Note to self

It is an unfavorable idea to purchase an entire bag of candy, intended for trick-or-treaters, that you really reallyyy like. This list includes (but is not limited to) Nerds, M&Ms, Milk Duds, Whoppers, Twix, Snickers and Sugar Babies. Your sweet tooth will overrule your better judgment, and you will eat all of it before Halloween commences.


Love at first sight

Chris' Aunt Sue introduced me to the wondrous world of auctions last Friday night. I didn't really know what to expect, but once we walked into that wood-paneled, circa 1970s fire hall, I fell in love... with an antique Ball mason jar full of old marbles and a rusty green cowbell. I had to have them.

The auctioneer started on one side of the room (full of junk), and slowly made his way to the other side... the end with all of the way-old, awesome items (where my two lovlies sat). So I waited for my time to bid, and waited.

You'd think that someone who rambled so quickly and vigorously for a living could speak his way across a small room of items in less than an hour and a half. Nope. Luckily, our anticipation and wit got us through the long wait. It was a close call on the cowbell, but I'm happy to say that my first auction experience was time well spent. Here are a few pics of my two new favorite things.
John Deere green :)
I think the mason is from the late '30s.
I love the blue hue and rustic, gray cap.
My favorite marble of the bunch.
It's love. New hobby? Yes, I'm hooked.


Fun-sized apple pies

Sleepy eyed and hungry, I stumbled into the kitchen this morning searching the refrigerator for breakfast. I suddenly felt panicked over apples. Yes, apples. We have overabundance of them from Chris' mom's visit to Townsend Brother's Fruit Farm a couple of weeks ago. I'd say we started out with two-or-so dozen, and well, that number hasn't gone down much... the two of us can only eat so many apples before we're just over them. I would hate to see all of them go bad, so I googled a few recipes.

There are so many 'appley' desserts out there, but these were just too darn cute to pass up. I'm not big on apple pie (unless the crust has sugary, goo-like topping and the apples are soft and sweet) but guess what?! This country girl surprised herself. I made six mean, delicious apples pies all by myself, from scratch. Here's the recipe! 
Fun-sized Apple Pies
(makes 6)
*Note that most baked goods are more fun and awesome in cupcake form.
1 cup white all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. cold water
1 egg with a splash of water (for eggwash to brown the crust)

3 medium-sized apples, peeled and sliced into small pieces
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 cup white all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
dash of salt
-Preheat your oven to 345 degrees F.
-In a medium-sized bowl mix the flour and butter together. Sprinkle the cold water over the mixture and stir together until the dough pulls together and away from the sides of the bowl. Roll the dough into a ball, and place it in the refrigerator to firm for about 20 minutes.
-Mix together all of the filling ingredients and stir until the dry ingredients are well incorporated with the apples.
-Take your dough out of the refrigerator. On a floured surface roll it out until it is thin. Cut out two circles, one large and one small (I used a small bowl and a mason jar lid as guides).
-Take the larger dough circle, press it into the muffin pan, and score the bottom with a fork. Fill it with the apple mixture so that it comes over the top of the pan. Place the smaller circle on top of the pie, and pinch the bottom and top dough together. Score the top with a knife and brush with the egg wash (I also brushed on extra filling goo).
-Continue the process until you’ve made six pies.
-Place a sheet of aluminum foil underneath the muffin pan to catch any liquid that may fall. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
-Allow them cool for about 15 minutes before removing them from the pan. I had to coax them out with a knife.
Like I said, I've never baked a homemade pie before, and I'd imagine it's a much easier process to bake one big pie instead of six little ones- but where's the fun in that? These are portable, adorable and delicious. AND you can totally eat a whole pie (or two, or six) by yourself without feeling super guilty about it.

P.s. I only ate two of them. :)


Gray, gray, go away!

Rain has delayed harvest on the farm for the past couple of days... and the sights aren't so pretty.
Sad, gray skies.
Tired, sluggish souls.
And muddy, mucky fields.
I know the weather doesn't care much about your plans, but where are you hiding, sunshine?! We miss you here in Western Pennsylvania.


Love in black & white

They say that dogs are color blind. While I'm not sure if that is true, I can certainly tell you that they view at least one thing in black and white. And that thing is l-o-v-e. The love of a dog is absolute, genuine and uncomplicated... zero shades of gray. If you give a dog your heart, you will undoubtedly get his/hers in return, no questions asked. I'm fortunate enough to have double the canine affection at my feet. Their love may not be my whole life, but it most definitely makes my life whole.
<3 R&C


A harvest widow

I've always welcomed the wonderful changes that autumn brings. The air starts to crisp, the clothes get cozy, and the colors become warm. But since I moved in with Chris about three years ago, my adoration for this time of year has hindered. Because once harvest calls, I must cope.

In the fall, the Fabin farmers are like ghosts in their homes as they painstakingly harvest field after field, after field of grain (approx. 2,000 acres of corn and 1,800 acres of soybeans this year). This battle leaves their significant others "widowed" for two long months. Yes, the term "harvest widow" attempts to poke fun at the situation, but it really is a very stressful time of year... I'm talking 12-18(+)-hour work days, seven days a week. And it has only just begun.
However, I do look forward to feeling a little less lonesome this year, considering I work for the farm now too. My heart is settled in knowing that I can catch a few more glimpses of him throughout this busy season. So while it is physically and mentally draining on Chris, and emotionally exhausting for me, I am making my peace with harvest. I may never appreciate or like my husband's absence in our home from October through the end of November, but I can most certainly learn to accept it. After all, farming is a lifestyle, and these challenges are just a part of my new (and beautiful) life as a farmer's wife.


Seeing red

Like nature's colors change from summer to fall, so has my frame of mind. Yep, it's been one of those days. Aggravation. Anger. Annoyance. Call it what you will, but all I see is red today. It's colored in my mood and on the foliage.      


Chris' birthday treat

It's my husband's 28th birthday today (yay), so I surprised him at work with some peanut buttery, chocolatey goodness... :) it's his favorite.
Diet Coke/chocolate cupcakes with PB/choc. cream cheese frosting
Get the recipe from a previous post!
*Frosting: substitute lemon juice with PB, and mix in a can of store-bought, milk-chocolate frosting.
Still young (and immature) at heart..
Annnnd, there's the bite!
He liked them.
Happy birthday, Chris! Lublublub. xoxo.


My star of sand dollar doves

I think the sand dollar is one of nature's most peculiar, beautiful and awesome shells (in science, in art and in meaning). I'm obsessed with them... enough to have a tattoo of one on my right foot. They're amazing little creatures, but my favorite thing about them is the story they tell...

It is said that the sand dollar represents the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. The five slashes surrounding the shell's body represent the wounds of Christ. At the heart of the Easter lily design on the front, is the star of Bethlehem. On the back, is the outline of the Christmas poinsettia. According to the legend, when the center of the shell is cracked open, the flock of five doves inside spreads peace and happiness.

Anyway, I came across one of my old sand dollars from Florida while sorting through and organizing bins of childhood memories last week. I set it on the floor, and clumsy me, stepped on and cracked the edge of it. Ugh. So, I made a decision: The only thing to remedy my broken heart was to open the center, and retrieve the dove replicas inside. When I did, I found the bird-like pieces bound together at the beaks in a perfect star formation! I'm not sure how or why they stayed together after all these years, but it was really cool. Of all the sand dollars I have picked up, collected and opened, I've never found anything like this. I was (and still am) pretty excited about my little discovery.
They look EXACTLY like 5 kissing doves!
I framed the pics of my find :)
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