Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sep. 24 - Fall Fun Tag

My old bloggy friend Julie and I have teamed up for a bit of Fall Fun.  We're doing a fall tag!  Tag posts are always fun because they're so easy to get others involved, and it's interesting to read everyone's answers.  So feel free to join us in your own way, whether posting on your own blog or answering in the comments, or even just answering in your head for the fun of it.

Here we go!

1. What is your favorite thing about fall?
I think it's a tie between the colors and the pre-holiday vibe that starts to build.  I mean, think about it.  Once the kids are back to school and the leaves start to change, we're pretty much out of the gate in the race holiday madness that takes us through the end of the year.  Halloween in October, Thanksgiving in November, and Christmas in December.  There is an excitement that starts to grows in me as the temperatures dip and colors change.

2. Do you get fall colors where you live?
Yep!  I live in central Wisconsin and we get the full fall show of colors here.  I love it!  I can't imagine living where this doesn't happen.

3. Favorite fall scent (wax, or anything)?
Last year I fell in love with deep, dark spiced fruit drink types of scents in wax and I think that will still be my trend this year.  I haven't started melting any pumpkin scents yet but I have been enjoying the few deep cider scents I've melted so far.

4. Favorite fall food or drink?
Hmmm, can I say a traditional Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite fall food???  lol
I don't think I have a specific favorite.  I do like to sample pumpkin spice things that I see, and I do eat more apple slices dipped in caramel sauce and nuts, but I can't think of anything that's really a fall specific favorite.

5. Football.....yay or nay?
Absolutely YAY!  The Vikings are off to a crappy start this season but they're still my team.

6. Do you rake, jump in, or burn piles of leaves?
I don't do any of those things anymore.  We live in the country and just let our leaves fall and blow as they may.  I do still love the scent of burning leaves though.  It takes me back to childhood days when we *did* rake, jump in, then rake again, and finally burn our leaves.

7. Haunted house or corn maze?
I haven't done either but I really would like to try a corn maze once.  I asked hubby if he and his friend could take a break on the barn work some weekend and we could all go to a local apple/pumpkin place that has a maze.

8. Have you ever gone on a hayride?
Not since I was a kid.  It would be fun to do again though, and the place I just mentioned also has hayrides.

9. Cider or hot chocolate?
Hot chocolate!  Although I love cider scents in wax, I have not liked the actual ciders I've tried to drink.

10. Carve a pumpkin or eat pumpkin pie?
I don't like pumpkin pie so I'll go with carve on this one.  Hopefully we carve some this year!  Last year we didn't because I bought the pumpkins too early and they got soggy before Halloween.

11. Do you dress up for Halloween?
Nah.  Never really did.

12. Candy corn.....yay or nay?
Yay.  I do like it but only usually have a small bag of it in the fall, more for tradition sake.

 13. Favorite Halloween movie?
I like the old school stuff and the original Halloween is still one of my absolute favorites.  I at least try to watch that one each year even if that's the only spooky movie I manage to see.

14. Scariest movie?
Paranormal Activity!!!!!  I've only seen it once because I want to preserve that feeling of absolute terror that gripped me throughout it.  Seriously, my heart was racing and I thought I'd have a heart attack.

15. Halloween or Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving!  I love everything about it!  I've said it a million times before, it's the calm before the Christmas chaos storm.

16. Do you watch the Macy's parade?
I went for many years without watching but the past few years now I try to at least watch bits of it as I go about food prep in the morning.  It's just such a big part of the whole Thanksgiving tradition for me!

17. Apple pie or pumpkin pie?
Apple all the way!  Dutch apple, is preferred.

18. White or dark meat?
WHITE!  I do not like dark meat.  Bleah.  But give me a plateful of white turkey meat and a shaker of salt and I'll be in heaven.

19. Jellied or real cranberry sauce?
Jellied.  Again, tradition for us.

20. Will you host or travel for Thanksgiving this year?
The boys will hopefully be here and that's about the extent of our hosting.  I can't really call it traveling if my side of the family gets together because I only live six miles from where it would be.  lol  No, my preferred Thanksgiving is to just stay home and make a meal for my little family. 

There you have it!  Wasn't that fun?
Leave some fall tag love in the comments below!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Sep. 23 - Did I Miss Winter?

