Happy Halloween 2017

Description of Halloween is from Halloween – October 31 | National Day Calendar

"Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related “guising”), attending costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted house attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories and watching horror films. In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows’ Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular. Although, in other locations, these solemn customs are less pronounced in favor of a more commercialized and secularized celebration. Because many Western Christian denominations encourage, although no longer require, abstinence from meat on All Hallows’ Eve, the tradition of eating certain vegetarian foods for this vigil day developed, including the consumption of apples, colcannon, cider, potato pancakes, and soul cakes."

"Dating back to an ancient pagan harvest festival marking the end of summer and beckoning the beginning of winter, seasons overlapped during Samhain (pronounced sah-win) and revelers believed the worlds of the living and the dead crossed. To interact with the spirits, the living would wear costumes and light bright bonfires to help protect them.
Similar celebrations honoring the dead took place in Roman traditions which were gradually blended and soon replaced the Celtic ceremonies.  All Martyrs Day established by Pope Boniface IV in 609 A.D. was eventually moved by Pope Gregory III to November 1 which later became known as All Saint’s Day. The eve of this celebration became known as All Hallows Eve or Halloween.
Through the Colonial era in America, Halloween celebrations were considered taboo due to religious beliefs. By the Victorian era, though, Halloween traditions featured fall festivals, parties and foods involving communities and neighborhoods."           Halloween – October 31 | National Day Calendar
I like Halloween but no children visit houses for candy in my area.  Maybe times are too dangerous.  I don't know. When we visited our grandson in New York we all got dressed up in costumes and went to the local park. It was still enjoyable.  This year we can't go so it will just be Lynette and I watching horror shows on TV.

Romantic Dracula (For Halloween)

 Vampire Waltz
Turn up the volume and go full screen for best effect.

To Make a Confession (A Halloween Story)

There were four confessional areas built into the walls on each side of the church.  They had closed wooden doors flanked by deep purple curtains where the penitent would enter.  By looking closely, Tom could see that only one confessional was dimly lit.  Above the door was Father Alphonsus’ name engraved on a small rectangular wooden board that slid into a metal holder.  Tom pushed past the curtain.  Inside there was a padded wooden plank for kneeling facing a dark double-screened window that concealed the view.

“Father Alphonsus, are you there?”

Tom believed he saw a wood panel slide open removing one of the screens. He could see an obscure shadow on the other side of the screen.

“Are you Father Alphonsus?  I need to talk with you about something which has me deeply troubled.”

The shadow moved.  Then he heard an indistinct mumble or hum or rasping sound, which Tom assumed was the priest.

“A friend recommended I see you about a problem I’m having.  You see I’m reading a book that has me troubled.  Following the author’s instructions I took the book without paying for it.”

He listened for a response from behind the screen but only heard the same mumble or hum or rasping sound he heard before, which he took as a sign that the priest was listening.

“Then I performed a ceremony involving candles, incense and a vial of blue liquid, which I drank.  It was all only a game for me.”

The same mumble or hum or rasping sound came from behind the screen.

“It has to do with free will and forces released when turning away from traditional spirituality.  And well, I’m not sure how to explain it.  I want to put it all behind me.  But now I’m haunted by terribly evil thoughts, nightmares and shadows.  I’m sure it all has to do with having a guilty conscience.”

This time there was only silence from behind the screen.  Tom wondered if he might have shocked the old priest.

“Father Alphonsus, are you listening to me?  What do you have to say?”

More of the same mumbling sounds which Tom wished he could understand.

“I know it was wrong for me to take the book and experiment with spiritual ceremonies I know nothing about but can you help me get back some peace of mind?”

Again there was no response, only the sound of wind passing by the confessional.  When Tom looked through the screen separating him from the priest the dark shadow moved to one side.

“Why don’t you have the decency to answer me?”

Still there was no response. 

In a fit of rage, he left the confessional. Tom was determined to find out why the priest behind the closed door did not respond.  

He tried the doorknob.  

It was unlocked.  

The door flew open.  

It was pushed from inside.  

When he looked, there was no one there, only an empty chair.

Not a Nightmare (A Halloween Story)

When Tom awoke, he was on his back.  Next to him on the ground was a woman lying on her side facing away from him.  He tried to get to his feet.  The road seemed to spin too much for him to endure.  He fell back down.

