Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Monday, October 30, 2017

A little more Fall...

Fall is coming to an end here; the temperatures have dropped and we've had lots of wind and rain so the leaves are falling.
Here's a few pictures I snapped during some brief moments of sunshine.

This is our street.  Soon all those leaves will be on the ground, waiting to be raked!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Supper and a carousel ride!

We haven't been able to have the girls overnight for a few weeks because of crazy work schedules and some sickness at their house.  Friday night we decided that if we couldn't have them overnight, we could at least have supper with them.  We picked them up and they thought McDonalds would be a great place to go.  We weren't too excited about that plan and were heading for the mall, which worked out well because Alaina suddenly decided that we should eat at the mall!
Eating at the food court has the benefit of lots of places to choose from.  Bob went to pick up Chinese food for the two of us, Alaina chose tacos, and Ruby wanted chicken fingers.

(Excuse the poor pictures - I had to use my phone)

While we were eating, Alaina asked Ruby if she wanted to trade some of their food.  Ruby didn't want to, and Alaina said, "I just wanted to try your chicken!"  I asked Ruby if she could share a little piece with Alaina, and she said yes.  So, I tore a little piece off and gave it to Alaina, then told Ruby thank you for sharing with your sister.  Her reply?  "Well, you just grabbed it!"   Funny kid!

She tried a fry too!

Ruby was ok with sharing though!

The other good thing about the food court at the mall, is the carousel! They got on it with Grandpa and first were just going to sit on the bench...

but then decided to ride a horse.

A good time was had by all!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Cooking Thursday

Today's recipe is another one that's a comfort food recipe and it so good in cold weather!  It's one I've made for some time, and I really don't know where I got it from originally.  I use this recipe quite often when I'm bringing someone a meal because it's easy, it always turns out good and it's kind of a classic food that most people like.

French Oven Stew

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 large onions, cut into eight pieces
3 stalks celery, cut into large pieces
4 large carrots, quartered
2 large potatoes, cut into chunks
1/3 cup quick cooking tapioca
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon basil
2 cups tomato juice

Combine tomato juice, tapioca, sugar, salt, pepper and basil in bowl.  Set aside
Place meat, onions, celery and carrots in a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish.  Pour tomato juice mixture over top and cover.
Bake at 350 degrees for 2 1/2 hours.
Add potato chunks and bake another hour.
Remove from oven and let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Monday, October 23, 2017

Decorating pumpkins

I saw an idea for decorating little pumpkins and thought I would try it out with the girls.  It involves the tiny little gourd pumpkins and nail polish.

Here they are at the table ready to start.

First, you put water in a disposable plastic container, then drip nail polish on top of the water.

Then you run a tooth pick through the polish to swirl it.  Next, you take a little pumpkin by the stem and put it into the dish on the side and pull it up through the swirls so the nail polish ends up on the pumpkin.
The pumpkin then has to sit out on wax paper for some time to dry completely.

The girls each got to choose which colors they wanted, and then swirled their colors.  Alaina is all about pink and purple, and Ruby tried a little of everything.

Here's Alaina with a few of her pumpkins,

and a few of the shots I got while attempting to get a picture of Ruby with hers.

Here's our finished projects loaded up to go home with the girls.  I found that it was hard to get the whole pumpkin coated with color, but the girls had fun and that's what counts!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Scenes around town...

Fall is a pretty time around here.  Our colors are not as brilliant as usual, but it's still very enjoyable to drive around and enjoy the sights.

The colors around here aren't only on the trees, but in the fields of pumpkins that are being harvested,

and in the many roadside stands that are selling them!

I have to point out these crates.  The last time I shared a picture of them, a lot of you thought they were bee hives, but when you see them close up, you can see that they are wooden crates.  We see them a lot around here - full of pumpkins, squash, gourds and even onions that are being harvested.

When they are full, they are stacked up and covered, before being loaded onto a semi.

This is one of my favorite barns in our area, and I love the way it looks in front of all those colorful trees!

