29 October, 2009

Halloween Tablescape

Susan at Between Naps on the Porch hosts Tablescape Thursday. Click her badge on my sidebar to see other tablescapes.

I purchased the tablecloth, basket for the centerpiece, table runner (which is bunched up under the centerpiece), the plates and the goblets at thrift stores.

The basket is layered with raffia, beaded gourds, dried corn and silk maple leaves. I love the ghost candles. I don't know how much longer they will last since I do burn them when we eat.

Look at that comical paper cat looking on.

The candlesticks were my mothers. I spray painted them black and wiped off the high points so the silver shows through. That jack-o-lantern is a napkin ring I slipped down over the candle. There is a ghost napkin ring on the other candle. The little ghost figurine is a favor from a banquet I attended.

The ceramic pumpkins were my mother's. The individual little pumpkin soup toureens were hand-made (not by me) in a ceramic workshop.

28 October, 2009

Mens Retreat

Susan at A Southern Daydreamer is hosting Outdoor Wednesday. Click the link to view other outdoor posts.

Our church held a winter retreat for the men. The men spent one afternoon walking in the woods on the grounds of a local church camp.

A beautiful stream. This is how they crossed it.
At the top of the mountain, there was time for meditation and reflection.
Jumping for joy.Brr, it was so cold the lake is almost frozen over.
Then it snowed.

22 October, 2009

Tortellini with Mascarpone Sauce

Michael at Designs by Gollum hosts Foodie Friday. Click on her blog title to view other foodie posts.

This week I am featuring Tortellini with Mascarpone Sauce, which is a recipe I created from a favorite restaurant dish.

This dish is quick and simple to make and best of all, delicious.
8 oz. spinach tortellini, cooked
3 Tbsp. butter
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup milk or half & half
4 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 cups chicken breasts, shredded (optional)
In a medium saucepan, add mascarpone cheese and heat only until melted. Do not boil. Add milk and butter. Stir until smooth, then stir in Parmesan cheese and garlic salt. Continue heating until sauce thickens. Stir in chicken and pine nuts. Pour sauce over cooked tortellini and toss to coat.

This can be made as a side dish or with the addition of shredded chicken, as the main entree.

21 October, 2009

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk

I would like to thank Susan from A Southern Daydreamer for hosting Outdoor Wednesday. Click on the link to see other outdoor posts.

The outdoor activity that my step-sister and her family attended was a walk for the American Cancer Society. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is more than just the name of a walk, it describes the progress in the fight against breast cancer. It was held this past Sunday, which was a cold, rainy, miserable day. However, the rain didn't stop these people.

My step-sister, Nancy, is in the pink hat and holding the sign. Nancy should have added her own name on the list. She is the most humble, unselfish person I know.

Making Strides is not a race; it is a celebration of survivorship, an occasion to express hope, and a shared goal to end a disease that threatens the lives of so many people we love.

The man in the orange hat is Nancy's husband. The lady in the black coat is my other step-sister. The other ladies are Nancy's friends. The team was called Mann's Angels.

The man pushing the stroller is Nancy's son and her 3 grands. One cute little girl and twin boys.

Have you had your mammogram?

19 October, 2009

Fall Wall Decoration

I would like to thank Susan from Between Naps on the Porch for hosting Metamorphosis Monday. Click on her link to see what other bloggers have done and get ideas of what you might do.
Don't you love it when you read a post that gives you inspiration. Well, Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick posted a fall decorations she created. She has a beautiful blog with a lot of lovely and practical ideas. If you haven't checked it out, you must go over.

This is my tin sconce as it looked when I purchased it at the thrift store. Yuck.

This is what it looked liked once I spray painted it a rubbed bronze and put a couple of fall picks in it that I picked up at Michaels. They spray paint was the most expensive thing that went into this.
When looking online at QVC, I saw this Valerie Parr Hill wall sconce for $75.00. Anyone who paid $75 for this must not be crafters or bloggers.

17 October, 2009

E-Mail Humor

I just want to thank all of you for your educational e-mails and blog posts over the past few years. I am totally screwed up now and have little chance of recovery.

