Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's Scary Out There

Proceed with caution!

Have a fun (and safe) Halloween.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Confessions of a Discombobulated Blogger

You may have noticed a conspicuous lack of Halloween decor on this blog.
It's because I don't like Halloween.
Not since I was a kid. 
Maybe it's because of all the orange.
Not a fan of orange. Or spiders.
Pottery Barn

There's also a real lack of Fall  
(or Autumn, if you're feeling fancy) 
I don't do that either. Not much anyway.
And I like Fall. I really do.
I'm just not that into seasonal decorating. The thought of switching things out for every season and holidays just makes me tired.
So don't hold your breath for Christmas to come.
 I don't do this.
I don't go all out.
It's more like this.
Better Homes and Gardens
Simple. Mostly.

 Easter and Valentine's Day will be the same.
I know. 
(Why does she even have a blog?)

I might do something for spring. Or not. 

 I won't know until it gets here.
Just so you know. 
I'd hate for you to expect a decorating extravaganza that never materializes. 

 Also, in the interests of full disclosure...I don't like to clean my house.
I long for the day when I can hire someone to do it for me.
(We all need an "Alice", don't we? Mrs. Brady was one, lady. I mean, I do it. Clean my house. I just don't like it. And it's probably not often enough.)
I have to clean the parts that will show in a photo I want to post, almost every time.

Sometimes, when I'm spray painting, I don't wear my mask. I feel claustrophobic in it. And then I get a headache and swear I'll never do it again. And then I do it again.
(what is she pointing at?) 
Also, I'm scared of my table saw, but I LOVE my compound miter saw. 

Sometimes I give up on projects. Sometimes they just don't turn out. Sometimes I'm never sure if they ever really did turn out. 

So there you have it.
My confessions for now.

Later, gator!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Candy Stuffed Baked Apples

This is a recipe I adapted from  
Emeril Lagasse.

You'll need

6 medium tart apples
3/4 cup coarsely chopped snickers bar
12 caramels
1 cup apple cider
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
After washing the apples, carefully cut 1/2 inch off the tops. 
Use a melon baller to scoop out the core, seeds and stem. Make sure you leave the bottom intact.
Stand the apples up in a baking  dish. Make sure the cut side is up. I sprayed my pan with baking spray, but you could probably get away with skipping that step.

Put some chopped up snickers bar each apple. Pack it in kind of tight. 

Then put a caramel in each apple, followed by more snickers, another caramel, and then more snickers. This is how much I used for 6 apples.   
(You might notice two caramels are missing. Some sort of petit theft while I wasn't looking is my guess.) 

Once your apples are stuffed 
 Put some dots of butter on top of each one, and after mixing the cider and sugar, pour the cider on top of the apples.
Then bake for 30-40 minutes. They'll look like this when they're done.
You can serve these with vanilla ice cream if you want, or whipped cream, but we like them with just a little bit of plain cream on them. You can also use different kinds of candy, like Heath bars or Babe Ruth bars. 
(Raid your kids Halloween candy next week and you'll have plenty of choices.)
It's a fairly versatile recipe.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Most Embarrassing Thing Said

In a hardware store.
"Where are your strippers? I need a really good one."

(I was talking about PAINT STRIPPERS!)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rained Out

I really thought this was my last week of beet harvest, but we've been rained out, so it might go on a little longer. 
*big sigh*
I'm so ready for it to be over.
But I didn't let my unexpected day off go to waste.
I'm working on a project that I am beyond excited about.
If it turns out like I see it in my head, it's going to be AWESOME!
Here's a sneak peek.
Yeah, I know. It's just a door. A really plain looking door, too.
But just wait!
It won't look like that for long!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Craft Show

I know I gripe about where I live more than I should.
So I thought I'd show you one of the fun things we have here.
The Fall Craft Show.
 Two huge rooms full of vendors.
It's held at the area high school.
I didn't have to work Saturday, so I went with my daughter.
There were some really cute booths.
This one was the cutest, I thought.
They sell "pretend" makeup for little girls. Their packaging is darling.

I loved this shelf
but I think if I really want one, I can make one.

This was one of the few booths with an antique and re-purposed type inventory.
I loved the rope covered frames.

The pottery in this booth really caught my eye.
Pottery by Kathie. 

In fact, this is the only thing I bought.
I love the leaf detail.
It's food, microwave and dishwasher safe.
But I'll probably just look at it.
I have the potter's phone number and address, if anyone would like to order anything. She doesn't sell online yet.

