Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween! I am sitting here only half an hour into Halloween. It's kind of my favorite holiday! Mom and I have made little treat sacks for our trick or treaters, and we have a little buffet planned for the adults who bring them in.

I have been watching Oprah, and I noticed a new trend. Celebrities are preparing "favorite things" gift baskets for their friends. Of course, money is no object, and it sounds like they make about 20 of those for Christmas... Sounds very fun. I got to thinking about what I'd put in a favorite things basket.

1. Starbucks frappucino vanilla flavor coolers
2. A DVD of Chocolat
3. Fruits and Passions Pear Linden lotion
4. Caldrea dishwashing liquid
5. A copy of Beth Moore's Breaking Free Daybook
6. A jar of white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie mix
7. A six pack of sharpie fineline pens
8. Gevalia blueberry coffee
9. A four pack of linen napkins
10. a bouquet of seasonal fresh cut flowers
11. a vintage hankie
12. a sparkly strand of mini seed lights tied in ribbons
13. four beautiful salad plates in varying styles or colors
14. Harry and David Red Pepper Relish
15. Philadelphia Cream Cheese and the recipe for the dip
16. Wheat Thins
17. Scrapbooking stickers
18. A home made card or tag
19. Big celophane wrapper and huge ribbon
20. Enya or Celtic Christmas CD

Food, scent, music, lotion, and pampering.... my basket for all of you. Enjoy the day with your special trick or treaters. I am on a dial up, so can't get a picture to upload!!! Boo!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

One of these switches will make me BLOW!!!

Okay.... You know how everyone on blogs is always telling you 25 things about themselves and all that? Well, here, in no particular order... are 25 things about my night.

1. I was evaluated today by the state supervisor about the curriculums I've been writing
2. I had eaten too many tortilla chips with lime last night, and I felt all salty and yucky this morning.
3. I raced home and took my mother to her hairdresser after school in a town about 35 miles from where I work...
4. I decideed to try a salad from a drive through, and it was horrid...
5. My mom watched QVC on a really loud volume, and it was all about Christmas, and how it's only 60 days from today, and my mi nd began to sizzle.
6. My stool decided to stop up at Mom's so I plunged it to no avail about 100 times.
7. Incidentally, did you guys know that if a septic tank is blocked, when you plunge a stool all the water goes up into all the other drains in the house?
8. My Mom's septic tank was /is blocked.
9. I stopped up her stool, and about five inches of water appeared in the showers, tubs, sinks.... YUM!!!
10. I had decided to have a night of "beauty" tonight and watch a little televison and read a new book from Amazon.
11. She was pretty hysterical about the stool situation because she had taken PRUNE juice at 7 p.m.....
12. My son couldn't fix the problem.
13. She informed me we were coming to my house to stay all night.
14. He had a house full of company to watch scary movies.
15. My mother didn't like the looks of his shorts!!!!
16. I gave him the "look" and tried to stall her a bit
17. She went on out to sit in the car because she was worried about the Prune juice, and she began to honk the horn.
18. When we got here, I discovered my cat Sally has taken to peeing on the carpet because she misses me???? or something....
19. My mother refuses to sleep anywhere but a huge recliner she cannot manipulate, and she looks like Goldilocks in that big green chair.
20. I have heartburn that you would not believe.
21. I had decided to cry and have a little prayer about not being able to be home and being homesick about fifteen minutes before all the hubbub started.
22. I don't think too much of God's sense of humor lately.
23. Now, since my big move over, all my crap is at Mom's that I want.
24. I am in my room and know my mother is absolutely miserable out there in the dining room in that stupid chair.
25... Did I say Christmas was in 60 days? Ooooopps.... that's the button....


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Autumn Surprises....

What's around the autumn corner? Who really knows, eh? I just know I am buried, knee deep, and deeper in some kind of disorganized, surreal, quasi existence. I am floundering, or I should be... but I find myself just kind of slipping down under the waves of confusion and change, sort of like Meredith did in Grey's Anatomy last season when you just wanted to shake the ever loving snot out of her... Only in that episode her mother sent her back from the netherworld to LIVE! I am not entering some kind of netherworld exactly... just uncharted territory, which for a little homebody like me.... is kind of a bleak and watery land of scariness.

About the photos of the party. Well.... I can't find the camera, the cord, or the stuff I set out for the party photos... so I don't know about that. My son, my beautiful, beloved son... he walks off with every digital camera I have bought.... and then when I reclaim it, I feel as if I'm borrowing from HIM..... But, I haven't given up on the shots I took, just deferred posting for a bit.

