All Hallow’s Eve


It’s time for the fading light to dim to darkness,

for scary and cute faces to cover up the faces we love,

for leaves to pile high and yet crackle under our feet as we feel our way through the darkness,

for pumpkins to smile and sneer at us,

for cider to be served hot and spicy,

for children to beg for candy at our front doors,

for the “zombies” who live in our neighborhoods to party late into the night-

It’s Hallow’een!


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Halloween in Columbus 033 It is really just the day  before All Saint’s Day on the Western  Christian Calendar.  A day that is signified with remembering all those who have died in the Lord.  Remembering and looking forward to the time when we will all be reunited in the presence of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I can celebrate this.

I am in anticipation for the actual day when I shall see Jesus, and all of my loved ones who have gone before me into eternity.

I shiver in anticipation, which is not at all like a shiver of fear.

But I enjoy the holiday, because it is NOT a celebration of death and evil and fear.

It is a celebration of those who have gone before us.

Because Our God holds the issues of death-Psalm 68:20-

and death for a believer is a sacred trust between God and himself.

Don’t turn this holiday into a harvest festival.

Look deep into the eyes of death and ask where is the sting.

Walk by the cemetery and look for the victory.

Celebrate because God deserves the praise and the glory.

Do I hear any “Amens”?!?

The Vanishing Pumpkin

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Aidan and Willow and I had some Halloween fun already.  She made the wonderful banner in the picture above.  We copied the paper cut out pumpkin from the toymaker’s blog- Marilyn Scott-Waters is a generous and talented artist/illustrator who shares her paper toys on her blog.  I have her on my side bar, but you can find her here.  And I cut them out and put them onto the banner.

Later, Aidan and I carved a pumpkin and roasted the seeds.

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It was a pie pumpkin, so there wasn’t much room for a face- but we gave him eyes and a smile!Halloween in Columbus 023 Eye!

Halloween in Columbus 025 Smile.:)

And then I put a candle inside and lit it.  There were no small candles and it was a small pumpkin, so I put it in a bowl and added some space between the flame and the top.

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Aidan liked the flame flickering inside.

But when Aidan went to sleep for the night, I cut the pumpkin into pieces and roasted him so that Willow could make pumpkin muffins from him.

It was after all- a cooking pumpkin- and we figured we could get double duty out of him.

But…Chicken soup is good medicine 001 no one asked Aidan if that was all right with him.  And it wasn’t.  He looked all over for that pumpkin the next day.  I showed him the pictures on my camera, but that wasn’t good enough.

We talked about how yummy the pumpkin muffins would be…

but he still kept walking about asking and looking, even calling for “Pumpa”.

So the next day, we used a bigger pumpkin and carved out a cat’s face.Last day in October in Columbus 041

And we promised not to cook him.Last day in October in Columbus 035

We soaked him in a mixture of bleach water and put him outside so he would keep better.  Hopefully he won’t wander off in the night!

Tell me a story…read me a book.

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Aidan is always ready for a good story with a small song and lots of finger play to go along and illustrate the point.  That is because he recognizes the elements of story and wants to participate in them.

He likes the definition of the characters. 

He likes the movement from questioning to answers.

He likes the drama.

Or maybe he just likes the pictures.

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His involvement with books and story warm this old storyteller’s heart-

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and his happy book  reading smile makes my imagination sing.

Because I foresee many hours of happiness ahead.

Reading together.

Before You Were Born- a small book review.

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I don’t usually like to do book review’s, because I know myself too well and sometimes I can be downright snarky.  I try not to do food reviews for the same reason, but sometimes I can’t keep quiet- it has to do with a bad taste left in my mouth,  I think.

Anyway, yesterday I read Aidan Before You Were Born , written by Nancy White Carlstrom and illustrated by Linda Saport, Published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (2002). 

I was overwhelmed… the art is vivid and rich- it almost saturates your vision in a totally fulfilling way- and the text- Oh my- the text had me in tears within moments.  The first sentence-

       “Before you were born

God wrote your days in a book.”

– gives away the background text for this book- Psalm 139:13-16.

But the words and emotions are so personal and real that you are taken on a journey of love in a land of ” Before you were born” and ” But when you arrived” .

This is a book of welcome and affirmation and praise and joy.

If you are a grandma or an aunt or ever plan on reading a love book.  If you love art, if you love beauty, or just if you love.  Get this book.  It will be on your favorite book shelf in an instant.

