Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Dad's spider web

video
There are birds outside that window and if they come any closer ...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Recipes Request

I can't get enough of this tree. I look out my window and see the light has changed again and grab the camera and take more photographs.

Linda from Australia asked "What are buckeyes?" The "real" buckeyes are the fruit of a tree. Wonderful for squirrels, etc. But Buckeyes, well, of course they are peanut butter and chocolate delights that we really should not eat at all but just have to indulge in. There are numerous recipes for this candy on the internet (called Buckeye Candy or Candy Buckeyes) and they seem easy to make but I prefer to get mine at family gatherings and bake sales. It is easier to limit myself that way.

For the same reason, I only make Peanut Butter Surprise cookies for special occasions (like now?). I found this recipe on the internet a few years ago (sometimes called Magic Peanut Butter Cookies). It is a chocolate cookie with peanut butter inside. Delicious!

Cookie Dough:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
Filling:
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Combine filling ingredients and blend well. Form into 30 (1-inch) balls. Set aside. (I think chilling them makes wrapping them in the dough easier.)
2. Beat sugars, margarine, and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add rest of ingredients.
3. With floured hands, take about 1 T dough and wrap around p.butter ball, covering completely. Place 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with bottom of glass dipped in sugar.
4. Bake at 375 for 7-9 min or until set and slightly cracked. Cool on wire racks. About 30 cookies.

Oh, I am so tempted to start baking. Help! Where is my will power?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Peach Maple

My favorite fall maple has finally come into its glory this season. This tree is in my parent's yard. It is not truly Fall until this tree changes color as far as I am concerned. Yesterday the tree was still nondescript. Today, even with clouds and rain, the tree is glorious.

Sister Beth and I went to yard sales and a craft sale today. There were only about a half dozen sales listed in the paper and almost all of them said rain or shine or indoors, so off we went a 8 a.m. I came home with more tins for packing christmas ornaments in and two more collage picture frames. We went to a moving sale just two blocks over. The elderly lady had recently moved to a nursing home and her family was clearing the house. All the accumulation of years of costume jewelry, souvenirs, holiday decorations and kitchenware was spread out for strangers to paw through and walk away with. But she has gone into a nice home with another relative already there. That was the sale I got the picture frames from and also a few of the tins. I also came home with some wooden clothes hangers to try to make musical harps for next year's VBS and another wooden bar stool for Dad.

The craft sale was at a local high school. Beth and I were inside out of the rain but exposed to temptation in the form of baked goods. I came home with two small pies - pumpkin and apple - for DH and me. Beth got fudge and buckeyes and we shared the buckeyes in the car. Chocolate and peanut butter - nothing better, except maybe Nanny's Christmas Peeper Cookies and my Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies and .....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Catnapped

This is what happens when you try to sleep "late" (anytime after 6 a.m.).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Auto Fall

The drive back from Pittsburgh on Thursday was beautiful in spite of the clouds and occasional spitting rain. I did not realize it until I reviewed my photos that Pennsylvania rarely offered views of just trees. It seems more commercialized next to the interstate. Once we got back into West Virginia, though ...
the views and hills took over again (probably just prejudice on my part).
We never stopped the car anywhere to just take pictures and when we did stop at The Highlands to eat it was all parking lots and stores. (Jen, I saw the Michael's store! We did not go in to anywhere but Cabela's but I saw the Michael's store!)


Then we came home over the hilltop and down Rt 250 hill. You can see the difference between long straight interstate and curvy hilly twisty 250.

I got some nice shots before the road and my head started disagreeing with each other.

After that I still managed to get a few shots but it is amazing how quickly a scene disappears when you are in a car.

Almost home, we are going down the hill into Moundsville now. This is one of the longer "straight" stretches going down hill.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tunnel Vision

Yesterday DH and I went to the VA hosp in Pittsburgh for an informational and examination session about his prostate cancer and Agent Orange exposure. We left very early to try to escape some of the rush "hour" traffic but of course that did not work. Still we had a mostly enjoyable drive except for the actual getting into Pittsburgh parts of it. I took the camera with me in hopes of getting some nice photos of fall foliage on the way home. I could not resist taking pictures in the tunnels.

This one is my favorite. Light at the end.
Not a bad day all-in-all. We were early for his appt and had to wait but got in almost on time and out within an hour and a half. The drive back was much less nerve-wracking. The fall foliage was beautiful but we did not stop the car for pictures as we both wanted to get back home.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Look how big we are

Tig-Tig claims the man chair as soon as DH leaves his seat even for a moment.
The 4 month old kits barely constrained by the playpen at Mom and Dad's.

