Saturday, October 30, 2021

A Clean Ghostly Tale

I do not wish to frighten or disturb my dear bloggie frens.

I have had quite a few times of meeting or seeing what I think would commonly be termed "spirits" or "ghosts."

vintage halloween ad

For myself, I think portents, signs, and ghostly communications are through the work of God and His Heavens. We are far from "Biblical Days," but the Bible has many occurences that might be considered "supernatural." I agree with the term "supernatural," as long as the glory and authorship is known to be God's and the term is not used to denote man's handiwork (unless given power by God, such as was given Moses, or Jesus' giving of powers to his Apostles to do things in His name), and certainly never meaning the lowly Devil's handiwork.

Back in March, I promised a tale of my ghostly experience at the adobe building I had been working in before COVID hit, when I first moved back to this city. This is from that post. It is not scary:

The building where I worked before COVID hit has been everything from a jail to a tortilla factory and was built in the 1830's. Now it's a snotty "media" company. I had no idea, when I interviewed, that the structure DID NOT CONTAIN A BATHROOM OR ANY RUNNING WATER. It had one hell of an outhouse, though.

Nor did it have cooling or heating, because the systems broke and the owners would not pay to repair them. 

Adobes have thick, thick walls, but thick walls are not enough when it is 105 degrees out or 30 degrees out. It was miserable, winter and summer.

Inside, the ceiling was palm fronds held in by vigas -- big pine beams. The fronds rained down stuff all the time. Dry rot, I guess. And roaches. Cockroaches. The walls were whitewashed adobe, and the floor was bricks, no mortar, just old bricks on dirt. The floor was like a topographical map, with hills and valleys, and a couple of cliffs, and was very difficult to walk on if you're old like me. 

Windows were old glass etched with the memories of hundreds of dust storms. I couldn't find what, but something was eating the adobe inside, by the corners of the windows. They would eat it, and leave tiny round balls of adobe mud. I mean tiny, tiny spheres, like non-pariels you find on candy, but even smaller. Adobe is reinforced mud, if you've forgotten. They were probably eating the straw that is the "reinforcing" part.

It was haunted, of course. The first thing I felt when I arrived there was that a back portion of the building had an unusual presence, an unhappy presence. And I'll say no more lest someone get scared. Seriously. I will save that tale for autumn. 

I am barely making it under the wire to finish the story!

The back entrance of the old adobe building was not used, at all. Both ends of the building were identical, but one was "the back" and one was "the front." Both the outer door to each foyer, and the inner door, were heavy wrought iron, with the outer part also having a wooden door, too. Very leaky doors. All the interior doors were wrought iron, with no wood. In the "back," the wrought iron doors were locked for the two rooms flanking the foyer on either side, and those rooms were never opened and didn't even have keys on the keyring. 

This place had been a jail, remember. In those permanently locked rooms, dust and detritus were thick, thick upon the floor, and on the bancos (adobe built-in benches) that lined the walls of these former cells. It was hard to see into the rooms; you had to look in through rents in the black curtains that had been put across the doorways inside the rooms. Dismal.

The boss and her husband were scared of that area. The entire building has a dark feeling, actually. They did not go back there, or even look that way. They had no way to unlock it (great, if there's a fire!) and those cells were not included in the portion they rented. That whole area of the place was just a dead zone and they were scared to go into their own business unless it was fully daylight. Their kid was scared of that end of the building. Neither husband nor wife wanted to be the one to "open up" the business each day, and they certainly didn't want to close up alone. They were too spooked.

One of my (surprise) jobs as the new administrative assistant was to sweep the adobe and keep it as clean as possible. I would sweep the whole place every day. I would spray spring water to settle the dust, too. I used beeswax to seal the deep ledges by the windows. I secretly sprayed Bug Stop across the front threshold, and outside the locked doors of the back. The boss didn't believe in using chemicals but I didn't believe in having cockroaches run over my feet and gallop happily across my desk.

When I first got there, no one had swept that adobe in years. It was horrible. It took literal shoveling of dirt and dumping dustpan after dustpan of it into a bucket, then hauling it out, to even get it sweepable. MILLENIALS. What can I say? The young lady business owner always was blowing her nose and miserable, without the sense to think, "Maybe it's the DUST!" Instead, she thought it was PROBABLY MY SOAP OR PERFUME, although her allergic reaction predated me exactly the number of years she had rented the adobe. 

Those millenials never touched the broom, or the mop. Or a dustrag, or a sponge. Or, evidently, shampoo.

I kept feeling very, very uneasy when I would sweep up to that back entrance area. I felt such an angry presence there, and this is before they confessed their fears about the place. I felt eyes looking at me. I had to be careful, because something would give me a little shove if I had my back to the cells. At first, I thought I must be catching the toe of a flip-flop on the uneven bricks, and started to be really careful and walk like a duck, but no, it was a shove! 

