October 31st !

Friday, October 31, 2008 | | 3 comments
Happy Halloween!

Wishing all a safe and fun filled day!

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A little fun

Thursday, October 30, 2008 | | 2 comments

Just a few of the small projects I've been working on in my free time in the evenings. My tags and cards are not over the top, just something fun. This is the latest batch.
I'm finally finished!
Every Halloween I make my sour cream sugar cookies, and frost them with cream cheese frosting (not very low cal but very yummy!). There are ghosts, pumpkins, bats and cats. I wrap them individually in cellophane bags, tie a homemade tag on them, and give to my teacher friends at school. It's a lot of work (and fun) but worth every minute knowing that they look forward to them each Halloween.
I send Halloween cards to my family in Michigan and friends that have moved away. It's not a large mailing. I often write to friends and family throughout the year. I use e-mail daily, but I am still a believer that a hand written note has a personal touch that you just can't get from a computer screen.
Tomorrow morning my fellow teachers will find an early Halloween morning treat
in their mailbox!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008 | | 4 comments
This is one of my favorite soups. It's delicious, easy to make, and even the boys in my family enjoy it ~ a winner all around!
Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup
4.5 c. Chicken broth
1 (16) ounce can Pumpkin
3 (15-18) ounce cans black beans ~ drained and rinsed
4 t. cumin
1/8 t. salt
1t. pepper
2 onions diced
3 (or more) cloves of garlic
1 (14) ounce can chopped tomatoes ~ drained
2 t. butter
Puree (I use my emulsifier) beans and tomatoes. Saute onions and garlic in butter. Add salt, pepper, and cumin. Add broth and pumpkin to tomato mixture. Mix together and simmer for 30 minutes.
Additions if you please~
Red hot sauce
sour cream dollop on top
sprinkle of good cheddar cheese
~let me know if you try it~

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He misses me

Thursday, October 23, 2008 | | 7 comments

I came home to a very unexpected surprise ~ flowers! My husband can be very sweet and thoughtful. He planned to have this fall arrangement delivered when he knew I would be busy with our Oktoberfest preparations and conferences at school this week. It's nice to know that he was thinking of me. He caught me totally off guard which makes this gift that much more special.

It's hard to see from the picture (I took several but I just couldn't get it right) but there are actually two levels. The first holds the flowers and the bottom is filled with candy corn. It's really very cute. I'll use it for one of our center pieces this weekend.

I can't wait to see him ~ only a few more days!

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Signs of autumn

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 | | 2 comments

We have a sweet farm not far from our home that is offering the most beautiful pumpkins and mums this year. I went overboard this year. We have pumpkins and gourds inside our home in almost every room. I bought a few large pumpkins for carving into jack~o~lanterns, and a medium one for our traditional stew in a pumpkin that I make every Halloween. I even have them outside our home in our window boxes, along the buildup on our patio, and I'm using a few for the table during our party.There are two gorgeous yellow mums at the front entrance of our home. They will stay there until Thanksgiving.
I love the fact that I can use these decorations for two holidays. This is how I justified my over indulgence.
Natures beauty doesn't get much better than this!
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Busy week = lists

Monday, October 20, 2008 | | 6 comments
I live by my lists.
I can not function without some form of direction. I try to break down my week and accomplish at least one task each day.
Such as laundry one day, food shopping another and errands split up depending on the direction so that I'm not driving all over wasting time and gas.
Each week I make a master list with separate lists for each day of the week. What doesn't get accomplished in that day, gets placed on an unfinished list. This may sound over the top, but it works for me.
I do this simply to stay sane (definition not included). With my husbands constant travel schedule, I can't always depend on him so I've learned to do it all myself and if he happens to be around to lend a helping hand, it's an unexpected bonus!
We are having our annual Oktoberfest this weekend and this year it's all on me! My naval officer promises to be in town, but his arrival date is not known at this time so I can't really count on him to pick up any of the slack. I've been working on this for weeks. Over the weekend my daughter and I went on a "field trip" into nature (our backyard) to find the items needed for my entrance ~ pictures to follow later this week.
I finalized the menu last week, purchased all the candles, extra table wear items, pumpkins, gourds and mum, made and froze some of the appetizers, and hit the package store. This week is food shopping for the party as well as our weekly meals, not to mention thoroughly cleaning our home.
Oh yeah, almost forgot, it's also conference week at school.
I think I need to add extra vitamins to the list!

