Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving scrapbook

Our Thanksgiving holiday was like a Hallmark commercial. We ate turkey and all of the fixings. It was beyond delicious (mostly because it was made with lots of love, and that's important. Have you read "Like Water for Chocolate?").
The other forty seven dishes are spread out along the rest of the buffet-we could have used platters instead of regular dinner plates!

I spent a lovely afternoon visiting with my grandmother, whose health has been deteriorating lately. But she was bright and cheerful this day, and happy to be with her family.
Camera girl was busy taking pictures, in addition to monitoring all of the happenings in her kitchen. She gave a beautiful toast before the big meal, and welcomed us all to her new home. There were a lot of moist eyes, thank goodness we had cloth napkins.
She just moved into her house a month ago. Can you believe how much she has unpacked already? Very impressive. Charlie is in love with her new home, and her new kitty, and has asked if he could move in.

My little brother and his family. He built my sister a house. How many people can say THAT? Kaleb and Savanna are absolutely the most delightful, kind, and fun teenagers I know. We had a big poker match with my niece and nephew. They were the last two at the table, and battled it out. Sweet Savanna was the big winner!

It was a rare moment, with our family. We tried to remember where we used to sit at the table when it was just the five of us. My brother is one of those guys who never smiles for pictures, and Heather was getting tired of Mike taking pictures of us...

The guys even went to Gander Mountain, for some Thanksgiving shopping. And the women stayed home!

A lovely day was had by all. And it was just the beginning of a memorable weekend.

Hoping your holiday was wonderful too!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

life is good

It's a frosty morning in Bemidji-the sunrise over the hill was shades of pink and purple and blue. The sun is peeking out, with the promise of a clear cold Thanksgiving day.

If you had told me a year ago, as I was prepping yet another Thanksgiving feast by myself, that I would be here, today, in my sister's brand new home, I would have told you you were dreaming. Here is her take on all of this:

And here we are. Last night Heather and I laughed in her new kitchen, as we filled celery, and cooked cranberries, and prepared pecan pie under our mother's watchful eye. (She is not 100% sure of our culinary abilities.) I keep pinching myself, as I am sure Heather is doing too.

The guests will be arriving in a few hours. We have side dishes to prepare, a table to set, and kitties to keep out of the goodies. I can't stop smiling.

Thankful, grateful, all of the above.

A very Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, may your next year be filled with blessings, and unexpected joy in quiet moments.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

this year's commercial

As small business owners, we do not like to hire out something we feel we can do (or learn to do) ourselves.

I taught myself bookkeeping, and how to program cash registers, and use Quickbooks. Mike figured out how to build simulators, and learned how to make TV commercials.

From coming up with a storyboard, to writing the script, filming every shot, doing the voice over, and most importantly, editing it, Mike has learned how to do it all.

We have been using TV as our main advertising resource since our move to the MOA, and I have to say, this commercial is my favorite. Take a look:

It will begin airing this Friday and run through December on KARE 11, Fox 9 and 29, HGTV, the Food Network, Bravo, TLC, and TMC.

Didn't Mike do a good job of finding natural talent? (A HUGE thank you to Mason, Esther, and Niki-thank goodness you work for free : )

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

green beans, stuffing, or sweet potatoes?

Today I ask the burning question, what is your favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal? And is it because you like to eat it, or prepare it, or because it brings back a warm memory?
(I am a big fan of the sweet potato, and each year I try a new recipe. I found this photo, along with a recipe I will definitely be trying when it's my turn to cook again, at . I hope she doesn't mind me sharing it with you!)

In the rush to get right past Thanksgiving and start Christmas preparations, I feel Thanksgiving is starting to become a secondary holiday. And I don't want that to happen, as Thanksgiving is one of the purest American holidays we have. Is there any other holiday that is all about spending a day eating (okay, Independence Day), but also about one main theme, being GRATEFUL?

I am very thankful for all of my dear readers, who take time out of their busy days to stop by and read what I have to share. Today I would like YOU to share what makes you happy on Thanksgiving day.

I'm off to get the ingredients for my mom's cranberrry sauce...

