Want to celebrate three holidays at the same time? Just go to any large retailer and you will see the Halloween decorations on sale, the Thanksgiving items on the shelf around the corner, and the Christmas décor and displays starting to take shape in the next 10 aisles. Seriously, I haven’t managed to even clean out my summer flower beds and get some mums in before it freezes and I am wondering if I should just skip it and get greens instead to prep them for Christmas. I can’t keep up! After all, my mums only lasted a couple of weeks last year before freezing and blowing into the field next to us.
With the crazy who-knows-what-its-going-to-do Minnesota weather in September-November, there are many decisions we women have to make and weather is always the deciding factor. Should I clean my flower beds this Sunday while it’s 60 degrees?…. or enjoy the day with friends and family before the snow flies…hmmm, yes, the flower beds can wait. Of course, what happens the next day is an unexpected freeze, winter is here, and now my house looks like the haunted house of the block with dead flowers, sticks, and gray/brown leaves frozen everywhere. Bad decision.
Then there is the dreaded decision of when to put up the Christmas lights. My personal Scrooge, I mean husband, has let me know to put them up whenever my son and I want to. Ha. We no longer put lights on the roof since he quite the lighting team. Do we put them up mid-October before the freeze and the words “wind chill” start appearing on the weather news? Or, are we out enjoying the fall weather and football parties and forget the lights until the neighbors’ houses start to sparkle? Yep, we usually are the latter and end up putting on snowmobile gear and a 3M bodysuit just to get lights on the deck. Bad decision.
And, lastly is the decision of Halloween decorating. I will confess that as a mother of a 20-year-old, the Halloween decorating just isn’t as rewarding as it used to be. My son used to love plugging in the lighted up pumpkins in our windows and facing them towards the neighbors so they could join in the fun and sticking anything we could on the windows and getting pumpkins carved. And, I loved it right along with him. However, for the last few years, I will walk by and stare at the tub of decorations on the shelf on the garage for the entire month of September while debating each day how much, if any, I will put up that year. What I decided was to get my pumpkins lighted up and facing the neighbors each year — at least until their kids head off to college and no one is looking anymore. GOOD decision. Decorate for yourself and how it makes you feel. Happy Fall my friends!
As promised, another easy working mom recipe.
From Taste of Home: 5-Ingredient Ravioli (or 10 if you want more)
1 pound ground beef
1 jar (28 ounces) spaghetti sauce
1 package (25 ounces) frozen sausage or cheese ravioli
1-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Minced fresh basil, optional
In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. In a greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish, layer a third of the spaghetti sauce, half of the ravioli and beef, and 1/2 cup cheese; repeat layers. Top with remaining sauce and cheese. Cover and bake at 400° until heated through, 40-45 minutes. If desired, top with basil to serve.