Friday, October 30, 2009

It's Halloween Eve and the Pumpkins are Ready

It's almost here... I can hardly wait for tomorrow to see how our pumpkins will come alive!

I made some Devil Seeds (pumpkin seeds with some olive oil, salt, and a little paprika to give them some colour and heat). I put them in a pretty Halloween bowl and they look and taste great. They're full of fiber, too.

I want too wish my little sister and my sister-in-law both very happy birthdays. Lucky girls, I always wish that I was born at this time of year but no such luck. Anyway, we love you both lots.

Enjoy the pics. and wait till you see what the finished pumpkins look like.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Expensive day on Saturday

One of Hubby's computer monitors died this week, just like that, without any warning. So off we went to spend our dough, the Dough-Nuts! I don't know where this saying came from (It came from a cartoon of some sort that tried to teach financial responsibilty to kids and it was from a long time ago. I think that the whole sequence went "Off they go, to spend their dough, without their common sense, The Dough-Nuts!" ed.) but I love it and thought it was the right space to incorporate it. Anyway, Hubby did find a monitor at a good price and seems happy as it is up and running. It's a substantial upgrade as he went from a 15" flat-screen to a 23 incher to partner the 19" he got a couple of years ago. He has dual monitors cause he is "special". Actually, he is very special to me and the dual monitors he needs for work purposes. (Yeah, right! ed.)

I also spent some money on myself as I needed a down-filled jacket for work. It can get very cold at my work station and it's not even winter yet. So after much searching I bought one, on sale of course, half price, but still $100.00. I didn't get down-filled, either, just fibre-filled. The down ones weren't on sale anywhere and were more like $300.00 and I just couldn't justify it. I did check my favourite boutique,Value Village, first but they didn't have anything suitable. The jacket I got is light weight so I can wear it while working away and it looks good on me so I guess it was worth the price.

As I said, it can get very cold in my work area and this chicky-poo doesn't plan on freezing her booty off. I also bought myself a small heater for under my work table. I can handle the heat in the summer but not the cold in the winter. So I'm as prepared as I can be.

I'm gearing up for Halloween. This Friday Hubby and I have the day booked off and we will begin to carve the pumpkins. I'll probably make some kind of cookie or cupcakes and roast some Devil Seeds (spicy pumpkin seeds). I love to bake near Halloween. Maybe it's just the cooler weather but for some reason it just brings out the creative side of me.

Oh, the IT Department finally got some sidebars up for me. I still haven't decided what they should show yet but at least they're working although only in a testing format.

Hope you like the pictures and I'll try to post again before Halloween.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Homemade apple pie. Yummy.

Right now there is a delicious apple pie cooling on our kitchen counter just waiting to be served up with a piece of cheddar cheese as a side kick. We're also cooking a nice beef stew as I type. We used carrots and onions from our garden, and well, the potatoes where a free gift of sorts. You don't really want to know the details, but all the farm fields are being harvested around here. The laundry is all done as well as the house cleaning and I'm wondering why we can't have three day weekends every week. Really, it's getting hard to do my household chores and blog. Oh, my! Don't worry I'm not giving up blogging. It has been a great stress relief and I do enjoy visiting other blog sites so much. I'm going to update my sidebars with new sites soon. Hopefully, anyway.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hot pink !!!!!!!!!!!!!

On Friday we had a fund-raiser at work for breast cancer research which turned out to be a huge success. You had to wear pink and then pay $2.00 to have your name entered in a draw for some cool prizes. Now here is the best part, I work with about 90% men and the rest is administration staff, who I don't see very often. When I came to work in the afternoon I was greeted by a wave of pink everywhere. The men looked great in pink.

I was so pleased that they all came through for such a great cause. I wish I could publish a picture but that might be more then my life is worth(just kidding)! I work with a great bunch of guys.

We also had a great 3rd quarter so our president wanted to thank everyone.Free pizza,pop and cake. Work just doesn't get any better than this, I'm one lucky girl.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thanksgiving and Inspiration

Wow, another big Turkey dinner with all the trimmings. I spent hours in the kitchen this afternoon peeling and mixing and baking while Hubby worked away outside in the yard harvesting and digging and transplanting. A friend at work had given us a bunch of Tiger lily and daylily bulbs and we sacrificed some of the iris bulbs in the holding garden to make room for them. It’s not like we are going to run out of irises anytime soon, we have hundreds of them (another gift) but unfortunately, they are all the same colour and they tend to dominate that garden when they are in bloom. Besides, I’m sure that we can find lots of people to pass them on to.

So, while he was busy doing that I was swirling around inside doing the “Domestic Diva” thing. Yes, I made turkey, stuffing, all the veggies, the condiment tray, and pumpkin pie and lots of pumpkin tarts, too. Oh, and dishes, lots of dishes. I did five loads of dishes between breakfast and dinner. I also made some Witches Broom Halloween treat bags which I had seen in a Martha Stewart magazine a couple of years ago. Thanks Martha. It has been an extremely busy day.

Now that supper is over and Hubby is downstairs cleaning up the kitchen (I couldn’t bear to look at any more dishes) I thought I’d share a few of the “Words of Wisdom” that I keep on my desktop blotter calendar.

“When you come to the edge of the light that you have been given and are about to enter darkness,
Know that one of two things will happen.
Either your foot will find firm ground - or - you will be taught to fly.”

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”

“Vision without action is a daydream
Action without vision is a nightmare.”

“Before crazy met insane.”

“Winners quit all the time, they just quit the right stuff at the right time.”

“Teamwork: Simply stated, it is less me and more we.”

“ ‘STRESSED’ Desserts spelled backwards.”

“At God's footstool to confess,
A poor soul knelt and bowed his head.
‘I failed ‘ He cried. The master said. ‘Thou did thy best,
That is success.’ “

And my favourite:

“Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.”

Man, I hate that.
Happy Thanksgiving, all.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Plastic bags.

Years ago my sister would always take her own bags with her, canvas bags or otherwise, when she went shopping. The store clerks, especially the younger ones, would always try to give her new bags. They didn’t seem to understand the concept of what she was asking them to do. I guess it seemed pretty strange at the time.

Now “bring your own” has become a big deal but, for some stores, it seems more of a way to screw the consumer out of a few more pennies than as a way to save the environment. I have been using bins for years and I find them very handy. I remember at first the stores gave me points for having these bins then they fazed it out (shame on you). Now it's the in thing and the big stores say that the money they get from people buying their plastic bags will be put back into the environment. Really!? I'll be waiting to see if they publish the numbers on this one. I, as a consumer, still use my bins, and the cashiers seem to really like them better than the bags. When I see people still paying for these bags I have this picture in my head and it is not pretty, but it really hits home.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Today at Work

I’m having an interesting time at work this week. I’m on a training course to re-certify for my current profession (one of many!). I’m sorry that I can't elaborate about the work I do, some things are better left to the imagination, but I think that I, and my co-workers, get paid very decently for our skills. That’s what brings me to the reason I'm posting tonight.

Like a lot of workplaces we usually deal with just a certain group of people on a day to day basis, but because of this training a lot of people from different departments have all been thrown together in one room and I have really been surprised how much they have been talking about money and their debts, which are huge! Some have had to take in boarders to help them pay the mortgage and utilities and to just to get by. These people make great money and are spending so far beyond their paychecks that they have actually become too far behind to catch up. SAD... but they are still spending like stupid fools. And it is on such frivolous things like football games away, at an expense they can't ever dream of paying off, giant wide screen T.V.'s to watch the games on, new trucks, the latest and greatest cell phones and some other techy stuff I'd never heard of. I wanted to scream at them “What are you thinking!!!” If I knew that Gail Vaz-Oxlade had a hot line I would have given them the number quickly before they racked up any more bills.

It sometimes makes me feel bad that I don't just go out there and splurge on all these luxuries. Man, I would love to see an NFL football game (I'm a Raiders fan) but then I realize I would never do it because I have responsibilities. When we pay off the mortgage we will have lots of time to enjoy football games, etc. And we won't need the newest and greatest cell phone because we will be retired. It’ll be just one less bill to pay. I do spend some money now and again at a fancy boutique shop, though. We call it Value Village.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Putting the Garden to Rest.

It has been a busy weekend around the acreage. We pulled out all the bigger varieties of tomatoes, leaving only the smaller Sweet Cluster cherry ones still in the ground. Any green fruit that was on the vines we pulled are now ripening in the house or the garage. For months now, Hubby has been bringing tubs of produce to work. Everyone there just raves about it, especially the tomatoes and the carrots, so he feels very pleased about his (our!) green thumb(s).

We had a great crop of green and cayenne peppers and we are stringing up the latter into garlands so they can dry out. This is a terrific way to save these peppers for use later in the year. In fact, we still have one string left from last year's garden.

I also grew some funky looking gourds that I'm going to dry so I can make them into birdhouses next year. The onions are drying in the shed but they are no way near as good as last year's crop. They seemed to be way too wet and as a result a lot of them rotted. Overall I would say the garden this year was a great success except for the cucumbers. They just didn't produce much and the plants themselves died off early. This really sucked because I had to actually buy cukes from the store to make some of our pickles.

Today we cleaned the house top to bottom, which is our regular Sunday routine. Hubby always helps because we both work full time and the faster we get it done the more time we have to be together. After the housework I made some Bran and Blueberry Muffins with yoghurt and molasses as the main liquid ingredients. Then we put together an Apple Crisp for dessert after our roast chicken is done. Sometimes it feels like I'm running a restaurant!

I think I have finally finished decorating the inside of the house for fall. Oh, who am I kidding, it looks more like Halloween than anything! Right down to the towels. I warned you I was a Halloween freak.

It’s back to work tomorrow again and I’m already thinking about next weekend. It’s Thanksgiving and that means we have three days off. There’ll be turkey and pumpkin pie and all kinds of other goodies. Oh, and the place down the road is having their giant pumpkin weighoff on Saturday. It should be lots of fun as long as the weather cooperates!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'ts October, my favorite month.

Man, I can't believe it's October already.

We went apple picking last week and the Honey Crisps are just perfect. We picked 6 pounds and will probably be going back for more because I'm eating 2 apples a day and I still need some to freeze. We also picked some Cortlands because they are really good baking apples. I couldn't wait to bake an Apple Crisp which I did on Sunday. I added some toasted almonds on top of the oatmeal crumble mix and, well, it was delicious. Martha Stewart, if you are reading this blog I'm still waiting to hear from you.

We also started to decorate outside for Fall and inside (well, lets say I've been doing that for months!). Just sneaking Halloween stuff in here and there. I have my outside Plastic Pumpkins lit up every night. Today I bought a few more pumpkins from the guy down the road for our outside display but I still have 3 really beautiful ones growing in my own patch. I've babied them so much I hate to pluck them from the ground.

The fox in the picture was just having a snooze at the side of the road last Sunday as we were driving home from apple picking. As you can see it was a warm and sunny day and he was feeling so lazy that Hubby was able to frame up a nice shot before he decided to drag his (the fox, not Hubby) bum off into the bushes.

Hope you enjoy the pics.