Saturday, October 28, 2017

Where did October go?

Early morning confrontation leaves us laughing. She argues and spats with the cats on YouTube.

Last warm day was Friday, so my friends and I met at the Lake for a McDonald's picnic.

Lots of pretty houses have decorations.

My friend brought "entertainment" to our party... Click arrow on picture to play. And you can make video full screen by clicking little square n bottom right corner...  Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Halloween/Autumn Home Tour

Welcome ya'll! It is finally time to settle down with a hot cup of coffee (pumpkin spice creamer if there is any left after my son's big gift to me!) and visit our Fall House. Outside Mother nature does her best to add to every billowy corner. I have a lovely wooden pumpkin, as well, who will star in another post. I didn't get its picture yet. A dear friend who owns a favorite store, Randolph Mercantile in Moberly, gifted me this lovely mum. Another friend gave me the sunflower sign a few years ago. Love it!

It always seems more like fall if I've gone for pumpkins. This year I made a lovely trip with my sister/cousin to several of our favorite haunts, including the Amish near Clark, MO. My friend also gave me a big "feller" to pose with his new friends. It seems to be a big year for pumpkins, despite the dry weather. I regret we didn't have our beautiful patch right outside the door as we have other years. I love the home-made atmosphere of cutting our own.

Unless I turn off this light, every picture looks like a photographer's darkroom in progress! I love the warm glow of this red Gone With the Wind Lamp. Mom and Dad bought it at Norman Hackley's sale in Moberly, and it was since that date always one of their treasures.

Mom's little Jim Shore witch hides just inside the the doll cupboard. "She'll get you, my pretty!" I seem to have a little less space for setting things out, but I cannot imagine why.  My Etsy shop will soon be open with more and more items up for sale. I have been working on sorting, but now I need to photograph and list.

My dad turned this huge candle stand on his lathe and made the base with his router. Mom had purchased the over-sized candle in my gramma's home town of Poland, Indiana. I remember at the time we bought it, we had NEVER seen a candle with more than one wick, or one that big. The big ring that she bought has finally been thrown away. Ya think? After about 40 years? Nah...  This one has more of an autumnal feel, but so far, I use it all year round.

Ever my Autumn companion, this black cat had some altercations with my Callie. It was the cutest thing ever to watch Callie slink about the room with her eyes riveted on the black cat. Maybe the little flicker (fake) candle made the paper mache cat look real. I don't know. I just know it ended with Callie streeeeeetching up and batting the oblivious Halloween feline over and over in that fun, rapid, pow pow pow reserved for angry cats. I think our laughter made Callie quite miffed. Cats will not tolerate being the butt of jokes...  ever.

Little Madame Alexander Autumn...Unfortunately, I have lost both her shoes now. For almost all her life, she had one. (Quite Cinderella-like)...  Now she is seated because those tootsies look funny in anklets...  Mom gave her to me many full moons ago.

I have a thing for white pumpkins. Even though I have a thing for orange ones, too, I have always loved the look of white pumpkins...  and also the new idea of aqua ones. This little pillow cover is a repeat purchase from a shop in China via Amazon. Ordering takes about 45 days, so I don't think another on will get here this year in time for Halloween. I bought one last year for my mom to give as a gift.

Hi...  We are hanging out down here tucked away in beside the magazines.

I am really a proponent of essential oils in diffusers, and we have three going nearly all the time. I currently have cinnamon bark, cardamom, and lime in the kitchen. Here in the living room is Thieves and lemon. And in my bedroom I have tangerine and sage.

My sister/cousin made this redwork sampler for me several years ago. A dear friend who reads this blog regularly will recognize the pretty angel, a sweet gift to me this winter.

The mantel boasts sturdy stuff this year in case Miss Callie decides to scamper up there and be "vandalous"... She has lost a lot of her high-climbing, adventurous spirit lately. She seems content to lie on a chair and nap all day, and my son supplies the night time company as he watches TV really late with her bouncing around on the floor, on his chair, and back and forth into the bedroom.

