Nostalgia at the Craig House

Every year when Christmas comes around I grow nostalgic remembering Christmases past. I have been so blessed all my life in having Christmases that were filled with family, love and fun.

When I was growing up, besides Summer, Christmas was my very favorite time of year.  From the start of a new school year until the big day, I was always looking forward to it, planning for it, thinking about what I would get under the tree, practicing Christmas songs for the school program or church program.  When Ruth Lyons . who was the host of  the 50-50 Club, a tv show out of Cincinnati, began to sing how many days there were until Christmas, I knew the Christmas season had really begun.   My family would make the trip to the city to Veach’s, a toy and department store that sold everything you could think of. Down in its basement were all the toys and it was packed from floor to ceiling with all things that make children’s hearts sing.  I had my eye on a blue Schwinn bicycle one year.  I had learned to ride a bike the previous Summer on my brother’s bicycle so I was ready to get one of my own.

As I was scrolling through family photos for this post about Christmas I got tears in my eyes remembering all the people who are gone, families that have broken apart, children who have grown up and moved away.  Remember that scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation where Chevy Chase’s character gets locked in the attic and he finds an old projector and watches old movies and cries? That was me, looking at these old pictures. Everyone looks so young in them.   Sad music should have been playing in the background as I looked at picture after picture.  But all I could think was, “we sure have been blessed.”

So without further ado, here are some pictures of Christmases past at our house.

We always had a lot of gifts under the tree.   I loved shopping back then.

Our two boys, nineteen months apart.  They were always so excited about Christmas. too.

Our daughter. She must have been very happy with her present.

 

The boys watching with interest what I was unwrapping.  Not a very pretty pose. Notice the playpen my foot is on. Do people use those anymore?  It was like a cage for your kid when you wanted to keep them out of things.

I made both of our outfits that year.

I made both my boys’ outfits, too.

I went through a gingerbread house making kick for a while. I use to bake and bake before Christmas. This year, one batch of cookies.  Everyone is on a diet of some kind.

Yes, I made these outfits also. My poor boys had to wear a lot of clothes that I made.  I didn’t make quilts back then.

I really must have shopped a lot that year!

One year we went to the Virgin Islands. David’s mother ran a guest house down there and we spent Christmas with her.  It seemed very strange to be where it was so warm at Christmas.

Here was David and our daughter with her cousins looking on as she opened a present.

We spent days at the beach in the middle of the Winter.

This was the view from David’s mother’s house.  Not bad.

The years have flown by so quickly.

My mother and daddy loved Christmas.  When all us kids were grown, we met at their house on Christmas Eve every year and gave each other gifts.

Mom opening a gift while two of her grandsons looked on.

My daddy loved having us all together. Behind him is my oldest brother, Jack, who passed away many years ago.  I still miss him and can’t wait to see him again.  He was in college before I even started school.   If you could see his senior picture, he looked like a young Clark Gable without the moustache. Jack was a very handsome man. And a kind man. I’m so glad he was my brother.

Daddy’s sister, my Aunt Ruth is behind Daddy. She never married and lived with her parents until both of them died and then she came and lived with us. Family took care of each other back then.   If one didn’t have a home, they were taken in by family.  My parents took care of my daddy’s father in his last days, my mother’s mother until she had to go into a nursing home because mom could not lift her any longer and Aunt Ruth.  Aunt Ruth was a very sweet lady and she always dressed so nicely and smelled so good.  I don’t know what kind of perfume she wore, but I always loved it.  She lived with us almost all through my childhood and after I married and left home.  I’ll always think my brother became the reader and excellent student he became because Aunt Ruth spent hours reading him storybooks.  The same ones, over and over again.

These final pictures are how I remember Christmas the best.

The looks of sheer delight on our children’s faces as they came downstairs Christmas morning.

It was always the same year after year.

Even when one was suffering from an earache, he was still excited Christmas morning.

And remembering David’s grandmother who was always so kind to me and really loved our children.  The feeling was mutual.

A big green machine and a new bicycle one year.  We lived on a big hill right beside a park with a lake.  You can see the lake behind the boys through the trees.  I really loved living there and cried so much when we had to move.

Family. It’s what Christmas means to me. From that precious family in the stable on that first Christmas, down through the centuries to my little family and now on to theirs and on and on.  But Christmas will always be about one thing to me. Love. Merry Christmas. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cluck, Cluck, Quilt.

