After Tricking Treat

Settling down onto the sofa after chasing who knows what around the neighborhood, gather the loot you’ve collected as taxes or tithes and pop in one of these all-time frightful, sort-of family-friendly movies. In no particular order, here are some of my faves.


1. Young Frankenstein: Good thing I didn’t catch all the jokes in this Mel Brooks classic. The late Peter Boyle was the best and Gene Wilders’ quirky-creepy performance fits better alongside Terri Garr than all those Umpa-Loompa’s. Favorite bits: The Abby-Normal Brain and the monster teeter-tottering with the little girl.


2. Watcher in the Woods: Scared me silly. The fact that we played in Grandma’s back acrage wood, riding bikes along the narrow paths before mountian biking was considered a sport, watching the underbrush rustle as the breeze swept down the trail in front of us. There was even a toppled trunk were the ‘lightening’ struck. Broken glass, pleading ghosts, Narek. Those Betty Davis eyes. I think a remake would do well, especially with all the tricks CGI can do.

Child of Glass

3. Child of Glass: Another one of Disney’s dark-side movies. A child whispering nursery rhymes, especially Frere Jacques, gives me the eebie-jeebies even to this day and I never want to go near an old well. Antique, turn-of-the-century dolls cause my hairs to stand on end.

dark crystal

4. The Dark Crystal: I know their Muppets, I know. Gelph-lings are nice. Nasty vulture-like things, not so much. Sucking the life out of you for some mystic crystal, I can relate to that.


5. Legend: Tom Cruise before he was Tom ‘Crazy’ Cruise. Loved the unicorns, what girl doesn’t. Cloven devil dude - makes me want to be a better person, resisting the temptation to touch the unicorns galloping through life. Damsel in distress - I wanted her gravity-defying, Maid Marion-esque clothes. I imagine the creepy, fairy boy as a good version of Shakespeare’s Puck.


6. The Never-Ending Story: Legend for kids. I wanted her clothes too and I think I had my first adolescent crush on Sebastian. I really felt his fear in the library attic though I don't quite trust the flying dog. Hey! Yet another pretty, white horse.


7. Casper: He can be my ghost and I’ll take the eclectic architecture of the house too. The dance at the end, when he’s a real boy – aahhhh. Take that Pinocchio.


8. Matilda: L-O-V-E her! So sweet. Danny DeVito and his wife, Rhea Pearlman are great as her wacked-out, self-absorbed parents. But stealing the show from Miss Mara Wilson is Pam Ferris’ character, Ms. Agatha Trunchbull. “I'll send you to the pokey!”


9. Harry Potter: Does it matter which one? Witches, wizards and werewolves -oh my. Unicorn, don't forget the unicorn.


10. Lord of the Rings Trillogy: Ditto number nine though not very farmer-friendly. Halloween, Christmas, Valentines, Arbor Day… any occasion merits a marathon showing. Shadowfax, the white steed horse-god Gandolf got to ride into battle, and let's not forget Legolas had a white horse too!

Hocus Pocus

11. Hocus Pocus: How could I forget! Kathy Najimi riding a vacuum… priceless. An immortal black cat who happens to be a strapping young lad, a black candle curse and teenage romance. No white horses though.


12. The Princess Bride: I don’t need a reason to watch this movie. Who here doesn’t have the entire dialogue memorized? "Anybody want a peanut?" or "My name is Inigo Montoya; you killed my father; prepare to die." Farmboy is a term of endearment and who hasn't swooned over the line, "Death cannot stop true love; all it can to is delay it for a while." Now if I only heard "as you wish" to my every request... Wesley and Buttercup 4-Ever!! Notice the horses?


13. Beetlejuice: Can we all say “Day-Oh”. The deceased never had it so good. Classic Danny Elfman soundtrack. Beetlejuice, BEEtlejuice, BEETL----

I know there's more out there to be had. What movies made your Halloween list?

Carnage Orange

Orange Guts 2

This year the farmers made gourd creations completely on their own thanks to those extremely dull, pumpkin carving tool and scraper. Well worth the buck-fifty at Wal-Mart.

Devin Scrapping

Devin Pumpkin

Devin scrapped from the inside until it was thin enough to see through, no sharp objects involved unless a spoon is now considered a lethal weapon in the hands of a twelve year old.


DJ Pumpkin

D.J. added horns and an evil spider on the side of his pumpkins cheek. Apparently, that spider from a couple of weeks ago has seared into his memory.


Maddy Pumpkin

Those are ears on the side of Miss Is’ pumpkin, she told me so several times. “It has to have ears, Mom or else it won’t hear the trick-or-treaters coming.” She has also been reciting Five Little Pumpkins over and over and over again. Ironically, I’ve found it to be a right of passage for all Kinders; my baby girl is growing up.

Stacey Pumpkin

I thought I’d be brave this year and try something new. I took the photo tweaked for the October header and tried to reproduce it. It looks more like a bad version Picasso would make and chuck in the trash. I should have added hair, but I didn’t quite know how to do it - to do any of it really.

