Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloweens Past with The Hillbilly

I just recently put up a posting to do with Halloween and superstitions and got to thinking about some of my own Halloween experiences.  Being from the country, if I recall correctly, I only went trick or treating two times.  Both times were over my protests.

The first time, I was eleven and felt too old to be going.  However, my sister’s boyfriend (now my brother-in-law), having found out that I had never been trick or treating, insisted that I go.  In fact, he and my sister, loaded me up in his car, (a slick black 1963 Chevy Impala), and started taking me on the rounds.  Now, I don’t know how it is in the big city, but in the smaller towns, much of the adventure can be had while you are in the car.  Such things as dodging eggs or hedge apples, (Osage oranges).  For you who don’t know, hedge apples, are green, sticky balls that are about the size of a softball, but much heavier.  Within In the first 15 minutes, we took a hedge apple to the windshield.  I think the only thing that kept it from shattering was that it hit the curved edge where the windshield was the strongest.  Yeah!  This was a good idea!  At any rate, we finished up without too much damage.
An Osage Orange. Who knew?

The next year, we went to my Aunt’s house.  She was wealthy and lived in a neighborhood that was quite popular for trick-or-treaters.  We went there to help hand out candy and watch the kids come through.  However, I got sucked into going trick or treating with my 10 year old cousin.  I was large for my age, he was huge for his, so we were close to the same size.  He eventually wound up growing to be about 7’4”.  I thought we both looked way too large to be out doing this.  Of course, since we were in his neighborhood, everyone knew him and had to find out who I was ---as if I wasn’t embarrassed enough!  During this, we stopped at a house and a pretty girl of about 16 answered the door and invited us in.  Hey, things are looking up – not!  I might have been 12 and not sensitive to a lot of things, but even I could feel the tension and knew that something was wrong.  As it turned out, there were 4 boys that looked to be about 15 – 18 years of age.  They had pushed their way into the house.  The girl was by herself, and for good reason was quite frightened.  My cousin and I weren't a whole lot smaller than these older boys, but we were 10 and 12 years of age.  My first thought was that we might all be in trouble here.  Fortunately, with us coming in, they soon left.  The girl started talking nervously and thanked us over and over again for coming in and staying until they left.  Hmm!  Maybe we should have asked for all the candy as a reward.

 Then there was the Halloween night that I went out in my freshly washed, waxed, and slicked up car.  Having had the earlier Halloween experiences, you would have thought that I would have learned.  But hey, there were girls out there.  Of course I didn’t find them.

They had either already learned from their past Halloween experiences  or possibly, they  thought that the hillbilly would be the only guy dumb enough to be out and about looking for them and they decided to stay home.  Since there were no girls, my heart turned to food.  So I stopped at a burger and ice cream shop and got a chocolate shake.  Okay, not as good as girls but still good.  While I was there, a mob of about 150 people who apparently had purchased every egg in the county, came walking by in what I can only call a traveling egg fight.  The police were staying at a distance and watching them to make sure that there was no major damage and also to keep from getting egged.  But yup, I got egged.  It is not that they were throwing at my car, it was just that I was in the vicinity and got hit.  I was thinking, stupid, stupid, stupid!  Look what girls got you into again!  Okay, they didn’t get me into it, but it was their fault that I was stupid enough to be out there, so close enough!

Years later, my wife and I were taking our 9 year old daughter and 5 year old son trick or treating.   It is a rite of passage for parents you know.   I explained the rules to them.  Rules such as, take your time, be cautious for cars, etc.  I thought the discussion of the rules went really well.  Next thing I knew, they would have left the road runner in the dust!  In fact my son, was going so fast that he fell, slid about 6 feet, hopped up and never even let it slow him down.  It was the Daytona of trick or treating.  He who gets the most candy takes the victory lap and wins the cup, etc.

 I can’t say that it wasn’t fun, but I can tell you that it wasn’t for sissies, grandparents, or anyone who was old or slow.  So having finally learned from Halloweens past, I am letting the grandkids know right now,  I am not taking you trick or treating!  Your parents, who put me through the various trick or treating nightmares will now have their own rite of passage.  Yes!  It is payback time!!  Ya ha ha!

