Tag Archives: autumn

Check Out My (Fall Favorites) Package!

Who doesn’t love to get mail? These days I mostly get bills and junk mail, so when I peeped the package that was sitting next to my mailbox this Saturday, I was thrilled!

Better yet, it was addressed to me!

And better still, it was my Fall Favorites package from my swap partner, Mrs. Mike over at The Year After!

(Just to remind you, Nicole at Flip Flops and Combat Boots hosted a Fall Favorites Swap. She randomly paired up participants and each was to send the other a box of “fall favorites” by October 9th. Be sure to click on the picture below to see what everyone got!)

Fall Favorites

Mrs. Mike must have been really on the ball to get her package to me so quickly. I, on the other hand, am a bad partner. I haven’t sent mine yet.

But before you throw things at me, I’m sending it tomorrow – honest! I just had to finish up a few things over the long weekend.

Now, on to the goods!

The first thing I did was to clear off the coffee table and get my camera.

Owen & package

Anything in here for me?

Then I had to clear out the pets so I could use the box cutter.

Mowgli and package

Can I have the box when you're done, Momma?

And then I started unpacking. Mrs. Mike’s items were all wonderful and intuitive and thoughtful.

First I pulled out some bold and bright decorations and two delicious-smelling candles. Fall is such an odiferous season, isn’t it?

fall decorations

Hello autumn!

 Let’s take a closer look.

Harvest Blessings

Love. These.

My camera gave these a bluish tint, so the picture doesn’t do them justice, but they are painted in perfect fall colors. And they have glitter. I love glitter.

Next I found these.

Owen's toys

Beef and pork!

Mrs. Mike, you are too funny! You remembered Owen’s cow fetish!

(And, yes, I am a mean mom. I made Owen wait until I took pictures before giving him the squeaky cow. Once I finally did give it to him, he carried it around the house for the rest of the day.)

St. Christopher medal

Then there was an Army key chain (awesome) and a St. Christopher’s medal. I will be sending this to T with a prayer to protect him and his men as they begin the redeployment process.

book and journal


In a recent post I mentioned that I was lost spiritually, but searching. Mrs. Mike included this book – The Purpose Driven Life – and a journal to help me in my search. (Thank you.)

And now, for the pièce de résistance.

Mrs. Mike has a business called Kaylee’s Kloset. Remember how I told you that she makes wonderful ACU-based clothing for infants and small children? And remember how I said they were so sweet? And remember how I asked her, only half-kidding, whether she made anything in adult sizes?


ACU apron

She does!

Isn’t it amazing? I have the hugest crush on this apron. I almost put it on while I was making dinner tonight, but I didn’t because I didn’t want to get it dirty!

Let me show you what I love about it:

dish towel holder

It's got a dish towel holder - brilliant!

red star straps

The straps are both bold and patriotic!

the button

Big, fat button - so cute!

contrast stitching

Beautiful red contrast stitching.

Kaylee's Kloset patch

Kaylee's Kloset patch on the inside.

Monogrammed card

Kaylee's Kloset monogrammed cards.

And this. This may be my very favorite part, though it is so hard to choose.

inside the card

The first ever Kaylee's Kloset apron!

Call me narcissistic, but this made the apron extra-special to me.

Mrs. Mike, you are so talented! The apron is absolutely gorgeous.

Thank you!

Hugs, Sarah

Cow Country

T and I moved here two years ago, almost to the day. Shortly after we moved in, I was out for a run on a crisp and colorful fall day. As I trotted through the whispering leaves I saw what I thought was a dog up ahead, moving along the side of the road.

As I moved closer, the dog stopped and looked back at me.

Holy cow, I thought. That is the biggest dog I’ve ever seen. It’s a Great Dane!

A few feet later I saw that there were two of them. And not a person – other than me – in sight. This time I thought, I am so screwed.

Where were their owners? I slowed down to a walk, so as not to excite them. As I stopped bouncing and got some of my wind back, I started to see more clearly. I was about 30 feet away when I realized…those aren’t dogs. They’re cows.

Yup. We live in cow country.

There were freaking COWS in the middle of the road. Three cows to be exact (I hadn’t seen the last one until I was up close), and each was as almost as tall as I was.

I talked to the lanky teenaged bovines as I approached.

“Nice cows,” I said, or something similarly inane. “So, uh…how are things? Really? Good here. I’m just going to walk on by you, so don’t feel like you have to go into a little mini stampede or anything, okay? We’re cool.”

As I walked by, the cows started to walk along side of me. One of them was giving me a very dirty look. I kept walking, but at the same time I was wondering what would happen if the cows followed me all the way home.

