I’m always amazed when the weather commentator gets it right.
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 the 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,
I’ve had several recurring dreams throughout my life. They all center around one place associated with one deceased family member.
I’m not at all comfortable with the idea of my grandmother controlling me from the grave, but I had a friend visiting one day who happened to sit in my grandmother’s chair and was stuck with a hat pin.
You may not believe in spirits or ghosts in particular, but this did happen. There is no other logical explanation to it. There was nothing sharp in the chair that we could find. My friend is psychic and she said, “Your grandmother stuck me with a hat pin!”
I call it a controlling dream because it centers around her dining room and the table. I do have her table, but I’m not living in her house. I’ve no intention of finding her house — it was sold 40 years ago or so and relocated out in the country. And, of course, I don’t want to move into it.
There is obviously something going on that my grandmother doesn’t approve of wholeheartedly. If it involves someone other than me, my grandmother is going to have to go to them in a dream. I don’t interfere in the lives of others. I, fortunately, didn’t inherit my grandmother’s controlling nature. And she should realize that about me by now. Plus, no matter how many dreams she gives me, I’m not going to do anything that is contrary to who I am.
I try to learn something new each and every day.
It may have to do with affiliate marketing and it may have to do with writing. I’m leaning more in the area of writing since I finally realized something about affiliate marketing. That revelation is much more disturbing than the recurring dream . . . and who can say the two aren’t related.
I think I just had a light bulb moment.
My recurring dream is quite simple. I’m in my grandmother’s dining room doing homework. I am sitting at the head of the table, in Grandma’s chair. The scene looks normal and natural, even though I’ve never sat in Grandma’s chair while she was alive and never did homework at her table. That’s what I find so odd about the dream.
In my home, I eat dinner at Grandma’s table, sitting in her chair, but I do gravitate naturally to a chair on one side when I’m paying bills. That’s where I’m sitting now with my laptop writing this blog. And, maybe I have a sixth sense that Grandma is sitting in her chair right now.
Did you get goose bumps?
My grandmother was a go-getter. She spent her money wisely and she made wise investments to make her money work for her.
My father learned this lesson from his mother and he instilled the same principle in my brother and me. So, I believe my grandmother is urging me to make some changes with my blogs in light of the new information I uncovered.
I love blogging and I know there is always room for improvement in my writing skills and in my blogs. I’ve had several opportunities to receive instruction, but it never became more crystal clear than this moment.
I discovered that although affiliate marketing has its advantages, the reality is that I won’t be making as much money as I would if I sold my own products. When you look at blogs that are doing extremely well, you’ll notice that most of them aren’t promoting products from affiliates. They have books they’ve published or give coaching sessions, do pod casts or public speaking engagements. They know where the money is . . . and it isn’t as an affiliate marketer.
There were two online writing programs I’d been invited to join. One I joined a year or so ago, but I didn’t like the format and I wasn’t in the right fame of mind to understand the significance. Now, I’m thinking of going with the other program. It seems to address where I am and where I choose to go. It is straight forward without a lot of extra-curricular hoopla. Obviously, I’m not into the extra activities.
The significance of the dream has finally come to light.
The message is from my grandmother, not controlling me, but strongly urging me to follow my heart and realize what I’d discovered to be true and there is another way for me to continue blogging in a more productive manner. That’s the reason of doing homework, not where I would do it, but from the viewpoint of my grandmother. Thus, the significance of doing it in her chair in her dining room at her table.
Interpreting dreams seem so logical when everything is put in perspective. I do, however, wish they were more to the point . . . but maybe I would miss it, regardless of how direct it would be. I do know I’m not the sharpest tack in the box.
I do believe that dreams have a purpose. Sometimes they sort things out for you. Sometimes they have a direct message or even a warning. Sometimes they’re nudging you in a particular direction.
I knew I needed to make changes right here and now with TwoCansOnAString.com I am taking a course looking into Guest Blogging, but now I believe I need to delve even deeper.
Five or so years ago I did take a writing course with an instructor who critiqued every lesson. This was necessary for me to take to get me taking writing seriously. I was hoping it would give me confidence in my writing and to find my voice. I believe it did, but I need to take it to the next level.
I’m finding the expression that it’s the journey that’s more important than the outcome or destination to be coming to mind more and more lately. My journey thus far with blogging, being an affiliate marketer and taking writing courses have all been necessary to get me to where I am today.
