Already?

Good grief.  Is it pumpkin spice season already?  Is there no product that is not marketed at this time of year without pumpkin spice?  Coffee creamer. Pancake mix. Syrup. Oreos. Cookie dough. Chocolates.  Candles.  And of course the ubiquitous muffins, lattes and breads.  Even if I liked pumpkin, this is just an onslaught.  Every year!

Tell me what you like about autumn.  (Or don’t like.)

120 thoughts on “Already?”

    1. I have pumpkin spice cookie dough in my fridge that still needs to be baked 😬 also if I get a pumpkin spice Frappuccino from Starbucks, I add a pump or two of hazelnut syrup and I’m pretty the hazelnut is what makes it super yummy 🤤

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    1. In Minnesota, and say that with a touch of Scandinavian accent, we say fall and autumn. Our mother’s sister is our Awnt or our Ant. some of us, like me, can switch pronunciation of that word almost within the sentence. We don’t say Y’ll. We do say You Guys, or, especially up north in my home country, Yous or Yous Guys or even Youses.

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    1. That’s like a trivia question when you say and y’all you’re talking to one person if you’re talking to more than one person what is the proper expression and the answer is all y’all

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  1. Autumn: ploughing. Not the deep, only occasional, rough and ready ploughing they do here. Where I learned to do it, it took skill. Understanding what each part of the plough does.
    Sometimes I’d get seagulls, I’d generally be 15/20 miles inland. Timeless, Romantic.
    And only sometimes, the sun would be down low behind me, causing a haze over the fresh work I’d done. See above for impressions. I’m in tears now, wondering if I’ll ever do it again.

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  2. I don’t associate fall (or autumn) with pumpkin spice. In fact, I’m not even sure what pumpkin spice is except for some vague notion that it contains cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

    For me, fall is a colorful transition into cooler temperatures, though admittedly, I’m at a stage of my life where I don’t necessarily look forward to the extremes of a Minnesota winter.

    Instead I think of foliage changing color and putting on its most glorious display of the year. I think of the smell of fallen leaves, hikes in the woods, and of gathering mushrooms. I think of apple picking, cozy sweaters and comfortable clothes. I think of soups and stews simmering for hours on the stove, and of foods roasting in the oven. (Still don’t have any idea when that damn oven will be fixed, but at least I now have a space heater of a tabletop convection oven to tide me over.)

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  3. When this song was played at my mother’s memorial service, I said something to my dad about how this was “your song” (meaning the song he and my mother identified with). He said, “Well, it was always my song for us. Your mother hated it.”

    It became one of those moments when you realize life is more complicated than you had thought.

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    1. Talk about songs played at funerals or memorial services, reminds of the funeral of Chuck Halling, a potter friend who passed away many years ago. Here we were, in a rather ordinary and conventional funeral home in Northfield. A few somber people, most of whom didn’t know each other, milling around, when I suddenly became aware of the piped in music; John Prine singing Paradise and other equally surprising musical choices. I asked Nancy, Chuck’s widow, about the music choices. She smiled and said that when she heard the canned music the funeral home provided, she knew Chuck would be aghast, so she hastily ran home and picked up a mixed tape of music that Chuck liked. You’d have to have known Chuck to fully appreciate this story. He was such an introverted and reticent man, and unless you knew him for a long time, you were not likely to discover his brilliant mind and glorious wit. He was the guy who said to our mutual friend, Mike, on his one and only visit to Kino, Mexico, that wandering around old Kino he had felt a bit like an alligator in a purse factory.

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      1. We knew Chuck Halling as well, though not as well as you. He was Robin’s Dad’s favorite potter. We typically visited his studio at his Christmas sale. Nevertheless, we have a lot of his pieces.

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        1. Chuck and Nancy were a fine team, and produced some very nice pottery. I really liked Chuck’s glazes which were unlike anyone else’s. I also appreciated that his pieces didn’t cost and arm and a leg, they were very affordable.