I haven’t talked about my chickens for a while so here’s some pictures of my girls. It was a sunny day and they greeted me as they always do by the garden gate.

Loved the way the shadows played on their feathers.

Miss Mary Foster, my little crippled hen, but she doesn’t know that.  She lays one egg almost every day.

“Where’s the chicken crack?”

I have two Buff Orpingtons. They are so pretty and good egg layers also.

Every time I go to Rural King, I look at the baby chickens if they have them.  My flock is down to nine birds from twelve so I really can’t add many more until some of them go to, ahem, chicken heaven.    We won’t talk about that, though, especially around the ladies.   Having chickens is just so much fun for me and I can’t see a future without them.  I have to hire a pet sitter for them when we go away just like for the dogs.

Just had to share these pictures of Molly Marshmallow sitting out in her chair nodding off to sleep.

She almost fell off the chair and I was laughing at her as I took her pictures.

My pets give me endless joy.

I told you in my last post I was doing a mystery block quilt and I finally got it done.  In fact, I got several done.   Kathleen Tracy shared this pattern on her Facebook page so if you want to make one of these quilts, go to her group under files and find the pattern. It’s really simple, something I needed right now and yet I ended up with a very cute quilt.  Here are mine….

This was the first one I made.  I bought the ticking at an antique store and the floral fabric I originally bought years ago to make an apron, but decided I’d rather put it in quilts as I have a lot of aprons already.

Then I decided to make a Christmas themed one…

And then another vintage looking one…

And material for yet another one, which I already have all cut out…

These little quilts are almost addictive. They are quick to make and now I have a good start on next year’s Christmas!

I bought this book of Kathleen Tracy’s a while back and have made a few small quilts from it.

I made the quilt that is on the cover. Don’t have it quilted yet, but think this one will be hand quilted.

Here it is hanging behind my cardio-glide which I use once in a while for exercise.

I have my quilting mojo back. It kind of got lost in my sock knitting craze. I still knit a little every single day and everyone got or is getting socks if they want them for Christmas. I just hung them up on the fireplace mantle and let people pick a pair they want.

You can just see the socks on the mantle at the right.

We had one Christmas gathering with family already last Saturday night.   We had a good time together, although one of my grandsons was not feeling well. They found out this week he has abcesses in his colon and is on antibiotics for it now.   He was really sick for a few days.   Anyway, I gave him and his older brother each a pair of these socks.(warning to all Trump haters, don’t look!)

There is a company called John’s Crazy Socks. This man has a son with Down’s Syndrome and they started a company together and sell all kinds of socks and I found these and knew I had to buy them.

Along with the socks, I got a thank you note from John and a small bag of Skittles.  Kind of a nice touch for a company.

Anyway, the socks were a hit.

Put on and modeled. The socks come with a little comb to  comb President Trump’s hair.

Went out yesterday and saw these flowers blooming.

Honeysuckle. Confused because we have had such warm temperatures the past few days.  It won’t last, but it’s been nice.

Before we know it, it will be Spring. Someone said only about ninety-five days away which will fly by like it all does now.

Another project that I have become obsessed with.  Making twine.  I got the directions from this magazine which I love.

They call it ribbon in the magazine, but I call it twine.  It’s great for decorating packages, but I also think I will use it to tie up plants on stakes and maybe use as shoelaces.   Here’s how much twine I’ve made so far.

It’s really fun to make and is so pretty.   And last, but not least, another quilt I plan to make after Christmas, if not before…..

I’m done making large quilts for a while although I do have a few UFO’s I do need to finish.  Looks like a busy year ahead for quilting.

This was David’s and my very first Christmas tree the first year we were married. We went out in the woods and cut it down. I didn’t have a lot of ornaments then, but I loved our first tree and our first tiny house.  You see those tiny houses on tv now. Well, we lived in a tiny house with three tiny rooms and  I had to shower in the basement under an open shower head, no bathroom down there.    We didn’t live there long, but I have such happy memories of it.

Feeling nostalgic?  My next post will be about Christmases past.   Bye.

