Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkins Galore

Fall is in the air, which also means, around here, frundraisers for the youth choir trips begin.

And we have a new one this year.
Pumpkins.
Last Sunday a truck arrived with a 400 pumpkin order. Somehow that changed to 750 pumpkins. Yes, that is alot, or at least according to Will, The Man and Demolition D (I bailed on the pumpkin unloading party).

The pumpkin patch is in front of our Church, a perfect spot for the busy road in front of it. This patch is manned by volunteers, so yesterday I joined a few others and had a great afternoon. It was a great way to get to know these parents - I knew them, but more by way of a passing hello and who their children were. One couple, like me, is in the process of figuring out the next step on their journey. Unlike me, they (along with many others) were encouraged to take an early retriment option a local factory was offering/pushing. So now we get to volunteer at the Church's Pumpkin Patch -and I am not complaining. It is great to be a part of some activities that I have not been able to participate with in the past.

But back to the pumpkins ...





Pumpkins in the South rot fast! We were excited about the cool weather earlier in the week, a chance for pumpkins to last longer, and maybe more sales.





But alas, that did not remain to be the case. It warmed. Pumpkins started rotting. What to do? Well, the chief volunteer got creative





Wall-la!


Late yesterday afternoon. A car pulled in and parked. Out stepped a mom with her young son. I would guess about 5 to 6. He ran around picking out pumpkins, chatting with us there. As the mom spoke to the other volunteer, she mentioned she had been married at our church. The fella volunteer told her he and his wife had there wedding there, in the chapel, too. The little boy looked at him, then at his mom and said, "how could he get married, he doesn't have a husband?"


It was too cute. Then as he bounced around from one section of pumpkins to the next, he stopped to check out the pumpkin art above. He looked at it a second, then asked, "how'd it grown that way?"


That little one made our afternoon!



p.s. my pictures are small and not great because I have a new toy. A new phone after three years and this one has a camera (not a top of line phone - so only 1.3 mp). Not great pics, but I had fun playing with it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cool Breeze

We have had roller coaster temps lately – but it has been nice.

Sunday evening our low was around 38, very unusual for this early in the fall/winter season, but oh it felt so good to snuggle up into the covers. Unfortunately, we are back to highs in the mid 89’s and lows in the upper 60’s. The shorts are back on.

The sudden cool down spurred the need to pull out boxes from the top of the closet and swap summer clothes for warmer ones.

I am always excited to see what I forgot I had – it is as good as shopping (almost)! And then when you find the real comfy warm fuzzy wuzzies? Well that is the best.

So out came the slippers my hubby shakes his head at.






And one thing I DID forget about these tootsie warmers . . .




…How Francie likes to attack my feet when they are snuggly parked in them. Now, attack might be strong, but as I was minding my own business, she suddenly pounced and was in dog heaven gnawing on them.

Glad she likes them as much as I do.

*******************************************


On another note, I realize I have an addiction. I think I knew it before, but have decided to admit it.

I am addicted to the internet. Online banking, Blogger, Email, Researching, News Headlines, etc. If I am home and cannot access it – I go through withdrawls. So, after extremely limited spots of internet connection yesterday, I spent one and a half hours with Mediacom this morning to find out it MIGHT be the router (and a different company to call) and still no internet. Thankfully Will came home and took the router out of the equation so I could have access again! Yes!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wish I Could Jump Like This . . .




What a work out! I had no idea jump roping was popular enough to have such an event. Sorta thought it had fallen by the wayside like jacks...maybe I did not know because I have boys~ G.I. Joes and now electronic games consume our interest.

Hope you enjoyed!

Smiles!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

For The Pickin'

Last night, at church, a grown, left the nest member, visited to share with us a recent adventure of hers.

It was an adventure, but more of a mission to serve.It touched her heart. Touched her life.

This member had become intriqued with Tom's Shoes. If you are not familiar with the company, check out their blog here. The short of it is, for every pair of shoes sold, a pair is given to a third world country.

Our presenter went through a rigorous process to be one of 12 picked for a recent shoe drop in Argentina. Out of 3000 applicants, she was awarded the opportunity. The opportunity to sleep in tents with bugs, work through mud, have her heart broken at the level of poverty that she did not know existed still.



Her plans are to apply for the next drop that will be in Africa. Then, eventually, one in India.

As she shared photos of the poverty, the slums, the lack of everything we take for granted, some of her pictures reminded me of another mission: Habitat for Humanity.

Our Church participates in builds every year in October. This Saturday they will begin three homes. I am excited that this year I might be able to actually make it to join in in some small part of the build.

Then this morning, the Today Show featured Jimmy Carter and his book on the program. This reminded me of a wonderful video tribute someone I know made about the founder of Habitat for Humanity.

And so, I wanted to share it with you . . .




There are so many wonderful ways to give and to serve. Check out your area and see if there is a build soon. Maybe buy a pair of shoes. Or work a soup kitchen... there are many opportunities in our communities, all for our pickin' . . .

Smiles!

Monday, October 12, 2009

You gonna eat that pickle?


My Grandmother made pickles every year.

Now, I did not like her pickles, for that matter, I did not like any pickles except those on McDonald’s hamburgers. So glad our taste buds change over time!

My dislike for them is not what comes to mind, though. What comes to mind was the comfort and the wonderful smell of the fruit cellar where her hard work was stored.

