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. 



  1. Karen, thank you for sharing your lovely home and heart with us! Each room is so beautiful and tranquil. So cute that Kai wanted to come in his BIG door. Lilah loves to be outside but only if I am out there with her. I am going to most definitely make/bake your recipe! My husband will love it! xo

  2. happy anniversary to you, and your high school sweetheart!! the house looks lovely and must smell awesome as you bake away!! i am going to try your recipe for pumpkin pie, it sounds very is the hubs favorite.

    what a big undertaking to stain the deck, you are more ambitious that I!!

    enjoy autumn, it's looks so beautiful there!!

  3. i forgot to say that i too married my hs sweetheart!!

  4. Happy Anniversary to you both and what beautiful images and post.

    Hugs diane

  5. Happy Anniversary Karen. I just love that picture of the two of you. Yes, I listen to my dreams, and I believe sometimes they are telling me something. Your home looks so charming and cozy for Autumn. You have been working on many projects lately. I like how you change out decorations and also picture frames for each season. The pictures you find at the flea markets are quaint and unique. Your spice cake looks so Yummy. Oh, that photo of the sun coming through in your living room is so pretty. Your deck looks very nice - you did a great job on that. All the white pumpkins around your house add a nice touch for Fall. I always appreciate the quotes that you share, Karen, and some of them I just have to write down myself. Enjoy those red roses. They are beautiful. : )


    1. I chuckled when you said you could eat pumpkin pie for breakfast, lunch, and for dessert. Me too! ; )

  6. A wonderful post full of interesting things and beautiful places! Happy Anniversary, what a lovely start to your long and happy life together. I love Anne of Green Gables, it's one of my favourite books. So pleased to see you're well and safe in these strange times. x

  7. Love curling up to cozy posts like this. As you know, it's my favorite time of year too. WE've even had a few snow flurries already - yikes. NOt quite ready for that. I love your beautiful home and gorgeous deck in the trees. You did a brilliant job with the staining and that is the cutest play house!!
    Love the quotes you share, your beautiful home and yummy recipes!! I need to make that pumpkin loaf. Also Happy Anniversary!! I always thought I'd have a 50th one day. Just wasn't meant to be for me sadly...but I love seeing couples that make it. Blessings to you both.
    🙏 💝

  8. Hi Karen, what a beautiful post. As beautiful as that young couple was almost 50 years ago. HappyAnniversary! My hubby and I didn't start dating each other until 1959 and got married 10 months later. He had another girl friend in high school, so I don't have any pictures together then. There is nothing better than a slice of pumpkin pie (or two) in the morning. I know I have told you before, but your home is so beautiful and the setting is as pretty as can be. Your kitchen is so homey and it makes me just think of good smells coming from the oven. I loved this post as I always do. I love all your art work too..I could write a book here, my friend..Stay well..xxoJudy

  9. Truly...this sums up my mood right now: I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.
    You have such a beautiful cozy home. Regards Naomi

  10. Karen, 'tis always a joy to visit your lovely home where there is so much loveliness for the eyes to gaze upon. Your place speaks softly to the heart of beauty and tranquility; a place where love and sweet memories live. Happy Anniversary to you both. Reading of your first date reminds me of a gentler time, of hayrides, of walks hand in hand, of the gift of a flower or two. Your post today has warmed my day. Our beautiful memories and cosy homes are what will get us all through these difficult days.

  11. Happy Anniversary to both of you! I think you know that my late beloved and I were high school sweethearts, too. He also was an attendant at a gas station in high school. I have the first necklace that he bought me, too. We also went on hayrides...oh, the simpler times!
    Your home looks cozy and perfectly dressed in touches of Fall. Your pumpkin bread sounds wonderful. I will have to make your pumpkin spice mix! I’m sharing a pumpkin bread on Monday but it has a ribbon of cream cheese inside.
    Enjoy your wonderful time with your sweetheart, Karen. 💕

  12. Such a lovely post, great to see all of your photographs and catch up on news.

    Many good wishes for your Anniversary, it was lovely seeing the old photograph.

    Many thanks too for sharing your recipes.

    Happy Autumn Wishes
    Stay safe and well.

    All the best Jan

  13. Your new closet door with its black hinges is similar to the doors my husband built years ago in our Vermont log cabin home. He added a diagonal strip in each half which formed a "Z" pattern.
    Autumn days lure us outside for garden clean-up with the anticipation of coming colder weather when the 'nesting' instinct will take over prompting indoor projects and 'comfort food.'

  14. Love the photo of you both when you were young! Happy anniversary! And I love being invited into your home to see your decor in the different seasons. I would just love to actually BE there! Enjoy your Sunday!

  15. What adorable post,made me smile!Congratulations on your wedding anniversary!Wonderful photo of you!Always a pleasure stopping by your inspiring blog...

  16. Karen, what a magnificent post! Loved all the beautiful photos and the story and photo of the high school sweethearts! Happy anniversary to you both.

  17. Happy returns of the day dear Karen
    may you two keep celebrating it together for so many years amen! i absolutely Loved photo of both of you ,you meant for each other i can see that !
    your love story is lovely and brought tears of joy and peace in my eyes :) joy and peace that my soul gained from your description of your first date :) this is true blessing to have ability to feel love ,to fall in love and to spend whole life with it,it is an indefinable gift indeed .
    you have it fortunately and i can see how you were able to transform your world with this love in to "HEAVEN ON EARTH "
    each word you speak reflects your inner insight and wisdom ,you have tools to decorate your home that makes it most beautiful and peaceful my friend !
    i love always to peak into your world which is serene ,neat and so well maintained :)))
    loved all the quotes ,your love for pumpkin made me smile
    best of luck for indoor projects including playhouse furnishing
    more shower of blessings to you and your's!


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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