Friday, October 31, 2014

All Hallows Eve - Past, Present, Future

It's Halloween! I love Halloween, it's my favorite holiday of the year. I love the costumes, the creativity, the scary stories, and of course, the candy. When I was a kid I had to miss a lot of Halloweens because I was always sick this time of year, but I would remember the excitement of trick-or-treaters coming to the door. I also remember my own mad dashes around the neighborhood, with my full pillowcase thumping against my legs, usually on a wet or chilly night. Streets were lit up with porch lights, as everyone had them turned on, and the sidewalks were so crowded that you often had to wait your turn to get up on a porch, as there would always be a group ahead of you and one behind you as well. Trick-or-treating seemed to last forever, until you finally couldn't carry anymore (or your parents were tired of traipsing around), and you went home to dump your booty all over the living room floor. When I was a kid there were these stories of poison candy or razor blades stuck inside, so police stations would scan your candy, or your parents would just go through your stash with a fine tooth comb, and if anything looked slightly sketchy it went right into the garbage.
Now, I love handing out candy. I love seeing all the kids in their costumes, and you can sense their joy, and sometimes shyness, with this holiday. I always overbuy candy, in hopes that the huge crowds of yesteryear find their way to my doorstep, but for some reason, they don't come in droves, but in trickles. I am not sure why this has changed, as it is my generation, the generation who grew up owning the streets on Halloween, parading their kids around. I am already looking forward to next year, when my little guy will have his first Halloween. He will not be a year old yet, more like 6 months so I am sure we won't trick-or-treat, but a costume will still happen. I already have one in my mind, but that is subject to change, a million times I am sure.
I think when passing out candy though, there are a few things to remember. First, not every kid is the same. Some have special needs that change their Halloween - my nephew is one of these children. He is nonverbal although gaining more words everyday, and has a difficult time saying Trick-or-treat. And he is not the only one. I found this graphic that I always like to pass on every year.
I also read an article earlier this year, and thought what a great perspective about those older kids who come to our doors, half dressed in costume, half not. Check it out here. One last thing - this is a time of year when many pets get lost or injured, So keep them safe as well this year. Here are a few tips to keep them safe and sound.
So while I wait for the time I can take my son trick-or-treating, I will keep on passing out candy to all comers, big or small, one and all. This is a holiday for everyone, a time for imagination, creativity - a time to dream and pretend, and most of all, a time for fun.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

It's a boy!

Things for us run rather unorthodox, and have from the start of this journey. That being said, our phone rang yesterday morning around 9 am, while I was making my breakfast and the husband was running around, trying to get ready for work on time.
It was the doctor's office. Our results were in.
Due to my age, I had to take a test called the MaterniT21 test. Well, I didn't have to, it was recommended but our choice. We chose to take it, and I had been biting my fingernails over the results for days now.
But the wait was finally over. The nurse on the other line told me everything came back negative, which always sounds bad but isn't, then asked if we wanted to know the gender.
Heck yes we wanted to know! She checked to make sure we were sure, then revealed - it's a boy! You could have knocked me over with a feather! I was totally convinced I was having a girl. I am happy with either gender, of course, but I was thinking it was a girl, as was everyone else we know. This kid just keeps on surprising us.
But now, I feel like I have no idea what I am doing. With a girl, I felt more confident, mainly because, well, I was a little girl once. I know what to do with a girl. But a boy? That is traveling into unknown territory!
But I guess really, when you get down to it, as a parent I will be doing the same things with either a boy or a girl. Loving them, supporting them, showing them the wonder of this world, teaching them to love the world around us and our fellow man and all the little creatures too.
I recently read this and it struck something deep within me.
That is really what is important. The rest will come easy, after that.  
And I just can't wait to meet my little guy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Book Review: Witch Upon a Star by Jennifer Harlow

Title: Witch Upon a Star
Author: Jennifer Harlow
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Summary:

He's come for me. My savior, my heart, and ultimately, my devil.

As a child, Anna Olmstead is rescued from her life of poverty and drugs by a vampire named Asher. Over the years, she grows to love Asher, first as a father and later as a lover. But soon trouble interrupts her once-perfect life. While Anna wants to settle down, Asher wants a more voyeuristic, party-driven lifestyle.

