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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

 postcard3 Happy Holiday to all you ghosts and goblins out there tonight. May all your treats be sweets.

Enjoy yourself, It’s later than you think!

image On my way home today I was listening to Dr. Oz on XM radio and his guest was Randy Pausch who was a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He learned that he had pancreatic cancer in September 2006 and in Auguast 2007 he was given a terminal diagnosis. He gave an upbeat lecture titled “the Last Lecture” which became a popular YouTube video and book.  It’s all about having fun and enjoying your life. You can find the video at this link:
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~pausch/   It’s 76 minutes long, but worth looking at. We should all approach life with such gusto!

Huff, puff

image Yep, still on the diet…are you surprised? Well, it’s only been one day. Today I went with my friends to an exercise class at the YMCA. image I learned how really out of shape I am. I plan on going on Mondays and Wednesdays for a workout.

not on a diet This needs to be my new philosophy.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

New Beginnings

image Can you tell I’m starting my diet today? Just the thought of cupcakes makes me swoon. My strategy is not to have anything sweet in the house. Now that’s a little hard when Halloween is tomorrow night. (never mind that we haven’t had trick or treaters for a few years….we have to have candy…..just in case…LOL)
My other strategy is to stay out of the kitchen and only eat meals and designated snacks. Now that’s a little hard when the Literary Club has the most delicious cookies after their meeting on Friday….(and you have to be polite…..LOL). image
    Life is full of challenges but eating right is one of my biggest. Wish me luck! (and please don’t ask how I’m doing….LOL)

happy Halloween!

fall sunday 10.11 027 This is my very favorite Halloween decoration. My dad made it for me. My father was very clever and creative. He loved doing projects and there were no cookie cutter things for him. Each piece he did was individual, but since all three of us sisters loved this we all had to have one. Every year when I put it out I think of all the hours he spent in the woodshop making things. Dad always loved to learn new things and accepted challenges. I am missing him a lot.

Did I ever show you?

We are still winterizing around the Karrasch home getting ready for the expected bad winter. Don is replacing the windows in our back bedroom with new thermal panes that should really help when the cold winds blow around the side of the house. fall sunday 10.11 032
This bedroom that used to be Chris’ is now my guest bedroom/craft room. On one wall is my hat collection. Everyone knows I love a good hat!fall sunday 10.11 019 I painted the front of the closet door to resemble a French farmhouse. This room dwells on my feminine side. The soft aqua and the Laura Ashley curtains along with grandma’s old iron bed and curly  maple dresser make it a girly room to sit in and pick up a paintbrush. fall sunday 10.11 021

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ushering in the season

image When you are chilled there is nothing like a pot of steaming hot cider. If you are not familiar with Susan Branch I must introduce you. Susan is an author of many cookbooks and writes a fabulous blog. She is extremely artistic and decorates her pages with drawings that are a feast for the eyes.
You can find her blog at   susanbranch.com


A turn of events

So much has happened in the past week that I hardly know where to begin. Just last Thursday I was pondering this:tenn 10.11 002
I had cleaned out some flower pots and after I dumped my sweet potato vine I saw a red bump. When I dug it up I discovered sweet potato tubers.
     Then on Friday I got a call from my son Ryan in Tennessee that he had just sent his wife by ambulance to the University of Tennessee Medical Center who was unresponsive and had what looked like a stroke. Jenny is only 34 and I spent the longest 3 hours of my life waiting for a call from Ryan to see what had happened. It turned out to be a tia caused by migraines which mimic stoke symptoms. We dropped everything and drove to Tennessee on Saturday. It was scary for awhile when she couldn’t talk but she rapidly improved.
    Jenny got out of the hospital and is better but still having some memory problems finding the right word sometimes which may last a week or more. She will see a neurologist soon.
   It was fun to see Sara and Sean again. Sara is walking all over the place now and Sean is as sweet as ever. tenn 10.11 005
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On Thrusday we traveled to Chris’ in Boiling Springs and on Friday went to Penn State to a concert by the Blue Band. This is Dan’s first year playing cornet in the band and they put on a wonderful concert. They have many half time shows which encompass a variety of musical styles. tenn 10.11 031
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We left after the concert and didn’t arrive home until after one last night. This morning I woke up to our first snow. tenn 10.11 048
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Saturday, October 22, 2011

