Monday, October 19, 2020

October Decorating with Streusel-topped Pumpkin Loaf


Hello, Dear Friends! Time is moving forward and here 

we are, already in the 10th month of the year, October! 

My favorite time of year. 

What's not to love? 

Crisp fall days filled with golden light. 





Falling leaves

And the first cozy fire.


"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."

- L.M. Montgomery -

Anne of Green Gables

The days are getting shorter (and definitely cooler)

 and we have finished our 

outdoor projects and moved indoors. 

This was my project for the last few weeks.....

staining the deck rails, inside and out. 

I didn't think I would ever get done, but 

I persisted. Now I won't 

have to do that again for a few years, thank goodness. 

While I worked, I enjoyed listening to the birds calling and twittering, 

the scolding squirrels, the distant droning of small planes 

and lawnmowers, and the sound of the breeze rustling the leaves. 

I was alone with my thoughts.....

This little beauty stopped by one lovely afternoon. 

A female red-shafted Northern Flicker. 

She raised 2 young this year. 

I saw them regularly, as they called to one another

after they flew the nest. Both parents feed the young. 

They have a loud call - "Wacka-wacka", and also 

a single, loud chirp. 

They eat insects, and are the only woodpecker to regularly 

feed off the ground, preferring ants and beetles. 


I was hoping to stain the playhouse, too, 

but ran out of good weather.


So I added pumpkin lights and called it a day. 


My sweet Mr. built a door for the closet 

in our loft bedroom. Here he's adding the latch. 

He is also done with the ceiling and trim down below, 

and only has to finish installing the lighting. 

So excited....the next step is furnishing the room 

and adding bookshelves to finish our library/media room.


We recently celebrated our wedding anniversary. 

He always brings me roses.


His first gift to me was a pearl ring,

when we were high-school sweethearts.

He saved his salary from his after-school job

 as a gas-station attendant to buy it for me. 

It came in a beautiful, silver, 'oyster' box,

which I still have.


Our first 'date' was a fall hayride sponsored by his 

church youth group. I remember the four, gentle workhorses

hitched to the long buck-board wagon filled with hay-bale seating. 

There were about 25 of us all jammed in together

as we slowly lurched our way along the edge of the farm field

on our way to a bonfire where we roasted marshmallows,

bobbed for apples, had burlap bag races,

 and sang campfire songs in the golden afternoon.

On the way back, the sun had set and he gave me his scarf

 and slipped his arm around me to keep me warm. 

As young as I was, I somehow knew we were meant to be. 

And here we are, nearly five decades later. 

I've been doing a little bit of fall decorating. 

Not a lot, just a touch, here and there. 

I love white pumpkins. 


I like changing out the 'artwork', too. 

Here I have a print of Monet, 'Sunflowers'. 

I found the print at a craft store and put it in 

an old frame that I painted. 

My Hoover 'Kitchen Queen' cupboard 

anchors the end of my simple, country kitchen. 

The files in the basket are favorite recipes ripped from magazines

and collected over the years.  

My pantry cupboard gets a tea-towel update draped over the door. 

A recipe towel. A gift from my sweet Sis-in-law

all the way from New Hampshire. 

I love pumpkin pie even more than apple! 

I could eat a whole pie all by myself if left to my own devices.

*         * 



Pie for breakfast, pie for lunch, and definitely pie for dessert! 


Another print, called 'Resting Quail'.

Can you see him? 

I found this at a flea-market. 

I always keep an eye out for inexpensive art to use in seasonal decorating. 

This one is a flea-market painting in the powder room. 
I love the pine frame, the fall trees and
the little cabin in the middle of nowhere. 

I miss going to flea-markets.

So many things have changed due to the pandemic. 

We can call this chapter of our lives, 

"Life interrupted - Home as sanctuary." 


"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, 

summer an oil painting, 

and autumn a mosaic of them all."

