In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Friday, October 26, 2012

Autumn in the Park......


         Over night…..that’s how fast it happens.  The warmth of the yesterday’s upper seventy degree temps have been overtaken by today’s lower forty degree temps.  Autumn is my favorite season, and yet it always seems short-lived.  Just two weekends ago, there was still quite a bit of green on the trees, and today as I look out my window, most of the leaves have fallen from the trees leaving behind branches that will be barren for the next six months.   I do love the colors of fall, but oh how I wish the colors would stay longer than they do!  I love nothing more than being outside in perfect weather with the beautiful colors of fall all around me.

         The weather has been perfect this week, and the forecast was letting us know to enjoy it while we could.  Wanting to enjoy what looked to be the last nice day for awhile, I sent my husband a text yesterday letting him know to meet me in the park after work.  As soon as I got off of work, I went home to grab the picnic basket, a blanket and a change of clothes for my love.  I had just enough time to make a quick stop to good ol’ Trader Joes to grab some items for our picnic dinner before the hubs met me for our date.   Surrounded by trees that still had a few autumn leaves left on their branches, we ate our dinner and enjoyed one another’s company in the comfortable temps of the autumn air.  Today those leaves have probably fallen, as a cold front blew in over night.  Today looks and feels more like winter.  With daylight savings time coming up soon, our evenings will be getting shorter too, so I’m really glad that yesterday we made time to have one last autumn night in the park.  There was no better way for us to spend the evening than being outside in God’s beauty and in one another’s company.




Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Covered Bridge Festival


           This past Saturday, we traveled two hours west to Park County to visit the Covered BridgeFestival.  The Covered Bridge Festival is one of the largest festivals in Indiana where several towns in Park County celebrate the longevity of the thirty-one covered bridges in the area.  I’ve been an Indiana resident my whole life, but this was my first time attending the festival.  About an hour into our drive, we began our stretch of a two lane highway that passed through several small towns, all of which were having yard sales as the festival traffic made its way through.  I’ve never seen so many yard sales off of a small highway.  We didn’t stop at any, but note to self: remember to allow more time for the yard sales next time.  Once we arrived in Park County, we visited three town festivals: Rockville, Bridgeton and Mansfield.  Each town is full of food and different vendors selling all sorts of items.  Most of the food is like fair food, but there’s some good home cookin’ here and there if you look for it.  As we journeyed to and from towns, we stopped at the covered bridges along the way.  The county makes it easy to get from town to town by using signs and arrows to get you everywhere.  Just follow the arrows and you won’t get lost.  On the plus, parking for each town was only $2-4.  On the down side, we weren’t expecting the traffic that came with the large crowds that were out and about seeing what each town had to offer.  Overall, we had a good time and would definitely do it again:)  If you every visit Indiana in mid October, I’d recommend the Covered Bridge Festival.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Painting Pumpkins

            In the past, Matt and I have traditionally carved our pumpkins.  And in the past, he has traditionally complained about such a tradition EVERY SINGLE year.  He hates all things pumpkin, and the only reason why he ever carves them with me is because I gave him such grief about it during our first year of marriage. 
         Starting family traditions was a big deal to me when we first got married, especially during the holidays.  The first year we were married, I bought two pumpkins, a pumpkin carving kit, and some yummy fall food in hopes of having a date night carving pumpkins with my love.  Being newly weds, Matt must have not gotten the clue that pumpkin carving was my idea of a date, because he ended up taking a nap while I sat out on the porch carving both pumpkins all by myself.  My feelings were a little hurt that year, so the next year he brought home pumpkins for us to carve together.  He still hates pumpkin carving, but he’s done it with me every year since then. 
           This year, I decided that we would paint pumpkins, so he didn’t have to touch any of the pumpkin guts.  I was a little OCD about the placement of the polka dots though, so what ended up happening is that I painted all of the pumpkins, while Matt sat in the rocking chair eating caramel apples.  I think this new plan worked for us though. As a result, pumpkin painting may end up becoming our new tradition.  I got to express my creative side, which I love doing.   Matt got to eat, which he loves doing. At the end of the night, we still enjoyed one another’s company.  Yep, I’m definitely sensing a new tradition for us;)



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Foliage

        Brown County is always a local tourist attraction, but this time of year, everyone seems to flock there to see the beautiful colors of fall foliage!  Matt and I are among the many who visit the area this time of year.  We made our annual day trip over the weekend.  Here’s a tip, if you’re trying to beat the crowds……get there early.  We didn’t hit any traffic on the way down, but we arrived by 10:00 a.m.  We left around 2:00, and passed what seemed to be endless traffic trying to get into the park around that time. 

