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Sunday, October 17, 2021

October Post #3

              Autumn Leads to Other Seasons

                                               Seasonal Shifts

Autumn colours with resplendent hue

Twirling leaves

Remind me of you

A misty hush over the land

Matured fruit

For your last stand

You had seen the seasons through

Dropped gently

Your time was due

Winter was harshly stark

Watery light

Unfathomably dark

Numbing feeling, icy touch

Dead inside

Pain too much

Suddenly the ice did crack

Cracked asunder

I didn't hold back

Slowly spring began to dawn

Warming sun

Not so forlorn                                                   

The creeping of life anew

Treasured memories

Aware of you

Sitting constantly on my shoulder

Awaiting summer glory

As I get older. 

Written by Eileen Moynihan  From her book Dipping Into the Font  Thank you, Eileen.

Last month I wrote about the origin of the Jack-O-Lantern.  This is Carl Sandburg's thoughts on the symbol of Halloween.

Theme in Yellow

I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn,
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me
Singing ghost songs                                                          
And love to the harvest moon:
I am a jack-o-lantern
With terrible teeth
And the children know
I am fooling.

Aileen L. Fisher wrote FALL
The last of October
We lock the garden gate
(The flowers have all withered
That used to stand straight.)

The last of October
We put the swings away
And the porch looks deserted
Where we liked to play.

The last of October
The birds have all flown,
The screens are in the attic,
The sandpile's alone:

Everything is put away
Before it starts to snow-
I wonder if the ladybugs
Have any place to go!

Thank you to Dwyane Smith and Lisa Lambert for your kind compliments on my September and October Blogs.  The next Blog will be about Halloween.   Anyone with Halloween scary ideas, but not too scary?

Last Weeks Riddle: In front of you are three closed metal boxes.  One is labeled "Nuts", one is labeled "Bolts", and one is labeled "Nuts & bolts".  You know that every box is incorrectly labeled and you would like to rearrange the labels so that each box is correct.
By making only one selection from one box, how can you be sure to properly re-label each box?

Answer: The key to this riddle is the fact that all of the boxes are labeled incorrectly.
The way to correctly label all of the boxes with only one selection is to reach into the box labeled "Nuts & Bolts" and pull something out.  Suppose you pull out a bolt, which means that that box must be "Bolts", you now know that the remaining two boxes are "Nuts" and "Nuts &bolts" but since the "Nuts" box is labeled incorrectly it must be the "Nuts & Bolts" and the "Bolts" box then must actually be "Nuts". 

New Riddle: You are making some French toast for breakfast.  In order to cook a perfect piece of French toast, you must fry each side of the slice of bread for thirty seconds.  You only have one frying pan and it can only hold two slices of bread at a time.
How quickly can you make three perfect slices of French toast?

Monday, October 11, 2021

October Post # 2


                         Colorful October  

Do you remember jumping into a pile of leaves as a child?  I do.

 Here is a poem by Julie Perkins Cantrell, but I could not find a title.

Crunching, crinkling autumn leaves,
Spiraling, swirling in the breeze.
Rake them; pile them; stack them high.
Deep down under there, I hide.
Hear my laughter; see my smile.
Hold this memory for a while.

Soon all leaves will blow away.
But in your mind, I still will play.

Emily Dickinson did not want October to outdo her in finery, so she wrote this.

The morns are meeker than they were,

The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on.


October brings out the jack-o'-lanterns.  Where did they come from?

In my research, I found a reference to an English lady in 1900 asking her horseman if he noticed any ghosts on the land in various places on her estate.  
Supposedly he scoffed and said, "Ghosties! Who's believing in them?  All I've ever seen about the place is Lantern Men.  I've seen them running around scores of times."

They were also called Hob-O'Lantern, Jack-O'Lantern, and Will-O'-the Wisp.  At that time, scientists called it ignis fatuus, which means foolish fire.  It was phosphorescence that gave a flashing light or spontaneous combustion of methane, the marsh gas.

Over time legends evolved.  One Irish story says a man called Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink.  Stingy Jack told the Devil that he should transform into a sixpence as he could change into anything.
The Devil did, and Stingy Jack popped the coin into his pocket, which contained a silver cross, and the Devil could not get out.   Stingy Jack made the Devil promise to leave Jack alone for one year, and Jack would let him out of his pocket.  The Devil promised.  Jack let him out of his pocket and did not hear from the Devil for a year.  

At the end of the year, Stingy Jack tricked the Devil again to spare him for ten years.  But after a year, Stingy Jack died.  He was denied entrance into Heaven, and the Devil yelled, "Go away.  Go back where you came from.  You tricked me and made me promise not to claim your soul."