When Anna leaves him, Asher does everything he can to bring her back to him--including murder. Even as she finally escapes and starts a new life with a special agent of the F.R.E.A.K.S., Asher makes a new move to kidnap Anna and her children. This time, she may not be able to escape him.

My Thoughts:

Don't let this cutesy cover fool you - inside lurks some pretty intense material. I originally thought this book might be some sort of supernatural romance, and it kind of is, I guess, but not the kind you might be looking for. This book is more about obsessive, dangerous love, love that is bad for you, the kind of love that might get you killed.

From the moment Anna meets Asher, she loves him. She is just a little girl, who doesn't know much of the world except pain and disappointment. Until Asher. He whisks her away from her life with neglectful parents, into one where he provides her with everything she could want. From pauper to spoiled princess, Anna's life is changing for the better. Their relationship as father/daughter is cute, and then goes a bit squidgy when Anna hits puberty, when Anna decides their relationship needs to evolve and turns up the Lolita. This behavior continues, without a like reaction from Asher, until she is a little older and of a more acceptable age to the reader. Then their relationship shifts again. and once they become lovers, it really goes dark.

Anna would do anything for Asher. She is obsessed with him, she wants nothing more for them to live a solitary, happy, normal life. But Asher is a vampire, a really old vampire, who despite his best intentions is really not that honorable. Anna stays with him through some really messed up years, until finally, she knows she needs to leave him. And like some abusive relationships, Asher doesn't want to let her go, and as a vampire, has more murderous ways of keeping her with him. Anna is also supernatural herself, as a witch, but she doesn't really do anything with her witchiness.

This book was dark and creepy and had some gross parts, but I did enjoy it. I felt it dragged a little near the ending, but overall, I liked it. I recommend it to anyone who likes vampire stories that aren't always sugarcoated and sparkly shiny, as this one is a bit dark and seedy.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, that is guaranteed to add to your reading list.

I didn't get as much reading done as I wanted this week. School surprised me with an essay assignment on top of the enormous workload we have weekly, so I was buried under a metric ton of schoolwork. I did get a little reading done, but not all that I wanted. 

Read Last Week:

I am also a big chicken this year! I don't know if being pregnant makes you paranoid, but lately things that normally wouldn't scare me, do. So I have been settling for reading slightly less scary books, but with  witchy/mystery/supernatural themes.


Death of a Gossip by M.C. Beaton: This series is so perfect for me right now, I am enjoying my rereading.

Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts: I don't usually read much Roberts, but I am really liking this series! It's fun and has that element of scary I am craving without being too intense.

Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig:  Our book club book for the month.

Reading this Week:

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James: A classic - let's hope that it doesn't put me over the edge!

Angel Stone by Juliet Dark: A nice little supernatural diversion.

Posted Last Week:

I am really going to write some reviews this week!!


Gilmore Girls (season 3!), Supernatural, Vampire Diaries and out of the corner of my eye, The Walking Dead and American Horror Story

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Visit to the Apple Orchard

Last Saturday was one of those glorious fall days - warm, but not too warm, a slight breeze, and sunny. You could wear fall clothes without being uncomfortable. So my hubs and I layered up in our flannel shirts and headed to the orchard and cider mill. 

This is a big time of the year in Michigan. Cider mills compete for your business, and there are so many orchards and mills to choose from. Lists of "the best" orchards are listed in every publication, print and online. My family started patronizing a particular orchard/cider mill when I was just a little tiny girl, but over the years, it has become too commercialized for me. They have vendors, booths, bounce houses, a band, among other things. Another local cider mill even charges $20 before you even get in! They have a haunted house and a bunch of attractions, in addition to the orchard itself. Not for us. So for the past few years, we have been searching for that perfect orchard. One that is peaceful, that has an orchard, cider mill, pumpkins, and of course doughnuts, but without the hoopla and fanfare. And this year, we finally found it. 

This place finally had the country charm we were hoping for. All the good stuff, just the simple pleasure of just visiting the orchard.

After exclaiming over the vast variety of colors on the porch (well I did), we wandered back into the orchard.

How could we not keep going? So we did.

