non-stop rain for weeks, so things that were once fried crisp and brown are now soggy and brown, not a good look for a centerpiece, even if it’s only fallish.

Apples will last for a couple of weeks in this arrangement. It’s cool in the house. And if you want to keep the clippings fresh, just use one of the dozens of water picks you’ve hoarded for years from floral centerpieces and gifted plants. You hoard water picks, right? Everyone does. I mean….Oh come on! If you don’t have any, go to your nearest Walmart and buy some. Or order a 10 pack from Amazon for $7.22. Geez. I didn’t use any of mine, I’m still hoarding them. For Christmas. (Which is only days away in Blogland.)  I have almost unlimited supplies of greenery, and trimming the bushes for centerpieces is helping Mr B with yard work. See how helpful I am? He loves when I help.

If you aren’t quite ready for full on Fall, get some apples, or pears and add a leaf or two, maybe a pine cone……unless god forbid your attic is like mine. There is a silver lining here, I don’t have to bake my pine cones to kill off critters. Nope, those suckers are baked to a high degree and are critter free. Ditto for the 5 pounds of acorns I brought home from Indiana three years ago. In a box in the attic, next to the baked pine cones… beautiful full sized acorns are also baked to a high degree. We don’t have real acorns in Florida, we have teeny tiny little fingernail sized acorns so I must import real ones. Because I want Fall! Real Fall! Crisp Fall!! I wonder if I have any pouches of cake mix left from the girls’ Easy Bake Oven??? Hmmmmm. Warm chocolate cake fresh from the attic??



Create the fall (ish) home you see in your heart. Love the home you’re in. You have a home. Many do not right now. Donate, please. Help those who only wish their biggest problem is how to decorate a table. Thank you for following me, I appreciate each and every one of you.

Tell me what ya think!


Wife, Mother and Grandmother, lover of junking and vintage stuff, photography, music, books, and critters. I heart Hersheys, Barqs Rootbeer and Keds. Join me as I create my own suburban sanctuary and help you create one too.

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Photos from Instagram