Saturday, October 31, 2015

Monday, October 26, 2015

Glimpses of Halloweek...

They say mighty oaks from little acorns grow, but in this case it's a mighty Sugar Maple in our front yard. This beauty is stunning every fall, and it's finally big enough to be called a tree! It has a lovely, sweet history. My mother was born and raised in Indiana until she was a senior in high school. For many, many years she felt she was a "Hoosier," and that fact always made me a little nervous. I remember wanting my mother to be a Missourian like me and my dad. Finally, she is totally Missouri, but that process takes time.

This little tree was a gift from her dear Uncle Alta in Centerpoint, Indiana. We had visited him and his wife one year right about time to transplant trees, so Uncle Alta took that opportunity to dig up the scrawniest little sapling and tuck it into a coffee can of dirt. I recall Mom and Dad ceremoniously planting that little thing, watering it, putting a fence ring around it...  Generally, the tree took forever to grow. Other maples in our yard and locusts were saplings from our woods, and they, acclimated to this territory, grew much faster than Mom's little sugar maple. However, at last she has claimed her rightful place in the yard, a bit too close to the house perhaps, but lovely and quite sturdy...  The old locusts, all scraggly and needing a trim (even with the ground some would say), are losing limbs and have totally lost their leaves already.

This is a beautiful fall, although I believe it seems a bit short. The leaves turned vivid, then plummeted to the earth in short order. It already looks like early November in most directions--- that dull, brown, starkness against October blue skies. Spectacular in my mind. Our yard is filled with leaves that we rarely have ever raked. It seems too much with the amount of trees and no place to put them. They serve as a mulch and a protector for small critters (don't say bugs) through the chilly weather, mulch up in the first spring lawn mowings, and don't seem to require raking.

Here my little crows or vultures are having a fine Fall day in the midst of acorns and fall leaves.
They were a gift from a dear friend and are actually a little fountain. I think they remind me of that long ago cartoon of the fifties, Heckle and Jeckle.

My fairy awaits the first frost on the front porch. Sometimes she is out farther in the yard, but lately she has stayed close to the house in anticipation of winter, I think.

Another shot of the Sugar Maple when the sun isn't igniting its leaves in golden rushes of glory. Wouldn't I love to have been a little girl like my Gramma Minnie, trolling along with her older brothers and father as they gathered the sap from their trees in the spring, boiled it down, and made delicious Indiana Maple Syrup. I remember the scary story of the boiling sap spilling and covering her brother in major burns. The elder's remedy for such a burn was to take the leaves from three specific trees and cross them, lie them over the burn and cover loosely. The story goes that these leaves pulled the "fire" from the burns and dried up the wound. Evidently it worked in that case because my uncle was quite well and able to return to the "Sugaring Off" the next year.

Oops! I guess the frost got my pretty fall mum. I sent my son out to take pictures, and he didn't think to remove it...  This year was a short season for my mums. I don't plant them, so it's hard to know when to buy.

I have not posted in a while, but there is really no good reason, other than the cozying in required to prepare for the shorter days and longer nights. Wish all my blog sisters could pop in this afternoon. The coffee is on, the cider is ready to mull, spice cupcakes await in my cozy fall motif...  I'm ready for a visit!

I love these little seasonal cupcake liners, and I'm loving my ceramic Temptations cupcake bakers. Something about the ceramics makes them remove from the pan and also from the liner. Magic, I guess. My latest short cut (and I'm all about the short cuts at times) is to douse the top of the cupcakes with sprinkles in fall colors before baking. I put a good amount of sprinkle on there. Then after it bakes, they melt a bit and soak into the top layer of the cupcake. It's a hint of sweet but not that gooey icing thing that seems to overtake the cupcake entirely. These might be a cousin to a muffin this way, but it's a hit with Mom, so it's a hit with me.

It will be Saturday night before I know it, and the trick or treaters will have come and gone. We have a store of candy to create our treat sacks. Mom insists on ten little candy bars of different kinds in each sack because that's the way she and Daddy did it. Works for me, as long as there's some Reese's left over! HAHA..

Little Esmeralda from Marie Osmund was Mom's 90th birthday doll from me. She was ready to come out for the season, but usually she's in my Mom's room.

Have a lovely Halloweek. I will try to pop in with something new during the next few days. Enjoy every day.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Good Monday Morning

Just a few pictures of my week. Be back soon.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Seasonal glories

Happy Columbus Day... Unless that's offensive. I saw a big row on Facebook this morning about that. It might be. If a person thinks about it, life's public celebrations ARE usually at the expense of someone else.. Each holiday as it comes bears good news for the joyful ones who embrace that doctrine... And a slam in the face for those with another view.

I took a Robert Browning course in grad school that explained his philosophy that it isn't always what man does, but rather what he WOULD do. However the actions play out, it's what's in the heart that truly matters.... I don't know. Actions are what counts when a person is truly in need. But good actions based on a black heart's secret selfishness and brutal ambition is a terrible atrocity.

