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halloween

Goofballs & Billy Boy

*originally posted October 29, 2011

Halloween parties meant a costume parade through the entire school! (My grade school ~ An Emjayandthem (C) photo)

When I was a little girl, Halloween was a very exciting time. We had a class  party and costume parade to look forward to, yummy treats to enjoy, games to play and of course …“Trick or Treating.”

Living on a farm eight miles from town, “Trick or Treating” involved 2 absolutes: cold weather and a car.  Mom and Aunt Irene helped us make our costumes and we often recycle pieces of from older costumes into something new. After supper, we’d pile into one of their cars and head out for the night.  This involved a total of five – count ‘em – five farms to visit:  The Lee home (neighbors), Uncle Harley & Aunt Maxine’s, Grandma and Grandpa’s, Aunt Irene & Uncle Jarl’s and ours.   So, depending on who was driving, we’d start at one and end at the others with three stops in between.   It was expected that we’d “sing for our supper” – sing a song, tell a joke or do something entertaining. Our song of choice was always, “Billy Boy” (Oh where have you been, Billy Boy, Billy boy .. Oh where have you been, charming Billy..) because 1) we knew the words, 2) they knew the words and 3) it always seemed to bring the best results.

I still love Halloween! Me & the Hubbs had a lot of fun with this costume.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Bear in mind that very few treats were “boughten” at that time – most offered us a home-made treat.  ((and trust me, this was the good stuff!!))   Norma and Roy Lee always gave us pop – our choice – orange or root beer – and a small bag of home-made cookies or fudge. Yum!  Aunt Irene was known for her caramel apples; Granny Smiths smothered in a thick layer of buttery rich caramel… mmm.  Aunt Maxine was crafty and loved to carve massive jack-o-lanterns to delight us… and her chocolate fudge was delicious as well.   Grandma made each of us our very own candy bag filled to the top with home-made popcorn balls and cookies mixed in with a few store bought treats – black licorice, toffee, and Old Dutch potato chips.  Smiling shyly, Grandpa always slipped in a can of pop and two bits (a quarter) and we felt oh so rich.  Our pillowcases were filled with to the brim with treats and good wishes.  After much admiration of the genius of our costumes and our profound musical talents, off we’d go to the next farm, darting through the biting October wind, wondering at the sky and trying to spot the witches we just knew were flying around.

At the end of the night, we’d get back home and marvel at the abundance of treats .. but it was always those home-made delights we fought over most.

I remember Mom making us “Goofballs” and I think I’ll make some for my grand-kids today :).

GoofBalls

Goofball image courtesy of theartofmakingthings.tumblr.com

1 pkg. Kraft caramels
1 can Eagle brand milk
1/2 lb. butter
1 box Rice Krispies
1 bag large marshmallows

Unwrap the caramels and place into a heavy saucepan.  Add the Eagle brand milk and the butter and stir until the caramels are melted and a sauce is formed. Remove from heat.

Stick 1 toothpick into a large marshmallow and dip it into the sauce carefully.  Immediately roll the caramel covered marshmallow in Rice Krispies. Set on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet to cool (remove toothpick).    These travel great and kids (and adults) gobble them up!

And .. sing something, will ya?

Happy Halloween!!

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Categories: Attitude, Family, fear, Food, Fun, halloween, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Mom, Personal, Thoughts, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Random 5 Friday – Stew Leonard’s, gift cards, and happenstances

It’s Friday – whoop! I am off today and here are 5 randoms thoughts from my week.

1) Trader Joe’s opened a store here recently. Never been there but folks here are awfully hyped up about this grocery store. If you want to experience THE grocery store, visit Stew Leonard’s – the world’s largest Dairy store – in Norwalk, CT.  I remember taking oldest boy there when he was very little, and the prices were well worth the singing cows and dancing milk cartons … Now THAT’s a grocery store. 🙂

2) I won an award at work and picked Visa gift cards as my prize. I don’t need more stuff. Instead I stopped, after work, for a mani/pedi and became one with the massage chair. Felt like a genius.  I still have a little $ to spend but I’m one to make a list and a careful purchase.  Likely involving books … got any recommended reading for me?

cook clean or read

3) It’s Fall and I cook more when as weather cools.   Brought out my Wolfgang Puck electric pressure cooker for a yummy  dinner this weekend.  The best part?  Beef stew, braised chicken, or a succulent roast in under an hour.   (I was scared to death of the one Mom used as we grew up – it had a screaming sound and jangly top that threatened to blow at any minute. Whenever it came out – outside I went!) Get yours here

wolfgang-puck-automatic-8-quart-rapid-pressure-cooker-d-20130813151431583~269531_001

Here’s what mine looks like – no jangling bits to blow off in my face!