 

 

Enjoying the Days

I can’t tell you how wonderful the last several days have been. First of all, it’s just so absolutely marvelous to feel healthy again.  I’m not sure I had felt healthy for a long time, but I thought it was my new normal. Age and all, you know.  But I kept wondering how I went from walking five miles a day to barely being able to walk across the yard without getting winded.  Who would have thought it was the medicine I had been taking for years?  I’m telling you, be very careful the chemicals you put in your body even when the doctor prescribes them, because sometimes they do more harm than good.  David even says it’s nice to hear me whistling and singing around the house again.  Had I stopped?  I hadn’t noticed.   I was just trying to get through each day and get things accomplished that I was able.

So, this week, for the first time in I don’t know how long, I sewed on quilt blocks in my shop all day and never felt tired once.  There is a mystery quilt I am working on that I will tell you about later when I get some pictures. I have never taken part in a mystery block quilt before, but this one sounded like fun and I kept seeing pictures of the blocks ladies were making all over the world and I thought I should get in on all the fun and it has been fun.   Can’t wait to see how the quilt will turn out. I’ve been so enthusiastic about it, I am making four different quilts with the patterns we are given.

I know I’ve been talking about health issues a lot lately, but once again a family member was hit with a health problem. One of our grandsons was having stomach cramps and was passing blood and was taken to the hospital this week.  Quite a scare, but he is getting better. The doctor believes it is E coli and says it will have to run its course. Seems E coli and Salmonella are appearing a lot in our food and I have a theory on why that I won’t get into here, but people who are working with our food are not being very clean about it.   I love Romaine lettuce and I did eat it before we took our vacation in November.  I do wonder if part of my being sick was because I had eaten it.  We will never know.

We are having our first Christmas family get together this Saturday so I will be baking and cooking up a storm starting tomorrow. Baking rolls, making potato salad, baking a chocolate cake so we can celebrate all the birthdays in December(we have four.)  I want to try cornbread dressing sometime and am looking for a good recipe for it.  Also I always have to have scalloped oysters at least once during the holiday season.  I love scalloped oysters and I even love eating it cold.  I see so many delicious looking recipes on Facebook and I want to try them all.  Do you have a favorite food that you have to have during the holiday season?

I get nostalgic thinking about past Christmases when our children were young. Christmas is always so much fun when children are around. Our grandchildren are growing up faster than our children did, it seems, but they all still love coming to Grandpa’s and Grandma’s for Christmas and we love having them.   Having family gathered around is such a blessing.  I remember going to my grandparents’ house Christmas Day and it was always fun, seeing the cousins, eating Grandpa’s homemade popcorn balls and getting fifty cents from Grandpa(yes, fifty cents, I’m that old I thought it was a lot of money.)  If there was snow, it was even better and if somebody got a new sled it was wonderful.  We still have a sled our children used when they were young.     I would love to slide down a snowy hill again and feel the wind in my face.  Maybe I might try that this winter.

I’m sitting here on a rainy night, the Christmas tree lit, the fire in the fireplace, candles burning feeling warm, safe, and happy and thinking about the days ahead with joy.   I’ll be writing one last post before Christmas I am sure, but in case I don’t, Merry Christmas and may the day be a blessing whether it’s with a crowd or only one remembering the One we celebrate, whose birth over 2,000 years ago changed the world , and  showed we can all be united in love if we so choose.  Bye.

Prayers Answered

Do you pray?  And I mean to a God in Heaven who is sitting on His throne and knows absolutely everything that is going on with your life and knows the outcome even when you don’t.   Do you pray in earnest or half heartedly, never quite believing you are being heard?   Are any of your prayers answered?   Are they answered in the way you thought they would be or should have been answered?

Our God is hard to understand sometimes.   I know He loves everyone and wants no one to perish.  He feels our pain and knows our futures.   He has a plan for our lives, but it’s up to us to figure out what it is.    Most times we work against that plan whether we know it or not.

This last month I’ve had a reason to pray in earnest for several things.  There are some things and some people I pray for daily.   Some of those prayers have been answered and some I am still waiting upon.   I was in the hospital a couple of weeks ago and I was praying continuously.  Late at night in the hospital bed, I would ask God to keep me company and I would sing hymns silently to myself because I felt so lonely and scared. I didn’t know what was happening to my body and really wondered if my life on earth was coming to an end. I was all for it if it was,  because I knew to die was just the beginning of my eternity, but I was still scared.  I knew there were many people who were praying for me and believe me, I felt those prayers.

