Saturday, October 16, 2021

I Had A Llama Party All By Myself - And Free Halloween Food Tags

When I was at Walmart a few days back, I skulked over by the Clearance shelves, and there I found a big package of microwave popcorn, at just $1.50! Six packages of Llama Party popcorn! I didn't know what Llama Party popcorn was, but I grabbed it up and into the basket it went.

Last night, I couldn't sleep, so I got up and started designing digital tags. "I'm having a sleepover with myself." Once my husband is asleep, he is ASLEEP. I can play YouTube craft videos and such without waking him! I can pop popcorn and go in and out the doors with the dogs! They love it when Mommy can't sleep!

I got out some of the new beads for my rosary-making...

beautiful czech beads for rosaries merryneedle etsy

For a snack, I popped up a bag of the Llama Party popcorn. 


llama party blue popcorn in small bowl

It is BLUE! But the BLUE got to me! I can remember my mother (a chemist) telling me, "Never eat blue food." was so I ate up the blue popcorn! My mother said there are no natural blue foods ("But...but...but..." NO. I know what you're thinking. "Blueberries and blue potatoes are PURPLE," she would say firmly.).



I don't know why blue is associated with llamas, though. I don't believe they come in blue. I have seen quite a few mules of a peculiar hue named "Blue," though, and one of the attorneys I worked with was named Blue. And he was certainly a mulish sort of attorney! Oh, he was stubborn. But generous. When he'd win a huge settlement, we'd all get a THOUSAND BUCKS. Ah, those were the days.

I made up some Halloween tags that might be fun if anyone is having a little get-together, or maybe has a grandchild who needs to bring something for a school party. REMEMBER TO CLICK THE LINKS, NOT SAVE THE LITTLE PICTURE! The files are stored on my Google Drive account. If that ain't safe, ain't nuthin' safe.

One set is what I call "Sweet Kid Safe Tags." There are no disgusting or frightening dishes on the tags. The other set I call "Creepy," because it has quite disgusting food names that maybe teens or young adults might like. I can remember being in college and thinking gross things were funny and as they say now, "edgy." I don't know if you can read the tags when you enlarge them in the little graphic below or not.

free halloween weird food names printable

I put up a set last year at this time, too. These tags are new wording, same backgrounds.

SWEET Halloween Food Tags <---that's the link

CREEPY Halloween Food Tags <---that's the other link

Tomorrow I am going to go get a COVID test, as for two days I thought I had a cold, and I couldn't smell anything. Now I feel very rotten and am uneasy and still can't smell anything. I got the vaccine and I wear K95 masks when out, per our governor's orders. 

It's probably just a cold. But I haven't had a cold since the COVID thing began! Or the flu!

I know people are divided about the flu shots. I had one, though. Do you take the flu shot? I want the pneumonia shot, too, because I usually get pneumonia every year.  

Kind regards,

Olde Dame Holly (Yes, I'm old!)



Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Huge Bur Oak Acorns and Will There Be Food Shortages?

I was very surprised to find some Bur (also called Burr) Oaks already dropping ripe acorns here. This is a month earlier than they would drop them when I was in West Texas. My eyes were as big as these acorns, to see them by the dozens on the ground! And more coming!
green huge bur burr oak acorns 2021

I bet squirrels could live the entire winter with just a few of these hidden!
bur burr oak acorns in a hand 2021

I did have a long post with some sad Depression stories about acorns, but I think I won't bring extra gloom into the post today! 
bur burr north american largest acorns oak

No, today I'll just enjoy these acorns. Champie sneakily took one for his very own, and is still guarding it a day later.

Ain't he an ugly little thang? But well-loved!

I had to go shopping today and get some supplies. My husband is very concerned that there will be shortages of food, and wanted me to stock up on some of his important items (like Little Debbie powdered donuts, ha ha). So I went to Walmart, and didn't see any shortages, except of some frozen dinners and also of bottled water (the small bottles, not the jugs). But I was so surprised to see ALL the Christmas stuff already up in the garden center area. It looks terrific! I have been hearing that all of the things are stuck offshore in the big container ships! But our Walmarts are full, at the mo'.
The Hallowe'en stuff is in the middle of the store, and it also looks great. I saw a lot of the "Farmhouse Style" autumn decor items and a lot of pretty wreaths and signs. They even have pretty lap throws, and the things for the kids are so cute.
cute halloween accessories 2021

Nothing is "sold out" yet. Is that good or bad, I wonder? Are people not buying, or is there enough to restock each day? 
I really enjoyed wandering around the aisles. On one of the Christmas aisles, there are interesting tableau encased in glass, and filled with water. If you press a button, swirls of glitter come up and the scene lights up! These are not shaped like snowglobes. I thought that if only they plugged in, they'd be a great addition to most homes. But they have batteries, and I don't buy things that only run on batteries, especially weird button batteries that are so expensive.
The Olde Dame is on the prowl for cute items!

I drove over to Albertson's Grocery to try to find the frozen dinners hubby likes, and they have begun putting out Christmas foods and decor, too! The Albertson's here are much smaller than the ones in Midland and the ones in Tucson. But I did notice that along with the rotisserie chickens, they now have roasted turkey breasts, too, ready to eat! 

