Saturday, October 31, 2009

No, we don't live in an excessive neighborhood...

Why do you ask?

I mean, we do get what feels like 13,912 Trick-or-Treaters...and no matter how much candy we get it is never enough. And one of our neighbors builds a full haunted house every single year...this year complete with haunted trees, rolling fog and all kinds of drama... And another one of our neighbors sets up a movie in their front yard complete with lots of loud audio...
And another neighbor sets up several grills and condiment stations and hands-out hot dogs to all 13,912 trick-or-treaters
My husband and I swear each year not to get into the competition but this we fell prey to keeping up with the Joneses...

And, frankly, I think we've outdone ourselves.

We actually had four LIT AND CARVED PUMPKINS by the folding chairs we sat on to hand out candy.

I'm showing this daylight picture so you can experience the full wonder and glory of all that is Halloween at our house.


Something really scary on Halloween!

Here is who came trick or treating yesterday! Acccckkk! Sick!

My sweet husband is going to carve pumpkins with the Grandkids. I did get up and make a Halloween treasure hunt! We're all around each other a lot so I don't think we will cross-contaminate each other but it is still Halloween.

Thank heavens for sweet husbands.

Here is my treasure hunt. Remember the oldest is in second grade so the words must be simple.

Dear little Granddaughters, it’s Halloween day
Grandpa and I have some treats for you
But you’ll have to find them – HOORAY!

Where do you sleep when you spend the night
Find a prize here and don’t get a fright!!!!!

Where do you put a letter to mail?
Find a treat here go faster then a snail

When it is hot and you come over to play
Where do you cool off on a sunny hot day?

This is in a box and also at the beach
Find a treat here because you are a peach

What do we ride in when we go in the alley
Find a treat here unless your name is Sally

This is a jar where we keep different candy
Go look there now! Because you are all dandy!

The game is all over the treats you have seen
Remember we love you and HAPPY HALLOWEEN !

Happy Halloweennnnnnn.....ahhh....ahhhh....ahhhhh....


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween poem continued!

But before it is thanks for all the well-wishes...they totally worked and I am almost back to being as ornery as ever...

So.... sit back...relax... and on we go....

So Pa in his witch hat
And me with nails painted black
Had just settled down for TV and a snack...
When what to did appear before our wondering eyes,
But a weiner dog dressed, in a Halloween disguise.
Oh he begged with his eyes and he howled most forlorn,
For Kit-kats, for Dots, for M&M's and candy corn.

To his great disgust we had to refuse
and when he turned around we saw he had a broom!!!!

And showing his fangs he gave us such fright...
when he barked out these words "It's almost Halloween night...
protect all the candy because I'm coming back"
And off he flew on his broom without getting a snack!
We went back in the house and were feeling quite wary.
Because it was almost Halloween and a hungry weiner dog is scary...

...and what we saw by his food dish gave us another great fright...
Ooooooh....there's nothing as scary on an almost Halloween night.

Hey....don't hate me because I'm poetic.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The thing about poetry is...

...when you're sick you can't rhyme anything...other then sick and ick... and then it would really only work if your name was Rick...and mine isn't.

So...this is me today... I'm hoping to be rhyming tomorrow so I can finish my Halloween poem! Now, wash your hands after reading this post. Don't want you to catch my germs. I would sigh...but I'm too weak. Must. Go. Back. To. Bed. Now.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

'Twas a few days before Halloween...

and all through the house...
Things were in readiness, even the mouse...The pumpkins were lined by the front door with care
In hopes that Trick or Treaters soon would be there ...

Wrinkled witches hands reached sneaky and slow
To grab some of the treats piled up and ready to go...
Scary pumpkin heads watched with diabolical glee
for the first sign of children....ready to flee... And now I am tired and the poem can't continue
Please check in tomorrow for the next poetry venue.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Picking apples in Arizona

But it's not like you think. Really.

About three years ago my husband bought a 1948 Willys Jeepster. He actually bought it because we thought he was dying. For real. He didn't, though. Obviously. Which is a good thing. He did however take my suggestion to sell my SUV to buy one of these cars that he has talked about and talked about since the day I met him.

He grew up in Idaho to a pretty interesting family and fondly remembers Sunday drives in this exact make and model of car.

Many, many years passed but his dream to own one never dimmed. Until the death thing. And then the Bucket List kicked in and one day when I was off babysitting I came home to hear "I bought a Jeepster today on e-bay!" Hmmm... OK. "Oh, and BTW, I listed your X-terra on Craigs list!" Hmmmm... OK. "Oh, and Fed-ex is going to deliver the car in a few weeks!" Hmmm.... alrighty then.

