Saturday, October 31, 2009

HAPPY HALLOWEEN AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!


Happy Halloween Everyone! I hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween! I hope we get some trick or treaters here today. This is our first year here, so we don't know what to expect. I hope the little ones that live in our neighborhood come by. They are always so cute!


Today is also my Dad's 73rd birthday! I have another picture of him on his tractor but it is on my laptop. This one is the most recent one I have of him, which was taken at Megan's (our oldest daughter)wedding. My Dad doesn't like his picture taken, but atleast we got a really good one at Megan's wedding. My Mom is on the other side of Megan. It is actually amazing my Dad is still with us, because he has Lupus. He has had Lupus for 7 years now and he is in remission. We have almost lost Dad 3 different times to this horrible disease, but he is a fighter and has managed to pull himself through. Happy Birthday Dad!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tonight was photographing jewelry night!

Last night I had made 7 pairs of earrings. Tonight I photographed them all and posted them on my etsy site. The pictures seemed to be harder to take today. I got some good ones but I had to fight to get some other ones to come out clear. John keeps saying I need a better camera but the one he is talking about is about $700-$800! That isn't happening any time soon-LOL! Here is a sample of some of my new items:








Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I had a very nice dinner and visit with Megan and Ken!

Last night after work I went to Megan and Ken's for dinner. Usually traffic is a bear this time of day on Route 485, but it wasn't and it only took me 35 mins. to get to their house. It's usually almost 50-55 mins. Megan made a lovely meatloaf, mashed potatoes, peas and banana/nut muffins. She had apple cider-YAY! We caught up on what we have all been doing with our lives. We discussed quite a few things about the Fall Festival coming up on November 7th. We went over some jewelry designs that I think I'm going to try. We discussed Christmas gift giving. I'm making a stained glass window for the transom over their back door. We have to get together after the Festival to put the pattern down on paper. I haven't done any glass in quite some time, but it will be fun creating this window for them. We caulk the window in with clear caulking, because if they move it can be taken out with scoring the caulk and just popping it out. It was a really enjoyable evening and I'm glad we were able to get together! Thanks Megan and Ken!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

An Autumn Walk around the neighborhood

I decided after church today I would make an apple crisp for John and I. We are doing Weightwatchers but everyone needs a little special treat. We both have done so great this week. We will only be eating a little bit at a time. I just couldn't go a whole Fall without making one for just us. While the crisp was cooling I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood. I took a 1 1/2 mile walk and decided to share the walk with you. There was so much happening color wise and berry wise arond here! It is just a beautiful time of year. I tried to take a picture of the squirrel playing with the hickory nuts in the driveway behind all the garages here but he was really shy. It looked like he was playing hockey! Very amusing to watch. Enjoy the stroll!


Here is the apple crisp I made. I can't wait to have a little after dinner tonight with my tea-yummy!


Here we go down the path from our townhouse.


The camellias along the path to the house are just beautiful!




The gardeners came and took out all the begonias and summer plantings and they planted the winter pansies! I love all their little faces!!


All the wonderful Fall color around the neighborhood is just beautiful and a joy to behold!


Here are some of the ornamental grasses around the neighborhood. They look like fairies!


This maple tree is just down from our house and it looks so pretty! I love maple tree foliage the best in the Fall.


This is a closeup of the maple leaves-I love the colors.


Here is another tree in the neighborhood that has changed. What a beautiful red!


This cedar tree along the back of the garages has beautiful blue berries all over it-just gorgeous!


This I think is cottoneaster and the berries look so pretty.


Along the one wall their are some ornamental grasses. This zebra grass is really gorgeous right now.


I don't know what these berries are, but they really look beautiful.


All the pine trees around here have these pinecones on them. I guess they are getting ready for Christmas!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New color and cut!

Later this morning I had a cut, color and highlight appt. at the Salon I really like. I tried Megan's salon but I just didn't like the cut and I didn't even have them try to do color. Jessica, my stylist is a sweetheart and I should have just stayed with her all along. She was so glad I was back and didn't even ask any questions of where I've been going for the last 3 months! She fixed what the other girl ruined and I won't leave her again. I did however, have a talk with the owner about the schedulers. Every time I went they have me waiting for 35-40 mins. for my appt.! I don't mind wait 5, 10 or an occasional 15 but 35-40 mins. is way too long! He said he has all new staff in that dept. and things have been going much smoother. I only had to wait 2 mins. this morning, which is fine.


Here is the new me!



I think you can see the color in this picture better.


While I was at the salon I read and finished Casting Spells. I really liked that book and I'm looking forward to reading the next one in that series. I have to read a different Halloween cozy mystery I have first though. I think it is called All Hallowed Eve, something like that.

Everyone have a great day!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm home sick today!

Well I knew I wasn't feeling well before I went to the Drs. today but not as bad as I was! I have a throat, ear and double sinus infection. He told me to avoid stress, eat right (which I have been doing) and get plenty of fluids and rest! Well maybe in the perfect world. I did, however take work off. I have to go in tomorrow (even though I'd rather not go there anymore)because so many people are going to be out. Someone has to answer the phones (even though they hardly ring on Fridays!). I will take a nap today, read a little and truly rest. I cancelled having my friend over for dinner, it just was one more thing I really don't need to do today. Well I'm off to take my nap!

P.S. Thanks everyone for your lovely comments yesterday. Working in an office is very hard, especially when you work for so many people!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sometimes I wish I didn't have to work!

I have had a very upsetting day at work and I wish I really didn't have to work anymore! I really like my job, but sometimes dealing with office drama and all the personalities really get me down. I feel so scrutinized all the time. Oh well hopefully this will pass!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Apple Crisp Recipe


Last night I made my Mom's apple crisp recipe and I've decided to share it with all of you! The picture above is not my apple crisp but it looks just like it. I make mine in a round pie plate though not a square pan, but I guess you could.

Apple Crisp

8-10 McIntosh Apples, pared and sliced
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick butter
Cinnamon, to taste (I use alot because we love cinnamon)

Pare and slice apples and scatter in a pie plate. In another bowl mix all other ingredients. Sprinkle this mixture over apples, making sure all the apples are covered. Cook in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes. Cool and enjoy! May be served with vanilla ice cream. May be served cold or warm. Enjoy!

Everyone have a lovely day!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

~WE HAVE A WINNER!!!~



CONGRATULATIONS to Donna at Mourning Dove Cottage!!!!!! Donna, you won a pair of handmade earrings. I will go over to your post for directions on what type of earrings you would like and I will need your snail mail address! If you would like to check out Donna's fabulous blog here is her address: donnas-art.blogspot.com.

Thank you everyone for participating in my giveaway and for posting on my blog! Enjoy!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Recipe and Victoria Magazine Nov./Dec. Issue


I had promised everyone my great grandmother's pumpkin pie and here is her recipe:

Grandma Sisco's Pumpkin Pie

2 cups Pumpkin, cooked and mashed
3-4 Saltine crackers, crushed
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
(also will need some nutmeg to sprinkle on the top of the pie before cooking)
Milk

Mix ingredients together. Pour into a baked pie shell. Cook pie at 450 degrees for 10 minutes and then about 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees.

Enjoy!!



After John and I got back from the movies. (We went to see Couples Retreat, which was hilarious and great!) we got the mail. In the mail was my all time fav magazine, Victoria!! The Nov./Dec. issue was in the box and I'm going to enjoy reading that and drinking a lovely cup of vanilla tea this evening! Great movie with hubby and my fav magazine all in one day, what more could a girl want! Off to the jewelry table now! Everyone have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Iced Pumpkin Cookie Recipe and 450th Post Giveaway!



First, this is my 450th Post!!!!! II started this blog on February 3, 2008. I want to thank you all for your friendship, lovely comments, support and hugs you have given over the past 2 years (well almost 3)! I enjoy every minute of blogging with everyone! Y'all are the greatest!! A small way to thank y'all is I am going to give away a pair of earrings that I have made. I want to make the earrings match the person's personality and likes. So what you need to do to win this Giveaway is as follows:

1. Leave a comment telling me you would like to participate in the Giveaway.
2. Include your e-mail address in the post.
3. Tell me what colors you like.
4. Tell me whether you like casual, sporty, elegant or wild styles.
5. For the earrings I will need to know whether you like post, french wires or leverback earwires.
6. You need to have your posts in by this Saturday, October 17th at 5:00 p.m. EST.


I will be picking the name of the winner by random.org. This is not just limited to my blog friends in the USA either, anyone can take a chance for this Giveaway! Good luck to everyone!

Second, I promised you all my recipe for pumpkin cookies. You can put icing on them or not. They are so good! Tomorrow I will post my Great Grandmother's Pumpkin Pie Recipe. Enjoy!


Iced Pumpkin Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.

To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Milk Pumpkin

I had a few people ask me at work why did my Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Pie taste different than what they usually have. So I thought maybe everyone didn't know the different pumpkins. Here is some information I thought I would share with everyone. Well for one thing I don't and refuse to use pumpkin out of a can and I use a Milk Pumpkin. Some people use regular Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins but not me! The Milk Pumpkin is denser, sweeter and a brighter orange flesh, which is great for pies, breads, etc. . This whole thing just reminded me I need to look for my Pumpkin Cookie recipe-love them! When I went back home recently my Dad gave me a Milk Pumpkin he grew in his garden and this week I need to cook it up and freeze it for later use. I think how the milk pumpkin got it's name is because it is a lighter color than the regular pumpkin (it looks like milk has been added to the color making it lighter). I also read sometimes this pumpkin is called a cheese pumpkin because it looks like a wheel of cheese. All I know is these pumpkins make the best pies, cakes, cookies and breads! Below are 2 pictures of pumpkins so you can see the difference.


Here is a regular Jack-o-Lantern pumpkin.


Here is a Milk Pumpkin-you can definitely see the difference. The Milk Pumpkin is more squat too.

What ever pumpkin you use to make your pies, breads, cakes, cookies, pancakes, etc. I'm sure they are good!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Autumn/Halloween Decorating today and the Camellias

Today after John and I got back from having Brunch with Megan and Ken we got all the Autumn/Halloween decorations out. I spent the afternoon decorating while John watched football and now he is napping (guess getting all the decorations out tired him out-hehe!). This is our first year in the townhouse, so I decorated some things a little differently than I would in our old house. Actually I liked decorating the townhouse better! I noticed our Camellias out front were starting to bloom. I snapped some pics for you to see also! Here is everything:


I have a pumpkin (the one on the left) that looks and feels just like a real pumpkin. I love it! The pumpkin on the right is one I made in Ceramics Class in 1983 (Jenny was a little baby and Megan was only 2 1/2 yrs. old!). If you click on the picture it will enlarge and you can see the little mice on the pumpkin-they were little devils to paint!)


I love to Decorate the Dining Room table with this wreath I bought when we lived in NJ. I of course, love candles and it shows on the table!


I decided to hang this wooden Pumpkin and Ghost decoration off the latch on my pumpkin pine stepback cupboard in the Dining Room.


The sideboard in my eating area across from the kitchen also got decorated. This silver candlesticks got little autumn candle rings and I put John's great grandmothers china away for now and brought out a huge bowl for potpourri and my Franciscan Apple Coffee Pot with matching sugar and creamer! I love to use the things I have. I try to change them out every once in a while with things for the season we are presently in.



I added a bowl of potpourri to the coffee table in the living room. I put the glass bowl of shells and sand dollars away for the season.


I used to have 3 mantels to decorate in the old house and here I have one. That is just fine with me. I was able to decorate the mantel just the way I wanted and I took the overflow things over to the 2 half walls we now have (these walls separate the kitchen and eating area from the living room.


Here is my little handpainted witch I bought about 22 years ago from a wonderful decorative painter at a craft fair. I grouped her with pumpkins and a little black cat I had bought at a wonderful shop in NJ.


On the other side of the mantel I put the more pumpkins with my little ghost.


When the girls were a little older I decided to take a decorative painting glass one night a week. I made this little Halloween Bench.


Here is a closeup of the Halloween Bench. I loved painting this!



There is a window in our house when you start going up the stairs. I used to make alot of stained glass items and I made this Jack-o-lantern for the girls when we lived in our Victorian in Branchville, NJ. I love the colors, they just seem to jump out at you!


Our Camellias out front have started to bloom. Here are some buds that are just ready to burst open!



Isn't the color of this Camellia just beautiful!! I love Camellias! We never could grow these up North, another reason to love living in the South!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Today I met my WW/Blogger Friend Lynne!

Today was a very exciting day for me! I got to meet Lynne my WW/Blogger friend in Greenville, SC. We meet at an Applebees there and had a wonderful time chatting and lunching! Lynne brought me the book, An Irish County Doctor by Patrick Taylor, which I can't wait to read. She is so thoughtful, she remembered John and I went to Ireland for our 25th wedding anniversary 5 yrs. ago! We have always felt a connection to each other and I am so glad we finally got to meet. I told Lynne I thought I met her in 2004 but when I started thinking about it on the way home I think we have known each other since 2002 on the WW Board! We both have 2 daughters and we share the love of books for sure! I hope that we will be able to get together again and catch up some more! Lynne, you are truly a wonderful person and I enjoyed lunching and chatting with you today!!
Here are some pictures of our visit and the ride down there:


This morning I hopped in my car at 10:35 and headed down to Greenville, SC to meet my WW/Blogger Friend Lynne from Georgia. We decided to meet half way for both of us at an Applebee's in Greenville, SC.


As I'm driving along what do I see put this huge peach!! It is actually a water tower in Gaffney, SC. Pretty cool huh!


Here is the giant peach up closer! It is very rich in color!


Here is my wonderful, lovely friend Lynne! It was just like we had known each other forever!


Here is a picture of Lynne and I at Applebees. The nice waitress obliged us and took it for us.

Everyone have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Look what came in the mail yesterday!

I participated in a Halloween Swap that a blog friend of mine was having. If you want to check out her blog here is her site: http://foxglovesfabricandfolly.blogspot.com/. Here are the things my Swap partner sent me (thank you so much Amy!!).


Here are all the goodies that arrived in my box all together!

Now I'll show everything up close.


A lovely Halloween Card!


A yummy recipe for Pumpkin Fudge. Can't wait to try this one. I love fudge and pumpkin.


A cute pumpkin candle and a pumpkin pie candle, which smells so good you want to eat it (well not really eat it but it smells that good).



There were some Halloween Orange Hot Chocolate packets in the box.


I love Luminaries and Amy didn't even know that. These are Halloween ones and they will look great along my front walk on Halloween.


Cute pumpkin coctail napkins and some lovely Puffy Corn Candy-yummy!


This was a homemade Halloween Swap and Amy made me an apron for Fall/Halloween! I love it so much and I can't wait to wear it!! How talented she is-thanks again Amy for this wonderful apron!


This is the pocket on the apron.



Here is an even better closeup view of the pocket and apron.

These Swaps are so much fun and Heidi who runs them does such a wonderful job of matching up partners and making sure we have similar tastes. Thanks to both Amy and Heidi!!

Ring of Kerry, Ireland
My husband, John and I went to Ireland for our 25th Wedding Anniversary in 2004. We had an awesome trip and we will never forget it. We actually got to visit our friends who live in Northern Ireland. We spent 3 wonderful days with them! The picture above was taken when we visited The Ring of Kerry. The beauty of Ireland is just spectacular! If you ever get a chance visit there.
Megan is my oldest daughter. She and Ken were married on April 12, 2008. It was a wonderful ceremony and reception!
Jenny and Kevin at their wedding 8/30/08. The wedding was at our home and turned out wonderful! Everyone had such a good time!