Olfactory Inventory

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It’s autumn (since August 7th of this year, according to the lunar calendar). Autumn is about the sense of smell.

My nose used to work so well,

until my previous holiday job at the mall (da maul),

where customers can get all sorts of cranky

when it’s the winter time holy days.

What is it about the season?

Or is it the shopping list – a reason?

People to impress, people to address?

At a specialty retailer,

nationwide,

whose strong scents beckon fans inside…

“Light the tea lights,” I hear often,

within the first hour of the store first opening.

Keep’em lit, diffuse those (synthetic) warming oil scents.

But the real test is

taking the mix of smells from damaged containers and customer returns

(100% satisfaction guaranteed, even if it’s 99% empty).

Off to the trash compactor of which many stores share.

In go the discards!

A stockperson can always tell

when the sushi buffet place was previously there.

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Celebrating Autumn -pt 4 (hostess and helpers)

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An autumn pixie entered through the front door, holding a large bouquet of mostly fiery colored flowers, with some touches of bright lime green and soft salmon hues. She was singing a song, mostly for herself, something Celtic and about mummers. The foyer caught bits of it and echoed.

Autumn pixie slowed her stride as she walked down the hardwood floor hall to the kitchen, singing the song’s chorus about bringing flowers.

On her head was a fuzzy, lace work beret in glimmering yarn that looked as though it had been dip dyed from brick red to wine; it was topped off with a purplish leaf where the beret stem would be. She had kept her face bare except for some dark copper glitter speckles painted across the bridge of her nose.

A fuzzy brick red and honey colored wrap with beads crocheted into the work was casually draped, then tossed over a shoulder. Chartreuse green arm warmers covered bare forearms and palms. She wore metallic copper speckled olive leggings under the iridescent chartreuse green/bronze mini dress.

The hem trim added length to the costume – layers of sheer material provided the backing for glittery fabric scraps and goldstone bead accents. On the pixie’s feet were golden, glimmer-y socks peeking out from the short boot tops.

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Chrysanthemum flowers photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

The chrysanthemums, and Gerbera daisies were for the foyer and a table by where the door to the basement was.

Pixie had made sure there were some salmon colors (mostly from the daisies) and bright chartreuse green (from the small pom-pom mums) were in the blend to smooth out the fiery colors slightly. She also picked out some colorful carnations for the group

“How are things here?” Pixie asked as she walked into the kitchen and spotted an empty mason jar for the carnations.

The cobalt blue vase for the front door was already on the kitchen table. A plain vase wrapped with a wide hunter green ribbon for the basement door area had already been brought over as well.

“The dining room is being taken care of, some are changing into costumes and we have a busy oven and stove. Speaking of…can you smell the bread?” the hostess asked as she peeked in on all the food cooking in the oven.

The sweet smell of pumpkin bread, speckled with Chinese 5-spice in the batter, wafted outward.

“That’s turning out well,” the pixie replied, looking over the hostess’ shoulder. She tended to the flower arrangements first, then washed her hands, and turned to mixing up a frosting/spread for the spiced pumpkin bread made of cream cheese, a generous pinch of ginger powder and a little raw honey.

 

The rest of the crew slowly appeared from the second floor. When the group had first been given a tour of the house weeks ago, they found that the homeowners has been practical about the plush carpeting; they were only in the bedrooms.

The countess glided down the steps in a strapless, sleek, dark red velvet corset laced gown that had a high side slit.  On her feet for the duration were plush zebra stripe house slippers. She was holding her spike heeled shoes in black gloved hands; the gloves went up to almost her shoulders.

Her skin was made paler than usual with body makeup and a dusting of bluish-white pearlescent powder. Lily’s lips were deep red and glossed, her eyes had been made up to be sultry. Her hair was styled in an upswept mass of curls. Around her neck was an ornate, wide collar of twining vines spotted with faceted jet and deep red stones.

Behind her, still up in the nook area, was an elegant fox spirit woman in a purple kimono dotted with gold flowers. She hovered near the pink rock salt lamp.

Under the side table, a pair of almond orbs, one bright blue and one amber gold, watched the proceedings.

Kitsune’s garb and makeup were a blend of eastern and western attributes. The kimono was worn to expose throat, a bit of shoulder and collar bones in a wide V-neck. A gold floral brocade underbust corset accentuated both the waistline and the other gold flowers on the kimono.

Her makeup was done to subtly bring out a blur of vulpine and western “foxy” aspects. There was contouring to create high cheek bones, bright red touches of eye color along with black eyeliner and her lips were tinted strawberry red.

