Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat

Beware of ghosts n' goblins, aliens and fairies as they arrive at your door tonight~
Leigh, of "That's Write"  has some great memories of Halloween. She helped me flash back to several memorable moments.

I grew up in Maine, where most of the time on Halloween it was cold. Sometimes snow would be on the ground.  I remember one year wanting to be the bride of Frankenstein, so cold had to wear my winter coat n' boots. My costume wouldn't be visible, so I wore my coat first, then put costume over it.   We had an interesting neighborhood.  I could walk about 1/4 ml to be in town  or an 1/4 of a mile in the other direction and be at the town wharf.   Stores uptown, use to give away treats, chips and/or candy bars.  We had one neighbor who gave  away dimes, every year.  There were always  a lot of apples, bags of popped corn with a few pieces of candy inside.  One time after we
had just Trick or Treated and we were walking to the next house. We all doing the Peanuts convo...what'd you get? One kids actually said, " I got a rock", we all laughed~(he didn't)  This boy, said this house had peanut butter cups.  We recognized his voice, it was Billy.
Billy told us he was only allowed to go on his street and the street I lived on. We noticed he had a pillow case full.  How did he get so much candy?   He told us, he would go back home and change his costume and go to the houses that had the candy he liked.  Smart kid, we tagged along with him for awhile.

My fav Halloweens were:

My Mom let me have a haunted house, it wasn't actually, but a haunted room.  She,her friend and son, the
teenager next door.  He  was to old to go Trick or Treating, but loved to scare people.  HE dressed up, goth like; One at a time we went into the lair(my back porch) to feel bowls of guts, eyeballs and witch's fingernails.  Then off to a dark black lit maze. We bobbed for apples, played games, and  my Mom had doughnuts hanging on strings dangling from the front porch. We had our hands tied behind us,  the first one to eat their doughnut received a prize. Tons of fun...Thanks Mom and neighbors~

When I was a teenager, a group of us would meet and go to Fort Knox.  We would play hide n' seek and share tales about the place being haunted.  Ghost Hunters, the TV show is looking at this place for a possible show. Tonight it is Fright at the Fort.  Wish they had done that when I was young~

My third was in college, I was dared to go to Stephen King's house at midnight on Halloween. Itwas a spooky, foggy night, which added to the mood.  A car load of us went, Truth or Dare style. The conditions were to go to the door. There was a  black wrought iron gate with spiderwebs and spiders. Bats at the very top, creepy, especially on a foggy night. Then someone said, I had to ring the doorbell.  I am a Stephen King fan; I don't want to make him mad!  I couldn't enter the gate to get near the door, if I wanted to.

What are your favorite memories and your favorite treat~

Here is your treat, I made this today it was delicious, Pumpkin Latte~(*Don't be fooled, by 2tbsp vanilla, it
works.  It makes up for the vanilla syrup, the cafe places use)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Think Tank Thursday

The Fearings are a part of the history of Elizabeth City, NC.   There aren't many, who can say, they welcome fear and/or death~
 

Poets United  has lined their prompt up perfectly this week. Prompt #21 is FEAR~  An appropriate, word as we approach Halloween.



Taste fear, acid erodes the back of  my throat, chocked
bile remains. A loved one has passed.
Grief is served fresh, daily to someone.

Touch fear, when I say Good-bye to the cocoon of my loved one.
A shell of his being, painted alive and rigid.
Death doesn't discriminate, Causes ripples in the pond
No one is immune to it's lottery.

Hear fear in the repeated phone calls, loved ones
gasp. Weeping n' guttural moans, repeated chant of
Are you okay?  He was so young; He will be missed. 

See fear, as I enter this gated community,
Tarnished wrought iron soldiers protecting the
resting souls, in their final beds. Alabaster symbols
Last message from loved one, etched in pain.
Cold marble slabs chosen as their final markers
 Faded blooms, Once walked this earth, 
leaving behind, thorn stabbing pain.

Smell fear, when family tree gathers,
Strong perfume, booze and cigarettes mixed with
casseroles, blended with a side of nausea.

Feel numb, dressed in a slumber of despair,
roaming among the living. 
Daily grind clone, til grief performs her final dance.
Creeping moss grows, aged stones as deep memories fade.
Six feet under, another journey or not; the final frontier
of life remains in question...















Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Truth or Dare


No, not the game you played when you were 12+,  but the ability to sort through your life and
expose yourself, your talents, and the dance of moving forward.   It is almost November, how did that happen...It is confusing where I live.  Yes, the leaves are changing color; today is a gray, blustery kind of day. It is going to reach the high of 82 here, showers are on and off.  " Oh, bother"... A Pooh, kind of day! As  I search for my honey, the sweetness in my life, I am struggling with the fact, maybe my work looks to much like other artists  I admire.  I am struggling to find my voice.  Do you wonder, when you read a certain author, does their voice carry over,  into your work?   Are we a blender of ideas?




We gather and witness the everyday and we conjure up our own magic through our gray matter.  Sounds
bewitching doesn't it.  The true is do we dare to continue when we think our voice might not be our own. Won't our voice come through, if we do continue to create, write, paint, whatever your passion and outlets are?  Do we dare believe that we have what it takes and in doing so find our truth, our voice, our passion.  We all have our unique voice, but do we have the courage to continue, to dare to dream.  In the world of Christopher Robin, Pooh and Piglet and friends, we  have to find our own dangling carrots and honey. WE have to continue on in our "Hundred Acres Words" hoping to find our truth and talents.  If we don't put it out there, WE won't ever know....

It might take awhile to reveal our vision, our view, but eventually the paint will be stripped away and the reality of you, will shine through.  In the words of Pooh, Piglet and Tigger, "O, bother,  oh, dear, dearie me and TTFN-Ta, Ta for Now".   And let's not forget Eeyore, "Thanks for noticin' me"~

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Think Tank Thursday


*I want to thank, Janice at the "Flea Market Store" for being my hand model.  Thank you, She is a great sport!


 Poets United Prompt# 20 is  Ugly; Take something considered ugly, by some and make it beautiful~

Memories arrive like scattered love letters,
Lines of life as wrinkles of time appear,
Aged, liver spots darken the thin skin, that papers the river of our hearts,
Extending branches, hands shaken, caressing a soul, teaching joy,
The evolution of our work,
They teach, they reach, they preach
They touch, they hold they scold,
They love, plant and paint
They bake, hold and write
They reach, sew and fold
Tools of our souls holding onto dreams, praying,
A trace shares the ripples of past shadows,
Breathing light into dull, faded pearls,
An attic of memories tucked away, squeezed and pleased,
Faded skin like a fragile leaf, a branched out life,
Hardened blue veins, rivers that once rippled,
Underground thoughts surface with a touch,
Reaching the current of the soul,
Body language a gift, we can open doors to hearts,
Offer olive branches, pen letters of love and forgiveness,
A map of life's work shows the soul has lived,
As the river flows and the current grows weak,
Our hands extend the soul's beauty in how we speak.









Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Tale of Two Ellens


Funny, Lee, of Tossing it Out  just recently posted about his background,  fame if you will.   He asked for comments regarding if we had been in the spotlight. I googled my name and this is what I found;  I share my name with First Lady Ellen Louise Wilson, she was married to President Woodrow Wilson. We both love art I use to paint, going to try again, it is my name sake, lol.  We both were born in May, both have the same middle name and both married Wilsons.

Fame, not yet ;-D   I have been in the newspaper several times and in a column of a magazine.

I googled my Mom, Shirley Jackson.
She was a famous author that inspired Stephen King.
My Mom isn't a writer, but she does share the same birthday as Stephen King and they both live in Maine.

Google your name, you might be surprised, like me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Release Date


We have a star amongst us, in the cosmic sky of blogland.  Alex Cavaughn's book CassaStar, makes it's debut today.  I am thrilled for him; He is one of the kind-hearted writers, I met during the A-Z blog writing challenge, hosted by Lee of Tossing it out.  Alex has hosted the Dirty Dozen Blogfest and later, Top 10 TV shows.   Alex has finally broke through the barrier, no not space-time continuum, but from WIP, wanna be published,  to an actual author!    It takes grit and guts, to take that story in your mind's eye and bring it to life.  I admire his persistence and courage~

Congrats Alex, Today is your day to shine, like the brilliant star you are.  Now, I want to hear you play that electric guitar, can't you at least give us some audio?!