I really did not know my prayers had been answered in a very remarkable way until I got home.   You see, my blood pressure had been soaring and my heart rate had been falling and the doctors didn’t know what to do about it for a couple of days.  They took me off all my medications and started all over.  Nothing good happened until one day they tried this one medicine and my blood pressure fell dramatically and my heartrate went up.  I was also taken off one medicine that had been making me sick to my stomach for several weeks.  Suddenly, I felt so much better.  Now since I have been home and have seen my cardiologist and gotten a good report, I have felt better than I have felt for months. I didn’t even realize I had been feeling badly before other than being short of breath at times.  Now I have so much energy and feel so much better.  Was I unhappy I spent my vacation in the hospital?  Yes.  Did God answer my prayers for good health?  He surely did.  He just did it in a way I wasn’t planning.  I knew I was in the hospital for a reason and that one day I would know that reason.  It’s possible if I had not gone to that clinic that day and been hospitalized, I may still be feeling very unwell. I might even be dead.    God works in mysterious ways.  Why He made me miss Walt Disney World, He will have to explain to me one day.  By then I won’t care.  I’m just saying God answered my prayers in a way I would never expected and in a way I would not have picked out myself, but He knew what I needed.  Perhaps I needed to be placed in that very hospital to slow myself down and let others figure out what was wrong with me.   I pray for all those ladies and that one young man who took care of me while I was in there.  I will think about another young young man who had trouble taking my blood and then joked he had used the wrong vials and would have to do it all over. When I looked upset about it he said, “just kidding!”   The young woman from Puerto Rico who was so sweet and gentle and patient with all my questions.  The Haitian lady who told me about all the horrible things happening in her native land and how her church sends clothes and shoes to people there who have none.   The lady who always had a smile on her face.   Even the doctor who didn’t act very doctor like to me.  They all touched me in some way and I would never have met them if I hadn’t been placed in that hospital.

God taught me patience while I was in the hospital also.   Now that I look back on it, I’m pretty happy with myself how patient I was because there were times I wanted to throw a tantrum like a baby!    God must have been working on me.

So I am here to tell you, God does answer prayer.  I even find myself thanking Him for putting me in that particular hospital.  Only He knew that is where I would find health once more.  Never give up praying.  Whether it’s for yourself or someone else.  Whether it’s for your circumstances  or something you want.  If you really pray in God’s will, He will answer your prayer.  Maybe not like you think He should, but He will answer it in the way that is best for you.  Sometimes unanswered prayers are the answer.  Not now, He is telling you.

So my prayer for all reading this is that you take your troubles and worries and also your praise to God. He’s listening.  He loves you.  He wants what’s best for you.  God bless you.  Bye.

The Trip Home

We left Florida, sad to leave family, but ready to get home.  Traveling up the east coast of Florida, we finally saw the sea.  In Orlando, it’s all about Disney and the traffic is horrible.  Driving up the coast was a little less crowded and we drove through small towns and over several bridges.

The sky was so blue.

Past NASA.  It was further away from where we were staying than I thought.  One year, when our children were small, we took my mother and daddy here and did the tour.  It was so interesting.   Back in the sixties, space travel was new and exciting and whenever there was a launch, we would gather in the gymnasium at school and watch it on tv.  I remember I held a boy’s hand for the first time when Alan Shepard took off in space!    He, the boy, not Alan, was sitting beside me and grabbed my hand and I let him hold it.   I thought I was in love.

I love the ocean.

Over marshes and rivers.

Mailbox posts. Some looked like dolphins and some manatees.

Just wanted to show you my arm after being in the hospital.  One young man had a hard time finding my veins.  Stuck me a few times.

More bridges.  Until finally we reached a place where we could get to the beach.  I could not leave Florida without at least sticking my feet in the ocean.  This land lubber needed that.

And there it was.  Very few people on the beach that day. A couple of fishermen and a woman with her little boy.  The water was cold, but that little boy played in it like it was as warm as bath water.

The waves were rolling in.

Just a picture to prove we were really there. It all seems like a dream of sorts.   So much happened in just a few days.   I just wish I had felt better.

Someone built a tiny castle in the sand and embellished it with sea shells.

But we had to continue on.

Down streets under trees dripping with Spanish moss. That’s what says the south to me.  I love Spanish moss.

Past a merry-go-round in one town.

