Friday, October 23, 2009

Awesome Autumn Outdoor Displays

Here are some photos of the outdoor autumn displays at Silver Dollar City a few years ago.

Silver Dollar City is one of our favorite places to visit in the fall.

The park is nestled in the rolling hills of the Ozarks near Branson, Missouri.

The park staff always does a terrific job of getting the place all dressed up for fall.

I always dream of my yard looking like this.

It never does, but I remind myself there is always next year.

Hopefully, these photos will inspire you too. Blessings to you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Autumn Sunset

I am participating in Wordless Wednesday this week. Thank you to our hostess Heather over at To see more participants, pay her a visit.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How many cats?

How many cats can you fit into a basket? Just how many cats can crawl in there to snuggle, sleep, wrestle, and even give each other a bath? Do you have a guess?

One, you think.

Two, maybe.

Three. Now you have figured it out!

You can tell the cats to get out of that basket, but they will ignore you.

You can explain to the cats where you got that basket and why you like it, but they won't listen. can accept the fact that they look really cute in that basket, and just marvel at their appreciation for antiques. At least they have good taste.

Furry blessings to you.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rich Dessert at a Thrifty Price

I was frugal, when frugal wasn’t cool. I don’t like to waste anything, but I especially don’t like to waste food. There are just too many hungry people in this world for me to feel comfortable throwing away edible food. This belief has meant that occasionally I have to find creative ways to use what we have on hand before it is ruined.

Years ago I had a freezer full of hot dog and hamburger buns. They had been on sale for fractions of a cent each at the day old bread store. I bought lots of them during that summer and stuck them in the freezer. When autumn rolled around, I still had a freezer full of buns. I figured we wouldn't be barbecuing much anymore, so I had to find another way to use up our abundance of frozen buns.

I stumbled upon a recipe for Bread Pudding in one of my cookbooks. The recipe originally called for a loaf of french bread, but I decided to make a bun substitution. In my mind, hot dog buns are alot like french bread, just smaller and softer, so I adapted the recipe. It also calls for a whiskey sauce, but since I don't drink alcohol, I adapted that too.

My family loved it! In fact they like it better than traditional bread pudding, because my version is much lighter. I will warn you though, this is a very rich tasting dessert. It is not low calorie either.

Here is the recipe:

1 pound hot dog or hamburger buns
1 quart milk
3 eggs, beaten slightly
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons vanilla
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Break bread into chunks, and put in a large bowl. Add milk, and let soak for 10 minutes. Crush with spoon until well blended. Add eggs, sugar, raisins, and vanilla. Pour butter into a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Spoon pudding into pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until pudding is firm. Let mixture cool. Then pour sweet sauce on top.

Sweet Sauce:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk

Combine butter, sugar, and milk in a saucepan. Cook on medium until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

During the holidays it is fun to substitute, craisins (dried cranberries), for the raisins. It gives the pudding a pretty holiday look. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Are you ready?

What a crazy couple of weeks it has been here on the farm. It all started when I decided to clean the carpets downstairs, which required us to empty all the furniture out of the computer room. We had to drag everything into the kitchen so we could get to the carpets in the computer room. Yes, I did actually mean the plural, as in "carpets". There are two carpets stacked on top of each other in there. The house is a rental, so we don't question why things are the way they are, we just ignore them and go on. Once we cleaned the top carpet, we had to carry it upstairs to a bedroom.Then we had to clean the bottom carpet and the rest of the house. Believe me this was a several day project.

Once the carpets were dry, and I could reassemble the computer room, we discovered there was something wrong with the internet, so I couldn't get back to blogland. Boy was I unhappy and grouchy!

When we finally got that fixed, we realized that fall had ended and winter had arrived. This wouldn't have been so startling except for the fact that fall had only been here for a few weeks to begin with. It is already COLD out on the prairie. Winter has arrived about a month and a half earlier than we expected. We got our first frost recently, and it was so heavy it looked like snow. Then a couple of days ago, it began to sleet. I have been working frantically trying to get the house winterized. A more than century old house with little insulation out on the windswept prairie can get colder than you can even imagine during the winter. We learned this the hard way last year. Now I am busy covering over windows and closing up the top floor as we prepare to live in the just the bottom floor of our house. I am hoping to avoid those GIGANTIC energy bills we had last year.

The big dilemma right now is ..... snow blower versus snow blade. The snow here was a huge shock to us last year. We were totally unprepared for the pounding we took from the weather.

Here is what I wrote about it earlier this year:

Winter is hard on the prairie. This was our first winter this far north so we had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be the worst winter here in 30 years! The first snow fell on November 30th. It basically never left for many months. It almost melted a few days later, but it never completely vanished. Then the really nasty part of winter arrived. The temperatures fell and the snow storms began appearing every 2 to 3 days. Our driveway became impassable before Christmas. Going anywhere required me to dig our car out of a snowbank, then shovel a path to the cornfield. Next I had to shovel a path out of the cornfield back to the driveway to actually reach the road. Finally we had to just leave our cars at the end of the driveway and walk the quarter mile to the house through the drifted snow carrying our groceries and other purchases. Eventually that didn't work because our cars wouldn't even start when the temperature fell to (-25) and the windchill was (-40)!

Now you can see why I have been nearly frantic about winter arriving a month and a half early! I am determined to not be trapped and frozen all winter long again, and I don't want to be shoveling snow at 2o degrees below again either. So we are trying to decide if it is best to buy a snow blower that you push or a snow blade that you put on your lawn mower. Part of our dilemma is the fact that we don't want to spend too much money for something that we may only use for one season. My husband's employer is so unpredictable that by next winter we could be living somewhere deep in the heart of Texas, hence an expensive snow blower would just be a waste of money and something else taking up space in the garage.

If you have ever purchased or used a snow blower or a snow blade, I could use your help. Please give me your opinion on which you think works best and any particular brands that work well or should be avoided. Thanks. Hopefully I will be done covering windows and moving to the warmer part of the house soon, so I can return to blogland. In the meantime, blessings to you and I hope you are staying warm wherever you are.