Trick Or Treat

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Halloween is a uniquely magical time of the year. Children turn into adults. Adults turn into children.
Halloween past was spent with my three nephews. With only a flashlight the three kids dressed as ghosts were shuffled from one house and on to the next. By the end of the evening each bag was filled to capacity. What other time of year could a kid load up on a mountain of candy and other teeth rotting goodies?
“Whatcha gonna be for Halloween this year,” is a dilemma for children this time of year.
Little girls opt for costumes like an angel, or a princess. Cheerleaders and Cinderella are popular as well as the Ice Queen Elsa or perhaps a teeny bopper (complete with a poodle skirt).
Young boys want a costume that makes a statement. A zombie maybe a vampire. Costumes like a Count Dracula, or Sorcerer Harry Potter are typical. Perhaps dressed as Batman, or Pokémon, even a pro football player (complete only with an agent)
All the little skeletons, ghosts and goblins will come out of the closet this Halloween. So, get ready to have a spooky good time October 31st.
When the neighborhood kids come to say “Trick or Treat” be prepared to see a variety of costumes. This is the best part about Halloween–a kid can be whatever he wants to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christmas Decoration Rules…….Really?

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Christmas begins early. The week before Thanksgiving, boxes are carried down from the attic. Boxes and more boxes filled with generations of memories. My sister once told me “You never can decorate a Christmas tree right. Why is your garland going up and down when it is obviously needs to be wrapped in circles around the tree?”
Where are the rules to decorating a Christmas tree? No two homes decorated for the holidays look alike.
My neighbor in Colonial springs has a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, but she has not one set of Christmas lights on the tree. Red ribbons, red ornament balls, and red bows fill each branch of the tree.
There is a Christmas tree on the south side that has the old fashion bubble lights. More than one tree in Greenwood has miniature blinking lights. There is a tree in Villa Heights with only blue lights. In Oak Meadow there is a house with the larger lights that do not blink at all.
My cousin in New Mexico has a train that runs underneath his Christmas Tree. He placed plywood beneath the Christmas tree skirt. When the Christmas lights are on the train runs continually around and around underneath the tree. He must position each wrapped gift just so or it might derail the train.
In my parents’ home you will find a traditional tree trimmed with pretty heirloom ornaments. Children’s ornaments made at school or church decorates the tree. Saving these treasures to display each year shows visitors how special and wonderful their artwork is to the entire family.
I decorate for the holidays in a haphazard way. I have no master plan when it comes to the Christmas tree. I set a day for family gathering and make it an event. I serve an informal supper and have a tree-trimming party. It is a wonderful way to get some holiday decorating accomplished and have fun at the same time. I keep a pot of soup on the stove and give each one of my nephew’s two boxes of ornaments. We don’t get to eat until the tree is finished.
My husband brings the Christmas boxes down from the attic and my nephews come over to help me decorate the tree. Regardless of my sister’s opinion, once again my garland will be placed in an up and down direction.
One of my nephews did let it slip that his mom can’t understand why I decorate a pine tree when everyone knows it should be a spruce tree.
Just where is this book on Christmas tree rules anyway?

 

 

 

It’s Only the First of November

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

Skating taught me to set a goal

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Roller blades, also called in-line skates, are an increasingly popular summer activity for families. So I agreed to give them a try. “It’s a great way to get around and a fun way to exercise,” Ann said. “If I can do it, anybody can.” I wondered, would it be that easy to learn?

The cost and quality of in-line skates varies dramatically from store to store. You can get generic-looking skates for $30 to $60, while sports shops sell brand name rollerblades starting at $100 and up.

Basically, you get what you pay for. When you get the more expensive ones, you get a better grade of bearing, and it’s got a better grade of carriage underneath. Everything is better quality and lasts longer.

I was satisfied buying a discount pair. Fashion isn’t a main concern. I wear wrist, elbow and knee pads.

It’s Saturday afternoon: Ann and Nancee, two cousins, are skating around Northeast Elementary School in Greenwood. I will admit that I scooted around the parking lot until I gained confidence. At first the knees were shaky but my spirit soared.

Learning to control the brake was the most difficult part for me. I still don’t have the knack of speed and brake. It’s more like speed and spin to stop.

I did question what I would feel the first time I saw the pavement coming to meet me. Much to my surprise I got up faster than I thought I would. I was having too much fun not to.

Now I can say it. Roller blades are not for everyone, but yes if I can do it anyone can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sound of Birds Stopping By…..

