Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween Memorabilia

Here, Rob was 2 years old, and made up as a mummy. I was so concerned about him staying warm, so I put him in sweats before I wrapped him with strips of sheets. I can bust up laughing just thinking about it. I wrapped him too tight the first time; he couldn't bend his arms or legs well. He actually walked like a "mummy." I started laughing so hard, and might I add that he did not like that at all. It took a couple of times wrapping him to get it just right.

This is one of my favorite photo's. Rob was 3 and Diandra was just shy of turning a year old. I couldn't even tell you what these two were laughing about. Rob and Diandra had their own language that had a sense of humor to go with it. To this day, they still get each other.

My mom showing Rob how to spread his wings at my little sister's school. He was 4 here.

This is our first Halloween with Adam and Mike, our two oldest boys. They had always spent Halloween with their mom. Adam was in the fifth grade here, and Mike was in the 3rd grade. Mike, I found out, loved to get really into the theatrical part he was playing for Halloween. The little white bunny is their cousin.

Diandra listening to a story in Rob's class. I love the expression on her face.

Rob as Leonardo with a pizza box and all. There was a photo of him in this get-up on the wall of our local Pizza Factory for the longest time. My mom helped me make this costume. Diandra was a little black kitty.

Have a safe Happy Halloween or Harvest!

Room with a Boo

Our local Newspaper in the "Fun stuff to do" section, started out saying "No visions of sugarplums for Jack Roads. When he lies in bed each night, they're more likely to be turnips, pumpkins or rutabagas, with big eyes and toothy grins. And rather than bring him fitful sleep, these images ~ these brainchildren of his ~ let Roads rest easy, knowing that upon waking, he'll make them a reality." It had me very interested. Today I went to see his work of art.

Artist Jack Roads, whose Halloween works are on display at the McHenry Museum, pays close attention to the clothing his characters wear, routinely using vintage fabrics and buttons and often dying the cloth himself. Roads is fond of using old things; empty clock cabinets, vintage buttons, antique patterned cloth or cloth he dyes himself in his art. On the walls of the exhibit room are a few Halloween costumes from the 1920s and '30s that inspired some of the clothing he created for his characters. The 70 year old's work is sought by collectors all over the country. Roads enjoys doing Christmas themed papier-mache, too, but Halloween is his first choice decor. In this country, most of the Halloween decor from about 1900 to 1930 came from Germany, and it's that look he really likes. Most of those decorations were quite small, though, while his are bigger and more showy.

I found that some of his art was dark and a little more spooky than I am comfortable with. All in all, I am glad that I went. I would liked to have taken my own pictures though.

Note ~ I didn't take these pictures. Picture taking was not allowed. Information on Jack Roads came from the local newspaper.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Midnight Faces

As the clock strikes midnight,
Many faces are asleep.
At the strike of midnight,
It can be very bleak.
People don't notice the faces around.
Even while they wander on the ground.
This world is made of faces.
Many people don't see.
If I were you I wouldn't peek.
I would just fall back asleep.
Because the faces can be scary.
Even sometimes very hairy.
As the clock strikes down.
A new day has begun.

by Michael Mandel, age 11

Photo's were taken at the River Walk ~ San Antonio, Texas.
Make sure you click on the photo to see the detail!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

It Must be October

The harvest moon hangs round and high
It dodges clouds high in the sky,
The stars wink down their love and mirth
The Autumn season is giving birth.
Oh, it must be October
The leaves of red bright gold and brown,
To Mother Earth come tumbling down,
The breezy nights the ghostly sights,
The eerie spooky far off sounds
Are signs that it's October.
The pumpkins yellow,. big and round
Are carried by costumed clumsy clowns
It's Halloween - let's celebrate.

- Pearl N. Sorrels

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Grinning from Ear to Ear!

It all started early this Saturday morning... 

I have been wanting to go to our local produce market for some time now; with working the summer school program and now that the regular school year has started, I rarely get to go. The newspaper printed that it ends November 1st; I was so bummed.. I thought to myself, 'How did I let all this season go by without going to it but only a couple of times.' I decided when I read the last market date in the newspaper, 'Come hail or high water, I was going to the two that were left.' I jumped into the shower, threw some clothes on, grabbed my camera and purse; I was on my way. The paper said it was going to be 82 degrees today; the air was a little crisp, with a light wind. I parked my car, and took a deep breath. Ahh joy!

Immediately my face broke into a smile; apparently with it being the last weekend before Halloween, there was going to be a parade of little ones all dressed up in their costumes. It was like a scene from a movie; there were beautiful leaves gliding down from their trees. Just what the Dr. ordered. I made my way through about 10 vendors looking for the best prices and quality on produce, and then I seen her. It was my best friend Laurie from the 5th grade! We immediately started screaming trying not to bring too much attention to ourselves. We have always kept in contact with one another until my dad was diagnosed with cancer. That is when time had gotten away from us.
Why do we do that? The people that mean so much to us and that are or were a big part of our lives? We let them slip through our fingers like sand. We both stood there catching up with each others lives; I am so thrilled that our paths crossed! We plan to get together more often. In fact, I am helping her with the last of the produce markets except for one; Charlie and I have a get away planned. Oh! Laurie also informed me that the 
newspaper printed the wrong date that the Farmers Market ends; It will last until right before Thanksgiving!

