Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A Halloween Medley

Hey y'all and welcome to another Wednesday Medley!
Today's questions are all about Halloween and things that go bump in the night.
If you want to join in, just go over to Terri, our friend from Florida's blog, copy the questions
and then answer them on your blog.

So these days, I really don't give Halloween much of a thought.
The day comes and goes and that's about it since there are no children here to enjoy it anymore.
Back in the day, Jim and I were known to dress up and party with the best of them.

Also, back in the day, when Halloween night was nothing but innocent fun, it was the highlight of fall and my childhood memories. In those days, no one in my circle of influence considered Halloween even remotely close to being demonic. The only people that I knew that weren't allowed to celebrate it were a couple of kids in my elementary school that were of a certain religion. I felt so sorry for them as they stood back away from the crowd during our annual Halloween costume parade with their sad little faces, unable to participate in the festivities. I remember how all of the classes would gather outside on those cool autumn days and parade around the neighborhood where the school was located. We also were given bags from our teachers and went trick-or-treating around to all of the classrooms. It was nothing but a good-spirited fun time when we got lots of candy...nothing more, nothing less.

At home the fun continued as my siblings and I would come up with ideas for our costumes and Mom and Dad would get ready for the beggars...because at my house, it was "Beggar's Night"...we didn't call it trick-or-treat. Anyway, the whole family got involved in the fun and because bad things didn't really happen much back then, there was no age limit imposed for the beggars. Most of my siblings who were of course all older than me got dressed up and walked the neighborhood just for the fun of it even though I doubt they were all begging for candy. Who knows...maybe they were! The costumes that we wore were usually made up of old clothes borrowed from Dad or someone, ranging from hobos to strange looking women and everything in between. I do remember getting a new, store-bought costume every now and then.

One in particular was a Heckle and Jeckle costume. Anyone remember those cartoons? Actually, I don't know if my costume was Heckle or Jeckle...since there were two of them. 😖 Then there were those awful, scary, monstrous looking rubber masks...false Mom would call them. To this very day, I have a vivid memory of the chest of drawers where my brothers stored those horrid things. If the drawer was open the little slightest bit, I wouldn't even walk by it thinking that one of them jump out and grab me!

When I think of the Halloweens of yesteryear, I remember bowls filled with candy, apples, and homemade popcorn balls and cookies...remember those days? Some homes that we would go to even gave out cups of apple cider! Then somewhere along the line, the world started going crazy. Some very mean and hurtful people started to do such terrible things like putting razor blades in apples, and slipping drugs or who knows what else into candy and other treats. I think that I was a young mother with small children of my own when all that scary stuff started happening.

And here they two many moons ago.

These days, with no young children or grands close by, Halloween comes and goes just like any other day. I haven't decorated for it in years and also the trick-or-treaters have all but stopped...last year was the first year that we had zero. Not too many parents want to drive their kids into a subdivision where the homes are on 1-2 acre lots, have long driveways and shrouded by tall trees. There are many local neighborhoods with large houses with small yards, all very well lit. Those neighborhoods are trick-or-treater's dream. 
So finally, here are this weeks questions...

1. You’re in a horror movie. Are you the final person left, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

I am not in to horror movies at all. If I ever found myself in one, it would only be in a dream and mostly likely, I would provide the comic relief.

2. While watching scary movies, are you the person who yells at the characters, the person with their eyes covered the whole time or the person who falls asleep?

As I said, I am not a fan of horror movies but if I found myself in this position, I would be the one covering my eyes. You just can't un-see some things.

3. If you were dared to spend the night in a “haunted house”, would you do it?

There may have been a time when I was way younger that I may have been tempted to but these days, the only spirit that care to be anywhere close to is the Holy Spirit. 👻

4. Favorite horror monster or villain?

Again, no real favorite here but back in my teen years, Barnabas Collins from the show "Dark Shadows" may have made the list.

