Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Be Wary

It's Scary
In the Dark!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Life Interrupted

I have been thinking of coming back to blogging again, and then Hurricane Sandy hit. Not that I am affected, in so much as I live on the West Coast.
But this doesn't mean I am not affected in other ways.
I have been watching the news channels and have seen the beginning reports of the devastation.
So many people have lost their lives.
So many people have lost their homes.
So many people have lost their livelihood.
Over 7 million people without electricity.
In the cold and wet weather.
Many places with snow by the foot.
This just reminds us of how fragile life is.
At any time, we could suffer a similar catastrophe.
These things happen regularly, all over the globe.
Jet trail mimicking tornado over Cascade Mountains
But it is precisely during these types of difficult situations that you see the shining light of the human spirit.
Brave Policemen and Firefighters, Emergency Responders, Doctors, Nurses, National Guard Soldiers, Utility Workers, Governors, Senators, Congressmen, and the President, all working together to help one another.
But it is the selfless acts of ordinary people that really shine.
It is all of these wonderful, heroic people who risk their lives to save others, to save a pet, to save an elderly person, a child, or the disabled that are truly extraordinary.
But it doesn't stop there.
Selfless hours of work by aid workers, clean up crews, churches, charities, individuals and organizations will go into the massive undertaking of helping the displaced, helping the homeless, helping the tired and the hungry.
And that is where we can join in.
Even if we can't be there to help, we can remember to donate.
The need is great.
It doesn't end.
But we are a generous people.
We help the world.
Now we can help our own.
Even if all you have to give is a prayer.
Prayers are the most powerful of all things to give.
So let's say a prayer for everyone who suffers in harm's way.
Not just today.
But every day.
'But for the Grace of God, Go I.'

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Little Break

I will be taking a small Blogger's Break, as I have a few things to catch up on that aren't really blog worthy.
Finding my winter clothes.
(Where did I stash them?)
Raking millions and millions of leaves.
Tidying up the yard.
Lots and lots of organizing. Lots.
But I will be back soon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall Decorating

It has been raining for the last few days. Not steady, just sort of showery and breezy. Every time I think it is safe to go outside, the weather changes and it starts raining again. So I have been inside, cleaning, reading, cleaning some more, and doing a little redecorating. Not much. Just a few things here and there for Fall.
Just to add a few warm fall colors.
I replaced a print of summer roses over my daybed with this Autumn scene.
Sorry for the reflections in the glass, but can you find the quail hiding in the leaves?
 I thought the colors of the print and the framing went well with the colors of my daybed.
A thrift store find for $15.
You can see my pet door there for my two 'best friends'. Here I put their beds for the night and they are free to use the pet door to go in and out to the dog pen at the end of the deck.
We have never, ever had a trick or treater come to the door! We live too far out! Although, when my children were small, I did invite their friends over for a little treat around Halloween. Usually home made 'pumpkin' cookies and candy.
I made these small strawflower wreaths out of flowers I grew. The dried flower heads were simply hot glued to a vine wreath.
I hung them from my Hoover Cabinet doors.
A few Dahlia blossoms and some bittersweet vine in an old jug add a little more Fall color.
I love the word, 'Bittersweet'. When I saw this sign, I had to have it. I sewed the felt pumpkin wall hanging a few years ago.
It is hung by tiny nails through the button holes.
I framed some vintage Halloween postcards.

I love the little warning on this embroidered picture.
A little decorated pumpkin on a pedestal!
These are vintage pen and ink watercolors I recently found at the same thrift store. I love the Autumn scenes. They are on a narrow wall beside my hutch with it's curtained doors.
I made these hand colored clay leaves last year that grace my kitchen table. You can find the instructions under 'Crafts' in my archives. They were very easy to make.
The larger size can be used as candy and nut servers.
Thank you for stopping by and visiting today. I hope you enjoyed the tour of my Fall decorating.
And remember: Be Wary, It's Scary In The Dark!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Streusel Topped Pumpkin Bread

This is a perfectly moist quick bread that has a special streusel topping, giving it just the right amount of crunchy sweetness.
It uses canned pumpkin and canola oil,
 the streusel has oatmeal
you can add walnuts and/or golden raisins to the batter, adding healthy benefits.

Streusel Topped Pumpkin Bread

Bake at 350 degrees - 50-55 min.
Grease (or use non-stick cooking spray) one standard sized loaf pan.


1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1/4 cup canola (or other veg. oil)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (if desired)
1/2 cup golden raisins

Streusel Topping:

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup oatmeal (quick or old fashioned)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
To make loaf:
Mix flour, baking powder, pie spice and salt in medium bowl.
Beat egg and sugar in large bowl.
Beat pumpkin, oil and vanilla into egg/sugar mixture until smooth.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add egg/pumpkin mixture.
Stir just until moistened. Over mixing will de-activate the baking powder and you will end up with a tough and flat bread.
Fold in walnuts or raisins if desired.
Spoon batter into greased (or use non-stick cooking spray) loaf pan.
To make the streusel topping, first cut cold butter into small pieces into medium bowl.
Add the rest of the streusel ingredients.
Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Sprinkle over batter and bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
While the Pumpkin Bread is cooking, take a walk in the beautiful Crisp Fall weather.
By the time you come in, the Pumpkin Bread will be ready to take out of the oven.
Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely.
Slice and serve!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Goodbye Sun - Hello Rain

The sun has been pouring through the windows for the last 81 days.
We have had no measurable rain in all that time.
This has broken all records.
But the forecast for the weekend is rain. And more rain next week. And more rain after that.

With possible flooding.
And so we have taken down the umbrella's.
And put away the cushions.

I took these photos just yesterday.
I must say goodbye to the warm sunshine for another year.
I'll miss my cotton calico mornings spent watering my flowers while sipping my coffee in the dew fresh sun.
But all good things must come to an end.
It is time for a change.
The forest is so dry.  
 I have enjoyed our long, long stretch of sunshine.
But it is time to embrace Fall.
I am looking forward, once again, to hearing the subtle glistening sounds of raindrops falling in the mist.
To the rush of leaves blowing in the Autumn breeze.
I've already heard owls and bugling elk.  
I've seen a few flocks of migrating geese.
The Swallows and Grosbeaks and Western Tanagers have all left for warmer climes.
 But the Stellar Jays and Woodpeckers and tiny flocks of Chic-a-dees remain.
 Next year's wildflowers are being dispersed while I wait for the rains to loosen the soil.
I have bulbs yet to plant.
But I am so happy I don't have to water anymore. I have spent hours and hours of free time trying to keep my precious plants alive.
Finally, finally I can spend my time elsewhere.
So while the rain will rob me of my sunshine, it will finally give me time to create some beauty from my summer harvest.

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