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holiday seasonAnother Thanksgiving has come and gone. Another end of the harvest season. Another end to everything orange and pumpkin and in with everything green and peppermint. That’s right, we’ve officially entered the fifth season – the holiday season. (more…)

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Happy Thanksgiving week y’all! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday no matter what your plans.

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Happy redneck Thanksgiving!

For those of you traveling, be safe. For those of you hosting, stay calm. For those of your staying home by yourself, enjoy the quiet and a good movie. Whatever your plans are this Thanksgiving, be safe, be happy and be kind.

I am thankful for all of my followers and friends and family. Thanks for another year of support.

Word of the Day: Netsuke

Fun fact about me: I’m not overly fond of traditional Thanksgiving day fare.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, November 2015. Video courtesy of YouTube.

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Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

So here in Vicksburg we’re finally getting some cooler temperatures and rain. It feels like fall. Still not a lot of colored foliage (except green) because it hasn’t been cold enough, but it’s getting there.

I’ve been a busy little beaver installing the flavor of Autumn inside the Baer House. Here’s a photo journey of some of my handiwork:

Baer House photo, circa 1890. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Baer House photo, circa 1890. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Baer House entryway welcome. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Baer House entryway welcome. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Baer House guest book in entryway. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Baer House guest book in entryway. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The newel post. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The newel post. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The information station. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The information station. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Happy autumn from the Baer House Inn. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Happy autumn from the Baer House Inn. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Grand ballroom mantel. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Grand ballroom mantel. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Grand ballroom mantel. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Grand ballroom mantel. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The grand ballroom library. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The grand ballroom library. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The grand ballroom sitting area. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The grand ballroom sitting area. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The huntboard. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The huntboard. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Sideboard where morning coffee is served. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Sideboard where morning coffee is served. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Dining area in the grand ballroom. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Dining area in the grand ballroom. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

And there you have it. A photographic journey of the Baer House in its autumn colors.

How about your readers, do you decorate for the seasons? What’s your favorite season? Do you like to see your town, house, grandma’s house decorated?

Thanks for touring today. Until next week, take care of yourseves and be kind to others.

Word of the Day: Mangelwurzel

Fun fact about me: I think fall is my favorite time to decoarate the house. The fall colors are so warm and inviting.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, November 2015. Original photos by P. Rickrode.

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Happy Thanksgiving to all of my dear friends and precious followers!

Here’s a prayer:

Thanksgiving God

And here’s a funny (it’s a prayer too, sort of):

Thanksgiving funny

May your holiday be filled with peace, kindness and delicious treats.

Fun fact about me: I like BBQ’ed turkey best.

Word of the day: Negritude

Original post by Jansen Schmidt.

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To all of my followers, I wish you a very happy and safe Thanksgiving! Click on the link for a surprise.

http://www.egreetings.com/display/holidays/thanksgiving/happy-thanksgiving?prodnum=3270521&path=2454928

Word of the day: Quern

Fun fact about me: I don’t really care for traditional Thanksgiving foods.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, November 2013. Link courtesy of e-greetings.

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For the past couple of weeks (I’ve been shamelessly keeping him to myself for far too long), Thor has been a distinguished guest in my home up here in the Sierra Nevada foothills. I had such high expectations, but things quickly went awry.

To my dismay, he arrived completely worn out from his escapades in South Carolina, but he wasn’t too weary to notice Superman keeping watch over the abode.

Superman keeping watch. Original photo by P. Rickrode

Superman keeping watch.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

Yes, that is my McDonald’s happy meal toy, don’t judge me.

At first, Thor was a little upset that another superhero would be dwelling under the same roof. Until . . . he saw the bull riders. His fascination was immediate.

Thor meets the bulls. Original photo by P. Rickrode

Thor meets the bulls.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

“I wish to conquer these great bronze beasts,” exclaimed Thor.

Naturally, Thor being Thor, decided that he would ride the biggest, baddest bull in the pen – Bodacious, the PRCA bucking bull of the year two years running (1994 & 1995).

“Thor,” I said, “you cannot ride a bull without there being a bull fighter present. They may look like rodeo clowns, but they serve a very valuable purpose.”

Intent on his mission, but aware of the danger, Thor decided to rouse the resident bull fighter, Juan Eduardo Jose Frederico Miguel Bernardo Jesus Pablo Rafeal Jones from his afternoon siesta.

Juan Eduardo Jose Frederico Miguel Bernardo Jesus Pablo Rafael Jones. Original photo by P. Rickrode

Juan Eduardo Jose Frederico Miguel Bernardo Jesus Pablo Rafael Jones.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

When Mr. Jones was ready, Thor mounted the snorting beast and called for the chute to be opened.

