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Halloween Decorations Are Done – Blogophilia 17.4

It’s time again for Blogophilia, the fun blog group where participants use prompts in their weekly blog. This week’s prompts are:

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 17.14 Topic: Everything Pumpkin Spice
Hard Bonus: Use a line or quote by Henry David Thoreau
Easy Bonus: Include a β€œnew girl”

It’s also the time of the year where Everything Pumpkin Spice is…well, everywhere, and the time when we see ghouls and goblins – or rather, this year, skeletons. As Halloween decorations have popped up, I’ve seen an overwhelming number of skeleton set ups, which annoys me a bit because I’d planned LAST year to do a skeleton-scentric display this year.

It’s been said, “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” And here I am, following right along with everyone else. Bah!

Anyway, I present for your viewing pleasure, this year’s Halloween display!

I haven’t done much with the porch, and probably won’t, but there’s something at least.

On to the front yard where Skully’s Lawn crew is working hard at getting my yard in shape. We have a guy who’s found a surprise in his wheelbarrow full of dirt, his friend who’s run into a snag while cleaning out the bird bath. The guy with the sheers looks to be doing a fine job – better than the guy who’s mowing, because I think he ran over one of his fellow workers. And then we have the guy who is supposed to be working on the tree. Looks like he can’t hike on, but luckily he has a cloaked friend ready to help…wait a minute. Maybe that’s not so lucky. Oh well, the guy raking the leaves doesn’t seem to worries, and neither does Skully, who’s supposed to be supervising them.

Considering the luck they’re having, it’s just as well they haven’t made it around to the side of the house. I don’t think these plants would take well to being trimmed. (The eyeballs are made out of those plastic eggs like the LOL dolls come in and the man eating plants are foam pumpkins, tree branches, some floral bits from walmart, and spray paint. I might add tongues to them on Halloween. We’ll see)

On down from the plants is the cemetery and the river Styx where the boatman steers some unlucky souls to the afterlife. Even the wildlife there is spooky, as this fisherman has found out with his catch. And look at that – the duck and the frog are just as skeletal. WooooooOoooOOoooooo….. (that’s a tarp – actually three tarps- and I made the lily pads out of felt because otherwise the frog didn’t show up well)

You might have noticed that the souls in the boat seemed very concerned, but they shouldn’t because the afterlife isn’t so bad. Why, look, they even have a park -a Helluva park, haha! It looks like it’d a good place to play frisbee…erm, unless your the guy who lost his hand, I guess. Luckily the Afterlife EMTs are there to save the day. And what park is complete without a dog walker? Fido and Spot look like theyre…oh, dear. Is Spot being a naughty boy? I hope that guy picks up after him! Meanwhile it looks like the dude on the bench is enjoying feeding the birds. (He was supposed to get a vulture, too, who would have been a new girl, so to speak, but at the last minute my order was canceled because they were out of stock. Boo!) But even if we didn’t get the vulture gag, the homeless guy (based on Madao from Gintama) worked well. My uncle is the one who put the bird on his head, and frankly it’s hilarious. Cerberus is also hanging out, though if he is one of the guys’ pet or just a stray, I’m not sure.

And last but not least are the spiders, which Mike put up. πŸ™‚ They will get you if you’re not careful!

And that’s it. Hope you enjoyed the little tour.

Have a spooktacular kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

Holes in the Yard

I mentioned that someone was digging up our yard again.

So, yesterday the bro went out and chatted with them. Apparently they’re burying electric lines, and they promised to be careful of our trees. And they kept their word. Look at this parking job between two saplings.

I was really impressed with that. While chatting with them, the bro mentioned the mess FMTCs people had made and they promised not to do anything like that. So, yay!

What else? Hubby is switching jobs in two weeks. He is going back to AHI where he used to work as a welder. Is it a good thing? We’ll see what happens.

I can’t think of anything else, so I leave you with a cat.

Have a crazy good parking job day!

Jo πŸ™‚

New Flooring

After waiting for months, I was finally able to buy the new vinyl for the craft room floor. I waited so long, though, that this pattern was almost impossible to find. Then, I found it at Floor City for cheaper than the other places had previously had it! The only thing with it was that they won’t deliver to me – we had to go to Des Moines to a warehouse to ouck it up. But, doing that saved 400$ (literally) on shipping, so… yeah.

Ok. I say we, but I mean hubby. Hubby went to DM and picked it up. Either way, its here. That’s the roll in the craft room, waiting to acclimate and get put down. Whoo hoo!

