Thursday, October 29, 2015

No Tricks...Lots Of Treats

The week has flown by faster than a witch on her broom across a full moon.  I've been making food for various Halloween gatherings.  Yesterday our Church had it's "Truck or Treat" fun night for the kids and adults.  It was a  potluck and also a dessert contest.  I can't resist that challenge.
My gory looking cake won for  "The scariest"....what do you think? I also made a few other things to go along with the night but didn't take any pics of them.  But I did catch a few costumed revelers!
Everyone was getting judged in front of the haunted house.  We didn't dress up...I ran out of steam before I could put a few costumes together.  Between work and making food, I was bushed!
We did decorate our trunk...well, the back of the jeep anyway...and handed out candy. See our little boney pet friend named Ralph? He's a stinker!  The weather held up nicely for the event with the temps staying warm in the 50's and the rain holding off.   But the fun wasn't over yet. At work today we had our annual Halloween lunch pot luck.  So it was back to the stove to make more food.  (no pics this time!)  But look who made an appearance:
He just happened to be standing under one of our motivational signs.  He was a delight to all today!  Ashland always has "trick or treat" night the Thursday before Halloween. We stopped in around 5:45 to see Lexi and Addy in their costumes.
Addy and her PawPaw!
Phil and his Greek Goddess Lexi, and little kitty cat,  Addy....they were excited!  After they left, Jack and I took off to see how the rest of the town was doing.
The streets were crowded with ghosts, fairies, storm troopers and all kinds of ghouls! Again, the weather cooperated with no rain, but kind of windy and chilly.  We found 2 really scary characters handing out candy.
My BFF Donna! Her newest Grandkiddo Jax and her hubby Larry were handing out candy at her daughter's home while Chelsea and Bryden were trick or treating.  Across the street,  their neighbors had made a very elaborate haunted house for folks to enjoy.
It gets scarier after the little ones are done gathering candy but I took a quick peek inside before the real ghouls came out!
It was quite the maze.  This is just a tiny glimpse of the fun inside!  I'm sure it was really crazy after trick or treat was over.  I would have loved to stay for all the scary fun but it was time to get back to the Pines.  It's been a busy week and I'm ready for the weekend.  I have a few more projects in store and maybe even a few more costumed capers! We'll see.   For now I'll leave you with this pic.  That little Ralph...I told you he was a stinker...remember the pie?
Well, he finished it off! Booooo!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Almost The End

In one week October will be done...I can't believe it!  I do love this time of year.  The final bits from our garden are in.
Maybe we pulled this one a bit early:
The trees are doing a final dance this weekend.  I'm sure by this time on Halloween they will be mostly bare.
Dogwoods are red.
Oranges and yellow on the side of yard.
The oak tree turned brownish yellow almost overnight and the trees near the Creepy Woods are trying to give a final blaze of color.  Maybe I'll just have to make more creepy things instead of going to the Creepy Woods.  Things like this:
A pack of spiders perhaps?  Or maybe a yummy pie would be perfect.
Hey, I think my new diet is working! Although I do understand the camera adds 10lbs! Yep, it's Halloween week!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Ride To The Quaint Side Of Town