Thor rides Bodacious Original photo by P. Rickrode

Thor rides Bodacious
Original photo by P. Rickrode

Thor completed the 8 second ride, however, because he failed to have the bull rope in his hand, he was disqualified. The judges declined to pay the prize money, but did allow him to keep the buckle.

The winning buckle Original photo by P. Rickrode

The winning buckle
Original photo by P. Rickrode

Disheartened by his bull riding experience, Thor decided that perhaps instead of riding the bucking bulls, he’d fight them like Juan Eduardo Jose Frederico Miguel Bernardo Jesus Pablo Rafael Jones.

“How hard can that be?” Thor questioned. “They look a lot bigger when you’re on their back.”

"This bull fighting - how hard can it be?" Original photo by P. Rickrode

“This bull fighting – how hard can it be?”
Original photo by P. Rickrode

I explained to Thor that bulls come in many shapes and sizes, but he remained firm in his resolve to be a bull fighter. Until he saw the entire bull pen bearing down on him.

The bull pen Original photo by P. Rickrode

The bull pen
Original photo by P. Rickrode

Exhausted from his hasty retreat over the arena fence, Thor proclaimed that it he now understood why Juan Eduardo Jose Frederico Miguel Bernardo Jesus Pablo Rafael Jones needed a siesta. I suggested that he climb to the top of the Great Tide Basin waterfall and do a bit of yoga or meditation to relax a bit.

“Yes,” said Thor, “I shall climb and meditate.”

The great Tide Basin Falls. Original photo by P. Rickrode

The great Tide Basin Falls.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

After his siesta, meditation, I thought Thor might enjoy a bit of our natural surroundings. We ventured deep into bear country.

“I’ve wrestled many a bear in my life,” said Thor with great gusto as we roamed through the woods.

But, when he saw the bears, he seemed eager to turn tail and run.

Welcome to bear country. Original photo by P. Rickrode

Welcome to bear country.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

“You could have warned me that the bears were so huge!”

Thor was not having a good day at all, so I suggested that for the rest of his stay, he stick close to Sherlock for protection.

Sherlock - the mighty proetctor. Original photo by P. Rickrode

Sherlock – the mighty protector.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

When I was finally able to coax him away from his mighty protector, I told him that often when I’m feeling a bit fluxumed I sit and play the piano for a while. It usually calms me.

“Yes,” agreed Thor, “I will play this piano you are so fond of.”

Thor the one-note wonder. Original post by P. Rickrode

Thor the one-note wonder.
Original post by P. Rickrode

Unfortunately, Thor’s attempt at the Moonlight Sonata sounded more like the one-note sonata so I begged him to stop. He only agreed to cease the madness when I offered alcohol as an incentive. I gave him a glass of local wine, but when Thor spotted the Bushmils on the top shelf of the liquor cabinet, he demanded whiskey or threatened to entertain me again by tickling the ivories.

Needless to say, I let him have his fill, which he did, but he slept for a week afterward. Seems Thor can’t handle his whiskey. Or perhaps it was the alcohol coupled with the altitude that wiped him out. Either way, he’s really quite a wimp when it comes to drinking games. Not that I minded. Seems Thor was quite taken with the piano and I feared if he awakened he might bang on it play it again.

I had many other exciting things planned for Thor, but his liquor-induced coma kept him away from the gold panning in Coloma, the very spot where James Marshall discovered gold in 1848, picking out pumpkins from the local pumpkin patch, and a round of wine tasting here in the foothills. I thought I might even take him to Tahoe in my husband’s new car, but I was afraid he might puke on the way so didn’t even suggest it.

My advice to anyone who hosts Thor in their home – hide the booze.

If you want to read more about Thor’s journeys and adventures, check it out here: http://www.debrakristi.com/thors-world-tour/

Thanks Debra Kristi for sending Thor my way and sorry I kept him so long (really it was his own fault for drinking all that whiskey).

Word of the day: Meliorism

Fun fact about me: I am hopelessly lost when it comes to technology.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt 2013. Original photos by P. Rickrode.

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Image courtesy Google

Image courtesy Google

It’s time once again for another round of What Haven’t I, the guessing game about who I am and what I have or haven’t done. I’ve devoted this edition to that ghoulish time of year, Halloween.