We also had to run to Council Bluffs (it was a busy day) and while we were there we ate at Jonsey’s. I’d never heard of it, but it was pretty good! It home of the fried Taco, though only one us tried a Taco. I got the chimichanga, hubby got a fried burrito, and Chris got enchiladas and a Taco. I did taste it – the shell was fun. It a flour tortilla deep fat fried. Yeah, probably not good for you but very tasty.

And now that I’m hungry from looking at those pictures, I leave you with a dog and his Olaf.

Have a snuggly Olaf kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

Frames and Pickles

‘Sup? Not a lot that’s newsworthy here. Got the first layer of putty on the desk. Need to sand it and probably touch up a few spots. We did get the picture frames for the LotR paintings though. My mom painted a whole collection of them either before I was born or else when I was very tiny. Though they’re not all pictured here there are the two from the animated Hobbit (pictured below), then there’s the ring poem, Treebeard, then the fellowship, the bad guys, the elves, and…I forget who else. Anyway, as a kid these were always my favorite paintings of hers, which from an artistic point is sad because she has much better ones, but I was a geek even then. In her painting box we found the sketches for these, and the references she used from TV guide for the Hobbit characters. The rest she made up because no one had animated them yet or she hadn’t seen it. (Not sure when these were painted vs when the Return of the King or Lord of the Rings animations were released.)

Anyway, the frames worked well. I wanted something heavy and fancy originally, but given there are eight of them and wall space is tight, I think this is better. The box they shipped in was cray-cray huge, though! When it showed up I had no idea what it could be, ha ha!

So, now we just need to take the crow branch down and get these hung up. Maybe Wednesday. Then I’ll post pics of all of them.

I mentioned pickles in the title. Why? Because when we went to Texas someone introduced me to the world’s tastiest pickles. Which I’m now almost out of. And I can only buy in Texas. What??? I’m going to have pickle withdrawal!! I do have a jar if the chunks left, but they taste the same as the seasalt hamburger chips. Boo!!

Now I need to go eat my Ramen and get to work, but I leave you with a bonus gnome. Isn’t he adorable???

Have a Halloween gnome kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

New Fridge

The new fridge arrived.

That’s it wrapped up in all its plastic and padding. The delivery guys had to take the kitchen doors off to get it through, but then we did the installation ourselves.

Well, my uncle and my bro did it. My uncle used to do refrigerators and plumbing and air-conditioning and all that so it’s his wheelhouse.

See how sad and naked it looks? Don’t worry, we filled it.

And more importantly, the magnets are back.

Hubby hates them, but boo hoo.

And now I have to make dinner.

Have a fridge magnet kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

The Desk

I’m back. I suppose I should have put this in the last blog, but, eh. I didn’t.

As you might know, I’m slowly turning Mom’s old bedroom info a craft type room. It’s going to have my Barbies, some of my craft stuff, the printer, the Cricut, that kind of stuff. I posted pics of the repainted cabinet and dresser earlier. There’s still a china hutch to paint, and then there is the desk.

No, we’re not painting it, in fact I hasn’t planned to do anything to if. The desk belonged to my grandma and grandpa Mutchler, and was one of the few things my grandpa promised I could have that I actually got. Before they owned it, it was from the offices of Lake’s Nursery in Shenandoah. My grandpa worked there, ans got it when they got did of it. It sat in their living room in their house in the country, and when they moved to Shenandoah it sat in their dining room. (Maybe that’s why in my books Jorick has a desk in his dining room.) But I spent a lot of my childhood at it.

Anyway, it’s large, so until now there’s been no room for if. We stored it at my dad’s house, then when we moved here and Dad moved in with us, we put it in the garage. I believe I mentioned what the ungrateful stray cats did to it. But, we had to strip the veneer off the top and will eventually redo it. In the meantime, after I fix a couple spots with wood putty and try that orange pet odor cleaner, I’m going fo just contact paper the top for now. Damn Beasts.

Anyway, so the room was ready for the desk,  the desk was cleaned and ready for the room, so we brought it inside only to discover that there was no way it was going to get past the door. No biggie. We took it off the hinges. But, it was 1/2 inch too large to go through the doorframe into the room.

1/2 inch.

So we had to take the doorframe off, clear down to the plaster. On one side, because the other side we plastered in when we redid the walls in that room. That meant we couldn’t take that side off, which made it basically impossible to get the door frame our. In the end we has to just loosen it and hacksaw through the nails one at a time. It took a long time, but, at last, the desk made it.

Looking into the front room. The wood on the right is the stuff we plastered in.
All the woodwork that needs put back.
The desk in all its glory. I have no idea where the missing handle is. It came that way. Since it’s a double drawer, it was just for show anyway.

I need to work on the top still, but I did get the drawer liner put in.

John Jones helping me line the drawers.

