Sunday, October 30, 2011

Say Hello to the Great Pumpkin!

 ...the effect is pretty good. Colorful 12-pack boxes of soda, like Sunkist orange, Dr. Pepper, etc...

 ...found in the Dominicks grocery store in Mt. Prospect, Ill. It's been done before, but it looks pretty cool in person... a Happy Halloween to myself, I finally read "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle" by Washington Irving; both certainly entertaining yarns. Don't stay up late with the rest of the essays in the Sketchbook, tho! No, they are not scary, they seem trite and contrived! I like to finish books I've started, but I could not with this. Currently, I'm high and dry with nothing to read that I'm loving.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Little Project: Completed...

...not easy to photograph.
 ...but it was harmless fun for me to sand, clean, design and paint.'s in the front entry area, an awkward spot with the cold air return. When / if do more projects, I may put them on craigslist. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Really, It was Just an Excuse to Enjoy the Sunshine...

 ...I rambled thru the yard with the camera on Monday afternoon, recording what may have been our last warm and sunny day for a while...

...most of what was left of the garden produce was brought in already, the sky was cloudless, deep and blue; the sun was comfortingly warm.... of the neighbors' hydrangea plants was showing lovely tones as it prepared to sleep for the North American winter to come.... own front door, viewed from a romantically unfamiliar angle. This pine tree on our right is likely to be our Christmas tree in a couple of months. It has gotten so big I can't work around it in that corner of the yard with out getting stuck by pine needles--I seem to be allergic.....

...Winter...It's On! Yesterday, the first juncos were seen in the yard, so we are committed now. The feeders are hung up and our little birdy well-fare clients are lined up for their meals. The deal is, we feed them and they entertain us with their antics all winter. Pretty good trade if you ask me. I should add, these are Goldfinches at the feeder, not the juncos.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Vegetable Garden, Sweet Winter Dreams....

...Dear Garden,
      It's been a slice of Heaven this summer, hasn't it? With Hubsy's help, you produced 300-and-some pounds of lots of good things: peas, beans, too many cucumbers to count, lima beans, tomatoes of several different times, eggplants and the peppers, along with some zucchini and some volunteer little pumpkins, chives, dill and whatever else I forgot. The edemames were a wipe, since the chipmunk found and devoured them, that was too bad. Soon, the plastic tunnels will be put in place so that swiss chard, carrots and so on with be available to meals into mid-winter.  Thanx, little garden. I'll see ya' next spring!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Well, Hello Roger...

...this was unexpected. We did some quick shopping at our local Sam's Club the other night, when to our surprise, in the parking lot, we saw this display on the rear of a motorcycle. Who knew? This is what you do with that old Roger Rabbit toy! We have one, you know. He lives on a shelf in my office; I need to sew one of his arms back on. Otherwise, he's in great shape. He's just hangin' out with me now--maybe a little sad because his Little Boy grew up and found a pretty red-headed girl and moved away....such is life.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Autumn Comfort Food....

It's a variation on Stuffed Green Peppers. We had a surplus of green peppers in the late garden this year, but they were funny sizes and shapes--not stuffable, if you know what I mean. So I par-boiled about half a dozen of them, after cutting off the stems and seeding them. I cut the peppers into nice bit-sized chunks; buttered a 9 X 13 inch baking dish and layered them in with alternating strata of about a lb. browned ground beef, half a chopped onion, a couple of cans of Campbells Tomato Soup concentrate, salt, pepper, about a cup of cooked rice, about a cup good shredded cheddar cheese and some old bread or cracker crumbs. Everything is cooked, so heat it up in a 350-degree overn for 30-40 minutes. Yummy--the taste of stuffed green pepper without the committment! And plenty of left overs if you are an empty nester!! Or use your favorite stuffed pepper recipe. The Campbells Soup seems to be important, however. It never tastes right if you mess with that. Don't dilute the soup.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Just a Few More...

...beautiful and colorful examples of quilt-craft by the Quilting Guild in Lake County, IL--NiceNice!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Quilt Show, with Friends...

 ...L'il Pearl's Mom, Lady R and I met Alice at an extensive quilt showing in Lake County, IL today. Alice adapted and made the "griffin" quilt; the photo doesn't quite do it justice...

...stories behind the various quilts were fascinating: this was among my favorities of the day. Coordinated "sale bin" fabric was purchased by the maker with no plan of what she would do with it. Quite soon, she got an idea and was working on this lap sized quilt with a few days... this seemed fresh and original to me.

...I left full of inspiration and a camera full of photos on a pleasantly lovely Autumn day.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Connecting the Dots, Finally....

 ...No Wonder Spiders are Associated so much with Halloween....duh. It being Late Fall: Spiders are

 EveryWhere!!  Here's another one of the Orb Weaver on Hubsy's Truck. I think it is a Marbled Orb Weaver, after much Internet study. There is a lot of variation with that species, it appears...'s a Cross Orb Weaver, long deceased, scuttling away from me and the Nikon back in 2009. And, People, Today I learned about Mi-Fi!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Random Shots Around the Yard: Mid Oct.

