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DSC01365One year my Mom decided we could throw a Halloween party for our friends.  She went about with gusto preparing the party games and treats.  We created a story about a witch called Grimalda.  Mom then decided that we should pass around the parts of Grimalda as we read the story.  Some of the stuff she came up with was genius! 

During the party we passed around the pieces all in paper shopping bags that we had to reach into sight unseen and touch.  A piece of liver for her liver, some grapes in tapioca for her eyes, sausages linked together for her intestines, a pork butt for her heart, and on and on it went.  Squeals of “eeeewww…” and “grosssss….” were randomly heard as each person reached inside the bag.   My Mom was beaming at her accomplishment. 

We lived a short walk from a cemetery down the road.  It was a very old, very dark and scary place.  Especially on Halloween night.  We decided we should go there and have a séance.  All was going just fine, but we got spooked if we heard a noise or a leaf blew.  Then my big brother, Pat, had the genius idea to try to call back the spirit of one of the names on a headstone. 

Well we started concentrating on that name when all of a sudden in the distance we heard the most blood curdling scream.  Somehow I was out of the cemetery with one great leap and running down the road to my house.  I found out later that I ran over top of several of my party guests in my haste to leave.  Several of the smaller party guests got trampled in the melee. 

We all immediately blamed Pat and thought surely this had to be his doing.  We all started yelling and pointing at him saying “you did this”, “you made us scared”, and “they got run over because of you!”  Then the reality of what happened started to set in.  The place that the scream came from was our swimming spot, The Falls.  It was over a mile away from the cemetery.  There is no way, Pat, who never wore a watch, could have timed it that perfectly.  No way he could have coordinated it with another person at The Falls.   To this day, I am still not completely convinced it was him or wasn’t him.  I am not sure if we were tricked by him. 

I know that I never set foot in that cemetery again, EVER

Do you have a ghost story to share?

Terminal Alphabet Block n o Pastry Cutter U McElman_071126_2014 Pastry Cutter H

Miss Sandy last week was asking her readers to send her wishes.  It reminded me of one of my personal favorites. 



August 1, 2001

I never really thought that I’d spend as much time in airports as I do. I don’t know why. I always wanted to be famous and that would mean lots of travel. But I’m not famous, yet I do see more than my share of airports.

I love them and I hate them. I love them because of the people I get to watch. But they are also the same reason why I hate airports. It all comes down to “hello” and “goodbye. “I must have mentioned this a few times while writing my stories for you.

I have great difficulties with saying goodbye. Even as I write this I am experiencing that pounding sensation in my heart. If I am watching such a scene in a movie I am affected so much that I need to sit up and take a few deep breaths. So when faced with a challenge in my life I have been known to go to our local airport and watch people say goodbye. I figure nothing that is happening to me at the time could be as bad as having to say goodbye.

Watching people cling to each other, crying, and holding each other in that last embrace makes me appreciate what I have even more. Seeing them finally pull apart, extending their arms until the tips of their fingers are the last to let go, is an image that stays forefront in my mind throughout the day.
On one of my recent business trips, when I arrived at the counter to check in, the woman said, “How are you today?” I replied, “I am missing my wife already and I haven’t even said goodbye.”

She then looked at my ticket and began to ask, “How long will you…Oh, my God. You will only be gone three days!” We all laughed. My problem was I still had to say goodbye.
But I learn from goodbye moments, too.

Recently I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together. They had announced her departure and standing near the security gate, they hugged and he said, “I love you. I wish you enough.” She in turn said, “Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy.”

They kissed and she left. He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?”

“Yes, I have,” I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me.

So I knew what this man experiencing.
“Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever goodbye?” I asked.
“I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, the next trip back would be for my funeral,” he said.

“When you were saying goodbye I heard you say, “I wish you enough.” May I ask what that means?”
He began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more.”When we said ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them,” he continued and then turning toward me he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.

* I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
* I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
* I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
* I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
* I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
* I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
* I wish enough hello’s to get you through the final goodbye.

He then began to sob and walked away.
My friends, I wish you enough!

Copyright © 2001 Bob Parks

Here’s wishing you always have ENOUGH!

black and white



This week’s MAMMA challenge was to create a black and white only ATC.  As I have mentioned before I sometimes get inspired by the quote and then create the ATC.  In this case I saw the image on a flickr collage image groups I participate with and thought it was a great one.  Then I saw the quote in a magazine and it totally came together.

The background is some black paper and a torn dictionary page.  I used photo corners to mount the image. and some black and white embellishments to give it a bit of jazz. 

I really like how it came out.    






I received my tag back from the previous week’s swap.  It was created by Nancy.  It is a great tag entitled, First Place.  How could this farm girl not love the subject matter??


Check out Nancy’s work.  She is an awesome artist.  I love her work and we will be swapping postcards in the near future.




How do you get inspired? 

I entered Wanda’s Halloween ATC swap.  You created 3 ATCs and sent them to Wanda who swapped them and sends you three in return.  You send the postage also so she can return them to you. 

Just check out the lovelies I received. 

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From Wendy, I received Scaredy Cat and some yummy candy corn. 


From Angela, Trick or Treat.







From Two Pixie Dolls, Kitty Boo.




