Sunday Morning 9/4/2022: Heading Towards Fall

(Sorry for the delay today – my publish function didn’t want to cooperate!)

We have a winner, or rather three of them! Using the Random Name Picker, the first place winner for a bag of Mexican flavored coffee is Carol, second place is Beautea97, and third place is Linda from Practical Parsimony! Congratulations to all! As soon as I hear from Carol with her choice of coffee flavors, I will contact Beautea97 for her choice between the remaining two, and then Linda will receive the flavor that’s remaining. Thank you so much to everyone who entered – it took me quite a while to get all the entries loaded into the Name Picker!

Pumpkins were ripening at the Morning Glory Orchard

Fall arrives this month! Other than our time in Europe in 2018 and 2019, this will be our first sustained fall season in quite a while. There were seasonal changes in Hawaii, but they were subtle and we had to pay careful attention to notice and enjoy them. I’m genuinely looking forward to some cooler weather and also fixing some heartier meals and soups. We’re going to “upgrade” our tiny patio in the next couple of weeks; that is, find a couple of inexpensive patio chairs and something to go up against the railing so Kai can’t escape. We want to be able sit outside the next couple of months to enjoy the cooler weather and watch the leaves on the trees behind us change.

The wait for our credenza continues. No one, neither FedEx nor Burrow, knows what happened or where the missing package is. Burrow has been very good about communicating with me and I could tell this past week they were almost frantic about the situation. They finally decided to ship another whole unit to us and pick up the half credenza we currently have. Brett and I thought about canceling the order but we like everything about this piece of furniture – the style, quality, wood, and price – and we are willing to wait for a new one. I’m of course unhappy about the delay, but Burrow has stayed on top of it and communicated regularly while they tried to figure out what happened.

We aren’t doing anything this Labor Day weekend, but next weekend, along with M & K, we’ll be going on a short road trip to western North Carolina. We’re leaving on Thursday after we pick up K from school, spending the night in Asheville, then visiting Biltmore House and Gardens on Friday morning (in two groups so that someone remains outside with Kai). Friday afternoon we’ll drive over to Grandfather Mountain and walk across the mile-high Swinging Bridge, then head up to Boone where we’ve rented a lovely Airbnb for two nights. Saturday morning we’ll drive some more of the Blue Ridge Parkway and visit Blowing Rock and the Blue Deer Bakery before heading back to Boone for the evening. We’ll leave to come home on Sunday morning. There won’t be a Sunday post next week; I will catch up on Monday.

This morning I am thinking about:

