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Archive for the ‘Halloween’ Category

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

My mind is wandering. The chaos of the holidays is especially confusing this year and of course I can blame it all on the pandemic.

Is the Covid-19 pandemic evolving or devolving? Is it now called endemic because the cases are going down? Or is it because the numbers of hospital stays are decreasing? Or is it the number of deaths? Or maybe things are not improving at all.

They say there is a new “variant” emerging that could be faster at spreading than ever and maybe more lethal. Or is it? Boosters might help or might not. Hunkering down again might help or might not. Should I wear a mask all the time or just in public or just among the unvaccinated? Should it be made of cloth or what?

Really I have more important things to think about. Almost my whole family are coming for Thanksgiving. Who will bring what or cook what and how will we all be seated? My mind is wandering.

It is not even Halloween yet but I already have plans for Thanksgiving. Planning is the secret.

  • I will make a big beautiful chocolate bundt cake the day before. That is in case there is a pumpkin shortage. They are predicting shortages you know and pumpkin is one (due to some sort of fungus on the crops… or is it a dearth of trucks for transport?). I do love pumpkin pie but chocolate will take the yearning away if need be. I have all the cake ingredients now so Ready-Get Set-Go!
  • I will also make my own favorite cranberry salad two days ahead to give it time to set and merge. There is a joke in the family about the grand who added 3 cups of sugar to the salad making it inedible. Not this time although she has graciously offered to make it again!
  • But just in case there is a problem or a shortage of cranberries we have two cans of the jellied version – the old fashioned kind we used to get when I was a child.
  • I will also make my own favorite veggies with carrots and turnips the day before.
  • We are stocked up with Stovetop Stuffing.
  • There is nothing like instant mashed potatoes nowadays but I will have a bag of real potatoes on hand just in case.
  • My friend reminded me of the merits in making a marinated salad so forget the green bean casserole.
  • That only leaves the turkey and gravy!

And there you have it. This is what happens when my mind wanders.

Now onto Christmas!

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Is it Halloween yet?
Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Today is downright cold. “Sweater Weather,” my Mom called it. In Florida where I grew up Autumn announced its arrival with a delightfully cool breeze that offered blessed relief from Summer heat. We knew more of that was coming and we could not wait to greet the season.

Virginia is different. Things can and do change overnight. Winter’s warnings here are loud, clear and insistent. Last night the warning came with a breeze too cold to leave the windows open and a sudden need to cover up.

Yes, summer tops look strangely out of place in the closet now and shorts, bathing suit and sun hats are ready for wistful hibernation. I should have been prepared for this since the little market down the road has been showcasing mums and pumpkins for many days now. And the internet is featuring autumn decor and Halloween.

Even recipes emerge that I haven’t even thought of all Summer. I suddenly want to make more stews and hearty meals. I am famous for simple, easy, recipes that taste like they took alot of work. Here’s a good one for Old Fashioned Meatloaf with a great tangy twist.

DOR’S BARBECUED MEAT LOAF

1 ½ pounds ground beef

1 cup breadcrumbs

1 onion, finely chopped

1 egg, beaten

1 ½ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 15-16 oz. can of tomato sauce, divided

½ cup water

3 tablespoons vinegar

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

            Combine first 6 ingredients in a large mixer bowl; add ½ can of tomato sauce, mixing well.  Place mixture in a 10x6x1-inch baking dish, and shape into a loaf.  Combine remaining tomato sauce and remaining ingredients in a small mixing bowl and pour over loaf.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done, basting often.  Yield: 8 servings.

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I am so envious of my friends here and my friends out there in the blog-us-fear who manage to organize closets and drawers and even garages during this evil Pandemic.

How clever you are to use your time away from society so wisely.

I must say I think about organizing things.

I have thought about the closet now for at least four months.  In fact, I stand in it every day and assess the situation.  There are the shoes in haphazard piles and the winter clothes still not packed away.

It’s almost winter again anyway right?  I have forgotten since I do not frequent the stores anymore who used to let me know about the changing seasons.

Oh yes, there was a catalog reminding about Halloween.

Is it Halloween yet?

I think about all our 40 Photo albums too.

There is a whole big cabinet dedicated to the old non-digital touchy-feely photographs collected over my own lifetime and the lifetimes of my parents and Bill’s siblings who have all since passed.  There are many shots of roads or trees or other unidentified scenery.  And lots of unrecognizable people and many with no dates. 

My inherent need to organize draws me to that cabinet over and over again but I never open the doors.  The job is simply too overwhelming to contemplate.

I also think about the garage alot.  I have to go through the garage to take Elsa-the-dog for a walk and we pause en route so I can think about how to organize things.

There are all those leaves that blew in last Autumn and maybe I should get the leaf blower out and take care of that first.

But then there are all those loose things and tools we never use anymore, and rusty stuff.  Maybe we should look into renting a big rubbish bin.  Never mind, “Come on Elsa.  Let’s go this way.”  And off we go out of the garage.

Uh oh!  I find myself out in the green green world.  But the green is not always well manicured lawns.  The green is really enormous weeds that have taken over every flower bed and the gravel driveway.  If I think too much about the work to be done in my green green world, I tend to hurry home with Elsa after she has done her bit to fertilize the earth.

There is so much to do.

There is so much to think about doing.

To do or not to do is the question.

But I prefer to think about it.

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wandering-witch-off-course

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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20161002_133225Autumn’s Arrival

No!

It  simply cannot be closing in on Halloween again.

For Heaven’s Sake, it was just summer!

Still, there have been unmistakable signs.

 How about falling leaves and a little nip in the air?

Or whole aisles of Halloween Candy at the supermarket?

Yes – Something is amiss.

Virginia’s had an unusually cool summer –

cooler than California I wager.

Oh, I do love Autumn in Virginia!

But is it really time to post Pumpkin Pictures

or my yearly Witch Warnings?

 

wandering-witch-off-course

The Perils of Texting and Driving

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20160919_180800

Over twenty years ago, Bill planted a sapling.

It was a Red Maple that never turned red in the Fall.

Yellow was always her color.

But this summer she is again sporting her beautiful mantle of green.

Other trees managed to succumb to benign neglect or wicked weather;

  • a gigantic Bradford Pear who split in two during a storm called a Durecho,
  • a Weeping Cherry who never made it past puberty,
  • an enormous Crab Apple who nourished our deer but simply gave up.

But the beautiful Red Maple stayed on as if to comfort and assure,

“I will linger long and grow toward heaven for as long as you may need me.”

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Was the Wicked Witch Texting?

This is my annual Halloween post.

wandering-witch-off-course

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Castle Ruins Castle on a Hill 1

We were on our way to the “old country!”

En route I spotted a ghostly cloud in the shape of a sister-jet following along for good luck.

Ghost Plane on High

This is what I saw through our plane window.

 

Bill and I were on our way to a riverboat cruise featuring the Highlights of Germany.

And there are now 193 photographs awaiting your viewing pleasure!

No, please don’t worry.  This is a Virginia blog after all and the subject is always Virginia Views.

I will only share the best of the best of cathedrals, castles, and narrow streets.   Now they have already  blended into one delightful memory.  The truth is, we can’t remember where we have been!  At least that’s what Bill says.  After awhile one castle looks a lot like the last one.

But I’m baaaaaack!  The called for “Time Out” is over.

And now, tradition has it that I must post a wayward witch’s photo to celebrate the season.

It was not taken in Germany but a few years ago “down the street” right here in the neighborhood.

Many thanks to the neighbor who took the time to put up this funny lady.

They don’t make much of Halloween in the Germany we visited and I am glad to be back among all the U.S. pumpkins, gourds, and all the anticipation in the air about costumes, tricks and treats.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN my friends!

It’s good to be home.

She must have been texting!

She must have been texting!

 

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Photo From Herman's Produce Web Site

Herman’s Produce in Lexington, Virginia, is my favorite place for anything fresh and beautiful or freshly preserved and delicious.  I harvested their fabulous tomatoes all summer (from the shelves)  and now there are crispy apples guaranteed the best of the best.

Even their plants scream quality.  I bought a basil plant that grew into a beautiful round mound with constant leaves to harvest all season, and a giant mum of enormous beauty for only $12.

Herman’s is also a wonderful center for meeting, greeting, laughing, and putting aside the worries of the world.  There is an old rusty tractor “out front” and they have made good use of it to wish their friends the best of Fall and a Happy Halloween.

I do love Herman’s because it’s humble but top-of-the-line, habit forming because you always want more, and because the folks at Herman’s really and truly care.

Note:  This is not an advertisement!  Really.

And I am not actually having a love affair with Herman either.

I know it  sounds that way but some places simply require accolades.

Congratulations Herman!  You have won my heart.

Autumn Joy

Happy Fall and Happy Halloween from Herman’s

 

 

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge:  Containers

Boxes, tanks, wrappers:  for this week’s Photo Challenge, show us something that contains something else.

More Shop Art

It was the container of all containers somewhere in a courtyard in Arizona.

And it was around Halloween.

And I have never forgotten it.

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