Monday, October 27, 2008


Here's a little peek at our tables and decorations. Had thirteen here tonight for a really fun time.

And another giveaway...

Wow... look at this great toaster cover giveaway here... at The Pickled Pea Patch Go give her great site a viewing... She is an amazing blogger.


Go take a peek at Charmed, I'm Sure and see these scrumptious Halloween decorations and her giveaway. Then come back and see mine!!!! Party is tonight.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Party time again......

Monday night... Fall Sorority Meeting at Mom's.... We'll be cleaning and setting the table tomorrow.... Two items from our menu! Was this not a perfect fall day? Hugs to all!

Libby's® Pumpkin Roll
with Cream Cheese Filling
INGREDIENTS:1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel) 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 large eggs 1 cup granulated sugar 2/3 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional) 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 cup powdered sugar (optional)
DIRECTIONS: 1. PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle towel with powdered sugar.
2. COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and slat in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.
3. BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.
4. BEAT cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.
Yields 10 servings

Taco Haystacks

Provide the following ingredients buffet style for guests to layer on harvest plates:
Shredded lettuce
sliced black olives
chopped tomatoes
chopped purple onions
chopped almonds
chopped green/red peppers
shredded cheese
red beans
drained whole kernel corn
black beans, drained and rinsed
ground beef, browned and mixed with pkg. Taco Seasoning
Taco sauce, mild or medium
Doritos or corn chips of choice
Gently cook over burner until smooth
1 can tomato soup
1 can Ro-Tel Tomatoes
1 can. cream of mushroom soup
Layer and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gypsies, Trams, and Me....

I have been wanting to tell about my love/hate relationship with tram rides. At the recent festival in our town we took tram rides through the Cemetery Theater, and there was one with historical interest throughout the whole town. I can hop aboard a tram with friends and have done so in many towns throughout the Midwest... Wind in the face, usually something special to see... trams can be perfectly wonderful....

Or... they can bring back a flashback or two.... Flash back to the year 1974... if you dare. I am a student teacher doing a fair to middlin' job at my heart's chosen profession. I decide to take a group of American Literature juniors to Hannibal, MO, and we board the Mark Twain Tram.... Yeah.. I didn't get to take them on the one drawn by draft horses.. We took the one with the new driver of the fast tractor... and SHE took us for a ride from you know where through the hairpin curves of Mark Twain Park or whatever its name is... It's on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River... and believe it or not, the driver sent one of the passengers off to HANG FROM A TREE over the river and guide her as she inched back and forth around one of those turns. We could look straight down AT the passenger and at the River many feet below... Not a tram ride to remember...

Flash forward to the year 1980. My juniors devised a tram of sorts to take passengers on a wild, covered by a tarp ride through the gym.. It was all a part of a haunted schoolhouse extravaganza.... I took the maiden voyage, a wild blind ride amid screams and flashing lights, the tram pushed by frantic eleventh graders bound for glory.. Uh... we hadn't thought the brakes through actually. The tram hit the gym wall and the hapless junior sponsor, luckily younger--- much more supple then... I hit the wall as well.. Just a few kinks to iron out on that one!

And finally, take a little trip back to approximately 1967. I'm a seventh grader, and we have taken my entire family to the Missouri State Fair. My grandfather, about 70 years old, had recently suffered a mild heart attack. My mother was manic in her denial, and it was easily 100 degrees... We parked in the far reaches of the lot, my grandfather began to cry, and my mother grabbed my shoulders and gave me a little push: YOU GO GET THAT TRAM. STOP IT FOR YOUR GRANDFATHER. I was what is known today as a compliant child... (also known today as a dumb one). I headed out in long loping steps to catch the passing tram. Driven by a couple of farm boys, the tram just cheerfully went on by me... No doubt they saw how far away my family trudged behind me... they thought they would give me the slip... I heeded my mother's words and threw myself at the back railing of the tram.... Yeah, it dragged (or drug?) me for yards and yards before I gave up and stood up in the road, blood from knees to ankles.... By that time my mother must have felt a bit crazy.. She was instantly pretty ticked at me for being so stupid... And Gramma, bless her baby soul... GRAMMA took my side! It was a great way to start a day at the Fair... Did I ever mention I HATE the State Fair? I always will.... and I think I always have... My son and parents went every year without me.. And my mother still cries every August because she cannot go... No trams for me, please....

