Life Lessons

"Figuring out our gifts in life is part of our journey to becoming enlightened human beings.” – Allison DuBois

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Carving

 Song - A Little Spooky Halloween Mix by Kevin McCloud

Carrot & Turnip Jack-O-Lantern Noses

We had our pumpkin carving party early this year because Mr. B will be out of town on Halloween.  And that just happens to be his favorite holiday!

So I put on a big pot of Tortilla Soup and lit a fire while Mr. B laid out the newspaper, knives, saws and pumpkins. It was a cozy and fun evening!

Who would of thought that Ashley's pumpkin at night.....

Would turn into this fright?

And Tyler's creative pumpkin that came from a dream......

Would cause me to scream?

And Andy's sweet little guy......

Would just make me cry? (I want my boys to be little again.....sometimes!)

Questioning Mr. B's intricate carving is just below......

Look it's Gravediggers who glow!!!

And my jolly guy has a Turnip for a nose.....

So he is happy to pose!

OK....I'm all done rhyming for now. Maybe forever......

Hope you have a safe, fun and Spook-tacular Halloween!!!!

And make yourself a big ol' pot of yummy Tortilla Soup! I've included the recipe below.

Sopa de Tortilla Recipe

3 lbs chicken
6 qts water + 1 can tomato sauce
1 t celery seed
2 T diced garlic
1 lg can diced tomatos
1 onion - diced
1/2 red or green bell pepper
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 t gr. cumin
1/4 t cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper to taste
1 c rice
1 bag frozen corn
2 T parsley
Tortilla strips
Jack Cheese
1 bunch green onions diced

Cook the chicken in the water with the first 10 ingredients.  When the chicken is done, remove from the pot to cool & add the rice.  When it's done, add the corn, parsley and shredded chicken. When everything is heated through, ladle the soup into a bowl with tortilla strips & Jack cheese on the bottom. Top with the green onions and any of the ingredients you like below.

Sour Cream
Hot Sauce
More cheese


"A grandmother pretends she doesn't know who you are on Halloween."  ~Erma Bombeck

Monday, October 28, 2013

Autumn at Home

 Song - Autumn Leaves by Nat King Cole

The last of the Tomato's & Basil has been picked, the Zinnia's and Impatients are about done for.

The Fall color is beginning to arrive along with the crisp nights.

Last week I did get in my flats of White Primrose and sweetly scented Stock.

If the snails and deer lay off of them for a few days, we will all be happy!  Well, the critters may not be happy but I sure will!!!

Mr. B and I watched our youngest son, Tyler, play one of his last Water Polo tournaments last weekend in Santa Cruz. The end of water polo season is a sure sign that Fall is in the air!

And he made the goal!!! Go Tyler....number 2!

This weekend we had our rotting deck replaced because someone has been watering too many plants on the deck.  But we won't point any fingers.....will we?

As the deck was being worked on, Mr. B and I went up to Napa for a business weekend.  The weather was glorious.  The crush was over but you could still get the scent of the fermenting grapes in the vineyards.

While Mr. B was in his meetings, I walked around the town of Yountville and snapped a few photos.  And of coursed dined on some yummy treats.

The line for Bouchon Bakery was out the door and around the corner at all times of the day.

Mr. B's company had dinner in the wine cellar at Michael Chiarello's Italian restaurant Bottega.  It was a wonderful comforting, family style meal.

After dinner, we headed over to R & D Kitchen for a glass of wine while sitting around their bountiful outdoor fires.

Good friends, great wine and crisp fall air with the addition of a warm fire.  Ahhh, it doesn't get much better than this.

And I found a new favorite wine. Salus Chardonnay from the Staglin Family Vineyard.

Unfortunately, a bottle was out of my price range but I sure did enjoy a glass (or two!).

On Sunday afternoon, we headed home to a brand new deck and to keep a Pumpkin carving date with Andy, Ashley & Tyler.

More on that to come!


“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”  
 -- Albert Camus
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