5. Favorite horror or Halloween-themed song?

How many Halloween songs are there, anyway? The first one I thought of was "The Monster Mash"...then I found the one I learned in elementary school. Sound familiar?

6. Tell us something random about your week.

Nothing much going on here this week but I am looking forward to Saturday when we turn back the clocks...I turn mine back on Saturday afternoon since I know there's no way I will sleep that extra hour anyway. 😏

Until next time...

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

A Medley on This Day

Well, fall is in full swing here in NC with just a hint of winter in the air.
We are finally starting to get some color in some places and it seems some are just drying up.
It's hard to believe that just a couple of weeks ago the air was so thick with humidity
that you could almost cut it with a knife.

Believe me when I say I'm not complaining one fact, this is my kind of weather!
The sound of the crisp, crackling leaves under foot delights my soul.
And while we're on the subject of crispy and crackly...

I was about to throw out these dried mums that had been in a bouquet of flowers.
After a while, they just started to dry up until there was no moisture left in them,
creating the most gorgeous color and texture to the petals and centers.

The blooms were small to begin with, less than 2 inches in diameter
and the photos were taken with my macro lens.

The older I get, I seem to appreciate wrinkles, more and more. 😉
And on a completely unrelated note, I thought I'd share our new "pet" with you.
Of course in order for an animal to be considered a pet,
that animal must let you pet least under ordinary circumstances.

This is least that's what I call her/him...isn't she/he pretty/handsome?
She/he is one of the strays that we have been feeding...
 especially since the day I saw her/him walking across the yard with a cardinal in her/his mouth.
Kiki is quite the tease, I might add but we are making progress.
One day, she/he might just let me get close enough to pet her/him.
I guess when and if that happens, she/he will officially be a pet!
So we're here for the Wednesday Medley... let get right to it.

Come join us as Terri, our friend from Florida, asks the questions on her blog
and we answer them on ours.
1.  On this day in 1908, Billy Murray hits the charts with his “Take Me Out to The Ball Game”.  Did you watch the MLB playoffs, and are you watching the World Series?
No and no.
2.  On this day in 1962, On this day in 1962, “The Manchurian Candidate”, directed by John Frankenheimer, starring Frank Sinatra and Laurence Harvey, was released.  What is your favorite Frank Sinatra song?
I can't say I was ever a huge fan of ol' Franks but if I had a favorite it would be "My Way".
3.  On this day in 1968, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful were busted for pot and released on £50 bail.  Has your state approved the sale of medical marijuana?  In a nutshell, what are your thoughts on the subject?
Currently, North Carolina has not legalized it's use but there are bills currently on the ballot that will allow a certain amount to be legal for personal use if passed...and we're not talking just for medical purposes. In a nutshell, my thoughts are "Jesus, take the wheel"...that's about as nutshell as I can make it.
4.  On this day in 1979, the Guinness Book of Records presented Paul McCartney with a rhodium disc as the all-time best-selling singer-songwriter. What is your favorite song by Paul McCartney?
I grew up listening to the Beatles and there were so many great songs so it's hard to pick a favorite...but "Let It Be" stands out as being at the top of the list.
5.  On this day in 2017, Albert Einstein’s “Theory of Happiness” written on a note as a tip for a bellboy in 1922, sold for $1.6 million.  His Theory of Happiness is: “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.” Was Einstein right?
Oh, I absolutely believe he was right...but I think if he would have included the importance of having a relationship with God along with a calm and modest life, he would have hit the nail on the head.
6.  Tell us something random about your week so far…
I rescued this beautiful boy after he slammed into my kitchen window glass. Dazed and confused he was but after about 30-45 minutes, he was safe and sound among the leaves. 
Being able to help rescue this beautiful boy made my day!
Enjoy the rest of your week, my friends!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Testing, testing...

Comments are not coming to my email.

This is just a test.

