Saturday, October 30, 2021

Halloween House Tour 2021

I've been documenting the Halloween house decorations on Instagram and Facebook this month. Every day, I have posted a picture along with a quote and the day of the month, counting up to the big day. I used lines from the witches chant from MacBeth, and stanzas from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Raven. It's been a lot of fun for me.

So, here we go...(I apologize in advance for the photo overload)

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Monthly Musings

Today I am linking up with Holly and Patty to chat about all things fall. I enjoy these link-ups because they always include such great writing prompts, and, sometimes a gal needs a little prompting.

1. What are your favorite Halloween traditions?

When the kids were small, we always Trick-or-Treated with my good friend Jana and her kids. I can still remember exactly how it felt to be tagging along behind five excited kids (and, on some years, an extra or two!) as they ran from house to house. Jana and I carried thermoses of hot cocoa liberally laced with Peppermint Schnapps to ward off the chill from the cool October air. Once we got home, the kids would spread out their haul and Hugh and I would surreptitiously confiscate a couple of our favorites. You know, for quality control purposes; parents can't be too careful.

Now and days, Hugh and I hand out candy to the Trick-or-Treaters who brave our annual skeleton display to knock on our front door. It's almost as much fun as when the kids were small (I'm lying).

2. Favorite fall activities?

Fall in Colorado is the perfect time for leaf-peeping on long drives. It's also my favorite time of the year to visit the local antique stores and thrift markets; one, especially calls to my heart. It's called Pickin' at the Pea and it never fails to impress me.

In addition to thrifting my heart out, I also enjoy the local Punkin' Chuckin' that takes place at a local farm; you haven't lived until you've see a pumpkin the size of a small child shot out of an air cannon. Hugh and I used to take the kids, but, lately it is just us and the Boomer dog.

3. Favorite fall recipe?

I am a sucker for anything that involves butternut squash. A recent favorite is this butternut squash lasagna that is to die for.

4. What beverage makes you think of fall?

I am not at all your typical PSL gal. In fact, I am one of those rare birds who actually believe that pumpkin spice belongs in baked goods and not in every other conceivable food item, including beverages. That being said, a good hot apple cider or a hot cocoa with Buttershots are the perfect beverages for the season.

5. Favorite fall fashion staples?

Plaid. Flannel. Scarves. Cardigans. Boots. Fall-themed graphic tees. And, this year I am adding a shacket, which combines a shirt and a jacket in a fall plaid pattern that will look amazing with my boots.

6. Do you decorate for fall? Halloween? Both?

Typically, I decorate for both. I generally start in September, with the fall decor'...

...and then bust out the Halloween stuff on October 1st.

7. Bonfire? Corn Maze? Hay ride?

I have to say corn maze, because that is what is most available in my neck of the woods. On the other hand, there is an amazing country road just outside of Petticoat Junction that meanders around curves,  up and down gently rolling hills, and, at one point, runs underneath a canopy of trees that shade it, creating a creepy covered bridge effect without the actual bridge. I have always wanted to do a hayride there, complete with the telling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, with the grand finale being a pursuit of the hay wagon by the Headless Horseman. Maybe I'll get it organized, someday.

8. Apple pie or apple cider?

Apple pie, if I'm being honest. Since I'm doing my level best to avoid processed and added sugars; I guess I'd have to go with cider, though.

9. Favorite type of apple?

Pink Lady is my favorite type for snacking. I love a good tart Granny Smith combined with this cheese, though. The flavor combination creates a caramel apple without the guilt.

10. Favorite Thanksgiving traditions?

For us, Thanksgiving is all about family and food. We always have a traditional meal of turkey and all the fixings, which, in our case, include my Mom's recipes for sage stuffing and giblet gravy, my homemade cranberry sauce, my late Grandma Molly's dinner rolls, and a pumpkin pie made from fresh pumpkins. Since the kids became adults, we have added a tradition of creating a signature drink for the year; one year it was a pomegranate Bellini that was to die for. This year, with Queen B in Texas, the Man-Cub in Hawaii, and Mom staying close to home; it will just be me, Hugh, Oscar and Emily, so; I'm planning to bust out the good china and set a super fancy table. I'll overcompensate for the lack of people around my table by bringing the bougie.

