Friday, October 28, 2016

Pumpkins, Kitties, Witches and Books, Oh My!

Watercolors from 2015


The origin of Halloween and many of its customs can be traced to Samhain(pronounced sow-in, which rhymes with cow-in), an ancient pagan Celtic festival that was celebrated to mark the end of harvesttime and the beginning of the new year. The 2-day celebration began at sundown on October 31. The ancient Celts believed that the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its thinnest during Samhain, thereby making it a good time to communicate with the deceased and to divine the future. Samhain is Gaelic for “summer’s end,” a day to bid good-bye to warmth and light as the day length shortens.
Following the triumph of the Holy Roman Empire over Celt-occupied lands in the 1st century A.D., the Romans incorporated many of the Celtic traditions, including Samhain, with their own. This day was formerly known as Allhallowmas, hallow meaning to sanctify, or make holy. All Saints’ Day is known in England as All Hallows’ Day. 
Eight hundred years after the triumph of the Holy Roman Empire, the Roman Catholic Church designated November 1 as All Saints’ Day, in honor of all Catholic saints. It was celebrated with a mass, bonfires, and people costumed as angels and saints parading through the villages.
Just as November 1 was once called All Hallows’ Day, October 31 was called All Hallows’ Eve. Over time, All Hallows’ Eve was shortened to Halloween.

Farmer Joes


Turnip lanterns predate pumpkins as jack-o-lanterns.
In ancient Ireland, revelers would hollow out large turnips,
or potatoes or beets, and carve them a demon's face to frighten away spirits.
They would light the turnips from within with a candle 
or a piece of smoldering coal.
They then placed the lanterns in the windows and doorways of their homes,
in the belief that the carvings would scare off evil spirits
and welcome deceased loved ones inside.
Irish immigrants arriving in the New World during the early 1800s
found the plentiful, easier to carve pumpkins ready substitutes for turnips.

One more interesting fact about Halloween.
Did you know that it was once celebrated on Thanksgiving?
You can read all about that on Mental Floss here.


I've been so busy knitting that I haven't done a lot of reading, 
but I did finish THE DEVIL'S DREAM by Lee Smith.
It follows several generations of a Southern family living in the Appalachians.
From simple hymns, old-time medicine shows, radio barn dances, sleazy rockabilly joints,
primitive recording sessions, to the Grand Ole Opry 
and tales of growing up in the Appalachian south. 
Lee Smith is a wonderful story teller and the lure of music is something I think
anyone can identify with. I even remember some of the songs mentioned.


Sometimes I think I visit Starbucks too often.
The barista knows what I'm going to order before I do!


Zipper Owl

This little fella flew in from Louisiana from one of my sisters by choice.
She knows how much I love owls and enjoy Halloween.
He's called a zipper owl.
I think you can see why.
I've never seen one like him.
He's a great addition to the Parliament!

Wishing YOU well, much joy and a Haunting Halloween!

Willy Nilly Friday
Five on Friday
Monday Social
Mosaic Monday

"A grandmother pretends she doesn't know who you are on Halloween."
~Erma Bombeck

* Information from the Old Farmer's Almanac.
You can see the entire article here.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Settle All Arguments With Ice Cream

Outside my window this morning, 
the sun is shining.
Fall made a quick fly by yesterday bringing us cooler weather and rain.
Cooler weather for three days is better than none.

I'm enjoying the water garden.
The water lilies are on their last blooms.
They like a lot of sun and as the sun moves toward winter
the lilies just don't get enough light.

Water Lily

A new fur-babe has been added to our household.
His name is Oliver. 
He is a Rag Doll with a little Siamese thrown in.
Oliver is a cuddly, sweet boy who has done a good job at
ignoring the hot air being blown at him by his adopted siblings.
He simply raises his fluffy tail and marches right through the middle.