Kai calmly sat outside the entire 45 minutes it took for Brett to get his driver’s license. He wagged his tail for everyone but otherwise was pretty shy. He’s getting his fur cut in a couple of weeks as he’s starting to look shaggy.
  • What we accomplished: 1) Brett got his Tennessee driver’s license last week. I was supposed to get mine at the same time, but it took Brett 45 minutes (while Kai and I waited outside) so I will get mine this week. I tried to make an appointment, but the first opening was November 1, so I’ll just have to stand in line and wait my turn. 2) We visited the Morning Glory Orchard on Thursday and had a great time there as well as a wonderful drive through the countryside (and also learned a couple of new things about the area). 3) I finally got around to filing a claim with our insurance for the medication I bought over the counter while we were in Mexico. Lots of paperwork and copies, but it’s on its way. 4) Otherwise, there were no big accomplishments this past week except to plan our getaway, which was fun. Hot weather or thunderstorms kept us mostly indoors, so much reading and relaxing got done, and a very cute little dog was played with and walked.
  • What we’re looking forward to next week: Brett’s parents, grandparents, and other ancestors came from the area we’ll be visiting in North Carolina. I’ve heard much about it over the years and am excited about finally getting to see this part of his past. Brett hasn’t been back since he was in high school so he’s excited to revisit as well, and we think our DIL and K will enjoy Biltmore House, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and seeing some of the Great Smokies.
Peaches and blueberries are a wonderful combination in a pie!
  • How we ate and exercised last week: I decided I really didn’t want to do a separate post about our eating and exercise, and thought I could fit something into the Sunday post instead. I am so thankful these days to have a Trader Joe’s nearby – it has made cooking and healthy eating so much easier, especially since it’s just the two of us now. ALDI has helped as well. This past week we ate vegetable pizza; smoked pork sliders with four-bean salad; smoked pork tacos; spinach and artichoke quiche; meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and sautéed broccoli; and a whole bunch of leftovers for both lunches and dinner. I had a Goo Goo Cluster for my dessert on three evenings, and otherwise we enjoyed either a small bowl of Tillamook Peaches & Cream ice cream or some of the blueberry-peach pie I made on Thursday (it was supposed to be a peach pie, but the peaches didn’t fill the pie crust so I added blueberries). We ate a lot of fruit during the week as well, including apples, peaches, blueberries, and bananas. Somewhat cooler weather has meant more walking! Brett regularly gets over 10,000 steps a day walking Kai, and I’ve been joining them now that things are cooling off. So far we’re sticking to the paths and trails around our apartment complex. There’s still lots of room for improvement, but we’re on our way.
  • The ways we saved: 1) We finished up our September food shopping in August with a trip to Costco this past week so we could avoid paying sales tax. The total bill at Costco was $150 less than what I was expecting because I still calculate with Hawaii prices on my mind. We’re now stocked up for September other than picking up more produce at some point. 2) Other than Costco, a tank of gas, and our trip to the orchard we had a no-spend week. Gas prices at our Costco are now $3.24 a gallon. 3) We put $2.50 into the change/$1 bill jar. 4) I’d like to say we didn’t throw away any food, but all the produce we had put on the top shelf in our refrigerator one day froze and had to be tossed. Lesson learned though.
It’s got a weird name, but a Goo Goo Cluster has it all as far as I’m concerned: peanuts, caramel, nougat, and chocolate in perfect proportions.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: 1) M brought back a box of Goo Goo Clusters for me from her trip last weekend. I’m not sure how she knew I like them (more like love them) and while they’re now smaller than I remember they were just as good as I remember. 2) Brett’s sister and husband will be joining us for Christmas! They want to see the girls and our son and the grandkids, so will be driving over from Texas and staying in a nearby hotel. There is going to be a lot of people here for meals and other family gatherings (all smushed into our small apartment) and M and I are already starting to think about and plan for that. 3) I got weighed at the doctor’s office and was happy to learn I gained only eight pounds since we left Hawaii in May. Otherwise everything is good, and medications and other tests have been set up (it’s my year for a colonoscopy – ugh). The vertigo I suffered from in Mexico seem to have been caused by allergies (it’s all but disappeared now) so I know what to do now to take care of that.

We have been horrified and sickened by the discovery of all the stolen top secret (and higher classification) documents at Mar-a-Lago. Watching this unfold is like watching a horror film in some ways. Brett held a top secret clearance with secret access during part of his time in the navy, and if even one of the documents he handled had been left out, even in a locked, secure room, he’d probably still be in jail. Seeing so many top secret and classified documents strewn about and learning how many were taken to Florida has been sickening. We are dreading what we’re going to know by the time this investigation is over, and how much our country and its secrets have been compromised.

That’s a wrap for this week! I hope everyone has been enjoying this Labor Day Weekend, whether that’s spending time with family and friends, or just relaxing with a good book. This long, hot summer is finally coming to an end and before we know it sweater weather will be upon us (and pumpkin spice everything, if that’s your thing). We’ve got lots to look forward to next week, and I hope everyone reading does as well!


21 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 9/4/2022: Heading Towards Fall

    1. I think so, Cindy. I’m excited to see the woods behind us change color, and think it will be a great time to get out and see things before we hunker down for winter.


  1. Sounds like you had a good week. There should be some pretty color in the mountains on your trip. I’ve always wanted to visit Biltmore, I hope you all have a great time.


    1. We did have a very good week although somewhere along the way I got sick. Feels like a not-so-bad cold (very runny nose and stuffy head) but could be allergies or Covid. I test every day but so far all have been negative.

      It’s supposed to rain off and on in the area during our visit, so our fingers are crossed it isn’t too bad. Both Brett and I are very excited that we’re going to see Biltmore. He mom took his sister when he was young but he had to stay out in the car!