And the journey has only just begun for me . . .
I hope this was as informative as it turned out to be for me. I do thank you for stopping by and reading this. I would appreciate hearing your opinion in the comments section.
Until next time,
Boo-ing the neighbors is a good thing to do. I see it as a “pay it forward” type of activity.
Image and Free Printables Courtesy of http://www.sistasfun.blogspot.com
I did this last year and had a great time. At our annual Block Party around Christmas, Boo-ing the neighbors was the buzz. And it can happen around Christmas, too — stay tuned.
My neighborhood is changing with more families moving in. It’s nice to have more children in the neighborhood. I believe it keeps the neighborhood young. And any activities you can do to get the neighbors involved with other neighbors, all the better. It doesn’t matter if you know them or not . . . maybe it would be more fun if you don’t.
Now this next part may be a bit creepy, but bare with me. You need to go out in the neighborhood on a leisurely stroll. You’re going to do a mini stake-out. Just checking out the neighbors that you don’t live around. The idea of boo-ing the neighbors is to go in the dark of night, leave a packet of goodies at the door, ring the doorbell and run like the wind to a safe place where you won’t be detected. I like going out in the early morning, leave the goodies and get home before the neighbor opens their door and finds the goodies.
This spy thing you’re going to do is to find the best time to do your initial delivery — you don’t want your neighbors to find out who left the packet of boo-ing instructions and the goodies. And, you need to see how many people use their front door. Many go through the garage or have a back or side door they use. Also, watch out for those motion detector lights. If your target has those, you need to know when you should deliver your packet while your neighbor is out shopping or picking up the kids or dropping them off at school.
I pick four houses. Two of retired people and two where there are children. I want the retired folks to get involved by receiving something for this Halloween/Harvest season. They may get a kick out of leaving a packet at a neighbor’s door or they will just enjoy the goodies they received. Now families with children are more likely to get involved in the activity.
I drop my four bundles at the four doors and I wait a couple of days to see if the sign “We’ve Been Boo-ed goes up on their door or in a window. If not, I have to select a couple of more houses.
For me, it doesn’t matter if the neighbors get involved or not. I’m having fun giving.
Yet, I do like it when I see those signs popping up that read, “We’ve Been Boo-ed!”
You do have a decision to make. You can either put your “We’ve Been Boo-ed!” sign up or wait to see if you’ve been boo-ed. It doesn’t matter either way. You just don’t necessarily want the neighbors to know who started the whole thing. Not that it really matters, but I think having the neighbors guessing is a good thing. It’s all in fun with good candy for the neighbors to enjoy.
I believe it starts the ball rolling for Halloween . . . even if it isn’t a holiday or activity in which you choose to participate. My neighborhood is very good about honoring the porch light rule — if the porch light is off, don’t knock at the door.
I’m curious to see if any neighbors from last year will get the ball rolling this year. Wouldn’t it be delightful to see two or three neighbors getting involved at the beginning? My goal is to have every house in the neighborhood Boo-ed before Halloween.
You can look online and see all kinds of different designs to use for your boo-ing pleasure.
I do like this design on the right. It has both the poem and the sign on one sheet of paper. If you go to the website you’ll find there are three versions for you to print out . . . also you may want to do some boo-ing at work.
Some people don’t like the idea of making 2 goodie packs to distribute when they only received one.
The idea for me is to spread the good cheer for this harvest time of year. No one will know if you participated or not in all honesty. So, if you choose not to participate, that’s perfectly all right. If you choose to give only one, that’s perfectly all right, too.
It’s something you want to do . . . not have to do.
The same is true about participating in the Trick-or-Treats on All Hollow’s Eve.
I enjoy participating within the neighborhood. Most holidays are personal involving just the family. Yet for Christmas we do outdoor decorating for the neighbors to see and to enjoy.
As I said, this is a fun activity I enjoy doing . . . even if I’m the only one doing it. And maybe it’s a good idea not to overdo it. I was looking online and I saw different similar activities for Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day and Valentine’s Day.
The act of giving or paying it forward comes in all forms and the idea is to give without expecting anything in return. I know I’ve paid for the bill of the car behind me in a drive-thru fast food place on a whim. I know people have done the same in restaurants and at theaters. It is just something nice to do and give some stranger a pleasant surprise.
I don’t think this will change the world, but it couldn’t hurt.
Thanks for stopping by!
