This post is in response to the WordPress one-word daily prompt: Transformation

The first thing that literally came to mind when I saw this prompt was the Beast Wars™ Transformers my two sons used to play with when they were little.  Oh. My. Goodness. These things were always lying around our house and if you stepped on one with your bare feet?  Well, let’s just say it made stepping on a Lego feel like a foot massage.  For those who don’t know what a Beast Wars™ Transformer is, it was an animal (beast) with jointed moving parts that transformed into something else, usually some robotic looking creature. I never understood them much myself but my kids loved ’em.  Maybe it’s a boy thing.  I just know down in my basement somewhere is a very large Rubbermaid box filled with these transformers.  If these things are worth anything, I may be sitting on a goldmine.  Each Beast Wars™ came with instructions and cut-out cards to save which gave information on each beast.  There were about 757 steps to transform each one (okay maybe I’m exaggerating but not by much). My kids could swish, swish, swoosh— and they were transformed. I think there was a Beast Wars transformer TV series too if I’m  not mistaken.



This is Cheetor (we had this one). Photo credit: 



I’m pretty sure we had this one too.  Photo credit:

The other image that came to my mind when I saw the word transformation was a beautiful maple tree that had been transformed into its full autumn glory.  I saw this tree 3 years ago when I was visiting my sons in college.  We had gone to Walmart (I think) and this tree was in the parking lot.  You just could NOT miss it!  You’ve heard the saying, “Stop and smell the flowers?”  Well, I just had to get out and take a picture of this beautiful tree.  I got a few odd stares but I didn’t care.  Isn’t it wonderful how God blesses us with the beauty of his creation?


A gorgeous fall maple tree.  Transformation at its best.

Gail ♥

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Halloween Crazy

My cell phone rang the other night when I was out for my walk.  It was my oldest grown son, calling home to chat with his mother.  “Hello” I answered. “Hi, Mom, have you gone Halloween crazy yet?”  Ah, this boy knows his mother well.

He knows that every year at this time, the black and orange Rubbermaid boxes will make their way up the basement steps and the house— both inside and out— will be decked to the hilt for fall and Halloween (and Thanksgiving after that).  He knows strands of orange lights will adorn the deck (coming after the red, white and blue lights which have hung there since around Memorial Day and before the blue lights that will go up for Christmas). He knows there will be jack-o-lanterns, scarecrows, pumpkins, witches and cute little ghosts (no real scary here) peppered all around the house, most likely covering any available table space.  He knows there will be the scent of fall in the house with the aroma of pumpkin and cinnamon spices wafting from candles and tea lights.







My cats still are not too sure about this little hunched-back feline.  They approach him very cautiously every year.  Makes me giggle every time!


Just one of the many scarecrows that sit around my house every fall

Halloween and fall was my favorite time of the year when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s and it still is. The neighborhood kids would start making our Halloween and Trick-or-treating plans in the late summer, deciding on our costumes and making homemade decorations. My parents both loved Halloween too.  It was a fun time in our neighborhood and it was one day of the year you could be assured that my dad would be home from the airport early to take his three daughters and the droves of neighborhood kids trick-or-treating.  My mother always made a pot of chili and grilled cheese sandwiches on Halloween.  Neighborhood moms often dressed up to sit on porches to hand out their candy.  There were the neighborhood traditions of Mrs. Hibler two doors down who would dress as a witch every year and sit on her front porch in a rocking chair or porch swing. You had to go right up to her to get your candy and she never said a word.   Even though I knew this sweet, dear neighbor, I can still remember hugging my dad’s leg and being scared to walk up on her porch.  There was Mrs. Baldridge, the elderly lady next door to us who every single Halloween spent no telling how many hours making caramel popcorn balls to hand out to the kids.  Bless her heart…. I never ate mine.  There was Mrs. Byrne across the street who usually dressed up too and who just about always handed out apples.  There were the Henshaws who one year gave the best neighborhood Halloween party ever with Halloween games like bobbing for apples and even a neighborhood hay ride.


Mrs. Hibler on Halloween

In the 60s and 70s, most neighbors displayed Jack-o-lanterns on Halloween night. My dad always carved our pumpkin the night before Halloween.  Many, like my parents, had them burning brightly on Halloween night in the front picture window but most neighbors put them out on the front porch.