My Grandparents had a wonderful basement. On the right side were two twin beds and dressers and shelves holding books, where my uncles had slept and spent their time. Windows up high opening up to the ground outside – At that young age, it reminded my The Wind in the Willows. On the left was a partial wall and huge safe, dividing the room from a work area for my Grandpa. A closet was on that side that stored old fur coats – not the real expensive ones, money was not a commodity. Maybe they were hand me downs…

But the fruit room, it was on the back wall. As you opened the door, the floor dipped down a few inches and you entered, what I thought was a room, but was probably only a closet. It was lined with shelves where scrap paper for coloring was stored. Miscellaneous items were there, I honestly can’t remember what all else was on the shelves, but one area was covered with jars of pickles.

Some pickle jars had blue liquid, some not. All contained what I was not going to eat. But all were fun to look at. Those cucumber slices soaking in various states of pickling.

The smell though. I loved the scent of that level of the house. Somehow all that was kept there brought its own scent in and the combination would surely have been labeled “comfort.”

A decade or so ago, my grandparents moved from that house. A house they lived in for 40 years. My mom received a clock that did not go with my grandparents in their move. As I walked in my parent’s house the first time after the package arrived, past that clock, I was transported back to playing in my grandparent’s basement and was thankful that memory held on to that great feeling that could be sparked by a simple scent.

Thanks Mary for asking for us to share childhood food memories (Go check out her site, great recipes!), even though it might not have actually been the enjoyment of the food itself. It gave me a chance to travel down memory lane with Gayle and with You!

Smiles!
Gayle is the host at Planet M Files Memory Monday (another great spot to visit - check out her photography)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Where Are The Words?

I would say I feel un-inspired lately, but as I think of my life, that is not it.

I have written quite a few post as I have moved through the days of the past month or so - and great ones at that, unfortunately it was on the chalk board in my head and never made it to paper or the keyboard.

For the first time in my adult life, I am not working outside the home. The change in structure offers an opportunity. I am happy to say that I have yet to be bored. But how did I do everything and work outside the home?

I have been working on reinventing my career (and me too). My goal was to switch to a Personal Chef or Family Cook. I have spoken with the Health Department, the IRS, the state registration office, etc. And now I am at a hurdle. Insurance. My business inusrance company does not offer coverage for this "specialized" area. So I am waiting to hear back from another agent.

Meanwhile, I have filled in helping a caterer. Been home for a few sick days of one kid. Have cleaned some windows. Sold a second commercial freezer (Yes!!). Cleaned more. Networked. Almost caught up on last seasons Greys Anatomy (Netflix is wonderful). Have enjoyed lunch with friends, after three years of not being able to. Tried a few new recipes (my favorite). Have cooked through the excess of food in freezers and have successfully not gained weight. Have grumbled about the differences of clean of those in the home. Volunteered for Demolition D's Band Boosters - Will, The Man, and I make a great team for running a consession stand. Haven't seen the first game, but have been able to sneak a peak at the band a couple times.

I found a spot - somewhat secluded to make mine. With six of us in the house, I have realized that is one of the challenges, having your own spot to call your own. To escape too. I found this spot outside. Even the birds don't notice me there.

This all said, and much still not, life is good and abundant. And I hope to journal more of it. And this is the start.

So until next week . . . have a great weekend. Make some time for fun and rest. Enjoy it.



P.S.Watch for the new Dove commercial - sung to the tune of "do your ears hang low." I thought it was refreshing and cute and light.

Smiles!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Awards

I was honored to have been give a couple awards during the last couple months. As life fills all every single crack and crannie of my life, I wanted to pause and catch up on this.

The most recent award was given by Blue Cotton Memory



Blue Cotton Memory bestowed "this award on blogs that I have so enjoyed reading for a variety of reasons. These blogs either had content that encouraged, passion for their blog mission, or just brought some joy to my day."

And to think of the joy Blue Cotton brings to my day? What a compliment!

Thank you!!







The last award is the Premio Dardos Award that was given to me by Gayle a Planet m Files.
“This award is for bloggers who distinguish themselves for showing cultural values, ethics, great and fun writing skills, as well as individual values, through their creative writing.”
Wow! I am honored!

Thank you Gayle.

Ok, I am taking the easy way out (sorry guys) but all the blogs that I read and the bloggers that follow me are great!! And I choose all of you!

So, grab the award and know,

I
Choose
You!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Orange Brownies

Need something yummy to try?? (don't let the picture frighten you away - I have no talent what-so-ever at taking food pictures- wish I did!!)

I have made these twice in the last several weeks. Once just for fun and to try them out ~ The Man told me they tasted like Orange Danish so he was going to have them for breakfast. And he did.

Because of The Man's recommendation, I made these last Saturday for our Sunday School class on Sunday.

Delish!!

Orange Brownies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pure orange extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan and set aside. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter, eggs, orange extract, and orange zest and beat with a handheld electric mixer until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until light golden brown and set. Remove from oven and pierce top of entire cake with a fork.
Glaze:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stirring until smooth. Pour glaze over cake. Cool cake and cut into squares.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pure orange extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
Glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan and set aside. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter, eggs, orange extract, and orange zest and beat with a handheld electric mixer until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until light golden brown and set. Remove from oven and pierce top of entire cake with a fork.
Glaze:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stirring until smooth. Pour glaze over cake. Cool cake and cut into squares.