Wednesday, October 28, 2015


What a ride it's been with this nasty cold.  I'm feeling much better, not 100% but good enough to get out of bed and out of the house and that makes me feel good.  In fact today was one of those days that I chose to stay in simply because I had no reason to venture out and the weather was truly horrible.  Rainy, cold and windy...we lost leaves on trees we never truly had a chance to enjoy.  This is something I usually expect in November but then again we're foolish if we think we can predict the weather these days.  

I'm happy to report I went out to get a few things to spruce up my porch.  Yesterday was as miserable as all get out much like today but I was on a mission.  I went to Michael's to get some glass jars to store granola (for which I again stocked up on ingredients).  I found these faux weedy flowers that you can barely see in the urn behind my lone pumpkin and the remainder of my salvia (wow, that stuff is hanging on!).  The foliage in front of the little pumpkin is also part of the summer plants.  They're just hanging on.  I couldn't bear to pull it out so I just added the one lone pumpkins and then four small ones on the bay window ledge.  Simple and very inexpensive.  I've had the large pumpkin face clay container for awhile now.  I just pop a big candle in it and it looks so cool at night.   

I bought one mum and plunked it in this old galvanized pail I adore.  This is not a rainbow mum that I made the mistake of getting last year...those different varieties died off randomly leaving a bunch of ugly spots in the plant.  I'm convinced these varieties (above) are the ones that do well in our area and planted together should last about the same time.  And heck, as late as I've been in getting my plants, I only have about 6 weeks to have it on my porch before it's obliterated in snow!  Anyway, it feels good to be celebrating fall and Halloween.  I'm a little disappointed in myself for worrying about lagging behind others, the 'Keeping up with the Jones'" mentality. I really abhor that but I think I was simply lying in bed too long ruminating about things I needed to get done.  We've all done that, right?    I think the porch turned out cute and I really want to make those little munchkins happy on Saturday.  

At some point in the past few days---its all a blur, I brought in my ferns and decided to winter over some geraniums.  I used to do that quite a bit as some geranium varieties are actually sensitive perennials.  They tend to need a lot of water in the dryness of my home and they drop petals a lot (so do the ferns), but if you want to spend the extra time, they are worth saving and are definitely a bright burst of color and summertime happiness on bleak days.  I get a lot of light in this corner of my family room.  It's a happy place now!

Another great dish from Carla Hall in Redbook Magazine, like the granola recipe I wrote about recently.  Unfortunately, I simply can't locate the recipe to give you a link in either the magazine, her TV show or just her name.  So I'll try to give you a quick version and you can Pin it if you want.  

By way of introduction (Ahem...), when I have a cold my go to comfort food is Chinese.  We have a wonderful place just a few blocks away.  My time honored remedy is two fold.  First I order the Spider Maki, a sushi roll with soft shell crab, avocado and cucumber.  The soy and wasabi clear my sinuses while the simple roll is light on the stomach.  I also get an order of Pork Wonton Noodle Soup.  A simple broth with loads of noodles and fat pork dumplings.  A nice crunch and 'sinus opener' is provided by way of the green onions.    I usually have this right before bed to again help with congestion and the carbs make me full and content. :)

So I found this recipe as I rested and perused reading material during my convalescence (I know, very dramatic).  Everything is the same as Carla's, just condensed.  Feel free to Pin.  It's heavenly whether you're sick or not. 

Beef Noodle Soup with Soy & Ginger

1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 T grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup carrots, sliced matchstick style
2 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
2 cups broccoli florets
1 quart beef broth
3 T soy sauce
1 t toasted sesame oil
S & P
4 oz. noodles (spaghetti, Soba, egg noodle...your choice)

Cook the onion, ginger, garlic and scallions in the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat 5 minutes.  Add the carrots, cabbage and broccoli and cook another 5 minutes.  Pour in the broth as well as 2 cups of water, soy sauce and sesame oil.  Bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper.  Let simmer 10 minutes and add noodles.  Cook 5 minutes or until they are tender.  Serve with a pinch of sliced scallions sprinkled over the top.

