September 30, 2010

Finally...a Freebie in Time for October!

     Yes, I know. I was out of commission with the digital scrapbooking for a while, and missed making the September desktop altogether. But the good news is that I am back to scrapping and I have the new October Desktop ready! The most popular size seemed to be 1024x768 so that's what this is. I'd love to know if anyone uses anything else OK! So, without further ado, here's your freebie! Thanks for stopping by!

September 29, 2010

For Today...September 29th

Outside my window...chilly and rainy, a great day for a nap!

I am wearing...jeans and a long sleeve tee shirt. Thinking about getting a sweater though... 

I am thinking... how I really need to get back to being more disciplined with following my Weight Watchers again. What is it about Fall that derails a diet? Oh, I know, the amazing food!

I am thankful for...a husband and friends that comfort me and truly care. you guys don't know how much you are appreciated.

From the kitchen...well. Coffee first, then I think I shall have a bowl of Cheerios and a peach yogurt.

I am creating...I made a header and background for my sweet hubby's new blog! I'm also going to work on the memorials for my mom's headstone today. Gotta get the fall colors out. One of my pet peeves is when people leave old, out of season flowers on a headstone...big no-no!

I am reading...Healing Mind, Healthy Woman: using the Mind-Body Connection to Manage Stress and Take Control of Your Life by Alice D. Domar, Ph.D, and Henry Dreher 

From the learning hubby just started his new term at school. He is doing so well and I am SO proud of him!

I am hoping... that I am making a difference. 

I am hearing...the tv...ever notice that the morning news shows are more positive? Why can't the afternoon and evening news do that too? 

I am remember that I am one person and I just can't please everyone at the same time. 

Around the house...well, with two part time jobs I feel like I let the house go! Getting caught up on laundry today, seems to be piled to the ceiling!

I am breath deeply and take a time out when life gets to me.

Quote to commit to memory... “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Teilhard de Chardin
A few plans for the week...just plodding along. Hopefully I can get out and maybe take a few pictures of the fall leaves.

One of my favorite things...warm, 2 blanket naps on chilly, rainy days.

Photo for Thought... this past weekend was the 29th Annual North East Wine Harvest Festival here in town. It's only the biggest event of the year around here, since our little town is known for grapes! These are just a few shots of grapes I got while taking a drive through the smells SO good here in the fall! Hope these help you feel a little Fall where ever you are!

September 28, 2010

The North East Wine Harvest Festival!

     Well, I finally made it to Wine Fest this year! I've known my husband for nine years and we have never made it to North East for this special event...but this year we live here, so we had no excuse! The weather was supposed to be worse, but thankfully, we chose the right day to venture out. It had been back in the 80s the entire week, but Saturday, clouds funneled in and the temperature didn't crack 60! It was beautiful fall weather, perfect for a harvest festival!

Some beautiful local grapes!
     There were two spots for the fun. Gibson Park, right in the middle of North East, was full of local crafters, food venders, and people enjoying the day. Gravel Pit Park, only about a half mile down the road on the edge of town, was the place to be for wine tasting, fine art and crafts, live music, and loads of food. I was good...I shared a small fried grape pie with my hubby. I decided to forgo the funnel cake this time. Nothing tastes as good as thin feels, right? I ended up with a small hot dog and fries though, because you simply can not eat healthfully at a fair. You just can't. Anyway...on to the grapes!

     Here in North East, we are known for GRAPES! There are vineyards everywhere. You really can't turn around without seeing one! During the harvest, the air is heavy with the smell of grapes of every sort. And that is intertwined with the smell of pears and apples as well. This town is like a huge fruit basket, really!  Speaking of...this was just one of the fruit offerings at the festival. So pretty!

     We had loads of fun walking through the crafts, looking at the award winning wines. But there was only one thing I really wanted to do. I wanted to stomp some grapes! My hubby had told me for years that they offered this opportunity at Wine Fest, but we never made it. So this year, I was on a quest. I even wore a skirt so I won't have to roll up my jeans... I was prepared! My fantastically imaginative brain had this huge scene all worked out. If you have ever seen A Walk in the Clouds, you all know what I mean! I could just see a huge barrel with thousands of grapes just waiting for a group of people to jump in. Well, it was a little different than that. There were two modest barrels, maybe big enough for two people.