And all that happened. The whole fed-ex delivery. Which was actually pretty cool. And he was so excited. Like a little kid at the best Christmas ever!

And then when he didn't die it grew into a whole past-time. Running around the neighborhood, hauling anyone who wanted a ride around in it, carolling at Christmas all bundled up in quilts (hey, it gets cold in the desert in AZ)and it was just cool.

And by now you are thinking, OK, what does this have to do with apple picking.

It has to do with alleys, actually. Our whole neighborhood is criss-crossed by alleys that were originally used for trash pick-up!

And the Granddaughters love driving in the alleys. Often. Whenever they are here.

And in the alleys are all kinds of pomegranate and fig trees, like grapevines growing along the old walls, like citrus hanging over into the alley...and like apple trees!

Initially it took us a while to figure out whose house matched which tree in the alley and then we would go ask permission and they always said yes. Now we know and just knock on the door when things are ready to pick.

We pick bushels of apples. Baskets of figs. Paper bags filled with grapes. And beautiful garnet pomegranates. We never bother with the citrus because we have our own trees. And it's just a neat thing to do. It's always like a little adventure. Cruising the alleys to see what is ripe!

So while all of you are going to beautiful orchards with the air crisp and fragrant and beautiful autumn colors surrounding you, we are cruising around in the Jeepster in the alleys picking produce.

You should come sometime!

Just bring your own ladder!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

12 Weeks of Christmas - All about the food!'re probably going to need to turn the Halloween music off before you read this blog. OK, that's better. Now hum Silver Bells or Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer. Are you in a more Christmas-y mood now? Good!
Twelve Weeks of Christmas
So this week we're supposed to write about some of our favorite foods at Christmas.

To be honest I don't think I can type that long.

So instead I thought I would share the recipe we take to our neighbors every single year. I make big trays of these crackers and then I package them in cute tins or jars or bottles or whatever. Then our Grand-kids run them around door to door...sometimes to actual applause.
One of our neighbors got divorced last year. The Grand-kids delivered the crackers to the wife who was still living in the house. The next day the husband came by OUR house to see if we had delivered them already! He begged until I gave him a big zip-loc baggie full.

It seems like everyone appreciates something not sweet for Christmas goodies.

These are called Terri's crackers (from my beautiful friend, Terri, who lives in Ohio) and they are super-addictive. I don't have a picture of them but they pretty much look like Cheez-its with seasoning on them...but they taste crazy good.

2 16 oz. boxes of cheez-its. I usually use the yellow and orange varieties. The pepper jack is almost too spicy
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
3 teaspoons dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2/3 cup vegetable oil
Place the crackers in a large bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients well and drizzle over crackers and toss to coat evenly. Transfer to two ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans. Bake at 250° for 45 minutes minutes, stirring every fifteen minutes. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

New Grand-puppy, Morgans pre-school field trip AND 1/2 a Zippy bedpsread sewn together!

Jessie and Kevin got a new puppy, Wyatt! She says Belle and Har-Lee are getting along with him just great! Isn't he cute? OK, I know I show you picture after picture of our youngest grand-daughter. Partly it's because she's the only one I get to see much with school being in session. And partly because she is so darned adorable. But, here I go again! This was the three-year olds class trip to a little pumpkin patch.

And last but not least I decided to start making a ZippyStrippy bedspread for our California King bed today. I started at two o'clock preparing the fabric and had it half sewn together by five. I love ZippyStrippyQuilts! And I love this flannel for fall and winter.
And now I'm off to watch something incredibly inane on TV. Supernanny anyone?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

So....I asked my husband what I should blog about today...

Him: Well, what about the Arizona State football game today. They are playing Stanford.

Me: Stanford? Don't you wish we could go there and see the leaves? But, no, I don't want to write about that.

Him: Huh?

Me: And on top of that I think the other team has an unfair advantage because the poor Arizona boys are going to freeze up there!

Him: Well, first of all StaMford is in Connecticut, StaNford is in California.

Me: Well, I don't care, I still don't want to write about that.

Him: you want to write about the giant bag of eggplant you are making me haul to the neighbors?

Me: Well, no...

Him: Welll....there are some other football games on...

Me: no, nO, No, NOOOOO! No football games. What can I write about?

Him: Well, I don't know. You haven't liked any of my ideas yet...

