Saturday, October 30, 2010

Giants vs. Rangers

The World Series has begun. The San Francisco Giants have won the first two games at San Francisco. The next three games will be in Texas beginning Saturday, October 30th.

I’m a Cub fan and in true form I usually root for the underdogs so I am favoring the Giants in this race. Their players have a lot of character and are very entertaining. Pitcher Tim Lincecum looks like a 12 year old who needs a haircut. He is nicknamed “The Freak” because he pitches right handed and bats left handed. He is an excellent pitcher whose specialties are 90-93 mph two-seam fastball, a sharp breaking curve ball, a slider, and a four-seam fastball. He is a slight figure with large ears and long hair and he really does look like an adolescent. He seems have a razor sharp focus when he pitches. Relief pitcher Brian Wilson is a very eccentric person with a dark black lumberjack type beard. He is a powerful pitcher. Then there is the Giants third baseman, Pablo Sandoval. He is nicknamed Kung Fu Panda from when he scored a run by jumping over the tag of a catcher during a game against the Dodgers. Giant’s fans are going wild wearing fake dark beards and Panda caps to support their team.

I am having the best time watching this series. It is just fascinating! I like the Giants. They are quirky, off-beat, unconventional and just charming. I am especially looking forward to watching the game on Halloween. That should be very interesting and I don't think we will be disappointed!

Go Giants!!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Witchcraft

Witches have a bad reputation. They cackle, they are ugly, and they cast spells using horrible ingredients like bat wings and frog’s eyes. I think they are fascinating and I have found some interesting witch trivia that explains some of the symbols associated with witches.

Black Hat: Black is considered to be a color of power and is worn by religious priests, nuns, and rabbis. Black is a color that absorbs energy and light. The cone shape is thought to direct energy from higher dimensions down to her mind and body.

Black cats: Cats are rumored to have nine lives and supernatural powers. They are mysterious and can see in the dark. They are a perfect familiar, or spirit to aid in casting spells.

Broom: The broom was the mode of transportation for ancient witches. A broom is supposed to symbolize the ability to blend home life with travel to spiritual dimensions.

Full moon: The moon is a symbol of mysteries. High energy occurs when the moon is full and this is the most powerful time for casting spells.

Cauldron: Cauldrons have long been associated with fertility, abundance, and rebirth. In general, cauldrons symbolize female power and are perfect for casting spells.

Folklore is very interesting and some of it is very logical and even a little believable. Regardless, witches are a very important ingredient in celebrating Halloween. When my daughter was in kindergarten, she wanted to dress up as Big Bird from Sesame Street. I spent hours sewing a Big Bird Costume for her and it was adorable. Halloween night came and she changed her mind and wanted to be a witch. She was inconsolable. I had to make her a witch costume using black construction paper for a hat and a black garbage bag for a cape. She was so happy!

Witch Hat Cookies are a cool treat you can make from Fudge Stripe Cookies, Hershey’s Kisses and a little frosting. Dab a little chocolate frosting in the center of the cookie and place one Hershey’s kiss in the center.

Witch’s Brew Punch is another necessity for Halloween. Any kind of punch will do. The fun is all in the presentation. You will need a black cauldron type punch bowl or a scary looking bowl to serve it in and some dry ice to make it smoke.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Treats

My three favorite pumpkin treats this month are:

1. Pumpkin Pie Mini Blizzards from Dairy Queen. I just discovered that they have 370 calories in them but 14 grams of fat. I guess that’s not bad for a weekly treat. They are sweet, spicy, and creamy and have little bits of cookies. MMMMMM!!! The best!

2. Pumpkin Spice Latte. You can find those at Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and some gas stations. Hot, creamy, and spicy. A grande at Starbucks has 380 calories and 13 grams of fat.

3. Edy’s Slow Churned Pumpkin Ice Cream. I found this at the grocery store and I just love it. It is a smooth creamy ice cream flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. A half cup has only 100 calories and 3 grams of fat. Awesome!

These treats are seasonal and won’t be available for long so enjoy them now. I found a few more homemade treats but I don’t know if they are as good as the first three.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer
Combine 2 cups powdered coffee creamer, 1 cup sugar and 2 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl and whisk together until well blended. Pour into an airtight container (it is ok to reuse the original creamer container), tapping on the counter to pack it down. (

Pumpkin Facial
Blend 4 tsp. canned pumpkin, 1 tsp. milk, 1 tsp. honey, and 1 tsp. brown sugar. Apply to damp skin and relax for 5-10 minutes. Wash off with cool water and pat dry. (Woman’s World Magazine)

Pumpkin Ice Cream
2 quarts softened vanilla ice cream
1 can Libby’s Pumpkin Pie Mix
Combine ice cream and pie mix in a large bowl and stir until blended. Freeze in an ice cream maker or put in the freezer for 2 hours, beat for 30 seconds with a mixer and refreeze for 2 hours. (

Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins
Mix 1 box devil’s food cake mix with 1 can pumpkin (not pie mix). Scoop into greased muffin pans and bake for approximately 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Very moist and chocolately and low in calories. (

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Has Arrived

It is a cloudy, gray, gusty day today. The wind is blowing all the beautiful leaves off the trees. Fall has arrived . Fall is a beautiful and sensuous season. Red, orange, rust, yellow, and brown are the colors of the changing leaves, grasses and flowers. Orange pumpkins sit on porches and doorstep lit with yellow light from candles. Full moons and starry nights seem brighter due to colder, crisper evenings. The wind blows, leaves rustle and crunch underfoot and fires crackle in fireplaces and cooking pits. You can smell the smoke from hot dog roasts and fireplaces. Mini candy bars melt in your mouth. You can enjoy a hot spicy cider, a freshly roasted hot dog or a warm soothing bowl of soup. Fall is a fabulous time of year!

I love fall but it is a lot of work. Outdoor furniture and decorations need to be put away. Fall decorations need to be set out. The yard needs to be cleaned up. The leaves must be raked and bagged or mulched before they start finding their way into the house. Leaves have to be fished out of the gutters. Everything needs to be winterized and protected because winter is just around the corner. And, the biggie, Christmas is only 2 months away.

I have a difficult time with this because I always feel like I need to get everything done at once. Then I find more things that need to be done. It is a game I can never win. I am concentrating on slowing down and enjoying each task as I do it. I might not get everything done but I have a good time doing it.

Relaxing activities to do in fall are: take a long hike and enjoy the colors of leaves, curl up in front of the fireplace with a good book and a cup of cider or tea, make s’mores, bake a loaf of pumpkin bread, or watch a game of football. Breathe that cool crisp autumn air.