Monday, October 31, 2022

Happy Halloween House Tour 2022

Happy Halloween! It occurred to me that, while I had shared our annual skeleton display, I hadn't posted anything about our other decorations on this blog. That's not to say that I haven't documented them; as in years past, I've been posting a picture a day on Instagram and Facebook. But, since this space has served as a time machine for our family since 2006, It only feels right that I document the house here as well.

So, here we go!

The main focus in the living room is the fireplace mantel and the entertainment center, where I display all of the pumpkins that Hugh carved over the years when the kids were young (no picture of that, but they are well represented in other Halloween house tour posts on this blog). For the mantel, I decided to create a display that one might find in a typical home, only....creepy.

There are also a number of smaller displays in the living room...

New to the rotation this year was a table display. I loved it so much, I invited friends over for dinner just so we could enjoy it.

The front entry features a broom parking station and all of the evidence that there is a witch in residence.

This year, I set up my Halloween village. It doesn't come out every year, so that was special.

Meanwhile, on the porch, an army of spiders was invading...

There were also some touches of a spooky way (think Morticia Adams)..

I'll end this post with a couple of shots of this year's Halloween charcuterie board; I've used this skeleton twice now for this purpose, with unique results each time. Love it.

Tonight, the Man-Cub and Shanti are coming over for pizza and to hand out candy to any Trick-or-Treaters we may have. This is how one spends time on the holiday with their grown children and I'm here for it.


Thursday, October 27, 2022

Monthly Musings, October 2022 Edition

Today I am linking up with Holly and Patty for their Monthly Musings series. The topic is Thanksgiving, which happens to be one of my favorite holidays. It's probably not a coincidence that I was born on Thanksgiving.

1. Over the years, we have rotated between our house, my Mom's, and, on rare occasions, my in-law's houses. I am happy either way, but I enjoy hosting because, duh, leftovers

2.When I host, I provide everything except for the sweet potato casserole, which is the domain of my mother in law, Emily. I have no desire to eat super-sweetened sweet potatoes with marshmallows charred on top, but Hugh and Queen B think that shit is gourmet. If I'm making sweet potatoes, they are roasted with olive oil and a dash of sea salt and ground peppercorn. 

Usual Thanksgiving fare includes: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted Brussels sprouts with a balsamic glaze, rolls, homemade cranberry sauce, and homemade creamed corn.

3. My favorite recipe is a toss-up between my Mom's stuffing and my cranberry sauce. The cranberry sauce recipe is super simple:

1 bag fresh cranberries

1/2 Orange juice

2 Tbsp real maple syrup or 1/4 cup brown sugar, depending on how sweet you like your sauce

1/4 cup white wine.

1Tbsp orange zest

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Simmer until sauce thickens and cranberries have popped. I always try to make this the night before, as it continues to thicken in the fridge.

4. Our traditions have changed a bit since the kids grew up and moved out; for instance, when they were small, we always took them to see whatever new release Disney had in the theaters on Thanksgiving night. Some things have remained constant in our home since though, including watching the Macy's parade while prepping for dinner. I also still decorate the Christmas tree while dinner is cooking.

5. Stuffing. Which is also my favorite part of the meal. I love it so much, I usually double or triple the batch, just to make sure I have a lot of leftovers.

6. I usually make a pumpkin pie using fresh sugar pumpkins and my Aunt Pat's crust recipe. Hugh prefers apple pie, which Mom will bake. My Dad was the only person I ever knew who like pecan pie, so we don't have it on the menu since he passed away.

7. My table decor depends on my mood each year. Sometimes I bust out my antique Noritake china and sometimes I use more casual plates. This year, I'll be using brand new plates, with a specific Thanksgiving theme. Did I need new plates with a specific Thanksgiving theme? No, no I did not. Did that stop me from purchasing said plates? Do you even have to ask?

