On my way to the library today I spotted this.
I hit the brakes, veered off course, pulled over, got out, and stared. I have been worried there would be no beautiful fall colors this year. It seems I was wrong. I love it when I am wrong in a good kind of way.
This area at Tall Tales Headquarters is what I refer to as "Baking Central". The pull-out shelves on my lower cabinets are so handy (good idea Chris). I keep most of the supplies and ingredients used for baking right here. In one central spot.
Then, when I get in the mood to whip up something delicious like a batch of gingersnaps with orange-ginger cream filling its so convenient I just can't NOT do it.
I am very sorry to have to do this to you. Once you have seen this picture and I tell you about the crunchy, spicy, gingersnap and that sweet, creamy, orange filling you will not be able to resist making them. Angie loves them. She called me twice today to ask if I had made them myself. I think she might have been hinting that she could do with a few more if I happened to be driving by anytime soon. Luckily I wrapped up a few and popped them in the freezer with just such a mid-week delivery in mind.
P.S. I actually like them right out of the freezer with a cup of hot tea. Kind of like an ice cream sandwich but not really.
I drove around looking at front porches in Lawrence the other day. In my own mind I was having "the best decorated fall front porch" contest. I was the only judge. I like it that way.
Since my knitting detective set me straight on that afghan pattern a few weeks ago, I am working my way quickly through the skeins of yarn. I have been sitting down in front of the fireplace in the early mornings on the weekend. When there is a chill in the air. Such a pleasant way to start a day. Just a few rows. A nice cup of coffee alongside. A glance out the window now and then before any activity starts in the neighborhood. This is my definition of sheer luxury. Relaxing in the moment. Letting my mind wander around all the things that might be possible for me to do today, IF I want to. Or maybe I'll just sit here and wait for Chris to get up and fix pancakes.
Chris brought home a fine selection of beer today so we could celebrate Octoberfest. He reminded me that fall is about things other than baking and mums and leaves.
Hey, I am an equal opportunity celebrator. I like beer too. Just as long as I can have some pretzels and spicy mustard with it. I was really wanting one of those big, soft, warm, yeasty, pretzels you can get at the market in Budapest. But I made do.
The official first day of fall began today at 9:49 am Kansas time. I mentioned it to Chris at breakfast and he started looking it up (once a researcher, always a researcher). He then proceeded to give me a tutoring session on the autumnal equinox. I got something about the sun lining up with the equator and equal hours of light and dark and then the cream of wheat with blueberries and brown sugar took over and I tuned him out.
What I do know is that I like the shadows created by the angle of the sun at this time of year.
Even though the science behind the changing of the seasons is over my head, and I don't exactly know the difference between an equinox and a solstice, my internal clock is somehow in alignment with it.
I am enjoying each and every last day of the zinnias before they are zapped by the frost that is coming soon. Today when I went out to cut them there was a big fat yellow spider right on top of the yellow zinnias. Never seen one like that before. I hope I don't dream about it crawling into my ear tonight. I would NOT enjoy that. Not one bit.
Did you know that you can't use tacks or push pins on the walls of cubicles? I didn't until I moved into one a year or so ago at work. I didn't let a little thing like that stop me from decorating though.
Buttons make the perfect hanger-uppers on a fabric covered wall that you can't stick things deeply into. Aren't these the best? I love them. Everytime I see my buttons I smile. Pam made them and sent them to me to try on for size. I am so happy they fit!
Because it's going to be getting colder soon, and because I like you, and because it's a Kansas thing, I introduce the Bieroch. Take out the bottle of ketchup and a bag of potato chips and you have yourself a complete meal.
Chris has been making these for years. The recipe is from Great Cooks in the Breadbasket. It's the 1982 Kansas Division of the American Cancer Society cookbook. Since there is no way you are going to be able to find it I am happy to share the recipe. Thank you Vicki Cole for 30 years of fall and winter comfort food.
You know what this means right?