4) Tuesday morning, while waiting for the results of medical tests, I quietly sung one of my favorite Elvis Gospel songs.  The next morning I turned on my Mp3 for the drive to work.  The MP3 has nearly 1,000 songs on it and is always set to “shuffle” – meaning it shuffles songs randomly.   That song came on first.  Coincidence? Nope.

5 ) 22 days till Halloween!  I no longer decorate for it like I did when the boys were little but I do love shopping with the Grands for their costumes.  We touch and try on crazy hats, test drive the spooky sounds of store displays and thoroughly enjoy the outing.  I remember these kinds of costumes, and our faces sweating underneath them.  How about you?

google.images.com

google.images.com

 

How was your week?  Ever been to a Trader Joe’s or Stew Leonard’s?  If you had a $100 gift card to spend, what would you buy?  Do you have any page-turners to recommend?  Ever cooked with a Pressure cooker?  How do you feel when you experience random happenstances?  Are they random?  And what costume do you remember sweating under?

 

 

Categories: Faith, Family, Food, Friendship, Fun, Growth, halloween, Holidays, Joy, Life, music, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Time changes everything

We never changed our clocks where I grew up. Never.  So it was weird for me when I first lived in other places.  What is this you speak of?  Fall back? Spring what?

Now I live in the western-most part of the Eastern time zone and our summer nights seem to last forever. But once we do the “fall back” the days feel like they’re about 6 hours long.

It will be nice to wake up to sunlight tomorrow but it will be dark when I get home from work. ~sigh~

funny clock

On that note, one of the many nuggets I picked up at the conference last week was this one — A.A.R.P. is launching their own tablet geared for technology fearful seniors.  Check out the Real Pad here.

I made a note in the margin of my papers and explored the site later on. It was in watching the demo and finding myself excited by the features and the price ($189) that I realized, at 51, I’m one of the seniors they’re targeting.

Time changes. Everything.

I feel so fortunate to have seen both Johnny Cash and  Ray Charles perform their music live in my lifetime.   Johnny when I was 9 and Ray when I was 20.  Today, there’s no one touring I’d buy a ticket for.   Time changes. Everything.

source Legacy Recordings.com

Johnny Cash & Ray Charles; source Legacy Recordings.com

 

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, halloween, Humor, Life Lessons, music, Opinion, Personal, Random, Relationships, Share, Thoughts, Vote | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Two for Tuesday ~ Resemblances

So there we were Sunday, oldest boy, grands and I, out shopping for Halloween costumes.  I know Halloween is weeks away but this happened to be a weekend where 1) he had the kids and 2) I didn’t have plans – whoop!

We started out slow but smart – at a Chinese buffet – Yum! The kids love that because they can each dish up whatever they like.  Later, an elderly couple stopped by to compliment them on their “nice” restaurant manners.  Apparently the kids they’d been seated to the night before were “beasts,” per the Grandmother. Yikes, glad that wasn’t the case for us.

Care to play along?  On Tuesdays, pick a topic and segue into it!

Care to play along? On Tuesdays, pick a topic and segue into it!

We arrived at the store and found our way to the Halloween display.  Now if you’re going shopping with me you need to know we try everything – all the displays, the sounds, the costumes, you name it.  We weren’t in a hurry and I think that’s what the kids like the most – we “moseyed” and they had time to point, laugh and be silly.

MJ ran right past the Princesses (yay!) and declared her choice: Supergirl.  AB hand-picked a white Ninja costume with, ahem, built in muscles.  Of course he had to get the $2.00 sword and she couldn’t resist the $4.00 bejeweled mask.    They stayed in costume the rest of the day :).

An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Kids spell love “T-I-M-E” ~ An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Talking over their Halloween plans, I mentioned growing up on a farm and how we couldn’t go “trick or treating” door to door – our nearest neighbor was a 1/2 mile away.  Instead, I told them that my Mom and Aunt would load us up in the Pontiac (with the heat on high) and we’d visit 4 or 5 farms (mostly relatives) where we’d sing a song (Billy Boy) and enjoy home-made treats. By the end of the night – and 5 farm visits later – we had a pillow case and a tummy full of treats.

