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It’s Only the First of November


Notice all the houses decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving Day?
In Mission Hills subdivision there is a turkey made from a bale of hay. Driving around town you see more than one cement goose lawn ornament dressed as a Pilgrim. In Colonial Springs there is a Minnie Mouse statue dressed as Pocahontas.
Early in the week you could hear the leaf blowers throughout the different neighborhoods. Streets were lined with piles of leaves waiting on city crews.
Yes at our house we opted to get ahead of the bad weather and decorate the outside lights. Although we will NOT turn the lights on until it gets closer to Christmas, it was easier to string the lights along the eaves when our fingers weren’t so cold.
There is a house on Smith Valley Road that has Christmas lights up and lit for display the day after Halloween. I’m afraid if we start with the Christmas decorations in October we might tire of them by December.
But then again there is a house in Northern Park that has their holidays up already….simply because they have never taken them down all year.
It is difficult to get in the Christmas spirit still munching Halloween candy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 5, 2019 at 4:07 pm 2 comments

Pumpkin Carving Opinions !

 

As Halloween approaches, the most single visible and popular symbol is the pumpkin. Or more commonly called – the jack-o-lantern.

Pumpkins are plucked from the vine then spark into flaming life with leering faces, while leaves die on their branches in bursts of red and gold.

I took my nephew to a local produce stand looking for the perfect pumpkin. Later at home we washed and dried it. A slippery pumpkin would be hard to work with. We then spread newspapers under the pumpkin.

We decided to save the pumpkin seeds. No, we didn’t want to get ahead of next summer’s crop. My mother has a recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds. She uses these toasted pumpkin seeds in breads or muffins, or just to eat as a snack.

The afternoon was turning out to be enjoyable up to this point. Other adults stopped by to visit. The little guy now had way too much help!

Uncle Bob thought I was silly that we carve out the jack-o-lantern. Why cut and clean out the pumpkin. He always painted faces on his pumpkins. “Oh no” says Aunt Linda. First you must decide on the face. Should it be scary? Happy? Silly? She made the little guy draw several rough drafts of his carving on paper first. Aunt Linda went inside and my nephew opted to draw on the pumpkin itself.

I always cut my jack-o-lanterns at the top. We begin to carve a circle around the stem to make a lid. My neighbor had stopped by. He always makes his cut on the pumpkin from the bottom. The neighbor leaves and we continue to carve from the top.

Suggestions were still flowing when my husband drove up and mentioned that we cut a hole in the center of the back of the pumpkin for ventilation.

Hopefully, next year we won’t have so much help. There was more to carving this pumpkin than first met the eye.

Regardless of the different opinions, we transformed an ordinary pumpkin into a magical, seasonal decoration with a frightful design. It should delight the neighborhood with Boo-tiful decoration for Halloween.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 25, 2019 at 1:05 pm Leave a comment

What’s For Supper ?


Ours is a fast food restaurant or microwave diet. So gardening, canning and preserving food may seem out of step and anything but fun.

For generations, gardening and canning have filled those vacant, school-free hours between June and September with a fruitful activity that can still keep a food cellar — and a family pocketbook — full.

Still, canning requires some effort. Anybody who has done gardening and canning knows it’s not much fun. While family members love the fruits of their labor, they’re not prone to help much.

My mother has been making her own ketchup, jams, jellies, tomato sauce and salsa for years. She keeps busy through the summer, and the work doesn’t end until she is done with apples in the fall.

As I was taking the package of frozen peaches out of the freezer today, I began to think of how we put them up when I was a young girl. We began by watching the trees, and as soon as most of the peaches had turned a beautiful pink, we knew they were almost ready.

We put them in mason jars. I knew that when those jars came out of the basement, I would automatically wash them. Mother would work all day preparing the peaches for canning. While we kids popped peaches into our mouth as we worked.

Now as I sit at the kitchen table eating peach cobbler that was made from store bought frozen peaches, I think of the fun I had while working with my mother. Yeah right….. If God had wanted every woman to cook he would have never invented Del Monte.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 24, 2019 at 2:27 pm 3 comments

Keep Calm – Back To School Tomorrow

 

The Greenwood Community Schools start the 2019 school year next week. Although my nephew could spend a few more days enjoying summer vacation, his mother can hardly wait until the start of school.
We spent last Saturday at stores going over Back to School Sales. Shopping for his first day of school is a task that we all agree can only be endured once a year.
Why is it that mothers and sons can never agree while they shop? I assured my sister that school shopping for the little guy will get easier as he gets older. She gave me a sneer, she knew I was lying.
Each item has to be just right — approved not only from the school but also by his peers. He is ten years old now and why would he actually want to use last years back pack? Why would he need new socks? The ones he has worn all summer are good enough for him.
The list from the school states he needs to bring four large glue sticks, a box of tissues, scissors and yes a box of Band-Aids. No ring binders are allowed in school and please bring one sealed box of children’s Tylenol. My sister wonders if she should buy a box of Tylenol for the teacher.
Perish the thought that he might ride his bicycle to school on summer days. He is a year older now and would rather walk than ride a bicycle. Can a motor bike be far behind?
When we parted at the end of the day they were still discussing how
he was going to get his hair cut.
This summer has been hot and humid but tolerable. After many happy hours on his skateboard except one – my nephew will have his cast taken off in two more weeks.
School started this week and for the most part both mother and son
are glad of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 18, 2019 at 2:33 pm Leave a comment