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Autumn Food Stroll

Friday, October 17, 2008 | | 7 comments

I have wanted to do this for the past couple of years but something always comes up. This year a girlfriend and I went together.
It was incredible.
You walk along a reviving old New England town sampling food
from various venues and gander into the local shops.
Each and every display was well thought out and the presentation was amazing.
I loved the soup "cauldron" filled with potato leek soup.
The pumpkins cheese cake was delicious and the stacked pumpkin sign
was just too cute and creative.
The gargoyle with his watchful eye is from one of my favorite wine shops
that is next door to an incredible cheese shop.
It was the perfect autumn evening ~ not too cold but a nice chill in the air.
The food was yummy, the shops were quaint
and the time spent with my girlfriend was lovely!
We sampled from amazing restaurants. I can't wait for my husband to
return so I can treat him to my new findings.

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October showcase!

Thursday, October 16, 2008 | | 5 comments

Come, autumn, come.
Bring leaves of crimson on golden bough; misty morns and amber dusk; a harvest of plenty and pumpkins on the vine. And so the gathering season begins, swathed in exquisite abundance and earthen beauty.
I adore pumpkins and gourds in any size, color or shape this time of year. I found this little guy at a local farmer's stand. He was adorable all clad in white. I brought him home and decided to dress him up a bit. I added a brown polka dot bow, and a showcase.
Now he is a center piece!

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Quiet reflections ...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 | | 4 comments
While working in the yard yesterday, I became lost in my ever wandering thougths. I was relfecting on what I had accomplished that morning and what still needed to be done before the day was over.
With the background noise of the neighborhood children's voices as they played, birds chirping and the squirrels quarreling, I was very content in the moment while I went through window boxes and cut back our flower garden.
It was then, that I had an odd sense, as though it was something I had experienced before. I felt it early that morning while I was baking. Then it became clear, I recognized the scent and sensation from that morning ... I was baking something my mother had made many times over the years. I guess this is the first time I had ever tried her recipe (I have kept all her recipes and go through time from time to time for new ideas as well as the memories.)
I realized that there are so many things I wish I could share with her ~ thoughts, ideas, frustrations, secrets, joys, sorrows and most of all, laughter.
This lead to my new quiet time of reflection. While I might not have the opportunity to share with her in person, I've decided to create a journal to hold such conversations.
Perhaps one day I'll share it with my children or, just keep it between my mother and I.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008 | | 3 comments
Time flies fast when you're out of touch!
We had a wonderful time in Annapolis seeing old friends and attending all the events. We arrived back in Connecticut late Sunday night (several weeks ago). My naval officer had to fly out Monday morning but before he left, he checked his emails, sent off a few messages and decided to update a few programs. YIKES!
I love technology as long as it's working properly. I must confess that I am more than a little technologically challenged. I never go for anything that has endless bells and whistles. I like to turn it on and be ready to go. Besides, I married a man who has one of his graduate degrees in Computer Engineering.
I came home from school Monday afternoon to our computer that was acting very strange and making an odd noise (I know enough about computers to realize this wasn't a good thing). I called my husband in hopes of catching him before he got on the submarine ~ I caught him just in time for him to tell me that he updated a few programs (read outdated my ability to communicate with the outside world) and to call our neighbor to take a "quick look" at it as he was sure it wasn't anything all that serious.
Our computer crashed!
I never realized how much I use this vehicle of information. I've had to go into school early and stay late since I can't work from home, I've had little communication with several family members and friends as we are all busy and use the Internet to keep in touch, not to mention my new found friends in the blog world.
We are rebuilt and back on the communication highway once again. I say all this with my fingers crossed as my husband flew out this morning to ride a sub.
Looking forward to catching up and checking in! : )

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