Saturday, September 27, 2008

Heritage Festival

The girls and I made our traditional visit to the annual fall Heritage Festival held in a small town about 6 miles away. As always we had a wonderful time, arriving early and making our way through the rows and rows of booths selling everything from home decor items to jewelry to handmade soaps to bird feeders made from old tires. The little ones, ages 7 and 3, had $5 each to spend as they chose - this time bracelets, rings and hair ribbons were the top choices. One daughter bought nothing more than a funnel cake, but brought home several ideas to add to her jewelry and ceramic artwork. The other daughter was on a quest to buy kitchen towels (the kind with a hanger sewn or crocheted so they can be hung from a drawer or cabinet handle) for the upcoming holidays - Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I had no intentions of buying anything, but somehow came home with a calendar frame! It simply belongs in my kitchen - it honestly looks as though it was made for it!

This autumn tradition feeds the senses - the smell of roasting peanuts and bbq - the gorgeous fall colors of pumpkins, mums, pansies, gourds and more - the crisp clean smell of the air when we arrive and the bright, warm sunshine that quickly warms us.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Warm thoughts

Good news - we may just be able to stay warm this winter after all! I've been researching ways to heat our home that would be effective, green, and less costly than using propane. I found a ton of good information, but in the end we decided a pellet/grain stove was the right choice for us.

Meet the Baby Countryside by Magnum - ours will be plain jane - no gold or nickel trim, just a nice flat black. $200 less and I won't be frustrated by fingerprints and such!

Installation is set for October 8th, and hopefully we won't really need it for a few weeks beyond that. I'll post an update once we've had a chance to use it. I'm looking forward to the radiant heat and slightly wood-smoke smell...without all the mess of firewood + knowing this is over 90% efficient with low emissions and therefore low impact on the environment. Oh, and of course if wood pellets become scarce or costly, we can switch to corn, soybeans or other renewable biomass fuels.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Birthday thoughts

I turned 49 on Sept. 9...and decided the best approach to this last year of my 40's is to turn it up a notch! Grandad Quick always said of his 100 years, that "the first 50 were the best" so I'd better make this last year count. I don't know quite where to start, but I do know I want to feel good about this year when it comes to a close. I'm mulling over some ideas and will post updates later.

Our family has lots of members and so, lots of birthdays, so we usually have one combined birthday party during a month that any of us have one. I got to share mine with grandson, Brayden, who turns 7 in a few days. The oldest daughter invited everyone to her house where she served tacos and an outstanding artichoke dip, while youngest
daughter created a fabulous chocolate pecan pie in my honor, and a Spider-man scenario in chocolate cake for the soon-to-be 7-year old.

Our family is big on gift-giving --- too much so I'm afraid, but I can't say I don't adore every single thing! The stainless steel crockpot
and the 4-slice toaster will replace those items in my kitchen that were on their last legs and I just hadn't given in to replacing them yet. A beautiful iron bird-seed feeder will grace my front yard and allow us to enjoy watching the cardinals, chickadees and more this fall and winter. The shades of red and yellow in the chairpads my daughter-in-law designed and sewed for me are absolutely perfect in my recently updated kitchen. And the picture frame grouping in deep chocolate brown will allow me to put the whole family on display in new photos. Oh, and I love the gift card to Lowe's for supplies for my many projects, and a gift of $100 cash from dear hubby and $20 more from my mama that I am having a terrible time deciding how to spend - but it's fun anyway! Best of all was the joy of having this warm, happy group of healthy loved ones around me for this celebration. I am so fortunate to have such a close-knit family that not only loves one another - but LIKES each other!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Garden Vigil

I hate spiders...inside....but, I LOVE spiders in the garden. I don't know how many 'bad' bugs this arachnid has taken care of for me...but I like to think it at least deters a few of those that want to munch on my soybeans and peppers. Though, I'm afraid is isn't doing anything with the squash bugs. I'm still worried those little nasties are going to destroy my spaghetti squash before they mature.
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