Taking a Break

To all my faithful readers, life around here has been a little more than hectic right now.  I need to take a short break.

The father of my children died Friday, and they really, really need me.  Today was a full day driving up to Alton to see my son.  I am tired, just bone tired.

So I will get back with you the 1st of October.  Send me your Halloween photos.  I need them for the blog.  I love you guys!

apronsandappetites@yahoo.com.sg —  or drop them by the house if you live close — or bring them to church.  🙂

Boaz Byassee

My Bo has been gone now for a week yesterday.  I don’t have a clue what happened to him.  Even though he was getting old, he could still catch birds and squirrels.  Not an easy task.  So I think he has been hit by a vehicle or killed by a dog or gotten stuck somewhere that he couldn’t get out.

It seems so weird coming home and him not waiting in the driveway for me.  And getting up in the morning and not seeing him waiting by the back door to be fed.

No, I don’t want another one.  Not yet anyway.

There Was an Old Woman Who Lived In a Shoe

Actually, I must be living with my head in a hole in the ground like a big ostrich!  Why? you ask.  I went grocery shopping today and about had a heart attack!  How do families eat?!?!  One orange was 78 cents!!  A bag of apples was about $7!!  A gallon of Prairie Farms milk was $5!

Good grief!!  If minimum wage is $8.25 an hour (not sure if it’s more) then a person has to work an hour to buy a bag of apples and one orange.  I’m just amazed at the price of food.  It’s rather unbelievable.

If I had a family today, I would make a pen in my backyard and raise chickens for eggs and Sunday dinner; a pig for my bacon; and raise a garden.  I don’t think I have room for a cow, but one of my friend’s could raise the cow, and we could barter.  Then I see these people, who have no money, smoking, and I wonder what they have to give up to keep that vice… or what their children have to give up for them to keep it.  But I do not understand addictions and do not want to cast any assumptions toward anyone who has an addiction.  The Good Lord knows we all have our big and little demons that we fight.  I have plenty of questions about why I do this or why I do that to keep me guessing at answers.  No need to look around for more.

Except I have to ask:  what is the deal with food being so outrageously expensive?  Since I’m a cereal freak and a peanut butter freak, with no one to really feed but me, I don’t shop that often.

Jeez Lou-eeze!  I may have to rethink my Momma Magazine Menu Meals for everyone’s birthday.  Closed due to Momma refusing to pay outlandish prices for food!

And to think, I had dates already in place for all you all.  Darn it.

Halloween Past

Beauty and the Beast

These photos came out of my scrapbook.  As you can tell by the chopped off hair, it was one of my first books.  Such a nice point on Beauty’s head!  James and I had gone to my cousin’s house to one of the parties they gave just about every year.  He would wear this costume just about every year too.  It’s still around here somewhere.  The dress?  That was a prom dress of Keely’s that was way too tight then.  I couldn’t get an upper arm in that little baby now!

Brenda the Flapper

This flapper dress was one of my absolute favorites!  Cost quite a bit of money too for so many years ago.  I never did get it back from my neighbor who borrowed it.  She said she gave it back, but she didn’t.  I’m sure it was an honest mistake.  Those things just have a way of never returning, those loaned out items, money, flapper dresses.  I’m still sad about it, though.

All my kids were hobos.  Shoot!  I’ve probably been a hobo.  I love that hobo costume, too.  Just so easy, and they look so doggone cute.  Kids don’t dress up like this anymore.  They all want to be superheros or some other costume from the store, but I’m sure if I had had that option when I was a young trick-or-treater, I would have been Kitty from Gunsmoke or Captain Kangaroo or…

My family has been a little bit of everything from animals to outlaws.   I usually dress up every year for my little trick-or-treaters.  One year I was the tooth fairy complete with glitter and a tooth purse and tooth wand and wings.  As the little girl walked down the driveway with her mom, she had her head turned back looking at me in awe and finally said, “Mommy, that’s where the tooth fairy lives!”  Just priceless!

And that is one of the reasons I love Halloween!

The Hobos

Gypsy Keely 1981

We were all gypsies, too.  At least we girls were.  I doubt the boys ever were made into gypsies.  The fingernails were made out of paper that I either painted red or was already red.  I remember wearing that skirt!  Poor baby.  She looks a little ratty now that I relook at her from a few years away.

