Chocolate, sunshine & unexpected surprises

Sometimes I wish it didn’t take me quite so long to be resigned to the end of the gardening season. It’s only mid-October and I am already longing for spring. Yes, spring. I’d like to zoom right by winter and be watching my spring bulbs flower.

It seems as if each October, a niggling sense of impending doom comes creeping over me. I suppose it isn’t tough to figure out why that is.

Besides shortened days, frost-laden mornings and less time spent outdoors, memories of mid-winter blizzards and long cold snaps come careening into my consciousness with a clarity that is just plain irritating. At the same time, my summertime memories have receded in a distant and hazy glow.

Well, the only way to counteract these feelings of doom, I decided, is to partake of some of my favourite things. With the sun shining this morning, I had an unexpected surprise when I walked in the back garden. There I found this Anemone coronaria (pictured above), blooming amid the fallen leaves.

Besides flowers, chocolate ranks right up there in my list of favourite things. No doubt that’s pretty obvious from the look on my face in this photograph.

I was glad that my friend Rox, had his camera along at lunch today since this dessert was well worth remembering. Oh yes, it was scrumptious and, as Rox commented, I looked as if I was praying over the chocolate mousse bombe with raspberry sauce.

If we hadn’t been so busy talking and eating, we might have thought to take a photograph of the tourtière and the land chowder, both of which were also wonderful. I also ordered fries and enjoyed every one of them.

Another unexpected surprise, which has fast become a favourite, is my new muslin tote.

Soon after I wrote a post about a muslin tote bag swap here, I received a lovely-wrapped package from Trish. As you can see from photographs of my tote and from Trish’s blog, Sweet Nellie, she is an incredibly talented person.

I am thoroughly enjoying my tote because it is a perfect size to cart along my usual things and goes well with most everything in my wardrobe. No surprise there…

It is perfect for carrying music, which means that I will be using it again tomorrow as I’m off to both fiddle group and a lesson. That’s something else to be cheered about.

Happy weekend everyone!

38 thoughts on “Chocolate, sunshine & unexpected surprises

  1. i love this picture of the blooming flower…fantastic! you look extremely content sitting in front of that chocolate…..and the tote looks very comfi and light. i’m envious!

  2. That flower is trying to tell you, that if you look carefully (which you obviously do!) fall and winter can be beautiful too. I know a lot of people would like to skip to spring right away, but would you really appreciate it that much if you didn’t have to endure the darker months of winter first? I love all seasons. :)Happy weekend to you too!PS I like the chocolate picture too!

  3. What a lovely blog you have. Painting, music, gardening, books are some of my favorite things. And I “totally” understand your longing for Spring with warmth and beautiful gardens. I am sure that western PA isn’t nearly as cold as where you live but even here the cold is a lot for me to handle! I look forward to reading your blog more.

  4. Hi Kate,I too have that longing for spring already. I am now remembering the last heavy snow we had. Well at least we have our houseplants and photos of this season.

  5. Kate, Having lived in that part of the world, I can understand how you could get the winter blues…winters there are loooong and cold!! (I remember as a child sitting in the car all curled up, thinking I would die of cold.)I love, love, love my zone 6b where I live now…though more winter sun and less fog would be nice.Cheers for music and chocolate and whatever else can ease the pain of winter for you. 🙂

  6. Chocolate is good for the soul, Kate. I am glad you’ve enjoyed it. 🙂 The totes are beautiful, what a great idea. I haven’t seen any made like that before. When I put my tulips, crocus’ in the ground, I caught myself wanting spring to be here soon, so I could see their blossoms. I don’t really care for the winter much myself. There is a reason for it, though. It causes us to slow down, retreat and take the time to think about us and life in general. Take care, Andrea

  7. Very pretty flower – is the center dark blue or black?? I lol when you wrote about praying over your dessert. I feel the same way about chocolate too – lots of women do. What is land chowder?Your new tote is quite wonderful – sort of “sophisticated hippie” I’d say. I’m sure you’ll look very “together” sporting it when you arrive at your fiddle group. I’m sorry you are dreading winter so much. Maybe during the dead of it you can take a trip to a warmer, sunny place for a little pick-me-up. Possibly a fiddle convention in the Bahamas!