We usually wore homemade costumes and the old hard plastic masks that were so uncomfortable and scratchy—the ones where your breath caused so much condensation that your face, usually your upper lip, would be dripping wet within minutes.  The mask held to the back of your head with a thin light gray rubber band which was attached to the mask with staples.  I can still smell those old masks.  My mother kept our Halloween masks and costumes in an old cedar chest so whenever I smell cedar (or that old cedar chest which now sits at the end of my bed), memories of Halloween come flooding back to me.  That cedar chest didn’t get opened much, and when it did, you could bet Halloween was just around the corner.

My sisters and I would come home from trick-or-treating and dump our candy out on the living room floor.  We’d sort it and then begin our “candy trading” fest. My parents would not allow us to eat anything that wasn’t wrapped so all that went into the trash.  There were always a ton of those Mary Jane peanut butter kisses (the candy in the orange and black waxy wrappers).  I was always the weird kid who loved those things.  There were always lots of Bit-o-honey (I’m certain I had good teeth ripped right out of my head by those things) and the wax lips (I loved those too).  My dad and I always liked anything with licorice so that was like a special treat.  Occasionally, if you were really lucky, there would be a candy necklace.  The thing I hated the most was those nasty orange marshmallow circus peanuts that tasted like perfume to me.  Ugh.


I learned the hard way not to wear one of these on a warm day unless you want a really sticky and colorful neck!


Remember these?  Did you like them or hate them?


Photo credit:



Always got a ton of these on Halloween!



My least favorite Halloween candy

There’s just something about Halloween I love.  What fun it was walking door to door in the crisp fall night air— the sound of crunching fallen leaves under your feet.  There are certain smells I associate with Halloween.  The smell of the damp air and the fall leaves, the occasional smells of chocolate and other candies and the smell of  burning pumpkin from a candle burning bright inside a goofy-faced jack-o-lantern.



Isn’t he the cutest thing?  LOVE him!


My very old animated witch who moves, cackles and whose eyes flash green. Nugget and Dakota are mesmerized by her.


This is Hilda.  I got her at Home Goods (best place ever to get a good Halloween witch)!  Hilda has seen better days.  My cats are slowly trying to eat Hilda.  One chews her broom, the other chews her dress.  Sigh.




Yes, even my cats have Halloween toys


Ding room table


Halloween blocks from Lillian Vernon… one of the first “Halloween items” I bought after getting married.  I think I’m ready to pass them on to one of my sons.


My cats were a little leery of this guy at first, but now they think he’s a giant ball and try to roll him around the living room.


My mother’s Lillian Vernon bat family.  I just love these guys!!!!



Kitchen table

So yes, son, your mother has gone Halloween crazy again this year.  Wish you were here. We had some pretty fun Halloween times, didn’t we?


My oldest son at 6 weeks of age– his first Halloween


My youngest son– getting ready to participate in his first ever pumpkin carving


The boys– Halloween 1994– age 5 and almost 2– getting ready to go trick-or-treating!

On November 1st, all the witches, ghosts and jack-o-lanterns will be packed away for another year and I’ll pull out the pilgrims and turkeys to replace them. The fall leaves, pumpkins and scarecrows stay out through Thanksgiving.

What about you?  Do you enjoy decorating in the fall?  For Halloween?  Thanksgiving?


Gail ♥

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The Dead Man in the Road

Today’s WordPress one-word prompt is: Urgent

Back many years ago when I was still working, I was driving to work early on a Saturday morning.  The veterinary clinic I worked at was about 25 minutes from my house and on Saturdays we opened at 8 am.  I recall it was about 7:30 in the morning and I was about at the halfway point of my commute. The highway I was on was a fairly busy highway most of the time except for 7:30 on a Saturday morning.  The highway was fairly desolate that morning with only a few straggling cars.

I drove over a bridge that goes over a river.  Just ahead on the left was a small hospital.  I was on a divided highway with a broad grassy median strip in the middle.  Though the picture below is not of the actual highway where this occurred, it was very similar.


As I was getting closer to the  hospital, I noticed at first what I was pretty sure was a man sprawled out in the median.  He was mostly on his back with his head facing my direction and clearly visible to anyone who passed.  It was just him.  There were no other people around and no stopped cars.  There was not an emergency vehicle in sight.  My mind raced back to a time back in the mid 1970s when I was in high school and had gone on a school related trip to Mexico City. And how while on that trip, in the early afternoons, everywhere we went, I kept seeing all these men just lying around in the medians, most with hats pulled down over their faces. This was very strange to me and I finally asked what was going on. The bus driver explained to us that the men were taking their siestas.  Okaaaay.  But here in the United States, you just don’t see men lying in busy highway medians.