Wednesday Medley: Pumpkins and Other Things

Didn't we just turn the calendar page over to October?
How is it possible that it's half way over already??
That's just crazy!
We weathered yet another hurricane last week as Michael ripped his way through the country.
I snapped this shot on my way home from work as he began to make his presence known.

I've never seen such winds as what we had and it's truly a miracle that more damage wasn't done.
We lost power for only two days...and I say only because we were some of the more fortunate ones.
There are still a few areas around that are have not had theirs restored.
After seeing all of the heartbreaking devastation in Florida,
how dare I complain about spending a couple of days in the dark?
So here we are again for some Wednesday Medley...

...where our friend, Terri from Florida asks us the questions on her blog
and yes, you guessed it...we answer them on ours!
Why don't you copy and paste the questions and join in the fun?!

1.  The Circleville, Ohio, Pumpkin Festival starts today.  All things pumpkin are everywhere. What is your one very favorite pumpkin flavored food or drink?  Do you wish it was available all year or do you only want it in the Fall?

I do love me some pumpkin stuff but only in the fall...I don't want it all year long or it wouldn't seem like a treat. I am always willing to try new things that come out pumpkin spice are just some of the ones that I've tried.

At first I thought I really liked the yogurt and then after a few bites I was pretty much done. The sausage was...let me just say...interesting, the cereal was really good, and the bagels and cream cheese were alright but nothing that I'd write home about. Among my favorites was this granola.

And Lord knows, I could have used some of this stuff...

The mosquitoes are still attacking! Evidently they haven't gotten the message yet that summer is over.

2.  What product would you seriously stockpile if you found out they weren't going to sell it anymore?

I've already done this very thing and now I cannot find anymore, anywhere. This made me very sad and I wish I had every dollar back in my pocket for what I spent trying to find a good replacement. I had used this hairspray for years and I'm pretty sure I have bought up every. single. available. bottle. from ebay and Amazon. Vanity is a killer!

3.  What is the most interesting thing you have seen online this week?

This may not be what you would actually call "interesting" but it sure did bless my heart.

4.  Is it better to be a "big fish in a small pond" or a "small fish in a big pond"?

Seeing how I do not care to have much attention drawn to me, I think I would prefer the small fish, big pond thing. I have no desire to be famous or well known...that goes for everyone except my family and loved ones.

5.  My Joe has become obsessed with playing chess on the computer.  Do you play chess?  Are you good at it?

I never learned to play chess, nor have I ever tried to learn. It seems so intense and stressful. Give me a care-free, laid back game of checkers any day.

6.  Tell us something random about your week.

Saturday morning found me doing something I hadn't done in years and years...

It wasn't what I'd call fun but I did get three loads done in the time it would take me to do one at home. There is an up-side to everything. And speaking of up-sides, it took a hurricane and a loss of electricity to prod me into doing something that I absolutely out the fridge.

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. 😉

Until next time, my friends... 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Wednesday Medley

Happy Wednesday, y'all!

Hurricane Michael is upon us it seems...
...something we unfortunately have to deal with living here in the southeast.
Jims' sister, her husband and his 90+ year old mother reside in San Destin, Florida...
...needless to say, they have evacuated and have headed to places north and west.
My prayers for safety are with everyone living anywhere in Michael's path.
And that most definitely includes our dear hostess, our friend from Florida, Terri!
So as we anticipate getting possibly four or more inches of rain,
I am also anticipating the opening up of all my cute little chrysanthemum buds.

Aren't they cute?

I always try to buy them with tightly closed buds so they will last longer.
I also un-potted them all and planted them in soil...I guess we'll see.
So this is my first time participating in the... 