more halloween fun

postcard1 pton77l Just a few more Halloween jokes. Do you get a lot of trick-or-treaters? In our neighborhood the kids are all grown up now and last year there wasn’t one knock on our door. We wait till the last minute to buy our candy…so it isn’t all gone by Halloween. LOL
   Today is another day of cool fall weather. Forty degrees and damp. Don hopes to replace some windows in our back bedrooms with more energy efficient ones today. We are doing all we can to winterize. It’s always a long cold winter here in western Pennsylvania.
   I have some books to read and will do a little household cleaning today. Maybe I’ll rent a movie for tonight. Just a quiet day at the Karrasch’s.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cool, man!

image image My sixteen year old grandson Scott has discovered a new love this year….drums! He is such a natural at it and goes into his basement and pounds on them for hours. He has great rhythm and can pick out the drum part on songs and play along. He recently got some lighted drumsticks. It looks really cool when he’s playing.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

a typical fall day

 It’s a typical fall day outside with temperature at 43 and damp. This is a perfect day to make chicken pot pie. It’s a family tradition at my house using my mother’s recipe. There is nothing more comforting than the associations of my mom’s table and the deliciousness of the pot pie. It’s a simple stew with dumplings on top. When we would visit my mother in Georgia the pot pie would always be served. My mother was an excellent cook with good southern recipes. Last summer when my sisters and I went to Savannah we ate at Paula Deen’s restaurant. It was a great experience and we had tons of fun. The good southern food was just like we had growing up….biscuits, corn bread, charleston and savannah 124 chicken, ..all those delicious southern dishes.  It sure brought back memories of sitting around my mother’s table. My mom was a Georgia native and I was born in the same small town that she grew up in. She was born at home on the farm as was the custom of the day and she also tried to have me at home, but I was a little large (only 5 pounds) for her small frame and we had to get to the hospital. Mom and Dad shortly moved to Savannah and I lived there for a year. Then we all moved north to DuBois and eventually to Bradford. charleston and savannah 116 charleston and savannah 119

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Time for the Halloween jokes

halloween01 Do you have any favorite memories of Halloween when you were a child? Please click on comment below and share with us. I don’t remember specifics, just that I came home with a bag of candy. I can’t remember any costumes that I wore or parties that I attended as a child. I have a picture of my witch’s costume that I wore when I was just five. My mother made it for me out of crepe paper. I remember making costumes for my children…once a robot and a car.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

how’s the weather where you are?

sean curious 2 How’s your weather today? My son in Tennessee always comments that I talk about the weather way too much. What does he know….it’s almost always warm and sunny where he lives.  Does he know that you have to look at a thermometer in the morning to see if you need a coat (or mittens?) Does he know that if it’s raining you have to have an umbrella? Does he know that in the winter you may have to shovel snow before you can get out anywhere? Does he know that you plan your day’s activities sometimes by what the weather is going to be? Does he know that sometimes you don’t want to go out anywhere because the weather is just too dangerous? Does he face icy road conditions? Yes, I do talk about the weather a lot. I think since I’m retired I notice it a lot more. I don’t want to let the weather dictate my life, but it’s so obvious that it does sometimes.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A spot by the fire

One of the things that came in for the winter is a small round table and two metal chairs. I picked up the chairs from North Carolina and brought them home with me many years ago. I love this small table and put it in the living room by the fireplace.

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At our last Literary club meeting Becky Ryan talked about Louisa May Alcott. It’s always enjoyable to hear Becky talk and our first meeting of the year was kicked 

off in style.

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Some of the girls dressed in period clothes.
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The tables were decorated with Miss Alcott’s books.
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It’s off to work we go.

