Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Fabulous 1890's Weekend

Last weekend Charles and I hit one of the biggest events that happens in Mansfield-The Fabulous 1890's Weekend. This weekend is in celebration of the first ever night time football game played under electric lights. It happened in Mansfield in 1892. So they have a festival to commemorate the event with lots of stuff to offer and then it ends with an re enactment of the game with the 1890's rules and period football. We went on Friday night for some midway games, funnel cake and fun.

Charles played darts and won Kiwi a long pink snake!

Funnel cake!!

The next day we started the day off on Main Street watching the motor less parade. We sat on the curb with a brusque breeze blowing leaves off the trees waiting for the big show! This was my fist attempt at fall layering and I wore a shirt, sweater and a jacket. I only had on jeans 'cause Charles said that nobody wears long johns in September. Plus, I needed to work up to the heavy stuff!

The first marching band was really good.

Did I mention that this was a motor less parade?

Lots of people dressed in period clothes and anyone was welcomed to participate in the parade.

I love a parade!! Especially the bagpipes!!!

Last year's and this year's Miss 1890's.

Fantastic music...we sat and listened to a Polka band. (Don't tell anyone but I am a closet Lawrence Welk Show lover!)

On Saturday in the afternoon it started to rain and continued through the rest of the evening so sadly the park kind-of cleared out and there were not a lot of folks there at the end to watch the game and fireworks. But we braved the drizzle and sat under a big tent and watched the game. They "played" with the original rules that didn't include forward passing or kick offs. It was a pretty rough sport with many players being boxers as well. Lots of fighting.

It was a great weekend and I learned one thing...the top half of you can be warm enough, but the bottom can be cold all by itself! I found that just my legs were shivering towards the end of the evening and I realized that a) I am from Florida and b) no one will know what I am wearing under my jeans so if I need to wear blasted long johns in September I'M GONNA!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The absolute cure...

I have found the absolute cure for the dreary-day-blues! A grilled cheese sandwich & homemade split pea soup! Today has been rainy, dreary and chilly! So I decided to make some soup for lunch. Warming the house up by cooking creamy pea soup and taking my steaming mug and cheesy sandwich to the bay window to eat was an excellent way to chase away the chills...I could almost see the dark clouds rolling away and the sun start to peek through the tree tops.

Now just add in a frosty glass of root beer, a dill pickle slice and the chatting and laughter of ladies at lunch and I am transported back to the 60's and 70's, sitting at the McCrory's Five & Dime lunch counter in Fort Lauderdale's Coral Ridge Mall. My Grandma used to work at that McCrory's at that very lunch counter and I remember seeing photos of her in her pink and white starched uniform. But she worked there when I was very young. When I was a bit older my Mom, Grandma Sarah, my Great-aunts Ada and Julia and I would go shopping at the mall at least once a month and it was such a treat to "eat out" with the girls. Sitting at the bustling lunch counter was always lively and fun. Each of us had our favorite lunch counter fare and I was a 'soup and grilled cheese' kid. In fact, I am a 'soup and grilled cheese' adult too! It doesn't get much better for me. Now, if I was a very good girl (and I always was!!) we went next door to Dipper Dan's for some ice cream-always rainbow sherbet. I was a girl with simple tastes...

See? Sweet memories, steaming soup and a ooey sandwich cured my dreary-day blues! Aaahh...now back to that pile of laundry...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

May be easier to comment...?

I've had a few folks tell me that it is hard to comment on my blog. So I did some checking out and changed a setting or two and hopefully made it easier to comment. Try it out and let me know if you care to! Thanks!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Joyous Mabon!

This is the season when we can reap the fruits of our labor and of our lessons, both with crops and experiences. It is a time of joy, for us to celebrate that which is passing and to look joyously at the moments and the experiences the year has shared with us. We are reminded once again of the cyclic universe-endings are just new beginnings...

Fall is officially here and we are welcoming the Autumn Equinox with some really wild weather! The mornings have been downright chilly! There were a couple of days that I checked the thermometor and it read 37 degrees! But by the afternoon it was usually up into the 70's. But by supper time the temprature starts to drop again.

We have had to become familiar with the different kinds of heaters we have in the house. There are the room heaters, or "forced air" heathers. These are the electric ones and they are in the two front rooms and the two bathrooms. Then there are the floor heaters which get their heat from the furnace that are located in the two guest bedrooms and the living room. And finally we have the wood pellet stoves that are in our bedroom, the finished basement and the living room. We have not learned how to use the pellet stoves yet, but have become very familiar with the other two-especially when taking a shower or we notice some shivering Chihuahuas! For the last few days the wind has really picked up at night. It actually howls! Charles and I were talking about it on our walk this evening and he agreed that it is kind-of spooky.

