Listening To Things Going Bump In The Night

    A Windy Night With Gusts Of Wind Banging, Clanging And Going Bump In The NightWindy-Fall-Day1

    Windy days have never been my favorite.

    It has been blowing steadily for a couple of days and nights. I hear the train whistle off in the distance. Always a calming sound to me.

    Our senses pick up more than we’re completely aware of on a daily basis. We may depend upon one more than the others.

    You’ve heard how people with vision problems have a keen sense of hearing. Or those with hearing problems develop better visual acuity.

    So do we depend primarily upon sight and hearing? What about the other senses of smell, taste and feel?

    Which Of The 5 Senses Do We Need More Than The Others?

    Sight and sound seem to be the main ones we’re aware of on a daily basis.

    But a great chef depends upon taste and smell and then making their masterpiece pleasing to the eye.

    Someone working with clay, wood or other medium may depend upon the feel of it as well as the look of it.

    I was thinking our sense of touch is the least used, but as a child we were told repeatedly, “Don’t Touch!!” And many stores have a sign stated the same. So we see something we like and we have to touch it, hold it, and turn it about to examine it thoroughly. We can freely look and hear . . . hummm, what about tasting it?

    Do We Taste A Brisk Autumn Day?

    We definitely feel it.

    We smell it and see the many changes and hear the rustling of the leaves as they dance down the street in the wind. Are we aware of tasting it? Tasting what is in the breeze?

    Is would appear that we do . . . and does each season have a taste?

    I mean the season itself. Not the food we associate with it . . . but just thinking of it brings to mind tastes. I can taste pumpkin pie without having a piece in front of me. Can you?

    The memory works on our senses . . . We associate different people by certain fragrances . . . a fresh mowed lawn, the brink of a rain storm . . . a trip to the mountains, the desert or the beach . . . each plays on our senses in different ways.

    Yes, So Many Questions

    With answers only you can provide.

    It’s all subjective.

    We may share some similar feelings, sights, sounds, smells and tastes . . . but they are unique to our likes and experiences. And the triggered memories may be unique as well.

    I love the smell of a wood burning fireplace. Another may dislike it. The same as oil burning stoves.

    The wind brings many aromas with it . . . some good and some, not too appealing.

    And the sound of the wind . . . could be interesting to some and frightening to others. The same with rain, thunder and lightning.

    Certain music is appealing to many as well as appalling to many others. The same is true regarding different food. Our senses do play a role in many of our decisions of what to listen to, what to watch, what to eat and even where to live.

    It does make me wonder if we’re using primarily only our five senses . . . or is a sixth sense at play as well . . . ever so slightly . . .

    Thanks for stopping by! Hopefully, I’ve given you some food for thought.

    Sharon

     

    Thankfully Looking Ahead

    Do You Count Your Blessings Daily?UnicornPapercraft

    Are you truly thankful for your many blessings?

    Is this a thought that comes around only during Thanksgiving?

    There’s plenty of negativity around us. The trick is to ignore it and fill your heart and mind with positive thoughts. I know it is easier said than done.

    Would You Rather Be Happy Or Complaining All of the Time?

    Have you noticed how many say the former and do the latter?

    Most of us are a mixture — we may start out happy and then something we see or hear turns us into a complainer. Or we may get into a rant about something.

    I know it may seem foolish and childish, but you can make a Unicorn or Pegasus or a combination of the two creating your own little critter to remind you to be thankful, gracious, think positively and count your many blessings.

    It’s Easy To Find Fault

    But, at times, not so easy to find things to praise.

    We do it with our family, friends and neighbors. We appraise people regularly, but may not say anything — hopefully not when negative thoughts come to mind. And many times praise comes out sounding flat and shallow.

    Why?

    Because it isn’t practiced enough. The negative too often comes to mind and right out of the mouth.

    In Order To Be More Positive, You Need To Do Acts Of Kindness

    Around the holidays it’s always easy to do little acts of kindness.

