Thursday, September 29, 2011


This past week has been a little mixture of tidbits...nothing huge and spectacular, jut the regular little things of life. The fall season is really here and I have my projects to keep me busier...tonight I decided to "spruce" up a fall wreath for my front door. It was hanging there and I thought it needed some more decorations on it. Everything was going great until a wasp that was hiding somewhere in it decided I needed to be stung. I thought I did good this year without getting into any hornets nests or getting stung by the wasps and bees that seem to love us here at the Pines...nasty wasp had other thoughts. Oh well, just the nature of the beast. I'll live although tomorrow gloving all day should be interesting with a slightly swollen finger! The wreath looks better...the wasp, not so good. He a goner. Two little tidbits that I have no pics of: 1) My Grandkiddo Anthony had to match his cousin Alexis by getting a broken arm...during a football game that he wasn't even playing in..he was a spectator! 2) I saw the most beautiful eagle on my road today! It was so cool. I was so excited I came home and told Jack he just had to jump in the car and go with me to see it again. He was willing and eager..the eagle was eager too. So eager it was already gone by the time we reached the spot where I saw it. Jack's a good sport. Well, here's a pic of my latest project. The bookself in my kitchen. This tidbit was a pain to paint but it's fun to decorate!
Here's a little tidbit of a nugget who came for a visit...Eddy the wonder dog! He enjoyed an afternoon of running and playing and then he threw up on my just cleaned white livingroom carpet. Some things I just don't miss about having a dog in the house.. But we love him anyway!
Awwwww..he just loves Jordan! And so do we..and we wish him luck tomorrow. His little tidbit of info is he's going for an interview for a new job with the railroad. Good luck Jord!
This interesting tidbit looks like it needs a tablecloth and some chairs around it. If you're a smurf that is! I found this under one of the pine trees. Sometimes you just need to look down low for some little weird tidbit! A true "fungus amongus".
The final tidbit...the temps are falling..we're suppose to have a high of 49..low 37 this weekend. Yes, that's a big indicator that fall is here. However I like to focus on the pretty colors that can be found in the simple these leaves. Just a tiny tidbit of the explosion of color that will peak in the next few weeks.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Why The Fair?

Thursday Jack suggested we head off to the fair and grab some dinner. The Ashland County fair is the big ending to Summer season around here. I grew up in the city and had never been to a county fair before moving here. But I've lived here long enough to understand the importance of keeping rural traditions like fairs alive. They are the opportunity for farmers and 4H and FFA groups to show off their hard work for the year. The animals and 4H projects will help fund many a rural young man or woman's education I'm sure as they sell to the highest bidder. I could never raise an animal and then say I'm glad I grew up where I did. But I enjoy a stroll through the fair grounds once a year..sometimes I can even skip a year. Some people go everyday...all week...and that I know I just couldn't do! So come and see what brings people out to a fair.
The one thing that brings out all the kiddos...the rides!
At the fair this is not an unusual site to see...big tractors.
I should have captured this "hay raising" experience earlier in the light...but people were having their pics taken on this ginormous example of someone having way too much time on their hands in the barn.
The Woman's building always has the beautiful quilt displays. I think they all look like blue ribbon winners!
Horticulture shines at a fair.
Wish my pantry looked this nice!
I enjoy looking at the hobby barn displays. I saw some really good photos and even saw some friends names on those pics! Good job Stacy!
These next three pics remind me of why I'm not always happy to go to the fair. I hate seeing animals that should be out in the wild, not in cages, being on display..eating carrots and dog food? I wonder what my friend Cheryl at Kangaroos of the Scrubby Bush would say about these pics. Sorry...

Well, you could go to the fair to get glimpse of giant gourds.
But the real reason to go to a fair...Yum!

Monday, September 19, 2011

How Do You Know?