Livin’ the Dream with Green Stamps

 

My nephew Doug, was helping me search the attic for a particular box. Naturally, he did more looking around than being actual help. He came over with a book of what he called funny looking postage stamps. No, they were not postage stamps; they were trading stamps I told him.
A few of us remember the day of “trading stamps” from Gold Bond, Eagle,
S & H Green, Top Value and others. They were given out by grocers, gas stations and some department stores with each purchase.
The stamps had to be put in books, which usually meant my sister or I would sit around the kitchen table, licking stamps. Although my mother used a sponge to wet the stamps, my sister and I would resolve to lick the stamps till our mouths went dry.
At different stores, you would get fulfillment books to put your trading stamps in. The pages of each book outlined that enabled you to paste your stamps in the proper place.
Each page required a total of fifty stamps. Stamps came in point system: singles, ten, and fifty. You couldn’t mix the points. If you wanted a page of singles you had to press fifty singles. If you wanted a page of tens you needed to press five tens. With the fifty point stamp you need to press only one on a page.
Several books full of stamps could be redeemed for all sorts of merchandise . . . small kitchen appliances, sporting goods, children swing sets, radios, televisions — you name it.
I remember vividly my family planned to save trading stamps for a blender. Only after mother explained that we could make milk shakes did my sister and I agree with her plan. My father simply went along with the program. He would just bring home the stamps. We only needed 10,000 stamps to get the blender.
Saving up 10,000 stamps seemed like a daunting task. There was a Osterizer at the end of that rainbow, so we patiently filled up stamp books until we reached our goal.
Eventually, a few stores discontinued the stamps and cut their prices accordingly. Trading stamps vanished from most places. “So you got things from just saving these stamps and stuff?” Doug asks.
I tell my nephew, “You know the silverware you use at grandmother’s house came from Betty Crocker/General Mills box tops.”
Condescending, Nine year old Doug rolled his eyes, “No Way” he said shrugging his shoulders. I shook his little shoulder. “Yes Way.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 19, 2019 at 2:14 pm 1 comment

“Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning”

 

The Senior Class of Greenwood Community High School will hold commencement exercises Sunday afternoon.

As seniors, marching to get their diplomas, they will remember many things. They will always remember graduation night, the Senior Prom, the high school song, and the various clubs.

Memories of football and basketball games, the many band trips, the pep-sessions, and the chorus and band contests will linger. As well as the cafeteria line, the trips on school buses to different school functions along with the different sport teams. All will be remembered, down to signing each other’s senior memory book.

Will they miss their school companions? Will they miss the school life? Do you think you might see a tear in their eyes as they play the processional and recessional? Do you think they will miss the halls so noisy and crowded? Do you think one might hold back his/her emotions with diploma in hand?

Do you think they know they will miss the faculty whom they sometimes doubted? Do you wonder if the tears will start so flow at the last note of the band? Can you imagine you see a little sadness as each senior shakes a hand and takes a final bow? If you think there will be, then I guess you are right.

More than one photograph or video will be taken at the commencement and various parties in honor of the graduates. A few pictures will be taken with smiles and a few taken with tears.

At graduation there are hugs, tears, kisses, laughter and cheers. Everyone one of the emotions was grasped by someone different. For each graduate the essential memory would remain the same.

They were the graduation class of 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 14, 2019 at 11:11 am 1 comment

Clean Enough or Too Clean ????

The topic around the newspaper this week is simple: Spring cleaning. How do you draw the line between clean enough and too clean?
Do you dust or vacuum first? I believe you should vacuum first. If I would dust first, then vacuum, it might blow dust on everything I have just dusted.
I’ve heard a lot of vacuum first people argue that even a good clean well-filtered vacuum can blow dust. I agree – it might blow dust from undusted or forgotten areas onto dusted new ones.
I raised more than one eyebrow at the office when I asked what was the best way to clean behind and under appliances. “Why would you want to clean under heavy furniture?” asked Norma. While yes, Linda moves the couch each week to sweep under it.
What is the best way to get rid of dust bunnies? We all agree that a damp towel on the broom would pick up the webs most efficiently. For some reason dust bunnies didn’t seem to bother Robin. “They can spring up overnight,” she says. I bet she doesn’t worry about dead leaves on plants either.
Carla boasts that her husband has the job of cleaning all the windows. He uses a squeegee. I figure she was asking us to be jealous of her help.
Dianna swears she read warnings about serious accidents while cleaning. She hesitates to do any house cleaning. It’s too dangerous to clean. More than half of all accidents happen in and around the home, and hundreds of thousands of them are directly connected with home cleaning or maintenance.
“Is it worth it?” Stella asks. “A clean house can and will get messed up again.” True, the first thing you notice as you enter a home is how used and livable it looks and feels. I am more impressed by that than by a perfect, expensive, sparkling clean house. I’d rather see a cookie jar with a few crumbs around it than a gleaming sterile tile counter top.
Well, we had to get around to it sometime…the actual spring cleaning. How do you draw the line between clean enough and too clean? A house is made to live in, not to live for.
No one, except for my sister-in-law, really loves to clean. And you know she’s lying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 19, 2019 at 3:02 pm 1 comment

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