I want to say a very sincere thank you to everyone who has hung in here with me while I've been so busy with beet harvest.
I'm almost finished, I promise!
Thank you for being so patient. 
And a big "welcome!" to all my new followers!
I'm excited for harvest to be over so I can start on all my new projects.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 22, 2010

I Have This Thing

The tube without the handle fits into the tube with the handle.
I got it for a dollar at a flea market.
I think it was used to hold a fishing pole.
(Why would I think that?)
I wasn't sure what to do with it.
I really like the look of it. It's all rusty and dented and cool.
The obvious answer is a vase

of some sort
but I don't know. That seems like such a mundane use for such a cool thing.
(I apologize for the pictures. It was dark when I got home to take these.)
I know a lot of you are "complete whizes" at decorating.

What would you do with it?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I think just about everyone has one.
Some people even use theirs.
Mine is purely decorative.
No lists, notes or menus on my chalkboard.
I'm not opposed to that. I just don't do it.
Have you ever looked at chalkboards like this one
and wondered what artist drew on it?
It just looks so artsy.
Look at the rooster. 

Well, you too can have drawings that looks that good, even if you don't think you can draw!
(imagine I said that in an infomercial voice.)

This is all you need.
A picture you like, some soft construction paper, a pen or pencil and chalk.
Take your chalk and cover your construction paper. Really get it on there thick.
You're making something like graphite tracing paper, but with chalk. The soft construction paper holds the chalk better than regular paper. In fact, regular paper doesn't work at all.
Ask me how I know that.
Then tape your picture to the other (non-chalk) side.
Tape it to your chalkboard, and go over the lines with a hard pencil or a ball point pen.
Use a pen and a lot of pressure if you want a really clear image
Like this bee,
or less pressure or a pencil for a softer image.

It's that easy! 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Where Are They?

Where have all the decor shows gone?
Remember "Sensible Chic"? 
And "Double Take"?
They'd show you how to get rooms like this for less.
I loved those shows.
And all the craft shows? I liked those, too.
I really think HGTV, and even DIY are really missing the boat. 
Would someone who may be dealing with unemployment, or who lives in a neighborhood where every third house is empty really want to watch "House Hunters International"?
I don't think so. I think they'd rather watch shows that feature inexpensive crafts or decorating on a budget.
Something they can really do.
Because buying a house in Spain is just not going to happen.
But that's just my opinion.

This is kind of fun, though.
 Rehab Addict.
It premiered on the DIY network on Thursday, and I caught a replay last night.
This woman restores old homes, and it's  kind of fun to watch. It is a real estate centered show.(Which there are plenty of. But this one didn't irritate me.) The house was so cool I kept watching this one. 
The house coming up is really great, too.

Thanks for reading!

I'm half way through with beet harvest!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Why I Like People Who Like Junk

I have a lot of time to think with my seasonal job.
I was thinking the other day about people who like yard sales, thrift sales and junk.
And why it is that I like these people so much.
I came to the conclusion that there is one common trait thrifters, junkers and repurposers all possess.


Who but an optimist would go into a store like this,
or look at a yard like this,
 or this
and think~"I'll bet there's some good stuff there!"?

Not a pessimist, that's for sure.
A pessimist would be certain that it's all garbage, that they won't find anything good, that it will all be a waste of time.
But an optimist will look at all that and just know there's something good there, that they'll find something they like or want or need, and at a good price, too.
I like people who think that way. 
I like people who expect good things to come their way if they just look a little bit.
People who think that all something needs
is just a little paint, or stain, or a slipcover and it's stunning again.
Who realize that while a piano may never play again
It makes a fine desk.

And there's one more reason I like people who like junk.
They look past the surface.
They don't see junk.
They see the possibilities.
The potential.
I like to think that carries over to how they see other things in life, too.

Of course, I could just be trying to rationalize my latest purchase.
(I don't have a problem. I'm an optimist who sees the potential, that's all.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's Like Christmas!

