Tuesday, October 14, 2014


“But then fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.”
Stephen King, 'Salem's Lot 

"Autumn is a scene of blazing red that brings down leaves upon your head"
(line from a poem written by me in grade school)

I've always liked fall -  cooler temperatures allow for layering of a jacket and scarf, and an open window at night; the red/orange/yellow leaves that litter the sidewalk and beckon you to shuffle your feet through them like you did when you were a child; flannel sheets on the bed and a stew or chili in the crock pot.   October is also one of my favourite months because of my annual trip to New York to visit friends, check out the amazing eye candy at the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show and Sale, and fill my soul with creative energy and inspiration.   To keep me going in the meantime,  I am finding small things to enjoy about Autumn here at home.

I've been able to put together "outfits" again, like this one, that includes layers and "bastard massive" (thank you Vix for this useful descriptor) jewellery.  That's Sam and Ralph guarding my front door behind me.
knit dress - thrifted
leopard leggings - Forever 21 
(sadly, it's one of the few places you can find inexpensive cotton leggings )
hand-beaded necklace purchased from my friend Debra in New York
leopard headpiece purchased from the Style Crone

This weekend was our Thanksgiving, and what better time to get out the Halloween decorations.  Most years I don't bother, but I stumbled across a goldmine of spookiness at a local Dollar store last week, and my porch is now festooned with giant sparkly skulls, and there's a little tombstone in my flower bed.

The End of Summer Roundup of Photos that Didn't Get Their Own Blog Post...

There's nothing like a sign that says "Free Kittens" to set a cat lover's heart racing.  A couple of weeks ago Heather and I arrived at Western Fair Farmers' and Artisans' Market for our regular Saturday morning browse to find, to our delight (and dismay), a carrier full of tabby kittens free for the taking.  And these were not any ordinary tabby kittens - they were polydactyl kittens (extra toes!) .  Heather scooped up the one in the photo above when I pointed out that she had 6 toes on all four feet, which is very rare.  Her feet were positively gigantic, and she was a snuggly bundle of fuzzy love. We reluctantly dragged ourselves away from the pile of kittens, reminding ourselves of all the reasons why it was a bad idea to take one home.

And speaking of cats, one of the neighbourhood felines drew my attention to this cicada who had obviously buzzed his last buzz (I'm assuming he's male).  I rescued him from the cat and then had to photograph him.  According to Wikipedia (so it must be true), this is what is referred to as an "annual cicada".  He's the length of half of my index finger, and I found him equal parts gross and fascinating.

I picked up this button on my last visit to Toronto as it sums up my feelings about being in my 50's quite nicely.

I re-discovered my fabulous silver "fork" ring which is perfect for the days when I feel like I need to wear full armour.

One of the things I miss about summer is being able to enjoy a meal on a patio.  Something about eating outside on a sunny day that is warm, but not hot, makes everything taste better.   The roasted beet salad with steak was from The Church Key restaurant, enjoyed on a late summer afternoon in the company of my best pal.   The weather was still warm enough in late September to eat outside, but the hoards of wasps/hornets/yellow jackets that fought to share your meal were a definite turnoff.
What will you miss most about Summer, and what do you like about Fall?


  1. glad you're sharing 'outfits' once more, and love your leopardized outfit! and your 'bastard massive' jewelry (I'm coveting your silver rings in a very bad way!!!)
    I'm not missing Real Summer (I can understand why anybody wants to sweat and stay outside at 40ºC), but I like those days when Heat takes a break, and we can enjoy some summer warm nights, when it's delightful to throw a shawl on your shoulders and sit on a terrace to chat.
    Autumn is a delight for me, days are still warm, landscapes are amazing and I can enjoy a lot of fruits and vegetables and cook them!, and it's time for wine harvest festivals!!
    besos & tangerines

  2. Ah - when will you be in NYC??!! I'll be there Oct 25 - Nov 2nd and would love to have a coffee with you. You can email me if you like at patti at nhsys dot com. Love, love that kitten and I would have a hard time walking away, as well, what a face. xox

  3. Well I hate that behind Fall is of course the bastard old mean man, winter, which depresses me beyond all belief. I will miss everything about summer except the wasps, of which we had plenty this year. Today was lovely and warm, so we did a bunch of yard work that had been building up. I also really miss my hammock in the summer.

