Category Archives: pumpkins

Unique December Facts

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“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

The good news is December has been declared Bingo Celebration

Month! I used to love it when my family would play this, with

guests. Sometimes my cousins, sometimes neighbors, we would

be out on the picnic table with our chips and our Dad would be

the one to spin the wire caged wheel and pull out the wooden

balls with the letters, “B,I,N,G” or “O.”

Did you know this is an ‘ancient’ game? It has been around since

the 1500’s.

I used to love being the “Caller” for Bingo at the Arbors Nursing Home,

while my residents were always happy to call out, “Bingo!” The young

volunteers would run over and give them their quarter. When the whole

card got filled, we would start all over again. The reward for a filled card

was one dollar bill. This was a big exciting reward to the folks who lived

there.

 

On a much more solemn note, December 16, 1944 was the day the big

“Battle of the Bulge” was carried out.

 

The Official End of WWII was on December 31, 1946.

Peace on Earth, Good will to Men.

 

Did you know every day of the month has a food item?

 

DECEMBER DAYS OF FOOD (Beverage or Other):

Dec. 1- National Pie Day.

Eat A Red Apple Day.

 

Dec. 2- National Apple Pie Day.

 

Dec. 4- National Cookie Day.

(Every day is this one for me! smiles)

 

Dec. 5- Repeal Day ~ Prohibition Day (U.S.).

National Sacher Torte Day.

(In Vienna, Austria a man named Franz Sacher created this

delicious chocolate, light cake or torte, in 1832.)

 

Dec. 6- National Gazpacho Day.

(Associated with Andalusia, part of Spain, but its roots go back

into Arab and other ancient times. Cold, savory soup, made of

raw vegetables.)

Also, National Microwave Oven Day.

(I do appreciate this electronic invention.)

 

Dec. 7- National Cotton Candy Day.

(Why is this in our winter? Is this for places who have fairs and

festivals in December?)

 

Dec. 8- National Chocolate Brownie Day.

Dec. 9- National Pastry Day.

Dec. 10- National Lager Day.

 

Dec. 11- National Noodle Ring Day.

(This is hard to find its roots, but mainly described as

a circle of noodles with a cheese incorporated into it,

attributed to Germany.)

 

Dec. 12- National Cocoa Day.

 

Dec. 13- National Ice Cream Day.

(Why, again, are we eating ice cream in the cold weather?

This must be made up by people in warmer climates.

Also, National Violins Day.

 

Dec. 14- National Bouillabaisse Day.

(I enjoy this savory, warm soup. It originated from fishing

villages in France. Marseilles may have been its first place

of origin, with three kinds of fish and Provencal seasonings.)

 

Dec. 15- National Cupcake Day.

 

**Dec. 16- National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day!!**

Woo hoo!

 

Dec. 17- National Maple Syrup Day.

(This would be the perfect day or excuse to make pancakes

or waffles!)

 

Dec. 18- National Suckling Pig Day.

(This comes from mainly Chinese cuisine, but there are some

references going back to Roman times. This is a very young

pig, which has a lot of collagen in its skin, hard to ‘crisp up,’

while it is considered a delicacy.)

 

Dec. 19- National Hard Candy.

(What is your favorite hard candy?

My Dad’s was either horehound or cinnamon drops.

Mom’s was butterscotch drops. My favorite flavor is found in

either the caramel flavored Nips or Werther’s candies.)

 

Dec. 20- National Fried Shrimp Day.

(This makes me think of Louisiana cooking with crawdads or

prawns. This would be prepared as Shrimp Creole. I enjoy

the butter sauce with garlic infusion:  Shrimp Scampi.)

 

Also on the 20th- National Sangria Day.

“Ole!”

(You probably already know this is my Mom’s favorite wine

to sip on at bedtime, using a small juice glass. I have a

Spanish toast on another post…)

 

Dec. 21- National Hamburger Day.

Going from the red meat to fruit…

National Kiwi Fruit Day.

 

Dec. 22- National Date Nut Bread.

 

Dec. 23- National Pfeffernuesse Day.

(This traditional German spice cookie covered with powdered

confectioner’s sugar is one that takes me back to my Grandma’s

kitchen. It reminds me of the flavors of gingerbread cookies.)

 

Dec. 24- National Feast of the Seven Fishes.

(This comes from Italy, which celebrates the Wait or Vigil for

the Baby Jesus, by serving fish from the Mediterranean Sea.)

 

Also, National Egg Nog Day.

(I like this use of nutmeg, heavy cream and Irish whiskey or

other alcohol. Mom likes the non-alcoholic milky drink from

United Dairy Farmers.)

 

Dec. 25- National Pumpkin Pie Day.

(Just in case you didn’t get enough of this holiday pie at

Thanksgiving.)

 

Dec. 26- National Candy Cane Day.

Dec. 27- National Fruit Cake Day.

 

Dec. 28- National Chocolate Candy Day.

(Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter also celebrate

this national holiday- just being ‘facetious.’)

 

Dec. 29- National Pepper Pot Soup Day.

(There are recipes for this Jamaican cuisine along

with one from Philadelphia.)

 

Dec. 30- National Bicarbonate of Soda Day,

(Thank you for this Baking Soda Day. I like to use this

special rising ingredient in many baked goods, but can

taste it the most in homemade biscuits.)

 

Dec. 31- National Champagne Day.

(Say a toast to “Auld Lang Syne”  and Happy New Year, 2015!)

 

The research on some of these food items is not complete, but I did

look up the ones I did not know where the foods originated in. If

you would like to share a favorite family traditional food item in the

comments section, we would enjoy hearing about them. Thank you!

 

 

 

Halloween’s “A’coming!”

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My two precious granddaughters, who I labeled the “M & M’ girls were over last night.

We built a slide out of my youngest daughter’s discarded yoga mat and pillows. We

played with my oldest daughter’s Barbies, recently donated to join my collection. She

is the one who has two boys… We played ‘make-up’ and ‘dress-up’ along with reading

all of my Fall books. They still like the story about the two mice who are on two sides of

a pumpkin, tending it and growing it into the, “The Biggest Pumpkin Ever.” They also

liked the simple cardboard preschool books about pumpkins and trick or treater’s. The

last reminder of a great book for this season is, “The Nutty Nut Chase ” book.

We watched the  original “101 Dalmatians” with the scene animations being so lovely,

designed to entrance and bewitch the viewers with fall leaves and engrossing, dangerous

winter scenes. My Marley exclaimed about the chubby puppy who I think is named “Rowdy,”

“That puppy needs a diet!” I noticed that the man of the household is smoking a pipe, which

would not ‘do’ in today’s children’s cartoon movies. (I have to say in the ‘old days’ I would not

have even thought twice about weight problems of puppies nor smoking pipes in my dad’s or

granddad’s mouths.) This came up with my Santa Claus which is porcelain and old-fashioned

“‘Twas the Night before Christmas” books, all still having pipes with smoke circling the head

of Santa Claus l, by ever observant children.

When we were finally settling in to sleep it was around eleven o’clock. I was ‘pooped,’ but wished

to ask what they would be for Halloween. They are BOTH going as “Elsa’s” character from the

movie they so love, called, “Frozen.” Would they go as ‘twins?’ No, they would not since they

are the same person both being, “Elsa.” I so love that no one says, that silly word, “Duh!”

anymore.

I mentioned that I will be up at my Mom’s for the holiday. They asked, almost in unison,

“Why can’t you I be here with us?”

I remind them each time this subject matter comes up, “I hope you will be with me when I get

old and come visit me when it is my birthday.”

Wouldn’t you know 6 year old Marley woke up and asked me to get out the art supplies. Even

before they ate the pancakes I had made them!

I required the two little girls to go “Clean up first.” I began singing the “Clean up” song which

caused  Makyah, age  3, to groan and moan. I ignored her, getting paper, scissors, markers,

crayons, lots of stickers out (I had quite a supply when I left preschool special ed. Paid for, as

I used to always do, with my own money for extra seasonal supplies and books.) While Marley

laid on the ground, Miss Drama Queen, Marley got right down to business, used to

this responsibility in her kindergarten classroom.