I made this cheese ball, and it looked a lot like this one which is a stock photo. It was just a regular cheeseball recipe with seasoning, bacon, softened cream cheese, butter, and mayonnaise. I formed it and inserted two packs of almonds (toasted), about 100. Added some herbs from my yard, and Voila! It was soooo darn cute... Everyone was totally impressed.
And the program about fairies was just a blast to give. I had little fairy sacks with Tinkerbell on them that my mother found at Wal-Mart (bless Wal-Mart). In each sack I had a little bar of autumn soap, a bottle of scented bubbles that had the label replaced with one that read, "Fairy Transportation, Inc.... We ride like the wind".... and then I had autumn fairy cakes (a la Little Debbie), a booklet I made with Fairy Facts, Fairy doll photos, stories about sightings, and quotes.... all compiled from internet resources and bound in cloud paper. I tucked in a glittery pencil, a stick of Hershey's Wand Candy, a journal for fairy contact sightings, tissue, and a wand.

They were all excited about their fairy bags, and they participated in the program like the best classroom in the whole wide world.


So, what's up today? I am getting some things ready for a bigger move to Mother's. I have come to the conclusion that living all week kind of here, kind of there, kind of not living anywhere.... that is not as much fun as it sounded at first. My schedule was all about getting up at 5:00 a.m. and having a cup of coffee and a visit with Mom, racing home in my nightie in my car (only about a mile), doing a Bible study, going on the computer for a fast five or ten minutes, taking a race of a shower, fuzzing up my hair and pretending to throw makeup at my face, plopping in my car and rummaging in my purse on the way driving to school for more makeup, my medicines, and any errands and mail I needed to take care of.... Whew... and at night I basically was just showing up at Mom's for some kind of meal and sitting with her until her bed time at 9. Then I was coming down to my little room for Tivo'd stuff and no doubt eating.... very very bad on the figure (which is already shot) and the soul (which isn't quite yet).

The hard truth is... things have changed. Daddy doesn't live there any more. I guess I do. Only those of you with houses you adore will understand how sad it makes me to say I am giving up some of my own home caring to move in with Mom. I love her and adore her and want to make her life as good as I can, BUT..... Oh, I adored puttering in my own house.... My house reflects my soul.... It's hard to explain, but I know I don't even need to with all of you. My heart says to dig in and make myself a nest over there and enjoy every day instead of this weird dual living... I know she will be cooperative and help me get rid of some of her things (put them in other rooms is what I meant to say... haha... Freudian slip, there.).... With a few of my own cherished items, my lotions, shower and bath items, my clothes, a few books at a time, movies... uh.... crafty papery cluttery projects, magazines, COMPUTER line!!!!!....... I think I'll be as good as new... And believe me, I will be war-dog slithering into my son's room and getting that camera BACK...... After all, he didn't force me to watch those war movies for nothing!!! "There's nothing like the smell of Napalm in the morning, eh?" Now, get in there and do my espionage..... where would I be if I were a covert digital camera?????? (maybe at his girlfriend's house?) oh. oh.... a military setback, for sure.

I can feel the blood begining to warm in my cold veins... If I can once again wake up in the middle of the night and get some kind of little project ready, or take a little visit to many of your wonderful wonderful blogs.....I will once again be a member of the human race..... are we winning? I don't know that it matters, but indeed we must get our motors running... at least that...

Have a good day... Dare I say, "Stay tuned for photos"????????????

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Doing the Snowball Boogie Dance

Celebrating the party!!! All had a blast... I'll get the photos posted soon.... Take care all.... I'm relaxing today.... It was such a hurdle for me to get it ready... My mind wouldn't work until about ten p.m. on Tuesday... Then frantic cleaning, cooking, etc.... Adrenaline is DA-Bomb! Only an hour and forty-five minutes of snoozing..... and then the party.... Boogie down with Snowball!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Okay... Wednesday's coming~

Well, dears, it's almost here, and I have hereby procrastinated enough to make it a full-on challenge. I belong to a Doll Club with my mother, and the whole group is coming to MY HOUSE, Mine, not Mom's.... on Wednesday for a luncheon and final party. Oh, yeah... It's not enough for me to cook the lunch, I still have to clean, dust, run the sweeper, swiffer up the kitchen, decorate, set the table, fix up the porches, pray for a dry spell to get the grass mowed one last time, mulch the now dead flower bed to cover up the yucky junk there, and, AND.... get the final touches on a program I'm presenting... Yeah, I'm also presenting... Am I thinking that I'm Barbra Streisand in Yentl or what? Geez Louise... and all I really want to do is browse around the house, give it up, go to Mom's and sit there and watch the new TIVO that's coming for my room tomorrow... maybe feel sorry for myself a bit for no good reason... you know the regular stuff I do to procrastinate. But, it's too late, and I must get off my duff...

