Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sugar and Spice and everything nice?

Yummers! Our house smelled sooo good today. First there was "PLATO" (Bet you thought that was a philosopher)...... Amy's Pumpkin Pie Playdough we made this morning.

The cube animal cracker cookie cutter was my Grandma's. A different little animal on each side of it. (goldfish crackers not included.)
This girlie cannot ever seem to have a glass containing a liquid that she won't try to pour into another container, back and forth like a chemist.
This picture was taken right before she went about her business....
Me: NO! We don't put water in our goldfish bowl!
(Sounds wierd, I know)
Then we had the lovely fragrance of spicy apple-butter simmering in the crockpot all afternoon.
It was nice aroma therapy while it lasted....
fish for dinner.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


This weekend was spent with cookie making sessions. Big sister measured, and mixed up the dough by herself. It was chilled overnight. Saturday they used all of the "Fall" cookie cutters, and rolled, patted, poked, cut and baked. Sunday afternoon, they decorated them with cream cheese icing and sprinkles.

I was so thrilled to find a "fall" version of this spatula in the $ bin at Rite-Aid. My cute spring and summer one had gotten broken. It's nice and thin. I hate a chunky spatch, bunching up my hot cookies when I'm takin' them off the sheet, don't you?

Sorry this is so dark. And there's no pix of the frosted ones.
Aren't those just the cutest little oak leaves?
My sis gave us the acorn and oak leaf cutters, as part of the packaging one year on Jim's birthday present cookies. :) Thanks Dot!

We are ec-stat-tic!
A week ago, we were smelling something noxious in the kitchen. We thought a little piece of plastic from a granola bar wrapper had drifted into the oven. The smell didn't dissipate, though, and a while later when helping with homework, there was an arcing sound and blue flames and
smoke coming from under the dishwasher. After cutting power, and some investigating, we thought our DW was fried. We ordered a new one, which was delivered yesterday, much to my chagrin. I hate big purchases. The repairman/installer, the store recommended, came today to install it, and discovered faulty wiring. He repaired IT, and VOILA! Our old machine still works fine!! YEAH! Jim called the store to tell them he was bringing the new one back, and they were really nice about it. Praise the Lord!

Tonight, we watched the last disk in the Holocaust series from Netflix. As always....very sobering subject matter. As far as movies go; some of the acting was really lame, (mostly the young actors) but some of the veteran actors did very well. A talented, young, pretty, Meryl Streep was in it.
In her PJ days......pre-Julia. :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

For years I've had a very basic plan for menu planning. Monday: Sunday dinner leftovers or something simple like mac n' cheese. Tuesday: chicken, Wednesday: fish, etc. I am flexible with it as need be, but try to stick to it as much as possible. After reading Lora's post at My Blessed Life I decided to commit to the plan by linking to the post at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Monday: Mac n' cheese, hotdogs, peas and carrots
Tuesday: Thai Chicken Wraps, tossed salad
Wednesday: Salmon, Rice, broccoli
Thursday: Chili, cornbread, tossed salad
Friday: Homemade "Pumpkin face" pizza
What's on your menu?

Giving Thanks

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns
and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody in your heart
to the Lord;
Giving thanks always for all things
unto God the Father
in the name of
our Lord Jesus Christ
Ephesians 5:19-20

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sugar High, My oh my!


Got the inspiration on our trip from one's we saw at the
Rocky Mtn. Chocolate Factory.
They were fun to make, but....
REALLY glad to have these gone now.
Am busy re-hanging the blinds, uprighting the furniture,
and re-wiring the chandeliers.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Winter Gardening

My dear friend Bonny and I went to another gardening class. It's always good to have an excuse to get together! This class was on winter gardening, which is something I've considered from time to time. The gal that gave the class made alot of references to this book:

I've been a long time fan of Eliot Coleman and his wife Barbara Damrosch, and their approach to gardening. We learned some things for "future reference". However, Bonny and I are tired right now and we're standing on the "to everything there is a season" Word. We happen to be grateful for the fall and winter rains, as they give us the freedom to work on "in-the-house projects",

guilt free.
Or at least they used to.
Now we'll just have to learn to live with the guilt.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Procrastinator's Party: Porch results


I made the wreath from grapevine, birch twigs and wildrose hips.

Five years ago, After seeing a cool idea in a PotteryBarn catalogue, it got clipped and saved. It was a storm door on an old farm house, fashioned like a large wooden shutter. Either in a book, or on a video, sometime since then, I noted that Tasha Tudor (my favorite children's book illustrator), also had a similar one on her home.

I decided to make our screen door into a convert-a-door. It would have a solid panel in the fall/winter seasons, and by simply backing out a few screws, it would be fitted with a screen panel for spring and summer. I removed the old screen panel and made a double sided panel of bead board, with 3) 1x6 brace boards going across on the "inside", and the Victorian gingerbread of the old screen door frame accenting the "outside".

The front door FINALLY got it's paint too.
Sorry the picture's so dark, I finished the challenge at 8:30 tonight.
The grill got moved and a cover.
A plant stand from Sarah, and pumpkins took it's place.

The junk got removed, things got a good sweep and scrubbing.
corn stalks and blueberry bush trimmings
are attached to the porch pillars on each side.

(Don't forget: You can double click on the pictures to enlarge)

Thank you so much Melissa at TheInspired Room, for challenging me to get off my rear, and get things done!
And thanks to all of the people who have been stopping by this humble little blog, to check out the project. Please come back again, I've loved having you!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bear with me...a Sunday Sermon

One day as I neared home, I noticed something that seemed odd. There was a flock of Canadian geese, circling and circling. When I got out of my car, They were surprisingly loud, in spite of the fact they were quite a distance away. I watched them for a long time. Finally, I went inside and did a few chores. Later, when I came back outside, they were still doing the same thing. Praise the Lord, as He allowed me to see the end of the story and reason behind this strange phenomena; They had a member of their flock who was too tired or wounded to make the journey with them. They circled around, encouraging and exhorting, until finally I watched as their friend, rested and feeling surrounded by their loving support, was able to take off and fly with them. He didn't start out soaring. They had to take their time with him, and they kept encouraging him along the way. They didn't just go their merry way without him, oblivious to his needs. They didn't give up on him, they persisted in "being there for him".

They might be the ones in the air flying. But sometimes WE are the ones with our heads in the clouds. (Or dishes, laundry, work, soccer games, tv......just busy being busy with our own busy-ness)

My Mom and Sister both had surgery recently and have been touched and "humbled" by the kindness and concern of friends and neighbors. When we take a little time to show we care, it matters. We do have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.

Lord, Please open our eyes to the needs of those around us, and help us to be responsive and to "be there" for them.

Galatians 6:2
"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Does anyone know what kind of tree this is? I've never seen one like it before, and am clueless.

It is next to the library at the U of WA. Tacoma campus

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Punkin Patches & Pole Cats

Every year we look forward to going to the punkin patch. Synchronizing schedules, always seems to be an issue. This year was no exception We opted for making the best of it, and kept it close to home.
"He likes me"

The haystacks are always a hit.
Sittin on the great pumpkin

Ew, it's hebbie!

One would never believe they fought like a couple of pole cats all the way home.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Procrastinator's Party RSVP: Porch

As I stated recently, "so many messes, so little time." Heidi's Living Lovely challenge encouraged me to take on the pantry/spice cupboard. This time I received my invitation late, so I'm a bit late in my RSVP to the "Procrastinator's Party" at The Inspired Room, and will be scrambling to get this all lookin' great by the 20th. Needs to be done, and should be fun though. Some of my plans have been a long time coming. (5 years).

We got a new front door last year:
It's still unpainted, and the screen door needs help too.
Hate having the barbeque on the front porch.
This is where it ended up after the rotting deck was dismantled.

Have to have the wood here right now; but not the old gate, and other mess.

Looks like an entrance to a haunted house,
not really the friendly fall welcome, I would like convey.
Time to get busy!

Abide in the Vine

Abide in me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
except it abide in the vine;
no more can ye,
except ye abide in me.
~John 15:4
Lately, I've been feeling stressed and like I'm spinning my wheels. Definitely need to be doing more abiding.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Apple Dumpling Gang

I'm glad to be an American, but at the risk of sounding un-American, I must admit: I'm not really a fan of apple pie (or baseball, hot dogs, or Chevrolet either if truth be told) But my hubby is an all-American boy, and LOVES all of those things. Last year I used the recipe over at pick your and canned pie filling for the first time. It was Sooooo good, I had to can more again this year.

This stuff worked out to be the greatest thing since ice-cream....well....and WITH ice-cream for that matter. I think I may have actually made Jim a pie out of it, at some point during the year, I can't remember. But what I DO remember is the yummy quick cobblers:

This is the same recipe I use for Texas Peach Cobbler:

1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 + 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup milk
1 stick butter
1 qt. canned fruit (or in this case; pie filling)

Melt butter in a 9 x 13 pan. Mix sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and milk. Pour mixture over melted butter. Add the pie filling or drained fruit, over the top. With the pie filling, I give it all just a slight little swirl with a knife at this point.
Bake at 350 degrees 45 minutes or till done.

The other dessert I made with this filling recently was one I just came up with in a pinch:

Apple Dumplings.
I used these:

Generally don't buy these type products, but had them leftover from an on-line recipe I had tried for chicken bundles. (Which were yummy too, but i digress....)Instead of tearing them into triangles, I kept them two triangles together, making rectangles. (One tube will make 4 dumplings). I sealed the perforations on each rectangle, and put 1/4c. or so of my canned apple pie filling in the center of each one. Draw up and overlap diagonal corners over the filling. Then take the last 2 diagonal corners and draw over and overlap on the center as well. pinch any gaps closed. Brush with milk or cream, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at the temperature on the roll pkg. until nicely browned. Can drizzle a tad of cream over dumpling to serve.

Make sure you have plenty of the rolls on hand.....your family will be CLAMOURING for more!

Even if you don't make enough pie filling to can, I would recommend cooking up a smaller version to make these, rather than store-bought canned filling. *Personal opinion here: It's just nasty.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Criss Cross Applesauce

It's official, Zorro has started pre-school. I think it's going to be a wonderful time for him.

He has such a love of learning. Kate has taught him well, and will continue to do so, but he will get additional experiences and social interaction. I know I've said it before, but HE IS SO SMART!
He's going to make new friends and learn new rules,
like "criss cross applesauce."
Speaking of applesauce: It needed to be made. I had helpers.

She really wasn't as unhappy about it as she looks!

love playing in water = the official apple washer.

Then the apples were cut up.
This gadget makes quick work of it, but requires some muscle.

The apples are simmered till tender,
and then ran through the kitchen-aid attachment.
Love that thing! Squeezes out the sauce, and spits out the peels.
How easy is that?
Then it's jarred up, and canned in the boiling water bath canner.

Bring on the pork chops!

(I love fall.)

hello cupcake

It was "fortuitous" that hello cupcake was open for business, when we finished looking at the glass art.
These are little works of art too....

Lots of eye candy......literally......

and figuratively.........

The chocolate cupcake with mocha buttercream wasn't bad either.


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