Her bright auburn hair was neatly coiled in a twisted bun, which looked like a Ranunculus flower. A hair stick, dangling strands of small crystal beads and silk flowers was tucked firmly, horizontally into the swirl.

The kitsune looked towards one of the guest rooms. “Usagi-chan, are you ready?”

A bunny girl peeked out. She had on fake glasses, brown bunny ears and a low, sideways braid.  She was petite in height, nearly five feet two inches. A little salmon colored bowtie complimented her tanned skin.

“I’m still deciding the rest,” bunny girl said to the kitsune.

The kitsune smiled slightly, slyly.  Bunny girl didn’t want to be the sexier version from a gentleman’s magazine. “Where’s our nurse?” The kitsune asked nonchalantly.

“Almost ready,” came the reply from the other room.

Nursing ran in her family, but she wasn’t one. For the holiday, she would at pretend to be one (though CPR and basic first aid were the only things she was familiar with).

She had decided to wear an opaque set of black tights with a layer of glittery black fishnets over them instead of struggling with all the holes. The blue mini dress was short. Thankfully, the costume wasn’t as short as the original tv series’ uniforms (those were just long enough to cover the butt while standing up).

Trekkie nurse’s fair, sun streaked hair was twisted into an “8” and tucked a wooden hair stick through to secure her bun. The hair stick had a familiar triangular symbol on it.

Bunny girl decided on brown leggings and fuzzy socks for warmth to be worn with little denim shorts over them. She carefully pinned her fluffy cotton tail on the back of the shorts. The salmon colored bowtie and false glasses were removed. She threw on brown fingerless gloves and a fleece shirt with a red plaid pattern. Underneath the shirt was a denim halter top.

Usagi-chan had a look at herself in the mirror. Lumberjack rabbit. The only thing missing were her tan work boots – and they were downstairs. She smiled at her reflection and thought of a familiar CG bunny (but that one was gray furred and in police uniform). She reached for the tinted lip balm and applied some while taking a walk to the next room where the nurse was.

Celebrating Autumn – pt 3 (buffet table)

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The dining room shared a wall with the kitchen, separated by a set of double, sliding, frosted glass French doors that had been opened to reveal the dining room.

From the kitchen viewing out, the left side of the formal room had three short rows of windows with semi-translucent ivory drapes and swags over the off white vertical blinds. The blinds were currently parted open to show a view of still blooming rose bushes in white, pinks, orange, lavender and multi-colors. A single, wide glass door was opposite the windows as the main entry from the foyer and hallway.

A single chandelier was hung from the center of the ceiling accompanied by recessed ceiling lights. The chandelier had a dimmer switch.

The room was painted a rich coral hue.  Bright metallic speckle accents of bronze and copper were on the walls with the French doors and the partial walls opposite, leading to the plant parlor.  Another pair of sliding frosted glass panels that separated the parlor and hallway from the dining room had been neatly tucked away into its track. The entry to the parlor was just a few feet to the right.

In a little alcove on the left, in the wide hallway between dining room and parlor, was a powder room. The recessed ceiling lights overhead in the hallway were placed like scattered stars. Smaller versions of the foyer scones had been intermittently placed along the hallway walls.

The walls were painted in glossy aqua. The powder room had corn silk colored walls and was decorated in terracotta hues, creamed honey toned wood and splashes of bright, Caribbean waters blue-green.

A stick of osmanthus incense has been sweetly scenting the little room from the sink. Osmanthus smelled of richly scented flowers and a hint of raisin bread.

Off to the side by one of the opened kitchen/dining area French doors, on a smaller table draped in gold organza, were bamboo flatware, napkins and squarish shaped plates and little bowls.

The tempered glass goblets, for sangria or latte, and little tea cups were closer to the appropriate dispensers on the end of one of the tables. The drink ware had been from a restaurant supply store. Each goblet had been etched, between the six of them, with a different leaf shape. The little Asian tea/sake cups were simply painted with deep red and gold leaves. Both were party favors.

Blue butterfly flipped on the mini white LED strings of light in each of the pair of large, stemmed wine glasses. The pirate hostess had preferred to have compostable or biodegradable vs. washing dishes (or not having enough to go around). Besides, the home owners would appreciate more food for their garden via composting.

The six of them had moved the tables slightly closer to the windows yet still allow room for the guests to circulate around it. The blue butterfly tended to the buffet table decor.

