At Halloween time in years past, my porch has kind of been a mish-mash of lots of different semi-spooky decorations. Remember the eyeball tree? This year I decided to simplify things and maybe class up my porch a bit.
Oh, I had to have corn stalks- and these we actually grew ourselves!
You never know who you might find lurking behind the cornstalks.
I hollowed out some pumpkins that became planters for some yellow mums, and I found a great new sign at the local nursery's gift shop.
Adding some Halloween pillows to the bench added a fun Halloween touch! These are just slipcovers, so you'll be seeing these pillows again- with different seasonal covers.
Gus approves of the pillows.
I don't think he's real fan of the pumpkins and gourds though, since he likes to chew on them.
I like how this all came together!
On a side note, I gave these Halloween S'Mores kits to my kids and my VT ladies- I thought they were pretty cute.
Big and painful and good changes at our house last week. Brian was offered at job with Hewlett Packard in Roseville, California. Yeay! He will be in the Golbal Regulatory Compliance division...whatever that means. :) He starts today!
Last week they packed up all of their worldly possessions in the truck and trailer. Lindsey's parents filled the back of their truck too and all of us drove to Roseville. It's a 10 hour drive- we'll be making it often! Roseville is 2 hours from Lake Tahoe, 2 hours to San Fransico and even closer to the redwoods. (And 6 hours to Disneyland!)
To get there, we drove over the Sierra Nevadas, stopping to see the Donner Pass memorial.
Here's Brian and Lindsey's new apartment. It is literally across the fence from the HP complex. With a good pair of wire cutters, Brian could make a passage way to work through the fence!
We unpacked and put together their new IKEA cough/bed. How convenient for parental visits! As you can see, Brian is in fine picture form- eyes averted, fake smile. That's my boy.
My house is soooo quiet now. Uncomfortably so. And Gus...well, he's not taking it very well at all. He left a dead mouse on the downstairs bed the other day.
Change is hard, even good change. I'm really proud of Brian and I know they will be fine, but they are just So. Far. Away.
Need an Autumn-type dessert to warm your family on a blustery day? You might want to try this pudding cake. It's full of apples and raisins and cinnamon and caramel- yum!
Caramel-Apple Pudding Cake-12 servings
2 medium tart cooking apples, such as Granny Smith or Jonathan, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (2 cups)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter (no substitutes), melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon butter (no substitutes)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease a 2-quart square baking dish; arrange apple slices in bottom of dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Top evenly with raisins; set aside.
3. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add milk, the 2 tablespoons melted butter, and vanilla; mix well. Stir in nuts. Spread batter evenly over apple mixture.
4. Combine caramel topping, water, and the 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan; bring to boiling. Pour caramel mixture over the batter in the baking dish.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until set in center. Spoon warm individual servings into dessert dishes, inverting each portion. Spoon caramel-apple mixture from the pan over each portion. Makes 12 servings.
The walls and concrete edges are painted. The floor is epoxied and sprinkled with paint chips. It looks a little blue in these pictures, but it's actually more gray.
Brian and Lindsey were the painters. They put a lot of effort into this job. I was the sprinkler. It took finesse and a certain technique, getting those sprinkles to look right. We waited a week to park inside, then we waited 3 more days. It all looked so fresh and nice. It seemed a shame to put cars in it.
The question is- now that it's all clean, fresh and beautiful, should this be our new party room?