    It isn’t so easy to do them on a daily basis or we haven’t given it enough thought.

    I was running this idea by many friends and neighbors and complete strangers I encountered the other day.

    One theme ran through their responses:

    Society Has Such An “Entitlement Attitude”

    One man said, “I don’t give as much as I used to. What you do isn’t appreciated. They think they’re entitled to a free meal at Thanksgiving or buying school clothes for their kids. I’m disgusted.”

    Others chimed in:

    “There was a man on the freeway off ramp with a sign, ‘Will Work For Food.’ I didn’t have a job for him, but I had a fresh cold container of orange juice I gave him.”

    “That was very thoughtful.”

    “Yes, especially with the weather being warm and who knew how long he was standing there.”

    “Do you want to know what that man did?”

    We all nodded in unison.

    “He threw that orange juice bottle at my car as I was moving forward. I have a dent on my trunk where it landed.”

    You may think this is just an isolated case

    There were stories about giving food to someone who came to the door at dinner time.

    “We were eating spaghetti, so I fixed a plate and gave it to the man at the door. He looked at it, stuck his fork in a meatball, took a bite and spit it out.”

    “We were in the back yard with steaks on the bbq. This guy comes along without saying a word and takes a steak and walks away without a thank you or even a grunt of acknowledgment. I was thankful he took only one steak.”

    I may not have succeed here with thoughts of kindness, being thankful and being more positive, but I have illustrated why with such experiences, we aren’t as giving and positive.

    I have made and set out many of these paper craft Unicorns and Pegasuses around my house. I don’t want to be tainted by my own experiences and those of others.

    I don’t know from where this “entitlement attitude” materialized. I know I don’t like it. I learned a long time ago that no one owes me anything.

    Not a kind word and definitely not a hand-out in whatever form that may take.

    These Unicorns and Pegasuses are a reminder to me to be more thankful, positive and kind. I think it’s a gentle way of encouraging children to think of others in a more kind manner and to truly appreciate all the blessings they have in life.

    We Are Responsible For Changing Our Own Behavior

    I don’t like others manipulating me to change my beliefs and attitudes any more than any other person likes being manipulated.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, beliefs and attitudes. It is wrong to inflict yours upon others, just as an individual declares something is offensive to them.

    My goodness, if I had a nickel for every time I was offended by something . . .

    To be completely honest with you, I don’t go around looking to be offended by certain things. I don’t think “offended” comes into play as much as not liking something. But my not liking something refers to my not liking it for myself, not trying to change something in others.

    If there’s something about yourself you don’t like, then you can focus on it and take action to change it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen over-night, but with continued effort, you’ll make those changes.

    I believe that what you concentrate upon is what you bring to you. It’s not magical. You’re more apt to notice those things you have in mind.

    While I focus upon blessings and being thankful, I realize how truly blessed I am and how I have many things for which to be thankful.

    The paper crafts are merely a reminder for me to leave the negativity behind and concentrate upon positive things. Things that enrich my life. Not tear it down.

    It’s also helpful to find the humor in things, rather than being disgusted by them.

     

    It’s all about choices and priorities. They’re different for everyone.

    I’m pushing my thoughts ahead to Thanksgiving during this Halloween week because I’m prepared for Halloween and not for Thanksgiving. I know there are many who have Thanksgiving and Christmas all planned.

    I am happy for them. They have travel reservations to set up. I admire planning ahead.

    I’ve rambled long enough.

    I’m very grateful to those of you who have read this post to the end.

    I hope the Unicorns and Pegasus find a place in your home. They are cute and well fed on your many kindnesses, positive thoughts, blessings and thankfulness.

    Sharon

    Halloween Contradiction

    Are You A Good Parent?HalloweenQuote

    You practice what you preach, right?

    At least to the best of your ability. You want to give your children life enriching experiences that allow them to grow into intelligent, productive adults.

    But . . . no matter your good intentions children can be a bit confused about Halloween and going door-to-door to get candy.

