Monday, September 13, 2010

Fall Favorites


Janet here. Each season of the year is unique, packed with delights and challenges, but fall is hands down my favorite time of the year. The beauty of the trees as they don hues of gold, orange and red, the cooler nights, the demise of humidity that makes taking a brisk walk a joy. Perhaps I cherish each glorious fall day more because I know winter is approaching and time outdoors will soon be limited.


Several years ago, my love of fall took a hit. Hay fever brought itchy eyes, ears and throat, a dripping nose and no energy. Anyone identify? But thanks to allergy shots and meds, I’m symptom free. And fall is again #1.

One of the highlights of fall for me is attending festivals. It’s the perfect time to munch kettle corn, crunch gooey caramel apples or savor funnel cakes dusted with powdered sugar. Pumpkins, cider, apples, Indian corn and gourds are in abundance, along with craft booths to peruse, friends to greet. What’s not to like?

Well, one negative does come to mind: yellow jackets, a member of the wasp family. Before I wrote this post, I thought yellow jackets suddenly turned mean in the fall. But I discovered that in late summer workers begin to fancy sugar over meat and seek ripe, decaying fruit or human garbage, sodas, which explains why yellow jackets are a menace at fall picnics. Their stings hurt, can even be dangerous. But I will no longer take their aggression personally.

What do fall festivals have to do with writing? Festivals are great places to people watch and feed your creative self way more than junk food. Story ideas, characterization, description and setting, a slice of nostalgia, even nuggets of history awaits you. So you might want to haul yourself away from the keyboard one Saturday and explore a festival near you.


I love history so it's not surprising that my favorite area festival is the Johnny Appleseed Festival held not far from his graveside and a celebration of the era in which he lived. Dressed in period clothes, venders sell wares of the times. Enactors protray life in pre-1840s, living in tents, cooking and keeping warm with campfires, using candles for light at night. I haven’t attended in recent years since it’s held the same weekend as the ACFW conference. But I have pleasant memories of meandering through the crowds, looking at antiques, watching demonstrators make their crafts, buying produce, eating fare I never would indulge in any other time.

For those who know little about the man, Johnny Appleseed’s real name was John Chapman. Born September 26, 1774 in Leominster, Massachusetts, he lived on a small farm, loved apples and his father's apple orchard. Settlers traveling west told John of fertile soil on the frontier, creating in him a desire to plant apple seeds. In 1792, 18-year-old Chapman headed west. Cider presses in Pennsylvania gave him apple seeds for free since more apple trees meant more business for them. John then traveled to the Ohio River valley, planting apple seeds along the way. In Ohio, he tended 1,200 acres of his own nurseries, building fences around his saplings to protect them from animals. He left them in the care of a neighbor who sold the trees then moved on, selling or giving away thousands of apple seedlings to pioneers in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.
As he traveled from house to house, he told stories to children and spread the Swedenborgian gospel to adults, sleeping on floors and sometimes receiving supper. He made several trips back east to visit his sister and replenish his supply of Swedenborgian literature. A couple times a year, he'd visit his orchards in Ohio and collected his earnings. Unable to harm animals, he was a vegetarian. He never married, apparently a victim of a broken heart. He died of pneumonia in 1845 near Fort Wayne, Indiana. His generous nature, commitment to the gospel he preached, kinship with Indians and the wilderness, and his peculiar appearance (He was reported to have worn a shirt made from a coffee sack and a mush pan for a hat) made John Chapman a legend in his lifetime.

Wouldn’t he make an interesting secondary character?


In honor of John Chapman, I brought apple dumplings, donuts and cider for breakfast. Dig in and don’t worry. No yellow jackets allowed.



I’m giving away a copy of The Substitute Bride. Compared to Elizabeth’s’ life in Chicago, New Harmony, Iowa in 1899 was the frontier. And this mail-order bride was most definitely a pioneer! For a chance to win a copy of The Substitute Bride, share your favorite season or festival or perhaps you have a harrowing tale of yellow jackets to tell.

Though I’ll be missing the Johnny Appleseed Festival, I’ll soon be seeing Seekers at the ACFW conference in Indianapolis! Hopefully I’ll get to see many of you! Who's coming???


102 comments :

  1. Fall is definitely my favorite season too. I love the beautiful colors and the smell of wood burning in the fireplaces on those chilly fall nights. I look forward to the joy on my grandkids faces when going trick-or-treating and the family getting together for Thanksgiving. Now I'm not a big fan of winter, but I will just enjoy the fall and handle winter when it comes.

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  2. I love spring, and I'm coming to Indy!!!

    Coffee's on.

    Helen

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  3. Fall is before winter and winter = cold so I don't like it. Sorry. LOL give me sunshine and 85 degrees all year round and I'll be happy. Hawaii here I come! :-P

    Please don't enter me I already read and loved The Substiture Bride, I just had to stop by and rant about my hatred of cold weather.

    XOXO~ Renee

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  4. Hi Janet:

    It is not a festival but I like Thanksgiving time the best. I also like Bluegrass festivals any time of the year. (I mean real festivals with campers and lawn chairs and the bandstand under shade trees.)

