Fall is around the corner, which means number 2 pencils, sweater weather, raking and LOTS of conversation about the merits or evils of pumpkin spice anything.
So in the spirit of loves and hates (or likes and don’t-much-care-fors), let’s share what we’re currently ranking as thumbs-up or thumbs-down. Movies, TV shows, food, drink, types of socks—anything is up for discussion. Let the thumbing begin!
Here in NH we are bracing ourselves for THE RETURN OF THE LEAF PEEPERS. That’s right, ’tis almost foliage season, all the local restaurants and bars are packed, and I can already feel the increasing chill in the evenings, the creeping earlier sundowns, and those infernal crickets chirping *extra* loudly. (Wasn’t it just the other day I complained about the intense heat? Answer: yes.) It’s also Town Fall Festival & Touch a Truck time here as well. Roll me up in cider doughnuts, pretzels, whoopie pies and beer. Our town is known for its Schnitzelfest. With luck, I’ll remember the right weekend for the pumpkin boat races (yep, they hollow out giant pumpkins and literally paddle/race them in the rivers). Why waste a perfectly good pumpkin jettisoning it from a trebuchet? (Yeah, they do that, too.) I’ll admit, I often flop on the couch instead and zone out in front of the Pats game. TV show return I’m most looking forward to? Season 2 of Big Sky, starting Sept. 30. Don’t miss it, crime fans! It’s on plain ol’ ABC, so no excuse.
Since we’re empty nesters and have more time than we used to, my husband is on a mission to have us take advantage of this golden age of TV and watch more shows. (I tend to be glued to my computer, which isn’t fair to him, so I support his quest.)
A thumbs-up to Atlantic Crossing, which we watched through the PBS Passport app. It’s an historical miniseries about the Norwegian crown princess’s exile in the U.S. with her children during WWII and her relationship with FDR. Pretty compelling, although I did laugh at the Eastern European (it was shot there) mansion they tried to pass off as being in Maryland. Other thumbs up go to two HBO Max offerings, Hacks – if Jean Smart doesn’t win an Emmy, I will lead a protest – and our current appointment viewing show, The Other Two.
A thumbs-in-the-middle for The White Lotus. While I cannot wait for the return of those billionaires I love to hate on Succession, I was less enthralled by the one-percenters of the Mike White miniseries. But wow, was it pretty to look at, having been shot entirely at the Grand Wailea in Maui.
I’m gonna talk gardens here. Autumn is the time of year when my pole beans are reaching as high as Jack’s beanstalk, my tomatoes cover every inch of counter space in the kitchen, and I have so many cucumbers that I could live off pickles for an entire year. Which is a big thumbs up! I adore fagiolini al burro (see here for recipe) as well as pickles (recipe here), and I never tire of eating homegrown tomatoes with cottage cheese day-after-day for lunch.
The Downside: Once they’re pau, as they say in Hawai‘i (all finished), all those dead vines need dealing with—not to mention all the fallen leaves from my trees that need raking, the citrus that needs pruning, and all the other whacking back that the coming of fall necessitates. (I spent several hours this morning cutting back a rosemary plant that had grown taller than me.) But hey, it’s good exercise, so after working in the garden all morning, I can justify that extra dollop of mayo with my tomato-and-cottage cheese lunch!
Sometimes I feel like the Queen of Unpopular Opinions. Seasonal cases in point: I love the aforehinted-at pumpkin spice lattes and I’m not so crazy about fashion boots. When I turn the calendar to September, I start craving the drink that many people seem to eschew. Are PSLs super-sweet? Well, yeah. But since I eat CoolWhip with chocolate syrup, perhaps I’m not the best judge. As for fashion (read: not necessarily snow-ready) boots, I always find myself confused. Do I tuck my jeans in or leave them out? What about boot-cut jeans? And what’s the deal with booties? Do semi-boots mean they’re best for semi-cold weather? So many questions, so many blisters. One thing I know I like: that magical time between Good Golly It’s Hot and Gee I Miss Feeling My Toes and Fingers. Fall is a magical season, and I’m here for every minute of it.
- Cream Pan strawberry croissants (let’s eke out the strawberry season!)
- Comfy long sleeves and hoodies
- National Cozy Mystery Day (September 15) plus Agatha Christie’s birthday 🎂 and shameless plug: MIMI LEE GETS A CLUE is on the nomination list in the Own Voices category for the first-ever Cozy Escape Awards happening that day. How to vote for free? Glad you asked! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-B7ya3uAAuA
- Last-minute back to school shopping lists and hectic fall schedules
- Pumpkin spice popcorn (I’m usually a fan of pumpkin stuff but…)
- Darker mornings and time shifts <yawn>
Readers, tell us what you’re loving or not-so-loving these days!