Friday, September 30, 2011

Parting shots

I'm not one of those people who feels summer is over as of Labor Day.  When Labor Day rolls around, we are just heading into the bonus zone.  September may be back-to-school, but it is still summer to me.  October is the real beginning of fall.  Last Thursday I attended an event across campus and shot some photos while walking over and back.  As tomorrow is October 1, I thought I would share these parting shots with you, today.
The famous "Jordan River."
In June, a female student named Lauren Spierer disappeared.  The blue ribbon around this tree serves as a remembrance of her.  Her face is everywhere on posters around town and on campus.  So sad.
Wonderful day for sitting on the terrace...
Wandering through our wooded campus...
Sample Gates
Looking down Kirkwood...
Heading back to my building...
Indiana Avenue (as you can see, leaves are starting to change and fall.
It is supposed to get down to 36 degrees tomorrow night.  I am working to bring in the houseplants that have been outdoors all summer.  We've already had some days that I've ran my heater in the car on the way to work and one morning I even turned on the heat in the house while I showered.  I've been struggling with cold-like symptoms that my doctor tells me are merely allergies.
I've been switching out my spring/summer clothes for fall/winter clothes.
I am working at Papertrix as I do during the busy fall season.  (Come see us!) 
I am in the process of cleaning up the fireplace room because it won't be too long before we are sitting beside the fire. 
I know we will still have some sunny, warm days in October, but to me October means fall is truly upon us.  I love fall.  Fall is my favorite season and October is my favorite month.   And not just because I'm an October baby!
"Bye-bye September.  Hello, fall!"

Friday, September 23, 2011


Thank you for all of the kind comments concerning my brother.  A few of you brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for the blog love!

Fall came in last night with light rain.  Leaves skittered across the road.  A cool breeze blew
through the kitchen window.   I took this photo after work yesterday of a tree near my parking lot at I.U.  I took this for my displaced Hoosier sister, Holly over at Hoosier at Heart. She doesn't live in Indiana any longer and misses our beautiful fall leaves.  I'll be thinking of you and Kris this weekend...wish I could join the fun!

I found this recipe, yesterday, at Mennonite Girls Can Cook.  It is very light.  I hope you appreciate the photo below.  I am right-handed and it is a difficult task to take a photograph left-handed!

This cake bakes up light and fluffy.  They advise to let it cool for fifteen minutes in the pan.  I normally only let a cake cool for ten minutes before flipping it.  I had a little difficulty getting it out of the pan so I might only let it cool for ten minutes the next time.  The also say not to under-bake.  My oven runs hot so fifty-five minutes was perfect for me.

The recipe says to dust with powdered sugar.  I might put cream cheese icing on it the next time.  I am forever changing recipes- thinking how might I make this better?  Doug brought this pumpkin home to me last night so I thought it would look pretty in the picture.

A perfect way to welcome fall.  I love keeping a tablecloth on my farmhouse table.  My mother bought this one for me years ago and it is one of my favorites.  I am a candle nut.  I went to Michael's a week or so ago and got three jar candles in fall fragrances, three for ten dollars.  (Note: Michael's did not ask for an endorsement.)
Crunching leaves, cool temperatures, camping and campfires.  Lighting a fire in the wood stove.  Chili (or any soup) on the stove.  Time to cozy in.  Welcome, fall!

Thursday, September 22, 2011



After the first time you were there
you said
"never again."

once again
have made choices
that have led to
 and jail.

As children
we looked like twins
you were
 the male version of me.
I was small.
You were tall.
And even though I was the big sister,
we were the same size
and learned early on
when little old ladies would inquire
"are you twins?"
to nod, because it got us a lot of attention.

In church
we sat together
 and giggled
one look between us
told the other
what one was thinking.
No words were needed.

Last night
I slept
for the first time
since this arrest.

I fear
for you-
 your life.

They beat you  the last time.
Most likely, you've taken a beating again.
Angry fists pounding your face.
Feet kicking your sides.
Guards looking away.
This is what happens.
Lingering bruises that upset those
 who love you and visit.

I do not visit.
I could not then.
And cannot now.
I suppose
if you go to prison
I may have to visit you
That would be difficult.

The article
tells the story
for all to read.
Your picture tears at my heart.
Your eyes cast down.
You are ashamed
 and it shows.
You look as if
 you could cry.
I'm certain
you have.

I feel angry
 and helpless.
I do not want to give
 this situation
my energy
but it is taken
Sleepless nights.
Stomach churning.
Our parents do not sleep, either.
How the pain you have caused has aged them.

Your addiction
has taken
all that you
held dear.
your life
you are a felon, now.
My brother is a felon.