Until we saw this sign. Don’t believe it, folks.  Bags of oranges were way more than a dollar, but we bought a bag and the oranges are nothing like we get in the grocery stores in Indiana. They are so much better.  Juicy and sweet.  The men running this particular stand were salesmen.  They were constantly showing people things and offering samples.    There were the usual tourist gifts. Coconut heads, alligator heads(I wondered if they were real) and t-shirts.

The first night we stopped here to eat.  The food was so good, but I think my eyes were bigger than my stomach and I could barely eat what they brought me.   I think my appetite was still not back, but everything I ate was good.

Just thought this house was unusual.  I like houses of all sorts. There are many wonderful antebellum houses in the south.

Does this not make you think of Scarlette O’Hara and Gone With the Wind?   I can see her now, running off this porch holding up her full skirts.

Some of the houses were not so grand, but interesting just the same.

Wild flowers planted beside the highway.  They went for miles.  Wonder if they got their seed from Wildseed Farm in Texas?

Almost like a Monet painting.

Out of the sunshine state and back into Autumn once again.

The trees were beautiful.

One town had a Confederate burial ground.

So many died in that terrible war.

Sadly this was how things were back in the day.   This was in Madison, Georgia.  It truly was a beautiful town.  General Sherman, in his march through the south, evidently didn’t hit this town because all the antebellum houses were intact.

Some of the towns had places like this in the center of town.

One honored the Cherokee Indians.

We even saw Mulberry Street, but there were no parades.

If you were a child growing up in the fifties, you probably saw this movie on the Walt Disney Show one evening.   It’s about Uncle Remus, Brer Rabbit, Brer Bear and Brer Fox.  A long time ago, a little boy say at the knee of former slaves and listened to the stories they would tell.   One day these stories were written down for all to read and then Walt Disney loved them so much, he made a movie about them.

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I bought a book.  There were books written in the dialect of the former slaves and how they told the stories, but it was hard to understand, so I bought one I could read.   This is not the original author.

This is Pat who worked for the museum. She was a font of information about the author and all things Uncle Remus.   Such a sweet lady.

Brer Bear and his missus on the doors of the bathrooms!

We enjoyed our trip, but were glad to be home in our own bed.

 

 

And it was time to put up the Christmas tree and get ready for another holiday.

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and a restful weekend.  Bye.

There Was Fun

My last two posts were pretty sad, but today I will write about our vacation to Florida and Walt Disney World where we did have some good times before I got ill.

David and I took three boys to Legoland, which has nothing to do with Disney I learned.   I always thought Legoland was in Disney, but it’s a whole other park.  I took no pictures, but it was a fun day.  It was hard to believe the things made out of Legos.  The city of San Francisco was amazing.   Whole cars made of Legos. And of course there were rides, which I did not go on. David took the boys on the roller coasters.

The first day at Disney we were taken to an African restaurant.   We ordered this wonderful bread with all kinds of dipping sauces.

It was so nice to be with family. That is what I was looking forward to the most.  Just being all together.

 

 

Trying different food one has never tried before.

Outside there was a woman dressed in African garb playing on a drum.  Very listlessly, it seemed to me, but how long can one beat on a drum and not get tired?  Anyway, we were looking through the shop in the restaurant(there are shops everywhere in Disney) and we missed our son-in-law.  David came in and said he was playing the drum outside.  We went outside and to our amazement, there he sat playing the drum.

He’s been in a band and can really play.  I could have listened for a long time.  He could get a job here playing the drum.

We went for a ride on the monorail to the Polynesian village.

Gorgeous flowers everywhere in Disney.

Inside the hotel.  Of course there was a shop.

We had some serious shoppers with us. I am not a shopper anymore. I use to love to shop, but I don’t need or want much any longer, so I don’t enjoy just looking.   There are secret Mickey Mouses hidden all over the park.  There was a secret Mickey embedded in the floor here. The boys were having fun looking for them all.

The next day at the park is when it all went downhill for me. I was not feeling at all well and I literally drug myself through Animal Kingdom.  David and I walked through the zoo area and I  had to keep sitting down. You know the rest of the story.  I wish there were a do over for Walt Disney World, but I’m not even sure I want to ever go to Florida gain!

Our son is a Disneyholic.  He bought an annual pass for himself, his girlfriend and her son.  They have already been to Disney World several times.   He’s like a kid in a candy store.  And this is something he bought while on our trip.

Yes, he is the Grinch.  Not really.  And another thing he bought.

A Santa hat that lights up.