How do you know it's Fall? I know it's just a few days, or maybe it's hours away, but signs are beginning to appear. This leaf is the only red one on our oak tree in the back yard. Sort of sticks out like a sore (red) thumb. The temps have been very cool...the air crisp...the football season in full swing...the festivals will start up soon. So much to do and so fun to do them!
For some reason I think Fall is the time for projects. Spring is good too, but Fall has me more inspired. I'd been thinking about this one for a long time. I painted the built-in shelves in the kitchen to match my cupboards I painted a few years ago. Even a tiny job like this creates a mess that drives me nuts. I can't wait to finish so I can put everything back in place. Also I will bring all the Fall decorations out too. This shelf unit is a big pain by the way...all the cubbies, all the sanding, cleaning, and extra coats to cover the wood. I hope it looks good when it's done or I just might have to slap myself silly.
I mentioned earlier in the day that a nice fire would be so great. The weather Saturday was perfect for outdoor cooking. Another sign that Fall is here. Can you guess what we cooked? I should say..can you see what we cooked?
I thought foil dinners would be the way to go so I put them together and Jack had the fire just right...I cheated a bit by precooking most of the meal..meat, potatoes, onions, peppers, and of course the mushroom soup. They just had to get nice and bubbly and have that campfire smoky smell...yum!
When we finished the foil dinners I decided to celebrate our fireside meal with some s'mores..Jack doesn't like them but he will indulge in the chocolate bar. I had to roast the marshmellow to perfection first...well, my perfection anyway.
Did I mention that the marshmellow I used was a ginormous one? There really was a piece of a Hershey bar under all that! I only took a few bites then had to call it quits...I don't think I'll bother with those again..Sometimes bigger isn't always better.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Over Achievers

This has been a crazy weather Summer. We can't really complain around these parts though. We've had a good amount of rain that has been balanced by warm and humid, and seasonal coolness. All that's added up to a yard and flowers that seem to have "over achieved" this year. The grass is green like Spring and I think the flowers look pretty good for the end of Summer. Of course I won't go into the weed issue. They have over achieved too! I took some "flower power" shots of the front of our home.
It makes a pretty walk way up to the front door.
Speaking of over achieving...this is one sweet potato's covered the whole planter, the other flowers in that planter, and the flowers next to the off.
Another angle..Somehow this plant reminds me of Cousin It from the old Munsters TV show..
I took a stroll around my yard tonight. I talked to my Sis and Mom to help pass the time...I was trying to be an overachiever and do a ton of laps around the property. It was hot and muggy..I know tomorrow it's suppose to get very cool, but tonight it was a sweat fest...but around I went..First up the side and then to the top and....
Then down this side of the yard..across the drive...around the front...and back up to the top of the hill...ready to join me?
Remember this place? Poor sign! It needs to be reattached to the pole and straightened up so no one will miss it's fun creepiness that happens in the fall. Although no Halloween party this year...sorry! My family will be here visiting that weekend in October when we usually host a blow out spookfest...but surprises do happen, right?
This used to be a that lead me, friends, Grandkiddos, Eddy the boxer, just to name a few who enjoyed the walk. Since it's suppose to get chilly this weekend I think it will be a good time to get the big weed whacker out and start to make some sense of this place.
I'll have to be the overachiever to conquer this project...future paths, here I come!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Our little Lexi had a bit of a mishap on the monkey bars at the park yesterday. She broke her arm just above the elbow...OUCHIE..and in the ER they said she was about the 5th kiddo this week to fall off playground equipment. This wasn't done at school and it made a day out with Dad a bit of a bummer. However, she was very brave. It will be tough at school for a little while but she'll do OK I'm sure. She looks so tired in this was time for bed!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Menu Of A Short Week