From the Hillbilly’s Corner!

Halloween was certainly different when I was a kid. We went out in big packs and left the grownups at home! I don't remember ever being accompanied by a parent. How has Halloween changed since you were little?
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Flowers for My Grandma

I'm so happy to be able to work with Teleflora because I have been their customer for years. Teleflora and I have a long history of sending flowers to my Grandma.

My grandma, my mama, me, my daughter, and my granddaughter

My grandma is 95 years old. This picture was taken on her 90th birthday. I don't get to see her very often due to the miles between us, but every year at Christmas I send her a centerpiece for her annual Christmas party. It makes me happy to sit at my computer looking at all the beautiful flowers on the Teleflora web site and decide just which ones she would like the best. 

The flowers always arrive on time, fresh and lovely, and Grandma loves them.

This year, I've decided that I need to send her flowers for her Halloween party. She's 95; I don't know how many more flower-sending occasions there will be, so I'd better take advantage of them all. And isn't it sweet that she's still throwing parties at 95? Okay, there will be about 5 guests, and my uncle will do all the work, but still. It's her idea and her party. And I'm sending flowers.

Teleflora has different looks to choose from, including some with witch, ghost, or creepy spider accents.  My grandma doesn't like the scary, witchy, kind of Halloween stuff. She's more of a cute pumpkins kind of gal, so I think I'll send her this arrangement:

I love the orange glass vase and orange roses contrasted by the white of the daisy spray chrysanthemums. It's just so bright and cheerful! It has been said that it is better to send flowers when a person is alive to enjoy them than to send flowers to the funeral when it's too late. I've tried to take that philosophy to heart. I hope Grandma enjoys her Halloween flowers, and I hope she's still here to enjoy Christmas flowers again this year.

To whom should you be sending flowers?

Of course, Teleflora has lots of other Halloween flowers, so be sure to check them out.
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Disclosure: This sponsored post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. I was compensated for my time investment and work on this campaign. Thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wordless Wednesday, Grandkid Style

It's been a while since I showed off the grandchildren. Look how much the baby has grown! 

The Athlete and Miss Sunshine at the pumpkin farm

The Model in blue

The Princess with an umbrella

Here's The Monster in a hat

They're pretty gorgeous aren't they? 

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Hillbilly Halloween

Well, y'all, My Hillbilly is here to give you his opinion on superstitions and hauntings and such. I'll see you at the other end.

Since Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve is arriving, I decided to talk about some superstitions and other similar things this hillbilly has run into, heard, and questioned.

Let’s begin with some that I heard growing up.  Someone has a chill or suddenly shivers, and they say, “I feel like someone just walked on my grave”.  Hmm!  What if they are cremated instead?

If a black cat crosses your path, it is bad luck.  Does that mean that when a white cat crosses your path, it is good luck?  How about if a calico cat crosses your path?  Does that mean luck just gets very confused?

How about other things that are supposed to be good luck, such as see a penny – pick it up—all day you’ll have good luck!  What if you throw out your back while you are bending over to pick it up?  Of course that is very good possibility as you begin reaching my age.  How lucky are you then?  Huh?  How about finding a four leaf clover?  Same problem as with the penny and depending where you are, you might be beaten by some plant lover!

How about the lucky rabbits foot, are you supposedly getting the good luck of the rabbit?  If so ---- I don’t want it!  He had four feet and look what good it did him!

How about the lucky horse shoe that is to be hung with legs up so the good luck doesn’t fall out of it?  Duh!  It has no sides.  It is not like a cup.  Everything is going to fall out of it anyway – except maybe dust!

How about on New Year’s Eve, eating black eyed peas for good luck?  Yuck!  They taste kind of like bad beans that have been cooked in dishwater!  Why would they bring you good luck?  They will bring you gas!

How about Friday the thirteenth being bad luck?  Duh!  Everyone knows Friday is good, good, good because the weekend follows it!  I don’t care what the date is!

 How about breaking a mirror bringing seven years bad luck?  Wellllll, if it was Momma’s good mirror, it might bring some immediate bad luck.  I don’t know about seven years worth!

