Bright and demanding

It was hard to ignore his shop on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, September 2013.

It was hard to ignore this shop on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, September 2013.

“She liked anything orange: leaves; some moons; marigolds; chrysanthemums; cheese; pumpkin, both in pie and out; orange juice; marmalade. Orange is bright and demanding. You can’t ignore orange things.” —  Catherynne M. Valente

Though I’ve never thought of orange as one of my favorite colors, I love the way it brightens this time of year.  It’s not a flattering color for many of us to wear, but it looks great on fruit and foliage, and adds a jolt of vivid cheer to the browning landscape.

Here’s hoping your weekend is brightened by your favorite orange things; whether that’s pumpkin, cheese, flowers, OJ, or something not edible at all, such as a lovely orange kitty cat.  If Valente is right, we won’t be able to ignore its persistent presence.  It’s a yearly promise of festive times ahead.

One year ago today:

Its own season


  1. singleseatfighterpilot

    Orange (or for that matter Red) for me today means Tolerance. Sherry and I are to get together with some church friends for a University of Tennessee/University of Georgia football game party. The physical location of our congregation is literally within 100 yards of the Georgia/Tennessee state line. The party is to be at the dyed-in-the-wool UGA preacher’s home.

    Sherry is going to bring Orange pimento cheese and crackers.

    I am going to wear Black and Gold.

    • Being married to an alumnus of UT, I have certainly heard my share of “Big Orange” hysteria over the years (though I’m thankful it was not coming from him, as he’s never been a UT fan). I am glad you are not bringing/wearing anything red to this kiddie party, but aren’t Georgia Tech’s colors White and Gold? The black could be inferred as a half-hearted endorsement of GA, which I am quite sure no tech alumnus would intend. Since you are working on tolerance tonight, I offer you a more tolerant version of the old Tech motto: “To [Cleveland] with Georgia!” BTW, I thought the terms “dyed-in-the-wool UGA” and “preacher” were mutually exclusive!

      • singleseatfighterpilot

        Officially it is White and Gold, but motifs featuring actual Yellow Jackets have caused Black to be more prevalent. I believe their flashiest uniforms are the ones with black jerseys and large gold numbers and names.

        • You may remember that Briarwood’s high school colors (which, being among the first group of students to go there, you might have helped to choose?) were black and white, which some people found dull, but I always thought was classy choice. However, it didn’t take long for them to add gold as an accent color, and the jerseys they wore like the ones you describe (with gold pants) were quite dramatic.

  2. Mmmmm! The color of the sunrise this morning, illuminating the peaks of the White Mountains. Bursting with the promise of a gorgeous new day. Brimming with an orange glow of hope.
    No wonder English speaking poets lament the lack of words that rhyme with “orange!”

    • Susan, I forgot all about the gorgeous orange of sunrise and sunset. How I’d love to see it over the White Mountains right now! I guess nothing could possibly rhyme with “orange” since there is nothing quite like it. Thanks for the photo you sent today – I would love to have been there when you told them you wanted to take the picture. What on earth are they building in that bright orange color?

  3. Rene

    As a Broncos fan, yes, orange is one of my favorite colors. Plus, it’s a blend of two of my other favorite colors: red & yellow. My favorite shade is Fiestaware’s tangerine, which reminds me, I’ve got to replace the tangerine tea cup which was mysteriously broken…

    This morning was really the first sign of fall. I realized that it’s getting a bit cool to sit on the porch in the morning. 😦

    • Rene, I would love to have a set of Fiesta ware but I couldn’t possibly choose just one color. I think I’d like to have a rainbow set. According to their company video, they have over 40 colors! Though Kohl’s only has 15 of them. Hey, just put on a sweater and grab a mug of hot tea or coffee, and keep enjoying your porch in the morning. Here at CLUB VERANDAH we even sit out there when the snow flies (which it rarely does in the south).

      • Rene

        I have a rainbow set:, dark blue, light blue, yellow, red, orange, an anniversary present from my husband. I also have a dark green serving bowl. Now that I have a regular income, I’ll probably add to it. I think “flamingo” next.

        • Flamingo – what fun! A great thing to collect, because it’s so practical, and the different colors mean there will always be new pieces to add.

  4. Carolyn

    This is a great time of the year. Weather is cool and the trees are beatiful, ours are turning some now. I love to see all the orange pumpkins, even the white ones. I don’t like pumkin pie but the bread is wonderful with coffee or tea. I hope you all will have a good Fall. I don’t remember if I told you, but my eye surgery is Nov. 5th. Pray this is the last one. Keep us update on how Jeff is doing. Love and hugs.