We also have a weekend trip in the works that involve our girls; I hope we can make it happen. I haven't stopped grinning. When I got home from the market, my day just got better. I got to spend some time with my grandchildren; it was our grand-daughter's birthday. Charlie and I then stopped at a Chinese Restaurant on the way home and had dinner. What a wonderful Saturday! Have you heard of that saying, "Having too much fun?" I think I did that today! :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Lady Autumn

Diandra ~ Halloween 06

Lady Autumn, Queen of the Harvest,
I have seen You in the setting Sun
with Your long auburn tresses
blowing in the cool air that surrounds You.
Your crown of golden leaves is jeweled
with amber, amethyst, and rubies.
Your long, flowing purple robe stretches across the horizon.
In Your hands You hold the ripened fruits.
At Your feet the squirrels gather acorns.
Black crows perch on Your outstretched arms.
All around You the leaves are falling.
You sit upon Your throne and watch
the dying fires of the setting Sun
shine forth its final colors in the sky.
The purple and orange lingers
and glows like burning embers.
Then all colors fade into the twilight.
Lady Autumn, You are here at last.
We thank You for Your rewards.
We have worked hard for these gifts.
Lady Autumn, now grant us peace and rest.

- Deirdre Akins

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Collecting Leaves and Memories ~

I have admired the tree leaves changing their color on my daily walks. On one of my walks I started picking up some beautiful leaves. In my the process of collecting leaves, a memory came to me... When the kids were little we would take walks to break up our day. I would give the kids a bag and we would collect sticks, feathers, leaves etc., come home from our walk and empty our bags. We would then get the paste, glue, glitter, tape and construction paper out. We would get started on our collection and make art. They would decorate our refrigerator for everyone to see.

The season of Fall holds many memories for me... hay rides, Bonn fires, football games, holding hands running through the sprinklers, and that first sweet kiss. I remember sewing Halloween costumes for my children and going to pick out our pumpkin and carving the perfect face on them.

We found out my dad had cancer in October, which makes my memories of this season in my life bittersweet. A time I will always cherish. It was the beginning of the end. We were told we would have my dad for 7 months at the most with chemo. I had not only one, but two October's and November's with him. I can still see him coming out of the door from his house with a smile as I was parking my car. The wind blowing, he'd tell me to "Hurry! You are going to blow away with the wind... you need to gain some weight!" Then asking me with genuine concern if I ate that day. I can recall feeling both very loved and blessed at that moment. I didn't realize at the time that memory would be etched in my heart and mind, carrying me over until we are together again.

It's interesting how picking up a single leaf or the wind blowing will connect you with a time, place or event in your life.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


confetti of colored leaves


O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.

- Robert Frost

Monday, October 22, 2007


Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns.

- George Eliot

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Love of October

A child looking at ruins grows younger
but cold
and wants to wake to a new name
I have been younger in October
than in all the months of spring
walnut and may leaves the color
of shoulders at the end of summer
a month that has been to the mountain
and become light there
the long grass lies pointing uphill
even in death for a reason
that none of us knows
and the wren laughs in the early shade now
come again shining glance in your good time
naked air late morning
my love is for lightness
of touch foot feather
the day is yet one more yellow leaf
and without turning I kiss the light
by an old well on the last of the month
gathering wild rose hips
in the sun

- W. S. Merwin, The Love of October

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Be Kind to Yourself ~

Chai Tea

take some time for yourself ~ it's okay
light a candle
put your favorite music on
that movie you have been wanting to see
or snuggle into your favorite spot
and get that book you have been wanting to read
get your favorite mug out and put your favorite drink in it
sit back
just enjoy this moment


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Nutrition Quiz

Carbs tend to go in and out of favor from a nutrition standpoint. What's the latest? Here's a quiz based on information from the Harvard School of Public Health to find out how savvy your are about carbohydrates in your diet.

1. Carbohydrates provide the body with fuel for physical activity and organ function.
True or False?

2. Carbohydrates come from all types of foods, including bread, dairy, grains, fibers, starches and sugars.
True or False?

3. During digestion, the body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar).
True or False?

4. The glycemic index measures how quickly food is converted to blood sugar.
True or False?

5. Diets that include a lot of high- glycemic index foods (foods broken down quickly) have been licked to an increased risk for diabetes and heart disease.
True or False?

6. The more fat a food contains, the faster its carbohydrates are converted to sugar.
True or False?

7. Finely ground grains have no more impact on the glycemic index than more coarsely ground grain.
True or False?

8. For optimal health, select carbohydrates that include whole grains such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice or whole oats.
True or False?


