Category Archives: trick or treating

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)

 

 

 

Art Critique

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While travelling towards the 42nd Valley Art Center with my brother,

Randy, his good friend, Randy and his wife of over 20 years, along

with Dan, we all talked about how it has been an off and on, lovely

beginning to Autumn. As we entered the Chagrin Falls’ town area,

we saw a lot of wonderful “homemade” or home-inspired costumes.

Dan pointed out a horse head made of paper mache and I saw a

whole set of parents guiding their crew of children, each dressed up

as the main trio of the Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow costumes, also

accompanied with Glinda and Dorothy.

We all commented that this was like a town out of the sixties, with

so many people filling the sidewalks, lovely decorated homes and

even a few bonfires, fire pits and a tent with Halloween decorations.

The tent enclosed from the raindrops coming down upon the town,

a couple of costumed adults who were passing out treats from a

huge cauldron on a table with pumpkins and a sash of fall leaves.

We “oohed” and “ahhed” along our way, finding the arts center

and parking in a crowded community parking lot downtown.

The art opening was on Friday November first, I had read about the

recent filming of a movie, “Jenny’s Wedding” in downtown Cleveland

and was surprised to see a couple of blank areas on the walls, where

a thoughtful set designer from that movie had “snagged” the artwork

and left a note that said the piece was going to featured in the movie.

How outstanding was that?

Just a quick summary of the movie and its news-worthy Cleveland

filming. The movie and screenplay was written by Mary Agnes Donaghue,

who also is known for “White Oleander,” “Veronica Guerin,” and a critic

“panned” but one I enjoyed, “Beaches.” Her characters are well defined,

include interesting and diverse plots, and female-driven stories.  Katherine

Heigl is being filmed in this movie as the main character. The plot summary,

“A woman shocks her family when she announces her startling choice for

a marriage partner.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer said that there will be 3-4

more movies being filmed locally. I enjoyed seeing the recent Avengers’

movies that were filmed not only around Cleveland’s Public Square but

also on one of the main highways, causing traffic to be rerouted!

I also enjoyed the treats provided by Whole Foods, fresh vegetables and

dip, fresh fruits and some little appetizer treats. The little chocolate truffles

were scrumptious.

Onward to the awards! I was dismayed to hear the names called out,

looking to where the art director for the center pointed. We had circled the

100 art pieces and “chosen” our own award winners!

First of all, my brother, Randall Oldrieve (all of his art is on Facebook, open

to view there: public domain.) We thought his wooden sculpture was breath-

takingly natural and yet very much created to evoke thoughts. It was titled,

“Stormbreaker.” It is composed of layers of wood that first is carved out of

real pieces of osage orange, cherry, black walnut, spalted maple and walnut

pieces. It is then refined, sanded and transfixed into a moving, flowing and

arcing sculpture that is about my height of five foot tall. It took months to

create and yet, seems very much natural, too.

Our (friend Randy, wife, Kristen and friend Dan) second choice could have

been the European city street created from hand cut pieces of paper. These

intricately layered paper pieces, look exactly like a painting from a distance.

This marvelous “collage” (and I use that term loosely!) is the fine art work

by Christine Weigand, entitled, “Look Left.” We did not have a chance to

meet the artist, although we circled it probably 10 times, we never caught

a woman standing by it.

The third place winner may have been Megan Frankenfield’s “Marblehead

Quarry” art piece that was about 3 or 4 foot tall and 3-4 foot wide. I am a

bad guesser, possibly but it was striking in its colors and composition. The

whole picture using acrylics and a photo superimposed on canvas would be

well worth the price attached of $500. The large wall hanging appears like

you are looking through a warehouse’s window, along the water. The squares

or “panes” of the window are in different shades of green, ochres, oranges,

turquoise and golden colors. The sunset effect is striking and draws your

eyes towards it.

The last piece, my personal: “I would put it on my own wall” type of art

was Annemarie Kall’s “Go With the Flow” pastels done on ampersand board.

I enjoyed the way with simple strokes this painting evokes the reflection of

water and the serenity of the countryside around a lake. I would have given

it an award due to how challenging I have found pastels to be, when you

work with them, the chalky appearance can really look “muddled.” This

“painting” is outstanding in its clarity and precision.

Of the four above mentioned pieces, NONE of them won any awards! The

third choice one won “Honorable Mention.” We were disappointed about

my brother’s work but I told the guests that were with us, he has won from

out of town, out of state jurors along with the People’s Choice Award at the

Ohio State Fair Professionals level entry. He was not dismayed and has high

hopes of someone wandering through the small venue and purchasing his

sculpture or at least, enjoying the view.

Our night out together, led us to drop off Dan and going on over to the

Fatheads’ distillery, newly opened on October 18th, called The Tap House.

This place, different from the restaurant, houses the huge vats or large

silo-shaped distilleries for the varied Fat Heads’ hometown brews.

I enjoyed tasting over the summer time, the Bumbleberry brew, which

happened to be Kristen’s favorite. My brother, Randy, chose a darker

beer and his friend, Randy, chose one of the lighter (Pale India Ale) ones,

with the Headhunter logo on it. I tried a new

brew, “hop nectar mead.” It is my favorite one yet! It has a strong flavor

but does seem to make me think of wine, too. The Bumbleberry brew

is my second favorite. Creative names range from “Bean Me Up,” “Oompa,

Loompa” and “Battle Axe,” with each of their logos funnier and crazier

than the next. The “Kohlminator” was inspired by a dark German draft

beer, could have been the one my brother drank.  There was a great crowd

considering its being opened only a short time. I am hoping to spread the

word amongst Ohio beer drinking fans… Oh, there is a Pittsburg, PA and

will be Fat Heads in Tennessee and Oregon, too. They have won National

awards for their brews.

We were very thrilled to go to this place, seeing the clouds throughout

the huge building on the inside walls, the different voodoo guys along the

one area, the tables made out of barrels and the arrows in the wooden

pillars, and the hops vines crawling along varied surfaces, even wood-

burned into a wooden sign:  all the handiwork of my brother.

Well, that is about all for the creative endeavors of my brother for this

post, the “critic’s hat” that I placed upon the other Randy, his wife,

Kristen and friend, Dan, too. We had a blast the whole night out!

Getting home to my Mom’s apartment, you needn’t worry about my

waking her! She is sometimes up until 2:00 a.m. and when I opened

the door at only midnight, she exclaimed, “Home already?!!”

We had our little juice glass of Sangria, looked into each other’s eyes,

saying our little Spanish toast together in unison, then watched a couple

of old detective shows on television, until I started to nod off. Mom got up

and covered me up.

On my last night visiting Mom, I had felt guilty leaving her. We had had a

lively conversation and loads of memories all week long, some personal

revelations on both sides, like two good old friends.

Mom had been happy, showing her thoughtfulness in this,

“So glad you had some fun tonight, Robin.”

I replied, in all earnestness and lovingly,

“I always have fun around you, Mom. I wish you would have come but am

so glad you were here at the end of the night to tuck me in. I miss you,

always, back in Delaware.”

Who knows, hopefully Dad had fun looking over our shoulders, at the

art gallery. He always had loved painting with bold, broad and big strokes

of intergallactic spaceships and large Lake Erie ships, too. With darks skies,

either stars and constellations or storms brewing in the background. He

would have loved the brews, too, seeing his son’s artwork presented in a

gallery and a brewhouse would have tickled his fancy. If he had been around,

Mom would have “rode along” from the gallery, dissecting the art pieces with

Dad. Then, to the Tap House, where she would have been the “designated

driver” between the two of them.

I am sure while I was gone, Mom spoke to Dad, she does this daily. Of her

thoughts on the news, her views of television and her looking and searching

the sky for falling stars, our family’s sense that Dad is playing with the

constellations, keeping them in order so all will be “right with his family’s

world.”