Most of the time we made our costumes and we recycled year after year.  As we got older Mom would break down and let us buy a costume. Remember the plastic clothing? Freezing cold and guaranteed to rip 20 minutes into the wearing.  And those masks let us all experience our first full facial sweat.  Yuck.

google.images.com

google.images.com

Their excitement was palpable and it was in watching MJ’s facial expressions that I remembered a picture of me taken around that age.

this MJ at age 3; on the back, in my Mom's handwriting is "MJ and The Look!" An Emjayandthem (C) photo

THIS MJ at age 3; on the back, in my Mom’s handwriting is “MJ and The Look!” An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Compare to the cheeks on our MJ:

MJ on her 5th birthday ... look at that excitement!  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

MJ on her 5th birthday … look at the excitement! An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Come to think of it, I’ve always loved Halloween and the excitement that came with it.  I wasn’t a fan of the scary/gory stuff (still not) but the dressing up and the planning and the treats and the rest of it?  Bring it on!

Frankie hated Halloween. image from thebuzzmedia.com

Frankie hated Halloween. image from thebuzzmedia.com

How about you?  When you were a kid, did you make your costume? Ever recycle year over year?  Do you remember a full facial sweat in a gorilla mask?  What was the best home-made treat someone made then?  Do you see family resemblances across your generations? Do tell.

Related:

 

Categories: Animals, Family, Fun, halloween, Holidays, Life, Personal, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Goofballs & Billy Boy

Halloween parties meant a costume parade through the entire school! (My grade school ~ An Emjayandthem (C) photo)

When I was a little girl, Halloween was a very exciting time. We had a class  party and costume parade to look forward to, yummy treats to enjoy, games to play and of course …“Trick or Treating.”

Living on a farm eight miles from town, “Trick or Treating” involved 2 absolutes: cold weather and a car.  Mom and Aunt Irene helped us make our costumes and we often recycle pieces of from older costumes into something new. After supper, we’d pile into one of their cars and head out for the night.  This involved a total of five – count ‘em – five farms to visit:  The Lee home (neighbors), Uncle Harley & Aunt Maxine’s, Grandma and Grandpa’s, Aunt Irene & Uncle Jarl’s and ours.   So, depending on who was driving, we’d start at one and end at the others with three stops in between.   It was expected that we’d “sing for our supper” – sing a song, tell a joke or do something entertaining. Our song of choice was always, “Billy Boy” (Oh where have you been, Billy Boy, Billy boy .. Oh where have you been, charming Billy..) because 1) we knew the words, 2) they knew the words and 3) it always seemed to bring the best results.

I still love Halloween! Me & the Hubbs had a lot of fun with this costume.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Bear in mind that very few treats were “boughten” at that time – most offered us a home-made treat.  ((and trust me, this was the good stuff!!))   Norma and Roy Lee always gave us pop – our choice – orange or root beer – and a small bag of home-made cookies or fudge. Yum!  Aunt Irene was known for her caramel apples; Granny Smiths smothered in a thick layer of buttery rich caramel… mmm.  Aunt Maxine was crafty and loved to carve massive jack-o-lanterns to delight us… and her chocolate fudge was delicious as well.   Grandma made each of us our very own candy bag filled to the top with home-made popcorn balls and cookies mixed in with a few store bought treats – black licorice, toffee, and Old Dutch potato chips.  Smiling shyly, Grandpa always slipped in a can of pop and two bits (a quarter) and we felt oh so rich.  Our pillowcases were filled with to the brim with treats and good wishes.  After much admiration of the genius of our costumes and our profound musical talents, off we’d go to the next farm, darting through the biting October wind, wondering at the sky and trying to spot the witches we just knew were flying around.

At the end of the night, we’d get back home and marvel at the abundance of treats .. but it was always those home-made delights we fought over most.

I remember Mom making us “Goofballs” and I think I’ll make some for my grand-kids today :).

GoofBalls

Goofball image courtesy of theartofmakingthings.tumblr.com

1 pkg. Kraft caramels
1 can Eagle brand milk
1/2 lb. butter
1 box Rice Krispies
1 bag large marshmallows

Unwrap the caramels and place into a heavy saucepan.  Add the Eagle brand milk and the butter and stir until the caramels are melted and a sauce is formed. Remove from heat.

Stick 1 toothpick into a large marshmallow and dip it into the sauce carefully.  Immediately roll the caramel covered marshmallow in Rice Krispies. Set on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet to cool (remove toothpick).    These travel great and kids (and adults) gobble them up!

And .. sing something, will ya?

Happy Halloween!!

Categories: Family, Food, Fun, halloween, Holidays, Home, Life | Tags: , , , , | 24 Comments

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Happily After Retirement

- Loving where I am right now!

Makeup Connection

The best cosmetics on the web

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

3bones

Laugh. Dream. Dare. Inspire.

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with People in My Path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine, for your light has come...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

The View Out Here

A view in pictures, from me to you

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

Grace and Life

Looking for grace notes in life's journey...

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...