Miss Wanda was also nice enough to include this altered domino in my package.

You can see the ATCs I sent here.  The charms at the top were sent along as an extra to my partners. 



Halloween swaps, all of the goodness without all of the frights!  What are you doing for Halloween?

I wrote previously about what I sent my partner for Debra’s swap.  Well, last week my package arrived and what a package it was!




There was this awesome star all decorated with Halloween colored ribbon, a tag that says boo and a skeleton key.  





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This awesome paper doll, with a removable mask and clothes. She is wearing her owl costume for Halloween. 





The “Witch”doctor is In ATC.






And this hand embroidered little owl stuffie.  I love the tea stained fabric on this one.

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She also sent along a candy corn stamp, a Halloween themed notepad, and a jointed skeleton and bat. 


What awesome pressies.  I just love them all. 


Thanks, Amy, for a great swap.  So glad that you liked the goodies I sent to you, too. 


And this one might be for me, but we will have to see…


Kristin is giving away a lot of eyelet candy on Halloween.  Hop on over and register for this giveaway. 

Let her know I sent you!

I had almost forgot about K. T. until I found her 80’s ladies CD tonight at the Goodwill.  I always thought she was so cool with her gloves and her style.  This is her first appearance on the Tonight Show.

I don’t know if you heard, but Journey found their new lead singer on Youtube.  He was in the Phillipines and is now singing with them. 

I have had a love affair with candy for most of my 45 years on this earth.  There is not a combination I have not tried, enjoyed, and ate often.  Peanut butter and chocolate is bliss.  Any combination thereof is good with me.  In the picture above I see a few of my favorites: peanut butter M&Ms, Mr. Goodbar, Oh Henry, 5th Avenue, and Heath Bars. 

I will eat candy that is in my world until it is gone.  I cannot buy a multipack or I will eat it all.  I have to buy it one at a time to keep myself honest. 

I mentioned that my Dad managed a bowling alley while I was growing up.  While he was in the office counting money after it closed, I was free to run the place.  I found the keys to the candy machine one night and decided to eat some Butterfingers.  I ate the entire row from the machine.  Never in my life have I had a stomach ache that bad.  I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say that the color or that candy bar on the inside still makes me sick to look at to this day.  It WAS my favorite candy bar before that day. 

How do you stop a love affair that has been going on all of your life.  A friend that never disappoints?  A buddy that is always there?  You get told by your doctor to stop all caffeine.  It never occurred to me that chocolate had caffeine!  After I had been off caffeine for several weeks I stopped at Sonic to have a Sonic Blast with extra Reese’s cups.  I woke up that night shaking and with my heart racing.  I could feel my body shaking.  I was really scared, but not sure what caused it.

The next day at work one of my co-workers offered me a Hershey’s kiss and then said “Oh right, you can’t have one!”  “Why not?”, I asked.  “Because chocolate has caffeine” was her reply.  I was devastated.  No more chocolate???  No more Reese’s???  No more late nights with my best friends???  Oh, I am not sure I signed on for this.  Healthy is healthy, but no chocolate!!!!!!!!!! 

I have to be honest, I am trying really hard to be good and stay off of the chocolate.  So far I am cutting back and it is a struggle every time I pass the candy aisle, the cake counter, or the cookie aisle. 

Have you ever had to give up eating something that you love?  How did you make it?


Tonight is the night

When dead leaves fly

Like witches on switches

Across the sky,

When elf and sprite

Flit through the night

On a moony sheen.

Tonight is the night

When leaves make a sound

Like a gnome in his home

Under the ground,

When spooks and trolls

Creep out of holes

Mossy and green.

Tonight is the night

When pumpkins stare

Through sheaves and leaves


When ghouls and ghost

And goblin host

Dance round their queen.

It’s Halloween.

By Harry Behn

DSC01339 This week’s MAMMA challenge was Victorian and to create an ATC sized tag.  Victorian, no offense, is not my cup of tea.  I had a hard time coming up with something for this swap. 


I decided to use victorian style paper and some song lyrics from a 1900 song about a kittie and a dog.  Since I placed a dog image on the tag, I chose the doggie lyrics.  The dog image was created using some animal stencils that I thrifted a while back.  I inked the edged and added some buttons, lace and yarn to complete the card. 







The second card uses one of the images I found in the 1954 Valentine Ideals magazine I thrifted last week.  I love this child image.  It is so sweet and the colors so subtle.

I circled the image with lace, silk flowers, ribbon roses and tinged it all with some burgundy ink to tone down the white.  There are bits of lace and ribbon tied at the top of the tag. 





I received my swap for the house theme of last week from Nancy.  She created a Zetti house.  I love the colors, the squiggles and the off kilter house.  It is all so lovely. 


Thanks, Nancy.  She and I are partners again this week and we shall see if she and I can tie mine and Renee’s record of 4 swaps. 


I have really been enjoying the challenges.  Even if I don’t like the theme, I am working to find a way to play and still embrace it.  That way I can let my creative juices flow. 


Have you ever participated in a swap, but not “felt” the theme?  How did you get around that?

Quote O’ The Month

"What this world needs
is a new kind of army
- the army of the kind."
~Cleveland Amory

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cindyforeyes at earthlink *dot* net

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Richmond, VA

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