haPpy haLLoweeN

Scott's sister Mary in her Halloween get-up at work.

Except for a bit too much breeze, it’s pretty good Halloween weather today in Cache Valley! There's a little warmth from the sunshine - enough to propel me to the front porch this afternoon to sweep up the dead bugs and crinkled leaves and windex the side windows. I have a "thing" about having a clean front porch (with a doorbell that's not smudged and a door that 's not dirty and steps that are swept and clean). I learned this from a "home-keeping" expert many years ago - your front door and porch are where the first impressions about your home are made. Now I know the kiddies won't be noticing my front door tonight, but I will - and I'll be happy that it's all so tidy.

I bought (only) eight bags of candy for this year’s trick or treaters and I plan to save the Mounds bars for last, then I'll probably get to eat them. I say only eight, because in the years that our children were small and all the children on our street and in the surrounding neighborhoods were of trick or treating age, I had to purchase, like 24 bags of candy. Now we're all old and youngest kids are in college, and we have grandchildren. I hope I get to see some of my neighbors' grandkids tonight. We'll get out our big strobe light that flashes light out of the high windows in our house and we'll be set for whomever rings our bell. I'll find my November Southern Living magazine (always the best) and sit by the front door, waiting for kids to come by. I wish little Emmett could come trick or treating!

Edit add-on - here's a photo of Scott and his office helpers at the office on Friday. Scott wore a costume to work, which shocked everyone. His patients apparently got a real kick out of his pirate costume. All the girls look cute, but Mary (Scott's sister) in her "Queen Bee" costume won the prize. (She always does, Mary's so creative - plus she's a seamstress - she made her bee costume.)

pumpkin image from Martha Stewart of course


handMade pUmpKins

Urban Paisley Etsy Shop

Martha Stewart - candy buffet

Scraplovers blog

antique collectible


Kelly McCaleb blog


Decadent Fibers Yarn Shop


Martha Stewart.com

I love all of these versions of fall pumpkins - I have made a few pumpkins myself over the years - but back when we put big black eyes and smiles on them. Since they are buried in my storage room in the Halloween boxes that I chose not to open this year, I thought I'd do a little virtual decorating and check out what everyone else is decorating with. Very fun stuff!

Oh, and last but not least - here is my new little grandson Emmett in the Halloween cap that he got - on his BIRTH day. The cap was crocheted by the nurses in Labor and Delivery. who make them during their down-time for all the babies that are born in their hospital. It's special that he was born on Oct. 21st, so he could get the extra-cute pumpkin hat.


{ "the world needs more happy pictures }

I don't even remember how I stumbled onto this artist - you know how it is when you click, click, click. But I really enjoy looking at his artwork - I want to go to all the places in his paintings. The artist is Doug Bird and his website is http://holyroodstudios.com/ - he's located in Newfoundland.

Here is what he wrote on his website about this painting - which is titled 'Saturday Afternoon.'
"I owe a lot to this fun painting as it was my first step towards making art for a living. It has been a very successful print. I guess the world needs more colourful happy pictures."
Open edition mini print, image 4.5 x 10 inches, $14.95
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ten little fingers...

Really it's hard to describe the happiness and relief at the arrival of a little grandchild. It's one of those life moments that's rare and beautiful.

Little Emmett Scott Grewe was born to Becky and Pitt last evening at 8:01 p.m. He weighed exactly 8 lbs. He is the cutest little guy - bringing constant, beautiful smiles to both his mommy and daddy. All four grandparents and Aunt Aimee were pacing the hall together waiting for his arrival. It didn't take long before we got to welcome him to the world with loves and a barrage of camera flashes. Because of flu precautions we had to space out our visits - only one of us at a time in the room.

One word - precious.
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cookbooks make great gifts!

Here are two COOKBOOKS that I can personally recommend! Either one is a great gift idea. Maya Angelou's book is part recipes and part memoir. I love her writing, so I enjoyed her essays at the beginning of each chapter. The recipes are probably good, however I haven't felt a need to cook from this book. But to sink into my favorite reading chair and read about Maya cooking - now, that's pure pleasure. Non-fattening too. This book is on clearance everywhere right now.

Here's what a reviewer said about the book: "Maya Angelou is renowned in her wide and generous circle of friends as a marvelous chef. Her kitchen is a social center. From fried meat pies, chicken livers, and beef Wellington to caramel cake, bread pudding, and chocolate ├ęclairs, the one hundred-plus recipes included here are all tried and true, and come from Angelou’s heart and her home. Hallelujah! The Welcome Table is a stunning collaboration between the two things Angelou loves best: writing and cooking."