I slowed down as I approached the man lying in the median and took a closer look.  And then I knew.  I just knew.  He did not move and I could tell just from his appearance that he was no longer among the living. The skin color on his face was a grayish cyanotic blue and he had a white gauzy bandage wrapped around his forehead and I could clearly see dark red blood which had oozed through the bandage.  I was close enough that I could tell he was not breathing.  An occasional car would pass on each side of the highway but no one was stopping!  These were the days before cell phones and quite honestly, I felt a strong sense of urgency but didn’t quite know what I should do.  What had happened?  Was it safe for me to stop?  I thought about getting out and checking his pulse but I clearly knew it was too late for that. My instinct was to drive on a little further, and stop at the hospital to have them call the police.  As I was coming to a rolling stop directly across from the body, I was never so relieved to see flashing blue lights approaching on the other side of the highway and a single slowing police car pulling over.  I watched as the police officer got out of his car (he had no sense of urgency about him which told me he knew too).  He walked towards the body and waved me on.

I got to work a little dazed and told my coworkers what I had just seen.  Their questions were all the same.  Was I sure the man was dead?  Yes, I was sure and I had no doubt about it.

That night I watched the news.  I had hoped that a dead man laying in the highway median of a small town community would make the news and it did (these days I am not so sure). Apparently, the man had been in a domestic dispute the night before with his wife and got into some sort of physical altercation with her. He was taken to the ER where his head wound was cleaned, sutured and bandaged.  He was advised to stay for medical observation in case of possible concussion, but the man left AMA sometime after midnight and started walking towards home.  He was involved in a hit-and-run. I guess through some good detective work, they found the car that had hit him parked at an apartment not far from there (the deceased man’s blood and tissue were still on the front of the badly damaged car).  The person who hit him said he remembers feeling a bump but never saw the man and never knew what he had hit and obviously didn’t go back to investigate.  They suspected the hit-and-run driver had been drinking at the time. I never heard anything more about it.  But I always wondered how many people had passed by and how many people saw what I saw.  I know one thing.  It shook me to my core.

Gail ♥

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Sunday Glory- Trust

Today’s WordPress one-word daily prompt is: Trust




Gail ♥

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Today’s WordPress daily one-word prompt is: Promises







Gail ♥

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This post is in response to the WordPress one-word daily prompt: Border

I’ve said before many times in this blog that I grew up in a wonderful neighborhood.  It was kid haven.  The neighbors all knew each other and were friendly to one another.  When a neighbor became ill or had to be hospitalized, I remember someone would always take up a collection for flowers.  Food would be carried to the family of the sick.  The kids in the neighborhood for the most part all got along well and we played outside from morning to well after dark.  Our parents had to call us in for dinner and after dinner, we’d head back outside to catch lightning bugs or play a game of flashlight tag or Ghosts in the Graveyard. This was the 60s and 70s and you could not keep us inside.  There were no cell phones or Internet or social media back in those days.  I have such fond memories of that neighborhood and the people who lived there.  We used our imaginations to come up with things to do.  We rode bikes, we went swimming, we played in sprinklers in the hose, we roller skated, we climbed trees, we organized neighborhood kickball, softball and tether ball games.  I could go on and on.

Since all the neighbors knew each other and were on friendly terms, we took turns playing at different houses.  We had the run of the neighborhood and often ran freely through the backyards to get to a buddy’s house.  We sat on neighbor’s front porches at night or in backyard lawn chairs under Japanese lanterns.  On the 4th of July, we pooled neighborhood fireworks and often had picnics.

In the blink of an eye, it seems I grew up and went off to college.  All the neighborhood parents grew older, we kids (now grown) started getting married and going our own separate ways.  Our parents passed away and houses went up for sale.  It seemed for a long while, there were no kids in that neighborhood, only elderly people.  But younger families started moving in and with those younger families came the privacy fences and chain link fences.  Borders.





Gone were the days when neighbors collected money for other sick neighbors or moms talked at the clothesline.  What is a clothesline you say? 


Gone were the days of children running through backyards to get to a neighbor’s house.

It seems everyone has a fence now. Instead of getting to know their neighbors, it seems people only want their privacy.  People have their jobs and careers and lead their own busy lives and there’s not much time to socialize with neighbors. I feel sad for the kids who don’t know what it’s like to run free through yards without borders.  Those really were the good ole days.

Gail ♥

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Today’s  WordPress daily one-word prompt is Realize.









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