Category Archives: Five on Friday

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.

Five Things I Like About Fall

I shared my struggles with the fall season last week so I thought I should spend this Friday sharing five things I do like about fall.

Hopefully, I can find five things!  If this were a summer list, it would be an easy task.  However, finding five things I like about this season may be a bit more of a challenge. Good thing I love a challenge!

Five Things I Like About Fall:

    1. The Food:

      Certain foods just require cooler weather.  Please, do not serve me chili on a one-hundred degree day.  However, a cold and rainy damp fall day.  Yes, please!

      five

      With a side of cornbread, of course.

    2. The Trees

      Most trees around here are just starting to change colors.  I know they will only become more vibrant and beautiful as the season continues. A few trees though have already lost most their leaves thanks to those windy days that fall brings (I happen to also enjoy the windy days. It doesn’t really get old saying, “It looks like a rather blustery day!” five

    3. The Time Change Back To The RIGHT Time

      I like my sleep.  It annoys me when Daylight Saving Time takes away an hour of it every spring. “The days get naturally longer and shorter!” and “Let’s move to a state that doesn’t participate in this nonsense!” might be heard coming from my mouth on more than one day. At least, fall gives me back my hour.  Give me my light in the mornings where it belongs! five

    4. My TV Shows Return For Their Season Premiere

      Summer television shows are a bit lacking.  There are a few I don’t mind watching but I will fully admit to not really making an effort to watch American Ninja Warrior every week.  Once October arrives, so do the television season premieres of all my favorite shows.  Also, Netflix usually finally gets around to adding in the new (to me) seasons of a few more shows.

    5. I Like Candy


This might be a repeat of number one but I think candy does deserve its own category.  This is the time of year when it seems to be most abundant.  Candy corn, Almond Joys, Mounds, Reese Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers bars, Milky Ways (frozen!), Caramel Apple Suckers, Tootsie Pops, Gummy Worms,Bottle Caps, starburst,…What’s your favorite candy?

So, there are the five things I like about fall.  Linking up with The F.A.S.T. blog for Five on Friday.  Also, including this post in my series 31 Days of Embracing The Fall Season.

Five On Friday: Getting Through The Week

My week has been full of activity! Today is the first day I’ve been home long enough to collect my thoughts.

I figured I might as well blog about my busy days for my Five on Friday this week. Probably going to be a fairly quick post as I still have lots to do today.

Be sure to check out our host, The F.A.S.T. blog!

ONE: Our Eclipse was TOTALITY awesome on Monday!

As I told my son, I left the picture-taking to the experts for this one.  So no pictures from me.  Go check out the NASA website for amazing ones.

The day started out a bit stressful as I was nervous about working at preschool and the responsibility of keeping the kids safe.  Then, a large thunderstorm moved through and it poured rain all morning.  I arrived at work to find out they’d cancelled their event due to parent concern but the teachers would still get to go watch.

*The children were given the option to watch the NASA live stream event and many were picked up early to go watch with their own parents.  The younger children were put down early for naps (few were interested in the event) and the older ones were allowed to look out a window, not facing the sun, to observe the darkness arrive.

Just before the eclipse began, our skies cleared. We took turns stepping outside to view the partial eclipse, then we all stepped out to take in its beauty.  A truly amazing event.  It became quiet, birds settled, cicadas began to chirp, and the light took on the late sunset shades of darkness. We saw, I think Venus.  A few teachers did take cell phone photos and captured great views of the eclipse and surprise planets!

Very soon after the eclipse, the clouds reappeared and covered the sun.  They were almost like curtains opening and closing for the show!

TWO: I Won A Bit At Bunco!

It was a rather long day at work where I really did have my days mixed up and actually voiced to a parent no less something about the next day being Friday.  Oops, nope, it was only Tuesday.  I almost didn’t go to Bunco as I was feeling a bit grouchy but I’m glad I did. Fun as always and I won enough times to take 2nd place! Too bad I used my winnings (about $15) to buy the boys dinner last night.

THREE: A Full Workday

No longer find myself surprised when my half-days at work switch over into full ones.  The day was actually less tiring than the other two and I enjoyed meeting a few more of our new students and seeing their fun personalities. The evening was a bit less fun as my husband and I had a bit of a fight.

FOUR: Just One Of Those Days

Yesterday started out stressful and stayed that way for a good bit of the day.  A calendar mistake meant my husband had to stay and wait to make sure J caught the bus (he sets his own hours…) when he’d been planning to get an early start as he was working quite a distance from home.  G’s friend called and said he was sick and not going to school, thus no ride for G so I took him to school and waited to see if I needed to arrange my break in a way to go get him from school.

Worked in the newer two year old classroom where the new kids were rather fussy most of the morning.  Thankfully, we spent a good deal of time outdoors enjoying the beautiful weather!  The other teachers assured me the day was unusually busy and a bit of a fluke.

I took a nature break during my lunch and stared at this out the car windshield.

Our weather was just beautiful all day yesterday and again today!

After work, I called the boys and decided I’d just bring home fast food as I was too wiped out to deal with much else and knew we all had places to be that evening.

J and I attended the middle school open house which really, honestly, felt a bit like a waste of everyone’s time.  May have just been my mood.  I did dutifully go and introduce myself to all the teachers and wave wistfully at a few friends as J hurried me through.

FIVE: Finally, it’s Friday!

It’s finally Friday and a somewhat free day for me. I opted to spend the morning making banana bread and re-organizing the pantry.  Probably should make a list of all I have to do so I’ll feel a bit less overwhelmed.

Banana bread!

This pantry is a constant work in progress…

Later, we’ll go to the high school football game and watch G march with the band.  In the morning, G and I have a good drive across town to a driver’s education class for him.  I’m hoping there is something for me to go do nearby.  I should check into that today.

Thankfully, so far next week is looking slightly less busy!  Have you had a busy week?

 

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