Thursday, October 19, 2017

When In Doubt, Look to the Heavens

The sun was setting as I made my way around the park this evening, and the colors were so vibrant, it almost hurt to look at them. At one point, just before it dipped behind the hill, the clouds gathered above it and were illuminated by its' beams, shooting pink and gold rays straight into heaven, and I thought: "Wow, Dad; that must be a sight to see from up there".

Three years, today, and, I'm finally getting to a place where I feel comforted by the beauty contained in the heavens instead of just terribly sad. It's the sort of progress you hope never to have to make, but, I'll take it.

And I'm grateful.

Monday, October 16, 2017

October Care Package

It should come as no surprise that this month's care package for the Man-Cub is chock-full of Halloween goodies, but, it also has a few medicinal items because, there is nothing scarier than the common cold, and, the Man-Cub is currently terrified.

Terrified by the price of cold medicine in Hawaii, that is.

So, what's in the box?

- Caramel Apple Pops (the Cub's favorite seasonal sucker)
- Wax vampire fangs (for a touch of nostalgia)
- Limited edition Cookie Butter Oreos (last month's cookie butter was a hit, now he's hooked)
- Bean Boozled Jelly Beans (will the green bean be pear flavored or snot flavored? Crapshoot!)
- Neon slime (because nothing says Halloween like slime)
- Cracked Pepper Jerky Sticks (had to get some protein in there, somewhere)
- Gummy vampire fangs
- Gummi Vampire Bats
- Wind-up Dracula (because he may be in college but he still loves his toys)
- Ouija Board Mints (inside family joke; he'll get it)
- Coffee Mate French Vanilla creamer
- Deadpool coffee mug (man, I miss my Comic Book Geek partner in crime)
- Stance socks (Dios de las muertas themed!)
- Halls Throat Soothers, 4Way Spray and Dayquil capsules (common cold, remember?)
- A roll of Halloween caution tape (my contribution to the dorm Halloween decorating contest)
- M&M's Caramel and Snickers minis (Trick-or-Treat!)
- Fart in a Jar (you know, just because)
- The Goonies on DVD (because one of the Cub's friends has NEVER seen it. What?!)

I finished the box off with some glow-in-the-dark spider web and spiders, which, the boys can utilize in their dorm decorating, or, not. Whatever they want.

And, that's it for the Care Package of the Month. Tune in next time, when I wow you with my ability to stuff an entire Thanksgiving dinner into one box.

Just kidding.

I haven't quite figured out the turkey thing.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Recipes From the Porch: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Have I mentioned that I love the fall? It's my favorite time of the year, and, not just because I was born in the fall, although, that's not a bad reason, really. It's certainly not because the autumn season heralds the return of the Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte, because, between you and me? That stuff sucks. It just does.

You know what doesn't suck? Butternut squash. In fact, butternut squash is definitely one of my most favorite things about the fall, along with the changing leaves, the smell of fires burning on crisp October evenings, and the tradition of watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade while a Butterball roasts away to perfection inside my oven.

One of my favorite ways to eat butternut squash is in this soup. It is hearty, comforting, and, above all, easy as hell to make. Plus, it freezes well, so, making a ginormous batch is usually the way to go.

For the soup, you will need:

1 large butternut squash
2 large carrots
2-3 small sweet potatoes
1 medium onion
2 32 oz cartons vegetable broth
1/2/ tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. curry powder
salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 tbsp. olive oil  (not pictured. Oh, wait, hold that thought...)

(there ya go)


Cut squash in half, lengthwise and remove seeds. Drizzle with about 1 tbsp. olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a 350 degree oven for one hour. Remove from oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, on the stove top, heat remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil. Brown onion until translucent.

Dice sweet potato and carrot and add to onion, cooking until slightly until softened.

Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer.

While soup simmers, peel the skin from the roasted squash and chop into chunks.

Add squash to soup. Add spices and continue to simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are softened and breaking apart.

 If you have an immersible blender, now is the time to bust it out. If you don't, then allow soup to cool, transfer into a blender in small batches, processing until smooth and cursing yourself for not having an immersible blender. Probably burn the shit out of yourself. Curse some more. Give up and go get yourself an immersible blender (trust me, you'll be glad you did).

Submerge blender into pot, blend soup until smooth.

Enjoy immediately, or, as I said before, allow to cool and freeze in single serving portions to enjoy anytime you need a reminder of the amazing taste of autumn.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Halloween in the House

Last night, BCPE, Mama Kathy, and I met at the business of another Booster Club mama to paint pallet signs for Halloween. We hadn't all been together in what feels like forever, so it was a nice way to spend the evening. Plus, I got another Halloween decoration out of it.

What's that you say? I don't really need another Halloween decoration? Well, now you sound like Hugh.

Anyhoodle, I have a new sign, to add to the decorations already on display in the house (I just have to find somewhere to put it).

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday Favorites: Friday the 13th Edition

I finally have the yard and porch decorated to my liking. So, of course Mother Nature has decided to be a big old bitch by heaving gusty winds my way, which has made it necessary for me to un-decorate and re-decorate at least three times in the past week and a half.

Mother Nature? This middle finger is for you.

Anyhoodle, when the wind isn't blowing the hats off my witches and the tombstones from their positions on the front lawn, the decor looks like this:

On the lawn...

on the porch...

Tomorrow, I'll post pictures from inside the house, because, while the indoor decorations are every bit as much a favorite as the outdoor decorations. this post is getting super heavy on the photographs, and, it is Friday the 13th and all, I wouldn't want to push my luck with the spirits of the internet.