The kids were all good sports when it came to wearing some of the garbs that Momma thought up.  And a couple of them even won prizes in the contests held at school.  I have a few more Halloween pictures to dig out for next month, and in that group is the one of Keely as a geisha girl.  Someone had given her an authentic Oriental pink top and pants, so that was all the inspiration I needed.  She won with that little outfit.  That’s a definite October post.

Jarred the Belly Man

Below is Jarred in a costume that won him first place in one of the school contests at their Halloween party for the community.  Jarred’s hat is made out of poster board, and he has his hands up in it.  I painted his belly to look like a face and made hands out of paper.   As I recall, he was fairly worn out from holding his arms up for so long.  But he did like the costume.

Email me some of your wild, crazy, wacky, gorgeous, outrageous, odd, funny costumes.  I’ll post them in October, and we’ll vote on them.  The winner gets a prize!

It’s not that hard; however you may have to scan them if you don’t already have them on your computer.  Just attach to an email.  If you don’t know how, send me an email, and I’ll help walk you through it.  The email address is below.    apronsandappetites@yahoo.com.sg

Somehow I have a foreign “sg” on there for now.  Trying to get it fixed.  duh!  I’m sure I did that when I set up the email.

My Witch Heart Loves Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner.  I’m sure it is because everything has been out since, oh, July or so.  And Christmas is right behind it because there are Christmas shelves and shelves and shelves in the stores containing all sorts of decorations and toys.  If I blink my eyes, I’m sure to miss it.  It’s that close!!  Isn’t it?

I was at Cracker Barrel tonight and just couldn’t decide.  Do I buy Halloween stuff or Thanksgiving stuff or Christmas stuff.  I looked all over for Easter stuff but didn’t see any.  I am amazed at how much stuff Cracker Barrel can pack into that little store.  But it’s such cool stuff!

There was an enchanted broom (click on link to see pic) that follows people around.  I absolutely had to have it!!  I can hardly wait to scare the snot out of the little kids that come for Trick or Treat.  I love Halloween!

Sometimes I feel as though I shouldn’t, with all the emphasis put on the devil nowadays, but I do.  It’s probably my favorite holiday.  And the reason it’s my favorite holiday is because it’s just fun.  Everyone’s in a good mood, laughing and visiting as they walk the neighborhood, although the Trunk and Treat move is sort of destroying the whole Trick or Treat spirit.  Oh, I’m sure they have the same camaraderie as do the rest of us who sit in our yards or houses and wait for the princesses and ghouls and other various superheros and monsters to come by.  It was just so much fun as a kid to wander all over town and knock on those doors and say “Trick or Treat!”

Even though the other major holidays hold a deep meaning in my heart, they are usually fraught with the burden of buying gifts, the sadness of loved ones not around, the lonesomeness of those with no one close, or the hustle and bustle to “get ‘er done so we can move to the next stop.”  It saddens me that Christmas and Easter have become as pagan as Halloween once was hundreds of years ago.  So I will always love Halloween.  It gives me a chance to be a kid again while I enjoy the kids and their families that walk with them.

Up next:  pics of Halloween Past from the Byassee archives.

A Reveal Party

Yeah, I know.  The title of this blog sounds like a party that could be a little wild… and it probably does get wild.  I’ve never been to one, but since I love new experiences, I would love to be invited to one.


There is nothing like a good party.  If you’re the hostess, then it gets you all pumped up to clean house and cook.  If you’re the invitee, then it gets you all pumped up to look good and get out. 

This Reveal Party is just too neat.  Angel (she blogs Chronicles of a Rocket Surgeon) (click on her link to the right) was surprised with the great news that she is pregnant!  A big surprise to her and hubby.  So instead of finding out whether it is a girl or boy when they went to get the sonogram, they had the technician seal the pics in an envelope.  Angel then took the envelope to her friend who helped with the Reveal Party by taking it to a florist.  At the party, when Angel opened up the big box

Reveal Party box

out came these:

It's a girl!!

What fun!!  I can’t wait to be invited to one of these!  Hopefully, someone I know will be able to get that sonogram without peeking and then have a Reveal Party.


September 11, 2001

Doug Kanter picture of man standing amid rubble of World Trade Center

Yahoo has an article called “The 25 Most Powerful Photos.”  Life.com has compiled photos and stories of the events of 9/11.  Please try to find time in your busy day to look at these photos and reflect back on that day in our not-too-distant history.  They are powerful, and I have cried once again remembering that day.  My heart is broken once again for those people on the airplanes and in the buildings and for New York City.  My heart is heavy for the families and friends and co-workers left behind.  My amazement and awe of the first responders who willing risked and gave their lives to bolt into the danger is staggering: what heroes, true heroes.

