October 31, 2012

Hallowe’en 2012 Cancelled!




               NO…oooooo…oooooooooooooo! It was cancelled last year too. Who or what is taking Hallowe’en away from us?

HALLOWE’EN’S POSTPONED, not cancelled.

              Well, that’s more like it. Extend the ghoulish times four days. HURRAH!  

Across the Northeastern United States bad weather (understated—ghoulish, freakish weather) caused Hallowe’en celebrators dismay. Parts of the Buffalo, New York, region did retain celebrating Hallowe’en on October 31, but most of the Northeastern section of the United States postponed the planned community activities until Saturday, November 3 (according to my sister, Lee). Where I live this was good, since the rains came down steadily, creating an atmosphere of poor celebration.

My son-in-law Michael, who lives just around the corner from me, considers Hallowe’en one of the best holidays. Every year he increases the graveyard scene on the front lawn home where he lives with my daughter (yes, married). His birthday falls near Hallowe’en so I have no problem finding him a birthday gift. This year it was a spooky ghost that freaked out young and old alike as they passed ghosty blowing in the breeze.

Unfortunately, the winds blowing from Hurricane Sandy (no pun intended because my daughter is named Sandy) knocked off the ghost’s head. Michael said he knows how to fix it. I hope he does, because I liked the eerie image, especially at night when the wind was blowing and my headlights lightened it up.

If Hallowe’en were cancelled Michael would freak out. We might then have to take him to a mental institution.

Other persons might feel put out at having to cancel Hallowe’en cancelled for the second consecutive year. Among them would be those whose birthdays fall on that day. How else can they celebrate? What would they do if they couldn’t celebrate due to inclement weather?

  • John Keats, born 1785, might write an Ode to the (more…)

October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Enters the Ligonier Valley, PA., Oct. 29, 2012



 Monday, October 29, 2012:

10:00 in the evening:

Temperature 39 degrees Fahrenheit

Snow falling


The weather dominated the citizens from along the Atlantic coastline westward to Ohio—and, as I heard a television commenter state, Frankenstorm will reach its tentacles as far west as Chicago.

This morning, believing the weather reports that espoused wicked, ghoulish, once-in-a-lifetime storm weather, I decided to go to town to run an errand and have breakfast. After all, Frankenstorm might not allow me to travel far from home for a few days. Yes, we’ve hankered in. Yes, I appreciate being in-housebound because I’ve neglected my interior cleaning to favor outside work and I need time to do some major writing. I can do both by lantern light if need be. Unless a tree falls on our house (no snickering—there are many older trees in well-wet soil that will be watered far more thoroughly than necessary, making them vulnerable to falling) my husband Monte and I feel pretty safe in our snug little cottage home tucked in the foothills of Laurel Mountain.

Even so, Frankenstorm can be rough—three weather systems colliding during full moon. At least Washington Furnace Run has a pretty huge gorge to fill before we think of it overflowing the banks and seeking our home.

Frankenstorm’s arrival actually began Saturday evening. About 9:30 p. m. I went to my daughter’s house (yes, the daughter who’s made me angry twice, in August and this week—with a name like Sandy she can be blamed for Hurricane Sandy…) to photograph her husband’s Hallowe’en display using night settings, something new to me.

As I walked to her house (she lives around the corner from me) I could see a slight mist in the air—enough to (more…)

October 29, 2012

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY — carolyncholland @ 3:00 am
Tags: ,

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

The Daily Post at challenge for the week of  October 26, 2012, was FOREIGN. No problem with all the French-language documents I have on file for writing my historic romance novel, Intertwined Love.

Is there anyone out there who can read old French (1790s)? Seriously, I’ve had assistance from several French literate persons.


October 28, 2012

Why Name Storm ‘Hurricane Sandy’?



I’m angry at my daughter yet again.

She acknowledges she’s being blamed for the latest hurricane. If it weren’t for this hurricane barrelllng up the Atlantic coastline from Florida to Maine we wouldn’t be anticipating a Perfect Storm dubbed Frankenstorm.

It’s all her fault. Why else would they have named this hurricane Hurricane Sandy?