Well, the calendar says it's late September, we're officially into fall now, leaves are definitely changing and falling already, and here in Wisconsin it is currently 88 degrees.  Whaaaat?  The Fall Slut soooo does not approve.  We don't have AC in the house but I've managed to keep the house fairly comfortable because we left the windows open last night and closed them this morning, thus capturing the cooler air inside.  Well that and the fact that I'm not doing much of anything today so it still feels comfortable to me.  Not sure how hubby's feeling out there in the barn though . . . 

This week's pic from that same area I showed last week.  There is a better angle once I turn onto the highway from this side road, it shows more of the colors and not so much of the trees that already getting bare.  I'll try to remember to get it from that other spot next time.

While we're talking about fall colors and 88 degree weather, it makes perfect sense that this should also be happening.  Yes, this is what I found at my Walmart this morning, back in their seasonal room.  I knew it was coming but it still seems like such a shock when it starts in *September.*  The Kmart I go to (in a different town) didn't even really have a Halloween section this year!  They have some candy and small decorations going down the center of the main aisle, and then just one aisle of costumes and verrrrrry limited Halloween stuff in the farthest back corner of their seasonal section.  They've already got their Christmas stuff out in full force.  So weird.

Pumpkin Butter Cookies - 'A delectable harvest pumpkin medley interwoven with spicy nutmeg, powdered cinnamon and pure vanilla cream cookie dough sweetened with a sprinkle of rich brown sugar.'
I browsed the wax aisle like I always do, and bought just this one.  I'm pretty sure I sniffed it back when they first put out all the fall scents and didn't find it special enough to buy.  Today though, it really grabbed my attention and had to come home with me.  It's quite spicy, and the pumpkin has that sort of tang to it.  There is a nice bakery note behind it all.  This should be great once we get back to normal cooler fall weather.

I got two cards made today.  I finally got to use my Newton's Nook images!  The background is just me playing with Distress Inks, practicing using them and blending them.  The kitty and pumpkin image is watercolored.  I added a few black gemstones just for something extra.  This is available to buy over in the Facebook group.

This one was also me playing with Distress Inks.  And then I remembered that village border die and was like 'Duh!  Why haven't you used it yet?!'  I had no idea what to put in the upper part and just happened to have that ghost laying nearby.  I think it works!  Added some orange gemstones at the bottom, and some clear ones at the top.  This one is also available to buy over in the Facebook group.

I know I said I'd do a barn project update next but, bleah, I just didn't feel like it today.  I'll try to get it ready for a post tomorrow.  For now though, I'm going to try and get more cards done since it's still pretty early in the day.

How is life in your corner of the world?  Have you lost track of what time of year it is like I have?  LOL

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sep. 20 - Fall Quickie

Hello!  How goes it?  We've apparently reverted back to summer here in Wisconsin.  Temps were low 80s yesterday, hit 84 today, and could hit 90 Friday.  Gah!  This does not please me in the least.  Hopefully it's the last hurrah though and we can get back to the glorious chilly mornings and low70s days.

That same view that I showed a few days ago, looking across the street from our front yard.  It looks more colorful in real life.  Might just look the same as the other day in pic form though.

And this the view looking the other direction, from our back yard.  I'll need to get a pic from our kitchen window.  Being raised up slightly in the house shows the color way more.

We planted two mums plants in our main flowerbed this spring.  I'd read that if you plant them in the spring they have a good chance of developing strong enough roots to survive all year.
Sure enough, these guys are doing pretty good and starting to bloom.  We might have to thin out the lilies that had bloomed all around them though.  I'd thought those would bloom and be done and gone by the time the mums took over but no, the remaining lily stems and leaves were still there and blocking the sun from the mums.  I did sacrifice a couple lily stems to give the top (smaller) mum a better chance.

I thought I would do a barn update but this post is already picture heavy.  I'll save the update for its own post, hopefully in the next day or so.

Other than that, I've been wrestling with my thoughts and frustrations, and have been trying to just relax about things.  I made a couple cards, watched a couple movies, played a bit of Wizard101 the past few days, but the feeling of being overwhelmed and bored at the same time still lingers.  Oh well, back to work tomorrow and Friday and then I'm using a couple more vacation days to have another full week off.  Hopefully I can have some fun with things!

