Sunday, October 18, 2020

In Love With Fall

Driving around the county I was taking photos here and there and ended up right in my own backyard and around our little town.  I found that the most beautiful trees were in our lovely city cemetery. I go there to walk many times because it's quiet and not a lot of cars to have to worry about.

The colors just blew me away!

I love the shape and color of this tree but don't know what kind of tree it is.  If anyone knows please comment and inform me! 
Here's a close up of the leaves on this tree. Anyone? Anyone? 
As you can see, the walking path is a nice, easy one!  However, roaming my own home site I found a few beauties to share.

Then I walked down my little country road in front of the Pines:

Country roads take me home!  No more leaf peeps I promise! But it's so hard when you're in love! Have a good week!

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Crazy, Wild Halloween At The Pines

 This week has been a flurry of busy as Midge and I prepared for our annual Halloween family bash at the Pines. This year her family came from Chicago to celebrate and leaf peep and just have some fun. Midge and I (with Jack having our backs!) babysat her 10 Grandkiddos on Friday night so her adult kiddos could catch up with my adult kiddos at Union Town Brewery in Ashland.  Whew! It was a little crazy but I think the kids enjoyed it...the littles and the adults!

My sister and her 2 daughters, Amy the nurse on the left, Katie the detective on the right.
My sister's son Bill and his wife Laura. They have 5 of the 10 Grands!  So as they all went to meet up with my boys, we entertained the littles with some outdoor ball games, cookie decorating and pumpkin decorating.  The older ones helped later with some food prep for the party on Saturday and the young ones watched a movie or played on their devices.
Bats and balls and boys...good combo!
My Great niece, Addy, decorating her cookies...Midge has an Addy and a Lexi too! Good thing we call our Addy, Rae and our Lexi, Lou!
Brooke and Ava...some posing with pumpkins!
Lots of silliness and noise and we were pooped by the end of the evening but hopefully these guys will have good memories of the weekend.
Saturday night we had a table full of food and a houseful of family...about 30 to be exact. We mostly hung outside. We had a ton of games planned and a haunted Creepy woods trail.  We had a Halloween egg hunt, a pinata smash up, and many more that we didn't have time to play. Of course a fire in the firepit was nice to sit around after dark.
We had 3 tiny pinatas that all the kids took turns hitting..finally they just smashed them open..those little suckers were hard to break open! (the pinatas, not the kids!) We didn't get a pic of the egg hunt but the Creepy woods trail was fun. I think we scared the adults more than the littles!
The gateway to scary!
The idea of the trail was to find the lost trick or treater with their candy...but first you had to pass the cemetery of lost souls that appears every Halloween in the Creepy Woods.
It's a mystery how it appears each year.
Don't let the cackling witch stop you!
Don't let the Demon of Darkness grab you if you find the bucket of candy! 
The first pics were taken in the light so add the darkness and the sounds of the woods and all I can say is:
The trail was the hit of the evening but hopefully we made many more fun memories with the family. That's the fun of all the work we put into doing this. Hearing the laughter, the noise of kids playing and even the screams in the dark that also made us laugh since they came from the adults! I wish I had gotten a photo of the last part of the trail where a large wolf creature jumped out at the end! Even scared me! Ha!
Gotta love the Grands with the bat wings or bat pins...too cute! On a final note, Midge was going to stay tonight and go home with Amy and her family tomorrow. However, she was having some trouble with her diverticulitis and we all insisted she go home early with Katie. Amy also went with to take her to get a cat scan back in Chicago. Amy's hubby, Eric, took their 3 kids to Cedar Point and will go home tomorrow as planned. He's a great guy and a wonderful Dad to do that all on his own while worrying about Midge.  But her scan came back good and just antibiotics are happening and she could go home tonight. Whew! I was really worried. We were both sad she had to leave early but we weren't taking any chances with her health. We've had a wonderful Fall so far. The weather  has been great and all the leaves are really popping out. Take time to enjoy the beauty of this season!  Thanks to all my family who came this weekend...we love you all!

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Get Your Spooky On!

 Those that have followed me for a bit know I love this time of year and Halloween. Yes, to me it is the most wonderful time of the year!  We're going to have our family Halloween gathering this weekend and my sweet sister is here from Chicago to enjoy a week of fun but also being a big help in the preparations. Jack just shakes his head with the two of us and our craziness!  He knows the way to my heart however. He helped me complete my Wizard of Oz collection:

