Fall has got to be my favorite season. Winter means Christmas and lit fireplaces, but the weather gets to be a little miserable after a while. Spring is a close second, but blooming flowers = allergies. Summer is obviously great because there’s time to relax, but here in Ojai we’re forced to spend the day inside in order to escape the sweltering heat. Nothing really competes with autumn.
It is the golden light, crunchy leaves, steaming chai and pumpkin bread that make me fall in love with this season again and again each year. Not to mention scented candles, long showers, cinnamon, football games and Gilmore girls. There’s a perfect balance between the lingering sunshine and cool, crisp breeze. Halloween means candies and costumes and parties; Thanksgiving brings with it cranberry sauce and family time and TV. Beyond festivities, I like to read books, listen to music, see friends, go thrifting and on afternoon bike rides in the meadow – all of which just feel special at this time of year.
And don’t even get me started on clothing. I won’t freeze to death if I wear a skirt or tank top, and neither will I drown in sweat if I opt for a knit cardigan or turtleneck. Plus, I recently got a pair of Doc Marten’s for my birthday, and though they weigh an obscene amount, I love them with all my heart. (They also make me another 2 inches taller, which is nothing to complain about).
All in all, autumn is without doubt the best season, and I’m looking forward to these next couple of months.
Much like other young to middle-aged men at the beginning of fall, I am now the coach, general manager, and owner of my own football team. This is a serious occupation. I spend much of my time researching free-agent players to see if I can improve my team. I consistently read the injury report to keep my players healthy. I constantly communicate with my fellow coach/general manager/owners to facilitate trades. While some may call this “fantasy” football, it is no fantasy. This is a real commitment, and some people just can’t handle it.
I build a relationship with my players. Forever after the season’s end, I will never forget the players who played for me. I hope Justin Herbert, Chargers QB, will take me to glory this season. The first week didn’t go so well, but I hope to have a strong season. Derrick Henry aka King Henry is my star player, he totaled 8 points in week one, a disappointing performance. He is, however, called King for a reason, so I know he will bring me my crown this season.
NFL Sundays are great, especially in the foggy/misty Fall.
Waking up on cloudy Sunday knowing football is on is truly of the best feelings in the world. And if you are an owner of NFL Network Red Zone that is 7 hours of commercial free football. I start my NFL Sundays with nice balanced breakfast(which is usually leftovers from dinner the night before). Then I’ll turn on a pregame show and read a couple articles or watch highlights of Saturday’s college football games.
10 o’clock hits and it kick off for the morning games. I’ll flip through the various 10am games that are broadcasted on CBS, FOX, and NBC. Following the completion of the morning games I’ll make my way to kitchen to find lunch. Lunch is either a sandwich of now that the Fall is upon us SOOOOOUUUUP! I’m a massive soup guy, chicken noodle, matzo ball, Italian wedding are some of favorites.
Once I find a suitable meal I’ll head back to the couch to watch the afternoon games. Around this time is when I’ll make a deal with myself; the deal is I’ll start my homework during halftime of whatever game(s) I’m watching and I’ll finish it before dinner and Sunday Night Football. This deal fails 11 out of 10 times.
As the afternoon games wrap up I’ll set the table and eat dinner with my family. Following the end to dinner I’ll find myself back on the couch watching kickoff for that night’s SNF game. Once the games reality kicks in, with the sun being down and everyone in the house prepping for bedtime I once again realize that I’m in the same shorts and hoodie from the morning and still have a couple hours of homework to complete.
NFL Sunday’s in the Fall are amazing and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Fall: To move downward, typically rapidly and freely without control
Why is it that we “fall” in love when falling is usually thought of negatively? Shouldn’t love be perceived as a positive thing?
