October 25, 2014

Ghoulish Halloween Photographs




Hallowe’en…an opportunity to be something different from who we are, to free us from the boundaries of who we are, an opportunity to try on a totally different, perhaps oppositional, personality. A time to do something different…

Thus, I took photographs of my son-in-laws Hallowe’en decorations. Michael loves Hallowe’en and goes all out making my daughter’s front yard ghoulish. I decided it was an opportunity to play with my photoworkshop, and so came up with the following results.

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October 9, 2014

11 Facts About Hallow’een & Jack-O-Lanterns



First, find the perfect pumpkin...

First, find the perfect pumpkin…

  1. How were Jack-O-Lanterns made in the British Isles?
  2. Immigrants from what country brought the Jack-O-Lantern tradition to America?
  3. Who was Stingy Jack?
  4. The Guinness World Record for the most simultaneously lit Jack-O-Lanterns occurred in 2011 in ____________ and included ________ carved pumpkins?
  5. What was the medieval tradition of souling?
  6. How were Jack-O-Lanterns made in the British Isles?
  7. What various names have Jack-O-Lanterns been called?
  8. When did Jack-O-Lanterns change from being just a trick to being a seasonal decorating standard?
  9. What was the medieval tradition of souling?
  10. What popular comic strip can be credited with the popular spread of trick or treating as we know it nationwide today?


What is behind the Jack O’Lantern legend featuring a man named Stingy Jack?

Second, carve that pumpkin...

Second, carve that pumpkin…

To learn the answers click on MORE


October 5, 2014

11 Facts About Pumpkins

Carolyn’s compositions


Watch for upcoming quiz on jackolanterns…

Hubby Monte

Hubby Monte

Ahh, autumn, a season of holidays which feature the pumpkin—be they the traditional orange or yellow, white, green or red^^ The traditional American pumpkin is the Connecticut field variety.*

But what is a pumpkin? It is a squash, is a member of the Cucurbita family which includes squash, cucumbers,*** honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons and zucchini. **

Autumn is the season when my husband, Monte, becomes enthused about making pumpkin pies, filling our home with the sweet odor of cooked pumpkin.

We don’t suffer the hardships the Pilgrims suffered when arriving on the shores of the New World. One 1630 Pilgrim described his hardships as follows (1630):

“For pottage and puddings and custard and pies,
 Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies:
 We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon,
 If it were not for pumpkins, we should be undoon.”****

What do you know about pumpkins? Below are 10 questions plus a bonus question. Answers are on the next page.

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  1. Name the only continent that cannot grow pumpkins.
  2. Why do some people think that the pumpkin should be our national fruit?
  3. Where did the pumpkin plant originate?
  4. Where is the self-proclaimed pumpkin capital of the world? Why there?
  5. How many pounds of pumpkin are produced in the United States every year?
  6. In early colonial times how did the colonists make the original pumpkin pie?
  7. What is the origin of the name “pumpkin?” What did Native Americans call them?
  8. What is the water content of pumpkins, and how many calories of energy does 100 grams produce, and what is its dietary benefit?
  9. How big was the largest pumpkin pie ever made, how much did it weigh, and how long did it take to bake?
  10. Giant pumpkins are often grown for competitions. The heaviest pumpkin on record weighed  __________; the largest “official” pumpkin on record weighed ________,


The largest pumpkin pie used ____ pounds of cooked pumpkin, ____ pounds of sugar, and ____ dozen eggs.

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To learn the answers click on MORE


September 28, 2014

Tarantulas: Those Scary Creeping Things




SCRIPTURE: Genesis 6:7   So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and the fowls of the air, for it repenteth me that I have made them.”  (KJV)

REFLECTION:     Many people would be happy if somehow the creepy, creeping tarantulas were destroyed, removed from the earth. But some people set out to save sick ones.

The June 5, 1999 AP headline captured my attention: Sick tarantula getting top-notch care.

2 ½ ounce Goliath, No. 79011, had an infection oozing from her side and an abscess the size of a quarter. The infection gave the salad-plate sized eight-legged critter value. She could teach doctors about medical care of tarantulas in captivity.

The antibiotic wasn’t working. Veterinarians planned CAT scans to identify problems during surgery that hopefully would correct Goliath’s problem.

Goliath, with her dark brown hair and turret of eyes atop her flat head, able to make a fearless person arachnophobic, must be a special spider. Such great lengths to save a creature that has “a habit of showing her fangs and shooting barbed hairs from her rump” doesn’t seem like something I might consider.

One of my pre-married era boyfriends would think differently. Stanley, my senior prom date, attended (more…)

August 21, 2014

Labor Day—Children’s Stories, Poems, & More






For children (of all ages), and to make it easier for parents and caregivers on holidays, I surfed the Internet and found the following sites with stories, poems, and fingerplays that provide Labor Day entertainment.

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Dad: Most people don’t have to work today because it’s Labor Day.

Son: If they’re not working, shouldn’t it be ‘No-Labor Day?”

More at


Q: Why did the policeman go to the baseball game?
A: He heard someone had stolen a base!


Q: Why did the lazy man want a job in a bakery?
A: So he could loaf around!

More at

Q: What did the football coach say to the broken vending machine?

A: “Give me my quarterback!”

More at:undefined | Great Clean Jokes

Q: Why won’t a cannibal eat people that work at gas stations?

