A Look at the Small Things: Autumn 2023

Autumn is in full swing.  Slower sunrises.  Sweater weather.  Warm, fall-scented drinks.  And the battle over the furnace.  My blog friend, Debbie, put this way:  “(my hubby) and I are entering into our yearly squabble over whether to turn the heat on or not. I run around in pants and long sleeves and he is in shorts, yet he is always the first to say he’s cold…..could it be possible that he’s underdressed…”  I am right there with you, Debbie!  I like to wait as long as I possibly can (and then a bit longer) for the heat – which only signals winter to my brain.  And I don’t want to send those signals!!  Winter is not my friend.  To be honest, fall hasn’t been much of a friend lately either.  Actually, my attitude has just not been the greatest.  So, I was thinking, perhaps, it is a good time to review some of the “small things” of late.

Something I accomplished.  Earlier this month, I made homemade applesauce.  And I made it sugar-free.  I used the crockpot which made it super easy so hard to “brag” that I accomplished anything major.  I was just so pleased with how tasty it turned out.  I should have made more but I’m not really sure how to preserve/store applesauce so we (um, I) just ate it all!  I left the apples unpeeled which I thought seemed appropriate for natural applesauce.  My family was not a fan of pieces of apple peal in their sauce.  Good grief.  I would like to try and make apple butter but have never attempted that before.  Anyone have luck with apple butter??

Also to note, I am about two days away from a full month of my sugar-free challenge.  It feels good to have lasted for the full 30 days but I have passed up a whole lot of pumpkin goodness these last four weeks.  And I make no promises that I will continue to say no.  I would like to think I would continue – since I made it this far – but, well, that remains to be seen.

Something I have enjoyed.  The luncheon at Bible study earlier this week was really nice. Plenty of pasta, to be sure!:) Such a sweet group of ladies that meet each week – not only to study God’s word but to fellowship and encouraged each other.  I know that I have certainly been encouraged.  Truthfully, the study itself has not been one of my favorites (could it have something to do with the aforementioned attitude problem??) but Tuesdays mornings continue to be a highlight of each week.

A few, random, things I’ve been reminded of. 1 – The news is scary, upsetting and emotionally overwhelming.  I will admit that I often struggle to find the best way of being informed and monitoring what and how much I take in.  The news, though, does often send me to prayer. 2 – We live in a society that very much has a victim mentality.  It can be so easy to fall right into that mindset.  I have to carefully guard against it in my own thoughts. 3- I am so glad that God is in control! And, on a thoroughly random note, 4 – pumpkin spice is fun.  It can taste yummy and, yes, it smells good.  But….pumpkin spice scented trash bags??  Some things just are not necessary.  Hefty, you have gone too far.

Something that made an impact.  We have been trying to purge some things that are in storage.  Most of it is not ours but, actually, a family member’s but we are helping, and have been shifting our own things at the same time.  We have made a couple trips to the consignment store.  Multiple trips to our local, favorite charity for donations.  And we have tried to pass along as much as possible to others who could use and/or enjoy something we no longer need or want.  It is staggering how much “stuff” we accumulate.  Just so.much.stuff.  Like I said, much of this “stuff” is not mine, but the whole process has given me much pause for reflection.  Am I really being a good steward of all that I have?  Do I really need more of this or another of that?  How much/how many of something is really enough?  It has been a bit draining but a good exercise nonetheless.

Well, did that help my attitude?  Actually, it did:)  Especially looking at those pumpkin spice Oreos…and the prospect of having one this weekend!  Who knows.  If I allowed myself just one treat – and then returned to sugar free for another month – what would that one treat be??  What would you choose?

16 thoughts on “A Look at the Small Things: Autumn 2023

  1. Congrats on almost a whole month of sugar free! You are inspiring me to do a No Sugar November though I would for sure make an exception for Thanksgiving and then just extend it a day. I have been indulging way too much and need to do a reset/ major overhaul of my diet if just for a month. We caved and turned on our heat on yesterday when it was 62 degrees in the house- we both agreed that was too cold! It took twelve hours to warm up to 70 so I am at home waiting for a heating company to come out and look at our *brand new* furnace. So much pumpkin flavored stuff! I will stick to my pumpkin decor. That is the way I like my pumpkin the best, I have decided :).

    1. Oh no – not furnace woes!?! Hope it is an easy fix! And, yes, cute pumpkin decor over cute pumpkin bars, cookies, scones, etc. etc.!!

