Thursday, October 29, 2020

To Autumn

Did you guys study this in school? I sure did! And as I read through it, little snatches return from my very wonderful college professor, Joan Hunter! I have interspersed favorite shots of my house years ago...







To Autumn 
BY JOHN KEATS

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;

To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,

And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells

With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,

And still more, later flowers for the bees,

Until they think warm days will never cease,

For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.




Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find

Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,

Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;

Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,

Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook

Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:

And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep

Steady thy laden head across a brook;

Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,

Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.



Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—

While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,

And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;

Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn

Among the river sallows, borne aloft

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;

And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;

Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft

The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;

And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.


Whimsy and Hugs!








Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Midsummer's Gift


I am not ready for October to end... Planning a different Halloween, but I think it will be a fun one.


I know if I need help putting away groceries, she is not my girl... I also know if I wash and iron my Halloween tablecloth, she will claim it right then and there because she does love that clean spot!


My midsummer's strawberries packed special for our first snow. This was keto... Aldi zero carb bread, cream cheese, berries from the freezer, and whipped cream...




My son yelled in to my bedroom this morning to look outside. Oh, my goodness! Snowfall was so lovely contrasted with the vivid leaves!




My mother made this bear years ago. I love him!


Before anyone yells at me or calls me names about loving snow, please remember my love of snow has nothing to do with its arrival in your world. I am cranky because I was ambushed on Facebook last night... 





Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Top o' the Mornin'




When this greets me every day as I reach out for the mail, I am grateful for the Indiana sugar maple sapling that my mother brought from a visit to our family there in the mid 50's. She always said she held it in her lap in a pork 'n bean can, a little hopeful transplant from her uncle's farm in Centerpoint. I can remember the dedication to watering it often for the first few years. Mom and Dad reassured each other about how slowly these trees grow. They looked at me and laughed they had evidently planted that dream for me... Well, 60 years later... thank you... the true measure of paying it forward I guess.


What a fast month! I am having so much fun doing this and that! My cat is a little stick-tight because she is cold and always hungry... In the summer she is my son's cat. Every year, every season--- one of us is chosen for total affection, and the other reels with the rejection... Too funny.


I have been journaling and planning and generally re-making the world around us... on paper. It is safe to say my nerves (along with most people's)  are quite jagged at times, so this sort of thing helps me stay grounded and sassy.  We watch too much crime/FBI television for a good night's sleep any more. Right now we are alternating between The Black List with James Spader and Criminal Minds (we had never watched either series) ... So there is a reason why I scream like a little girl every time my son tries to scare me!!!  (a daily treat of his!)-----  I am looking forward to some predictable, syrup-sweet Hallmark movies...  I will watch those without him as I have the evenings to myself usually. He enjoys most nights online with a group of coworkers and friends... 



I am nearing the shores of a finish of that Mayflower cross stitch ordeal. I am glad because it has been a journey. The history classes didn't elaborate on the sadder facts of that voyage and experience, did they? This  second chart shows the survivors of the initial launch to that celebrated feast... So many in gray who did not survive! 



My grandfather's barn a few years ago. Now I need to have it removed... There is such a difference in living on a farm (my son and I)  and being a farmer (my parents and grandparents).... It doesn't help that both of us have health stuff constantly chronically eating away at our lives... However, I love this photo stolen from a morning as I headed to school my last year. I have mentioned before I was a few minutes late for hall duty this day because I stopped to capture the sun's halo behind this old cavern of childhood mystery and wonder. They sure didn't need me as much as my grandfather's barn had! Four teachers and an administrator were doing fine watching a corridor that didn't allow students in it! However--- holy cats! My principal did not appreciate the truth one bit... She was not very enchanted with me ... or my barn! lol


I see a little hint of snow in next week's weather... I love cozying up in my own blankets. This colorway was called red velvet cake... Now that sounds really good, too!


I spoke to my potential trick or treaters and we decided not to participate this year. I think that is the best decision although no trick or treaters is a big, fat BUMMER! I  think that and keto will keep any candy from this house... Obviously that would be a good choice... 
Have a good week!





Whimsy and Hugs!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Tradition



Keto or not, I have the ingredients for my favorite apple cake. I have made this cake so many times! I really don't think a person can ruin this cake because I have done everything possible to try.  I have bundt caked it, loaved it, crumbled it, and frozen it. I don't peel my apples unless the peeling is very hard. I love it with pecans,walnuts,  raisins, or dried or fresh cranberries... or just about anything delicious you can add. Make half of it for just a couple of friends. This is a very old recipe from Ma, my dad's mother,  known for her hospitality and her cooking. I often watched her stir this cake up while she talked to a kitchen full of friends. Ma was a soft-spoken delight, and she had so many wonderful women who surrounded her. When she passed away, I was touched by the line of sweet little old ladies who came up, slipped a rose from the flowers to "press" and whispered to me: "She was my very best friend." I'm sure this cake didn't hurt! Have a lovely weekend. I might try it with cut up summer squash, Stevia,  and almond flour... that would be keto... or  I might have a little cheat day.


Ma's Apple Cake

1/2 c. butter
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
2 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
2 c. flour
5-7 c. chopped apples
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans

Mix all together. Batter will be very stiff... almost no batter.
Put into sprayed 9 x 13 pan and bake about 45 minutes at 350 degrees until cake comes away from the sides. Cake will be very moist. Serve with brown sugar sauce and whipped cream.


