Saturday, October 31, 2020

Trick or Treat!

This Is Halloween

Good News From The Daily Upside:

"Halloween may have looked different this year [2020],
but the spoils were still plentiful.
Candy sales were up 8.6% vs. last year,
according to the National Confectioners Association.
[click to subscribe for more positive economic news]

The beautiful innocence of Halloween
that we all remember from childhood!

As my friend Vickie wrote, "We are so lucky
to have had the Halloweens we enjoyed as children
and that your lads" experienced growing up in Philly.
"Celebrate the beauty of this transformative
season with your new wee bairn!"
Ellie’s First Halloween ~ Baby Boiler!
Happy Halloween from Ben & Cathleen!  Boooooo!
Sam & Friends: some scary facial masks!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Rest in Peace Henry Wise Miller

Posting today in honor of
my great - great - grandfather,
who died 105 years ago today ~ RIP
Henry Wise Miller
(May 27, 1834 ~ October 29, 1915)
Elizabeth Birkinbine Miller
(February 28, 1938 ~ March 28, 1925)

For more on his life and death,

see my current post:

"The Birkinbine Millers of Oak Street"

@The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker
A literary blog of connection & coincidence;
custom & ceremony

Looking over the various photographs and artifacts from Great - Great - Grandfather Miller's life, I can't help thinking of this haunting passage from William Soutar (1898 - 1943) and wondering if it goes both ways -- not only why do we wish to be remembered, but why do we wish to remember these dear old folks who have never looked, can never look, upon our face?
"Why do we wish to be remembered, even when none remain who looked upon our face? Surely, though it must retain an element of self- consideration, it is a last acknowledgment that we need to be loved; and, having gone from all touch, we trust that memory may, as it were, keep our unseen presence within the borders of day."
Is it their love or approval that we seek? Or perhaps the opportunitity to say, "Look at us; we are you great - great - grands! It was all worth it! We're going to the future and taking you with us!" Whatever our motiviation, we sense their unseen presence, whenever we look at the old photos, visit the cemetery, or honor the ancestors, on Memorial Day or Dia de los Muertos.

Wishing you a long, introspective weekend!
~ All Hallows ~ All Saints ~ All Souls ~

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Harvest Home

Raise the song of harvest home!
Kansas ~ 100 years ago
Looking into the sun ~ or into the future?!

My Great - Uncle Harry (1887 - 1940)
pretending that the wagon needs gas.  Haha!
And his wife, Great - Aunt Ethel, top left.
In the photo above, their daughter Mildred (b 1913)
sits at the very top of the haystack.


More about Harry Louis Heideman, older brother 
of my Grandmother Rovilla Heideman Lindsey

Sadly, his obituary:
According to the family apocrypha,
Harry's last words were “Don’t blame the boy”
[the 16 year old driver who didn’t see him].

More sadness:
 Harry's middle name “Louis”
 was for his father’s younger brother
  Louis Heideman (1869 - 1884)
who died young in a drowning accident.
Here is Great - great Uncle Louis’s
fancy calling card — all the rage in those days!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Little Dishes

Doll Dishes from the 1930s
Cracker Barrel Harvest Plate from Cheryl
Lenox Vase from Vicky
Flowers from Beata's Garden

As a child, I always preferred old books and toys over anything offered to me from the 1960s. I played for hours with these vintage dishes from my mother's childhood, serving tea to my grandmother's Nina and the other old dolls. The vivid Fiesta Ware glaze spoke to my nostalgic heart -- beautiful breakable ceramic, not tin or plastic!

I have kept them on the windowsill for several months now, along with the Swarovski Crystal dish that my friend Mary Alice sent a couple of years ago. In January (okay, maybe February) 2020, when I put all the other Christmas things away, I decided to keep the crystal out, where it casts these rainbow patterns every day. So many treasures, reminding us of dear friendships, of days gone by and yet to come.

Inside the crystal dish, not entirely visible, are a red heart ~ from Auntie Wickie ~ and a miniature globe of the earth, just a few of the talismans that are helping us get through this very strange and worrisome year.

"You Will Be the Light"

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Encounters with the Truth

"The sun through green leaf's flesh . . .
 branching veins . . . planned avenues . . . "

Incidental Finding

The sun through green leaf’s flesh recalls
the X-ray: inner structures seen
but imprecisely, branching veins
and something like planned avenues
all leading to the source of what
we never cease to seek. Too few,
too momentarily alight,
these chance encounters with the truth.
The X-ray that permitted me
to see both into you and through
(the glowing silhouette of your
soft tissues like the swaddling soul)
still diagnoses it: “a mass,”
the radiologist in me
could not help noting first—and then,
your failing heart, terribly large.

