Monday, September 29, 2008

Me's Got The Itch


I have the itch to get my Fall/Halloween decorations out and get this home in the mood for cool nights, warm foods and pumpkins! My son and I stopped at Wal-Mart and was quite surprised at the pumpkins they had. I believe it is to be used for baking a pie, however I fell in love with the white color. The darn thing cost me $4.00, but by golly he sure is cute! We'll visit our local pumpkin patch later, but for now I will keep Mr. White Pumpkin in my home, where it is cool, so hopefully he will last all fall.




I have also been on this new craft kick with papier mache'. I molded a little pumpkin man and I must say, he turned out quite cute. He can be used as a place card holder, picture holder, or whatever you have....to hold! I will make other family members to keep him happy, but for now he makes me smile each time I look at him.



My kitties are getting excited to see new things coming into our home. I'm sure before long they will be chewing on the stems of the pumpkins. When they are not being mischievous, they are lazy bums. Tiger hopes you get to relax as much as he does. Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy Fall and all the beauty that comes with it!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Delicious Autumn!


Delicious autumn!

My very soul is

wedded to it, and if I were a bird I

would fly about the

earth seeking the successive

autumns.

George Eliot



Fall is here, my favorite time of the year. My birthday is in October, so it's always been an extra special season to celebrate. I wish it could be Fall year round, maybe with a little Spring tucked here and there.

Fall puts me in the mood to cook and start nesting. One of my favorite fall cookbooks is "Autumn" by Susan Branch. She is, in my opinion, the most beautiful artist. If you have not discovered her, you MUST look into it.

My son and I have started planning our Fall Harvest party. We will invite the birthday club girlfriends and their families. We'll have lots of kids, lots of food and lots of created memories. Mom and Dad will come too, they can't miss a good party either. I think I may need to make this yummy drink for our camp fire evening.

I hope you enjoy this beautiful season!


Pumpkin Latte


2 heaping Tbsp. canned pumpkin

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

hot coffee, decaf, or espresso

hot milk


Into each large mug put first 4 ingredients.

Fill cup half-way with coffee and stir well.

Fill cup with hot milk and whisk. Top with

whipped cream, dust with cinnamon.

Yum!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

We Are Outta Here!!


After a few hours of dealing with the pouring rain, my Sister and I decided to leave the fair for warm clothes and new adventures .... INDOORS! After getting cleaned up, we asked the men at our hotel "where do you go around here for shopping?". Even though they were men, they led us in the perfection direction. We ended up in Easton Shopping Center, or should I call it Shopping Town. It was HUGE! Needless to say they had more shopping then a person could need or have the time or money to explore. The bad part, the design of the shopping center was like a strip-mall so we still had to walk outdoors a lot. Even though I was cold, I still had one of these.....pumpkin! Yum-O!!!


After many hours of shopping, we were even more cold and tired so back to the hotel we went. We took warm showers and put our jammies on for a night indoors. We rented a movie, don't remember the name but it was excellent, and had another fun evening just being sisters.

The next morning it was our day to head back home. However, we decided to take our sweet time driving home and as long as we made it by 9:00pm, we would be in no hurry. While we were getting our final things packed in our hotel room, a bit of excitement over took us. The sound of the fire alarm started blaring. It was 9:00am and luckily, we were ready to leave, because the last thing I wanted to do was go outside in my PJ's. We grabbed our stuff and headed for the lobby. We were greeted to fire trucks and firemen coming inside our hotel. We heard the desk clerks tell them it was a false alarm "however we did have an oven smoking in the kitchen". See ya, we are leaving!








It was nice to know the city of Columbus had very responsive firemen. And cute too! :)


We left the city and firetrucks behind us, and made it about 5 miles outside of the city before we decided to stop for breakfast. It didn't take us long to realize we stumbled upon a nice little shopping area, excellent! After eating breakfast we shopped around for a few more hours and before we knew it, it was lunch time. Wow time flies when you're having fun. We ate at Chipolte, a first for both of us, and decided....maybe we better get back on the road to home.


We left the area and at least made it to Indiana before we made our next stop. We spotted this gigantic candle from the interstate and knew we had to see what this thing was all about. Come to find out it was a Warm Glow outlet store with millions of candles (and other neat items).

We shopped around this store for maybe an hour and once again said, let's get going. We piled in the car with our goodies and made it as far as the entrance of the candle place before making our next detour. We saw a sign for an antique mall with 500 vendors. We had to go!

