observations, ideas and inspiration... from my pennsylvania home, garden, kitchen, and studio

Friday, October 31, 2008

On Spooky Halloween...

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate; The first one said, "Oh my it's getting late." The second one said,"There are witches in the air." The third one said, "But I don't care. The fourth one said, "I'm ready for some fun!" The fifth one said, "Let's run and run and run."
"Wooooooo" went the wind,
And out went the lights.
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

I'll bet you thought about clapping your hands together when you read the "And out with the lights" part. Okay maybe its just me. Every time I hear that poem I think of my baby when she was 3 in her first year at preschool. Her and her friends all dressed up and acting this out. She was so little, always wanting to be a princess for Halloween (just like every other girl). Then something happens I think it's called growing up, I hate when they do that. They want to "choose" there own costume and do their on hair. Even bribery doesn't work "I'll buy you sparkly earrings to go with that". Nope not anymore.

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween Everyone.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What about Thanksgiving?? Make this Pumpkin Bread Pudding!

"Yes'm," answered two meek voices, and after a few irrepressible giggles, silence reigned, broken only by an occasional snore from the boys, or the soft scurry of mice in the buttery, taking their part in this old-fashioned Thanksgiving.
Louisa May Alcott "An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving"

I love that story.
I was up unusually early this morning and decided to pull out my Thanksgiving decorations....really just Turkeys. I love them! I'm looking forward to Saturday to re-decorate a little and put out the Toms. I know it seems early to think about Thanksgiving with Halloween only days away but it will be here before we know it. It seems like we always go straight from Halloween to Christmas and Thanksgiving gets the short end of the stick. I think we should start a campaign "Give Thanks for Thanksgiving!" I found this enjoyable little clip about the history of Thanksgiving with lots of lovely scenes and reenactments....its only a few minutes long http://www.history.com/minisites/thanksgiving/

You will be well loved bringing this dish to Thanksgiving Dinner.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Butter, for baking dish
1 baguette, (8 ounces) slice 1/2 inch thick
4 large eggs
1 quart half-and-half
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Sweetened whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square or 2-quart shallow baking dish; set aside. Toast bread on a baking sheet in oven, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, pie spice, vanilla, and salt. Add toasted bread; cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto surface. Place a plate small enough to fit inside bowl on top of plastic; weight with a large canned good. Let soak until bread is saturated, about 25 minutes.

Transfer mixture to prepared dish, spreading evenly. Bake on a baking sheet until firm and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners'; sugar and topped with whipped cream.

Gobble Gobble!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


"Piped a tiny voice hard by, gay and polite, a cheerful cry, Chic-chic-a-dee-dee!

Out of my sewing room windows there is a large pine tree with millions of little cones all over it. I've noticed as the days get shorter and frostier the little black capped chickadees visit me more often. They keep me company as I go about my business....unfortunately sometimes I forget my business and watch them flying back and forth and swinging upside down on the evergreen branches to pick at the dangling cones...such sweet little birds. I know I can depend on there happy visits all winter long.

The Chickadee
"Piped a tiny voice hard by,Gay and polite, a cheerful cry, "Chic-Chic-a-dee-dee!"saucy note Out of sound heart and merry throat, As if it said, "Good-day, good Sir! Fine afternoon, old passenger! Happy to meet you in these places Where January brings few faces."

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, October 20, 2008

Adventures in Ohio...part 2

So I am the one with the camera but my sister is the one driving (visit previous post if you have no idea on what I am talking about) and my mind is never where it should be. Instead it is like this "Look at all that pretty bittersweet!" or "I wonder what color paint they used??" yada yada yada... in this case if you look close at this not so great picture you will see a bunch of birds picking at the hay and 3 boxes filled with white pumpkins. Visit my sisters blog to find out the stupid thing I did at this little Amish store on our way home from Ohio http://blackcatcandlecompany.blogspot.com/

We also love to drive the back roads to look for bittersweet which is so pretty to decorate with. Usually its the three of us....My mom, driving the getaway car, while my sister and I cut bittersweet like madwomen before another car drives by and calls the cops on us...."we are just doing our part to prune back this crazy weed to beautify this lovely state we live in officer" (I don't know about the other two but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

If your not sure what bittersweet is, its a North American vine that grows on trees and bushes which are difficult to eradicate from your landscape. But during the fall season bittersweet vines put on a lovely display of a deep yellow shell of berries that when dried bursts open to reveal an orange jewel within. The bittersweet plant's fall foliage covers its victims in a yellow splendor. They grow naturally in central and eastern U.S. except for Florida.

