Monthly Archives: October 2013

No White Halloween Today!

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On the morning before I left Columbus, Ohio there were varied parts

of Ohio with snow! I was wondering about my Cleveland trip, as were

my friends and coworkers, too. It turns out, the West side of Cleveland,

as always, was not “hit” by any snow. They received only a dusting of

frost that made the branches and windshields look like they were iced

with vanilla frosting.

There have been since the year of 1960, where Cleveland had a huge 7″

of snow on November 11, 1983. This is considered the most snow since

that date. Then there is the earliest snow since that date, October 2, 1974.

I would have been a senior at Bay High School that year.

White Halloweens seem to be a rarity, unexpectedly around here!

I was grateful for the warmer 60 degree weather day yesterday and look

forward to two more activities around Mom’s senior living apartments:

The monthly celebration of October birthdays with cake and the annual

Halloween dress up in costumes and enjoy apple cider with donuts. And

all in one day!

My outside the facility activities will be on Friday, with a trip to Friendly’s

for my Mom’s 84th birthday celebration. I will tell them that my birthday is

coming up in November and this is our only day that both will be celebrated

together. My next trip to Cleveland will be over Thanksgiving, where my

youngest daughter’s birthday will be celebrated and a call to my little Marley

girl for hers. Her parents will either have Marley’s b’day party before the

holiday or after. Either way, they will be assured of my attendance! She will

be five years old and my youngest daughter will be 28 years old.

The other outside Mom’s apartment activity, later on Friday evening, will be

to Chagrin Falls, a whole hour’s drive Eastward, to a juried art show. My

brother will be with me, hoping that he won an award. Randy is a widely

respected artist, but still, like the best of us, loves to “win” awards!

This is going to be a wonderful, less spooky and quieter Halloween Day for

my Mom and me!

Happy Halloween!

Maxine Halloween Jokes

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Here are a set of one liners that can be found on the Internet about

this Halloween and the season, too. They are part of Maxine’s famous

one-liners, written by John Wagner for Hallmark (1986):

1. “The best thing about scary people coming to your door?

Gets you psychologically ready for the relatives a month from now!”

2. “This Halloween, I am going to dress up in my pajamas and

eat the candy I should pass out to the neighbors’ children.”

3. “On Halloween, if a big, huge  monstrous thing follows you

around, don’t worry. It’s just your butt!”

4. For Halloween, I thought I’d go down to Lover’s Lane…

and scare the pants back on people!”

5. “I’m scaring the adults that bring the kids around to the house

for treats, explaining the job and stock market to them. Spooky!”

6. “My house keeps giving me the creeps!

Darn full-length mirror just has to go!”

7. “Yup! Things are getting pretty scary out there.

Oh, and its also Halloween.”

8.  “Halloween is weird. When else would you risk drowning

for a piece of fruit.”

9. “This Halloween, I’m dressing up as a cranky woman who doesn’t

give candy to children.”

10. Enjoy your Halloween and don’t forget my favorite little joke with

children who like to talk about boogers…

Something about the handkerchief needing a little “boogie” in it….

How does that one go?

I forget, I am getting too old to remember jokes!

Hauntingly Elegant Sites

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If you would like to come to Ohio to see where Midwestern ghosts may

roam, there are several locations in our state. Many can be found in quite

elegant inns and you may stay overnight to get the full experience of such

unearthly spiritual encounters. If you already have plans this year, you

could always plan a visit next year, perhaps…

My youngest daughter, who graduated from U.D., visited the Golden

Lamb Inn once on a date. I was taken once for a “fancy dinner” and envy

those who would stay overnight to experience the ghostly encounters,

this Halloween season. The Golden Lamb Inn has the right to boast it is

“the oldest inn” claims to have three ghosts in residence. They appear in

guest rooms and in connecting hallways, too. This is a four story, brick

Colonial style inn which is both authentic and lovely in its interior

furniture and decorations.

One of the supposed “specters” is a small girl. This may possibly Sarah

Stubbs’ inner child since she did live a long life. She was the daughter

of an early owner of the inn. I would be sad to see a child’s ghost,

especially if it were one who had died young.

Another spirit that roams the halls is thought to be one of Charles

Sherman, father of the Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman.