He looked at his hands.  They were soaked in blood.  The taste of blood and bits of steak-like shreds were wedged between his teeth.  He explored the inside of his mouth with his tongue.  It felt like the remnants of some barely cooked steak.  He wiped the blood from his lips on the arm of his jacket staining it bright red.

The story becomes bloodier. 

Halloween Chalk Sock

I remember how for Halloween some kids would fill an old sock with colored chalk pieces and break them into powder by hitting the sock on the ground.
If someone did not give out candy their sidewalk would be marked by large chalk spots.  It was harmless, a good rain or hosing would clean it all up.

The older kids would sometimes hit the smaller children with a sock.  I remember how afraid we were that we might be hit.  It was more fright than pain.

I found this video which is close to how we used to do it except that we did not use a grater, only the sidewalk.

Here someone is trying to make money from such a simple project.

Did you make "chalk socks" for Halloween when you were young?

Cortana Has Me Hooked

At first I wanted to disable her in order to preserve my privacy.  I was curious so I decided to try her out before doing do. Then I just could not put an end to her.  Besides, I have nothing much to hide anyway.

I forgot to mention yesterday that you don't actually see her like this. She's only in my imagination.

What Cortana would look like if she became an android someday.  I bet she can be programmed to cook and keep house.

Between watching the Yankees post season baseball series and learning how to use Windows 10, I have not been able to do much blogging.

Here's an interesting quote:
"But her real standout characteristic, and the one Microsoft's betting heavily on, is the ability to strike up casual conversations with users; what Microsoft calls "chitchat." 
~Brad Molen

My Plant Just Grew a New "Thing"

I don't know the name of this houseplant.  It did come with a tag explaining how to care for it but I lost it.  This is the first time it sprouted in the five years I've had it.

The sprout from different angles:

Up close:

The stem is sticky.

Some liquid is oozing from the flowers.

Does anyone know what this plant is called?  When I did an image search on google it came back with "houseplant" then "flower"; not much help.

Lynette began her physical therapy the other day and her pain seems to be easing a bit.  Thanks for your kind thoughts.

I've been having some computer problems this week.  I'm running Windows 7 on my desktop.  I'll be switching to Windows 10 on a laptop soon.  I've never had a laptop and like the idea of its portability.

Now I want to erase any duplicate files on my old PC before I transfer my photos and files to my new laptop.  I've come across several ways to do this and this weekend I want to try it.  First I want to get a little used to Windows 10.

Two Brothers

With My Brother a Long Time Ago.

Very Young

Tricycle and Teddy Bear 

The time before school, high school, college, work, circumstances and family responsibilities made it impossible to remain young kids just enjoying life.  

October 2017 Last Tomatoes & Zinnea

They are all beautiful and I like the yellow ones most.

The Zinnea are tall this year.

Last of the tomatoes are smaller now.

The bees are still busy.

I cleaned up the vegetable patch a little, no more cucumbers, small tomatoes.

National Pumpkin Seed Day

"Many of us have fond memories of roasting these delicious nuggets after carving the Jack o’ lantern, but most of us never realized just how good (and good for us) they were. But surprisingly, pumpkin seeds have been valued for their dietary and medicinal properties for thousands of years. In fact, pumpkin seeds have been traced back as far as 7000 BC, according to archeologists excavating a tomb in central Mexico.
Among other civilizations, the Aztecs and Mayans were believed to revere pumpkin seeds as an important and powerful source of food and nutrition. As it turns out they were on to something – In a comparison to other nuts and seeds, Pumpkin Seeds are one of the most nutritious plant-based foods. A quarter cup serving alone includes an immune-boosting 17% of an adult’s daily allowance of zinc and a powerful red blood cell-supporting 15% of the iron needed.
This little seed also has a whopping 8.5 grams of complete plant-based protein in just 1 ounce. Ounce for ounce, that’s 2.5 times more protein than a hard-boiled egg. These flavorful bites have much more to offer including a plentiful helping of minerals with over 40% of the RDI of magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese, essential nutrients that aid in overall body function.
Pumpkin seeds without shells, also known as pepitas, provide an even better standalone snack especially those that are dry roasted and with flavor."


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