Monthly Archives: October 2012

Trick or Treat

Today is one of my favorite days of all, Halloween! Our house is filled with pumpkins, candles are lit, treats are ready and snacks are in the fridge. Tonight we will feast on Halloween Hamburgers, veggies and a homemade goat cheese dip, a little Halloween carrot cake and a double feature on the old movie screen.

We never got to watch Hocus Pocus last night, so tonight that is first on the bill of our double feature and then onto the old version of Fright Night. Mr. Michie made me watch it the other year, I still find it a bit hard to see Prince Humperdinck as a vampire, but there you go.

We are having so much fun watching these old movies, it might continue in to tomorrow, there is still Young Frankenstein and The Monster Squad to watch too…

Happy Halloween all you goblins, witches, wizards and black cats, may your trick-or-treating endeavors bring you many many treats!

(retro trick-or-treaters image found here)

The Great Pumpkin

It is that time of year again and Halloween wouldn’t officially be Halloween for me, if I didn’t get to watch Charlie Brown. So last night, was a movie night in our household. The scene was set, the candles were lit and it was FUN!

Yesterday afternoon I made a big pot of chili, using a new recipe that I adapted a little. When the chili was almost ready, Mr. Michie went to work making his famous guacamole to go on top of it, while I set up the screen and projector.

I love this projector, it is old, it has an old smell to it, not displeasing, just old and slightly musty, it is from the early 60’s, I feel like I am in my own little episode of Mad Men, when we set it up to watch something on it.

We popped a few beers, plunked down on the couch and watched. It was wonderful, as always, you just can’t go wrong with Charlie Brown. We left the screen up last night, I am planning on watching Hocus Pocus this evening, with a steaming cup of apple cider and a bowl of fresh popped popcorn.

(Poster image found here)

Falling Back

We “fell back” last night and I woke up at 6:45 this morning, only to realize it was actually now 5:45, so I smiled and went back to sleep. Darkness still filling our room and the sound of the radiators singing to life to keep us toasty. It was blissful.

We have now truly moved into Autumn. I am ready for big fat orange hued pumpkins, crunchy leaves, hot apple cider, silky pumpkin pie, walks in the woods hand in hand, flickering candles lit everywhere, scarf and hat kind of weather that only Fall brings.

P.S. My Sunday surprise was a Halloween Krispy Kreme Doughnut! It was orangey, chocolatey and delicious!



Mr. Michie took me to see Frankenweenie on Saturday afternoon for our weekend date. It was the perfect afternoon for it. The day was overcast, the rain was misting our hair and eyelashes as we walked through town and when we left the cinema the fog had started to settle in for the evening.

I can remember being little and the Disney Channel showing the people version of Frankenweenie, as it got closer to Halloween. They normally showed that right before they aired Mr. Boogedy, which had my sister and I glued to the couch and afraid to move once that was over. I look back at that movie now and just laugh, but at the time, that was big time scary!

We munched on popcorn and drank our soda and waited for our little feature to begin. There were a few smaller kids in there and they were extremely funny to listen to, as they shouted things at the screen with passion when something happened, it was cute.

The movie was bewitchingly crafted and had the hallmarks of a Tim Burton film. We sat entranced and enjoyed every moment. It was a very nice treat, after having such a long week at school, just a quirky film to take our mind off things.

If you had someone of the right age to have a Halloween Birthday Party around this movie, Sprinkles Bakes has created the sweetest little cake with Sparky on it. Even if you didn’t have a special party to make this for, it would be fun to bake it just for yourself! It looks Halloweeny delicious!

Madrid Part 3

This is my final Madrid Chapter. I have so much more to share, but these are really the highlights. The image above is the staircase in our hotel. The wood was so worn down it dipped, from all the feet that had walked over it for almost 100 years. We went to the Prado They were not the friendliest bunch working at the group ticket office that day and those ladies were extremely difficult about letting us in, even with my confirmation letters. As one of my colleagues said, “The Devil wears Prado!”

However, I got see Las MeninasBosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights (talk about the details you miss in a slide or viewing an image in a book, the colors were almost unimaginable, amazing!) and Fra Angelico’s The Annunciation. For that alone, it was worth all the hassle to get in. Gabriel’s robes were so much pinker than I had ever imagined. The gold glittered around the hem, catching the light in the room. It took my breath away.

We also went on a cable car ride and Goose Girl and Foxy got to see the Temple De Bod. Foxy studied a bit of Egyptian Art, so he is always glad when we gets to see something Egyptian in person, and test his Hieroglyphic skills.

We had lunch at a kitsch little cafe. Our waitress reminded me of an edgier Amelie. She had a great personality and was extremely witty! I ate pastela de pollo. It was heavenly, it was light, it was moorish, it was sweet. The chicken and almonds and apricots and cinnamon all bundled together in phyllo dough, with a sprinkling of powdered sugar on the top, it was devine.