I would like to say that most find falling in love to be terrifying and thrilling. In order for you to fall, you have to entrust someone with little insignificant details and life secrets that you store deep down. You have to lose control of your feelings and fears and hope that your person will catch them and keep them safe. You have to let go, take the jump, and fall…
You find yourself wondering if you are worthy of such affection and admiration from such an image of perfection once you’ve fallen. You’ll remember every little detail, how they like their coffee with the exact details, the name of the small country town they grew up in, or what movie comforts them in their darkest moments. All these little moments add up when you fall.
But falling in love is worth the momentary rush of fear and thrill that overcomes you. If one is lucky enough to find themselves falling, they should enjoy the fall, for it leads to a story of love for the ages. Even if that love fades or ends, you’ll never forget the rush of the fall.
So I guess you could say, in this case, falling isn’t such a bad thing. So let yourself go, jump, skip, leap. Enjoy the fall, take a chance because you’ll never know what you missed if you don’t take a take leap of faith and fall.
Now that it is October I now feel the need to wear warm cloths, drink hot tea throughout the day, and I expect the scent of pumpkin spice to fill the air.
But we live in Southern California, where we spend the beginning of October in a wave of one hundred ten degree heat and smoke filled skies from wildfires raging across the state.
The trees don’t turn colors from that end of summer green to stunning shades of orange, red, and brown. Instead, the leaves either are scorched from the blazing heat or they simply fall to the ground with no colorful exit.
Sometimes I find myself wishing our little town of Ojai experiences all the beauties and wonders of the “typical” fall, but I then remember what fall is like in our quaint town.
Fall is going to the farmers market early on Sunday mornings and starting to see the seasonal fruit and flowers being sold change and the abundance of fresh pies made from apples and pumpkins. It is going to the grocery store and seeing big bins of pumpkins fill the sidewalk and overtake the porches of houses. It is going to the local pumpkin patch and riding on the old tractor around the corn field. It is watching the most incredible sunsets of the year.
So no, we may not have the stereotypical fall with the cold weather and shades of orange that fills the treetops, but we have our own beautiful version of it in our small Southern California town.
The words we say define us, moralize us. If a person is a blank piece of paper, then his/her words will color him/her.
In a society where people believe in hearsay, it’s dangerous to let out misinformation about ourselves. It’s easier to be described as “unappreciative” than to be thought as “considerate.” The negative views of a person could devour him/her, it’s like having a dark marker blackening all the good qualities of him/her, then all people can see in that person is darkness.
I dislike one of the social norms these days—exposing a celebrity of committing an immoral act, therefore destroying their lives completely. We’re poisoned by the fact that we praise and suck up to those normal people with commentary nonsense then cursing them to go to hell after learning about a bit of their real life like headless chickens. Even myself who just wrote the last sentence is influenced by this norm as I hold prejudice against people I’ve never met on the ground of some evidence I’ve never seen.
Is this where we’ve fallen to? Are we just dark markers marking everywhere heedlessly?
October traditions lead to massive pumpkin waste! In November when pumpkins begin to decompose, unfortunately they turn in to methane. That, of course, is a harmful greenhouse gas that plays a huge part in climate change.
Transforming a plain old pumpkin into a jack-o’-lantern is one of the highlights of Halloween. But once we’re done, second nature – we throw them away instead of disposing them in an eco-friendly manner. Pumpkins are organic waste, which means you can compost them, but we often fail to do so. Here are some ways to extend the life of your used jack-o’-lantern and uncarved pumpkins.
Firstly, what you’re going to want to do is split the pumpkin seeds and guts apart. Then cut the pumpkin in half. With the seeds you can either roast them, creating a delicious plant protein snack, or you can store the seeds to grow your own pumpkin patch.
To roast them you simply preheat the oven to 320°
-Boil the seeds in salt water and drain
-Scatter them on a cooking sheet
-Add olive oil and a little bit of salt
-Roast for 10 minutes and you’re done with an easy healthy snack.
Now for the guts – many overlook the endless possibilities of how you can use the guts – If you have a juicer you can juice the pumpkin with apple, ginger or cinnamon, creating a healthy drink. You can use the pulp for these recipes- but if you don’t have a juicer, you can use the guts of the pumpkin for various recipes.