Monday, November 23, 2009

there's no place like home

I am a big fan of tradition. Eating the same green bean casserole each year, crunching on Grandma's crinkle cut carrot sticks, and fighting with my brother over the black olives. Watching my dad spoon Miracle Whip on his favorite green jello (lime, with peas, green olives, celery, and, I will not be posting the recipe), as he tempts the grandkids into just TRYING it. Seeing my mom whip up the perfect gravy while the sound of the electric knife carving the turkey in the background combines with the tinkle of silverware getting placed on the table. Looking around the table, at all of those faces I love so well (and listening to the grandkids argue over whose turn it is to start the prayer).

For quite a few years, we have been unable to enjoy this wonderful day of Thanksgiving with our families. Retail life makes it hard to travel for the holidays, and when we opened the store at the MOA it was impossible. So the last several Thanksgivings have been spent with me in the kitchen all day, and the boys relaxing. We have shared our meal late in the afternoon, and relished just being together, our own little family. We would watch a classic family movie-Swiss Family Robinson, or the Harry Potter series. I would talk to my mom in the morning, while we were cooking, and we would both end the call choked up, wishing we could be together.

I have been flying high ever since I learned that this year, we could make the trip home. Sales have been slow, and while we don't like that situation, it does allow us to head home. While Charlie and I will be able to spend the entire weekend in Bemidji, Mike will need to be back Friday night to help out at our store. The joys of business ownership.

And to make it all extra special, Heather is hosting the entire family at her new home. It will be more than just Thanksgiving this year, as we will toast my sweet sister's new life. And I get to be her sous chef!

I will be happy in the heart of my family, making Christmas cookies, gathering boughs in the woods for making wreaths, hugging my sweet Grandma, and helping my sister decorate her new home for the holidays, for the very first time.

We have ever so much to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

sore feet and a happy heart

I rarely wait in line for things. I never waited in line for concert tickets during my college years, stood in the Target parking lot for the Cities 97 sampler, or a bargain early in the morning on Black Friday. But yesterday I waited in line for nearly 4 hours to get a cookbook signed.

And it was so worth the wait. We weren't sure how early to arrive, so we gambled on 10 am, as Ree was to appear at 1 pm. We were 30th in line, and were happy with our planning.

We quickly got to know those in line around us, and heard their stories. Women had driven from South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and all over Minnesota just to have a chance to chat with Ree. There were many bloggers there, who had discovered Ree's blog and love it as we do. Here is a new one I am adding to my list:

Tracy and I have been planning this day for weeks, ever since the mall stop was announced, and of course sweet baby Astrid came along for the fun (and because we know PW can't resist an infant). I don't know how Tracy managed a baby for that long, but Astrid was a trooper (you can read her take on the day here): . Luckily we were outside of Nordstroms, and security let her sneak away as she needed, to nurse in comfort (rather than standing in the corraled lines). And Caribou Coffee was close enough to scurry to, to fill our caffeine needs.

Of course Ree was prompt, and absolutely lovely, and patiently listened to my nervous chatting while she signed our stack of books, and Tracy's red Lucchese cowboy boots. I was so glad my dear hubby showed up, to photograph the whole event. He even got to visit with Marlboro Man (Ree's hubby), who showed up on the outskirts of the crowd with their two boys, who were completely delightful and just as I imagined.

The time went by fairly quickly, and before we knew it we were walking off the stage, and receiving the adorable Pioneer Woman shirts that Ree had brought for everyone (how amazing is that???? She could have sold them, and made a fortune, and instead she GAVE them to us.) Just another reason to love her.

And if for some crazy reason you do not yet know the joy of Ree's wonderful, worldwide blog (recently named one of the top 25 blogs by Time magazine), you can catch up here:

I don't know if I am now considered a groupie, or a stalker...(but mostly just lucky enough to have had a chance to meet her, and some of the people who adore her).

Friday, November 20, 2009

it'll make your skirt fly up

Having been a fan of "Confessions of a Pioneer Woman" (one of the web's most visited blogs) for years, I waited in eager anticipation for the publication of Ree Drummonds first cookbook. She chronicled the joy and agony and long hours of putting it together, and talked about finding just the right cover shot (it was taken by her husband, in just a normal moment-aren't they often our best photos?)
Here is why this cookbook works:

1. Each recipe provides detailed instructions and great step-by-step photos, so whether you are a seasoned cook or just learning how to boil water, you can make these recipes with great success. Her "Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever" has been in my repertoire for the last year, and it is always a hit.

