Good news! It's pumpkin season! Phew! I know you were all missing your all-things-pumpkin-flavored stuff. (Pet Peeve: Pumpkin itself has no flavor, but whatever, I don't want to upset all the pumpkin fanatics so I'm going with it even though in my head I want to scream "ARE YOU ENJOYING YOUR CINNAMON, NUTMEG AND CLOVE FLAVORED TREAT?") Go get your pumpkin lattes, breads, muffins, cakes, pies, brownies, cheesecakes, soups, pastas, beer, cookies, candy, fudge, waffles, pancakes, smoothies, scones, dips, chips, lasagna (yes, I've seen it) and be happy.

Anyway, I don't hate pumpkins. The opposite, in fact. They are everywhere this time a year, which is a glorious sight to me because I happen to love anything orange. Fall is, hands down, my favorite time of year, even though there are a few downsides, too. (Besides the annoying onslaught of unnecessarily "pumpkin" flavored stuff.)

Thumbs Up: The clothes! Sweaters, boots, jeans ... I love to be cozy, and let's face it, fall and winter make it exponentially easier to lay around in your pajamas at inappropriate times because fleece pants and sweatshirts look almost like real clothes AND you can answer the door in them. It's a nice change from worrying about what body parts need to be covered while also not dying of heat stroke. It's a delicate balance for women of a certain age in our summertime hellscape.

Thumbs Down: Trying to convince my kids to wear a jacket is about as pleasant as trying to stuff a feral cat into a paper sack. If you see them running around town with shorts and flip flops on it's not because I'm a bad mother, okay? It's because they are stubborn maniacs that hate pants and long sleeves.

Thumbs Up: Football! The anticipation, the jerseys, the smack-talk, the marching band fight songs ... I love it all.

Thumbs Down: I'm a Vol fan. It's heartbreaking at best. Soul-stealing, losing the will to live, utter hopelessness at worst. (GBO!)

Thumbs Up: The beautiful trees in a symphony of all my favorite colors. Seriously, is there anything more gorgeous?

Thumbs Down: I will have a sinus infection until March because I am allergic to fall.

Thumbs Up: It's easier to cook this time of year. For one thing I'm more likely to use my Crock Pot which means I can throw an old shoe and some cream of chicken soup in there and by 6 p.m. dinner is done. If you're ever running out of ideas for what to make in your Crock Pot, just check out Pinterest. Pizza? Crock Pot. Cake? Crock Pot. Roadkill? Crock Pot. Your kids' old stuffed animals taking up too much space? Add them with packet of gravy mix, a stick of butter, and 4-6 hours on high and you have a gourmet fall meal.

Thumbs Down: Pinterest, otherwise known as "The place that tells you that ANYTHING can be made in a Crock Pot and you're a really terrible, un-creative mother and why can't you be more like this lady over here who makes her children food in the shape of koala bears and cupcakes made out of carrots and quinoa?"

Thumbs Up: Halloween!

Thumbs Down: Halloween. At least I can do all the candy negotiating and sugar-high taming while wearing my pajamas, drinking pumpkin coffee, watching my team lose a game and enjoying the sweet, sweet aroma of Cream of Chicken Shoe wafting from the kitchen.

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