My daughter has the unfortunate luck (at least in this instance it isn’t convenient) to be named Sandy. Yet she is a gentle person, not at all destructive, as this storm is predicted to be. Thus I have to disagree with a comment following a post on the storm4:

  • SANDYSVENGANCEOCT2012:   …The Storm From The West! The end result will be called Witch’s Brew Sandy!

and agree with the following comment:

  • ZEEKSTEENYNE: What kind of a name for a megastorm is “Sandy”? It should be something like Sauron or Sonneillon (the demon of hatred) or Stolas (a high prince of Hell, commanding 26 legions)

I must admit that I have never heard of Sauron (the primary antagonist and titular character of J. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings6), Sonneillon or Stolas, but they sound like more appropriate names for a hurricane of Hurricane Sandy’s ilk. She may During the next 3-4 days…undergo a transformation, or merger, with an approaching upper-atmosphere trough or potential vorticity filament to result in a more intense, massive cyclone with deeper low-pressure prior to landfall1 that will hit a broad region with 50 mph winds and rain and storm surges as it barrels up the East Coast toward New York, in what some are calling the “storm of the century2, which led Cathypem to respond:

  • I love how they explain where the name Frankenstorm comes from but assume we all know what a      “gyre” is. I’m thinking it’s the gyre we really need to be afraid of, since it seems to precipitate the entire event!

Well, no I don’t know what a gyre is. So I looked it up:

  1. A circular or spiral form; a vortex
  2. A circular or spiral motion, especially a circular ocean current.9

In oceanography, a gyre is a (more…)

October 27, 2012

Are You Prepared for Frankenstorm’s Onslaught?



Would, should, are words that dominate our activities at the end of a week of a perfect Indian summer weekend that is expected to be capped by a triple-whammy Hallowe’en storm dubbed Frankenstorm2.

We would, should, must, be prepared for ghoulishly horrible winter-white weather this week as Hurricane Sandy barrels down upon us. As the forecasts continue they become gloomier, and more convincing. And we must, like boy scouts, be prepared.

Yesterday was sunny, hot (temperatures flirted in the 80s all week), breezy, enabling me to complete weeding the second of my three small raised gardens under a rainstorm of yellow and bronze leaves. This morning I moved some of my plants indoors. I moved others to the back porch, and left some on the front patio—I still have to cover them to protect them from the predicted low temperatures and snowfall.

We already have a supply of food which includes items that don’t have to be cooked. We have oil to fill the lanterns in the event of a power outage. A small log pile will allow us limited heat to supplement our supply of blankets and layerable clothes.

We have flashlights and batteries. My laptop and notebook are charged, allowing me to easily work away numerous hours. I have files I can review, by lantern light if necessary, in case a power outage lasts longer than my batteries. Fortunately, neither my husband Monte nor I have any pressing engagements to attend to in the next few days.

We live eight miles inland from the Atlantic coastline, just over an hour from Ohio and the Monongahela River. However, as with previous historical Nor’easters and hurricanes, significant inland effects will penetrate into the Ohio Valley. Indeed, along the southwest flank of Sandy, extremely heavy snow will fall in West Virginia amounting to blizzard or “snowcane” conditions1.

Hurricane Sandy is expected to collide with both an early western winter storm moving east and a blast of arctic air from the North at a time when the (more…)

October 25, 2012

Scarecrow Hat Competition in Ligonier, PA.




Ligonier, Pennsylvania, is holding its 21st Annual Scarecrow Contest this week. The scarecrows are mounted on light poles in the center of town, around the Diamond where the gazebo is an iconic structure.

There is a competition for the scarecrows.

First place is Teddy the Toad and Miss Lilly, created by the Road Toad, a restaurant. Second place is Ma’am O’Graham, created by Westmoreland Walks, Inc. (sponsored by The Finishing Touch), and third place is Tailgaiting, created by Laurel Mountain Horse & Pony Club (sponsored by Betsy’s of Ligonier).

Community members can vote for their favorite scarecrow, naming a “Community Favorite.” This winner will be announced after October 26.


However, while viewing the scarecrows this year I came up with my own competition idea.

I’m known for two things: covering my head with a hat (This Hat and Hats Make a Statement) and using my trigger finger to shoot photos ). Thus, I decided to photograph the scarecrow hats.


And to create my own scarecrow competition: I invite you to vote for which scarecrow creation has the most

  • Ghoulish hat
  • Creative hat
  • Most attractive hat
  • Ugly hat
  • Scary hat

Below are pictures of the hats. Which hat do you choose in each category? Note your selection in the comment box below.





October 23, 2012

Knocherls? What are they?




