ALL THINGS AUTUMN tag questions

YAY FOR AUTUMN! I first saw this over at Jean’s blog and was then also tagged by Carrie from Northwoods Scrapbook. So, Ive decided it was fate I join in. It will take me a bit to catch up, but I’ll get there! The ALL THINGS AUTUMN is being hostted by Deb over at It’s Always Something and you can find her post here. 😊 I would also love it if any of you would like to join in the fun too! Just copy mine and put in your own answers. Yay for this wonderful season! 🧙‍♀️🕸🌾🍁🧡


1. What is your favorite thing about fall?
Weather, nature, pumpkins, spice……When the first geese fly over heading south I jump for joy. Shortly thereafter the mornings and evenings both turn cool and crisp and the fireplace smoke brings a fragrant layer of wood smoke to the valley. And of course all the cute sweaters and flannels come out to play. Oh and don’t let me forget about the apples, and pumpkins and spice… This is truly my favorite time of year. If I could have to Autumns, a winter and a spring I’d be sooooo happy.

2. Do you get fall colors where you live?
I used to live in the Upper Peninsula and REALLY miss the fall colors from there, but we also get them here in the Pacific North West, just a bit differently.

3. Favorite fall scent?  (wax melts, candles, anything)
I do change out my wax melt and candle scents to everything apple or pumpkin spice.

4./9. Favorite fall food or drink? Cider or hot chocolate?
When I was a kid I hated cider and it was hot chocolate all the way, but as I got older I fell in love with apple cider! Of course it has to have the perfect spice blend with a lot of cinnamon sticks and oranges. A cup of this with a slice of pumpkin pull apart bread or baked apples  is such a treat.

5. Football . . . yay or nay?

6. Do you rake, jump in, or burn piles of leaves?
Rake. I’ve never been one to jump in, but my dogs always have been.

7. Haunted house or corn maze?
I’ve done both and when I was younger they were fun with groups of friends, but now I prefer to decorate the house and wait for all the sweet faces of the trick or treaters. I love seeing their costumes.

8. Have you ever gone on a hayride?
When I was in girl scouts we did several and they were really fun!

10./17. Carve a pumpkin or eat pumpkin pie? 17. Apple pie or pumpkin pie?
We no longer carve pumpkins and I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin pies. 🙁 Now I do make an awesome Cranberry Apple slab pie for the season.

11. Do you dress up for Halloween?
Not since I was a kid, but I would if the right reason came alone. 😀

12. Candy corn . . . yay or nay?
NOPE, never been a fan.

13. Favorite Halloween season movie?
Definitely like the fun ones that aren’t too gory or scary. The movies like Nightmare before Christmas, Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic and the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown are the best!

14. Scariest movie?
The Omen, Amitville Horror, The Exorcist, Halloween, The Shining…

15. Halloween or Thanksgiving?
BOTH! They are the gateway to Christmas 😀 My favorite months, the “BER” months each have a major holiday in them full of my favorite 3 F’s – fun, family and food.

16. Do you watch the Macy’s parade?
EVERY year for as long as I can remember and always followed by watching Miracle on 34th street.

18. White or dark meat?
I like them both – but I tend to grab more white meat.

19. Jellied or real cranberry sauce?
My oldest stepson LOVES the canned sauce only! He says it isn’t a holiday without it, but I prefer the homemade so I make it for the rest of us and buy a can for him. 😀

20. Will you host or travel for Thanksgiving?
This year it will be just the 2 of us and for the first time ever we’re going to go out. 😀
I hope you enjoyed and will join in! I look forward to reading the answers of others. 🎃


We don’t do a ton of Halloween decorating, but we do get enough kids to do enough.  The neighborhood does quite a bit too. This is our front porch decorations.  

This is George and Elmer right after we assembled them. 

This is George and Elmer after it started getting dark.  The are on a timer, but are also motion activated so it was hard to get a picture.

This is Wilbur my pumpkin totem.  He’s unique that on the back side is Frosty the Snowman making him the perfect fall decoration – Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas all in a single decoration – just turn him around!




