Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 1963

In my SMF days we usually made our own costumes ourselves. We went through the closets, bureaus, and sewing kits for buttons, bows and the like about a week before Halloween. Snippets of anything were a potential costume. White, brown and black shoe polish could come in handy. Now, into the medicine cabinet and vanity for make-up that could be spared: red lipstick for blood, blue eye shadow for glamour, green for gory stuff. Old dresses, hats and shoes presented other possibilities.

This year I became a gypsy; an old dress, a petticoat, some draped fabric, a bejeweled turban on the head with a feather! Stunning for sure!

My brother was to go as Casper. I was not about to settle for just another ghost costume with a sheet over the head and two eye slits. No-siree-Bob. This would be a custom costume with a fitted Casper head helmet. Included was a fitted white costume with feet and legs like Casper.

“Come over here. I need to make the eyeholes.”

Down went the fitted helmet head. Eye placement was traced onto the fabric.

“I can’t breathe.”

“OK, you can get a nose too!”

This was the first year I could walk about the neighborhood trick-or-treating, just me and my brother, no parents. With bags of loot in tow, we artfully maneuvered the neighborhood.

We circled one block then the next. We arrived at our final destination…the convent. We line up at the steps and wait our turn behind the other hobgoblins and costumed kids. As we approach the front door of the convent, we see a line of nuns across the foyer with smiles as they try to place the masked faces with the names of their students. At the front door is a nun I don’t know, perhaps the cook? She is handing out home-made candies on a platter.


It was such a unique moment, we didn’t know if we should genuflect or not, what being on hallowed ground and all!

“Thank you, Sisters!”

We run down the stairs and headed home.

“I can’t breathe” says my brother.

“OK, you can take the helmet off now.”

“Thanks!” He said while gasping for air.

The next day we were back at school, still on our sugar high. As the nuns looked around the room there were freshly scrubbed faces about the classroom. In the cracks and crevices of our smiles were the remnants of color from the night before….white, red, blue and green. I’m sure the nuns were still smiling inside.

Happy Halloween


Sunday, October 30, 2011

OH, Sleet!

Update on our pre-Halloween storm. 

Just heard from my brother John in Monson. They got slammed again! Fourteen inches of snow on the ground. He lost his power last night at 7 pm as a tree went down from his yard and across the street. This morning revealed that the power lines were completely ripped out of his house. He must chainsaw his way out of the driveway. Then they must get the trees removed from the road.

On the upside...the generator still has gas, the cupboards are full, there's plenty of firewood and the wine stores are up to date! 

Life is good!


PS...moral of the story...'you don't screw with Mother Nature!'

OH, Sheet!

I love this card! From Linda, to me, to you. I couldn’t resist but to share.

Happy Halloween to all.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

National Chocolate Day!

In honor of this most auspicious occasion, National Chocolate Day, I recommend a menu worthy of any chocolate gourmet palate.

7am: Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream
8am:  Godiva Chocolates
9am:  M & M’s (peanut or regular)
10am:  Devil’s Food Cake
11am: Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Chip
12 noon: Brownies
1pm: Whoopie Pie
2pm: Hot cocoa
3pm: Chocolate covered potato chips and/or biscotti
4pm: Baskin & Robbin’s Chocolate Fudge
5pm: Hilliard’s Dark Chocolate Bark
6pm: Chocolate Lava Cake
7pm: Ben & Jerry’s Brownie Batter
8pm: Hershey’s Kisses
9pm: Chocolate Cream Pie
10pm: Chocolate Mints on your pillow!
11pm: Mayan hot chocolate nightcap!


PS: movie video for “Chocolat”;

PPS…a few sites featuring chocolate recipes. Yum!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wicked Limericks!

Lighthearted limericks lighten the load of life with laughter.

 I found these Halloween limericks on the net. Enjoy!