Me: Of course not. They were stupid ideas.

Him: (glare!)

Me: Why are you looking at me like that?

Him: Oh, for pete's sake. I am going to deliver the eggplant. Why do you even ask me when you won't listen to my ideas anyway.

So...he's gone delivering the eggplant and I ask you, my blog friends, what in the world was that about?

Some people get so cranky about nothing.


Friday, October 23, 2009

"Each day of our lives...

... we make deposits in the memory banks of our children." Charles R. Swindoll

...and each day with our Grandchildren enrichens our own memory banks.

Morgans pre-school pictures. Just...awwwww.... awwwwwww.... awwwwww.......

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

I'm trying to participate in the 12 weeks of Christmas challenge Twelve Weeks of Christmas
by using some of the ridiculous amounts of stuff I have on hand WITHOUT going to the store. (don't tell my husband I said that cuz I always tell him I have nothing...absolutely nothing just to make sure he doesn't question my going to Joannes or Michaels every once in a while..."wink")

So we are supposed to show a Christmas craft accent for Week 3 of the challenge.

And I had a great idea last night and I'm anxious to share it with you today!

Oh boy, oh boy. This is going to be a beautiful craft. You are all going to be impressed and I suspect Martha will somehow read my blog and invite me onto her show and be forced to tell the world that she is resigning as Queen of Excessive Glitter and conceding the title to me!

Oh boy, oh boy.

So to make this amazing craft you will need this stuff.
And the first step is to take the outline of the snowflake and tape it inside your glass jar. Next outline the snowflake with your hot glue gun. The next step was going to be using some watered down glue and sprinkling glitter all over it when it was still wet. Then we were going to peel off the hot glue AND the snowflake would be like a clear etched glass snowflake against all the sparkly glitter.

I don't think Martha will be calling anytime soon BECAUSE IT DIDN'T WORK! At all! Not only did the glue drip all around on the jar and look incredibly stupid there is absolutely no way to even pry the glue off the jar after it dries. OK, plan two.

Hmmm.... what to make, what to make! I KNOW! I'll use little alphabet stickers and put them on a jar and then use spray adhesive and blah, blah, blah.

I dig around for about 30 minutes and finally find some alphabet stickers. I already have my glitter out so I just need to find spray adhesive.

But now I have no jars.

A quick rummage in the fridge yields a jar with 1/16 of a teaspoon of relish and another with one green olive. How in the world did those get in there?
The little yellow bird is just in the picture because I think it is the cutest sugar shaker ever in the history of sugar shakers and at this point I need something cute to redeem this blog post. I'll give you a second to ooh and aah. Save that reaction because I hope you will be needing it soon for this next amazing craft!

And, please, don't call me after you read this post because I will be waiting for Martha's staff to contact me and I need to leave the line open.'s how we are going to make attempt number two at a spectacular holiday accent!

Step 1. Wash and dry one of your condiment jars.
Step 2. Stick on the letters to say something holiday-ish. Step 3. Spray the front of the jar with spray adhesive.
Step 4. Dump on some glitter. Hmmm... OK, not spectacular....BUT WAIT! I know what this craft needs. We need to peel the stickers off to expose the clear glass underneath! Of course! Step 5. Use a pin to peel off the letters so you don't smudge your glitter! Hmmm... OK, still not spectacular....BUT WAIT! I know what this craft needs now...Some glittery purple garland. Yes, that will do the trick.

Step 6. Put some double-stick tape around the top of the jar and stick some glittery garland to it. Hmmmm... OK. Maybe it just needs to be lit.

But I can't find my battery operated candles. I'm a little afraid because I think the spray-adhesive might explode when I put a candle in there but I am willing to risk it for the sake of art and so that I may share some holiday decor magic with you.

But I can't light the candle at the bottom of the jar and when I light the candle and drop it in there it goes out. So I remember the tip about lighting a piece of spaghetti (please do not roll your eyes, this actually works) so I do it.
I light my little glittery Noel candle.
And hmmmm.... it still doesn't look that spectacular! And now, frankly, I'm exhausted. I just cannot do any more creative glitter stuff today. Please don't tell Martha. I will try again. I promise.

But I think I should at least get an A for effort! Right? Right? I mean I did share the picture of my adorable sugar bird with you.

OK then what about a B+?

I tried really, really hard.

And you'll have to forgive me but I am going to eat my Kit-Kat bar now.

I only put it out earlier for motivation but now I need it for consolation.