Wednesday, September 28, 2022

What's Up Wednesday, September 2022 Edition


It is officially fall and I am here for it! Just don't expect me to come at you with a PSL; that's not how I do autumn.

Anyhoodle, onto this month's link-up with Sheaffer and Shay!

What I'm Eating

Hugh and I had some fabulous food while we were in Vegas for our anniversary earlier this month. Since we've been home, I've been trying to undo the damage; it's a work in progress.

What I'm Reminiscing About

The weekend before last, Hugh, the Man-Cub, Shanti, and I made the trip to Mayberry to help my Mom and sisters prepare for Mom's move to Hooterville. Part of the process included sorting through, and selling, over fifty years of possessions that Mom and Dad had accumulated while living in my childhood home. Some of the items were harder to part with than others, but almost all of them triggered some sort of memory for one or all of us. It was hard. And, at times, very sweet. I'm going to be doing a lot of reminiscing about that house and my hometown in general over the next little while.

What I'm Loving

Some of my favorite shopping happens in the fall, and I've already made some great finds, including a brie baker shaped like a pumpkin, some seasonal risotto and a pasta that will cook up nicely in my favorite butternut squash pasta sauce.

I'm also loving my Mom's friends and the fact that they have been so supportive of her move to Hooterville. They are a close bunch and they will miss her, but they want what's best for her and, for that, I am appreciative.

What I've Been Up To

Hugh and I spent our 29th anniversary in Las Vegas at The Venetian. We enjoyed pool time, a raunchy show, dining, shopping, relaxing, and a visit to the Mob Museum. It was a good time.

The weekend after we got back, I hosted the biggest fundraiser yet for Not So New Job. The annual Barn Dance got an upgrade this year, with costumed bartenders, volunteers, and staff. Our guests had a great time and we raised more than I could have hoped.

What I'm Working On

I'm currently working on getting my house decorated for Halloween. It's never too early for Halloween, says I.

What I'm Dreading

For the first time in quite a while, I'm not actively dreading anything. I'm not sure how to process that.

What I'm Excited About

Queen B and the Rodeo Princess are moving out of their house and into places of their own. The Rodeo Princess will be moving about an hour away from Queen B for work, and Queen B will be moving into an apartment closer to her own job. I'm excited for both of them; I've always believed that you should live by yourself at least once in your life, preferably when you are young and exploring your independence. The girls have been such an amazing support for one another over the past few years and I know that being apart will be hard on them at first, but I know they will both be just fine.

What I'm Watching

I actually did the 7 day free trial of Discovery +, just to watch the documentary on the Hammer family. It was a lot to sink your teeth into (if you know, you know). This family is so screwed up; it's hard to imagine the amount of wealth they have been able to accumulate.

What I'm Reading

I haven't had time to read much this month. At the moment, the best I can manage are quick magazine articles, so I picked up the latest issue of People. The article on the Queen is a good read.

What I'm Listening To

I'm not listening to anything of particular interest, lately. I do have a list of podcasts that I am hoping to get to eventually, however.

What I'm Wearing

No cute shoes to show this month. Instead, I am wearing my oldest pair of runners with new orthotic inserts (whomp, whomp) They certainly aren't stylish, they hurt like hell, and they were hella expensive, but they're supposed to help alleviate some of the foot pain that I've been experiencing the past few years. Yeah, supposed to. So far, that's not happening, so....foot surgery after the first of the year, because, yeah...screw this.

What I'm Doing This Weekend

Hugh and I are driving to Mayberry to supervise the movers as they load Mom for the move. Hugh has to be in Denver on Saturday, so I will drive Mom's car back to Hooterville so that we can be at the new house when the movers unload. Then Mom and I will get to unpacking and settling her into her new digs.

What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month

Have we met? Halloween, of course! I've already started decorating the house, and my outdoor skeleton display is on the schedule next. It's going to be sweet this year! I can't wait to share.