    I have all your books but I have no idea what you are now working on. Can you give us a hint?

    Vince

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  5. I'm hearing you on the allergies, Janet! Happy that you're symptom free. My problem is that I struggle with allergies both spring and fall. Summer's beyond hot and Winter's beyond cold.

    Out of all of the seasons though, I would have to say I like Summer the best. Though it is hot, I like swimming and the beach. Of course, getting two months off for summer break doesn't hurt either.

    I'll throw a few cherry turnover pies into your apple mix. Breakfast is on!!

    I'll be seeing you Indy next weekend. Looking forward to having a great time at my first national conference.

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  6. Janet,

    Great post! I love the information you gave on fall and Johnny Appleseed. :)

    One thing that's rather hard for me about going away to college is that I miss my favorite fall traditions back at home. :( We have a delightful Apple Harvest Festival at an orchard in our county, complete with apple tasting, tractor rides through the orchard, and the best apple cider you will ever taste (in my opinion!). We also have a really fun corn maze and pumpkin patch not far from where I live, and my home county is just really wonderful in the fall. It's a great season to be sure, and I have a hard time choosing between fall and summer as my favorite! :)

    Anyway, even though I'm away at school, we still have some fun things to do. I just got back from the Beach Party earlier this evening--but that's more of a late summer thing. ;) We have a barn party later in the season, and last year when my parents and my sister came up to visit, we found this great little harvest festival that we're hoping to maybe go back to again this year (or some place like it!).

    I would love a chance to win your book, as I haven't read it yet! :) Thank you!

    ~Amber

    stokes[dot]a[at]suddenlink[dot]net

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  7. Vince,

    Oh, I LOVE bluegrass! I think it is my favorite genre of music, although I like a mixture of different kinds. :) It's just so beautiful and so honest. It really goes much deeper than the constraints of time.

    Do you have a favorite bluegrass band/group?

    ~Amber

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  8. Hi Janet,

    Looking forward to meeting you this weekend!

    My favorite season is also fall - for many of the same reasons. It's such a relief after the heat and humidity of summer.

    I love the fall festivals. There is one here in Georgia called the Cotton Pickin' Festival. We go every October and always come back with some great purchases!

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  9. Hi Linda, there are things I love about all the seasons, but fall is still my favorite. Winter has magical moments and of course Christmas is a highlight of the year, but we have a lot of gray days here. I need sunshine!

    If you want in the drawing, don't forget to leave your email address.

    Janet

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  10. Yay Helen!!! I'm excited to get this chance to meet you face to face!!

    Thanks for the coffee. I need it!

    I think of spring as breezy, chilly, damp, but then there's tulips, daffodils and crocus. And Easter. Ah, the promise of a new beginning.

    Janet

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  11. Oh, Janet, I LOVE fall. Love the leaves, the change, the temps, the cold rains that make a warm fire so appreciated, the colors, the festivals.

    Yellow jackets are stupid-annoying, and at our Hilton Apple Fest they are DRAWN to warm, apple-studded desserts. Pain-in-the-butt wasps.

    But I digress. Like usual.

    And I love Johnny Chapman, it's such a great story. And secondary characters, no matter how small or tiny their role, layer a book for me. That hint of depth, that discriminate character, that depiction of a home-grown person.

    Love it.

    And I'm grabbing coffee and I brought some pumpkin spice creamer today.

    And we need to make pumpkin pies soon.

    Really. Truly.

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  12. I love fall too. Such a relief from the hot dry summer. I live in the south where the air is so thick sometimes. It felt great this morning though..a nice cool 62 degrees when I took the dog out. Most mornings it's been in the 80s already when I get up with heat index getting to around 105 by the end of the day. Fall reminds me that Christmas is not far down the road. Love Christmas time. Although I love spring too, but it seems we don't have much of a spring here. It seems to go from cold to hot really fast.(Enjoyed your history of Johnny Appleseed) Your book sounds great Janet. I know it will be. Would love to read it.
    plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  13. Renee, you poor thing! I feel badly that you dread winter so much you can't enjoy glorious fall. I love taking walks in the leaves, kicking through them like a kid, finding pretty ones and bringing them home. Yes, I'm a sap about fall.

    I like winter nights with the snow glittering in the moonlight. See how I can forget about the cold and the shoveling? LOL

    Janet

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  14. Hi Vince,

    Thanksgiving is wonderful! Lots of cooking but lots of help cleaning up too. :-)

    Bluegrass isn't at the top of my music favorites but your enthusisam says Bluegrass Festivals are a good time!

    I'm working on a family feud story set in New Harmony, the setting of The Substitute Bride.

    Wanted: A Family will release in March. Here's a peek:

    Pregnant widow Callie Mitchell and ex-con Jacob “Jake” Smith, an angry orphan searching for his birth mother, stand against the disapproving town when Callie turns her house into a home for unwed mothers.

