Behind My Red Door

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Last Hurrah

Happy November 1st Peeps! I am always sad to say goodbye to October with it’s show of colorful foliage, the harvesting of pumpkins, and all the things that make fall so inviting. But in my quest to see my glass as always half full, I am determined to enjoy all the goodness of November too. After all, it is the month of Thanksgiving here in the US and so I challenge each of you to join the Gratitude Challenge. More about that at the end of this post.

The last few days we enjoyed what I am calling The Last Hurrah of Foliage. While most of the really brilliant colors are gone, there are still some trees and shrubs with enough color to warm the landscape for at least few more days. I very unexpectedly found myself with a few hours of free time the other day and because the sun was shining and it was a glorious crisp autumn day – the kind that I so love - so I took off and headed to one of my favorite stores to see my friend Charleen. I took the back roads and at times, I was driving under a canopy of golden trees. The sunlight coming through the branches into my sun roof was amazing, and I soaked in all the warm colors as it will be gone all too soon.

When I arrived at Homestead Primitives in Fitchburg, Charleen was pricing some goodies for the annual Winter Gathering. The snowmen were just adorable and so prim! As she was telling all her plans, I thought, I MUST share this on my blog. If you are anywhere near Fitchburg, MA, you really need to get to this event!

Here are the dates and hours of

Homestead Primitives Winter Gathering

Friday November 6th 4 – 7

Saturday November 7th 10 – 5

Sunday November 8th 12-4

Closed November 2nd until 4pm November 4th as they add the finishing touches

When I originally helped Charleen set up her blog, there was an error in the spelling of the blog’s original name so we deleted that blog and started a new one within days. However I am not sure all of her followers have that new address. So please do click here and become a follower of the new and improved blog if you haven’t done so yet. In the future, Charleen will be adding shop pictures and more to her blog so you don’t want to miss a thing!


We are lucky to have quite a bit of late color right outside My Red Door. When our suburban neighborhood was built some 30+ years ago, the builders planted a variety of maples that don’t grow really huge, and that don’t turn the brilliant oranges and reds we are used to seeing. They also drop their leaves very late in the season. We have one in the front yard. It looks big in this photo, but it is dwarfed by the ones in the backyard and across the street. This year. maybe because of the extreme wet summer, it did attain some color – burnt oranges and rusty browns. I took these when I got home from Charleen’s. See that sky? I told you it was the perfect fall day!


And looking up and across the street up to the left, you can see bare branches of the traditional huge maples. Beyond them two more of the same late dropping variety. 073

There are also some huge maples of a variety that turn brilliant yellow and drop late as well. The neighbor across the street and down to the right also has a gorgeous Japanese maple that is a bright burgundy red. With many rusty oak leaves and evergreens as a backdrop in the neighborhood as well, it makes for a welcome late splash of color that I so enjoy.070

However, in a week or two when all these leaves are in OUR front yard and in MY garden and blowing into the garage on MY side, I might need you to help to remind me why I love them so much!


Did you all have a fun Halloween? Early last week Lili enjoyed her very first mini pumpkin that I decorated for her.


And then she went with her mommy and daddy and picked out a giant pumpkin.

She just had to try it out …


…and she even had her very first taste of pumpkin! IMG_6599

And then she has a nice warm tubby! LOL

On Halloween morning Mr. Red Door and I enjoyed Overnight Monkey Bread. This is my version based on several recipes I found online and on blogs. I am having a Gathering here the Sunday after Thanksgiving and I needed to ‘test’ the recipe. It’s a keeper!


Spray Bundt pan with Pam

Sprinkle ¼ cup chopped nuts in pan

Melt I stick of butter in shallow bowl

Mix 1 pkg pudding with ¾ cup brown sugar in another shallow bowl

You’ll need18 frozen white dinner rolls (dough balls – not precooked rolls)

Roll each dough ball in butter and then in the pudding/sugar mixture and place in pan

Sprinkle the remaining pudding/sugar over rolls and then pour remaining butter over rolls

Sprinkle another ¼ cup chopped nuts over that

Cover with plastic wrap and place in microwave (or cool oven) overnight. In the morning it will have risen to the top or over the edge of the pan – so make sure you have sprayed that pan well – including the edges.

