Tag Archives: Halloween

Biker Chick

Double click for a larger version of the image...
Double click for a larger version of the image…

Can you sense it in the air? It’s just a bit cooler and less humid here in Georgia than it has been, but that shouldn’t be surprising as we’re almost 1/3 of the way through October! (Where has this year run off to?!?!?!) It won’t be that long and there will be frost on the pumpkin that sits on the front porch, all ready for Halloween.

Halloween means there will be ghosts and goblins, witches, black cats, pumpkins of every sort, shape and size. The stores will be hawking their candies to give to the kiddies (but if the truth is told, I used to see tons of candy in the office around Halloween – and yes, I did avail myself of my share!). I always enjoyed Halloween as a kid. Now I get to enjoy it with my grand kids AND my kids whenever I can. And there is still, after a fistful of decades, still something magic about the feeling of fall in the air!

Today’s photo was another I shot in Dahlonega, GA, during their scarecrow festival a while back. This is a biker chick…and she’s probably on her way to the store to get candy for the little humans who will be coming to her door. She doesn’t look too scary to me…but that’s all right. We don’t need scary! We just need CANDY!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 2009, two people died and more than a dozen others were hospitalized following a botched sweat lodge ceremony at a retreat run by motivational speaker and author James Arthur Ray near Sedona, Arizona. A third participant in the ceremony died nine days later.

The sweat lodge exercise was part of a five-day “Spiritual Warrior” event held at a rented retreat center located six miles from Sedona. Participants paid more than $9,000 each to attend the retreat. At the time, Ray, who was born in 1957 and raised in Oklahoma, was known for such books as his 2008 best-seller “Harmonic Wealth: The Secret to Attracting the Life You Want,” and had appeared as a guest on a number of TV programs, including “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Ray’s sweat lodge ceremony, modeled after a Native American custom intended to purify the body and spirit, was held in a wood-frame structure covered with tarpaulins and blankets. Inside the enclosed space, water was poured over heated rocks to create steam and the temperature became dangerously high, causing many of the more than 50 participants (who had been encouraged to fast for 36 hours prior to the event) to develop breathing trouble and become disoriented. Witnesses later reported Ray had urged people to remain inside and endure the intense heat as a form of personal challenge.

Two people, Kirby Brown, 38, and James Shore, 40, fainted but were left inside the sweat lodge and perished from heat stroke. More than a dozen other people were hospitalized for dehydration and other medical issues. On October 17, a third ceremony participant, Liz Neuman, 49, died.

In February 2010, Ray was indicted on manslaughter charges. When his case went to trial the following year, the prosecution argued that the self-help guru had acted carelessly and shown no regard for the people who got sick during the ceremony. The defense claimed the participants were free to leave the sweat lodge at any time, and said the deaths were an accident and might have been caused by unknown toxins in the ground. During the four-month trial, witnesses claimed that people had become ill or injured at previous retreats run by Ray, and Native American groups expressed outrage over his misuse of their sacred sweat lodge tradition.

On June 22, 2011, a jury in Camp Verde, Arizona, found Ray guilty of three counts of negligent homicide. On November 18 of that same year, he was sentenced to three two-year prison terms, to run concurrently, and ordered to pay some $57,000 in restitution to the victims’ families.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: The country whose people eat the most chocolate is Switzerland, with 22 pounds eaten per person each year. Australia and Ireland follow with 20 pounds and 19 pounds per person, respectively. The United States comes in at 11th place, with approximately 12 pounds of chocolate eaten by each person every year.

…and Kids

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Isn’t it interesting how having kids changes our lives?  There is no way to explain to someone who is not a parent how much change that having offspring will make!  You can try to expound on the subject, but that’s not the same as experiencing it.  Much of the personal time you had goes up in smoke.  Dirty diapers dance in your nightmares.  The sound of crying fills the air.

There are other changes, too: we start talking baby-talk to the little one(s), sounding as silly as can be…but we don’t care!  We would do anything for the little bundle of humanity that we call “our” son or daughter.  They become priceless in a moment…the moment they make their appearance in this world.  They have stolen our heart!

