Thursday, October 30, 2008

Frost on the pumpkin

It is starting to get a little colder here. We went from frosty mornings:

to the first October snow within a day or so!

However, the snow did not last long, nor did it hit this area the same. The picture of the church above was maybe 20 miles or so from the picture below. This one was taken closer to Houghton and you have to pass by Lake Superior to get there.

Apparently something called the lake effect makes a big difference both near the great lakes and the smaller ones (like ours) You see right now, the water temperature is warmer so the towns near the lakes... and our house near our lake... are a bit warmer because of the effect the water has on the climate in the surrounding areas. However, when the lakes freeze... and yes Lake Superior freezes... then the towns and homes near the water will be colder because again... of the effect the frozen water has on the climate. That is how I understand it anyway.

Anyhoo, the local folks say normally in October a bit of snow will fall, then there will be some clear days before we get walloped. Then they ask me if I have been through 'a snow' before... dang. They keep asking me that.

oh dear.

Frankly, I try to stay on track with getting prepared for the upcoming winter. Intellectually I know this will be different than what I have ever experienced... but unfortunately I have a bit of the grasshopper in my California blood. Ya know... the Ant and the Grasshopper story? The Grasshopper spends his time fiddling around and having a good old time not getting prepared for the winter. Meanwhile, the ants are working hard all through the good weather stocking up on supplies. That is what has been going on around here. It is a very busy time for people, hunting, canning, stocking freezers, moving firewood, etc.

When I do make it to the store, the canning section looks like a pack of wildebeests attacked it. Stores can not seem to keep up with the supplies... and here I am driving around looking at the pretty leaves, playing with the dogs.

Guess which one is which?

One is goofing around with the camera while the other cuts wood.

Actually... I am just (sorta) kidding. Those of you who know me know I am helping...

It's just I don't have the impending sense of doom coming that people seem to have.

Winter here can't be that bad right?


As far as what I have been up to, I have been working at the post office on weekends and even cover on other days here and there when the postmaster needs time off.

Here is a picture I took the other morning as the sun was rising, it is a bit blurry sorry.

My point and shoot camera sometimes is a little lacking... or maybe it is the photographer.

I had just raised the flag right before I took this.

I also have been getting the house set up a little more. We have not painted inside, that will be a later job but I am trying to organize... find places for pictures...

changing furniture around stuff like that. We lucked out the other day and stumbled on a table set that we both liked:

Nothing fancy, but we really liked the style and color. Now we can sit at a table to eat... almost like grownups!

I also have set up my pantry.

Yayyyy! Bean soup all winter!

I also have been helping move the firewood up closer to the house. We are taking advantage of the protection that the deck may give and are stacking firewood right on the patio downstairs... which handily is where the woodstove is located.

We are using the poles under the deck to help hold the wood. I have one row there and plan on putting two more and then on the other side of the patio I will be adding a couple more rows. I stacked it just up to the window as you can see below... because that window is where I am sitting right now writing this blog! All I have to do is move my eyeballs up from the computer screen to see the lake. Can't be blockin' that view now!

It takes a bit of time to move the wood because first of all I have to move the right kind of wood and I always forget which is which...
maple, birch, basswood..
It all burns right?
(says the grasshopper)

No they are not the same and it makes a big difference. So first I have to go to the right pile and then I have to get the scooter, hook up the trailer.... get the dogs and put them on board because heaven forbid you ride the scooter without them.

I then load up and drive around the house and unload.
Makes me tired just thinking about it... hmmm... wonder what is on hgtv?

Probably some halloween special. Speaking of that, sounds like the handful of kids that are around here might actually make it to the house to trick or treat. I bought a bag of small reeses the other day to prepare... then I had to buy another because that one went somewhere. I am thinking about calling Trooper Pat.

Anyway... I bought a new one and since there is only one day until Halloween, hopefully we will have some treats to give to the intrepid halloweeners who make it to our door.

And to you! Happy Halloween!
And now for some creepy pictures to get you in the mood... queue the scary music

Actually, I just noticed something... this is very scary!
View the next picture with caution... scroll slowly

You have been warned

Oh my gosh do you notice the resemblance!?!?!?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tis the Season! Halloween is near!

While looking for Halloween pictures to put in this post I ran across so many it was hard narrowing it down...

That is one of the reasons I have not posted in a few days. After all that surfing I have quite a collection here, vintage stuff, movie stuff, tv stuff… many witches and all kinds of fun things. I will randomly be putting them in while writing. Turns out I have a tv/movie witchcraft thing going on... see how many you recognize… and please pardon the chaos. This post is kind of all over the place.

I love Halloween! I think more so now then when I was a kid but in a different way. Like most kids I used to love to try to come up with a good costume…however I did not really like the traditional outfits. I do remember however that I loved being a bum. A vagrant. A hobo. I can remember dressing that way a couple years in a row.

One of my hobo years was when I was in 2nd grade. I recall getting some of my Dad’s old clothes, putting on a rope belt like Ellie May and rubbing dirt on myself from the backyard on Grant Street. I thought for sure no one would recognize me when I wandered into class… I reminded myself not to talk at first because the kids would know me for sure but if I remained silent for awhile I was sure to freak them out! I plotted and planned the while walking that whole block to school. Once there I quietly sauntered into the classroom... keeping my eyes down. Ya know how it is... I was just a bum out for a walk wandering into the classroom on accident…

“Hi Becca! What are you supposed to be?!” yelled out the first kid I saw. DANG!! I was made! My cover was blown! I don’t remember who that kid was but I kind of wonder if he was the same one who ended up with scissors stuck in his leg that year.

Well… that’s a story for another time.

When Amber and I celebrated Halloween I think one of her first costumes was a pumpkin. I am not a seamstress. I have to tell you when I was first writing this I wrote sewer... but somehow I don’t think that is spelled right or is the correct use of the word. At any rate, I can sew a straight stitch but that is it... however it did not matter. She was only going to wear it the one time and heck, I could just sew her little baby self right into the costume if needed. So... for her first outfit I made her into a pumpkin with a little stem hat and everything. When I took her to the Potter Valley Halloween festival and paraded her around she won a price for her costume for her age group. I still have that costume in the stuff I have been lugging around for years. (My family is very lucky I do not have a scanner thingy... bwa hah hah hah!).

As a kid Amber went back and forth with her costume choices… she was a Ninja Turtle, a ballerina, and a mouse. However, she was a black cat SEVERAL times.

As she was older and our climate was a little colder (Pacific Northwest) the costumes actually became a little easier… I used to buy sweat suits in the color of whatever she was going to be that year… and then decorate with felt or accessories from there. After Halloween I would dismantle the costume and voila’ she would have a sweat suit. Nifty thrifty.

For example, the time she was a mouse I bought her a grey sweat suit and then just the mouse ears and tail package that the department stores sell. I cut an oval shape out of white felt to go on her tummy, used eyeliner for whiskers and that was it! That year I decided to dress up too so I also got a mouse costume. (Grey sweatsuits were on sale that year) People would do a double take when we went to the door. I have to smile about that now because I was a big old mouse and she was a teeny one. We probably looked like the Lenny and George of the mouse world. Or shall I say.... Of Mice and Girls.

Sorry Mr. Steinbeck.

I went to a grownup Halloween party once at my friend Heather and Jason’s house. (Heather and I worked together as DPO's for a several years... we shared an office for awhile.) The party was great fun and I searched the web for clever costume ideas. I found a pretty good one I thought. I wore a black sweatshirt with yellow rectangles of felt sewn in a broken line down the front of the shirt. Then up in one corner I took an old stuffed animal, put red fabric paint droplets on it and then sewed red netting under it and then onto the shirt. I was road kill! HAH!

At the party there was this one guy (actually the guy I got Cosmo from) who had a pretty fancy silver Hershey’s Kiss costume on. He was all in brown and then had this silver metallic Kiss shaped outfit with a point hat and the little Hershey’s label sticking out of the top. Throughout the evening he was getting more and more buzzed and seeing this big kiss getting intoxicated was entertainment in itself. My friend Heather was a dead Beauty Queen. She found a prom or bridesmaid dress at a thrift shop, a tiara, made a sash, and had white makeup with blood on her face. That was a fun party!

Which witch is which?

Hmm.. kinda noticing a theme there with those last few sets of witches.
Apparently Ms. Granger stands alone...

As far as Halloween d├ęcor… for awhile I went through a Martha Stewart Halloween phase… well… I guess I still love her Halloween stuff… I make sure to buy her halloween magazine each year. However, more recently I have moved over into the Autumn, fall, black ravens, tombstones, old witchcraft kind of Halloween thing now.

A touch of Poe here and there. Garlands of fall leaves, pumpkins, gourds,

Ravens roosting in the house...

an odd ghost or skeleton now and then...

Ever read "The Black Cat" or "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe?

They are short stories... check them out. It will only take a minute of your time.

A great Halloween read and you will always remember them.

I also get a kick out of the Dio de los Muertos decorations.
The skeletons in their various living activities are great! Here is a pole dancer!
Found it on Etsy...
it is called
Danse Macabre.

You may remember me mentioning there aren't a lot of kids around here so I don’t know if there will be any trick or treaters. One time on Whidbey Island I had a brave sailor knock on my door. A real sailor in his real sailor uniform. (There is a Naval Base on the island.) I opened the door to him standing there and in a rather deep voice saying, “Trick or treat!” His buddy was absolutely beside himself giggling out on the street. They were just having fun and I think the one was showing off a bit for the other or it was a double dog dare situation. I just played along. I said not only are you boys a little early (it was not even dark yet)… you are a little old. I gave the brave one candy anyway.

Once in Ukiah I went out to my car to go to work and there was a bloody guy wrapped up in Cosmo’s blanket passed out in the backseat of my car… Oh wait... That wasn't Halloween.

Well… that’s a story for another time.

As far as local activity… our neighbor Brenda’s birthday is on Halloween so she goes all out! She has several of those blow up decorations in her front yard, skeletons coming up out of the ground, and sitting around the trees.

Well that was a bit of a ramble... and I thought I would end with a classic...
They just don't make cartoons like they used to. Check out the dried flowers behind her, the picture of the butterflies on the wall, the Raven standing on the skull.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy (tomorrow) Birthday!

Amber Lee's Birthday is tomorrow! Yayyy! She is 22 years old and quite a wonderful girlie! (Oh my gosh... she is 22! I have officially become old. Well, I probably already was but saying it out loud is something entirely different.)

She has her eyes to the future and whatever that may be and I know she can meet whatever is in store for her! To put it simply...

She Rocks!

And now for the moment I know she has been waiting for.... ahem ahem..
Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday
Amberrrrr Leeeeeeee-oooooooooo!

Happy Birthday to you!

And many moooorrrre!

I can just hear her now.....

Mom! God!
You're embarrassing me!


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