 ...spiders are everywhere. Here's some kind of Orb Weaver perched on the edge of Hub's work van, hoping he doesn't stick out like a  great big spider on a white van... of the last of the hollyhocks, looking big and fresh. Still there, too.

...firebugs aggregating on butterfly weed seed pods, for some reason.

...and the lovely seeds themselves. After many years, these plants are beginning to come up from seed in my yard.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Having Trouble Finding Your Local TrainStation??

Molly, Micah and their paternal Grandma (borrowed from Mommy's FB)

Up to your fanny in Weevils and wondering why? I might be able to help. The Twins are growing, as can be seen in this recent photo: they are over 2-1/2 now. Wow! They are learning so many things--among them, the nightly saying of The Lords Prayer, with assistance from their Daddy. Micah has his own way with words, as we've enjoyed before. And The Lord has a sense of humor (having put up with humankind all these years!) So when little Micah--the soul of innocence--implores his Lord to "...lead us not to train stations but deliver us weevils.." what is He to do? Wipe his tears of laughter and get started!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Kiss That Face.... appearance by one of our BlogStars, the Fabulous L'il Pearl! (now to find some recent pics of her hubs and the other two).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What Is It? Friend or Foe...?

... Hubsy is concerned. I think it's a FireBug. i wiki'd it. No, it doesn't frequent The Moon! That's our driveway! My neighbor was concerned it was "an asian beetle" and yes, it is. It aggregates (lots of individuals on one plant) and I have a photo of that to come. Another thing that's striking, in a Halloween-y way. So far, I have not read that it is harmful. ??

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

To Whom It May Concern...

....many faces are missing from the New Year's Dinner at L'il Pearl's Mom's house; I remember when these events where bigger and extra tables were needed. It will be so again, no doubt. From left, standing Hubsy, L'il Pearl's Mommy, Lady R and Sir Goldenheart (favorite curmudgeon ;-> ) and seated is L'il Pearl's Daddy. Poor fellow: he is seated because he is recuperating from a nettlesome leg clot! As you get older, you find out all the things that can go wrong when they happen either to you or around you!! Happy New Year! Have a Sweet Year. Did I say Sweet? That Cake!! Lady R found it, it was marzipan and so very delicious.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Furniture Painting: A Meander...

 I had this little hall table; the usual story: $2.00 at a garage sale in 1982 or similar. I just slapped on some "harvest gold" 1970's paint we happened to have around.... this time I had an inspiration: Colors and patterns of Mackinzie-Childs and this little green console table by Ultimate Accents. And please remember, I haven't even seen a paint brush in 36 years. I sanded, I cleaned, I used my tack cloth, then primed and sanded and cleaned some more. I used my new best friend Martha Stewart's Hummingbird Blue Satin finish for the legs, a Glidden bone white satin on the top. Then I went to town with little bottles of craft paint for the decoration on the edge. Free-hand. My 63 year old hands are a little shakey, I learned. Maybe this will improve with practice?

 I took a big chance and applied a glaze of my own concocting with acrylic medium, a bit of aqua and brown craft paint for a thin wash over the whole thing.  It is drying and curing in the garage, where I won't see it tonight and get discouraged....
I plan to distress it a bit where it seems right. Then a couple of coats of clear satin acrylic finish.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Early October...OK, bring it on...

 ..o no! cat photos again; but this is how I feel--I'm not depressed, but somehow I just want to curl up and snuggle in my quilt, with a cat or two, maybe a hubsy, and maybe read. All summer I've been trying to finish the last of a biographical trilogy on Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris. Being a distracted reader, it takes time, but it's wonderfully written...I'm working during the day, of course--but working from home has wonderful advantages.  I'm trying to trim down a bit, doing the SlimFast "1-2-3" plan which seems to be working. Chores, playing around with furniture painting, exercise....That's me, for now. Oh, and silly TV shows. Hubsy is ready to call for medical help when he sees me watching "Fashion Police" or the Beverly Hills Housewives or some "red carpet"...I told him don't worry, it will pass like a virus.

 Outside, it's like this--when the sun comes out. Raggedy butterflies on their tattered wings, getting the last of what's left of the nectar. Pretty, tho. We've had a crazy weather pattern of sprinkling rains on and off for days. I noticed today that the DesPlaines River is nicely swollen, tho we have no reports of flooding. We need the rain, truth be told.

Clouds like this just seem to spontaneously drop a few minutes' worth of light to medium showers. Strange, after the hot, dry-ish late summer. And for the reluctant entertainer / hostess (me), Thanksgiving begins to loom on the horizon; I actually like to have friends and family over for the big dinner, I enjoy seeing everyone. And, if I do say so myself, the dinner is great. I'm finally managing to get everything done when it should be and on the table hot or cold, whichever. Somehow, in Life, you only get to the point where you can accomplish these events about the time your mind, heart and energy begin to fade.

The Butterfly Hotel is open for business--and packed!

We started, several years ago, to assist the butterfly population by nurturing the young specimens indoors. It was slow going. But this...