Category Archives: The Seasons: Autumn

Autumn Ritual

Our house is the one on the right. Photo taken in 1912, we think.

Our neighborhood is called “Old Town.” The trees that shade our streets and houses are very old. The oaks that surround our next door neighbor’s house, and stand tall on our property line, are over 100 years old. Their shade is wonderful in the heat of the summer, but they drop tons of leaves in the Fall. (My neighbor rolled down his window as he drove past us the other day and called out, “Leafageddon, again!”)  The sound of leaf blowers (which my husband hates) is deafening on the weekends. We use our big rakes, raking leaves the old-fashioned way, and despite an occasional blister, we enjoy the job. Once each month, October through December, the town’s leaf vacuum truck comes by and vacuums up the huge piles of leaves that are raked or blown to the curb. Watching for the vacuum truck has become a delightful Autumn ritual.

*Note: This post is from the archives of my old garden blog.

I Cherish: Beautiful Autumn Days

Byron at the wetlands…

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful Autumn day. After our recent rainy spell, it was so nice to be able to get out and enjoy the sunshine and fall colors. Byron felt up to a walk with the aid of his cane (didn’t need his walker!), so we headed for Fern Hill Wetlands to enjoy watching all the wildlife and soak in the colors of a lovely autumn day. A cherished time together!

Autumn Poem

Autumn in the neighborhood…

Autumn is a Transient
~by Maude O. Cook (my grandmother)

When Autumn spreads her crimson
Along the wayside trails,
And distant, fluted mountains
Are wearing soft blue veils;
When days are crisp and heady
Then is the time to go
To flaming slopes and by-ways,
Rich with prismatic glow:
For Autumn is a transient,
And soon she will depart —
She leaves behind the beauty
That is captured by the heart.

It’s Time for RIP-XVI!

It’s THAT time of year again! Time for the traditional autumn reading challenge (started sixteen years ago by Carl V. Anderson) known as RIP, or Readers Imbibing Peril.

The purpose of the R.I.P. Challenge is to enjoy books (and movies and podcasts) that could be classified as:

Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.

Basically, read scary.

“Are you reading for spooky season? We need more wicked good books (and screen) in our lives, so being the rule-breakers we are, #RIPXVI BEGINS NOW. How do you play? Tag @PerilReaders, #ripxv, and #perilreaders in your Twitter and/or Instagram posts. It’s that easy. Wicked easy.”

I will be reading mostly mysteries for this challenge, not super spooky or horror-filled books. I’d like to continue on with a number of different mystery series that I started and want to get back to. Much of my reading time will be spent in waiting rooms (or in the car waiting) while my husband undergoes treatments for his cancer, so a good mystery book will help the time go by and provide an antidote to anxiety.

This post will be where I track my books read for this challenge. I will keep an ever-growing list of books read and movies watched, so check back here frequently. Just click on the R.I.P.XVI graphic in my sidebar and it will bring you here.

I hope all of you who are participating in this autumnal challenge enjoy your reading, movie-watching, podcast-listening!

Peril of the Fiction:

  1. Mrs. Pollifax and the Second Thief, by Dorothy Gilman
  2. Devil in a Blue Dress, by Walter Mosley
  3. Pietr the Latvian, by George Simenon
  4. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving
  5. Bury Your Dead, by Louise Penny
  6. The Amethyst Box, by Anna Katharine Green

Peril of the Short Story:

  1. Hero, by Susan Hill
  2. A Christmas Tragedy, by Baroness Orczy
  3. One More Body in the Pool, by Ray Bradbury
  4. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, by Ambrose Bierce
  5. Sherlock Holmes: The Affair of the Christmas Jewel, by Barry Roberts

Peril of the Screen:

  1. Tale of the Nine-Tailed
  2. Perry Mason, the series
  3. Train to Busan

Readers Imbibing Peril, XV

It sort of snuck up on me this year (my sense of time is pretty confused by this pandemic), but I’m so excited that the annual challenge, Readers Imbibing Peril, is now upon us! It’s my favorite challenge of the year, and always marks the coming of Fall. This is the 15th year and it just gets better and better.

The purpose of the R.I.P. Challenge is to enjoy books that could be classified as:

Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.

Basically, read scary.

“Are you reading for spooky season? We need more wicked good books (and screen) in our lives, so being the rule-breakers we are, #RIPXV BEGINS NOW. How do you play? Tag @PerilReaders and #ripxv in your Twitter and/or Instagram posts. It’s that easy. Wicked easy.”

This post will be my “tracker” for the challenge. I will keep an ever-growing list of books read and movies watched, so check back here frequently. Just click on the R.I.P.XV graphic in my sidebar and it will bring you here.