The elder, Charles, was a well respected Ohio Supreme Court justice,

along with being a renowned lawyer known for his legal decisions and

opinions that have been cited for years after his death.

This Charles, a cigar smoking man, died while staying at the inn due to

a sudden illness, leaving his wife with 9 year old (general) William and

TEN other children, aged 18 and younger! I would think the penniless,

widowed wife would be the one haunting the place, with such a large

family to tend! I would think Charles, with such an active sex life, (proof

in a family of 11 children) would have been able to live longer due to

the exercise and blood flowing through his fertile body! Supposedly,

Charles’ whiskered face with the accompanying smell of cigar smoke

is often found in the inn’s hallways.

Another “ghost” of The Golden Lamb Inn is the one of Congressman,

Clement Vallandigham. As  a U.S. Congressman running for Ohio

Governor, he spoke up against the Civil War. This anti-war stance was

frowned upon and he was ‘expelled’ from the North. When he returned

to Ohio, he was staying at the Inn while serving as a defense attorney in

a murder case. The poor, klutzy lawyer was planning a demonstration

for court the next day proving his client innocent and that the victim had

committed suicide and was not a victim. While practicing the use of a how

a gun could be used to commit suicide, he accidentally shot himself in the

abdomen. He died the next morning. If not of embarrassment, then of the

actual self-inflicted fatal wound!

The Colonel Taylor Inn, in Cambridge, Ohio, is a beautiful place to stay. It was a

frequent overnight place of many famous guests, including congressmen, as

the owner was Congressman Joseph D. Taylor. Among the notable guests,

the trio of presidents from Ohio were James A. Garfield, William McKinley,

and Rutherford B. Hayes. (He was a Delaware, Ohio resident and our high

school is named after him.) Although dead Presidents may be inclined to

haunt the White House, the strange noises, unexplained footsteps and

wafting pipe tobacco smoke are all attributed to the Colonel.

The 1861 Inn in Batavia, Ohio is one built during the Civil War to shield

and protect travelers along the Underground Railroad. (Side comment:

Delaware has a corner where North Franklin and Lincoln Roads cross

where there are two tunnels criss-crossing under the roads. The Chi Phi

fraternity House has a scary haunted house that annually plays up this

strange area where ghosts may pass through…) Anyway, the alleged

haunting spirit of a woman named Jennie Penn, can be found in the

hallways and rooms in this inn. The woman graduated in 1885 from

Batavia High School and lived in the 1861 Inn until her death in the

1940’s. Her spirit wanders through, seen and heard here. She was

an artist, so a self portrait of Jennie is hung in the lovely dining room

of the inn. Many of her personal mementos can be found throughout

the building she called home, as a grown “spinster” woman.

The following is a brief list of other hotels and places to find Ohio

ghostly apparitions floating around and creating mischief:

1. Punderson Manor (found at Punderson State Park Lodge) where

rumors of paranormal visitors abound, including an eerie laugh in

rooms and halls, water faucets that turn on and off, and doors

opening and closing.

2.  Rider’s Inn (Painesville, Ohio) In 1812, built and also used in the

Underground Railroad stop. Gentle spirit of Suzanne Rider passes

through the rooms and halls here. There is  a Suzanne Suite, Room #11,

which you can book, to get the whole experience of her ghostly

presence.

3. Buxton Inn of Granville, Ohio. Ghosts are of both the innkeeper and

his wife that haunt these hallways together. That couple probably

creates quite a lot of mischief!

4. Lofts Hotel in Columbus, Ohio. This is a beautiful Victorian style

building filled with the possibility of that era’s “lady ghosts,” roaming

around it.

5. There are oddities and unusual sightings in the Marietta Hotel,

Lafayette, Ohio. Personal property goes missing from guests’ rooms.

Shampoo and conditioner bottles are found dumped. There are

sometimes upside down or suitcases that have been tipped over

and contents strewn. This is the most active set of spirits reported

in all the hotels and inns in Ohio.

6. In Cincinnati, the Hilton Inn at Netherland Plaza, has a “Lady in Green”

who occupies the place. She is surmised to be the wife of a construction

worker killed during the building of the Inn, in the 1930’s. There is an

elegant Hall of Mirrors, to view in this location.

At Halloween the best place to visit to get the whole range of emotions,

of course, would be to head towards New England and go north to

Salem, Massachusetts.

Salem has a lot of spirits roaming and everyone, whether they are one

or not, likes to parade around in witch or warlock costumes or actual attire.

I have seen this place during a less cheery time of year, in Winter, while a

young teenager with my family. The grim, freezing cold weather gave my

view a whole different twist on the witchcraft and the various museums

we explored. My family valiantly traveled there to see my Great Aunt Marie,

Great Aunt Dorothy and her husband, Great Uncle George. We spent time

with my second cousins in the town of Rockport, Massachusetts. The trip

was beautiful from the inside of our old station wagon. The icicles,

beautiful antique features of the Victorian and Colonial homes along with

the confectioner sugar coating on all you could see are sights I will always

remember fondly.  As long as we were in one of the family member’s

homes with fires blazing in the fireplace or tucked in with blankets, in the

car driving through the towns winter is a wondrous sight in New England!

I would like to see the town of Salem, MA again, on a warmer, less dismal

day! That is the direction that makes the most sense to head while observing

the holiday of Halloween!

Famed Author’s Home Up for Sale

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For a mere sum of $85,000, you can purchase the home of famed

playwright, poet and author, Langston Hughes. It has been recently

renovated but still has the beauty of an older home, including the

third floor attic garret, where Langston, in his high school years would

sleep, write and create. This is located in Cleveland, Ohio where the

area is being kept up like the old neighborhoods in Columbus, like

German Village or Victorian Village. These are the side streets that

people drive down to see Christmas lights on. The homey type of

neighborhood where you may be content or like Langston, may want

to flee from.

His home, at 2266 East 86th, was along the bus route to Central High

School and Karamu House, an internationally acclaimed centerpiece

of plays, dramatic arts and dance productions, featuring varied cultures

and backgrounds. This is known also as the “oldest African-American

theater in the United States.” This is where Langston Hughes would

premiere many of his plays.

Born James Mercer Langston Hughes in 1902 and passing away in1967,

Hughes contributed greatly to the writing community and especially,

helping the world to recognize the talents of African-Americans.

Although Hughes was well known for writing to represent his racial

background, he had Caucasian, African American and Native American

roots.

He was originally from Missouri, later in his junior high years moving to

live with his mother and stepfather in Cleveland, Ohio. This is where the

home is on sale.

Langston Hughes graduated from Central High School, honed some of

his creative writing skills at Karamu House. He then moved on to become

one of the first writers (innovators) to form what is considered the Harlem

Renaissance era (1920- 1930’s) in New York. His journals of short stories,

poems and social commentary began under the roof here in Cleveland.

Langston Hughes’ heritage was of two great-grandmothers who were

African-American slaves and two great-grandfathers who were Kentucky

land and slave owners. Hughes is known for the origin of writing a form

of poetry called, “jazz poetry.” He has a lovely lyrical and rhythmic style

that contributed to the annals of black poetry, being included in many

high school literature textbooks. Hughes was “ahead of his time,” in my

opinion. He had already died when I was exposed to his writing in the

70’s and our literature teacher had us reading his poetry aloud, so we

could listen to its lyrical “notes.”

This is how I came across his writing and was aware of Langston Hughes.

One of his more famous poems is titled,

“The Negro Speaks of Rivers

“My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.

I danced in the Nile when I was old

I built my hut by the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.

I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.

I heard the singing of the Mississippi and Abe Lincoln went

down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen the muddy bosom turn all

golden in the sunset.”

(1920)

Hughes attended one year of engineering school at Columbia, but dropped

out. He felt the weight of prejudice upon him and his true calling of writing

pulling him away from his studies.

Here is a beautiful example of Hughes’ poems:

“The night is beautiful

So the faces of my people.

The stars are beautiful,

So the eyes of my people.

Beautiful, also, is the sun

Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.”

From the poem, “My People,” (1923).

The realtor, Sherry M. Callahan, said there has been an offer or bid on the

house, from an aspiring writer who may be hoping to have inspiration come

from the walls of this author’s home. There is a nice fireplace to sit by, write

and soak in the ambiance. It could be claimed by a historical group or a

person seeking to have a tour stop for visitors to Cleveland, too.