There is a Blog Tour with  more information regarding his book and a chance to win~!  Be sure to check it out; I have already ordered a couple for family n' friends, for Christmas; Read the reviews, you will see why this one is a definite gift, to put on your Christmas list~

Get your copy here:
amazon
amazon kindle version
Barnes&;Nobles 
Books-a-Million

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sinus Senseless

I bought a broom, a cinnamon broom  for my house, festive, smells great..so I thought, damn thing, I tossed it outside today.  I know I'm not allergic to cinnamon, but this is really strong. My eyes are burning, my head hurts, and I'm sneezing.  I'm amazed how allergies can alter you senseless.  I haven't really known how much til this past summer and now fall.   I was trying to read today and gave up.  I can't seem to focus on concentrate, pain keeps seeping into my head.  I wanted to do something creative, so I took photos instead.
This is a banner I won made by Maya; She makes lovely items.  I hung it over one of my craft shelves. I won a few items, which I will be sharing in other posts.

Here I made a necklace, but the chain was too small, it looks better on my pumpkin. 
I made these last year; Karen at Graphics Fairy has an amazing selection.  The Bingo cards are from a set my Dad had when he was a kid, back in the late 1930's.   The clock charm I bought from Melissa.


 Here I was playing with the midmorning light on my kitchen table. I took an old book and folded even amount of pages inwards on both sides.  

Looks like my candy stash has been discovered~  I love the faces on these plastic pumpkins seems like every year a different expression~










Thursday, October 14, 2010

Think Tank Thursday

Poets United prompt #19 is Color.  I love color, but found this hard, I didn't know where I was going, but it started dream like and ended up fighting for a cause.  Pick one there are many...


The quicksilver moon's luster shadowed me,
my breath crystallized , as I stood
frozen under the cosmic cobalt  sky,
Raw umber soil touched my feet as I ran,
the frost of twilight woke my senses,
as the timber wolf lunged for me, I awoke
into spring green lushness, a trail of crimson red
poppies, I follow them,  My blanket of wintergreen
dreams wrapped around me tight, a field of
 purple hearts and scarlet tulips stood proud,
 a reminder of those who had died for a cause.
Cause why...
A lemon canary singing startled my thoughts,
a song to remember,
I awoke  it was just a dream, my
burnished brown hair matted to my head,
The alarm clock rang louder
my headed pounded like a steel drum,
a single thread of alone
as I purged my pain of memories for lost
souls, mulberry tears for dandelions courage
to spread the word, remain peacock proud,
as the redwoods and pines grow new roots,
Stitched green with hope
the work to save continues.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Southern Snow

I thought I would share with you the snow that now, is part of my home. Being from New England, I miss snow, I do!  I miss making homemade ice cream, using powdery snow, instead of crushed ice.  I miss making a snowman, snowwoman,I miss walking n' seeing spirals of white crystals dance above my head, each flake a unique design, as the street light illuminates their performance. I thought I would share my southern snow; It is breathtakingly beautiful. It reminds us of nature's beauty; We just have to look, pay attention when we drive down life's highway. 

 Here is a field, from a distance, it really does look like snow.  Let me rephrase this, driving by in a car, the blur of white, looks like snow. 

  
It really does look like cotton balls; We had a lot of rain and it needs to be harvested.  You will see in places, it is draped down like a strip of cotton.  Isn't it amazing~


The fabric of our lives, is so delicate and yet so durable.  I am fascinated with the pods~ The boll is actually the fruiting part of the cotton plant.  The separate compartments that separate the fluff are called locks.


This one looks like a toasted marshmallow; Beautiful or maybe I should say bountiful~

 I guess I could have a cotton ball fight, when snow season arrives, until then I'm going to enJOY this
gift from nature.  A lady saw me taking these pics; I told her where I was from.  She let me take some
home. She was as sweet as Southern iced tea.     Now, I can enJOY snow indoors~









Saturday, October 9, 2010

Freakish, Fright Night



What do brownies cupcakes and haunted house have in common?  In this case, they both are freakishly good~ I took, my daughter and her boyfriend, Brendan to Fright Night, last night.  It is a haunted house that is for charity.  It was their first date; I drove downtown to see how long the line was.  Cornstalks were aligned by the fence, creatures walking around taunting the crowd. Once we are in line, Brendan begins to tell us, what last year.s house was like. This haunted house, usually is the weekend of Busch Gardens; Angela n' I hadn't been, we usually to go to Howl-O-Scream.  He tells us there might be a car wreck,a  jail and scary clowns, besides the usually. I am thinking perhaps, I should just let them go in,but I had already bought my ticket and I do love Halloween. This event is run by the Police, so for safety we have to walk through a scanner...make sure, no one has a knife, gun, etc.  As we approach the entrance, I hear the Gatekeeper say if you feel anything, to sweep it off, that you shouldn't have worn shorts and don't hit anyone, if they accidental touch us.Yikes..We are paired up in a group of 6.  The kids insist I go first, then Brendan says he can hang onto my hand and Angela's. Sweet kid, first date, hanging on to his girlfriend and her Mom's hand. The other three with us is a cop n' his family. We start in, I'm the leader; I open a coffin door and walk through, it is so dark, you can't see, the walls start to close in on us and then the ceiling, finally we find an opening and proceed. You weave through a maze in darkness, something different in every room.  Weird effects, you see a clown dressed in  black n' white approach you, then closer then disappears.  In another room,  a cop is at a table reading the newspaper, asking if we had heard about this criminal. Next thing we know we are in a jail cell, with the creature. A room with a huge spider and webs and lots of feel good effects.  The night ended with chainsaws buzzing and the smell of gasoline. You physical run out of the building, which has the legend of already being haunted.  As we exit the building, we are jumped by bat like men, zombies and this 8' mothman.  Impressive....They really out did themselves, all the proceeds go to good causes.

It is the perfect Trick or Treat; you are tricked and your money will treat others to Christmas.  Fear makes you hungry, so after pizza, then I made these weird brownie cupcakes. When you read the ingredients,  you will fear this isn't worth your time or you will be grossed out, but trust me.

It is a gorry batter, but the results are so worth it; I followed the recipe, but only cooked 1/2 the batter.  Then I added 1/2 a bag of chocolate chips, mini ones to the rest of the batter.   I'd have to say, they are truly   good.  If you are brave enough to make them.  This recipe if from the "HungryGirl" Cookbook.


 Yum Yum Brownie Muffins:
per serving 1 muffin=181 cals, 3.5g fat, 357mg sodium, 37g carbs, 2 g fiber, 20g sugar, 2g protein.
Ingredients:
1 box of regular(not pudding added) devil's food cake mix(about 18 oz)
one 16 oz can of pure pumpkin(not the one with sugar and spices)plain, pure, pumpkin puree

Directions:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix the 2 ingredients together. Do not add anything else, just these 2 ingredients only.  The mixture will be thick and it will work your bicep mixing the batter.    Place batter in a 12 cup muffin tin.  I use sprayed oil.  Bake in the oven 15-20 min.   I made the mini muffins, I baked them for 7 min.   I think you should check around 12min.   I have a hard time, following recipes.  I usually add something else.  I followed this one, but only used 1/2 the batter.  I added 1/2 a bag of mini morsel chocolate chips.  Real chocolate added a lot more flavor, yes some more fat, but if you want a real chocolate taste, you will prefer the morsels.  I found them moist, rich, and fudgey. My family liked the ones with real chocolate, better.   Either way, it is a win, win...no eggs, no oil, moist and satisfies the chocoholic.  And the beta-carotene from the pumpkin  adds a lot of health benefits. They are freakishly good~enJOY!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Think Tank Thursday


Poets United prompt #18 is about complaining, grumbling....  I didn't want to really grumble, who really wants to read that, but then thought about how our society seems so rude, impatient.  I was just out n' about doing errands and grocery shopping; It was shocking how rude people were, I'd  say, excuse me, pardon me and they  looked  at me like I'm an alien.  They stare and walk on by.  Huh?!  It is almost like we need blinkers and stop signs in the grocery store. Children are let loose, one bumped into my back, while her grandmother yakked on and on, to another woman in the next check out.  Then both of her grandchildren wormed their way around my cart, squeezing by me to get to the candy.  She totally ignored both of them, girls ages 5 and 3.   Yeah, it was fun....

So here is my poem:
 
Traffic congestion, nerves are fraught
Can’t we remember what we were taught
Children whining in the stores…
Home, neglect their list of chores
Asking please, seems to be a reach
As we try to remind and teach,
Pride n’values are being made
Blueprints of generations being paved
The road of manners is becoming extinct
Rose colored glasses are not pink,
Red, rage on the road is seen
Texting, make up and then the obscene,
Gestures of panic are in mode
Time to wake up and get off the commode,
Life is difficult enough
Let’s play nice and not so tough,
Excuse me, please and thank you  mean a lot
Human nature shouldn’t be an after thought,
We act like animals on display
Careless, rude and getting our way,
Remember your roots and family pride
Life is a journey, play nice when in stride~

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Journey




I am trying to get caught up on my homework in the online class, Crafting My Best Life.  There are more classes coming up, sewing, painting, jewelry, etc.    We had homework regarding questions that made us look at our values.   A little bag was provided in the kit, I stamped a key on it for my compass and E=MC2.
E is for Ellen=Moral Compass 2(I have two children to pass my values onto, while they form their own).  The questions were tough, but necessary.  I find my values anchor my soul to my authentic self; We can only be our best selves and no one else. 