If you have a savory sweet tooth but want to stay healthy around the holidays this might be the perfect drink for you –
Pumpkin Pie Milkshake (Vegan)
-Steam the pumpkin guts for 30 minutes
-Let it cool and using a blender purée
(If using pulp you can skip this step^)
-4 tbsp purée or pulp
-Either 3 ice cubes and a Banana or 1 cup vanilla vegan ice cream
-¼ cup of any plant-based milk (my favorite, oak milk)
-½ TBSP vanilla extract
-½ tbsp pumpkin spice, cinnamon or nutMeg
And enjoy a healthy holiday dessert!
This next recipe will make your dogs love you a little bit more around the holidays – pumpkins are considered one of the best “people foods” you can give your canine companion, supporting their urinary and digestive health!
Pumpkin Flaxseed/oat Dog Treats
Blend: the pumpkin pulp
-1 ½ cups of flaxseeds or oats
-¼ cup of water
– *2 tablespoons of coconut flakes or peanut butter (If desired)
Roll into ball shapes and freeze them
With this same recipe you can make a brightening face mask filled with vitamin A and C
All you do is you the same ingredients, minus the peanut butter and freezing.
If you don’t want to do any of these sustainable recipes you can always donate pumpkins to local animal sanctuary. The animals love them. You can also compost in your own backyard, or find a local composting facility or community garden that will utilize the pumpkins.
Make the most out of your pumpkins this season and let’s all be less wasteful together!
California will always be the greatest state to me, don’t get me wrong. We have everything here. Some of the best skiing in the world, iconic beaches, wine country, incredible and unique cities. But despite all of these, the golden state lacks one thing- seasons. For me, and probably many of us who were raised here, Fall is warm breezes and dry air. The landscape maintains a tan and green hue, and the blue skies yield temperatures in the 80s. Here, it isn’t harvest season. The skies are not gray. Sweaters are not the garment of choice. Yes, we do have an abundance of pumpkin spice themed foods at the local Trader Jose. But it doesn’t quite make up for an abundance of colored leaves and ominous sky. In some ways it feels like fall. The lighting is different than summer, and the nights colder. There’s a general sense of giddy unease, and everything is a shade darker. But it isn’t the same. Visiting colleges display fold outs of orange yellow and gold tinted campuses, scarves and beanies, coffee and scarecrows resembling the flourishing crops. I know I’m not the only one that yearns for this, but sometimes it feels that way. California I love you, but there’s a few things you lack. Don’t even get me started about winter.
I love fall. The sheer aesthetic of sitting by a window with warm glowing string lights, drinking some sort of hot tea, surrounded with the smell of books. The fact that it is finally cold enough to be wearing wool socks and sweatshirts. The feeling of cold air filling your chest from the inside, making your home feel so much warmer.
I have to admit, I miss the cold winters back home in Germany. Right now, it is almost freezing there, the leaves that are turning red-orange, some almost pink-purple, are covering the roads like a warm-colored blanket. The lakes are topped with a paper thin layer of ice in the morning, and windows and cars are frosted the way they would be in movies. Horses’ coats are becoming thick and soft, and cows are being brought from their pastures back into their winter barns.
I remember how much I hated the feeling of biking up the hill to my house after school, watching the clouds turn to a darker grey as the sun set behind them, and feeling the warm air in my lungs being replaced by the cold, making my throat hurt by the time I got back home. But I always loved the moment I walked through the door, embraced by my jumping dog and the heated floor, maybe even a fire in the chimney. The best days were the rainy ones. Your house just feels so much cozier when you don’t want to go outside.
I miss that weather. I miss the grey skies and the rain-soaked lawns. I miss the muddy roads and paths going through the forest by my house. I miss collecting chestnuts with my friends and cooking them with their whole family. I miss being freezing cold with numb fingers and an icy nose. I miss how later in the winter the trees would look like they had been covered in powdered sugar, reflecting the grey-purple of the afternoon sky.
