Friday, October 30, 2009

What happened to Halloween?

I used to look forward to Halloween, when my mom would sew adorable costumes for the kids (she made all four of these!) and we’d take them trick-or-treating once around the block, then marvel at the 25 pieces of candy they each got, comparing, organizing, and maybe even tasting their loot.

Scan188, March 04, 2006

Such excitement was almost more than they could bear and by 8:30 they were in bed in their feet-pajamas, exhausted and happy.

These days, this seems to be Halloween (taken at our local Halloween store):



This woman, rocking methodically in the creaking rocking chair, was just freaky.  Her mouth was absolutely terrifying!  Can you imagine a 4-year-old ballerina-princess coming upon this in some prankster’s front yard?!


This refrigerator was jam-packed with… body parts. 


Adorable, isn’t it?


This kid was seen just a few minutes earlier, exploring the fridge.


And this was just… well, call me a stick-in-the-mud, but this was just inappropriate!  This girls was just alone on the carpet…


In her case, seeing her face actually added some levity!


Kat found a new friend…


As did Tom.


I was just happy to run into George Clooney!


He saved me from all the freaky, scary, disgusting stuff. Oh, George!

Fortunately, Shasta’s still willing to be cute on Halloween!


See that adorable Raggedy Ann there in the first photo?  My sweet angelic Kat is going to Elisabeth’s Halloween party tonight dressed as a… well, you guessed it --


…a devilish temptress!


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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I just KNEW it!

I can’t remember how I found Tonya and her wonderful blog (Kingfisher Cove), but I immediately knew that she and I were peas in a pod.  Not only do we share so many of the same attitudes and interests, but we tend to constantly be on the same wavelength!  It’s just little things, but it’s a continual, almost spooky, similarity.

IMG_1565Today, Tonya and I finally, we met in person.  And it was absolutely NO surprise to me that we hit it off fabulously, just as we’d hit it off online!  She’s exactly who I know her to be online and who I expected her to be in person – warm and friendly, articulate and intelligent, funny and sweet.  We chatted for almost two hours, about our families, our jobs, our blogs, and just generally about life.

I cheated on my Weight Watchers program (OK, I didn’t “cheat” as much as I probably used ALL my flex points for the week), but I have to say it was worth it!  The appetizers –filet mignon strips, scallops, and breaded artichoke hearts --were out of this world! 

Thanks Tonya, for the wonderful time!  Let’s definitely do it again soon!

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Opa’s Magical Bookshelf

This bookshelf stands next to the bed in Opa and Lou’s guest room. 
Had I not opened the first photo album… and the second… and the third… and the twentieth, I might have gotten some much-needed sleep this weekend.
Instead, I stayed up till the wee hours on all three nights of my visit, transported to another time and place with each photo, exploring my family’s past – from the very distant past to the not so distant past.  With no scanner available, I could only take photos of the photos, but now I have them, and they already feel priceless.
First I explored photo albums filled with the results of Mom’s detailed exploration into her genealogy.  There are a hundreds pages in that album; here are just a few:
Mom’s family coat of arms:
Mom’s family made hats in Straubing, Germany.  This is from the celebration of 225 years.  Now that’s what I call a family business!
Apparently, my mother’s family had to prove their Aryan descent in 1936.  This is that “proof.” 
My great-grandfather left Straubing and opened a hat shop in Traunstein, Bavaria, Germany -- Mom’s home town.
This is that hat store late in the 19th century.
Mom’s father, Max, took over the business early in the 20th century.
There’s now a “dollar store” at this location. How sad.
This is my grandfather, Max, the body builder!
This is the only photo I know of with both my maternal grandmother and my maternal grandfather:
And then there’s Dad’s family albums!
This is my paternal grandmother and paternal grandfather and their house in Chemnitz:
My grandmother was married to a part-Jew.   That served to protect the family, to some extent, from Nazi persecution.  That’s my dad, in the middle. (Pretty dang cute, eh?)
And just because I can’t resist, here’s another photo of my dad as a little kid.  I wish I’d known him then!
I never met “Tante Adele,” my father’s favorite aunt, but word has it that she had piercing sky blue eyes.  You can almost see the color in this black & white photo!
Dad’s bookshelf wasn’t only filled with old photos of people I never met, they were also filled with people I know and love:  Like Mom and Dad:
IMG_1422 IMG_1511  
And my favorite – a picture I’d never seen before:
There were photos of my parents with me that I’d totally forgotten about:
IMG_1425 IMG_1420  IMG_1339IMG_1436 IMG_1521
Some with my parents and their grandchildren:
 IMG_1456  IMG_1516
Some of Tom and me as young parents:
IMG_1466  IMG_1460
And quite a few of our kids that I’d completely forgotten about:
IMG_1509 IMG_1343  IMG_1414
IMG_1452  IMG_1465 IMG_1501 IMG_1505
I need to completely ignore the magical bookshelf tonight because the airport shuttle will arrive just a few short hours from now, at 4 AM, to take me away from Ashland, where I finally began to really relax today and back to my current reality, which is so very far away from relaxing!

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