Today’s photo is of our youngest son as he dressed up to help his daughters celebrate Halloween this past October.  One of his girls dressed as Minnie Mouse and the other as a fanciful Ariel from The Little Mermaid (both were featured in recent blog posts here.)  So, in order to try to fit in with at least one of their costumes, he sorta dressed up as King Neptune and as his dad, I get to embarrass him with this picture.

I don’t think that is is really cause to be embarrassed…I think it is something to be proud of: when we do things to entertain and delight our children, we are simply demonstrating our great love for them – even if we look a bit strange in the process!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  in  1990, after a howling wind- and rainstorm on Thanksgiving Day, Washington state’s historic floating Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge broke apart and sank to the bottom of Lake Washington, between Seattle and its suburbs to the east. Because the bridge’s disintegration happened relatively slowly, news crews were able to capture the whole thing on camera, broadcasting it to a rapt audience across western Washington. “It looked like a big old battleship that had been hit by enemy fire and was sinking into the briny deep,” said one observer. (He added: “It was awesome.”)

The Murrow Bridge was the brainchild of engineer Homer Hadley, who in 1921 proposed a “floating concrete highway, permanent and indestructible, across Lake Washington.” Figuring out a way to cross that lake, between up-and-coming Seattle and its (at that time) sleepy small-town neighbors to the east, was a particular challenge because an ordinary “fixed-pier” bridge was out of the question: The lake was too deep, and its bottom was too mushy. Still, people scoffed at what they called “Hadley’s Folly” (one civic organization declared that his “chain of scows across Lake Washington would stand out as a municipal eyesore”), but eventually, mostly because they had no other options, they came around to his way of thinking. Construction began on the bridge, named after the state highways director (and brother of famous newsman Edward R. Murrow), in 1939; it was completed 18 months later.

In November 1990, the 6,600-foot-long bridge, made of 22 floating bolted-together pontoons, was in the process of being converted from a two-way road to a one-way road. (A parallel bridge had been completed the year before, effectively doubling the amount of traffic that could cross the lake.) The state highway department alleged that construction crews had left the pontoons’ hatches open, leaving them vulnerable to the weekend’s heavy rains and large waves. (For its part, the construction company refused to accept responsibility for the disaster, countering that “the probable cause of the failure was progressive bond slip at lapped splices in the bottom slab…due to failure in bond.” It did eventually agree to pay the state $20 million, however.) For whatever reason, at midday on November 25, the center pontoons began to sink. As they disappeared under the water, they pulled more and more of the crumbling roadway down with them. By the end of the day, the bridge was gone.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident. The Murrow Bridge was soon rebuilt.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  The largest crater in the solar system is found on the moon. Called the South Pole-Aitken, this giant crater is on the far side of the moon and is 1,550 miles (2,500 km) in diameter. The largest crater visible to Earth (on the near side of the moon) is the Bailly Crater, with a 183-mile diameter.

…Make Believe?

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Do you remember what it was like to play “make-believe”?  Perhaps you imagined yourself as a cowboy, or soldier, an astronaut, doctor, nurse, fireman or some other challenging and exciting role.  Weren’t those fun times?

Know what could make those times even more exciting?  Dressing up in costume!  Come to think of it, perhaps make-believe is something that we never really outgrow: to wit, consider all the adults who dress up for Halloween, or who festoon themselves with patriotic gear on national holidays or Christmas attire.  And that, I think, is just fine!

Halloween is, of course, the prime time for dressing up and make-believe.  It doesn’t really matter who you are or your station in life, on Halloween you can become something else or someone else for a few hours.

Today’s photo is of my 6-year old grand daughter from this year’s Halloween.  What was she?  She was Ariel, the character from Disney’s Little Mermaid.  Now, I’ll grant you that her costume is rather a hodge-podge of color and style, but when you are six years old, the power of make-believe is very, very strong!  And she was having a great time….and that’s what it is all about!  Even if you aren’t a princess, on Halloween (or whenever you play make-believe), you can be.  But then, come to think of it, I think she really is a princess!  And a princess can wear anything she wants to!!!!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1944, 32 British Lancaster bombers attacked and sank the mighty German battleship Tirpitz.

Tirpitz displaced 42,900 tons as built and 51,800 fully loaded, with a length of 823 ft 6 inches, a beam of 118 ft 1 inch and a maximum draft of 34 ft 9 in. She was powered by three Brown, Boveri & Cie geared steam turbines and twelve oil-fired Wagner superheated boilers, which developed a total of 163,026 shaft horsepower with a maximum speed of 30.8 kn (57.0 km/h; 35.4 mph) on speed trials. She was bigger than her sister ship, the Bismarck, and the largest battleship ever built by a European country.

In January 1942, Hitler ordered the Germany navy to base the Tirpitz in Norway in order to attack Soviet convoys transporting supplies from Iceland to the USSR. The Tirpitz also prevented British naval forces from making their way to the Pacific. Winston Churchill summed up the situation this way: “The destruction or even crippling of this ship is the greatest event at the present time… The whole strategy of the war turns at this period on this ship…”

Attacks had already been made against the Tirpitz. RAF raids were made against it in January 1942, but they failed to damage it. Another raid was made in March; dozens of RAF bombers sought out the Tirpitz, which was now reinforced with cruisers, pocket battleships, and destroyers. All of the British bombers, once again, missed their target.

Sporadic attacks continued to be made against the German battleship, including an attempt in October 1942 to literally drive a two-man craft up to the ship and plant explosives on the Tirpitz‘s hull. This too failed because of brutal water conditions and an alert German defense. But in September 1943, six midget British subs set out to take the Tirpitz down for good. The midgets had to be towed to Norway by conventional subs. Only three of the six midgets made it to their target. This time, they were successful in attaching explosives to the Tirpitz‘s keel and doing enough damage to put it out of action for six months. Two British commanders and four crewmen were taken captive by the Germans and spent the rest of the war as POWs.

But it wasn’t until November 1944 that the Tirpitz was undone permanently. As the battleship lay at anchor in Norway’s Tromso Fjord, 32 British Lancaster bombers, taking off from Scotland, attacked. Each bomber dropped a 12,000-pound Tallboy bomb and two hit their target, causing the Tirpitz to capsize, and killing almost 1,000 crewmen.

Ironically, the mighty Tirpitz fired its guns only once in aggression during the entire extent of the war-against a British coaling station on the island of Spitsbergen.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: When a person diets or deprives himself of food, the neurons in the brain that induce hunger start eating themselves. This “cannibalism” sparks a hunger signal to prompt eating.

Things You Never Knew About Minnie Mouse

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Everyone knows about Minnie Mouse, but there are probably some things about the diminutive rodent that you didn’t know.  For example: did you know that Ub Iwerks created Minnie Mouse along with Walt Disney?  She was first drawn by Iwerks in 1928, as was her mousey friend, Mickey.  She was first featured in a comic strip in 1942 and was called Minerva Mouse.  Her father, Marcus Mouse, and her mother (who was never named) were farmers. The same story featured photographs of Minnie’s uncle Milton Mouse with his family and her grandparents Marshal Mouse and Matilda Mouse. Her best known relatives, however, remain her uncle Mortimer Mouse and her twin nieces, Millie and Melody Mouse, though most often a single niece, Melody.

In 1928, Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks created Mickey Mouse to act as a replacement to his previous star Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. But Mickey could not fill the void alone. Among the few consistent character traits Oswald had developed before moving on to Universal Studios was his near-constant pursuit of potential sweethearts. So for Mickey to have a chance to emulate his predecessor at flirting, someone had to replace Oswald’s many love interests. This replacement to Miss Rabbit, Miss Cottontail, Fanny and an uncertain number of unnamed nurses and dancers was to become Minnie Mouse.

Minnie was designed in the fashion of a “flapper” girl. Her main outfit today usually includes a short polka-dotted dress with a matching bow and white gloves. Although she always appears in red, she was originally designed to have a blue and green outfit.

Minnie first appeared in Plane Crazy. Minnie is invited to join Mickey in the first flight of his aircraft. She accepts the invitation but not his request for a kiss in mid-flight. Mickey eventually forces Minnie into a kiss but this only results in her parachuting out of the plane. This first film depicted Minnie as somewhat resistant to the demanding affection of her potential boyfriend and capable of escaping his grasp.

