Monday, October 31, 2011

Apples and Pumpkins and Daisies, Oh My.

I jumped into October head first, and I am finally coming up for air.  It was a busy busy month. We picked apples:

And turned some of them into this skillet apple crisp, which resulted in my family giving me three cheers:

Here is the recipe.  I am telling you it is delicious.  Really really good.  And easy...way easier than apple pie, and just as good in my opinion.  It's the topping.  Holy cow, that is some good topping.  Make some today and your family will probably cheer you. And being cheered is better than being boo-ed.

Or is it?

More on that later.

I volunteered to be a chaperone on the Kindergarten field trip to the pumpkin farm:

It was cold and chaotic and lots of fun.  Then our bus got stuck in the mud on the way out of the parking lot.  A giant tractor had to come and pull us out with a big chain.  Best day ever.

My friends and I also planned a big fall harvest party for 12 kids to practice for our new business adventure planning birthday parties.  The party was great and the kids had a blast.  And we all enjoyed working on it together, which is a good sign. 

It would have been more fun, though, if I didn't have so many other things going on at the same time.  Daisy Scouts is great too, but taking up a lot of time.  I have the cutest little troop, and they all get along great.  Here are some cupcakes I made for our Founder's Day meeting. 

Those are the Daisy Petals in M&M form.  We've had 2 meetings so far, plus I had a leader's meeting.  And we had a nice little fall hike planned for this past Saturday, but we had to cancel it.  More on THAT later too.

In addition to planning parties and leading Daisies, I also became involved in putting together the PTA's Fall Harvest Festival at Daphne's school.  Here is Daphne, on festival day, ready to go as Princess Leia:

And here is my station, the Lollipop Tree (or as it turned out, the Lollipop Pumpkin):

The festival was a big success.  I wish I could say the same for the Ranger's game 7 that same evening.  Here I am, manning the lollipop tree in my Hopeful Ranger's Fan costume, before the crushing defeat. I even let the Girl Scouts paint a "TX" and a "32" on my face at the face-painting table.  Sigh.

Princess Leia, meanwhile, got a spider painted on her face. Perhaps a better choice, all things considered.

The next morning, it snowed.  In October.  Snow.  That's why we had to cancel the Daisy's little fall nature  hike.   Snow.  But Daphne had a blast playing in it:

And after the snow, there was hot chocolate (which resulted in this hilarious Derek Holland mustache):

We also got Boo-ed twice this month, which isn't as bad as it sounds.  Getting boo-ed is when someone anonymously puts a bag of Halloween treats on your porch, knocks, and runs away.  When you get boo-ed, you are then supposed to keep it going by booing two friends, and they boo two friends, and so on, and so on, and so on.  I have never heard of this until this year.  In Texas, there was only the bad kind of booing.

I think this Halloween booing is a cute little tradition, but I can see some potential hurt feelings.  What if all the kids in your neighborhood get boo-ed, but not you?  Awful.  It's like the leprechauns. It's not good when some kids get left out.  Oh well.  There's no stopping these holiday rituals once they get started.  

Speaking of such things, the Tooth Fairy will be making her first visit to our house any day now.  Exciting times.

Daisies, PTA, party planning, field trips, plus all the regular stuff like cooking and cleaning and going to Daphne's art and piano classes, plus night after night of post-season baseball, all in one month, and I am pretty exhausted.  And poor Kev worked ridiculous hours this month, getting home many nights at 1:30 AM, so he's exhausted.  And since Kevin wasn't home, Daphne got dragged with me to lots of extra meetings, so she's exhausted, and on more than one occasion, actually ASKED to go straight to bed.

So, October ends today, and I made it through the month, but I learned my lesson about taking on too much at once.  There was a lot of fun, but there were some tense and stressful moments.  And now, Christmas is coming, and we all know how THAT usually goes around here.  The good news is, the PTA fest is over, my role in the party planning is smaller now, and I now have a co-leader to help with the Daisies.  So, bring on the holidays.  I'm ready!

But first, some apple crisp:

Ahhhh, yeah.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Good Dog

We will miss you, Albert.  
Thanks for being our friend.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Night Blog

Dear Blog,

I miss you.  Out of nowhere, I have become this person with a lot of stuff going on.  I'm spending all my time working on PTA stuff, planning Daisy Scout stuff, dealing with inconvenient fake medical issues, contemplating my future occupation, and watching six-hour baseball games.  Meetings, appointments, training classes, rain delays.  In between all that, I have managed to squeeze in some leisure activities:  First Friday, a cider-tasting party, Elvis Costello in DC, breakfast with my family at South Street, an afternoon with Kev at a winery.  But there has been no time to blog. Or stroll to the coffee shop.  Or read.  Or knit.  Although I should probably be knitting during these six-hour baseball games. 

As exhausting as all this stuff is, I have to say it feels sorta good to have something to do beyond being "Mommy."  I feel like I am actually making a contribution to the world outside my house for the first time in a long time.  And the funny thing is, I think it has been good for Daphne.  I can't explain it, but since I've been busier, her behavior and moods have improved. 

The downside is that I'm not getting much sleep and the house-cleaning is minimal and Kev happens to also be really busy at the moment so whole-family time is minimal too. 

All for the greater good, I reckon.  Things will slow back down soon.

And then, it will be Christmas.

Good grief.

I hope to be back soon.  I have a lot to blog about whenever I can find some time.  Until then, GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Another PSA

Kev alerted me to National Walk to School Day, which is today, October 5.  So, we're walking to school today.  The timing could not have been better, because the sun has come out and it has finally stopped raining.  Don't worry if you are just now reading this, and it's too late to walk to school today.  October is Walk to School MONTH, so just do it another day.

Busy busy busy, like so much Professor Hinkle.  In fact, my brain is so saturated, that when I was mixing up some bread dough today (yes!  bread-making season!), I lost count somewhere between 1 and 6 cups of flour, and may have some very dry bread on my hands for dinner.  It's bad when you can't even count to six properly.  Oh well.

By the way, I am about to change my mind about Zooey Deschanel's TV show.  I like her, but it isn't very good.  I'll give it a couple more chances before I delete it from my DVR recording schedule.

More blogs coming soon...

Saturday, October 01, 2011

October. Yes.

 Today is October first.  So, Daphne and I made pumpkin bread.  I'm not sorry to say goodbye to gloomy September.  The man on TV said there was only one sunny day the whole month.  I believe it.  October is off to a cold and rainy start, but I have high hopes for crisp sunny days this month.  The yucky September weather brought me down and made me sleepy and lethargic.  I haven't been able to get things done.  Like blogging.

The pumpkin bread is really good.  And tonight we're having Giada's white bean and chicken chili concoction.  We're starting this month off right.

Last week was busy.  I have a lot going on these days with suddenly being part of the PTA and the Girl Scouts and a new business venture.  Plus, we celebrated my mom's birthday, I went to DC to see Elvis Costello with my brother, and last night was Kev's company picnic, otherwise known as the "Work Festival." Good stuff, but I'm exhausted.
On top of all that, Kev and Daphne have both been sick, and I haven't been getting nearly enough sleep.

But things are gonna change now.  Because it is October.  The very best month of the year.  So, bring it on.  Time to make chili.

PS.  Go Rangers!