Thoughts From The Pumpkin Patch


My “Jack O’Lantern” variety pumpkins are close to ready! Fall is my favorite decorating color scheme– the deep reds, rusted oranges, muted golds and rich greens…. I could live with those colors year- round. And yet, there is always that slight sense of impending doom this time of year. The BIG holidays are coming– Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. The holidays that make me cringe at the prospect of all the work they entail to “properly” pull off–the ridiculous frenzy of attempting to stage a major production (often, alone). Then I have to remind myself that I quit that. I rescripted my “fantasy” holiday experience within the past few years into something manageable, something small, something that doesn’t leave me too exhausted to eat or snapping at my kids. You ever notice how men don’t go nuts at holiday-time? Just women. We think we are the keepers of the idealized Norman Rockwell holiday experience, and of course we think we’re responsible for everyone else’s happiness, and let’s not forget that urge for perfection.This year, as for several of the past years, I’m promising myself that I will be present in the moment with the ones I love, that I will pick and choose the traditions we spend our time practicing, that I’ll plan ahead, and that I’ll ask for help. You?

This week’s Free Book Friday giveaway is Sins of the Storm, a September Silhouette Romantic Suspense release from Jenna Mills! Drop a comment to be in the running! (And don’t forget to check back on Monday for the drawing!)


  1. Melissa L. says:

    Fall is my favorite season and I’m looking forward to cold weather. However I don’t like holidays. The world seems to stop, no mail, and too many memories. 😥

  2. Stefanie D says:

    I don’t go nuts regarding holidays either. I think the most important part is just being with your loved ones and enjoying your time together. :butterfly:

  3. Susan says:

    I love Fall! :shimmy: We have a very small family and we keep things small and low keyed for the holidays. :purr:

  4. Karen B says:

    :flying: I love fall, altho the weather channel telling me this morning that the WINDCHILL is 35 is just plain cruel and unnecessary, especially since it was 93 just last week. Guess this means I should put away my July 4th decorations??? 😆

  5. Biddy says:

    I suppose being British means we just do Christmas!! But Fall/Autumn is great as it is my birthday season!

  6. Tammy G. says:

    I’m not too big on holidays myself, holidays are getting too commercialized. I prefer the warm weather, not real hot & not cold. We get together with family every chance we get through out the year no matter when it is.

  7. TeresaH says:

    I don’t go nuts over holidays either. Please enter me in the drawing. :woof:

  8. Alice Audrey says:

    Living in the moment isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Me? I’m going to hide in my office and live in a fantasy world. :woof:

  9. catslady says:

    My daughters don’t want me to change any traditions lol. Our family has tried to cut back on the giftgiving somewhat so that is a help. Most men just don’t seem to care so it is up to us women usually. Still, I really enjoy getting together with friends and family. It’s going to be snowing before we know it :weather:

  10. Maureen says:

    We have been having more relaxed holidays also. As our children have gotten older it seems easier. Also, my husband started doing a majority of the shopping a few years ago and that has helped so much.

  11. Nicole Reising says:

    Hi Suzanne!

    Ok three things… first the response to your posting today — I have finally started doing as your suggesting. Our family favorite thing for one of those holidays is Christmas — we live a ways away from family – and we have chosen to stay home. Our favorite thing? To stay in pjs as long as we want that day. Open presents, play games, sit in front of the fire, I still cook a nice dinner… because I love it. But its not rushed and we obviously don’t wear anything fancy for it. Its the best!

    Next, your new book caused me a bit of… :wall: I was putting in an order for new books and didn’t realize the book didn’t come out yet… everything I did… it didn’t work… it kept saying I had to wait… I didn’t want to wait, I wanted it here next week.

    Ah, yeah, go ahead and say it… :purr: Obviously my ol’ brain cells finally kicked in. I HAVE to wait.

    Oh and then finally, I read this really cool article in the Country magazine we get about this guy learning how to shoe his animals. I laughed and laughed! And thought you’d enjoy it to. Do you get that magazine?


  12. Suzanne says:

    Hey, thanks for looking for my book, Cole! I’ll have to check out that magazine. My cousins came by last night and saw me reading Mother Earth News on the porch and they thought that was hysterical (cuz they know me, LOL). It’s like the lady at the little store in town when I asked for some straw bales and she said, you want that for decorating, right? I said, yeah, BUT don’t I look a farmer? She said no…. I said, I’m gonna be!! I have a farm!!