This house includes a “page out of literary history,” Sherry noted.

Do you need a place to find your “muse?”

Candy Facts

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My focus is a non-controversial post to counteract all the negative

repercussions to my last rant about taking Halloween away from the

kids! This is a fun and short post where all can enjoy the “treats” in

the subject matter.

When the major candy company founders created some of those

famous candy bars, they had famous names. Their names led to the

given names of some of our favorite chocolate candy bars.

H. B. Reese gave his name to both Reese’s Peanut Butter cups (1928)

and Reese’s Pieces (1978 in  U.S., Ireland and UK and introduced in

Canada in 1980).

L. S. Heath contributed his name to Heath bars with that delicious

English toffee covered with milk chocolate. This originated in 1914,

introduced by Leaf, Inc.. and later, 1996, bought by Hershey’s.

Milton Hershey, of course, invented the milk chocolate Hershey bar,

that now comes in semi-dark chocolate, cookies and cream and milk

chocolate with almonds. “The Great American Chocolate Bar” was

first created in 1900 and the milk chocolate with almonds in 1908.

There is a “legend” about when the man named George Williamson

started marketing in his local store, a candy bar with peanuts and

caramel covered with chocolate. It is the store clerks would exclaim

at their frequent customer’s request for the bar, “Oh, Henry!” The

Williamson Candy Co., Chicago, Illinois, began distributing this in mass

production after 1920.

The 3 Musketeers Bar, originally was produced with a TRIO of flavors,

chocolate, vanilla and strawberry (1932). I always wondered about this

one! Once WWII came around, the cost of producing all three flavors was

just “too pricey” and they just continued making the bars with the most

favorite flavor of chocolate inside.

Last fact about candy that I will let you in on, in 1929, Sean Le Noble of

Hoffman and Co. wanted to make a perfectly round ball of caramel

coated with a milk chocolate covering. When the production came up

with less than perfect, flattened mis-shapened candies, someone

declared them “Duds!” Of course, Milk Duds came into existence!

Hope these yummy candies and memories attached will sweeten your

mood, hope you won’t hold my opinions on my Halloween “evil rant”

against me!

My favorites are listed above, that is what drew me into the research

mode…

Please share your favorite “treats” with all of us, don’t have to write

much but your candy of choice in the comments!

Evil Is in the Eye of the Beholder!

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Let’s just eliminate all fun and use of imagination! I am giving an

unapologetic rant, today! I was astonished to read of the newest

“victim” of right wing Christians: pumpkins that are carved into

Jack-O-Lanterns! They are on a newly extended “hit list” that is just

taking this a little too far.

I fully understand why they consider Halloween a “pagan ritual” but

do think almost all children would not realize the implications of evil

in wearing costumes and gathering large amounts of candy into bags.

I have “held my tongue” and cooperated with the schools (and preschools)

that have decided to turn their Halloween costume parties into Harvest

Fests. I have never complained to my grandchildren or let on to the

fact that 4 of 6 grandchildren will not be having Halloween parties. They

will have cider and donuts, or possibly even cupcakes with pumpkins

and leaves being the decorations instead of witches, goblins, vampires

and zombies! (Side comment: both the 4 year olds like those “scary”

images and don’t have nightmares with them involved.)

Being scared is part of being a child. Remember being afraid of the dark,

clowns, dolls, what was in your closets or under your beds? If you teach

your child fear, this can be good! Don’t want them going off with strangers

nor accepting food, candy or other things without adult or parental

permission! I am fine with those very important lessons learned in these

“stranger danger” possibilities. I would prefer some fear in their lives…

I loved scary stories, yet did have a few bad dreams or nightmares, while

a child, though. I liked “ghost stories” due to the way the goosebumps

made me feel scared but alive!

Here is a new list of things that are being taken out of the New York

City schools’ tests, due to recent NYC Dept. of Education mandates:

1. “Dinosaurs” (due to people who don’t believe in evolution)

2. “Birthdays” (Jehovah’s Witness have a problem with them. So, can we

still celebrate the LIVES of famous people around their birthdays?

Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, others come to mind…)

3. “Creatures from Outer Space,” so Aliens cannot conform to Bible

teachings but how about imagination and silly monsters?

4. “Homes with pools” really, I could not make this up! Not sure but

am trying to reason that some people would be underprivileged

enough not to recognize them and would not “test well” using these.

5. “Computers,” really again trying hard to rationalize why?

6. “Vermin.” Enough said.

7. “Junk food.” How about lessons on not eating them?

8. “Abuse.” Well, we don’t want to teach them about it, but how about

prevention?

9. “Terrorism,” always a very touchy subject.

10. “Divorce.” Not sure why testing would be skewed with this but okay.

11. “Holidays.” Enough said, again.

When you were little you probably loved those holidays with candy and

fun, like passing Valentines out and getting dressed up and collecting

door to door candy. If you are from somewhere you weren’t exposed to

these “customs” and let’s not call them “holidays,” maybe you had another

one or two that included fun, games and treats. In Mexico, a piñata would

be great filled with candy! Name some in your country, include any times

you were allowed to wear a costume, please, too!

Here are some areas that are now being added to concerns of people

when considering costumes and celebrating Halloween:

In Sandy, Utah a conservative citizens’ group don’t want children to

wear any “cross-dressing costumes” or “masks,” either.

I had a wonderful read today in the Cleveland papers of a woman

who wrote an editorial reply to this, paraphrased as”

“If you think my son wearing a ‘Daphne’ character’s costume from

“Scooby Doo” cartoons will make him (or turn him) into a gay, I

need to worry about your son turning into an axe murderer or

a ninja!”

Another group, from an area down by my “neck of the woods,” is

telling members of the Maryland Elementary in Bexley, Ohio that

some children may not have enough money for costumes so that

is a good reason to not have a Halloween costume party. Hey!

What about the ghosts made out of sheets, the cats with all black

leotards with black eyeliner whiskers, the hobo costumes, the

farmer or scarecrow costumes where you use overalls and plaid

shirts, or the 70’s hippies or 50’s bobby sox outfits? Aren’t these

fun and inventive ways for parents to dig up stuff out of their

closets? And, yes, my son did dress up as a woman with a wig,

dress and high heels: he is married and has two children and

two stepkids, too!

How about a ban on scary costumes? How about just friendly

ones like Casper the Friendly Ghost or Scooby Doo? I like the

princess ones that the little girls wear year round to the grocery

store and the little black cape and Batman half mask that my

oldest grandson wore everywhere he went. I liked the cowboy

boots passed down from my brother to my oldest daughter,

who wore them, even in Christmas pictures with Santa Claus.

Two more Evangelists who are complaining about Halloween:

Pat Robertson says, “Halloween is Satan’s Night.”

Kimberly Daniels says, Most of the candy sold during this season,

has been dedicated and prayed upon by witches.” (Jacksonville, FL)

I don’t think innocent children have “devilish” intentions and I am

not sure that the majority of their parents do either!

Hope I did not step on too many toes here! You are allowed freedom

of speech, I agree to disagree with some of the opinions expressed

by my opposition. I will be polite, your turn to rant…

Happy Halloween!

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I wanted to write this short post to include the Old Farmer’s Almanac,

2013 edition’s plant for Halloween note:

“The ‘ghost flower’ (Monotropa uniflora), also called Indian pipe is a

forest-dweller that lacks chlorophyll. Through its roots, the white plant

steals nutrients from a soil fungus that partners with neighboring trees.”

So, how many of you have heard of the “ghost flower?”

How many of you have seen them in the forest?

I would like a picture of this, but it had just this short description.

Another piece of information from that same source listed above is a

helpful hint and resource:

“Instead of throwing your old Halloween pumpkin in the trash, cut it into

pieces and add them to a compost pile in your yard, neighborhood or

community garden.” Some alternatives given- put your pumpkin out

in the woods or fields for wildlife creatures to snack on. Also, I did not

know this, local farms and zoos, sometimes accept pumpkins to feed

their animals (Call ahead to ask!) Last, a fun fact! Lions have been known

to have great fun playing with pumpkins!

Hope you have a ghostly evening, that there are more TREATS

than tricks at your home, or out and about, tonight!