Be forewarned, I'm not in the best of moods. I'm going on 5 days straight of minor inconveniences, grievances and frustrations. No, nothing up there with the problems of the world, but just those irritating, "Why do these things keep happening to me?" sort of problems. If my Playlist worked, you could have some upbeat Katy Perry blasting while you read (oh, did I mention my Playlist doesn't work?), but instead I am going to provide you with some beautiful fall foliage to look at while I complain. Note the gloom and rain? I love that tree over my driveway, especially since the trim trimmers had at it in August. There are very little bird droppings on my car now, but there are very few branches.
I haven't been out of the house since last Wednesday. That's unusual but it's happened, especially in the winter. And then, as if being cooped up wasn't bad enough, I thought I had come down with malaria or something. The Husband and I rarely get enough sleep, at least "good" sleep, he's an insomniac and I am a sympathetic insomniac. If he doesn't wake me up with his getting up and down, I sometimes just get up to keep him company. In fact, my good friend, Mel, asked me last week, "Was that you on Facebook at 4:00 a.m.?" So this has been the score for a long time and then something happened. I have been falling into bed at 9:00 for the past week and struggling to get up in the morning. I feel very lethargic and downright sleepy. I feel like a slug.
I'm not sure why the rain looks like this on my porch...very odd. I managed to hang on to all of my pumpkins this year, except for one that a squirrel got after the rain washed the Pledge off it. I think I am going to bring these around to my backyard for a little squirrel buffet, a little reward for them being so thoughtful this fall.
Looking down my street. The leaves will probably be off the trees by weekend. I think I mentioned that we had our lawn dug up and reseeded this past spring. It came in terrible with weeds and crabgrass and big bare spots. I called the company out twice to use weed and feed and over~seed. Last week I was doing my Wednesday Trash Haul (***Hey, the garage should be finished tomorrow!!***) and found two big 1 pound bags of grass seed that The Husband must have bought at the lake. So I spent an hour filling in all of the spots by hand, not with the spreader, I really laid it on thick. Shortly after a nice drizzle began to come down and I thought, "Wow, this is just perfect!" Then it came down harder and harder and it rained for 2 days straight. I couldn't find one speck of seed in the any of the bare spots and I could just cry! The Husband thinks it probably just washed in with the rest of the grass and will come in nice and full. Grrrr...
My mind keeps going fast forward to Christmas, I don't know why. I can never understand people that decorate super early or start shopping in July. But I feel unusually upbeat and cheery when I think of Christmas coming next month. I showed you that wool candy cane I bought last week on our trip and then I found these in Grandin Road. Beautiful, tall wool trees! The tallest is about 26 inches. Even Abigail, who is quite utilitarian, likes these!
So simple, so soft. I thought I'd show you them now before they fade into the riot of all things colorful and festive just around the corner. Which brings me to my next subject that leaves me feeling a little out of sorts.
To feed my Christmas zealousness, I've been picking up magazines here and there for inspiration and ideas. I subscribe to the seasonal Cottage series and I've been picking up Matthew Mead's Christmas for the past few years. Both issues disappointed a little.
As always, the homes featured in Cottage are undeniably beautiful. No question about that. And in keeping with the current popularity of decorating with natural elements, I wasn't too surprised to see a lot of greenery and pinecones in the featured decor. But sparse? This went beyond simplistic. I found nothing about this table or dining room to be festive or holidayish. The centerpiece is very subtle, there might be some berries in there somewhere.
Other than the two lighted trees and the greenery on the mantel, this is pretty boring as well. Am I all about red and green and holly jolly Santa's everywhere? Am I in over my head with Christmas commercialism? No, no. I just found each home lacking in the holiday festiveness department. Are they making a statement about paring back? Is less truly more? Is this really the Christmas issue????
I'm not bashing these magazines. Matthew did a fine job other than going on for four pages on how to make marshmallow snowmen (sort of a no brainer). I love my magazines and I get so much inspiration from them, especially during the holidays. I'm disappointed, I didn't get my money's worth. I know there are people out there that will say, "Yes! I like this simple, calm and natural look. I'm going this route this year." I really hope that happens. For me, I just want to jump into this picture and spread some color and glitter and sparkly lights and candles and maybe a few little elves around! Is it just me?
I saved you the 10,000th picture of my little red stew pot and actually plated Sunday night's Hungarian Goulash! It was wonderful. Emily came over and had it for lunch on Monday. I kept the spices to a minimum for The Husband's sake. Because you might not be used to adding these spices to meat, just start out with these measurements and add more at the end. In Blondies Shorthand:
Saute about 2 cups of cubed pork in 1 T. canola oil until browned. Remove to a plate. Add 1 chopped onion and 1 chopped clove of garlic and saute until soft and translucent. Add the meat back in, 2 T. paprika and 2 T. of flour and stir to make a roux. Pout in 4 cups of beef broth, 1 t. nutmeg, 1 t. cloves and 1 T cinnamon and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup each of sliced mushroom, carrots and new potatoes. Salt and Pepper. Bake in 350 oven for 1 hour. Stir in a few tablespoons of sour cream. Adjust seasonings. Serve with a dollop of sour cream over cooked egg noodles. Enjoy!
Okay, I feel I'm out of my slump, at least a little! It's still raining and gloomy, I'm still tired, I'm still &$*%@# off at that grass, but somehow I think I've touched base with you guys and you've given me an ear. Thank you for that. :)