Decorating for Fall

mumsI don’t get excited about decorating for the fall season. Oh, I might put a couple of potted mums on the deck, but that is about it. In former years I sometimes had my husband bring a bale of hay up from the barn, and one year I brought a couple of corn stalks home from my dad’s corn field. Another successful decorating year I kept a dish of milk behind a pumpkin, and my black cat spent many a sunny autumn afternoon lounging on the deck.

This year I did not plan to decorate with anything more than a few mums.  I certainly didn’t plan to decorate my vehicle. However, while driving home with the plants, I stopped at a light, and right in front of me was a van with a couple of pumpkins gently rolling from one luggage rack to the other.

The display could have used some hay– and perhaps a scare crow, but there was a nice, seasonal look to it. In fact, I considered returning to the market for a couple of pumpkins for my own van…but only for a few minutes. After all, I’m at an age I don’t want my adult children questioning my actions.

I’ll have a Pancake, Please

pancake-machineWhen our children were young, our family took a weekend vacation trip once a year. We stayed in hotels which included a “free breakfast” in the price of the room. We still almost always stay in those types of hotels.

This past year we traveled some and overnighted in hotels in ten different states, some in large, metropolitan areas. Several weeks ago, though, we spent a night in a hotel far from any large metropolitan area. In fact, it was almost next door to the middle of nowhere. It did offer a “free breakfast.”

In my pre-coffee, early-morning, drowsy state I surveyed the hotel’s breakfast offering. After focusing, I saw a rectangular object with wording that promised a pancake in one minute. Now many hotels offer pancakes or waffles, but usually one has to pour batter, set a timer…and wait. I seldom do that but instead go straight for the sweet rolls and muffin station.

This machine, though, indicated if I pushed the red button, a pancake ready for butter and syrup would appear in one minute. I pushed, and in one short minute, a beautiful pancake rolled out of the machine.

I know what I want for Christmas. It’ll look great on the kitchen counter!

Let’s Cook

Magazine RecipesI enjoy reading recipes in magazines and in cookbooks. Occasionally I see a recipe on Facebook that sounds promising. Desserts are my favorite recipes to read, especially if brown sugar is one of the main ingredients. Cream cheese and powdered sugar are a good basis for a dessert, so I enjoy them, too. Pasta recipes intrigue me, too. How can a recipe with “brown green peppers and onions” go wrong? Sometimes I read those recipes twice. Yes, I could prepare those dishes.

Nothing tempts me to look for good recipes like eating out at a friend’s house. Surely I could put together a good chicken salad with a little effort. And appetizers? Now there’s an opportunity for a cream cheese recipe. A brunch or lunch at a “tea house” inspires me, too.

Yes, my intentions are good, but never quite good enough to cause me to actually go to the store, purchase the ingredients, and prepare food. No, more often, it is:  “Hello, is this Pizza Hut?”

Something is Squirrely

SquirrelIn spite of living in the country with many trees surrounding the house, there is only one squirrel in my yard. I don’t understand why because a couple of the trees are walnut trees. I don’t know for sure, but perhaps it was his mate who stopped up our sewer system years ago. Or, maybe there are enough challenging overhead electric wires…I just don’t know. Anyway, I wish there were more squirrels; I like to watch them scurry around preparing for the long, cold winter.

Last week as I exited my van at my son’s house in town, I heard a loud kerplunk on the roof of my van. A pecan rolled off the top of the roof onto the hood and dropped to the ground. I heard a rustle in the overhead tree branches and looked up to see a squirrel clapping his front feet…and smiling.

Perhaps my town friends do have good reason to complain about squirrels camping in their attics and homesteading near their bird feeders. On second thought, I’m fine with just my one squirrel.

My Dream Worlds

Tree HouseIn a dream world I live in a beach house—in a climate that allows me to sit on the deck wearing jeans, a sweatshirt, and sandals. I write or read as I listen to the ocean rushing to shore.

Another dream world finds me warm and cozy before a fireplace in a mountain cabin. Again, I’m wearing jeans, sweatshirt, and warm, wooly socks, as I read or write.

In yet another dream world, I live in an antebellum home on the Mississippi River and spend my days on the veranda reading or writing. The climate, too, is perfect for jeans, sweatshirt, and sandals.

In my real world I live in a house on a small hill overlooking green pastures and native prairie. Intertwining branches of nine trees shade the deck. On the few days not freezing cold, sweltering hot, pouring down rain, or producing gale force winds, I sit on the deck and pretend I live in a tree house. Of course, I wear jeans, sweatshirt, and sandals as I read or write.

In this real world of wars, shootings, and disrespect of others, there is comfort in my dream worlds. I’m grateful, too, for my real world with its pretend tree house and my real jeans, sweatshirt, and sandals.