Friday, September 30, 2011

Off to the park!

Conneaut Lake Park
It is volunteer clean up weekend there
and
it is my
dad and daughter weekend.
I remember going to this park when I was little
and taking my kids when they were little,
and two years ago,
taking Gracelyn for the first time.
So,
My Dad and I are going to help out there on Saturday and Sunday for the
Fall Clean Up Weekend.



And I hear that this ride might be open to ride!
How fun!

This echoes my feelings!

A few years ago they restored
The Blue Streak.
It's nice to see an old park like this coming back.
It has sure had it's years of problems,
and was even closed for a season or two.


But it is back up and running and
I'm excited about going and helping out for a weekend.

One of the best parts?
is that the
offers special rates to those helping out.
When I was little, I always wanted to stay there.
It looked like a place for the "rich" people.
Can't wait to stay there tonight!

Hope that everyone has a great fall weekend!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Last of the Pumpkins

This is it, hopefully!
I am switching to
Snowmen
Gingers,
Winter,
and
maybe a
Santa or two.
I think that I will put the orange paint to rest for awhile.
Other than snowman noses!
Still preparing for the open house.

I need to get some polyfil.
And some leaves on that sunflower.



A few more ornaments.

Another slate and some treat bowls.

And these cute little buggers that I bought at
Pumpkin Fest last weekend.
This pic is dark because they are above my stove and the light sort of glares on them.
I may have to move them.

And now for the Butternut Squash portion of this post...
Because we have lots.
Sunday, I made these pies.
Wow, were they good! 
I was even surprised!
After enduring all the family comments.
"Where did you get that pie dough?"
"Are you sure that you know what you are doing?"
And such.
Anyway, the only thing that I did different than this recipe
is that I used Amaretto for the water.

And JWS is spreading the pureed squash on his vegetables.
Really?
Pie
Veggies
Pie
Veggies
Pie
Veggies
Is this that hard of a decision?

Today..
is
Girl's Day.

I managed to get somewhat caught up at work
and I am taking the day off and having
Gracelyn and Kendall.

I would like to get my fall decorations out.
But,
then again, we may just play all day.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Butternut Squash, anyone?

Really, we have lots! 
Wednesday found Jenn and Kendall and I at the auction.
Smicksburg Produce Auction.
Jenn wanted some tomatoes for salsa
peppers for a couple of things
and apples for an apple butter recipe that you make in the slow cooker.
She doesn't like to bid.
I LOVE to bid.
Auction fever, I guess.
JWS kept saying he wanted to make some soup.
One of us mentioned my friend Carol's Butternut Squash soup.
Let's back up.
This auction draws grocery stores
and produce markets
from all over.
So the lots are BIG.
But,
if you are canning...
I swear you can't grow it in your garden any cheaper.
So,
that would explain this rather large bag of butternut squash?
One would think so.
Or the fact that I love to bid...
or the fact that this was the ONLY lot of butternut squash.
So here's the concept of wholesale/retail as I see it.
Because most of these people are buying to resell their items,
they want the bottom end price.
Because I am buying from the retail end,
I can pay a little more.
But on to the sqaush.
There are lots of them in my pantry.
We are going to be turning orange before we get all of them eaten.
So here's my first recipe.
I'll be the first to admit,
this is NOT the blog that you come to for recipes.
or
Household Hints
or
Cleaning Tips
or
well anything much domestic.
But
Kendall fell asleep on the way home from the auction
and I thought that was good enough reason to take the afternoon off!
So while Kendall slept.
I made this soup from ideas from several recipes.