Saturday, Jack and I took a little ride to Amish country to visit a store that we hadn't been to in a few years.  It used to be a quaint hardware store that served the Amish in Kidron.  Well, the English also shopped there and soon it became a tourist stop. It held all kinds of unusual and old fashioned as well as modern conveniences.  I had heard that it had expanded and boy has it!  Probably about 3 times it's original size. So has it's prices and I never saw one Amish person inside. I'm sure they have found another spot to buy hardware!  It was very busy on Saturday and it still housed many of the items I was used to seeing.  If you can't find it at Lehman's Hardware folks, then you don't need it! Come and browse with me!
Look Lehman's up on line and read all about it's beginnings.
Big smile to greet you for the Fall season.
Even grumpy looking hand carved farmers.
Need a lantern? They also carry electric and gas lighting...oh, and candles!
Remember these? My older brother got his arm caught in one that my parents owned when he was a little kiddo.
Did you learn to type on one of these?  (Man you're old!)
You may not know what this is. Every town and city had some.
They housed this...a pay phone! No cells back in the day and a young lady always carried some change so if her date turned bad she could call Daddy. (Maybe that was just me...hmmm) Put in your dime and spin the dial...yep, you were connected. (Or your dime was returned!)
I love looking at the modern stoves that just look old..sweet!
This would look great in my kitchen.
There is every stove imaginable....from the plain to the fancy. 
Take your pick...I'm sure they deliver.
Don't forget to grab a sock monkey on the way out.  After finding a few treasures we took off to another place I wanted to check out. A few miles down the road we came to P. Graham Dunn.
This place has an interesting history that can also be looked up online.  It's located in Dalton, Ohio.  It's a Christian based store and factory that makes inspirational wood, laser cut decorative wall hangings and they carry all kinds of other gift items.  Everything from cards to Christmas decorations.  I can't even go into how many items they carry.  It was fun to browse there and I picked up a few things before we took off for home.  It's also an event center and I'm sure wedding receptions are held here.  I noticed this new looking pond and gazebo.
You can imagine all the beautiful photos taken here during events. The tree color was nice too.
As we were driving out the exit I snapped a pic of the cutest barn I've seen in a while.
Check out this piece of art....really pretty. The air was very crisp...well, cold is truly what it was.  With overcast skies and sprits of snow...yep, we had snow, I was ready to head home to warm and cozy.  Today was still cold but the sun shone brightly and the colors were still clinging to our trees....but going fast...just like this month.  October is more than half over.  I hope you get the chance to take time to enjoy the best that this month has to offer.  I know I did this weekend!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Scout Pepper

Tonight I organized a little scout outing that gave recognition to some of our boys who were moving out of Cub Scouts and into Boy Scouts.  I'm the leader of our 11yr old scout patrol. I have one year to work with them and help them understand Boy Scouts, and advance in rank from Tenderfoot to Second class.   Our Church group hadn't had a crossing over ceremony in many years and I just felt we needed one.  It's the opportunity of getting the young boys out to get to know the older scouts and get the feeling of belonging to the troop.  Hey, any excuse to be outdoors in the Fall and smell a lovely campfire on a  beautiful evening is a good one!
Jack helped set up the area with me.  I wanted to show this pic because it was taken about a  half hour before we started.  By the time we got the ceremony underway it was dark....dark comes fast in the Fall.  One of our neighbors, who's son is joining our group, was kind enough to lend us his land that has a bridge over the creek and a fire pit. It was great!  Thanks Adam!
Down the steps and crossing over to the other side symbolized the crossing from Cubs to Boy Scouts. 
Beautiful fire!
Bo, the homeowner's dog is the sweetest thing!  They also have a Yorkie named Charlie but I didn't get a pic of him.  Both pups are really friendly but I think Bo was hoping for one of the hot dogs we were having around the fire!
Boys love fire! Boys love hot dogs and fire! Boys love s'mores and fire!
Scout buddies!
The adults love a good fire too!  I was very glad the weather cooperated and the winds didn't blow and the temps were cool but very comfy with the heat of the fire pit.  Thanks to all who helped, especially my favorite scouter...Jack!  Oh, maybe you don't know what "Scout pepper" is.  It's the ash that gets on the food being cooked over an open flame.  I saw one of my new, young scouts drop a marshmellow and a hunk of chocolate for his s'more on the ground.  He picked it up, blew off the dirt (scout pepper) and proceeded to make his treat.  Yep, he's on his way to Eagle Scout...a little pepper never hurt anyone!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Leaf Peeping