You might remember that I won last months 
DIY Club Challenge for this project.
The prizes just keep coming! 
And they are phenomenal!
Look at all that loot!
Besides the stencil from Cutting Edge, I got some glitter and some acetates from PK Glitz, 5 different colors of paint from DecoArt, 5 bottles of different mediums from DecoArt, every size of Disk Hanger, and today I got the mother load of prizes from Rockler!
An awesome tool bag, clamps, bench cookies and a rack, steel wool, some paint pyramids, tack cloth, cheese cloth, glue, paintbrushes...I thought I'd never stop pulling stuff out of the box!
If you have a blog, and you're hanging on to a project you really like, ENTER! This months prize is HUGE, and you could win! Just check out the requirements on their homepage~they're not hard.
(I think I should also get a prize for most exclamation points in a blog post.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Family are Recent Converts

To junking.
I think I wore them down.
They knew they couldn't make me stop, so they've joined me.
 Wholeheartedly, I might add.
If they bring home another haul like this one
I might have enough for a greenhouse!
(But I haven't been able to convince all of them that it's OK for me to put their pictures on my blog!)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Reset Life

I probably haven't mentioned this before, but my husband is in law enforcement.
He was hurt during an arrest about 10 years ago. The surgeon who put him back together told us he didn't think it was a good idea for my husband to go back to the same job.
He thought the risk of re-injuring himself was too great.
That was devastating news for both of us.
For my husband (I really need to come up with a pseudonym for him!) it was devastating because he loved his work. He was a narcotics officer, and he was really good at his job.
It was devastating for me because we'd started over before, and as much as I wanted him out of harms way, I really didn't want to start over again.
It's hard.
But I have to hand it to my husband; he started over with gusto.
He went back to school while working light duty. The first two or three years he did it on about 4 hours of sleep every night. He was eventually cleared to go back on full duty, but he kept going to school. He didn't even have an Associates degree when he started. Now he has a Master's degree. It took 7 years. Some of them were very long years.
We would order his textbooks from Amazon, and most of them were used. One book came with a surprise inside.
37 four leaf clovers were pressed inside the pages of that book.
 You wouldn't believe the lift that gave me~both of us, really. I like to think that some anonymous person was wishing us luck when we really felt like we needed it.
I framed the best ones. They're faded now, but I think I'll probably keep them for the rest of my life. 
And my husband? 
He has a much better job now. He's still in law enforcement, but he's moved up the ladder and what he's doing now is not nearly as dangerous.
He's one of the very few people I know who really has changed his life, and I'm so proud of him for it.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Famous Potatoes

That's what it says on Idaho's license plates.
Even though our #1 agricultural product is milk. 
I'm off topic again.
We had potatoes on our farm this year.
Recently, they were harvested.
(If you click on the picture twice, it zooms in a little.)
It went fast. Two days and they were done.
 (zoom in~can you see the guy in the white hat standing on top of the combine? He's pulling vines off of the conveyor belt before the potatoes are loaded into the truck and taken to the cellar. I used to do that when I was a kid. Stand there all day long and pull vines. I'd see potatoes going by on a conveyor belt in my sleep.)
Anyway, once they're done, there are usually a lot of potatoes left in the field.
They can't get them all.
My husband and I went out and picked some up. We had 200 lbs in less than 45 minutes.
I thought it was kind of fun. Like an Easter egg hunt, but with potatoes. And no chocolate bunnies. So it wasn't as fun, but still fun.

In honor of potato harvest
(and because I didn't want to go buy groceries) 
I made baked potato soup.
It's really good, and low fat!
This is what you'll need. 

4 large baked potatoes
7 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled.
4 green onions, sliced thin
salt and pepper to taste 
dash of hot sauce (optional)
(I know, you're thinking "She said this was low fat!" Patience, Grasshopper. We'll get to that.)

1~Melt the butter in a large pot.
2~Saute the onions in the butter. Do yourself a favor and use these. No chopping required. Unless you like chopping onions. But then I have to ask~WHY???
3~Add the flour and stir until smooth.
4~Slowly add 2 cups milk, heat until thickened, stirring continually. Add the rest of the milk.
5~Add the bacon. And here's the low fat part. Use this. See~50% less fat than regular bacon! I am looking out for you! 
               You're welcome.   
6~Heat, but don't boil or it will curdle. Ask me how I know. Before serving, add the sour cream and the cheese, reserving some of the cheese for garnish. Stir until melted. Add salt, pepper and hot sauce.
7~Garnish with sliced green onions and a little grated cheese. 

(OK, seriously, it wouldn't be hard to make this lower fat. Just use low fat sour cream and cheese and less butter. I never have, because we eat this maybe twice a year.)

Thanks for reading!
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