This cooks up very quickly as you can see but the chopping takes awhile.  I happen to love chopping, it's relaxing for me.  You may want to prepare the veggies earlier in the day and then the whole soup will go together super quick in time for dinner.  

I've had a lot of fun making treat bags for the little kids that come to my house on Halloween.  I spent the last two mornings working on them while I had my coffee.  110 bags.  I kept thinking, "You need a job, Jane."  We have a huge amount of young families that have moved into our neighborhood and it's alive again after the last generation (as in my kids and their friends) grew up and away.   I see them walking to school in their uniforms, the same my kids wore, and to church as families on Sunday.  The neighborhood is alive again after a little lull. It makes me happy.  And it's weird, maybe not, but Halloween is always a miserably cold and rainy day here without a doubt.  I always plan to sit on the porch and really get into the festiveness but the weather never cooperates and from our current forecast, it's not going to be pleasant on Saturday.  With that in mind, I like making these little bags filled with chocolates and the tart and sweet, bubble gum and stickers, plastic spider and bat rings and creepy crawlers.  I also add some crayons, pencils and erasers. This way I won't have those tiny little indecisive kiddos mulling over the candy with me encouraging them to take more than one... meanwhile their parents patiently standing in the rain, forced smiles on frozen faces!

Finally...thanks for all the well wishes.  Sounds like a lot of you ladies have or have had a bug already this season.  Or know someone with something similar.  I'm happy to have it over with before the holidays.  Emily had a touch of it and I brought her some of my soup last night.  She was back at work today, I don't know if it was my magical soup or her good work ethic.  And, did I mention that daughter Abigail is now the assistant basketball coach at the high school she teaches at?  Go Abby!  And if that's not exciting, son Jeff is planning a 30 day hiking trip along the Pacific Crest next August.  And finally,  my son, Kevin...well, we are trying to convince him and Mary Clare to take a little vacation at our condo in Asheville not only because they could use it but because we would love to have little Elsie in our clutches for a few days!!

So what's new with you guys?  How's Halloween in your neck of the woods?

See all of you soon!

Jane x


Anonymous said...

Oh Jane, I woke up with a terrible sore throat this morning so I know that when that starts the full on cold is on its way so I thank you in advance for this recipe that I will most likely be making tonight! xoxo Silvana

Kathleen Grace said...

I am so glad you are feeling better! Chinese hot and sour soup is my favorite remedy for a cold, and yes, those Chinese spices really open up my sinuses, so much better than over the counter remedies. The porch looks lovely, and I may dress up and trick or treat at your house with those great goodie bags you put together. I can tell your house will be very popular!

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Good Morning Jane,
If you mention soup, I am all over it! I have always been a soup, stew and chili maker, so I am certainly looking for more recipes. The one you have shared today sounds delicious and oh those ingredients are right up my alley.
Your porch is so pretty and the little ones will enjoy the festive flair of it all.
Keep getting stronger!

NanaDiana said...

So sorry you are suffering from a cold, Jane. Those things are miserable this time of year. That soup sounds like the perfect "cure".
Love your trick-or-treat gift bags. We don't get any trickssters out this far. I go in town withe my daughter to enjoy it. I used to love it. I always bought full sized candy bars and gave one to each kid- they were always amazed but, really, it was as cheap as handing out multiple pieces of "little candy". lol
Rainy here today and predicted for Halloween, too. UGH!
That baby is just darling, Jane. I know she has stolen your heart! xo Diana

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I bring a few plants in the house to winter in my basement, ferns, tropical storm, and this year some special begonias. Some how they always survive despite benign neglect.

I love your pumpkin pot.

I hope your nasty cold disappears soon.

Linda said...