Ma's Brown Sugar Sauce
1 c. brown sugar
6T. butter
2 T. flour
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. burnt sugar flavoring
1 c. water

Using a whisk, cook all together until it comes to a boil. Boil 1 minute.


or this sauce


Ma's Caramel Sauce
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla

Whisk together. Bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute




I have posted this before, but Autumn calls out for Tradition...

oh, wait! There was this one time this cake was a disaster! When I was making it for my friend's birthday last November... It slipped off a table... Shall we ever get to have birthday and holiday and simply no-reason get-togethers again? I think yes! We shall!







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I made a little gift journal for a friend's birthday. 






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I am sharing a link to a fun little Halloween journal creation. I really enjoy this artist from Los Angeles... Her imagination and creativity combined to make this a favorite watch for me. 

Video Link







Whimsy and Hugs!

Dark o' the Moon...

Well. believe it or not I was awakened by a really loud hoot owl right outside the window. I think it might be the one I saw earlier this fall... He or she is definitely spookier here at 2:15 a.m.


The corn has been combined now, and most mornings are misty and lovely like this one. 


I had a splendid day of full on energy today, which has been rare. I worked in my kitchen and revisited the counter tops.


I love this sign I found last year on Ebay! 


Today I asked my son a rhetorical question When will I ever learn? I asked him why I had out 18 Autumn mugs for two people. I thought he would say, "I dunno."   But... he knew.... and it was. not. pretty or necessary! So he didn't really say... What a keeper! lol


 Forgive me, those of you who are dreading winter! I just purchased this snow-lover sign from an Ebay seller, so I had stuck it in the  dishwasher reverie window... (The fact is, though... I love snowy days and flurried night skies so much...)  We are set to reach 31 degrees as a low this week, our first real frost. 


I'm getting the mileage from this cute basin I found on Hobby Lobby bargain page! I clipped this scissor fob to the spigot to make it pour out delirious Agua de OtoƱo!!! Nectar of the gods!


I finished this little stitch... almost but not quite ruined it with the poor job of matting/final finish... Ugh!



I bought this pack of what was advertised as DMC thread. It isn't, but I will keep it for my journals. It might be ok for anything. I just sure would hate to ruin a stitched piece!



Aldi's and my mom came through for this corner of the kitchen. I was kinda gloomy not to have real pumpkins, but Aldi's had some listed so I got a couple. Then today I was rummaging to find a magical flame-bulb like this. I told my son that his granny always had a stash in a certain drawer! Voila! There are two left... I will have to replenish!



I am not sure about this one. Kinda looks like my freshman in high school  Algebra 1 days ----when I opened a window and stuck my arm outside---- so all of me didn't have to be in class (Forgive me, Mrs. Watkins!)


Have a lovely October! 


Whimsy and Hugs!

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Living in a World Where there are Octobers...


When I work at my kitchen table, I sometimes get the feeling I am being watched... I mean, I can almost feel the glittery, beady eyes of a little "varmint" staring a hole through be "from nape to izzard." If I need to draw it out? Just rattle a little bag of--- or  say the word: "cheese..." lol



Anne of Green Gables, I have loved you and your quote above for so many years of my life. My friend who was a wonderful history teacher (but not a huge reader) returned from a trip through the upper northeast and Prince Edward Island!! I didn't know her itinerary. When she came home, she said casually: "Have you ever heard of anybody in some kind of a book about P.E. Island? I mean... there was a big deal about it and even a play of some kind... Beats me." I stood there kinda gulping air like a frog... 



It reminded me of the story of the accountant who quit her job because she overheard all her coworkers having a fit about the US postage stamp dedicated to "yet another creep nobody ever heard of." She crept close to see a page of John Steinbeck stamps sprawled across the desk... and she walked to the boss and resigned... lol  Drastic measures indeed...

Well. thinking it must be getting a bit late past midnight, I thought I would get to bed so I could rise about 6 a.m. and sear a roast for the slow cooker... I planned to add scallions and mushrooms since 'taters and carrots are out in keto... It was 5:10 A.M.!!!!!! Needless to say, my house was smelling amazing by  5:30, and we are all sleeping in this morning...  which is awesome because it looks stormy, dark, and blustery outside anyway... 


Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Look who walked in at Midnight!

I just have to welcome this new month with some hopeful thoughts...

As I write this, my cat is firmly settled on my side. She is cold! Today will no doubt bring a bit of furnace weather. I would flip the switch now except there really isn't a good reason since we are all snug under our blankies! Alexa weather forecasts 36✨ tonight for my neck of the woods. My dad and mom would be greeting me with their happy words: "The frost is on the pumpkin!" I always loved that first morning when I had to rummage for the ice scraper as I headed to school after Jack Frost's first visit. He nips in at 35-36✨ sometimes.... And a full moon will grace us tonight, too! Full moons can bring on a frost... or thunder... or more...


Planning on feasting on a cup of Fall coffee in the morning and later...another mug of Cranberry Autumn tea... Also going to try another Keto bread recipe... 


Today is Cleaning Day... floors, bathrooms, and front porch... Actually all those days have previously come and gone, so I am unsure just how many things will be a "finish."      ... It is so much more fun to make lists and charge the tasks to the Fae Folk... (They are not working here lately. )


Have a great month! Stay cozy! Stay safe! Whimsy and Hugs!