My books read list:

The Body on the Beach, by Simon Brett.
The first book in the Fethering Village series. Recently retired, Carole Seddon, finds a body on the beach while walking her dog one morning. However, a short while later the police can’t find the body so they don’t take her very seriously. It’s up to Carole and her next door neighbor, Jude, to solve the mystery themselves. Fun!  I rated it 3.5 stars on Goodreads.

The House of Dies Drear, by Virginia Hamilton.
I really enjoyed this book, and would have loved it had I read it as a middle grade student! I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.    “The house of Dies Drear loomed out of mist and murky sky, not only gray and formless, but huge and unnatural. It seemed to crouch on the side of a hill high above the highway. And it had a dark, isolated look about it that set it at odds with all that was living.“

Blanche White on the Lam, by Barbara Neely.
This was a fun book, the first in a series that I’m looking forward to reading. I gave this first book 4.5 stars on Goodreads.   “Blanche White is a plump, feisty, middle-aged African-American housekeeper working for the genteel rich in North Carolina. But when an employer stiffs her, and her checks bounce, she goes on the lam, hiding out as a maid for a wealthy family at their summer home. That plan goes awry when there’s a murder and Blanche becomes the prime suspect. So she’s forced to use her savvy, her sharp wit, and her old-girl network of domestic workers to discover the truth and save her own skin.” 

Hearts of the Missing, by Carol Potenza.
This first book by author Carol Potenza won the Tony HIllerman Prize in 2017. I loved all the Tony Hillerman mysteries, so when I discovered that this book had won the Tony Hillerman Prize, I had to read it. It did not disappoint and was a book I’ve now recommended highly to family and friends. I gave it 5 stars on Goodread!     “When a young woman linked to a list of missing Fire-Sky tribal members commits suicide, Pueblo Police Sergeant Nicky Matthews is assigned to the case. As the investigation unfolds, she uncovers a threat that strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Fire-Sky Native: victims chosen and murdered because of their genetic makeup. But these deaths are not just about a life taken. In a vengeful twist, the killer ensures the spirits of those targeted will wander forever, lost to their family, their People, and their ancestors. When those closest to Nicky are put in jeopardy, she must be willing to sacrifice everything–her career, her life, even her soul–to save the people she is sworn to protect.”

The Clue of the Tapping Heels, by Carolyn Keene.
I am slowly rereading the original series of Nancy Drew mysteries. This one was #16 in the series, and I vaguely remember it from my early years. These books are much fun to revisit, although I can only read one or two every once in awhile. It was very different way back then. I’d go to the library and come home with 5 or 6 of them that I would read straight through.  I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads.    “Challenging questions confront Nancy Drew when she attempts to solve the mystery of the strange tapping sounds in the house of a retired actress. Who is the tapper? How does he gain access to Miss Carters house, despite securely locked doors and windows? Why do the tapping sounds come in Morse code? Is there a sinister motive behind the prowlers actions? While trying to learn the answers to these and other puzzling questions, Nancy finds her investigations complicated by the dishonest administrator of a will and by a thief who steals the actress’s prize Persian cats.”

The Day of the Jackal, by Frederick Forsyth.
An old suspense thriller that I missed reading as a young mother chasing a toddler around all day. I remember hearing about this book, but didn’t have time to follow through in those days. How nice to be retired and have time to catch up on books I missed reading back then! I gave this book 3.5 stars on Goodreads.    “He is known only as “The Jackal”—a cold, calculating assassin without emotion, or loyalty, or equal. He’s just received a contract from an enigmatic employer to eliminate one of the most heavily guarded men in the world—Charles De Gaulle, president of France.”

The Sea Detective, by Mark Douglas-Home.
A new-to-me author, I really liked this first book in a mystery series by Mark Douglas-Home. It was well-written and very interesting, taking place in Scotland. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.    “Cal McGill is an Edinburgh-based oceanographer, environmentalist and one-of-a-kind investigator.  Using his knowledge of the waves – ocean currents, prevailing winds, shipping records – McGill can track where objects have come from, or where they’ve gone. It’s a unique skill that can help solve all sorts of mysteries.”

Gently in the Sun, by Alan Hunter.
This is the sixth book in the George Gently detective series by Alan Hunter. I started this series a few years ago, and thought I’d read another episode for the RIP-XV challenge. I loved the George Gently tv series on PBS, so for me, the books are enhanced by picturing the actor that played this character on TV.     “Every man in Hiverton knows Rachel Campion. She is the most gorgeous girl to have turned up in the fishing village in living memory. When she is discovered lying dead on the beach, Gently joins the throngs of summer visitors on their annual pilgrimage to the seaside in the midst of a summer heatwave – and as the temperature soars, the mystery deepens.”

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Welcome, October!

October, painted by George Innes

October is here, and I feel just like Anne in Anne of Green Gables: “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”  I’m planning on this October being full of reading, perhaps there will even be a few more days for reading on the porch before the temperatures turn too cold for that. Have a wonderful October, everyone! Happy reading!