Fall Decorating Ideas for Outside (and a Funny Story)

Fall Decorating Ideas for Outside (and a Funny Story)

Does it make you old if you can remember life before you looked for fall decorating ideas on Pinterest?

Or Facebook?

Or Twitter?

Or you can remember a time when social and media would never even have been used in the same sentence?




It did exist.

That non-Facebook-non-Twitter-and-a-complete-and-utter-lack-of-Pinterest era.

People read books and wrote letters and baked pies for each other and met at the fence and had actual face-to-face conversations.

And watched Schoolhouse Rock.

And learned the preamble to the Constitution.



I was singing a little Schoolhouse Rock in the car the other day.

The chatter was at full volume all around me with heated discussions about why 3-D movies were so much better and how school lunches didn’t have any salt in them any more and that fall break was almost here and that the first amendment to the constitution guaranteed the right to free speech.

And quietly….to myself….I started to sing the preamble.

“We the people…..in order to form a more perfect union…..establish justice….ensure domestic tra…..”

My voice trailed off as I realized there was complete silence in the car.

No one was talking.



Three sets of eyes stared at me in complete and utter astonishment.

“Mom,” my son said in a whisper.  “How do you know that song?”

“Schoolhouse Rock?” I replied.  “Everyone knows Schoolhouse Rock.  We used to watch it all the time on television when I was your age.”

“You did?” he asked.  “Really?  I didn’t even know they had television back then.”

I think he was actually serious.

I think he meant it.

He thought we didn’t have television.


Did he think I came over on the Mayflower?

We might not have had Twitter or Facebook or Pinterest or cell phones.

But we knew our way around a good set of rabbit ears.




And just as I was about to prove that I had a television.

A television with programs.

And channels.  And remote controls.  And Schoolhouse Rock.

Just as I was about to sing an entire verse of  “Conjunction Junction…..what’s your function”…… a little voice piped up from the back of the car.


“Of course they had television when mom was little.  Right, mom?”


Ahhhh….at last….someone had my back.

Someone who knows how young I am.

Someone who recognizes that I know all about cell phones and DVR’s and computers and Pinterest.

Someone who doesn’t think I was there for the signing of the Constitution.


And then…..then little voice from the peanut gallery in the back of the car added, “I mean….they had televisions….

…..the screens just didn’t have any color.  That happened way later.”


I guess it’s just you and me…..George Washington…..we Constitution signers have to stick together 🙂


PS  Just in case you were around before Pinterest started….what’s your favorite Schoolhouse Rock?


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  1. wait till you tell them that you rode on the Mayflower!

  2. Oh my goodness, this makes me laugh!! I loved both of the songs you mentioned, but ‘Conjunction, Junction” is my all time favorite, and I was probably with you at the Constitutional Convention:)

  3. I just love to read your posts….you are so talented…and I love the morning giggles. My husband, at least once a week, will slide in a Schoolhouse Rock song into a conversation….he loved it! I am 8 years older than him so it wasn’t around when I was a kid….now my daughter has learned a lot from the Presidents names to States and capitals through Animaniacs …. even now at 18 she goes around singing those crazy songs.

  4. Conjunction Junction…what’s your function…will be in my head all day!!!….whatever happened to those great shows…that got replaced by Spongebob Squarepants…?!!….I love, love your huge hay bales….and the antique wheelbarrow is the best!….Such a magnificent fall display Kari!

    Now you can tell your kids that I used to ride on the backs of Triceratops!!…..Have a great day!!

  5. I picked up the Schoolhouse Rock CD at my local library a couple of weeks ago and my children LOVE it!

    I really enjoyed these as a kid, so it is great to see them enjoy the songs too.

    I’m not certain I can pick a single favorite….hmmmm…maybe I’m Just a Bill. 🙂

  6. So glad there is another dinosaur around who remembers this besides me! I loved the one with the bill, “oh, I’m just a bill, well I’m only a bill, but I got as far as Capitol Hill. . . His little legs were so cute as they swing back and forth! Thanks for the trip down memory lane! Sometimes I wish for the simpler times before all the social media and electronics. I miss human interaction!