But, based on today’s photo of my littlest granddaughter taken on Halloween, did you know that Minnie loves pizza? Maybe it doesn’t surprise you that she loves cheese pizza.  After all, what self-respecting mouse wouldn’t love cheese pizza?  As my granddaughter said to me between mouthfuls, “I love to eat!”

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1982, Shirley Allen was arrested for poisoning her husband, Lloyd Allen, with ethylene glycol, commonly known as anti-freeze. After witnessing her mother spike Lloyd’s drinks with the deadly substance, Shirley’s own daughter turned her in to the authorities.

Lloyd Allen was Shirley’s sixth husband and the second to die from mysterious causes; the other four had divorced her. John Gregg, who died a year after he married Shirley in 1977, had changed the beneficiary on his life insurance policy shortly before his death. Shirley was outraged to find that she was left with nothing.

Lloyd, who is said to have complained of a strange taste in his beverages, believed Shirley when she said that it was an iron supplement for his health. However, Joe Sinclair, one of Shirley’s previous husbands, had been a bit more suspicious. When his coffee tasted odd on several occasions, he went to the police. Although he suffered internal injuries, no charges were ever filed. Instead, he filed for a divorce.

When Allen’s death was investigated, toxicology reports confirmed that his body tissue contained a lethal amount of ethyl glycol. After a short four-day trial, Shirley Allen was sentenced to life in prison in 1983.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Some Mexican free-tailed bats can fly up to 250 miles in a single night. They can fly up to 10,000 feet high and reach speeds up to 60 miles per hour.

Children of the Corn

It is a frightening and terrifying thing to be turned inside out.  There have been a few times when I felt that I was being turned inside out…but it never really happened.

One such time was after my heart surgery in 2001. I must say that it was my first major surgery of any kind so it was an altogether new experience for me.  To wit: after I got home from the hospital and went to shave for the first time, as I leaned over the sink, I could swear that I could feel the internal organs in my chest (heart and lungs in particular), fall forward against the inner chest wall.  Was I just imagining it?  I don’t think so.  It was probably still somewhat irritated in there and to this day I think it was real.  It didn’t hurt – it just felt….strange.

Another such time when I thought that I might really be turning inside out was when I sneezed after my surgery.  Now THAT was a feeling that one will never forget!  They give you a pillow at the hospital and they tell you to squeeze it to your chest at any time that you feel like you might sneeze or cough.  The reason: it hurts!  And so the first time that I sneezed and didn’t have a pillow nearby to hold on to, I thought I was quite literally going to be turned inside out!  Fortunately, I stayed right side in!!!

Today’s picture was taken in a corn maze on Saturday.  I have called this picture “Children of the Corn”.  Though it was shot in color, I desaturated it and then inverted it into a negative image as I thought the eyes of the children would be most appropriate that way for Halloween.

If you happen to be passing down the rows of corn, be aware that the children of the corn may still be there…waiting for you!!!

_MG_7176BWON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1965, construction was completed on the Gateway Arch, the spectacular 630-foot-high parabola of stainless steel marking the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial on the waterfront of St. Louis, Missouri.

The Gateway Arch, designed by Finnish-born, American-educated architect Eero Saarinen, was erected to commemorate President Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and to celebrate St. Louis’ central role in the rapid westward expansion that followed. As the market and supply point for fur traders and explorers—including the famous Meriwether Lewis and William Clark—the town of St. Louis grew exponentially after the War of 1812, when great numbers of people began to travel by wagon train to seek their fortunes west of the Mississippi River. In 1947-48, Saarinen won a nationwide competition to design a monument honoring the spirit of the western pioneers. In a sad twist of fate, the architect died of a brain tumor in 1961 and did not live to see the construction of his now-famous arch, which began in February 1963. Completed in October 1965, the Gateway Arch cost less than $15 million to build. With foundations sunk 60 feet into the ground, its frame of stressed stainless steel is built to withstand both earthquakes and high winds. An internal tram system takes visitors to the top, where on a clear day they can see up to 30 miles across the winding Mississippi and to the Great Plains to the west. In addition to the Gateway Arch, the Jefferson Expansion Memorial includes the Museum of Westward Expansion and the Old Courthouse of St. Louis, where two of the famous Dred Scott slavery cases were heard in the 1860s.