This week flew by..I know it was a short work week because of the Labor Day holiday on Monday and Wednesday I didn't have to work because I was given a low census day....but it still seemed busy to me and I was tired for some reason...old age probably. But there was nothing really blog worthy to take a pic of or write home about. I did put this in a frame and hung it in my kitchen...what is it? Well, it's a menu that my Mom and Dad brought back from Italy when they went there in 1971. They were on their 25th wedding anniversary trip to Europe. My Mom admired this menu on the wall of a restaurant and my Dad asked the waiter if they could have it...sometimes you just need to ask. Dad was a charmer anyway and I'm sure the friendliness of the waiter to Americans was a huge factor too! I had never seen it before. When we were taking a day bed out of storage to take home I spotted this. I did just what my Mom did...admired it..and then what my Dad did...asked if I could have it. She said "sure" now will hang on my wall until someone admires it, asks if they can have it and I say "no way, go to Italy and get your own!"
One of the pics I didn't get on the last post was this one of Craig and my Mom...a tiny fragment of time that's precious as gold.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Of Love

I hadn't been back to Chicago to visit Mom since April and Jack and I decided this would be a good weekend to go. Ok, I decided it would be a good weekend to go! It's also my son Craig's birthday and he and his family were visiting his wife's sister, who also lives in Chicago. So we decided to have a birthday celebration on Saturday afternoon. But before I get into all that, I had to snap a shot of the lovely dinner my Sister prepared for us after we arrived on Friday. It was lamb (of course, we're Greek aren't we?) a beautiful salad,(I provided the tomatoes from our garden), and this yummy chicken number that combines chicken, feta cheese, Parmesan cheese, spices, all wrapped in was awesome!
On Saturday we got ready for a nice crowd that was coming around 3pm. We had Mom's yard all ready...the chairs, tables and deck were looking good..and the rain clouds were coming in fast. I wasn't complaining about the cloud cover because the day was hot and humid and it took the edge off..the breezes picked up too. The rain did hold off until after dinner...we ate birthday cake inside!
Since it was Craig's birthday we let him decide on the menu..all he cared about were the ribs and a special chocolate cake..well, we filled in the blanks with burgers, brats, salads and other goodies. Did you have any doubt?
The grownup cousins got a chance to talk over life, mothering, and just plain "catching up"...This is Katie (my niece on the left) and my daughter-in-law Amy.
Sophie was happy with a chip...
Katie and Jack took care of the grilling..
The cousins..Jack (my daughter-in-law's nephew) and my grandkiddo Taylor called dibs on the swing!
Brooke (my niece's daughter) showed me her cast..she broke her leg and was wearing a full length cast but just had a new shorter one put on..just in time for school..She's a trooper!
My Grandkiddos and my niece's daughter had a fun time together. I was glad they were able to get to know each other better.
When the rain came it was time to head indoors for cake, candles, icecream and singing...Way to blow out candles Craig!
Happy Birthday Craig!
Sunday morning we got A final goodbye from Craig and Amy as they headed back to Michigan.
We had so much fun on Saturday celebrating Craig's birthday we decided to continue with the family get-togethers. My brother Greg invited us on a boat ride down this lovely river..the Illinois river, on Sunday. The weather was perfect..very cool and sunny. Such a change from the hot and humid day before!
The gang was all Brother Greg (driving), Jack, my niece Amy and her hubby Eric,(not in this shot) my Sis-in-law, Deidra (holding new baby Ella), and me of course (behind the camera..where I like it)..
The passengers also included these two crazy Sis, Midge, and my Mom.
Even this little monkey..Ella..enjoyed the day. Her first boat ride! She slept through most of it, only waking to kinda girl!
After cruising down the Illinois river we spotted a nice spot to stop and get off and enjoy a picnic.
The boat was secured nice and tight and we sat on the beach and enjoyed a delish lunch that my Sis had prepared. Food always tastes better in the fresh outdoor air doesn't it?
Eric and Jack thought we might need a little more shade. The beach was very shady and nice so we nixed the umbrella. (But it made a nice pic!)
Thanks "Capt." Greg for a wonderful afternoon of boating, sun and fun..
We left for home today and made it safe and sound. The temps have cooled down to about a high of 65, a little cool for some people, but not us!...Now back to the working world tomorrow. It was good to visit with Mom and Midge and all my family and spending time with Craig on his birthday was the best...I guess having a kiddo on Labor day is a "Labor of love" when you can share it with so many great people that I'm proud to call "FAMILY".