The morning of September 11, 2001, was a day I worked in Carmi.  As I was driving along the road, the news of what was occurring came across the radio.  My mind just couldn’t comprehend the words; it couldn’t be true.  As soon as I arrived in town, I ran into the courthouse to see if the radio was wrong; surely it was wrong!  All morning we stood and watched a small television in the courtroom.  No one could think; we were numb.

That night, sitting on the couch, I watched the news and cried and cried and cried.  I still cry when I think of that day.  I am still amazed when I recall those heroes.

The Misinformation of Email

An often-sent email goes like this:

“A wonderful poem Audrey Hepburn wrote when asked to share her ‘beauty tips.’

It was read at her funeral years later.

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.  For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.  For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.  As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.”

However, that poem was written by humorist Sam Levenson.  It was a poem often quoted by Ms. Hepburn, and she always gave Mr. Levenson the credit for penning it.

After her death, Gregory Peck read “Unending Love” by Rabindranath Tagore.

Rabindranath Tagore

Unending Love

I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times...
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, it's age old pain,
It's ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star, piercing the darkness of time.
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers,
Shared in the same shy sweetness of meeting,
the distressful tears of farewell,
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man's days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours -
And the songs of every poet past and forever.

~Rabindranath Tagore

From Selected Poems, Translated by William Radice

(Just a tidbit of information from a reader with a voracious appetite for reading.)   🙂

Taking Advantage of Great Opportunities

ton crocodile

In case you didn’t get a gander at this big boy over the weekend, I thought I would let you see it.  This is a crocodile weighing 2, 370 pounds and is 21 feet long!  The big bully was seen taking down a water buffalo and is suspected of eating a local fisherman that has been missing since July.  It was captured in a village of about 37,000 people (sounds like a city to me) in the Phillipines.  The people are planning to make it the star of an ecotourism park (“tourism to exotic or threatened ecosystems to observe wildlife or to help preserve nature” as defined by the Princeton University).

Even though they captured Lolong, as it has been named, there is still another even bigger one still out in the marsh around the village, and the people have been told not to go into the marshes at night.  Uh, hello?  I don’t think you need to tell me that.  As a matter of fact, I think I would just as soon die of dehydration as venture into the jaws of something like this.

largest reptile: saltwater crocodile

Back in 2005 another big croc was captured in Uganda.  It had dined on about 83 of the local people over two decades: fisherman and villagers getting water.  The dining place of this particular croc was dubbed “Butcher.”  Crocodiles don’t chew their food, so the victim is chomped and swallowed, chomped and swallowed…

And here is where the great opportunities comes into play.  Those crocs may look like lazy buggers with nothing more to do than lollygag in the water, but, in fact, are great opportunists.

potential food

Waiting in the marsh to eat a fishermanfood delicacy sounds like it might be worth the wait.  Let the food come to you.

For the lucky people that do capture those huge, ton man-eaters, there are all kinds of opportunities awaiting them.  The ecosystem park for starters.  Can you imagine how many people could be fed with a haul that big at some fancy-shmancy restaurant that serves up delicacies such as Curried Crocodile?  Or how about this recipe?

Crocodile Recipe

Crocodile with mango & basil sauce

300g crocodile meat, cut into thin slices
30g peanut oil
20g basil leaves
20g parsley
5g garlic, chopped
20ml white wine vinegar
200ml olive oil
1 mango, stone removed and peeled
salt & pepper to taste

Heat peanut oil in a frying pan, saute seasoned crocodile pieces for about three minutes then set aside and keep warm. Blend basil, garlic, parsley, vinegar and olive oil in a food processor until smooth, set aside. Slice mango thinly and arrange on plate. Place crocodile slices in the centre, drizzle basil sauce around the plate and garnish with fresh herbs.

Personally, I think they should make Lolong into some nice boots or purses or belts or whatever else crocodile skin is used to make.  Those things would last a long, long time and make the villagers some good money as well.

mens black crocodile boots

light brown crocodile purse

Great opportunities come in all size of packages to give us all kinds of ideas.  Mine came in a small computer monitor with a picture of a big ol’ croc.