Fall

Fall is my favorite season.

Cuyahoga National Park, October 2012

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, October 2012

But this very moment in fall is truly my favorite– when most of the leaves are still clinging to the branches, their colors changing, setting the world on fire. The humid Cleveland air turns from thick and fevered to crisp perfection.

Cuyahoga National Park, October 2012

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, October 2012

Leaves crunch beneath your feet and release that saccharine, hopeful aroma that is autumn; That particular smell that contains childhood memories and hopeful wishes for your future.

Cuyahoga National Forest, October 2012

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, October 2012

The days are still warm with the glow of sun, but the evenings bear a chill that demand all things cozy– sweaters, blankets, chili, Hot Toddys, bonfires, and movies.

My dad's street, in Chagrin Falls, OH, October 2012

My dad’s street, in Chagrin Falls, OH, October 2012

It’s the season of apple-picking, pumpkin-carving, hay rides, long walks, listening to old jazz records, butternut squash soup, scary movies, carmel apples, football, layering, leaf-raking, knitting, and cider.

Pumpkin Patch with my little stepsister, Molly in Indiana, October 2012

Pumpkin Patch with my little stepsister, Molly in Indiana, October 2012

More family, building a scarecrow at the Pumpkin Patch, October 2012

More family, building a scarecrow at the Pumpkin Patch, October 2012

Autumn.

Baker Whitely with my Mom, October 2012

Baker-Whitely with my Mom, October 2012

Every season is beautiful and brings the promise of new life, adventure, and accomplishments.

But, Autumn. Autumn is just the most blissful, the most beautiful, the absolute best.

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Chagrin Falls, OH October 2012

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Baker-Whitely, October 2012

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Baker-Whitely, October 2012

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Baker-Whitely, October 2012

Baker Whitely, October 2012

Baker -Whitely, October 2012

What do you think? Do you have a favorite time of year?

Until next time!

~Steph

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Happy Friday the 13th!

The weekend is upon us and I am thrilled. But I am also scared.

Cause it’s Friday the 13th.

And I’m superstitious.

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Illustration by Stacy Innerst

I also love all holidays and take them very seriously (in a kitchy, not-so-serious sort of way). Maybe it’s the rituals and traditions that surround the holidays that I take so seriously, actually. Like every Christmas (okay, the month and a half leading up to Christmas) I have to watch Christmas Vacation at least 3 times (and be able to quote 1/2 the movie), Elf at least twice, It’s a Wonderful Life once, and Cleveland’s pride, A Christmas Story at least 6 times in order to feel like it’s actually the holiday season. Even on Groundhog’s Day, every single year, I have to watch the Bill Murray movie. So I always seriously think something bad is going to happen on Friday the 13th.

Tuesday morning, 5 minutes before I was supposed to be in my car driving to work, I had Denver and Colette out for their morning walk. Colette has quite the nose on her– she always has it to the ground, sniffing everything out. She’ll find anything stinky and roll around in it, smiling the whole darn time. The other morning was no different… or maybe it was. Because she sniffed and found a steaming, hot, fresh pile of diarrhea. And she rolled in it. A lot. I looked down at her, not knowing what she was rolling in yet and I smiled at how sweet and happy she looked. So vulnerable and delighted, with her belly up and her legs flopped out. Then she got up. And I saw it. A thick, goopey pancake of poo smushed into her shoulder. “Crap”, I thought to myself. “Shit”, I thought to myself. Literally. Crap. Shit. On my dog.

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I was already dressed and ready for work. And I had to be in my car in 5 minutes! I tried as best I could to walk the dogs home without getting poop on my clothes. Instead Denver and Colette bumped bodies the whole way home, so the diarrhea smeared onto Denver too. And then he tried the lick some of it off. When I finally cleaned them up and got into my car (already late for work), the highway entrance was shut down for construction so I had to find another way. Eventually I made it.

This was not Friday the 13th. This was a normal morning in my life. I am okay with this, because look how cute those little trouble-making pups are.

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But if that’s just a normal morning, what is Friday the 13th going to be like?

We’re taking our class on their first field trip of the year tomorrow, to The West Side Market. Let’s hope that karma is on my side.

Happy Friday (the 13th)!

Until next time.

~Steph