Speaking of gourds, there are some pretty ones in my house too.  Friday, I came home to a package in my mail.  Inside were the 3 colorful gourds and this hand printed card from my friend Mildred from Twenty Seventeen.  She sent them to add to the wooden tote on my dining room table, which is where they now are, adding a nice spot of color.  Thanks Mildred for that sweet surprise!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Cooking Thursday

One thing I like about the change in weather is making soup.  It's a regular on my winter menu.  The recipe I'm sharing today is one I got from an aunt many years ago.  It's always good!

Vegetable Meatball Soup
8 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Accent
1 pound ground beef in 1 inch balls
1 1/4 cup diced celery
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup uncooked rice
2 small potatoes, diced
1 can chopped tomato
10 ounces frozen mixed vegetables for soup
2 envelopes Lipton Beefy Onion soup

Bring water to boil.  Add salt, accent and meat balls.  Bring back to a rapid boil and skim off meat sediment.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 2 hours.

*I often prepare this in the evening and instead of simmering it for 2 hours, I put it in my crockpot and refrigerate it overnight.  Then when I go to work in the morning, I turn the crockpot on low and come home to a wonderful pot of soup!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

It's looking like Fall!

I decided it was time to give in and let Fall take over in the house.  I always fight it because I dread winter coming, but it's time.  :)

Here's what it looks like around here.

On the front steps is a huge mum, some pumpkins and some gourds.

At the back door, this cute sign has taken up residence in the old milk jar.

On my table is this old wooden tote.  I got it on an auction site.  It's about 2 feet long and I love the charm.  I want to get a few more pumpkin and gourds to fill it up.

This is in the living room, hanging over some side chairs.

I changed out the things in the candle holder to make it feel like Fall instead of summer.

The tabletops get a redo too.

This is another living room wall.

And a close up of one more table top.

It's always fun to change things out and see new things.  The house feels nice and cozy now!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Grandma goes to school!

I had such a fun experience last week.  Alaina's teacher does something called 'Mystery Reader'.  Parents or grandparents can sign up for this, and I had signed up for last week.  The mystery reader chooses a book their special child likes and comes to school to read it to the kindergarten class.  The kids don't know who it is until the door opens!

When you get to school, the secretary calls down to the class to tell them that the mystery reader is there.  The kids then sing a song that talks about who the reader might be, and then the reader knocks on the door.
When the door opens, all the kids are looking to see who it is, and when Alaina saw it was me she ran up and gave me a hug.

 She got to tell her class that the reader was her Grandma, and then we all went to the reading area.

The readers special kid gets to sit up front with them while the story is being read.  I read a story about Audrey, a bunny who had a spot on her and was worried that her little girl wouldn't like her if she saw it.  But the little girl loved her, spot and all.  The kids sat and listened quietly and seemed to enjoy it.

Here is the whole class.

 Alaina and I after the reading.

Alaina's bright and cheerful class!

The kids each made a thank you card for me.

 This is Alaina's sweet teacher.

Because this was done at the end of the day, I got to take her home afterward.

She had to show me her classes owl pictures.  The one she drew is on orange paper above her head.

Here she is outside her school.

She was excited to show me these painted rocks that were done by the teachers.  They have them arranged in a little stream throughout the landscaping.

Instead of going right home, we thought we should go have a treat first.  She chose a donut place.  She asked if we could get one for Ruby and take it home to her, which I thought was very sweet.

Here's Alaina and Ruby waving goodbye to me after I brought Alaina home.

I had a great time and thought this was a great idea.  It's exciting for the kids, and I think the mystery readers like it just as much!

Before I go, I have to share a Ruby story.  I know some of you really enjoy her antics!
When I dropped Alaina off, Laura told Ruby to tell me what happened that day.  When there was no answer, she said "tell Grandma how you fell".  I asked her if she was getting into trouble when she fell, and she said no, but I could tell by the look in her eyes that she had been.
Apparently she had been playing downstairs.  Laura went down to check something and arrived just in time to see Ruby in the bathroom down there.  She had her step stool on the toilet seat and was standing on it, trying to throw a ball and hit the ceiling!  Guess what?  It didn't work, and just asLaura walked in, the stool and Ruby fell down and much wailing ensued.  Thankfully she wasn't really hurt, just bumped up.  Who but Ruby would think of such a thing?  Hopefully she learned, but there are always new things that can be climbed on!