And that is the saga of the desk so far. I’m going to eventually put my photography light box on it, ans also use it when I use the cricut and the printer, which I need to so soon but first, to get the door all put back. *sigh*

Have a Lake’s desk kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

The Dresser, the Bookcase, and Cookies

So the dresser handles arrived and now you get to see it!

Yeah, I forgot to take a before pic of it, but I did of the cabinet:

And then we made cookies, trying to get back to our year of cookies thing. It was Amish Sugar Cookies last week. They’re really good!

Recipe from:

They have a really good texture and flavor, so another recipe to save.

More later. Gotta get to work.

Have a cookie kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

Stickers and a New Squishable

So, with Halloweenapalooza coming up, gotta start figuring out my table. I can’t do the selfie thing thanks to covid and people frowning on putting fake teeth in their mouth (so glad I spent a fortune on it to get to use it for one season!) So we bought one of those game wheels from Amazon and are going to do a wheel of fate game where you spin to find out what happens to you after you meet a vampire in an alley. I’ve got the stickers designed now, but I need to test print tomorrow on paper, then try a test print on the sticker paper.

Three of the eight options

So we’ll see after the test whether they are the final versions or not.

We got our new squishable today – a friend for Nostradom the plague doctor. It’s the plague nurse.

I think we will name her Florence. That’s also a bit of the newly redon bookcase in there. Waiting until I get the handles for the dresser to post them both, speaking of them, they are supposed to be here Friday now, and here is what they will look like:

Hmm. Not much else of interest. Had some more of that delicious homemade salsa last night. I don’t think I mentioned it in here, but I got a bunch of tomatoes for free from the lady who runs the gun store in Clarinda and since I know we’d never eat them that fast and we also don’t eat canned tomatoes, salsa seemed like a good idea. First time I’ve ever made it and canned it, so I was quite happy with how well it worked. We’re down to five jars left, lol!

salsa is in the bowl, obviously.

And that’s what I’ve got. We did get the top of the desk cleaned off – had to take the veneer off of it because those fuzzy bastards ruined it. For now I’m just going to put contact paper on it and later we will buy some new veneer, stain it, and glue it on and all that jazz, but I don’t have the time right now to mess with it. Ergh.

Gotta go. Have a homemade salsa kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

Just Whatever…and the Coffee Set

I did promise y’all a photo of that cool coffee set, so here it is.

It actually came with the cord, too, to plug it in and make the hot coffee, but that’s not happening since it’s older than me, haha! Pretty sure it’s safer to just make a pot and pour it in. I thought about having the bro rewire it, but then there’s internal stuff in the base as well and it’s not worth all that.

What else is there of interest? The fridge is still semi working so we broke down and ordered a new one. It gets here the 22nd. It’s a Samsung, like the stove and washer and dryer. And it was over 500$ off. That was a high selling point to me. (Thanks extended labor day sale)

We’ve dug the desk out of the garage, but being out there it got a bit….um…OK. in the winter we leave the garage door open for stray cats so they don’t freeze. The fluffy ass holes repaid me by peeing on it. Seriously. So we have to figure out how to deal with that. I was already planning to put contact paper on top because the surface needs refinished and I don’t have time right now, but I’m gonna have to Google how to get rid of the smell. We also need to see what else our fuzzy friends have left their mark on. No good deed goes unpunished.

As soon as the handles arrive, I’ll post pics of the dresser and the bookcase.

Ok. Nothing else, so I’ll end this ans get to work.

Have a breakfast tray kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚


Hello. I’ve started several blog posts in the last weeks, but never finished them. I get tired the photo part, and then I have to upload, resize, download…bleh. I’m lazy.

But y’all knew that.

Anyway, some time back hubby got me the-tablet-that-must-not-be-named (can’t ruin my android loving persona, here). He got it because it was supposed to be the best option for photoshop only, surprise, we don’t use photoshop now, apparently, but rather Fresco, another app I have to pay for and learn to use.


But I did find some tutorials and after three of them had the hang enough I could get on with it. I was going to share the tutorial images, but they use a base image created by someone else, and I don’t know who, so better to skip it than have someone pissed off.

Anyway, so here’s my first solo attempt:

I mean, there are some issues, but those are my own drawing issues, not a lack of program knowledge. Not that I’m a master by any means, but it’s a start anyway.

In other news, the flowers are blooming, the yard needs mowed, I need to paint some furniture and make cookies…We’ve been doing a year of cookies thing where we make a different kind of cookie every week. Wed initially planned it because mom loved cookies, but that aspect went out the window in February. However, since we’d started it, we’ve stuck with it. I should find all the cookies and post them. This weeks will be strawberry shortbread.

Not much else, so I end this here and maybe add some photos. Maybe not. (If you see them, then I did).

Have a J-pop kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

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