Monday, October 29, 2007

Fall Foliage Tours

One of my favorite things to do in the fall is to take a foliage tour. That's just as simple as getting in the car, filling up with gas and heading out on a quest to find pretty colored fall leaves. Lynn said when he and I first married and I said I wanted to go look at the leaves he started wondering what in the world he'd gotten himself into. He couldn't imagine taking a trip just to look at leaves! But after 9 autumns and 9 fall foliage tours, he says he's anxious as I am to view God's paintbrush.

Last year we ventured up to Petit Jean Mountain. It was raining that day, a Sunday afternoon, but it was still pretty up there. We looked at all the leaves, toured the camping areas, and ended up at the lodge for dinner. The food was marginal, but the view was spectacular!

One year when Benjie and Jonah were little-it was raining then, too-we ended up in Eureka Springs. It must have been after daylight savings time ended, because when we got to Eureka, it was dark! Rather than drive home 3 hours in the dark and rain, we spent the night! It was so fun to do something so spontaneous!

The leaves are just beginning to change here. I don't know how practical an afternoon of aimlessly driving around is with gas approaching $3.00 per gallon, but I do know that it's cheap therapy! Seeing the gorgeous fall colors and sites makes you feel good, even if it is costing you an arm and a leg!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

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The Boo!Bash! was a success! We had 60 people here! Almost everyone was in costume, as well. We had a tractor and trailer loaded with hay for a hayride, a bonfire (well...a fire in the firepit), lots and lots of desserts and warm and cold drinks, hay, pumpkins and glorious weather! God blessed us with a huge orange harvest moon! It was so great!

Everyone's costumes were so creative...we had Sleeping mom in her robe, cold creamed face and slippers; Spiderman and the boys Benjie and Jonah; Burger brother Mark; a few bikers, cowboys, baseball players, assorted Star Wars characters, Bonnie and Clyde, a fireman and a doctor, a prom queen and Daisy Mae (from Little Abner fame) and the entire cast of Annie-Daddy Warbucks and all! That was my other brother Michael and his entire family plus a couple of orphans! Jacob, my oldest, was the most creative of all...he put on a hat! Not sure what he called himself...hmmm..

We are already making plans to do it again next year!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

What are you going to be for Halloween? When we were kids, that was the big question at our house!! We loved to plot and plan our costumes. I can remember being a hippie (this was the 70's!, a clown, a witch and a hobo. It was so fun. We had a great neighborhood for trick or treating-almost everyone was family, and the ones that weren't knew the family! We got great candy!

My kids start planning their costumes early too. Of course, Mom helps encourage that! This year, we have Spiderman ( my 6 year old son) the Rifleman (from a 1950's tv show)(my 7 year old son), Elwood from the Blues Brothers(my 14 year old son), and Mr. and Mrs. Zorro!! I am the only person I know that has an everyday wardrobe flashy enough to put together an outrageous costume from things I wear every day!! I really don't know that Mrs. Zorro dressed like I plan to, but it's my party and this is how I would dress if I really was Mrs. Zorro.

I plan to wear a white blouse with ruffled cuffs, black gauchos, a sparkly red cape, a silver cowboy hat with silver tulle veil, and my black riding boots. Yes, I own all of that! Scary, huh?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Flea Marketing

I love to go to flea markets and browse for treasure. For some reason, my favorite time to go is on a rainy day. I just love prowling through the treasures and potential treasures on a cool, rainy day. Nothing beats the joy of finding a gift for someone on my holiday gift list, just knowing that it's perfect for them and they will never believe it came from a flea market!

One of my favorite wedding gifts was a silver sugar shaker from my parents. I'd looked at it and drooled over it for months, but wouldn't buy it because I was buying only things for the wedding. Then, at one of my wedding showers-viola! There it was! It sits proudly in my china cabinet with some of my other flea market treasures!

Grab a girlfriend, head out to the local flea market and scoop up some treasures! Look beyond the obvious. Look for beautiful teacups and saucers to use at a Christmas tea. It doesn't matter if they match-it's more fun when the don't! Also, the teacups make wonderful candles-just melt some wax, drop in a wick and let it set up. A single teacup might be just the thing to round out a gift basket or to tuck into a stocking. A tea basket with several types of tea, a tea strainer and an antique teacup and saucer would be a glorious hostess gift. Add a jar of honey and a honey dipper and your friend is set for a relaxing solo tea time!

I once purchased for $3.00 a 5 arm brass candlestick that I loved, but curiously, never used. This fall, I spray painted it white and now use it all the time on my dinner table or on the back porch for dinners. I plan to hang chandielier crystals on it for Christmas and make it part of a display in my living room, along with some red and gold taper candles and greenery.

Think out of the box and see what you can find! Let me know what you come up with!! Have fun!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

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Here's some of my favorite holiday, entertaining and decorating blogs:
This is my friend Marge's blog:

And this is my buddy Aggy's blog:

And this is one of the coolest websites and message boards ever! This is my friend Ginger's site, and our new holiday planning home!

Check them out!!
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Thanksgiving countdown

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fall Party Planning

Fall party plans are in full swing. October is a great month to entertain. The air is cool and crisp, nature has done a great deal of the decorating for you, and pumpkins, hay bales and gourds, natural decorations for a fall party, are in abundance. Plus, the hustle and bustle of the holidays has not yet begun, so your guests are not as likely to have packed schedules. I love to entertain outside this time of year. Several years ago we added a back porch to our house, and it has become a prime spot for entertaining. We love to serve guests appetizers on the porch, and then move into the house for the main course. Eventually, we always end up back on the porch for dessert and coffee. If you don’t have a porch, a patio or a balcony will serve as well. Even if it’s just a spot on the lawn, being outside is a wonderful way to entertain in the fall.

Be sure to provide guests with an inexpensive fleece throw in a bright fall color-you can make them yourself from a yard of fleece, or purchase them at dollar and discount stores for under $5.00 each. Autumn nights can get chilly. Another great addition is a fire pit or chiminea. Now is a great time to pick one up at end of summer closeouts. And, of course, food is always the star of the show, no matter the season. Consider serving a cup of hot soup with some crackers or bread for an appetizer. Greet your guests with a mug filled with tomato, chicken or French onion soup. Have a pasta night and make spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread and an apple cobbler for dessert. There are tons of recipes for all on the web. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking, make a no cook appetizer, order a killer dessert from your favorite bakery, and call for pizza. What matters most is the camaraderie and the atmosphere. Make everyone feel at home and comfortable, and your fall party is bound to be a success, whether it’s inside or out, gourmet or takeout!