Marshmallow Peeps, ghosts and friendship: a #ThrowbackThursday post

I’m happy I stumbled upon the Throwback Thursday Link Party.

There’s a lot of #tbt flopping out there on social media, but a lot of it is selfish. Look at me! Me me me!! It’s all about me!! People post their photo or whatever and then go away until next week.

If you don’t connect with the person directly, a lot of that stuff is “so what?” Blog hops are places that encourage people to visit and perhaps connect with other bloggers–you know, people…the interacting part of “social” media. Bloggers travel through their treasure trove of historic posts and share something written 30+ days ago. In doing this, I’m rediscovering myself in the process.

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Trying to keep with the Easter holiday theme, I discovered that I’ve written NO posts specifically about Marshmallow Peeps. If you know my history with them, my gosh, you will find this unbelievable.

My Throwback Thursday contribution is my Halloween story about marshmallow ghosts and friendship.

This holiday tale was originally told during A Fanciful Twist’s 2011 Halloween Party. Vanessa’s site was my first experience with a blog hop, and my Halloween Party post is awaited by all my friends. How cool is that?! One of my scrapbooking friends bought me a tripod for my digital camera/smartphone so that I could take steady pictures in low-light settings.

Stop on over and take your own trip through history on this site.

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One word describes my #ROW80 midweek checkin

“Happiness depends on ourselves.”~Aristotle, Greek philosopher

I’ll admit, I’ve been feeling guilty about not #ROW-ing down the river. Figuratively, of course; I neither own a boat nor would I take it out in this cold weather if I did.

So let’s do something about that, I scolded myself. Gently scolding, as I am fragile some days.

1–EMAIL CLIENT:
I found my old gmail email address. That’s not a bad step. I even wrote that down so I remember it. Now I hope I remember not to throw away that piece of paper.

2–DAD’S MEMOIR:
I want to finish the tutorial, but haven’t yet. That’s exhausting, but I want to know the skeleton bones of it all before using it on a real WIP. If that’s accomplished by end of November, I’m cool with that.

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That’s right; it’s all about ME!

3–CATCH UP OLD BLOG POSTS
Not yet, but I have been doing something exciting: writing current blog posts. That is energizing, to write without expectation or as part of a To-Do list. I will have to address that To-Do stuff, but for now, I’m keeping up. Wow! That is freeing! Maybe the motivation to do what I insist on myself I gotta do.

4–SCHEDULE SOCIAL MEDIA TIME
Nah. My work schedule has shifted, so I’m now rearranging my time. That schedule change, however, has provided me with another afternoon I “Reserve for writing time!” I added emoji here to make it more approachable and friendly.
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5–NEW BLOGSITES AND FOLLOWERS AND WHATNOT
I have no idea how I want to proceed with this.

6–UPDATE MY AUTHOR SITES
Today I played on my blog. I deleted some stuff on my Zentangle page; that needs a serious editing. I began revising my About Me page, but since it’s not complete, my page look half-naked. Any ideas for what you like? Do? Would want to see?

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First step to success: make your work atmosphere fun

7–WRITE BOOKS
I’ve been thinking…maybe use NaNoWriMo time for this…?? That’s not the “official” approach of event, but 50K words is 50K words.

8–SEEK OUT NEW IN-PRINT WRITING VENUES
Nope. Not a thought in the wind.

9–PRINT OUT THIS LIST
YES!! Finally! And I’m marking up that list like a book’s rough draft. Today’s color: pink ink.

So it goes: success, no success. All progress.

It’s all fun and games with a twist this Halloween

Welcome to the annual Halloween Blog Party hop sponsored by A Fanciful Twist. Come stay, play and eat for awhile, and then hop over to the other parties you’ll find.

For now, walk up to the door.  Don’t be scared by the warning.  The zombies just cross the sidewalk; they don’t come inside the house.

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Greeted on the other side by our host, Sehlat.

“Welcome to my 6th Halloween party here.  Tonight is just about fun and games.  Come in, come in….”

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“Are you hungry?” he asks.  “There’s a buffet table in the other room.  Help yourself to some finger food.”

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“The coffin dip is on the kitchen counter.  Don’t worry about the crypt keeper.  He just hangs around.”

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In the living room, there’s a furious game of Scrabble in progress.  Snufflet and Finse keep score, but they’re in third place.  Lasso is last for the moment.  Socks is winning by 9 points, and she is quite happy about that. 

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Blue places her tiles for a score of 6, and the fourth round begins.

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Snufflet and Finse study their tiles intently….

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On the other side of the room, a game of Jenga has just started.  Boo Peeps celebrates his skill removing the his block.  It’s Snuff’s turn, so he looks up and studies the tower.  Otter, Brownie and Frost offer suggestions as they pace around the structure.

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There’s a warm, smoky smell coming from the kitchen. Appetizers are out of the oven.

