Fall – Florida Style

October is typically the beginning of ‘season’ in Florida, which is signaled by a change in temperature, a decrease in humidity and vehicles with out-of-state tags arriving to our small town almost daily. It is still warm, but not oppressively hot, and was quite rainy for the first two weeks of the month. Nevertheless, we accomplished a few things around the house, visited with friends, celebrated family, took care of our health and enjoyed nature whenever possible.

Around the House

With the change in weather came renewed energy for getting things done around the house. I cleaned closets, kitchen cabinets and under counter storage in our bathrooms, while Malcolm spent many hours outside pressure washing the brick pavers in the driveway and on the patio, followed by applying a protective sealant. Washing windows, cleaning patio furniture and updating a couple of flower beds completed the outside chores. These are all typically things we do in November, before the on-set of Holiday decorating, so it was very satisfying to check them off our ‘to-do’ list a little early. Nothing like a bit of ‘Fall cleaning’ to kick off the holidays.

Family Time

We celebrated Malcolm’s Mom’s 91st birthday with lunch at a local restaurant which offered ‘safely distanced, outside seating.’ It was her first social outing since the on-set of Covid and she thoroughly enjoyed the day. You might not have noticed, but we are all wearing Fall colors with our flip-flops.

When our daughter was about five years old, she drew a somewhat crude image of a jack-o-lantern and asked her Dad to carve it into a pumpkin. That Halloween tradition has continued for twenty-five years. They have never once deviated from the shape of the pumpkin nor the face. When I complain or offer a suggestion, I am resolutely told, “it’s our tradition, stick to your role.”

You already know what that is.

In The Garden

Tree lined streets with colorful Maple trees isn’t a thing here, so to enjoy the colors of Fall we take a bike ride, go for a nature walk, or watch the sun set. I realize it isn’t quite the same as driving through New England, but I’m not complaining.

I took the two photos above at Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach. What says Fall better than chasing colors and enjoying nature, especially when you are in the company of good friends.

The Society of the Four Arts Gardens in West Palm Beach is currently hosting an exhibit entitled ‘Seasons.’ It is a nice reminder that there are actually four of them. This figure represents Fall. Add a palm tree and it would make the perfect Florida table centerpiece.

In The Kitchen

Maintaining my summer weight loss and experimenting with adding a few healthy calories (and some variety and flavor) back into my daily diet has been a fun challenge this month. I love seared tuna, and you cannot go wrong with a side dish of edamame beans flavored with lime and cilantro as an accompaniment. This dish, which I constantly modify is a mixture of black beans, roasted corn, red onion and bell pepper. Lime juice and colorful veggies definitely says, ‘it’s Fall in Florida.’

Halloween

Nothing says Fall in Florida quite like schlepping around in a hot Halloween costume looking for treats and being mischievous. There will likely be no little ghosts and goblins visiting this year, but that did not stop my neighborhood from putting its best skull forward. This is Florida and we always expect the unexpected, so treats will be in a basket at the end of our driveway (honor system style) this year.

We hit all the cornerstones of our ‘balanced retirement lifestyle’ this month and I love sharing a few images that represent the simplicity and contentment of our lives. That is the true essence of Picture Retirement.

We got caught up in feeling ‘normal’ this month and almost forgot that there is still a deadly virus out there, not to mention what promises to be a nasty election, followed by more nastiness, regardless the outcome.

Processing may be difficult for some, but, for what it’s worth, focusing on health, family and simplicity helps. We remain optimistic about the future and truly hope those are your sentiments as well. Positive attitudes, good choices and sincere actions make a difference.

Malcolm and I will be away for the next two weeks, enjoying some much anticipated time alone. I will continue to post photos on Instagram, and will share our adventures on the blog as I have time. Until then, stay well, focus on what is important in your life and VOTE!

P.S. That little photo bomber behind us is Nana (Malcolm’s Mom). Isn’t she the cutest? She accompanied us for early voting.

37 Comments on “Fall – Florida Style

  1. Hi Suzanne,
    We will miss Florida this year, but we are enjoying our.rv adventure…currently in West Plains, MO, about to leave for Arkansas where we will “hide out” for the next couple of weeks. We live in interesting times, don’t we? Thoroughly enjoyed your post, it was a little slice of “normal”. Just wanted to let you know I am still out here and regularly reading my blogging friends, even if my own posts are irregular due to our travel schedule.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Nancy, I’ve been missing your posts, but glad to hear you are on an adventure. I hope you will share some of your trip with us soon. Hiding out sounds like a great thing to do right now. Take care and thanks for stopping by. It is good to hear from you.

      Like

  2. Hi Suzanne – loved reading all that you’ve been up to – including the family outing and I know what you mean about forgetting about covid sometimes. We’ve had no community cases here in Western Australia and it feels surreal seeing all the increasing numbers elsewhere in the world. We’ve been living almost the same way as pre-covid since they closed the borders (interstate and international). Our interstate borders are opening in a couple of weeks and that will be the test for how well they have things under control. Enjoy your time away together – nothing like a change of scene to refresh the soul (and the relationship!)