Alrighty, off to read my teen witch book now before bed.

What is your go-to thing when you're feeling bored?

Loot Crate - Wizarding World Box / Sep. 2017

It's that time again!  My Wizarding World subscription box from Loot Crate has arrived!
Let's dive right in.

This is what I saw when I opened the box.  Yes, that Hogwart logo appears to be upside down, but when you empty the box and refold it inside out, it looks like a travel case, and the logo is then the right way.  But anyway, I was all 'Ooooh!' just at seeing the desk set here on top.

It comes with a MACUSA (Magical Congress of the USA) file folder, notepad, sticky notepad, and two clips or bookmarks.

I was so freakin' excited when I saw this good sized Honeydukes box because I thought for sure it would be candy.  Nope . . . 
While they look like candy, they are actually erasers.  I know erasers have been all the rage for a while now, although I don't understand why.  lol

This is Salazar Slytherin's locket in enamel pin form.  The info sheet included in this box says "next in our Horcrux series," which makes me wonder how many I've gotten already, or how many I'll miss since this is my last box.  I'll have to look back through my other boxes to see.  As always, this is a hefty, substantial pin, not just some tin thing that will bend if you breathe on it..

Yay!  Another wand pen!  The previous box had Snape's wand, and this time I got Harry's.  Again, not a wimpy, flimsy plastic thing, but a wand/pen of some substance.

And finally, this awesome Gryffindor scarf.  I know I've gotten a Gryffindor stocking cap, but it seems like I've also gotten a scarf too.  Hmm, something else I'll have to check.  Regardless, this is a really nice scarf, big and soft and fluffy.  Love it!

And that is my September 2017 Wizarding World box.  As mentioned, this is my last box.  It was a super fun box to receive every couple months and all the items are so geekfully fun for any Harry Potter fan, but I know I'll just not use most of the things I've received.  I'm trying to decide what to do with the things I've collected, and some giveaways might be in the works.  I'll keep a few things to display on my book shelves, and maybe a couple other things, but the bulk of it will probably be finding new homes.

Would you be interested in a Harry Potter giveaway or two?
Wands up, people!

Book Review - Lady Renegades (Rebel Belle Book 3)

Lady Renegades (Rebel Belle Book 3)
by Rachel Hawkins
264 pages

'Just as Harper Price starts coming to terms with her role as David Stark's battle-ready Paladin, protector, and girlfriend—her world goes crazy all over again.

Overwhelmed by his Oracle powers, David flees Pine Grove and starts turning teenaged girls into Paladins—and these young ladies seem to think that Harper is the enemy David needs protecting from. Ordinarily, Harper would be able to fight off any Paladin who comes her way, but her powers have been dwindling since David left town, which means her life is on the line yet again.

Now, it’s a desperate race for Harper to find and rescue David before she backslides from superhero to your garden-variety type-A belle.


Okay, so I said in my reviews of the first two books that they were each very weak in the storytelling but had enough good stuff to keep reading.  This one almost didn't even qualify for that amount of praise, but I did finish and was surprised that, once again, the few strong points were enough to save the day.

The second book left off with David breaking away from the town and people who were trying to 'save' him by controlling him.  Once again, this book picks up several months after those events.  Harper and her best friend Bee are working at a summer job when Harper is attacked out of nowhere by a girl they don't know.  It's obvious this girl is another paladin, and she has a message about David.  This gets Harper's hopes up that David is nearby and she's determined to find him.  She, Bee, and mage Ryan attempt a summoning spell but it's not David they end up getting.  It's Blythe.


Yeah, the crazy mage from the first book who started this mess in the first place.  She's the one who repeated tried to kill Harper, who did the spell on David to make him super powerful, and it was her actions that caused Bee to get sucked into all of this and turned into a paladin.  She's realized the error of her ways now though, and wants to help make things right.  She agrees they need to find David.  Harper, Bee, and Blythe set off on an adventure while Ryan stays behind because he is a much weaker mage.