She poured some sand into either a footed dessert bowl or a large goblet before wedging a large tea light into the sand of each one. After arranging five on both tables, she went back into the kitchen. Candles would be lit and dining room lights would be dimmed closer to the start time.

An empty cobalt glass vase awaited chrysanthemums from the nearby grocery store. Of the helpers, the autumn pixie was most intrepid. She left the house in costume to get them.

An eclectic collection of place mats indicated which dishes went where.

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On a display easel, pages of a large print menu was affixed neatly into sturdy, yellow-orange colored board. Also on the menu were a cast of attendees in costume as well as what they were bringing to share.

The easel had been placed out in the foyer area, next to the welcome table, but closer towards the formal dining room.

 

There was an assortment of libations:

-Cinnamon latte with optional whipped cream

-Oolong tea

-Dark sangria with dark berries and a bit of citrus flavored Ceylon cinnamon

-Sparkling sake infused with Asian pears, slices of ginger and a little lime.

 

Sweets

  • baked wonton with minced apple filling and dusted with a cinnamon/confectioner’s sugar blend (Pixie)
  • blueberry custard pie with optional ginger-vanilla gelato (Butterfly)
  • Chinese 5-spiced pumpkin bread, with optional spread of honey sweetened cream cheese spread/frosting (Pixie)
  • flourless dark chocolate cake; crème fraiche and blackberry sauce optional (Lily)
  • Date sweetened triple cinnamon [Ceylon, Korintje, Saigon] Mini “truffles” (Butterfly)
  • jasmine rice pudding topped with a sprinkle of raw sugar (Kitsune)
  • pumpkin fudge with white chocolate morsels (Bunny)

Savory fare

  • baked sweet potato fries (purple, orange, yellow) with sauce options: hot curry coconut, Dijon-raw honey or herb infused coconut oil (Bunny)
  • black mini gnocchi with minced smoked salmon in mild wasabi sauce (Pirate)
  • chopped, sauteed mixed greens with grated beets, drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette and lightly sprinkled with smoked sea salt (Nurse)
  • daikon/rainbow carrots/radicchio slaw tossed with sesame seed oil, rice vinegar, black lava salt and fresh cracked black pepper (Kitsune)
  • ginger-scallion black pearls risotto (Pirate)
  • Herbed pumpkin souffle (Nurse)
  • radicchio wrapped and pancetta tied baked vegetable rolls  (Lily)

 

Butterfly left the lighter wand in the kitchen area on a counter. Luckily, the other lights throughout the house were battery operated and only needed a flick of a switch.

A slinky little shadow uncoiled from her place under the ivory drapes and went about in silence to wander the room and investigate the decorations.

 

Celebrating Autumn- part 2 (inside)

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The house described in this story is from imagination, minimal research was done (just enough googling to see what a colonial style is/are, the difference between a mansion versus a large home and a few other building details).

I had had logic step aside and let spirit lend a playful hand with the interior and the rest. And although I have only been in one *very* large house – the echoing kitchen was it’s mark in my memory if not much else.

If you want, check out the recipe links that go with the story. 🙂

There were five children’s bedrooms upstairs, the master bedroom and three guest rooms. The master bedroom had it’s own bath while the children’s had both a powder room and a full bath. There was another full bath for the guest rooms.

The largest of the children’s room was turned into a playroom. It had a center stage view of whomever was driving up towards the house. One of the other rooms had been turned into an impromptu guest room that the part time nanny sometimes used.

A set of three ceramic jack o’ lanterns sat peeking out at the driveway from a tall table in the playroom. One glowed green, another glowed orange and the third glowed blue from the light sticks within. A picture of them had been taken from the outside and sent electronically to the vacationing family.

The hostess and her helpers claimed two of the guest bedrooms. The master bedroom and children’s rooms had their doors shut and privacy locked, with the exception of the play room.

The stairs leading up to the second floor were simple and sturdy with the under tone of quality workmanship, like the rest of the house. They were wide and flaring at the bottom where it connected with the wood floors of the foyer.

From entering into the foyer, the coat closet was on the left, then the wide opening to the formal living room. That room had it’s share of tea times with the family, taste test runs for new recipes, and impromptu meetings – usually dealing with food or decorations.

The steps were also on the left at a short distance away and gently curved to hug a wall. You could comfortably sit four to five adults side by side, depending on the step in question. Plain wooden handrail and balusters framed one side and a wall on the other.

Interspersed under the handrail along the flight of stairs were LED lights so the kids (and parents) could see where they were walking when it was dark and didn’t want to turn on the ornate overhead lights or the wall sconces.

