Skeleton’s for Halloween

Happy Halloween! Got this today in my email and thought you might like it too!

Frightening phrases, specifically with skeleton in them, and their origins…

SKELETON IDIOMS

We handed out candy to probably close to, if not more than, 200 kids tonight! There are less than 10 kids live in our neighborhood. Bossman and I sat out by the side of the road as our driveway is very steep and the wee ones struggle getting up to us. This is our second year here for Halloween 🎃. Tonight we were discussing how the holiday has changed since we were kids. It’s just a line of cars coming down the road dropping off kids who walk to a house or two and jump into the car to be driven to the next couple of houses. Mini vans just leave the side door open and the kids jump in and out. None of these children live in our housing development. They’ve more than likely been through the housing development up the road from ours before they got here. Not to mention the huge festivities downtown on Main Street where side roads were blocked off by police cars and businesses handed out candy and the big do at the city park last night that drew 5000 people, so I was told.

When we were kids we dressed up and went on our own on foot with a gang of neighbor kids and trick or treated in our neighborhood and then went home. Yes, I know, it was safer then. By the time our kids came along we walked with them, in our neighborhood! One thing we noted and liked was families trick or treating together with Mom and Dad dressing up too. We even had a couple parents with their own treat bag for us to put candy in!  After an hour and half and having handed out 500+ pieces of candy the next round of cars were gathering at the top of the road and groups starting down and I only had a few pieces left. I said we better hurry and get inside before this group hits, I don’t have enough candy left and Bossman said yeah, this is getting a bit much and none of them live here, no wonder so many are not handing out candy anymore.

Maybe I’m a Halloween grinch or something, because I was a little disappointed or disillusioned by the time we went in. I understand if you live out in the country and bring your kids into town and trick or treat in grandma or Aunt Helen’s neighborhood, but it just felt like they were being bussed in by the bus load! I guess times change. Just like parents driving  their kids to school and picking them up. There’s always a traffic jam on the road the schools on in the morning and afternoon. Don’t kids ride the bus at all anymore? But that’s for another post. I’m off to eat a peanut butter cup I hid 🙂

The best costume I saw tonight was Rosie the Riveter! Very original, wish I had thought to get a picture of her!

Trick or treat, smell my feet 👻

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Girls Night Out @ The Capitol

Patti, my friend from back home, and I went to the movies at The Capitol Saturday night. Every Halloween season they do an old horror movie. It’s great fun! I LOVE showing off our beautiful Capitol Theater.

 

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We saw Creature From the Black Lagoon! Patti loves to tell everyone how I jumped and screamed when the Creature made his first appearance!

There’s a lovely mural in the process of being painted on the side of one of the buildings downtown near the theater. It’s fun watching as it unfolds.

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Have to treat Patti right, she’s the one who introduced me and Bossman 26 years ago! Hopefully she’s having a good time!

Book Shopping!

I have a friend from back home visiting and she is a reader too. Her one request was to go to all the used book stores we have around here. We made a trip up to Johnson City and roamed around Book Lovers Warehouse and Mr. K’s  Used Books. I found some goodies!

IMG_3167IMG_3168IMG_0096Cook Up a Crime I got from Paperbackswap.com and Lolly Willowes I ordered on Amazon, so they came in the mail this last week. I waiting on two Virago books by Janet McNeill ordered from Amazon, The Small Widow and Tea at Four O’Clock. I read Jacui’s review on Tea at Four O’Clock on her blog JacquiWine’s Journal and just had to have it!

There’s still McKay’s Used Books in Knoxville to take her too, but I’m not sure we should! I’m out of bookshelf space and have three stacks sitting on the fireplace step as it is now! I’m going to have to double stack.

 

 

 

 

The Woman in Cabin 10

by Ruth Ware

 In my dream, the girl was drifting, far, far below the crashing waves and the cries of the gulls in the cold, sunless depths of the North Sea. Her laughing eyes were white and bloated with salt water; her pale skin was wrinkled; her clothes ripped by jagged rocks and disintegrating into rags.
   Only her long black hair remained, floating through the water like fronds of dark seaweed, tangling in shells and fishing nets, washing up on the shore in hanks like frayed rope, where it lay, limp, the roar of the crashing waves against the shingle filling my ears.
   I woke, heavy with dread. It took me a while to remember where I was, and still longer to realize that the roar in my ears was not part of the dream but real.
   The room was dark, with the same damp mist I’d felt in my dream, and as I pulled myself to sitting I felt a cool breeze on my cheek. It sounded like the noise was coming from the bathroom.
   I climbed off the bed, shivering slightly. The door was shut, but as I walked across to it, I could hear the roar building, the pitch of my heart rising alongside. Taking my courage in both hands, I flung open the door. The noise of the shower filled the small room as I groped for the switch. Light flooded the bathroom – and that’s when I saw it.
   Written across the steamy mirror, in letters maybe six inches high, were the words STOP DIGGING.

As always I’m a little late to the party. This book was all the rage last year and I’m just getting around to reading it. It was a real page turner! Laura Blacklock, Lo for short, (I hated that nickname!!) is our protagonist in this tense spellbinder. She works for a travel magazine and finally gets her opportunity to move up when she is picked to replace her boss who is on maternity leave. She is booked on an exclusive cruise ship as part of a press junket cruise for its maiden voyage. A few days before she leaves though she is burgled while she is home and the masked man locks her in her room while he ransacks her house. This sets the tone for what happens on the cruise.