    Janet

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  15. Hi, Janet,

    I have to join the majority and say Fall is definitely my favorite time of year. I enjoy the festivals and since moving to Maryland a friend and I make a Fall pilgrimage to a local farm for Indian corn, pumpkins and other Fall decorations. And of course football and all the fun of gathering with family and friends and yelling at the TV. :o)

    Your story of Johnny Appleseed reminded me of an animated movie Disney made about him that I used to love when I was little. Of course, he sang as he planted his seeds and I'm sure there were some woodland friends, but a nice introduction nonetheless.

    Please don't enter me in the drawing. I read and loved the Substitute Bride.

    --Kirsten

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  16. Dianna, sounds like you need a trip to the allergist. Sorry about the double hit. I'm allergic to most everything. Dogs, cats too.

    With summers off no wonder you love that season best. I love walks along the beach but don't lay out much anymore. This past winter, Florida was chilly! Nothing feels colder than damp chilly weather when the expectation is warm.

    Wahoo, we'll get to meet in Indianapolis!!! You're going to love the conference. I especially love worship each morning. And the workshops. And seeing everyone!

    Thanks for the cherry turnovers! Yummy.

    Janet

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  17. Amber, you've made me want to come for a visit! Your festival sounds wonderful. Fall takes us back to our rural roots. Probably another reason I love it.

    Sounds like you're finding the fun near your college. Hope you have a great semester!

    Thanks for your interest in The Substitute Bride.

    Janet

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  18. Hurray!!! Looking forward to meeting you, Edwina. We'll have a Seekerville meet and greet!! How fun!!

    What kinds of things can you buy at the Cotton Pickin' festival? I loved seeing the huge fields of cotton when we were passing through Mississippi. Not something we see up north.

    Janet

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  19. Ruthy, pumpkin pie is one of my favorites!!! Yours would be great. I actually baked a pumpkin and made a pie from scratch. Once.
    Couldn't tell the difference. LOL

    Carving pumpkins is fun. Something we enjoy doing with our grandkids. We use these nifty little blades that see-saw in and out. They come with patterns. Not like the old days using a butcher knife!

    Janet

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  20. Hi Patsy, about how long does the pretty fall weather last in the south?

    I love Indian summer, that time when you get a warm sunny day or two after a killing frost, usually happens in November if it happens at all. Not sure where the name originated. Anyone heard of that where you are?

    Thanks for your interest in The Substitute Bride!

    Janet

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  21. Hello Kirsten. I read about the Disney movie but haven't seen it. It sounds adorable though probably not realistic. Much of the area where John planted seeds had to be heavily forested or swampy. I remember hearing that the trees were so dense on Indiana's frontier days that sunlight couldn't permeate the foliage. Glad I wasn't a pioneer!

    Thanks for your sweet words about my book!

    Janet

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  22. Hi Janet, I love the story of John Chapman. We used to read about him in grade school. What they didn't tell us in school was that he spread the gospel. How cool to know that.

    Fall is a great time of year for me because we return home and I see friends and family.

    To be honest, in the desert, we don't have all the dramatic change of seasons most of you have. The temps drop below the hundreds, but they stay nice most of the year. smile

    I can hardly wait for WANTED: A FAMILY. I so loved all your other books. I love historical romance and find all the history fascinating.

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  23. Janet,

    I always loved learning about Johnny Appleseed in school. Thanks for the reminder.

    Fall is my favorite season also, even though I suffer from allergies. I like the warm humid free days.

    Lewis & Clark festivals are big in this area but are held in the spring. But I am looking forward to South Dakota's Festival of the Book later this month.

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  24. I just wanted to endorse Janet's Substitute Bride! (I have it.) You definitely want to sign up for this one (or go get her book if you don't win.)

    I live near Ft. Wayne, so I know about Johnny Appleseed. They even named their sports team based on his story. (LOL)

    I love fall, too, but hate it when the beans are harvested. Dusty and itchy. Thank you, Lord, for allergy meds!

    If you live in Indiana, you know that you can catch a fall festival every weekend, so come to Indiana. :)

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  25. Fall is my most favorite season, too. The cooler temps, leaves turning, football, the coming holidays. Ok, the "cooler temps" doesn't mean alot down here on the Texas Gulf Coast! A lot of the times we go straight from summer to winter! And the "turning leaves" doesn't always happen down here. Some years it's brown (from the extreme heat)straight to no leaves. But I still love this time of year!!! So many good memories!

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  26. Every season is my favorite when it arrives, but I do cater to fall a little more. The crispness in the air is invigorating. I love to crunch through the leaves and walk in the woods.
    I did enjoy the story of Johnny Appleseed. I had never heard the complete story before, just that he planted apple seeds everywhere. Thanks for sharing.

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  27. Hi Sandra,

    The Swedenborgian theology he shared is interesting if you have time to Google it.

    Good idea to travel during the hot summers! I love to go places but returning home is the best feeling, whatever the season. :-)

    Thanks for your excitement about the release of Wanted: A Family!