Because this is love defined- parental and godly love. 

The last pages say it so well-

“So as years and years and years

pass by

and the land and the sky

and the woods all around change –

and we too-

our love for you

will be worn the same way

only more.

And we can say

we know full well

that before you were born

God wrote your days in a book

and sent you to us.”

Heidi and Aidan

First of all- I made it here all on my own.  I have a problem with sleep deprivation and it causes me to fall asleep while in a car.  EVEN if I’m driving.

I haven’t  driven for more than a half an hour without having real problems staying awake for about 10 years now.  But I am pushing the limits and forcing myself to go further and further and on the way back from Chincoteague, I managed to drive almost 3 1/2 hours.  Of course, Cynthia was sitting next to me and helping me to stay awake. 

I came to Columbus by myself.

I sang and prayed and  ate pretzels and drank coffee!

So, I’m praising the Lord for this victory!


Luke is in Chicago until Wednesday, so I get to be dinner and nightime caregiver, while Willow is teaching ESL  classes.

Aidan has a cold, cough, runny nose and a slight fever.  He is not feeling well at all.  And yet he is such a trooper.  I went with them to the doctor and he was so cooperative- breathing deeply and holding real still for the examination.

He is really talking!  Counting and naming items, people and toys. 

He has a hard time saying Gramma- so I had him call me Heidi.

EVERYONE calls me Heidi (except my boys who call me Mom.)

I’ve never been the Aunt-type or the Mrs. Fodor type-  and Heidi is real easy for little ones to say.

Anyway, as I said he is pretty miserable.  And he isn’t eating very well- food just doesn’t really appeal to him.  Except for apples, cheese, sweet potatoes, and bread.

AND- these healthy peanut butter balls his mother makes him.

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So that was supper.  Here are a few shots of him devouring these balls- which by the way- he asks for by name.  Pea-buttah-baws!

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Here’s the recipe.


1 cup natural peanut butter

1/4 cup oatmeal

2 TBS. honey

2 TBS>  coconut

2 TBS. ground flax

Mix together and roll into little balls

Refrigerate until set.

Halloween in Columbus 017 YUMM!

Well intentioned and admirably used.

Yesterday, that is.

I had ” some essplainin’ to do”  as Ricky Ricarrdo used to say to Lucy on the old “I Love Lucy Show”.

Frank doesn’t really get the concept of spontaneous celebrating.

His idea of fun is something planned well in advance and budgeted into the family economy.  Time spent traveling to have fun should not exceed 3o minutes- unless we are talking about vacation or family get -togethers.

So, the idea of going down to Circleville yesterday was not met with great joy.

I did some fast talking, some psychological input, some cajolery and added a couple of hugs and kisses, and promised not to spend much money- and he sent us off with a smile.

And today, as I look at the rain coming down, I’m glad that I used my day as I did yesterday.  Because, I came home to dishes, and a quick supper, and very tired legs.  But I brought back the smiles and hugs of a happy little boy, and the conversations with a young woman I love, and the rich and colorful  tactile memories of a harvest festival.

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And today, the rain is beautiful and seasonal-

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and my view of my world is grey and wet-

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yet- it seems even better because the beautiful weather we had yesterday

was not squandered sitting here at the computer or cleaning the house-

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It was admirably used and enjoyed.

Living the moments and enjoying the journeys.

PUMPKINS,and rides and giant dogs and lot of fair food.

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Ally and Aiden and I went to Circleville, Ohio today.

It is the home of the 103rd Pumpkin Festival.

There were pumpkin waffles and doughnuts, pumpkin ice cream and cheesecake.

Pumpkin candy and brittle, eep fried pumpkin blossoms, the world’s largest pumpkin pie and a whole lot of normal sized ones, as well.  Giant pumpkins, carved pumpkins, decorated pumpkins.  Pumpkins for sale and pumpkins on display.  PUMPKIN, PUMPKIN, PUMPKIN- everything pumpkin.

It was so much fun.  They had a pumpkin parade and cordoned off ALL of their downtown streets so that crafters and vendors and civic organizations could display and sell their pumpkin paraphernalia.