They do have a really big deli and their food is very good. Expensive in a way, but good. Have you noticed? You used to be able to save a lot of money by "copycatting" deli and restaurant foods at home. Now, ingredients are so expensive that you don't save any money! I find that very strange! 

How can the Village Inn sell a big pecan pie for $14? The ingredients cost me $14, and that's not including the energy to bake it! I just don't understand this modern world.

Are the stores where you are already decorating for Christmas? And have you noticed how expensive just plain food is anymore? 


Kind regards,

Holly, The Olde Dame (and gettin' older)

Monday, October 11, 2021

Autumn Decor by People and Nature

I had to go downtown on Sunday to drop off some seeds I sold on Etsy. The main post office has three big mail-drop boxes. The mail is very slow, so I didn't want to wait until tomorrow to do it. I was thinking if dropped off Sunday, on Monday it would be one of the first pieces handled. Seed sales are suddenly up again.
My husband acts grumpy, but he really likes being my "hand model" to hold seeds and other things I sell. "Do you need me to hold anything?" he will ask hopefully when I come home with seeds! "Of course, honey!"

The above is NOT a commercial! It's just an example of the little photos he likes to be in.
But I dropped the little package of seeds between the car and the mailbox! And I had just been thinking, "Gosh, I hope I don't drop the package! That'd be pretty bad!" Oh no! I opened the car door, hit it against the box, and could not reach down far enough to grab the package from the ground. And I hit my head on my own car door. Ow. I had to back up, open the door again, and get out to be able to reach down. I was so glad no one was waiting behind me during this elegant show of my graceful ways.

pretty desert store

Driving back, I saw the little store I love so much, and they have decorated the outside for autumn. Gone is the summer theme that had the pompoms and oranges and lemons, shown in a summer blog post. Now, all is silver, gold, white, and turquoise, but autumn items! I thought it very elegant. I like the regular colors for at home, but the store's color scheme was pretty.


The windows really caught my eye. I thought some lace panels had been added, but it was just paint! I am going to try to paint a lace "valance" on my bedroom window now. It's just bare, except for some blinds. 
painted lace on window pane

After driving down Main Street, I went to light some holy candles, and I had an extra $2 to light one exclusively for a job, which I need very badly indeed, and shockingly, the Perpetual Adoration Chapel was LOCKED. I have never encountered a locked door at a main cathedral before. I'm floored by this. All the smaller parishes lock up tight, yes. But our main parish? I hope I can find out what is going on, without sounding like I'm being disapproving. I know we had a lot of trouble with disturbed persons going in, so this may be what caused the change. But it was awful, that locked door.

On the way home, I decided to stop and take a look at the university's agricultural students' garden. It is in sad shape! I think the weeds took over there just as they did in my little community plot! Most of the garden has been plowed, and what's left is just a mess. And so many pumpkins, tomatoes, and corn just left unharvested and falling off the plants! Some of the vines were already plowed over but are still trying to ripen off their fruits.


I was so sorely tempted to take some tiny pumpkins just lying in the dirt, but of course I didn't. I put one of the tinies on top of another pumpkin and took a photo. Maybe a student will see the little pumpkin and take it to their dorm room!

There are at least 100 birdhouse gourds, still green, in part of the garden. I hope they will ripen and the students will gather them. I wonder why the university doesn't have a farm stand, so the students can earn money for their college studies. They used to do that where I went to college, but that's a long time ago now and maybe it is passe. I feel sorry for the students today. They aren't getting much of an education, and at such a price, too.

I had a heck of a time walking along the garden rows. My arthritis is so much worse lately. I can remember running up and down farm rows like a little goat! I watched "It's A Wonderful Life" (in color) again a few days ago, and boy is the quip true that the old guy on the porch says to a young Jimmy Stewart: "Youth is wasted on the young!" I've decided to get a cane, the kind with "feet," like the "HurryCane" they used to sell on television. I'd rather hobble with a cane than miss out on my little adventures!

Ah, my "exciting" life! But I'm grateful for my little pokey life. It doesn't feel pokey to me, actually. Every day I see, think, hear, or read something amazing!

Here's hoping each of you will have a good week ahead, light on the worries of the world, and heavy on amazing!

Kind regards,

Holly, The Olde Dame

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Dollar Tree Witch Redo and Crockpot Success!

I try to stay out of Dollar Tree unless absolutely necessary, because of my very bad habit of picking up things I don't need. But for some items, like cellulose sponges, I do have to run into the Dollar Tree. And Dollar Tree is the only place around here that has 2 and 2.5 gallon slider "Ziplocks," which I use to organize my cross stitch projects and to store dog kibble in the freezer. The special veterinary dog kibble is really spendy and I like it to be fresh for them.