I think I'll do Flylady's crisis step thingie... 15 minutes all around and then 15 minutes off... Mom is in Doll Club, so that will be fun for her to come up here on Wednesday. I just didn't realize when I signed up last April what would be the situtation with full time school, living basically at Mom's or somewhere in between her house and mine... or actually, maybe not living at all? That may be the kicker thought of the morning...

The program is called, "Fairies, witches, and wee folk... a look at fairy dolls and their inspiration." I have it all ready, and I'll post some photos of the favor bags I have put together. My mom found Tinkerbell sacks, so I opted to use them instead of re-inventing the wheel and making a bag.... TInkerbell and I are both 53, I think I've mentioned that before...

This photo is a really shadowy one of some of my mother's dolls. I have different dolls but I'll again post later when my house is all spiffed. The tallest of those dolls has been through a fire, and she belonged to my great grandmother. Only the head survived, and then my aunt fixed is up for my grandfather one Christmas long long ago... Doh!!!! Oh, how I wish for a fairy godmother to come and help me. Guess my fairy program prep is going to my head, huh? Take care and stay tuned for photos and descriptions.

Here is my menu: Homemade Harvest vegetable beef soup, wheat rolls, ham salad, Fancy chicken salad, pasta salad, cheese ball made to look like a pinecone, crackers, dips, Pumpkin Cheesecake bars, nuts, Cranberry Autumn tea, and pumpkin lattes...????? Sounds delicious, huh?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Practically Magic....

Sometimes for a "smart girl" I am pretty slow. I've been waiting (kind of patiently) for my mother's service technician to come to her house and install my television from my bedroom here at home in HER house in my little "sleeping apartment" over there. I have been there nearly every night except for maybe six or seven since my dad died, and it looks to be a Permanent situation. I call it her "fraidy cat" disease, but she isn't going to stay by herself, I think... Anyway, last night it hit me about seven o'clock that duh... I could have my son bring over my television early and a couple of DVD's. She goes to bed about nine, and I am a night owl and a half... I haven't been sleeping well, and just reading or eating and totally flipping out for about two hours until I can even think about bed... I usually go about one in the morning... My son raced over with my tv and a handful of my favorites... Miss Potter, Some Kind of Wonderful, and of course, Practical Magic.... The music, the house, THE HOUSE!!!!!! oh, I love that movie, especially the first hour... I'm not into that last part where it gets kind of dopey... but I love to watch Sally get her shop ready... I can imagine it is Shady Peanut Lane filled with all kinds of lovely lotions.... mmmmm.... My favorite movie to bring over would have been Chocolat, but alas! he couldn't find it... I can... or I'll buy another.. One cannot be without a Chocolat in every format, my dears! Anyway, I put on Practical Magic and it lulled me to a lovely dream of enchanted teaspoons stirring my coffee, of beautiful mansions, and deliciously happy old aunties.... It is soothing and fun.... and charming.... Don't you love the little girls? The time I saw it first was on a crisp fall day. My family had all gone somewhere, and I took a little chicken salad lunch for myself to the park and had a picnic under the trees, then took myself to the movies and watched this little treasure.. I remember I had a new bottle of Pear Linden lotion from Fruits and Passion (now a discontinued fragrance, which is sooooo sad to me). I forever remembered that day when I used that lotion... Scents, potions.... magic.... I better touch these tired feet to the real firmament world and get ready for school... My juniors and seniors in Practical English won't identify with the practical magic lunacy that threatens my sobriety this morning... Enjoy the autumn... It finally feels like it's here... Hallelujah....

Monday, October 8, 2007

Closing of the Garden Party

Although this isn't exactly what Marguerite's garden looks like, it's the essence of it. She is having a lovely closing of the garden party today at noon. I'm invited, but will have to go tardy (like about 3:30 when school gets out). Luckily, most of the friends at the party will still be there chatting and laughing and having a lovely time. Marguerite has an opening of the garden in the spring and a closing in autumn. I missed the spring one this year, but last year's events were so lovely. It was cool and crisp last October, and we had soup from a huge kettle.... bubbling Italian vegetable. This little garden is a small nook carved out of her yard. She has a pool with a few goldfish, a few lovely statues, some perennials and annuals... some cobblestones.... a few chairs... and all the Italian and Missouri charm thrown in. One of the most hospitable women I've ever met, Marguerite works sooooo hard. She is the embodiment of the Make your own sunshine kind of lady. She has a lovely family, many beautiful grandchildren (one in my English class!).... and we all love her. She is the author of an Italian family cookbook that is filled with recipes and traditions and stories of her large family. Although "they" are threatening us with a littl rain today, I know it will be sweet.... She seizes the moment and adds beauty... Did I not post about that this week? What a busy weekend...