Yes. I made it to the end. With 1 CD left to go I said to myself "I know how this is going to conclude, Nick and Amy are going to get what they deserve". I was kind of right. As you said in your comments, there were many twists and turns. Right up to the last few minutes. In the end here is my review: If you liked "Fatal Attraction" you will like this.
I really should have just called Lisa or Jeannette and talked them into telling me the ending. Thats what I will do next time. For now, I am delighted to be moving on to Michael Connelly. I need a dose of straightforward crime fiction.
Yesterday my sister reported for all the world to read that I have a "boisterous unladylike laugh". Why I never in all my days have heard my laugh referred to in such a way. Haurmph! I thought for a minute about not giving you this lovely lamp I purchased with you in mind last week sister.
Then I remembered the tea you sent and decided to take the high road. I shipped it by pony express. You should get it in about a week. I think it will look so nice next to your orange chair. Don't listen to any naysayers about that combination. You simply can NOT have too much orange in a decorating scheme.
There is a little bakery in Kansas City that makes the most delicious sweet potato scones. I discovered them several years ago and try to get back at least once a year to have one. The problem is they are a seasonal item. Sometimes my body wants seasonal things in a season that we are not currently in. Thus begins the sweet potato scone chronicles.
I looked up recipes Saturday night and compared them to my lemon cherry scones which are (if I may say so myself ) among the most delicious in the world. I took all 4 recipes and merged them into what I thought made the most sense.
The results in 4 pictures: Unbaked, Just out of the oven, Glazed, and Ready to eat!
They smelled heavenly while baking Sunday morning. Overall I was pleased with the result but the formula needs some tinkering. I took notes so I would remember what to do differently when I try them again in a few weeks. Once I have perfected them - I will post the recipe. Until then I guess Angie and I will just have to eat these up. It's a hard job, but someone has to do it.
For those interested in the report from the hourly mum watching that I had scheduled for today ... we are still at the tight bud phase. See for yourself. Nary a glimpse of color.
I realize that plates that hang on walls are passé, but I like them and they fit nicely into my decorating style which is known as "a little bit of this and a little bit of that". I got out the fall colored ones today and introduced them to the giant bee.
All it took was one cool day for me to get into a fall frame of mind. I would be perfectly content to sit right here and knit for the next 2 days. My trusty assistant, Lewis at my side.
Thinking about getting out a few gourds, maybe baking something with pumpkin in it, checking hourly to see if my mums out back are opening yet. In other words, a whole lot of nothing. My favorite kind of weekend.
I like to look at furniture and imagine what it would look like in my home. Today I saw a variety of interesting chairs.
The totally comfortable chair. Good for reading or lounging in.
Tonight I am cutting up the last bits of the paper I brought back from Norway. Making shapes (or not) and gluing them into my travel journal. Printing a few more photos. Trying not to scribble on all of them with my white pen, but it's hard not to. I am a scribbler by nature.
Still listening to Gone Girl. I have figured out that if I was reading this book instead of listening to it I would be doing more "skimming" because I don't like the characters very much. Actually, right now Nick is annoying the crap out of me and I would like to push him into the Mississippi river. I am not seeing any chance of redemption for him but I still have 9 CD's to go.
I got a treat in the mail today. A real treat. Not a fake treat masquerading as the genuine article.
My chevron drawing sister put some of that white coconut creme tea in the mail for me. She has been tempting me with it by showing pictures on her blog and yes I know I could have ordered some myself, but this will be better. Because she sent it. Along WITH some buttons from Pam!!!
Three exclamation points does not completely capture my glee. I have one of those big giant "showing all my gums" smiles on right now. It's not my best look, but it is my happiest face.
Today I felt domestic, in a cooking sort of way (I generally never feel domestic in a cleaning sort of way).
To my surprise it was easy and delicious. I got the recipe from Ree Drummond. She calls it flat apple pie. I call it good. Good enough to make again.