I found this Mary Oliver poem today; I feel the struggle as I try to continue on the path, I know is mine. My family loves me, but they are use to me guiding my compass by them.  I have to find my North star, I know where it lies, it is doing the work, keeping on track and when needed recalculate. Life has many detours, but we must remember to get back in the driver's seat and continue our soul's journey. We owe it to ourselves...I don't want to be on my death bed, wondering "What If"....

The Journey
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.


~Mary Oliver~

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

When it Rains it pours....

The swamp runneth over, into the neighbors cozy little nook.  This is at the top of the main road I live off of.
 I wanted to go get photos  in town,  but husband had the truck. I didn't think I could drive the Honda far and take photos or video, at the same time.

 Here is a little bit of what I dealt with last week, actually today was the first day, you could pass through the routes. High water signs were posted, this video, doesn't show how bad, it actually was.   Yes, I was affected by the crazy weather in NC, last week.  It flooded two major paths I travel.  One a detour ; it was decided to close a bridge and put a detour on a back road, which become so flooded the DOT reopened the bridge.  Good thing, not much work had been done on it.  One and 1/2 mls from my home, neighborhoods were flooded.  The National Guard came on Monday to pick children up for school, still surrounded by high water.   I watched a vehicle attempt one route. When I saw the water hit just below the bed of this truck with  a lift kit, I said No thanks. I was in a Honda at the time, did a U-turn and had to find another way out of Dodge.   I felt bad, for those whose homes are flooded.  I know 3 locations were affected.  No one thought it would get this bad.  Windsor, NC was hit the worst, from what I have seen via News.   I need to find out what I can do. 

School cancellations were just part of the fun; We also lost the power for awhile, just when everyone returned home.  Then the neighborhood kids decided to visit;  It was fine, we made the best of it.  

I bought this Halloween broom on Wednesday, it is made of cinnamon; It smells divine.   Something is really weird about this broom.  I bought in memory of my Grandmother.  She always had one hanging on a door of her root cellar. I was never allowed to go down there, the broom was crooked ;It looked like one a witch would own.   My broom, is smaller and not so threatening, so I thought til my eyes burned and my sinuses swelled up.   I am better, but lots of sneezing and head pain.  I am behind on commenting on your blogs; I hope to be able to get back to it!  I know I must of missed a lot.... xXx

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Project Genesis


The first day of every month is a day to honor Project Genesis.( I know I'm a day late, I had computer issues).  Suzan from OldGreyMare has a meme where we share eco-friendly  tips on how to live a green lifestyle.   Sometimes small change will make a huge impact, in our landfill and our lives.

 I know this looks odd; Yes it is your standard Brillo, SOS pad.  I make mine last longer.  I use a Frog, it is a florist tool used to hold flowers in place.  Flowers like water, as do frogs.  After I use the pad, I leave it on the frog, the water from it drains off and this prevents it from rusting, so I can use it a few more times. I have read you can freeze them in ziplock bags.  I haven't tried it.   Just be sure to remember to drain off the soapy water.

I reuse dryer sheet to dust with or swipe one of those corner cobwebs.   My friend Becky uses them in her crafting.  She dyes them in coffee and makes books and all kinds of clever, creative items.
Now, I, too am dying used dryer sheets.

I reuse my junk mail.  There is always an envelope in those credit card applications; I use mine for list making. Then when done I toss in our recycle bin.   You can also use this for gift bags, instead of buying the crimped, shredded paper.   I have even shredded brown paper bags and wax paper for a different look.

I also tend to save scraps of fabric to make gift tags for packages.  You could use a variety of items, magazines, junk mail, fabric, different paper, paint, etc.   It is fun to see what you can come up with, using what is available to you.
Here is one of the items on my list.   I used a shipping label, I think you can buy 100 tags for under $7.  It may be more according to where you live.   I sewed on a couple of fabric scraps, some torn up material and a tea dyed silk rose.   It might be something the recipient keeps instead of tossing in a landfill or perhaps pass on.  Check out Colette Copeland's work, she makes beautiful, unique tags with various mediums. She always finds a way to delight or surprise you with her art~