Enjoy the chilly weather if you're nearby..... Spooky night....

Cranberry Flats Giveaway

Hop on over to Cranberry Flats to enter this lovely fall giveaway. She offers quite a treasure!!! And her blog is fantastic!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Stroll in the moonlight

Okay... so I admit it. I'm actually a great big yellow chicken with a bright red tail! LAST NIGHT I had procrastinated long enough on the big box of journals and workbooks I lugged home from school. Our quarter ended Friday, so with infinite patience the school requires grades on Monday... grrr... Anyway, I walked out to my car about midnight, waning moonlight washing the driveway. I spotted the little black wooly worm that's been camping on our sidewalk and wondered if it really meant we were having a gosh darned bad winter.... I opened the back door of my little Taurus... and there it was... "SNUFF" kind of like a pony, maybe a deer, maybe a snort... maybe.... this ole tater tot can actually get a burn on after all! I grabbed the big heavy box and stumped for the house.... Well, I could see nothing in the drive. I heard no more... What was that, do you think? Whatever it was, the noise was only a few feet behind me.... And of course, I decided a cup of hot tea and a little time under my cozy feather duvet would be a good respite for the chilly reception the night had dealt me... Uh, I woke up this morning with no papers done, no idea what snuffed at me... no excuses really. So, this morning I made a big crock pot of chili and I'm puttering with fall mantel ideas... I see the notebooks, and they see me. I will tackle them this afternoon.... and take the box to the car before sunset... Have a wonderful Sunday.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Witches...Lunches.... and shoes...

Crossroads Diner for Lunch.....

(Wish these were in my yard!)

There were more black cats, but also some tombstones, and I dearly hate to see those as decorations... I'm just odd... I don't like anything like that and have a hard time getting decorations without RIP stuff all over the yards. However, as many totes as I have of Halloween, I guess it isn't as hard as all that, huh? I'm getting ready for sorority at my house the 27th. I'm in the process of thinking of a theme... Better hurry. Mom and I did our banking (Like Ellie May Clampett and Granny) and then we went to Crossroads Diner, one of our favorite hangouts. We had Fifteen bean soup.... It was "delish," but we could count only about seven different kinds! haha... Home for the day. I'm taking a break from my shop today and relaxing with a cup of Gevalia coffee and White Chocolate/raspberry creamer... Um.... yeah... it's that good.

Oh, and Thank You, Land's End... I ordered a pair of shoes to rescue my feet from the winter's frostbite... My sandals (those of you who were pitifully appalled by my old shoes in a prior post recall these).... are still going, but oh, the soles are tres THIN..... and not so chic.... to say the least. These feel pretty good brand new, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a few weeks from now when they are totally broken in... I am addicted to Land's End shoes and nightgowns.... Isn't that funny?

Have a super duper Saturday.... Hugs to all.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What a party!

I took a personal day today in order to escort my mama to her Doll Club, and we had an absolutely wonderful fall party. Our hostess has marvelous dolls, and she fixed so much lunch it was spectacular! We had honey spiral ham, turkey, and a wonderful crispy chicken breast. We had layered lettuce salad, corn salad, Texas potatoes, home made bread, fresh green beans, fruit salad, baked apples, mud pie dessert... and on and on. I'm sure I'm leaving out a lot. It was lovely.

She had her home decorated for fall... for the witchy moments... isn't she wonderful?
And for the Grateful ones.. This couple was perced on a cabinet in the kitchen and really took the prize for Thanksgiving decor!
Her table was inspirational. She layered a pale green cloth, scatters of silk leaves and a layer of thin organza.... Made me almost want to get married in the fall... haha... "If'n I had a huzzband" as that wonderful woman says in my favorite Christmas movie, It's a Wonderful Life. Happy Fall!

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Change of Heart

A welcome by the "town's namesake..." actually our dear coach dressed as the southern colonel who named the town.