Today, some 4 million people visit the park each year to wander its nearly 100 acres, soak up some history and take in the breathtaking views from Saarinen’s gleaming arch.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  America purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867 for $7,200,000 — about 2 cents an acre.

 

It’s Coming!

Are you ready?  It is coming, you know.  Halloween, that is.

May I say that I have always enjoyed Halloween?  I know not everyone is in favor of the “holiday” as they think it encourages bad things and bad behavior.  But I’m not talking about that.  I’m just talking about kids having fun.  That’s what Halloween was for me as a kid.

On the farm in Iowa, it was, obviously, impossible to walk from farm to farm to get candy from our wonderful Iowa country neighbors, so one of our parents would load us up in the car and drive us from farmhouse to farmhouse where we’d go to the door, knock (I don’t recall any door bells in those days, but of course, the farm dog had already announced our presence), and friendly faces appeared and gave us an apple or some kind of candy.  What helped to make it extra special in my memory was the autumn chill in the air and the bright orange harvest moon that glided silently over the fields of harvested corn where the broken off stalks bore testimony to the harvest.

The costume I recall the most was when I’d put on those funny glasses with fuzzy eyebrows, big nose and mustache, put on a pair of my dad’s overalls, stuff a pillow under my small t-shirt and pretend to be a fat farmer.  I don’t remember any other costumes, ever.

When I got older and we lived in southern California, my friends and I would go out trick-or-treating, but we seldom dressed up and we usually carried an empty pillow case to hold our treasure trove of goodies.

I never had troubles with other kids, nor did they ever both us.  It wasn’t about demons or the like, but about gettin’ and eatin’ a lot of candy!  It was just a fun time.

Today’s photos was shot Saturday at Del Osso family farm between Tracy and Stockton.  It reminded me of something from a Tim Burton movie, but the “claws” on the right hand looked like a mix of Wolverine and Edward Scissorhands.  Wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alley!

_MG_7282ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1995, an unusually large avalanche buries homes and kills 20 people in Flateyri, Iceland. This disaster was the second deadly avalanche in the region that year.

Ten months earlier, on January 17, the small fishing village of Sudavik had suffered a devastating avalanche in which 16 residents lost their lives. The incident illuminated the dangers of living in historically avalanche-prone areas. As winter began the following October, high winds in the West Fjords prompted evacuations across the region. Hundreds of electric poles were snapped by the winds and on October 26, an avalanche of snow, ice and rocks crushed and killed a herd of 18 horses in Langidalur. Later, another slide destroyed a storage building in Sugandafjor.

Residents remained on high alert on the evening of October 27. At 4 a.m., a deafening roar was heard above Flateyri as a huge avalanche crashed down the mountain above the town. Snow and rocks buried 17 homes, only one of which had been thought to lie in an avalanche danger zone. Local residents immediately attempted a rescue effort, which proved extremely difficult in the darkness with all landmarks erased. The would-be rescuers had trouble remembering where each buried home was actually located.

In the meantime, several victims were able to dig themselves out from under the snow. United States military helicopters and the Icelandic Coast Guard arrived with 600 rescuers and dogs specially trained to locate buried people. Eventually, 20 people were pulled out alive. One woman was saved after being stuck completely motionless for eight hours. The last survivor to be found, an 11-year-old girl, was rescued 11 hours after the avalanche. It took two days to locate all the bodies.

TRIVIA FOR TODAYAlbert Einstein’s younger son was a schizophrenic.

Not Now, Not Ever

OK.  I know it’s Halloween.  I don’t know about where you are, but it’s dumping rain here in northern California’s wine country (at least in Cloverdale).  I love Halloween.  Always have.  But there are things that I just refuse to do on Halloween.  Sure, I’d put on a costume, but not just any costume.  I’m too picky and self-conscious for that!!!

A super-hero?  (Sure, ’cause I am one!)  An astronaut?  (Of course, cause I’m so brave and daring!)  A surgeon?  (Absolutely – I always wanted to be a neurosurgeon!)  A hobo?  (Yeah, I like traveling!)  An athlete?  (Naturally – it’s not even a stretch for someone as athletically inclined as I am – or was!)

