Fall Leaves Falling

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Goodbye Halloween mantel; hello fall!  I kept a few of the pumpkins around and added some leaves, flowers, and keepsakes.  The ceramic covered corn bowl on the left is something from my youth.  It still holds the mini-ear spears inside.  The goal was to eat the buttery ear of corn without wasting butter on your fingers.  Ha!

To the right is some golden wheat in Lucite, a gift from my sister years ago when I was homesick for Kansas.  The centerpiece is a print from the inspiring Kelly Rae Roberts with the following quote:

“Giving opens the way for receiving.” — Florence Scovel Shinn

Enjoy the Season!

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Pumpkin Love

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Visits to the Pumpkin Patch, creating your own pumpkin, and seeing them light up is all parts of our Halloween tradition.  Included are family pumpkins.

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There’s something about taking a pumpkin and with a little creativity and effort turning it into something quite magical.  And if it happens to be a kitty pumpkin, you might just fall in love.

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Boo Balloons

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Decking out the front yard for Halloween, my husband enjoys drawing some spooky balloons to hang from trees.  He also let’s the grands join in and either take their balloons home or hang them from our trees.  To make these, you’ll need:

  1. large white balloons
  2. permanent markers
  3. string
  4. white large garbage bags
  5. scissors

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Blow up the balloon and tie a knot in the end . (Kiddos may need some assistance with this.)

Let your creativity lead you, but still keep an eye out for little ones who may not know the meaning of “permanent marker.”

My husband likes to draw a face or design on both sides of the balloon, since the balloons twist in the wind.  Once the balloon is done, tie the string on the balloon knot.

Next comes the tricky part.  With the scissors carefully slit one side of the large white trash bag.  At the opposite end of the slit, cut a small hole for the string.  Thread the string through the hole so the bag flows around the balloon.  Remove bag’s drawstring.

Enjoy.

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Kid’s Kubb

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While thinking about our grandchild’s birthday party at a park, I wondered what field games could be played with the variety of ages in attendance.  My brother, who was visiting at the time, introduced us to Kubb, a game from Sweden he had heard about.

There was a great deal of information on YouTube and Google about the game.  A few of us watched several videos and thought it would be a splendid game….and one we could make rather “easily.”  Lincoln and I discussed colors and how to change the original rules to something more birthday-friendly.

My husband, who can make anything, bought a couple of dowels, a piece of wood, and gathered some wood from a wooden pallet.  He cut everything to size and rough sanded the pieces.

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I took over the blocks and painted them with used paint from the garage.  It took a while, but it helped to give the wood two-three coats.

The next step took the longest.  I taped off each block and baton in preparation for the colors.

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To say this step took hours would not be hyperbole.  Still, it was fun to see the colors bring the set to life.

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Once the set was painted two or three more times, everything was handed back over to my husband who sprayed a sealer on the entire set.  Yes, several coats.

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The game turned out to be a lot of fun.  After the kids played a couple of games, the adults played as well.  It was a success, and a game I hope we will play for years to come.

Mother’s Day

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Felt lucky with the beautiful cards, flowers, hugs and messages for Mother’s Day.  A hanging pot bursting with colorful flowers and elegant card from my husband.

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I received a bouquet of flowers dyed with so many colors it looked like a party in itself.  Along with Bryon’s flowers, Nora added her own card – with glitter, of course.

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A beautiful plant arrived with hugs along with more lovely messages.

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fam card

The plant was huge (about four feet tall) with blooms that will live in the sun for years.  My husband has already lovingly planted the flowers where I can see them from our little deck.

Every single one of the cards made me tear up, except for the last one….which made me laugh so that I had to present it in video form.  There is just no other way to get the full impact of a child’s imagination.

Happy Mother’s Day!  I felt like a queen!

Happy Halloween

Hubs and our Halloween decorating used to start after we left work on the day.  We would light some candles, throw sheets over the furniture, turn on the porch light, and greet the kiddos.

Once we had grands, it became a different story.  We now begin early and have eager hands helping.  Since Alaska, I’ve been drawn to ravens and crows.  So when I spotted this picture from Better Homes and Gardens (.com) I thought….oooooooooo    Below is the picture from the site.

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My take on it:

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I used a purchased faux pumpkin because I am NOT going to put those rhinestones on every year.  However, I’m pleased with the grouping and it sits on one side of our fireplace mantel.

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The top part of the front window has sheer material with figures that show from either side (inside the house and out).  I purchased the paper cats, but crafted the pumpkins using black paper on either side of sheer orange material.  A pumpkin garland tops it off.

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2015 is eventful because we attended two pumpkin carvings: One was a neighborhood event, with a delightful group sitting around a table carving pumpkins and sharing stories. Robert’s pumpkin is great.  Mine…meh…I tried a new “shaving” tool and was not so pleased.  Sometimes it does not work out.

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The second carving party was a large affair with outside pumpkin stations, inside carving tables, a potluck, and a face painter.  Robert’s bald head was too tempting for the face painter who asked if she could do his entire head.  Robert, such a good sport, said “Go for it!”

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There were at least three generations of newbies and old friends to chat with.

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Robert brought a “ghost” pumpkin and did a great job.  Since scary faces were to frighten away evil spirits, I thought I’d make a little sad pumpkin to scare away the blues.  Succcess.

This same party planner, used to line his sidewalk with rod iron plant hooks, holding faux pumpkins he carved with a rotary tool.  After a decade of holding the parties, he decided….no more parties (logistics alone — mercy!) and gave away most of his outside items.

We were the lucky recipients and have enjoyed them each year.  While he changed his mind about no longer hosting the parties, he knew his former pumpkins had become a tradition in our household. The grands can’t wait to put them out each year.  Robert and the grands also make balloon ghosts.

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So we are set to go!  Candy in the pantry, pumpkins on the porch.  Neighborhood trees are graciously doing their part decorating the ground with all the colors you’d want for a Halloween landscape.

Happy Halloween to all!