Summer fairies live in this ceramic log house (a gift from a dear friend), but they have decided to winter over right there. I sure hope I can keep them warm and cozy through the snowy winter. What do fairies want for Christmas?

My buttercream tree with orange lights... It looks red in the picture, but it is much more subtle... like this next one. Oh, my gosh. I had to cut all the old lights off this tree because I let it burn all winter. That is such a nasty chore. I would hate to be the one who wrapped the lights around each and every branch, too...  I am glad to say the task is done, and not without the expertise of my cat who stuck her paw in every time I moved and wiggled a light. Whew! I honestly took me three solid hours!

My Department 51 Spooky village. Well, the only part I can find right now. I made the block house with Daddy years ago.

Kilz paint in semi-gloss color Fountain Pen. I finally went for it and painted the front door. The weather had nearly destroyed the finish, so Daddy's old door needed some work. I love this dark color, especially the difference between the night time color, all demure and muted, (on the bottom) and the sunlit color you see in the middle of the picture.

Harvest Angels have been collecting everywhere in this house. I just love them! Such blessings in life. I am so grateful!

Wait a minute,you guys. YOU are no angels! You are little pixies and cats, witches and jack-o-lantern ornaments...  Trying to sneak in as angels is a serious offense...

For years I placed this "Potions" sign in the bathroom on the door to the medicine cabinet. This year I added her to a wreath and put it in our Beverage Station. My son made the wee houses for my mom when he was 15. Somewhere there are a few more.

Thank you to my lovely niece/cousin for the Keurig! I love having a cup of coffee all by myself without making a whole pot. I also love it even more when I can brew up a cup for friends who drop in. So do that!

This tablecloth was purchased in the early 1980's at St. Louis's Old Tyme Pottery Barn.  (or something like that). I bought it while I was attending a Teacher's Meeting.  The plates are Temp-tations from QVC, and the candles are Harry Slatkin and Bath and Body Works (Oh, I got a HAUL from there)...  I also seem to have a couple Brown Betty teapots. They are so dear....  I think I have my mother's, my aunt's, and maybe both grandmothers'. Right now, I only see three...  but you never know in this house.

How many of you recognize the little clear tree? Yep. It is one of  those Gumdrop Trees from the 50's or 60's. I recall it is the second one my dad had. Number one was prey to one of my few malicious vandalism tricks. I took it upon myself to take Mom's good scissors and snip off all the pointy branches... I was old enough to know (and do) better.  Needless to say, my dad expressed a good bit of disappointment, and my mom was just downright mad. They bought another one because, you see...  Daddy loved little spicette gumdrops, and he regularly cleaned off a branch only to find that Mom had a bag stashed to replenish the multi-colored treat... I am not sure if she did that for him or for the "look" of the tree in the center of the table. My pitiful, pruned tree was thrown away years ago (like 40+), and I was barred from participation in the Gumdrop Arbor Society. I had slated the tree for de-forestation last week (bad memories), but my son reminded me it looks Spectral-Autumnal...So voila!

Susan Branch calendars are a tradition in my home. I just love to turn into a new month and see what she has written and drawn. Whimsy at its finest.

Did you know elves transported themselves in classic cars? Mine do.

For as long as I can remember this painting has hung in the living room. I hope it always does.

We are ready for some delicious soups this Autumn. One on my list is this one. It sounds delicious!

Stuffed Pepper Soup.

Author: Brandie @ The Country Cook

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion diced
1 large bell pepper diced
1 29 oz can diced tomatoes
1 10 oz can tomato soup
1 14 oz. can chicken broth or beef broth
2 cups cooked rice
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheddar cheese for topping

1. In a large pot, brown and crumble ground beef along with diced green peppers and onion over medium-high heat.
2. When meat is thoroughly cooked, drain excess grease from beef mixture.
3. Put beef mixture back into pot.
4. Add in diced tomatoes, chicken (or beef) broth and tomato soup (or tomato sauce).
5. Give it all a good stir.
6. Then add in rice.
7. Stir again.
8. Then stir in seasonings; sugar, garlic powder, salt & pepper (to taste).
9. Cover and let soup simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes to let all the flavors blend. (The longer it simmers, the thicker it will get.)
10. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese on top of each serving.