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“My famous homemade Mummitizers,” Sehlat says, straightening his shoulders as he sets the tray down. “There are two types: savory and sweet. The sausage wraps are ones are a tad smoky. The banana ones have a touch of hazelnut spread to them. Be sure to take a napkin because the mummies are known to leak the sauce out onto your fingers.”

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It’s tough to say “Thank You” with a full mouth, but a nod is enough for Sehlat. With a smile and nod back, he takes off the oven mitts, grabs a nutty mummy and wanders into another room to mingle.

In the parlor, Whiffer and Ploppers hover over a handheld game. They’re playing Nintendogs on the special pink paw Nintendogs Nintendo DS console, a unit that was a limited edition.

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On the screen, Rosie the dachshund has been fed, washed, and now decides between a nap or playing ball.

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Wades, Tuesday, Prickles and Ice start a game of Clue.

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“Clue is a murder mystery game,” says Wades.  “Does anyone object to a more appropriate setting? 

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“Not at all,” says Prickles.  “What did you have in mind?”

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“This,” says Wades, and with a click flick of her wrist, the black light turns on.

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“What do you think?” she asks.

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“Oh, this is much better,” says Prickles.

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“Spooky-eerie,” says Tuesday, smiling beneath his mask.

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“Indeed,” says Ice.  “Let’s roll.”

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“Desserts are ready,” says a booming voice in the kitchen. Frankenpudding with tart orange cider.

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Hyde has already wandered over to the freshly-dipped caramel treats. He’s a favorite of the nut covered ones, but the smooth caramel looks enticing tonight.

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“It’s a football Saturday,” Catnap tells new lion. “Before Penn State takes the field, let’s get in some practice now.”

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If you’re looking for more games, there’s a pile in the corner, and there’s lots of Guys around to join in the fun.

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Sehlat calls the partygoers over for a round or three of group MadLibs.

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Friendship. Games. Chocolate. Makes for a good party. Hope you’ll be staying for awhile….

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WolfHowlings in review: 2014

Every year, WordPress prepares an annual report for the blogs hosted on its site. Right about now, everyone is posting the stats on their sites, so far be it from me to not be hip and trendy.

I posted 539 photos, or 1.5 pictures/day. My most popular post was “Drink some coffee, tangle some Zen, nap” published on May 5th. WolfHowlings was visited by folks from 67 countries, and a special shout-out to my Top Five commenters: Annemarie; 1 Art Lady Kate Tangles; Jean Chaney; LonettA; and Donald W.

To put it another way:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people, and WolfHowlings was viewed about 7,700 times in 2014. It would take 6 NYC subway trips to carry that many people.

Thank you, everyone!

Why is it always cold and rainy on Halloween?

“Life is one big road with lots of signs.”~Bob Marley, Jamaican musician

I’m in Michigan and it’s the end of October. It’s no surprise that the weather is cold and rainy this time of year, but it’s Halloween and the temps are extra-cold and extra-drippy. What’s the point of having an awesome costume when it’s just going to be hidden under a winter coat? Will we have enough trick-or-treaters to even go through one giant bag of candy? We have two.

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It may be cold outside, but it’s snuggly-er in Starbucks as we finalize my Indiegogo campaign

I grew up in Pittsburgh, so I’m no stranger to cold and blustery Octobers. I don’t recall it ever being this consistently cold or nasty-wet outside as a kid. I walked around in whatever costume I made and got candy. Period. Maybe I just grew older–not grew up; that’s no fun–and became more sensitive to the weather and chilly toes? Maybe my hometown was just far enough south from Michigan that temperatures were mild enough so that costumes did not need to be covered up?

Anyone who talks about “global warming” has not lived in Michigan in the fall. Don’t get me started on the winters here.

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Is Catnap thoughtful or sad…?

Do you know what the ideal Halloween costume is? It is some sort of school mascot or movie monster, some character where you get to be inside a large, fuzzy outfit. That way you’re warm enough to not need a coat, and your costume is not covered up by a coat. Perfect!

We may not have Trick-or-Treaters, but the Halloween Blog Party is still goin’ strong. My Guys know how to party. Stop by to party along with everyone.

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It’s festive inside our house

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Memories from last year: back when Foursquare was fun

A peek inside the life of a writer

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.”~Charles Spurgeon, British clergyman

Take a peek inside a morning in the life of a freelance writer (me!):

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Start the day off with a spooky cup of coffee

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October in Northville, MI means the Skeletons Come to Town

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Blog writing with Office Guys, chicken-cheese crepe and hot tea.

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The chilly view from my warm, snuggly table inside Next Chapter Bookstore

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When you can see the tea leaves, you know it’s good stuff

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Spinning spider webs above Northville Town Square

Betwixt and Betweed for a Halloween-inspired Zentangle

“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”~Harriet Beecher Stowe, American writer

Focus. Staying focused. Focus can be good, so that distractions don’t sway you from your goal. Focus can be bad when everything else is ignored. Focus can be the name of a car. I consider the word “focus” as examining one thing closely, in detail but being open.

This week’s Diva Zentangle Challenge #191 is to complete a monotangle using the tangle Betweed. A monotangle explores all the different facets of one tangle. I don’t use this enough in my Zentangle art, despite it being one of my go-to tangles. Too much out there to focus on and allow myself to play with tangles I like. Maybe because the tangle is so easy to complete, I feel like it is cheating to have fun with something so simple. This week’s challenge is the perfect excuse.

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Diva #191: spiderweb

I was excited to do complete this, but them my Monday turned into a Monday. My day became increasingly frustrating and I ended up being cranky. BY the time I got home, I needed the outlet to focus and relax, but I was also cranky and distracted. I used a black tile as something different to play with. I like the intricate web the Betweed creates, and I stopped myself from shading. I shaded a previous piece of black Zentangle art and was disappointed by the end result; it was crisper without the shading. Having used Betweed in several different way on this tile, I left it alone and like the fact that you can’t tell where one begins and another ends.

It’s all spider-webby, great inspiration for upcoming Halloween. My annual Halloween Blog Party occurred two days ago, but I assure you, there is plenty of food and drink for partygoers. For now; the Guys like chocolate, especially Catnap. Stop by to enjoy some treats and a feast for your eyes.

A fanciful twist on a Halloween party

The party’s tonight,
what’s there to do?
Halloween planning
and costumes and food.
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Time to go shopping
for last minute treats,
spooky decorations
and lots of good eats!
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Decorations and
favors chosen with care
will make this party
one festive affair.
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What’s a party without
some entertainment?
Movies and music
add to this event.
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Shuffling through choc’late,
pouncing on candy,
so many good things; the
shopping cart’s handy.

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The chains have been hung
by the gravestone with care
in hopes that party guests
soon will be scared.
(boo!)

Bats fly through the leaves.
Ghosts float by the trees.
Punkins stand guard to
greet guest attendees.
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Just past the gravestone,
the house on the hill.
Black cat welcomes you
“Follow me, if you will.”
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Catch them while you can
quick, shifty spiders.
Don’t pass up a sip
vampire blood cider
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Booberry muffins,
bloody good cupcakes,
goofy punkin smiles,
and the vault of grapes.

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Bite size appetizers
scrumptious finger food,
sweets, treats and meats,
finger-lickin’ good.
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There’s food all spread out
to tantalize all
and once guests arrive,
we’ll all have a ball.

And here they come now….

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Pandas with cocoa.
Pooh, honey and tea.
As for the goldfish,
they’re just so tasty.
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What happens, Catnap,
no more candy corn?
He’s prowling around,
and looking sixlorn.
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Owls huddle and chat,
times screeching good.
Puff and his minions
march off to find food.
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Be it dark or light,
spooky or bright, beware
those who might pounce on
candy, unaware.
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Farewell for now, dear
partygoers. Come
back through the year for
more visual fun!
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Sweven at Eleven

I just could not–would not–fall victim to the cliche title “Eleven is Heaven.” Sweven works well; go look up the definition.

It’s my annual Happy Anniversary to Us post. This time…well, you can guess the number of years we’re celebrating from the title. This delight-full day began with breakfast brought in while I slept. When I shuffled downstairs, my husband asks, “Do you want to watch something on TV?”

“Sure,” I say. He motions toward the TV.

I look and see the Major Crimes second season DVD set. Yes! But I’m gonna play it cool and pretend I don’t see it. The DVD set is sitting next to the movie I watched last night, Hunger Games. The movie is out because I hosted my annual Halloween Crop at Casa de la Hirsch, and one friends came dressed as a woman from the Capitol. The crop ended late, so I hadn’t put the movie away yet.

I walk over and reach for the movie. “Oh, this? But we just watched Catching Fire last ni–“. The title did not sound right coming out of my mouth, and it took my brain two seconds to catch up.

That man had gone out this morning before breakfast to buy me that movie. I usually don’t fall for tricks like that, but he got me. Slick.

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After two episodes of Major Crimes, we went out to see the movie I wanted to see today: The Book of Life. The idea of Day of the Dead combined with marriage and anniversary appealed to my quirky side.

it’s an excellent movie. Unexpectedly appropriate for today. Go see it. You’ll understand.

One Frappuccino and two games of Yahtzee later, we walk through Plymouth before taking-out Compari’s pizza.

So here I am, feeling nibbly after dinner, and I grab a fortune cookie leftover from last night’s crop dinner. The first fortune is perfect! It is so us, so him. I show it to my husband, and he flashes that private-joke smile at me. Not expecting anything better than that, I grab a second cookie.

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Yes, that is my fortune. It is not invisible ink.

Our promise to each other lives on in that scrap of paper.

That second fortune reminds us to write our own story.

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