While everyone's out trick or treating
talking with phantoms they're meeting
I have got my eye
on some pumpkin pie
which right now I am busy eating
Things that go BUMP in the night,
Give a really big fright.
We shiver and shake,
with sounds that they make
Till we can turn on a light!
Gwennie the good-hearted ghoul
did her best to avoid being cruel.
She offered to mate
with the men that she ate
and then let them drown in their drool.
Lon Chaney once met Mister Hyde
Who had the poor fellow tongue tide
When Hyde asked “Is that hair
That you wear, wash & wear
Or do you wear wolf just inside?”
The Wolfman eventually replied
I wash my hide, Hyde, just in Tide
I’m a wash & wear wolf
Though I say so my sulf
My hide is a great source of pride.
The famous Egyptian King Tut
Had a fabulous musical butt
“But some people thinks
My music, it sphynx
I blow toots uncommon, so what?”
The bustard’s a wonderful foul
with minimal reason to growl.
He is spared what would be
by the grace of a fortunate vowel.
Count Dracula, lanky and slight,
And eschewing a heartier bite,
Was growing bulimic
On victims anemic.
He insisted on making it Blood Lite.
Dracula must suck blood to live.
Fortunately, virgins have much to give!
He cuts through the tripe,
Asks if they match his type,
And they respond with, “O Positive!”

I hope you find them wicked funny!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

UN Day

We are seven billion strong!



I have only vague recollections of my Prose & Poetry book from St. Mary School. Most of the poetry introduced to me as a child will have to have the cobwebs dusted off in my mind. During this week preceding Halloween, I thought I’d reacquaint myself with Edgar Allen Poe. I had forgotten that this writing master was born in Boston. We have quite a history with him. Thinking I would post a tribute to Poe such as The Raven, Lenore or The Telltale Heart (thump-thump!), I came across one I did not know. This is for us, the SMFs, as we are bonded to Poe in ways we didn’t know! I think it a buried treasure in literature as it is not on every Poe website….a perfect discovery for us, this day. Enjoy!

  Dim vales--and shadowy floods--
  And cloudy-looking woods,
  Whose forms we can't discover
  For the tears that drip all over
  Huge moons there wax and wane--
  Every moment of the night--
  Forever changing places--
  And they put out the star-light
  With the breath from their pale faces.
  About twelve by the moon-dial
  One more filmy than the rest
  (A kind which, upon trial,
  They have found to be the best)
  Comes down--still down--and down
  With its centre on the crown
  Of a mountain's eminence,
  While its wide circumference
  In easy drapery falls
  Over hamlets, over halls,
  Wherever they may be--
  O'er the strange woods--o'er the sea--
  Over spirits on the wing--
  Over every drowsy thing--
  And buries them up quite
  In a labyrinth of light--
  And then, how deep!--O, deep!
  Is the passion of their sleep.
  In the morning they arise,
  And their moony covering
  Is soaring in the skies,
  With the tempests as they toss,
  Like--almost any thing--
  Or a yellow Albatross.
  They use that moon no more
  For the same end as before--
  Videlicet a tent--
  Which I think extravagant:
  Its atomies, however,
  Into a shower dissever,
  Of which those butterflies,
  Of Earth, who seek the skies,
  And so come down again
  (Never-contented thing!)
  Have brought a specimen
  Upon their quivering wings.

Edgar Allen Poe (1831)


Monday, October 24, 2011

Paranormal Massachusetts

At this time of the year we turn our minds to the mysterious, the unexplained and things that go bump in the night. These topics are all over the TV on multiple channels. It’s not just the children who are interested in ghost stories, but the adults too! For those who are interested, you’ve come to the right place! MASSACHUSETTS! Yes, that’s right…look no further! Welcome to our world of the paranormal in our own backyard.

We will start with the author of Weird Massachusetts, Jeff Belanger. He investigates our history combined with paranormal stories.

This was one of the topics at our last SMF get-together…the Bridgewater Triangle. We are smack-dab in the middle of it or at least some of us skirting the territory. This is home to many UFO sightings.

In the neighboring town of Dighton is the famous ‘Dighton Rock’. The inscriptions have not been authenticated to a single source but can be estimated to before the birth of Christ.

The Hockomock Swamp means “the place where spirits dwell” so named by the Wampanoag. Also known as “Devil’s Swamp”, it has been reported to be the home of a Big Foot, mysterious lights, a giant flying Pterodactyl and ghosts paddling a canoe.

Massachusetts is also home to many megaliths, both structures and caves, dating back to the ancient Celts.

A few more places to follow:

The truth is out there!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Boston Cream Pie Day

Today, Oct. 23rd has the dubious distinction of being Boston Cream Pie Day. Its creation rose (pun intended) in the ovens of the gourmet kitchen of the Omni Parker House in Boston, MA. The Parker House has been serving their finest to the public since the mid-1800s. Some of their more noted guests have been Ralph Waldo Emerson and Charles Dickens. They have also been known to launch many a culinary career such as that of our very own Emeril “BAM” Lagasse!