  7. I’m just a bill….yes, I’m only a bill…and I’m sittin’ here on Capitol Hill…
    Although the prelude to the Constitution is forever etched in my memory thanks to Schoolhouse Rock. 🙂 Thanks for the walk down memory lane, K!
    xo Heidi

  8. Sigh…we only had black & white when I was a kid. I remember Dad buying this plastic sheet to stick over the screen to give a colour look…it was 3 primary colours with wide stripes…we didn’t use it for very long. lol
    And I’ve never heard of Schoolhouse Rock (but being in Canada might be part of the reason, even my 27-36 year old kids didn’t watch that one). However, the concept is still the same…our kids thinking we are older than Hades. It does get better, eventually as they age they realize you aren’t as old as they thought you were.
    Love the vine pumpkin!
    Debbie 🙂

  9. HA! You’re reminding me of those cable boxes on top of the TV. It was always such a cluster, what with the Atari joysticks and 300-pound console.

  10. Yes…. Right there with you on the Mayflower my friend. Conjunction junction is defiantly a favorite… Still know the whole thing by heart too. Why couldn’t they teach math that way?? Am I right!?!? I also liked “I’m just a bill …” and of coure the preamble… Love it!

  11. Just read this to start my day and what a nice way to start it! (I will have Schoolhouse Rock stuck in my head all day!) Hard to pick a fav but Lolly Lolly Lolly Get your Adverbs here, would rank among the tops. One Halloween, we went to a costume party as Conjunction Junction and I’m Just a Bill. My husband used foam sheeting to make this Bill costume. He looked great – until he discovered he didn’t have an “escape clause” so-to-speak for the occasional pit-stop. 😉 Thanks for the grins to start the day!

    • “He was a hairy bear…
      He was a scary bear…
      We beat a hasty retreat from his lair.
      And described him with adjectives.”
      I still sing that to my 7 year old as we work on Mad Libs. And yes, she thinks I am older than dirt. She was amazed when she saw an album, turntable and rotary phone for the first time at an estate sale.

  12. Thank goodness for the Constitution song, I may not have passed high school history. haha That’s okay, my grandson said the other day “I was sooooo old.” I almost whacked him. 🙂 Beautiful grapevine pumps. I LOVE them. Please tell me you didn’t find them on the side of the road. If so, I am heading up there with a truck and trailer. xxoo

  13. I learned the preamble that way too! In fact, on a test once in college, we had a surprise type question. It was to write the preamble to the Constitution. I just sang it to myself and wrote away!

  14. Yep, conjunction junction what’s your function will now be in my head forever. I loved those spots. Poor kids now don’t have good t.v. like we did. You really should be a writer, KariAnne. Beautiful fall display.

  15. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane KarriAnne 🙂 I’m just a bill and if you vote for me on Capital Hill……….those were the good old days when life was simple and carefree, maybe because I was just a kid, why do we have to grow up?

    Have a terrific Thursday!

  16. Love me some Schoolhouse Rock! It’s just me, my hubby and kiddo in our family so of course my favorite song is: A man and a woman had a little baby. Yes, they did. They had three in the family. That’s a magic number.

  17. The Interjections! song…”Interjections (Hey!) show excitement (Yow!) or emotion (Ouch!)” was my favorite…mostly because it meant using EXCLAMATION POINTS!!! Geez, I was around before personal computers and when you still had to walk across the room to change the channel on the TV (which had no colors). Come to think of it, they invented the wheel and discovered “dirt” when I was around five. Have a lovely day! xo

  18. I hanker for a hunk a cheese. Lordy, you have opened up a can of worms…I am going to be singing old school songs and wishing for The Bloodhound Gang all day.

  19. Oh, I do remember when we got a color TV though! I remember walking to school one morning in 2nd grade with my friend Sandi, telling her all about how we were going to be getting one that night (way back in the old days when kids could walk to school and without any grown-ups!) Can you imagine? All 4 channels in color!

    And how can I pick a favorite Schoolhouse Rock? I loved Bill, and Conjunction Junction, and the Preamble. Also loved the one about women’s suffrage, and though I didn’t much like math, there were a few number ones I really liked: 3 (is a magic number) was probably the best, but I also loved 8 because it was slow (with the figure 8 skater). Yes, I watched WAY too much Saturday morning TV!

  20. What a gorgeous fall vignette! I love how you incorporated round bales! Why didn’t I ever think of that??? I wonder if I can talk my husband into bringing a couple over from the farm? 😉 As for School House Rock… I am so glad they are still showing that to children in schools! I know in some places, they don’t even do the Pledge of Allegiance anymore!

  21. From one Schoolhouse Rock loving gal to another – just don’t tell those kids we had to fiddle with those rabbit ears, sometimes standing on our heads to get the best reception!