Morning Jane...
Still wet and windy here!
Your front porch looks perfect! No need to keep up with the Jones! You have your own style!
The soup looks good...only beef broth? No meat,right?
Your kids sound very successful...I am sure you had a lot to do with that......
Would be nice for you to have wee Elsie♥️
Miss V and I made a coffee cake together yesterday....soooo much fun!
Glad you are better....
Have a great Thursday...we are off to the cottage tomorrow!
Linda :o)

Kim said...

So glad you're feeling better, Jane. I feel as if I lost all of October, too. I can't believe next week is November. Our leaves literally turned at the beginning of this week and today they are all on the ground from wind and rain. We did not get to enjoy the color either. It all happened in a blink! I haven't even gotten around to the mums yet...guess that will have to wait until next year! I hope you continue to feel well! :)

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Glad to hear that you are feeling better! Your pumpkins lined up on the window sill are so cute. Enjoy your Halloween!

Theresa said...

Yum! Chinese Hot 'n sour is my favorite! Hope you will be 100% soon! Have a blessed day dear friend. Hugs

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Glad you are feeling better, Jane...I bet it felt good to get out of the house for awhile! Your porch is charming! We will have to spruce ours up a little for Halloween, too. Last night it snowed all evening, but thankfully it's gone this morning. Unless it warms up a little we won't have too many trick-or-treaters this year!
The soup looks delicious...hope you feel even better SOON!

Suzanne said...

Everything looks so festive and pretty! Hope you are feeling much improved soon!

Primitive Stars said...

Morning Jane, that's great your on the road to recovering. Love the Fall display, that pumpkin is wonderful!!!!!! All looks great Jane,Happy Halloween.Francine.

Shirley said...

Good Morning Jane, I have enjoyed catching up with you this morning. I am glad that you are feeling better. The cold weather is here this morning and I need to venture out and run a couple of errands. Thank you for stopping by my blog and I had a wonderful trip with my family. I would love to go back again to the cabin that we stayed in. It was awesome. Happy Halloween. Take care. Hugs and Prayers from your Missouri Friend Shirley

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Your porch is darling! And wow...110 bags for the trick or treaters! You rock! I bet you're the most popular house on the block. :) We're usually sweating it out on Halloween, and I think there's rain in our forecast for Saturday. Hopefully it'll be gone by the evening.

Melanie said...

I'm glad you're feeling Brian is sick! He has the nasty cold, too. "Dr Riley" has mandated him to stay in bed, just relaxing and reading because he has to go to work at midnight tonight. :-( I have a diffuser with essential oils going in the guest room where he is resting and I've also made him a healing tea drink. Oh - and I also have a pot of water with the healing essential oils (oregano, tea tree, lavender, lemon) simmering on the stove and he's steaming his face/sinuses every couple of hours. Not much else you can do but ride it out...

Your porch ended up looking lovely and festive! I love how you made all those little bags for the trick-or-treaters. We don't get many here in our neighborhood.

Your soup looks and sounds absolutely delicious. I will be trying it as soon as I can have onions and garlic! Will pin for future use.

Benita said...

I am so glad you are feeling better! It always amazes me how much a cold just puts us down and for how long! The soup looks yummy and definitely something that I can make for the hubster...I'm not a big soup eater...I'm not a big anything eater...well, except nachos... but somehow have this huge rear end...LOL Your fall touches are so pretty and I'm glad you were able to get some things out, especially for the trick-or-treaters ;-)...there is still lots of fall let to enjoy down here. Please continue to get some rest and take care of yourself...hugs sweet friend!!

Traci said...

Your soup sounds really good! We have a ton of kids in our subd. too. The weather is supposed to be awful Saturday so our parish & most surrounding parishes have moved Trick or Treat to Friday night. Hope you feel better soon!

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

So glad that you are on the mend, Jane. It is miserable when we get those terrible colds. Knock on wood, so far so good, only sinus problems. Thanks so much for the great soup recipe
recipe. I always like something spicy when I have a cold. Love the Chinese Hot and Sour Soup. I make my own version sometimes with chicken, onions, celery, Chinese 5 Spices, some red peppers, mushrooms,chicken broth and one egg. It opens my sinus's up.
Your decorations look very good and I am sorry that you are having terrible weather there. We are in the high eighty's and Santa Ana winds, which will play hell on my COPD.
Take care of yourself and enjoy Halloween.
Hugs dear friend.

