Nicole’s Favourite Things: The Fall Fruit and Fashion Edition

It has been one of those “Lemon, it’s Tuesday” kind of weeks, for no particular reason. Nothing has been happening out of the ordinary, which, these days, ordinary is kind of extraordinary, but there has been nothing I can put my finger on to indicate why this week has felt extra long and strange. All I know is that I’ve been mentally a day ahead of the actual day every day this week.

Hooray, it’s Friday! I have big wine-and-Greek-salad plans tonight, and my husband and I are watching the final episode of the first season of Ozark – late to the party, I know, but I’m terrible at committing to actually watching a show. He’s been asking me to watch it with him for over a year, and I guess I’ve capitulated. We have been watching one or two episodes on weekends ONLY because I find it pretty disturbing to my sleep cycle.

Also hooray, we have been having the most BEAUTIFUL September. It’s really a crap shoot around here; September can be brutally cold and snowy, but this year it has been absolutely warm and gorgeous, with only a couple of frosty mornings. The fall colours are in full swing, and as I said to a gentleman I passed on my walk the other day, any September without snow on the ground is a great September.

Anyway, it is almost the end of September, and I promised myself I would keep my monthly Favourite Things going all through this pandemic – although “pandemic” now feels like “forever” or “this is life now.” In other words, it’s time for…

Nicole’s Favourite Things: The Fall Fruit and Fashion Edition

Before I get to my Favourite Things, I am going to introduce you to Barkley’s new Favourite Thing. First, some background. Out here on the prairies, what passes for fruit is the pathetic cousin of the glorious apple, known as the crabapple. There are crabapple trees everywhere and although some intrepid souls actually harvest those sour little things and add ten pounds of sugar to them to make them into a jar of semi-palatable jelly, mostly they just litter lawns as people desperately try to give them away before raking them up and putting them in their green compost bins.

Our next-door neighbour has a crabapple in his back yard, and squirrels are constantly picking them up, eating small amounts of them, and then dropping them in OUR back yard, underneath our stand of spruce trees. For Barkley, this is like a mix between Christmas morning and winning big in Vegas. For weeks now, he has been mysteriously missing from sight in the yard, only to emerge from the trees with an apple in his mouth.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned to my husband that Barkley was smellier than usual, but other than terrible gas that would have us all opening the windows, he was fine. That was when we discovered the Apple Bonanza, which happens every year but I seem to forget about it/ block it out.

He’s eating so many apples that he’s actually gaining weight, and although we do have to keep his weight down for arthritis reasons, I don’t have the heart OR the time and inclination to run outside, duck under the trees, and clean up any stray apples every time Barkley goes outside. Well, he’s twelve, and might as well get some enjoyment out of the fall, and in any case, apple season will be over soon, the snow will be here, and winter will have us all pining for these colourful, albeit smelly days.

These Apples Are Delicious; As A Matter Of Fact They Are, She Said

All of which is to say, it’s Apple Season in the Boyhouse too! It officially started Wednesday when there were a few expensive Macintosh and Honeycrisp apples at Superstore. I LIVE for Macintosh season, and although the selection was poor and the cost was $2.39 per pound, I bought a few. I was a LITTLE salty when the lady across the street told me later that day that the Co-Op around the corner had Macs for sale for $0.99 per pound; the sale had been going on for the entire week and was OVER by the time I got there. I could have been eating not only Macs for a week, but $0.99 per pound Macs for a week! Time AND money lost.

Well, we can’t live in the past, and in any case, I am eating them now. Some of you might view Apple Season as the time to make pies and crisps and applesauce, but as you know, for me, that is a grievous waste of an apple. I shall gorge until the season is over.

This apple was so good I almost cried.

Pears, Plums, and Nectarines

Some of you in warmer climates – I’m looking at you, Gigi and Suz (HI GIGI HI SUZ) – might not think of these as fall fruits, but here, if I obtain a fruit in September, it’s a fall fruit. I bought nectarines three weeks ago and they were so delicious, I almost didn’t buy them again, for fear they wouldn’t be as good. I’m glad I DID buy them because now they aren’t available. Plums are my husband’s favourites, so I’m adding them here even though they aren’t mine.