Christmas is just around the corner.
Pure Wow had some helpful ideas on how to shop early for Christmas.
You can read the entire article here.
Here's six suggestions:

Make your gift list now.
Listen attentively to family and friends for hints.
Build a gift giving line into the fall budget.
Know everyone's sizes.
Buy in bulk. This one is for those who know they will need hostess gifts.
Consider Thanksgiving weekend your shopping deadline.

Another Shawl

I finished the dark blue shawl and started another.
The dark blue shawl was made with Patons Classic Wool Mallard Teal.
The light color is Bernat Satin Sport that I found in my stash.

Two Shawls finished


A few words of wisdom from the Fortune Cookie Journal:
"Settle all arguments with ice cream."

Wishing YOU well and much joy!

Five on Friday
Willy Nilly Friday
Monday Social
Mosaic Monday

Friday, October 14, 2016

This and That

Outside my window the sun is shining and it's going to be another hot day.
Fall made a very quick fly by and summer has returned.
Record heat by this weekend.

I'm still trying to fool myself into feeling cooler by knitting!
I finished one shawl in cotton.
It wasn't difficult.
I do have to think about what I'm doing ... no multitasking while knitting!
So I started another one in this pretty blue wool.
Asymetrical shawls seem to be the in thing. 


I added a scarecrow to the entry way.
I found him at Michael's and could't resist bringing him home.


With the outdoor Halloween decorating done,

I've moved inside.
A few Halloween goodies have made their way beside the fabric pumpkins.

Siamese Kitty delivering pumpkins

This is a painting by Ryan Conners - Kilkennycat Art.
She has an Etsy shop.
I'm not sure my Siamese, Cassie, 
would be willing to deliver pumpkins by broom!


Mr. Bones (I found him at Ross) has joined the sunflowers.


He makes me laugh. 




Just in case you need some Pumpkin decor help.
Design Love Fest has some great ideas for pumpkin lanterns.

Wishing YOU well and much joy!

Friday, October 7, 2016

I'll Be One of Those In Line

Welcome to October!

I love October.
It means, with a little luck, the 90 degree days and high humidity
will be fewer and farther apart and maybe we will see 60 degree mornings.


Here's a little information about my favorite month:

October's birth flowers are the cosmos and the calendula or marigold.
Cosmos is a symbol of joy in life and love and of peace.
The calendula (aka garden, English, or pot marigold) represents
winning grace, grief, or chagrin in the language of flowers.

The October birthstone is the opal, which symbolizes faithfulness and confidence.

October Holidays:

October 9 is Leif Eriksson Day.
October 10 is Columbus Day in the U.S., which is always observed on the second Monday in October. 
October 10 also brings Thanksgiving for my Canadian friends.
Wrapping up the month is Halloween (All Hallows Eve) on October 313st.

October's full Moon, the Fall Hunter's Moon, occurs on the 16th.

It also means that I decorate for Halloween.
I have a theory about living on the Gulf Coast.
We go nuts decorating during the fall.
We don't get to enjoy the beautiful colors of fall,
so we have to make our own!

I've had the ghost for many years .. too many to count!


I like the old-fashioned, 50s looking, plastic decorations.
This year I added Hazel the Witch.


I'm all ready to enjoy October, Halloween and Pumpkins! 

Witch and Ghost

Speaking of Pumpkins:
It is Pumpkin time at Trader Joes.
Oh, my! 


And, last but not least:

I admit it.
I'm hooked on Fixer Upper on HGTV.
I just keep watching no matter how many times I might have seen the episode.
This is the latest news -- they have a magazine.
It will hit the newsstands on October 11.
I'll be one of those in line!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

I Will Have Had Enough

I'm sure you've noticed.

Pumpkin Spice is everywhere.


I'm sure by the end of October I will have had enough,
but for right now, Pumpkin Spice is a little thing that I'm enjoying!

Thomas Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice English Muffin
topped with Pumpkin Butter from Trader Joes.
(I'll be eagerly awaiting their cranberry muffin.)
Pumpkin Spice iced latte with Pumpkin cream on top.

Wishing YOU well and much joy this pumpkin season!

Little Things Thursday