Pepper Medley said...

The soup looks fabulous! We have not had cold or flu in our home for years.... but I would still totally eat this soup just because it would warm the soul. xo

Junkchiccottage said...

Hi Jane,
The soup sounds fabulous and the treat bags are adorable. You are the best house in the neighborhood to trick or treat at. The kids will love these. You are so sweet and cute to sit and make these. I am going down to my daughters to see Abby go trick or treating. I cannot wait.
Have a happy Halloween. Wish the weather for us would be better :( oh well!

podso said...

Wow does the soup look good. Hope you're completely well soon. Have fun with your trick or treaters!

Unknown said...

Glad to hear you are better. Your mums look pretty. Have a great weekend.

Stacey said...

You are a little better! I'm glad to hear that. I crack up that your sick day go to is Chinese. I like Jack in the Box tacos when I'm sick. We are weird. :)

Carla from The River said...

Hi Jane,
I love ginger, thank you for the recipe. Yummy!!!
It all looks so nice for Trick or Treat night. Have fun!
Get Well Soon!
xx oo

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

Sounds like your weather has been like ours, although today actually got up to 80! I was shocked when I left the house today that I didn't need a jacket. Yesterday was rainy but we desperately needed it.

I know what you mean about Halloween trick or treaters. You know how many bags I made? Zero. Zilch. Nada. We don't have any kids because we are in the boonies. It's a community, but very few kids live here, so they go outside the area for their fun.

That mum is really pretty. This is the first time I can recall seeing so many rainbow mums. I don't usually do well with them, but they're holding their own so far.

I'm not surprised that soup made you feel better. GInger is supposed to be good for a cold.

Glad you're better, because it really sucks being sick!


Doreen@foxdenrd said...

Sounds like your weather has been like ours, although today actually got up to 80! I was shocked when I left the house today that I didn't need a jacket. Yesterday was rainy but we desperately needed it.

I know what you mean about Halloween trick or treaters. You know how many bags I made? Zero. Zilch. Nada. We don't have any kids because we are in the boonies. It's a community, but very few kids live here, so they go outside the area for their fun.

That mum is really pretty. This is the first time I can recall seeing so many rainbow mums. I don't usually do well with them, but they're holding their own so far.

I'm not surprised that soup made you feel better. GInger is supposed to be good for a cold.

Glad you're better, because it really sucks being sick!


mary scott said...

Happy Halloween! Thanks for all the photos of your fall decor. The trick or treaters at your house are lucky!

deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

I think that soup might be one that I make next week...I did turkey rice this week but that sure looks good and it certainly seems to have given you energy...110 treat bags! You will certainly be a favorite with the kiddos! :)

Vel Criste said...

Your fun Halloween and Fall displays says a lot on how your feeling dear, and I am glad. That soup sounds and looks yummy, I must try it for sure!

Susie said...

Blondie, I took some decongestant and thankfully it took care of what I had. I am so much better now. I went to play bingo with my sisters at the senior center today. I hope you continue to improve and become 100 % yourself. I loved your little porch make over. That jack-o-lantern thing you put the candle in is wonderful. By putting a pumpkin and some faux flowers in the urn it worked. Looks pretty. Blessings to you and yours, xoxo,Susie
p.s. Glad your neighborhood is so fun. That's what I miss about town,.

Gypsy Heart said...

I'm so glad you're feeling better! I haven't felt 100% lately but different symptoms. I go for a nuclear stress test on Tues. Will be so glad to get it over. I love Chinese food too! My go to is the Hot & Sour soup. :) Your soup looks and sounds delish ~ will have to try it. We've had rain yesterday and today but it's supposed to stop tomorrow afternoon. We don't really get trick or treaters here. I admire you for putting together all the cute packets for the kids! I love seeing the little ones! Your decor is very pretty ~ I hope you get to enjoy it for awhile.

Take care of yourself!

Jacqueline said...

Sorry to hear about your cold, but I love your remedies! Wish I had both right now.
We often have bad weather for Halloween too, but hoping it will be clear tomorrow.
How adorable your treat bags are. Our neighborhood is similar. Our kids all grew up and most of the houses are empty nesters, but there are some young families moving in. Every morning when I hear them outside I think it is the grands come to visit. I forget there are new ones just next door.
Get better so you can enjoy all the little ones tomorrow!

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

So glad you are feeling better and your treat bags look very cute. Instead of Chinese I love Thai food. Although I always get creamy corn soup with extra chicken from our local Chinese restaurant when I have a sore throat. It's magical how soups heal. We have been having a few warm days and this will make you laugh - it rained the other day, rained hard and washed away all the Frank's hot sauce on my pumpkins. The following morning I was late getting around to recoat them and the squirlrels had chomped away! Your mums, pumpkins and step decorations look very Fall festive. Enjoy your Halloween and congrats and "go Abby".

Dewena said...

So glad you're feeling better, Jane, if not 100% yet. I do believe in the power of a soup like that and will write this one down as it has favorite ingredients in it. (And don't for a minute believe what Benita said about having a big rear end. I've met her and she is a tiny little thing!)

Your porch is so pretty and those will be lucky little treaters who stop at your door!

I wish we could bring our big ferns in to overwinter but just don't have the space for houseplants their size, And they sure did shed the few times I tried it. I did hang one in the shower one year and it seemed to like the moisture.

You take care and enjoy tonight,

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Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Glad your all better Jane!
I love your beautiful outdoor display.
Things have settled down a bit here and I am thankful for that.
I miss having trick or treaters like we had in town.
Looks like your all set to go.
It's early so my brain is still waking up.
Looking forward to the end of November.
Hugs to you friend,

Anonymous said...

Hi Janie! Glad to hear you're feeling better! I can't seem to get rid of this buggy thing I've come down with! I hate feeling bad! Your porch looks great. You're quite ambitious making all of those little treat bags and I'm sure the kiddies will love them. Take care and don't over do yourself. Thanks for popping in to see me and your sweet words.
be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Kit said...

So glad to hear you're feeling better. I love that you eat chinese food when you are ill. I may have to try that. I am already for Halloween, hubby has the display up, and the inside is all festive. You have a great holiday! Kit

bj said...

We just got home from a Halloween party that was sooo much fun. Isn't it good to know that even an olden woman like moi can still have fun on Halloween.? LOL
So glad you are feeling better...

A Joyful Cottage said...

Glad you're feeling better Jane. I hate colds. I'd rather get hit with the 24 hour flu and be done with it, than a cold that hangs on for days and days and makes me feel miserable. Your soup recipe sounds really good. Soup is one of my favorite things to cook, so I'll have to try this. Like you, I like to chop. It's relaxing. Your porch looks good and I love the little pumpkins on your window ledge. Super cute. I bring my geraniums in for the winter, too. They do so well inside. I don't mind the dropping petals. The beauty is worth it. Have a great new week! xo ~ Nancy

DD's Cottage said...

Glad the soup helped-it looked yummy and I love your front porch with the pumpkin in the pot!

Bluebird49 said...

I cannot believe I missed two posts, Jane! I feel terrble (I have also felt terrible for about a month), so please forgive me.
I loved hearing about all your gearing up Halloween... sorry you got so few takers. We had not one! They missed lot at your house, though.
That soup sounds so good. Oh, I picked up 12 jelly sized jars, too, to put granola and there goodies inside for Christmas. ('s too close, isn't it!)
One my friends has been offering her ferns for free, she has no room to winter them :( Nor do I, though!
Love you!
Trudy xxx

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