  22. I’m thinking the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria were more your era 🙂

  23. Conjunction Junction!! A few years ago we went to a jazz bar and the composer was playing – it was filled with 40 and 50 year olds singing away like it was junior high!

  24. I had color TV on which I watched Schoolhouse Rock then flipped the channel and caught some Romper Room and on occasion indulged in a little Captain OJ Readmore on ABC!
    Yeah, we’re all really old and our kids can’t fathom a life where we had to watch “adult” shows with our parents (like TJ Hooker and Magnum PI) because they were the only 3 channels we had on our ONE television!
    Thanks for the romp down memory lane!!
    Oh, and new follower this week. You and your beautiful blog are awesome!

    Jeannine @ The Concrete Cottage

  25. Lolly Lolly Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here!!!!
    Oh man, I love the Schoolhouse Rock. When I was in college I had a Government professor, Dr. Ro, who spoke broken english but could close his eyes and quote the Constitution word for word at any given point. He wanted us to come up to the front and say the preamble to him. I told him I couldn’t say it but I could sing it and that I didn’t sing very well. He just looks at me and says “sing if you must” . I swear I’ll never forget that day but hey, I got an A in that class. I’m sure it was because of Schoolhouse Rock :0)

  26. Since I didn’t have my kids til 38 and 42 (yes, I am the old mom in the back of the room) I remember all these from my “tween” years and bought the complete set for my son when he was 4. He loves them as much as I do. And, when I went to work for the legislature (pre kids) the “how a bill becomes a law” came in quite handy!

  27. I remember a song about counting by 3’s…. I think it was Schoolhouse Rock. I’ll bet you don’t know the words.. 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30. Well, at least those are the only words I remember — and of course the tune. And yes, I sometimes sing it in my head while computing a math problem. LOL LOVED Schoolhouse Rock!

  28. Oh, I’m right there with you. My all time fave is probably “Conjunction Junction” but I really liked “A Noun Is A Person, Place or Thing” as well. Kids today …. how do they learn?! I bought my girls the Schoolhouse Rock Anniversary DVD and it was defective so they can’t really watch it. Now you’re making me want to go buy them another!

  29. Definitely “I’m just a bill”. I used to sing it all the time when I was little. Then I went on to get degrees in politics and history, and worked in the political field until I had children. Irony??? LOL!!

  30. We didn’t have a TV when I was between the ages of 4 and 14. But even I remember a little bit about schoolhouse rock. Not the songs, but I can visualise the animation.

  31. I loved Schoolhouse Rock. Those were the days where there was still some innoncense.


  32. I’m just a billl…. on Capital Hill….. Your children would be impressed to know I had a carphone when I turned 16. Until they saw it was a two foot wide rectangular bag with an actual corded phone inside. And I was only allowed to use it in a dire emergency because it cost like five bucks a minute or something. I never had to use it, thankfully. I pulled over to a payphone to call my friends. Or page their beeper.

  33. “Did he think I came over on the Mayflower?” – Mental picture of you wearing traditional pilgrim garb, complete with bonnet. lol First chuckle of the day! Thank you Karianne!

  34. BTW, nice hay and cornstalks! You blew mine outta the water, farmgirl!

  35. Wait to you tell them Schoolhouse Rock came on during Saturday morning cartoons…the only morning of the week we could watch them! When we told our daughter we did not have entire channels for kids… shocked is an understatement! Please pass the quill and ink.

  36. “I’m just a bill!” comes to my mind, too. But they really DIDN’T have television when MY mother was a girl. I remember riding in the car with her when that truth came out (I was probably 8 or 9). I was SHOCKED!

  37. Ooh, ooh, KariAnne. So … pretty. I really love your Autumn display.♥

    You have to go a bit further back for me – like Captain Kangaroo and Romper Room. You young sprouts missed out on Mister Green Jeans, Bunny Rabbit, Mister Moose and Dancing Bear.

  38. I loved them ALL, but I must say the Preamble one WAS the most useful! I bought them when they came out on VHS, and my nearly-grown kids love them, too!! 🙂 I was a Captain Kangaree girl, too, but even as a preschooler I usually abandoned Romper Room in favor of reruns of “The Lucy Show” or “The Beverly Hillbillies!” LOL

  39. Beautiful Autumn display..School House Rock…Rocks!!!..I remember the first TV in our neighborhood..

  40. Ah kids! Gotta love them!!

  41. I love Schoolhouse Rock! I bought the entire set on DVD so that my kids could share in this wonder of my youth. And I can also still recite (sing) the preamble to the Constitution as well! I can’t pick a favorite, I enjoy them all and they are equally educational. I just had a “Schoolhouse Rock” conversation with my 12 year-old and his friend on the way to school last week.