We have been going on some great evening walks. The trees that line the road we walk on are all starting to go through the change. It is amazing to me all the different colors these leaves can turn. I am having a great time taking tons of photos. So far there is one tree type (that I have to ask around and find out what kind it is) that I positively love! It has a very dark brown trunk with very sparse branches and when the leaves turn they are the most vivid, creamy orange that I have ever seen. I'll try to find one close to the house to take a photo of, but so far I can only find those as we are driving along the road. I will find one and share it soon!

I have been hard at work creating these cute little fabric "yo-yos" for The Doodle's Spooktacular Crop. We are putting together a goody bag for everyone that attends and I wanted to include something homemade. I have never made a yo-yo before and I have to say that they are coming out kind-of cute. I sure hope that everyone likes them! I think I'm gonna make some smaller and stitch them on some dog collars so that Kiwi and Ginger can celebrate Howl-o-ween in style!

Yesterday I noticed that a number of times during the day the back part of the house "shivered" and "moaned". Now before you go thinking it's some kind of haunting I have to tell you that all around this area there are gas companies that are drilling for natural gas. They are leasing land from the farmers and putting up gas drills. You see them and the equipment everywhere. For them to find the natural gas and get it out they send down these shots down deep into the ground. I do not know much about the whole process, but I do know that it has been causing our house to rumble a bit! At first I was worried that it was one of the heaters or something, but Charles came home with his big 'ole brain and determined that since the spot in the house where I felt it was the lowest set in the ground and that there was no mechanical equipment under that part of the house it was the gas wells going in. Very good to have a big brain around the house. Now to get our water tested for yucky chemicals...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Glorious find!

Today Charles and I headed to the "big city" of Williamsport for some shopping. To give you an idea (and maybe a chuckle) of what our "big city" now is:

Williamsport population: 29,500
Covington (our city) population: 989
Mansfield (nearest town) population: 3,177
Tampa (where we lived just a few months ago) population: 340,000

Allrighty, now that we get the picture let me tell you about the most wondrous store we happened upon. We were actually looking for the main drag of shopping that offers every kind of store out there, but we ended up in the historic/Main Street area. It was very charming but sadly very empty. On a Saturday there were hardly any people strolling around enjoying this spectacular weather. We decided to eat lunch at a Thai restaurant (first one since moving...) and as we were leaving I noticed a store across the street called "Trimtex". I thought "trim" as in ribbon? I asked if we could pop in and what I discovered was RIBBON NIRVANA! The entire store was nothing but gobs and gobs of ribbon and trim. I cannot remember what I said when I first walked in, but I am sure there was drool coming from my mouth! I took photos because I was sure my buddies would never believe me that there is a whole store devoted to ribbon. Oh! And I do have to report that Charles never once tried to bustle me out of this store-I think his "scrubby-sense" kicked in and he knew better. (For those of you who are not familiar with scrapbook lingo, a "scrubby" is a very supportive hubby of a scrapbooker!)

This is the first wall when you walk in. See the little cubbies of ribbon? Each cubby has more and different ribbon spools stacked up in them. If you want to shop it right, you need to move all the spools and poke around!

This is a 100 year old ric-rack making machine. Charles was checking it out and the lovely gal working there ask if he wanted a demonstration. It was noisy, but so fun to watch it spinning away and shooting out streams of ribbon. This is what got me to ask if they make their own ribbon. They did make their own!

This is the wall of ric-rac only! There are colors in there that I have NEVER seen in ric-rac before...dusty rose...smokey teal...creamsicle...and in every size you could dream of!

This is just the section of blue ric-rac! I told you that they have every color and size imaginable!

This is my super-wonderful pile of ribbon and trim. Lemme walk you through a few colors...smokey grey, fuzzy ric-rac, sea foam and lilac mini pop-pom trim, milk chocolate and orange stripped, olive green mid-sized pom-pom trim, black & white multi baby scalloped trim, rust twill with black & ivory stitches, pumpkin & white checked, lemon yellow and white zig-zag trim....oh my tactile senses are reeling!

Now, some of you who made it to the end of this post might think that I have gone 'round the bend over a pile of ribbon, but others of you, and you know who you are, know that you have just seen a tiny glimpse of heaven! I say this to you unbelievers: On the outside looking in-you could never understand. On the inside looking out-we could never explain!

I'm leaving you with a bit of inspiration. This is the cutest wreath they had on display that is a foam ring center with tons and tons of ribbion tied on and a couple of orange roses added. GREAT Halloween wreath!