     And there were loads of people in line. I'm not pushy, so when I was cut in line by like, twenty kids under the age of 10, I bit my tongue, watched, and quietly moved to the shorter line for the second barrel. (Don't worry, the rant about the lack of manners today will be saved for another time.)
     It was SO much fun once I got in the barrel. I was even cheered on by the crowd for not holding onto the railing! I can't really explain what it felt like. All I can really say is that it felt like cold jelly...well, preserves I guess, because of the bigger, un-squished pieces!

     I had a blast, and now I can mark this off my bucket list! After I washed off my feet, we returned to watch more people take their turn squishing and squashing. You couldn't stand too close...some of the participants really wanted to make it more like a theme park ride and were intent on getting grapes on everyone!

     The last few ladies were hilarious though...making Lucille Ball references and the like! They were doing so well that the MC asked them to get in a bucket together and have a little friendly competition with the Erie County Apple Princess! They got quite a work out, and let's just say they beat some Apple Princess butt! They were so awesome, I had to get their picture after their victory!

Montrae and Eileene after their victory over the Apple Princess!
     After walking around both parks most of the day, we decided to hit the closest winery to our house...we didn't really want to get on the shuttle with people who'd been tasting for hours, if you know what I mean. I don't drink, so it was my hubby that was looking forward to the tour. We actually made out better than tasting at the festival! They were selling tokens for $1 for a one ounce taste. Well, the South Shore Winery (sister winery of our favorite Mazza Vineyards!) was offering five different wines to taste for the same dollar! Plus you got the fun of listening to the lady teach you about different wines and their individual qualities.

     Yes, she has corks for earrings. I loved them. A lot. And haven't had too much drink, that is a walking bunch of grapes pouring the wine. I'm sure that got some of the more tipsy tasters! The hubby likes sweet reds, but he gave a few dry selections a try. The tour guides before the tasting had told us their best selling bottle of the weekend was the Honey Mead. We were intrigued. Luckily, the Honey Mead was on the tasting list! It, in fact, was one of my hubby's favorites that we will have to return for at a later time.

     My favorite part of the tour was the building. The owners bought the house and, just a few years ago, discovered that there was a cellar underneath completely filled with dirt! After excavating, they discovered a beautiful cellar and it's dated back to the 1860s! It was breathtaking, and I honestly can't believe it's only a half mile from my house! You can read more about the history here.
     So needless to say, ending at The South Shore Winery and seeing the cellar was the highlight of the day. Besides the grape stomping of course! OH! And I can't close without sharing this... nothing like a little dry wine humor (ha ha, get it, dry?!)...

September 21, 2010

Starfish and World Gratitude Day

     Today is World Gratitude Day! Of course, I didn't really know that until this morning, so that makes this post all the more special. I was on Facebook last night, just seeing what everyone was up to...maybe playing a game or two, and I saw a wonderful status from a friend that really made me stop and think.
Isn't that beautiful? I don't think we slow down and remember that enough...much less take the time to tell other people in our lives the affect they truly have on us. I just loved I clicked to read the other comments and noticed my friend had continued her thought in the comments section. She shared a story that brought tears to my eyes. Now, for those of you who really know me, you know that calling me emotional is a huge understatement...huge. I can easily go from a smile to a torrential downpour in less than a second.

Which leads me to this aside: I love star fish. They make me happy and sad all rolled up into one, and I can't explain it. I think it is because they are usually so small and fragile, but their little arms always look so happy. Like they are jumping for joy or something. So...I love star fish., Frederico Stevanin
Now...back on topic. The comment my Facebook friend shared got me, and then the little story she posted underneath totally unleashed the tears. I felt so connected to the little girl in the story, I couldn't hold back the water works and I became a blubbering wet mess. That is not an exaggeration. I cried like someone took my best friend away! So, of course, I had to make a page about it. It was just what I needed to read at the time. We all make a difference, no matter how small our actions....
I made this with edits to a photobucket image. The fonts are Jellyka St. Andrews Queen and Garamond.
I hope this parable touched you as much as it touched me. I kept starfish around me before because they reminded me to smile. Now I have more reasons for my little friends...they remind me daily that I do make a difference. No matter how small my contributions may be... I make a difference. And today is the perfect day to say that is what I'm thankful for.

September 15, 2010

For Today...September 15th

Outside my is absolutely gorgeous! I am so excited that fall is coming...the leaves are starting to change and the air is crisp...doesn't get any better!

I am wearing...jeans and a light sweater (not something I'd be wearing if I wear still in SC)! 

I am thinking... about having some apple pie. A friend was nice enough to give us a pie and I have really been trying my best to only eat a small piece every other day or so! It's SO yummy!