This kept happening, day after day. "You have a ghost. And your ghost is mad," I told my boss, who didn't want to hear it. 

"Don't say that! Don't talk about it!" And then they couldn't STOP talking about it. Oh, to be young again! How strange it was to realize I was certainly a grandmotherly figure to them. They were clearly relieved to find someone else could "feel" the strangeness.

One day not long after, I saw someone inside one of the locked cells, a movement behind the rotted curtains. I tried to look in, and then used the broom handle to push the curtain in and look around as much as I could. It was so dark -- no lighting in those rooms and just tiny, block-sized barred windows. But I could feel a presence. A female presence. 

The next day, I saw someone again. And I heard a "Chhhuh!" and three snaps of the fingers, like someone exasperated. 

The day after, my broom wasn't in its place. Those millenials said they had not moved my broom. I believe it. They wouldn't know which end to grab. I walked around searching for it and found it leaning against the inner back foyer doors. I thought, "My memory is getting weird" and went about my sweeping.

I made a point to put the broom up in its place. I NEVER leave a broom bristles down on the floor.

Next morning, broom is again leaning on the back doors. Bristles down. The ghost had no housekeeping sense. And I heard the fingers snapping again. I looked into the cell, and I could see a young woman, wearing a long bunched-up dark skirt and a very fancy colorful Chinese-looking shawl with long fringe almost touching the filthy floor. The colors must have been practically neon, because I could see them in the gloom. Every inch of her stance said, "I am exasperated." What a haughty ghost! She looked like living glass, is the best way I can put it. She held one hand out, palm towards the broom. So disdainful! As if to say, "Get busy, Grandma." And disappeared before my eyes.

And then I knew! She wanted me to clean those rooms! 

I marched over to my boss and said, "We got to get those doors open back there. Your ghost has had it. She wants those rooms cleaned up and I don't blame her."

There was a little broken-down papier-mache-like box, and it was filled with keys. Everything in that building was GRUBBY. I tried so many keys in that box and finally found the ones that opened the iron doors. At last!

I cleaned, and I cleaned. I could feel her eyes on me. "Mother-in-Law" eyes in a young ghost: so critical. I cleaned that day, and then the next Monday I kept cleaning, including the windows of the back outer doors. For a ghost, yes, "I will do windows."

There were so many pieces of broken tumbleweeds in that back foyer. They must have equalled 30 tumbleweeds, had they been reconstituted. Tumbleweeds make me itch very badly, but I wasn't going to stop. 

After I was finished, I didn't get a thanks from human nor spirit. I never saw or felt the ghost again, and I don't know her connection to the building, but I felt she was connected to the jail somehow. Maybe she had had a loved one incarcerated in there and maybe his spirit was still there, still imprisoned, and she didn't want him in all that debris. The owner's allergies cleared up greatly and no one felt a ghostly presence anymore, although the building still feels dark to me. 

COVID killed that job, so that's the last I've been in that building. It may be that God sent me that experience because working there wasn't good for me, and I needed to look elsewhere for work. Maybe it was to humble me and tame my pride, a lesson I have to learn FREQUENTLY and am kindly taught again and again.

Sorry this story was not scary. I do have some scary ones from the more distant past, but always a lesson from Above in them.

I had better put this disclaimer in lest someone be frightened: In that cell, there were several old fly-specked "sidelights" that go on the side of a door frame, propped up against the wall. And, across the 1-lane street from the old adobe was another old adobe with lots of Mexican clothes and SHAWLS and dress forms out front...and you could see a corner of the front of the yard from the back entrance -- so, what did I see? A ghostly apparition wanting cleaning, or the reflection of some wares? Or BOTH?! It was a CLOUDY day, rare here! WoooOOOOoooo Happy Halloween!

Let me know if you've ever felt a strange portent or had a strange happening! 

Kind regards,

Holly, The Olde Dame

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Quick "BOO" Banner for You, A Treat, Not A Trick!

Hi friends. Just a quick post, to put up a little Hallowe'en Boo Banner.

free halloween printable boo banner 
So, here is a little free BOO banner you can print out. As always, use the link below, not the photo above. The bloggie file is shrunk by Google and won't print correctly. But Google lets the linked file be the right size when it is stored in Google Drive.

Google Drive LINK <Click this!

I have had a bad reaction to the COVID booster. So, I am slow to get around to the blogs, BOO! It's really hard to find information about bad reactions, really bad reactions. Our world is very weird lately. Where did I put my tinfoil hat?! But no, really, something isn't right in terms of information being pulled between the political forces. Talk about BOO! BOO POLITICS!

I can't believe how close Halloween is.