To visit or contact Trimtex: 38 West Fourth Street, Williamsport, PA 17701 (570) 322-4755
To purchase Trimtex ribbon back in Florida-just wait my dearies! I am going to be placing an order soon for Whim So Doodle! Yippee!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I love Halloween!

I adore Halloween! That is why I have started decorating early. That and I have a new house to decorate in! I couldn't decide if I wanted to do fall now & Halloween in a few weeks or just fall now or just Halloween now. Let me tell you-it was a tough decision... I asked my FB friends and they said go for both, so that is what I did! Couldn't resist sharing some photos.

Now my good friends know how much I love Halloween, so Stacey and Dianne made me some very special Halloween goodies and here they are. Feel free to marvel at their awesomeness!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bubble Up Pizza Bread

Bubble Up Pizza Bread:

2 cans of "pop" biscuits
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 package of your favorite mozzarella or mozzarella blend shredded cheese
Assorted pizza toppings of your choice (Tonight I used onions, tomatoes & black olives)
Seasonings you have on hand (I always use Spicy Spaghetti Seasoning mix and minced garlic)

Quarter the biscuit rounds. Pour 1/4 of the jar of sauce on the bottom of dish. Place 1 can of quartered biscuits on bottom of dish. Use a big enough dish that they really do not touch each other. Sprinkle 1/2 of the toppings around. Sprinkle on 1/2 of the cheese. Sprinkle on seasonings. Repeat with rest of biscuits, sauce, toppings, seasonings and cheese. Put in a 350 oven for about 40 minutes or so-until bubbled up and a bit brown on the top.
You can 1/2 the recipe if you do not want as much, you just end up with 1/2 a jar of spaghetti sauce leftover...
Easy peasey!

Monday, September 14, 2009


Our spirit store only stocks a small variety of wine and sadly, not my favorite Cab-Root: 1. So I had to order a case of wine. What a drag... It came in today and as of right now, we are down one bottle! I think we may fast become the favorite customers at the spirit store!

Organizing winter gear!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Dinner and a movie in Wellsboro on Friday night. Dinner at the diner, a classic metal dining car that has been restored and serves up yummy food. We had classic grilled cheese sandwiches, sweet potato fries and homemade pie! Their pies are to die for! Between the dinner and the movie we had about 1 hour to kill, so we walked around Wellsboro. I had a re-con mission I was on anyway, so I gathered some information that I needed. We also were able to browse around a couple of stores still open and visit the Penn Wells hotel. Very cool. I stumbled across this barber shop all closed up for the day, but it just looked so cool inside. I wasn't sure at first if this was an operational barber shop or like a retro barber shop display of some sort. Well...it was an operational barber shop. I tell you it looked like Floyd's barber shop from the Andy Griffith show. I HAD to take a photo it was so neat-o!

BINGO night last night at the Holy Catholic Church in Mansfield. It was such a hoot! We sat next to this nice and very helpful lady, Jean. Charles made me laugh so hard at him while he was "re-learning" how to play! He had never used the big tear off sheets that you use the dabbers on and he said he wanted to start with the big one! That is 18 games to watch at one time. He did not know that. He thought that each single square was one game. Then in the heat of the number calling he couldn't keep up with the marking. The numbers were being called pretty darn fast, but still...he should have been able to view all the columns and put a dot on the correct number. But all he was able to manage was three rows of games off the whole sheet. I was too busy watching my own cards to be able to help him-who knew that BINGO could be so stressful! But there was a kind gentleman sitting across from me who was keeping an eye on Charles and finally figured out that he was looking at every column in each card for the number! He had forgotten that if "B4" was called all you had to look in was the "B" column. He was looking at each column on each card when a number was called! He gave the whole fellowship hall a laugh! Sadly, we didn't win anything except a very fun night out and being welcomed to the community by some very nice folks.