Today’s prompt is “CREEPY READS”.  I love Stephen King novels, but I’m more of a watch his movies than read his books type.  There is an author I love to read, Jana DeLeon, and while her books can be creepy, some of them are just eerie or mysterious bordering on creepy!  But, they are also fun.

  • The Miss Fortune series (16 books) is the most fun with titles like Louisiana Longshot, Lethal Bayou Beauty, Swamp Sniper, Swamp Team 3, Gator Bait, Soldiers of Fortune, Hurricane Force, Force Hunter, Later Gator, Hook – Line & Blinker, Change of Fortune, Reel of Fortune, Swamp Spook, Fortune Furlough, Cajun Fried Felony and Swamp Santa which just came out.
  • The Ghost-in-Law Mysteries (8 books) are actually funny with titles like Trouble in Mudbug, The Helena Diaries, Mischief in Mudbug, Showdown in Mudbug, Resurrection in Mudbug, Missing in Mudbug, Chaos in Mudbug and Rose and Helena Save Christmas.
  • The Happily Ever After series (7 books) are eerie and funny too with titles like Dead Man Talking, Once Hunted  Twice Shy, Fooled Around and Spelled Love, Witchful Thinking, Total Eclipse of the Hunt, Curses and Cupcakes, and An Everlasting Christmas.
  • The Shaye Archer series (7 books) is the most creepy with titles like Malevolent, Sinister, Diabolical, Wicked, Unseen, Dreadful and Damned, but always leans towards positive outcomes.


For some Halloween means SCARY, HORROR type shows and movies like Nightmare on Elm Street or Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  Me, I prefer the science fiction type shows.  The SYFY channel used to be one of our favorite places for many types of series and a go to on Saturday nights for a good movie.  In recent years, NOT so much.  But we do have some favorite series from years gone by.  Many of these fall into several categories, including comedy.

  • Z NATIONZ Nation begins three years into a zombie apocalypse caused by a virus that has already killed most humans. In the days just before society fell apart, Murphy was one of three inmates who were unwilling participants in a government-approved experiment. Each inmate was given a different test vaccine. Murphy was the only one to survive the vaccine injection. He is the only known survivor of a zombie bite who did not turn into a zombie, and his blood contains antibodies that are mankind’s last and best hope for a vaccine. The series revolves around his travels with a small group of survivors being led through the apocalypse by Simon “Citizen Z” Cruller, who watches the world from his multiple computers. The group is looking to use him to solve the zombie pandemic.
  • EUREKA – A year prior to the season five premiere, at the time production for that season was nearly done, the series was originally going to be renewed for a sixth and final season but was instead cancelled. In addition, Syfy ordered an extra episode to wrap up the series.
  • HAVEN – Loosely based on The Colorado Kid by Stephen King. The third-person narrative concerns the investigation of the body of an unidentified man found on a tiny island off the coast of Maine. Lacking any identification or obvious clues, the case reaches nothing but repeated dead ends. Over a year later the man is identified, but all further important questions remain unanswered. The two-person staff of the island newspaper maintain a longstanding fascination with the case, and twenty-five years later use the mysterious tale to ply the friendship and test the investigative mettle of a post-graduate intern rookie reporter.
  • SLIDERS – The series followed a group of travelers as they used a wormhole to “slide” between different parallel universes.
  • WAREHOUSE 13 – The series follows two U.S. Secret Service Agents when they are assigned to the secretive Warehouse 13 for supernatural artifacts. 
  • SANCTUARY – A doctor and her team study and protect the strange creatures living in their world.
  • STARGATE SG1 – The story of Stargate SG-1 begins about a year after the events of the feature film, when the United States government learns that an ancient alien device called the Stargate can access a network of such devices on a multitude of planets. SG-1 is an elite United States Air Force special operations team, one of about 20 teams from Earth who explore the galaxy and defend against alien threats such as the Goa’uld, the Replicators and the Ori. The series draws upon Egyptian mythology, Greek mythology, Norse mythology and Arthurian legend.
  • STARGATE UNIVERSE – A group of people form the crew of the ancient ship Destiny, which travels through the universe looking for evidence of an intelligence from before time itself.
  • STARGATE ATLANTIS – Universal Stargate teams explore the city of Atlantis in far away galaxy. This was a spin-off from the  Stargate SG-1 series.
  • THE LIBRARIANS – A group of librarians sets off on adventures in an effort to save mysterious, ancient artifacts. 