You say
I am your tough love.
I know
 you know
I love you.
But I am
your big sister.
And must not let you
"get away"
with anything.
As much as is within
my power.
Which isn't much.

We are powerless.
We who love you.
We do love you.
You know?
But you are responsible
for you.

When you are in there
this time
as the last
I think of you
I look up
at the sky.
And think how
 I might feel
if my freedom
 was taken
How it might be
to be
 an animal.
It is for your own good.
For your safety.
And others.
I think of you
in that cage.

You were the male version of me
like me
but not.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cinnamon roll cake

I found this recipe through Pinterest.  It is very easy.

Yellow Cake Mix
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1 cup sour cream

Mix by hand and pour in to 13x9 greased baking pan.

1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
Mix and pour over cake batter.  Swirl into batter with knife.

Bake @ 325 for 40 minutes.  Let cake cool 10-15 minutes before icing.

2 cups powdered sugar
4 tbsp milk.

Pour over warm cake.

I didn't take a picture after I iced the cake.  I think I just forgot.  My icing was a little thick.  I should have added more milk.  This cake is moist and good.  Now, want to know a little secret?  We had bugs in our cabinet this summer and recently I threw out all of my spices.  I made a special trip to the grocery to buy all of the ingredients for this cake.  But I forgot that I didn't have any cinnamon.  So my cinnamon roll cake was just roll cake!  But it was still good.  Just think how wonderful it will be the next time I make it and actually use one of the main ingredients!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunshine on my chickens makes me happy

The other evening after work, I went out to feed and water the chickens.  The setting sun was coming through the window in an amazing way and I ran to get my camera.  This first shot shows the side room of our small barn where the chickens are housed.  This is an old building.  We cleaned and raked before moving the chickens in but they keep digging up old bottles and the like.  There is a corner roost in the right hand corner that you can't see in this picture.  We had to put a piece of limestone on top of our gallon fount because they kept roosting on top of it and knocking it over.  I'm certain the fire marshall would love how we have ran the light from our big barn with an extension cord.  The plan is to run electricity before the snow flies.  Eventually it is dark when I drive to work and dark when I drive home and we will need light to feed and check on the chickens this winter.
 The barred chicken below (black and white for those of you who aren't chicken peeps) is Ella.  She has been my favorite since we brought them home.  I have two of the Rhode Islands and haven't named them.  You can see one of my buffs down below.
 Ella, the barred and one of the New Hampshires.
 Rhode Island,  and who can tell me what kind the black and white below is? And rooster.

 The rooster's feathers are so shiny he looks wet.  I guess the stuff we are feeding them is doing the job.   (Who can tell me what kind of rooster I have?  Americauna?)
If I've called any of them by the wrong name, by all means, correct me.  I've never been positive of what all I have.  We have about eight or nine different kindsSome people might think is it crazy to run for the camera when the lighting is just right in the hen house, but I was kind of excited about it.  We had our first four egg day today.  I'm not certain how long they will lay before they stop because of the cold here in Southern IN.  We are not going to force them to lay in the winter.  Come spring time we should have lots of eggs and I'm hoping for some baby chicks of our own! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Do you Pinterest?

Do you Pinterest?  I will admit, in the past few months, I have become quite obsessed with it.  If you are not familiar with it, check it out.  It is fun and inspirational.  I have always loved making collages and this is somewhat like virtual collages.
I found this photo of this chicken and had to share it with you...
image:  Pinterest
It is getting cooler here in Indiana.  This Thursday and Friday it is going to get down to 43 degrees.  Doug has cleaned the chimney, but I haven't gotten the fireplace room cleaned.  When we are not building fires, we do not use that room.  It is our winter room.  Once it is cool enough to turn on the heat, we are building fires.  We huddle- me, Doug, Chelsea the Corgi and  two cats.  The animals love basking in front of the warm wood heat.  Who am I kidding?  I love it, too!  There is no better place for napping on a cold winter's afternoon than before the fire. 
I need to pull out warmer clothes, put away my sleeveless items.  I want to get out my fall decorations but anytime I decorate, that means I need to clean the house, first.  I have barely had time for sleep, it seems. 
Years ago, my dream was to live in a cabin in Alaska.  Oh, I had such a romantic notion of how it would be, snow all around, fire in the fireplace, quilts piled high on a big four-poster bed.  Candles and kerosene lanterns lit.  Something out of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," complete with Sully.  Fast-forward to present day, I've never been to Alaska, and now with a grand-baby in Maryland, I won't be moving there.  But how I love to burrow in with blankets and a fire burning!

I don't plan to knit hats for our chickens, just wanted to share this comical photo. 
You may find me at:

If you pinterest and want to follow me, I will follow in return.  Happy pinning!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Toddlers and Tiaras

I have a confession to make.  When my daughter was itty-bitty, just a couple of months old- I entered her in a baby contest at a small town fair.  She came in second for bluest eyes.  It was kind of fun.  But that was the end of that.