  42. This post made me laugh. I had the same kind of reaction twice with my much younger sister-in-law about the first cellphone and record players. The looking at you like you have 3 heads does sometimes make you feel old bu,t good that you lived through something that changed the world.

  43. I am laughing so hard here… I mean we are talking unladylike snorting and all. Ohmygoodness!!! According to my lads, I was born around the same time the wheel was being chipped, so I know… I know only too well . These kids of all the electronic gee gaas and fun.. What do they know…
    I am just a bill.. a bill on Capitol Hill.. ( yeah, sing it!!)

    Cheers, Gee

  44. Oh what fun! Yep, remember them quite fondly. I cannot hear the word function OR junction without starting to sing the song. “Take a walk down by the lake” will also get me going. I loved that one best, although ‘hankerin’ for a hunk of, a slab or slice or chunk of’ makes me smile too. How fabulous were those teaching tools that we can still recite them? I wonder if they still use them. I remember when we had to get up to go turn the channel on the darn television 🙂

  45. Ha! The Preamble is the only part of the song I actually remember..it was the only way I learned it back in elementary school hehe

  46. Had to come back to tell you that I’ve gone over to youtube now and am happily listening to all of them. I had forgotten about Lolly Lolly Lolly get your adverbs here. SO fun. I can see I’m about to waste the morning walking down memory lane!

  47. I loved Schoolhouse Rock…only it was my kids who watched it and I learned it just hearing it in the background! The Preamble and Conjunction Function were my favorites! And I DO remember getting our first COLOR TV! I was a teenager and my parents won one from Sears! It was like we had won the lottery! I used to love to put my face up to the screen to see all of the little dots…fun post, Karianne!

  48. Baaaahaha!! I’m just a bill, yes I’m only a bill…sitting here on capital hill. Love me some Schoolhouse Rock. When I was little, I remember asking my mom if the whole world was black and white “back then”. She was not amused. Guess I thought life was colorized at some point.

  49. OH I LOVE IT! I am sitting here reading all these comments and reliving childhood moments! I too, sang the preamble, & still some moments in life , it will come popping back in my head and I sing it again. I had forgotten about conjuction function, & lolly, lolly get your adverbs here! I must buy the DVD’s for my grandson. Thanks for sharing bits of your childhood!

  50. I have the DVDs for my son. This was a must. Now it would be more like Schoolhouse Rap!

  51. Ha! I remember when my daughter was about 12, and I told her something that I knew how she felt about something and she was astounded that I could relate. I told her, “I was 12 once, too, you know. It’s not like I was born 35!”.

  52. I’m all about the “50 Nifty United States”. Our teenage babysitter was shocked that we didn’t have cell phones in high school, I think she thinks we are ancient now:)


  53. well at least we’re old…together! and we’re not even old! gah! you did get that song STUCK in my head now & I can’t stop singing it – thanks! I was telling my 10 year old that we only had 4 channels on tv when I was his age (he was awestruck and couldn’t believe there were only 4 kid channels – ummm – no only 4 channels AND only one tv so if papa wanted to watch hee haw, we did or wild america or the dreaded lawrence welk show) ok yeah I guess things HAVE changed! 🙂

  54. Well, I am SO OLD I never saw Schoolhouse Rock and don’t know ANYof the songs……………When my kids were little, 100 years ago, there was Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers. No cable. I just MAYhave come over on the mayflower………………………..I YI YI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  55. Well, if it makes you feel any better, I sang those songs with my kids…I RAN home from school to catch the Mickey Mouse club!! You are just a young-in! We actually had a black and white tv and you had to get up off the couch to change the channel…and there were only four!! 😉

  56. I’ve been humming Conjunction Junction what’s your function all day long. Thanks alot! And your pictures are gorgeous!



  57. Oooh…. it’s a tie between I’m just a Bill and Conjunction, Junction!!

  58. (The song in my head this evening has been brought to me by Thistlewood Farm…)

  59. “Conjunction junction, whats your function?” oh yeah the good ole days… back when we watched Fat Albert after school, Hee Haw on the weekend and the saturday matinee came on after cartoons. This will do your heart good… my 8th grade son just asked… “What’s pinterest?”

