Wanderlust I Must ~ The Smell Of Autumn


Autumn… it’s my favorite time of year. I love the feel of the brisk air cooling my cheeks. I am mesmerized by the red and yellow leaves swirling in the air before they float to the ground. I love a soft, warm sweater, a pair of good leaf-kickin’ boots, and oh yes, pumpkin spice all the things. Visually, it hasn’t been too shabby of an autumn in Seattle. It seems more colorful to me than the previous two years we have lived here. Or, maybe I have been chasing after it more this year.

A couple weekends ago, the husband and I embarked upon a road trip to Leavenworth just for the drive. And while we may have missed peak color, there was one section of the drive that was an enchanting sea of yellow. I would have snapped a few photos to share, but I kind of just wanted to be selfish and soak it all in with my eyeballs instead.

The one thing about a midwest autumn that I am missing though is the smell. Some people may not know what I’m talking about while those in the midwest or New England area certainly do, and it could be because it doesn’t get quite cold enough here in Seattle. Of course, I don’t think the rain smells the same here either for the most part. Maybe that’s just me being a weirdo with a sensitive nose, but there is some science behind the smell of different seasons. I remember even the rain in Portland, Oregon smelling different than Seattle, but maybe it’s because they have more consistent greenery throughout their city and a slight more distinction in their seasons.

At any rate, I miss that smell of autumn. Seattle is situated in a beautiful spot surrounded by mountains and water, and the more I live here in the Pacific Northwest, the more I appreciate its beauty. But man… I miss proper seasons. 

Happy Wanderlustin’!

xo~ Frani

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Fragments Of Love Friday ~ A Fairytale Escape

Little Yew Lodge Rhododendron Oregon

I have been quite short-tempered the past couple days. The slightest things have been annoying me, and my patience has been reduced to negative numbers on the tolerance scale.

Maybe I’ve had too much shitty food lately… too much anger-inducing dairy foods (is that a thing? maybe?) and not enough calming, magnesium-rich nuts, seeds, and veggies. (I really do know too much about nutrition for not being a professional about it in any way.)

The overwhelming feeling I’ve had the past couple weeks only abated during the weekend we were away from the city, the noise, and most of the people. And the heavy feelings of sadness, guilt, anger, and disappointment over family stuff are wearing on me. And with that, maybe I’m subconsciously dreading the holidays I used to love so much. Things have changed and not in the most ideal way. My heart is broken. But, I hope in time the cracks either heal or at least stop spreading from artery to artery.

All I can do at this point is:

  1. Eat better and exercise.
  2. Practice mindfulness and deep breathing. Lots of deep breathing.
  3. Realize I can only make myself happy. (And hope others are finding their way on their own…) And more importantly, know that my happiness is important despite many years of being conditioned to believe otherwise.
  4. Write. Spill all the feelings onto the pages of this blog, published or not. Pour the darkest parts of myself into the pages and the characters of my novel.
  5. And something I haven’t done in a while… give thanks for who and what I do have in this life.

So with that, here are my little love notes of gratitude…

 Finally settled into the new place. We had some hiccups as it seems to be the norm for us in Seattle, but it’s good. I like some aspects of living farther north better than downtown, but I also miss downtown. It’s weird. I want the more urban city living. I just don’t think downtown Seattle is the right fit for me.

 Had a great although exhausting time exploring with friends and family who came to visit in August. It’s interesting to get someone else’s perspective on Seattle. It seems like people either love it and set it up on this emerald pedestal or they think “Meh.”

 Autumn! And everything that comes with that. Pretty leaves, colder weather, boots, sweaters, roasted pumpkin seeds, and yes, pumpkin spice all the things! I’ll never tire of it. ;)

 Going on a couple road trips. One was a day trip to Artist Point, and then we just got back from a late anniversary celebration getaway to a unique, little cottage in the woods in Rhododendron, Oregon (pictured above).

 Falling snow! I miss snow so much! We actually saw falling snow on our way up the mountain to Artist Point at the end of September. And then, there was snow on the ground in Mt. Hood this past weekend when we visited Timberline Lodge (the hotel used for the exterior shots of Overlook Hotel in The Shining).

 Having such a supportive and understanding husband. He’s my favorite person, and I love hanging out with him. This past weekend of doing nothing except cuddling up by a fire with our pups in a cute little cottage in the woods was just what we needed. It pretty much rained the entire weekend, and we didn’t mind one bit.

What about you? Have you been like me and not done a little gratitude list in a long-ass time? Take a few minutes to think of a couple things! It does the mind good.

Have a great weekend, folks!

xo~ Frani

* The above image is of the ‘Little Yew Lodge’ on Airbnb.

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Fragments Of Love Friday ~ More Autumn Please!

Seattle City Streets In Autumn

I keep going back and forth between loving it here and feeling pretty meh here in Seattle. Is it like this for everyone who moves here, I wonder? On the days I love it, I find tree-lined streets with colorful, fallen leaves and pretty graffiti art. On the days I not so love it, I find myself longing for the more intense autumns and changes in seasons of the east coast. I’m one of those weird folks who believes all city streets should not only be lit up for the holidays but be covered in snow. Otherwise, what’s the point of hot chocolate?? Seriously… tell me!

By the way, my favorite Christmas movie is Elf. That should explain how I feel about snow, Christmas, hot chocolate, cookie dough and yes, fucking Christmas carols! Buddy and I are like Christmas soul mates.

I also kind of don’t understand the appeal of temperate climates no matter if it’s pleasant or not. I’m sort of already bored with it. I need weather that mirrors my ever-changing mood. Or, at least give me a couple weeks of really good seasonal changes per season. I do see there is quite a bit of sun in the ever-changing forecast and possibly some snow already?? I’m seriously excited about that!

My only other issue really is how do other Chihuahuas live here with the rain?? I see so many of them. Do they just not go out unless it’s summertime? My pretty-eyed girl worships the sun. Seriously, the sun is her god. In her mind, the rain is like acid stripping away her flesh and what kind of human drags… literally drags a princess out into the rain for a walk?? She really does better walking in the snow. She’s not a fan of super cold temperatures, but she enjoys trottin’ through the snow over getting all out wet in the rain.

Oy vey. I knew it would be an adjustment and that it may be stressful and difficult at times. I’m just not sure I’ll ever feel like I belong here on the west coast. And yeah, I know. I should give it more than a few months, and obviously, I will try my best to keep an open mind. There are so many beautiful areas this side of the country that I’m longing to explore, but is it home? Like for real, home? Only time will tell. Otherwise, it will just be another chapter in our journey. 

At least, it seems there have been more sunny days here in Seattle than normal this autumn. So, score! Maybe the winter won’t be so gloomy after all? It’ll be interesting to see how I feel in a year. It takes some time to get comfortable after moving across the country, of course. Until then, hang in there with me, and I’ll try to not piss all over the Pacific Northwest with my grumpy attitude. ;)

my little love notes of gratitude…

 Autumn, of course! Never lasts long enough. :(

  PSL – Pumpkin Spice Lattes!!! Say what you will about Starbucks: yeah, their coffee sucks, but they know how to make a good, sugary, flavored coffee drink.

 Pumpkin seeds – I’m not ready for the Autumn season to be over so quickly with every retail establishment pushing Christmas stuff on us already. I need to roast more pumpkin seeds, people!

 Voting by mail – no lines!

 Walking, walking, and more walking.

 The husband taking the Muppet down to the market to buy me this huge bouquet of flowers!

 Beautiful skies!

 The sun and exploring with my camera.

 Yummy caramels! Try these for your next caramel fix. The sea salt is the best I’ve ever had, and the roasted pecan is also quite delicious.

 Weatherproof boots (bought these Merrell Captiva Launch boots back in Ohio and they’re definitely a must-have in Seattle) and a new waterproof jacket. Finally staying dry in the rain!

 Writing and drinking coffee are best served on chilly, rainy days. That means my novel should be finished by the end of winter here in Seattle, right? ;)

Find something to be thankful for, even on your grumpy days.

Enjoy your weekend, folks!

xo~ Frani


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Canada/New England Cruise Part 3 ~ Beloved Boston

*If you missed ’em, check out Part 1 ~ Magnificent Maine & Part 2 ~ ♪ O Canada ♫.

Paul Revere Statue Boston (2)

After Canada, we had a day at sea before our last stop in the beautiful and proud city of Boston. A measly eight hours in this city is not nearly enough, and I long to visit again someday soon. It’s a gorgeous city with such a rich history that I have an insatiable need to thoroughly explore. *sigh* I’ll admit it, I’m in love with Boston. Continue reading

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Canada/New England Cruise Part 2 ~ ♪ O Canada ♪

*Check out Part 1 ~ Magnificent Maine if you missed it!

So, back to that big ol’ boat of old people. When the husband and I weren’t out exploring various cities, we were hittin’ dem clubz.

Ha. Who am I kidding?

We were reading.. like the nerds we are. Exploring is exhausting, yo.

I think I brought along a Harry Potter book, and the husband navigated the ship’s library through a sea of old people stumbling around and/or napping. Yes, napping. No lie.

Reading a Book On A Big Ol' Boat

Continue reading

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Suck It, Spring. Autumn Is For New Beginnings.

Greyhound Husky Mix in Autumn

My peak moments of wanting to give up on my dreams and hopes for the future usually come at Springtime. It’s weird because Spring means renewal, rebirth, revival and other terms that usually denote something new age-y and full of hope, right?

Of course, it could very well be a seasonal or cyclical depression thing. Whatever the reason for when I feel lost and clueless on where I’m going in life and what I’m doing, Spring just summons all my doubts and insecurities to the surface. She doesn’t realize how her tactics make me feel… her taunting blossoms and come hither stare saying “Look at all the things you could accomplish! This is the time for you to be reborn… to bloom and flourish.” Continue reading

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