I should consult the professionals.

Daddy Pumpkin

Dave had time this year to carve out his usual spider and webbing, though you can’t see it in the photos. Until next year, pumpkins beware.

DSCF0007A little blast from the past. Halloween, 2001 Newberg OR.


Treasure Hunt Tuesday is all about priorities, however mixed up mine may be.

The Farmers; always priority number one. I would never have so much chaos to enjoy without them.

Devin Closeup shot BW copy

DJ Closeup BW

Maddy Closeup Tramp BW

After the famers, the remaining rungs on the importance ladder interchange depending on whatever else happens to push and shove its way into my schedule. Sometimes I just need more time. I get the feeling of constantly living in the eleventh hour, unable to accomplish a single task or enjoy those fleeting moments that are supposed to make this thing called life worthwhile.


If I took a break and filled my cup more often.

Scriptures bed 2

If I took comfort in more than just parchment and ink.

Scripture Print Sephia

If I could just sit down at the keys and let my soul sing without stumbling and struggling through melodic passages, without frantic pecking to find the right notes to perform someone else’s song. To remember that I have my own and that its waiting to be found.

Piano Keys

If the requirements and necessities could be improved upon. If there were a little more joy in the most mundane of tasks.



Priorities and perspective, sometimes they’re one and the same.

Ninety Years Young


This last weekend we had the pleasure of attending Grandma Izzy’s 90th birthday party. David’s grandmother and Miss Is namesake. The last time Maddy saw Great-Grandma Isabel, she was 18 months old.

Before leaving for Ogden, we tried to explain who this red headed gal was and why it was important for Maddy to meet her, “So this is the lady that was named after me!” I think she got it.

Grandma is as sharp as a tack, remembered each one of her ten grandchildren and thirty-one great-grandchildren’s names, including those she hasn’t seen in nearly four years. She spoke about her wedding and her wedding dress that her mother wore before her, made from Japanese silk that her grandfather carried across the sea. The same dress she had worn to meet the President of the United States, at her 50th wedding anniversary and that she now wished to wear one last time to her final resting place along side Grandpa. (Some in the family are having a fit over the loss of such an heirloom.)

The reception in Pleasant View was well attended, not only by those still lingering, but by their children and grandchildren as well. Grandma and her best friend from childhood, Athleen chummed together like a bunch of giggling school girls. I learned about their running joke, “Is a bell really necessary?” You could just tell by watching these vibrant ladies that they were quite the troublemakers in their youth. Remembering that they were once as young as I am - as my children are - is hard to imagine when they’ve been known as Grandma for so long.

Love you Grandma Isabel!


Our House of ROCK

A couple of weeks ago, after months in the making, we threw a Rock Band Costume Party. It was an opportunity to be something we’re not or little bit of who we really are in good fun whether we can wail or not. Sadly, after watching the playback, my suspicions were confirmed. The sound of nails on a chalkboard is preferred over my vocal lack of talent.

Mirror ball, mood-lighting, multiple cases of Henry Weinhards (root beer, thank you very much) and loads of terrific food made a great backstage area while waiting for the next, kick-biscuit rocker. Upstairs in the theater room, a stage with ‘real’ instruments and a mic, flashy lights, fog and 106 inches of Xbox gaming heaven. Including a camera to share the moments downstairs via live feed .

There were many memorable performances, but the boys’ rendition of “Need More CowbellDon’t Fear the Reaper, took the Devil’s Food cake of the evening.

Ms. W’s knock-out Eye of the Tiger.

Ms. P’s “special” backup singers for Brass in Pocket.

Diva Specklefishes mic-tossing tantrum at being accidently interrupted; her Dirty Little Secret.

Blackened brought out the head-bangers in us all.

Three Angi in one place.

Ms. Donna’s Move Along moved us all to light our cell phones.

Mr. M’s More Than A Feeling, always a house favorite.

I think we were all transported back as we all belted out Bon Jovi’s Live’n on a Prayer. One of those moments in high-school when all your friends were in the car, the radio blaring out the latest hit and everyone busted loose. Twenty-six rockers in all and it didn’t even fill the house. (I apologize to those I didn’t get pictures of.)

It was so much fun, I think it might be a new tradition! What say ye?

Rockband Rockers

More Cowbell meets Goth-Rock Girl. Performances: Master Exploder and Our Truth.

Rockband Rockers P's 80’s Babe and 90’s Grunge. Performances: Brass in Pocket and Don’t Fear the Reaper.

Rockband Rockers E's A little rock and roll. Performances: Round and Round and Enter Sandman.

Rockband Rockers W's blk WAAaaaAHHHHH, YeeeeAAAHH. Performances: Eye of the Tiger and Blackened

Rockband Rockers M's

Cindy Lauper and Angus Young 4EVR. Performances: Ballroom Blitz and More Than A Feeling

Rockband Rockers B's

Feeling Groovy, Baby. Performance: Any Way You Want It

Rockband Rockers S's

Sweet and Funky. Performance: Round and Round

Rockband Rockers H's

The Dude and the ‘52. Performances: Should I Stay or Should I Go and Roam

Rockband Rockers W's Billy and his uber-cool wife. Performances: White Wedding and Wanted Dead or Alive

Girls Rock'n

Who says girls can’t rock? We got the beat!