  13. Minna says:

    Nope, I don’t go nuts regarding holidays either.

  14. RobynL says:

    I have learnt to slow down and enjoy the holidays more. I am the one who panics though and dh just goes with the flow. I bake a lot less for sure and don’t put up as many decorations any more.

  15. Estella says:

    I don’t go nuts over holidays either. Too old for so much work.

  16. leanne says:

    Oh the holidays. I love fall, like Suzanne said, when all the beautiful colors come out, and you take a ride up in the mountains just to enjoy them. As for the holidays, I love to decorate. I can’t help it. My baby girl will be around 19 months old by time Christmas gets here, so I can’t wait to show her all the lights and decorations. Hey Suzanne, if you like fall, and if you get a chance, take a ride up the Cass Scenic Railroad around Marlington, or take a ride up the Scenic Highway, go up through Richwood. When its nice out and the colors are in full bloom, it’s awesome. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

    Leanne 🙂

  17. Tess Harrison says:

    I love fall. The weather is great, the colors are vibrate and things just really feel more comfortable. :purr:

  18. Lexi Connor says:

    I love fall too, although we don’t get much of one here in TX. That’s one thing I do miss about RI (where I grew up). I’m the only one in my family I think that really LOVES the holidays. But, then again, I don’t cook so maybe that’s why.

  19. Brandy says:

    I love Fall, and your Pumpkin looks great!

  20. Lis says:

    Since fall no longer means school for me, I’ve grown to like it more :treehugger: Scary to think how fast the holidays ARE coming. Less than a month till Thanksgiving for us Canucks. Creepy!! lol
    I want to try and do things more in advance for the holidays this year, try and save my sanity a little more if possible :shocked:

  21. Kimmy says:

    I love fall and the holidays. The pic was great. I can’t wait for the nice weather to finally get here. :weather:

  22. Kim A. says:

    I love the photo, Suzanne.

    Our Thanksgiving is in October, so there’s no real Christmas hype at that time.

    I actually don’t enjoy the Xmas season anymore–or winter for that matter–so I’m not looking forward to it. However, autumn is my second-favourite season (Spring being my first), and I do enjoy the cooler weather–perfect for hiking.

    Have a great weekend, everyone.

    Suzanne, please don’t enter me in the draw this week.



  23. Fannie M Wiggins says:

    Your decorations are really nice. I don’t do much decorating except for Christmas and then just a tree and lights on the railings. I don’t mean to be a party pooper, but fall is my least favorite time of the year. For personal reasons, I can’t wait for fall to be over. I am more of a spring person. Have a great week-end everyone and :hug: to all. :wave:

  24. Dena says:

    I love the Fall,cooler weather and beautiful leaves.

  25. Nathalie says:

    I love the holidays too… but what a stressing time of the year!

  26. Nat says:

    I love the fall too! especially with all the leaves changing color :yes:

  27. Lily says:

    Can I be in the drawing please. And I really love your pumpkin… must have taken a lot of time to do.

  28. Melissa McClone says:

    Love the pictures, Suzanne.

    I do go nuts for the holidays. At least when it comes to decorating. I pull out my Dept. 56 village, put garland on the bannisters, lights outside, replace items on my shelves and walls with Christmas stuff. But that only takes a couple of days.

    Where I have cut back is the cooking. I used to do a Christmas Eve meal. Now we go out to eat after mass. I also would do three big meals on Christmas day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Now I let hubby handle the breakfast. We’ve made brats with saurkraut our new lunch tradition. And then I make a special dinner.

    I now get to enjoy the day with the family and not spend it all in the kitchen.

  29. Melissa McClone says:

    Oh, forgot to mention. Go check my blog, Suzanne. :shimmy: You won the free book this week!

  30. Teresa W. says:

    My favorite season is Fall. I love Halloween and Thanksgiving. I could do without Christmas.

  31. Cheryl S. says:

    I love the cooler weather. I really do enjoy decorating for the holidays . . . I’m just not a big fan of taking the decorations down afterwards. :rotfl:
    We’ve become very relaxed about our holiday meals too. Who says we have to have turkey for Thanksgiving? My family’s been know to have lasagne. And it was a lot better having what we wanted then stressing over the “traditional” turkey and all the trimmings that no one was crazy for anyway.
    Beautiful pictures.

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