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    2. Oh, God, Steve. Jane adopted the Everlys song, “Let it be me” as “our song,” without us actually saying the words. I always loved Don and Phil, and Jane had a tape of theirs from before we met. We were singing along to it on a long trip once. I didn’t quite get round to mentioning I didn’t like that song much. Several years later, when I did mention it, and in front of our friend Nick, it didn’t go down too well.
      I sometimes watch the boys sing it on that famous comeback performance, and am wowed both by them, and the song. Both your and PJ’s statements are so true. And nothing gets any easier.

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  4. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    My very favorite thing about Autumn is to go to the Arboretum to the Maple section on a sunny day. It is like being in the color yellow. All of the Arboretum is a treasure at every season, but those maples leave me inspired and speechless.

    On the other hand, Pumpkin Spice I find disgusting. That particular latte flavor is not my thing and I cannot believe Starbucks pushes the flavor. But then I do not like pumpkin pie, either. It is a waste of ingredients.

    Cherry pie, I say.

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  5. Because I was a hunter, autumn always meant more to me than to most folks. In particular, October was a bittersweet phenomenon that started with a super-abundance of color and smell and ended far too soon in the starkness of prewinter. I told friends and family members that each day of October was a gift from the lord, and anyone foolish enough to get married that month would have to do it without help from me, for I was otherwise engaged. October days delight the eye, of course, like a box of Crayolas run through a food processor, but people who don’t hunt mostly don’t know the magical potent smell of a grouse woods in October. A grouse woods in October has a powerful funky smell that might be due to bracken ferns decomposing or maybe something much more mysterious. If you haven’t been there to experience it, you wouldn’t believe how smelly an October grouse woods can be. And when your dog has run for hours in the ferns, cranberries, rosehips, chanterelle mushrooms and alder runs you just want to bury your nose in his fur and suck it all in.

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    1. Which reminds me. MY Cleveland Browns play the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday. I ceased being a Vikings fan January 17, 1999. Anderson misses a field goal and Dennis Green calls for a kneel down with time on the clock before the end of regulation. I composed a song about it and a bunch of KFGO radio guys and I sang it on air.
      To Let It Be by The Beatles.
      “When the Vikes are in a spot a trouble
      There’s a play you’re gonna see.
      Denny has the answer
      Take a knee:”
      There’s more. Painful memories.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I suppose that means, Bill, you don’t share the kind of national boosterism that results in chants of USA! USA! at Olympic sporting events.

          Some folks who would like to be more important can feel more important if they identify with a larger group. One of my grandmothers was proud of being a Moose. There are many people who think it reflects well on them that they are Vikings fans.

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        2. I played football in front of usually 100-500 fans. Twice in front of almost no one. Once in front of 3000 in small HS stadium and once in front of 12,000 in college stadium. I paid no attention to crowd. I guess I am odd. Sure did not affect my play which is maybe why I was not very good, or maybe how slow and unathletic I was. We got free tickets to North Star games. First time I was surrounded by fan-atics. I got embarrassed.

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  6. Yes, I saw something pumpkin spice the other day that was appalling, but now can’t tell you what it was…

    Even this week, with the summery temps, you can tell it’s autumn by the different angle of the sun. I love the cooler nights, putting on a sweater for our evening walk, THE TOMATOES SLOWING DOWN PRODUCTION, and the squirrels getting busy. Looked out the back window this morning to see a squirrel sitting up on one of our patio chairs. : )

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    1. I get what you mean about tomatoes, Barbara. When my third tomato started to ripen, I was wondering how I was ever going to transport the things!

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    2. It’s the hot peppers here. I don’t think this habanero bush is ever going to stop producing. Yesterday I literally gave away 20 to coworkers and neighbors..