We also went to the Caixia Forum. It was a really interesting building. There was an Architecture exhibition on, they had the prettiest statue of Saint Barbara from a Belgian church and the William Blake exhibition on the second floor had a gem of a Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

We finished our day with a walk back through the park we first started in and off to our hotel. I found this bicycle carved into a stone pavement and just as I was about to snap a picture, a little golden leaf blew onto one of the wheels.

I also spied this snail:

One last shot, taken behind one of the student’s glasses and we were off, bound for home.

Madrid Part 2

Well, in my next installment of Madrid, I thought I would discuss with you, what is possibly the best Gin & Tonic, I have ever had in my life thus far. We went out for an evening drink after one member of our group discovered this great little joint, tucked down a side road.

Making these drinks was a serious business. The ice was toppled in to chill the glass, before it was ceremoniously dumped away, the flick of the lemon rind around the rim of the glass, more ice being added, the lemon rind, a sprig of rosemary, the gin and then the tonic, gloriously poured down the metal swizzle stick. Our bartender was hysterical and put on quite a show for us, we enjoyed it.

We visited the Thyssen Museum and it started to become a joke at how many things we had told the students to see, or things that we wanted to see that were on loan. I didn’t get to see my Edward Hopper as it too was on loan, but tucked in a corner of the downstairs gallery was an Andrew Wyeth and seeing that, made up for the Hopper.

I was very fortunate growing up to have parents that instilled a love of the Arts into myself and my sister. We were also very lucky to have a museum near our home, that had a large collection of Wyeths and my mom would take us to see them during school breaks.

I love Andrew Wyeth, always have, always will. You weren’t allowed to take pictures in this museum, but I did sneak one onto my phone. That is a terrible thing for an Art Historian to do, I know, but I didn’t use flash.

His brushstrokes are so delicate, so powerful, I felt that I could just reach out and touch her sweater. You could feel the fibers and smell the wool.

We also traveled to the very exquisite San Miguel Market. It had exposed beams and iron-work and was filled with an extensive variety of food. One could have lived like a king eating from here. Many stalls were filled with just the “perfect bite”, so you could have made a selection of little tapas to enjoy at one of the tables while you watched the hustle and bustle around you.

Of course, wherever I go, so do Goose Girl and Foxy. This was Goose Girl enjoying the view from the balcony of our hotel. She liked to sleep with the doors open at night, so she could smell the city, feel the breeze ripple over her skin, watch the curtains dance and listen to the traffic below. She was happy there.

I have a few more things to share with you yet, so stay tuned, there is one more day to go…

Madrid Part 1

Well, it has taken me a little bit to get this out. I think that last week, almost killed me, we just have to survive this week and then we are on Fall Break, I am already doing a “Peanut’s” dance just thinking about it!

There is just so much I want to share with you and what I will be sharing, won’t even be the half of it, but here goes:

On our first morning, we took a meandering stroll through the streets of Madrid, before the city really woke and these were some of my finds:

Our first day was spent at the Reina Sofia Museum. I got to see Guernica in person, there were things that I had not noticed before. A slide or an image in a book can only go so far in bringing something to life for your eyes. The details are not always captured. 

I also got to see Picasso’s Woman in Blue (1902) and was very excited about that. Her lips were so red, redder than I had ever imagined, redder than any image had ever shown. But not just red, they were scarlet, they were strawberry, they were peachy, they were a blazing orange. She sat gazing out on the room and all who entered it.

There were so many other things I enjoyed seeing in this museum, here are just two:

After lunch we spent the late afternoon in the Buen Retiro Park, boating around the lake, visiting the Crystal Palace, drawing, photographing and just being.

We walked the students to the Forest of the Departed. It was built to commemorate the 192 victims of the 2004 Atocha Train Station bombings. A tree had been planted for each person who had been killed. It is composed of cyprus and olive trees and it was refined, peaceful and reflective.

It is surrounded by water and the garden winds around in a spiral, swirling around a mini mountain. At the top, very happily eating and obviously very used to people was the most exquisite rabbit. He let me photograph him and even came out from his little thicket to sniff my camera lens.

More to come tomorrow, so stay tuned…


My Sunday afternoon grocery store surprise today was a gingerbread bat cookie mask. It was adorable, sparkly and delicious!

I held it up to my face and peered through the wings and then went in search of Mr. Michie, who laughed when he saw me.

I think another one might just jump into my hands this week, if I need to pick something up from the grocery store. It was the perfect treat and would taste wonderful alongside a steaming cup of hot apple cider!

Hope you are having a lovely weekend, wherever you are!