    The quote may be an extreme example. It is also pretty far from the truth. We usually guide our children to do their trick-or-treating within the neighborhood where you pretty much know everyone.

    You’re giving your children a safe Halloween experience where they can dress up in costume and go out in the night with lots of other children to collect a variety of candy.

    Halloween Is A Fun Neighborhood Experience

    I like sitting on my front porch to hand out candy.

    That way I’m outside enjoying the night air and seeing the kids with their parents walk up to get their candy. I love the sounds of shuffling feet, the voices of exclamation when they see the various lit jack-o-lanterns and laughter when they’re startled by an animatronic witch that cackles as they approach the front door.

    I can feel that anticipation when a group of children ring the doorbell across the street.

    I love the costumes, the excitement and enthusiasm of the children running around with friends and family to collect a bag full of candy.

    It is an event I look forward to each year. I usually don’t dress up, but it’s fun to see families all dressed up. Adults have as much fun as the kids.

    It’s a way for adults to relive their childhood through their children.

    It’s A Fun Fall Activity Where Adults Give Candy To The Children Of The Neighborhood

    Most holidays are about friends and family and done behind closed doors.

    Halloween is a neighborhood activity. It’s where young and old come together to share an annual event of adults giving candy and children graciously receiving it.

    I know many people don’t buy in to the concept of Halloween with the sinister overtones.

    I choose to think of it as the one time of year when a neighborhood shares. And all lives are enriched by the couple of hours of handing out candy and seeing hundreds of costumed children having a great time filling their bags with candy.

    I Think Of Halloween As A Prelude To ThanksgivingDTDM1

    It’s a way of being thankful we live in a nice neighborhood and are given the opportunity to share candy with others.

    I’m thankful for the many families that go through the effort of buying costumes for their children and taking them out to collect their bag full of candy.

    I’m as delighted as the children by their laughter and enthusiasm. It brings back memories of those carefree days of youth.

    And as I sit waiting for the next swarm of excited trick-or-treating children, I can count my blessings.

    This will be my precious Diva’s first Halloween with me. I want her to be safe, that’s why I’ll sit on the front porch with her instead of having children ring the doorbell. This way we can see who’s coming to the door and don’t have to listen to the sounds outside . . . we can see and hear them coming.

    I know my other pets enjoyed sitting on the front porch on All Hollows Eve and I believe Diva will be equally joyous and thankful to participate. Last year we took a little walk around the neighborhood after all the trick-or-treater were gone. Porch lights were still shining brightly . . . the slight nip in the air . . . and the silence . . . except for the echo of our footsteps in the still night air.

    I remember it was a bit eerie . . .

    Have a safe and fun Halloween!

    Sharon

     

    Halloween Inspiration

    It’s Amazing How Something Simple Can Be Made Halloween Creepy

    I’m not into the gross, but I can appreciate the spooky and the thought provoking.HalloweenTypewritter

    This image with the Victorian Birds seems tasteful, but also creepy in a Hitchcock sort of way. Maybe a bit Poe . . . and Stephen King as well. Many writers get their ideas from normal everyday objects . . . and ask “What if . . .”

    It got me thinking . . . always a dangerous sign . . .

    So many . . . yes, so many people have a fear of clowns . . . how would clowns work in place of the birds. Maybe a bit too creepy to create if you have a fear of them . . . Yet these birds do have a bit of a clownish feel with the ruffled collar, yet that could be the Victorian or Elizabethan era theme.

    Witches would be a safe bet . . . ghosts, too . . . and all those people who are into zombies . . . that would be a scary way to go.

    You get any sort of gathering of the creepy and scary and it brings inspiration of other frightening spooky images.

    A Typewriter Seems A Natural Centerpiece . . . but a Haunted House Works Well, Too

    Or a witch’s hat or shoe . . .

    I was thinking of a model train engine . . . maybe even a model car . . . an old airplane . . . or a pirate’s ship . . .

    You may like a skull with some bones . . .