The best thing about this book is the pictures! Every recipe has a great photo. Of course the recipes are great too. With Paula Deen as their mom, these boys couldn't help but have a collection of recipes for hearty, everyone-loves food.

Just order a book or two - right now, for Christmas - they'll come in handy as a gift for someone special. Maybe you can even slip one into your own Christmas stocking.

++ quick cookies ++

I made cookies today - and nearly, but not quite, burned the first batch. Wait a minute - it's usually the last batch that I forget and leave in the oven too long. Anyway, putting cookie sheets in and out of the oven for an hour made me remember some very good advice I picked up this past summer.
Scott and I were riding our bikes (something we really loved doing this summer) - it was in July - and we stopped at his brother's house for a quick visit. It was a Sunday evening and Melanie was just pulling some Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies out of the oven. Talk about timing! Oh yummm - I still remember how good they were, hot and buttery/chocolatey sweet.
I love being around Melanie because she's always full of good ideas that I take as advice from a very wise person. She told me that she gave up making chocolate chip cookies in favor of making 'blondies.' She figured out that the bar cookies taste very similar to regular cookies and for much less effort you get the same effect - hot, yummy cookies.
I think she's right - the only problem is the 'all or nothing' factor. If you're going to burn them, you burn the whole bunch. (My photos are from July when I went right home and practiced. I sat by the oven so I'd take them out right on time. (yummmmmmm)


scott's VEGAS photos

I just have to share the photos Scott took of "Vegas scenes." We had two free hours before our plane departed. I chose to run through the Fashion Show mall, stopping briefly at my favorite "looking" stores - Bloomingdales Home, Talbots, The Body Shop, and of course the pause to refresh with a Magic Bar and Diet Coke at the Nordstrom cafe. Meanwhile, Scott had been wanting to ride the monorail, so he took off to do that - I'm so glad he had his camera with him. I love Scott's eye for the beautiful and unique.

While I reported that the department stores and chain stores in the big mall were busy and people seemed to be buying lots of stuff, Scott said that the designer boutiques where he went were virtually empty. And he took several photos to prove it.

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my kind of pumpkin walk - lol

There are pumpkin walks and then THERE ARE PUMPKIN WALKS. And walking through the fabulous fall displays at the Venetian and Bellagio hotels in Las Vegas gave new meaning to the word pumpkin walk! (I have to add that I also love our local pumpkin walk.) Of course, these photos don't do justice to the sheer size of these hotel displays - just think BIG - like as tall as people and as round as Cinderella's coach!


[ October in Vegas ]

October in Las Vegas is absolutely beautiful. We're here visiting our daughter Suzie and her husband Winston - and there's no question, this is THE time to come to Vegas. Perfect temperature, beautiful fall decorations in the hotels and stores, and delicious dinner choices everywhere - but that's not just an October thing, I know. We're not "gourmet foodies," so we enjoy more affordable eateries, like the fabulous, but not over-the-top Grand Luc Cafe in the new Palazzo wing of the Venetian. Oh, that WAS good.

It's always fun to be at Suzie's house. She is inspiring in her organization and lack of clutter...and her house is always decorated cute for the season.

I love how Suzie combined a berry wreath with a wood painted decoration to make an extra-cute wreath on her door.

I pulled her away from pancake cooking to get a pic of her with her pretty table runner and matching decorations.

I'm grabbing a minute of computer time to check my email and download my photos.

Meanwhile Scott and Winston are happy to surf today's many football games on TV.

Last night we had the fabulous chance to go to the Cirque de Soleil production of the Beatles LOVE at the Mirage. I can't begin to describe how wondrous it was. The theater-in-the-round with 2000 people watching from every side had incredible sets for each song - aerial swings, trampolines, skate half-pipes, flying trapezes, rolling ladders, I can't remember everything because it was just one scene after another. Also incredible were the big-screen graphics and videos, the choreography (blew Suzie away), the costumes, symbolism, movement, variety, the classic Cirque format - exquisite and eye popping, and, of course, the music. I can't even begin to describe it. We walked out of the 7 p.m. show and wanted to go right back in at 9.

There was the usual post-show frenzy in the gift shop - including a Beatles Guitar Hero all set up for anyone to join. Winston played guitar while Suzie rocked out to All You Need is Love.