Saturday, October 31, 2009


Happy Halloween Everyone! I found all these lovely photos on the internet. Not one is an original photo.
In my defense, I will state that the entire Williams family, having succumbed to the H1N1 virus, aka Swine Flu, have been a bit delirious as of late.
I feel that I've missed my favorite time of year.
Fall is the time that I am typically painting out of doors. I did paint on the one day I wasn't running a fever. It was also the one day it didn't rain. The painting sucks.
Instead, I am surfing the internet for outrageous Halloween Costumes. A Kate Gosselin wig! Who woulda thunk? Doesn't everyone want to be Kate? Okay. There is the tacky and the tasteless and then there is the amazing!
This one is really, really amazing! Tasteful, creative, beautiful. I would do this.

This is what Halloween is all about folks. A chance to transform yourselves into an imaginary spirit, sprite, creature, monster or whatever. Have fun being creative.
Our school district outlawed costumes back when my oldest was in first grade.
They claimed it was "devil worship". These were the same people who put Dover on the map for "Intelligent Design".
And then we have Martha.
This little ditty was credited to the American icon "Martha Stewart" . WTF?
Uuhh? I wouldn't dress my child like the Thanksgiving turkey?
That is too effing weird.

Thankfully, the baby is just enjoying the attention.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Swine Flu, Stinkbugs and other Vermin

Shazza is having mouse problems. We are being bombarded by bugs! First the stinkbugs. Those ugly shieldshaped insects that cling to the windows, the siding, the screens. You open a door and they swarm with a horrible buzzing sound. If you swat, they emit a foul odor. Worse yet, they cling to your clothing. I endured the unfortunate experience of unwittingly wearing a shoulder stinkbug while shopping! Can you imagine? Fortunately I am not a celebrity. Can you imagine the tabloids? I thought the store clerk was looking at me funny.

The recent Nor'easter seemed to clear some of these critters. They are still around but they are being replaced by aggressive flesh-eating ladybugs. You all know what I'm talking about. Those adorable orange mini-beetles with the black polka dots. Don't trust them. They swarm our house every October. They invaded my youngest daughter's bedroom and snacked on her flesh. She was covered in mini-beetle welts. We had to release a bug bomb.

They're ba-ack.

This is of secondary importance compared to the Big Bug - the Swine flu. Daughter A has come down with it. She was sent home from school Monday with strict instructions not to return until at least 24 hours after becoming fever free (without the benefit of ibuprofen). Looks like she will be home again tomorrow. Daughter D is now coughing. I am missing about one fifth of my students. Many apparently have the swine flu. It has been confirmed through testing. There is a lot of denial going around. For what? School districts are being hush-hush about it.

I called the pediatrician and described my daughter's symptoms. He also spoke directly with A. He told me it sounds like H1N1. They are getting hundreds of calls. I could bring her in if I wanted to wait until midnight to get in and get confirmation. That's okay, I say, I'll take your word for it. Fortunately the symptoms are milder than the hype. Still she is sick and miserable. We have stocked up on hand sanitizers, but I am out of kleenex. Campbells Chicken Noodle soup tastes funny to her. She does not like my homemade soup with real chicken stock. (Maybe she wants to try it again?) I think the Swine Flu beat the vaccine. Our area did not qualify for the early vaccine. Oh well. So much for the hype.

It is now Day 2 at home and Daughter A is obviously feeling a bit better. She was up on her compy giggling and watching Maru the cat. He is an adorable Scottish Fold who lives in Japan. The doting human films his every move. Life goes on after the big bug! Check him out.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The National Apple Harvest Festival

On Sunday, my daughter convinced us that we should take her to the National Apple Harvest Festival in neighboring Adams County, PA. We hadn't gone for a few years. Doug and I used to work the ticket booth eons ago b.c. (before children). You should know that Pennsylvania is the #3 apple producer in the USA. There are about ten thousand acres of apple orchard in Adams County (just north of Gettysburg). Adams County is home to Musselmans, Motts and Lucky Leaf brands of applesauce and apple juice. The Biglerville High School Football team is known as the Canners.

The National Apple Harvest Festival is the closest thing I've been to an old time, country fair. The only rides are pony rides and hay rides. Kids can make scarecrows and participate in pie-eating contests for fun. Exhibits include antique tractor, steam engine and car exhibitions.

There are lots of apple products. Apple cider, apple sauce, apple fritters, apple pie, apple sausage and plain old apples.

You can see here an old fashioned, steam powered apple cider press. You could buy freshly pressed cider by the glass or the gallon.

The air smelled of apples, and freshly roasted pit beef. I love a pit beef sandwich on a roll with fresh horseradish.

And for those folks who want something a little less healthy....

There is "The Happy Belly". Supposedly Amish made ribbon chips and Fried Oreos.

I could not even think about it.

We enjoyed a beautiful sunny and crisp afternoon. We bought some jewelry and freshly roasted almonds from the vendors.

My daughter's friend is originally from El Salvador. She tried apple pie for the first time! Bluegrass and country music bands were playing at several stages throughout the day. Elvis was heard in and around the buildings (but seen only in bright green Chuck Taylors and skinny pants).

Johnny Cash is alive and well!
This guy was rocking out the Folsom Prison Blues at the Cider Barrel Stage.

He sounded so much like Johnny. I had a better picture, but I think I uploaded the wrong one.

In fact I have a bunch of other photos but blogger would only allow me to load four tonight.

Hope you all enjoy them!