I am thankful for...people that have faith in me. As a house wife, I was honored and lucky enough in the last month to stumble into two jobs because the people I work for have loads of faith in me. I can't tell you how good that feels :-) 

From the kitchen...well, I think I said I as having pie, hehe!

I am creating...I've been writing a lot lately, and I have really gotten a lot out of my new laptop! It feels fabulous to be able to scrap on the go, and edit pictures on the fly!.

I am reading...Healing Mind, Healthy Woman: using the Mind-Body Connection to Manage Stress and Take Control of Your Life by Alice D. Domar, Ph.D, and Henry Dreher Though I haven't read lately. New toys will do that to you...

From the learning hubby is doing so well in school! this term seems to be the most trying for him, but he is such a good student and I am so very proud of him!

I am hoping... that I am making a difference. 

I am hearing...the tv...the news is never good. I should turn it when I hear the theme playing. 

I am going...give it my best and remember, that's all I can do. I am capable of more than I think. 

Around the house...well, with two part time jobs I feel like I let the house go! Honestly though, i just looked and all I need to do is fold the clean clothes and wash the dishes. That's a relief!

I am remembering...that good things come to those who wait.

Quote to commit to memory... “Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.” ~ Edwin Hubbell Chapin

A few plans for the week...I've got a lot of writing planned, more photo editing, and in between, working at the new job at Bob Evans. I work with my hubby and that makes the nervousness SO much better!

One of my favorite things...the color of sunlight in the fall. It just looks different, almost like it's burnished :-)

Photo for Thought... Its almost time for the grape harvest! Though I have seen a few of the farms getting their pickers out, I haven't gotten a shot of them in the fields. I did, however, get a picture of a picker at the Cherry Festival parade a few months ago. So, especially for my southern friends who have probably never seen such a thing, this is a grape picker! (Complete with the Grape Queen and her court of 2009!)
This contraption drives down between the rows and shakes the grapes loose! I'll be getting more pictures of them in action I'm sure! Stay tuned!

September 12, 2010

Falling for Fall

     I love fall! I think it is my absolute favorite season. Cool mornings, sort of warm mid-day, and cool evenings. I was able to walk in the water at the lake today in bare feet, but wearing my favorite long sleeve tee-shirt. It just doesn't get any better, does it? Not until the leaves start changing in earnest anyway!
The tree across the street from our house is changing!
     One thing I adore about the fall here in PA is the fact that it is actually a season of harvest. There just wasn't much in South Carolina that made it to fall. There just wasn't the over abundance of produce I have seen up here. There are seriously little road side stands over flowing with beautiful offerings on every other corner!
     I shared a few pictures a post or two ago about a wild apple tree on a country road here in town. Well, my husband and I finally got the chance to return...and this time we took a ladder!
Yeah...wild trees are way taller than farmed ones!
     Thankfully my husband had the forethought to bring his dad's "picker". It resembles that as-seen-on-TV gadget, The Grabber, only no cool little blue suction cup thingies on the end. I was skeptical that thing was going to help anything. It was obvious when we got there...that was the only way we were reaching any apples. I was determined though...and as you can see, heights of small proportions don't really bother me like they do my hubby. He was having none of it!
These are some of the apples that ended up in my canvas bag!
     I wish pictures could convey more than a simple image. I wish they were little 3D experiences sometimes, because it was so wonderful! Being up in the branches like that...the smell of the apples carried on the sweet breeze already heavy with the fragrance of grapes. Everyone should pick apples once in their life!
     Of course, being the eternal 4 year old that I am, I was enthralled the rest of the day that I picked my own apples. My husband is a saint for putting up with me...really.
    I'm a very sensory oriented person so I was overloaded after a day of picking wild fruit, then touring Burches, one of the local farms. They have a full bakery and offer samples of everything from their homemade breads to their 14 different varieties of apples. I brought my camera! Look at all this amazing locally grown produce!
Canning tomatoes and beautiful watermelons!
We bought a small box of these...SO yummy!
Burches has about 100 acres of fruit trees! aren't these pears luscious?!
What North East is famous for...GRAPES! These are table grapes, but there are acres and acres used for the farm's line of wine! North East is the Wine capital of the east!
     I am very easy to entertain aren't I? Even if we hadn't bought anything, I would have had the best day! That being said, we bought some McIntosh apples and a small loaf of their heavenly pistachio bread. We even picked up a loaf of peach bread as a gift for my grandmother. I swear, I haven't bought produce in a grocery store since...well I can't remember when! Between the farms and little mom and pop stands, North East is a veritable farmers market! Locally grown really does taste better. And I feel good every time I support a local grower.
     I can't wait to share more pictures from this up coming fall season with you all. I am super excited about being here for an entire leaf season! Be prepared...I am a shutter bug, so I hope you don't get tired of all the pictures!  Thanks for stopping by and sharing my apple adventure...hopefully I'll have many more like it to share soon!