The Omni Parker House does have on their website the recipes for both Boston Cream Pie and the famous Parker House rolls.

Last but not least, for a nightcap, I found a recipe also cited from the Omni Parker House, for the Boston Cream Pie Martini!

May your taste buds be happy as we do not count our calories today!


Original Recipe download from the Omni-Parker House website:

Omni Parker House History:

Omni Parker House website:

Emeril’s Boston Cream pie Recipes:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Head of the Charles Regatta

This weekend in Boston is the “Head of the Charles Regatta”. Two days of racing along the Charles River with the anticipated crowd of 300,000 plus spectators. If interested in the race, but not wanting to fight the crowds, here’s a live webcast you can log into:

The weather looks promising. Enjoy!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

There Are Limits!

While it’s raining outside, I’m reviewing in my mind some sunny day events. The one that sticks out in my mind is a day with my grandson. He wanted to take a picture of me and I let him. It’s deleted… no photo for you!

 Upon reviewing the pics of the day I realized I was wearing more than one pair of sunglasses. I had taken his sunglasses & placed them on my forehead above my sunglasses on my nose. I then realized that I had my magnifiers hanging from my neck…needed for the small icons on my camera. THREE pairs of glasses in one photo! Lovely! Maybe this can be a new fashion trend. I’ll call Vogue immediately!

I then thought “How many pairs of glasses can a woman wear and still be fashionable?” I decided the correct answer is six. Seven would be gauche, unless there were extenuating circumstances yet to be determined. My reasoning is thus: one pair of sunglasses on your nose. If you need prescription glasses, you may have one pair with the flip-up sunglass shade over them. This counts as two pair. If you have prescription sunglasses, you are allowed the first pair to be worn as a headband and the RX sunglasses on your nose. This is still only two pair.

The third pair of glasses can be worn around the neck on a decorative strand. This is usually an emergency magnifying pair just in case you forget (or lose) the aforementioned glasses. Having personally misplaced my magnifiers on occasion, I allow for a second pair to be tucked into the neckline of my blouse. This is now the fourth pair. Knowing that it is a good thing to have a spare pair of sunglasses, there is an allowance for a pair sharing the neckline of the blouse with the magnifiers. This is pair five. If you are wearing a man-tailored shirt with a pocket, a fashionable spare pair of glasses may be added here.  This makes six pairs. If you are wearing a shirt with two pockets, I feel that it is too much to have both pockets filled with glasses. This is what borders on the ‘gauche’ side of fashionable eyewear adornment. I feel this pocket is best filled with the other important accessories of life such as debit cards, cell phones and such. We wouldn’t want to stifle our daily routine.

The seventh and sometimes ‘gauche’ pair under extenuating circumstances may be your ‘all-time-favorite-comfortable-pair-of-glasses-that-don’t-squeeze-your-head-too-tight-pair-of-glasses’ as worn as a headband for hairstyling. You will be aware of this when you remove all others at bedtime, go to bed, roll over and realize you are still wearing this pair! You fashion plate, you!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Photo Essay

As the leaves fall before our peak color arrives, let these pictures speak for themselves. Today there is rain. Our foliage season may not reach peak at all. Let’s hope this isn’t the last glimpse of our autumn panorama.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Some things should be done just for the fun of it. The soul-purpose is to be young at heart. Guess what’s on my hit list for things to do next year when the weather gets warm again!


Bubble on the beach:
Bubble Symphony:
Recipe for bubbles:
I wish I had made bubbles in my science class!

Monday, October 17, 2011

MLK Jr. Memorial

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial was dedicated today (Sunday, 10/16/11) after a two month delay due to a hurricane and an earthquake. It is long overdue. We have heard the cry for freedom and equality our entire lives. It is now memorialized in Washington with his statue.

"From every mountainside, let freedom ring. When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream, 1963.