One of my friends on FB made a comment that where we are living now sounded "fun and magical". It is true! This area has turned out to be a little bit of heaven for me. There isn't really a ton of stuff "happening" in and around the town, but we are finding plenty to keep us busy. Case in point-last weekend we had read about a BINGO night during the week, just up the road a piece from our house. So after work, we headed there for some fun. We got there, walked into the community center only to find out that they had stopped playing BINGO there 8 months ago-no need to tell the newspaper though only us out-of-towners wouldn't get the grapevine news! So we were stuck...all dressed up and literally no place to go. NOTHING was happening around Mansfield or Covington. Wellsboro is about a 20 minute drive and we didn't want to go there 'cause we didn't know what would still be open there on a weeknight. So we were stuck. The only thing we came up with was pie and ice cream from Eddie's. That was yummy, but no BINGO! But I have to say that it is the people here that make it so "magical"! Another case in point. At last night's BINGO game, Jean, Charles' table neighbor was so helpful. I told her when we sat down that we hadn't played in quite awhile and she made sure she helped us. Watched over what we were doing, told us about the good brownie sundae they were serving, made sure Charles was keeping up, etc. At the end of the evening she wrote her name and phone number down on a piece of paper and said that if we needed anything at all to give her a call. HUH? I asked Charles later in the car if she really meant for us to call her and he said he was sure of it otherwise why would she give us her phone number. Oh! And when I needed some help with our satellite TV, the man who came out gave me a hug when he was leaving after his service call. A HUG! How nice is that?! When workers came out to fix something at the Tampa house I was happy when they didn't swipe anything!

You know, with all the political battle-royals that are going on these days, people are so angry about new ideas that would/could ultimately help some folks out, I am very happy to have settled in a place where people still look out for one another. Still care about what happens to their community and the folks who live there. I saw the Mayor visit a local shopkeeper the other week just to check on her after her surgery. He even offered to drive her to and from work since she couldn't drive for awhile. I think that there are still pockets of people like this everywhere, it is just the way of life here that it makes it very noticeable and for me, very welcomed!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


It's 12 o'clock...do you know where your temperature is? It is 50 degrees at 12 noon! Wow-zers!

Friday, September 11, 2009


Each week now I've been doing a little bit of internet shopping for some "transitional" clothes. The kind of clothes that are not quite winter clothes, but fall clothes. I have NEVER had to get these kinds of clothes. In fact, when I did a wardrobe inventory before I started shopping, I found that I only owned two long-sleeved shirts! The sweaters I have are from the 80's and 90's (and look it!). Thankfully I do have a couple of really warm coats from our Christmas in London and Paris that will work for winter. But not much for the fall and for what I am learning are those all important "layers" that everyone informs me about. So jackets, sweaters and long-sleeved shirts are arriving each week. Now on to new shoes...I think Muck boots are in my immediate future.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's coming...

It doesn't matter what my husband says, fall is on it's way. You can really feel in in the air, you can see it with all the fall merchandise on store shelves and for certain the leaves ARE changing! I present the below photo as evidence!!

There is also this really cool old "farmhouse" next to our place that has old buildings and farm equipment that makes the perfect backdrop for photos. Here is another.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


We spent the day visiting a bunch of antique stores and eating lunch at one of our favorite spots, Lamb's Creek. I told Charles that it wouldn't be too wise to go "antiquing" because I really didn't want to spend a bunch of money, but he wanted to go anyway. I was such a good girl! I only bought 3 things and 1 was a Christmas gift! But my new thing to look out for is enamelware. I am not 100% sure if you can actually cook/eat off of it for safety reasons (anyone know about this?) but I have been... There was this beautiful red enamel kettle that I knew would look great on our gas stove, so I broke down and bought it! My explanation to Charles was that I was doing my part to help the economy a little. A very little.

One of the cute antique stores that we visited yesterday.

Charles checking out all the cool stuff!

Coming home with my new red enamel kettle! Love it!

Monday, September 7, 2009


This is our bedroom. I do not think I've posted a photo of this part of the house yet, but today is a good day because when I woke up Charles was sitting very quietly on the edge of the bed. He heard me waking up and in hushed voice said, "There are turkeys just outside the window." There were 6 of them there! I wanted to show you just what lays beyond our bedroom window. You see our bed...the bottom half of the window is all grass, then the top half of the window is dense trees. That's right, just a few steps from our bedroom window starts miles and miles of woods. In my opinion, deep dark woods. Charles said that our landlord, Virgil, told him of a path and more water back there. I looked at Charles like is he was a bit crazy suggesting that I take off in those woods! But yesterday he took the dog for a walk back there looking for the path. They found part of it and even an apple tree! Good for him. I am happy just to wait here and watch for whatever happens to wander out of those woods. And I think it is pretty darn cool that we have front row seats and sometimes just roll over and are so close to it all!

Luna on the outside looking in at her inside twin, Minnie Mae. The first time I saw Luna I thought it was an escaped Minnie Mae.

Here Kiwi and I are at Crazy Bob's Harvest Moon Drive-In. It was so cool and very retro! We set up a little area outside the car with blankets (lots!), a little crate for a table, pillows and chairs. We went to the "car-feteria" and got snacks and watched our double feature. Since the movies start after dusk, we didn't get home until 2am! But still a great date night!