The red-lettered script written on the yellow lined school pad was difficult to read. No wonder—it was written in 1974. The recipe took me back to 1996 when I drove from Connellsville, Pennsylvania to Presque Isle, Maine—just south of Caribou, which you might recognize due to its frequent mention on the weather channel during winter as being the coldest spot in the nation. My mother, older sister Lee, and I considered Portsmouth, New Hampshire, our hometown. We relocated from there to Buffalo, New York, when my mother married my stepfather. My mother and stepfather relocated to Maine when he was transferred there for his work. Portsmouth had been my first stop on the New England coast, and from there I drove to Presque Isle, where I stayed for several days. While there my younger sister, Cynthia, who had also relocated from Buffalo to Maine, visited. My mother asked us what we wanted for dinner. “Chicken and (more…)

October 21, 2012

Bells Ring Out from Southminster Church Tower



from the


(Mt. Lebanon, PA)


Bell encased in Wesley United Methodist Church (Connellsville, PA) bell tower

In great, metallic waves of sound, the bells of Southminster Presbyterian Church in Mt. Lebanon rang out Saturday for their 10th anniversary celebration.1

I missed the October 6, 2012, event. In fact, I was totally unaware of it until I read it in the newspaper the day after it occurred. However, I would have enjoyed attending.

Church bells were introduced into my life twice.


During the three years my husband Monte and I lived in Stone Mountain, Georgia, I joined my good friend Shirl in the St. Timothy United Methodist Church bell choir.

Shirl and her husband Wayne moved to Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, the same year Monte and I did. We met and became such fast friends that we considered our relationship as family. However, they moved to Stone Mountain in the late 1970s.

In 1982 Monte decided to attend Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. We located in Stone Mountain because of Shirl and Wayne, and we began attending St. Timothy United Methodist Church with them.

I’m not musical at all. However, playing the bells is a matter of being able to read the music (that I can do to a sufficient degree to participate), counting—that is, knowing on what count to ring the bell, along with a few other finesse details that don’t involve the ear. As one of the Southminster bell ringers said, It’s fun, it’s really an intellectual game,

Of course, ringing the bells at St. Timothy’s differed from the ringing of the eight bells at Southminster, which were not lying on a table but were located in the bell tower. They were all cast between 1814 and 2000 in London by the same foundry that made the Liberty Bell and Big Ben…1 The bells weren’t rung in the traditional church-bell ringing style. The particular style used at Southminster originated in England and used several people in the bell tower who swung the bells through a full 360-degree circle, creating a continuous wall of sound… Standing in a circle in the bell tower, the ringers pulled eight ropes that lead to the loft above, where the bells rest, open-side-up, attached to huge wheels. When the ropes are pulled, the wheels turn, and the bells swing and ring.

By speeding up or slowing down how fast they pulled, the ringers changed where their bell sounded in the sequence. The resulting wave of sound seemed like it’s undulating, rising and falling without a discernible tune.1

The anniversary celebration peaked Sunday afternoon, when the group attempted a “peal:” a three-hour-long cycle through all possible arrangements of the eight bells.


Which brings me to my next bell experience, which didn’t include any bell-ringing. Frank, Dan and I ascended the church tower at Wesley United Methodist Church in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, to visit its bell and to view and shoot (with photographs, not guns) the city.

Figuring that it would be dirty ascending and it would be windy and cold high up in the bell tower, so I layered my clothes. I was correct about the dirt. It came with the territory, so to speak.

We came to the bell (pictured above). It was (more…)

October 18, 2012

For Whom Does the Bell Toll?



A Photographic Story of Victory

in the




Carolyn Cornell Holland

Curtis Franks

and witness Daniel Omatick

Curt and Dan assisted Carolyn in climbing 85 feet up the ladder to the bell tower of Wesley United Methodist Church in Connellsville, Pennsylvania.

The bell is neat, they agreed, examining it.

But Frank was distracted…his real intent is to dispose of the Carolyn, the pastor’s wife. Where is she?

He spots her in the corner. Where, oh where, can I find a weapon? He looks down…What a find! What a perfect weapon this is to do Carolyn in. (more…)

October 16, 2012

Screaming Babies End Up Dead. Why?




Two infants die from head trauma. Why?

A mother killed her four-month old son. A year later, pregnant with her fourth child, she killed her six-month old son.1

The reason? She said she did it on both occasions because she was frustrated with the kids crying and she couldn’t deal with the constant crying.1

Although there’s no excusing the mother’s actions I can empathize.


I was eleven years old, my sister was twelve, when my mother’s boy friend Tom moved into our apartment. Soon Olive gave birth to the eldest child of her second family. Her parents, my grandparents, were none too pleased—in fact, her father was livid. A month after my sister’s birth Olive’s mother died.

Her parents had been Olive’s only support network twenty-two years.

By September Olive was pregnant again.  Tom left Olive and traveled ten hours west to his family home.

Olive placed her infant with someone she knew, and her pre-teens with someone else. Then she boarded a bus and (more…)

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