Pears. PEARS. I love pears and I only eat them at this time of year because I find them gravely disappointing any other time. The only problem, as I see it, is that we have to buy them so green, and then they all ripen at once. I mean, it’s not really a PROBLEM, per se, more of a pear-binge. With four fruit-hungry people in the house, they don’t last long.

Pears, I find, are not unlike avocados in that they take a while to ripen and then you have to strike while the iron is hot. Again, this isn’t really a problem.

The Middle-Aged Woman Look (Scarves, Sweaters, Flats, and Boots)

A few years ago, a woman I know said – and not in a friendly way, but in a disparaging, nasty kind of way – that the way you know a woman has hit middle age is that she starts wearing a lot of scarves and flats. The woman went on to say that SHE embraces her heels and low-cut tops and honestly, good for her. You do you, lady.

However, I love flats and I love scarves and there is a very limited time of year here that one can actually wear a scarf and a sweater and call it a day. I mean, you still can, but while outside the wind is often so powerful that scarves either unwrap themselves or threaten to strangle you, and a sweater is insufficient for the chill. Lately though, we have had a few days where it HAS been still and mild enough to go out with a sweater and scarf and pretend that we are living in a glorious climate and not one in which we are waiting for the other (flat) shoe to drop.

God, I love a good scarf. I think they are so pretty and snuggly. I haven’t reached the Nora Ephron stage in which I feel “bad about my neck” although sometimes, when I see photos, I do think my neck looks like a weirdly striated tree trunk.

I’ve embraced the long swirly drapey sweater look for a while now, and I find – and this is a topic for another day, a big topic – I love them even more because they smooth out the, how shall I say this, softening of my abdomen. But as I say, that is a big topic for another day, how perimenopause affects your body no matter what.

As for flats, I used to be a die-hard wedge heel girl, but now I just feel more comfortable, fast, and getting-my-steps-in with flats. I do still have a few low-heeled boots, but for the most part, my shoes are pretty flat. I have reached the stage in life where shoe comfort has taken precedence over shoe style. I guess that is because, god willing, I am now middle-aged.

Actually, I hope to live to 100, so I’ve got five years to go before I hope to be in TRUE middle age, but I don’t want to tempt fate.

Those are my favourite September things, what are yours? xo


  1. Can all this fruit be freeeee?

  2. Barkley; he looks like he was caught red ‘pawed’. I can’t believe the size of those trees!
    I know we are so fortunate to have fresh fruit ALL year round for the most part, but this is the time of year that I can get the best peaches, plums and nectarines. I’ve been enjoying the nectarines as they are my fave.
    You know what ages a woman more than anything? That disapproving face and attitude about what other women are wearing. YOU are adorable in your flats and scarves.
    My favorite things for September? I found Gladiolus at Publix and they were buy one get one free!

  3. Oh Barkley. Living that crabapple life. He looks so dejected to have been caught!

    I love fall clothing more than ANY other clothing. I could live in jeans and boots (or booties!) and long cardigans or light jackets ALL YEAR ROUND and I would be so happy. I also love apples. And the shift from grilling to soups/stews. Fall is awesome!

  4. September is a shoulder season for produce– you can get corn, tomatoes, peaches AND apples and pears. I like that. I used to like the kids going back to school and having a peaceful house. Maybe next year…

  5. In earlier September I made myself wait—but now that we are in the second half, I have bought MINIATURE GOURDS and a TEENSY PUMPKIN. I would have bought a couple pots of mums, too, but they only had my least favorite color.

  6. HI NICOLE! 🙂

    That lady can live her best life in her heels and lowcut tops – but scarves and flats? That’s the best.

  7. I managed to miss this post last week – we used to eat so many Honeycrsip apples that the cashier at the store used to stop me and ask me if I was sure I wanted to spend $37 on apples, etc. I am so happy for you that your September has been so great/without snow. Barkley getting into the apples cracked me up. Yikes, that sour lady – what in the world? I rarely do flats unless they are some kind of miracle flat with great support. I am all about comfort but there are a few kinds of shoes that I watch out for – and when they go on sale, I grab them. Fly London. Mesophisto. Naat. Great shoes. I do like layers, but I cannot do a cardigan unless it has the option to close. I feel like I am adjusting it on my shoulders all day long other wise.

  8. Sigh. Perimenopause, I am here for that conversation, whenever you are ready.

    Also: you have lovely flooring in your bedroom.

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