So if you wish to help your state out also, this is what to look for....just never dig it up only prune a little here and there.

This is the vine growing up a tree. It's the same color as wild grapes but has a different leaf.
Here's a close-up
And this is what it looks like when dried.
Have a happy day today!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Adventures in Ohio part 1

I love this time of year. The leaves are glowing in reds, golds and oranges, big fat pumpkins, bittersweet, hot apple cider, cooler days and nights. My daughter Lydia was born in October…a gift from God with a little bling on the side. There are many things to love about autumn….

Yesterday my sister and I took a little road trip to Ohio while the girls were at school. We are lucky to live close enough to do this. We visited one of our favorite shops “Day’s Gone By”. So many wonderful primitives antiques and hand-dids in this shop and Clydine is so kind. I wish I would have taken photos for you but forgot I had my camera until we were on our way home.

And this is how the pictorial story goes....
Uh oh, a truck and he's going pretty slow. Not bored but needing something to do I remembered my camera.....

Hello beautiful!

Did you ever notice how many barns are in Ohio….

I love old barns. I want one.

Come on truck, I have to go to the bathroom.

I'll take this one.

Hello ~ Can I please use your bathroom??

And maybe stay for dinner.... What a lovely home.

Yeah! We passed the truck!

And a boat.

I like silos too...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rabbit Hill Primitives Update and Primitive Gatherings Offerings for October

Just a quick post to let you know that I have added lots of new primitives on my Rabbit Hill Primitives website. Above is just one of them. If you have the time please stop by and take a look. http://www.rabbithillprimitives.com/

Also the Primitive Gatherings website has been updated for the month of October. Below are additional pictures. To visit them ~ http://theprimitivegathering.com/rabbithillprimitives.htm

Thanks ~Good Night and God Bless!
Primitive Olde Scarecrow

Harvest Bounty

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy.... Plus Lydia's Favorite Pumpkin Muffins

Lots of work to be done. I have been working on the October update for Rabbit Hill Website which will be October 14th, 7:00 p.m. est. Please stop by if you have a chance. This is the last update for fall. Next month I'll be adding Christmas. Time to get the carols out! My family thinks I'm crazy but Christmas music gets me in the mood. It also helps accepting the cold weather coming!

I'll be adding a few new items for The Primitive Gathering on October 15th also. Check back here for more pictures.

Even though I have been busy this weather makes me want to nest. I've been baking almost every night! I've made muffins, cakes, cinnamon rolls....tonight I think I may make a pie! It's like therapy, it clears my head and helps me think. Most of this I freeze....frozen pumpkin muffins are the best! I always make these for Lydia's birthday, they are her favorite. Below is the recipe.

Did you ever notice how colors bloom in the garden. Sometimes it's predominately yellow, sometimes orange. Even though it's fall I have been seeing lots of blue in my garden this year.

I've been trying to get out there to clean things up a bit. Dig up and pot the herbs. Plus I need to harvest the carrots and last of the tomatoes and peppers but as you can see, I still have a lot to do and the morning glories have taken over the veggie garden. I think it looks pretty.

Pumpkin Muffins (aka Lydia's Birthday Muffins)

4 Eggs
2 Cups White Sugar
1 & 1/2 Cups Oil ~ I use Canola
1 & 3/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree or 1 small can Pure Pumpkin
3 Cups Flour
1 TBSP Cinnamon
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp salt

Beat eggs slightly. Add sugar, oil, pumpkin and beat thoroughly. Add dry ingredients and mix until smooth. I add a cup coarsely chopped walnuts to mine also. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Makes 90 mini muffins. I always make the little ones but if you want the larger muffins bake for 15 - 20 minutes. This makes about 35 muffins.

Friday, October 3, 2008

tasha tudor's garden

Look what I found....As I am patiently waiting to go sit at Lydia's dance class for the next hour....we leave in just a few minutes. I have been surfing on You Tube and found this lovely video of Tasha Tudor's garden. Most of it is spoken in Japanese but who cares??!! It's Tasha Tudor's garden!!! It appears to be later in her life than the "Take Peace" and "Take Joy" videos. It is 10 minutes of bliss and dreaming...enjoy. We miss you Tasha.

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