You will need:
Two butternut squash
(Really, only two)
1 large onion
2 large cans of chicken broth
1 stick of butter
2 large sweet potatoes.
(I found them in the pantry and thought, why not?)
nutmeg, fresh ground is way better
garlic
salt
pepper

Melt the stick of butter in a large pan,
add the onions and cook until transparent.
Add the two cans of chicken broth.
Peel and cut the squash and sweet potatoes into 1" squares and
add to the pot.
(This is the worst part of the whole thing.  That squash is really hard to cut up)
Cook, cook, cook.
Add the nutmeg, garlic, salt and pepper.
Cook some more.
About 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.
Puree in the pot if you happen to have one of those handy pot puree things.
I just happened to find one in the pantry. 
Not sure where it might have come from...
( I think that JWS might have stole it from his Mom's)
If not, I suppose you are going to have to scoop it out and put it in your food processor
or mixer or
well you can figure that out!

Anyway, it was really good! 


Tyler, Logan, Gracelyn and I went on a walk last night,
Through the fairgrounds where I gathered all these flowers,
and maybe a few weeds.

But it was house cleaning day and I just thought that some fresh things would make it even better


Some projects I am working on...

Not going to be done for the Pumpkin Fest...

But, hopefully the open house.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Souvenirs of my trip


Not these,
these are just some more pumpkin items for the weekend.
But,
besides sore muscles,
a few bruises,
three pounds,
a couple of yard sale items,
(just had to fit one of those in)
a new flashlight,
(I forgot mine)
I brought home...
some sort of rash.
Poison Ivy
or something like that.
Not really sure.
The plant that I was ripping out on Saturday
was what I thought was poison oak,
until I googled
Poison Oak.
Not only was it not the same plant,
there are some pretty gross pics there along with it! 
At least mine does not look that bad.
And
I resorted to the old stand by...


Clorox Wipes.

I have heard all the warnings,
honestly, I have.
But, I have also tried all the other medicines and remedies.
A small fortune of creams, lotions, and potions reside in my medicine cabinets.
And nothing dries it up and heals it faster than these.

No disclaimer needed.
Don't try this at home should be obvious.
But it works for me!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lots and Lots of Orange Paint

Last night,
I dipped into the orange paint
and came out with all of these!
Insulators
made into pumpkins.


A pan lid made into a pumpkin.

Some candy corn pumpkins.

Pumpkin boxes.

and
Pumpkin ornaments.

Guess what it coming up on Saturday?

Pumpkin Fest.
Rural Valley, Pa!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Almost Heaven, West Virginia

No television,
no Internet,
not much cell phone service....
and it is amazing the knitting you can get done. 

Last Wednesday night a group of us
from my church left for
West Virginia on a mission trip.
This is the second year that we have gone there to work.
has an amazing ministry there helping to meet the physical needs of many people
and partnering with the local churches to meet their spiritual needs also.
You can read more about it by clicking the link above
or here

Personally, I always thought of World Vision as some big, impersonal organization,
until we got involved there.
Their work is amazing!

We stay at the Barbour County
4-H Camp.



Brings back church camp memories!

Below are pics of the warehouse.

They receive surplus from companies and individuals... 

and process it through as needed.


This is a pic of the Teacher Resource Center.
Everything here has been donated by companies and individuals,
and it is provided free to teachers throughout much of    West Virginia.

We worked at a home of a young family.
For obvious reasons of protecting their privacy,
I would not post pics here. 
We did some demolition work,
we roofed,
we cleaned up,
wired,
and generally helped out for three days.
A drop in the bucket of what they actually need,
but it is a start.

If your church or youth group is looking for a project,
this is a great place to check out.

No passport required!


And now on to my puzzlement.
Every muscle in my body hurts.
I have blisters on my blisters.
I have hammered and shoveled and been in positions and used muscles that
my poor old body has not seen in awhile. 
Worked full eight hour days of constant movement.
Ate meals,
but nothing in between
and
nothing after 7:00 in the evening.
How is it that I gained three pounds on this trip?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Totally Random Weekend

I did get a little painting done.
But...

The week, although short, was crazy!

All these boxes of shirts printed,
way over 1000,
and
all the other work that goes along with that.
Logan found a great little corner to enjoy his Teddy Grahams.

