Showing posts from October, 2011

Apple Picking with Ella

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of driving for the first grade field trip.  Destination?  Ellijay, Georgia.  Ellijay is way up in Northern Georgia, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It sits near the beginning (or end) of the Appalachian Trail.  The only way there is a handful of county roads. Fill your tank before you leave. There's not a gas station in sight.
Besides its picturesque countryside, Ellijay is known for this:  Apple Picking.

Don't you just love walking into one of those roadside apple houses? The smell of apples...

local honey.....

... Moonshine Jelly?
You've gotta love The South. I thought about buying a jar, but I wasn't sure how well a Peanut Butter and Moonshine Jelly sandwich would go over in the school cafeteria.  Maybe next year.  I'll have to check with the administration.

But we didn't come to go shopping, we came to pick apples!

Despite the fact that for the first three years of our married life we lived on Apple…

Remodeling the Bathroom - Day 14

In case you've been wondering where I've been all week, here it is.  After twelve years of hem-ing and ha-ing (and the fact that the shower was a mere moments away from springing a leak), we made the spur of the moment decision to remodel our bathroom. They started the next day.  That gave me exactly one day to empty out all of the bathroom cabinets, throw away garbage bags full of products and free samples that I will never use and decide how I was going to exist for the next who-knows-how-many days without my sink, without my shower, and without full accessibility to my closet.  I packed up what I needed (and what was previously stored in all the bathroom drawers and cabinets) into boxes and put them in our bedroom.
Ripping out the shower and all the bathroom tile and the countertops and replacing them with something resembling the 21st century was a huge undertaking, but they managed to finished all the tile work by the end of week one.
Week Two:  Painting.  What seemed to…

Low Fat Pumpkin Muffins

October and April are the two best months in The South. The temperature is in the 70's, the leaves are ablaze with color and they don't fall off the trees in just a few short days like they seem to in The North.  Fall color in The South will linger until almost Thanksgiving!    
I'm happily working my way though my pantry full of pumpkin and tried this fairly guilt-free, light and flavorful pumpkin muffin recipe from Ellie Kreiger.  She's the cooking world's counterbalance to Paula Deen.

I love recipes with a bit of a surprise.  This recipe's unexpected element is pumpkin seeds!  The pumpkin seeds (or pepitas) are sprinkled on top of the batter before baking and tie in another element of the pumpkin, in addition to giving the muffin a bit of wholesome crunch.  Some of the benefits of pumpkin seeds include lowering cholesterol, decreasing arthritis inflammation and improving prostate health.

But you don't need pumpkin apologetics to justify eating these muf…

iheartfaces | Let Them Be Little

After 14 years of raising pre-schoolers, it was hard for me to fathom that I no longer had any children that qualified for this week's photo challenge!  This beautiful little girl was on loan to me for a few precious moments in the pumpkin patch.  She is our pastor's granddaughter, Emmy.

To view more heart-warming, cheek squeezing photos of babies and toddlers, head over to I Heart Faces!

We'll Miss You, Fuzzy

I never really understood the book, Stuart Little. I mean, a mouse that becomes part of a family?  It just didn't make sense. I couldn't believe that a 2-ounce rodent could steal it's way into a person's heart - even if he could talk!
Then Anna picked Fuzzy.  Fuzzy was the Dwarf Russian White Hamster that Anna chose for her 10th birthday.  Only the funny thing was, Anna didn't really pick Fuzzy, Fuzzy picked her.  When Anna reached into the box of baby hamsters at the pet store, Fuzzy crawled right out of her litter and into Anna's hands - an unusual act of friendship for an animal so small.
As time went on, I began to push aside my skeptical thoughts and started picking up Fuzzy for a moment - talking to her -  saying good-night to first her and then Anna. As I learned to love Anna's hamster, I was learning to love Anna just a little bit more.
And so, this morning, after we discovered that Fuzzy had passed away quietly in her sleep, I found myself needing…

Pumpkin Cookies with Caramel Icing

We're remodeling our master bathroom, and from our previous experience with the kitchen, let me give you two words of advice that will make any home project run more smoothly: Coffee and Cookies. I mean, a contractor just can't argue with you when he has his mouth full of these soft, cake-like cookies with caramel icing. They're just too good! You'll be amazed at just how prompt the tile craftsmen are when they know that fresh, hot coffee,  is waiting for them.

Wouldn't you be?

These soft, cake-like delicious cookies remind me of the kind my grandma used to make. A delicious autumn treat!

Pumpkin Cookies with Caramel Icing
Adapted from

Pumpkin Cookies
1 cup shortening ( I used Earth Balance)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups White Whole Wheat flour
Cream shortening, sugar and pumpkin.  Add eggs and mix well.  Sift together the baking soda, ground cinnamon, salt and f…

Smurf Pumpkins

I was driving down Main Street, admiring all the scarecrows at the Scarecrow Festival when I came across this creative entry by Mrs. Hull's second grade class:  Smurfville.  Are these not adorable?

Blue and white pumpkins.

Some happy.

Some scared.  Some worried.

Some mad.

I know you want to make some! Can you name them all?

I think I could have in 1980.  Now the Smurfs are back!   I guess that makes me officially retro!
And Mrs. Hull's Smurfs said:
Smurf unto others as you would have them Smurf unto you!