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  7. Fall means the end of the gardening season, and a break from the extra work we give ourselves. If the frost stays away for another week or so I may have lots more tomatoes to give away. I will take the canning kettle back to the basement so I won’t be tempted to process any more sauce. It also means I can start wearing clothes I like better than summer clothes.

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      1. I have really good luck ripening green tomatoes in a paper bag. When it starts to get way too cold at night I just fill up a paper bag and staple it shut and then every few days I open it up and take out the red ones and re-staple it..

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        1. I do the same thing with my grape tomatoes – pick them just as they are starting to ripen, put them in the paper sack and check it every few days.

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  8. Fall golf is wonderful–if the temps are actually seasonal. This week is sort of a twilight zone for golf because leaves are falling, the trees are turning red, gold, and brown, but we wear shorts and I sweat like I just ran a marathon.

    I love the copper color of the soybeans as they mature. The angle of the sun makes for better pictures in natural settings, especially sunrises and sunsets. I love making “cold-weather meals”–soups, stews, casseroles, etc. Just driving around seeing the spectacular tree colors (give me maples every time!) is a simple pleasure.

    To me, Fall is the main reason for putting up with sometimes brutal winters and summers in this crazy weather state.

    Chris in Owatonna

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      1. You’ve drawn the line right where I draw the line. Really good pumpkin muffins or pumpkin bread, especially from Breadsmith, sign me up. Everything else — I’ll pass.

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        1. VS and Chris – same here with two exceptions – I do like pumpkin pie just at Thanksgiving. And I have a recipe for a delicious and easy squash soup that does call for some pumpkin spice.

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    1. When I was driving back and forth to St. James I watched the progress of the beans. In places they turned very golden. Never seen them that color. Must be from dry summer. The fields invigorated me through 15 hard days. Right now sitting in deck in extra warm corduroy shirt drinking unnamed hot drink staring into my bit of forest with blue sky with wisps of clouds enough light wind to rattle drying leaves energizing myself to get through today .

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  9. The Gigante Inverno spinach we planted in August has come along beautifully, and this weekend I will make spanakopita. My recipe calls for 3 large bunches of spinach. As usual, I planted too much, so I will have to blanch and freeze some for quiche in the winter.

    I brought two huge armfuls of basil to work this week, along with a recipe for pesto sauce. The stalks were about 2 ft. tall. The whole building smelled of basil all day and my coworkers took all the basil home with them. That was fun.

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  10. I do love pumpkin pie spice in… pumpkin pie! Or any squash pie, sweet potato pie… and I have a lovely pumpkin mushroom soup recipe that I’ll substitute other squash for – our butternut squash plot in the community garden did quite well.

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  11. This fall, we have a bluejay who has been feasting on the grapes that grow on the rafters atop our deck. The Jay has decided it really likes perching on our deck chairs after it eats, and now the deck and the chairs are purple with bird poop. It also screams at the squirrels harvesting our hazelnuts.

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        1. These are from a bush we got at the greenhouse. They are medium sized nuts. I just don’t have it in me to harvest them.

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  12. Way down here, about 170 miles farther (there is a non English word for you, Fenton) south with no monster lake, autumn comes later, more slowly, more graciously. I enjoy that. But the rapid often hard onset of fall was in ways more autumnal for me. We used to drive up into the Superior National Forest through the maple ridges we knew how to find and have a picnic wearing jackets with a layer of leaves on the ground and leaves Autumning around us. We have several pictures of our children doing that, some with Becca still in infant seat. No wonder they have the north in their blood.

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  13. This never occurred to me before, since I don’t do lattes or chai in any form but does pumpkin spice include pumpkin flavor or is it just the spice combination associated with pumpkin pie? I had always assumed the former.

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  14. I saw Menards is getting their Christmas displays set up. That annoyed me more than Pumpkin spice (of which I do not partake.)