And this pic,
while it was not from last week,
I just had it sent to me.
Don't they look like they are having fun?
This little gator was one of the BEST purchases ever!
All the kids love it! 

So Friday afternoon,
after JWS delivers and runs and drives everywhere
to deliver shirts.
He goes to the hospital to visit his mom.
Comes home at 4:45, 
fixes supper, 
changes his clothes, 
relaxes in the recliner
and
his mom calls from the hospital 
and they are sending her home. 
6:00.
So much for that rest. 
He gets her home at 8:00
because the hospital is not just around the corner. 
and
we have to have her back there at 9:00 Saturday morning for dialysis 
again. 
And so begins the weekend, 
Saturday AM
JWS wants to go to 
Antiquing on the Allegheny.

Really?
Really?
My comment.
"OK, who is she?"
or 
"What did you do wrong?"
But he really wants to go..
and it is raining, 
He doesn't ever want to get wet. 
So we drop his mom at dialysis. 
And we go. 
Below are my finds of the day. 
Everything for $10.
Love those towels!  
And...

This is HIS find of the day,
which he came home,
took down the wall hanging in the dining room
and promptly hung this in it's place.
So
let this be a word of caution..
if your hubby wants to go antiquing with you.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!
And by the way,
it is not staying there,
I am just humoring him right now.

So back to Friday,
I tell JWS to throw a few eggs on to boil
so we can put them in the beets.
And he does,
a few DOZEN!
So let's analyze my time last week.
Wednesday
Work until 7
Meeting at the church at 7
I was a little late.
Find out I have a bunch of stuff to pack for the trip this week.
When am I going to fit that in?
Thursday,
Work until 7
Collapse at 8
Friday,
work until 5.
Eggs,
household stuff.
Still don't have the stuff packed up at the church
Saturday
Drive to dialysis.
Kill time in town.
Drive home from dialysis
Gracelyn and Garren arrive for the night.
Gracelyn and Garren leave at 9:30.
For some reason, they were having a rough night and
Grandma failed and had to call the parents.
In six years, I have only had to do that three times.
I still feel like a failure.
Wait,
Stuff still is not packed at the church.
You see,
it needs packed up before Sunday at two
when there is a funeral there.
So...
Sunday AM
7 AM to be exact,
has me on my hands and knees in the basement of the church with
crayons, chalk, notebooks, paper, paper clips, pens, markers, post-its, folders,
rulers, glue, more glue, paint, art supplies, games,
puzzles, quilts, baby afghans,
and more glue
all spread out
sorting and packing
seven huge boxes
and
two army duffel bags 
full of stuff that our church donated
to send with us on our trip to West Virginia
this week.
Raced home,
Second shower
Church
Then a picnic,
Then to dinner with friends,
then home.
Nap
and more friends stop to visit.

And in between all that,
A little more painting

And this scarf while I waited at dialysis.


And a few more scarves started.
You see, this weekend trip allows me
a five hour ride down and a five hour ride back
and evenings with nothing to clean,
nothing to cook,
and no TV.
So
I will knit.


But wait,
the most random happening of all!
Sunday afternoon
at dinner in a sort of college type sports bar/restaurant.
This "older" woman walks by.
We make the normal comments,
"Wow, so glad we are not the oldest people in here."
"It's so loud that we can hardly hear,
how does she hear?"
and then
"Wait, she has a trumpet in her shoulder bag!"

Well that is not really the "normal" comment that you would make about a well-dressed
older woman in a sports bar, but anyway...
She promptly pulled it out and started playing.
It was a fitting almost end to a completely bizarre weekend.
I, for one, will be glad to get back to work to get some rest.

A 911 Tribute

First of all, a pic of the 911 project from my daughter's 6th grade class.
They made these paper chains and strung them,
one ring for every person that died on that sad day.
Gold for the civilians,
Red for the police and firemen
Black for the terrorists.
So many lives lost.