Finding Joy This Autumn

Give yourself and your loved ones some well deserved XOXO this fall season.


Hugs to you from Huckleberry Hill. This week, several readers sent e-mails reaching out for ideas on making this fall season brighter. Sasha from Virginia asked:

“Maxine, any ideas on how I can better enjoy the change of seasons? I seem so down and out with all the news of natural and man-made tragedies, feeling so upset, so distraught. I want to lift myself up and am trying to think of no cost ways to feel better and energize myself and my little family. Any tips?”

Well Sasha, on Huckleberry Hill we find ways to look for fall. Since we live in an evergreen forest we need to a bit creative! I hope you might find an idea or two below for simple and holistic ways to lift your emotional spirits. This is a rough time, and we need to all work together to bring happiness into our world. Huckleberry hugs…live your dreams and follow your joy, Maxine (AKA “Molly”)


HARVEST AROMATHERAPY– Go natural! Bake an apple pie early on a Saturday morning so that your home is filled with the aroma and spice over a weekend. Winter citrus is amazing, slice fresh lemons, fresh cranberries, apples, star fruits, add a few cinnamon sticks, sprinkle with ginger or all spice… throw in some fresh mint and simmer in a pot of water, then let it cool on the stove top as the natural fragrance is released (This can also be done in your crock pot.)


On cotton balls add drops of vanilla place in a small bowl with cinnamon sticks, cloves and ginger… place these small bowls around your home. (Papa Archie taught me that simple trick to freshen a home!) Bring pinecones indoors, add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil (about 3 drops per cone) and display in a basket.  Nanna Cathy taught us this tip…gather family members, use citrus such as tangerines, limes and oranges-push in whole cloves. We like to tie a ribbon and hang near windowsills!


FALL NATURE WALK-Bring the outdoors inside and start a little indoor exploration area. Keep the collected items by you front entryway and invite visitors and family to add to the seasonal collection. Right now we have shells, pine cones, pretty rocks and a branch from our lemon tree on our entry hall table. Display fall leaves! Engage children and visitors by adding a magnifying glass, journal and nature book to make your indoor display interactive. The scent from the citrus limbs is uplifting, it hits me right when I enter my Huckleberry Hill home… and the scene reminds me to cherish memories and nature walks with my daughter. The visual is a reminder to unplug and go outdoors.

REACH OUT PRIOR TO THE HOLIDAYS…HELPING OTHERS– Look into assisting your church or community association with Thanksgiving events. Help an elderly or ill neighbor tidy up their yard, or deliver fresh flowers and homemade treats to your local fire fighters or police. (Easy ‘Great Pumpkin Roll’ recipe- click here.)


Surprise neighbors with pumpkins on their front porch or in their window box! Reach out at least once per week with a ‘planned act of kindness’. The planning and time spent leading up to it will bring you and others oodles of joy.


BE CREATIVE– Adult coloring books and online coloring apps are all the rage! Or break out watercolors…make a fall mosaic. Have children (or grandchildren) research on-line for fall DIY’s…then gather needed materials and have the child teach adults how to make the project. Children LOVE to reverse rolls and be the leader!


EXPLORE YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD– Embrace life, take a local journey. Ride your bike down a new path. Take a different route during your daily commute. Try a new cuisine. This sense of exploration and discovery is motivational and feeds the soul. Nourish new experiences.


LOOK FOR BRIGHT COLORS– Add a favorite scarf or piece of jewelry to daily outfits. Place colorful flower arrangements in your home and near your work place. Mini pumpkins can line windowsills. Add some colorful stickers to your day planner or family calendar. Research shows that colors affect mood and energy. Embrace autumn with a bright orange scarf, swap out brown or navy for standard black. Become your own beacon of light!

XOXO, Take care of one another…embrace life and bring joy to yourself and others.