8. The answer to this question depends on the time of day. In the morning, while I am prepping and cooking, we drink coffee with a splash of Bailey's or mimosas. Or, one of each. I always serve a variety of wine with dinner, for those who wish to partake. My favorite is pinot grigio, with the main courses, and merlot with dessert.

9. I've shopped Black Friday a handful of times, but, didn't love it. I feel more productive decorating my house for Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving than shopping.

10. Holiday movie, for sure. I am usually several shows deep into the Hallmark channel by thanksgiving evening, at which point we throw Christmas Vacation into the DVD player.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

What's Up Wednesday, October 2022 Edition


Halloween is less than a week away, which seems crazy to me.The month has gone by so fast; it seems like just yesterday that I was posting the September edition of What's Up Wednesday. Anyhoodle, as always, linking up with Sheaffer and Shay for this month's edition, complete with hashtags! Because, why the hell not?

What I'm Eating

To be honest, I've been eating a lot of crap. Am I proud of that? No. Am I hiding in shame in a corner? Again, no. One of the meals that I had that actually stands out this month is the chicken bacon ranch burger and green chili mac n cheese that I had on a lunch out with Mom. I could eat that mac n cheese every day of my life. #notexaggeratingatall.

What I'm Reminiscing About

The 19th of October was the eighth anniversary of my Dad's death. I reminisce about Dad a lot, but it's been even more bittersweet since we moved Mom. I can't imagine how hard it's been for her. #missthat man

What I'm Loving

Hugh and I got our annual skeleton display up early in the month. The theme for the year is The Wizard of Oz, complete with an actual yellow brick road, courtesy of many, many cans of yellow spray paint. #worthit.

What I've Been Up To

We got Mom settled into her new place and she and I have been taking full advantage of the opportunity to spend time together. So far, we've been antique shopping, picked up produce at the local farm market, harvested my garden, and generally just enjoyed each other's company. #blessed

What I'm Working On

Round Two of senior pictures for Phoebe's daughter! This is awesome because it meant time spent with Phoebe as well as some good shots for her mini-me. #whendidwegetthisold

I also did a quick photo shoot with my staff. We have a new website and needed new headshots and a team photo, so, off to our favorite farm we went. I turned my camera over to one of my staff and she did a great job on my headshot. I like it; gray hair and all. #denial

What I'm Dreading

At the moment, I am dreading a shoulder surgery that the Man-Cub has coming up. It's the result of an old football injury and I know he needs the surgery, but no mother wants to see her kid go under the knife. #notlookingforwardtothebilleither

What I'm Excited About

I am really looking forward to the holidays this year. Queen B will be home for a couple of weeks and I am planning to do all the things. #traditions

What I'm Watching

Like most people with a Netflix account, I watched The Watcher. And, like most people who watched The Watcher, I am now completely baffled by who the hell the Watcher could have been. These true-life mysteries always intrigue me. #whothehelldidit

What I'm Reading/Listening To

This month went by so fast, I didn't have time for books or podcasts or music or anything, really. But, don't worry! Next month I'll tune my Sirius radio to a holiday station and I'll listen to a ton of Christmas carols. #tistheseason

What I'm Wearing

The weather has been warmer than usual for this time of year, so my typical fall wardrobe has languished in my closet. I'm basically wearing the same old uniform of jeans, a tank, and a cardigan, wash, rinse, repeat. It's comfortable, appropriate for my job, and Lord knows I own more than my fair share of cardigans. #fashionista

What I'm Doing This Weekend

Hugh and I are inviting The Newlyweds over for a Halloween-themed dinner. I'm making ghoulash. Get it? Ghoul-lash. Ha. I crack myself up. #thatspunny

What I'm looking Forward To Next Month

I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving, Christmas decorating, my birthday, and the entire lineup of Hallmark Christmas movies! #basicbitch

Favorite Amazon Find This Month

These candles look very realistic. They are remote operated and can be set on a timer for 4-8 hours. I'm using them on my dining room table for the Halloween dinner that I mentioned earlier. #settingthemood