I will touch back soon. Have a lovely day...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Here and There... It needs to happen... Welcome October's Magic!

Hey, I just read a post that sure speaks to me. Terri has captured the idea of this autumn for me with her post about decorating and fighting the blues in any way we know to do for ouselves. Check out her cute decorations here. I haven't put up ANY really of my wonderful, wonderful Halloween decorations. I have about four huge totes, and I love, absolutely love Halloween. I usually decorate during September and have them up through most of November, especially the fall stuff.... Part of the reason is busy-ness with lots of hours spent at Mom's and lots of hours working on school stuff and some hours spent on refurbishing and dreaming about how my shop will look when I have time... but a great deal is simply the blahs. I know I have every right to be "blah" since I have had a death in my dearest corner of the world, but... I also know myself. I have to fight the spiral or I end up a lot lower on the staircase than I need to be, a lot harder to climb back up to square one...

A couple of days, (was it actually over a week? wow...) I dedicated myself to improving and finding some beauty in my world every minute I could. I cleaned my bedroom, and even though I don't sleep here much, it still starts my day. I get up at the crack of dawn or before at Mother's and have a cup of coffee with her, take out of there about 6 a.m. and come home to a hot shower and a few minutes of blog bliss... Then I'm off to school. I actually kind of love the hub bub and the routine... I missed full time school because I didn't actually fill my down time with anything that spoke to my spirit like teaching does.

I have been so inspired by the blogs I read... by the people I have "met" in pictures of their beautiful homes and their worlds... At first glance, usually people seem to have it all together, and they do.. but as we get to know each other more and more, we see areas when they are a little down, a little ill (GET WELL, FIFI!) and a little exhausted (THINKING OF YOU, AMY!)... and all kinds of busy... that helps, too.. Inspiration and understanding. Who could ask for a better community of friends?

I was told last night by my mom that it took a 3 ring circus to keep me happy.. I don't really think she meant that in a good way, but, oh well.. I kind of liked it. I don't like to just sit and look at the floor. I love little puttery projects, huge ordeal projects, and all things in between... Time for sitting and moping will happen again and again, but it is definitely the season for me to click in... Thank you, Terri... Your post rang the bell -- you all know the bell. Like the one in Rocky!!! When Adrienne tells him to WIN..... Yep, yo, Adrienne... It's time for me to go the distance! Have a good day.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Apple Crisp Mornings and Imaginary Vacations. . .

I think I've mentioned this site before, but in case I haven't, I think you would love to have a look. It is the ultimate stay at home traveler's haven. If you want to savor a recipe from an inn or bed and breakfast from anywhere in the United States, this is the website for you. Internet Traveler's Cookbook. I love to fix things from another region for a special event. Since I don't travel, I also love to browse these bed and breakfast inns and imagine spending time there... For example, my dear friend brought my mom and me a sack of delicious apples, some oatmeal and brown sugar.... It's time for a lovely apple crisp. Not to worry... I can make our same apple crisp we've had for years, or
Timberholm Inn's yummy recipe follows: Hello, Stowe, Vermont!

Sinful Apple Crisp

10 Granny Smith Apples
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3-1/2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup butter, melted
Peel and slice apples in thick wedges. Toss with mixture of cinnamon and add 1/2 cup of sugar. Set aside. Combine remaining sugar with flour, baking powder, and salt. Crack eggs into dry mixture and work with your hands until topping mixture is crumbly. Lay apple slices in a 9 x 13 baking pan. Sprinkle topping over apples and pour melted butter evenly over top. Bake in a 350 degree oven until golden, about 35 to 40 minutes. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Or maybe it would be more fun to make the one from Riversong Inn in Estes, Colorado. I can think myself there during the holidays or even now with the spa tub right in the room with me... Here is their apple crisp recipe:

Apple Cranberry Crisp with Maple Whipped Cream

1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 stick of butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup toasted walnuts
10 large tart green apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
1-1/3 cup cranberries
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Mix first six ingredients into a bowl. Add butter and cut until mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix in walnuts. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine apples, cranberries, sugar, and lemon juice in bowl. Toss gently. Transfer to buttered 12-cup baking dish. Sprinkle topping over all. Cover with foil. Cook 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until apples are tender and the topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Spoon into bowls. Top with a dollop of maple whipped cream and fresh mint leaf.
For maple whipped cream, simply whip the whipping cream and maple syrup together.

I saw a lovely quote *author unknown to me, that goes, "I would gladly spend my life traveling if I had another to live at home." Oh, yeah... That is me to a t. Have a lovely week. May the winds of autumn kiss your sweet faces this week with lovely crisp days, and may you find time to bake something wonderful from Internet Travelers. Let me know if you do! I'd love to "travel alongside you."