Here’s a reminder, the rules: Post your answers (guesses) in the comments section below, keeping in mind that three of the answers are things that I have actually done, one is something I have not done. That’s it. Post your answers and then check back on the 17th to see how well you did (guessed). The first person to post another comment on the 17th, regardless of how many they got right, AND the best guesser (person with the most correct answers) will both be awarded prizes.

You can’t win if you don’t play so put on those guessing caps and get to work.

1. What costume haven’t I donned for Halloween: a) Sexy scorceress; b) saloon girl; c) Snow White, or d) redneck tourist.

2.  What haven’t I served at a Halloween party:  a) pizza; b) beer; c) chips or d) Cracker Jack.

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Photo courtesy of Google Images

3.  What activity haven’t I engaged in on Halloween night:  a) trick or treating; b) handing out candy; c) playing hide and seek in a cemetary, or d) driving trick or treaters from neighborhood to neighborhood.

4.  What haven’t I done at a Halloween party:  a) played the piano; b) sang a song; c) bobbed for apples; or d) tap danced.

5.  What haven’t I watched on Halloween night:  a) It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown; b) A Disney Halloween; c) Castle (Halloween edition) or; d) Halloween.

That’s it. Good luck and I’ll look forward to ya’ll stopping back on the 17th.

Word of the Day: Labeaction

Fun Fact about me:  I can’t “quirk a brow,” like every single person in every single romance novel can. Am I a freak?

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So autumn is finally in full swing in my neck of the woods. It was a long time coming, but finally the temperatures have dropped, the leaves are changing colors, the harvest is nearly over and we’ve had a fire in the woodstove. It is around this time of year that talk at my house turns to the holidays. Are the relatives visiting? Are we cooking or eating out? Are we exchanging gifts or buying something for the house?

I especially love this time of year because I love the seasonal foods associated with Fall and the rapidly approaching holidays. Most especially, I love me a good pot of yummy, hearty chili’s, stews and thick creamy soups. When I think soup, I think crockpot. Which in turn reminds me of a funny Christmas crock pot story.

Last year, my husband and I were discussing the annual exchange of holiday gifts and he said that he was going to get me a new crock pot. I frowned. Then I explained that girls want romantic personal gifts for the holidays, like perfume and diamond jewelry. He said that those things were very impractical, to which I responded, “Oh course they are! That’s what makes them special gifts.” The closer we got to Christmas the more I realized that the only thing I wanted was a new digital camera. So, when my husband asked me what I really wanted for Christmas, I told him, “I’d really like a new camera.”

About 2 weeks before Christmas my boss and I shared our annual Christmas lunch and gift exchange. Much to my surprise, she got me a digital camera. I was so excited! I’d gotten a gift that I really wanted and knew I’d use. At home that evening I joyously showed my hubby my new treasure and his face fell to the floor. (I think you see where this is going.) I immediately knew that he had already gotten me a camera and I told him not to take it back. I told him that I would return my boss’s gift instead, but he insisted that I keep her camera and he’d get me something else.

You guessed it. He got me a crockpot. He said he didn’t know what else to get me and since I had pitched such a fit about getting small kitchen appliances as holiday gifts, he decided I needed to be taught a lesson.

I’m gonna confess something – just between you and me – I LOVE my crockpot! I use it all the time, probably even more than the camera. So, in honor of the arrival of autumn and my love affair with my holiday crockpot, here’s one of my favorite recipes. I hope you like it as much as I do. It was my first experience using pumpkin for something other than pie.

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Ingredients

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 lb. ground turkey

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 (14.5 oz) can red kidney beans

2 cups ( 1 14.5 oz can) pumpkin puree

1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder

1/2 Tbsp cumin

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Cayenne pepper to taste

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)

1/2 cup sour cream (optional)

Procedure

1. Heat oil in large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

2.  Saute the onion, bell peppers, green chiles and garlic until tender, about 10 minutes. Make room in the center of the skillet, add turkey, and brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans, and pumpkin. Season with chili powder, cumin, pepper, salt, and Cayenne. (It is at this point when I put the mixture into the crockpot on low for several hours.)

3.  Reduce heat and simmer at least 20 minutes. Stir in fresh cilantro. If preferred, serve topped with Cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Enjoy!

What’s your favorite autumn tradition? Do you decorate your house for Thanksgiving? Got a good soup recipe to share? Let me know in the comments.

When this blog posts, I shall be vacationing in one of my favorite places but I promise to acknowledge each of you who leaves a comment. There might even be a sweet surprise for one lucky person who leaves a comment! Check back often to see what others are saying about Fall.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Word of the Day:  Labdanum

Fun fact about me:  I didn’t learn to swim until I was 13.

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