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Construction of birdhouses and bird feeders can be as simple or as complex as you wish to make it. Bird feeders can look like tiny bungalows, wooden A-frames or miniature chalets. Bird houses need no ornamentation to serve the birds using them, but an attractive design can enhance a yard. Thus, the custom built bird feeders are for the person filling them not for the birds.

My neighbor has two wood salad bowls with a wooden rod through the center. The house across the street has a large glass hanging feeder.  

A feeder could be attached to any window.   It will bring the  bird up  close for an exciting view.   The tube bird feeder,  found in any variety store,  could be fun.   One neighbor has a  bird feeder  made from old car license plates.

My  nephew  made an egg carton bird feeder in school. My Aunt Hilda has bird houses made out of gourds hanging off of her porch. My grandmother has a rustic barn creation bird feeder that has painted on the top, “See Rock City.”

Building a bird house can be purely practical or absolutely outrageous.   In   Greenwood  I have found bird house  and  feeders built to resemble a  gazebo,  a church,  a log cabin,  a totem-like housing complex,  a pagoda,  a school house,  even a little outhouse!    It was a one-holer of a different sort.

Would the blue jays, sparrows, starlings or finches that visit the feeder in my yard be more excited if I had a little deck for the feathered guests to stand on? I think not.

Bird feeder and houses are designed to bring pleasure for you and benefit our feathered friends. Where is it written that I have to build a fanciful birdhouse? It doesn’t seem to matter to the birds.

Mix together my plain and simple looking bird feeder with bird seed and it looks like a scene from the movie  The Birds  in the back yard.  Works for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yard Sale . . . . Buy Our Stuff . . .

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In spite of the recent rain and temperatures, yard sales flourish. “One man’s trash is another one’s treasure,” is a prime definition of the yard sales held each spring. On any given weekend from about May to August, signs will appear all over town for yard sales or garage sales.

These  sales offer people a prerogative  to make a little extra cash  as  well as clean out their garages  or  attics.   For people on a fixed income,  yard sales offer an  opportunity for added cash flow.  If you are looking for a hard to find item,   when you spot a yard sale sign,   pull over,   you just might find it at a  bargain price.

My sister-in-law always brags of the great savings she finds at area sales, so I spent last Saturday going from garage sale to yard sales. From that I decided on two important factors of yard/garage sales: one is to wear comfortable shoes and two is to be prepared to see people’s useless items. A yard sale could be defined: I purchase things they no longer want, go home, and put them in my garage with things I thought I needed.

She tells me,   “You will always find a little something.”   She mentions that more than one housing addition has community yard sales.   You simply park your car at one end of the development  and  only return  when your packages  wear you down.

Don’t be surprised to see crafts, lamps, tools, boats, lawn mowers, even refrigerators in the yard. Bicycles, microwaves, high chairs, pots and pans, a fire place, even a Christmas tree, all going for a cheap price in the front yard.

With the wide variety of clothes, toys, furniture, and dishes offered for sale, you might stumble upon just the thing you’ve been looking for. Sometimes you find something you didn’t even know you wanted until you spotted it in a front yard of a house with a sign “Yard Sale.”

I found a bowling pin for less than a dollar that my nephew can use as a door stop in his room. After a year he will tire of it and then it will be time to have a garage sale of my own and recover my money. Who wants to buy a bowling pin next spring?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day

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Mothers are very special people.  My mother, is a lovely and talented lady.  Among her many talents is her ability to sew.  It’s a talent neither my sisters nor I inherited  —  whether by choice or not, I don’t really know why.

Mom made all of our clothes and some of the neighbor’s when we were growing up.  My grandmother had a treadle sewing machine she would pump away at.  My mother had an electric one that had ‘attachments’ that she would keep in the bottom drawer of the machine.

It really wouldn’t matter which sewing machine my mother used, the results were way above average.  I remember once seeing a dress in the newspaper that I wanted so much and mother just studied it.  She drew out the pattern on newspaper, cut it out, adjusted it to fit me and she was ready to go.

Placing the home-made pattern on top the dress material, she started to cut.  The scissors made a special sound as she cut through the double thickness.  She would stop many times as she sewed to fit the dress to me, all the while pressing each seam so the finished product would look professional.

I stood on a table and slowly turned while mom measured so many inches up from the table top because the last thing of course was to put in the hem.  Then the final pressing, so I would ‘look nice” at school.

My mother no longer sews dresses for me or my sister.  Her grandchildren find the clothes they need at the local department store.  She no longer sews clothing, so she make quilts. Her quilts could stand inspection from “the best of them”.

Me?  My talent is with a hot glue gun.  I can fix any hem.