Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Zombie Invasion

You don't have to wait until tomorrow for Zombies to invade.  I got to witness an invasion of  small zombies last night.   On arrival, we hit the make up booth.

The Zombie helpers did a great job.  Behold, the Best Loved Zombie:
There were many Zombies, though they were short.  They did have a tall leader. With a bucket on his head.
I'm so sad that I didn't get a good picture of this preschool teacher with his real life Zombiefied baby. What terrible purpose brought these together? They formed lines.
And then, they danced!  (To the tune of "Thriller", what else).
All were satisfied. Especially the adult units associated with the short Zombies. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Real Life Halloween Goodies

If you aren't ready for Halloween yet, you're (I'm) running out of time. I'm amazed at how many Halloween activities have already taken place.  A costume can get a big work out these days.
Look at this family costume done by a sweet talented young friend. They are "Swamp People" with little baby Abram as their little alligator catch.  This is so my kind of costume! How? Clever idea but not a huge amount of time or money.  This busy mama is in medical school so you know she needs to study more than do craft projects. They went off to our beloved "Boo At the Zoo". An unexpected joy that comes with having a child is that you have an excuse to do this kind of stuff.  I don't know if the kiddlet cared, but I loved seeing them.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fall Cooking

I'm participating in Arkansas Women Bloggers Blogtober Fest who want us to post about Fall cooking today.  I love to cook and I love to bake even more but I've never posted a recipe on this blog before.  It's only fitting that I'm going to link to one that I never make. (Stay with me on this.)

Mid 20th century didn't just give us cool modern furniture, there were food trends.  Chiffon Pies were all the rage.  They are tricky things with egg white meringue folded into whipped cream and gelatin.  Pumpkin Chiffon was the one and only pumpkin pie I ate until I married into a non-chiffon pumpkin custard pie family. (Custard pie is the one on the Libby pumpkin label.)  I tried to convert my new husband and relatives but my attempt at pumpkin chiffon was a flop.  Instead of light, airy and delicious, my pie was kind of lumpy and flat.  I converted to pumpkin custard and have never looked back.  Recently, one of the BL Girls visited with her Grandmother (my Momma) who regaled her with tales of how good and how easy pumpkin chiffon pie was to make.  She promptly went home and made one. 

BLGirls actual pic of her actual pie
Then she posted  (bragged) about it on Facebook for all to see.  I don't know why my Mom told her it  was so easy but failed to teach me how.  If you want to be brave and make one All Recipes has the skinny here. I noticed that Food Network had a Paula Dean recipe called Pumpkin Chiffon Pie that looks like a it takes some serious shortcuts.  It uses melted marshmallows and Cool Whip to replace the egg whites and whipped cream and gelatin. Looks much easier to make. Would Paula Dean ever let us go astray?

Am I the only one that has trouble with prized family recipes? Is there a beloved family dish that you just don't care for?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Traditions

Fall is my favorite time of year.  Maybe because I was born in the fall? (I was also married in the fall.) For a long time I lived in Southern California where there isn't really a "fall".  They have a hot dry season (Summer) and a cooler, sometimes rainy season (Winter) but the differences are slight.  Living in Arkansas for 19 years, I love having four distinct seasons.  Fall comes earlier in the north but it arrives here for sure in October.

For me it's Fall, not Spring or New Years, when you start fresh and make new plans, do something different or visit a new place.  Weird?  Hear me out. I came from a farming family.  Summer was nonstop work.  Hay had to be put up. Lots of crops tended and harvested.  We might take a half day off for 4th of July but there was so much work that needed done we didn't do much else. In the Winter cows had to be fed every single day. No time for going or doing anything else.  Spring is for new baby calves and that was also a round the clock job.  It was Fall when we had time for trips or new projects.  As farmers my parents also got paid in the fall (when crops and cows sold) so we might have more income to be able to do a little something.  Add to the farm cycle the fact that school schedules always started in mid September (I know now they start mid or early August for most).  So, Fall makes me want to redecorate, start a new exercise program, make lists and travel a bit even though I'm not bound by a farm or school schedule.
Some of the family this summer
Our family trip in July to Old Faithful really made me remember going to Yellowstone National Park on day trips when I was in High School.  I  remember walking on the board walk around Old Faithful Geyser on my 16th birthday, sporting my best outfit.  October in Yellowstone is beautiful and usually only visited by folks who live near by.

Go ahead, rake leaves, go to the fair or a pumpkin patch to celebrate Fall.  I'll be making Christmas lists, deep cleaning the pantry and learning yoga.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Best Part of Halloween

I adore Trick or Treating.  It was the best thing about Halloween when I was a kid. It was the best part of Halloween when my children were young and I still love seeing kiddlets at my door.  Dressing up is just what you had to do to get the loot.  Halloween became less fun when I aged out of  Trick or Treating. Parties or other activities are a poor substitute for going door to door begging for sweets. It was so exciting to anticipate what you might get and going door to door in the dark gave Halloween a delicious bit of danger.