We stayed in a very nice house while in Florida in a gated community.

It had a swimming pool and hot tub which the boys used a lot.  After a full day at Disney, they were still energetic and swam until bedtime.   I was wishing I had all that energy.

When the week was over we packed up and started for home.  There must be a word for a feeling that you thought something would never end, but you were sad when it ended.  I was sad to leave despite it all because after all, I got to spend some time with family and that is what it’s all about.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Disney For Me

If you read my last post you know that I am down in Florida in a hospital waiting to be released. It’s been a not fun three days of tests and being jabbed with needles and having my blood pressure taken.  There is no sleeping at night because the nurses come in constantly checking on me. I am dreaming of a bath in a tub and a soft bed with real pillows.

Here I am in a hospital bed waiting for a doctor to tell me whether or not I can leave.  If not for my computer, kindle and a puzzle book I would have been lost.  I’ve kept up with friends and family so I don’t feel so alone.  But being in the hospital is like being in the army. They are constantly asking for your name and birth date and you are always waiting.  We were suppose to be spending these days at Walt Disney World.  No Disney for me and David.  Boo.

I know there is a reason for everything and I am here in this bed for a reason.  But I sure would like to know what that reason is. Is it teaching me patience?   Sometimes I don’t have much patience especially when I have to wait.   Poor David is waiting with me which I am thankful for, but it’s hard on him, too.

Back home there was an ice storm and my dogs, who live outside, have been spending time in their insulated dog house.  Our pet sitter is taking good care of them, but I still worry because if I were home, they would be in the shop with the furnace going.   I don’t think I will ever take a trip this late in the Fall again even though the ice storm was  unusual for this time of year.   The electricity went off I heard and I am wondering if it went off at our house and for how long.

UPDATE:  I was finally released from the hospital hours after they told me I would be released.  This has been the worst stay in a hospital I have ever had.   I would be told they would bring me Advil for my headache. It never showed up. They wanted a “specimen” from me and they never picked it up or provided the medication I was needing at the time. When I was about to check out the RN finally asked me if I wanted her to order the medication. Knowing it would take hours for it to show up I told her “no.”  When I was finally checked out, David went to get  the car and I was told I would be taken out in a wheelchair.  I waited and waited and finally I went into the hall and an RN said, “You are anxious to leave.” It wasn’t until then she called down for someone to bring a wheelchair up for me.  I could have walked down and been going back to our rental faster.  Then the doctor gave me a new prescription and when David went to fill it,  the pharmacy said the doctor had not signed it so they could not fill it. As  I write, poor David is trying to hunt up this doctor to get his signature.  I am very unhappy.  I told David if I needed to go to the hospital again, drive out of Florida before taking me to one.  If you are reading this and live in Florida and have had better experiences in the hospital, I am glad for you, but this particular hospital will get a very bad review from me.  I’m usually pretty tolerant and understanding, but this was too much. Done with my rant now!

So tomorrow I hope we can spend some time with family and maybe find a yarn shop and relax before we start our trip back.  I am so looking forward to being home.  I certainly will remember this vacation!

Have you had horror stories about a hospital?    In my city the hospital is great and I have always been happy with the treatment.    I don’t know what happened with this hospital in Florida.

My next post I won’t sound as crabby. Bye. Oh, and I did get my nice bath and will have a comfy bed with real pillows tonight.

Why I’m Never Making Plans Again

Do you make plans?  Do they always go as you planned?  Or are you like me. As soon as you make some plans nothing goes according to plan.  This has happened to me a lot lately.

When my daughter decided she wanted to do a ten week twenty day physical therapy routine in Indianapolis I said, “Sure, I’ll be glad to go with you.  Then David had to have eye surgery on both eyes and I had doctor appointments I could not cancel.  So I could not go with her every time. Plus our son bought us tickets to Walt Disney World for four days in November and I would miss one week going to Indianapolis with her.  My plans went all askew.

Our oldest son bought us tickets to Walt Disney World and rented a house for us and our daughter’s family and we all were looking forward to spending some fun time together.   The first day in Florida we went to Legoland and had a great time.  Then the first day at Disney I began to feel really bad. It was hot and I thought it was just the heat. I could barely walk around the park without feeling like I was going to faint.  When we got home I went to bed and slept hoping the next morning I would feel better, but I felt worse.  So we went to a new clinic just down the road from our rental and the doctor there sent me to the hospital. That’s where I’ve been ever since. My heart rate is very low and now they are talking about my kidneys.  Help!  So here I sit in the hospital on what should have been a fun day, waiting for the doctor to give me more news. I also have to have more tests………

If you are a praying person, pray for me right now.  Bye.