The nook at the top of the stairs, with a partial view of the foyer, had a chaise lounge, a small coffee table and a chair-and-a-half meant for one sprawled person to read in with the lamp looking over the chair.

A glittery spider’s web was clinging to the floor lamp by the chaise. A string of small leaf lights wound around the neck of the reading lamp. A trio of footed hurricane candle holders with leaves embossed on them, sat on the coffee table, waiting to be lit. Glowing on an end table by the large chair was a pink salt lamp.

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Rock salt lamp photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

The modernized country style kitchen was done primarily in soft white with warm wood accents. The walls were painted a pale sunshine gold. A light, peachy- pink colored counter was wrapped around in an angular, backwards “C” shape, hugging parts of the kitchen walls.

The top section of the “C” connected with the range. The quartz counter top’s long side had a triple sink, the sink in the middle was the smallest. Then the counter curved again to form a kitchen bar with the end corners rounded off.

There was a window to the right of the stove and a yard of counter space on either side of the range. The dishwasher was situated to the left of the sink space with an underneath corner cabinet in the form of a rotating drawer a few feet to the left of it.  The sink area had a deep window ledge. Simple glass front cabinets were hung on the kitchen walls with interior lighting.

In the side yard facing deep window was a pot growing lushly of thyme on one side and tarragon on the other. Over by the kitchen table that was situated behind the kitchen bar, a flat, faceted crystal sun catcher hung in one of the windows. Overall, the kitchen area had a partial view of the back yard and a wider vista of the side yard and the raised gardens there. The herb garden was a welcome sight in the mornings. Tall sunflowers stood behind shorter herbs that had grown into bushes.

The majority of the food was either finishing up cooking or being kept warm and just needed dishing up. Sweet scents mingled with savory and spicy.

The hostess was peering down at her simmering black risotto and stirring idly as the squid ink broth was absorbed into the risotto. She had added bonito and kelp to the basic vegetable broth while it was cooking.

She was dressed up for the celebration with her eyes smudged with shimmery black; her lips were tinted a sheer amethyst. The pirate hostess’ shoulder length hair was wild with random waves and ringlets, courtesy of overnight braids and curlers. A wide length of purple colored material covered her forehead. She wore over-the-knee dark boots, dark leggings, and a black gauze off the shoulder tunic with a hip length, semi-fitted purple brocade vest over it.

In another pot were mini black gnocchi cooking. She had opted to use a bit of wasabi to make sauce for the pasta and ginger-scallion seasonings for the risotto, instead of red pepper flakes for both. There was minced smoke salmon in its own wasabi hinted sauce to go with the gnocchi for individual taste, set off to the side.

The side door by the mudroom opened and closed as a familiar figure in indigo rushed in from the chilly October weather. She paused long enough to put away the coat and slouchy beanie in the mud room, then readjusted her springy, glittery antennas. Butterfly did a quick check in the mirror to see if her painted, glittery blue plum blossom was still on her forehead.

She exchanged her coat for a pair of small, iridescent blue butterfly wings over the black chenille sweater she wore; a bright blue thermal top was seen peeking from the hem. The glimmering blue scarf was kept on.

Blue butterfly exited right out of the room and took a stroll straight down the hallway, past the foyer, flicking on the frosted glass wall sconces there before she proceeded past the front door and a left turn into what she dubbed “the plant parlor”. She then made another left, ambling through the large dining room with the two buffet tables partly set up before finally arriving in the kitchen. Granted, she could have just followed the wood floored hallways instead, but she’d do that next time.

Butterfly inhaled deeply and appreciatively of the various smells of food cooking. There amongst the baking food was one of her contributions – blueberry custard pie with her own twist –  gingersnap crust and a crumbled, crushed gingersnap streusel topping (the sweet crystallized ginger and vanilla bean speckled gelato was in the freezer).

“Robin Hood and his merry band get to break the light sticks,” the pirate hostess called out to the butterfly.

“Fitting,” blue butterfly replied as she ambled towards the kitchen bar. She grabbed a sip from her still-warm concoction of golden coconut milk sweetened with raw honey and made richer with some butter, and carried the cup over to the stove to briefly watch the pirate hostess with her two versions of black pearls cooking.

“I’m looking forward to trying those,” Butterfly commented.

“Me too.”

“Grandma used to cook squid, but the sauce was purplish.”

“I like calamari rings myself.”

“Maybe we can do something with cooked sea food some time.”

The two grinned and giggled like mischievous girls. Blue butterfly was an impromptu ideas person; pirate hostess was in part, an organizer.

