Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The most perfect anniversary!

Mike and I just returned home from our anniversary trip to Niagara Falls. It was the most wonderful anniversary we've had yet! they just keep getting better and better!

Our weekend started out busy, on Friday it was Pizza with my Grannie, trying out a new moon fairy costume with full makeup & nail polish for Macie, and picking my parents up from the airport at 1 am. (All this after 9 hours at work!) Saturday morning was a soccer game, McDonalds, picking pumpkins and apples with Macie and our niece Morgan, making spaghetti, visiting with my parents, playing in the yard, playing in the house, shopping for shoes for a 5 year old who says they hurt if they aren't pink and sparkly. Then shopping for new school clothes, along with a few groceries for our trip. Home again, dinner, bath time, story time, and then Grandma visits for popcorn and puzzles. Finally bedtime, so I can do laundry and pack for a trip, and a photo shoot immediately after the job. Oh- did I mention the apples- 90 pounds of apples that have to be peeled and sliced and frozen in seal a meal bags....

Sunday morning rolled around early and we got up and dressed and went to 1st service at church and Macie enjoyed the Church Mouse Playhouse. Then she played in the play land for half an hour, and we headed home to pack her new school clothes up. We stopped at Sonic for a quick lunch and headed North. On the way, we dropped Macie off, and marvelled at the quiet and were mesmerized by the beautiful colors of the crisp blue Autumn sky and brilliant trees! Let the relaxing begin!

We took our time, stopping anywhere we liked along the route. We enjoyed each other's company, and talked and laughed and totally had fun again. 2 full days of no work ahead- YAHOO! We saw this restaurant that had burned down and felt so sorry for the owners misfortune, but we still laughed ourselves silly when we saw what their catch phrase had been!

Once we got to our hotel (the Fallsview Hilton on Niagara Falls) we were in awe once we got to our room. We were on the 17th floor and overlooked the falls! Huge king size bed, and jacuzzi tub that all looked out the window! PLUS they gave us free breakfasts in the penthouse restaurant on the 33rd floor for the entire stay! We could see the entire falls and river!

The hotel is beautiful, and connected by a sky walk to a lovely non-smoking casino and huge upscale mall. There were wonderful restaurants plus my very favorite- The Famous!

We walked up and down the falls, and we took in the sights. We went to the Oneida Outlet center and a wonderful shoe warehouse where I got some lovely copper kitten-heel shoes and Mike got a pair of work boots for his trip to Belize in February. We stopped in the Hersheys store and got free samples and about choked when we found out that a regular candy bar that costs about 1$ in the States cost 4.99$ plus tax!!! We were told because it's an import! (We really were happy to get back to the room to our stash of M&M's we brought with us!) (Mike said he figured we were smugglers who could make a fortune outside the casino with our chocolate stash!)LOL!!!

On the day we packed up to leave, we were in the car going out of the parking structure when Mike reached out to see what was under the windshield wiper blade- a 1$ bill! Silly, but it made our day thinking of the possibilities. Was it a random act of kindness? Had someone seen us drop it? Was it because it was a US dollar and we had US plates? I think this Christmas season, I might do that at a few local malls, just as a random act of kindness to create a happy moment for somebody!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Happiness of the Harvest Moon!

A photo I shot a couple years ago for the cover of a
magazine- it's still one of my favorite shots!

I love this time of the year! I'm so incredibly busy right now though, that I haven't had time to enjoy it properly! I love the colors, the decorations, the pumpkins! I hope to at least to make it to the Circleville Pumpkin show this weekend! I've always gone for years and years. Tasted the pumpkin ice cream, fudge, fritters, the deep fried sweet potato chips, the spiced pumpkin seeds. I draw the line at the grilled pumpkin burgers though...

I start feeling blue when I have in mind the perfect "country living" harvest season for my home, and alot of it falls thru because I'm over committed to work projects, and I have tons of family & friend obligations from now until the end of the year. I'd like to be able to just let it go, and enjoy what I do get accomplished this year. I do soooo love the decorating, the activities, and the seasonal baking! Sometimes- THAT'S the fun part for me. And when I have to let it go because there aren't 40 hours in a day, I feel sort of like I've missed out on something.

Am I the only one who feels like this? Every year I promise myself I'll budget my time better, start earlier, schedule it on the calender, etc. But then life gets in the way, and things come up that I feel obligated to do, to take care of, because it's the right thing, and the decorating and extras are just that- extra. I think maybe I have Martha Stewart Syndrome..... Mike always kindly reminds me that she has an entire staff to get her house and office and studios whipped into shape. Oh DEAR! ...I always secretly suspected that I needed minions!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Multi-Tasking the country boy way!

Even though I've been frightfully busy lately, we took 2 hours and picked apples. (Gotta make hay while the sun shines right?) This year is a bumper crop for apples in central Ohio. The heavy rains of the spring and the moderate summer have made for some really large and really juicy apples! Mike is a master of picking the perfectly sun blushed Golden Delicious with one hand, holding the bag with the other, as well as tasting along the way! I'm lucky to not break my ankle tripping over ones on the ground, or get concussed from the falling ones! Once we get them home, Mike cores and peels, and I measure and seal-a-meal them. Straight in the freezer before they hit the air, and no browning begins. I've also made several batches of home-made apple butter already, over 2 dozen jars! So if you ever wonder why all the lights are on at our house till 2 am every morning in the fall...now you know!