Saturday, October 3, 2015

First fire of the season and so much more!

Oh Fall.......I adore you!  I have a fire in the fireplace as it is fairly cool today and I didn't want to turn the heat on.  Yesterday, I really got into the Fall spirit and did some cleaning but also some Fall "goody" making for the weekend crafting and football watching!
First up was Caramel Apple cider from this recipe

I will never be a food stylist! LOL!  That's my caramel apple cider in the crock pot. But this is her much more appetizing!  It is so yummy!  I will never have plain old apple cider again.  I put it in a pitcher after the crock pot and now I just pour a mug and heat it up in the microwave.  If you usually have regular apple cider at this time of year you HAVE to try this'll love it!  It is also on my Fall board on Pinterest so my Fall "bucket list" is actually utilizing some of those many pins.

I always have a helper in the kitchen (she follows me everywhere which is good as this way I know what she's up to! LOL!).   Every day she helps me with the dishwasher.
Then she shakes the rugs for me...........
and then she keeps a watch outside for any birds that might try to break into the house.........
While she was busy with all her chores, I proceeded to make pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting from this recipe

I used some Halloween muffin liners and evidently didn't put enough dough in the liners as I got 24 and not 12 like the recipe stated.  I made the cream cheese frosting but I was tired so I just frosted a few for my dessert and went to bed with some pumpkin tea to go with them.  I am so not fancy but the taste is what matters to me and they are DELISH!  I might freeze some with some frosting in another container....we'll see! LOL!  Here's her picture which is so pretty but I'm all about the taste!
Another "pin" from my Fall board.
I hope you are enjoying your Fall and my prayers and thoughts go out to the families and people in that little town in Oregon who suffered such a terrible tragedy.  I am also praying for the people in the path of all that rain and flooding.  Stay safe everyone but don't forget to enjoy life too.  Bless you all!
Happy Trails!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Cool down here....loving it!

It's cooled off a bit and it's time to get outside and get work done before winter!  The mums are blooming.........

the leaves (some, mostly sassafras and weed trees) are starting to fall ..........
 and turn color...........
 the girls are enjoying staying outside longer............Nitty does NOT like her picture taken
 whereas Annie is a little ham............and we're ALL getting gray! LOL!
 I put up one Fall decoration but I need to do more........
 I washed screens to ready them for putting away for the winter.  I could leave them up but you can see out the windows so much clearer with them off.  It's a little early to put them away here but they'll at least be clean along with the windows.
  Yesterday I was looking to organize my batteries which seem to be all over the house.  I "googled" and found this one to be the best....for $6.00 at The Container Store online.  But then looking at it I thought I have a lot more batteries than that!  I have battery operated candles, lights for when we lose power, camera, flashlights and lanterns.  I would need several of those containers.  So, I looked around the house to see what I could use that I already had.  "Use it up, make it do, throw it out or buy it new"!
This is where some of them were stuffed stored, some in drawers and some laying on bookshelves.
I knew I had some Lock n' Lock containers with dividers in them that I had purchased for sewing supplies....hmmmm...........this was the biggest one..........
so I emptied it and put the batteries in............I thought it worked pretty slick as I want them all in one place. 
until I went to put the lid on............not deep enough....and if I lay them down there's not enough room for them all...........thank goodness I had one of my brilliant ideas! LOL!  The dividers were removable so I dug through my other Lock n' Locks and found a smaller but deeper one that the dividers from a smaller one fit into.  Voila! 

I still need C batteries and more AA's but I think they will all fit in there.......
and the lid fits on!!!!  I like the Lock n' Locks because they are waterproof too.
Where do you keep your batteries?  Are you "prepping" for winter yet?
Happy Trails!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

It's Tuesday... what are you reading?

I'm sorry I wasn't blogging last week or even around at all.  I started watching Pope Francis on MSNBC and I didn't stop until Sunday night when his plane flew from view.  I am not catholic but once I started watching the coverage I couldn't stop.  I have no doubt that this man is holy.  They even have a name for it..."the Francis Effect".  I couldn't take my eyes off of him and his words and his interactions with people.   He expressed many things that have been on my mind but he's a much better communicator.  In fact, I have a St. Francis of Assisi statue in my backyard.  So, I'm back now and yesterday I had to do a lot of "catching up" here on the home front.  You'd think I'd gone to see him in person the way I ignored everything around here! LOL!
 This man is a gift to all of us...........
Look at the crowds he drew!
I attended more masses in the week he was here than I have my whole life.  If you didn't watch any of it or aren't aware of this man then you owe it to yourself to read up on him.  If not a book, of which there are many, then google for more information.  I personally am ordering a biography but I probably won't stop there!  But right now here are some books I finished............
#1 - The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Jane Brockett 
I am such a non-fiction girl.  I love real people and their real lives and this woman covers the gambit of a life at home.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and there are books she recommends, movies that have a domestic bent to them, recipes, gardening, quilting and all the joys of loving and living in your home.  I highly recommend it if you are a "home body" like I am and enjoy all the aspects of homemaking, well, maybe not all! LOL!  I plan on getting more of her books.
 #2 - The House at Riverton - Kate Morton
Remember I got this as a cd collection from the library?  Well, about 85% through the cd's they started skipping so I had to buy the book on my Kindle.  I had no choice!  I was almost done with the book and I was caught up in it.  You can't help but get caught up in Kate's books.  In my opinion, she hasn't written a bad one yet.  They are just my cup of tea!  Only 2 more of her books to read....I might have to stretch them out a bit in order to savor them.
 #3 - Country Living Magazine - October 2015
 This was a great issue as it was not only Fall but also log cabins and rustic interiors.  I think this is my last issue and they've already sent me an $8.00/year offer but then they hike it up to $28 the next year.   They also do that "subscription thing" where if you don't contact them they keep sending it plus the bill which just so happened to triple since you subscribed.  I don't like being "tricked" or manipulated so they lost me as a did a few others because of this method.  A lot of their decorating and recipes, etc can be found on Pinterest too or visit their website.  I do that a lot with magazines now a days.  It's a great magazine but their sales department is a little to tricky for my taste.
#4 - Maisie Dobbs - (book #1) Jacqueline Winspear
I read this before years ago but want to read all of her books so I decided to start over and I'm so glad I did!  The first book really gives you her history and how she got to the point of having her own detective agency.  She's a great writer with such interesting story lines and I love that time in history; the early 1900's.  Another "winner" and now on to Book #2 - Birds of a Feather  which unfortunately our library doesn't seem to have....back to the Kindle!
Remember last Monday when I discussed the 2015 Reading Challenge and gave out that list?  Well, the first item is a book of over 500 pages.  I picked a "doozy"!  How about 817 pages?
 I've had this book in my possession for several years but never read it.   I read the introduction as I like to get a feel for the history or life of the author leading up to the writing of this classic especially since it was written so long ago and was a newer translation.  Well, they should have had a "spoiler alert" because they told the beginning, the middle and the end of the story!!!!  Who does that in an introduction????  Are they so arrogant to assume we've read it and this is just a re-read of a new translation?  So, WARNING, if you have this particular copy of Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
 DO NOT READ THE INTRODUCTION!!!  I'm forging ahead with it though so please wish me luck! LOL!
I'm backtracking on my next's the June Issue of Country Living with Miranda Lambert on the cover.  It's got a country western style to this issue as in music and Nashville.  
 I'm still reading this one......for my is dark, gloomy and sad and I should know's a "prize winner" and although I am learning a lot about falconry, I have also come to the conclusion that it is another one of those "hobbies" where man (or in this case, woman) tries to subjugate a wild animal.  I told you it was dark.  I haven't finished it yet but I'm close.
As soon as I am done with the hawk book I will be choosing a new non-fiction from the following.  The books that aren't about Pope Francis are people he mentioned when he addressed congress telling them they were Americans he most admired (not congress...heaven forbid!).  I'll probably read the ones about Pope Francis first but they are all on my "list" now and I hope they fit into some categories on the Reader's Challenge.
 No wonder I love this man....he's a rebel!
I've had Team of Rivals on my list for a while now....
Dorothy Day I had never even heard of before........
I grew up around the time of this history making individual so I guess I sort of felt like I didn't need to read about it.  But on further thinking and more time to read these days I want to learn more.
I had heard of Thomas Merton but didn't really know much about him so I am looking forward to reading more about him
If anyone knows of any other books that are good involving the above individuals please let me know.  I'm always up for recommendations from my friends!
Happy Trails!