Category Archives: Five on Friday

Nature Break For Five On Friday

Let’s take a nature break for today’s Five on Friday.

Still fall around here.  The stressful time of year has fully arrived.

Sometimes, I need a break from the stress.  Even good things bring a bit of stress at times.  Seems I just can’t stop embracing our fall scenery (Look what that 31 days series did to me! Made me appreciate fall a tiny bit.).

Most of these photos will be from my walk yesterday when I took Nathaniel Hawthorne’s advice to not waste the autumnal sunshine.  Good thing because today is once again gray and gloomy outside.

An Autumn Nature Break

One: Leaves Carpeting The Neighborhood

J grudgingly agreed to walk around the block with me last Saturday.  Neither one of us could resist the urge to crunch and stomp through the leaves on the street.  nature break

The strong fall winds even blew some of the still green leaves to the street.  nature break Bare trees mixed in with those still holding their leaves at the end of the block. nature break We have a soft and crunchy yellow carpet covering our front yard. nature break

Two: Leaves On The Neighborhood Trees

A few brave leaves cling bravely to their trees despite our cold, windy days.  nature break nature break nature break

Three: Sunny Day At The Park

nature break

Nature break

Sun flare practice

Four: It’s A Bird! It’s A… Nature Break Plane! However, The birds were there just not in the sky.

Nature break

More photos of my duck friends coming soon

Five: The Waterfall

The park’s waterfall (and namesake) is actually man-made and they turn it off and on.  It’s been off lately, I guess for maintenance?  However, the waterfalls were both going strong yesterday.

Nature break

The small waterfall.

Nature break

The larger “show piece” water fall

Nature break These little flowers are growing in the rocks beside the bigger waterfall. Nature break Thanks for taking a nature break with me today and putting up with inability to pare down my photos to just five.  Nature break

Don’t forget to hop over to our host, the F.A.S.T. blog and check out all the other bloggers linking up for Five on Friday!

 

My Week In Black And White

Thought it would be fun to share some black and white images of my week for Five on Friday.

The thing going around Facebook gave me the idea.  Have you seen it? Share 5 black and white images of your life, no explanations.

Of course, I’m making my own rules.  The images of my week come with explanations. And I’ll probably share more than five photos.

Here are five black and white images of my week:

ONE:  Turkey Time

my week Put the Halloween decor away, turned my pumpkin pillow, and brought out a few stuffed turkeys.

TWO: Books

After work on Tuesday, I made a mad dash to the library to return books.  And I got more books.  I really do need to stay away from that “new and notable” section though.  Fourteen day check out and no renewals. Tough one.  Couldn’t pass up the new Michael Crichton book.  my week

Haven’t had a chance to read any of them yet.  Hopefully, this weekend will allow time to read.

THREE: Cappuccino Day

I get a daily e-mail from Foodimentry telling me each food holiday.  And Wednesday was Cappuccino day. my week No time to go get one.  I made a pretend mocha instead with hot chocolate, a bit of coffee, whipped cream, and leftover Halloween sprinkles.  The boys decided they’d like to celebrate the day as well and ordered the same, hold the coffee.  my week

FOUR: More Coffee, With A Little Flavor my week

My husband gets ready for hunting season his way and I get ready my way.  He likes to get up at the crack of dawn and sit in trees.  I prefer to stay home and drink flavored coffee.

FIVE: Life Busy Level Is At Maximum Mess  my week

A birthday sleepover Sunday into Monday (the boys were out of school on Monday) followed by me working every day of the week left a laundry basket full of blankets.  Did I mention we were out of laundry soap?  Did I mention the teenager decided to inform me last night his band uniform was due back on Friday (probably sooner) and we needed it wash it?

No time to even fuss about the sofa being covered in stuff.  Can’t really complain since as you can see from the purse and library books behind it, I’m just as guilty.

Can’t complain too much about being busy either as I (mostly) love my job and just think Christmas is coming every time I’m asked to work.

That said, I’m very ready for Christmas break to arrive. Not necessarily Christmas part but definitely the break part.

How has your week been going?

Don’t forget to check out Five On Friday hosted by the F.A.S.T. blog!

 

 

Five Birds I Saw This Week

One of the five birds I saw this week gave me a bit of a thrill.  Once again, the week gave me little time or decent weather for a nature hike.  However, I saw enough different birds during my week to satisfy me.

And hopefully, today, I’ll be able to get out and go on a nature walk to see a few more.  If the weather holds.  It’s another gray and gloomy Saturday.  Hoping the sun arrives soon. The weather is, thankfully, warmer at least.

The Five Birds I Saw This Week:

ONE: A Tufted Titmouse

This silly little fellow lit on the basketball goal on Sunday afternoon. As if he were contemplating shooting a few hoops.  five birds He then flew over to the fence.

TWO: A Silly Sparrow

Wanted to join in the action and play a game of backyard hoops. Chased the little Tufted Titmouse away from his perch.  five birds Silly sparrows, basketball is not for birds.  five birds

Three: A Brown Creeper

Not the best picture but these tiny little birds do not stay still for long! five birds The tail-feathers helped me identify this little bird. five birds

Four: An Early Halloween Treat on Monday, A Backyard Hawk.  I think this is a Cooper’s Hawk.

Monday was both cold and windy.  I spied this hawk land on a tree in my neighbor’s yard and so ran out on the deck with my camera and did my best to zoom in on him.  five birds Here’s a close-up of his body and tail-feathers.  Let’s pretend I took the below photo on purpose.

five birds

A photo that would have made my mother proud, she always managed to cut off heads in her photos.