    Janet

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  28. Oh, Janet, what a beautiful post ... except, did you have to mention food every other paragraph??? I just started the 3-day grapefruit & egg diet yesterday (yeah, yeah, yeah, it's my last-ditch effort to shed a few pounds before I pile them back on in Indy!!), and you were not kind to me in this post. I mean come on ... kettle corn, caramel apples and funnel cakes??? Bad Janet!!

    Never knew the story of Johnny Appleseed, so that was fun to find out and for me as a historical romance writer, truly emphasizes the importance (and fun) of well-researched history in our writing.

    As much as I like summer, the wooing of fall is hard to resist, with its cooler nights and occasional pungent smell of wood smoke, the building crescendo of crickets/locusts, and the melancholy call of cooing doves whose lament seems more poignant this time of year, as if mourning the passing of another season.

    Thanks for helping to get me
    "in the mood" for this beautiful time of year.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  29. Actually, Janet, I do have a harrowing yellow jacket story to tell! I was at kids' camp with my kids and some other kids from my church. I was walking through the woods on the way to the lake with the girls and a yellow jacket stung my leg. Now camp is not my favorite place to be, since I'm so not a "roughing it" kind of girl. So when the yellow jacket stung me I was pretty upset. A couple of days later, my whole lower leg turned purple and swelled up and it hurt to walk. The doctor said it was probably an infection and I had to get a tetanus shot and take antibiotics. Now I really hate those things.

    Now I'm curious and want to look up the Swedenborgian gospel, or however you spell that.

    I have always wanted to visit the Oktoberfest we have here, but it's also this weekend during the ACFW conference. I usually miss it because I forget about it, but this year I'll miss it because I'll be in Indy!!! YAY!

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  30. Rose, sorry about those allergies. A nasal steroid inhaler really helped me before I started shots. Some have suggested eating honey from local bees helps. Bought some but keep forgetting to use it.

    I would love to hear more about the Lewis and Clark festival and the Festival of the Book. Both would interest me, I'm sure.

    Janet

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  31. Hi Crystal. You're right, Hoosiers love their festivals!! It seems like every small town has one.

    Thanks for the Substitute Bride commercial! :-) You're a sweetheart!

    Janet

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  32. Hi Janet, I'm guessing with the dry hot weather we've had the last couple of months that we'll get lots of brown leaves this year too. Hoping I'm wrong.

    I like football. The Colts are starting slow but I'm pulling for them. We attend college games. Sitting in a football stadium on a pretty fall day is great fun. Winning makes it better!

    Janet

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  33. Kathy, I can't imagine living the vagabond life John Chapman lived. Perhaps he'd have settled down if he'd met the right woman. :-) The poor guy needs a book!

    Janet

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  34. I LOVE the autumn! It's my absolute favourite season. This year especially so because there are so many wonderful books coming out! Hard to know which one to read first!

    I haven't had problems with yellow jackets, but the bumble bees are crazy!!! Luckily they are slow and kind of bumbling. They keep dive bombing me when I'm gardening and I keep swatting them away. On Saturday I knocked one into a tizzy and it flew into my dog's ear -- that was fun!

    And Johnny Appleseed! He's very popular at my library this month. (I work at a school board library) Apple and pumpkin books are in high demand!

    Don't enter me in your draw because I've read Substitute Bride and loved it. Looking forward to Wanted : a Family! The anticipation will help get me through the winter!

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  35. Wow, Julie, You sure put me in the mood with your comments!!! I should join you on the grapefruit diet but I really prefer peaches. Wonder if that would work?

    You hadn't heard about Johnny Appleseed? Guess that's because he never got that far west.

    Janet

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  36. Ouch, Melanie! That sounds painful. A friend stepped into a ground nest of yellow jackets while mowing her lawn and was stung dozens of times.

    Can't wait to see you in Indy! And hopefully signing a copy to me of The Healer's Apprentice!!

    Janet

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  37. Fall is definitely my favortie season, although it is very short lived here in the deep south. Still.. after the super heat of the summer it is sooo exciting to get up one morning to find crisp cool air... such a joy! I love being able to throw open the windows with no need of air conditioning or heat... to let the sunshine and wind flow through the house. We have 2 little long haired miniature dachshunds and when fall hits, we open the back door and let them run in and out at will.. they so love it. Their favorite thing are the leaves, which they love to sneak back inside and much on!

    I look forward to reading The Substitute Bride.. sounds like a fun read! Barb C.

    ChristianHomes (at) gmail (dot) com

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  38. I love Spring with all the new birth of nature. I love working in my yard and flower beds and spend as much time as possible outside.
    Fall is my 2nd favorite for the fall foliage and flowers. I enjoy the crisp Fall air after the hot Summer. I have always loved Johnny Appleseed since I first heard his story in grammer school a long time ago. lol I also have allergies but I just take meds and try to keep going. I love sun but the 95 plus with humidity is too much at times. I live in the South East where it does get hot.

    I wish I was going to attend but maybe next yr.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  39. I love Spring the best, as I love the chartreuse colors peeking out of the tree buds.