"I can't go to earth.  It's too dark."

The Devil took a hot coal from hell and threw it at Stingy Jack.  Jack pulled up a turnip, carved out the inside, and put the glowing coal in.  Since that time, Jack has been roaming the earth at Halloween.
For some time, the Scottish children hollowed out large turnips, carved faces on them, put candles inside, and called them bogies.  Later Irish children used turnips or potatoes, and in parts of England, children carried what they called punkies made from large beets with candles inside.

When the Scotch and Irish people arrived in the United States, they began using pumpkins, so we have the Jack-O-Lantern. 

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Last Week's Riddle:
You have a delicious round birthday cake.  How many equal-sized pieces can you cut the cake into by making only three straight slices with a knife without moving any of the pieces?


Eight equal-sized slices in three cuts.

First, cut the cake straight down the middle splitting it into two pieces.
Then cut straight down the middle of those two pieces to make four equal pieces.
Then make a horizontal cut across the center of the cake to split those four pieces into eight.

New Riddle:

In front of you are three closed metal boxes.  One is labeled "Nuts," one is labeled "Bolts," and one is labeled "Nuts &bolts."  You know that every box is incorrectly marked, and you would like to rearrange the labels so that each parcel is correct.

By making only one selection from one box, how can you be sure to properly re-label each box?

Send me your answers to my email:
Also, send me your suggestions for books, poems or recipes, or whatever you want for the October blog
 This month is yours.   

Saturday, October 2, 2021

October Post #1


                         October #1   

This is your blog for poems and books about 

October, Autumn, and Halloween.

This is the first poem submitted.  Thank you, Elaine Morrow. 

 If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft
And from the slender store two loaves alone to thee are left
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed the soul

by Kahill Gibran

When I was a little girl ( a long, long time back ),  my brother and I would rake the leaves into the dirt street in front of our house and set them on fire.  Everyone on the block did this, on non-windy days.
Robert Louis Stevenson must have done it, too.  Here is his poem.


                                       Autumn Fires

In the other gardens 
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers.
The red fire blazes,
The gray smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

One frosty fall day, as I was walking forth, this little ditty came to mind.

A rain of color upon my head,
A carpet of crunch beneath my feet,
A gust of chill upon my back,
A ray of warmth upon my face.

by Pat Stinson

Want a riddle?

You have a delicious round birthday cake. How many equal-sized pieces can you cut the cake into by making only three straight slices with a knife and without moving any of the pieces?

Answer in the next blog.

Would you like to submit a recipe for October?   A cake, pie, bars, soup, salad, whatever, just so it speaks of the fall.

Monday, September 27, 2021

October Fun

 October Fun: Poems and Books

October is around the corner.  The chilly weather, the falling leaves, the carved pumpkins announce this festive month.

You have been following my ideas in this blog.  So I thought I would ask you for your input for October.
Do you have a favorite poem? If so, send it to me, at least the title or author, and I can look it up and post it for all of us to enjoy.

How about a favorite book where October or autumn or Halloween is featured?  I will blog the title and author, and the readers of this blog can go to the library or maybe buy the book to enjoy.

October will be your month for you to have your say.  This will be your platform, your blog.  I hope you make use of it.  

Eating Garbage

You're having a conversation with a friend about your favorite foods.  He/she says to you, "My favorite food is the one where you throw away the outside and cook the inside, then you eat the outside and throw away the inside!"  What food is he/she talking about?    

Answer: Corn on the cob in the husk.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Bible Foods: Apricots And Barley

                                              OH THOSE APRICOTS

Do you like Apricots?  I don't.  So naturally, they are good for me.  Wouldn't you know!

Except for the fig, the apricot is the most abundant food in the Holy Lands.  In Cyprus, the people call the apricots  the "golden apples."

Apricots are loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C, and beta carotene. People who live in the Himalayas eat large amounts of a wild apricot called the "Kubani," which they believe gives them good health and long life.

About 75 years  ago, the winner of the Nobel Prize wrote, "apricots are equal to the liver in hemoglobin regeneration."  Which means it helps clean the blood.

Researchers have found that dried apricots are better than raw fruit. Ten dried halves equal three raw apricots in beta carotene content.  (What is beta carotene, anyway?  People throw the words around like we are all nutritionists and chemists.)

The fruit is thought to be effective in controlling high blood pressure and heading off sudden heart attacks.   Researchers also believe apricots help women after menopause because they contain large amounts of potassium, calcium, copper, and iron.