            Typically peak season for the leaves is the second or third week of October.  I find it helpful that the park updates its “leafcam” daily this time of year to help visitors get an idea of what the foliage is looking like.  Although we saw a lot of color on Saturday, there was still a good amount of green.  The reason why we didn’t wait until the third weekend of gthe month though, is because we were due for some fall rain and winds this week.  Combine that with this past summer's drought, and I was afraid that many of the leaves would fall early this year, whether they reached peak color or not. 

            We debated going down to see the leaves at all this year, because we were both really tired on Saturday.  Tempted by a day in bed, we managed to wake up and do something profitable with our day, and I’m really glad we did.  We enjoyed driving through the park and walking a few of the smaller hikes.  Our picnic lunch was tasty, even though everything in the basket was store-bought.  I told Matt that I think it’s the first time that I didn’t make everything myself, but as I was grocery shopping at 9:00 the night before, store-bought, ready-to-eat food seemed much easier this year.  Bottom line is that we had a great day enjoying one another’s company while taking in God’s beauty all around us.  Usually we visit the shops while we are down there, but we skipped the shops this year.  A late afternoon nap sounded far better to me than shopping.  Overall, it was good time, although we did leave a few things at home like the battery to our camera, our picnic blanket and a bottle opener for our sparkling cider.  Our phone fixed the camera issue.  The downside is that natural light wasn’t on our side as it looked like it was about to rain the entire day.  Picnic tables are throughout the entire park, so the blanket issue was solved.  However, a blanket is helpful if you want to eat near a great view, seeing as how the tables by the views get taken by other visitors first.  And the bottle opener….well, I couldn’t really fix that one.  Thankfully, I had a bottle of tea in the car that quenched our thirst during lunch.  In spite of all of that, one my favorite things to do is to spend time with my hubby by getting out the house and having quality time together.  I’d say we accomplished what we set out to do with our time on Saturday:)



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Red Front Door....


          Now that October is here, I plan on getting my porch all decked out for the fall season this week.  Before I do that, I wanted to take a few pictures of a few recent updates we did to the exterior of our home.  This past summer, we updated the exterior light fixtures and hardware, had our shutters painted black and my favorite thing….had our front door painted red.  I love a red front door!  A friend of mine gave me the color (red rose bouquet) that she used on her front door ( you can find her blog here.)  While the painters only used Sherwin Williams paints, they did agree to match the color up for me, and I think that it turned out great!  Along with painting the door, we replaced the builder-grade brass fixtures and hardware to make the exterior look even better!  And of course we painted over the green shutters with black, which made a world of difference in my opinion.  To give the door a little more character, I bought number decals for the door from an Etsy shop.  I have to say that the decals did not go on like a normal decal.  They went on like stickers and made it rather difficult to get it to look straight and perfect on the door. While the price was good, I don’t know that I would buy that kind again.

            Most home projects we do ourselves, but once in awhile we hire someone to do the job for us.  Painting the shutters and door was one of those times.  We found a local company who gave us a really good deal.  In the end, I was pleased with the results, but I will say that the process was rather frustrating and took a total of three weeks to get finished.  It was really a miscommunication with the company.  If you live in the Indy area and would like their contact info, message me and I can get it to you. 
          In the future, we would like to paint the exterior siding and put a fence up.  Both of those are expensive, so I'm not sure when in the future we will get that done.  And of course we have some minor landscaping to do.   I am happy to say that we are getting a start on that this week.  The giant bushes are getting ripped out, and a new bed is getting cut out for spring.  I'm really excited to work on my green thumb skills this next year.  In the mean time, I'm just happy that we conquered the door, the shutters and light fixtures:)