Dollar Tree hanging witch

Of course, this last time I went I had to go and latch onto a hanging witch decoration. I like cute decorations, and this witch is almost too scary. The "BEFORE" is in the photo above.

halloween lights in a courtyard

Anyhoo, I got ready to paint up the little plain witchywoo after running errands today. My legs get very tired during the day, despite all the surgeries. And then I could NOT find my little paint pots! Oh gosh, WHERE are they? I did have some other paints, but not the little set that has all the usual colors. Boo! So I did what I could. I was just too tired to run back out to Wally World for the little paints and dangnabit I know I have them somewhere.

dollar tree witch hack

I am pretty happy with the witch! The strange flakes on the face are actually really big glitter. It looks good in person. The camera does not capture it very well. The bit of gray hair is from a fake bun I bought myself to try to make it look like I have some hair left on my poor head.

redo upcycle dollar tree witch

I put her up high on my courtyard iron fence, so that the very little kids won't see her very well. I don't even know what I'm talking about: With this COVID business, our governor may very well shut down Trick or Treat again this year and no kids whatsoever will be in danger of getting scared by my decorations. But I want to be ready. I might change the eye color to blue. The red might be too scary.

funny green witch with gray hair on fence

I finally got around to making a big crockpot full of "apple pie filling." I followed my own recipe, out of my head, and it really came out good! The "secret" ingredients were to put whole cloves in an emptied-out teabag and let it stew in there, and also to put two tablespoons of maple syrup in. Also, put brown sugar. If you don't like cloves, you would not like the stewed apples, though. They are heavy on the cloves and on ginger. I take the peels off my apples before I stew them up.

Lore: Keep breath fresh by putting a whole clove between teeth and cheek, like a chaw. DON'T SWALLOW IT. Yes, I most always have a clove chaw. What can I say, ladies? I run around barefoot in a muumuu with a chaw. I WAS born in Arkansas.

Additional clove lore: If you feel a cold coming on, get a teacup and fill with orange juice. Squeeze in 1/2 lemon and 1/2 lime. Put in a dollop of honey. Now float at least five whole cloves in it and a small piece of candied ginger. Heat it up, sip it all down. Then eat the piece of ginger, and put a clove for a chaw for a few minutes. Put Vicks under your nose. Then prop yourself up to sleep for at least the first three hours. This is my Granny's never-fail remedy and it works for us!

It's getting to be "cold season." Do you have any family remedies that work for you? I'd love to hear them!

Kind regards,

Holly, The Olde Dame

Monday, October 4, 2021

A Little Free Paper Craft and Some Pecan Lore

Since I'm in-between employment, I've been making a lot of digital tags for my Etsy shop. I decided to print out my new favorites and make some cute "Mason Jar" decorations. I drink out of canning jars of all shapes and sizes and use them for storing foods and small items. And they make such cute rustic vases!

MerryNeedle on Etsy - Mason Jar Digital Tags
It was wonderful to sit on the bed with the dogs and cut out my "scraps" while a sweet OLD Hallmark movie played! Oh yes, the movies are silly and syrupy, but I find them to be a nice background to crafting! Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, it doesn't matter. I like to link the entire end of the year together and enjoy all of it, zusammen! But the NEW Hallmarks are not to my taste at all! They seem kind of trashy!

I have a link to a special set of these silly little tags just for my bloggie readers! It's at the bottom of the post. The ones for bloggie frens are not in the Etsy shoppe, but are just for you to enjoy, if fussy-cutting and glueing is fun for you!  

I went "running" with my buddy, my dear hubby. I gathered some rare jujubes, which are tasty but are mostly a big seed. They are falling off like a rain of dried plums! I don't know if they are visible, but like most things in the desert, the branches have HUGE thorns.

Then it was time to go check if the pecan groves have begun to change leaf colors. It's still too early.
The pecans are still ripening, still in their husks. I gathered several fallen pecans still in the husk (they are no good for eating if they fall when unripe), because they are a surefire cure for ringworm! 
Sometimes I take in litters of kittens that need bottle-feeding, and many times, these poor things have ringworm. There are pharmaceuticals to combat ringworm, but I feel the green husk juice is more effective. It does stain the skin and fur, but the quickness of the cure is worth it. It eventually fades, usually before the kittens are ready for their "furever homes." I have the green pecans I picked up stored in the freezer for future use.
I have heard that green pecan leaves are also effective, but I haven't tried that. 

Did you know that it's LUCKY if a pecan "beans" you right on the noggin? It is!

There was a roadside shrine among the trees. These are common here, and are called descansos. They are protected by law when placed along a public highway or roadway, and many are very elaborate. They are placed at the sites of fatal accidents. I try to drive very carefully, and the descansos remind me of how important it is to continue to do so.

I'm just about to start a fun crafting project where I take a Dollar Tree hanging "witch" and hopefully elevate its appearance somewhat! I hope to pop in later this week with a "before" and "after" post. I like the Norwegian "kitchen witches" and hope this will bring those funny witches to mind. I do not like "scary" things, but I do love kitschy funny ones!

I hope you are all doing well this first full week of October, bloggie friends! Anything special planned this week?

Kind regards,

Holly, the Olde Dame
USE THE LINKS or they won't print correctly!

Link to the "Autumn" Jars:


Link to the "Winter" Jars: