Friday, October 31, 2008

blog #182 >> Nesting Squash

AHHH!!! Happy Halloween!
As I'm posting this I'm sitting at my desk dressed in a long flowing black dress, (which I occasionally roll my chair over and get trapped with) and a tall pointy hat. It's been quite the interesting day. I've already been blamed for all sorts of mischief: casting an evil spell over the printer, computer, fax, coffee machine, etc. And since I weigh the same as a duck, I must be burned at the stake. However, everyone's too busy at the moment... maybe after lunch though.

Here is my latest pumpkin carving/squash carving project: Matroshkas
It was still dark this morning when I left for work, but here's a pretty good shot of them. They're made from butternut squash and they turned out super nice.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

blog #181 >> Acorn Squash Stuffed with Pears

...and other yummy stuff like butter, brown sugar, golden raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger... mmmm... I've just been on such a fall cooking spurt lately. I'm just dreaming up what to make next. Salmon croquettes maybe?

Monday, October 27, 2008

blog #180 >> Real Caramel Apples

Yes, I finally made them! Real caramel apples! And making them isn't nearly as much work as cleaning up the mess afterwords.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

blog #179 >> We got Lost

Over hills, through woods, along rivers, past cows, under bridges; today it seems like we drove all over the country... Well actually, we just drove all over Sauvie's Island. We started at one end, drove all the way to the other end, and back again. How are we suppose to make it through The Corn MAiZE if we can't even find our way there? I've never been know for my superior sense of direction, and today was simply more than my inner compass could handle. I warned my comrades, "You'd better tie a rope on me or else you'll find your way out of the corn maze and I'll still be in there... lost... until night fall. And when they're closing the place down, they'll have to come in and get me and I'll be as far away from the exit and entrance as possible in some corny-corner."

Apparently, by "first left" the Google Maps meant "first FAR left" as in winding under the bridge, not turn left on first street. It's really not fair, the sign did say straight ahead to the corn maze. It's just that's not the corn maze we were going to. And that's how we got started just going... and going... and going... It was a beautiful drive however. We passed all kinds of lovely little farms and saw some wonderful views of the river. Here are some pictures of a swell little trailer park we passed with a bunch of airstream trailers in it. It was a beautiful warm sunny autumn day after all.

Eventually, we made it back around the island to The Corn MAiZE. And I'm happy so say getting through The Corn MAiZE was much simpler than getting to The Corn MAiZE. They had lots of happy cheerful corny signs to help you though. Before starting the journey you can pick-up a card called a passport that will ask you a question at a given numbered sign post. Based on your answer the card will tell you to go left or right. They have a variety of passports to choose from, each with an area of expertise. For instance you can pick up a card with 4-H themed questions, American history themed, corn themed, astronomical themed, musical themed, and many more. Following the lead of the five-year-old in front of us, I opted for the Tiny-Tots card. I figured I needed all the help I could get. First question: What is pop-corn made out of? a. squash (left) b. celery (left) c. corn (right) Hmmm... I'm guessing the right way is right... right? Off we go. It's amazing those five-year-olds never get lost. Despite the helpful cards we still managed to take a few wrong turns but in the end we turned up right were we needed to be, at the exit. Hurray for Tiny-Tots the faithful guide!

Alrighty, now all that tromping around in the mud works up an appetite. And there is no shortage of tasty treats at The Corn MAiZE. I opted for a caramel apple and a baked potato but they also had sausages, elephant ears, kettle korn, and much more. (Do I have a photo of that caramel apple? Afraid not. I ate it too fast for that.)

Then off to the produce part and to the hay ride down to the pumpkin patch. The pumpkin selection was good and prices reasonable. I ended up with three butternut squashes that I'm going to carve into matryoshkas.

Anyhow it was a very nice trip to the pumpkin patch and a very pleasant... meandering... drive through the country to find The Corn MAiZE with Dave and Trina.


p.s. I know it's actually called "Sauvie Island" not "Sauvie's Island." But like most Oregonians I like to put random "'s" at the end of things like "Fred Meyer's" and the like.

Friday, October 24, 2008

blog #178 >> Jesus is a Friend of Mine

It's just so catchy. I've been singing it all day.
"It's a good thing these guys learned to turn the other cheek when people laugh at them, because it's happened at least 1,192,819 times."
– favorite YouTube comment.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

blog #177 >> Caramel Apple Bites

I really wanted caramel apples last night, but this is about as much effort as I could put forth in making them. Slice an apple, melt some caramels with a tiny bit of milk or cream in the microwave, dip and top with a pecan. Very tasty,

blog #176 >> Foggy Morning

I awoke this morning to a wonderful surprise... fog! I love a cool foggy autumn morning. Everything is so pretty and surreal in the mist.

Here's a spider web outside my apartments.

And here's a lovely little film about a hedgehog in the fog.

Monday, October 20, 2008

blog #175 >> A Winner!

And the Halloween banner goes to...
Elizabeth at Thoughts from an Evil Overlord.

I hope you like it!

blog #174 >> Nebort

Yesterday, was my family's pumpkin carving party. It was a lot of fun, but I'm afraid I spent the bulk of the party being an introvert working on this.

Nebort! Two pumpkins, three jack-be-littles, one gourd and countless straight pins all sliced, carved, and stuck together to form a happy little robot. It was four hours of time very well spent.
What shall I make next?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

blog #173 >> It's time for a Halloween Party!

Today is the day of Vanessa's Halloween Party, and I don't have anything ready yet! That's what I get for procrastinating. Well, you know what they say, "Procrastinators, the leaders of tomorrow... that is if we ever get around to it." I'll just start posting now and add more throughout the day.

(Please enter if you dare...)

I'm brewing up a very spookie party here. I've managed to get the house properly dusty and I even pulled the special cobwebs out of the basement and attic just the the occasion. And since no party is complete without prizes, I'll be doing a drawing for this garland. Just leave a comment and I'll pick a winner on Monday and then the winner can send me their address.

Don't let the pictures bother you, they're always changing.

Here I'll light up the pumpkin lanterns for a nice eerie glow.

Help yourself to some treats, but no tricks please.

Even Vinnie got to come out of his cage for awhile.

Oh, it was too much party for me. I melted!

Come back again...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

blog #172 >> Blogs I Love

I was so excited to see that I won a blog award this morning! I've never won a blog award before. In fact, I didn't realize anyone even really read my blog. Katie Landon was awesome enough to bestow upon me the "I love your blog" award. THANKS! And now I get to pass it on.

Katie Landon

First of all let me say, "I love blogs!" In fact, I wish I could give this award to every blog I read, but I can only pick seven. Secondly, I feel like I shouldn't pick anyone I know in person. Sorry people I know in person, but it just seems more fair to pick people I know through blogs. Thirdly, (if that's a word) Awardees: Copy the "I love your blog" picture, post it, list seven blogs you love- then let the blogees know. Participation is optional, obviously... but like broken chain letters, if you don't pass it on you will be cursed FOR LIFE!!! Just joking.

And here be the winners!
Blaze Danielle

d.Sharp Journal

Marlou B.


Angry Chicken

My Cozy Little Whimsy Nook

A Fanciful Twist


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

blog #171 >> Caramel Apple Crisp

What do you do with a sack full of wormy apples? Make apple sauce! And what do you do with the apples that won't fit in the crock pot? Make little caramel apple crisps! Perfect for a Halloween treat.

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup melted butter

Mix. Pat half into crust and sprinkle the other half on top.

Fill with apples coated with cinnamon sugar and flour.

Top with two caramels.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

blog #170 >> School Sale and Halloween Trail

This Saturday was a bit of a crazy day.

Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! 6:15am. I was up and going long before sunrise, which is quite the feat for me. Some people I'm sure will laugh at this thinking, "Wow! 6:15am she really got to sleep in late!" But for me that's really, really early. I'm not a morning person. So, what would entice me to wake up at such an ungodly hour? Very few things indeed! But to be first at the gate for the Oregon City School Sale is definitely one of those things. I was not alone in my waking early. Dave, Trina & Co. (Steve, Darla and Bridget) were with me this year and we were setting off through the foggy morning for Oregon City before 7:00am. I must say there's something surreal about driving through town so early on a Saturday morning. There's very little traffic and all the street lights and florescent signs look like Christmas lights in the early morning fog.

By 7:30am we were at the gate. And there I caught up with my aunt, uncle, cousin, other uncle, mom, brother, sister-in-law, baby niece, and Ernie the dog. There we all stood, waiting in the cold foggy morning for the gate to open.

8:00am. At last they open! No one really wants to run, but everyone wants to get in first so... "Let's race walk to the stuff!" And ah, what wonderful stuff. They've got all kinds of things and objects and gadgets and items and well... things. And everybody needs things. (Well, really they have: desks, desk chairs, cabinets, old light bulbs, library book rejects, really ancient computers, a kiln, a few old organs sometimes pianos, outdated pull down maps, the fax machine the secretaries wanted to take a baseball bat to six years ago, old pots and pans and canning jars from home ec. classes, paper towel dispensers, maybe some old lockers, mostly just junk the schools are never going to use again... but it's all really cool junk.)

This year I bought a lot of things. I'm not really sure what these things are. But they're really great things. They also had these really neat art deco theater seats. But I didn't bring those home.

10:00am. After the school sale I separated from Dave, Trina & Co. and went with my mom, sister-in-law, baby niece, aunt and uncle to Shari's for breakfast. Then around 10:30am we went back to the school sale, because my mom forgot they had liquid hand soap by the gallon. And when we got back my sister and her family were there. And we got to talking and they were headed to the Haunted Halloween Trail after the sale. But it didn't open until 12:00. So... we all went back to Sheri's for a second breakfast to kill some time.

12:00pm. The Haunted Halloween Trail was pretty swell. It had a spooky haunted castle, a pirate ship and maze (that played Captain Bogg and Salty,) a whole little haunted village, and a pumpkin patch. Someday archaeologists will unearth the place and say it belonged to a civilization of tiny midgets.

Ada was really happy in the car.


Friday, October 10, 2008

blog #169 >> Ghostly Sounds

What do ghosts listen too? Why, Ghostly Sounds of course. It's the perfect gift for that old ghost in the attic. He can listen to it and remember the sounds of that old castle in Transylvania he left behind. Your ghost will enjoy all these hit sounds. He'll float away in memories whenever he listens to:

The Vampire's Castle
Thee A.M. Horror
Witches' Brew
Bats... Walking Monster with Chains
The Mad Harpist
The Phantom of the Cathedral
The Graveyard
The Swamp Creature
Wolf Attacks Man

who can forget Witches and Goblins
and many more...

It's a truly haunting experience.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

blog #168 >> What do you see?

It's a blurr, a blob, a blot... it's a bunch of tea leaves in a tea cup. Is "tea leaves" on the list? Wait, I know! Is it a "tempest" in a tea cup? I just don't know. I've never been good at ink blot tests. And if I can't tell what it looks like how will I know my fortune? According to Miss. Mary's "Your Fortune in a Tea Cup" from this month's newsletter (part 1 and part 2), I should be able to see some random shape that tells me my fortune. But I guess I'm just not looking at it from the right angle... maybe I should turn it.

Here are a few of the shapes and meanings:
Arrow: A romance ahead. You will be very happy.
Birds: Birds are good for the entire family.
Bagpipe: Nuptials. Speedy marriage.
Clover: A good sign. At the top of cup, good fortune quickly. As it nears the bottom, it will mean that it is more or less distant from you.
Crescent: A railroad trip is to come very soon.
Cross: A cross is a sign of a death or unhappiness.
Crown: A crown signifies honor and loyalty.
Crown and Cross: signifies good fortune resulting from a death in near future.
Dog: At the top, faithful friends; in the middle, they are untrustworthy. A dog at the bottom means secret enemies. Beware of traps they set up for you.
Eel: Distasteful duties to perform in near future.
Flowers: A marriage of much interest very soon.
Gable: Remunerative business transactions, but you must be careful, use your head.
Gondola: Love affair at sea will come to you.
Fife: Carnival coming soon. Also gladness for you.
Heart: Surrounded by dots, signifies the receipt of money and consequent happiness; a ring near it betokens marriage. Get ready for happiness.
Human Figures: are good, and denote love and marriage very shortly.
Jonquil: An increase in income.

Oh, I see it now! How could I miss it... it must a Bagpipe. That's the first think I thought of... Bagpipes.

Well, not that I'm sure how accurate these things are... I did turn it the wrong way, and then to compensate turned it double the other way. Then I had too much liquid left and it all spilled out. So I scooped it up and put it back in and did it again. But I'm sure it will all work out anyhow.

I wonder what other people see?


p.s. Tea cup fortunes are for entertainment purposes only. Not an investment opportunity. Don't go out and buy a bunch of lottery tickets if you think you see a Jonquil or Clover.

blog #167 >> How to Meat People

Last Halloween I read this blog about how to make a bacon costume and thought it was the funniest costume idea I've ever seen. You must all go read about it on the Junkyard Clubhouse blog! It's hilarious! I'm posting the first two paragraphs here as proof.

Last year for Halloween, I was bacon. If you’ve never been bacon before, I highly recommend it. Everybody, you see, loves bacon. It is, as my friend Monica says, the Candy of the Meats.

People do not want to be quiet about their love for bacon, they want to declare it, often loudly. Even the most shy people at least muttered “bacon!” under their breath as they passed me. I have never been so popular, so adored (and strangely, so hit-on) in my life.

Now I've just got to decide what I want to be for Halloween.

Monday, October 6, 2008

blog #166 >> Bats in the Belfry

Here's a Halloween decorating idea that's been a favorite of mine for many years. Bats! Bats in the Belfry that is. Cut out these cute bats, hole punch the eyes, back them with red cellophane, add glitter... and they're ready to fly in the window. Idea from my Halloween Activity Book from preschool. Enjoy!