Fall fun list

Bienvenue a là Rentrée and the Fall Fun List

September 29, 2023

Paris in 2018

Recently, I’ve bumped into the French term la rentrée three separate times. First in a book I was reading, and then in a couple of online articles. Many people in France take at least a two-week vacation in August, often fleeing the city for the countryside and a true break from their everyday lives. Là rentrée refers to the return to school and office in September following the long vacances of August. It was described as a time of celebration, renewed energy, joie de vivre, enthusiasm. 

Even though I didn’t just have a glorious August vacation, I am embracing the coming of Fall and a more celebratory approach to life. September always feels like a new beginning (yes, I realize that it’s almost October...), so it’s time for a Fall Fun List.  

I have until Dec. 21 to accomplish the following things:

  • Decorate the house for fall
  • Burn fall-scented candles and diffuse fall scents in my essential oil diffuser
  • Bake sourdough bread using my “mother”
  • Write a letter to someone (friend or relative)
  • Play cozy ambience music videos on YouTube (like this one
  • Enjoy a pumpkin spice latte and other fall foods and drinks
  • Eat pomegranates 
  • Watch Barbie with a friend 
  • Choose and order a 2024 planner
  • Celebrate Thanksgiving with the family
  • Take a trip to a local nursery and decide what, if anything, I want to plant for our fall/winter garden
  • Attend the first three musicals of my Broadway series at the Straz Center in Tampa (The Choir of Man, Beetlejuice, and Funny Girl
  • Sit outside and enjoy cooler weather—if we get some by Dec. 21
  • Change out fall house decorations for winter (I usually do this around the beginning of December)

I’ve already started decorating the house, burning a fall-themed candle (this one), and had my first pumpkin spice latte, so I’m off to a good start! 

Keeping in mind the spirit of là rentrée, what are your fall fun list plans?

summer fun list 2023

The Summer of Kathy, Revisited

September 08, 2023

Three of the the 36

Even though the weather hasn’t gotten the memo yet, summer is on its way out. Labor Day has come and gone, kids are back in school, and pumpkin spice rules the land. So it’s time to evaluate my Summer of Kathy and start thinking about plans for September through the rest of the year.

Summer fun list success

I did very well with summer fun list, checking off all but two items! I didn’t relax as much as I wanted to and had planned to. Instead, I filled my days with small tasks that, when added up, kept me from doing the deeper work I still need to do emotionally. I guess I wasn’t ready for it, though overall I feel like I’m healing. This is still a work in progress, but that’s to be expected.

Here's the rundown (completed items in red):

  • Paint my toenails a color other than pink. (With dubious results, but at least I did it. The jury is still out on whether or not I like teal toenails.)
  • Have a bubble tea.
  • Try a new obedience training program with Luna (started). Ongoing! 
  • Make key lime pie ice cream.
  • Plant a small, potted herb garden. And it survived the summer!
  • Read a lot. Total books read June through August: 36. Whoa.
  • Take a horseback riding lesson. Tank is semi-retired and off for the summer, but there’s a new horse at the barn available for lessons. I haven’t taken a lesson in more than five years, so I need a tune up. Also was able to ride Tank twice!
  • Work at least one jigsaw puzzle.
  • Have a massage. I’ve been trying to do this since the beginning of the year, but I’ve had to cancel two appointments because of my moms’ failing health.
  • Go to a movie with my husband. (Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One.) 
  • Bake something from my grandma’s baking book (inherited from my mom).
  • Get together with friends—I’ve been mostly unavailable in 2023, so we have some catching up to do.

Fall fun and beyond

With summer winding down, it’s time to think about fall fun, and get more serious about figuring out what comes next professionally. (Ramp up the freelance writing or try something new? If so, what?) As the weather cools and time continues to heal, I’m cautiously optimistic about the rest of the year. We have a couple of family and friend visits to look forward to, and will likely host at least one holiday at our house.  Now that our caregiving duties have ended, my husband and I can think about taking a trip together. 

There’s much to love about September and fall. In September, I always love to watch the light change. Somehow it’s softer, mellower. Even though it’s not cool yet, I have already had my first pumpkin spice latte. I’m going to try Wendy’s new Pumpkin Spice Frosty. I have a September-themed book on hold at the library (of course I do) and I’m dreaming of ways to enjoy the fall season’s simple pleasures and everyday adventures. Perhaps I’ll extend The Summer of Kathy (however, I’m not calling it “The Fall of Kathy”—that just sounds scary)…

How was your summer? What plans do you have for fall?

Rabbit rabbit

Rabbit Rabbit

September 01, 2023

Photo by ierc on Unsplash

And just like that, it’s September.

There’s an old tradition that saying the words “rabbit rabbit” before saying anything else on the first day of a new month will bring you 30 days of good luck. Though I’m not especially superstitious, when I woke up at 4 a.m. this morning, I whispered, “rabbit rabbit.” I could use a little good luck.

I’m looking forward to September and all it’s pleasures, though there will be one notable sad milestone to navigate—my mom’s birthday.

I’m grateful that Hurricane Idalia passed by without doing any damage to us personally, though many others can’t say the same thing. However, some of the most powerful hurricanes have blown through in September (Ian, Irma), and I won’t really relax until hurricane season is over in November.

For now, I’m happy to watch the light change, to check my weather app for any change in dew point and humidity (a vain hope in September, usually, but I can dream), and to enjoy the fact that fall is coming. Even if it’s not a “traditional” fall, it should usher in some change, even if it’s just in décor. I love decorating my house and front porch for fall and will be getting the decorations out of the attic soon. A simple pleasure I look forward to all summer.

What are you looking forward to in September?

This Farmer’s Almanac article explains a bit of the tradition surrounding “rabbit rabbit.”