Truly, a beautiful bird and a great lesson in how hard it is to use a zoom lens without a tripod, especially on a super cold and windy day. five birds five birds

Five: A Downy Woodpecker

No time for a nature walk on Thursday since I was called into work.  However, I work close to a great little park where I like to go and decompress on my lunch break.  Parked the car against a wooded area (the parking lot is for people who do have time to go and walk) on yet another gloomy day.

First a little Chickadee said hello.  Then, a mass of Robins.  Followed by this little guy who made me long for my good camera.  Still captured a photo of him with my phone.  five birds ****

Joining in with Five on Friday (Yes, I know it’s Saturday) hosted by the F.A.S.T. blog and The Bird Depot hosted by Anni from I’d Rather B Birdin’.

What birds did you see this week?

 

Almost Halloween: Five On Friday

It’s almost Halloween.

Is it one of your favorite holidays?  I will admit it’s not one of mine.

Funny thing since I think I do the most decorating for it outside of Christmas.  For today’s Five On Friday post, I thought I’d just share some of our Halloween decorations.

Five of Our Halloween Decorations:

ONE: Ghost Mobile

My husband uses fishing wire to hang this from the maple tree in the front yard each year. almost Halloween There’s usually a large spiderweb on the tree as well… almost halloween

TWO: The Front Porch Bunting

I staple these little “flags” to the front porch rail each year when it is almost Halloween time. almost halloween almost halloween

THREE:  Mr. Skeleton

Sometimes he hangs out in the bushes, sometimes he sits on the bench, this year he’s just hanging around the garden.  He’s supposed to glow but I think he lost his glow luster a few years ago.  almost halloween almost halloween

FOUR: Our Almost Halloween Signal AKA The Bat Signal

almost halloween I really need to take a picture of this at night to give an idea of the full effect.  almost halloween

FIVE: A Jack-O-Lantern!

My husband added this one last night.  He brought home a pumpkin (from the grocery store, it seems our pumpkin patch days are over…).  almost halloween He ended up carving it by himself.  almost halloween He did a pretty good job, don’t you think?  almost halloween

Of course, I also have some indoor fall and Halloween decorations.  Perhaps, I’ll share those in a future post.  There are still four days left in my 31 Days of Embracing The Fall Season Series after all, not that I’m counting down or anything.

Are you glad it’s almost Halloween?  Do you decorate for it?

*Don’t forget to go check out the Five On Friday link-up, hosted by The F.A.S.T. Blog!

 

Candy Apple Chaos: Use Recipe At Your Own Risk

I finally managed to gather supplies to make my mom’s candy apple recipe.  candy apple It seemed like a good idea.  My husband and boys turn up their noses at caramel so why not make them these instead.

candy apple

I love my mom’s recipe title, “apples on a stick”

Why not make those?  Oh, I have so many good reasons not to make them now!

ONE:

It takes forever to gather the ingredients! Or maybe to stop eating all the red hots before buying the rest of the supplies.  Tip: If you are going to attempt these, buy the red hots last. candy apple

TWO:

This certainly doesn’t qualify as an easy recipe (to me, anyway). Working with a molten liquid sugar mixture takes a bit of concentration.  candy apple

THREE:

This recipe destroys the kitchen.  Well, leaves it a huge mess anyway.  candy apple

Four:

Did I mention it’s a messy recipe?  I think I still have candy apple coating to scrub off the stove today and I made this recipe on Wednesday.  candy apple The wire rack and “drip pan” under it saved some of the stove but getting the apples from the pan to this area left a few drips.

Five:

Personal grudge on my part but I burnt my finger very badly while making these!  Did you read up there about the molten sugar mixture?  Not a good idea to stick your finger on it to taste! Even if it is just a drop of the spatula.

The spatula flew across the room, dripping the hot red goo on the kitchen floor (probably still need to scrub that some more as well).  My finger went under the cold water fast! And then, I poured on the lavender oil.  My guess is a second degree burn as I have a blister.

And it’s on my index finger on my right hand, my camera button pushing finger.  As if my photos weren’t blurry enough before my injury.

What’s the old cliché about adding insult to injury?  My family didn’t like these either!  I had one and realized I had the coating a bit too thick.  Ugh. I’m thankful I didn’t make the full recipe.

Next time, I’ll stick to my tradition of simply buying one caramel apple for myself at the store and calling it good.

However, if you are brave and more skilled than I, here’s the recipe in printable form:

Candy Apple Recipe:

candy apple
Print

Candy Apples A.K.A. Apples On A Stick

Cinnamon candy coated apples.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup Karo syrup (light)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 12 red apples (small)
  • 12 wooden skewers or sticks
  • Red hots or cinnamon
  • Red food coloring optional

Instructions

  1. 1. Mix sugar, water, and Karo syrup and cook in top of a double boiler set over a direct flame, until mixture will crack when dropped in circles of cold water. (300 degrees)

    2. Turn the flame very low, add red hots and stir just enough to mix. Set pan over boiling water in bottom part of double boiler.

    3. Place skewers in blossom end of apples. Holding the skewer, dip apples in syrup and take right out, twirling until the glaze is smooth.  Place apples, skewer side down on a wire rack set over a pan.

    NOTE: The glazed apples should be used the day they are made as the moisture from the apple softens the glaze.

At least, I can cross this off my fall bucket list! Have you ever made candy apples? Is there a trick to it?

Since it’s Friday, I’ll be linking my post over at the F.A.S.T. blog for Five on Friday.  And since it’s still October, I’ll also be including this post in my 31 Days of Embracing The Fall Season Series.

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