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                    Now, let's talk about BARLEY.

Barley, I like it in soups and salad. And guess what?  It is good for you and me.  Yah!  

It is the earliest known and most nourishing grain ever cultivated.  Bible researchers say it was the staple food of the people and cost less than wheat.

Barley is rich in complex carbohydrates that fuel the body with a  steady stream of energy.   In some places in the middle east, people call it the medicine for the heart as its fiber can lower the risk of heart disease by reducing the artery-clogging LDL.

Barley needs to be consumed three times a day to be effective.  It also relieves constipation and helps with a variety of digestive problems.

Barley flour can be used instead of wheat flour to make cereal, bread, cakes, and muffins.

Unpearled barley is unprocessed and is high in fiber which lowers blood pressure.  Pearled or scotch barley has been processed and is not as effective in curing constipation but still has enough cholesterol-lowering beta-glucans.

This Barley Water recipe was an ancient remedy that supposedly clears the complexion and stops wrinkles from forming.

1/2 cup honey or more to taste
8 cups water
1 cup barley
pinch of salt
Rinse barley, then combine with water and salt in a large kettle.  Bring to a boil and simmer for at least 2 hours, up to 24 hours.  The longer the cooking period, the thicker the barley water will be.  Add water as necessary to keep the water level at about 5 cups.  Strain the barley, flavor barley water with the honey, and serve chilled. 

I think I will skip Barley Water and have wrinkles. 

 Barley is mentioned in the Bible.

A land of wheat and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates, a land of oil, olive, and honey. Deuteronomy 8:8

There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes.  ...they filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.  John 6:9-13

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Riddle:  Eating Garbage

You're having a conversation with a friend about your favorite foods.  He says to you.  "My favorite food is the one where you throw away the outside and cook the inside, then you eat the outside and throw away the inside!"   What food is he talking about?

Answer in the next blog. 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Bible Foods Apples


'Tis the season I think of apples.  Apple pie, Carmel apples, French apple pie,  apple tarts, and so on and on.
Of course, apples are good as apples.  Now, for me, I am just talking taste, 


for those of you who think of food as nutrition and not as yummy, here is good news for you. You can have the yummy and the nutrition.  Two for one.  What a deal! 

In a study at the Institute of Physiology in France, it was found that a diet heavy in apples (about 3 a day) showed a 10 to 30  percent reduction in cholesterol level, and the apples boosted the HDL and lowered the LDL cholesterol, which is responsible for clogging arteries.

The apple is rich in natural sugar, which does not cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, and it prevents the body from pumping out too much insulin, which helps bring down blood cholesterol and blood pressure.
Apples are good at controlling blood sugar. This is good news for diabetics.

Whole apples are great for dieters as they raise blood glucose levels, making you feel fuller.
Apple juice is helpful when you have a cold or viruses.

Apples fight constipation and diarrhea at the same time.  (WOW! ain't that somethin'.) Apples or applesauce have pectin in the apple fiber, which is the healing factor for diarrhea; that is why pectin is included in  Kaopectate for over-the-counter remedies.
And the apple pectin has the same fiber that helps to keep us regular and to prevent constipation.

A group of scientists in Norway found that apples helped clean teeth and cut down on the risk of tooth decay.

The apple has had a bad reputation among some folks.  They go back to Adam and Eve.  But Genesis does not say the name of the fruit that Adam and Eve ate.  I don't know how the apple got into Genesis.
In the Song of Songs 2:5, Someone speaks, "Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love. 

To get all these benefits, the whole apple must be eaten, including the skin.  This poses a slight problem for me as I find the skin is tough to chew and digest.  Perhaps, I should bake the apples to soften the skin, BUT no brown sugar should be added for a baked apple dessert. That would destroy the benefit of the apple.  (WOE is me!  I love sugar.) 

Apples on one of God's great blessings.  

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If you read the riddle on my Facebook page, here are some of the possible answers.

Riddle:  Why are manhole covers round?
Answers:    These are the top three:

1. Round manhole covers cannot fall through the circular opening, where a square manhole cover may fall in if it is inserted diagonally.

2. Round manhole covers do not need to be rotated to a specific position in order to fit in place.

3.  Round manhole covers are easy to move because they do not necessarily need to be carried: they can be rolled like a wheel.

 (Note:  I have finished my historical novel, Texas Cakewalk, and am sending it off to an editor.  Three years to get to this point.  Happy Day!)

October Post #3

              Autumn Leads to Other Seasons                                                Seasonal Shifts Autumn colours with resplendent h...