Five things on Friday

Pumpkin spice drinking

1. To my utter delight, my sister and I went for our first pumpkin spice lattes of the season last week! Since then, I’ve also sampled the pumpkin wares of Tim Hortons and Dunkin’ Donuts. If you think I’m ridiculously happy, you’re right. Late summer is suddenly back — temps in the 90s! — with a vengeance, but I’m sipping that sweet autumnal nectar of the Starbucks gods and totally don’t care.

2. We were on Baltimore on Thursday for a doctor’s appointment (everything is cool), and I couldn’t get over how exhilarating it was to be out on a day when you’re “supposed” to be working. I mean, my job is very generous with vacation time, so it’s not like I’m chained to my desk all year. And never mind that we just got back from a five-day break in New York last weekend . . . but, you know, being off in the city on a random Thursday? Bliss. Also, we totally chowed down at an Irish pub serving Guinness French onion soup and poutine, so — double bliss?


Poutine: fries/potatoes, gravy, cheese curds. See also: paradise

3. In a concerted effort to get myself together this fall, I started a budget worksheet. It’s a working list of what I’m spending in an attempt to figure out where my cash is going (and hopefully scale back). Though I don’t consider myself a spendthrift, per say, I don’t think I should be downright shocked to get my credit bill at the end of the month. That’s . . . probably not responsible. Anyone have any favorite budget tips, apps, methods?

4. In that vein, I was already pondering my New Year’s resolutions for 2015 when I realized I don’t have to wait for a freshly-scrubbed year to throw confetti and make some changes. The changing of seasons is as good a time as any, so I’m back to actively tracking my meals with Weight Watchers — I, er, took a “summer break” — and will commit to tracking spending with the aforementioned worksheet.

5. And that’s quite enough of the boring adult talk. Let’s talk about shopping! Perhaps dovetailing with my previous budget talk, eh? (I’m a mess, what can I say.) While I’ve definitely cut out most personal spending that isn’t house-related, I do find myself obsessively looking at dresses on Zulily because apparently that’s my new thing. As it’s nearly fall, that means sweater dresses and boots and scarves and . . . yeah, I’m just going to go run off and hunker down in my happy place.

P.S. I hope to get back on a normal posting schedule next week. Between the holiday and busy work week, I just couldn’t seem to get myself together! Hope y’all have a great weekend.

Leaf watch

I’ve been on Leaf Watch for weeks already.

Up in New York, reds and yellows were already erupting. The trees along the highway back to Buffalo were a riot of color. In my boyfriend’s hometown, fall will be here — is practically here — before we’ll see a golden leaf in Maryland. It was exciting to be in a place where the seasons are already shifting, subtly but perceptibly, while at home our hot, dry summer persists.

It’s starting to change, though. When the calendar flips to September, the odd tree in my neighborhood will begin to shed its leaves. This year’s record-breaking drought probably pushed many local trees over the edge, and I’m starting to see a few browns mixed in with the green. Those barely count, though. They’re more “dead” and “changing.”

I’ve always loved fall. Maybe because it coincided with a new school year, and I got to break out my new notebooks and pens. Maybe because of Halloween, one of my favorite holidays, or the appearance of my beloved pumpkin spice lattes. Maybe because I love when Maryland’s humidity breaks and leaves us with crystal-blue skies. And I love the craft fairs, the hay rides, the pumpkin patches. I love getting out my cardigans, hopping into my boots. I love apple cider and hunkering down with books and the return of my favorite TV shows.

In summer, the world sleeps. And it begins anew in fall.

It’s a delicate time, autumn — just after the horrible heat, before the crushing cold. There’s a sense of sadness sometimes. Impermanence.

And I guess I like that, too.