Monday, October 31, 2011

Memories of Halloweens Past......

Halloween doesn't seem as scary and evil as it seemed to be years ago. I remember when terrible things would happen on Halloween night. Evil bad things. Parents were cautioned about unwrapped candy (and still are and rightly so!) and great care was taken to protect pet kitties....especially black ones.

Things seem to have lightened up and I am so happy about that.
When Amber and Benjamin were little we had 'Pumpkin Parties.'
Often we hosted Costume Parties which included children and their parents.

As I prepare for this evening's Trick or Treaters I spent some time remembering past Halloweens.

I have kept a Country Diary since 1986.
These are a few of the ones I pulled out and perused through this morning.

This Diary was from 1989. Amber was four and Benjamin one.
Nine kids were at the Pumpkin Party that year - including -
Jon and Sarah (cousins)
Tara (neighborhood friend who now has her own little 'Pumkin!') and her brother Andrew
Caroline (next door neighbor)
and Lynda Kay and Ara (SIL & BIL)
Liz (lovely neighbor and mother to Tara and Andrew)

Good times!

1991 was a GREAT Pumpkin Party.....but a bum camera and no pics!
There were 11 kids and 'lots of adults' that year.

1993 I was Ma Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie.

Our guest list included pastors and missionaries.
More good times!

1997 we hosted another big party.......

I won't name names but some of my favorite friends were there!
Note the lady in yellow and the other one in the stylish turquoise hat!

This is from 1998.....I still have that shirt!

1999 featured a Mark Lowery video.....he is a HILARIOUS Christian comedian!!
Our 'scary' movie was 'The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.'
We had lots of children and adults that year. It rained so the party was indoors and it was uncommonly COOL for that time of year in TEXAS so we had a fire in the den fireplace. After the adults left the party continued on for quite awhile. I read in my diary that Amber had been up for 20 hours! She had a group of girls that spent the night whereas Ben had a friend stay on to play TV games in the den.
Ahhhhhh.....I remember those days and I still love all those kids!


Little Levi was SUPERMAN! and he really is!!!

Louis Dean reads 'The Ghost Eye Tree' every year to the grand kids.....

....although I guess we have missed it this year!
We try to do this a little earlier in the month.

Louis Dean and I hold court on the front porch in anticipation of the Trick or Treater's arrival.

2011......enough of my walk down Memory Lane of Halloweens Past!
I have a FULL bag of candy by the door.....candles ready to light and the book and hat.....LD MUST wear the hat when he reads this! all out and waiting!
We have NEW memories to make tonight!

Happy Halloween!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Talley Playhouse!

My sister and brother in law have one of the most interesting homes I have ever seen!
They are both collectors extraordinaire!

Mike loves vintage toys.......



 and especially DINOSAURS!!

He has all things SINCLAIR!

This room is a collector's DREAM!!

Mike is also a history buff!

You could spend hours and hours simply looking!
As a matter of fact......every Friday when I am over there I linger in THIS room!

Right outside the back door is a small pond area where they have created their very own
'Land Before Time.'

It is just outside this window!

He has all sorts of fossils and petrified wood......

Everywhere I look there is something UNUSUAL to see!

You can scope out this whole room from the vantage point of this vintage chair which is a family treasure if I remember right!

His newest collection is the set of Gone With the Wind Paper Dolls.
NOT that he would actually allow anyone to PLAY with these paper dolls.....they are vintage collectibles.

I have only scratched the surface of all there is to see at.......

The Talley Playhouse!

Thanks to Mike and Nita for letting me share their collections!
This is only ONE room!!
No wonder Mother enjoys living with them.
As she points out new things to show me each week she keeps saying over and over.......


It IS, indeed!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Nesting Time!

After being gone for a few days on a camping trip it is good to be home and fluffing my nest! The trip was fun but it was also hard work! Louis Dean was pretty tired as he unloaded his packed one ton diesel truck! He tripped and fell on the front porch! I was watching and helpless to do anything but stare in horror. The porch is stone as is the massive mail box pillar and he was plunging toward the corner of the stone bench! Miraculously he picked himself up and was not hurt at all! Just scared and shaken! After I checked him over and found out he was OK.......I sat down on the bench and cried and cried! I think we got too tired!

So yesterday we stayed close to each other and did home chores. We planted the mums we had purchased in Mineral Wells.

I picked a fragrant bouquet of Louis Dean's prized roses for our breakfast table.
They smelled so goooooood!!!

We spent some time holding our beloved little Maggie Girl!

Cooler temps had come in and as the rain started we built a fire and settled down to the Ranger Game.......not a very relaxing evening!

We stayed up way too late and I had to get up early. Today was the Beauty Shop Run.
Mother wanted to do a little shopping and would you believe we chose Dollar General?
I can't tell you what all we found there! EVERYTHING we were looking for actually!
Mother found slippers, nail polish, make up, a satin pillow (to keep her hair from getting messed up!) air freshener and candy! Two bags FULL!! Or maybe it was THREE!!
We were treated so nicely and the manager helped Mother find a particular item and was so very kind to her. Mother just ate that up! How often do you actually receive PERSONAL ATTENTION in ANY store other than the extremely expensive ones??
This Dollar General is at Granbury Road and Hulen in Fort Worth. It is our favorite one!