One teeny suggestion... make sure you bake it on a cookie sheet with a lip on it, to catch the juices that might otherwise run onto the bottom of your oven and be a real mess to clean up.
Taking kid photos is an art all unto itself.
I was reviewing my pictures from Norway the other night. Dreaming of that lovely cool weather and wandering the streets with no agenda other than to roam.
I noticed that I seem to like multiples of things. Repetition of form. I recall it's a basic principle of picture taking I picked up from a photography major I dated in college. I listened very carefully back then when he told me things.
I still do. Except for sometimes. For example, if he's trying to tell me something I already know.
The power went out in Lawrence tonight. A total of 2500 homes were affected.
Luckily for Chris it only lasted about 30 minutes. It's 84 degrees and muggy here. I told him about 15 minutes into the outage to go get some rest because he was going to have to stay up all night and fan me if the a/c didn't come back on. I can't sleep when it's hot.
This is the earliest I have ever put out any mums. It's probably a bad idea, but we have people coming over next weekend. When they look at my back deck I don't want them to see the petunias that stopped blooming 2 weeks ago and won't restart no matter what I do to them. Instead, I want them to think I am one of those gardeners that is always on the ball with my fall flowers at the ready at the first sign of autumn.
These mums were labeled pink, purple, and orange. Never one to go for the monochromatic look, I got one of each and smooshed them together in this pot. I can't think of a better color combination. You'll be the first to see them when they bloom.
I thought about cutting down these terrible, horrible, really dead coneflowers when I was ex-planting the petunias.
At long last I have finished reading "Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake" by Anna Quindlen. I was fairly engaged at the outset but then put it aside for awhile. In the end I liked it ok. There were parts I could not relate to and I was irritated when I kept having to look up words. BUT all that said, I like her enthusiasm for life and can relate to her attitudes about some subjects. I'd be intertested to hear what you thought about it.
I am in serious like with Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo police force. I can enthusiastically recommend The Snowman by Jo Nesbo. You will not be able to set it aside. If you can, listen to it because all those Norwegian names (people, places, streets, etc...) were part of the appeal of the book for me. Especially when a reader with a great voice pronounces them properly. I am searching for more Harry Hole stories in an audio format.
Gone Girl is in my car right now. I am on the second CD and hoping it gets better. If I don't get hooked soon, I will abandon it. I don't like an over abundance of adjectives and descriptive analogies. When words get in the way of the story, and are only there to demonstrate cleverness, I get annoyed. Will report back with the final verdict on that one.
The Fifth Witness is waiting in the wings, just in case.
While Chris worked on the front porch yesterday I took the opportunity to work on my knitting. I needed to be sure I had gotten down the instruction I received when my knitting detective set me on the right path at class last week.
Trying to figure out a yarn-over before a purl stitch had me all confused. Plus you have to use 2 cable needles and I only had one big one. So the point of all this is that even though it might have appeared that I was sitting on the couch resting while Chris worked, I was actually working too.
Besides, we are both highly allergic to sharp stinging pain and have been told by our doctors to avoid angry wasps. Seriously.
Someone in our house thinks that labor day should be celebrated by laboring. I went over the whole history of the holiday with him, stressing the part that it is time to celebrate work by NOT working. But he thinks it's best to get things done when you have time.
So today phase II of the battle against the mud daubers began at our house.
In case you don't know, mud daubers are wasps that build a nest out of mud to lay their eggs in. They had it in their heads that our stucco made the perfect environment for this purpose (before they knew that Chris lived here that is).
For obvious reasons.
We went over to Kansas City to see the Titanic exhibit today.
It was an "ok" way to spend an hour or so. There were some interesting artifacts on display that have been recovered from the ship and I learned some things I hadn't even thought about before. I am curious enough to want to do some more reading but overall I was underwhelmed.
These were NOT a part of the exhibit. But someone at the exhibit was wearing them so I felt it was ok to include them here.