Guys Rock'n

Boys and their toys. Xbox Rocks.


Shower Rat 1

Dick Dastardly

Did Dick Dastardly loose his evil mustache? Has he finally received his up-and-commance for sabotaging every Wacky-Racer in his relentless pursuit of victory and the pretty in pink, Penelope Pitstop? Or is that what’s left of Muttley, the carnage loving canine in cahoots with Dastardly?

Afraid not. Continuing this months theme, this post falls under the gross and gruesome category. So what is that – that thing?

Shower rats; slathered and swirled against the tile wall. Long hair, as lush and flowing as it is, shouldn’t flow into the drain pipe and wreaks all kinds of plumbing havoc if it does. The grate catches some, but most escape to their nests in the p-trap only to mutate and grow into something much more sinister that some poor sap (dear, darling hubby) has the pleasure of resurrecting and disposing of.

penelope-pitstopI suppose it’s a bad habit, but I can’t help the fact that my hair falls out. Remembering to send them to the trash bin, I can work on that. No unsuspecting, sleepy-headed, hygiene seeking person should suffer a rat attack from underneath the showerhead; even the very manliness of men.

There are other, fabulously-tressed women out there who have rat problems of their own, I stand with you in this horrid yet necessary battle for beauty.

Trying to save the plumbing, one rat at a time.

Diss’n the Desktop

In our family of nerds, we have a more active computers than members. The kids have their own Jurassic p.c.’s that are virtual tar pits in speed, memory and overall ease of use. Good if you’re five and running Win2000 to play Magic Princess Castle or the old school version of Warcraft or older still, Slay. I’m fearful that their whopping 22” monitors will tumble over and squash them, but that’s another hotly debated subject.

We have our entertainment p.c. in lieu of a cable or dish receiver, Dave has is contracting setup and I have my laptop and a desktop for play- Work, I mean work. Yes, I’m spoiled. I have two and use them both. Wanna make something of it?

His & Mine is a much needed protocol. He says I have “the touch of death” to anything electronic and I fill my drive with worthless junk so much so that it runs “like crap”. I get annoyed with all the trendy, flashy software and the general disorganization of his files. His & Mine keep the peace and one or the other off the couch.

A few days ago Dave sent me a link to a free, downloadable software program. I usually ignore those types of things, I like my status quo and anything different has a tendency to scare and frustrate me if my heart or my head isn’t in it. I peeked and like that grumpy-gus of a sourpuss from Green Eggs and Ham, I plugged my nose and clicked.

All you Mac-Morons (said with affectionate, agape love) get ready to proudly wear your smug. The program is called Rocketdock and mimics Apples desktop functionality. My desk is free and clear of rarely used icons with the exception of one and I’ve hidden the XP taskbar and Rocketdock so I only see them when I want. Is it possible to be addicted to the bubble? Is there some sort of P.C. – Mac Tolerance and Acceptance program? Can we share the good in each of us? Can we bring about technological world peace?

Yeah, I see your smug.

Current Desktop

My current desktop screenshot.


Two weeks have passed and where have I been? Good question. Was I ever really gone? That depends on your perspective. What bits I have left rattling around upstairs has been divided every which way, Chaos was left out.

This weeks Treasure Hunt Tuesday is all about perspective and luckily for you, not introspective dribble summing up crazy. Without further nonsense…

Apple 2

Apple 4

Rotten to the core.

Hot Wheels Woody

If cars were only $0.98 at Wal-Mart.

AphidThere’s always something smaller.

Aphid 2 Life as an aphid nymph.

Bee WorkingWorking for a living.

Bee-hindIt goes straight to the thighs, doesn’t it?

Blade of Grass

A single blade of grass.

Ladybug 1Thorny business.

Ladybug 2

Living on the edge.

RosebudFor a sweet chickadee.

Dandelion 6

Waiting for the wind.

Dandelion 9

On make-shift wings.

Dandelion 11 Infection or life?

Butterfly 1

God’s own church windows.

Butterfly 5

Butterfly 6

Butterfly 7

This one came out blurry, but there’s just something about it that I like.

Maple Maple 3



Wasp 2Evil. Pure, brightly colored crowns of evil.

Spider 1Miss Muffets unwanted company.

Spider Leg Webbing Beautiful the snares of death.

Spider 2 b Spider Fangs 3 Close enough to kiss.

The farmers helped me out yesterday afternoon and feared for my life as I took these photos. I finally had to tell Miss Is to stop yelling at me and go back in the house if she was scared. It was nerve-wracking to keep my ‘eye’ on Satan’s Spider, I thought he’d get peeved enough to do something about it. Honestly, I was quite daring considering one buzzing bee sting could either make my life very miserable or at worst, end it with a gasping whimper. Who thought backyard hobby photography could be so dangerous?

Two Bees 2

Two Bees