Please leave me a commented if you’re so moved to do so.
Written by Marilyn Ferguson
Autumn breeze is blowing
Chill is in the air
Leaves are gently swirling
Scattered here and there.
People clad in jackets
Cider nice and hot
Wiener roast and campfire
Sure does hit the spot.
Football games on Fridays
Fans can now be found
Huddled round in blankets
Rivals come to town.
Wintertime is coming
Leaves are being shed
Lovely shades of yellow
Touch of crimson red.
Frost is on the pumpkin
Hunter with his gun
Days are growing shorter
Golden fields are spun.
God is quite the artist
Paints a canopy
Add a splash of color
For everyone to see.
Yes, Marilyn Ferguson’s lovely poem brings images to mind of all the wonders of the autumn season.
There is so very much to like. From pumpkin spice lattes to apple cider and plain delicious hot coffee or tea. I look forward to hay rides and going to the pumpkin patch, selecting pumpkins to carve. I mustn’t forget about the tailgate parties and the bonfires. Then there are the haunted houses that delight you with a bit of fright, but not enough to have you running away screaming in the still of the night.
I do have a few neighbors who have waited quite some time to begin decorating for All Hollows Eve. I like taking my time to get into the fall season and bask in the colors. I do enjoy crunching in the leaves while I’m in the process of raking them up. It could be strenuous exercise, but I take my time. It’s all right to spend all morning working in the yard. I like greeting all the joggers, power-walkers and dog walkers. Some are very serious about their morning workout and others are relaxed and don’t mind stopping for a bit of a chat.
It seems as though the high school and college football games bring the most excitement. You can choose to attend and participate in the festivities or sit it out and remember how it was for you. I still get caught up in the celebrations. It’s possible to feel the electricity in the air of all that youthful energy, excitement and enthusiasm.
Fall from beginning to end is all about sharing and caring with family and friends. Something, no matter how old we get, thrills us.
There are many who have lost family and friends, finding themselves alone. It doesn’t have to be a sad time.
Maybe you won’t be attending the parties and gatherings, but you have your own memories. The great thing about memories is that we can choose to remember only the good. And a little dose of how it wasn’t all that wonderful wouldn’t hurt. You see, you are in a position to create your own traditions and your own celebrations. It doesn’t even matter if you end up doing things alone. There’s no harm in that. You see, it is all about you and how you can decide how you want to feel about the season.
I’m not one to mope around about it. I have plenty of things to keep me busy that I truly enjoy doing. It could be doing crafts or indoor and outdoor activities. As I said, raking leaves can be either enjoyable or a chore. I choose to look on the bright side.
I have found over the years that I don’t need to be out and about with all the hoopla of the fall activities. I don’t know about outgrowing them as much as choosing other priorities. It is moving on with your life. Do you remember the Bible verse that says, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” 1 Corinthians 13:11 of the King James Version.
I’m not saying this is childish, I’m saying some things aren’t meant to go on and on and on. But I do know people who are into their alumni football games. They do attend the game against their arch rival every year. They do get together with old friends. That’s great and wonderful, but there are many who don’t. Neither is right nor wrong, it just is. And it is about the choices you make.
There are so many other things you can do to take the place of those activities. And as we’ve matured, we’ve naturally made choices. We move on, life moves on. We hold fast to those things that are important to us.
This discussion of fall is far from over.
Please leave me a comment to let me know your thoughts about fall and whatever motivated you to leave a comment.
Until next time,
October 9, 2015, I wrote my 300th blog post. I didn’t make a big deal about my 200th or even 100th here at TwoCansOnAString.com
Maybe it was no big deal to me because this was the second time around for me with this website.
So why is this 300th post so important? Well, it’s fall for one thing — a time when change is in the air and I’m itching to do something new.
I do have two new websites:
And I have three additional niche websites:
TwoCansOnAString has always been special for me . . . even when I moved the website and lost all the content and had to start over. The original website developed into OldHauntedStuff, TheGreatTrainShop and BoardGameDiva as niche blogs.
IndefiniteVacation was the result of Wealthy Affiliate’s Affiliate Boot Camp and GreenSmoothieRecipesWeightLoss appeared out of a challenge one of my affiliate marketing friends made to a group of us. It was a friendly challenge, nothing serious, just to see how successful we could be within a couple of months.
The original idea was a micro-niche, but I wasn’t thinking of centering my new blog around a single product. I’m not one to put all my eggs in one basket . . . thus TwoCansOnAString is still very much a kitchen junk drawer niche. I do like the concept, but I started thinking . . . yes, a dangerous sign.
I enjoy celebrating “the holidays” here within this blog. The recipes are fun, but I’m not too sure about continuing them. There’s the paper crafts that I absolutely love. Of course, they’ll stay. Then, there’s the name, two cans on a string which could mean a niche of cell phones and cell phone accessories . . . but then this blog will be like all my other blogs to a degree. I’ve thought about “wearable gadgets” and delved a bit into the electronics realm . . . but it just didn’t seem appropriate given the different faces of this website over the years.
The only thing we can all count on is change. Nothing seems to remain the same.
Then, I put this picture on my Wealthy Affiliate blog to see what reaction I’d receive. You may remember it from this post.
To be honest with you, I wasn’t sure of the reaction I’d receive. It seems as though my original reaction and thoughts about it have changed since I first saw it.
It seemed appropriate for Halloween . . . but it could also be appropriate all year round . . . because we never know what might be “creeping up behind us.” It could be a new idea or a direction in life. A change . . .
It can be inspirational . . . and we do need lots of inspiration in our lives. One thought or quote can mean so very many different things to so many different people based on various factors.
One day you read the sign in the picture, smile and subtly glance over your shoulder. Another day you could feel all creepy as though you’re being watched. You could take the message as some opportunity coming your way or something not so pleasant. It is all a matter of perspective.
I don’t find it especially threatening, but I do find it as a message that I want to take TwoCansOnAString.com into a different direction.
One where, hopefully, I’d receive more interaction with my visitors. I don’t want to get all cranky on you, but I’ve given you a lot and I’ve received no comments from you. And maybe that is a sign that I haven’t given you what you want and/or you haven’t been moved to leave a comment.
I know I need to make it easier for you to share posts with social buttons. I’ll get rid of the captcha in the comments section — I’m not very fond of that. I’ll also invite you to subscribe to my blog. This may give you a better sense of belonging and feel welcome to leave a comment or share a post.
I know there is so much more for me to do than just talk about it. I do need to implement the changes I suggested and make TwoCansOnAString more engaging.
What message did I communicate when I played with two cans on a string so very many years ago on a summer’s day with my friend who sat on the other side of the hedge?
Was it, “Can you hear me?”
Or was it something much more profound . . . for a six year old?
I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t a nursery rhyme or something we sang while jumping rope or playing hop-scotch. This was my world with roller skates, tea parties, dolls, comic books, fairy tales, playing board games and jacks on the front porch.
Maybe it was about Mrs. Livsey’s kittens. She invited me to see them in her garage. The little fur-balls were so tiny.. I fell in love with a grey one with white little mittens on his front paws. He was a sassy spit-fire my brother named “Spit!” Yes, with an exclamation point.
Our mother refused to call him by that name. So we worked on finding a suitable name for him. I wanted something to rhyme with mittens and my brother was thinking of the kitten’s grumpy expression, so we combined the two and came up with Griffin. Yeah, I know it doesn’t work out phonetically, but what did we know, we were just kids.
I loved Aesop’s Fables as a child. I especially liked . . . “the moral of the story is” . . . or words to that effect.
As a child it was nice knowing the significance of the story. It was also interesting to discover how many of these stories or the lessons found their way into literature and movies and everyday life. It may have been my lesson in thinking and discovering for myself the meaning behind words.
The great thing is that there is a definite lesson to be learned in many quotes of famous people that stem from their particular background or what was going on at the time. It’s easy to draw wrong conclusions . . . we hear them everyday in the news and by some commentator . . . it is their interpretation. I guess the common jargon is “spin.”
I’m not into the controversy of every situation, as adults we can sift through that. But, I do like the idea of writing about thoughts . . . something that would build conversation. There could be a lesson or moral . . . it could be based on historical significance . . . or even family traditions. I’m a bit fascinated by that and how many of us relate because we were raised similarly and we’ve read the same books or watched the same movies.
I love learning something new. This may be what I’ve been missing here. So, this is where I plan to take TwoCansOnAString.com and we’ll discover together where we’re going. I remember hearing it isn’t about the destination as much as it is the journey. We’ll see if this is true . . . or not.
Thanks for stopping by and reading through this blog post. If you’re so moved to leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.