[haPpy haLLoween ]

I just went for a short walk - it's a most amazing autumn afternoon - 67 degrees, sunshine, and pretty white clouds in the sky. My front porch is ready to welcome trick or treaters and there are twelve bags of candy waiting in a basket by the door. Even though our neighbor has precious few kids, we do get "import" trick or treaters from other parts of town.

My little Halloween quilt is hanging in the back entry. I can't really call it a quilt yet - it's not quilted, just pieced. But it's too cute to not hang - the size is about 36 x 40 inches. I started making Kimberbell's Halloween Table Runner last week and ended up changing it to this quilt - because I really wanted a Halloween-themed quilt right here.
(Kimberbell Designs is the company I work for.)

A sad story about my front-strip pumpkin patch. On Saturday night I bought three BIG pumpkins to put in the strip - the other pumpkins are fake ones (eek...fake!). I carefully placed the real pumpkins among the fake ones so it looked just right. And I have to say, they were heavy and it was a LOT of work. Sunday morning Scott went out to get the newspaper. He came in and said, "I thought you put some real pumpkins out front." I'm thinking, "Duh - they're out there, dear." I went to the front door and I'll be darned, my big REAL pumpkins were gone. I was so mad. Why would people steal pumpkins?
(I went and bought more on Monday and so far they've been OK.) 

I love our back yard in the fall. We're not obsessive about cleaning up leaves. I love to swish through them.
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+ looKing ahead +

Friday was a beautiful day for me and Scott to visit the venue where Mike and Sierra are having their wedding dinner and reception.

It's callled Wadley Farms...located in Lindon, Utah. It's a charming farm-turned-wedding center. Here's a bit of Wadley Farms history from their website:
"Wadley Historic Farm has been in the family since 1869. The first wedding was held in 1995. 
A relative asked if they could have their wedding reception in the barn, "Okay, let us pull out the tractor and rearrange the hay." It has evolved from that moment to what it is today.
The Barn was built in 1951 in Orem Utah and was moved to Wadley Farms property in 1991.
The Railroad Building was once a railroad station in the mining town of Toplift, Utah. It was moved to the property in 1993.
The groom’s dressing room is the original grainery from Wadley Farms.
The red barn in the pasture was orginally located at the Robinson family farm built in 1894.
We are still a working farm today some of the crops we grow are corn, pumpkins, grapes, apples, peaches, squash, pears, and tomatoes. The farm raises farm bred, free range angus beef."

The fall flowers were wonderful mixed with afternoon sunshine and a bit of warmth.
This is the old barn where everything will take place.

Of course, we're pretty sure that on December 15 these lovely stone steps and the surrounding grounds will be covered with snow. They tell us that they have lots twinkly lights and it will look magical!

 Lots of room for lots of dear family and friends.

With planner in hand and feeling grateful to be the mom-of-the-groom this time!
We also got to have a fun dinner at Sierra's parents' house. That's her dad, Bryce, in red.
 Everything was decorated for Halloween. Sierra's mom is an over-the-top holiday decorator! And a wonderful cook...our dinner was delicious. Scott couldn't believe the pumpkin pie.

Here's Leslie and Sierra with their darling Halloween tree. They are so darling and we feel so lucky!


~ bLog awesomeness ~

This is what I posted on Facebook last night:

"Do you love the Chef in Training blog? It's my sister's-son's-wife-Nikki's blog. She's a super blogger, and the recipes she posts almost daily are SO GOOD. I always get a kick out of going to her Tuesday Talent Show where other people link up and share recipes, crafts, whatever. Nikki has the best link up parties - so far today there are 289 links. I want to check out every one! But...if I spent only one minute per blog it'd take me about five hours. So I pick out three." 

Judging from the three blogs I visited, there's a lot of awesomeness out there in the blog world. One of the three I picked showed a diy project that is amazing...and old dresser transformed to a buffet...on the Ordinary Happily Ever After blog. The second blog, Pink Polka Dot Creations, showed a cute poster that said, "I'd give up chocolate, but I'm no quitter." And the third blog, called The Kitchen Is My Playground, showed these darling gingerbread cookies made to look like vampires...a very cute must-share Halloween treat. Here's the post from blogger Tracey: 

 Gingerbread Vampires

"Who says gingerbread men are just for Christmas?  Not these guys.  These gingerbread men cookies have put on their vampire costumes for Halloween!
I wish I could take credit for this clever idea ... but alas, I cannot.  These Halloween dudes were inspired by Southern Supreme Gourmet Specialties, a mail-order gourmet food company located in middle-of-nowhere, North Carolina (a teeny town called Bear Creek, to be exact.)  My Mom and I visited their showroom a few weeks back and spotted their cute and clever little Halloween gingerbread vampires (which aren't available on their website ... showroom only item).  I decided I needed to try that myself!
So I came home and whipped up a batch."
To create these ghoulish vampires, make your favorite gingerbread cookies just like you always would ... here's my favorite gingerbread cookie recipe, if you need one.  Then use a dab of black frosting or royal icing to make eyes, buttons, and a straight across mouth ... add a smidge of white for fangs ... and pop three red mini candies or sprinkles on top of the black frosting buttons.  I used red x's from a Valentines' Day hugs & kisses sprinkles mix, but you could also use cinnamon redhots, mini M&Ms, or any other small red candy.  Voila!  Halloween vampire cookies.


* think about it *

I get an email newsletter from Cheryl Richardson - I first saw her on Oprah and have since enjoyed her books and online radio programs. For this whole year she has done something called Life Makeover with weekly topics and suggestions. Today's essay just struck me as something I'd like to share. I hope that I know NO ONE who hasn't had a hug for a long time. But you never know. I hope the following story moves all of us to more hugs. And more awareness of who needs hugs.

