Pumpkins, Peppermint and Pinto Beans

What’s all white, comes in a jar and smells sooooo good?

(answer later)



The search is on. Starting in September , as soon as the shelves are being stocked with  harvest garland, pinecone wreaths, red pumpkins, white pumpkins, green foam pumpkins and gourds…..and as soon as I see aisles of “Give Thanks”  wall hangings and colorful cornucopia paper plates, my heart skips a beat and my nose is on alertĵ

Will this be the year?…..


My favorite all time candle scent can only be found this time of year, if at all. There have been years when the search comes up empty. But I am an eternal optimist and am not deterred by the occasional disappointment.

And I am not disappointed this year. I found Peppermint scented candles at Michaels.

The answer to….what’s all white, comes in a jar and smells soooooo good.


Mingled in with scents of Fall; pumpkin spice and apple cinnamon,  will be Peppermint Lane.  I will not be waiting till Christmas for this.

It is quite lovely with the fall colors and decor.




And what goes with pumpkins and peppermint candles? Well that would be a pinto bean and cornbread supper with a special lady who aids and abets my addiction to decorating over the top for fall. She’s always giving me something she saw while shopping and thought of me. She is a sweetie.

My low maintenance daughter’s favorite supper is easy and simple. Pinto Beans and cornbread.


What could be simpler than supper cooking in a crockpot. I get more time to decorate and set the table, creating the ambiance for the evening.



My grandmother’s silverware, which is usually in storage, was brought out for the pumpkin, peppermint and pinto bean supper. The pattern is called “Precious”.
“Precious” is a Roger’s International silver flatware from 1941. It is beautiful and should be used more often.


While on my ‘’”peppermint high”, I just couldn’t help myself and I took more pictures of the scenes of autumn.










I can not explain why I am in love with Peppermint candles, it’s just the way it is.

Some things aren’t to be questioned, just accepted.



I’m not fond of eating peppermint or decorating excessively with it at Christmas.

But peppermint scented candles are  irresistible and I’m not looking to do anything to change that.

I bought enough Peppermint Lane to see me through to the New Year!

We all need that one thing, no matter how simple,  that makes our eyes light up with the joy it brings to our hearts or, in my case, my nose.  


It was a hot July night

It’s not unusual for July to be hot. and it’s not unusual for us to talk about it….sometimes even a complaint or two.

The weather doesn’t usually hinder our plans and we may  not give it much thought. It’s July and it’s hot……..to be expected.

A dear friend, with a July birthday, must be celebrated, no matter the temperature.


With festive plans and a quick, but fail proof menu, the day arrived.

I had two hours after getting into town to get to the grocery store, get home, start the meal, decorate and freshen up the house and myself. After a 4 hour drive, I hit the ground running, not a second to waste.

I shopped at Dollar Tree earlier in the week for an Hawaiian theme party. It’s amazing what $13 will buy to create a little atmosphere.


The menu involved a rotisserie chicken from the deli. Don’t judge me!  They are really delicious. And the birthday girl really loves them..wink wink….she really does.

And an all fresh Hawaiian fruit salad with a drizzle of honey, lemon juice and ginger. Recipe compliments of Trisha Yearwood.

Add baked potatoes, baked zucchini topped with parmesan cheese and hot rolls and you have a meal just right for a hot, July night. Oh yea, a turtle cream pie for dessert  was thawing to top off the meal.

Wine and cheese ready for a birthday toast and let the party begin. Watching the clock, Mr. Finely Done and I were frantically working to pull it all together. We saw we had thirty minutes left…….. Potatoes in the microwave, zucchini in the oven, fruit salad made, (thank you best husband ever) wine and cheese on the bar…rolls waiting their turn in the oven…….I’m decorating at an unheard of speed for me..check, check, check, check  and check.




At about now, we’re almost patting our selves on the back. No one could pull this off, but us. We leave the rest of them in the dust. Mr. and Mrs. Finely Done are a team to be reckon with.  We are the best. Let’s hear it for our team.



Until……………………………..you knew this was coming didn’t you??

Our of nowhere, the sky opened up and dumped buckets, buckets and more buckets of rain. It was thundering, it was lightening. There was wind, sideways rain and gully washing rain, covering the yard where thirty minutes ago the sprinklers were  giving the parched grass relief from the hot sun. The birthday girl called to get an update on the weather and as we were talking, the lights flickered and then just like that…….the power was off. No microwave, no oven no coffee pot to brew coffee to have with desert and…………………………………. no air conditioning.

Oh well, the lights will come back on any minute now. Right? Nope that’s not the way that hot, July night was meant to be.


When the guest of honor and hubby arrived, the rain was still coming down and the electricity was not back on. I found candles to help with the lightening. She has to see the decorations. I hoped the potatoes and zucchini had cooked enough. The outdoor grill would warm the rolls ( and give the bottoms a nice black  brown toasty crunch)





The meal by candlelight was perfect. It made her birthday celebration a never to be forgotten memory. Four hours later the party reluctantly ended. Watching our guests leave, a high five was in order. We pulled it off. The lights of their car faded and we closed the door to our still dark foyer. It’s not about what you did or didn’t do, it’s not about what went right or wrong….It’s about the warmth of the friendship shared that hot, July night.


PS. The electricity came back on at midnight.


when you’re not really looking

Some of the best things in life come unexpectedly, when we’re not really looking.


For instance, friends. Living away from friends and family for awhile, I mistakenly thought I could just decide to make friends in my new area and it would happen.


After being here for 6 months, I have made 0….that’s zero, aught, nada…no, not one. Sad isn’t it? Sigh…..


After accessing my friendliness level on a scale from 1 to 10, I gave myself a 7. You have to be a friend to have a friend, so they say.

Not too bad for a shy girl. Soooooo what is my problem?

IMG_6986 (2)

I have 2 sisters and we are the best of friends. Even living in different cities, we manage to stay in touch and have giggly,silly, girlfriend talk.

And I have adult daughters, now we’re friends also.

I also have wonderful friends, just not nearby.


As I contemplated my situation the lightbulb came on. I can never make friends when I’m looking for one. Never have.

My very best friendships were made when I wasn’t looking for a friend. These friendships have lasted many years and some even decades.

They all started when I wasn’t looking for a friend.

As of today, I’m officially NOT LOOKING FOR A FRIEND. Spread the word for me, would you?


And while I’m not looking, I’m researching recipes for…you guessed it…friendship cake. A girl has to be prepared.

friendship cake