Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Last week we took a trip into Clifton for a walk around town.  We visit at least a couple of times a year.  Several of the historical homes were decorated for Halloween.
We have been enjoying this cute cow for several years now. This is the first time I have seen her at this time of the year.

This is the entrance to Peterson's Ice-Cream Depot.  You walk up that alley, turn left at the far end, and there is a kiosk where you can order all kinds of ice-cream, plus.  A place we have been to and enjoyed several times.
I didn't know they went to all this trouble to decorate for Halloween.  

The homes in Clifton have historical markers in the front. They give a short history of the people who lived in them.  We have read every one over the years, but it's long enough between visits that we forget.  There is a list here of all the houses, and if you click on the thumbnail, it will give you a short history of that particular place.
Here you can see we met one of the residents, the four-legged kind.  When a dog comes up to the fence with a bone in its mouth it makes you a bit wary.  But it didn't take long for us to realize that this sweet little darling was only interested in wagging her tail, to let us know how happy she was with her bone.  She was adorable!  The three of us made friends and she had enough scratches and ear rubs to last her for quite a while.
A closer view of the marker shown above.
We walked across the road and saw that one of the witches had crash-landed in a tree.  These witches need to be more careful, or at least ease off on that rum punch they mix in their witches brew.  
I see a lot of them in the trees at this time of the year.  I keep telling them this very important message, don't drink and drive, even if it is while riding a broomstick!
I was impressed with all the decorations.   
It certainly puts a smile on the faces of little kids and big kids alike, and especially those of us who like to take photos.

In between looking at all the Halloween decorations, we continue to read the historical markers in front of each home.
The man who lived in this house went down on the Titanic.
This is the Harris House.

The Kincheloe House

I will leave you with the two pretty dogs we came across.
Oh the joy!
Another pretty dog, a bigger one.

And a few pics I played with in Paint Shop Pro.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween and if you are driving, watch out for all the Trick or Treaters tonight.  And for the Witches, if you are flying your broom stick, no drinking while driving.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Monday, October 29, 2018


This recipe came from Marc who is host of Bake to the Roots.  

I haven't made an oatmeal cookie in I can't remember how long, but I had bought a huge container of Old-Fashioned Oatmeal and wanted to make something other than breakfast oatmeal.  A hot, nourishing bowl of breakfast oatmeal, or porridge as I used to call it when my mum made it for us as kids, is my favorite go to breakfast and always has been, that and a poached egg on toast.  

Marc's recipe is slightly different than any I have made, but it was incredibly yummy and is another favorite we can add to our 'make-again' folder.  More often than not Gregg and I make our meals together, and when I asked if he would like to help with these, he was happy to.  Considering this was his first time making cookies, he did a great job.  We will be making them for family and friends when they come to visit.  

Oatmeal Cookies with Hazelnuts and Chocolate
Makes 16 to 18 cookies

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 to 12 minutes

5.3 ozs. (150g) butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 medium egg
2.6 ozs. (75g) all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
7 ozs. (200g) rolled oats
1.7 ozs. (50g) hazelnuts, chopped
1.7 ozs. (50g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 390 degrees F. (200 degrees C).  

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and set aside.  

Chop the hazelnuts and set aside.

Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl and mix until light and fluffy.  

Add the vanilla extract and egg.  Mix until well combined.  

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  

Now put the rolled oats, chopped hazelnuts and chocolate chips into the butter mixture.  Mix until just combined.

Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, place small mounds of oatmeal dough onto your baking sheet, about 1 inch apart.  

Flatten the dough slightly, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until they start to get golden brown.  

Take out of the oven and let cool down on the baking sheet about 15 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack.  

Repeat the process with any remaining cookie dough.  

This was a great recipe, a big thumb's up from both of us. 

We made a few changes depending on what I had in the pantry:  

I measured out and added to the batter 1.7 ozs./50g of these dried dates.  Normally we eat them as a snack, adding a half a walnut to go with it.  If you like dates and walnuts they make a tasty combination.

Instead of the hazelnuts I used walnuts.  

One of us is not a fan of chocolate, so I halved the batter at the end and mixed one half with chocolate chips, baking as directed.  

We also left out the cinnamon, because I accidentally pushed the container behind the kettle, forgot I was supposed to add it found it later when cleaning up.

We added extra vanilla extract, a little over a teaspoon.  We love the taste of vanilla in this house.  No chance of losing that on the counter, we bought a big bottle.

The oats that I bought were described as Old-Fashioned on the box.  There is no difference between old-fashioned and rolled (the name used in the list of ingredients).  Just in case anyone was wondering.

This cookie was crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.  
It is hard not to eat the whole lot, but we're trying to stop ourselves from over indulging.  I kept half the batter uncooked and will freeze for another day, for when that company comes calling.

Because Marc has an overseas blog I am very grateful to him for adding conversions.  However, the new scale that I bought last year also has the European measurements, and I used that setting when getting my ingredients ready.

Thank you Marc, this was a great cookie.


Friday, October 26, 2018


This is an old photograph and one I shared before years ago.  I haven't taken any photos over the last few days, so am going back into my archives.  We found this little bird in the Everglades in Florida.  I had never seen one quite like it before.  The original photo was in regular color.  This one I played with again years ago, and I came across it recently in a folder.

You can see his true coloring and find out more about him here.

I hope your week is going well.  We visited friends for a sit-down chat and a cup of tea.  It was lovely!  These moments in a day are part of those treasures I enjoy.  

Rain is headed this way over the weekend. I hope where you are the weather will be sunny and warm.  I find myself heading for a hot drink more and more, so that I can feel toasty while I warm my hands around the tea cup.  Small pleasures, great treasures, true.

I won't be posting over the weekend.  Enjoy whatever you are doing and take good care of yourselves.  I will be here on Monday with a new recipe.

Thursday, October 25, 2018


"It was a mistake to think of houses, old houses, as being empty.  They were filled with memories, with the faded echoes of voices.  Drops of tears, drops of blood, the ring of laughter, the edge of tempers that had ebbed and flowed between the walls, into the walls, over the years.  Wasn't it, after all a kind of life?  And there were houses, he knew it, that breathed.  They carried in their wood and stone, their brick and mortar a kind of ego that was nearly, very nearly, human."

~Nora Roberts, Key of Knowledge~

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Yesterday before breakfast I had a feathered friend at one of the bird feeders, a male Downy Woodpecker.  A welcome visitor.
I grabbed my camera quickly and didn't realize I was taking these first few photos through the screen on the window, but they came out okay I think.
At least the sun wasn't directly overhead.

This is pretty much photo overload but I had a hard time deciding on which ones to share.

I love the feather pattern.
You can find more at this link.