A:They give him gas.

Q: Why were the teacher’s eyes crossed?

A: She couldn’t control her pupils.

More at



The secret of joy in work is contained in one word –


July 5, 2014

July 4th: The Red White & Blue




(Photos taken between

Ligonier, PA and Lakeside, Ohio)

July 4th. Red White & Blue everywhere.

On July 4, 2014, we traveled from Pennsylvania to Ohio. Along the way we observed (and my trigger finger shot) many red, white, and blue pictures symbolic of the Nation’s birthday. Below is a sample, ending with two fireworks shots taken as we watched the fireworks show in Washington, D. C. (televised, seen in our hotel room).

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June 8, 2014

11 Facts About July 4


11 FACTS ABOUT JULY 4 American_flag_eagle_and_fireworks-animation

 On July 4th we celebrate the birth of our nation, the United States of America. How many of the following questions can you answer?Animated-4th-of-july-eagle


  1.  What do the Fourth of July fireworks represent?
  2. Who wrote that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. … It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade with shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
  3. What three presidents’ deaths occurred on July 4?
  4. In July 1776 the estimated number of residents of the newly independent nation was ________, which increased to ___________ in 2012?
  5. Why is the term signing our John Hancock a synonym for our signatures?
  6. When was the first official Fourth of July party held at the White House?
  7. What two other countries celebrate their independence day on July  4TH?
  8. What historical event occurred near Jumonville, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1754?
  9. What United States community has the oldest continuous Independence Day celebration?
  10. T or F   Uncle Sam was a real person.


The legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain (the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress) actually occurred on ______________? Why is Independence Day celebrated on July 4th? ________________? How many signatures are on the Declaration of Independence? _____ IMG_0404 E


To check your answers click on the MORE:


June 1, 2014

11 Facts About Flag Day: June 14



Carolyn’s Online Magazine



Photo taken in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, by my grandson Marcus

Photo taken in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, by my grandson Marcus

Inspired by these three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day – the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 – was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson’s proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designatin June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.^

Below are 10 questions plus a bonus question about flags:


  1. Who designed America’s current 50-star flag?
  2. What do you call a person who studies flags?
  3. In what order should the flags of the branches of the Armed Forces be displayed?
  4. Who cut the American flag into pieces and was honored for doing it?
  5. How did a 1912 Executive Order change the way flag makers produc ed the flag?
  6. What are the exact shades of the colors blue and red?
  7. “Shipwreck” Kelly (1885-1952) was famous for sitting for long periods of time. What did he have to do with flags?
  8. The American flag first flew over a foreign fort in what country?
  9. What is meant by the flag’s own right?
  10. How many official United States of America flags have existed?


Some preserved flags commemorate historical events. What events do the following flag dates memorialize: 1812, 1861, 1865?

To see the answers click on MORE


May 11, 2014

The Worth of a Mother



Carolyn’s Online Magazine


Drawing by my daughter Sandy when she was 4 1/2

Drawing by my daughter Sandy when she was 4 1/2

I wrote the above article on Friday, February 7, 1986, in response to a 20/20 show aired out of Youngstown, Ohio, on the previous day. At the time I was leading a parenting group and had spent eight years as a family day care home proprietor, which allowed me to be at home with my children and enjoy their growing up years. We (who are not employed out of the home and having children in child day care) are intelligent adults who made a decision to invest in our nation’s most valuable resource.

Trilium growing in our woods

Trilium growing in our woods

Something troubled me about a show, Working Mothers, aired on 20/20. I finally got it—there was a contradiction expressed in statements by two separate persons:

  • The psychological need to be a breadwinner
  • Children are our most important resource

It implies that a person not receiving a paycheck is not contributing his/her share. It is too bad that a mother’s worth is defined only in terms of the paycheck they bring home and not in their overall contribution to the good of society.

Another contradiction:

  • Parents not earning a paycheck are not pulling their weight
  • Parents (or others) caring for non-custodial children have more worth because they earn a paycheck


May 8, 2014

11 Facts About Memorial Day



Carolyn’s Online Magazine

CHARLES F. WALKER---Civil War Veteran from Trenton (East Lamoine, Maine) whose gravesite is unmarked

CHARLES F. WALKER—Civil War Veteran from Trenton (East Lamoine, Maine) whose gravesite is unmarked

 Charles F. Walker served in the

Eighth Regiment Kansas Volunteers – Infantry

Company 8 under Samuel Laighton

Where is Charles F. Walker buried?




  1.  Why was May 30 chosen as Memorial Day?
  2. What was the first state to officially recognize Memorial Day?
  3. How do the soldiers of the 3rd U. S. Infantry participate in Memorial Day?
  4. What does the National Moment of Remembrance Resolution ask Americans to do on Memorial Day?
  5. Who presided over the first Memorial Day?
  6. When was Memorial Day first celebrated?
  7. What is the birthplace of Memorial Day?
  8. When did Congress declare Memorial Day a national holiday?
  9. When should the American flag be raised from half staff to full staff on Memorial Day?
  10. Who was General John A. Logan?


When did the tradition of wearing a red poppy on Memorial Day start? Who was the first person to wear a red poppy on Memorial Day? Why was the red poppy chosen?

To learn the answers click on MORE (more…)

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