Monthly Archives: October 2010

Halloweens Past

We don’t do much in the way of celebrating Halloween at our house.  There aren’t any parties to attend, we don’t have little ones to take trick-or-treating. We don’t even give out candy on Halloween. Guess we’re Halloween scrooges.

We did participate in a Twilight Tour (a sort of ghost tour) at a nearby historic house this weekend.  (More details in a couple of days.) So maybe we’re not complete scrooges.

With Halloween approaching, I started looking through some old photos of Marshall in his costumes through the years. I can only recall one year that we opted for the plastic store-bought variety – I think he was a Smurf that year.

This photo is from the year he was 4. He was Tom the Cat. I made his costume. Too bad we took this picture before we applied his (black eyeliner) whiskers and nose. His friend was Jerry the Mouse. They won best costume(s) at our local McDonald’s that year.  Marshall was very upset because one of the boys there kept stepping on his tail. I guess that would be a cause for concern.

This next one was the year Marshall was a scarecrow. I’m thinking he was 5 years old, but I’m not sure. Oh – and the pirate to his right is now the father of two. Children, not pirates.

Then there was the year that Marshall was the pirate. He was 8 years old. Don’t those tube socks and Converse All Stars tennis shoes just complete the whole pirate ensemble? There’s the black eyeliner again – this time it’s the mustache and beard stubble. Yep, I made this costume too.

One year, Marshall had to dress in character for a book report at school. Luckily (for me, anyway), this was right around Halloween, so his costume that year did double duty.  He was Daniel Boone. Or maybe Davy Crockett.  Once again, I made his costume, and let me tell ya, the coon skin cap was quite the challenge. Too bad it doesn’t show up in the photo.

Creating his costume each year was a combined effort; I did the sewing, and Marshall was the technical adviser.  And taking him trick or treating and to Halloween parties was fun. Guess I wasn’t a Halloween scrooge in those days.


Sunset….and a Surprise

One evening earlier this week, I glanced out my dining room window and saw a pink sky. And I just knew it was going to be one of “those” sunsets. So I grabbed the camera and out I went.

Sure enough:

And as beautiful as that was, when I turned to walk back to the house, I saw this:

And I wondered:  could the sky possibly be any more amazing?


I’d like you to meet my nephew, Connor.

Now, I ask you – is that a handsome young cowboy, or what?

Connor and his Mom come to visit us each summer. And we pack a lot of fun into that week or so that they’re here.

During their visit, we usually go to Gravediggers Dungeon, because Connor is really into Monster Trucks.

We go to at least one race shop because Connor is also into race cars. Motor Man builds the engine for this one!

We find some type of farm to visit, because Connor loves animals! Even more than Monster Trucks. This summer, we accidentally found an alpaca farm!

Every summer, as they’re driving out of our driveway to start their trip back home , I’m already counting the weeks til their next visit.

Today is Connor’s birthday.

Happy Birthday, Connor. Celebrate, Dude!

Rabbit Food

This week I’ve been planting Rabbit Food. You probably know them better as pansies.

I’d be embarrassed  to tell you how many I planted. So I won’t.  But you may remember from earlier posts that we have a lot of wildlife  in our area. And rabbits, by far, have the largest population. But, then, rabbits DO have that reputation.

And rabbits apparently think pansies are pretty tasty.

Not long after I finished planting, I happened to look outside, and sure enough: there was a rabbit sitting closeasthis to one of my pansies. He hadn’t started eating it, but he was saying grace. (Or saying the blessing, as we refer to it here in the south.)


But someone just gave me a tip. Supposedly, moth balls around your plants will keep the rabbits away.  So — either those moth balls will save my pansies. Or the rabbits will think it’s dinner on the grounds at the Baptist church and that sweet Miss Henrietta just took her sweater out of storage.

I’ll let you know how this all works out for me.  And the rabbits.

Portraying My Grandmother

I’ve been asked to portray my Grandmother this weekend at the historic house where she lived in the 1920’s and 30’s.

Bacon’s Castle is having a Twilight Tour on Friday and Saturday nights, October 29 and 30 from 6-8 pm each evening. Read more about it here:

 This photo of her was taken at that house.  In this picture, she was AT LEAST 3 years younger than I am now.

My first reaction, when that realization hit me, was: “WOW. Do I look that old?!”.  (Don’t answer that.)  Then I thought about the fact that, when this photo was taken, she was living in a house with no electricity and no running water. She had given birth 14 times, and with her husband, was raising the 12 children that survived childbirth.  She was a cook, launderess, seamstress, teacher, nurse, farm hand….. the list goes on and on. I just can’t imagine how difficult life must have been.

Considering all that, I think she was looking pretty good.

I’ve rehearsed my script for the tour over and over. I have my “costume” : the dress, eyeglasses, apron, stockings…..but I know there’s no way that I could ever fill her shoes.

The best I can hope for is to do her proud.

Of Peanut Dryers and Pumpkins


What says fall to you? Or do you prefer “autumn”?

I guess for each of us there’s a particular sight or sound or even smell that lets us know that fall is here.

Growing up across the highway from a dairy farm, the sound of  peanut dryers always meant fall of the year to me.  Many nights, the hum of those motors would lull me to sleep.

We met this little girl during our recent trip to Pennsylvania Amish country. 

She may not know the sound of a peanut dryer…….but she knows it’s autumn.

In For a Ride

Motor Man, Marshall and I took a day trip last weekend to the mountains of western Virginia and West Virginia. It was a gorgeous fall day, the foliage was beautiful, and we had a great time.

But I knew things were going to get interesting when the GPS showed this as the road that lie ahead of us:

See all those little squiggles? Those are curves – like this one:

And this one:

And another one:

Do you see a pattern emerging here? Well that pattern repeated itself for approximately 60 miles.

When your husband (who used to drive a race car) is at the wheel, and you’re on a highway like this, you just have to hang on.  You’re in for a ride.