Thank you Terri, for this new meme and the fun questions!
She posts the new questions on Tuesday and we answer them on our blogs on Wednesday.
Why not copy and paste the questions and join in the fun?
1. This week is County Fair Week in my old stomping grounds.  The Fairfield County (Ohio) Fair holds fond memories for me, especially of the marching band show on the race track, in front of the grandstand, and of 4-H sewing projects.  Do you have a memory to share of a county or state fair!!
I am from Ohio too, Terri! I can remember begging some of my older siblings to take me to the Clark Country Fair in Springfield, OH. It was about a 20-30 minute drive and I remember thinking that it was SO far away from home. And when you are just a wee little child, the county fair seems to be a HUGE place to get lost in. Among my fondest memories other than riding the ferris wheel (which now scares the life out of me) are winning those silly little wooden canes where you would toss a hoop and ring one of them.

I don't really know why these little sticks stand out in my memory but it is one of the first ones that popped into my head. I also remember my mom warning us kids to be careful as my sisters and I batted them around..."You girls are going to poke somebody's eye out with those things!" The fun came to an abrupt stop when they were soon confiscated! 😒 Many years later after moving to Mount Sterling, KY, the Montgomery County fair was something that our oldest son (who was a just a little guy then) looked forward to every summer. Our small town was also the county seat and the fairgrounds were just a few miles down the road. Between the tractor pulls and the demolition derbies, that's all that interested him! Fast forward 30+ years and not much has changed. Here he is doing what he loves the best...

These days, he has is own puller. This is a photo from last weekend at the Halifax County Fair in South Boston, VA. By the way, that's a souped-up lawn mower...with a V-8 and 400 HP!

2. If animals could talk, which would be the rudest?

From what I've seen out of alpacas and/or llamas, they seem to be pretty rude animals to me. I mean how rude is that when you're not getting your way, you just spit on anyone you choose?! If they could talk...well...that would be another thing entirely. They would most like say words that are not in my vocabulary. Now, any of you out there that may own any of these animals, I mean no disrespect...just callin' it like I sees it! Now, if you consider sarcastic to fall in the rude category, then I think some cats may make the list. It seems like most of them often have an attitude. Now not all cats, mind you...I am sure that Judy from Cranberry Morning's Tommy and Smokey would NEVER be rude...they are too busy just being cute and cuddling with each other. 😻

3. What mythical creature would improve the world most if it existed?

The kindness fairy. No need to elaborate.

4. What is something that everyone looks stupid doing?

The hula hoop, for one. Another might be posing for a selfie... I know I do!

5. Is intelligence or wisdom more useful?

Oh this one's easy for me, although there may be those who beg to differ. In my way of thinking, wisdom trumps intelligence any day. Education is a wonderful thing, don't get me wrong, but the way I see it is there are way too many over-educated brats uh....people...out there today that aren't using much wisdom...just look at the recent protests in our nation's capital. OOPS...did I just say that??

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.   James 3:13-18

6. Tell us something random about the rest of your week!

If Hurricane Michael gets his way, we will finally be able to get started on the dreaded job of cleaning out the garage by the end of the week. It has been so nasty and muggy outside...and the mosquitoes...HAVE MERCY! Michael is supposed to barrel through these parts on his way out and by Friday, we should be left with clean, fresh air and really fall-like, cool temperatures for the weekend! Forties at night and sixties during the day never sounded so good!
Well, this has been fun!
Thanks again to Terri, our friend from Florida, for starting this new meme.
May the Lord grant you peace and safety during the storm!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Glimpses of Octobers Past...and How to Make a Baby

Hello friends and Happy October!
I love this month and will love it even more when the temperatures start to behave.
We got a little teasing last week with some cooler temps but they were short-lived... surprise there!

So since there is really no fall-ish stuff going on here (yet),
here are a few fall photos from the archives so we can at least pretend!

Remember that time when the wind blew a perfectly shaped leaf wreath upon my deck?
I don't either...but it sure was fun pretending.

Our lovely local Lake Michael, taken a few years back...

I really need to take a drive out there again soon.

I just love pretty pumpkin stems, don't you?
 Sooo.... now that we have that out of the way,
I will continue to dream of cool fall breezes and falling leaves until it actually happens.
But until then, I have a little tutorial for you.
And it has nothing whatsoever to do with the autumn weather...or the lack thereof.
I want to teach you how to make a baby!


