Thursday, November 12, 2015

Grateful For.... Fall Decorations and More

This post is from early September. I meant to finish it up right away but I unexpectedly became really busy! Lol. Anyway, I figured that if I didn't post it now, it would be winter by the time I did, and an ode to Autumn makes no sense in the winter. ;)

I think one of the best feelings in the world is to be full of gratitude. Only the lucky ones get to feel gratitude. That's because they have something in their life to be thankful for, and they see it.

........I AM GRATEFUL!

I was just thinking the other night about an old app that I have on my phone called "Gratitude." I've had it since 2009, it's a little gratitude journal! Each day you list several things that you're grateful for. You can add a picture and rate your day. While I haven't kept up with daily entries this whole time, it is one of the only apps that I go back to time and time again. I love looking back through the years and remember great days and small things that made me smile from the inside out. (Although more entries than I want to admit include chocolate).

When I'm able, I'd like to blog more posts of gratitude. It makes me happy and puts life into perspective. Sometimes in the morning, before I open my eyes, I silently say to myself all of the things that I am thankful for big and small. I thank the universe. I go throughout my day when I'm mindful enough stopping and feeling gratitude along the way. "Thank you gorgeous yellow leaves falling , I'm so happy to watch you blow in the wind. I'm grateful for you September sunset. I'm so luck to see you again."

And when I do these things continually, or at least every morning for a while, a change occurs. There's a shift! I can't explain it, and it's almost too magic to be real, but truly, when you learn to come from a place of thankfulness and awe, life gets better. Life is happier, more gentle, less frenetic. Try it! You might really enjoy this.

And now, some things of late that I have been grateful for.....

I'm thankful for......

Small, beautiful, wonderful diversions from everyday struggles. Places like the Cider Mill!!!!  And the fact that Noah still wants to have his picture taken on the tractor. I'm glad he doesn't feel  too old for that . :)  Btw- my parents used to promise to take me here after nursery school for cider and donuts if I didn't cry at drop off. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! (Pun intended).....

Thankful for historic places. I love history, especially the domestic history of 19th century rural America. I know it's a bit narrow of a field but... The cider mill above was completed in 1837! It's pretty cool. They have found many artifacts around the mill and in the walls over the years and they're all on display. In the same small town as the cider mill, we went to see a house that was for sale recently! (I'm laughing because around this time last year, we also went to see a house in the same neighborhood for sale, and I blogged about it.) And once again we returned to our current house and said: "HOME SWEET HOME!" It's ridiculous, our house is our home, we'll never move! Probably.

I'm very grateful for good, supportive veterinary care for Josie. Poor Josie came to us at just 10 weeks, itchy and scratching. We ruled out fleas or anything like that, and I watched her for patterns. Like winter, much less scratching in winter. She seemed to scratch more outside and always on the grass. We eventually found our way to a wonderful veterinary specialist. She is a dermatologist/allergist. She was so great. Our vet wanted to first rule out food allergies as they are simpler to treat and fairly easy to spot. So, that's when we started a three month food elimination challenge. Three months in and scratching was still there. It seemed like she was allergic to every protein. We were down to just fish. That's when summer turned to fall and her scratching really ramped up. So much so that little Josie, to our horror, scratched a hot spot on the side of her face! :(

We ran her up to our regular vet, and this is where actually a good turning point came about. I'm sooooo thankful. Our vet listen to me when I said that I really really sense this is environmental and seasonal inhalant allergies, not food allergies. She believed my instinct!!! So, Josie's wound was cleaned up and we were given a cone and sent home with some topical medication and anti-histamines. The itching lessened a bit and the wound healed. Finally we were able to take the cone off  about a week later, but when we did.... as soon as she was out of our sight for a minute,she scratched another small wound! We decided to consult with our vet again. This time we all agreed that it was worth a try of a short round of steroids. We trust our vet to be safe and conservative with these and to have Josie on them for the shortest time possible. Her hunch was that Josie was having bad fall allergies, just like last year!

To our great joy, Josie's scratching was 80% GONE within two days of being on the new medication!!!! And after that, I have almost not seen her scratch or paw at her eyes of nose at all! This is a BIG DEAL after having an itchy, little pup for so long!

As we taper her off her medications, I don't know what it will be like when she's done, but I am hopeful that once the first frost comes, things will get better and I'm just grateful for our wonderful vets!

And now for my OBSESSION I mean something I'm REALLY thankful for.....FALL DECORATIONS!!!!!!

I need to breath my way through talking about this because I can go on excitedly about fall decorations for DAYS! Let's start with this I guess. Before I get to what I already owned and what I purchased (with coupons and deals of course) this is what I made. I was short one throw or pillow for this chair. I don't think my crocheted candy corn blanket came out too gorgeous, but it does what I needed! A little fall color and something to help keep us warm when the fall gets going. 

I have some big bins that we store in the basement and hold all of my fall decoration bits and bobs. Its an ever growing collection over the past ten years and my favorite season to decorate for. In my mind, I would like to have gorgeous, sophisticated, matching decorations. You know, like catalogue worthy things from Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel! In my HEART though, I know that my rag-tag group of scrounged up decorations is just perfect because they do the most important thing - convey the warmth and joy of what fall means to me. 

This is our little writing desk decorated. I love this book by Susan Branch. It's called "Autumn from the Heart and Home" and is full of autumnal recipes for your family and for entertaining. There are Susan's gorgeous watercolors too and quotes and tips, all celebrating this cozy season.

Here is our living room! I always worry that the big, red rug will clash with my seasonal decorations but I also always remember my Mom's suggestion of just ignoring the rug. So I did. This year I used all of my old fall decorations, including a ceramic pumpkin that held a flower arrangement that was sent to me last fall! Also, this year I decided to add some pillows to my collection, so I purchased these pillows at Kohl's. I waited until they were 35% off and I had a coupon!

 This year my Mom asked if I wanted to borrow her antique panted acorns. I said "sure!" and knew that I could find a place for them. She brought these little painted acorns and a few larger fabric acorns that she purchased at the art center where she paints.

So now I have an acorn chandelier for a while!

Oh! And I can't forget this month's window decorations!!! I made these early because I foresaw a busy autumn. Little did I know....

October is always pumpkin or Halloween or leaves. I wanted to find something "early autumn" to represent. Last year it was apples, footballs and pencils. School is a good September theme I think. And so is the cider mill, something that most everyone around here gets excited for in September.

So I made little red schoolhouses (IRONIC IN RETROSPECT!) and apple trees and baskets with apples. And then I made jugs of apple cider and donuts! That was the most fun. I tried representing the cinnamon and sugar on the donuts with some translucent glitter paint but it didn't translate too well visually.
I'm still happy with how things turned out. 

Another super deal at Kohl's this simple faux berry wreath. It's just what I needed. (Well, maybe).

 Here is a detail from my living room. That's the ceramic pumpkin that came from a flower arrangement that I received. My Mom gave me some of the little acorns and faux pumpkins years ago. Even the ribbon was recycled!

Same for this little corner of the room. It's nothing special and even a bit odd, but it makes me happy. 

Our whole writing desk dressed up.

So that's the scoop! Until next time, think about your "Thankfuls!"

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