I found fluffy bed pillows and white pillowcases to make my grand kids a special Christmas calendar.
I will make a block calendar and write in the dates for this year. Next I plan to embellish around the edges with painted holly leaves and berries or bows and candy canes or something. I will probably make each one different and of course I will personalize them with their names and ages. Once the cases are done I will  attach a marking pen with a length of ribbon.....BRIGHT CHRISTMAS RIBBON to go with the designs I've painted. Then each night starting on December 1st they can put a BIG X on that day! I will decorate the 24th and 25th blocked date in a special manner so they know when it is Christmas!

Years ago a friend of mine bought cases done this way for Amber and Ben. They loved them and knew exactly how many days til Christmas! The next year I flipped the case over and made a new calendar for them! Hope the grand kids will enjoy these early Christmas gifts. We always had advent calendars for the kids when they were growing up as well.

Anyway! I found nail files, laundry detergent, bread, air fresheners, toilet paper, wine, candy...

Even some lovely smelling Yardley soaps! They were $1.00!!

I love nesting! I love homemaking. I even love cleaning!
That is a good thing since I came back this afternoon and LD had baked bread!
He is getting so much better at cleaning up though!!
I took one look at the kitchen and asked him if he had baked bread.
He said, "HOW did you KNOW!??"
He truly wanted to find out what had given him away!
He wipes everything (nearly) down when he is finished but he uses the soapy/floury dishcloth he used to wash the dishes. He needs to make fresh water and get a fresh dishcloth and THEN give all the counters a good  wipe. I am telling you......he has come a long way!!!
Not only does he pretty much clean up after himself........
I now have a few loaves of fresh homemade bread!

I am off to join Louis Dean in the den now for a glass of wine, some fresh buttered bread and a slice of good cheese. The fire is burning and the game is still on.
All is right in my world!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Crazy Water!!

We let the campground yesterday and before heading home drove the few short miles into Mineral Wells. I was actually looking for a bakery to buy an apricot pie. I THOUGHT I had seen a sign coming into town for a Fried Pie Shop. Never found it! Never even found the SIGN on our way home either!

Since we were there we decided to check out the Crazy Water! The water comes from the well from which Mineral Wells is named. The water is full of minerals! And minerals are beneficial to your heath.

Since 1877 there has been a history of people drinking the mineral water and being 'cured' of various diseases. Not surprising since the water is packed with minerals.

AT - NaHC03C - Ca++ - CI - F- MG++ -Mn - K+ - Si02 - S04 - Zn

The well you see to the right of the bottle is where Crazy Water no.4 comes from.

The wells - there are three of them - are all safely locked and protected.

The lady in the shop was friendly and helpful. She gave us samples of the water and explained their benefits.

I love reading Historical Marker signs!
Used to drive all my kids crazy!
I need a bumper sticker which says.......
'I stop for ALL Historical Markers!'

They have added gardens and tables and it is a very inviting place to sip and drink this 'Crazy Water.'

We bought a case each of no.3 and no.4.
no. 4 has the most minerals and it is recommended you only drink one or two glasses of it every day. They also suggested you could mix the two together.

You can buy Crazy Water at Whole Foods and Central Market.

 I took Mother to the grand opening of the HEB store in Granbury in September. She was thirsty and I was looking for the bottled water for her. I found a display featuring Mineral Water and thought - "Water!" NOT! She nearly spit it out! However she WAS thirsty and decided to sip it until I could locate the regular spring water she is used to drinking.
I told her about visiting the place where some mineral wells are located
 and she said, "Oh, NO!!!" So I am not giving her any!!

However I intend to drink a glass a day. If it has helped rheumatism as the legend claims -
perhaps it can help degenerative joint disease! I am willing to try it!!

By the way.....I am still looking for an apricot pie! I just noticed there are not many BAKERIES around any more. Louis Dean and I may have to bake our own.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We LOVE Camping!!

But as much as we LOVE it - we also LOVE being back home!! Camping can be - and IS - hard work! For us anyway! We loaded up Saturday and left Sunday morning - stopping off in Weatherford for a Family Reunion! Lake Mineral Wells State Park is just half an hour from Weatherford so we were there in early afternoon.

In no time at all we were unloaded and all set up to enjoy a few days of relaxing in a beautiful setting! This is our third year to camp here in October. It has become a tradition.

Louis Dean was happy to kick his shoes off and enjoy the view.
Notice the fly swatter? Good thing he remembered to bring SEVERAL!
We needed them. Like I said - having FUN is hard work!

I took my art projects while Louis Dean took his guitar and banjo.

I DO like to stay busy! And I am just now starting on my Christmas paintings - something I usually do in JUNE or JULY!

Each morning and evening we sat by the campfire. We could - and DO - spend long periods of time just gazing into the flames. Mesmerizing!

As per our custom - we slept late! LD cooked a fine breakfast in my favorite iron skillet - right on the campfire! Food tastes so much better outdoors!

We did a lot of nature watching. LD took lots of pics with his fancy new camera lens.
The cypress tree by our campsite was FULL of the most beautiful cardinals!

Whole families of them!

The deer appeared often. Lucy didn't know what to think about them.
She never barked or lunged after them. She is such a polite little dog!

Louis Dean 'fished.' ( He didn't catch anything! Poor guy was so disappointed!)

I had lots of time to read......

Lucy went on many walks.....

We all had a good time!

However, as good as it was to GO - it is just as nice to come HOME!
And that's where we are tonight. Lucy has been bathed and put in her clean kennel,
The truck is unloaded and we are unpacked.
The washer and dryer are both humming.
We are home just in time to greet the falling temperatures and some RAIN due in later this evening. I am so grateful for the life I have and the good times Louis Dean and I are sharing. May I just say.....God is GOOD to me!

"Let the redeemed of the Lord say so....."
Psalm 107:2