The only other things we traditionally do on Thanksgiving include watching the Macy's Parade and, after the last of the dishes have been washed and put away, we decorate the Christmas tree. Usually, this gives me lots of helping hands to make short work of the chore. This year, not so much. 

But, we'll survive.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

What's Up Wednesday: October 2021 Edition


As always, I am linking up with Sheaffer and Shay for this month's edition of What's Up Wednesday. Let's get to it!

What We're Eating

I have nothing exciting to report on this front, unless, you consider BLTs to be a culinary achievement. Which, ok, I totally do. Toasty bread with just the slightest smear of Miracle Whip? Salty, crispy bacon? Juicy fresh tomato and crunchy lettuce? Yes, allll the yesses! And, please, let's not enter the age-long debate of Miracle Whip vs mayonnaise. Miracle Whip all the way for this particular sandwich!

What I'm Reminiscing About

The year was 2012. The kids were 13 and 11 and just beginning to enter the phase in which doing fun stuff with their parents verged on embarrassing. We took full advantage of what we assumed would be the beginning of the end for pumpkin patch outings by visiting a local farm for pumpkins (SPOILER: We were totally wrong! They continued to humor us for years to come!). 

With our chosen gourds in hand, we headed home for an epic Jack-o-Lantern carving session; our efforts resulted in some of my very favorite designs of all time. I miss those days.

But I miss you most of all, my daring, when autumn leaves start to fall ~ Natalie Cole

What I'm Loving

The fall weather has been especially enjoyable this year. I've made it a point to spend as much time as possible soaking up the scents, sights, and sensations of autumn.

If a year was tucked inside a clock, autumn would be the golden hour. ~ Victoria Erickson

What I've Been Up To

I put together this year's Halloween care packages for the kids. My themes for the boxes included cockroaches and mice. Can't go wrong with mice and roaches at Halloween, I always say!

I also finished up this year's Halloween skeleton display. While it wasn't nearly as elaborate as past displays; it was sweet in its own way.

First Comes Love

Then comes marriage

Then comes the grim reaper with the funeral carriage!

What I'm Working On

I don't really have anything new or exciting to report. That either makes me really boring or totally normal. Coin toss!

What I'm Dreading

Nothing at the moment! I probably shouldn't say that out loud, lest the universe smite me for my hubris.

What I'm Excited About

If I say "going to Hawaii in December" one more time, will you hold it against me? No? Good, because I am beside-myself-excited about going to Hawaii in December!

What I'm Watching

I binged Midnight Mass on Netflix in just about two days. It's from the same team that produced The Haunting of Hill House and Bly Manor, both of which I loved. Midnight Mass was a bit of a departure, but was still satisfyingly creepy and Halloween season appropriate.

I followed Midnight Mass with Maid, which is a horror story of another type. Maid tells the story of Alex, a young mother trying to leave an abusive relationship to make it on her own. It's a stark reflection of the challenges faced by women in this situation; many of whom return to their abuser because of them.

What I'm Reading

I picked up the hardcover sequel to Hocus Pocus. I don't buy a lot of books, anymore, but I couldn't resist this one.

What I'm Listening To

The burble of the new humidifier that I bought for our bedroom; Hugh has accused me of gasp SNORING lately and I wanted to see if more moisture in the air will help. The jury is out on the verdict.

What I'm Wearing

Layers! It's getting cooler in the mornings, which requires me to bundle up. It then gets warmer in the afternoons, which requires me to shed a layer. Then, it gets chilly again in the get the picture.

What I'm Doing This Weekend

The annual Punkin Chuckin is taking place here in Petticoat Junction and I intend to spend several hours watching pumpkins being hurled into the atmosphere. As one does in the autumn in the sticks.

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month

With the kids out of state, Mom on the mend from the "Rona, and Oscar and Emily debating a road trip back east, Thanksgiving is going to be a super low-key affair this year. In fact, it may end up being just me and Hugh. And, that's ok. I still intend to roast a turkey and to set the table with my good china (brave face! Nicely done, Chelle!). It's also my birthday month, and that is always something to look forward to.