Ah, too heavy for a Monday. The house smells amazing. I've finally discovered essential oils and diffusers that work... I have tangerine, cinnamon leaf, and clove in there now. Plus... Bath and Body Works had a sale on their exquisite Fall candles... I'm burning pumpkin cupcake and pumpkin cocoanut...

Oh my... Mom swears she can smell them through the glass with their lids on. That's pretty good.  She's again suffering with sciatica nerve pain. Last night was a long one. Today is better.

My project for the day, other than Mt. WASHMORE that's always there, is to hang my fall seasonal clothes on a lovely rolling rack I purchased last week. I'm loving the ease (and fun) of choosing some things for each season... Living seasonally is really easy and very energizing.

I'm going to skip off for a short drive in my new car... Autumn is calling my name.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

New girl

There's a new girl on my block. Oh, my!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sunday in Missouri

Good morning!  It's that overcast, hazy kind of morning that seems to beckon us to forget summer's glory and anticipate the cooler, cozying-in kind of Autumn, even Winter days ahead. I decided I had waited long enough, so a huge red pot of chili is simmering on the stove in anticipation of our Sunday dinner with my son and his friends. We are also having hot dogs (his and my choice) and chicken wings (Mom's choice). If we were football families, this sounds like a tailgating party. However, I'm the only football person in the bunch. My dad and I were the ones who lobbied to get the game on every weekend and most definitely on New Year's Day. I have lost that battle now, for sure.

I was gifted with this amazingly beautiful batter bowl and pie plate by a dear, dear friend. She also brought the delicious apples. Tender Crisp...  Pure tart sweet deliciousness.... These pottery pieces are a part of the Pioneer Woman collection available at Walmart. I love the colors. They coordinate perfectly with my set of dishes I bought in April. If you look closely, you see my KitchenAid has been dolled up with stand mixer stickers purchased on Amazon. The set is designed to fit a KitchenAid, and it's much, much, tons cheaper than the airbrushed model on the Pioneer Woman show. 

No Autumn post is complete without a shot of pumpkins in a patch somewhere. These are from a bit back in time, but I'm sure the lot is just as pretty now.

Part of the fun of living seasonally is to change out the towels dangling from the over door handle. These are my fall ones, but stay tuned for more spooky Halloween jewels.

Probably one of my favorite things is finding a little spot to perch my Boyd's Bear Wizard. This year he chose these miniature pumpkins and my Temp*Tations tube pan in Fall-fetti. I love his attitude as he happily sits IN THE WAY of my coffee station. Perhaps I'll coax him to nestle in a different, less conspicuous spot...  but I doubt it.

Now, here's something I'll bet you don't find in most kitchens. Here we have an antique spice jar with what inside? None other than antique pickling spice. If we pop off the top of this beauty, we get the most delicious, mellow aroma. We should. This spice itself and the jar belonged to my dear, dear grandmother, Minnie Samantha. When we took things from her kitchen, neither Mother nor I could bear to part with this little bottle of pickling spice, just as it sat. I have emptied the spice carefully many times and scrubbed up the jar because it gets that cloudy film known for spices. But never a thought goes into spilling this treasure into the trash. My grandmother was a farm cook, and it wasn't unusual for her to pickle just about anything she could find either from the garden or the bargain bin at the grocery store. I just love this to pieces... You will often find me with my nose tucked into the top of this and my mind long lost in happy thoughts of her lovely pink and red kitchen.

White, Cinderella looking Temp*Tation pumpkin filled with breakfast health bars...  Tempting? Well...  kind of. I have grown accustomed to a Corazon bar for breakfast or late night to take the edge off...  They supposedly are good for the heart, hence the name...  They aren't too bad, actually. My friend gave me that marvelous china spice drawer chest in the back. Loving that black and white toille.

Finally, my post ends with a peek at the chili pot waiting in the wings and a lovely poppy teapot happily perched on the top of my spice drawers. No, the iron stew pot is not Le Crueset... but Lodge from Walmart. But I do love, love the heavy vessel and use it almost every day.

Lots of use I see on the light switch's cast iron surface...  This house has been living in, loved in, and cared for...  but it's sooooo old...  Kinda like.... Well, I just won't go there, haha..

Have yourselves a marvelous week filled with doing things you love and people you cherish. Thanks for reading my blog and for all the support and comments through the years. You guys rock!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Repeats and Rip Offs

Whimsy and Hugs!

I have discovered the true oblivion of caregiving and retirement. I know I haven't posted in a bit, and I just can't think what about this day to day business would be very fun to read. So...  with that in mind, I'm posting some reruns from the past, some funnies from the "Interweb," and some beautiful pictures that might be yours. If they are, and you don't want me to have them on here, please advise. I'm sorry. I have a place reserved in copyright/ rip-off prison for me anyway...

Have a fun day! I'll be back, in the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator!