Saturday, October 31, 2009

How My Children Spent Halloween

Carving by Patrick, Modeling by Buddy and Patrick and Photos by Mary

Headless Buddy

Pumpkin Head Buddy

Pumpkin Head Buddy doesn't feel so good.

Pumpkin Head Patrick doesn't feel so good either...

Food Fight!


Friday, October 30, 2009

Time to carve the pumpkin

We'd had the pumpkin long enough and it was time to carve. The girls took it to the back porch, and Katie began.

I think Miss Hollywood really enjoyed scraping out the goop. (A sunglasses girl, always and forever)

And then Mary took over for a while. The girls were very impressed with how stringy the insides were.

Katie had chosen the lava-lamp ghosties, and very carefully placed and taped it to the pumpkin.

And the carving begins!

Katie carved one lava ghostie and Mary carved the other.....

And we have the finished product!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Country Bacon Soup

4 Tbl Butter
3 Tbl flour
2 ½ c. Milk (I use unsweetened Almond milk)
1 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper
1 4-oz can mushrooms , with juice, run through a blender or food processor

In large soup pot, melt butter. Add the flour and stir. Add the milk and stir until smooth. Add thyme, salt and pepper, stirring until thickened. Add mushrooms. (if you prefer, use a can of store bought Cream of Mushroom Soup, but it definitely won’t be as tasty)

1 sweet onion, chopped
5 strips bacon, fried, drained and crumbled, (I also add several thin, 2-inch round slices of Canadian Bacon, cut up, probably about 7 slices, which is half the package)
1 can Vegetarian Vegetable soup with alphabet noodles, undiluted
1 can Bean with Bacon soup, undiluted
1 15- oz can corn
½ cup milk (If using canned mushroom soup, add 1 ½ c milk)
¾ cup water
2 medium potatoes, cooked, peleed and diced (or use frozen hash browns instead)
Salt and pepper to taste

Add above ingredients to pot, stir, add more water to thin as desired. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until heated through.

Katie's Halloween Face

Katie, our resident artist has been getting ready for Halloween.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Which Secret Garden Are We Tending?

President Thomas S. Monson, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints, quoted Sarah Ban Breathnach in a General Conference address in October 2008,

"Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend...when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives, but are grateful for the abundance that’s present-love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]--the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth."

I needed that today. Which secret garden do I tend?

Holiday Wassail

With the holidaze coming, I thought I would share one of our favorites we discovered last year (and altered it, naturally)

Hot Holiday Wassail

1 15-oz-ish can Peaches in pear juice concentrate, undrained

4 cups unsweetened Pineapple juice

2 cups good quality Apple cider

1 cup Orange juice

18 whole cloves

6 3-1/2 inch cinnamon stickes, broken

In a blender, or food processor, blend peaches and liquid until smooth.

Place cloves and an cinnamon sticks incheese cloth bag and place all ingredients in a crock pot, cooking on low for about 3 hours.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Angelo, The Christmas Bat, by Teresa Wockenfuss for Katie

Five years, ten months and three days ago , a young Bat by the name of Angelo Fitzwidget sighed. He was not content with his lot in life, flying amongst other Bats in dark places and being stereotyped as a creepy rodent with wings.
“I must find a new place to live, “ the young Bat thought to himself. “ Life is just too precious not be happy with what you’re doing and where you’re living.” Angelo, I would suppose, possessed great wisdom for one so young, and he set off at sunset one evening in search of a new life.

He flew above the heads of some humans, seeking to fit in somewhere that did not involve feeling penned in and claustrophobic. But, to his dismay, “Ew! It’s a bat,” a young woman cried, and flung her arms around her head. The young men in the group picked up rocks and threw them in his direction, but he was small and fast, getting away without injury.

Young Angelo Fitzwidget sighed. I guess this was not the place for me, he thought to himself, but I can’t give up. I must keep searching.

One day, after searching the world in his new life, our young friend needed a place to rest. As the sun was coming up , he heard the reverberation of his radar bounce off a little white duplex with a green roof. Maybe there is a porch ceiling I can sleep on, he thought with great hope, and as luck would bless him, Angelo Fitzwidget found a bed for the day.

In the middle of his slumber a door opened and a young woman by the name of Katie stepped out. She was an extraordinary human who feared no animal, but loved all creatures with a pure love. There was room in her heart for every one. What great fortune for our fine young Bat!

“Look, Mom,” Katie called into the door, “There’s a Bat hanging from the porch ceiling!”

“Really,” said her mom, “How cool is that?! Mary, get the camera!”

“Oh, Mom, isn’t he beautiful?” Katie asked, “Can he stay forever?”

“Well, that’s up to him, Katie. You may invite him to stay.”

So our lovely Katie stayed on the porch, watching over Angelo Fitzwidget, keeping him safe from the barking dogs, Mud Dobber wasps, and flies. She cleaned the Spider Webs away from his sleeping area with her extending duster. She brought him a bowl of water in case he woke up thirsty and Angelo Fitzwidget enjoyed a long uninterrupted day’s nap because of the great comfort Katie provided for him.

Katie was the first thing he heard when his radar became active. He waited for her to scream and wave her arms around, but all he could sense was a great nurturing love.

“What is your name, Bat,” the dark-haired young woman asked.