September 5, 2010

For Today...September 5th

Outside my is so beautiful I can't believe I'm still inside! I love fall and it seems to have come for an early visit this week!

I am wearing...jammies still. Late nights make for late mornings :-)

I am thinking...I might ride my bike to the lake today for the first time. My husband's mother was wonderful enough to bring them back for us last time she was in South Carolina! Then, who knows. The weather is so beautiful I might just ride around town all day!

I am thankful for...people that give you a chance, loved ones that encourage and support you through anything, and being alive to experience such a beautiful day!

From the kitchen...Apple Jacks!! Tomorrow, I'll make a better breakfast. We are going on a short road trip and I love getting up and having a homemade breakfast before traveling!

I am creating...well, I will be creating about this time on Tuesday! My new laptop is coming and I can't wait to get back to scrapping! Be on the look out for the October Desktop since it's already September...

I am reading...Healing Mind, Healthy Woman: using the Mind-Body Connection to Manage Stress and Take Control of Your Life by Alice D. Domar, Ph.D, and Henry Dreher. Very informative!

From the learning rooms...just taking my reading further. I can't seem to get enough reading material about how the brain works  and mind-body medicine lately! Breathing exercises work wonders!

I am hoping... to find some beautiful new colors of beach glass in Conneaut, OH tomorrow!!

I am hearing...the tv...I love PBS. Lidia's Itlay makes me want to eat a big ol' bowl of spaghetti every time I watch it!

I am Conneaut Beach in Ohio tomorrow with my baby! Beach glass searching, a picnic...sounds like the perfect trip to me.

Around the house...moving things around on my desk to make room for my new addition! So excited I can't stand it... I can't tell you how long it's been since I'm made a scrapbook page!

I am remembering...that there are wonderful kind people in the world that, for some weird reason or another, actually like me. And that is something to be thankful for!

Quote to commit to memory... "Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony." -Thomas Merton

A few plans for the week...I'v got a lot of writing to do, a lot of computer setting up and organizing...I'm going to be one more busy chickadee!

One of my favorite things...a cool fall breeze and colorful leaves! Our leaves are just starting to change and I am super excited about spending the entire fall season enjoying them!

Photo for Thought...this is a picture my husband shot. I was collecting beach glass after a storm (see that little blue dot? That's me!) That's the best time to search, since things get tossed around in the water. I love's my favorite form meditation!
Searching for beach glass on Shorewood Beach in Harborcreek, PA

Fruit and Thankfulness

     A lot of my Southern friends will not know what I am talking about. This sort of thing only happens with the occasional fruit tree...more likely a berry bush in brambles on the roadside. I myself was surprised and filled with glee when I saw them there...just laying on the side of the road. Apples. Just growing wild on the side of a country road about four miles from my house!
My Smith Road wild apple tree...does that make them Smith Apples? My apple came from the tree!
      I spotted them on the drive to my husband's family reunion last Saturday, and he was sweet enough to remember how magical I thought they were. He took it upon himself to drive out to Smith Road and pick a fresh,wild apple for me!  He even snapped a shot of the tree and apples for me to blog about! How sweet is that? I know...I think he's a keeper!
My very own hand picked wild apple!
     And, since I wasn't there to take pictures myself, I took my special apple outside in my yard for a photo shoot. (Yes, I'm crazy. I never said I wasn't! Hey, at least you never know what to expect, you know?) My perfect husband, after fetching my apple, came home and started repairing my bicycle! (That's him way in the back of the photo.)
My apple striking a pose, hehe!
     Did I mention he's a keeper? Well, he is. So, after enjoying my first bike ride in a long time (complete with my corny I Love My Bike bell) we halved our wild apple and enjoyed it with some peanut butter.
     I must say, it was the best apple ever! I'm sure it wasn't just because it was a free range, I'll-grow-where-ever-I-want was that much sweeter because of the lengths he went to retrieve it for me. And because the rest of the perfect day in which it was nestled. It's little things like that I'm truly thankful for.