- Stanley Horowitz -

My 1961 Hotpoint anchors the other side of my kitchen. 

Isn't this the cutest pot-holder? 
It's applique. 
Another gift from my sweet sis. 

A little appliance humor :)

Some fall serving plates on display on the country shelf

that my daughter made in wood-working class years ago! 

 So handy for when the urge to bake something hits.

My black pie-bird sits next to my vintage pastry cutter. 

The little drawers hold spices. 

I covered my jam-jar, herb-stash lids with brown paper wrappings.  


A little song I love to sing...when nobody is listening :)

"Are you going to Scarborough Fair?

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. 

Remember me to the one who lives there. 

She once was a true love of mine....."

- Simon and Garfunkel -


There's nothing better than sharing a little 

Spice Cake with someone you love on a cool, autumn day.


The weather is so fickle this time of year. 

Mornings are usually beautiful and sunny. 

The clouds sometimes disappear when the sun comes 
up over the mountains.

 It rarely lasts all day. 

I usually start making all sorts of plans to work outside.....

I'll enjoy the beautiful sunshine streaming in 
while I drink my morning coffee as I make my plans.
Should I pot up those pansies or clean up the back garden? 

But by the time I finish my coffee, 
and get ready to go outside
the clouds inevitably start to move in. 

By afternoon the rain sets in and my outdoor plans are over. 

And so are Kai's. 
We've had quite a bit of wind lately. 
You might be able to tell from all the needles on 
the walkway. 

Looking down from my bedroom window as I tidy the room. 

Kai waits to be let in. 
He forgets that he can just go around the back
and get in through his pet door :)

Fallen leaves on the lawn, seen from the other bedroom window. 

These are from the Russian Ash trees I planted many years ago. 

"Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!"
-Humbert Wolfe-

The broom, the rake and the wheelbarrow
 get most of our outdoor time these days. 

I'm waiting for a nice, calm, sunny day to plant my fall bulbs
and winter pansies. 

So in the meantime, I'll have to be content to 
get cozy with a good book. 

And watch the rain and wind from inside the window. 
Can you see my stack of pots waiting patiently under the lilac tree?

This is the book I am reading right now. 

True stories of people sharing their night-time dreams. 

I keep a dream journal and sometimes my dreams have warned me 

and guided me many times in my life. 

Do you listen to your dreams?

Of course, curling up with a good book requires 

tea and a yummy snack - preferably something home-baked :)

I have the perfect recipe...

Streusel-topped Pumpkin Loaf

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. 

Grease and flour a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.



1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (home-made recipe follows)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter

1/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp pumpkin-pie spice

1/3 cup walnuts, finely chopped

To Prepare:


Mix flour, baking powder, pie spice and salt in small bowl. 

Beat egg and sugar in large bowl. Beat in pumpkin, oil and vanilla

until smooth. Add egg and flour mixture and stir just until 

all moistened and mixed together. Fold in walnuts. 

Spoon into prepared loaf pan. 


Mix butter, brown sugar, spice and flour in small bowl until crumbly. 

Stir in walnuts. Sprinkle over batter. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, 

or until wooden toothpick comes out clean. 

Cool completely and enjoy! 

Pumpkin Pie Spice:

3 tablespoons cinnamon

1-1/2 tablespoon ginger

3/4 teaspoon allspice

3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix together and store in a pretty jar :)


"Life is short, and it is up to you to make it sweet."

- Sarah Louise Delany -

"I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, 
than be crowded on a velvet cushion."
- Henry David Thoreau -

"Autumn...The year's last, loveliest smile."
- William Cullen Bryant -

Dear friends, as we continue to be carried along in this tumultuous time

of incredible change, loss, turbulence and uncertainty, 

my thoughts are with you all, and my hope is 

that you are holding steady in the winds of change, 

finding firm footing on the slippery slopes of uncertainty, 

and no matter what, always seeking the high road. 

The view is so much better there. 


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