1. LEAVES (and boots). GLORIOUS LEAVES (... and also boots). GLORIOUS, WONDERFUL, DELIGHTFUL LEAVES (did I mention I love my boots?).
I've said it before and I'll say it again; while South Carolina has all four seasons, the timing's a little bit off. Roughly seven months of blistering summer heat, a couple of months of fall, three weeks or so of actual winter, a couple months of spring.
Autumn is late, compared to when my internal clock tells me it should be. But once it's here... things get pretty awe-inspiring.
Driving home is even becoming its own special distraction; my drive takes me past some of the local mountains, swings up and down hills, gives me these gorgeous views of trees all on fire before our three weeks of winter hits.
If I end up in a ditch one of these days, you can rest assured it's because I was staring at a tree.
... like I do.
2. THESE SOCKS. THESE WONDERFUL SOCKS.
I really need to stop typing my first sentence in capital letters. The enthusiasm would be deafening if this weren't text. I WOULD BE SHOUTING.
Tania has a shop on etsy where she sells these absolutely beautiful knitted socks. I love each and every pair. She even has a knitted sweater vest that I would definitely own if I ever had occasion to wear a sweater vest. I may just have to come up with such an occasion.
Go click through!
I know, I know, clicking through socks seems immensely boring, but her Fair Isle-style patterns are gorgeous. And I told you to go look. So now you have to.
Because I said so.
3. This post over at Assembled Haphazardly about cataloguing one's clothing purchases. Although most of what she says holds true for purchases in general.
One thing I'm trying to do with my wardrobe this past year and into the next is calm it down a little bit. I own a lot - I mean a lot - of clothing, but I don't really wear all of it. Recently I decided to institute the "One More" rule that we use for coffee mugs and other such things I love to buy too much of on my clothing as well.
This led to me giving away a giant box of clothing to Goodwill recently, because I'd been placing one item in the give-away pile for every new item I bought for something close to a year.
Turns out I buy a lot of clothes, way more than I thought I did. A big part of this is actually just that I'm trying to replace a lot of the really cheap clothing I've bought at Walmart or Target, the stuff that pills or falls apart or fades within a few washes, with higher-quality clothing.
Part of it is just that I like buyin' clothes.
Reading AH's post, and some of her other posts about mindful spending, I'm trying to start cataloguing my own purchases a little bit better. My New Year's Resolution for this year is going to be to go two straight months without buying anything (except, if I meet friends for coffee at Starbucks or another place I can buy a plain coffee. But nothing fancier.) We'll see how well I can pull it off, but mindful spending is something I want to really start paying more attention to.
I have a tendency to nickel-and-dime myself, to buy magazines here or coffee there and not realize how it adds up. So I'm hoping that going two months without making those kinds of purchases will let me sort of "reset" myself.
The beginning of the year seems as good a time as any, right?
4. This photograph with a fall prairie scene within the shape of my original home state, by Heather Marshall at OogieBee.
I've mentioned having been more than a little bit homesick lately; holidays tend to do that to me. Right now it's Thanksgiving, because I'm sort of constantly remembering all the Thanksgivings as a kid, at my Grandma VanHoorn's house and then later at my parents' house. I have a feeling these memories are a lot rosier for me than they are for my parents, since for me it was all day-off-school and sleeping-late and for my mother it was all frantic-last-minute-cleaning and trying-to-wake-up-her-lazy-kid.
So... we probably remember those holidays very differently.
For me, though, I kind of miss them.
My parents are flying in for the holiday, though, so I end up getting to combine just a bit of my two families, my parents and my in-laws, and that helps.
Plus my in-laws are awesome.
I should tell you guys sometime about the time I accidentally swore really loudly while Jason was on the phone with his mother, then died of embarrassment and couldn't talk to her on the phone for weeks because I was convinced I had ruined all my chances of a harmonious relationship because I swore. I think I made him apologize to her on my behalf.
It was pretty shameful.
Well...actually, that's pretty much the whole story right there.
(I swear this is relevant.)
I'm sure that's going to come as a shock, but somehow I know we'll muddle through this confusing and distressing time together.
For some reason, though, I find preppiness fascinating. I don't mean the basics of it, the monograms and Oxford shirts I'm thinking more along the lines of the name-your-obligatory-golden-retriever-dog-Scout-and-discuss-the-merits-of-lobster-rolls kind of thing.
So there's this blog I read called The Daily Prep, run by a woman named Muffy Aldrich (I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING, EVEN HER NAME IS PREPPY) and she sort of endlessly dissects what clothing brands are "prep" and what clothing brands really aren't. There's a snobbishness to it that makes it sort of fascinating to me, because I can be the same way but about such different things. I've never dissected what creates "the perfect Oxford shirt" in my life, but on the other hand I have spent a few hours picking apart the perfect comic-book movie.
So I find all these posts on Lily Pulitzer and Oxford shirts and Ralph Lauren and their intricacies and what is acceptable vs. what isn't sort of baffling, and completely fascinating.
That isn't, however, why I read the blog.
Most of what she writes is more about this Old Money New England lifestyle, something very much foreign to me but with some things that always ring true; self-sufficiency whenever possible, quality over quantity, things like that. I love reading about sailing, which I've never done and don't really ever want to take up, or crunching in the snow in boots and a giant wool sweater (probably not something I need to worry about any longer), and these interesting towns they visit and eat interesting things in.
Also their dog (yes, the obligatory Golden Retriever) is gorgeous. Or they are gorgeous. I haven't paid enough attention to know how many there are.
What I wanted to link you to if one of her more recent posts, and it's a recipe for... apple pie for breakfast.
I. Am. Sold.