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    • Hi Leanne, you are lucky to have had no cases in your area and to be living much the same as before Covid. We have made adjustments to our lives and have learned to live with it. I look forward to having a vaccine available and being able to get on an airplane or cruise ship sometime in the near future. Until then, we will continue to take a little road trip from time to time.

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  3. Glad to hear from you again! Your photo of the family with Malcolm’s mom enjoying her birthday outing made me smile! Happy birthday to her! Love the Halloween skeletons. People wen all out with decorations in some of the neighborhoods here. We drove around to take a look the other day. Looking forward to seeing where your travels take you.

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    • Janis, I’ll take summer all year round too, but I could do without the humidity! We arrived at our destination about an hour ago and it feels like heaven. The forecast for the week is sunny and mild. Can’t wait to take a walk on the beach.

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  4. Suzanne,
    Man, you two have been busy! The tuna recipe looks and sounds delicious…made me hungry. Love your Halloween skeletons. Curious as to how things went with candy on the “honor system.” We had no trick-or-treaters this year. Sad. Enjoy your time off! Joe

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    • Joe, we were missing about 12 bags of candy. Not sure if that means 12 kids came by or if 1 kid took all 12 bags! There were a bunch of bags left over – oh well. I missed seeing all the little kids in costume. Maybe next year…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Suzanne, Loved reading your updates. How wonderful that you were all able to go out and celebrate Malcolm’s Mom’s 91st birthday. The pumpkin carving design that your daughter selected is perfect and they did such a great job making a happy-looking pumpkin. I agree no change needed there 🙂 Your seared tuna dish looks mouth-watering. Have an amazing getaway!

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  6. Your Fall is still beautiful, Suzanne. A different kind of beautiful. I love seared tuna. Especially with the various colourful vegetables. Mental and physical breaks and feeling normal helps fortify the body and the spirit to tackle whatever the future brings. Beautifully said, Suzanne “Positive attitudes, good choices and sincere actions make a difference.” Cute photo, especially the little photo bomber. Enjoy your get away.🙂

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    • Hi Erica, this post was a bit all over the place, but it has been that kind of month. Cooler temperatures and less humidity have been contributing factors to my energy level and I am looking forward to more of the same.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I completely agree…in the midst of these challenging times, we need to do all we can to maintain positive attitudes. Which means doing lots of things to nourish happiness and connection, just as you are doing. 🙂 It’s definitely Fall here in north Florida, too…the temps are in the 50s and the humidity is 30 percent. Yayyyyy…..!!!! Have fun on your getaway trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Suzanne, it is lovely to ge This update it. Sounds like you and Malcolm have been very busy. Autumn in Florida must be very pleasant with mild temperatures and sunshine. I love that last picture of you guys and your MIL as a photo bomber, so lovely. So nice that you managed to celebrate her special birthday together. Brian’s mum will be 90 in December, but we are not so sure that we will be able to go over to Edinburgh to celebrate it with her, particularly since infection rates have gone up and traveling is once again very restricted. We have just returned home from Italy and entered a two weeks quarantine. Enjoy your holiday 😄

    Like

    • Gilda, I enjoyed following your travels through Italy. After eight months of having house guests (my daughter and her guy), we are happy to have this time alone. Yesterday we took a two-hour walk along the beach and today we will ride our bikes in a nearby park. Evenings are spent watching the sunset. It’s nice to be ‘just the two of us’ for a while.

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  9. I for one, like their pumpkin tradition, and it looks quite good to me :-). That salad looked great as well. So glad you guys are enjoying the Fall there, and l hope you have a lovely vacation.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve always wondered where people who live in Florida go to get away, since Florida is my get away spot. But I know there are many great places throughout the US. Right now, just getting out of the house feels like a treat!! Enjoy your getaway!!!

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  11. Hello Suzanne. It’s so nice to see you enjoying fall. Thanks for sharing a little Fall in Florida with the rest of us. It’s lovely that you were able to get out with Nana. She really is the cutest!

    Like

  12. Your fall is very like our Autumn – the humidity drops and (in any other year) we begin to see the arrival of the “winter people” ie nomads from the southern states looking for warmer temps. With border closures this year, though, that was not the case. That seared tuna and endamame bean side looks right up our alley!

    Like

  13. Happy birthday to your mother-in-law! So glad you could help her celebrate the milestone. I also love the tradition your daughter and her father share with the jack-o-lantern. Traditions are important. I am sure it is something she will always remember. Looking forward to reading about your getaway! Have a wonderful time.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Your neighborhood sure puts on a good Halloween showing!! Impressive. I do like the pumpkin tradition your daughter and husband have … so sweet. Lovely pics especially the last one w your mother in law! Enjoy your two weeks away!

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

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