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StrangerInTheSnow2You’ve been searching – now you’ve found them! Visit my shop for my Stranger in the Snow French Bulldog holiday cards and other designs, all with my original artwork, reasonably priced, and ready to go!

Who doesn’t love sending Frenchies or receiving them, especially when they’re so adorable?

Breeze through checkout with PayPal, where you can use your PayPal account, or pay with all major credit cards. Easy, fast, and everyone will want to know where you found these cuties.

That spot is right here! Looking for a gift? Check out my Frenchies Après Monet or Frenchies Après Rousseau blank notecards, too.

 

Life today pulls us in so many directions; sometimes it seems the stress just keeps coming, doesn’t it? And sometimes, we have to stop the world, get off and just do something nice for ourselves.

With a window of time in front of me Sunday, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the myriad of things I should be/could be doing. My list, as I’m sure is the case with your own, was endless. Know what I did? (In case the photos hadn’t given me away.) I baked. For me. That’s right. Not for someone else, not to take to an event, not to bring to someone else’s house … just for me. Something I almost never do.

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Just out of the oven …

I know, shame on me. I picked up a recipe I’d clipped recently from one of the magazines my neighbor and I swap with one another regularly, (like getting free subscriptions for both of us!) Muffins are easy and make me happy during the week, too.

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Cooling off

The recipe I chose was from Cooking Light called Jammin’ Oat Muffins – made with steel cut, quick-cooking oats, (I only use McCann’s Irish, non-GMO oats), low fat milk and canola oil, both organic – all good choices. How did they come out? I’d say they were better than OK, but not ones I’d bake again. You know … so little recipes, so little time. I only save recipes now if they are fabulous and I would definitely make them again.

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The muffins were a tad heavier than I would have liked. In this photo, I wanted to also show off these gorgeous, kind-of-jacquard autumn placemats I found, too.

But the most important thing was I put a stop to the overwhelming demands in  my head and did something nice for myself. That, in fact, made them taste even better. The moral of the story is … don’t forget to take a little time doing whatever it is that makes you happy and be nice to yourself.

You can find the recipe here.

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There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough to pay attention to the story.

~Linda Hogan

Scarecrow-Bride2Take a walk with me … on the pebbled brick paths through Peddler’s Village … and see what we found along the way to the carousel.

Each year the merchants hold a scarecrow contest, and in front of each shop or restaurant is a scarecrow – or two or three – which is their entry. Although I know there are different entry levels, as I noticed some were the handiwork of children, I don’t know much else. I was just appreciating the creativity of those who put these amazing, sometimes funny and sometimes scary, scarecrows together.

So come and dawdle along, and here are a few of the ones that caught my fancy.

 

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Both the above sat on hay bales outside the shop’s window.

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This maître d’ stood outside one of the well-known restaurants.

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The scarecrows may have been the main attraction, but every shop was completely decked out for Fall.

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And what a fetching bride she was!

Before 150+ little trick or treaters come scurrying through our neighborhood and knocking at our doors, here’s something I had to share.

FairyTiara2Our local, (county), newspaper is to be commended for their coverage of all the goings-on in our towns, much of which is positive. Yeah, there’s a bit of the usual murder and mayhem, but they can’t hold a candle in that department to every other newspaper around. In the positive vein, they always feature a Kids’ Page in which they ask local schoolchildren a question and feature their answers.

This week, the question was the kids’ most creative costume for Halloween, and if this one doesn’t take all — written by Julia, a 3rd grader, (that’s 8 years old):

“WOW. You look great. My favorite Halloween costume was a fairy. It was blue and had sparkly fairy wings. I wore it when I was little and I wore it for a lot of great Halloweens. I got a boatload of candy. That was a great time of my life.”

What more could I possibly say after that?

except … Happy Halloween!

PiBoIdMoJournal2Are you a picture book writer? Aspiring or published, you will enjoy this challenge!

The idea was developed a few years ago by children’s book author, Tara Lazar, in response to the popularity of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writers’ Month. Participating in NaNoWriMo meant that you committed to writing 50,000 words in the month of November. That was great for those who write novels, but what about those of us who were writing for the youngest readers … picture books?

Tara developed the idea of PiBoIdMo, Picture Book Idea Month, (which has developed quite a bit since it’s introduction, and now includes visiting bloggers on children’s writing and more), where your challenge is to write down one idea for a picture book each day in the month of November. Needless to say, you can jot down more if your creativity is jumping, but one is the challenge. At the end of November, you’ll have 30 ideas to pick and choose from and can develop your best into stories.

Whether you do this alone or participate in the event online, or with your writing buddies or friends, it’s a fun challenge and gets your juices flowing. I have my own little PiBoIdMo notebook, and will be starting my challenge this Saturday. Join me?

 

The Carousel

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Sometimes we have to indulge ourselves a wee bit. So after all but shackling myself to my Mac all week long, faithfully taking care of my clients’ needs, I am sharing something that I have always found nothing short of magical – a carousel.

From when I was a small child and our family went every year to a nearby amusement park on my birthday, the greatest attraction for me was always the carousel. Of course … it had horses, music, lights … what’s not to love?

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The carousel you see in the photos here is a P.T.C. carousel, i.e., made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, one of the greatest and most historic manufacturers of carousels in this country. And although I would love to visit Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn, this one is much closer, a bit more than a half hour away in Lahaska, PA.  P.T.C. #59, as this carousel is known, was built in 1922, and has been in numerous places around this country, but found its current spot in Peddler’s Village in 1998; it includes forty-six hand-carved wood figures, by Master Carver Ed Roth from Long Beach, CA.

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Perhaps all these photos are a bit indulgent, so feel free to pass on if you choose. But if you find carousels as magical as I do, hop on for a ride. I’ll only say I’ve saved my favorite horse for last.

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It was becoming late in the day, and the sun was lowering in the sky, creating some unavoidable light and shadow contrast.

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The carousel had a goat, rooster, pig, cat, rabbit, and a few others, but I have never been as enamored of any of them as I have the horses.

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The most stunning of all …

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