Oh, the Mondayest of Mondays. Not even time for any photos!
The children were late to school because of the Greg Laurie Harvest Crusade in Philadelphia last night. The Viking and Redheaded Snippet attended and Man-Cub and I couldn't sleep waiting for them to come home. They got home after midnight. So, this morning, the children were understandably tired when I woke them for school.
It doesn't help things that, as we're about to leave the house, I find Man-Cub's shoes lying in the back yard soaking wet. Lord help me. Rummaging about the house for alternate footwear made me very aware of just how quickly Man-Cub's feet are growing: he only has one pair of shoes that fit him! He insisted on wearing his favorite red bobos, his high-top Converse sneakers. I was sure they were too small, but figured a day wearing too-tight shoes would cure him of arguing with me about it. As I'm tying the second shoe, the lace snaps. I'm pretty sure wisps of steam were beginning to curl from my ears. So we squeezed into another pair of slightly snug, ugly shoes I bought only for a Halloween costume.
As we're literally walking out the door, Redheaded Snippet picks up her $50, packed-to-the-gills L.L. Bean backpack to heave it onto her shoulder when PANG! the plastic thingy on the strap snaps! It was the morning of snappage! She then had to dig in her closet (a horror not to be attempted on a Monday morning) for her old backpack of two years ago and transfer what looked like all the vital statistic files of a small nation into it from her now useless $50 bag.
Did I mention I paid $50 for it? Oh yes, it caused me much wailing and gnashing of teeth at the time, but after blasting through a $30 bag a year, I decided to bite the bullet and try a more expensive bag. You see, this $50 L.L. Bean bag is supposed to be indestructible. Yeah, whatever, have you seen the stuff these teachers are making our kids cram into them? I swear they're carrying life support and satellite systems in there! What really matters is the $50 L.L. Bean bag is 100% full guaranteed! You gotta love a 100% guarantee! I bought that bag last August (that's August of 2007 for those of you who still aren't awake) with the expectation that we would get two years out of it, right up until 8th-grade graduation. That way I'd be spending $25 a year for the bag and saving myself some money. It made it through 7th grade nicely, but still has at least 8 months to go before I'll be anywhere near satisfied. So, added to my list of errands for today is storming L.L. Bean to see how their promise holds up. I've only heard good things about the store so I am hopeful, but the way this day is going...
I think my ranting for the day is done (I will spare you my ire concerning celebrities, the local news and the inane MSN headline I saw this morning, "Made By Real Moms" about homemade Halloween costumes--soooooodone that). I am moving on, instead, to good, happy things! All with an Autumnal theme!
Yesterday we made our first Harvest excursion. We were bound and determined to make some progress on the Harvest Decoration front so we went to a local farm we've never gone to before. We had always heard it was too commercialized, too trendy and too expensive so we always travelled a good 30 minutes farther to patronize a "real" farm stand. Well, yesterday, we were short on time so we hit the closer place. Wonder of wonders, we got a very good deal!
We brought home a station wagon full of cornstalks that are massively tall, full and robust. The leaves are still green on some of them and I believe, though I haven't looked closely, they still have a few ears of corn on them. And they were only $3.99 each. I haven't found them any cheaper than that but I have seen a lot of spindly-looking, pathetic bundles of stalks. Last year we had to buy double because they were so thin. We drove home with the dry, earthy smell in the car, with bits of chaff on our clothes and in our hair, munching on apple cider donuts. I love when we go out and buy our corn stalks! We don't have our mums yet, but they've been ordered.
I was so full on Harvesty glee when I got home that I FINALLY FINISHED THOSE FLIPPIN' CROW TREES! Yessssssss! They're done! Well, I confess, I still have to apply some moss as a finishing touch, but that will take mere minutes so it doesn't count. I need to get some photos, I know, but they do look dang good. I keep catching glances of the crows through the kitchen door out of the corner of my eye and they keep startling me. That's a very good sign.
I also started unpacking the Halloween bins The Viking hauled up from the basement for me. Which means I now have a dining room table covered in various Halloween bits and bobs. I got everything unearthed and laid out and then got overwhelmed and played more Order of the Phoenix on the Wii. My excuse is I'm still recovering from an illness and did too much. Seriously, I was rather tired.
I think I'm very nearly recovered. My head is still a bit congested and my eyes feel like I could sleep for three weeks, but otherwise I'm back. I managed to get the kitchen cleaned and few loads of laundry done last night and today I'm stripping the beds and doing the grocery shopping I couldn't do Friday because of being sick.
Which reminds me, today is the day! It's break-out-the-flannel-bedding day! I'm soooo excited! It's very sad. I don't know why I get so excited about flannel (does this remind anyone else of a scene from Mr. Mom?) , but I do! If I could, I would slipcover my living room furniture in flannel. But can you imagine the dog hair? Instead, I have flannel bedding for every bed in the house that I break out with great pomp and circumstance the first week of October each year. The pomp and circumstance is just for me, as I'm always alone when I do it, but it still delights me to my fingertips. There is nothing cosier than slipping into a warm, beflanneled bed on a crisp, cool, eerie October night. It's right up there with a steaming mug of hot chocolate, a crackling fire in the hearth, the crunch of leaves under my feet, the hoot of an owl on a still night.
That reminds me of something else! It's time for fall menus! This week I'm making chili and cornbread. We had great discussion over the weekend about the essence of good chili and cornbread and which elements are necessary. We are quite divided when it comes to cornbread. There is a strong bits-of-corn faction and an equally vocal no-visible-corn league. I want to make corn pudding but everyone else thinks that's weird. Even though they've never had it, losers!
So, I'm thinking chili twice this week, a pan of bread pudding, lots of corn products, muffins, breads, puddings (I'll show you all!), maybe even that chicken soup I was supposed to make last week if I can find chicken on sale again. I would LOVE to make butternut squash soup, maybe some Curried Ginger Carrot soup or even Pumpkin soup, but I'm the only one that likes them. Something about Autumn makes me crave thick, rich, creamy, buttery, earthy gourd soups in russety tones. Give me a big bowl and a thick hunk of bread, maybe a chunk of cheese, oh it's heaven!
If I knew anyone read this blog, now would be the time when I would ask for submission of your favorite Fall recipes. What does your family like when the time comes to curl up and start nesting? But, alas, I fear it would be akin to asking it aloud in my empty house. Maybe I should join a blogroll or something?
At any rate, blog time is over. I have scads to do and time is quickly slipping away. Must go wrap things in flannel!