‘Lo’ thinks she sees a body dumped overboard from the veranda next to her. She had had a lot to drink, she hadn’t slept since the burglary and her nerves were a wreck. Was it a dream or did it really happen? She can’t seem to get anyone to believe her. But the little evidence she has to prove the girl she thinks was killed really existed seems to be disappearing and she starts to think it is all in her imagination. The she receives a no nonsense message telling her to back off.

Even though ‘Lo’ isn’t a character I particularly liked, Ms. Ware pulled us into her life expertly and we had to find out what happens to her. She used a cool device to keep us flipping the pages to see what happens to her!

Did you read this and what did you think? I read some reviews that weren’t very kind and I was leery to read it but I’m glad I did. I really enjoyed it!

Pennsbury Pottery

Hidden in a box with my china closet stuff were four 6” Pennsbury Pottery placques. I’m finally getting to unpack and put things away after two years. My kitchen is finally painted!  I’m not even sure anymore if they were my grandma’s, aunt’s or my mom’s,  they’ve been in the china closet drawer so long. They bought this pottery at the Gateway gift shop in Breezewood, PA. on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the late 50’s  – early ‘60’s. They loved to drive in the mountains and would pack a picnic and the diaper bags and throw us in the car and take off for a ride on the turnpike, turning around at Breezewood. I have memories of Breezewood and the one nice gift shop and restaurant. Now it’s unbelievable all the restaurants, gas stations and giftshops at the exit! It’s a bottleneck.

I looked up the pottery online to see how much the placques might be worth and how readily available pieces might be to get a hold of. They range from 3.99 to 15.00 each. There is quite a lot of other pottery pieces available too. I’m excited because I think I want to decorate the new kitchen with it. The light blues will match the new paint.


The pottery was founded in 1950 by Henry Below, his wife Lee and son. Mrs. Below was the artistic mind behind the lovely Americana designs, especially these cute Amish people. This design is what really set this pottery apart in the 60’s and 70’s. Pennsylvania is the heart of Amish country. There were also roosters, barber shop quartets, eagles and Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs. The Belows came to America from Germany in the 1920’s. Henry worked for Stangl in Trenton NJ and developed the famous tangerine glaze used on the Birds of America dinnerware, the first open stock dinnerware in the country. By 1949 Henry and his wife decided to open their own business. The pottery was in business for two decades. Henry died in 1959 and his wife and son continued on in the business. Sadly competition from China and Europe flooded the market and hurt the company. Lee died in 1969 and the next year the pottery filed bankruptcy and closed. In 1971 a fire destroyed the factory and all the molds.

In 1955 the Walt Disney Elementary School opened in the Pennsbury School District. The officials invited their namesake to the grand opening in Levittsburg PA. The Belows designed a commemorative plate in honor and presented  it to Mr. Disney. Only the one plate was made. It’s a real mystery whatever became of the plate. It will be worth a pretty penny if it ever shows up!

You can take a look at more pottery here and here. And you can check out this old postcard of Snyder’s Gateway Inn and gas station in Breezewood back in the day! Read the history here. It opened in 1941 and still operates today only now it’s basically a huge truck stop!

In Bitter Chill

by Sarah Ward

23848254Derbyshire, 1978: a small town in the idyllic English countryside is traumatized by the kidnapping of two young schoolgirls, Rachel Jones and Sophie Jenkins. Within hours, Rachel is found wandering alone near the roadside, unharmed yet unable to remember anything, except that her abductor was a woman. No trace of Sophie is ever discovered.

Present day: over thirty years later, Sophie’s mother commits suicide. Detective inspector Francis Sadler and detective constable Connie Childs are assigned to look at the kidnapping again to see if modern police methods can discover something that the original team missed. Rachel, with the help of her formidable mother and grandmother, recovered from the kidnapping and has become a family genealogist. She wants nothing more than to continue living quietly beneath the radar, but the discovery of the strangled body of one of her former teachers days after the suicide brings the national media back to her doorstep. Desperate to stop a modern killer from striking again, Rachel and the police must unpick the clues to uncover what really happened all those years ago as the past threatens to engulf the present.

This is the first book in the DC Connie Childs Series. I LOVED this book. ‘Page-turning debut’ is right. Lots of tension, suspense, a superb plot and Sarah knows how to write characters. That’s really important to me in my reading. And a sense of place, I like to to be transported when I’m reading. If the mystery or puzzle is super good, but you don’t get me wrapped up in the characters lives and the place where they live, it just loses something for me.  Sarah is excellent at both!

Detective Inspector Sadler and Detective Constable Connie Childs make a great team. Just a hint of maybe some attraction going on between them. Connie is the newbie to the team. Detective Sergeant Damian Palmer, senior to Connie, is the third person in the team. He was distracted throughout this story as his wedding was coming up. He seemed to be having second thoughts and this added some tension to the storyline. He wasn’t as big a character as Connie and Sadler. I’m really looking forward to watching this team mature and grow together. I have the next two books in the series. I won all three in a contest at the author’s website, crimepieces. She does excellent reviews there of other’s books as well! Be sure to stop over and check it out.

The genealogy thread in this story was interesting. I really liked Rachel, I guess you would call her the protagonist of this story? I find myself wishing she would be back in the next book, but I’m sure she won’t be.

Have you read any of these DC Connie Childs books? If you like police procedurals this series might be for you!