  8. Don’t know about muslin totes, Kate, but for sure chocolate and flowers go a long way towards helping us cope with the darkening months. I understand how you feel, as gloom is encroaching on my world too. If the sun comes out tomorrow it will help…but so would a chocolate raspberry delight like that! Here’s to better days.

  9. Hi Kate,I share your feelings of loss (spring & summer). Each year, while October is a beautiful month, I dread the dwindling daylight hours and the color the warmer months provide. I hear you.Your chocolate dessert would make my day!

  10. And, I, who lives in the land of (almost) perpetual summer, I was thinking nostalgically of autumn in the Pacific Northwest. The brave little white bloom is so lovely! Thank you for sharing the chocolate, umm, ‘scuse me, gotta go, gotta find chocolate, um, chocolate, chocol, choc…

  11. I feel like you do in the autumn, a little bit melancholy.It’s important, as you say, to focus on the positive things.The anemone looks beautiful!The dessert looks delicious! And last but not least; the muslin tote is beautiful too.Have a really nice day! A warm hug from Marie :o)

  12. After our miserable summers, I always look forward to fall and winter, which are our best seasons here. I understand your feelings about winters–it’s just the reverse for me. I just dread summer more each year, and have to fight the depression summer brings. The best cure for your wintertime blues? Leave for warmer climes–or in my case–cooler climes!Aiyana

  13. In spite of your words there was no sense of impending doom in your post:) That chocolate dessert looks fabulous, so does the autumn sunlight shining onto it. There are lots of good things about autumn and winter – long evenings to snuggle under a blanket with a mug of hot chocolate and a good book, the first crisp white snowfall, the anticipation of how wonderful your garden will be next spring (dream gardens don’t have slugs,snails,greenfly, blackfly, drought or too much rain!), the house decorated for the holidays, evenings spent with your fiddle group ….think positive and have a great weekend:)

  14. Kate,Loved the little white flower. I love it in the spring when the snowdrops peek their heads through the snow. Spring and fall are my favorite times of year. I love spring because of the rebirth. Fall reminds me of my childhood days on the farm and the harvest.Thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting.Mary

  15. Oh, Kate, I’m right there with you on the raspberry chocolate torte! I love that combination.And how about that anemone! I can’t seem to grow them here. 😦

  16. Oh Kate, what a lovely tote Trish has made for you! I’m so glad you are getting good use out of it! And that chocolate mousse bombe with raspberry sauce sounds like the perfect dessert to me! I’m so jealous! I’m sorry about the change of seasons for you as I know you’ll miss your flowers. But hey why don’t you do what I plan on doing – I’m going to go back through some of the photos on your blog of your beautiful garden whenever I feel down this season – I know your gorgeous flowers will get me looking forward again! 😉

  17. Hi sweet Kate…I love that picture of you praying over the god of chocolate! I have just been to the church of croissants this morning!:)

  18. Hey there from below the equator where it is spring right now. There is always something nostalgic about the last flower of a season.

  19. Hi Kate, I can relate to your feelings about the weather changing..I really like fall, I just don’t like what I know comes next. : ) This winter I will be longing for spring also. I’ll need all the inspiration I can get by then. I’m with you on the chocolate too.

  20. Hi Kate – oh, I have the same thoughts about winter’s coming. I actually enjoy winter, but it just lasts way too long!! I’m already dreaming of spring too – seeing the bulbs peek out of the ground – everything new and fresh again.I love your anemone photo – how pretty. Fall blooms are such sweet surprises.That chocolate mousse looks soooo good – yum! And what a great tote – lucky you!!

  21. Kate, I’d be praying over the chocolate mousse too! As for the onset of winter, I feel as though life has lost a dimension without the sweet feel of summertime. Thoughts of it keep me going through the winter though!