I miss my home.
And no matter where I’ll live throughout my life, no matter how many times I’ll move and find new homes, that will always be my first home. My family’s home. My real home.
It was oppressively hot, but it was worse inside. The idea for the party had been born earlier that month, straight out of the heatwave, full of desperate loneliness and braised, salted wounds. He had thought that the heat had been bad when the party was thought up but it had gotten worse, the end of summer was supposed to bring promise of a cool refreshing fall, but instead the dog days were holding on.
Partygoers were wilting like flowers, falling and rising in dance on a phantom wind born and nursed by too-expensive-booze, and sweat dampened morals, the peace was tenuous. It was just too hot for a party, even the breeze was like licks of fire on his cheeks.
The rail of the balcony scorched his forearms, but it was better than dancing in the heat. He dropped his head back and looked for stars he would not find, but before the search even truly began the click of heels sounded behind him, the echoes of a last ditch S.O.S in consistent and aggressive morse code.
He did not look, she came up to the railing next to him. He still did not look at her, but in his peripheral he could see she was reasonably tall, dressed in unseasonal black, sleek. She inclined her head and stared out into the darkened hedge maze below them, all shadow. He could sense her grace rather than see it, there was something indescribably elegant in her presence, but she was incredibly still. She was pensive in a way that only people dressed in finery and malcontent can be.
She looked on as a couple stumbling their way through the doors below them, tipsy, glittering and very much in love made their way into the maze. Both were dressed in crisp autumn colors, one a in deep burgundy gown that splayed behind her like a trail of fire and the other in a warm burnt orange that fell like water.
Two leaves dancing in the too warm night, lost to the world and unregistering of the weather outside of their perfect dichotomy.
She glanced sideways up at him through the leaden air, her sharp, slanted eyes caught him off guard, caught him staring at her with the sideways glance of someone interested but unwilling to admit it, but her interest was clear.
He slid his eyes lazily away and turned so his back was to the railing. She turned her head to see his profile, if he glanced at her out of the corner of his eye again he would see almost her whole face, a dangerous temptation. He hadn’t really seen her yet, the tendons in his neck lightly pulled him to look at her, but he resisted, he vowed not to look. He didn’t want to talk to anyone, especially not at this party.
She sighed, a light huff of hot air in the even warmer atmosphere around them, the air around them weighed heavy on him, even the light seemed dragged down. She leaned her narrow gloved hands on the bannister the stem of a champagne flute nestled in her long, lithe fingers.
She was made of long lines like an artist had just drawn out the essential curves in stark black strokes, she flowed like fine ink.
She swirled the champagne in her glass, light winked off it catching the light like a star on earth.
“This is the expensive stuff and what a glass to put it in.” Her voice was low and rolling over him, lulling him into a stupor, “The cost of the wine almost justifies the dressing up, but this glass, the glass definitely justifies the dressing up.”
A sudden shattering caused his trance to break, his vow forgotten his head snapped to look at her.
From her elegant and bewitching fingers the glass had fallen, no, he realized as he looked at her small smirk in profile, the fine crystal glass had been dropped, on purpose.
A galaxy now lay on the stones beneath them, the leaves in the maze had also turned suddenly at the clear cold noise cutting through the heat, but they were once again lost to themselves within moments.
He was now staring into her eyes, unable to look away, pinned like an insect to a scientist’s board, her dark brown eyes looked almost black under shadow and tapered lids.
He spoke one word, his voice rusty and thick with the overly warm air, “Why?”
She glanced down and turned on her heel, her sharp cheekbones and nose flashed in the light of the windowed doors she was headed toward, now that he had looked at her he could not look away. Those inky outlines were nothing on the amorphous night she was truly made of.
“So you would look at me,” she walked through the doors then, the promise of a cool fall night disappearing into the light of a too hot summer party.