    It’s great to allow your thoughts to get into the creative mode and do something scream worthy for your very own centerpiece decor. The more original you can be, the better . . . but you can get plenty of helpful ideas from http://ravensblight.com

    I find The Dark Promise appealing . . .

     

    And you’ll find a lot of interesting things by Ray O’Bannon from Ravens Blight of interest.HauntedHouseTreatBox

    Here’s a Haunted House Treat Box you may enjoy.

    It’s perfect for giving treats to the neighbors and for kids to give treats to their friends and maybe even their teacher.

    I love paper craft boxes for all occasions.

    Thanks for stopping by and have fun over at Ravens Blight.

     

    Thunder, Lightning, Rain In The Early Morning Hours

    I’m always amazed when the weather commentator gets it right.RainyDay

    It was right on schedule, just past midnight. The thunder rumbled and roared. A bright flash of lightning and the tap, tap, tapping of the rain on the roof. This weather pattern will remain in place through the week and maybe the weekend or clear up. I’m sure it is all subject to change.

    The thunder is still grumbling and rumbling. The rain has stopped and I’m not near a window to see the lightning. That’s fine with me. It gives me some mood music to write this blog during the wee morning hours.

    I was thinking of writing about Halloween, but I may table that for closer to the actual day. I don’t want to freak myself out so I’ll write something positive and uplifting.

    Wow! I just wrote the above sentence and now all I can think about is Halloween.

    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving is my very favorite Halloween-type story. I remember when I first read the opening paragraphs, I absolutely couldn’t make sense out of it. But now, I find it quite quaint and an apt description:

    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    Found Among The Papers of the Late Diedrich Knickerbocker

    A pleasing land of drowsy head it was,

    Of dreams that wave before the half-shut eye;

    And of gay castles in the clouds that pass,

    For ever flushing round a summer sky.

    Castle of Indolence.

     “IN the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail, and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market-town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town. This name was given, we are told, in former days, by the good housewives of the adjacent country, from the inveterate propensity of their husbands to linger about the village tavern on market days. Be that as it may, I do not vouch for the fact, but merely advert to it, for the sake of being precise and authentic. Not far from this village, perhaps about two miles, there is a little valley, or rather lap of land, among high hills, which is one of the quietest places in the whole world. A small brook glides through it, with just murmur enough to lull one to repose; and the occasional whistle of a quail, or tapping of a woodpecker, is almost the only sound that ever breaks in upon the uniform tranquillity.
    “I recollect that, when a stripling, my first exploit in squirrel-shooting was in a grove of tall walnut-trees that shades one side of the valley. I had wandered into it at noon time, when all nature is peculiarly quiet, and was startled by the roar of my own gun, as it broke the Sabbath stillness around, and was prolonged and reverberated by the angry echoes. If ever I should wish for a retreat, whither I might steal from the world and its distractions, and dream quietly away the remnant of a troubled life, I know of none more promising than this little valley.
    “From the listless repose of the place, and the peculiar character of its inhabitants, who are descendants from the original Dutch settlers, this sequestered glen has long been known by the name of SLEEPY HOLLOW, and its rustic lads are called the Sleepy Hollow Boys throughout all the neighboring country. A drowsy, dreamy influence seems to hang over the land, and to pervade the very atmosphere. Some say that the place was bewitched by a high German doctor, during the early days of the settlement; others, that an old Indian chief, the prophet or wizard of his tribe, held his pow-wows there before the country was discovered by Master Hendrick Hudson. Certain it is, the place still continues under the sway of some witching power, that holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them to walk in a continual reverie. They are given to all kinds of marvellous beliefs; are subject to trances and visions; and frequently see strange sights, and hear music and voices in the air. The whole neighborhood abounds with local tales, haunted spots, and twilight superstitions; stars shoot and meteors glare oftener across the valley than in any other part of the country, and the nightmare, with her whole nine fold, seems to make it the favorite scene of her gambols.
    “The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of the air, is thecavaleiro-sem-cabeca-imagem (1) apparition of a figure on horseback without a head. It is said by some to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper, whose head had been carried away by a cannon-ball, in some nameless battle during the revolutionary war; and who is ever and anon seen by the country folk hurrying along in the gloom of night, as if on the wings of the wind. His haunts are not confined to the valley, but extend at times to the adjacent roads, and especially to the vicinity of a church at no great distance. Indeed, certain of the most authentic historians of those parts, who have been careful in collecting and collating the floating facts concerning this spectre, allege that the body of the trooper, having been buried in the church-yard, the ghost rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head; and that the rushing speed with which he sometimes passes along the Hollow, like a midnight blast, is owing to his being belated, and in a hurry to get back to the church-yard before daybreak.
    “Such is the general purport of this legendary superstition, which has furnished materials for many a wild story in that region of shadows; and the spectre is known, at all the country firesides, by the name of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.”