As a group, they had a meal earlier to fuel up for all that needed to be done.

The cooked kelp had been sliced up and tossed into the crockpot cooking up the mixed mushroom congee. The congee was made from Forbidden rice, a black, antioxidant rich rice that cooked up purple. Some red lentils had been tossed into the mix as well.

As for the bonito shavings strained from broth making, they had been tossed in with minced smoked salmon, thin shreds of radicchio, and slivers of daikon for a salad with a simple herb dressing.

There had also been a cheese and fruit platter.

 

Butterfly took a deep sip of her drink before turning about face to mosey towards the dining area. Two tables, one swathed in yellow-orange for the sweets and the other in a deep red, for the savories, waited.

…End part 2…

©Inspired by…/Celebrating Autumn

Part 2/October 2016

Celebrating Autumn – pt 1 (outside)

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Autumn has been official as of September 22, and I feel this would be a good time to share. 🙂 This particular short story’s scribblings started in late summer.

 

This is a partial working piece from my imagination, inspired by the upcoming autumn. There will be more parts.

A large, contemporary, colonial style house was in process of being set up for harvest time and Halloween festivities. The house was situated in a high-end neighborhood with generous space and still semi-wooded, partly for privacy purposes. Of the eclectic architectural style homes around them, this one was one of the more modest examples.

The house was composed of two full levels, a finished partial basement, and an attic renovated to be habitable. A portion of attic had been converted to a work area, the rest was tidied up storage space. Some solar panels had been cleverly and tastefully incorporated into the roof. All of this was about 6,000 square feet of floor space (without the basement and before the attic renovation).

The main driveway was wide and on the left of the house on approach from the side road. Yards away from the house, it curved and split into a section that led to the four car garage off to the side. On the right, the semi-circular drive paused gracefully at the front door, then led back to the side road. The front of the house had solar-powered garden lights tracing the edges of the driveway. Two suv’s were parked off to the side where the four-car garage was.

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photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

In mid August, the hostess of this particular harvest time party had thought about having the event at a local banquet hall until the hostess’ sister called just a day before the final decision was made. The party was for celebrating the autumn season and it’s costumed holiday. Pictures would be taken and added onto the hostess’ blog and site for sharing event planning/decorating ideas, etc.

The guest list was input from each of the group members. It was not necessary to have everyone know each other. There was a saying about six degrees of separation-that everyone knows of someone by distant association from a friend of a friend, etc. Everyone listed off potentially interested attendees as faces to mix and mingle. The potential guests were also informed they would be in some way part of the season’s focus on a business site as well (in case they were camera shy).

The hostess had been uncertain at first, but with thorough discussion of all involved via a video/audio call, details were worked out. The lady of the house wanted a reliable house sitter (with the option of staying in the house while they were away); house sitter guests were welcomed. The husband’s siblings were not able house sit that year.

Roughly every year, the parents made a point of taking their children out and about to have a look around the states.  They were keeping it within the continent until the kids were older. The family was going to be out-of-state for about three weeks, but would be back in time for the children to wind down and to have their kids’ Halloween on the day of the holiday.

One of the little kids was heard in the background about wanting to see auntie, another piped up about having auntie have a party would be fun and how her cat friends would love a visit from other people. Yet another child’s little face peeked into the screen from sneaking up from under the table and smiled, then disappeared from the screen view.

There were a few key points the two sisters went over:

If there was going to be a celebration, please keep it relatively quiet.

No guests in the children’s bedrooms and master bedrooms, please.

Of course, clean up after…

Both sisters had the number to the same cleaning service as a just-in-case.

“We’ll trade pictures,” the hostess said with a laugh.

“Pictures!” Three little voices chanted excitedly. The hostess signed off to squeals as the children’s mother half shepherded them, half chased after them to tuck them in. The youngest, a boy, waved to the screen as he was lifted up by his father before they disconnected.

 

The invitations had been sent out in late August for the mid-October party date on scroll design stationery.

Come celebrate the autumn season 
and upcoming Halloween in costume;
 dress up in anything from 
classy to sassy; myth, sci-fi or fantasy
cute or spooky; glamorous or tastefully sexy.
   Please bring a dish to share; think local or global.
(The hostess and company have a 
house menu to share as well)
     Join us solo or bring a guest or two.
   Save room for the s'mores making outside by the 
   fire later in a mellow, night-time atmosphere.

There was RSVP information as well as a map and other tidbits towards the bottom of the invite. It was signed off with a glittery black skull and cross-bones stamping, folded up and sealed with purple wax.

