October 2014. Milo taking one his last walks of the season down the dock at the lake in Michigan.
Hi everyone! I'm so happy to be here! I know you've all been ready to give up on seeing a post of mine but for every few weeks. Oh...it's just been a rocky road for awhile now. I'm going to take you on a trip down memory lane a bit as far as photos and maybe a few little memory joggers (for you and me) on what was happening last year at this time. Don't you love that about blogging and the whole photo library thing? We can track our lives back years and read about what we were doing going back as long as we've chronicled it on our blogs.
October 2014. Front yard of lakehouse in all its fall glory!
Fall is absolutely gorgeous at the lake. The woods are just across the street so we see a breathtaking amount of color out of every window. Many different types of trees were originally planted on our property when the house was built so we have oak, maple, birch and well, a few I don't really know the names of! If the house wasn't still in terrible shape after the burst pipe and subsequent damage, we would be up there now putting away the boats and toys and patio furniture. The Husband would be hoisting the kayaks into the rafters and I'd be emptying and storing flower pots and all of my outdoor accessories. I can't believe I'm getting a lump in my throat over this, I usually detested this sort of work!
Last week after I wrote, I spent a good amount of time outside. It was in the 70's and the dogs were loving it. It hadn't (and hasn't) rained in quite awhile and with a nice breeze, they had their little sniffers in the air constantly when they weren't rolling in something smelly and decayed. I emptied out the pathetic looking pots, put all my little doodads in the shed but I kept my table and chairs on the patio. I continue to go out to read and spend a little time with the pups before it gets too cold.
I fertilized the front lawn and plan to rake and over seed next week. I can't believe I have yet to get one single pumpkin or mum or pansy, my very favorite fall decorations. I keep saying, "Tomorrow." And then it never happens. Maybe this will be the 'Fall That Never Was'.
The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome downer last fall.
Oh! And how can we forget this problem (for lack of a better word) that fell out of the skies and landed for no rhyme or reason on me? Waking up with my fingers numb and my wrists hurting. Two surgeries within 7 weeks. Oh yeah, bring it on! And you new followers think the broken arm in June was bad. I'm so getting used having my arms in casts I can pretty much surf the internet and call my kids on the phone with my toes.
Right now is the perfect time to tell you about my computer woes. No offense to anyone but we all have these troubles and we really probably bore the heck out of each other with our various issues. It's like gray hair---it's going to happen.
My laptop was dying a slow death. It had been seriously slow for over 6 months and then last week it wouldn't connect to the Internet although all of our other devices were. I brought it in to our Tech guys up the street and told them, "No heroic efforts. If it's over $50, unplug it and let it go." After I left I thought long and hard (well, maybe not so long) about how I had gone through two laptops in 6 years and that's not surprising given the time I spend on it and what I store and the fact that they were both pretty inexpensive. Long story short, I went to Best Buy and spent a lot of time with a great guy looking at every laptop they carried and then two hours later walked out with a Mac. For the record, I've never made such a big purchase for myself on my own without discussing it with The Husband first I stopped at my son Jeff's house as he has the same Mac and he helped me get it set up. I told him I was afraid to go home to the Firing Squad. Well, The Husband was very cool. Like, "I'm glad you took the 'horse by the reins'" sort of attitude. It was a very liberating experience and I was not only proud but so grateful that my son and the Husband treated me with respect for my choice. :)
Asheville, NC. November 2014
A little time at our condo for me to recuperate from the first hand surgery before the next.
I spent most of this past weekend working on learning this whole new realm of using computer with so much horsepower and so many options. Not to mention a whole new way to do the basics...scrolling with two fingers, synchronizing your iPhone and iPad, how to store photos...and my old laptop is still in the shop and I need to transfer my old pictures and downloads. And the old girl is being resurrected for under $50. I love these guys. And I'm going to gift her to someone in need.
Briefly, I just want to tell you that I fell head first into a scam yesterday. My new laptop froze with a warning that I had a virus. I called the number on the screen, terrified that I had lost everything and I actually fell for it all, the protection insurance that was offered, the whole freaking ball of wax. They got my passwords, access to my files and my credit car number (not to mention $200.00 that I thought would save me from losing everything). Abby was here and it didn't take more than 2 minutes of her screaming at me at over what a gullible fool I was. I called Apple, crying hysterically of course. They are exceptionally polite, friendly, intelligent and mostly comforting. They helped me clean up the whole mess and I then cancelled my debit card. Lesson learned...I wanted to pass it on in the case that anyone has something like this happen and has fears they will lose everything. This person/company was able to fill my screen with serious looking data that said over and over, "Warning! System compromised by virus!" It wasn't a simple phone call. he was all over the place on my screens. How do they do this? All I know is that you must hang up and call your computer manufacturer. This guy said he worked for Apple. I was simply sickened when it was over.
Pumpkin Cheese Ball
I loved making this last fall, very simple and fun and a big hit when I brought it to Jeff and Deirdre's engagement party. Here's the recipe if you missed it.
8 oz. cream cheese
10 oz finely chopped sharp cheddar
1/4 c blue cheese crumbles
2 t Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t celery salt
1/4 t onion salt
Mixture of approximately 1 cup finely chopped walnuts and 1 T paprika
Mix first 6 in a standing or hand held mixer. Roll into a ball shape and chill 1/2 hour while you grind up walnuts and mix with paprika in a small bowl. Set aside.
Place the ball of cheese on a large piece of parchment paper. You will need to shape the cheese into a pumpkin shaped form. Bring the parchment paper up and around the cheese ball to keep from making it sticky and shape it into a round larger from the middle down. Once done, pat the walnut/paprika mixture all over. Using a butter knife, score the 'pumpkin' like the real deal from top to bottom in a curved fashion. Add a real stem (wrapped in plastic at the bottom) or a piece of celery for the stem. Chill an hour before serving with crackers. I doubled the recipe to make the cheese pumpkin you see in the above picture. Serves about 12. Maybe more.
Layla a few nights ago in our little den, sharing my fave chair.
That's all I have for now. Sorry you have to hear all my troubles but this is why I've been remiss. I wish I could figure out how to give links to the posts from last fall. I will as I navigate this new monster of mine. If you are interested, just check my archives under October/November 2014.
Thanks for bearing with me. Tomorrow is another day, another adventure and photos to share. Hope you hang in there with me!