Cheryl Richardson
October 22, 2012

Week 43 of Life Makeover for 2012 
The Power of Touch: Are you sharing the love?

Topic of the Week

The Power of Touch

Last week I traveled to New York to teach at the Hay House Writer's Workshop on Sunday afternoon.  When I arrived, I had a chance to meet a few of the attendees before hitting the stage.  One young man, Jameal, approached to say hello and I immediately recognized his name as someone I had spoken to several times during my show on Hay House Radio.  It's always so fun for me to put a face with a familiar name and I asked Jameal if I might give him a hug.  We hugged, chatted for a bit, and I left to begin teaching.

The next morning, I was sitting in the hotel restaurant waiting for a friend to join me for breakfast, when I discovered a wall post from Jameal on my professional Facebook page.  It read:

"Meeting you yesterday and watching you work was profound. I am not normally the kind of person who gets emotional upon meeting a public figure, but as strange as it sounds, seeing you yesterday for the first time ever, the feeling came over me was the feeling one might feel upon seeing a beloved, favorite, loving aunt, lol. I don't believe I've been hugged in 3 years. 

There were so many wonderful things I could say or reminisce about this weekend but I guess there are only really two words that will suffice.  THANK YOU! ;-)"

Wow.  What a brave young man to be so honest in a public forum.  While I was touched by Jameal's feedback about my teaching, the one line that pulled me up short was, "I don't believe I've been hugged in 3 years."  If only I had known...

I would have hugged him several times before the day was over.

I would have asked others to hug him.

I would have invited everyone to hug each other.

What a lesson.  For the rest of the day, as I went in and out of meetings in New York, I wondered how many of the people I sat across from hadn't been hugged in a very long time.  Did they have people in their lives who cared enough or who were able to show their love?  I found myself wanting to hug strangers, friends, business associates, anyone I came in contact with.

What if the friend sitting next to you hasn't been hugged in three years, the co-worker you spend every day with, or the customer on the other end of the phone?

What if....

Stories like this one remind me that what we see in another person barely scratches the surface.  Behind every face we meet is a human being who needs love.  I'm grateful to Jameal for being courageous enough to offer such an important reminder and now I pass it on to you.

Take Action Challenge

Inspired by dear Jameal, I'm sending you a virtual hug right this minute {{{  }}} Please pass it on...  Here's the link to Cheryl's archived newsletters: http://www.cherylrichardson.com/newsletter/archives.htm 


{ more red }

The other day - one of the last warm days - I was standing on our patio and noticing all the red around our house. I grabbed the camera and headed outside.

Most of the leaves in the valley and in our yard are still green, and there are still flowers here and there. I lobe this pretty bush that I planted in June - I don't even remember what it's called (anyone?), nor did I expect it to stay alive, but it has done well in a little spot by the rock wall (in full sun).

I love the red pad on our new trampoline (story coming someday). 

The crab apple tree is loaded this year. 

Yes, that car again. But it's red and this blog post is about red so there it is. Today the car got a new antenna. Hopefully the radio will work so Scott can catch a paragraph of Dave Ramsey on the way to and from work. 

We have about a billion cotoneaster plants. I used to labor over pruning them, or we'd pay someone else to do it. Then I observed that the more we pruned, the more they grew. So now we just let them do their thing. The red berries are beautiful and abundant throughout our yard.
We planted climbing roses along a cement wall next to our driveway. They bring so much happiness to me as I drive in and out. Sometimes I pick one or two to sit in a little vase above my sink. 
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+ scott's red car +

I still remember that day in 1985, when Scott pulled into the driveway of our Foothill Drive house with a brand new sports car.

It was a cool Pontiac FIERO! Way cool then. I've never been so shocked, because it's not like Scott to buy a new car - and especially to do it on his own without telling me. The kids were excited. Now remember, this was 1985. Mike (who is now graduated from college and engaged) wasn't even born but was "on the way." Aaron who now has four kids and a great career was nine. Suz and Becky were seven and three. It was a long time ago.

We still have that car. Scott has subbornly held onto the Fiero. I gave up begging him to get a new car a long time ago. He always replies with a statement that I can't argue with, "The Fiero is paid for." Scott has no pride when it comes to cars...seriously. He'd rather drive a paid-for car than a nice-looking car. I swear we spend the same amount on repairs, but then he shows me the taxes and registration fees, and I can't argue. (I won't even mention the 1996 purple mini van that we're still driving. It's paid for too.)
The Fiero is showing its age. These pictures make it look younger and better than it does in real life (as all photos should). Scott had me take the photos when it was wet and shiny after being washed so it looked better.

Notice the mileage. Nearly 63,000 miles. That's all. The car pretty much just travels to Scott's work and back home - a two-minute drive of under a mile. Down and back up that hill, twice a day.

It has a few cracks and wrinkles. The interior is kind of sun-dried. It has other issues like the heater and emergency brake. I don't drive it anymore - not after I drove it to the mall and parked in the parking lot. When I walked out to drive home, I saw that the Fiero had rolled into the middle of the parking lot road. Thankfully it didn't hit another car.

It's going to be worth a lot of money someday! It became a "vintage car" last year when it turned 25. Scott says it's worth about $5,000 now - which to quote him, "That's pretty good when it only cost $10."
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It's going to be a dry spell here on the blog. I'm spending as much time as I can with my mom (shingles) at the rehab center. And needing to spend more time with my dad at their new house. It's so sad.