    I love fall. The cooler temps, the crops getting harvested, the whole cycle wrapping up; all the spring and summer work coming to a conclusion.
    Hopefully I collect some good sized checks for the crops and for a few days I relish in the bank account numbers.
    Then I pay all the bills and we’re broke again, haha–

    I love the smells of the dirt, of the crops, of the air. I enjoy seeing Orion come back in the sky at night. I enjoy my time in the tractor doing fall tillage and, again, finishing that cycle.
    Even the thought of winter coming, it’s all part of the cycle. And I can appreciate the slower pace of things in the winter.

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    1. Yes, the early onslaught of Christmas decor it is an irritant to me as well. The Hallmark channel is already putting their Christmas movies up. So I guess I won’t be watching the Hallmark channel until January now.

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      1. Pretty sure that LP was in the collection I gave to tim. Michael Cooney performed in Minneapolis quite regularly before he was in a horrible car accident years ago. I must have seen him live at least five times. I can’t think of another performer who had a larger or more eclectic repertoire; he was a joy to see and listen to.

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        1. My album was all Michael Cooney. I think it was called “I Am the Cheese.” I don’t remember all the songs but in addition to the Apple pickers Reel it had Cecilia (Does your mother know you’re out, Cecilia?)

          I looked and I seem to have offloaded the album when I was paring down, an action that has given me no joy (curse you, Marie Kondo!)

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        2. Perhaps I should mention that the link enables you to listen to the tracks, and he is simply wonderful. Check out The Bankers and the diplomats are going in the army.

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    1. it was so so by reports i got from many family members

      i bought tickets the day they went on sale and booked the fist day but then they delayed and i found out it was a video extravaganza and i thought it was a real cheesy idea
      50 bucks for a 1 hour video
      nah……

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  15. I feel more alive this time of year. As a child bringing root crops to cellar charged me up. Harvesting oats , which we did much later than Ben does, being 170 miles farther north, was special. Bringing in threshing machine. Butchering in late November, not the act itself but fulfillment of summer.
    Not a fan as such of pumpkin pie, the texture, squash pie in my childhood but with spices tasted the same.
    Flavored coffee, not sure why it is considered an offense of nature but don’t like it. I like earl gray tea, which is black tea with bergamot. In India there is a tea called 500 mile tea, drunk by truck drivers. Strong brew with stronger dose of chai flavors. I love it.

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  16. OT my son got a kitten 3 months ago as companion animal. It has done wonders for his depression and anxiety. She is a character. Hides things in his bed and shoes, a favorite is lego blocks. His dog who lived with his m-I-l, a rescue dog, just died. He hung a picture of the dog. The cat can jump up and swipe at it so it hangs crooked. Only this picture. Want to explain. She has figured out how to open drawer on night stand and pull out his glasses and play with them .

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  17. Autumn here means saying, “before we know it, there’ll be nests!” Do you know about them, you guys? Processionary caterpillars. They build nests in pine trees, luckily mostly young ones that I can get into. They like the side facing the sun. The nest is made of similar material to a spider’s web, and encircles a twig, somewhere out towards the end of a branch. It’s full of caterpillars by the time we spot it. They come down the tree sometime in the morning, in a procession, and go and look for food. I’ve only seen them do that, I’ve never seen them come back, but they do. They shoot what are called spines, little poisonous spears. I think they carry them on their back somehow, and shoot them forwards. However they do it, it’s to be avoided. Dogs can get their tongues shot, and easily lose their tongues. One of John and Sandra’s dogs got shot, and it was nearly fatal, though I admit I forget the details, there are so many dog traumas around here. The nests will start to appear sometime before Christmas, I forget when, but they seem earlier every year, and it’s my job to get rid of them.

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  18. i love fall
    pull out my jackets and hats

    pants and boots

    fire pit

    ready to enjoy before winter

    went to two harbors with my youngest son monday tuesday wednesday
    perfect weather
    beginning of colors

    good cool nights for camping

    great time

    i like all the seasons but fall is special

    smells
    texture
    vibe

    everything

    Liked by 5 people

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