Bake 350 for 35 minutes. Let it set for about 5-10 minutes before placing a plate over pan and inverting it. Let sit for a few more minutes before removing the pan so it sets and doesn’t fall apart.

Notes: I used Instant Pumpkin Spice pudding but Butterscotch and the cooking variety will work too. (you could add pumpkin spices to that) I used walnuts but will use pecans the day of the gathering. Enjoy! Grampy and I sure did!

And it gave us had plenty of energy to do some yard work and Lili sitting. It was a day of a few firsts for our sweet girl. Now that she is rolling like crazy, she can’t sleep on the daybed in my office, so she slept in the portable crib for the first time. And she had a ride home with Grampy and Grammy in their car for the first time too. Last week Grampy and I bought her a new 3 way car seat that is easy to move from Angela’s Murano to mine – thanks to the awesome technology . We enjoyed an early dinner with the her mommy and daddy and got to see Lili all dressed up for her first Halloween get together at her other Grammie’s with her cousin Stevie. Thanks Lori for the adorable costume you got for our little Lili!

Here is Lili looked dressed as…

why a Lily of course!!

049 Oh wait… seems like something is missing…

Ahhh…that’s better .. I have my blossom and my fingers to chew on.039

But it would help if you put some light on me Grammy

… much better!042

Now isn’t that the cutest little flower you have ever seen? And she is the happiest baby these days. She loves to squeal and giggle and make all kinds of fun noises. She loves the sound of her voice and so don’t we! By the way, Grampy wasn’t very good about sharing her on Halloween. He wanted her all to himself. I think she already has him wrapped around her baby finger!


I can always count on my blogger buddies to look out for each other and me. Thank you sweet friends for your thoughts and ideas on how to keep my energy up and how to plan meals more efficiently while I tend to Lili. Organization is one of my strengths so I know all the tricks of the trade to prepare meals ahead of time. I use my slow cookers constantly at this time of year so they will be my mainstay on the the days I babysit. I slow roast chickens, make soups and stews and chili and all kinds of one pot meals.


I have 3 different sizes of Nesco Roaster ovens – they can be used as a slow cookers as well as and I LOVE THEM! Instead of heat on the bottom only, they have a circle of heat and you can actually set a specific temperature or slow cook on low.To find out more about them, click HERE. (I got all of mine on QVC MANY years ago. )

And I do take vitamins and other supplements faithfully – I have for years. So far it has proven very helpful. I have very few colds, and they have been pretty minor since I started my regime, so I am not stopping anytime soon! But because I am not a Dr, I am not going to give out my specifics – so please check with your own Dr or health professional!


KC left a couple of comments asking me to share how I made the dipped pretzels last year. Sorry it took so long to get you back to you but I am just not online as much anymore. Here is the post I did last December showing the pretzels all dipped. I melted Wilton chocolate melts (you can buy in craft stores) and I dipped one end of pretzel rods in them and laid them on parchment paper to set up. I bagged them in the little bags you find in the same spot, tied them with raffia and added the tags I made. Easy peasy and everyone gobbled them up! And they looked so pretty in the basket.

bagged pretzels 015 (2)


And last but not least, I just had to share this picture of our little sweetheart. Grampy and I were at her house while her mom and dad were at a wedding last weekend and she was on Grampy’s shoulder. As he walked her around the room, I got this photo of her in the light from the flat screen TV. I just love this picture ~ it is the face of an Angel.



If you want to joint the Gratitude Attitude Challenge, click here to go to Mercy’s blog. We are posting something we are grateful for in every post until December 19th. Now that it is the month of Thanksgiving here in the US, I think it is even more appropriate.

I am grateful for being born in this beautiful part of the country. I have seen much of this wonderful country, from the east coast to west coast, from the Rocky mountains to the deserts, from the northern tip of the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico in the south, and many gorgeous places in between. But I am grateful to live here. It is where I belong. I love New England in the fall, but in every other season as well.

Thank you as always for stopping by and making Behind My Red Door part of your day!

Until next time – hugs, Grammy Linda