Charlie Charlie Pumpkin Eater – A Charlie Guest Post


I have the best Mom ever!

She went to the office yesterday for a meeting and left me home to play.

Not only was it a beautiful Fall day….  she made a whole toy box out in the front yard for me to play with.

Isn’t she awesome?!

She put all these great little pumpkins on a bail of hay surrounded by flowers to make them smell nice.   It really did look pretty, but I’m sure she wanted me to feel free to play with all these fun things.  Right?

I had a blast tossing them around the yard.

After playing with them for a while, I discovered not only are they fun to roll around the yard, but they are DELICIOUS to eat too!

So I ate a few.

Seriously – am I the luckiest dog on the planet?!

Thanks Mom!  The yard might not look quite as decorative as you left it, but I sure had a fun day!


Woofs & Wags,

Charlie is an adopted dog with brown eyes and a white-tipped tail who brings joy and laughter to his family and friends.  Charlie is a gifted writer, raving food critic, cat, chipmunk, and donut lover, and exceptionally photogenic model.  Some of his best friends are Mike theUPS Man, Cliff the Mailman, and ANYONE who delivers pizza to the house.   If you would like to read more guest posts by Charlie, simply type “Charlie” into the Search box at the top right hand corner of this link:   If you would enjoy a companion like Charlie, please consider pet adoption.

Autumn Glow


Autumn Glow September Sunset, Mars, PA 9/26/16

The Autumn Glow

Thick, heavy clouds part briefly
revealing glimpses of glimmering gold

and twinkling sapphire skies
above the emerald carpeted lawn

sprinkled with the first fallen leaves
that will soon crunch beneath our feet

as we walk the familiar lane…
on a sweet September sunset.

Cheers & Hugs,



And The Featured of the Month is…

It was an exciting weekend at The Creative Life in Between! Sorry to bombard this morning – I usually only post once a day, but I wanted to share the honor of being featured this weekend on sweet Carolina’s blog – Yesterday After. Carolina is an Italian Artist-Designer now living in California who loves to create beautiful art from vintage items. She paints and writes, and is a beautiful person with a beautiful blog. Thanks for the lovely feature Carolina!


Featured Image -- 2371

And FEATURED is… Jodi McKinney!



YesterdayAfter  – Featured of the Month –  September 2016

first-fall-leaves-the-old-dogwood-tree-0916-mars-pa First Fall Leaves The Old Dogwood Tree

 Hello dear friends  and new followers, welcome once again to The Featured of the Month, during this year I made a lots of new connections with very inspiring bloggers and creative people.  Thanks everyone for the participation to our weekly Meet and Greet Fridays. Because this event that I started in 2015 I had the opportunity  to discover and connect with numerous great Blogs. I had the pleasure and honor to Feature many and still is not easy for me to choose only one of you each month. Sorry this month I am a little  late but I was able to made  my pick for September and finally write this post.

This month we have the opportunity to visit the creative world of Jodi exploring…

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Yesterday’s Cake from Cork, Ireland!

My Jewish Apple Cake recipe post from yesterday made it all the way to Lynda in Cork, Ireland.  Look how lovely she made it!!  She converted it to metric for those that would like to try it, but don’t understand our silly cups and U.S. cooking measurements!  :)  Thanks Lynda!

Step 6 of the Give Depression The Boot Programme was to cook something delicious. Here it is: This heavenly apple and walnut cake came to me, as though delivered by an angel, from Jodi at The Creative Life In Between. I love walnut cake and I’ve never met an apple cake I didn’t like but […]

via Pennsylvania-Cork Jewish Apple Cake with Cheering Cream. —

Two sweet boys… two years apart


Once upon a time…   (isn’t that how all fairy tales begin?)
there was a young woman

whose dreams came true
when she was blessed with the gift

of two sweet boys
two years apart.

The young mom lived next
to another young mom

who had a boy and two girls
a few years older.

The one little girl
came to visit quite often.

She loved the other mom’s babies,
and the mom loved the little girl.

Her name was Stefanie,
but the boys could not say that,

so she became “Bunny”
forever and always.

Time and distance
have a way of dividing

people and lives
even those that are special.

But time and distance
can also be overcome

like it was this past weekend
for that mom and sweet “Bunny”

when the news of another
baby brought them together.

Some special relationships
are simply meant to be

like the mom who will now
soon be a grandmother

and the little girl who now
is the best momma to her own

two sweet boys
two years apart.

Cheers & Hugs,

This post is dedicated and written in love to a very special young lady and mom, Stefanie (“Bunny”).  Thank you for reaching out.  Thank you for sharing your time and your heart and your little loves.  You are my hero, sweet Momma.   Keep doing it right!❤





Jewish Apple Cake (Bread)


What better smell is there in Autumn than cinnamon and apples baking up in yummy cakes and pies and breads?

This recipe for Jewish Apple Cake is one I got from my BFF Jill, who doesn’t necessarily love to bake or cook, but when she does, she has some amazing recipes.  This is one of them.  The first time I tasted it, I had to have the recipe, and now I make it more than her.

In fact, she texted me yesterday morning, and I said, “Guess what I just took out of the oven?”  She mentioned she hasn’t made it in “forever.”  (That might be why she is thin, and I’m – well  – Not!)