How about walking under a ladder being bad luck?  Truthfully, I feel that there could be some bad luck there.  For instance, if the ladder is six foot high, it would be bad luck for me if I had to walk under it because I am over six feet tall and would not fit well.  However if the ladder is a sixteen foot, I could and would walk under it.  I guess it would be bad luck in the case that someone might drop something on me.  Other than that, I say it is hooey.  And we could go on!

Leaving that, for you who are afraid of ghosts, witches, goblins, zombies, werewolves, and vampires, I will tell you of a friend of mine back in Missouri.  Up front, she and her husband are just as hillbilly as I.  I was a real estate agent at the time, and she called me and asked me to show her and her husband a house.  Now to set this all up, it was winter, about twenty degrees outside, and the house was vacant, and had no power or heat.  While we are going through it, my friend says, “This house is neat, but there's something cold about it”.  I said, “Of course it feels cold; it is about thirty degrees in here." And she says “No, I don’t mean that kind of cold!  I think someone has died in this house”.  Okay, I laughed at her (quite a lot) and rolled my eyes like a teenager!  But she decided to check it out. Sure enough, someone had died there and she would not buy it.
Photo by frédéric dupont

 Later, I showed her another house that I thought was cool and cheap for what it was.  It backed up to a well kept grave yard.  She said, “I could never live there”.  I applied my well-honed sales pitch and said, “Those dead people will be the quietest neighbors that you will ever have!"  Of course that would be unless some strange asteroid passes by and they all rise as brain-eating zombies.  At any rate, my sales pitch didn't work.
Brain-eating zombies

 I guess that I am not a sensitive hillbilly!  If the price was right, the property had been cleaned up, repainted, etc., I would buy a house where a mass murder was committed and be quite happy.  Just think of the stories that you could tell dinner guests  ---- particularly at Halloween with sound effects in the background!  Yup, I tell you --- they said her head was lying right over there by the door and  the rest of her that they could find --- well she was torn to pieces you know --- just like the rest of them.  And there was them big bloody tracks  --- looked like huge wolf tracks ---- werewolf I tell you!  Oh!  You want another helpin of them ribs?  Sure good---- ain’t they?

From the Hillbilly’s corner!

Thanks, I'll pass on the ribs right now. What superstitions do you "believe" in even though you know they're silly? I always think about my mama whenever I step on a crack.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Giveaway: Play Tray for Your Little One

I've got a great giveaway for you today, whether you're a parent or a grandparent, from the marvelous, crafty owner of Sticky Chic Boutique (okay, she's my daughter). Alyssa has asked me to give away one of her fantastic new Play Trays. They come in two varieties, The Fashionista Play Tray or The Vroom Vroom Play Tray. These were originally made for my grandchildren, The Princess and The Monster, and they can't get enough of them!
You can check out all her cute stuff at Sticky Chic Boutique

These would make amazing Christmas presents!
No Batteries Required!
When I was a kid, waaaay back when the earth was young, I remember playing with Colorforms Dress up Sets. 

The new Fashionista Play Tray is even better because they can be completely personalized to please your little fashionista! The Fashionista Play Tray is a custom paper doll with static cling dress-up clothes. It would be easiest to let Alyssa explain it to you:
I made the first Play Tray for my own daughter, Bianca, when I got fed up with buying Barbie clothes that I would never in a million years want my own daughter to wear. I love Barbie as much as the next girl, but honestly, I wanted Bianca to have a fashion doll that looked like her, a sweet, beautiful little girl. I wanted her to dress her doll in stylish, fun, age-appropriate clothes, even some outfits based on things in her own closet! And I wanted her to have a quiet time activity that would keep her busy and inspired and creative. 

Like most 6-year-old girls, she loves dressing up her dolls, and since I am in the vinyl business, this got me thinking about ways to use my vinyl to make a paper doll. Static-cling vinyl was the answer, and it works beautifully! Bianca loves her Fashionista Friend, and I love that I can offer her a dress-up doll that's cute, custom, and age-appropriate. 