My favorite Halloween Candy
I would come home tired and spread out the loot on my bed. I was like a mythical dragon surrounded by gold.  The best thing to get was anything chocolate. Hershey Miniatures were the most desired and most often swiped by my Dad.  My Trick or Treating was in an gentler era. We knew everyone in the neighborhood and no one worried about tainted treats. Because of this, homemade treats would be received.  I liked getting iced sugar cookies, cup cakes and sometimes I got fudge. Unfortunately, I always had at least two popcorn balls.  Popcorn balls were very popular but I was never fond of them.  They were fun to make but after they hardened they were tasteless and stuck in your teeth.  I always got more bubble gum than I ever wanted.  I was never a big gum chewer but when you've consumed everything else, a sweet is a sweet.  My parents let me and my sibs keep all our candy and do with it what we would.  I would eat too much the day afterwards but then the "good stuff" was gone so my candy consumption slowed to a crawl until the next year. Does your neighborhood still Trick or Treat?

I've been participating in Arkansas Women Bloggers Blogtober Fest. Check out the fun.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I've Been Paralysed by Pansies

I don't usually do much seasonal decor, other than Christmas Decorations.  Our house is in a semi-rural area and I think that the great outdoors does a pretty good job of changing the decorations on the trees and I have nice windows, so I just watch.  One exception is the containers on my entry porch. I like to have flowers in a ever changing group of large pots by my front door and my Impatiens and Coleus will not survive the freeze that will come in a couple of weeks. So, I've been shopping for cold weather plants.  We're lucky that we live in Arkansas where plants can live through the winter. When my Momma was in Montana she arraigned  pine branches in her empty containers to look like shrubs.  The cold kept them fresh and green until spring when she could replant.
The choices for winter planting are limited compared to summer plants. Pansies (and their relatives) and Decorative Kale, Cabbage, or other cabbage relatives.  This year choosing the pansy varieties to plant is overwhelming me. Normally I'm a person who knows what I like and I love to make color combinations of plants. I think the problem is - I've got too many choices.  Maybe I've spent too much time reading decor magazines and on Pintrest and I'm overwhelmed with ideas.  I've been advised by the nursery expert on the morning TV show that pansies need to be planted early or they won't bloom very much, even come spring. One choice is bright warm fall colors such as orange and yellows.  I even saw a grouping of orange and dark, dark purple pansies that shouted Halloween. The nursery expert (again on morning TV) suggested you could put them in your containers now and after Halloween find another place for them in the ground.  I assume that you then need more pansies in different colors to fill the now empty containers.  I"m already feeling bad for the poor sad pansies that are shunted to some corner of the garden to live their lives hidden because they don't "match" the current holiday.
I think it is the holiday thing. Pansies will bloom until spring. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day and Easter will all pass with the same pansies at my front door.  I've just stated that I'm not concerned with seasonal decorating, but, I must be worried about clashing holidays.  Why I'm worried this year? You never know when you will just up and loose your mind.

Maybe an all white color scheme will be best.  It will go with my Christmas lights.  Only problem is that my summer color scheme has been all white with green. I'm tired of it.
In years past I've fallen in love with the variegated pastels. Maybe not fallish, or even Christmasy, but pretty.  In desperation,  I just decided to go and grab something.  My local big box orange store helped me out by having very a limited selection. I resisted the urge to run to every plant outlet I know and just took what was available.
My flowers waiting to get plopped in a pot
They had white and blue and purple violas. What a way to overcome Pansy Paralysis. Sometimes it's better to not over think things. 

They did have the cabbages and cabbages make me happy regardless of  the season. Christmas lights look great with anything. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by choices?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Shop Update - New Bunnies

I've done a couple of new bookends but they didn't make me happy. It's hard to make the idea in my head look good in real life. Finaly, success! Meet the newest bookend:
I love these bunnies.  They are similar in size and shape to the Piggy Bookends

The Bunnies aren't identical.  One is sitting up,
And one is crouched down.  But both are sweet. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Halloween Aspirations

Halloween can be a bit of a competition.  We want to out-do our friends, neighbors and total strangers.  I'm a bit envious of these over the top bikes I found on Columbia Missouri Cycling Cooperative blog.  I bet no one else would have as great of a decorated bike. Does anyone actually decorate their bikes?
Nothing like decking your ride out to become a "Skelly Bike". Those handle bars might be a bit hard to use.  Want to add a bunch of glow in the dark accents. 

The fish bike is a bit silly, but impressive.  You need a Halloween parade or event to show these off.  Maybe fun to accompany the kiddlets while they trick-or-treat. Shame to use these just on Halloween.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

On the Work Table

If you stopped by yesterday you could have had this view of the work table.
Lots of camels for Nativity Scenes in the background, some tiny bunnys for Noah's Arks and the black on the way right are skunks.  Sorry there isn't anything closer, my camera decided to run out of batteries and only took this pict. Oh, the piggy's! In Red! 
I had a request to do a set of Piggy Brothers in red for a little boy's room who's family is a huge fan of the Arkansas Razorbacks.  Easy Peasy.  Note, if I put the Arkansas logo (or any other licenced NCAA or NFL team logo) on the pigs I would be in trouble.  But you can't licence team colors.  Arkansas does have a licencing program for crafters where for a not too huge fee you can get permission to sell a limited amount of Razorback specific crafts.  Not all teams have that program. My emphasis is more fairy tale than sports so I don't think it's for me but  I love these brothers in red.