“Angelo Fitzwidget. Are you not afraid of me?”

“Of course not,” replied Katie, “why would I be afraid of one as beautiful as you? Would you like to stay forever? “

And with that Angelo Fitzwidget knew he had found a home. Katie took him inside and let him look around, where he was delighted to see a green tree wrapped with colored lights in the middle of the living room.

“Oh, Katie, is that your Christmas tree up already? It’s only September. Most people wait much longer. I love them and think they are so beautiful. May I perch there?”

Well, Katie was just fine with that and thought his presence added to the charm of the tree.

When Angelo Fiitzwidget perched upon a branch of the artificial tree he met the Christmas ornaments. There was Mr. Prosthesis, who was missing a leg, but had a Q-Tip glued in its place, and Mr, Hernia who had something protruding out of the middle of his stomach. The Rubber Chicken dangling from the branch over his head told jokes and made him laugh. Bellerina and Ballarina danced merrily in the multi-colored lights. Pink Flamingos glowed from a string.

Angelo Fitzwidget sighed with contentment. He knew he had found a most extraordinary home, and Katie, with great care and love painted the young Bat as a Christmas Bat, called Angel, for short.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Favorite Poem


I ain't afraid uv snakes or toads, or bugs or worms or mice,
An' things 'at girls are skeered uv I think are awful nice!
I'm pretty brave I guess; an' yet I hate to go to bed,
For, when I'm tucked up warm an snug an' when my prayers are said,
Mother tells me "Happy Dreams" an' takes away the light,
An' leaves me lyin' all alone an' seein' things at night!

Sometimes they're in the corner, sometimes they're by the door,
Sometimes they're all a-standin' in the middle uv the floor;
Sometimes they are a-sittin' down, sometimes they're walkin' round
So softly and so creepy-like they never make a sound!
Sometimes they are as black as ink, an' other times they're white--
But color ain't no difference when you see things at night!

Once, when I licked a feller 'at had just moved on our street,
An' father sent me up to bed without a bite to eat,
I woke up in the dark an saw things standin' in a row,
A-lookin' at me cross-eyed an' p'intin' at me -- so!
Oh, my! I wuz so skeered 'at time I never slep' a mite--
It's almost alluz when I'm bad I see things at night!

Lucky thing I ain't a girl or I'd be skeered to death!
Bein' I'm a boy, I duck my head an' hold my breath.
An' I am, oh so sorry I'm a naughty boy, an' then
I promise to be better an' I say my prayers again!
Gran'ma tells me that's the only way to make it right
When a feller has been wicked an' sees things at night!

An' so when other naughty boys would coax me into sin,
I try to skwush the Tempter's voice 'at urges me within;
An' when they's pie for supper, or cakes 'at's big an' nice,
I want to -- but I do not pass my plate f'r them things twice!
No, ruther let Starvation wipe me slowly out o' sight
Than I should keep a-livin' on an' seein' things at night!

Eugene Field (1850-1895)

"Seein' Things" is reprinted from Modern American Poetry. Ed. Louis Untermeyer. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1919.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Why Pink Flamingos?

So my friend, Dana, who knows me, decided I needed a new background for my blog.

"Those polka-dots are just not you," she said, which is true, but it was the best this blogging impaired lady could do at the time. I had been pretty dog-gone proud of myself just to have a background, but, alas, it was true--it was so not me. Not the Wockenflock. So, because she loves me, she searched the world over for the perfect background, asked for my password and here I now have, thanks to Dana, the perfect expression of the wockenflock--stylin' Pink Flamingos. My favorite is the one with the daisy shaped sunglasses.

Now the real story behind Pink Flamingos

This will sound disjointed at first, but it pieces together. Trust me. Muahahaha

When I lived in the Baltimore area and my father was alive, he could come over, bring chicken and charcoal and we would fire up the grill in my back yard. We slathered the chicken pieces with Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing and let it grill a while, then finish it off with Open Pit Barbeque sauce. It was heavenly. Fun times.


When the kids were little, they loved those whirly whing-dings that stick in the ground, their sole purpose being to simply enjoy watching their parts...well, whirl. One day, maybe my dad was feeling grouchy or something, but he made it clear , in a very cutting tone, loaded with vinegar, that he didn't like the whirlys in my yard and said," You might as well have a yard full of Pink Flamingos." Well, it made me kinda mad because it really wasn't any of his business and it was my danged yard anyway. What was important was the enjoyment of my kids. And he needed to mind his own business anyway. <grumble grumble..and I didn't like those pink flamingos myself either....parents...sometimes they just overstep the boundaries.. ...grumble....>

Well, my Dad took sick with cancer and it got the best of him. The first summer after he died, I was walking through the Giant grocery store at White Marsh, just feeling sorry for myself. I was shopping for some chicken to throw on the grill, the first barbeque of the season at my house, and was just expecting to miss my Dad's influence with the basting brush ,"More, more. Brush on more!!". I wandered slowly through the produce section, just feeling my sadness, and on toward the flower shop in the corner of the store, and then I saw it. It was a brightly painted wooden Pink Flamingo whirly wingding with whirrly wings that spun around and round and it was MINE!! I bought all 3 of them!!

and put them in my yard. They brought me joy and made me laugh and I got the message. I nearly forgot to pick up the chicken.