Friday, September 4, 2009

One Hit Wonder

Here is the One Hit Wonder class for October. I found these photos on a Halloween search. They are from the 1940's. Some Halloween contest in California called "Slick Chick". Pretty cool. If you are in the Tampa Bay area and wanna check out The Doodle's classes, click here: Whim So Doodle website

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Rodeo Weekend (Part 2)

Last weekend we headed to a local rodeo with some friends. It was a weekend long event and what I really thought sounded like fun was that fact that you could camp out with all the cowboys and cowgirls! It was gonna be like a giant camp out! I'm all in for that! Now I cannot say that I am "a camper". I own camping equipment...tent, tarp, inflatable bedrolls, battery lanterns, portable water containers, bug spray, enamel ware, bandanna napkins...pretty much covers it! I can also say that when it comes to camping I am pretty much not a wuss. Well, that was until last weekend...
We were scheduled to meet Tony, Ann and Morgan on Friday night but the rains came and they said that the place was a giant mud pit and we should just come out on Saturday/Sunday. VERY good advice! I packed supper for us all, plenty of blankets, warm clothes (low was in the 40's) and dog supplies. This was, in fact, Kiwi and Ginger's first foray into camping! Heck! I even did a trial run on setting up the tent and airing it out. Smart, huh? The one thing that never, never crossed my mind-wearing the correct shoes. Shoes! I arrived in dad-gum flip flops! What a wuss! I quickly realized that the mud pit didn't mix well with flip flops so I changed into my beat up Crocs. Crocs will work well for this occasion! Not only "no", but HELL NO! They just ended up turning me into one giant projectile around our campsite! I slipped and slided all around trying to unpack, set up our tent and help fix supper. I finally gave up, found a comfy chair and opened up my lap for some serious dog snuggling!
Tony got the fire going and we cooked seriously fresh corn on the cob, tandoori chicken and seitan, whiskey glazed carrots and veggie foil packets! We had the most amazing feast and were all stuffed to the gills by the end. After dinner Morgan wanted to change for the dance they were having with a live country/rock band. Ann and Tony had a RV/trailer that they were staying in and compared to our two-man hiking-style tent set up just next to them, their RV looked like the Taj Mahal! I was debating on taking my chances leaving the dogs in the tent and sliding down to the dance in my Crocs or just staying next to the campfire. The campfire and lap dogs won out and the rest of them headed to the dance. After awhile I decided that I needed to finish setting up the inside of our tent so I bundled the dogs up and went all Martha on the tent. I dressed our bed rolls with a foam mattress pad, sheets, thick blankets under and over and extra pillows and blankets for the dogs. We were super cozy in our little 2-man tent! OK-truth be told the dogs and I were super cozy-Charles was still at the dance. There was much whopping and hollering going on around the giant campsite with folks coming and going on foot, on hoof and by car. Some were drunk, some were not quite there. After I changed into my pj's in a horizontal position lit by a flashlight and despite the "fun" crowd, Ginger, Kiwi and I settled down and fell asleep. Let's not talk about the color of my feet from the mud through the holes in those Crocs. I checked my feet when putting on some socks and quoted Miss O'Hara, "Tomorrow is another day..."
Charles unzipped his way into the tent, didn't bother to get into the pj's I packed for him and proceeded to make the "cozy" disappear. What he replaced it with was claustrophobia! I couldn't get comfortable. I was having trouble breathing (not his fault) because the many campfires going were causing havoc on my throat. After about one hour of realizing that I was never getting back to sleep, I grabbed a thick blanket and Ginger and headed to the car. I've slept in my Vibe before. Not a bad sleep at all. Not quite cozy, but not smokey and NOT claustrophobic.
I woke up to the sounds of cowboys making coffee and feeding their horses. After a quick change and a potty break in the RV, a tooth brushing in the tent with the dog's water and a cup of pretty weak coffee I was ready to hit a Mickey D's! Charles had to put in a few hours at work so we needed to leave early anyways. We stayed while Ann registered for a couple of events and got her sweet horse ready and then took off.
It really was a fantastic weekend and I promised myself that the next time we do that we are a) either renting an RV or getting a bigger tent b) getting cots and screw the bedrolls c) bringing the doggie playpen so I don't have to worry about sleeping with muddy paws and d) buying some shoes that I wont embarrass myself in!

Morgan headed out to visit a friend or two!

Cowboy cuisine!

Tony enjoying his corn appetizer!

Lap full of Luna and Ginger.

Charles at the dance.

Ginger checking with Daddy to see if he is ready for bed.

In the campsite

This was the Sunday morning view from our tent flap.

Ann pining on her number.

I just thought this MASH-style tent was cool!

Those dad-gum Crocs!