    A harrowing yellow jacket story: When we first moved to our current home, there were tightly packed irises behind my house, and I was going to split them up and replant them. Well...I hit a yellow jacket nest! I had bees up my pant, sweatshirt, one pumping venom into my right toe,and buzzing all around me while I proceeded to scream my head off, swatting them off as I ran to the house. Several followed me in. My son followed me, swatting them with a fly swatter throughout the house. I had to literally 'drop my pant' to get rid of one stinging me. We got them all, but from that day forward, every time I saw a yellow jacket I scream whether they were after me or not. One Sunday we came home and there was one on my screen door. I running and screaming...my neighbor said, "We'll pretend we didn't see that." I told them 'Please do!' I've run through raspberry canes to elude a yellow jacket, getting scratched from head to toe. Yes, I hate those buggers!

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  40. Hi Kav, I love libraries. Never seem to get there as much as I'd like. I can picture the Children's section. :-)What is a school board library exactly?

    Your poor dog!!! Hope the bee flew out of his ear without stinging him.

    When we tailgate at football games, I keep a wad of napkin in my pull tab opening. I'm afraid I'll swallow a yellow jacket. Though the university must be spraying. They're not as bad as they were years ago.

    Your comment about Wanted: A Family made my day!!! Thanks! One of the nice things about winter is curling up with a good book.

    Janet

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  41. Hi Barb, long haired dachunds are adorable! Sounds like your two know how to have a good time! Now if they could just use a rake. :-)

    Thanks for your interest in The Substitute Bride!

    Janet

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  42. Fall Festivals, anywhere people gather for things, can make good blog posts, too.

    There is a lot of charm and humor in people. I got a blog post out of Husker Harvest Days once. A sort of fall festival in Nebraska.

    Well, more of a trade show for agricultural equipment really, but a lot of interesting characters.

    I even came out of my normal day dreaming state to notice some of them.

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  43. Misskallie2000, Spring in the south east is beautiful! I do love spring flowers, the forsythia, dogwoods and red bud, all the flowering trees. Easter.

    Hope you can make the ACFW conference next year!

    Janet

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  44. Oh, Linda, I'm laughing and feeling terrible! I'll blame my behavior on the vivid picture you painted of your encounters with yellow jackets!! Goodness they're persistant. Keep your son and that fly swatter close at hand.

    Janet

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  45. You're such a hoot, Mary! I'd love to get inside your head for a few minutes.

    Have you ever been to a steam engine festival? Old tractors and farm equipment I can't name. My husband's father attended them and we went once. Lots of bib overalls and RR hats worn by the men.

    Janet

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  46. Hi again! :-) My school board library serves all the schools in our school board. Each individual school has its own library, but their resources are limited and are primarily for students. The library I work at supplies curriculum resources (like books on apples -- both fiction and non-fiction) and novel studies.

    Teachers contact us requesting material for whatever subject they are teaching (energy, biodiversity, magnets etc.) and we select a bin of books, videos, dvds, posters etc. and send it to them.

    It's a fun job -- and the bonus is I get to spend somebody else's $ on books. :-)

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  47. I live so far south that we don't really have a fall season. : (

    But...fall = football! Need I say more? Except maybe go Cowboys!

    Hope to meet some of you face to face in a couple of days at ACFW!

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  48. I love Autumn! Not so many allergies, and the brisk mornings are refreshing. Not to mention the beautiful colors here in Western NC :)

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this book. Sounds good!

    homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

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  49. Kav, Your library is a wonderful resource for teachers! Must save them a lot of time, too. Do you have so many requests for the same materials during a season that you can't fill them all?

    Janet

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  50. Hi Teri, you're coming to ACFW! Looking forward to meeting you!

    Indianapolis is the home of the Colts. :-) Saturday of ACFW is game day so expect to see some Colts' jerseys!

    Janet

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  51. Hi Anne, thanks for your interest in The Substitute Bride!

    I love North Carolina! Are you near the Biltmore mansion? I spent a lovely day there a few years ago.

    Janet

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  52. Janet,

    I love summer the best, but Fall is great, too. My favourite thing to do is go apple picking in the orchards near by. My kids especially loved this when they where little. Nothing like a fresh picked MacIntosh apple!

    My son has been stung by yellow jackets twice already in the last two weeks. Luckily he has no reaction other than a mild swelling.

    I'd love a chance to win your book and your next one coming out sounds wonderful. I love the idea of a home for unwed mothers!

    Thanks, Janet. Have a great time at the conference!

    Sue
    sbmason (at) sympatico (dot) ca

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  53. What an interesting story, Janet!! I've never heard that. (Well, maybe in elementary school, but it had flown out of my brain). :)

    I, too, love festivals. You had me at "caramel apples." :)

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  54. My favorite festival is from a childhood memory--The Covered Bridge Festival, held somewhere in southern Indiana. I just remember the beautiful fall colors, the bridge,and how my parents would go on and on about the bean soup (which I loathed). I too, will miss going to the J.A. Festival this weekend, but I'm so psyched for Indy!

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  55. My favorite season is winter, which typically makes most people groan when I say that. I love watching the snow fall and being in a snug warm house. Curling up beside the fireplace with a blanket, hot tea and a good book. Love those days when we are snowed in and have nowhere to go.

