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Autumn has always been my least favorite season. I would even prefer the dank, cold, desolation of winter to fall. Fall is the brown, sad time of year when kids go back to school. So it smells a little like fearful excitement.

The romantic image of fall is vibrantly colored leaves falling from trees. I’m not sure how this image has become universal. Because it is my experience that pretty leaves can only be seen in certain places. I grew up in the Salt Lake Valley where the trees turn muddy shades of pretty fall colors, and that’s only when there has been plenty of rain.

My mom loves fall. She used to drive us up the canyon to see the colorful trees. I find it interesting that in order to really experience fall we had to a) drive an hour into the mountains and b) time it right. There was only a small window of two or three weeks to see the leaves. If you missed that window, you missed the colors. That’s what I remember of fall in Utah.

Fall in California was very interesting. Some trees would start to change by late August. The leaves were a crispy brown color. The majority of trees would start to change colors sometime in November. Nothing seemed to really fall with any certainty until about mid December. By mid to late January you could see buds and blossoms beginning to grow on those early fall August trees. A week or two later and it was full fledged spring complete with seasonal allergies that lasted until June.

I don’t know that California even has a fall season. The colors were never very intense. Mostly muddy yellows and some Monet red – pretty from a distance but kind of a mess up close. Living there did not change my mind about fall. Comfortably wearing shorts until Thanksgiving doesn’t feel like fall.

For a month or more I have been enjoying fall here in Seattle. I have never known fall to be so beautiful. The colors rival anything seen along the Wasatch Front. Saturated, intense colors against a backdrop of emerald green grasses and evergreen trees is breathtaking. It is simply gorgeous here.

The weather is appropriately cooler which is something I missed in California. I wore sweaters in December only. That was the only month that even remotely resembled winter. By January temperatures were back in the 70’s several times a month. I actually got bored of the weather in California. There was not enough variety. Sure it’s nice to not have to shovel rain and the sun is quite lovely. I love that already there is so much variety to the seasons in Washington.

Not only have I started to fall in love with fall, I am slowly starting to embrace Halloween. I know, gasp! We moved into our house and I couldn’t wait to decorate for Halloween. It’s a great house for holiday decorating. I love seeing all the Halloween displays in the neighborhood. And I can’t wait to actually have more than three trick or treaters stop by on Halloween.

I have never had many Halloween decorations. I mostly gathered what I have for my kids’ sake. Over the years I have decided that my Halloween decorating taste is steam punk Victorian macabre. Most stores offer over the top cute or equally over the top gore. The Disney store online has some great Halloween stuff that I love. It’s all themed after the Haunted Mansion. I just can’t justify spending that much money on stuff for a holiday I don’t particularly care for. Although I am turning around a bit. I’m even going to dress up this year! True story. I’m going as Sherlock Holmes’ girlfriend (from the movie not the TV show) mostly because I love the Victorian costumes.

Gwen helped a neighbor up the street decorate her yard for Halloween. As a thank you, the lady gave Gwen a ghost decoration. She showed it to me so excited. I took one look at that cute ghost smile and immediately told her to hang it in the yard. It did not fit in with any of my decorations. Even the cute ones! This was one cute ghost. Heath took pictures of the decorations for me. He didn’t get one of the ghost in the tree.

dsc00007This is the witch who fell into her brew. She hasn’t made an appearance on our front porch in a few years. It was time to bring her back. We got one of those Halloween projectors that changes colors and stuffed it into the bottom of the cauldron. On Halloween night we will hook up the fog machine for extra ambiance.

dsc00009I love this wreath from JoAnn’s. It’s black raven feathers. A huge windstorm is scheduled to arrive late tonight. It will be windy and rainy for the next few days so I think we will have to bring the wreath inside for a while. I would hate for the feathers to fly away!

dsc00005These little birdhouses I painted a few years ago fit quite nicely in the niches in the walls. Those unnecessary windows in the walls are my favorite features in my house, along with the archways. I love this house!

dsc00003I got rid of my apothecary jars before we moved. These jars are fun to fill with Christmas decorations. I decided to put some Halloween stuff in them. Bat erasers on the far left, homemade spiders in the middle jar with a huge eyeball on top to keep them inside, and ping pong eyeballs in the right jar.

dsc00001I love this table. I love even more that Heath picked it out. He knows my taste. Parker helped me decorate the table. He wanted me to keep the book boxes out because he says they look old and creepy. This year I was smart and filled the spiderweb bowl with individually wrapped candy corn. I love candy corn. It’s my favorite Halloween treat. Last year I indulged in a large package. We would all grab a handful as we walked by the table. Soon we all enjoyed the same flu. I have learned my lesson – no more community treats unless they are individually wrapped.

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The Halloween pillowcases and throw blanket I made are making the bonus room look festive. I actually really like the bright colors against the BYU blue couch. They look better in there than they would in the family room.

I have a lot more decorations than I ever expected to have for Halloween. I love love love seeing the beautiful fall colors outside.

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I don’t even mind Cross Country meets in the freezing cold rain. It’s like I’m growing or something.

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