Monday, October 31, 2011

Photo #305/365: Red Leaves

This tree is in another neighbor's yard.  I love the red with the green still hanging on in the background.

Photo #304/365: Trick or Treaters

These pretty girls were just two of the Trick or Treaters that came to my mom's door on Beggars' Night.

Photo #303/365: Waiting

This is Shelby as she is waiting for the next group of trick or treaters to come on Beggar's night.  She did not like the boys in scary masks.

Photo #302/365: George Washington and Thomas Jefferson

This guys were sitting on the benches in front of Scheels at the Jordan Creek Town Center.  I don't know how long they have been there, but I had never seen them before.  They are beautiful sculptures.

Photo #301/365: Dental Problems

This is one of my students modeling the new teeth that he found in his treat bag from the fall party.  And this is what will happen if you eat too much candy.

Photo #300/365: The Tree in Full Glory

This is another picture of my neighbor's tree.  I just love the yellow, orange, and red leaves.

Photo #299/365: Making Magnets

Pinterest has helped me to renew my interest in crafts.  I saw this idea using the glass pebbles that you can get at the craft store.  I used some of my stamps.  I should have used permanent ink though, because the glue caused the color to run.  You glue the picture to the under side of the glass pebble, and then attach a magnet.  Since I have two walls of magnetic whiteboards in my classroom, I use lots of magnets to hang papers.  It was a fun and quick craft.

Photo #298/365: Diamond Ring

This diamond ring on my finger is actually the handle of the cup my sister gave me.  It came in a box that looks like a jewelry box, and it has the name of her business  on it, Advanced Appraisals.  My sister is an Independent Certified Gemologist Appraiser.

I haven't actually used this cup yet, because I like looking at it in the box.

Photo #297/365: Orange Leaves

This beautiful tree is in my neighbor's yard across the street.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Photo #296/365: Bailey

Today was a great day to go for walk.  We enjoyed a nice stroll around the neighborhood.  Then we spent some time hanging out on the deck.  Bailey was being a whiny boy today. He didn't like the fact that I worked in my craft room and corrected papers.  He thought I should be paying more attention to him.

Photo #295/365: Granola

I made granola today.  I love this stuff with vanilla yogurt.  The only problem with it is, once you start making your own, you can no longer stand to eat commerially made granola.  My recipe is from Alton Brown, and it's really easy.  I vary it, depending on which nuts I choose to use.  Today I used dried cranberries instead of raisins.


3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds (I actually put in whole almonds this time.)
1 cup cashews
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup (I used light syrup.)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins (I used dried cranberries.)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt.  Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans.  Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl.  Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.

Instead of cookie sheets, I use an old roasting pan.  I am a messy cook, and this keeps the granola in the pan. Then I just let it cool in there.

You can see the original recipe on the Food Network website.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Photo #294/365: The Duluth 50K Wilderness Run

This is my photo for the day, but I didn't take it, because I was here in Des Moines when my daughter, Lisa, did her 50K Wilderness Run this past Saturday.  I think this is a particularly amazing accomplishment, because it wasn't completed on nicely paved streets.  It was completed on trails near Duluth, Minnesota.  I was a little nervous about her doing this, because I am her mom and that is my job.  I'm glad she had fun!  She said that it took her eight and a half hours to complete the fifty kilometer course.  Yay, Lisa!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Photo #293/365: iPad Writers

We had to take a school district writing assessment this week.  While most kids in the school did theirs the traditional way with pencil and paper, we did ours on-line.  I set up a Google Document for each person.  I borrowed iPads from other classrooms, so we would have enough for everyone.  We had a few problems, getting all the documents to load, but once we got going, it worked out well.  Between iPads and laptops, we did a lot of writing.

Photo #292/365: Happy Birthday, Kendrick!

Yesterday was my nephew, Kendrick's, 18th birthday.  We celebrated by having dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.  We had fun, and it was a delicious dinner.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Photo #291/365: Beautiful Winifred

Winnie is a beautiful dog!  She is lovable and a little crazy, but every now and then, she has a quiet moment.

Photo #290/365: The Des Moines Marathon

On Sunday morning I went out and caught part of the Des Moines Marathon, in which my friend, Carrie was running.  This was her first marathon.  What an accomplishment!