    I have never seen a cicada before although I've heard them plenty. They are gross and fascinating as you described. When we lived in Toronto and they were so very loud all the time I asked what they were called (we didn't have them in BC or Alberta) and someone told me they were called Toronto bugs. LOL

    That necklace/bag is fantastic!

    It is too bad you live so far away. I was just at an amazing estate sale last weekend FULL of hats. Brilliant hats. Maybe over 300 women's hats, dating from the 1950's up until now. The collection was so huge it was featured in the National Post apparently. All $10/piece. Most people weren't even buying the hats. I probably could have gone back the next day and scooped up a bunch for a mere $5/each. I thought of you and the Style Crone.


  4. Your NYC schedule is filling up - wonder if you'll see Patti...! How cool would that be?
    Your opening poem is lovely. Mr. King makes autumn sound much too comfy, like the kind of person who would overstay his/her welcome, but sadly the vacant chair would be filled by winter and we usually want to kick that guest out very quickly.
    You are covered in blogger treats with your necklace and hat. Love this fall outfit, Shelley.
    I love cicadas. They remind me of shrines and fields and woods in summer in Japan.
    I am so excited for you and your upcoming trip!!!

  5. What a cultural opening, poetry and everything!
    Love your bastard massive pendant and always get fooled into thinking your ceramic cat is real - I should know by know.
    The hand shot is gorgeous and the badge is hilarious. I've heard ciccadas on holidays in the Med but I don't think I've seen one before.
    Like the light in Autumn and the colour of the Virginia Creeper but loathe the cold and the dark mornings and nights. Thank gawd for decent TV! xxx

  6. In the desert SW, we breathe such a relief to have the days slightly cooler now, and the nights a decent enough temperature to encourage good sleep! We have very few leaves that turn beautiful colors, sadly. Many of us (including me!) look forward to the brief cooling of winter--frosts and sometimes rain. Lots of sunny days. It is our reward for surviving the brutal summer.

    Also, just want to say that your button also sums up how I feel about being in my 50s. Why do so many people our age seem so much older?!

  7. You look so cute in your leopard leggings and face necklace! I am just not starting to get the need for cotton leggings vs. polyester. I love fall because of Halloween and the start of the holiday season, time to feck off! Your purple glitter skull is killer and so is the fork ring! I'm so happy to hear that your trip is coming up, I know how much love you get in NYC. The one thing I don't like about fall is how it gets darker earlier. otherwise bring it on!

  8. Your opening quote beats out Stephen King's by a mile. And you were so much younger than him! Way cool silver jewelry; the fork ring is marvelous and the hammered (?) circle bracelet reminds me of the one Keith Richards wears. Annual cicadas were inescapable in Japan (not that you'd necessarily want to escape them - they're harmless). I had a cat who loved them. He had a great eye, and leaped for them. Got them more times than not. Made quite a crunching sound as he feasted on them, poor little things.

  9. Your leopard-y outfit is autumn perfection, Shelley, love the matching headpiece! And your jewellery is fantastic, I would happily wear every piece.
    Oh that kitten. Tabbies - I just love them. Cicadas... less so!
    I know you'll have a brilliant time in New York, wish I could meet you there! xxxx

  10. Here I am, home and back up an running, only to be greeted by you in this absolutely fabulous outfit. Love the touches of leopard, and Debra's necklace is a gorgeous statement piece.

    I too love autumn, with its chill that encourages layers of textures and colors. I adore the beginning of your post, which included your line from a poem. Your were a writer at a very early age, and you only get better.

  11. I love your armour rings and bracelets - so lovely. Have fun in NY! No worries about the book. :)

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