 

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Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

A large, shiny, mylar helium balloon with a happy jack-o-lantern face hovered over the mailbox post by way of a bright red ribbon.

Fallen leaves had been raked into piles to be set around tree trunks like moats, on either side of the front lawn. Pumpkins had been set near the base of the trees. Some trunks were wrapped in metallic ribbon while others had spiralling lights wound around them.

On the wide steps tapering up to the front door, a motley collection of jack-o-lanterns were either smiling or scowling out at the side street from each end of a step.

As one approached the dark green front door, more autumn colors greeted them. The wooden pillar on the left was twined with wide, metallic copper ribbon with stems of sunflowers, vibrant silk Japanese red maple stems, pale yellow silk lantern flowers and sunset hued silk leaves (some with glitter) tucked randomly into the ribbon. As for the pillar on the right, light sensor activated purple lights and green lights spiralled in criss cross overlap down the post with festive, Halloween inspired ornaments dangled from various places on clear hooks.

A cat made of black wicker netting  and black glitter sat neatly near the doorway, to the right of where the door knob was. LED light eyes would flicker on when it’s motion sensors were activated. The porch lights would be kept on as opposed to being on its usual motion sensor mode.

A sign by the wicker cat stated: Enter this abode, to share in the season’s revelry, come play a while and stay a while for food and festivities. On silent feet guardians creep, as this house is their home. If you feel a chill or get goose pimples, be polite and say hello.

A split-rail fence of warm toned wood provided property separation between the sides of the lots, but stopped at the edge of the woods. All along the perimeter of where the back lawn and woodlands met, the owners of the house had staked widely spaced garden lights; some went into the wooded area and curved slightly to the left which led to a stream idly trickling by. A gentle downward slope with smoothed, half-buried, wooden plank steps led down to the moving water.

Assorted colored glow sticks in glass jars hung from above on semi-bare tree limbs, colorfully accentuating the trail to the creek. The glow stick lanterns had been set earlier in the day, but breaking and shaking the sticks would be up to others as it came closer to sunset. The jar hanging had been a three-person job as none of them were six feet tall and required added help from a short ladder.  The current (and anticipated) effect was well worth the effort.

Several yards back from the stream, a set of small metal wind chimes had been left outside on an overhanging branch where the trail deviated to two paths. Which path to take? Go towards gurgling water or deeper into the woods? The faceted crystal feather/wind catcher dangling lowest from the chimes sparked off light from the late afternoon sunshine.

All around were colorful leaves; partly on branches, partly on the ground. A filled bird feeder hung on a branch nearby on the woodland trail side. Various birds flitted back and forth from branches to the feeder.

The smell of lit cinnamon incense wafted into the chilly sky from little sand filled jars along the mouth of the trail, where trimmed lawn and leaf strewn forest ground met.

In a part of the back yard was a raised brick and stone fire pit at the center of the patio, not yet lit. The length of the patio was of equal length to the great room within. Windows framed either side of the patio doors, the sliding patio doors were reminiscent of French doors. Off to one side of the flagstone set patio was a picnic table with a pergola overhead twined with blinking lights in green, purple, warm white and orange. Paper lantern bats and pumpkins dangled from the center of the pergola in a whimsical Halloween themed chandelier. The picnic table could be partly seen from the kitchen.

One large pumpkin carved with a crescent moon and and pinhole constellations faced the left corner garden. To the far right of it, at one of the other corners, was a large hurricane style candle holder, frosted with leaf outlines and speckled with gold paint, held a lit pillar candle. A pair of small white pumpkins sat next to it making silly, painted-on, glow in the dark faces.  Lantern style glass candle holders with skeletal leaf tracings completed the four points of the patio. Bracketing either corner of the property were raised bed gardens; one had cold weather vegetables in bloom and the other had tall sunflowers nodding over the still-abundant herbs.  Cleverly tucked away were the compost bins.

A figure in an indigo coat, with springy, glittery, butterfly antenna peeking out from her slouchy hat, looked at her handiwork on the patio. She smiled, turned and tucked her lighter wand into a belt loop. The chill was just cold enough for gloves – even gloves with nipped fingertips to show off glittery blue nails. The incense was an offering, the Jack o’lantern and other lights were for ambiance and human eyes.

A chilly wind whispered by, coaxing a song from the wind chimes. A crow called from the woods, then turned its dark head to look at the setting below. His brethren called back from a street light pole in front of the house.

…End part 1…

©Inspired by…/Celebrating Autumn Part 1/September 2016