    • Carolyn, I don’t think I knew about your eye surgery or if so, I had forgotten. We will be keeping you in prayer. Jeff’s recent scans showed increased tumors in the lungs but thankfully no recurrence elsewhere, so that’s the focus of treatment now – they are looking into clinical trials for something more narrowly targeted since he’s pretty much reached his limit for chemo. There are some interesting options on the table. We’ll keep you posted. Love to you and Terry and enjoy your fall!

      • Carolyn

        So sorry to hear this. Jeff is in our prayers and I pray they can find something that will help. Thanks for the update. You are also in my prayers, hugs to all.

        • Thanks Carolyn, Jeff’s doctors actually seem pretty optimistic. Though the tumors have grown and are more numerous, they are still very small, and the fact that the cancer is currently limited to one site does open up other treatment options. We were initially disappointed in the scans but as always, we are thankful for all the good news and hopeful for the future. Thanks for caring. ❤

  5. Did you buy yourself a pumpkin there that day Julia? Coincidentally, I *just* cleaned and re-did my porch on Thursday. I bought 3 giant pots of mums in yellow. 3 small pots of white mums that I tucked into a lime green planter and 3 baby pumpkins. In the end, I was pretty pleased and wished I’d got it done a little earlier because our warmish days are numbered. It’s really golden out there, out of every window I look. Have a wonderful weekend! xoxoK

    • No, I was very proud of the restraint I showed at that wonderful shop, which was filled with goodies indoors and out. I just had fun looking at everything and taking photos. Yay for the mums and baby pumpkins! I am sure your home is looking beautiful as always. Jeff asked me to put together a little autumn display at the townhome for the kids who come trick-or-treating. I’ll keep it simple, just a potted mum or two and a pumpkin (not carved) but I did pick up a cute little smiling scarecrow too. 🙂 Hope you have a wonderfully warm weekend and a lingering autumn.

    • Sounds beautiful!

  6. Amy

    I also was never a big fan of orange but I have found in the last couple of years I am drawn to it. At first I resisted because it’s not a color most people wear, though gaining popularity, and I didn’t want to be the odd one out. But I have always been the odd one out so now I am embracing my flair for orange and I have done some decorating with it, I love fall because there is lots of it, and some of my clothing is orange. Not my jump suit yet. 🙂 Love to the boys. Take care of you.

    • I will look forward to seeing your new orange accents! I remember in the 70’s being crazy about the rust-colored orange, “harvest gold” and avocado green color combos; maybe they are making a retro-themed comeback. Are you old enough to remember these? They were everywhere! Hope we can get together soon. Till then, happy fall!

      • Rene

        That reminds me of a quote from the show “Murphy Brown.” Paraphrasing: “I haven’t done anything this stupid since I bought all avocado appliances…”

        • Hee-hee, I can’t help but wonder what we’ll be saying that about in 20 years. 😀

  7. Julia, I love this photo right down to the pea gravel! I bet you could duplicate that same photo today, if you were there. Of course, if your driver would stop. Heehee….. 🙂

    • Sheila, if the driver was in a good mood, he might stop for a reasonable amount of time, but that shop was BIG so he’d probably have to drag me across that pea gravel to the parking lot. But yes, I bet it looks much the same today – wish we could beam ourselves over there for a fun outing today. Since it’s in North Carolina, it would be partway between your home and mine.

  8. LB

    I’m heading out on the bike in a bit and hope to see some early orange leaves 🙂

    • LB, I hope you do! Fall is SO gorgeous in your part of the country!

  9. My oldest son loves orange. It’s been his favorite from early on. I always made sure he had an orange shirt, not always easy to come by. He has orange accents in his room, as a lot of orange is pretty overwhelming.

    With my hair color, I would look just like a pumpkin if I wore that color, but like you, I thinks it gorgeous on pumpkins, fall leaves, and a harvest moon. Happy post, Julia.

    • Hi Alys, it’s so funny you mentioned your son’s orange shirt. Matt has one that he wore today for the first time in years – we had to buy him one for spirit week in high school (the school colors were orange and white) and you are right, it is HARD to find them! I remember we looked everywhere for this one. He hardly ever wore it over the years (it’s a button style and he prefers t-shirts) so it’s still in good shape.

      I often think of you when I see pumpkins now, because of your “pumpkin page!”

  10. raynard

    Julia you are right about the color orange. I brought my first orange colored short sleeve shirt and I think my daughters” mumbled something about” Its the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown . lol

    • Raynard, I’m glad they did not see Matt in his shirt yesterday, they would probably have said the same thing. I guess there’s a reason why safety workers wear “high visibility orange” and they use that color for life vests and traffic cones!

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