“Hi honey! I’m home. Three cows followed me. Can we keep them? Huh, huh, can we? Pleeeaaase?”

That would be one big-ass litter box. You’d have to scoop it with a snow shovel.

Fortunately for me, T and our vet bills, the cows turned off at a dirt driveway not far up. The Bossy Posse swaggered off like gangstas and I picked up the pace again so that I could get home and change my underwear.

Fast forward two years.

Owen and I are enjoying a refreshing walk on a brilliant fall day. We pass a farm that has a brown cow ambling around their fenced yard. Owen and the cow make eye contact.

Eye Contact

Let me just say here and now that Owen is a herder. He herds me, he herds T, he herds the cats. And he loves cows. He has tried to jump out of a moving vehicle to get at a group of grazers.

He was super-excited to see a cow. He stayed stock still until the curious cow came closer.

(This story is so alliterative!)

The Cow Comes Closer

How now, brown cow!

The dog was fascinated. The cow was curious. The human was amused.

Then all hell broke loose. You see, this house also houses three ginormous, fluffy terriers. And it was at this point that they detected the presence of a foreign dog.

He was horning in on their herding.

They started yelping a  chorus of chaos. The dogs barked, the cow lowed and the kids yelled.

And Owen barked and jumped over the moon.

I decided that perhaps our neighbors would not be pleased with the ruckus and that it would be prudent for us to move along. Owen did not agree. I had to drag him away – literally.

He really didn’t want to leave his new buddy.


It was very moo-ving.

A Baldfaced Lie

I’d like to be able to say, “Last Sunday we hiked Baldface Loop,” but it would be a lie.

Well, it wouldn’t be a complete lie. More like a not-quite-half truth.

Baldface Loop is a 9.8-mile roundtrip hike that includes summiting both North and South Baldface mountains. Neither mountain is a qualifier – both are just under 4,000 feet – but the trail is difficult and the views are spectacular. Especially at this time of year.

Denis and his daughter A, and my friend K and I started out at about 9:30 in the morning.

Baldface signpost

The trail starts at just a slight incline but gets increasingly steeper. After two and a half wooded miles, we reached the shelter and stopped for a well-earned snack.

Baldface shelter

Try not to be blinded by our over-exposed and ghostly white legs.

After a short rest, we hit the trail again.

trail sign

Now that’s my idea of a well-marked trail. Why couldn’t we have had that on Chocorua?

A rock stair led us out of the woods and onto a series of open slabs. Then things got interesting.

rock scrambes

The next half mile or so was slow going. Rock scramble after rock scramble had us climbing with hands, feet, knees and a few prayers. If I remember correctly, I even called for my mommy once.

It felt a little like Katahdin, but on a smaller scale.

We stopped for another break on the rocks of an alpine garden. It was the kind of place where you expect to see Heidi tripping along the path following several goats. We looked at our watches.

1:30 p.m.

Those rock scrambles had taken a lot of time off the clock and a lot of wind out of our sails. We were still about a half mile from the top of North Baldface, the first summit.

It was decision time. It gets dark early these days and I hadn’t brought my headlamp (stupid, amateur mistake). I really didn’t want to be navigating down the rocks in the dark, or even through the wooded trail. We decided to admit  that our goal for that day might have been a tad aggressive and turn around just shy of the summit.

But we took a few pictures first.

South Baldface

That peak to the right is South Baldface, the second summit. North Baldface is just out of sight to the left. The ridge above Denis is where we would have been ridge-running between the peaks. Just looking at the picture makes my soul ache to be up there.

Bicknell Ridge

The ridge of dark green running from the upper center of the picture out through the righthand side is, I believe, Bicknell Ridge Trail, where we would’ve come down the loop.

It’s pretty cool when you’re at a vantage point that allows you to see your full route at an almost bird’s-eye view.

On our way out, we stopped at the shelter again for a long lunch. Denis fired up the stove and made us soup. Nothing better than a hot lunch during a fall hike.

We also took a little side trail to visit a spot with the romantic name of Emerald Pool.

Emerald Pool

K’s daughter, Little K, jumped off this rock into the pool when she was at camp a couple of years ago. She was the only girl to do it at the time. Go Little K!

Trail's end

We marched out at 5:00.

So we didn’t summit our mountain. I can live with that. It gives us an excuse to go back sometime. We still hiked a respectable 6.4 miles (Den’s GPS read 7.1, but I’m going by the map) and we had a great day. Good company, a few laughs and I didn’t pee my pants on the rock scrambles.

What more can you ask for, really?