Halloween

I’m not sure if Halloween is purely an American holiday, but we Americans sure go all out for it every year.  It’s been reported we spend as much on Halloween decorations as we do Christmas ones.  I’m not sure about that because I have never gone out driving to see the Halloween lights, but if “they” say so, it must be so.

I loved Halloween when I was a kid. We lived in a tiny town of about 400 people and everyone knew everyone else or was related to them or knew some of their relations.   I knew the grandparents, cousins and aunt and uncle of my husband long before I met him because he was an “out of towner.”    So, when you went trick or treating, you knew every one in every house you visited.

I don’t remember any of my Halloween costumes except one. My mother made me a white rabbit suit one year with long ears and a furry tail.  It was so hot to wear, but I loved that thing.   I was probably a first or second grader at the time and our class paraded around the school in our costumes, going into each classroom.  Now my school had grades one through twelve in one building.  I had older brothers and a sister in the school at the time so we visited their classrooms.   I remember going in one room and suddenly one of the older boys was laughing and  pointing at me.  I wondered what was so funny until someone told me my flap was down.  There was a flap on the backside of the costume so I could well, use the bathroom should I need to, and evidently I had not refastened it.   I was so embarrassed.   I walked out of the room backward.

In other years I am sure my mother bought those hot fabric masks they use to sell in the five and dime stores and I would find some old clothes of some kind to wear and my brothers would take me trick or treating.   I remember wearing those masks and sweating and the more I breathed in and out,  the sweatier I got. Those masks sell for high prices in antique stores now.

Since everyone knew each other, at each house the person handing out the treats would try to guess who we were before they would give us any candy.  It was a long drawn out affair with names being guessed and I could only shake my head so as not to give myself away.   Finally they would guess who I was and put a candy bar in my bag.  Back then we got the big size candy bars, not the tiny ones handed out now.  I was taught to say “thank you,” and then we would proceed to the next house.  Being a country girl, it was so much fun to be in the “big” city going door to door and seeing all the people I knew.

When we had visited about every house in town we would go back home and mother would put a sheet on the floor and we would dump our bags onto it one at a time. For some reason my brothers always seemed to have more candy than I did.  They would have these big piles while my little pile looked puny in comparison. But still, there was a lot of candy and we got to eat some before we went to bed and then mother would put it up and dole it out a little at a time.

When my children use to go trick or treating they would bring their bags home and dump it all out. I would always look for the Snickers bars and when the candy was put away, the Snickers bars would mysteriously disappear from the candy stash.  My children are old enough now I can tell them my deep, dark secret.  But they very rarely got to eat any of the Snickers bars they got in their trick or treat bags.    I don’t think they really cared because they didn’t like Snickers or at least that’s what I tell myself!

When I got older and thought I was too old to trick or treat I wanted to go out tricking like some of the older kids would do. You could always tell it was Halloween in our town because all the windows of every business had been soaped. I don’t think that’s done much anymore and would probably get kids in trouble now, but back then it was a rite of passage. Soaping was taking a bar of soap and writing or scribbling something on windows.     So one year my very best friend, Mary Jean, and I decided we would soap windows.   We were both terrified of getting caught so we didn’t soap many windows, but we did throw shelled corn on people’s porches and thought we were sooo bad!  But it was harmless fun and the adults in our town knew to expect it and put up with it for one night of the year.    There was some outhouse tipping that was not funny and my brothers told of some cow tipping although I think that was just a myth that came out every Halloween.

Back in the day my brothers use to tell me there were these two men who lived in our barn.  They would tell me they heard them talking and would scare me so much.  I didn’t now why my daddy would permit two men to live in our barn.  I think that was another myth my brothers told just to scare their little sister.  At least I hope so.

My daddy worked nights in those days and we kids and our mother would sit up waiting for him to come home.  One Halloween we were sitting outside looking at the moon and my mother said she saw a witch fly across the moon.  My mother could tell a story and make me believe it no matter what it was about.  I just knew she had seen a witch fly across the moon.  She saw a UFO once(or so she said) and I was forever looking up in the sky for a UFO.    Those were such fun times though and I remember them with such fondness.