Well that all sounds pretty good.  Too bad all the weak storytelling has to come in then.  The paranormal (is it even paranormal?) side of this whole story is the weakest thing of all.  It does not ever go deeply into any of it, never really explaining details of how, what, or why.  You're just given the most basic information, almost in passing, and expected to just accept it and go on.  Maybe the teen girl audience this is meant for can do that but to me it was frustrating.  David is super powerful now and broke away.  Okay, why does that mean he's going to blow up towns and kill people?!  Why does he now have mage powers?  I can understand the increased, nearly constant visions would drive him crazy but to me that just doesn't explain why he's such a danger now.

The inconsistencies are there again too.  In the second book the last of the Ephors told Harper all of their powers would be gone now that David had broken away from them.  The end of the second book seemed sort of muddied on if that guy really was the last Ephor or not.  This third book once again goes on the theory that the Ephors are all dead and gone now.  That's minor to this book, but still an inconsistency.  The matter of their powers was a huge, annoying, weak spot.  Their powers kept 'flickering,' and were totally unpredictable in battle.  Sometimes Harper had no powers at all, but Bee still did.  Sometimes Harper seemed to still have full powers.  Sometimes they talked like their dwindling powers got a boost if they were getting closer to David.  It was just way too scattered, and the powers seemed to come and go as the author saw fit for different situations.

The three girls discover some huge secrets along the way and have mild struggles with how to handle this newfound information.  These new revelations seemed too little too late though, and the information never really went anywhere.

The ending was rather cheesy and predictable BUT . . . because the author's strong point is in the normal people relationship type stuff, it still ended up being rather touching.  As weak as the whole story was, I almost would have liked to see one more book, one before this finale that was David's point of view and really showed his struggles in his downfall.  Then again, maybe it just couldn't have been done because those paranormal areas are apparently not this author's area of expertise.  Still, incredibly weak and inconsistent as this trilogy was, I did enjoy it.  It's a quick, almost fluff read, and sometimes you just need that to cleanse your palette.

Oh!  Another thing that aggravated the heck out of me, *especially* in this third book, is the constant fidgeting of people and the endless reusing of the same phrases.  There should be a contest or something to count how many times someone 'rubbed his hand over the back of his neck,' or 'pulled her hair into a messy bun,' or 'fiddled with the hem of his/her shirt,' or the one that made me want to kill puppies every time I read it, 'took a deep breath through her nose.'  Gah!  It was like no one could ever just speak or reply.  No, they ALWAYS had to have some fidgety action attached to it.  I'd noticed it in the first two books but this third one seemed over saturated with it.  Bleah!!!

But anyway, a quirky little trilogy that I would not recommend if you're looking for something deep and serious, but would say go for it if you just want some fun reading.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Melted - Dessa's Homespun Scents / Country Fair Jamboree

Country Fair Jamboree - 'All of your favorite country fair treats blended together – a jamboree of sweet and salty country kettle corn, gooey buttery caramel apples and sweet cotton candy. A Homespun Original House Blend.'

I was a little leery about this one because of the salty popcorn in it.  I really don't care for popcorn scents in home fragrance and last year I developed a strong dislike of any sort of salty note.  But, I went ahead and melted it on a day I knew I'd be busy with other stuff, a day that it wouldn't really matter if I wasn't noticing a scent I potentially didn't like anyway.  lol  Turns out this one wasn't bad for me.  There was enough apple coming through to keep it sweet and fun, and the other notes just sort of blended together for a nice, almost bakery type background.  I don't think I'd  order this for myself, but this one was gifted to me and it was pleasant enough that way.

I divided this tart and have about 0.7 oz. worth going in each of two tea light warmers in adjacent rooms, and had medium-strong scent.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Sep. 15 - Whatevs

I love this pic of Cinnamon (Casey's kitten) and I feel like doing that a lot myself lately.  I've just been flailing about aimlessly the past week or so.  I've been taking magnesium supplements for five weeks now, after coming across information that they apparently can work as well as prescribed depression and anxiety meds for some people.  I'd also come across some information about perimenopause a couple months ago and think that might have a lot to do with my mental struggles.  I was kind of relieved to think I might not be struggling with actual clinical depression, but instead was suffering at the hands of The Biological Clock.  I guess I never really knew much about it.  All you ever hear about is hot flashes.  LOL  So yeah, stumbling across that information, and thinking back about different things that have been happening to me, it all sort of makes sense.

