Sunday, October 30, 2011

Frost Bite

I woke up Saturday to a bit of a frosty morning. It's the first really hard frost we've had. However, compared to the East Coast that got slammed with a rare October snow storm, I feel lucky! I'll take crispy grass over a foot of shoveling white stuff any day.
The last of our peppers were left on the deck and they got a bit of freezer burn I think.
Look closely at our scarecrow's hat...a little bit of that frost settled there too!
Saturday morning Jack and I headed to downtown Ashland to check out a farmer's market that is just starting out. It has another location in a nearby town and they are giving it a go here. There was everything from the last of the garden produce...I grabbed some great looking acorn squash and some colored breads, honey, maple syrup and homemade peanut butter. All organic of course! A booth even had fresh chickens and beef. Looks like a promising way to get some great, fresh, organic and local goods.
The vendors set up in a parking garage in an old warehouse. They are planning on moving it upstairs after renovations are made. It was a bit chilly in there yesterday so I hope they can make the move before it's too cold!
Lookie's the Good Witch of sourdough bread...actually it's our friend Marylynn...and her wonderfully good sourdough bread!
Parking really isn't an issue..just watch where you walk!
When we came home I knew I had an afternoon of outdoor work pulling out all the frostbit plants. Before that started I had to take a little time to sit and read a new magazine and enjoy the fresh made chunky peanut butter we scored at the farmer's market and a delish apple.Mmmmmm...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Aye Me Buckos!

Come along for a pirate tale of fun and family plundering of Halloween good times....This is the youngest of our pirate crew...2mo. old Ella...
We had a houseful of family this weekend. My brother Greg, his wife Deidra, my sister Midge, my Mom, my niece Amy and her hubby Eric and baby Ella, and my other niece Katie and her hubby Blake and their two kiddos Brooke and Mason..did I forget anyone? We had some fall fun for sure. We ate...we shopped..we ate...we hiked in the Creepy Woods...we ate...we played at the pumpkin patch (see pic below)..we ate..we went to a Halloween party as a group of Pirates...see pic above..we ate..we sat around a campfire...and yes, we ate. Burp! Good times!
Friday afternoon they all arrived. Once all the cousins gathered they immediately fell into playing, drawing, and just having a good time. You would think they were always together. I was really happy to see how they enjoyed each others company. Do you remember playing with cousins like that? I sure do.
Saturday morning everyone wanted to stop at one of my favorite places. The Parsley Pot. It's a barn turned into a really cute shop with tons of goodies. My brother Greg and his wife Deidra enjoyed it.
Amy and Eric and baby Ella....outside the Parsley Pot for a family pic. Then all the older kiddos went their way and we went ours for a short stop.
After the Parsley Pot and also a stop at Gleaner Antiques we met up with the kids at Honey Haven Farm for some pumpkin patch fun. Wagon rides, hay mazes, food and just enjoying the beautiful day we were having.
I thought the horses were so pretty with their orange decorations. The wagon ride was a fun trip that the little ones really enjoyed.
Greg and Deidra bought this cute scarecrow and then gifted it to me! Thanks guys! Jack's not really crying here...although he does get "misty eyed" at the sight of a good looking scarecrow!
Afternoon brought us home to get ready for a Halloween party. We all went as pirates. I found just what we needed at the Dollar Store and fixed everyone up. Just a peek at a couple of our pirates...Ever see a Pirate with glasses and a patch? Cameron rocked!
My brother Greg didn't need a 'stach to be drawn on..
Last pirate, but not least...Mom's 85...not too old for some good fun and letting her hair down! She's always a good sport and ready for a party. Mom, you're the bomb!
AARGGGGG! It's the gathering of the Pirates of Chicago/Ashland...a prize was given out to our group at the costume contest. I think my Mom was the clincher for winning!
Trunk or Treat was the topper for the party. We decorated our trunk with this little ghost who says many funny phrases when anyone comes his way..My brother also had fun tunes blasting from car speakers....Monster Mash anyone? This is my pirate niece Amy handing out the goodies.
We finished the day up with a campfire. We sat around and talked, played a silly game I promised I wouldn't mention on the blog, and just enjoyed the starry night, wood smoke, and family.
Bye, Bye...sniff, sniff...I miss you already!
Hey, don't look so mad..they'll be back for some more Fall fun next year....Oh, you'll be food for the deer by then...sorry.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Frightfully Yummy

I'm not known for baking wonderful pies....but that doesn't mean I can't bake them. I just don't love doing pies. But I had some apples I wanted to use up and I threw this little number together the other night. Jack took one look at it and said: "Wow, that is blog worthy"...Since I don't make pies that often, and I really have nothing to blog about I thought he was right. I have been baking and cooking a lot this week since I have a boatload of family coming in this weekend. My family usually comes to visit in the fall. This time we're hosting 11. (3 are kiddos) The weather is suppose to improve and be sunny for part of it. That will help! The nieces and their hubbies are going to the haunted prison in Mansfield. I actually went there on a ghost hunt a couple of years ago. I even blogged about it. I know they'll have a frightfully good time. We're also going to a Halloween party Sat. night. I hope to get some good pics from that! So I'm anticipating a crazy, noisy, fun filled, (did I say crazy?) time. Hope your weekend is as fun!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Somewhere Under The Rainbow

Thursday night Jack took this photo of a beautiful rainbow over the backyard of the Pines....I think today we ended up with the pot of gold right here! I had all the Grandkiddos and parents over for some homemade veggie soup, shredded chicken sandwiches and old favorite for dessert...homemade donuts! But first the little ones ran around outside between the rain drops and after eating they all picked out a pumpkin from the bunch I brought home yesterday. Then it was every carver for themselves! Who were the cast of characters? Well......
These two little nuggets...Cameron with his new glasses and behind him hiding is Anthony the big brother.
Addy and her Daddy...her Sis Lexi couldn't come because she was home sick. We missed you Lexi-Loo!
Our Son Jack was ready with the knife...geez, could you find a bigger one?
Cameron was ready with his big spoon for the clean out.
PawPaw was ready and willing to give a hand to help clean out the innerds....
Ahhhhh....pumpkin goo!
Summer had a pattern all picked out and she was ready to cut!
Driana and Summer really got into the spirit of the day...these two beauties are 3yrs apart in age and I think they look like twins! Driana is the older so that doesn't make her too happy!
This little 3yr old has the technique down pat for pumpkin cleaning out. Such concentration.
Anthony isn't letting his broken arm slow him down...the cast comes off this week, so I'm glad I got a pic of it for posterity...hey, the color matches his pumpkin!
Ta-Da!!! Can you tell which ones are the pumpkin faces? They're all scary!
After all the pumpkins were carved the gang was ready for a sweet treat. I'm sure everyone has made these goodies at some time in their life. My Mom used to make them when we were camping as kids and I've made them many times for my kiddos when they were little. They're still a fav around here. Using biscuit dough, hot oil and some sugar and cinnamon in a paper bag...fry them up, put them in the sugar mixture and shake, shake,'s a hit!
Summer is eating so dainty...not wanting to get any sugar on those pretty nails I think!
Addie needed some help with her sticky fingers...
I think all that sugar has gone to Cameron's head! That's Anthony on one side and his Momma Stephanie on the other.
With full tummies and carved gourds,everyone headed for home and all had smiles as big as "jack-o-lantern" has here. It was a fun day!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Heart To Heart

Is there anything better than finding a surprise package waiting for you when you get home? I was going to post about our weekend quick trip to New York and then I walked in the house from work and low and behold a box with my name on it sat there and begged to be opened. As you can see it held sweets of all kinds....some for my brain, some for my tummy, and all for my heart. My good blogging friend Darlene (from Grandma Robbins Nest..someday I'll figure out the link thingie) sent me a "just because" gift...just because she's the coolest gal around! Thanks so much Darlene! The books were written by her Daughter Sue (Sue's Views 'n Muse) and they look so interesting. I can't wait to get a moment to sit and enjoy them. The carmel corn is really good..I had to taste it..and the bread will be put in the freezer to share when my family comes to visit next week. I can then brag how lucky I am to have such a thoughtful blogger friend. I've said this before, but it's funny how we have never met face to face, but I think we've connected heart to heart. Thanks Darlene. This has been a hard week at work (and it's only Tuesday!) and you really brought a smile to me today.
Now about our weekend drive to New York. Jack had a seminar in White Plains and I came along for the ride. It's about 8hrs from here and we headed out Thursday morning. Jack's attended this Doc's seminars here before and he was looking forward to it. I spent the time walking, reading, resting, and more walking. I didn't take a ton of pics because I've blogged about it before and I wasn't going to go downtown NY because I was alone and that's not fun. My Mom came with us once and we spent time in NY and had alot of fun. I might have to blog about that and show some pics from that time. So for me it was more of R&R and company driving for Jack. The weather was beauiful coming and going and the traffic wasn't too bad either. Hi Jack! We stopped for a rest and walked around to stretch our legs. As you can see from this pic we had lovely scenery even at the rest stops!
The trees in Pennsylvania were showing off!
I know what you're thinking..this girl is so desperate for a pic she's taking one of a Wal-Mart...well this Wally world was very cool. It was in a tall building, not sprawled all over. I kept thinking what a great idea this would have been for our small town. If they had built the Wal-Mart in our downtown historic buildings they could have saved Ashland's downtown district. I was too chicken to click pics inside and have people wondering what was wrong with me (crazed tourist)...but it was cool too. In the middle of the escalators there was a conveyer belt to put your carts on so they could go from the top floor down...or you could use the elevator. Then there was a Dunkin' Donut shop in there too...I'm very easy to impress.
The Tappan Zee bridge...bridges don't really scare me...too much
Hey, a mountain!
See...don't mountains have tall rock? Well, when you grow up in Chicago and live in a beautiful, but not mountainous area of Ohio..this is a mountain!
We saw some beautiful scenery...fall colors, and winding rivers, huge bridges, tall buildings,..but nothing as pretty as my own backyard fall display...or maybe I was just happy to be home!