  2. Oh I hope you enjoy your trip to NC! Blowing Rock and Boone are some of our favorite areas and an easy day-trip for us. It’s. usually about 10-20 degrees cooler up there and on the parkway than here in the Piedmont, so we like to go up there to escape the heat sometimes. I think your granddaughter especially will enjoy Grandfather, in particular the animals. At least our kids did. Will be anxious to hear your thoughts.


    1. We’ve thought seriously about relocating to Nashville or Boone when we’re finished in Nashville, but we really don’t want to buy a house and we want to live near the beach, so Mazatlan it is! I didn’t know about the animals at Grandfather – all we planned to do is walk across the swinging bridge. We had hoped to ride the Tweetsie, but these days it’s an amusement park with a train ride included: expensive tickets and nothing else we really wanted to do there.


      1. There aren’t a lot of animals at Grandfather, but several that are native to the area. They also have a nice nature center. Tweetsie has never appealed to us, so can’t give you any info about that.


      2. The trip got cancelled – too many of us sick! We had cancelled the Grandfather part of the trip anyway because of the admission prices, etc. Disappointed, but we’ll figure something out for later.


      3. Oh my goodness! I visited Tweetsie in 1964 when I was a little girl. I had no idea it was still in operation


      4. Brett said Tweetsie used to be just a train ride, but now it’s part of a theme park, with admission tickets over $50 per person. The train ride is included in the admission. Oh well.


  3. Hi Laura,

    I just loved everything about this post. 🙂 I live in RI, and I am ready for sweater weather, lol. I am so glad to read about all you have planned and how you are getting to spend time with your daughter in law and granddaughter. I am a grandmother too and I just love time spent with my grandson. He slept over last night and having him with us is the best. Take care,

    Mindy Gauthier


    1. Spending time with our DIL and K is the best part of being here! We had dinner with them yesterday evening – M made teriyaki chicken. Yum!

      The one thing I really do not have much of is sweaters – I have just two right now, but a couple of sweatshirts so think I’ll be OK. I don’t really want to buy more though because sweaters won’t be needed in Mazatlan!


  4. It looks like a fun trip, there are so many quaint places to discover! I’m looking forward to seeing some beautiful pictures of fall foliage as I am sure in that area it’s a fall symphony of colors right now.
    Kai is so cute and together with K you’ve got cuteness overload around you😃


    1. We looking ford to a short change of scenery this weekend. Just hope I am feeling better by them. I think the leaves may be just starting to change but hopefully that means we’ll miss the crowds (both summer and leaf peepers),

      We are head over heels in love with our puppy. He is a great fit for us, both size and temperament. He’s still a puppy and frisky, but some of his Shihtzu calm and cuddly nature is beginning to appear.

      Our granddaughter is something else. We feel so blessed to get to spend so much time with her,


  5. That part of NC is beautiful and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the trip. I worked for a company not far from Mt. Airy (or Mayberry as they called it…lol) and went there often. Touring the Biltmore estate sounds so interesting, too.

    I love fall! We had a big family wedding this weekend, and they had an absolutely perfect weather day for it. The next day was cool and gray. So we were all happy for them on that front. Time for caramel apples, pumpkin treats, and mums!


    1. Trip to NC was cancelled – too many of us are sick or just getting over being sick. Stay tuned!

      I am super excited about the arrival of fall. Trader Joe’s should have their fall/pumpkin items in soon – the ONLY pumpkin spice items I really have missed are their pumpkin pop tarts! I wouldn’t eat a pop tart otherwise, but those pumpkin ones are very, very good!

      M is wanting mums for her patio. Chrysanthemums are a big thing in Japan.


  6. Thank you for your comments on the presidential documents. I worked in a Navy library (document centre) one summer and learned the system of security clearances. The current situation is awful for the country, and a librarian’s nightmare!


  7. So much good for you this week! My goodness, you have settled right in and are well on your way to enjoying your stay in the states for a while! Your Christmas sounds amazing, to be surrounded by extended family… HUGS!!


    1. Last week was great; this one, not so much. We’ll all recover though and will get to North Carolina eventually.

      We are so excited about the family being here for Christmas and it’s only September! I have my Christmas shopping list ready to go . . . .


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