Pumpkins For Sale

My little neighborhood grocery store set up a huge box of pumpkins for sale in the produce section because Halloween is just a month or so away. There are several different kinds, too. There are pumpkins for carving into Jack-O-Lanterns and pumpkins for cooking and other pumpkins for decorating. I have to admit that I bought one to make into a Jack-O-Lantern, even though I don’t have any kids. I like carving pumpkins and decorating with things like corn stalks and hay and scarecrows. It makes me feel like we are welcoming the change of seasons as well as celebrating Halloween.

Last year I bought 2 pumpkins and never got around to carving them. I ended up just painting them with acrylic paints, and they lasted for a very long time. Once you cut into them, bacteria starts to grow and they slowly rot. But if you don’t cut them, they can last for 3 months before they show any signs of rot. But on Facebook I read a tip from a friend that you can douse the cut and cleaned pumpkin in a bath with bleach, which kills the bacteria so it lasts longer. That gives me hope and I will try that trick this year to see if it really works.

So, my next questions is, what do I carve into my new pumpkin? A scarey face or just some kind of design? I have seen some really cute designs…..

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How Often Do You Repaint Rooms?

I’ve lived in this apartment for 4 years now and the paint is starting to look pretty shabby. So, I’m starting to think about repainting a couple of the rooms and decorating them. I asked the apartment manager if I could paint and she said it would be fine with her.

I really want to paint my bedroom, because it is just white and I don’t find white to be restful or peaceful at all. I want a soothing green or light tan, which will give me a good reason to go buy all new sheets and a quilt. I should throw in a few new pillows, too. Then I can buy new things for the bathroom and have a nicely decorated master suite.

I have only painted rooms in a house a few times, and never my own. The apartment was freshly painted white in every room when I moved in, but I’m sick of looking at plain old white. I want some color in my life and I want the chips and holes repaired, too. It can’t be that hard to paint a room. I have met some painters and I swear if those guys can paint a room, then I should be able to ace that shit.

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Feeling Crafty Today

The worst thing about winter for me is the shorter days and long, cold nights. It is dark when I wake up in the morning and it’s also dark when I leave work and drive home. If it is raining or snowing, the drive home takes 3-4 times as long and can be a gridlocked nightmare.

Tonight was like that – raining a cold rain that made the roads slick, so people who were going too fast for road conditions were spinning out and ending up in ditches. Thankfully, I know to slow down and, more importantly, watch out for the idiots and give them plenty of room to wreck their own cars and not take me with them.

I got home and made a bowl of beef stew and then surfed the cable channels – nothing good on. Surprise, surprise. So, instead of spending the evening sitting on the couch, I’ll be sitting at the kitchen table and working on some crafts. The first project I want to tackle is covering old cans with plastic lids and making them decorative. I’ll be wrapping the can with yard, spray painting the can lids to coordinate, and then gluing embellishments around both the can and lid with a glue gun.

After I decorate a few cans that will become gifts, then I will make a batch of craft dough and cut out some interesting shapes to get ready for Valentine’s Day. I have cookie cutters in a variety of heart shapes and sizes, and I will be baking the dough ornaments, then painting and embellishing them to give away as gifts next week.

What do you do on a cold, rainy winter night when there is nothing on TV?

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Cold Weather Comforts

Pretty much anywhere in the U.S., January means winter. Even in the Deep South and the arid western states, January means cold weather and spending more time around a fireplace or kitchen stove in search of comfort.

Some of the things I like to do in the winter months is bake. It’s all about baking classic cookies, pillow soft cakes and heavily spiced pies. Some of my favorite cookies are the classic Toll House chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter blossoms – you know, the ones where you bake the peanut butter cookie dough and then as soon as it comes out of the over you plop an unwrapped Hershey’s Kiss into the middle of the cookie so it slightly melts.

Winter cakes in my kitchen include carrot cakes, gingerbread cakes made with applesauce, and traditional yellow layer cake with white, coconut frosting. In the summer, I like Poke Cakes and lighter citrus flavored cakes. And, of course, chocolate cakes are a year-round favorite.

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Home from the Holidays, Safe and Sound

Finally got home this morning. I drove all night. As much as I love my family, three days of holidays and dinners and exchanging gifts at my mother’s house was plenty of family togetherness for me. But I’m glad I made the trip.

My mom went all out to entertain everyone, but this year my two sisters and I pitched in a lot to keep the kitchen running. I took mom to the grocery store for the last few things and she told me how tired she was. So the three of us took over the kitchen and had mom get off her feet as much as possible. After all, we knew how to cook everything – mom taught us all how to cook!

Almost everyone was on their best behavior. But I swear, you cannot get this many people together in one house without someone getting mad over something. This year it was my brother’s wife who turned out to be the bitch. She is a little bit of a dingbat anyway, but something my mom said must have insulted her – unintentionally – and she went stomping out the door. We were all surprised, as no one heard anything said out of the way. But whatever it was, my brother got the bitch calmed down and they stayed outside for about 20 minutes “to smoke.” When it was time to eat, they came back in and acted like everything was fine, although she sat at the far end of the table away from mom and when they left she barely said thank you before rushing out of the door.

All in all, I’d call it a success. And I’m home again, safe and sound.



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