Answers: 1) True; 2) True; 3) True; 4) True; 5) True; 6) False; 7) False; 8) True.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

October Trees

How innocent were these Trees, that in
Mist-green May, blown by a prospering breeze,
Stood garlanded and gay;
Who now in sundown glow
Of serious color clad confront me with their show
As though resigned and sad,
Trees, who unwhispering stand umber, bronze, gold;
Pavilioning the land for one grown tired and old;
Elm, chestnut, aspen and pine, I am merged in you,
Who tell once more in tones of time,
Your foliaged farewell.

- Siegfried Sassoon

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Loving the Change ~ Banana Recipe ;)

I love the color change in the leaves of the trees!

I am seeing the change everywhere I look...

On my previous post, someone asked if I had a recipe for my banana bread... Here it is.

Banana Nut Bread

1/2 c. Crisco shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. chopped walnuts
1 c. granulated sugar
2 c. sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed

Mix Crisco, sugar and eggs; fold in flour, salt and soda. Add last 3 ripe bananas and chopped walnuts. Bake in loaf pan for 1 hour at 350 degrees.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Have you ever...

Mentioned that you didn't like throwing over ripe banana's away?...

...and then, two days later at work, everyone brought you their over ripe banana's that they had saved especially for you? I am still trying to figure out if this was a joke on me. Anyhow, I came home and made many banana loaves of bread and mini banana muffins. I went into work with a bag full of them for everyone and said, "Just call me the Banana Queen. By the way, my name is Chiquita!" We all had a good laugh to start our work day!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Vintage Photos

This is my Grandma's oldest sister, Genevieve. Everyone called her aunt Veva. I absolutely love this picture! I can't even really tell you why. I have always felt a connection with the woman in this photo. Maybe it is because we are both the oldest sister. I can see by what she wrote on the front and back, she had a sense of humor. My Grandma was born in New Mexico. Her heritage was Mexican, and she was also a native to the American tribe of the Navajo.

This is my Grandma Josephine (my daddy's mama) with her brother John and my aunt Mary (my daddy's oldest sister) when she was little.

This is my Grandma, again, with my aunt Mary and uncle Joe, I think.

I will never forget looking at and admiring my grandma in photos. I always noticed that she had a little tummy. Then as I got older I realized she was pregnant in most of her photos. She had 11 children; nine of which had lived.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.
For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.
- Edwin Way Teale

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Kennedy Meadows

Fire Destroys Historic Lodge In Tuolumne County

Kennedy Meadows Lodge

The plaque was taken just two weeks ago when we spent part of our day here. In 1943 this lodge was burned accidently by a marine corp and rebuilt in the summer of 1944.

String of Packs (I bought this card for my step dad to be framed).

I recently visited the Kennedy Meadows Lodge while we camped at Dardanells two weeks ago. The lodge burned to the ground early Monday taking a chunk of history with it and threatening a way of life that has existed in the high country since World War 1 still raged. The blaze began in the lodge, which housed the restaurant and grocery store. Kennedy Meadows holds so many memories for me. When I was a teenager, my family would go camping there. My step dad would ride his horse there. My little sister Kiersten and I would pick daisies there and make daisy crowns to adorn our heads. All of us kids would go get a ice cream or some kind of treat and watch the cowboys and girls saddle up their horses and get ready for their rides.

Jeff Jardine from the Modesto Bee mentioned that the "Kennedy's pack station remains open as deer hunters comb the back country in search of a four-pointer.

His artical also mentioned that Kennedy's Lodge was built a long time ago. They didn't use any drywall. It was all plywood, with shingles on the side walls. There weren't any summer rains at all either. It was like a tinderbox. Even if there's a new lodge in place by the end of next summer, the sense of loss will be felt by anyone who ever vacationed there, stayed in the cabins, ate in the restaurant or shopped in the store. The vintage photos of the high-country lakes, the bridges and the area's namesake, Andrew Kennedy, throughout the restaurant and resort office might be impossible to replace. It will be missed by generations of families who took their first trail ride or pack trip from the stables behind the old lodge. It will no longer serve as a backdrop for the meadow alongside the Stanislaus River's main fork, where generations have picnicked, barbecued and listened to cowboy poetry. The good news is that the bar is still there. The Last Chance Saloon, about 20 yards away, is the last over-the-counter whiskey or beer before you head into the back country can be bought, escaped the destruction. Kennedy Meadows became a destination even before it was a resort and pack station leading to that pristine playground known as the Emigrant Wilderness."

I could just go on and on about the history this lodge holds. The stories are countless, there are so many.

This makes me sad. I am in shock to hear this. It is gone. We were just there. I walked around and took pictures, bought a Kennedy Meadows Sweatshirt, and two cards to be framed for my step dad. We went into the restaurant, bar and checked out the lodge for the possibility of a future stay.

You just never know...
this just makes me sick.