Friday, October 31, 2014

The Linebarker and the Rufferee

Riley is staying at Jake's house while we are in Florida. He's having a great time chasing squirrels, finding abandoned rawhide chews and chasing Jake in circles. He's probably driving Becky crazy too.

Since I knew Riley would be with Jake on Halloween, I sent Halloween costumes for them.

Riley wore his Rufferee costume from last year.

And Jake was a Linebarker.

This was the first time Jake wore clothes. Riley is used to it.

Of course, Riley will do anything for a cookie, and Jake will do anything Riley does.

The did a great job passing out candy! What a fun surprise for the neighborhood kids.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Most of the Halloween costumes my kids wore when they were little were hand-made by me. I loved making them, and I saved every one of them. All these photos were scanned recently when I sent in that big box of old pictures.

Katherine's first Halloween costume. She was an adorable Raggedy Ann. On the other hand, I looked kind of silly in my "Dog Pound" outfit. Notice the biscuits hanging around my neck.

The next year, Katherine was a bunny. I think Don took her out to two houses before returning home.

Then there was the year Katherine was Dorothy. She really thought she was Dorothy.

One year Katherine and Daniel were matching lions. Daniel did not like his lion hat.

I didn't make Peter's Santa outfit this year. But he looked awfully sweet in it.

Daniel as a scarecrow.

Daniel as a little old lady and Peter as a hippie.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Paper Wasps

Don and I are taking a short vacation in Florida this week.

We were relaxing on the porch this afternoon when we noticed a very large nest on the overhang outside the screen. I was glad it was outside the screen.

And since it was outside the screen, and I was safe inside the porch, I just sat there and watched the bees for about a half hour.

At first I did not know what kind of bee they were. Unlike most of the bees I encounter at home (yellow jackets), these were twice the size and mostly dark brown.

They were busy working, but I'm sure they were keenly aware I was staring at them. Some of the bees would fly off and come back with something quite large in their mouths. As soon as they landed, another bee would crawl over and take it from her and pass it around.

After a little research, I discovered these are paper wasps. And paper wasps are beneficial in that they prey on caterpillars and other insects. They chew them up and bring them back to distribute to the babies being nurtured in the nest.

That was my nature lesson for the day.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Scenes from My Morning Walk

It is Monday morning, so Riley and I went to the park to meet Becky and Jake. It's just part of every week. We don't even think about it any more. But today, for some reason, I decided to put my camera in my pocket.

It was misty on the lake, and the sun was just about to rise when we started out. I love the canoes all lined up on the bank.

We came upon a deer on the path. I think she was too afraid to move after seeing the likes of Riley and Jake. It was nice of her to turn her head around for me.

Around the other side of the lake, we often see a blue heron fishing for his breakfast. There was still a mist on the water.

What a nice way to start the day!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Miss Hospitality

Our church is very large, so in an effort to make it smaller, smaller community "life groups" are available and meet in homes twice a month to socialize and study the Bible.

Our life group meets at Cliff and Julie's house. We have met there for three years. And every time, Julie creates and amazing spread on her dining room table. If I offer to help, she always refuses. She says she loves to do it.

Each time we meet, there is a color theme. Tonight was "orange." 

Julie had pretzels drizzled with orange and yellow melted candy coating.

Candy apples.

Cute paper cups filled with candy corn and peanuts.

Marshmallows dipped in melted yellow and orange candy coating.

Candy kiss acorns (which are a little different from the ones I made last year.) These use mini vanilla wafers topped with mini chocolate chips. The ones I made had mini nutter butters on top. I like these better. They look more realistic.

There is always one healthy option.

These were little cornbread muffins with hot dog pieces inside.

Julie gets her inspiration from Pinterest. Here is a link to her Monthly Entertaining  board.

I didn't get a close up of the Pumpkin Cheese Ball, but that was my favorite.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Chicken with Rice (and Peas)

I tried a new recipe tonight (modified slightly) from a cookbook called The Can't Cook Book by Jessica Seinfield.

It is a one-pot meal prepared on the stove top. It only takes about 10 minutes to get it ready, then you can let it cook for 45 minutes while you do something else.

That's my kind of cooking.

Chicken with Rice (and Peas)

4-8 small bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
1 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic
Grated zest of one lemon
8 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 1/2 cup rice (brown or white)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 c. frozen peas (optional)

Sprinkle chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides.
Add olive oil to large pot and heat for 1-2 minutes on medium-high. Using tongs, add chicken, skin side down, and cook until the skin is browned, about 10 minutes (I turned the heat down to medium).

While the chicken cooks, chop the garlic, grate the lemon zest, wash the thyme sprigs, and measure the rice, water and broth.

Flip the chicken over and cook 2 more minutes.

Add garlic and thyme sprigs and cook 1 minute. Add rice, broth, water and lemon zest. Let liquid come to a boil.

Cover pot and turn to low. Cook about 45 minutes.

If using peas, put in a strainer and pass under warm running water. Stir peas into the rice and cook until heated through (2 minutes).

Monday, October 20, 2014

Daniel's First House

Daniel bought his first house! It is two doors down from the house he was renting from us, so he didn't have to go very far.

This house is just the right size, and the inside was totally refurbished.  I painted quite a bit to give it some color since all the walls started out white.

This is a view of the dining room, into the foyer, and on the left the living room. He has since moved his furniture in.

This is another shot of the same area, only from the kitchen. There is one bedroom downstairs and two more bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Columbus Half Marathon

Marathon watching is a difficult sport. It is very hard to find your beloved runners in a sea of 20,000 people. But we persevered today in order to see Peter an Kendall  during their 13.1 mile run. We walked over 6 miles to observe.

The first time we spotted them was around the two mile mark where we told them they could shed some clothing if they were getting hot. Peter threw off his hat, neck gator and jacket. Kendall kept all her clothes.

Some fans went all out and made signs and wore costumes. We didn't want to embarrass anyone.

There was some down time, so we got hot chocolate and coffee at Starbucks.

The second time we found them was around mile 7 -- half way there, and they were all smiles.

Peter was having a great time.

I'm very proud of these two. They worked very hard for a long  time to train for the race. They finished in 2 hours 10 minutes!

Way to go Peter and Kendall!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fashion Consulting

Way back in March, I bid on a gift certificate at the CVCA auction. No one else bid on it, so I got it for the lowest price. It was a certificate for the services of Amanda from Simply Stand Out fashion consulting.

I finally got around to calling Amanda to use my certificate last week. We met at a Starbucks so she could find out what kind of clothing I like and what I was comfortable in. Then yesterday, she came to my house and put together over 50 outfits from the clothes I already own.

Before she arrived, I pulled everything out of my closet and put them in piles on the bed (tops, pants, jackets, vests, etc.). My jewelry came out too. With every outfit she assembled, she snapped a photo, then at the end, she sent them all to me on my phone.

One thing I realized by looking at the photos is that I can now get rid of half the clothes in my closet. I'm only keeping my favorite outfits.

Here are some of the outfits she put together:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Favorite Wedding Photos

It's difficult to choose my favorite photos from the wedding. There are over 1,800 pictures to look through. I narrowed my choices down to 500 and then I narrowed those to about 50. Here are just a few of the best ones.

The dress.

My guys getting ready.

The bridesmaids having fun.

Josh an his dad.

The beautiful bride.

Just me and my girl.

Josh looking out the window in the barn.

No first look.

Ready to go.

So happy!

Escorting mom.

Here comes the bride.

I do!

The whole family.

So romantic.

Off to St. Lucia.