  • I can't use the remote in a hotel room because I don't know what the last person was doing while flipping through the adult movie channels.
  • I can't sit down on the hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.
  • I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pastime while driving alone is picking ones nose (although cell phone usage may be taking the number one spot).
  • Eating a little snack sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of trans fats I have consumed over the years.
  • I can't touch any woman's purse for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public bathroom.
  • I must send my special thanks to whoever sent me the one about poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.
  • I now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.
  • I no longer open a public bathroom door without using a paper towel or have them put lemon slices in my ice tea without worrying about the bacteria on the lemon peel.
  • I no longer drink Coca Cola because I use it to remove toilet stains.
  • I no longer can buy gasoline without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm pumping gas.
  • I no longer have any money, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.
  • I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.
  • I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St. Theresa's Novena has granted my every wish.
  • I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put 'Under God' on their cans.
  • I no longer use Saran Wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.
  • I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.
  • I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.
  • I no longer receive packages from UPS or Fed Ex since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.
  • I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our American troops or the Salvation Army.
  • I no longer drive my car because I can't buy gas from certain gas companies.
  • I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore, and Uzbekistan.
  • I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.
  • I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.
  • I can't boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face... disfiguring me for life.
  • I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my butt.
  • I can't ever pick up $5.00 dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.
  • I can't do any gardening because I'm afraid I'll get bitten by the brown recluse and my hand will fall off.

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon and the fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beautician .

Oh, by the way..... A German scientist from Argentina, after a lengthy study, has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read e-mail or blog posts with their hand on the mouse. Don't bother taking it off now, it's too late.

15 October, 2009

Buckwheat Cakes

Did you know that Buckwheat Cakes are a seasonal food? Restaurants that make the real thing have them only during the cooler months. The taste is a little sour and is just wonderful. They have become a winter favorite in our house.

You must start this recipe the night before, but it's well worth the wait. They have yeast and are left to ferment overnight. Make the batter in a large bowl, because it will rise. You can save some of this as a starter for the next batch, like with sourdough.

The batter is thinner than regular pancakes and they don't brown as much. Flip when the bubbles pop and leave small holes.
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups buckwheat flour
1 tsp. salt
1 packet dry yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
3 Tbsp. brown sugar (divided)
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbsp. oil

1. Combine flours and salt.
2. Soften yeast in warm water; stir in Tbsp. brown sugar.
3. Stir this liquid into the dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Be sure to use a large enough bowl to allow plenty of room for rising.
5. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature.
6. The next morning, stir batter, then add remaining sugar, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.
7. If you want to use a starter for the next batch, reserve 1 cup of the batter. It will keep several weeks in the refrigerator.
8. Fry the remaining batter on a lightly greased/sprayed griddle as you would regular pancakes. They will be a bit thinner and will not get as brown. Turn when small holes appear on the cakes.

To use starter:
When you are ready to prepare the recipe again, place all of the starter in a large bowl. Add:
2 1/4 cups of warm water
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups buckwheat flour
Stir until smooth. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature, as before.

Serve with butter and maple syrup. Some folks eat them with applesauce.

I wish to thank Michael at Designs by Gollum for hosting Foodie Friday. It has become my favorite meme to contribute to and check out all the wonderful recipes. You can too, by clicking on the link.

My 100th Post! And the winner is ....

This is my 100th post! As customary among bloggers, I had a give-away to celebrate this event. Today I let a random number generator select the number; and the winner is ...

Katherine at Yellow Rose Arbor.

She is a wonderful christian lady who has the nicest blog. She has been a follower for awhile and always leave such nice comments.

You must go over to http://thingsienjooy.blogspot.com/ and congratulate her. She won the mini toile picture frames, a nibble plate and a candle warmer.

14 October, 2009

Autumn Flowers

Outdoor Wednesday is hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer. Check out other outdoor posts by clicking on the link.

These photos were just taken. I can't believe that some of these flowers are still blooming in the middle of October.

Don Juan climbing rose.



Iceberg Rose



Seeds were planted last year. Only the one came up this year and didn't bloom until this week. I think it a cosmos.

Snapdragons and marigolds provided color all summer.

Sedum - Autumn Joy

The morning glories were a surprise which self seeded from seeds I planted last year.