This doll also takes up a lot less room than Barbie. All her clothes, pets, toys, accessories, even her houses and castles, are 2-dimensional and pack up nice and compact in a baggie or pencil box. She can go anywhere Bianca goes, and she can take all her belongings with her!
The "Paper" Doll is laminated right on to the Play Tray!

You customize the doll to make your little girl happy: You choose the eye color, hair color, hair style, and skin tone. The doll is then printed to your specifications and secured to a plastic lap desk, then sealed over in a tough, crystal-clear adhesive vinyl coating. Add your little girl's name and you've got a one-of-a-kind gift that she'll play with for years! 

The Fashionista's outfits are made of paper-thin static cling vinyl that stick firmly to the vinyl coating on the tray, then peel off to be reused again and again and again. New outfits are available for separate purchase!

But, Cynthia, you say, I've got a little boy to please! No problem! For your little monster boy, Sticky Chic Boutique makes The Vroom Vroom Play Tray.

Play Tray does NOT come with adorable child. You'll have to supply your own.

This fun little town features houses, trees, stop signs, even a lake with a sailboat. It'll keep your little one happy and occupied in places like church, doctors' offices, and even long car rides! When he's bored with the roads, it's a perfect surface for drawing and coloring, eating a snack, or playing with just about any little toys he can carry along with him. And he can carry a LOT, because large bucket pockets on either side can hold plenty of stuff to keep a kid entertained: coloring books, crayons, a snack, and of course, plenty of cars!

Okay, so here's the giveaway:

One customized and personalized Play Tray of the winner's choice will be awarded. Winner will be chosen at random from among all entrants. Winner will be notified by email. Entrants must be 18 or older and live in the United States. Enter using the Rafflecopter below:

*The Fashionista Play Tray does include small parts that may prove hazardous for munchkins who still like to taste their toys. Not recommended for children under 3. The Vroom Vroom Play Tray does NOT contain any small parts. You supply the cars as well as the adorable child.
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Not sure how entering a Rafflecopter works? Check out this how-to video.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Random Blog Prompt FRIDAY! (So there, Alyssa!)

Yes, once again I am totally stealing my daughter's brilliant idea and and answering random questions posed by the Random Blog Prompt Generator (RBPG -- a distant relative of R2D2)

Like this...but not really.
So here they are:

The Random Blog Prompts

If I could change my ...  Wow. This one's pretty wide open. I not only have to come up with the "what if" portion, but first I have to decide what I'm changing. This could go lots of places.
          If I could change my name, I'd go by Betty Boop.
          If I could change my job, I'd be a full-time blogger.
          If I could change my house, I'd get one that was a lot bigger with room for entertaining. A self-cleaning one.
          If I could change my marital status, I wouldn't because the Hillbilly makes me deliriously happy.
          If I could change my daughter, she'd leave me alone when I steal her blog ideas.

My favorite movies right now are... ummm....well.... ones with actors? Sorry, not a huge movie goer. I like movies, just not enough to really have a "favorite." At least not lately. But I liked The Avengers.

Name five things in your freezer. Ice cubes, coffee, ice packs for owies, frozen burritos, and tater tots. How about you?

What are the values you cherish even though they run counter to societal values? Well...ummm...what?

If you disappeared today, who would be affected? You want a list, RBPG? Well, wouldn't everyone be affected? I mean, it's the butterfly effect, right? There'd be my family, of course, and my students and co-workers, and my tens of readers. Since they'd be impacted, everyone with whom they come in contact would be affected by my disappearance, and so on and so on. How new agey would you like me to get here, RBPG? And anyway, why in the world am I disappearing? Where did I go? Is "disappear" a euphemism for something else? If so, I'm just confused. I think we'd better move on, RBPG, because you're starting to annoy me.

What's your biggest accomplishment to date? I managed to take two little babies and turn them into intelligent, compassionate, productive human beings. There is no accomplishment of more value than that!

Do we really need more than 50 kinds of shampoo?      No.
No, we don't.

If money didn't matter, what job or career would you go for? Lady of leisure.

There we go! We have successfully navigated another Random Blog Prompt Friday! What do you think? Do you have any answers for RBPG? Leave them in the comments!