NOTE: Added this morning. I had J&J first months ago. It went kaput. So, I took Moderna. I had one of those weird reactions. Arm got big and nasty blisters all around it and very hot. Felt horrible all over and had a fever. Doc said to ice and compress my arm, take Tylenols, take Benadryl (itches horribly), rest. I am better this morning! Evidently if your immune system goes crazy, that's good? Who knows!

Kind regards,

Holly, The Olde Dame




Sunday, October 24, 2021

Falling for Pumpkins

Well, my bloggie frens, I kind of went over my budget and my minimalist idea to get just a single pumpkin this year. I actually have five of them, ranging in size from (and these are the scientific terms for punkin sizes, or as punkins are termed in pig Latin, "unkinpays"): Teenincy to small. 

The teeniest are actually not punkins, nor pumpkins. They are a gourd, but everyone thinks they are pumpkins. I'm not going to tell them they are not pumpkins! Who would have the heart? 

gourds and pumpkins with lighted candle

So I have two tiny pumpkins - ahem - one little pumpkin, and two small pie pumpkins (not shown) destined to be baked up into dog treats. 

Where did the three smallest ones come from? Were they a gift? Yes, I gave them to myself. They came from the agricultural students' test gardens. I went back over there. They came from the MUD in the test garden. I could feel them under my flip flops. I went foot-fishing for gourds.

You know you live in the desert have "dress" flip flops, and "regular" flip flops. Thank goodness I didn't have my fanciest flip flops on! Please excuse the state of my feet; I have no excuse except to say the desert is hard on the feet.

flip flops in the desert

Shown: Fancy flip flops, suitable for interviews. These are pretty rare in that both glitter AND fake fur are present.
The entire test garden is now knocked down and plowed under! All the pretty corn plants and the tomatoes that had so many ripe fruits! Oh, those silly students! I wish I had gotten a corn stalk when I had the chance. Grrr. Only the itty-bittyest of the pumpkins-slash-gourds escaped the tractor. Sounds like a horror movie for vegetables: The Day the Tractor Came.

It really was a bit horrifying, because once I got home and set the purloined pumpkin on the mantel, FIVE BIG ANTS came out of a hole in the stem. I screamed, forgetting the size differential between myself and the ants. 

I have been unable to locate the ant family.

Later, we drove by the Sprouts natural food market, because they have the strangest pumpkins in town. [Author's note: Is anyone still reading this? ha ha] They were a bit out of my budget, but the pie pumpkins were not. I have not altered the colors in the photo of one of their big cardboard boxes of pumpkins. Such strange pumpkins! 

blue yellow orange white pink pumpkins

And the flesh-colored ones didn't even look real. They looked like styrofoam or plastic! Very odd. 

strange flat cinderella type pumpkins flesh colored

When I used to drive my husband around, he would get out with me and go look at something. Then, he began getting out maybe every other stop. Then, he stopped getting out most rides. Now, he almost never gets out. The doctors are finally trying to find out why he's gotten so weak. In the meantime, I got the idea to take photos of things I see, and then he looks on the camera and sees the sights, while we are still parked. 

I showed him the pie pumpkin bin. I took the photo and then went and asked him which to pick, which I thought was really sweet and inclusive of me:

pie pumpkins in box

And he said, "I don't give a BLEEP, get whatever BLEEP pumpkins you want, you ditzy BLEEP. You're the pumpkin maniac, not me."

Aw, did you think it was going to be a heartwarming story? NO! He has to rein me in sometimes, when I try to make life into a low-budget Hallmark Romantic Mystery or what have you.

Continuing our drive, I spotted a sign that said "Pumpkins." I didn't need more pumpkins, but still, the sign did say Pumpkins and the siren song of the pumpkin is difficult to resist. Diagnosis: Punkin Fevah. I followed the road the arrow pointed down -- for miles -- then another little handmade sign -- miles -- and another -- miles -- and another -- miles -- then a really big sign, pointing down an unpaved road!
Someone has a farmstand and a lot of pumpkins, ristras, gourds, and so forth! It was very cute and had a play area for kids. It was in what I'd call a "farming family" compound near the Rio Grande. Just a modest area. I was very surprised when my husband got out of the car and then walked slowly over to me, giving me a $20 to spend. I think he regretted calling me a Ditzy Bleep. No, he didn't regret it. Yippee! I was like a kid with her allowance, and I bought another ristra, this one to go in his room. He was very pleased, and surprised I didn't go for a bleeping pumpkin. But the smell of chiles drying is just incomparable and I know he loves it! It's almost a honey scent.

farmstand with pumpkins gourds
Shown: Bleeping Pumpkins (scientific name, Unkinpays bleepibleeps)

I hope you enjoyed going along with me on my aimless drive (with gas at $4 a gallon) into the World of Pumpkins. 

I hope you have a wonderful week! Many blog friends are having medical problems, or their loved ones are. You are in my prayers.

Kind regards,

Holly, the Olde Dame 

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: