Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October – Gone Too Soon!

Happy halloween!!!!!
It’s hard to believe this is the last day of October 2012.  Really! Where has it gone?? As I think over this past month and revisit my To-Do List, I am happy with all that I accomplished.  We visited the pumpkin farm (some of us, twice). 

Carved pumpkins and roasted the seeds. Drank cider.  RACED THROUGH A CORN MAZE.

Hosted a Halloween party for the Grandkiddies. AND CELEBRATED JACOB'S 3RD BIRTHDAY.

Decorated the house. Bought mums and pumpkins for the front porch.  

Made pots of chili – white and red, and had a sleepover with all six grandkiddies, again.  

Kayla and I had a scary movie marathon, plus we and Amanda went to the theater to see Paranormal Activity 4, and Cammi and I curled up on the couch one afternoon to watch Ghouls Rule.  

The radiators were bled for maximum efficiency. Most of all, we had fun!
I still need to crochet that sweater and clean that basement, and donate to the Va, but all in all, October 2012, DESPITE A FEW DISAPPOINTMENTS (AND WHO DOESN'T HAVE THOSE??) – IT was A good.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Prayers for victims of Hurricane Sandy

Throughout the night I kept checking in with the National Weather Service's coverage of Hurricane Sandy.  At times I cried.  The damage! The devastation! The loss!  I stayed in Manhattan not too long ago.  Recognized so many places I visited.  Now, it's covered by water.  Not to mention the damage to so many other states along the coast; and the power outages - millions!  For those shut in due to huge amounts of snow.  I pray for all those displaced families.  For those that have lost their lives due to the storm and for their families. For the business owners, and those having no jobs to go to today.  For the Red Cross and other disaster relief teams.  For the men and women who braved the elements to keep us updated.  For the millions upon millions with no electric.  Here in Pittsburgh, PA, at least in my area, we did not experience the predicted high winds.  Winds, yes, but not at the volume predicted.  No porch furniture being flung or trees being toppled.  It is overcast, gloomy and the rain has been nonstop.  But we are lucky today. We have power and jobs to go to.  I thank you Lord.  And I pray for all those affected by this devastating storm.  
Peace be with You.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Project Holiday 2012: Halloween

Tomorrow is my Annual Halloween Luncheon for my family.  Not all of the grandkiddies are going to be there this weekend, but that's okay, all six of them stayed slept over last weekend and next weekend is Ben's birthday party.  
When the 5:00 whistle blows, I'll be speeding off to pick up K, pick up last minute candies and prizes, dashing through the dining room for a quick spiff up and finish decorating the room.
The menu will be super simple - our traditional chili with accompaniments - bowls of sour cream, cheddar cheese, black olives for garnishing, fresh Tuscan bread with garlic butter, frosted brownies, candies, party punch and, of course, candy.
Then the boys are off to the Museum to visit the dinosaurs. The rest of us will be loading the truck and any available cars to help eldest son move to his new apartment.  Just before FRANKENSTORM threatens.
Meanwhile, it's 69 degrees here in Pittsburgh and just past noon and I need to go in search of lunch. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

It's Coming!

Christmas, that is. Christmas is coming. Fast!  Now, I know you know this, as do I, but if you saw my  house, my life, the office, you’d know why it concerns me.  Every year I have this vision of being totally organized, everything in its place, decorations hung (before the holiday), cards and invites sent (weeks in advance), presents bought and wrapped (again, weeks in advance).  And every year I try, and I think for the most part, I do a pretty good job in being organized.  But pretty good is not the goal I want to reach.  I want darn good.  I want to be so organized that the pantry is stocked, cookies are baked and frozen as well as a few dinners, everything is in its place.  So today, right here, right now, we begin to prepare for Christmas. 
The first task is simple.  In anticipation of the Vietnam Veterans of America donation pick-up card that will be arriving in the mail any day now, I will be filling boxes and bags with items no longer used.  And I have plenty of those.  That’s it for now.  Just one simple task that will benefit me, my house, and lots of others.  Feels good. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012


September through December are my absolute favorite months of the year (not so much weather wise when it gets too cold), but in general.  So much to do. So many opportunities to get together with family.  And with family in mind, I’ve written, rewritten, crossed off, added and, finally, completed my 2012 October To-Do List. 

Visit the pumpkin farm
Drink cider
Carve pumpkins
Roast pumpkin seeds
Host a Halloween party
Decorate the house for fall
Buy mums for the front porch
Make pots of chili, freeze portions for cold nights
Camp-out in the living room with the kiddies
Begin crafting Christmas gifts
Donate to VA
Read ghost stories
Winterize the front porch
Take a walk and collect leaves
Crochet a sweater
Clean out the basement
Bleed the radiators for maximum efficiency
Have a scary movie marathon
Have fun!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

To the Farm! Pumpkin Farm that is (and a recipe).

Saturday hailed cool, sunny, lovely!!! We took advantage and drove out to Schramm's.  Ssshhh, that's a secret.  We will be going again with more family members.  After racing through the corn maze a few times, we focused our search for white pumpkins and off-color pumpkins and little orange pumpkins.  We ended our visit with a trip to the grocer/bakery shop that's a huge attraction on the farm.  Afterwards, we stopped at Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza. We shared a single topped with prosciutto. It was delish.  Lovely day, lovely company, lovely, lovely lovely.
The Welcoming Committee

Beautiful sky, rows of pumpkins and people
Into the maze we go
and that's all you see. Everywhere.
White pumpkins
Ooh, this pumpkin comes with a little extra
Orange pumpkins
Looking for the smallest
Resting on a large one
Oh, look! The color's a match!
The loot (remember, this is just the first visit)
Time to shop for veggies and baked goodness!
So shiny and bright! 
 A recipe for those gorgeous green and red peppers you bought.

Roasted Red And Green Pepper Dip

1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 ½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 tsps. chopped fresh parsley or 1 tsp. dried

Preheat your oven’s broiler.  Coat each pepper with 2 tbs. vegetable oil. Arrange the peppers on a foil covered baking sheet (easy clean-up) and, checking often, broil until dark splotches appear on the skin of the peppers.  Using tongs, turn the peppers and broil until the splotches appear.  Remove from oven and cool.   Once cool, remove stems from each pepper, then gently peel off skin, and dice. Set aside.
In a medium size bowl, blend mayonnaise and sour cream until well blended. Stir in lemon juice.  If you grew your own parsley this summer, use 2 tsps. chopped, or 1 tsp. dried, adding the parsley to mayo mixture.   Blend in peppers. Cover and chill until ready to serve.  This dip is especially good with assorted cheese cubes, carrots, celery, bagel chips.