  22. thank you so much for all the wonderfull things you’ve said about my art… and i love that tote! awsome! i was thinking about somthing… you might be able to help reccomend a book for me… i’m a homeschooling momma and we need a good book that identifies flowers , trees and shrubberies… any suggestions?

  23. i feel certain you’ve earned the benediction of St. Cocoa. she and all minor saints (choc pudding, choc cake, choc covered almonds….) will do their best to help you make it through the winter. as i share your gloom over the pending winter, i’m beginning a mental list of things to like about winter… sparkling frost on bare twigs; honey-gold sunlight on snow as the sun goes down; thick woolly sox and sweaters; fireplaces full of crackling logs; making quilts and other beautiful fabric things; and the FOOD!! hot drinks and stews and baked goodies, and the house full of the smell of them.

  24. Ummm… chocolates are my favorites too.Well dear Kate, may be flowers will be in short supply in your harsh winters, but then, load yourself with chocolates, surround yourself with bright colors, enjoy a few hot drinks and winters will be over before you can say ‘chocolate mousse bombe’!Take care.

  25. Wow,what a loveley tote has made for you.That chocolate mousse bombe withrasperry sauce looks very yummmiHave a nice day Regina

  26. There are good things about winter, rain and snow…no fires except in the fire place. Hopefully the winds will die down late tomorrow.

  27. I am longing together with you – for spring.In the mean time i will light lot`s of candles.And soon we will be preparing for Christmas.Finding joys all through the year…. :)While remembering summer and all the flowers.

  28. The tote is excellent! I have a thing for bags and would love carrying that one. As for the chocolate, it looks incredible. I’m allergic and cannot have it, but know from a taste or two, that concoctions like that are pure heaven.

  29. The Anemone coronaria was a nice surprise especially this late in the season. I hope the chocolate raspberry bombe was as good as it looked.

  30. My husband would love to join you in returning to spring. He got things in the ground pretty late this year and has now dragged it all inside to winterize it. Now, everything actually consists of many varieties of the same thing, hot peppers. He’s obsessed!

  31. I feel the same way about winter approaching, I could really skip it or maybe we could just have an abbreviated version, 1 month, for December? I pulled out all my bedding plants this past weekend, they suffered in the frost, but I have a Yellow Primrose that’s doing better now than it did all summer!

  32. Most of my life was spent with Illinois winters so it still seems odd when October and November are darker and cooler but feel less threatening. No matter the location, I’d still want chocolate, Kate – and it has to be the dark variety!The photo in the restaurant is very interesting with light coming through the blinds in stripes. It’s a good thing the blinds are horizontal -if they ran in the other direction you might look as if you were in jail, contemplating your last meal. Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  33. Hi Kate! What a beautiful tote!! I love the shape of it, the color, and all the great details. And the photo of you with the chocolate dessert is so blissful — what a great shot! That should go in a food magazine — it’s really pretty. And I love the Anemone peaking out from the leaves — it looks like it doesn’t want summer to end either. It’s like it’s saying “to heck with winter’s approach, I’m going to bloom anyway!” Moose and I send you and Lytton lots of hugs! 🙂

  34. Hi Kate, what a great way to beat the impending winter doldrums – lunch with a friend (involving chocolate!). I love to sit by open fires in winter and I have a knitting project that has been going on for far too long – an alpacca jumper for Kathleen. I’m sure all I need it a couple of wintery days though (almost there). Hope your winter continues to yield little surprises for you!

  35. That chocolate mousse looks so good!And the anemone is really beautiful!

  36. Hi Kate, I’ve returned to blogland after taking some time off. Your post hit home with the phrase “feelings of doom” with the weather change. I absolutely love cool, crisp, sunny autumn days, but lose my mind with it getting dark so early. It’s only gonna get worse next week when we go back to Standard time…ugh! I have so much to do outside, I don’t like it getting dark earlier. Maybe I’ll start practicing “Kate’s Favorite Things” as it starts getting dark. Then maybe I’ll forget about it?? Have a great week!

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