There’s death at Bag Lady’s doorstep — well, on the doorstep if we want to get technical about things.

There’s a gnawing chill in the air. And add to that the fresh discovery that there’s such a thing as pumpkin sesame seaweed crisps? Like, intended for human consumption?

Who can shop in such troubled times for anything but sexy Halloween costumes that maybe you can wear to work, but maybe you shouldn’t, and Stephan, please keep your pants on this year unless you’re going as “Stranger Things” Steve in a Scoops Ahoy costume, and then, fine, shorts are allowed and WE NEED TO SEE PICS.

You’ve got your outfits for next week covered, so Bag Lady’s just going to dive right in.*

* Fully pantsed.

Death comes gently knocking


For the first time in many, many years at our home, with no other changed factors, ladybugs are landing on our door and seemingly dying on contact. Their MO in years past: Fly into the house, gather on the second floor, knock into the lights a million times, explore, chill in a corner, get vacuumed up sometime before March.

Instead this year, it’s a ladybug graveyard easily approaching 100 on our seasonal doormat.

They’re stuck to the glass and screens and littering the railing and steps, a red-and-polka-dotted puzzle.

We have no idea what’s behind it. Anybody else experiencing the same thing?

Next of ‘kin

Let me say first that I fully heart Cumberland Farms’ bold choice to offer its pumpkin spice cappuccino locally no matter the date.


That said, in the past month, store shelves have gotten pumpkin weird around here.

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Shopping Siren and I both distinctly remember chronicling in the not-too-distant-past the plethora of pumpkin-infused foods that pop up this time of year. But we can’t find the column, which is clearly not a lapse of our archive system but instead the universe insisting we write about these weird food finds for the first time/maybe again.

In Hannaford’s alone you’ll find: Kellogg’s Pumpkin Pie Rice Crispy Treats, Pepperidge Farms pumpkin swirl bread, Talenti pumpkin pie gelato, Limited Time Originals pumpkin spice cream cheese, pumpkin hummus or pumpkin salsa, Hood pumpkin eggnog, Ben & Jerry’s pumpkin cheesecake ice cream and Seapoint Farms pumpkin sesame seaweed crisps, which, *hard shudder,* makes me want to go curl up on a certain doormat.

That Ben & Jerry’s though? Hmm. I’ll allow/happily eat a pint of it.

Earning my Maine card

So it almost happened on Sunday night.


Bag Lady almost turned the heat on.

Thankfully, with an extra blanket, the icy moment passed.

Over the years, we’ve turned the act of adjusting the thermostat into a sort of a game each fall because we’re a good-times house like that. (We also recycle cardboard! With abandon!)  Sure, no doubt how long we’re able to hold out owes more to meteorological luck than my own hardiness, but my hardiness is in the mix — I’m not opposed to a wool slipper and an extra layer when no one’s looking.

I believe in the past we’ve at least once made it into November.

Will we make it into November this year? Will Stephan dress as Steve? Will we solve the Case of the Croaking Coccinellidae, which needs to be the name of a Nancy Drew episode?

Let’s figure it out together, pants optional.

Bag Lady’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who are throwing on another layer in a whole-family attempt to keep the heat off until mid-November) and the customer service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at

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