Author Archives: Jean

Creepy Crawlies, Stay Away!

Since it’s Thursday again, I’m simply going to share some quick tips to help the creepy crawlies stay away.

Bugs don’t bother me very much.  They make for interesting photographs and I enjoy seeing a new bug as long as it is in its home outside.

That person who relocates the spiders (with a few exceptions) outside would be me. However, I would much prefer they along with their other bug friends simply stay there to start.

What I don’t enjoy is when the creepy crawlies start to enter my home. Or when annually, the spiders decide inside our mailbox would make a great home. NO, spiders, not an ideal home.  The mailman does not approve.  Neither do I.

Here are my strategies for keeping the creepy crawlies out of our home and mailbox:

  • Especially in the fall, hedge apples.
    creepy crawlies

    Hedge apple

    While there are mixed results on the official research on these working, I’ve had good luck with them.  They do seem to solve our spiders in the mailbox problem.

    creepy crawlies

    For some reason, spiders like to crawl in here and hide with our mail.

    Adding a hedge apple inside our mailbox seems to help. creepy crawlies I just put the hedge apple in their whole on top of our weather monitor thing.   I usually also add a few hedge apples by the basement door and windows.

  • Wipe the baseboard down with essential oils known repel insects (cinnamon, peppermint, lavender, and/or tea tree oils).  I’ll also add a few drops of one or two of these to my steam mop.  As our house is in a state of refinishing flux, we have some gaps between our baseboard and the floor so I’ve started adding drops to cotton balls and sticking those in the gaps.
  • Conventional methods: my husband keeps glue traps down in our basement.  And he does spray for ants around the outside of the house although they’re usually more of a summer nuisance for us.

Do spiders and insects try to find cozy spot in your home at this time of year? What are your strategies for letting them no there is no vacancy in your home?

fall season



A Fall Quote

I love the fall quote I’m sharing today.

fall quote

Since I was curious about the author of the quote, I did a bit of research.  Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was a French painter. You can read more about him on this site.

I love the new way of thinking of the fall the quote inspires. While I’m never going to be a huge fan of winter, spring is after all my second favorite season.

As I look at the pictures from my fall hike (maybe we’ll call it a walk as all the trails were paved) on Monday, I do see the spring of winter.  Do you?

Fall Walk At Little Blue Valley Park In Kansas City, Missouri

You can see my photos of the park during a different season(winter) in this post.

They weren’t mowing while I was there but had recently.  fall quote There were grasshoppers everywhere, stuff of nightmares.  Behold, the Grasshopper king! These flowers were hanging on… fall quote So was this little beetle of some sort…peering at me over the edge of the flower fall quote This little fellow was also busy working on a clover blossom fall quote fall quote Continuing on my walk… fall quote On a beautiful sunny, fall day (today was a rainy, fall day) fall quote
This little fellow put up his fists to me and my camera before scurrying away.  I’m really not sure what kind of bug this might be? fall quote There were a few puddles here and there… fall quote And ONE bench for the entire 95 acre park… fall quote These berries make me think a bit of the coming winter fall quote And of the birds…while I didn’t take any photos of birds with berries in their mouths or even near the above pictured bush, I’m so excited to share about the birds I encountered in Saturday’s post.

fall season


Fall Flowers To Brighten Things Up A Bit Around Here

Just a quick post to share the fall flowers I bought to brighten things up a bit around here. Some of summer flowers are still growing strong but a few are fading into fall.

My hanging basket of blue flowers which brought me such joy all summer has spider webs where blooms should be. While I know soon it will all fade to brown, I wanted a pop of color to complement my begonias, flowers in full fall denial.

Most garden stores aren’t exactly flush with hanging baskets.  They’ve replaced them with giant pumpkin displays and pots of mums.

I visited my very favorite local garden center today after a long fall hike (pictures of that coming soon).  They had exactly what I needed!

fall flowers

What did you get?

Most summer hanging baskets were, of course, long gone but they had a few baskets of pansies left for me to buy.  I also bought a small pot of yellow mums to replace my marigolds in a planter.  Too bad they were too small, so I guess I get to make a second trip!

The green things under the paper are hedge apples, look for a post about why I have those on Thursday.

Now, a photo of my new hanging basket:

fall flowers

My new pretty flowers

Now, when I sit on my front porch bench, I will once again have a colorful view of my new fall flowers.  Hopefully, it will be one the bees and butterflies appreciate as well.  fall flowers See my skeleton sneaking into a few of the photos?  I have also decorated for Halloween.  Perhaps I’ll share the rest of my decorations in an upcoming post.

For now, my little pot of yellow mums is simply brightening the table next to our outdoor bench.  When I go get some bulbs to plant, an item on my fall bucket list, I’ll have to get a bigger pot of mums for the planter I want to use. I tried to limit myself today.

What are your favorite fall flowers?

*This post is part of my series, 31 Days of Embracing The Fall Season.



Happy Homemaker Monday

I noticed Sandra, our host for the Happy Homemaker Monday posts, changed up the categories on us last week.  So, hopefully, I’ve managed to get my post this week up to date.

Let’s just jump right into it this week…

Breakfast Time, What Is On The Plate This Morning

Scrambled egg with some left-over bacon from Saturday added to it, toast, coffee (I like when I have time to eat a proper breakfast.  Tomorrow, I work so it will likely just be yogurt again.)

Right Now I Am

Trying to finish this post and decided where to go or what to do first with the rest of my day.

Looking Around The House

I need to CLEAN.