2. There is nothing novel or unusual to be found in the recipes, they are crowd pleasin', tummy fillin' foods that will make you sigh with pleasure. And you can find all of the ingredients in your local grocery store.

3. The photos and bits of life stories interspersed throughout the pages bring Ree's home on a cattle ranch into clear focus, her gorgeous photos of everything from sunrises to horse manes will take your breath away.

4. Devoted followers of her blog will be familiar with the cast of characters in the book, everyone from the cowboys to her four punks, to the important women in her life.

5. Best of all, Ree doesn't take herself too seriously, as evidenced by the photos in the back of her kitchen during cooking, and her doodled portrait.

She is the kind of woman you would love to meet in person, and share a cup of coffee with, share labor stories, and hope that her hubby will walk through the kitchen in his Wranglers.

She is coming to the MOA for a book signing tomorrow at the Nordstrom Court from 1-3. I am reluctant to share this with you, as I don't need anymore people in line in front of me to get my book signed than will already be there. But it will be worth the wait, as some of the fun will be getting to know the other fans waiting patiently in line. Come and join me, won't you?

Tracy M and I plan to wait it out together, I will stick close to her as she is bringing her cute baby and wearing her red Lucheese cowboy boots, so for sure Ree will want to talk to her.

Back to the book-if you have any holes in your gift list, this would make a wonderful present for anyone who loves to eat, or just enjoys beautiful photography. I own a lot of cookbooks, and this one is a little gem.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

see you Friday

Taking a short spa break before the holidays hit us full force.

Heading up to my favorite place for a quick get-away: Grand View Lodge in Brainerd. My dear friend Nancy is joining me, she was the original spa girl when we first ventured up there for a spa weekend many years ago. Now that she has abandoned me, and moved to Minneapolis (just kidding) our get-togethers are few and far between. So our short little break will hardly seem long enough, but we will pack in pedicures and wine, movies and chats, some shopping in Nisswa and maybe a walk. The week before Thanksgiving has always been our time, to get some extra rest, and charge up our batteries for life in retail during the holidays. And most importantly, just spend some quiet, uninterrupted time together.

Look for regular posting to resume on Friday!

Monday, November 16, 2009

late to the party, again

All summer we meant to go. It was going to be this year's drive-in movie, a tradition we established several summers ago. But life and dirt biking and schedules got in the way (not to mention that it wasn't showing at the drive-in very long) and we never got around to it.

Last week it was released on DVD. We don't buy a lot of movies, only those that we have seen and loved and know we will watch multiple times. But I bought this one, even though we had not seen it, as we tend to be big fans of all of the Pixar movies. And I snagged the last one on the shelf, so I felt it was our destiny. I'm weird that way.

It did not disappoint. We cried (well, Mike and I did) we laughed, and thoroughly enjoyed it. (Charlie was reluctant at first, moaning that it was a 'kids' movie, and couldn't he just watch another episode of 'Nitro Circus'?) But he was entertained too, and ended up being glad he spent his Sunday night watching it. I can't believe it took us this long to see it, but we will defintely be watching it over and over again.

How refreshing that quality movies can still be made that the whole family can relate to, and enjoy immensely. If I could, I would buy all of you a copy for a Christmas present. It's that good.

And if for some reason you haven't seen it yet either, please get it as soon as you can, settle in with some popcorn, and dream about the adventures you have yet to take.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

rare Saturday post

How could I not?


(model Astrid Duncan, sporting the beautiful hat Tiernee made for her)

Friday, November 13, 2009

love that DVR

Hitting the peak of fall tv viewing, before everything heads into reruns during the holidays, I have come to fully appreciate the extra monthly expense of owning a DVR. Since we have three very different needs when it comes to our single television, this helps smooth out viewing arguments, and saves all of my favorite programs for when I have the house to myself.

What is on my DVR?

Castle - I fell hard for Nathan Fillion in "Waitress", and love him even more here paired with Stana Katic.

Bones - I had read Kathy Reichs for years, and was thrilled to hear there would be a tv show. While very loosely based on her character, the relationship between Dr. Brennan and Special Agent Booth is fun to watch each week. And I have a thing for forensic anthropology.

The Office - Charlie and I watch it every week, sometimes more than once. Guaranteed for multiple Laugh Out Louds, what more can I say about it that hasn't already been said?