Anyway, the magnesium supplements . . .   Like I said, I've been taking them for five weeks now and at first I was thinking they were little miracle pills.  I could have sworn my moods were leveling out.  It seemed like I could tell when there were ups and downs but they felt sort of dulled, not as extreme, and that I was bouncing back much more easily from them.  I was all like, 'Heck yeah!  Getting my life back under control and apparently helping heart and bones and everything else along the way too!'  Well then the past several days started to be downward slide that felt just like any of my other slips back into my dark funk.
Yesterday was a really mopey day and I ended up seeking solace from my old friend King Ludwig II all afternoon.  I still love this movie!  Still love this portrayal of Ludwig because it shows his decline, it lets you get to know him as normal and likeable before bringing in his quirks and downfalls.  Yeah, it didn't do much for my own mopey mood but it was a nice distraction.

I think a lot of things triggered this current funk, most of it (if not all?!) related to the barn project and the card making end of things.  We got an estimate for the heater installation in the barn and it floored me.  $3500?!  And that's not even the whole job?!  The same day, we got the Menards bill and that was like a kick while I was already down.  I mean, we knew we'd be spending money throughout this project, and it's not like the Menards balance was a total surprise, but I think that they (bill and estimate) happened at the same time was just overwhelming.  Add to that the frustration about my end of the project, the cards and paper crafts, from making to selling, and it was just . . . overwhelming.

Turns out hubby's feeling overwhelmed too.  I had noticed he'd been snipping at me about stupid little things lately, which didn't help my own mood.  And then last night he discovered some mistakes in the football pool he's running for fun at work, and he just sort of completely blew up.  It wasn't directed at me, but it was still quite a shock because he is usually so mellow, to the point of being TOO mellow.  He agreed that everything with the barn is getting to him, that it's ALL he does now.  He's been cranky the past couple days because he's being outnumbered by people who think the siding should go up next, and not wait till spring like he was thinking.

The easy solution is to just take some time away from all this.  We want to get this done though, especially with winter coming and our weather already getting chillier.  We don't want to poke along on the barn and do little bits here and there when we feel like it because we know it'll eventually get pushed aside and never finished if we start doing it that way.  We'd rather keep plugging away, accept that we're going to accumulate debt for a while, and then just plow through paying it off as fast as we can.  We'll all get a break from it this weekend.  I'll be working.  Hubby's friend won't be over because he'll have his kids this weekend.  And that gives hubby some peaceful downtime to just lounge on the couch and watch TV if he chooses.

So that's what is happening around here, and why I haven't been posting festively fall related things lately.  Actually, wait, I'll post some for you now.

Excuse the post in the middle of the view.  I had to quickly snap this through my car window while paused at a stop sign on my way home from town this morning.  We're starting to get some fall color around here.  That line of trees is one of my favorite spots to monitor color change, and is the same spot I've shown in pics other years.

This is standing in my driveway, looking across the road.  Not as much color change yet right where I live but some, moreso in the fields than in the trees farther back.

And this is standing right in the middle of the road in front of my house, looking north.  Again, some color in the fields but not yet in the trees.

We're trying to cut back on extra spending for a while but I couldn't help buying some fall smellies while shopping this morning.  I grabbed another of the Mainstays Mulled Cider just because I enjoy it so much.  Also grabbed a Scentsationals Warm Apple Pie because it's one of my absolute favorites and I realized I didn't have that one yet this year.  I cold sniff compared the Scentsationals Cinnamon Apple to whatever the BHG cinnamon apple one is, and much preferred the Scentsationals one, so I grabbed on pack of that.  I also grabbed one of the Tuscany scents I'd noticed over in the Halloween section.  I recently mentioned that I usually avoid these "cheap seasonal offerings" from Tuscany because cold sniff always has a gross plastic note.  But I was impressed with the one I'd melted recently, because the true scent was proud and strong, not tainted by the plastic note.  So yeah, I grabbed Pumpkin Latte.  They also had Monster Cookies, a pumpkin pie one, and an apple-pumpkin one.  I might grab those later if they're still around.

That's about it for now.  I have some laundry to tend to and then I'll rejoin my friend Ludwig for a couple more hours.

How are you??
Are you familiar with the supposed hidden benefits of magnesium?
Do you whine and pout and give up when you're overwhelmed?
Would you rather I shut up and just show more cards?