Saturday, October 30, 2010

Catching up

Another week gone and can you believe November is knocking at the door? The garden is winding down, the last of the roses stand out from the backdrop of some perennial mums that I have had for at least 20 years.
 They aren't as full as the potted varieties but they come up every year and I love the rich color.

 My last soft pink rose, I wish I had gotten the picture before it began to lose petals, but I still found it beautiful...
And look what came in the mail this week! I won one of those fantastic CSN store gift card give-aways from Stacey's Place, a wonderful quilter I just found. Thank you Stacey! I have been wanting white dishes for ages. Do I need white dishes? Define need;>)  Free money means guilt free shopping in my book, so I got them.  Twelve plates means I have enough for a crowd, and they mix with everything. I am looking forward to dolling these up with all sorts of pretty napkins and table accessories, and I got them in time for Thanksgiving.  Who would think plain white plates could be so exciting?  I am so looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Victoria will be home from college and Lauren will have her new apartment to decorate and I know she will want my help! Fun. What are you looking forward to this coming season?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Note to self:  Quit overindulging in sweets. You know you feel a little queasy after you indulge. The guilt isn't worth the momentary pleasure and if your body is a temple, well, lets just say the building program needs to come to an end.
Reply to self: Message recieved...but it seems like you could have reminded me of that before I baked the Apple Spice cake with chai spice cream cheese frosting just now.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sponsors and other ways to keep the fun going...

I thought it would be a good thing to discuss some of the ways we can make blogging pay without getting all "in your face" every time you visit.  I know that some don't like the commercialization of blogging, and I have been in that boat too. I hate the pop up ads I see when I go to some blogs! I struggled a long time with whether I should try anything that would make any money. I can tell you I am still far from raking in the dough here, but in our situation (underemployment) every little bit helps and I hope I have added some things that benefit more than just myself.  First, I am selling some small ads on my right sidebar. My latest advertiser is Sky Reve Fabrics.
 She has a beautiful etsy shop and some great deals on fabrics, including a sale section and free shipping within the U.S. on some of her items. I like to support the small cottage industries that have sprung up in blogland. We are all just regular people trying to make a litle pin money, kind of like our grandmothers did with the eggs they sold:>)
I also have an Amazon widget on my sidebar. Most of the books I have recommended are authored by bloggers. there are some very talented ladies out there. I just bought two of Sandy Coughlins Reluctant Entertainer books. One for myself and one for a friend who is starting a hospitality ministry in her church. It is fantastic. I will be passing mine on to my daughters. It is full of great tips and debunks all the reasons you think you can't entertain.  I get a small percentage when you use the widget to purchase from Amazon, even if you purchase something other than the items on my list! It's an easy and unobtrusive way to make a little money for the extras. If you want one of your own just click on the get the widget link on the bottom of my widget.
The third way I am making a little cash is through Swagbucks. I have their search bar on my computer, and their search widget at the bottom of my page. I have only been using it for a couple months and I already have enough "swagbuck" points for about $15 in gift cards. I will probably get Amazon gift cards, but there are lots of different kinds available from Starbucks, to itunes to travelocity and more. You can also use them for merchandise straight from swagbucks themselves. If you sign up with my referal code, yup, I get a little something out of it.
I know this sounds like a commercial, but to me, these ways of making the blog pay are some of the least invasive for you, my readers, and I don't see any reason not to make the most of our blogging.  I get to help out some small business women, and the other widgets are just there if you want to use them..
Please tell me, what do you think of subtle advertising on blogs? Would you do it?

Monday, October 18, 2010

The only bit of fall decorating I have done so far has been to fill this old tool carrier with pumpkins and gourds from the farmers market. The gourds were 4/$1 and when I went up to pay, the lady said, "throw a few more in your bag". She must have been as happy to get rid of them as I was to get them so cheaply.
The front porch looks very autumnal now.
Back to homework.....

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Sweetest Day!

Did you know it was Sweetest Day? I hadn't been paying any attention to the calendar at all. Earl and I went to Panera for our Saturday morning "date" of coffee and a little something yummy (everything bagel for me and a brownie for him today), we take the time to plan the next week, and have some face to face time to talk about whatever. I love it. Time carved out for us. Then a trip to the Farmers Market, probably the last for this year. Pumpkins everywhere, and every size shape and color, gorgeous! There was a sign by the flowers wishing everyone a Happy Sweetest Day. Clever reminder. I got my favorite market bunch from my sweetie. Zinnias, mixed with lots of other spikey pretty things. Plopped in a dark brown antique crock they capture autumn beautifully. The morning sunshine makes them glow:>) Happy. The rest of the day will be spent on shopping, cleaning, spiffing up the things around here that get ignored the rest of the week, and some baking of bread. A pretty happy day all round. Happy Sweetest day to all of you,What do you have planned?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Chicken Whisperer

This is Crossbill. Such a creative  name.  Crossbill started out just like all the other cute chicks but her bill did not grow correctly. If you look closely you can see her bottom beak is way off to the side. Poor Crossbill, there is no orthodontia for chickens. I was worried that she would have trouble eating but she has managed nicely, and out of all my chickens, she is the one with the most personality.
Every day when we go out to gather the eggs, Crossbill escapes the coop. We used to fight it but she learned to get past us so effectively that now we just stand aside and let her out.  She likes her daily patrol of the garden. When she wants to go back in, she has taken to wandering up to the house and sometimes looking in the screen door if the the inner door is open. It's her way of letting us know that it's time for her to go home.  I'm posting this even though the sunflowers have been knocked down and eaten by the squirrels and the yard is a mess. The coop isn't one of those fancy schmancy chicken condos you see around blogland. Shoot me. Life is like that.
She cracks me up.  In this instance she decided to take a little look-see out behind the coop before heading inside. She has us trained, and even though she hasn't laid an egg in weeks, what am I gonna do? She's too cute and I'm sure she will redeem herself in the egg laying department soon.  Don't the underdogs (underchickens?) always steal your heart?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Apple Raspberry Tart

The weather has been wonderful this weekend! Sunny 70's and gilded Fall perfection. It made me want to bake. I found the recipe for this rustic Apple Raspberry Tart here. Delicious! The crust is like shortbread, sprinkled with coarse sanding sugar. The filling, mmmmm, cinnamony, appley, raspberryish delight. Super easy.
And how was your weekend?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Slumming with Earl & Kathy

Earl and I took in a couple garage sales this afternoon. It was such a lovely day, so we jumped in the car and headed out.  After hitting the sales that we were looking for, we followed an Estate sale sign down a long drive and found this. A gosh darn real "Estate"!  This little cottage was on a sparkling lake, the gardens were full of sculpture. It was just plain amazing. If any of you live in a house like this please excuse my farmgirl awe of this kind of living. There were massive spiral staircases inside, an infinity pool out by the lake and they were serving appetizers for pity sake. At an estate sale. This was my first appetizer/estate sale.
 I live a sheltered life.
Of course we went in.
I only got a couple photos because one of the estate sale guys started giving me the stink eye.
I was dying for the $500 crystal bowl on the $2500 table.
 I was thinking this $6500 bone and ivory chinese warrior would make a lovely holder of towels in my bath, What think you? Hmmm, on the other hand I wouldn't want that grumpy face staring at me as I stepped out of the shower. It might give me a complex. And what exactly is he doing to his beard?
After we left, we headed for our kind of shopping. Salvation Army, where I found a light blue sweater set for $1 and a pretty green linen blouse for $5. Earl got 4 shirts for $1 each.  I looked to see if they had any Chinese soldier statues but they must have sold the last one  before I got there.
Go figure.