House - Hugh Laurie should win a lifetime achievement award for this role.

Saving Grace - I adore Holly Hunter in this role, she must have so much fun playing it.

The Closer - Kyra Sedgwick is my favorite kitty lovin' candy chewin' Deputy Police Chief.

Masterpiece Mystery - One of my favorite series, ever.

Kind of drama heavy here, I know. We do also record:

Modern Family - it is growing on me, Charlie is a fan.

Community - I am not 100% sold, but I still keep giving it a try. It may be falling off the list soon.

The Bonnie Hunt Show - I had to record the episode where the Pioneer Woman cooked, as my sis was working and didn't get to see it.

Charlie records:

Fantasy Factory and Nitro Circus on MTV. I keep reminding him NEVER TO TRY ANY OF THESE THINGS AT HOME, including the inane language and stupid remarks.

We also have Fargo on our list of recorded items, and all of the moon shows from this summer (Mike's list). It's great when I see a movie coming up in the television guide, that we haven't seen in a wihle, and I can just set it to record for us to watch when we have time.

Between our DVR and Netflix, we may never need to go to a movie theater again...

What are your favorites from the current crop of television?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

something different

Mike just got back from a business trip to Arizona. Luckily, his schedule allowed some time for fun, and in his normal fashion, Mike tried to visit as many places as he could while he was there.
He was based in Phoenix, but drove up to Sedona
and the Grand Canyon:
See, it's really him!
He also explored Flagstaff and Tucson, and the Gainey Ranch.
I think the new camera was a pretty good investment.Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

recipe box Wednesday

This week's treasure pulled from the Recipe Box will give you a jump start on holiday baking! (I always find it important to try out at least 2 or 3 batches of a new recipe before I feel it fit for holiday giving, especially when there is rum involved...)

Rum Balls
1 c. crushed vanilla wafers

1 c. powdered sugar

2 Tbsp. cocoa

1/2 Tbsp. Karo syrup

1/4 c. rum or bourbon

Mix all together, form into balls and shake in powdered sugar.

Now what could be easier than that? Let me know if you give them a try!

In more food news, I just mixed up my first batch of dough from this book:
and will be reviewing the results once I bake up my first loaf. Is there anything better than the smell of baking bread?
Also in food news, look for my review of this cookbook: (which just hit #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list, how AMAZING is that?) in the next few days. It's a winner, and you definitely need to add it to your cookbook collection.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Fall to Grace"

It was my great pleasure to be a part of a one-time only book club. I have never had a burning desire to join a book club, as much as I love books, and enjoy talking about them, the whole idea of being REQUIRED to read a specific book is not up my alley.

Fortunately, I was invited to take part in this very special book club, so I thought I would give it a try.

The book is "Fall to Grace" by Kerry Casey. He is a local author, in fact all of this came up as he generously donated five copies of his book, and the opportunity to have him attend your 'book club' meeting, at a recent school silent auction. When my friend Tracy won the package, the wheels were set in motion. We gathered last week, and the seven of us discussed the book and our favorite parts before the author arrived. Wine and treats always help facilitate lively ideas.

Kerry Casey is a delight, and we enjoyed hearing how he conceived of his characters, and how the process worked for him. He talked about the realities of self-publishing, and what his goals for the book were. And we were all thrilled to hear he is currently working on a sequel, so we can continue to follow our favorite characters.

I HIGHLY recommend this book. I found myself reading late into the night, with my tiny booklight attached, so as not to wake my slumbering husband. And then I would look at the clock, and three hours had quickly slipped by as I immersed myself in the story.

You can't find it at the big chain stores, you can occasionally find it at a small, independent bookseller. Your best option is to order it here, where you can learn more (and it's a really great website, on top of that!)

And then YOU will want to tell at least five more friends about it.

falling down the rabbit hole

I posted, a very long time ago, about how much time I can utilize (ie. waste) perusing the internet. I like to pretend that I am gleaning valuable information, that will help me in my life, but some of the blogs I regularly read have no redeeming value, whatsoever, other than to make me laugh. Some of them I read to keep up with friends and family, others I read for inspiration in the kitchen or in my 'studio' (the desk and shelves stuck in the corner of my bedroom where I would love to spend all day creating, which actually ends up being a very nice place to leave laundry or projects I plan to get to someday...).