Recently, I had a conversation with a four year old.
FYO:  "Cheryl, do you watch toddlers and tiaras?"
me:  "no."
FYO:  "Why not?"
me: "well...because it is toddlers... and tiaras."
( I had never heard of this t.v. program.)
FYO:  "so?"
me:  "What can a toddler do?"
FYO:  "Lots of things!"
me:  "A toddler can't drive a car.
  A toddler can't even ride the merry-go-round by themselves."

Seriously, it was a hilarious conversation!
I have since tuned in ever so briefly to see what the fuss was about.
And, I was going to tell you all about this- but that was before the recent hub-bub which has given me even more fodder.
 What is this mother thinking?  Is this supposed to be a Madonna costume?  Why would you put your precious daughter in a get-up like this?
 And this costume...she said she made it herself for her daughter.  Oh, when my daughter grows up, I want her to be a streetwalker!
 And putting your daughter in a C cup padded bra and adding padded hips?  WHAT? 
 Who taught her to pose this way?
 Does this child look happy?
 And, this one...does she look happy?

I do not understand why anyone would do these things to any toddler.  Never mind, their own daughter!  Emphasizing appearance and clothes and make-up.  I think it is a huge injustice to the little girls.  I do not think this is about the little girls as much as this is about the moms, themselves.  They are living vicariously through their daughters.  I say "get a life."  If you want to spend time with your daughters, join Girl Scouts or soccer or choir or let them play an instrument.  Show up for them when they have a game or perform.  Let them know you care.  Get them involved in something that might enrich their lives or help them as they mature.  Basing self worth on appearance is only giving them a foundation that will crumble in time.  How shallow and sad.  What about emphasizing accomplishments such as cognitive skills or physical accomplishments like kicking a goal in soccer or learning how to play the piano or being in choir? 
Sick, sick, sick.  Sad, sad, sad.  And sadder yet is that people are actually tuning in to watch this crap.  People, get a book.  Get a life. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011


I'm the sort of person that if I sat down to eat with you I would ask you what you are ordering.  Because when your food arrives, it will look better to me than what I ordered and I will wish that I had ordered what you are ordering.
If you were here with me I would ask you what book you are currently reading or what the last movie was that you saw.  I would ask you who you are currently listening to.  I am curious that way.
I went to the library today and decided I would share with you what I picked up. 
Some time back I discontinued my Netflix account.  Our local library has online ordering so I just hop on there and tell them what I want and they let me know when it is ready for pick-up.  I have about 125 items on my list right now. 

I got this boxed set to listen to...Traveling Wilburys.  I like them.  Kind of new to me.  I love getting CDs from the library because I can test-drive then burn if I like them.  I like a lot so I have to be really crazy about them to burn the CD.
This is what I'll be watching...Country Strong with Gwyneth.  I wanted to see this when it came out almost a year ago.  I wanted to see it at the theatre, but that didn't happen.  Who doesn't want to be a country singer?
 Here is what I'll be reading...
What Would Jackie Do?  I just adored Jackie.  So smart and independent.  I loved her sense of style.  I have some sunglasses just like the ones that are pictured on the cover of this book.  My kids always hated them.  I can't wear them right now because the prescription is off...but these are amazing frames...keep all of the sunlight out. 

Aged to Perfection, a Country Living book.  Country Living is a magazine that I've subscribed to for years.  This will be a good "flip-through" book that might give me some decorating ideas. 
Please let me know...
1. What are you currently reading?
2.  What was the last movie you saw?  (Theatre or dvd.)
3.  What music has grabbed you as of late?

Why do I want to know?  Because I'm curious that way! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011


We now believe that at least three of our ten layers are producing.  Maybe more.  I went out this evening, after work, to check on them and three eggs were in the box.  We have seven laying boxes and they all like box number two.  Why is that?

It is difficult to get a photo of all twelve of them, but I think I did.  We have two roosters and one of them keeps attacking me.  It makes me so mad!  If I yell (and cuss) and push him away he just keeps coming after me.  I consulted with our chicken teacher from the Purdue Extension office as to which rooster we should get rid of.  (If you don't know, usually one rooster per twelve or so hens.  We have ten hens and two roosters.)  One of the roosters is docile and one is aggressive.  Her answer to me was "you'll get rid of the one that attacks you."  Anyone want a rooster? 
the whole brood
It has suddenly turned cool and rainy here in southern Indiana.  It has gotten down to 51 at night and today I think it only got up to 61 degrees.  Feels more like October than September.  Very chilly in the mornings.  Sweatshirt weather.  I love it and apparently the girls do, too!

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