It’s been fall around here for over a month already. I’ve actually already done a few of these things, but I still added them to the list, because they are multi-step items or I might want to do them again. Completed items are in red and italics. I’d love to hear what is on your bucket list for fall. Here’s my list.
  • Make a new and inventive dessert EACH week
  • Make apple butter
  • Roast marshmallows around the fire
  • Curl up with a terrific book
  • Take a drive to look at fall foliage 
  • Sip hot apple cider
  • Finish several smaller quilts
  • Eat chili – I have several different flavor chilis and try to get them ALL worked into the fall months.
  • Decorate for Halloween
  • Try a new soup or stew
  • Make pumpkin cut out cookies with my new sugar cookie recipe
  • Make some crafts with the munchkins
  • Collect leaves and seed pods to decorate
  • Take a walk and enjoy the color changing leaves
  • Make jam
  • Make homemade cocoa
  • Bake banana, pumpkin and lemon bread
  • Bake cookies
  • Make Neighbor plates of goodies
  • Make homemade Vanilla
  • Make Christmas gifts
  • Watch Christmas movies
  • Watch MORE Christmas movies
  • Listen to Christmas music
  • Get updated addresses for my Christmas card list
  • Burn cinnamon and spicy pumpkin candles
  • Read by candlelight and lamplight
  • Decorate House
  • Read a wonderful Christmas book 
  • Decorate our Christmas tree
So this is my list, what’s on your list? 


Have I mentioned that I LOVE fall?  If you missed it, let me say it again.  I LOVE FALL!  And I especially LOVE fall clothing so this category deserves a second day 😀

Recently I ran into JC Penneys for some towels and passed by the shoe department and a sign that literally said Buy 1, Get 2 free!  How do you pass up a deal like that?  For me it was especially fitting because I have needed ALL new shoes as well as clothes since losing all the weight after that last surgery.  Who would have thought you’d lose shoes sizes, but I did – an entire size!  So this is my fun purchase where I not only took advantage of the sale, but also a 20% off coupon and was able to buy 3 pair for $64. 😀 My tootsies are staying toasty this fall!



Today’s topic is meal planning which is a topic near and dear to my everyday way of life, but the fall is especially a fun time for meal planning with all the holidays, parties and family get togethers.

Meal planning for me can be a rather in depth process as we don’t do fast food 99% of the time and I cook MOST of the time.  Cooking for me is from scratch – no boxes, no cans to speak of.  When I meal plan I try really hard to arrange my recipes back to back to make the most of my fresh ingredients especially when I need expensive fresh herbs or veggies.

For the past couple of years I had tried MANY of the more reliable and popular Dinner Home Delivery services out there – Blue Apron, Home Chef, Hello Fresh, Gobble… At first it seemed like a great idea while we were still working on A House From Hell.  I had an offer emailed from a friend for a nice discount to give Blue Apron a try…  Long story short the recipes started to repeat themselves, the selection of recipes dwindled to where I was skipping more weeks than I was ordering and the issues that required customer service became more and more while the service became slower and slower while also less accommodating.  I even encountered a customer service line that was outsourced to somewhere that English was not their first language and the communication barrier was unbelievable!

Well, all I can say after this last box is NO MORE!!! Gobble is the last one we tried and I was SORELY DISAPPOINTED!  There was a HUGE discount to give them a try and I STILL overpaid for what arrived.  NOT only were many of the ingredients NOT fresh, many were also pre-prepared and not well at that! The original goal was to save time and money while trying some new and innovative recipes, but since that is NOT the end result I’ve cancelled all the services and will be back to doing my own planning and shopping.