On Today’s To-Do List

While it should be a cleaning day, I’ve decided I’ll have a shopping day instead.  We do need cleaning supplies for both the house and our bodies (read: we’re out of soap). Also, these people seem to eat all the time and we’re running low on food again.

  • Go to Grocery store
  • Spend too much money at Target
  • Maybe get some fall clothes somewhere like J.C. Penny
  • Purchase the soap I like at either the Dollar Tree or CVS depending on my mood
  • Perhaps buy some flowers at the local garden store
  • If time permits, clean the house up a little bit and throw in some laundry

Currently Reading

Just browsing through the October magazines

On The TV Today

Don’t expect to really turn the TV on today until later. My husband will probably watch The Voice tonight.  I’m waiting until tomorrow for the season premiere of The Flash.

The Weather Outside Is

Great for fall weather! Sunny and cooler, it’s 56 degrees right now with a high in the upper 70s expected. Need to make sure I get out and enjoy as there is a big chance of more rain tomorrow.  Then, it will be warmer again on our weekend.

On The Menu This Week

This ever-changing fall weather is wrecking havoc with my menu plans.  Serving chili when the temperature outside is above 80 degrees is just not something I’m going to do.  So it’s another week with a few repeats.  Linking up my menu plan with Menu Plan Monday hosted by Laura from I’m An Organizing Junkie.

MONDAY: Something Italian since it’s Columbus Day here (Happy Thanksgiving to Canada!) I’m thinking I’m going to finally make the chicken manicotti that keeps getting pushed off my menu plans.

I’ll probably end up heating up meatballs for J or just holding back some Rotisserie chicken for him (yes, I’m fully cheating on this recipe). *I may go to the band parent meeting* *It’s Mom’s Night Out*

TUESDAY: Pork chops, baked sweet potatoes *G has early morning band practice* *I work 8-4*

WEDNESDAY: Chili, eventually I’m going to make this!  *G has early morning band practice*

THURSDAY:  Ham steaks, fried okra (there’s finally enough in the garden for 1 serving!), salad *G has evening band practice* *I work 1-3:45* *G has evening band practice*

FRIDAY: Probably out if not tacos or chicken enchiladas…

If I Have A Few Minutes To Myself, I Will

Work on my blog posts for 31 Days of Embracing The Fall Season series

New Recipe I Tried, Or Want To Try This Week

Last week I had some pumpkin leftover from my pumpkin muffin recipe and so made these pumpkin sugar cookies.  G and I both really liked them! The other 2 in this house aren’t huge fans of pumpkin flavored things that aren’t muffins or pie so wouldn’t try them.

They had a nice delicate pumpkin flavor and I put some dough in the freezer to pull out at Christmas time. My note: I preferred the batch I forgot to flatten out.

One Of My Simple Pleasures

Hearing the local radio announcer shout, TOUCHDOWN…KANSAS…CITY!

Favorite Photo From The Camera Or The Internet

Monday can’t find me!


Okay, I’ll come down.

Story behind the photo: There were 2 neighborhood stray cats at the base of this tree and she was hiding up there.  The cats like to chase the squirrels around and I can only guess since she’s smaller, they chased her as well.  What I really wish I had to share was a video of my husband out there hissing at the other two cats.

Praying For

Peace for all my readers and for the rest of the world as well.

Quote For The Week

“Trees are poems that Earth writes upon the skies.” (Kahlil Gibran)


What’s on your agenda and/or your menu for the week ahead?



Fall Food Review: Pumpkin Harvest Crisp Yogurt

This will be my first fall food review of my 31 days of embracing the fall season series.

Fall foods means pumpkin everywhere, right?  There’s a whole shelf of random pumpkin spice foods at the local grocery store.  Also, caramel apple. And gingerbread, which I really think they should put on hold until Christmas.

A pumpkin fall food review:

fall food review I eat these Chobani Greek Yogurt flips for breakfast fairly often.

They contain a decent amount of protein and make for a quick breakfast.  This yogurt is one of my go-to breakfasts on days I work.  They are also kind of fun to eat.  fall food review I like how the crunchy stuff is kept separate.  It’s also handy if you accidentally pick one up containing foods you despise (like walnuts in the carrot cake one) since it makes it easy to attempt to pick them out.

Simply, flip over the crunchy stuff and mix it into the yogurt.

And yes, the pumpkin harvest crisp flip is very good!  Can’t go wrong with pie crisp pieces.  Or pecans.  Pecans > Walnuts on a trillion to one scale.  While I’m not normally a fan of pumpkin seeds, the ones in this yogurt have a glaze that makes them enjoyable.  I’m not usually a fan of Greek yogurt either but this is just sweet enough with the mix-ins.

fall food review Normally, I’d call it good at this point and eat my breakfast.

However, I decided to up my breakfast a bit the day I was having this yogurt. Who needs cream cheese when you can spread this deliciousness on a bagel? fall food review A bit too much?  Perhaps.  Still, add a cup of coffee and it’s a wonderful fall breakfast! fall food review

Two final notes:

  • I didn’t receive any compensation for this review. I just picked a fall flavor of a food I like to review for fun.
  •  There must be something useful to do with these containers besides throw them in the recycle bin:
    fall food review

    The pumpkin container is orange but most other containers are the standard white

    If by chance you aren’t a fan of pumpkin flavor, they also make an apple crisp variety.  It contains walnut pieces so I passed on that.  My other favorite varieties of these are the coffee brownie bliss, peach crisp, and key lime crumble as well as cinnamon bun fun.

    What new fall flavors and foods have you tried lately?


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