He heard me say I would like to get the "flying monkey" for my set.  These are figurines from Lori Mitchell. He surprised me with this guy! Thanks Babe!
Life can now go on! I have a few other creations of 22 other creations!
Little trick or treaters like these two.  In other news, my sister came just in time for the last weekend of a local festival called "Prairie Peddler" 
It's set up in a wooded area and there are tons of vendors and food and usually music. Covid has changed a few things..all masks, certain eating areas for social distancing and no live music.  But we had fun anyway and bought only a few items. 
This gentleman was making big pots of soup...all the open fires smelled like fall! We had a good time and the weather was and very fall like!  So Midge and I will spend the week making food and decorating our Creepy Woods up. She still has dialysis to go through but the center is close to our house and the people there are really nice so it goes good for her.  Here are a few other tidbits from the Pines:
Jack and our son Jackie got the new screen door on last week.  I love it!
Wood for the soon to be cold season!
Rae turned 12 on October 1st! We had a nice time with her celebrating! Love this growing up Grandkiddo!
Arnie is still recovering from his leg surgery but doing good. His final vet visit is next week and hopefully we won't have to continue carrying him up and down stairs! He loves his new toy that Craig and Amy sent him!
I was cleaning out a cupboard and didn't realize that my new floating witch hats were right above me...but Jack noticed and clicked a pick....funny guy!
The leaves are changing and soon will be in peak season but I do love when the sun sets and lights up the trees!
So go get your spook on and carve some pumpkins, have some hot cider, crunch in the leaves and enjoy this time of year. It's been a rough year for many so I hope some smiles come your way in October.
The sun is setting earlier each night...take a minute to enjoy it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Welcome A New Season

 I know on New Year's Day most of us were saying our goodbyes to  2019 and hoping for a happy new year that was open for all possibilities.  As Spring approached I was ready to dig in the dirt, plant some flowers and get color back on the landscape.  Before that seasonal change however, we were thrown into a series of events that changed most of our lives.  I think everyone was touched in some way with Covid 19.  As the next season of Summer was approaching we were again hopeful for a changed in the world circumstances.  What did follow was again not what we hoped for.  But we dealt with the world chaos and political nonsense as best we could.  Made Summer as enjoyable as we could.  Today is the first day of Fall.  It arrived at 9:30 this morning here in Ohio and elsewhere.  Maybe you're not fond of cooler temps, or seasonal color on the foliage.  Saying goodbye to Summer might be painful as you close up the pools or come back from vacation or as the kiddos start school in some fashion.  For me, I love this time of year. I enjoy the crisp this week so far...brrrr!  The trees are starting to turn lovely shades of orange, yellow, or red.  The pumpkins are everywhere and again we have hope that this will be a good season, better than the past ones this year.  Who knows...I'm just taking each day as it comes and taking deep breaths and trying to get my calm mojo on!  I took a chilly walk in my yard this morning and up into the Creepy Woods.  Here's a few shots of my trip:

We have 2 paths into the woods...path one

Path 2..kind of hard to tell the difference.

Path 2 leads up to Jack's wood splitting site at this time. It changes as he cuts up the wood that will heat the house this Winter. 
Its a pretty and quiet place to be.  Path one is pretty too but we use that area a bit more. We'll be using path one for part of our Halloween party in a few weeks.

If you have the time today, get out and enjoy a walk in the fresh air and enjoy some seasonal scenery.
I did find this little number on the you know why it's called the Creepy Woods! 
Time to follow my footsteps back to the house! Happy Fall!

Friday, September 18, 2020

It's In The Air

 I don't know about where you live, but here at the Pines Fall is definitely in the air. However. the air quality in these parts has been hazy.  It's from the fires all the way out west.  That's a testimony of how awful and wide spread those fires are. The destruction and pictures that have come out from there take your breath away. My son, Craig, and his family live in a suburb of Portland, Oregon and have been house bound because the air quality is so horrible. But thankfully they have a home that's not devastated by the fires and we pray for them to be kept safe. Too bad all the water down south can't be dumped out west to put it all out. I'm sure the southern states would welcome that!

Eerie looking sunset here at the Pines.
Driving home the other day and it's just hazy when it's suppose to be bright blue skies.
Sunset up close and personal.  Today was the first day this week that dawned bright and Fall crisp with beautiful blue skies.  Our temps are usually up and down here until November when they pretty much remain cool to cold. Tonight we're expecting temps in the 30's so I think it's time to bring in my Boston Fern with hopes to keep it alive until next year. I'm better with outdoor plants but I'm going to give it a try. Meanwhile I'm decorated for the season with a teensy bit of Halloween thrown in. I don't usually put any Halloween until late September or October 1st but I couldn't resist just a little. Hey, it's in the air I guess!
A little greeting pumpkin for starters.

I collect these Lori Mitchell figurines and usually get one or two each year.  This came in the mail the other day and I had to leave it out...right? She may be the "Grim Reaper" but I say "cute" describes her best! (I now have 22 different little trick or treaters...time to stop? Nahhh)

I found these little stick on bats at the dollar store. Yep, I'm batty about them! 

The kitchen fireplace is ready for Fall but it will get Halloweened (I just made up that word!) in a few weeks.  The month is flying by and soon we'll be having some family visitors and will celebrate with some outdoor spooky fun....if  the weather cooperates! 

Final thoughts.  This poor tree has just about lost all it's leaves. It's been on the downhill slump for a few years now but I didn't want Jack to cut it down because it always bloomed out so nice in Spring. Until this year anyway.  I have finally realized it's time to remove it and replant a different tree.  Walking past it the other night made me stop quickly and look closer.  I don't know if you can see it but here's it's final gift I guess:
One last little blossom out of it's season. Sometimes when all seems lost or we're at the end of our rope..maybe God will be sending a little gift your way to make you stop and smile and be grateful for little surprises of life.  Or maybe just for the beauty that's in the air.