    Not too many winter festivals, although there is an ice festival in a local town as well as a cardboard sled competition.

    I'll be attending the conference - leaving Thursday around noon. I was instructed by Ruthie to spend some time hanging out with the Seekers. Even though I'm new to the website, I'm anxious to meet all of you.

    Blessings,
    Jodie Wolfe
    digging4pearls(at)comcast(dot)net

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  56. Fall is my favorite season.
    The colors and smells of autumn, crunching of the leaves and them twirlin in the wind. Carving pumpkins, baking pumpkin pies and seeds, making carmel apples and apple pie with the grands. ALL Fun.
    Please add me to the drawing.
    Thank you for the chance.
    Wendy
    wdesirees@yahoo.com

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  57. Hi Sue,

    Hugs to your son. The stings hurt.

    I've never picked apples. Sounds like fun. Do you need a ladder or do you pick from the ground?

    Thanks for your interest in my books!

    Hooking up with friends at ACFW is fun. The workshops are informative and the worship sessions are uplifting. Should be a great time!

    Janet

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  58. Janet, I feel so connected to you today. First. Fall. Love it! everything you listed. My birthday is in October, too, so that helps.

    Pumpkin anything is a treat. We can have it year round but it's celebrated so much more in the fall. Yum.

    Hay Fever. Have it. Hate it. Dread Ragweed season.
    And Yellow Jackets. This is the first year in nine that I haven't trapped and worked with Yellow Jackets in the fall. I actually find them beautiful and fascinating. Yes, once the work is done in the hive, the drones get to go on holiday and they are looking for something good to eat. Protein and sugar, and why be mannerly when you're going to die soon. Eat, drink and be merry because, unless you're the queen, your days are numbered! So I'm a insect geek, it's true.

    Another good thing is that fall heralds the time of less outdoor work and more time to write! Hurray!

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  59. Hi Missy,

    Caramel apples are great, especially with slightly tart apples. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Even coated with candy. :-)

    Janet

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  60. Hi Lynette.

    I've never been to the covered bridge festival but would love to go. I'm guessing the bean soup was served with cornbread. If it wasn't, it should've been. Love the sweet kind, warm from the oven with butter.

    Yay, another conference attendee! Hoping to see you in Indy!

    Janet

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  61. Jodie, Ruthy is boss so obey! Looking forward to meeting you.

    I've seen pictures of winter ice sculpture festivals, which were amazing! I'll admit it was easier looking at them on the Internet than it would've been in person.

    Janet

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  62. Wendy, grandkids are terrific! Fun to share the season with them. We haven't had great success with roasting pumpkin seeds. Anyone know a trick?

    Janet

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  63. Lovely post, Janet, and fun to learn a little more about Johnny Appleseed!

    I'm afraid I don't care much for fall, though, and allergies are a big reason. Even after years of allergy injections and all kinds of meds, I can still "smell" fall coming with the first bursts of ragweed.

    And even though the changing colors of the trees is beautiful, it reminds me winter is just around the corner, and I hate the starkness of bare trees against steel-gray skies. The latter days of spring, when the trees are budding and flowers are blooming and the weather is warming up--those are the days I love!

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  64. Hi Debra,

    My birthday is in September. Hmm. Both of us have fall birthdays. Maybe that explains our love of fall. Now I want to go back and ask everyone if their birthday is in their favorite season.

    You've made me feel a tiny bit sorry for yellow jackets with their lives almost over, desperate for sugar. Haven't we all been there. Still, I had a yellow jacket infestation in my house once. Every day 30-50 yellow jackets would be crawling all over the inside of our windows, leaving streaks of gooey stuff. Prepare yourself, Debra. I'd kill them. Every last one. Sorry. Then that many would be back the next day. Got an exterminator and a whole colony or whatever you call them had set up housekeeping in our attic. Fall cleaning took on a new meaning.

    I've got to know. Why were you trapping and how do you work with them?

    Our connection hinges on your answer. Kidding!

    Janet

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  65. Hi Myra, you've built a great case for spring, ah, late spring. And ruined my birthday theory. Sigh. I noticed you didn't mention the monsoons and wind gusts. LOL

    Janet

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  66. Janet,
    Awwwww you make me miss home! Lol! Next weekend I'm going to the World's Fair! Otherwise known as Tundbridge Fair. This is a little fair that we go to every year. Luckily it's another excuse for me to go home *grin* This is tradition. I'm definitely a fair fan like you, Janet!!

    However, it's kind of a toss-up between spring and fall for me...not sure which I like better : )

    I wish I was going to the conference : ( Instead I'm stuck here at school...bummer! Definitely not as fun as meeting you all...someday. It'll happen. I'm determined! It would so, so turn my week around if I met all you wonderful ladies, I hope you realize how much you truly do mean to me. *sniffle, sniffle*

    Anywho, A Substitute Bride is AMAHZING!!! Seriously, it was the first book I read on my Kindle, my first Janet Dean book, my first Love Inspired Historical book....it definitely did NOT disappoint!! Much the opposite....however, I've been unable to find the others! Lol...so I'm still keeping an eye out : )

    I'll probably be back later!! Activity Fair tonight...going to go find out what I can use to take up some of my time on campus....ugh! Looking forward to Friday already!
    Hannah

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  67. We have late-winter fests up here for Maple syrup time, so Feb/March.

