Leaf Frame

You can use this leaf frame for any project.  I used it to eventually frame a pumpkin patch for my Nightmare Before Christmas Afghan.


Final frame is roughly 17″ x 21″ – but can stretch nicely to a bit larger.

Leaf Frame



Fresh From the Oven

OK… maybe not so fresh from the oven but recently from the oven and then taken to the fair and judged.  LOL!

Here are our Grange Hall Results.


DSCF4407Pineapple Upside Down Cake – 1st place = $4.50

DSCF4409Brownies – 3rd place = $1.75

I also entered some Marigolds but they didn’t win anything.

Grange total = $6.25


DSCF4408Brownies – last year she and I went head to head on brownies with 2 different recipes.  Lydia took first, I took second.  This year we used the same recipe but I used dark and milk chocolate and Lydia used dark and semi-sweet chocolate.  She still took – 1st place = $2.25.   Next year, we are making the exact same recipe and we’ll see how the judges like that!!

DSCF4448Sugar Free Apple Pie – 1st place = $3.50  She may have been the only entry.

Lydia also did 2 decorated cakes but those either haven’t been judged yet or they haven’t posted the standings on them.

Grange total = $5.75


Esther took baking to new heights this week.  She entered 6 different items.  She knows that basically there is very little competition in the Junior Baked Goods and one of the competitors is a good friend of hers.

DSCF4447Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Icing – 2nd place = $4.00  Normally we leave all things to be auctioned off by the Grange Board (that is how they get the money for the prizes) but we did ask for this cake back so we could enjoy it over the weekend.

DSCF4446Buckeyes – 2nd place = $2.25

DSCF4442M & M Cookies – 2nd place = $2.50

DSCF4444Monster Cookies – 1st place = $2.75

DSCF4443Peanut Butter Cookies (using Great-Grandma Lois’ recipe) – 3rd place = $2.25

DSCF4445Pumpkin Pie – 2nd place = $3.75  since a can of pumpkin makes 2 pies, we do have a pumpkin pie to share over the weekend as well.

DSCF4410Additionally, Esther entered Marigolds – 1st place = $1.75

Grange total = $19.25

There are still a few things pending and a second showing of flowers…. final results and totals will be reported later.

End of the Garden

Our garden was a decent success this year.  We got plenty of cucumbers and pickled them.  Too bad no one will eat them.  We got lots of tomatoes and made some Ketchup… too bad no one will eat that.  The ketchup, however, was great in the chili last week.   🙂

We had fun success with the pumpkins.  None large enough to carve, but lots of little ones.

The peppers… eh… not so good, but they did get over shadowed by the tomatoes, that could have been their problem.

The sunflowers!  Yeah!  We have cut them and are contemplating how to dry them so we can roast the seeds.  Worth a shot, right?

The marigolds did fabulous as well (and won several ribbons at the fair) and are still going strong.

Here is the garden at the end October before cleaning it up:


After we pulled out everything, we are left with some yellow pear tomatoes (there were more of those than we could deal with) that will replant themselves.  The marigolds still blooming away.  And in the far left corner we have planted one of the pumpkins that was rotten in hopes that it will grow fabulously next summer.


All-in-all a successful gardening summer.  We will have to contemplate what to plant next summer.  I’m for skipping the cucumbers and peppers and maybe the tomatoes.  It seems that more got wasted than used.  Sunflowers will be a go and pumpkins.  Maybe beans?  Peas?  I’ll worry about it in May.   🙂

Pumpkin Carving

I’m a few days late on this since we had trick-or-treat yesterday afternoon, but here are the results of our pumpkin carving.  🙂

IMG_1231Esther was the only one that was interested in carving while I photographed.

Her pumpkin with battery powered eyes.


My pumpkin in homage to all the cats outside.


The front stoop:  IMG_1256The first pumpkin in one that Esther carved over a week ago at a party – it is soft and moldy already.  The little pumpkins are the ones we grew in are garden. IMG_1257The last pumpkin with a moon and star is the one Lydia did at the last minute before trick-or-treaters.


I miss the days when we would all carve and the girls would sit by the pumpkins in their costumes so I could get photos…. no photos this year because the ones that went out (Esther and Liz) did so with friends in other neighborhoods.

Good Old Days, 2008!3halloween

Everyone carved a pumpkin, 2009.birthday-halloween 019

End of August Garden

Here is an update on our garden.


As you know, some of our produce won in the fair.   Our marigolds won twice in the Junior fair.   🙂

IMG_0795My tomatoes did not place.  Though I do have enough thrown in the freezer that we are going to try making ketchup.

IMG_0797The cucumbers got 2nd   and are still going strong. There are quite a few more still in the garden.

Esther’s pumpkin got 1st.

IMG_0794 We have several little pumpkins in the garden.  None got really huge, but we had fun watching them grow.

I also entered a sunflower.  It was supposed to be multiple heads, which I didn’t have.  I should have entered one into the tallest category because look how tall that one is, taller than a single story building! IMG_0796

All-in-all it has been a successful garden season.  Our peppers didn’t do as well as we would have liked.  There are still a few on the plant so maybe we’ll get a couple more this fall yet.

What will we experiment with next year?  Love the sunflowers, so will most likely grow those again.  Tomatoes, of course.  But what else?  Maybe beans or peas?


I have a long list of things that need done today in preparation for the Girl Scout Picnic on Monday since tomorrow will be spent moving Abi back to college.  Slave labor was to begin at 10am.   It is now 12:45 and we are on lunch break.  Here is the list and what has been accomplished so far.

– triangle weeded

-driveway side weeded   Tricia

– small flower bed by deck weeded Tricia

-weeds pulled by stairs and cat dish Tricia

-driveway weeded

-yard mowed

-yard weed whipped (or weeded)

-sand mowed and weeded under playset

-boat cleaned and moved  Lydia

-trees/weeds removed from rocks and around bushes

-all chairs and table washed and arranged Esther

-main bathroom cleaned Esther

-all bathrooms stocked with TP and Kleenex  Esther

-outside flag changed Lydia

-pond checked, weeded, and fish fed Lydia

-lilly that didn’t grow pulled out and bagged to return to Mennards Lydia

-weeds pulled in front patio areas Liz, Tricia, Lydia – Liz did the lions share though

-castle checked for safety and clean up Esther

-toys stored or moved to proper locations Lydia & Esther

-weed around white fence where rose bush is Lydia & Esther

-fix cats and pumpkins around white fence if desired Lydia & Esther

-install Liz’s music note

-start cake decorating for the fair

IMG_0608New “friend” found while weeding the side little garden.  He/She is no longer with us.

IMG_0609 Cleaning in progress!   🙂

IMG_0610 My “Ally” rose and all the pumpkins lined up.   😉

Still some to go, but we made great progress this morning.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary….

… how does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockle shells

And pretty maids all in a row.


Or in our case…

tomatoes overloaded, pumpkins taking over the side yard, cucumbers growing nicely, and over 5 foot sunflowers.






IMG_0482Esther is almost 5 foot tall and the sunflowers are taller than her!


Garden is doing well this year.  Thanks to the abundant rain and then a few well placed sunny days in between.    If the tomatoes all ripen at the same time we will be marketing our own ketchup!