They put pumpkins, scarecrows and turkeys on 5 x 7 index cards saying,

“Nana, please write, ‘Happy Birthday, Great Grammie O’.”

Marley needed help to copy some of the letters, but is able to write her and Kyah’s names.

Kyah added lots of “x’s” and “o’s” to hers while Marley could write out “I love you lots!”

They stapled them into a little book for my Mom to get on November first, her #86.

We headed back to their house at noon, since Mommy was going to make them lunch.

I gave them hugs and said, “See you Tuesday for your brother, Landen’s birthday and

thanks for the lovely cards for my Mom who will adore them!

Both my daughter and daughter-in-law will send Mom and me photos via cell phones of

the six grandkids. My son doesn’t text me often except to send me a ‘thinking of you’ or a

‘I love you because…’

 

Here is an (hopefully) amusing joke! You know my source, who is very reliable in her

twice weekly letters to me, inserting news articles about Cleveland, Ohio and other senior

and health related subjects!

 

COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN:

“You know you are too old to Trick or Treat when. . .”

 

#10. You keep knocking on your own front door.

 

#9. You remove your false teeth/wig/hair piece to change your appearance.

 

#8. You ask for soft high fiber candy only.

 

#7. When someone drops a candy bar in your bag, and you lose your balance and fall over.

 

#6. People admire your great Boris Karloff mask and you aren’t wearing a mask.

(You may insert Abe Vigoda or other aged people who have character in their wrinkles…)

 

#5. When the door opens and others yell words, but you forget to say, “Trick or Treat.”

 

#4. By the end of the night, you have a bag of restraining orders.

 

#3. You have to carefully choose a costume that doesn’t dislodge your hairpiece.

Or one that covers up your body challenges…

**No slutty nurse costumes for you anymore! (women)

**No more Superman costumes; more likely the Pillsbury Dough boy would work. (men)

(ha ha ha)

 

#2. You are the only Power Ranger or Sleeping Beauty princess with a walker or a cane,

in the neighborhood.

 

And, as David Lettermen would say,

“The Number One Reason Seniors SHOULD NOT Go Trick or Treating Anymore. . .

 

(Are you ready for this one?. . . It directly applies to me and my own elderly problems…!!)

 

#1. You keep having to walk home to use the bathroom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October’s Bewitching Month

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In a book called, “Brownie Year Book,” written and illustrated by Palmer Cox, he

gives us twelve poems for a year.  This was found in an old anthology book, which

was published in the year of my birth, 1955. I have not featured the other months,

but may in the coming year, 2015.  It includes amusing, detailed pen and ink drawings

of these little ‘Brownies.’  They are not elf-like nor imps.  They are not younger

versions of Girl Scouts either. They look like little men. You may find these curious

characters on the Internet. Go ahead, check what the ‘Brownies’ look like. Otherwise,

I like the power and intricacy of words and will try to draw a picture in your mind of

them.  Their eyes are sometimes bugging out of their sockets.  In the wacky month

of June, the Brownies are banding together to go on a gentle ride in a boat along a

lazy stream. Alas, they reach a sudden increase of speed. Soon, they are falling out of

their boat going down a waterfall!  Chaos and amusement can be found in each month’s

transitions. The ‘Brownies’ are an unexpected pleasure like some kind of dwarves in

their own little adventures. I think they could compare to the movie, “The Box Trolls,”

in their antics. There can be some ‘episodes’ of serious intent as this October shows:

 

“October

When woods are tinged

with all the glow

October on the woods

can throw,

And game is plenty

on the tree

And every kind

of weapon free:

The Brownies

imitate the way

Mankind does creep

upon the prey.”

(Palmer Cox)

 

 

 

OCTOBER CALENDAR

 

Birthstone: Opal

Flower: Calendula

 

You should be filling out your absentee ballots applications, if you won’t be able to

make it to the polls. One month until elections are here in the U.S. in November.

It will land on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. My Mom and my youngest daughter

sometimes vote using absentee ballots. I sent out a text to one, a hand-written

letter to the other.  Not sure if this will be true this year or if they will make it to

the Polls!

 

Late October, exciting times are coming: The 110th World Series of Major League

Baseball Championship games keep on going with round #7 playing on October 29th.

 

October 1st-

Remembering 10/1/64 when over 3000 University of California Berkeley, gathered

in protesting Civil Rights activist, Jack Weinberg being arrested, surrounding the

police car. Mario Salvo and other activists had formed the organization of FSM,

(Freedom of Speech Movement.) It was not necessarily just for African Americans,

as there were many Spanish speaking members, along with whites, including Jewish

people. This incident lasted over 32 hours and ended peacefully.

 

1- Quarter Moon.

 

3-4- Yom Kippur.

From sundown on October 3rd until sunset on October 4th.

 

7- Children’s Health Day

Support mothers and fathers who protect their children by keeping their vaccinations

and shot records current. I support our local health clinic in Delaware, Ohio by donating

to their funding.

 

8- Hunters’ Full Moon

In October, Native Americans also call this Dying Moon and Travel Moon.

 

9- Leif Erickson Day.

Leif Erickson was believed to be the first (recorded) Nordic explorer of North America.

His Viking ship and members of his crew are shown appreciation on this day. If you

wish to see a humorous interpretation that explains this to children, see Leif Erickson

on Google, then add “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

 

13- Columbus Day.

Celebrating the ‘discovery’ of America, by Christopher Columbus.

Fly flags for honoring Veterans as this is a government holiday in the U.S.

 

15- Last Quarter Moon.

 

17- Alaska Day (observed).

The U.S. officially got the territory of Alaska from Russia transferred on the

date: October 18, 1867.

 

18- Two very different kinds of television programming going on:

1.  Stephen King’s movie, “Big Driver,” will be shown on Lifetime on this evening.

2.  “My Boyfriend’s Dogs,” will be shown on Hallmark Channel tonight. The

actress, Ericka Christensen is known for her role on the show, “Parenthood.”

 

 

 

23- New Moon (rising)

 

24- United Nations Day.

If you have never looked at all the lovely designs for different stationery, you

may wish to check out the UNICEF website. My parents ordered their Christmas

cards every year around this time. My father’s obituary had two donation places

designated in ‘lieu of flowers,’ as UNICEF and the Hospice organization in Cleveland,

Ohio. Mark Chagall’s lovely designs and the iconic Peace dove with the twig of an

olive branch were some of my favorite cards ever.

 

30- Hallmark Channel presents the American Humane Society Dog Show and

will include: 8 Hero Dogs competing for a national title. Watch these unsung

canine heroes on Hallmark Channel at 8:00 p.m. (EST).

 

31- Happy Halloween Day!

The evening before All Saints Day was once designated as “hallowed evening.”

All kinds of spirits will be roaming neighborhoods, mainly children dressed

up in costumes. Beware! If you don’t offer treats, you may have some ‘devilish’

tricks or pranks played on you or your house. . .

 

Also, a very special celebration will be going on in Nevada!

Happy 150th Anniversary to Nevada’s Statehood! There will be no schools

and all government offices closed on this Friday. Then on Saturday,

November 1st, there will be major hoopla going on, starting with a huge

parade! Congratulations for all those living in Nevada and Enjoy!

 

 

In Autumn, I enjoy going for a drive in the country, stopping and having a

hike in the woods. This is one simple pleasure that almost anyone, except

an invalid or someone bedridden can partake in. I hope you are healthy,

will enjoy the way your senses can all come into play, while enjoying the

great outdoors.

 

“The Open Road

Afoot and light-hearted,  I take to the open road.

Healthy, free, the world before me,

The long brown path before me, leading

wherever I choose.

 

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself

am good-fortuned.

Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone

no more, need nothing.

Done with indoor complaints, libraries,

querulous criticisms,

Strong and content, I travel the open road.”

(Walt Whitman)