But, I would not, not in a million, bazillion years, not now not ever would I dress up like the guy in today’s picture.  I took it at the Renaissance Faire near Hollister about a month ago, and while silly looking stuff like this may have been the rage in medieval times, to me it just looks pouffy, frivolous, pompous and silly!  Yikes!  Can you imagine a woman being proud of a man who dressed like this?  “Oh, yeah, that’s my MAN.  Isn’t he manly?”

Not now, not ever.

What are some costumes you’d never be caught wearing?

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1952, the United States detonated the world’s first hydrogen bomb at the Eniwetok Proving Grounds in the Marshall Islands.   The explosive “yield” was 10.4 megatons of TNT, over 450 times more powerful than the bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.  The device was nicknamed “Sausage.”

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: there are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: “abstemious” and “facetious”.  Now, aren’t you glad you asked?!?!

 

Signs of the Season

Fall as finally arrived in the wine country…for sure.  There was frost all over the truck this morning, and they are saying it might get below 30 tonight.  I know for many of you that’s not very cold, but it doesn’t get much cooler than that here…ever.  On rare occasions, it may get into the 20’s, but only for a few nights.

Of course, Halloween is just past and hot on its heels will arrive Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  November is my second favorite month after October, so I will be enchanted all month with the seasonal change.

Today’s photo is a blend of man-made and God-made wonders.  The man-made wonders are Snickers, Baby Ruth and Butterfinger candy bars, though I must say that Butterfinger really isn’t in the same class as the Snickers and Baby Ruth!  And then, of course, Three Musketeers and Milky Ways don’t even appear on my radar!!!!

The God-made wonders I picked up off the ground outside of our daughter’s place.  There were so many bright, vivid colored leaves that I just couldn’t resist picking out some and bringing them home where I staged them on a white background with the candy bars and berries.

Now, I think it is time to eat the Snickers and Baby Ruth.  If any of you want the Butterfinger…you’re welcome to it!

A mix of seasonal signs for October and November

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1922, archaeologist Howard Carter found the first signs of the burial tomb of an ancient pharaoh.  Of course, it turned out to be the archaeological find of all time: that of the young pharaoh, Tutankhamen.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: when female wasps return to the hive after foraging, they engage in a strange practice called “male-stuffing” which consists of taking the males and stuffing them head-first into empty nest cells.  Scientists think this behavior helps to contribute to the colony’s health by providing more food for the developing larvae (they eat the males!)  Now, aren’t you glad that you’re not a male wasp!

The Spooks of Yesteryear

Oh, my goodness!  I love Halloween!  I loved it as a child back on the farm in Iowa…it was a special season, almost magical as the long, hot Iowa summer was over, fall was well set in and winter was just around the corner.  We didn’t have any neighbors close, so my folks would have to drive us from farm to farm – and I supposed we thought it was a big night of candy-gathering when we hit 6 or 8 other farms.  It was nothing like today when kids can visit 20-30 houses on ONE STREET!  But we loved it.

I remember how an elderly, childless couple on the farm due south from us (and across the dirt road that ran in front of the farm) would always make us do a “trick” to get our “treat.”  Their names were Merle and Marie Jordan.  They were wonderful people and we always felt they loved us kids.  I’m sure they did.

I also loved my kids’ excitement on this night.  I loved their dress-up costumes, their joy as they came back with bags full of candy.  The good times they had with their friends.  Wow.  I miss it.

Now, we’ve got grandkids scattered over a wide geographical area so we have to settle for pictures of them in their outfits, impish delight spread all over their faces.

Today’s photo was actually taken in 1982 when our two boys were 9 and 6.  Our daughter had just been born (but we didn’t know her yet because she was in Korea and she wouldn’t come to live with us for another 2-1/2 months.)  What memories this picture brings back!  Doug just dressed as a hobo (I think I recall him being fascinated with hobos at that time) and Tim was the extra-terrestrial, ET.

I wish, sometimes, that I had the power to turn the clock back for even a few snippets of minutes at a time to see my children again as the carefree young beings they were and hear their peals of laughter and squeals of delight when they dumped out their candy bags!  I hope I can always remember those moments.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

My boys in 1982 on Halloween

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1984, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her “security” guards.  Her son, Rajiv, succeeded her as Prime Minister of India.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the average porcupine has more than 30,000 quills.  They are excellent swimmers because the quills are hollow and help keep them afloat!