This seemed like a good time to re-run this section on how I menu plan and save money while doing it.

There is more to menu planning than just deciding what to make for dinner, at least for the average family. We’re a military family used to getting paid once a month and trying to make it last. So for me, menu planning also encompasses recipe scouring, coupon clipping (we love to read the Sunday papers and have coffee. One of the things I always go for first is the coupons to see what I can save for us – hubby always laughs when I get excited at a large coupon for something already on the list – LOL), sale ad reading and logical common sense planning. I do participate in Menu Plan Monday, but I actually prepare my menu for the entire month all at once and then just break it up for posting. A little organization goes a long way.

I start the last week of the previous month with checking out what I already have in the freezer inventory and then the ads for my local markets for the upcoming week. I see what meats will be going on sale and then scour my recipe file for recipes to match. One of the biggest things I do to help not only with cost of ingredients, but also waste is to make sure that I back recipes up to each other that use similar ingredients that I can buy in bulk.

For example if a recipe calls for half an onion for Monday night’s recipe, I make sure Tuesday night’s recipe uses the other half. I also know which meals we’ll probably have leftovers for so I plan to either freeze part of it for a future meal or plan a C.O.R.N. (clean out refrigerator night) within my plan if there is only going to be a little of this and that leftover. I write my list and then I match up the coupons for whatever staples (flour, sugar, eggs, butter, etc…) I need and then the luxuries if there is room within the budget. If there is a really good sale I buy in super bulk for the following month also. Now I know this sounds like a lot of work, but the whole process takes less than an hour and then it’s done for the month.

It seems I have every scrap of a recipe I have ever saved as well as many of my grandma’s too. It’s like an obsession with me. If a recipe sounds good in a magazine, I figure I can make it better based on my family’s likes and dislikes and tuck it away to try and manipulate at a later date. I recently decided it was time to clean-up this mess.

I found an old metal LP file box at a garage sale for 50 cents and dressed it up a bit so it didn’t look like a trash bin on my kitchen counter. (it was a beat up lime green with stickers everywhere). I have written 2 family reunion cook books in the past which helped some with eliminating the scraps of paper and I’m also in the midst of writing a Tastebook to use as family Christmas gifts that is helping to clean up this mess on a permanent basis.

I have a perpetual list on the counter and every time we use something or run out of something, everyone is trained (finally) to list whatever they used or ran out of on an ongoing basis.

We keep a pretty concise calendar with everyone’s activities, appointments, meetings and such on it. I also write what we will be eating on each day so they’ll know what to expect. If for some reason we have to cancel a night I will rearrange the week so that the meal actually canceled is one using something from the freezer, not the fresh ingredients I’ve already purchased. When I do the shopping I buy in bulk to cut the cost and since I have my menu planned ahead of time, I break down the bulk package into meal appropriate sizes before freezing when I get home.

I originally wrote this post years ago, but nothing has changed – I still do things exactly the same.

I start with LARGE bulk packs of meat.  I then break them down by size and meat right down to cutting certain recipes into bite sized pieces.  Then I wrap them in freezer paper because I really hate freezer burn!  And I package them into pre-labeled ziploc bags for the freezer.


Today’s prompt was fall clothing.  I absolutely adore fall and I especially love it when we’re living in the north and the weather has a REAL season.  I pretty much wear Levis year round, but come fall it’s all about what you put with the Levis that counts!  Lots and lots of layers and comfy sweaters and comfier shoes!  Here are a few pictures from Pinterest of some of my favorite fall styles.  Under those sweaters are soft and simple camis or lightweight cotton shirts.  I love going barefoot as often as possible, but come fall whenever I go outside I have to have seriously comfy and warm footwear!


I started doing Blogtober with Sandra, but needed a bit more structure.  I found some old prompt lists and made my own compilation of those prompts.  I will start following it for the remainder of the month and try to backtrack to catch the earlier prompts too.

Today’s prompt is CURRENT CRAFT PROJECTS which is fitting as I did a tutorial on making these cute little guys.  You can find the “HOW TO” here for making your own Pumpkin family.