Recipe Notes Note: 1 cup of uncooked rice will make 2 cups of cooked rice.

(I found it on Facebook.)

These old "birds" are hanging around until Thanksgiving. They were my grandmother's, and they could hold something inside. They aren't salt and peppers or sugar and creamers. Got any idea what they are? Let me know if you do.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a walk through our home today. Happy Fall to All of you. I will leave you with a little taste of  autumn as seen in Tolkein's Middle Earth poetry, which you can watch on Youtube and read from THIS site.

. . .  Goblets they carved there for themselves

And harps of gold; where no man delves

There lay they long, and many a song
Was sung unheard by men or elves.

The pines were roaring on the height,

The winds were moaning in the night.

The fire was red, it flaming spread;
The trees like torches blazed with light.

The bells were ringing in the dale

And men they looked up with faces pale;

The dragon’s ire more fierce than fire
Laid low their towers and houses frail.

The mountain smoked beneath the moon;

The dwarves they heard the tramp of doom.

They fled their hall to dying fall
Beneath his feet, beneath the moon.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Autumn Thoughts

Finally! After weeks of brittle heat we have a morning or two with swirling winds, grey-layered skies, and spotty rain. My AC still cycles   due to the muggy warmth and the fact I am rather accustomed to the "conditioned" air.  You might recognize the photograph above as one from a past post about the "resurrection" of this house by my daddy. (HERE)...  Sometimes in the dark of night when it is very hot, I can smell the old creosote walls and beams, some of them restored, a few re-purposed telephone poles from his early, unlocated lineman days with Ma Bell.

I have been struggling with this particular change of season. Fall has  always been my favorite, just inching out winter, then spring, then summer. I must say, all seasons delight. Mom and I loved taking day trips to wander the back roads and soak up the colors. Although she really loved summer with its gardening, flowerbeds, and canning the most, she also loved the changing of seasons. As I decorated the house this year, I peeled away a little more of her arrangements, boxed up more of her treasures, (for what purpose? I don't know) and made a few more corners and nooks become more of myself. Immediately I felt better, then slowly sadder...  I really miss my folks. Without the need to chat and deny all melancholy in order to be Mom's cheerleader, it feels like her passing was doubled. I never really had the "luxury?" to miss Daddy because I couldn't bear Mom's sadness. I think losing the second parent is like losing them both at once. I usually omit any references to sadness in the blog because, let's face it... everybody has something. I choose happiness as a daily preference over mourning. I just thought I would keep it real, as they say...  I am a happy person, thanks to the Lord, good positive upbringing, and so much help from family and friends.

My son has been staying here at night a little more this past couple of weeks. His house. It really needs major care, and I think the overwhelm... and the mold... and the boxes there (No minimalists in my family until him) have become too much. My kitty absolutely loves him to pieces, and she has completely altered her sleeping habits to include his presence. I would be jealous, but it's just too cute...  It melts my heart.

She spends most of her day waiting patiently on the arm of his chair.

Stay tuned this week for the rest of the Fall Home Tour! I just need to take the pictures. Mother Nature decorated at the Lake, kissing just a few trees and lighting up the night with a spectacular Harvest Moon.

Take care of yourselves. Today is Saturday, and I have a ton of to-do's on my list... If you haven't ever visited Aunt Ruthie's Sugar Pie Farmhouse blog (she is not my aunt, but that's her name), you might love it. Here is her BLOG and here is a neat pair of Fall tour videos (Hollie's .... and then Aunt Ruthie's) on YouTube.  Enjoy.  Oh, for the elegantly inclined, here is a French Farm Kitchen tour, My son surprised me with 7 (yes, seven!!!!!) huge jars of Pumpkin Spice International Delight creamer! That should do it... I might have over-emphasized the stress of not finding any creamer so far this fall. Ya think? Come over for coffee!)