Today on Sixty Minutes the Afghanistan War was reported as having its tenth anniversary against the Taliban. I personally remember this well as it was the day my son went off to war. I was fortunate to have him return. So many other families have not been so blessed.  The vision of peace for all is remembered in every city and town across America in the statues, plaques and corners dedicated to fallen soldiers. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”

I do not find it a coincidence that on the tenth anniversary of the war, this memorial be finally dedicated. It is not dedicated to just our country, but to all people of all countries in this world. Let us remember the soldiers and families that still fight the fight…both the enlisted and the civil rights activists at home. It is time to see the truth of freedom through peace.

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”
Martin Luther King Jr.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pine Needles

After the blustery winds of today I looked out the window to see the annual event of the falling of the pine needles. The leaves are still on the trees as they are still mostly green in this area. The pine needles are not so lucky. A blanket of brown covers the ground. Soon to follow will be the falling of the pine cones.

As a kid, rather as a family, we would don our work clothes and man our rakes to make a sneak attack on the unsuspecting needles. We would collect them into piles and regroup them into one huge pile. This large pile would then be shaped into a number of shapes, vague shapes, as the pine needles were unwieldy in nature; first a fort, then an igloo, perhaps a castle, the earliest versions of individual bean-bag shaped chairs and lastly back into a taller pile. This newly shaped pile would then be jumped upon and pummeled into a flat pancake. Immediately following the pummeling would be the hysterics of laughter while stuffing pine needles down each other's shirts and jackets. With pine needles in our hair and sap stuck to all parts of body and clothing, we would be reminded of our goal…to rake and collect the pine needles. This is when hysterical laughter would ensue. “Oh, yeah! Right!”

Sometimes the needles would actually get collected. Sometimes they would have to be collected in the following spring. The important thing to remember is the fun of tossing needles into the air, throwing yourself about in wild abandon and laughing until your sides split. As the laughter subsided, we would stare up into the tree while the winds blew more needles on top of us. Too tired to continue, we would drag ourselves into the house for hot cocoa.

It’s amazing how many pine needles found their way into the tub for the Saturday night bath!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bay Circuit Trail

I’ve recently seen an episode of Chronicle about the Bay Circuit Trail. I’ve been here all my life and never heard of this trail. I’ve been to many stops along the way as individual nature trips, but didn’t know that it was a circular trail centered on Boston from the North Shore to South. You may want to think of it as the emerald necklace around Boston’s Emerald Necklace of inner city parks. It’s even in Wiki. The trail is over 200 miles long and I’m sure all of us have been to one part or another in our lives. The Bay Circuit Alliance is a collective of all the towns and theirs conservatorships.

I found this cooperative partnership of our greenscapes quite interesting. I hope you do too.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Crop Circles?!!!

Unfortunately, no. I think that would be fun! These pictures are actually corn mazes, so popular at this time of the year. See websites for corn mazes throughout New England.

Featured are:
Connors Farm / Headless Horseman
Mike’s Maze / Noah Webster
U Maine / Black Bear

Maze’s of New England:

…and if you do find a crop circle, please see this website!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Full Hunter's Moon

Today is the full moon of October. I just thought I'd mention it for those of us with very sensative pets...dogs especially!

Happy howling!


Local boy makes it in Hollywood! Stoughton native Kenny Wormald has made it to the silver screen in the lead role as “Ren” in the new release of Footloose being released this Friday. Let’s hear it for the boy!

Local Review:
Premier in Nashville:
Review and trailor:

Long before videos and cd’s there was vinyl with 33 rpm. I wore out both my record and the nap on my rug dancing to Kenny Loggins while looking at the album cover with Kevin Bacon. This video is for them and the first make of Footloose.

Bible Quote from Footloose:

Sing to the Lord a new song,
His praise in the assembly of the faithful,
Let Israel be glad in its maker,
The people of Zion rejoice in their King,
Let them praise his name in dance,
Make music in tambourine and lyre.”

Psalm 149.


PS: If you happened to see Dancing With The Stars last night, you saw Kenny & co-star Juliane Hough. See video  below.

While I was writing this blog today, a gentleman named Lester Smith was making a donation to cure cancer on the Ellen Degeneres Show. As a proud-to-be-Texan, who has fought and won two battles with cancer, he has dedicated money from one of his oil wells to a cure for cancer. His oil well is painted pink!
His website is:
His book is titled: You Gotta Dance Like No One Is Watching. All profits to go to cancer research.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Think Pink!