Photo #289/365: Orange Chrysanthemums

I love the colors of all; red, yellow, and orange leaves.  Pumpkins and squash, and these beautiful orange chrysanthemums.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Photo #288/365: The Waterfront Fish Market

You can go into the Waterfront Restaurant and have a delicious sit down dinner, or you can buy fresh fish here in the market and take it home to do your own cooking.

I took a photo like this last year, but I love the way the fresh seafood and the neon sign look.

Photo #287/365: My Attractive Sister and Her Magnetic Personality

We all went to the Waterfront Restaurant for dinner tonight to celebrate my sister's completion of a SBA entrepreneur course.  She has been working hard on this for six months.  Her magnetic personality seemed to have a big impact on her knife which was magnetized and remained so for the entire meal.  Very interesting!

By the way, the food was outstanding!

Photo #286/365: Pillow Plans

My friend, Nancy, is a prolific quilter.  She is always planning a quilt, or cutting a quilt, or piecing a quilt, and usually she has several projects going at once.  She also uses her quilting fabric to make colorful pillow cases.  When her grandchildren come to visit, they pick out the pillow case they want to use.  At the end of the visit, they get to take the pillow case home.  What a memory maker!

Nancy gave me the pattern and taught me how to put them together.  I also found this website with the same step by step directions;  Sewing Seamless French Seam Pillow Cases.  I decided to start with colorful fall fabrics.  Just looking at the turkeys and Snoopy, makes me smile.

The finished pillow cases.

It was a quick project, and I love the finished pillow cases.  I went through my craft room, and found a pile of Christmas fabrics that I had purchased a few years ago when I was making quilted Christmas stockings.  I will definitely be making more pillow cases.

My festive pillow cases, just waiting for a nap.

Photo #285/365: Fall Fabric

Ever since I went to visit Nancy last August,  I have been planning to make pillow cases.  Yesterday I took a trip to Jo-Ann's Fabrics to look for some bright fall fabrics.  There were lots of colorful cheerful patterns to choose from.

Photo #284/365: Tea Shopping

As the temperature gets cooler, I drink more and more tea, so it was time for another trip to Gong Fu Tea to stock up.  These are three of my favorite flavors.  I love going to Gong Fu, but it's always tempting to pick up the tea tins, fancy cups and tea pots as well as more tea.  Today I bought just tea.

Photo #283/365: Halloween Decorations

This is the whole Halloween collection.  It really brightens up my living room.

Photo #282/365: Jack-o-Lanterns

I finally got out my Halloween decorations.  They haven't been out for a few years.  In fact, for a while, I forgot I even had them.  They were all collected by Carla Wigton, Lauren's daughter.  Carla loved Halloween!  They became mine after she passed away several years ago.  I love this collection of happy pumpkins.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Photo #281/365: Taking a Walk

The puppies and I went for a walk this evening.  This is my view during our walk.  Our walks are not exactly aerobic exercise.  We make too many stops for sniffing and peeing.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Photo #280/365: Firewood

We will enjoy burning all this firewood on chilly winter days. It's easy to tell which wood is left over from last year.

Photo #279/365: A Fall Scene

This beautiful view is from the driveway in front of my sister's house looking out toward the street.

Photo #278/365: Country Driveway

It's difficult to see the circular driveway under all those leaves.  It was a beautiful day out in the country.

Photo #277/365: Science

We started our Earth Materials unit in science.  Kids love science.  I like science too, but I don't enjoy how crazy our classroom gets as these young scientists make their observations and conduct experiments.

Photo #276/365: Free Leaves

I saw this sign on the way home from school.  I literally laughed out loud.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Photo #275/365: Axes

My nephews have been out chopping wood to stock the fireplaces this winter.  They left these two axes embedded in a stump.

Photo #274/365: Grass and Trees

Many of the trees have already shed most of their leaves. Some are still hanging onto their green colors, with others ablaze with yellow, orange and red.

Photo #273/365: Ornamental Grasses

We are starting a new tradition and having a family dinner once a month at my sister's house.  It was a gorgeous fall day, although a little warm for my taste, so I spent some time walking around and taking pictures.  The pool is closed and covered and most of the flowers are gone, but I love the textures and colors of the plants.  The ornamental grasses tower over my head and the tips look golden in the sun.

Photo #272: Gourds

Ornamental gourds have such interesting colors, shapes and textures, and they're a sure sign of fall.