I'm getting more on schedule with my walking.  I'm trying to put some miles on my tennies  after work each day.   Daylight is fading earlier.  By 7pm it's too dark to walk in my favorite place...the cemetery.  Hitting the trails there before heading for home is my goal.  I kept thinking that Fall was taking it's sweet time this year.  The weather has been glorious with only a few days of rainy and cold.   I'm enjoying the mild temps and the blue skies and this week I've noticed that the trees are finally getting the message that it's October and time for leaf peeping!
At first it was just a hint of color.
Some bright orange among the green.
Some trees are just show offs....glowing brightly next to the late comers.
Monday it was getting more colorful.
Today I would say this is leaf peeping at it's best....vibrant and lovely.  I took a pic of a certain tree that usually gets just gorgeous right about now.  It looked like this on Monday:
Not quite ready.  Then today it was a different story...
Bam!  Dressed in it's finest.  I need to travel out of town and really take in the scenery before the winds of November have the trees bare.  I'm sure I'll bore everyone with cemetery shots of the changing seasons.  The beauty of October...the stark of November...the white and gray of Winter.  Maybe it's cliché to compare the seasons to life but I do feel I'm in the Autumn of my life.  I feel a different vibrancy than I did when I was in my 20' Spring I guess.  I know in a few short years I'll be heading into the Winter of my life.  I want to enjoy not only this actual Autumn season, but also my life's Autumn.  I feel more deeply about certain things and have slowly let go of unimportant leaves falling from the trees.  It's the last show of color for this season and I feel I'm in my last show of color in areas like my career.  In a few weeks one of my co-workers is retiring.  That leaves me one of the oldest workers in our department.  I can remember when I was the youngest!  I wouldn't give up the knowledge I've gained during the Summer of my makes the Autumn more meaningful...interesting....and beautiful....just like leaf peeping.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Just A Piece Of Paper

Friday morning, bright and early, Jack and I took off for an adventure.  A 10hr drive to Wisconsin for my niece's wedding.  Betsy is my youngest brother's daughter.  It was a trip that we really felt we should take and after changing our plans because of my work schedule, we settled on the long haul for this quick trip.  The weather was great and heading farther north brought out the chilly temps!  The leaves were just starting to change.  We were able to meet up with my sister, Mom, and 2 of my brothers at a rest stop.
We joined them for a quick lunch.
Hi there Mommo! Looking good!  From this stop we followed them to our final destination of Wausau, Wisconsin.  My 2 other brothers were there to greet us.  It was fun having all of us together.
I caught them having a little refreshment at the hotel...Jim is in red...Rick...Father of the Bride, is in the glare and my brother Phil in the green and last but not least is my brother Greg.  Great guys...awesome brothers....wonderful men!  The ceremony and reception were at the same hotel which made it very easy for everyone to be together and relax and not have to drive after the reception.  My sister and I took a quick peek earlier in the day at the decorations.  Everything was beautiful.  Their theme was "birch trees" and of course Fall colors.
Lanterns, fresh Fall flowers and wood pieces decorated the ceremony room. The trellis was made from birch trees. 
The tables were decorated with beautiful flowers, lights, pumpkins and tiny bird's nests that held Jordan almonds. 
The cake was really cute with the Mr. & Mrs. Moose! 
I thought this was a cute idea for a place for guests to put their cards. 
The Bride was walked down the aisle.
Vows were said and rings exchanged and tears came to their parent's eyes!
My sister and I for a quick pic!
My brother Phil and Jack make me feel short!
The cake was cut and all the other traditions were done bouquet and garter tossing!
Dancing was an all evening event with the youngest having their time on the floor!
My sister's Granddaughter, Ella, showing her attitude!
At the end it all came down to this...Betsy and Garret are now Mr. & Mrs.  I know in this day and age most couples live together for a while before the actual knot is tied.  It wasn't as common a practice when Jack and I married.  (Our folks would  have killed us!)  I hear the term, "It's just a piece of paper, why get married", many times.  I don't care how you shake does make a difference.   I know more than 50% of marriages fail...I know that most folks go into it with hopes that it won't.  Seeing this young couple and many others I have witnessed, say vows in front of family, friends, and God, makes it more than a piece of paper.  It means "I promise"...promise to love under good and bad circumstances...I promise to give it my all to be a good husband and wife...I promise to be faithful...I promise to take out the garbage and put down the toilet seat...and the list goes on.  I saw the tears in my Sister-in-law's and my brother's eyes..I heard the catch in his voice as he said a lovely speech to his only daughter after he "gave her away" to his new son-in-law.  Because even though she's lived away from home for a few years and her and Garret have their own home...this was for real.  She wasn't just his little girl anymore...her name changed...all because of a piece of paper that says "I do".  Best wishes Betsy and Garret! Glad we made the trip!