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Prize winning pumpkins

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Warted cheese pumpkin

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Decorated pumpkins

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(some were so cute- see the one with curly Q’s out of chenille stems? That one and the one next to it were decorated by siblings.  The curly Q won a ribbon- the next one did not.  There was one very unhappy little sister looking at those pumpkins!)

And there was a parade- which we didn’t see- but we met up with two members of the parade a little later!

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These dogs weighed over 200 lbs and

are still growing!  Sweet tempered and friendly!

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Aiden rode on the Ferris Wheel-

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and ran around on this big obstacle course-


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While Momma Ally watched and encouraged from below!

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And then he went on this mixer- and we were done with the rides.

Pumpkins fesival- Circleville 038 We went into the craft area and I had to take this picture.  Really, I had to – because it just amazes me what people….

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will wear on their heads in public!

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Aiden fell asleep on the way home.  I nodded off for a little while,

But it was a wonderful adventure.

And we found the great pumpkin-Pumpkins fesival- Circleville 006

He lives in Circleville!

Sure smells good from here…

I have a friend who lost her sense of smell.


I need all of my senses- I would miss each one to a different degree if I no longer had it.  But it is like the olfactory is just a minor sense that we can live happily without, in many people’s opinion.

Not mine!

When my son, Luke, was little he would say, ” Mom, you smell real good”, and I knew he wasn’t talking about my perfume.  I DO have a good sense of smell.

I can smell when bread and cookies are done. 

I can smell the separate ingredients in a cooked dish.

I can also smell snow and rain and delicate scents that linger in the air around certain flowers. 

And I can smell the roses!

Yesterday was a sensory delight for a dedicated smeller like me.

First, I had a friend come over to make potpourri.

She had some flowers she was drying from her son’s wedding and wanted to make a couple of bags of potpourri to share with her new daughter in law and her mother.  And I have much potpourri paraphernalia!

Potpourri fixin's 001 MUCH potpourri paraphernalia!

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So we mixed and smelled and added and stirred and sniffed until she was happy.

I made a couple of lavender wands while I was waiting so I had already had a fragrance fix before she got here.

And then I made some chocolate and spice cookies to have with tea on the porch.

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Spicy gingerbread with dark chocolate centers,  YUM!

And then I made dinner-

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Orzo with cinnamon brown butter and parsley 

Makes 8 servings

Perfect for a fall dinner


unsalted butter

olive oil


freshly ground black pepper

fresh flat leaf parsley – chopped


  1. Cook orzo according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  2. While orzo cooks melt butter in small skillet and then simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes until golden brown and nutty.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in olive oil, cinnamon, and pepper.
  4. Add drained orzo to skillet, scraping bottom to mix in any small brown bits.
  5. Add parsley and toss to combine.
  6. Season with salt and serve.

This smells as good as it tastes.  And it tastes real good!

And then I made brownies.

I have made many pans of brownies over the years.  I have a recipe that makes enough brownies for a crowd that my mother used to make All the time.

I have a recipe for Raspberry truffle brownies that is elegant and rich and deadly.

I have a recipe from a friend that is titled – “best ever brownies”

And they are all good.

So I’m making a huge confession and endorsement when I tell you that my favorite new way of making brownies is……………………………………………………….

food 004 a mix from Ghirardelli.  These are quick easy and delicious.  Deep dark and smooth with a cakey exterior and a dense fudgey interior that satisfies the chocolate urge like only a good brownie can.

I don’t usually talk about brand name products.  But these are absolutely worth a try.

So- have you smelled anything good lately?

Knitting (and crocheting)…Hats

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This is the hat I made while in Chincoteague last week.

I made it for Allyson, because she always is looking for a new hat.

And it is pink and grey- two of her favorite colors.

I made it big and out of wool so it can be felted and shaped.

I really don’t know to crochet, except for the basic chain stitch.  I made up the

flower as I went along.  And I did the flower at home because I found out

something about Chincoteague I hadn’t been aware of before.

No one sells crochet(or knitting or large eyed sewing needles) hooks on the island.  NO ONE.  We asked at the pharmacy/drug store- where they sell everything from nose pads for your glasses to scented candles and hair dryers- but no crochet hooks.

We tried the Dollar stores, the grocery store, any number of specialty stores.

We found some acrylic yarn at one shop but NO crochet hooks.

So the hat couldn’t be f inished until we came home.

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I like the way the rose/flower turned out even if it isn’t done right.

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It’s amazing what you can do with a hook and yarn.