    The story does continue in this descriptive manner of the region and the superstitions of the townsfolk . . . and given the region’s haunting history . . . the perfect setting for a legend centered around the likes of the new schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane.

    Yes, this legend has been a “must read” every Halloween evening, after the trick-or-treating crowd have all gone home. It is interesting to leave the porch light on and see at what point in the story, a strangling trick-or-treater rings the doorbell and has me jumping out of my skin.

    If you haven’t read the legend, I highly recommend you do. Or get the audio version of the story. It is worthwhile to hear it in the original grammar of the time it was written. I don’t know if a modern version would do it justice.

    It does make me wonder if this was an original urban legend or if it came about completely from the imagination of Washington Irving.

    This is a haunting tale that has been used in several movies and remakes. Everyone seems to be aware of the Headless Horseman, but I don’t know if they associate it with Sleepy Hollow. Or are aware of Washington Irving’s legend.

    I don’t remember reading it as a school assignment. It was a book we had at home. I had asked about it when I was in elementary school. I struggled with the wording and couldn’t wrap my mind around it. My father took pity on me, read it aloud and stopped regularly to explain it.

    It became my all-time favorite. Every year I’d take the book off the shelf and read it. Each reading became clearer and I’ve been hooked ever since.

    I’m sure I wrote a book report on it, more than once through my elementary years. The report wasn’t a carbon copy of the previous one, because each year as I became more familiar with the book and the characters I was able to write a more elaborate report. Also, it was good I did change schools several times . . . so no one seemed to be the wiser that I had this one book in my book report stash.

    Aw, come on! I’m sure you did the same thing!!

    I read several books during the summer. It was surprising that no matter what school I attended in California, every teacher seemed to hand out the same summer reading list. I wouldn’t have been surprised if it didn’t come from the librarian or a magazine listing books that were appropriate at different age levels.

    It seemed one of the first things we did wherever we moved was to get a library card from the local library. I remember one place had a book mobile that would regularly park a couple of blocks away. The whole neighborhood, parents with their kids, would stroll on over to the book mobile. I remember waiting outside for a family to check out their books and leave the bus before we could go inside and browse the shelves.

    It was a sad day when several libraries were shutting down due to budget cuts.

    The children here are very fortunate to have a privately funded library with a regular children’s story time. It’s good for the children to get in the habit of reading early and for parents to read stories to their children regularly. It’s always nice to have a book to read.

    I didn’t think it would happen to me, but I love my Kindle. I know many people like the feel and the smell of a real hardback or even paperback book. What I love about my Kindle is that I don’t have to worry about book shelf space. I’ve been able to get many of them free and also as low as $.99 or even for a couple of dollars. It is a great savings. And the absolute best part is that I don’t have to wait for delivery. It is automatically put in my Kindle. Is that amazing or what!! The same is true of movies, but that works with other companies, too. We are definitely spoiled by getting what we want immediately on out gadgets without leaving the comfort of our homes.

    If you’re not familiar with Kindle, here are some links:

    I’m sure you’ve had a story that completely captured your imagination. Please tell me about it in the comments below.

    Thanks for stopping by,

    Sharon