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Why I'm Tired All the Time

I teach English, not math, but a lot of my days look like this:

So today we studied the Greek root CYCL, which means circle. Cycl is a root used in the word cyclone.

Cyclone Catarina from the ISS on March 26 2004

"Who can tell me what a cyclone is?" One little darling's hand shot up high.

"It's someone who looks just like you, like an identical twin."


 And that's why I'm tired all the time.

I'm linking up with Finding the Funny and all those funny bloggers over there.
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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Hillbilly Attends My High School Reunion

Way back when the world was young, in 1977, I graduated from high school and was voted The Shyest Girl in my senior class. Well, not much changes after 35 years, and I'm still pretty shy, so when it came time for my recent high school reunion I was unsure about attending.
Don't I look like the shyest girl in my class?
 I'm not as shy as I was back in the day, but I'm still not one who can just talk comfortably with people I don't know well. The Hillbilly assured me that I'd be fine, so we went and had a lovely time. Here's his version of the story.

When you reach my age, you have been to a few high school reunions.  Okay then --- quite a few!  In my experience, the first one (mine was the 10th year) has a let us impress everyone with our greatness --- look at what I have accomplished attitude to it.

Sometimes the second one still has a little bit of that feel to it, but begins to be a bit less so. By that time most everyone has children and everyone is sharing and enjoying sharing their experiences.  By the twenty-year reunion, it becomes more of a who still has hair, who is going gray, who has gotten fat or skinny, or isn’t that a new husband or wife for that classmate, etc.

The last one of mine that I got to attend was my 30th.  It was great!  By that time, it was who cares!  Let’s have fun!  Have you got pictures of the kids or grandkids?  Who is that?  Boy have they changed!  How many of us have we lost?  Look at those old pictures.  Look at that hair.  Look at the bellbottoms!  Can you believe we wore those?  And so on!  While attending it, I realized that there were a lot of my classmates that I had really not gotten to know that well.  After having enjoyed spending time with some of them, I wished I had!

Some time back, Cynthia mentioned that her 35th class reunion was this year.  When I asked her if she planned on attending, she said that she didn’t know.  She seemed to have mixed emotions about it.  She told me she hadn’t been to one since her 20th.  I told her that she should go and that I was sure that she would enjoy it.  Eventually she decided that she would!

So we went.  I was the eye candy on her arm.  Okay, I am stretching it a little!  Okay, I am stretching it a lot!  But I was on her arm.  Let’s face it men,  we’re  just the lump used for contrast to make the women look really pretty.  But hey, I did a good job of being that lump.
Me with my trophy husband.

At any rate, the reunion was in the large, beautiful, pooled, back yard of one of Cynthia’s classmates.  Right up front, I want to thank them for their hospitality!  Now, not being a classmate and having moved here from Missouri, I expected that I would be left alone or be visiting mostly with other non class members.  I wasn’t concerned because I had heard that they had food and drinks.  I don’t drink alcohol, but they had soft drinks.

Let’s see, food and soft drinks.  Hey – I'm good!  Cynthia, go forth and visit!  After eating good food, having good visits, eating more good food, having more visits, I then found freshly baked cookies.  Yes!  Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, macadamia nut, and other types of cookies, just sitting there unattended!  There was no one there to tell me to just move along ---  no one there to protect them from the cookie monster.  As the old hillbilly sayings go, I was as happy as a hog in slop or as a fly on --- well, you know what flies like to be on.

After a while, Cynthia came to me and told me that she was ready to leave.  And I am thinking, why now?  There are still cookies left.  Oh !  Okay then, just spoil my fun!
source unknown

Once again, thank you for the hospitality and the good conversations!

From the Hillbilly’s corner! 

We really did have a nice time, and I got to visit with people I hadn't spoken to in years, including one old high school crush who still doesn't know I had a crush on him...unless, of course, he reads the blog. All in all, it was very enjoyable. There were a couple people I didn't get to talk to long enough before they were whisked away by someone else, so maybe I'll try it again five years from now.

But only if my trophy husband comes along on my arm as eye candy.

And how about you? Have you been to your high school reunions? How did it go?

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