  2. I once made apple butter in the crock pot and it was pretty easy actually. I have had the heat on (well off and on anyway as we seem to keep seesawing between heat and a/c) for at least a month now. I hate that it’s cold enough for heat already!

    1. In the crock pot? Brilliant. I might try that this weekend. We are supposed to go apple picking again – but I’m not sure that the trees are not bare!?!

  3. Great job making apple sauce! I bet it was delicious. I have never made applesauce or apple butter before. I agree when it comes to the news. It’s hard because it seems like it’s all around me. My dad is big into listening to the news and talking about it ALL THE TIME. Then someone else will bring it up, then someone else. I just can’t escape. But I do pray to God that through listening to the rants or even having my own anxieties that He continues to remind me that He is in control. I’m also not sure what to think about pumpkin spice trash bags. That may be going a little too far lol. Oh my! Now, pumpkin spice oreos I may be able to get behind. Hope you have a great rest of the week!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Dawn. So glad God is in control! Here’s to filling our thoughts with some real truth over the next few days!

  4. Hi, Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by my blog today at Meditations of My Heart. It’s good to have you aboard! I really enjoyed your reflection here today, but I don’t see a way to sign up to receive your blog. I’m not on Instagram. Any suggestions? Maybe I’m just missing something.

  5. Larry and I have had the same argument about the heater, for over 50 years…lol
    I’m always cold and he’s in shorts!
    You asked about the heat press… I’m into making T-Shirts. I have a Cricut that cuts out vinyl and it needs a heavy press setting to get things to adhere to the medium. Great for quilting, as well.
    Have a sweet day!

  6. Considering that I was eating a maple cookie and having my sweet coffee while reading this post…I don’t think I’m the one to ask about which ONE treat you should indulge in. 🙂 I have never given up sugar and probably won’t, unless forced. And I see that you have a husband who likes to turn the heat on too 🙂 Must be a man thing 🙂

    About purging stuff – living in a small house cured me of hoarding too much, but not completely. But it has cut down on what I buy, because I simply don’t have room to store anything extra. It also drives me crazy to store other people’s stuff.

  7. I loved this post, Jennifer! It’s always amazing to me how focusing on all that we have to be thankful sets our minds and focus back to where it should be. I’m glad it worked for you just in writing this post out.

    Congrats on the one month of sugar free! That is quite the feet. I think if I had one sweet treat to enjoy after returning to another month of going without, it would have to be something warm, fudgey, and chocolate in flavor. Maybe with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top? I have been consuming way less sugar this year, so I know how you feel. I try to eat low sugar things, so with 3 grams or less. It’s funny how things that used to not taste very sweet now taste sweet enough to satisfy me. I’ve also found when I’m in a pinch and need some chocolate ASAP, a small handful of chocolate chips satisfy the craving.

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friend. Much love!

  8. One oreo of any kind? I’d never be able to do it.
    If you can, more power to you friend.
    This was a fun post. I loved how you included so many things!
    Blessings from Harvest Lane Cottage,

  9. Hi Jennifer, congratulations on no sugar. The apple sauce sounds excellent. I am trying to eat as healthy as I can but haven’t quite made that step yet on the sugar, my will power is a savage beast, and trying to smile here. But I never give up trying. Anyhow, you are an inspiration. Thank you and have a great week!

  10. Hi Jennifer, I’m back to not blogging again, as I have realized that the internet is the great time-stealer in my life. However, even though I am not writing a blog, I do want to visit my blog friends when I can. So…here I am! As you know, I am a fall/winter gal, and I love the shorter daylight hours. I love the house being cool too—we keep at 68 year round, whether that be the furnace or the AC. We haven’t yet turned on the furnace, but I know we are getting close, because in the morning, the house has been 65 the past few days.
    I have made homemade applesauce many times. Like you, I use the crockpot. Just peeled apples, a bit of water, and a whole lot of cinnamon. In years past, I used to can it, but I don’t can anymore, so now, I make smaller batches and just keep in frig for a few days. Yes, it is way to easy to accumulate WAY TOO MUCH stuff. We downsized 5 years ago, so we got rid of a lot of stuff then; still, though, I make several trips to the thrift store each year, purging even more.
    Wishing you a fantastic week,

    1. Patti – so glad that you stopped by!! Please do so often:) I’m going to try to make a small batch of applesauce this week:) Glad you are enjoying fall!!

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