Today I feel compelled to share some of these fabulous sites with you, my dear readers, in case you have some time to spare and need a laugh, or a new recipe, or a little inspiration. They fall into two categories, those blogs I check with every day, and those I check when I have some extra time on my hands.

DAILY: My friend Tracy's take on life at 40, with 3 kids and a wacky cat. My sister's blog-another way for us to stay in touch. My cousin's blog, we have reconnected after many years and I love learning about her family. I have been reading Ree for years, her blog is really everything I love about the internet, all rolled into one spot. I will be reviewing her new cookbook in a post next week. A local graphic designer and scrapbooker, I love her site. This blog has it all, I especially enjoy the writing in Derfwad Manor, and the man cake in the Cabana.

WEEKLY or so: A scrapper I have taken on-line classes from. Another scrapper/artist, who has a great on-line store where I have ordered fun things. (not a blog, a hand-crafted shopping site) I actually try to check this one just monthly, or I will spend WAY TOO MUCH MONEY. But if you are looking for unique Christmas gifts, this is the place to start. An amazing photographer, I check out her site to figure out how to be a better picture taker. Another artist-she also provides doses of inspiration. The cake pops kill me, and are harder to make than they look.... When I need a laugh. A British blogger, love her stuff. I don't know the majority of the 'celebrities' they feature here (which makes me feel incredibly old) but the writing is hysterical.

And another morning lost to the internet... (I know I have shared some of these with all of you before, but I want to make sure everyone has the same access to wasting time that I do.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

autumn days

Ginger and cinnamon fill the air

A patchwork of leaves lay everywhere

Cold, clean mornings and an indigo dawn

Crystal frost on the emerald lawn

Golden apple cider and delicious pumpkin pie

These are the things I love at Autumn time

-Sabrina Bytheway

(found this in my stash of papercrafting, and had to share, I couldn't have said it better myself!)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

a fine young man

We had the privilege to participate in an Eagle Scout ceremony a couple of weekends ago, and it was an amazing afternoon.
To attain the rank of Eagle Scout, a young man has to put in many hours of leadership, learning, commitment, and service to others. To achieve that rank at the age of 15 is pretty remarkable. Only two percent of scouts have achieved the rank of Eagle, scouting's highest award, since it's inception in 1911.

The ceremony honoring Austin Lane was beautiful, and meaningful. Charlie was honored to participate, as Austin is pretty much his adoptive big brother.
Mike, Austin's dad, has spent years helping build Pinewood Derby cars, serving as a Scoutmaster, taking Austin and his brother Alec on multiple camping trips, and fostering the environment to encourage his boys to succceed. Hats off to Tracy, the mom behind the scenes, who was always there for help with merit badges or making sure there were fresh cookies for the campout, and letting her boys know they could achieve anything they set their mind to. And a special honor, for sewing on all of those merit badges through the years (and she didn't cheat, and use a hot glue gun...)
Mike gave a beautiful speech during the cermony, and I found myself dabbing my eyes with my apron. What a wonderful bond those two have.
Tracy, being Italian, served a 'light lunch' that was of course a buffet that left everyone stuffed. Her sister Denise even made and brought Austin's favorite Porketta sandwich, all the way from the Iron Range!

It was a wonderful afternoon, and the Lane family did themselves proud.
Charlie really looks up to Austin. He 'hangs out' with Charlie when Mike and I have a rare date night, plays football with Charlie, and helped him through homesickness at scout camp this summer. Charlie enjoys all of the advantages of having an older brother, without having to deal with any of that sibling rivalry business.
And I can't imagine a better role model for my son to have.

Congratulation Austin, job well done.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

recipe box Wednesday

This is the first recipe card I pulled from the box today-it seemed to want to be shared:

Swedish Meat Balls (given to my mystery cook by Louise)

1 lb. round steak
1/2 lb. lean pork
Grind all very fine. (Now this was in the day when every kitchen had a meat grinder, some of them attached permanently to the countertop-I remember one in my grandma's kitchen. Since I don't know of any kitchens that have these anymore, you could buy ground pork, and extra lean ground round instead.)
1/2 c. dry bread crumbs, soaked in 1/2 c. of milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp onion salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp each of nutmeg, ginger, and allspice
Combine all ingredients, shape into balls. Brown in butter and keep shaking pan to keep their shape. Put in serving dish. Add flour to pan and brown, add enough water for gravy. Return meatballs to pan, cook slowly 15 minutes.