  60. I’m just a bill, yes I’m only a bill and I’m sitting here on Capital Hill… I played that one too many times to count when I was teaching government. 🙂

  61. Oh my gosh–we were so singing and watching Schoolhouse Rock this afternoon! My favorites as a kid were Conjunction Junction, the Great American Melting Pot, and I’m Just a Bill. We have the entire series on DVD. That seems wrong somehow, doesn’t it? You can also watch them on YouTube…..

  62. Your child was right on about the TV being in black and white. Our first TV when we were younger was in black and white. We are old, but not dinosaurs….hahaha.
    I am happy to say though that by the time schoolhouse rock came out we had color TV. WOO HOO!! I loved them all, but my fave was “I am just a bill.”
    Wish they still had good Saturday morning TV for kids like we used to have. Now it’s just junk. I don’t even let me nieces watch Saturday morning TV when they visit.

  63. Okay, I can handle all the tech you mentioned, but I already moved on from VHS, I am not leaving DVDs behind for Blue Ray, I just don’t want to. Your yard is beautiful by the way!

  64. I’m just a Bill, yea I’m only a Bill.. and I’m sittin here on Capitol Hill.

    Yeah. That one 🙂

  65. No Schoolhouse Rock for me (having been raised in Australia), but to me, it’s a point of pride to be able to say that when I was a little girl, we watched the (Apollo 11) moon landing on a big screen set up in the botanical gardens, because television hadn’t made it out to remote northern Australia (they had TV in the southern states, but Darwin back in ’69 was a very remote outpost). (http://televisionau.com/2011/11/nine-darwin-40-years-today.html)

    My husband (who is American) gets a kick out of it when I can tell him that I remember when we got FM radio (versus plain old AM radio) in Australia (1975 was the year – I was already in high school by then.)

    My son is 12, and he hasn’t known life with the internet, cell phones, cable TV, and so many other things that I couldn’t even dream of when I was a child…

  66. EEE-lec-tr-ciityy, elect-trrri-ccciiityyy…..


  67. I loved Schoolhouse Rock! 🙂 And I love the gorgeous fall display! The super cute wagon is a great accent!

  68. Yay, Karianne, way to “Rock” your kids’ world!

  69. oh I’m just a bill, I’m only a bill, sittin’ here on capital hill 🙂

  70. Loved ALL the schoolhouse rocks songs, can’t pick a favorite!!
    Great post…as usual!

  71. This made me laugh so hard, I remember the day my little one asked me if I ate fruit roll ups when i was in school. Then she stopped, and said, “Oh, I forgot. They didn’t have those back then”. BACK THEN??? Like before the earth’s crust cooled? Sheesh. And for the record, yes, I did eat fruit roll ups when I was a kid, and my favorite schoolhouse rock was conjunction junction….


  72. You crack me up! I so enjoy reading your posts! I loved schoolhouse rock so much too! Thanks for making such beauty for us to enjoy and the humor to entertain us! Traci

  73. Hmmm, Schoolhouse Rock favorites…toss up between Interjections! and Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here! I remember our first color TV, but that didn’t make me feel as old as this…

    Malachi (my 5 year old grandson) – Gramma when you were little did you play with an Ipad like I do?
    Me – No Chi, we didn’t have Ipads. We didn’t even have computers…we played outside.
    Malachi – Gramma you DIDN’T have a computer even? When DID you live??? (visualize serious perplexed look here)

    As always, loved your post!

  74. Based on your harkening back to the good old days of tvs with remotes and color, I’d say we are in the same age bracket. But I never, not ever had heard of Schoolhouse Rock until about 10 years ago when another teacher was singing Conjunction Junction. I had to quietly skulk away when everyone in the room knew what she was doing. I was most shocked that she was a math teacher singing an English grammar song! Everyone was like “WHAT? you didn’t what Schoolhouse Rock? Where did you grow up?????” Under a rock, I guess, because we did have a fine tv with remote and a vcr and everything. But the title Schoolhouse Rock was never in my vocabulary! My parents would have been thrilled with it, especially because as I get older, I demonstrate quite regularly that I know nothing about US history and a song about the Constitution would have probably helped a littlle in that department!!.

  75. If y’all came on the Mayflower, I must have been in the canoe waiting on you 🙂 Mickey Mouse Club and Captain Kangaroo in black and white-rabbit ears, 3 channels and no remote control. I remember seeing some of the Schoolhouse Rock, but not enough of it to remember now (the whole age thing, ya know?)