So now I watch as my grandchildren celebrate Halloween by dressing up and collecting candy. My grandsons go trick or treating two or three times and don’t usually know most of the people who give them candy.   My one grandson dressed up like the headless horseman this year.

Speaking of the headless horseman. We always watched Disney’s cartoon version which was usually shown right around Halloween.  It would always scare me to death. Poor Ichabod Crane. No one ever knew what became of him. So when I learned that Conner Prairie, an 1836 reproduction village north of Indianapolis had headless horseman hayrides, I just had to go.  My older grandchildren and their mother go every year.  First you walk around Conner Prairie where they have puppet shows, crafts and food booths and a story teller and then when it’s your turn you get on a big wagon with several other happy people and ride back in the woods. Slowly your horses clop along.  You sit there in anticipation. Suddenly, there he is, the headless horseman coming behind the wagon on a big, black horse, his cape flying, his head gone and he is galloping faster and faster.   He is laughing this awful laugh as he comes closer and closer and suddenly he is right beside the wagon and you can feel the horse’s breath right on you if you are sitting in the back, which I was, and you scream your head off until he finally gallops away.  So much fun!!!

They say Halloween is a pagan holiday. It may be for some. For me it’s all about fun. As long a no one gets hurt or too scared it’s a holiday I hope we continue to celebrate.  I don’t go for the gory or bloody or murderous Halloween. I go for more the Casper the Friendly Ghost kind of Halloween.  The candy filled Halloween. The cute costumes Halloween.  The slightly scary Halloween.  Happy Halloween!  Bye.

 

Oh, Glorious Days

I love Autumn.  I use to love Summer, but I have become heat intolerant the older I get and I don’t like to sweat so there’s that, too.    We have been having some glorious days and today was one.  Driving back from Indianapolis from my daughter’s physical therapy we saw some of the most beautiful red leaved trees in a field.  The leaves are indeed starting to change.   They are later than usual, but that’s okay.   It will be beautiful in Brown County in another week and the leaf gazers will be out in force.

We have been busy doing things with the Grandboys.   Once again we attended Grandparents’ Day at the Christian school two of our Grandboys attend.  We always enjoy it.   And we take them out to eat and get to have some one on one time with them.  It’s fun having a real conversation with our older Grandboys about all kinds of subjects.

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This one went from a  little boy to a young man almost overnight.   I hate it, but what can I do?  Kids grow up right before our eyes almost.

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This one is a Junior. Ack!

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Taller than us both and such a nice boy.  We love them both so much.

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Then soccer with this Grandboy.  His team won both games. Yay!

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This boy can kick a soccer ball. He made several goals.

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Sitting on his mama’s lap between games.

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This is our “baby” Grandboy. Getting so tall also.  He played goalie for a while.

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Sometimes he didn’t look very interested!   His team won their games, too. Yay!

Since this was the last of the soccer games for the season there were concessions, booths giving away things from water bottles to Tide sticks and some were selling soccer paraphernalia. And this guy showed up since Target was sponsoring the whole thing.

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The sky was so blue that day.

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Trees starting to turn.   It was just glorious and nice to be outside although right after the games the wind picked up and began blowing pretty hard.  Leaves flying everywhere.

In Autumn it seems the flowers give their last hurrah as if they know that soon they will be resting for a few months.

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My hydrangea had more flowers on it than ever before.

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I’ve always wanted blue hydrangeas and this year I finally have one.   I do have to add something to the soil so they will turn blue.

I’ve done very minimal Autumn decorating this year as I won’t be around for most of it.

 

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Fairy lights, pumpkins and Halloween figures on the mantel.

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A tray of tiny pumpkins and a Buttered Maple Syrup scented candle.  I haven’t lit it yet, but maybe tonight.

And of course, new yarn has been ordered and received.  I used up a bunch of yarn on patchwork socks and so I needed a new stash.

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These colors are so beautiful. My horrible photography does not do these colors any justice at all, but believe me, they are deep colored and delicious looking. I can’t wait to get them wound and let the knitting begin.  I’m really going to have to relearn how to knit sweaters because I have knit so many socks this year.  I use to knit sweaters and things for my kids years ago, but it seems I have forgotten all I ever knew.

Enjoy these glorious Autumn days because Winter is right around the corner.  Bye.