October 5, 2013

October - A Look Ahead

The month of October is one of my favorites in the calendar year. The trees put on a colorful display, the weather improves significantly, and the cottage’s HVAC units take a needed rest. We won’t be traveling this month, but perhaps we’ll take a brief jaunt or two through the countryside to view the seasonal changes. Except during rainy weather, we’ll be enjoying our front and back porches several times a day. We’ll either be settling into rocking chairs with a street side view or glider chairs with a woods view.

Wild deer are regularly visiting our backyard for the past week, including young fawns. They are like four-legged Hoover vacuums, feasting on acorns that have fallen from the large oak trees located on the edge of the woodlands. While finishing up our own breakfast this morning, we spotted four deer partaking of their version of granola: nuts, grass, and leaves. We never tire of watching them and admiring their graceful beauty.

Our neighborhood is bustling with activity this month. The house construction across the street has finally ended! It is being showcased in the local Parade of Homes for the next three weekends. So we’re starting to get a lot of traffic on our normally quiet street circle. I will have a final post about the house soon and show you how it turned out.

Mr. Jim continues to build up his strength and stamina. The next phase of his treatment will commence this month. It will be a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. We will be consulting with the new chemo doctor and a radiologist this week to find out the regimen details. Please continue to keep Mr. Jim in your prayers, asking that the treatments do their cleanup job well and also that he doesn’t experience any uncomfortable side effects.

I have recently been preparing for the next A Personal Photo Challenge (October 12), and it hasn’t been pretty. The theme is “food photography.” If you are a participant and have been suffering with your photo shoots, please be assured that I am in the same boat. I had emptied the refrigerator at one point, scattering food items throughout the kitchen and in the dining room. After much angst, I decided to set up the shoot on our dining room table because it was the most comfortable. The lighting in there isn’t optimum, but I decided it is good enough since I am using poster board reflectors to bounce light into the shadow areas. I adore our cottage, but its design does not provide an abundance of natural light inside. The best room in our house for a tabletop photo shoot is actually our guest bedroom on the second floor. But I decided that I didn’t want to make a dozen trips up and down the stairs.

I also discovered during the photo shoot that I have very little talent when it comes to food styling. I can’t seem to translate into reality very well what I envision in my head. There is no danger that Betty Crocker or Martha Stewart Living will contact me anytime soon for a photography gig, that’s for sure!

There is a very long list of blog topics on the back burner, waiting for me to compose posts. With our lives still in a topsy-turvy mode, I’m not going to plan out my posts this month. They will be whatever strikes my fancy at the moment and whenever I can spare some time to write. But you can be rest assured that there will be some pretty (non-food) images along the way!


  1. It is so nice to hear you're enjoying the nature visits while enjoying the fall temp. It's cool and rainy here, so can't say I'm enjoying it just yet. I'm hoping for a couple of warm days next week, and whole lot of energy to put my garden to sleep. No bulbs going in until closer to frost, keeping my squirrel friends away from them. Hopefully come spring it will be lovely. enjoy your weekend, and remembering you always in my prayers.

  2. You're having challenges with the food challenge? I knew it was hard!

    Oh wonderful that the house is finished...hope that you get some fine neighborly neighbors.

    Oh yes, we are still praying...now you keep looking up!

  3. So nice to hear of your update and news and I'm thinking of you and Mr. Jim as you prepare for the next stage of his treatment. I must see what I can come up with for the food photos. I was trying to remember the topic this month. We'll see.... Take care and blessings to you both.

  4. I loved reading of your 'sitting' spots - what fun to watch activity on the street side with a chance to visit wildlife on the woods side! Loved catching up with you and Mr. Jim. Still praying for full recovery. I don't do well with food photos, either. Lighting, lack of talent - among other things.

  5. Love to be in an area where nature can be observed. Enjoy.

  6. Hi Donna. Good to hear from you. How nice that you have such serene places to be without ever leaving your home. I hope Jim does well through his chemo and radiation and the results are everything you hope they will be. You both will be in my thoughts this coming month.

  7. Sometimes just going with the flow is the best way to enjoy life! I'll be sending good thoughts and prayers Mr Jim's way...

  8. So good to hear Jim is gaining strength. Will continue to pray for both of you.

  9. Oh yes, my camera and I do not see 'eye to eye' when it comes to photographing food! This will be a fun challenge as we all tell our stories.
    I wouldn't want deer in my gardens eating anything but can imagine how wonderful it is to observe them.
    Still thinking of you both. (and Marty)

  10. I'm loving this challenge, although I haven't taken that many photos particularly for Saturday. I hope to do some this week. I have the book, Plate to Pixel and find it really helpful for taking food photos.
    Love hearing what's happening around your home these days. It must be fun watching the deer - provided they don't eat what you planted!


Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!