Okay, so maybe most of you had heard of this, but I had not. My adopted town recently celebrated its 150th birthday with many kinds of activities, but this one was new to me: Cemetery Theater. When my friends began to plan this, I was a no-go. In my heart I imagined it to be very bizarre, even disrespectful, a bit controversial... and awfully sad. All the way through the planning stages, I was NOT able to be a fan of this ... But gradually I realized how much love and honor was going into the planning and details of Cemetery Theater. I saw online it had been done in other cemeteries, and I read parts of the scripts. Finally I talked to the planners even more, who are also my dearest friends. Out of respect for their hard work, I boarded a tram near sunset, kleenexes in purse and mind on sceptic... I was amazed. The family members often acted as the loved ones, having set up little cameos of the lives they lived... The town's founders, the Italian early families, beloved fixit men, and even the farmer who struck coal and sold his fortune to a wheeler dealer long ago... The actors filled the cemetery with life, with honor, and with wonderful stories of our loved ones. It will go down in my heart as one of the most sacred times spent in a cemetery. My friend's cheeks were wet the whole time as she relived her childhood with these people... I loved the experience and am grateful I decided to be a part, a very small one, of it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

October's Bright Blue Weather

Welcome to our autumn kitchen, ready to entertain my cousin from California a couple of weekends ago. We now have matching angels, hers there in California with her and mine with me here. I so love fall!My Cinderella sits patiently in her new "home" away from home. Purchased for me by my own request (begging?), Cinderella has been my companion for many years. I usually had a spot for her in the kitchen right by my stove... after all, she was into Cinders! Now she graces our autumn mantel. Her little foot has been broken... But she is still quite lovely. My mother's comment startled me... "She's sitting on the pumpkin that will be her coach... and those mice will be her horses..." I was shocked. Never had I looked at her as pre-enchanted evening. I always saw her as a dreamer, sitting there thinking about that wonderful night on the once ago chariot pumpkin, the little mice now tolerated because they had so carefully towed her to the ball. Perhaps that says something about a person. Am I thinking always that the good times have been in the past? I certainly don't know... But isn't she pretty?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A 150th Birthday Party in our town!!!

This coal never had it so good.... What a vision for the eyes...
Our town was one of the last to use these beautiful old steam engines, so naturally we love having it parked in the city limits.
The Black Diamond Museum posts a welcome to one and all... Even Mr. Scarecrow Coal Miner has his best bibs on for the festivities.
So much to do all day.... and the prettiest weather October can give us.

Our Big Bash is two-thirds over, and what a success! We began with an opening and bell dedication in the city park, and today featured so many things I can't begin to include them in one post. Our little town dressed itself (with the help of wonderful, hard-working volunteers) in fall finery and the people came to participate in tram rides, a vintage car show, trips to the Black Diamond building museum, a cemetery theater, and quilt show.... Here are a few shots taken around the town.... Happy Birthday to us!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happy Thursday

My cousin Ellen visited us on Sunday. I'll tell you all about that in a day or two, but let me just say... Family, even newly discovered family... it's really something special. When Ellen left for the airport, she asked my mother to stand in our doorway for a photo... What a wonderful, wonderful shot... Leaves falling everywhere and a welcoming little woman on the porch.... Thank you Ellen, for giving me new eyes to see a photo that was lurking right here in my own domain... Hugs to all... Enjoy the weekend that's on the way.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Once upon a time...

I used to hear about Rocky Horror Picture groupies who watched a movie hundreds of times... and I thought it impossible. I would love to know just how many times I've seen this lovely thing.... and why does it always cheer me, inspire me, and make me hope for the best? I once thought it was a chocolate thing... and I even to this day think of the movie when I brew a cup of hot cocoa from scratch, stir a pot of chocolate for candy or fudge... even when I sack up some bulk candies for my friends... I thought perchance it was Johnny Depp, and though he's fine, naw... it isn't Johnny... I then decided, and rightly so, that Juliette had to be the most amazing, interesting, and downright authentic goddess in movies... so I set out to watch all her movies, even the French ones... and she is beautiful and talented... but no, that's not it..

I think it is the combination of characters, the upbeat way she nods and administers her own special medicine without judgment to her friends. And the shop... As I ready my shop for any holiday or event, I wish to become Vianne.... So tonight I again go to sleep with that soundtrack playing, the images onscreen writing their way into my dreams. My sleeping soul sees a young minister dance to Hounddog... and I smile to see Pontoof hop hop hopping down the stone stairs.... If I hadn't brushed my teeth, I'd trot upstairs for some Cocoa Nibs or Cocoa with Chili peppers... Night... It's my favorite...