    SO fun.

    Spiedies, a fried pork sandwich. Maple sundaes. Maple rolls. Maple ice cream. Maple suckers. Maple cream.

    And I met one of my North Country research contacts at the MapleFest in Marathon NY (near Binghamton) and she helped me with sheep farming, soap making, and connected me with the Ostranders, a very sheep-knowledgable family in St. Lawrence County.

    I LOVE FESTIVALS!

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  68. Hi there, Hannah! All the Seekers are eager to meet you!!! I know we will. Hang in and have fun at school. You're only young once. Let us know what club or activity you joined.

    Are my other books not available on Kindle? Will have to check.

    Janet

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  69. No wonder you love festivals, Ruthy! Festival attenders are the nicest people! So nice to share.

    Speaking of nice people, I got a call from a dear friend who is has a funnel cake booth at Johnny Appleseed. Knowing I'd be gone during the festivals, she said she'd make me a funnel cake. I'm holding her to it!

    Feb/Mar have to be cold months in your neck of the woods, Ruthy. So how many layers do you wear to a winter festival?

    Janet

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  70. Happy Birthday this month, Janet! I love fall...cooler temps suit me better than the heat and humidity of Georgia's summer. Please enter me for your book...would love to read it!
    Thanks!!!
    jackie.smithATdishmailDOTnet

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  71. Although Fall is not my favorite season, I still enjoy the changing of the colors and the crisp feel in the air (especially when jogging)!

    However, my favorite part of this time of year is our Old Timey Day at our church.

    My father is a connoisseur of antique engines and tractors.

    We make biscuits on wood burning stoves, churn butter, make cane syrup and apple cider. My father has an old printing press, cane grinder, grist mill, and so on.

    We have a great time passing out church info and showing the progress on our church building. We invite them back the next day if they feel they want to give donations, and ask they put them in the offering plate themselves.

    Woo! I can't wait for it to get here!

    As tough a day as it is, we have SUCH a great time getting ready for it and meeting people in the area.

    That HAS to be my favorite part of fall.

    ...and then there's Thanksgiving! hehehe...mmmmmmmm...

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  72. Silver Creek, NY. Home to the annual September Grape Festival.

    Nothing beats a Concord Grape pie, or spending hours building a float for the parade.

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  73. Thanks for the birthday wishes, Jackie! And for your interest in The Substitute Bride.

    Janet

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  74. Janet, no worries. Yellow Jackets are not great house-guests and you have no choice but to call a professional and get rid of them. My work was for research -the effectiveness of traps as a way to deter stinging insect problems at festivals and places like parks, outdoor cafe's, etc.

    They have a nasty habit of hanging around trash cans and climbing inside your soda, don't they?

    September is also a perfect time of the year to go to ACFW conference. Everyone, have an amazing time! The rest of us will have to make do with stories and photos! So don't disappoint us. Share the experiences when you get back!

    Thanks Janet. Oh - I'd love to be in the drawing for A Substitute Bride!

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  75. Kelly, I love the sound of the Old Timey Day at your church! I'd love to see the printing press in operation and even better, to try my hand at making biscuits using a wood burning stove. I couldn't do worse than my heroine in The Substitute Bride. What's so wonderful about your event is not just seeing the antique but seeing it used. You sound like you're following in your dad's footsteps!

    Janet

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  76. Grape pie is a new one on me, Tina. Sounds wonderful! I helped with a 4-H float once. Do you use grapes vines or crepe paper to decorate?

    Janet

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  77. Thanks Janet! It's still hard...there are SO many places I'd rather be than here....I like bedtime because I can plug into my iPod and unwind. Plus there's the fact that once I wake up, I'm one day closer to going home!! Teeheehee....my only reservation is that I hope people don't move on without me, if I'm gone on the weekends. You know? I just honestly have NO interest whatsoever to be here on the weekends. I'm seriously the worst college student!! Lol! Ah well...

    I joined the CSC Players (a theater group), the Voices of CSC (the gospel choir, it's the ONLY choir we have! A little bit of a bummer...we'll see how it goes), Chess Club (a girl made me join, I don't think I'll stay in it, but we'll see, lol), and the Childhood Development Club.

    *shrug* I don't know what I'm getting myself into! Lol....

    Okay I'll talk to you soon!
    Hannah

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  78. Oh! And I think they might be available for Kindle, not positive, but I think I'd rather have them in book form. I like to do that for the keepers ; )
    Hannah

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  79. Hi Debra, I didn't know there were traps for yellow jackets. Do they work? I've noticed yellow jackets aren't as prevalent at festivals as they were. Maybe because some people have severe reactions and fear of lawsuits makes them spray.