One thing my sister and I are not good at is details. Throughout our trip we would spot signs and say "hey, let's go there", but we didn't pay attention to where....there....was. This was the case with the antique shop. Luck was on our side, we did stumble upon the place and went inside to find some treasures. Both of us found a couple little things we couldn't live without, but luckily the store closed so we didn't get to spend much time browsing. Finally, we were back on the road and we told ourselves, the only allowed stops were 1) dinner, 2) gas and 3) potty breaks.

In the end, it took us 12 hours to get home for a 6 hour drive. Pretty good I would say, wouldn't you?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Off To The Fair We Go!

Before leaving for Ohio, my sister was watching the forecast and unfortunately, it wasn't showing anything good. It called for rain the whole time we were gone, and by the time we headed home, Hurricane Ike was expected to move over the Midwest to drop even more rain. Lovely! Nevertheless, we headed out with umbrellas in tow. And it's a good thing, because it was raining before we ever got out of the car.

We stood in line for over an hour to make sure we had a front line spot for the opening of the fair. I really don't know why, because we were not in a hurry to purchase anything. We visited with a sweet lady from Wisconsin the whole time and she was a wealth of knowledge when it came to these fairs. I learned that very talented ladies made crafts and sold them at these types of events. But these weren't your hokey wooden or cheesy crafts like a lot of places have. These were artists that many people collected their works of art. My curiosity was killing me, was it time to open yet? We also stood next to this hip lady with this cute basket on wheels (decorated with real daisy's).

Before the gates even opened, the rain started pouring down but we ventured on. Everything was set up so pretty and neat. We felt so sorry for the vendors because they couldn't even get out all of their pretties because of the rain. We still found some things we couldn't live without, but we didn't spend an arm and a leg to get them. My sister's favorite bloggers "The Farm Chicks" were there with their own tent. I really wanted to get her picture with them, but she didn't want to bother them since they were busy. They had some cute things for sale as well.







We walked around the fair for a few hours and got to see some of the greatest female artists that could design the most adorable items. God has made some talented ladies I tell you! Even though the best artists charged too much for my wallet, it was fun to look at their pretties. In the end, here is a display of my treasures. My favorite, the lion I purchased for my son. He was made with wool and there were a TON of different animals. It was so hard to purchase just one.



Our trip to the fair was fun, rainy fun, and I think I could go back again.



ROAR!!!







Tuesday, September 16, 2008

And so our adventure begins....


My sissy and I decided months ago we wanted to attend the Country Living Fair in Columbus Ohio. My brother-in-law booked our hotel, we ordered our fair tickets and the planning began. We left last Thursday morning once we dropped the kiddo's off at school and were on our way. I think we made it a few hours before our first stop. We passed a K-Mart and since our area no longer has one, we turned around and went back to see what Martha Stewart stuff we could find. Nothing too exciting, so we were back on the road heading toward Ohio.



My brother-in-law is the "King" of technology and has one of them GPS (or whatever they are called) things. It helps you navigate and get where you are going. Her name is ............Judy! There were times my sister and I doubted "the Judster" so we went our own way. In her own pleasant little voice, she would respond "recalculating", but what she was really saying was "you stupid idiot, once again you aren't following my directions". In the end, Judy only failed us one time and after a few attempts at going our own way, my sister and I realized Judy really was the better navigator and we followed her from then on.



We didn't realize Ohio was so hilly. It was quite pretty, and we talked about how lovely the trees must look in the fall. The drive took us about 6 hours and we knew we where in Columbus when the skyline changed from semi-flat, to tall buildings. The inner city was pretty, not very hard to get around (thanks to Judy) and quite pretty with a river that runs through it.

Once we found our hotel, we were off looking for a shopping center and a place to eat. We didn't find a shopping center, but we found a Jo-Anns fabric, a girls next best thing. We were in there for probably a couple of hours and after driving around aimlessly looking for a place to eat (no help from Judy), we decided to go back to our hotel and order a pizza. The food was good, the bed was comfy, and our first day had come to an end.




Sunday, September 14, 2008

He is here....


"I hear the howl of the wind that brings the long drear storm on its heavy wings."

William Cullen Bryant

Ike is here, and everything bad he brings with him. The wind is howling strong in the Midwest and there is water everywhere. My front yard and back yard is flooded and I can see the streets of our town flooded as well. He is not through with us yet, he just arrived a few hours ago.

My heart and prayers go out towards those on the coast that took his worse beating. May he not be as tough on us and hurry onward.
In this dreadful weather, what shall a girl do? Why craft and work on her blog after a lovely trip to the County Living 2008 Fair! Stay tuned............

Monday, September 8, 2008

I need a Muffin Man

I need a new job, and that job should entail a muffin man that lives on Drury Lane. Today was yet another terrible day at work and it makes me wish all the more that I have my own little job, with my own little bakery and it was just me and the muffins (or cupcakes).

Work has not been going well, too many reasons why and I won't bore you on details. But as I'm feeling sorry for myself, I must remember two of the other supervisors in our division and the challenges they are facing. One lady, single, never been married was diagonased with breast cancer a month ago. She had surgery to remove the lump, but now it's time for chemo and radiation. She has God in her life and is holding her head high and putting herself in His hands. But in the end, she must go through all of the scares, ill feelings and being alone during this time.

The other supervisor has a husband with liver cancer and she is watching him slowly pass away. He has fought it hard, but it has been a long 2 years with so much pain. She is a believer of Jesus, but not a follower. I keep praying this will bring her closer to Him.

I wish I could take these two ladies, wrap them up, bake their miseries away and we all eat muffins, or better yet, chocolate cupcakes.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Oh Give Me a Home, Where the Buffalo Roam.....






And the deer and the antelope really do play, along with the grey fox, black bear, and a few birds. There is this really fun Wildlife Prairie Park a few hours away from where we live that I discovered a couple years ago. You can't call it a zoo because the animals are in their natural territory, just behind fences so they stay in captivity. There are trails that lead you all around to see the animals.




The highlight was the lodging. They do not have a hotel, they have individual lodging and you get to take your pick from....a horse stable, a cabin, a grain bin or the best of the best....a caboose! The have 4 cabooses, lined up, on a rail road track. It is very cool, especially if you have a son that has grown up loving trains.


On our way home we stopped in the city, it's a river city, so we went down to the water front for lunch. My son picked the best pizza place, Chicago style pizza.....Yum-O! Then we headed to the next largest city and did a bit of shopping. Instead of taking the interstate the rest of the way home, we headed for the country because of something we saw on our way to the Wildlife Park. We saw a Wind Farm from the interstate, so we had to see these large windmills up close. They really were beautiful in the sky. There were hundreds of these things, just moving so slowly and gracefully in the wind. So simple, yet in their own special way, so pretty.






I hope you had a splendid Saturday too!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Seed Collection

Ahhhh...the joy of being in school all over again. I'm 38 years old, but I'm really in the 4th grade (along with my 9 year old son). School is in full bloom with all kinds of homework to do each night. That is the bad part about the 4th grade. The good part, doing fun projects like a seed collection.
We started collecting seeds a week ago when the assignment came home. The teacher gave the class 2 weeks to complete. My Mom and Sister have been saving seeds for us as well. We actually ended up with some pretty neat ones in addition to the usual; apple, watermelon. We have pumpkin, sesame, poppy, lemon, avocado, jalapeno, peach, Hosta (plant), cherry, and the best of all....persimmon!

We have a persimmon tree in our back yard and when we were 1 seed short, my son remembered the tree so we headed outside for a look. It's pitch black so we are walking in our jammies with flash lights, through the wet grass. We picked some (un-ripe) persimmons and headed back inside to see what hid inside. Much to our amaze, there were little seeds similar to a green pepper seeds, but BRIGHT orange. Then when I cut into a larger persimmon, there was this seed that looked exactly like a green lima bean. Personally I was quite amazed because I have never eaten this fruit let alone cut it open!

My Dad is an expert on persimmons because my Grandma used to bake persimmon pudding when he was little. We had to call him to discuss this odd discovery. He said if you cut the bean pod thingy open, it will tell you what type of winter we should expect. I heard him tell my son something about them being bright orange. I don't think the news was good, but I never did get the whole story once he got off the phone. But Dad did confirm they have this bean pod thing with smaller seeds inside. And that's where the weird wives tale comes into play. I better Google that and see what I can find.

In the end, we went back outside and gathered about 12 more persimmons and cut each of them open. We ended up with way more bean pods then the egg carton could hold, so we pitched some. But our research, led to some fun discoveries and an awesome seed collection. Here is our final product, I predict an A+!!!