There is no person on this planet untouched by cancer. If we have been blessed to be without, we do know someone that has had this burden. It seldom touches a single person as it usually affects an entire family and often a community.

In my brief research for this topic, I have come across some interesting websites that may help you choose a charity should you choose to donate to help people or organizations pertaining to this disease or other good causes. These sites review charitable organizations, both for profit and non-profit organizations.

We should always be mindful of the ‘power of prayer’ for this and all causes. Although not all prayers appear to be answered for an individual, we must focus on the greater good….look to the higher ground.  Look around at all the support groups, organizations and charities that have been created. The suffering, sadness and grief for a loved one have given rise to the celebration of that persons’ life through the collaboration of the collective. Your prayer is effective whether it is in the form of words or actions. For a loved one that has past, there is no greater honor than carrying their love with you through your life. Their love lives on in you. Even as you continue your life without that person, their love and life is carried with you.

This is for all the causes that must be fought and those with the courage for the fight. To our soldiers of humanity, congratulations and God bless.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Columbus Day!

...and a web-cam shot of the foliage on top of Mt. Washington!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

New Posts to the Blog

Please check out our “Brag Book” page for some new pics. There’re also some new posts to “Laugh-In”. Check out the updated “Photo of the Week”. “Soul Food” has some new links to fall foods & decorations.

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend. If you’re traveling in the Taunton area, gas prices are about 25 cents cheaper per gallon!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Apple of Our Eye

There are few people in this world that can touch us all. Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple & Pixar, was one of those rare birds that fly through our lives whether we knew him personally or not. His death leaves us with an empty space in this world. He set high standards and goals then settled for nothing less than his highest dreams. He set them on our behalf. I am yet to own an Apple product, but it is on the top of my wish list. He has helped to set my standards high. He will be missed by all in some way.

To a man of vision. In his words..."Stay hungry. Stay Foolish."


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Virtual Leaf Peeping

We can’t always get to where we want to be. That’s life. Time being what it is and us very short on it, I thought it would be funny to check out “virtual leaf peeping” on the internet in lieu of the actual seasonal trek. To my surprise, there is such a thing. Granted, it’s not the same as being there, but you have to admit it’s quite the novelty. Technically it’s a webcam for different regions, but they all have beautiful views when under ideal circumstances. We’ll start with New Hampshire as it’s where Patty lives. “Hi Patty!” If you squint, maybe you’ll see her atop Mt. Washington! You can also click on all the rest, Boston, Blue Hills, Acadia, etc.

Please review the local channel for foliage trip reviews.

Local Info:

Fall Pics by locals on U-local:

Happy Leaf peeping!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Canticle of the Creatures

Today, Oct. 4th is the feast day of St. Francis, lover of all creation and her creatures great and small.

It is a day honored still at many churches and parishes with the ‘Blessing of the Pets’. We (SMFs) have pets. We have stories and emails about pets. They are a part of our lives and our histories. They are our family. They feel our pain, endure our sadness and smile when we smile.  We learn of unconditional love through them. We grieve them when they’re gone. Can we have a greater gift other than family? We welcome them into our homes and they give back more than we ever expected.

St. Francis knew this and has taught it to us. His legacy lives on through his teachings. May we honor him by honoring our relationship with our pets and acknowledge the goodness brought to our world by all God’s creatures.

I didn’t know of the Canticle of Creatures by St. Francis until now. It is beautiful. Please see the following websites for reference.


Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,
all praise is yours, all glory, all honor,
and all blessing.
To you, alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.
All praise be yours, my Lord,
through all you have made,
and first my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day;
and through whom you give us light.
How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his splendor;
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
All Praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon
and the stars; in the heavens you have made them,
bright, and precious, and fair.
All praise be yours, my Lord,
through Brothers wind and air, and fair and stormy,
all the weather's moods,
by which you cherish all that you have made.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water,
so useful, humble, precious and pure.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you brighten up the night.
How beautiful is he, how cheerful!
Full of power and strength.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through our Sister
Mother Earth, who sustains us and governs us,
and produces various fruits with colored flowers
and herbs.
All praise be yours, my Lord,
through those who grant pardon for love of you;
through those who endure sickness and trial.
Happy are those who endure in peace,
By You, Most High, they will be crowned.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Death,
From whose embrace no mortal can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Happy those she finds doing your will!
The second death can do them no harm.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks
And serve him with great humility.