The sun is out and even though it’s a tad cool (50 degrees) Don and I spent time outdoors winterizing. We took the table and chairs to the shed and put away all the garden decorations. The lion fountain, pots and small fencing was covered up with a tarp and tucked away from damaging wind and snow. Cushions were carried downstairs. It’s good to get things out of the weather. I also cut back all the peonies and plants. Don picked all the remaining tomatoes and pulled up the tomato plantsIt looks rather bare out there now. . outdoors 10.11 001

Sunday, October 16, 2011

na-na-na-nah, goodbye

foggy morning Get ready, get set…..winterize! Yes this weekend certainly told us that the season has changed. Our wonderfully warm temperatures of last week have departed and for the last few days we’ve only reached in the forties for a high. Brrr.
    I am hoping for a few more nice days to finish putting away some things outside and cutting back the flowers that have died. My car is back in the garage after staying out all summer and I appreciate not having to scrape frost off the windshield in the morning when I go for coffee with the girls.
     This was a quiet weekend. Yesterday I stayed home and got caught up on my chores. Today we watched the Bills game (they lost at the last minute) and had some friends up for apple turnover. (It’s just like an apple pie but you make it in a semicircle and ice it with powdered sugar frosting). Tonight is the Housewives of new Jersey reunion show and a few other programs I like. So I’ll be settling down and cuddling up.
    Are you ready for winter?  Not me…not yet!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tips for owning a Jack Russell Terrier

Warning:  If you are thinking about buying a Jack Russell Terrier there are a few things you should know.

1. When people roll their eyes and say, “Oh, no” when you mention that you are thinking of getting a Jack Russell, believe that they know something you don’t know.
sadie 018

2. Under that puppy cuteness and loveability lies a creature that will give you unwavering loyalty and attention . (most of the time this would be a good thing, but let me give you an example. )linda niagara on the lake 10.11 029 Me, very quietly reading the paper when Sadie jumped up on my lap. linda niagara on the lake 10.11 031 Sadie is pushing against me trying to vie for my attention. linda niagara on the lake 10.11 033 All she wants is attention, you say. Yes, of course she does, she’s a Jack Russell. She wants my attention 24/7. She wants to know where I am at all times, what I am doing, and how she can get all of my attention at any given moment.

3. If you can survive the first two years of having a Jack Russell you will be rewarded with an intelligent, strong willed, loving dog. But there will be times during the first few years when you wonder if it’s going to be you or the dog. Let me give you an example. sadie at the fountian 015 Jack Russells like to chew. more sadie 007
and chew…..bad sadie 003
and chew!

4. Jack Russell like to be dominant. They are called little Napoleons. They like to sit higher than you on the back of the couch and be assertive in their behavior. Let me give you an example:sadie and kitty 005
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5. If you are not around Jack Russells will resort to being pals with other animals or small children. cat and dogjuly 4.11 006
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6.  Jack Russells love to be active. Plan on going for long walks and playing with you dog a lot. sadie in winter 010 sadie and the snow 003

7. jack Russells are very curious. They will sit and watch for hours to spy a squirrel.
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hurd orchard 004 
8. Jack Russells love the water. It is prudent to put a life jacket on them because they will swim for hours as long as someone is in the water.
july 4.11 032

9. When you are gone, your dog will miss you, pine for you, and empty out your trash cans. 7.11 sadie and top gun 003
10.  Your dog will become part of you family and want to be around you all the time…even when you go to the bathroom. It is common for a Jack Russell to burrow under the covers in your bed at night. sadie in bed 002 This lump is Sadie. She didn’t want to get up in the morning and Don made the bed anyway.
11. If you don’t think you need to crate a Jack Russell, you haven’t owned a Jack Russell. sadie in crate 001
12. Jack Russells can harm themselves. Let me give you an example. They will sneak away and chew anything…electric razors, your eyeglasses, tissues, any small thing that you thought was in the trash, and food of any kind. You will find that having a Jack Russell is like having a two year old in your house. You learn to get wastebaskets with lids, put away everything high up where she can’t reach, and keep an eye on her at all times. sadie 008 13.  But no matter what a Jack Russell can give you love….with no strings attached. She can be there for you, cuddle you, and warm your heart. She is a wonderful companion and devoted friend. That is why people have Jack Russells. If it wasn’t for that the breed would have been eliminated a long time ago for being just too much trouble.