    Janet

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  80. Hi Hannah. You've signed up for a nice variety of clubs! Hope some of them click. I've never played chess, but choir and theater should be fun and a great way to get acquainted.

    I'm like you, I love keeper books! I gave away all three last month. Maybe I will again.

    Janet

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  81. Hi Janet,
    Sorry I'm late to the 'apple' party.
    I love the idea for your new novel, Janet. It sounds great. Talk about tension ;-)

    And I'm a BIG fan of fall. My favorite time of year - with or without wasps - though I prefer the without.
    It's the most beautiful time of year in Appalachia. FABULOUS colors - God's fingerpaint everywhere.
    Apple Butter festivals will be coming up soon. YUM.
    Autumn Leaves festivals too. Those are fun.
    See ya in a few days :-)

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  82. Hi Amber S.:

    My favorite Bluegrass band is Alison Krauss and Union Station and my favorite musician is Ricky Skaggs. (I am trying to learn the mandolin.) I really like to get a few feet away from the band and listen to each instrument. I pay close attention to the technique the player uses. I think Bluegrass is the best music to get up close to and listen in person. You can often get very close to Bluegrass bands at festivals. I’m glad to hear you’re a fan!

    Vince

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  83. Janet,
    I knew about Johnny Appleseed, but thanks for providing--as Paul Harvey used to say--the rest of the story!

    Great information! What a character!

    We have so many wonderful festivals in Georgia. One of my favorites is the Cotton Pickin Fair in Gay, Ga! I always take my camera and come home with lots of pictures as well as fresh produce, homemade crafts, antiques and, yes, ideas for stories.

    Can't wait to see everyone at ACFW!

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  84. Janet,

    I already have your book, so please don't include me in the drawing. Love the story of Johnny Appleseed.

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  85. Vince,

    Oh, I really like Alison Krauss and Union Station, too! :) I should check out Ricky Skaggs' music. I love all the different instruments working together in bluegrass music, as well, and it is simply delightful to hear it in person, even though I like listening to it on CDs, too!

    Have you ever heard of the band Cherryholmes? I had the privilege of going to one of their concerts last year, and I just love their music!

    Also, I'm thinking about doing a "Bluegrass Festival" weekend on my blog--possibly in October--so you should stay tuned! ;)

    ~Amber

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  86. Haha Janet, weeeell my birthday is in September too and as you know Fall isn't my thing so there goes your birthday/favorite season theory. Hahaha I love to tease. :-P

    I saw in the comments that you have a new release coming out next year! I'm super excited for that, it'll make winter a little less painful.

    XOXO~ Renee

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  87. my favourite season is spring...followed closely by summer, fall, and finally winter.

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  88. Tina, Of course. So handy, too, if you need them.

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  89. Pepper, I love your description of fall as God's fingerpaint everywhere. Just beautiful!

    Can't wait to see you!!! And all the Seeker buddies!!! Not long now!!

    Janet

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  90. Debby, you're the second person to mention the Cotton Pickin festival. Invite me next time, okay?

    We're going to have a great time at ACFW!!! Safe travel all everyone.

    Janet

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  91. Hi Walt. Thanks for stopping by.

    Janet

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  92. Hi Karen, love how you rate the seasons in the order of how they come, at least in my mind. :-)

    Janet

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  93. Aw, you're a sweetheart, Renee! Thanks!!

    Janet

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  94. :)
    Thanks, Janet.
    It's a really fun day :D

    The best part of the day is after the festivities and we're all left to tell silly stories and roast marshmellows over a fire pot.

    The best laughs of the season!

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  95. Kelly, sounds like a wonderful time! I love roasted marshmallows. The trick is to keep them from catching on fire or slipping off the stick. We bought a small fire table three years ago and have yet to roast marshmallows. You've encouraged me to do it.

    Janet

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  96. Fall is my favorite season. I have a September birthday,too. I love attending the autumn festival in my neighborhood. I'm looking forward to a fall book festival in October where I'll be signing copies of Chicken Soup books for charity. Yes, I love fall festivals. I'd love a chance to get Janet's book. A great time to all here attending the ACFW conference.

    Pat
    patjeannedavis[at]verizon[dot]net

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  97. Fall is my favorite season. I have a September birthday,too. I love attending the autumn festival in my neighborhood. I'm looking forward to a fall book festival in October where I'll be signing copies of Chicken Soup books for charity. Yes, I love fall festivals. I'd love a chance to get Janet's book. A great time to all here attending the ACFW conference.

    Pat
    patjeannedavis[at]verizon[dot]net

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  98. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  99. My favorite season is Fall. I love the trees as they go through their vibrant color changes.

    I live just north of Ft. Wayne, IN and have yet to have the opportunity of going to the Johnny Appleseed Festival...maybe this year. I do go to the Free Fall Fair in our small town of Auburn and believe me I understand the problem with the yellowjacks.

    Have fun at conference!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  100. Hi Pat, Yay, another fall lover! Thanks for your interest in The Substitute Bride.

    Janet

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  101. Hi Cindy! Do you still have the figures on display in Auburn? I haven't gotten a chance to see them.

    Janet

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