I’m not sure why this is called “Jewish” Apple Cake, so I did a little Wiki research (and I’m going to look forward to hearing what my BFF Bubby has to say.)

Per Wikipedia:  Jewish apple cake is a kind of dense cake made with apples and sold mostly in Pennsylvania in the United States. It has limited known connections to Jewish cuisine. It is thought that this cake is actually a Pennsylvania Dutch culinary item that was erroneously attributed to Jews because it seemed “old world.”  It may also be considered Jewish because it contains no dairy, and it may therefore be eaten with meals containing meat, in accordance with Jewish laws of kashrut.


Seems most people make this in a bundt cake or springform cake pan, but Jill always made it in loaves of bread, so that is the way I do too!

Besides… when you do, you can keep one, and give two away… which is exactly what I plan on doing.


This cake/bread tastes delicious with coffee or tea for breakfast or a snack or dessert.  It is not too sweet, but cinnamony, and apply, and nutty enough to rock your world!

Hope you’ll give it a try.  Let me know if you do.

Jewish Apple Cake (Bread)


  • 4-5 pared apples, sliced thin (I used Honeycrisps)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour 3 bread loaf pans (approx. 8″x4″).

Mix together, apples, walnuts, 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon.  Set aside for sugar and cinnamon to soak into the apples and nuts.

Whisk together 2 cups sugar, eggs, vanilla, orange juice, and oil.  Add baking powder and flour, and stir just until batter is incorporated.

Alternate layering:  batter, apples, batter, apples, batter.

Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool  in pan 10-15 mins.  Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.  Store in airtight bag.  Freezes well.


Cheers & Hugs,

One of these things is not like the other…


One of these things is not like the others…

Who remembers this song from Sesame Street?

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

I took this picture of some chrysanthemums and pumpkins in my front yard, and when I looked at the picture, I was startled to see “the thing that doesn’t belong.”

Can you find it?

My oldest son, Jake, LOVED Sesame Street when he was little.  He was transfixed when it came on, and he learned so much from it.  Sometimes I joined him, and other times I did housework while he was pre-occupied and entertained, but so many of the songs still run through my brain triggered by the most unusual of things.

It is funny how something as simple as this can take your mind to a specific place and time and song.


The wonderful, whimsical, wacky wonderment.

Cheers & Hugs,



First Fall Leaves – The Old Dogwood Tree – Mars, PA – September, 2016


Leave time for the people you love and the things you love to do.

Leave your mind free of doubt to welcome new ideas and the opportunity to grow.

Leave disagreements to maintain peace and harmony.

Leave people better than you found them – hug the hurt, kiss the broken, love the lonely.

Leave your past in the past and live for what today has to offer.

Leave a mark – not a scar.

Cheers & Hugs,




Happy First Day of Autumn


Autumn Tree Watercolor 5 x 7 140lb Fabriano Artistico

For the past few days,
I’ve so wanted to create an Autumn landscape scene…

The colors… the leaves… the trees… the beauty.

each time I “TRIED” too hard,
I ended up scrapping what I created.

Then, the other night,
I just decided to do a single tree,
and I kinda like how it turned out.

10 minutes…
of relaxation
and joy
and contentment.

Sometime I have to step back and quit trying so hard to create the next “masterpiece” and simply enjoy the process.
It seems that is when the magic happens.

It’s similar to how I used to hate Fall –
mainly because it meant kids were going back to school…. summer was over… winter was coming..
and I completely missed the real beauty and pleasure Fall itself has to offer.

Enjoy the “present!”
Cherish the moments.
All the little moments…
of life

Happy Autumn…
Happy Fall
Happy Autumnal Equinox!

Cheers & Hugs,


Percy the Panda


Percy the Panda Watercolor 9 x11 on 140lb Fabriano Artistico

My recent imaginary watercolor safari adventure took a detour to cruise across the Indian ocean to the bamboo forests of China to visit the beautiful endangered giant pandas.  After all, only about 1,600 live in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature  (with another hundred or so living in zoos around the world.)  Definitely worth the 8,000+ mile trip – wouldn’t you say?

Today, I present Percy the Panda.

Percy LOVES bamboo.  In fact, he munches on it about 12 hours a day.  As much as he loves bamboo, however, it is sadly low in nutrients, so he also feasts on protein-rich rodents, fish, insects and birds.

Percy, like most giant pandas, is a loner.   Apparently, giant pandas dislike being around other pandas so much, they have a heightened sense of smell that lets them know when another panda is nearby so it can be avoided.   And, if another panda gets too close, the two will end up swatting and growling or biting each other.    The only time pandas seek each other out is during mating season.

On average, a giant panda’s territory is about 1.9 square miles (5 square kilometers). To mark their territory, giant pandas secrete a waxy scent marker.  Other giant pandas are able to discern the sex, age, reproductive condition, and social status from this scent marker.  Must be some smell!

I was itching to play with some tubes of Daniel Smith Primatek pigments I acquired a while back that are made from natural minerals and semi-precious gemstones, and have amazing granulating effects.  Percy is made from genuine Hematite, Mayan Blue, Jadeite, and a touch of Quinacridone Rose.

I really enjoyed “visiting” with Percy and learning more about him and his friends.

Where will this adventure lead next?  Your guess is as good as mine!

Cheers & Hugs,


Giant Panda facts from: