Here's some pics from our pumpkin party. I have to be honest and say that we actually stole the idea from my great friend, Gnightgirl. She used to have one every year and we would attend. Then our kids got a little older and we felt like the adult party was not the best place for them, so we changed it up a bit, made it more kid friendly and began to host it at our house. It is a blast and everyone has a good time. At least, thats what they tell me!
Make sure you give a shout out to my Ma who did all the great decorations! Next year, you guys have to make sure to come. Oh, and its a potluck. Bring a dish, your own pumpkins to carve, and lots of laughs. The latter being the most important! This gal, my adopted, or surrogate, or lets just say plain ol' daughter, almost 22 and never carved a pumpkin, so she says. When you are grown, make sure you remember that I did, in fact, teach you something.
I have still being seeing the little buggers, but have yet to entice them into my new house. I will keep working at it.
Here we have the yummy morsels of goodness that the bird man suggested we set out for the bluebirds. Raisins and meal worms. As you can see, I had to call in reinforcements to add the live, squiggling meal worms to the dish. I was not really liking the idea of having to touch them. Yes, I am a baby. And I will be the first to say that I am not a camper. My idea of camping is hanging out in the hottub at a hotel and and having to go out after the ice.
As many of you know, my grandma passed away earlier this year. That was a very hard time for me. I still miss her dearly, as she was such an integral part of my life.
Grandma loved watching the birds. She always had a feeder outside. Many, actually. She was one of those people that had a different feeder for every type of bird. The finch feeder, the cardinal feeder, the suet boxes...I wonder sometimes if that is where I got my love for the wild bird. Grandma did have a favorite bird tho and it was the bluebird. She had a bluebird house right on her deck. Right next to her house. And wouldn't you know those bluebirds came back year after year and made nests in that house. They raised baby bluebirds and just gave grandma so much joy. She ordered meal worms and placed them in a dish on the deck and the birds would come right out and feed on them. They were the greatest thing to watch. I could sit there for hours and watch them. Which, I think grandma did.
I have yet to become as faithful as grandma. I mean, I have a feeder. I have a few, in fact. I fill them with sunflower seed and watch to see what will fly by.In the area that we live there are few trees. It is a pretty new neighborhood, so trees just aren't big yet. That tends to make for a pretty low bird population. We have been in this house for 5 yrs and have planted our fair share of trees. My weeping willow is my favorite and it has grown by leaps and bounds since we planted it.
Imagine my surprise when just a few days ago I see a bluebird perched on my fence. Never have I seen a bluebird here. Never. Then there are 2 and then 3...now 4 I have seen in the last few days. I am filled with happiness. More than just the bird. It makes me feel as tho grandma is here. She is with me right now. This is her way of reminding me that she has never been too far away. It just makes my heart ache for her, but also makes it feel her joy. The joy that she had when she watched the bluebirds and the happiness it gave her.
I set out to learn more about these birds and I have. When I make a decision, I am determined to see it thru till the end. I went to a local shop here in town and purchased a bluebird house even tho the owner thinks I am being a little over zealous. That I will be upset when they don't nest in my house. And even more upset when the sparrows try to take it over. He says that they just don't tend to stay here in this area. He doesn't want me to waste my money on a house. And if it were anything else, I would have been glad that he was looking out for me and not trying to just take my money. But this is more to me than just a birdhouse. So much more.
So, I tell him that I will, in fact, purchase the house and some worms, too. And that when I get these bluebirds to nest in my house I will bring him a picture and he will have to post it in his store. He began to laugh and was very nice and said, you do that. I wish you luck, he says. I will be more than happy to put up the picture so that everyone can see the birds. Don't get me wrong. He was very helpful and informative. I left there feeling very empowered. He gave me some great tips on how to attract them and on what they like to eat.
But, I did remind him that when(not if) I get the birds to stay, that I will be back in his shop to show him. He gave me his card and said to call him day or night if I had any questions. Okay, I will, I say. Thinking to myself, these aren't just any ol' bluebirds. These were sent by grandma. Of course, they are gonna stay.
I came across this great blog. I am not even sure anymore how I found it, but I really like it.
I found this recipe on there and thought that it sounded really good. Keep in mind that I have never made a tart before. In a pan or a free standing one. I am always up for new things, especially when they have to do with food. So, at my weekly grocery trip I gathered the ingredients that I didn't already have and headed for home. Later that night as I am gathering my ingredients, I am beginning to realize that the dough I got is not really looking like it is gonna do a whole lot of puffing. Huh. I keep going, getting everything out. You notice how the first part of the recipe says to roll out the dough to like 1/8"...my dough is not looking like it is gonna be up for a whole lotta rolling. Huh. So, I say to myself(actually out loud, I do that sometimes) This phyllo dough must not be the same as puff pastry dough. Hence the word PUFF. The little tarts on the front look kinda tarty. I mean, I am making a tart.
Well, I am already into it now, so I must make do. I have already packed my tart pan, so this puppy is gonna be a free stander. I kinda overlap the phyllo sheets and then put all the ingredients in the middle. Then I sorta bring the edges in on themselves and put some egg wash on them to help them stay put as well as to make them brown better.
The verdict? Okay. I would, of course, use puff pastry next time. But also, I would not add the lemon zest. It was way to tangy for us. Or I just had an over ripe lemon. I would use more slices of squash because that is where the sweetness comes in. Although, I am thinking by her descriptive that my tart is much larger than the one she made, so maybe when using the puff pastry it ends up being smaller? Oh, and the recipe says to slice the squash into thin slices...good luck with that. Do you know how hard it is to slice an uncooked squash, much less slice it thinly? Not so much. And the onions, yeah...many more of them, too!
So, in the end...it was tasty, but I have some wiggle room on this one. I will switch up some things next time and see how it goes. Make sure you try it. And let me know how it turns out for you!
So, we did it. We got everything done to put the house up on the market. And may I say, it looks darn good. Aside from the fact that I liked my rust colored walls better. Can we all say neutral?
I am officially done. I am done staying up way past my bedtime to paint. I am done staying up late and missing the news so that I can sew curtains. I am done seeing drywall dust and sawdust all over my house. Did I mention I was done?
The carpets are cleaned, the floors are mopped, the stockings are hung on the chimney with care...oh, wait...wrong story. And I don't even have a chimney.
Now, we sit back and wait. Well, not really sit back, I guess. I mean I still have to keep the house spotless, right. I can't let the kids leave their dirty socks all over the house or leave my jammies on the bed. I mean, I even have to make my bed. Do you guys make your bed? I always felt it quite silly to make a bed only to mess it up the same evening. I will say that I like the feel of a made bed. The nice, straight sheets, the fluffed pillow....
So, after a very busy and even more stressful 6 weeks, I have to say that I am so looking forward to my yearly getaway. Every year just us girls take a trip. Just a little road trip to get away and have some me time. I am so looking forward to the me time this year. I have already told my girlfriend that I am just looking forward to being able to eat a dinner and not have someone eating from my plate. She says, well, I guess that means I will have to resist temptation and not try your dinner? Well, okay you can try it. But don't expect me to cut it up for you.