Friday, October 10, 2014

Whimsey and Octopus Fingers

Entry Hall tree

Lest you think I am rushing Christmas, let me assure you that I am not. But I did put up two trees [in August!] with seasonal decor which I plan to change at the appropriate times. This tree in my entry hall has wired ribbon with autumn colors wound around. 

lights, ribbon, and ornaments

I've added 3-dimensional glittered autumn leaves for more sparkle.

My oldest set of Pilgrim People

I am so happy to report that the Pilgrim People have arrived early at my house this year.  So many times, in spite of careful organization and packing on my part, this group of people tends to show up late for Thanksgiving (if at all!). While many are decorating their homes with ghouls and goblins, I love to focus on the theme of thanksgiving and gratitude.

the dining room couple
We have a total of three Pilgrim People couples. This is my newest set (which I've had for several years). They look as though they come from hardy stock and I dare say they do, with all they had to endure to get to the first Thanksgiving!

This set celebrated our return to Colorado in 1996,  for which I was very grateful.

pumpkin table runner from an Art to Heart pattern
This runner usually is placed on our coffee table and this year was no exception. I made it maybe 5 years ago and just love the fabrics.

I was happily decorating for October and November when a bit of whimsey began to appear.

My long-time readers will remember my "staff" of Mandy Sue, Lily, and Mrs Berniece Mertz. For reasons that defy explanation, they have played an unusually low profile ever since we moved into this house about 17 months ago. 

They have been stationed atop the bookcases in my study all this time until this afternoon when they took matters into their own hands and began skittering about the house behind my back.

Mandy Sue
As per usual, most of them don't take direction from me very well; they tend to have their own ideas of how things should run in this household.  

Case in point, we don't dress up for Halloween around here any more.  Our kids are grown and out of the house.  But today Mandy Sue stretched that rule by donning a bit of a disguise and stationing herself at the entrance to the dining room.  

However I knew immediately who this was -- after all, I made her dress and still have leftover fabric scraps to prove it!

She has a paper sack for the big October 31st event, with obvious high expectations.

Lily, whom I can always count on to be sensible, must have decided that I need a little more fun in my life. She joined Mandy Sue in the game.

Yes, I know those pretty eyes; that's her.  She shares my love for chocolate.

Mrs. Berniece Mertz is my valuable chef.  I have missed her terribly this past year while organizing the new kitchen and then getting slammed with the news that I have some serious food allergies. I wonder if she will be showing up a little more, now that the other girls are out and about?

I had put my decorating leftovers away and was coming back up the stairs from the basement when a whiff of something cooking hit my nostrils.  Sure enough, Mrs Berniece Mertz had busied herself and was making the most strange-looking concoction.  


Mandy Sue was perched at the breakfast bar, eating directly from the metal pan and licking her fingers. She told me the recipe was Octopus Fingers.  Mrs. Berniece Mertz peered at me over her glasses and said that in spite of appearances, the snack was Roasted Okra.  

Hmm.  Given the time of year and the tricks that tend to pop up all during the month of October, this was a good idea.  I tried them and decided the recipe is 'blog-worthy'!  Enjoy!

Octopus Fingers (Roasted Okra) serves 2

1 pound fresh okra (or more)
olive oil
garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut tops off okra and slice lengthwise. Place on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil (or coconut oil). Toss to coat with the oil.

Sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Bake for 18 - 22 minutes until soft and just starting to brown on the ends. Serve and enjoy! 


  1. I wish I could say I like okra, but I do not. If I did, I would try your recipe because it does look good!

    Loved your fun post and meeting your assistants!! The decorations look great!

  2. Cute pilgrim man and lady. I'm assuming that she's looking Heavenward in thanksgiving, but maybe she's just rolling her eyes at something her husband said. lol

    Sweet post!

  3. Terri: just about any roasted veggie tastes good, especially when it gets kinda crispy!

    Cranberry Morning: regarding the expression on Mrs. Pilgrim's face, yes, I wondered the same thing! :o)

  4. I love, love okra and bet I'd like it roasted as well.

    Gotta love your sassy assistants. My little Princess would enjoy those for sure!

    Happy weekend!

  5. What an adorable post, Barbara! I don't decorate too much, either, for Halloween besides jack o'lanterns, but this year I saw a almost life size plastic skeleton for sale at Costco and I bought him to sit outside on our front porch bench. I hope he doesn't scare away the trick or
    I've only eaten okra in gumbo, but I'd like to try it baked. I've also eaten real is quite tasty if prepared the right way! There is not much food I won't try at least once. :)

  6. I've never tried roasted okra...I may have to try it. Indeed, I would if I could find any. Enjoyed seeing the girls again and your Autumn tree is quite lovely!
    This is Suzan.

  7. I enjoyed the tour of your decorations. My mother has a set of pilgrim people. I've tried frozen okra but yours certainly looks more tasty. ~ Abby