That's the end. I am guessing they served these with either egg noodles, or boiled red potatoes. I like mine with cranberry sauce on the side (when I am fresh out of lingonberries...). I think I may have to whip these up, and honor my Swedish heritage. This is the first recipe I have seen that has so many seasonings in it, I bet they are delicious.

As always, if you try them, send me a review!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

book lists

I have gone on and on about books in my blog, as I love to read. I have recently reconnected with my cousin Rachelle in Bemidji (you can read her at: )

and she is a book lover too. She recently posted a list of her favorite books, and I am going to copy her idea. And then I want everyone who reads this to either comment on my blog, with their top ten list of favorite books, or email me ( ) so I can have more books to put on my wish list!

Picking just ten is tough, and I may have to post more lists in the future...these are not in any particular order of fondness, that would be WAY TOO HARD to do:

1. "The Cape Ann" by Faith Sullivan
She's a Minnesota author, and has written a sequel to this as well. I even went to one of her book readings.

2. "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee Believe it or not, I never read this in high school. In fact, I just read it last year. And I claim to be a book lover!

3. "Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd. I read it in the summer time, on my porch swing. Perfect.

4. "Prodigal Summer" by Barbara Kingsolver (and pretty much ALL of her books). This was also a summer porch read (atmosphere can be quite important).

5. "Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell I first read this in junior high, and absolutely fell in love. I think I read the book twice before I actually saw the movie. My Grandma Betty brought me to it. Of course she did!

6. "Anne of Green Gables" by Lucy Maud Montgomery I try to read this every year or so, it calms me, and transports me to Prince Edward Island.

7. "West with the Night" by Beryl MarkhamI read this long before we even had an inkling of opening ACES Flight Simulation. It's about so much more than flying. Loved it.

8. "Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving (closely followed by "World According to Garp") This could very well be on the top of the list. I also loved "Cider House Rules".

9. "Whistling in the Dark" by Leslie Kagen A newer release, I really enjoyed it.

10. "Out of Africa" by Isak Dinesen After seeing Robert Redford wash Meryl Streep's hair, I had to read this. I ended up reading more Isak Dinesen after that.

11. All of the "Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read a later Laura Ingalls book to the guys on our trip out to the Black Hills this summer. It was such fun!

12. "Little Women" and all of Louisa May Alcott She wrote a mystery that I read a few years ago ("A Long Fatal Love Chase"), so different from "Little Women". Loved it!

Sorry, I couldn't do just ten...

Monday, November 2, 2009


The spider webs have been removed from outside, the squirrels are devouring the pumpkins, and Charlie's treat bag has been scoured for the candy that he doesn't like. He has sampled all of his favorites, we go back to not bingeing on sugar on Monday. He even drank full sugar pop, and ate Doritos. Talk about throwing all the rules out the window! He decided to go trick or treating after all, very late in the day, and he and his buddy Alec went all by themselves. No chaperone. (I did send my cell phone along, just in case...which of course prompted the reminder that he would be so much better off with his own phone.) I think they really enjoyed their freedom. And when they got back, they caught the tail end of "Night of the Living Dead", just in time to see the little girl feast on her dad's arm, right before stabbing her mother with a trowel...

The clocks have been adjusted, and I loved the extra hour of sleep. I even felt like I could stay in bed this morning and finish a book. Mike made coffee-Trader Joe's Winter Blend. Heaven in a cup. Charlie asked for some, as he has decided he is going to start drinking coffee. (?*?)

The smoke detectors have been tested, since I made bacon in the oven.

I spent several hours putting away the Halloween decorations. This is when I realize that I get a little carried away. I did some sorting, and packed up the things I don't really use anymore, and have now just four storage boxes full of Halloween stuff.

But that meant reorganizing the attic, so I could shove the Halloween boxes to the back and move the Christmas boxes to the front. I put away all of my summer clothes, pulled out the long underwear and wool sweaters, and found jeans that didn't fit me last year that fit me now. As long as I stay away from that Halloween candy...

All in all, a good first day of November.


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