I'm also planning to take a "staycation" from Not So New Job the first week of October. My goal is to help mom get unpacked, get my house cleaned, organized, and Halloween-ready, clear out the Man-Cub's old room and have a yard sale. It's an ambitious plan, but I'm determined. I'm also completely burned out on Not So New Job and I'm hoping that some time away will reignite some sort of interest in my work (I'm not holding my breath).

Favorite Amazon Find This Month

My Halloween decor this year is going to include the dining room; these chargers will feature prominently. I can also use them at other times of the year (she said, in a vain attempt to justify the purchase)

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

If You Build It, They Will Come

After accompanying me to Pickin' at the Pea with me on Saturday, Hugh had a very important duty to attend to: the Third Annual Golden Delicious Apple Pie Contest hosted by Petticoat Junction's finest orchard. Hugh has judged the contest since it's first year and he was super excited about being invited back again this year.

The first year of the festival there were, I believe, five or six pies; this year, there were twelve. For a man who loves him some apple pie, this was stellar news. Also, it is a prime example of the truth in the statement expressed in the title of this post; this event started as a small, sparsely attended event in the backyard of the owner's home and has tripled in size in just three years.

It took the judging panel a little over an hour to work their way through all twelve pies. They judged them based on appearance, flavor, texture, and creative effort. Some of the pies defied tradition by foregoing a pastry crust for crumb base or crumb topping, while others stayed true to the traditional. One incorporated custard into the filling, which didn't wow the judges, and one was so elaborately decorated; the judges had a hard time cutting into it. All in all, the pies were tasty, although there was one that Hugh swore tasted like bubble gum and his fellow judges agreed. That's...odd.

While Hugh was shoving pastry into his pie-hole (ha! get it? Pie-hole?! I slay myself), I was checking out the additional attractions, included the hay ride, kid's games, vendor booths, fresh produce, and both an antique cider press and the modern equivalent; each of which were producing cider throughout the day.

The official food vendor was a BBQ food truck owned by a local police officer, and the smell of bar-b-qued pork hung in the air all day. By the time Hugh was finished judging the contest; we were both ready for lunch and that pork tasted just as great as it smelled.

The whole day was a perfect symphony of the tastes, scents, and colorful views that we have come to associate with autumn in Colorado and the only thing that could have made me happier would be going home and busting out the Halloween decorations.

So, I did.


Post coming soon, because; if you build it, they will come. In this case, I'm thinking Trick or Treaters!

(And, that's how you spend the official first weekend of fall in these here parts)

Monday, September 26, 2022

Bless His Pea Pickin' Heart

Pickin' at the Pea was back again this weekend. Unfortunately, my usual Pickin' pals (The Newlyweds) were out of town. What's a girl to do? Invite her husband! Hugh was game for the challenge, especially when I threw out the promise of Mennonite donuts.

We left the house bright and early Saturday morning, stopping at the iconic road signs along the way. It was at this point that Hugh grew somewhat skeptical; what in the world had he gotten himself into?

We hit the donuts first; just to reassure him that he had made a wise choice.

Then we spent the next hour walking from vendor booth to vendor booth, taking in all the crazy displays. While there was no discernable theme this year, there were plenty of little nods to Queen Elizabeth, which Kristi would have loved. I took plenty of pictures to share with her because I know how devastated she has been at the passing of the Queen. And, you know, to rub in the fact that she was missing it since she chose to go to Tennessee to see her brother rather than going to Pickin' with me.

I'm sweet like that.


Hugh was uninterested in the Queen-focused memorabilia, but he was completely intrigued by the slow drip coffee and the plethora of antique toys. And, by antique, I mean from our childhood.

Throw up. In my mouth.

It was at this point that I reminded Hugh that his Bionic Man doll still resides somewhere in our attic, alongside my Bionic Woman doll. That's how you know we were meant for each other.

Once I was satisfied that we had seen all there was to see, I rewarded Hugh with a basket of donut holes for the road. He deserved them; he was a good sport and pretty good company (don't tell The Newlyweds).