Ohhhh...I'm not talking about that kind of a baby!!
Keep on scrolling and I'll show you what kind of baby I'm talking about.
So on Sunday I attended a baby shower for a young mother-to-be at my church.
She was registered at Target but I rarely go according the registry when it comes to gift giving.
I enjoy giving something a bit unexpected but also quite practical.
The idea came to me to construct a sweet little "baby boy" even though she is expecting her own.
It has been twenty years since I made the first one and then several years later, my second.
This is the third one and each time I think I have done something a little different.
Shall we get on with the tutorial?

(I couldn't think of what else to call!)

Here's what you will need to purchase...the colors and designs of course depend on whether the expectant mother is having a boy or a girl:
  • baby blanket, somewhat plush or bulky (y'all don't want to the baby too skinny)
  • Onesies (I purchased a 3-pack sized 0-3 month size...the larger the size, the more "fillings" you will need)
  • whatever outfit to dress the "baby" in, same size range...I chose a 2-piece long sleeve/long pant set...easier to form the body in.
  • bibs, again I just purchase a 3-pack set but this is totally optional
  • a hat or cap...many little outfits come with one
  • anything else you chose to add such as a toy (rattle, stuffed animal, teething ring, etc.)
 At this point, the choice is up to you as to how much you want to spend. There are many other things you can add inside the clothing (crib sheets, receiving blankets, bath towels, washcloths) or outside (sweater, jacket, shoes & socks, etc.)...this is where you can use your imagination! I believe the first baby I made was stuffed with crib sheets and towels. I actually wrapped it up in the blanket and tied with a bow when it was all put together. Be creative!

I thought the zoo animals were cute so I kept with the theme. 
When I came across that darling little elephant, I knew he had to play a part! 
Buried deep inside his belly is a squeaker, I think there might be a rattle in his behind 
and his ears have crackly plastic inside....he's just a noisy little elephant!

So now let's get started putting this little baby boy together, shall we? 
Begin by folding the blanket in half vertically, with the longest measurement going up and down.

Next, form a ball about the size of an infant's head using batting, 
tissue paper or like I did here, using bubble wrap...

...and then place the ball inside the exact center of the blanket. 
I used a piece of ribbon to tie around the ball to make the baby's neck.

As you can see, the baby is already starting to take shape...
or is that Casper the Friendly Ghost??


Now, using a Onesie, start to create the body by dressing the "baby"...
 this will help you to form and shape the arms and legs and then build on that by adding 
the rest of your purchased baby clothing and other items.

As previously stated, I bought a three-pack set of Onesies so to help me form the bottom half,
I folded and "hid" the other two in his pants, so to! 
They basically became...the...crotch...THERE, I SAID IT! 😲

As you can see, it's lookin' a bit more like a baby!

Now it's time to put some pants on this little guy...again, the outfit helps to shape the body. 
Work the blanket down into the pants sort of sculpting the legs and feet. 
The footed long pants work best and shoes may even be added if you like.

I hid two of the bibs that were in the three-pack underneath his little jacket and then buttoned him up.

He's quite the little chub-muffin, don't you think?
And he's also taking up most of the slack in that little outfit.
No worries though...after a trip through the washer and dryer, it should be back in shape!

And now for the hat...

And here he is...a bouncing baby boy!

But I thought he was looking a bit peaked, 
so I printed out a cute little face and stuck it on with!

There really are no limits to what you can use to construct the baby. When I have made these in the past, I actually stuffed the head with a usable items such as a bath towel or crib sheet. Another cute idea is to also find a stuffed animal about the size of a baby and dress it all over with baby items which can then be wrapped up in a gift blanket. No matter what you decide, just have fun with it and I will promise you that he or she will be the hit of the baby shower! And the look on the little mama-to-be's face will bring joy to your heart!

And the best part is that no wrapping is necessary!
Now, go on out there and enjoy your October!
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