At a recent yard sale I picked up an old fur stole and have taken it apart to use for VBS - but the kits got one section of it. They like it better than any old stuffed toy. Note the pool noodle before and after examples, too.
Velcro "playing" with "the fox".

video

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Another week has passed

since I last posted. I don't know where the time is going right now. But I was out taking pictures this morning and wanted to share with you. The maple across the alley is developing nicely. It is not as full as last year, maybe as a result of a rather dry summer.
Before the sun actually topped the hills I got a few softer shots including this one of a dewdrop.

Then the sun came out and I got some nice web shots with rainbow gleams on the webs.

I also got a different view of Mom's flowers by the basement door.

The "twin" tree by the alley has its oak part turning and these leaves dangle low enough for nice pictures.
And the goldenrod is starting to fade but still provides a nice landscape.

Monday, October 6, 2008

More

I did go out and get more dew-covered web photos yesterday. These are both the same web that I discovered in Dad's Japanese Maple.

Then I worked on winterizing. I replaced the plastic on the basement windows on the south side of the house but discovered I must wait for cooler weather to do the north side - the bumblebees are still working on the daisies there. Then I started on the front porch - taking down old lights and plastic and replacing with new. We put up a panel of plastic to break the wind that comes from the north and right into the front door. The old panel had lasted 2 years but was becoming brittle. Then we took down the old string lights that we use for porch lighting all year (so much better general illumination than regular porch lights) and replaced them with new strings of LED lights. I like the new look. DH helped with the front porch so it went quickly as he could hang the lights without having to climb the ladder.
I don't like ladders and heights though so it was a real challenge for me to go up and down the step-ladder and balance myself while stapling plastic and threading the cords through the hooks we use to keep our lights up.
I managed to injure myself, of course. I had a can of air to clean out the electric sockets and at one point I knocked it off the bench onto the floor and then stepped on it with my left foot. The foot is not as sore now as it was after that and after all the climbing on the ladder so I may just get away with some aching. No swelling or bruising at least.
It is dark later in the mornings now and earlier in the evenings. I will enjoy Linda's posts from Australia so much during the coming months as she is moving through spring and summer. She tagged me for something I am still thinking about. I have not forgotten, Linda.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Misty Fall Morning

A view through my window of a misty fall morning wreathed in drifting fog and spangled with dew filled webs led me outside with my camera to take photos of God's creation. Now I am waiting for the sunshine to break thru to get more photos of the field filled with dewy webs.

Haven't been on much this past week and was not on at all on Saturday. We finally got DH's car back from the repair shop. Now that the muffler and exhaust pipes are repaired we can hear other sounds that are probably not right. Oh well, if these old cars will just last till late winter we may be able to get another one for DH to drive to work. Since I only do in town driving for the most part I will make do with my faithful if not always reliable Buick.

Sister Beth and I went yard sailing again yesterday. Surprisingly there were quite a few listed in the paper. Many of the people we normally meet at the yard sales were out and about too and voiced their surprise and pleasure at these late season sales. I bought only 1 picture frame with a really interesting "carved" frame with a pattern of ivy leaves. I also came home with a plastic Discovery Kids potter's wheel that will go to church for VBS next year. We found one yard sale that was absolutely fascinating with the variety of items including crafts, sewing, needlework, books, jewelry, old tins and baskets. We got a large cardboard box full of miscellaneous crafts items for only $3 and sorted and shared it between us later on.

My best buy of the day though was pool noodles. We went to a garage sale in an alley and the first thing I saw after getting out of the car was a batch of 6 foot long foam pool noodles. I began gathering them up immediately and then asked the lady how much she wanted for them. She said she would be glad to give me the whole bunch for only 50 cents. Joy oh joy oh joy. I took them all and managed to squeeze them into the car trunk along with all the other items we had already purchased and got the lid shut. Then I looked at the rest of the sale. I told sister Beth that we would have to be careful opening the trunk as it would be like one of those cans of snakes you trick people with. Pop! Zoom! Wheee!

You may not recall why I am so delighted with the pool noodles. They are what my cats use for scratching posts instead of the furniture. We have a "real" scratching post that they climb all over and sit on top of - but rarely scratch. So I cut pool noodles into various lengths and attach the pieces to the outside of their crate at the corners. It helps to protect our toes from the corners and the cats use the longer lengths to climb to the top of the crate. And they shread the bottom portions. Unfortunately, I did not get to the stores in time to stock up for the winter and so I was considering buying pipe insulation foam covers to get us through the winter. Now I may not have to. We have POOL NOODLES!

DH has had a hard week. He is apparently still swollen internally from the surgery and it has irritated other problems he traditionally has in the same area. He has been so uncomfortable. Things are improving again now but it was a difficult week for him. He was in pain whether he was standing, sitting, or stretched out in bed. He could still watch football, though.?

Sunshine has broken through, I am going back out for more web shots. More later.