And found pumpkins hanging out in their field.
After poking around a bit, we decided it was doughnut time, and headed back to the storefront.
We finished our visit by enjoying a delicious doughnut and a cup of warm coffee. Dale Cooper would be proud! We are going to be visiting again really soon, as we bought a bag of apples, but decided it was too early to purchase pumpkins. I am looking forward to our return trip! (and another doughnut.)

Please note: All photos belong to me. Please do not use for any purpose without permission.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, that is guaranteed to add to your reading list.

We spent an awesome day at the orchard and cider mill on Saturday, I can't wait to share about the day!

Read Last Week:

Witch Upon a Star by Jennifer Harlow: The cover on this is so cute, but the book is much darker! I still liked it though. Review soon.

Death of  a Witch by M.C. Beaton: I am probably going to reread this whole series, because I like it so much. I just don't want to inundate y'all with a million Hamish Macbeth reviews. I am thinking about just making a separate blog page for Hamish and I will just give them a star rating over there? 

Reading This Week:


Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King: I was working on Deliverance Dane when this came in, and Deliverance is going to have to wait!

Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig: Our October book club book. 


We just started rewatching Twin Peak  on Netflix. I loved that show when I was in high school! I am also watching Gilmore Girls, and together we are watching Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, American Horror Story, and Sleepy Hollow. Our television consumption seems to be increasing! 

Posted Last Week:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fall Flavors Fest

Every autumn, Greenfield Village, a local historical attraction, holds its fall flavors fest and farmers market for two weekends. I love these weekends!! So much so, that we went both weekends this year. I always love this time of year at the Village, when everything is decorated for fall, including the trees themselves, which are all decked out in the autumn finery. 

Warning: This is a very photo heavy post!

The fall flavors fest is straight down Main street, inside the open air pavilion. Inside are a host of goodies waiting to be exclaimed over, touched, sniffed, and tasted. It is a feast for the senses! I couldn't get very many photos inside, as it was crowded and hard to maneuver, but I did manage to grab a few. 

I love these handmade brooms. I just had to buy one, and it was only $20! I bought the one right in front, with the multicolored bottom. The crafstman, Henry, who makes them was to the right of the display, using a machine that his ancestors have used for years and years. I found a youtube video that shows Henry Tschetter making his antique brooms if you were interested. Just skip past the credits about 30 seconds. This is a link to his website.

Wow did this booth smell amazing! Everything was lavender or balsam scented, I had a hard time walking away empty-handed! There were wreaths, sachets, lotions, food products - so much to choose from! How cool would it be to live on a lavender farm? 

After perusing the wares inside to our hearts content, we chose to wander around the village.

The Village is one of my favorite places, especially in autumn. It shuts down for the winter, with the exception of opening for the Holiday Nights in December, which is another favorite of mine.

Next fall weekend: The Apple Orchard!

Do you have any places you visit every fall?

Please note: all photos are mine. Please do not use for any purpose without permission.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, that is guaranteed to add to your reading list.

It is finally starting to feel like fall around here! Summer just kept hanging on, much to my chagrin. I know I should have appreciated it more, knowing winter is around the corner, but fall is my most wonderful time of the year!
I even did some impromptu chestnut gathering on a walk. With the help of the husband's hat, that is!

Read Last Week:

I can't seem to stick with a plan lately! I ended up reading something entirely different, again, from what I had thought I would be reading.  Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I am pregnant? :) Twelve weeks today! I am not sure if this could dictate what I am reading, but I feel like maybe it could? 


The Seventh Link by Margaret Mayhew: I was feeling the English cozies last week!  This one wasn't all that fab though. Review.

Death of a Perfect Wife by M.C. Beaton: I adore this series!! I am probably going to read the entire series all over again. My husband and I also watched the television show, and loved it, although it was totally different from the books. 

Reading This Week:

I hope to stick to my plan this week!!


Witch Upon a Star by Jennifer Harlow: A NetGalley read that sounds interesting!

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe: I read this a few years ago, and have been wanting to read it again.

Death of a Witch by M.C. Beaton: Might as well round out the theme, with this Hamish Macbeth mystery. 

Posted Last Week:

Currently Watching:

Gilmore Girls! I have to admit, this being released onto Netflix is probably messing with my reading too. Lol. I am watching that alone though. Together we are watching Friday Night Lights, Sleepy Hollow, and we are looking forward to the return on Supernatural!!