The Mental Status Exam

What is the color of the mind? Beneath
The cranium it’s pinkish grey, with flecks
Of white mixed in. What is the mind’s motif?
Depends on what you mean: it’s either sex
Or it’s a box, release or pessimism.
Remember these three things, ball, sorrow, red.
Count backwards, from one-hundred down by sevens.
What is the color of the mind? It’s said
That love can conquer all — interpret, please.
And who’s the President? What year is it?
The mind is timeless, dizzy, unscrupulous;
The mind is sometimes only dimly lit.
Just two more silly questions: Can you sing
For us? Do you remember those three things?
by Rafael Campo (b. 1964)
Poet and physician

"What is the color of the mind?
. . . pinkish grey, with flecks
Of white mixed in." 

The Universe is a House Party

The universe is expanding. Look: postcards
And panties, bottles with lipstick on the rim,

Orphan socks and napkins dried into knots.
Quickly, wordlessly, all of it whisked into file

With radio waves from a generation ago,
Drifting to the edge of what doesn’t end,

Like the air inside a balloon. Is it bright?
Will our eyes crimp shut? Is it molten, atomic,

A conflagration of suns? It sounds like the kind of party
Your neighbors forget to invite you to: bass throbbing

Through walls, and everyone thudding around drunk
On the roof. We grind lenses to an impossible strength,

Point them toward the future, and dream of beings
We’ll welcome with indefatigable hospitality:

How marvelous you’ve come! We won’t flinch
At the pinprick mouths, the nubbin limbs. We’ll rise,

Gracile, robust. Mi casa es su casa. Never more sincere.
Seeing us, they’ll know exactly what we mean.
Of course, it's ours. If it's anyone's, it's ours

by Tracy K. Smith (b 1972)
22nd Poet Laureate of the USA, 2017 to 2019
See also:
The World is Your Beautiful Younger Sister



Thanks to my friends From Jill & Phil
for sending me these poems
from the Science Friday website, March 29, 2019


Mysterious note to self: "misspell"
[Not sure what I meant by that? Any ideas?]

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Finding the Light

By the light of the
Full Corn Moon, back in September
“We are here because we are born with the capacity
to find hidden light in all events and all people,
to lift it up and make it visible once again and
thereby to restore the innate wholeness of the world."

Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into
the Mystery and Art of Living
(p 25)
 by Krista Tippett 

For more lyrics about light,
see my current post:

"You Will Be the Light"

@The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker
A literary blog of connection & coincidence;
custom & ceremony

" . . . suddenly death seems easier, more inevitable than life.
 . . . [but] I try to appreciate the joy of the moment
without the sorrow

from Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind (pp 16, 231)
by Suzanne Fisher Staples
A hopeful October Harvest Moonrise,
and tiny green Halloween ghost
flying around our neighbors’ window!

Monday, October 12, 2020


Inside Looking Out ~ October 15, 2019
A mellow indoor swim with my friend & swimming buddy Nikki.

Outside Looking In ~ October 2018
Try to remember the kind of October when pools
were blue and full and oh so mellow!
Two years ago, I couldn't believe my good fortune,
to be swimming in an outdoor pool in Indiana, right up 
until mid - October!  The next year -- not quite so lucky -- 
the outdoor season concluded in mid - September; and this year,
a crushing blow -- both pools closed on the last day of August.
But for one brief, shining season, we really
did swim outside on every warm October day!

Admiring the Poolside Plantings 
I love the way these blossoms start out white, then turn pink!

 I love this view when I'm leaving the outdoor pool
 (via an attached indoor lobby) 
and in front of me, I see the pool behind me, 
reflected  in the glass doors leading into a hair salon
 (that's why all the chairs). 
Not exactly captured as I had envisioned, but
still, an image of summer to recall the fleeting season.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Nina (rhymes with china)

My Grandmother's Favorite Doll Nina 
[pronounced with a long "i"]
Named after one of her favorite cousins, Nina Reider.
Each girl had a similar doll that was named after the other.

Over the years, the only outfit that has survived is the one that
Nina is currently wearing, although she used to have more.  
She also has to wear a scarf at all times now because
her hair got destroyed over the years.  Poor Nina!

Nina was a most beloved doll:
my grandmother played with her in the 1890s,
my mother in the 1930s, and me in the 1960s.

Little Rovilla ~ September 1894 ~ 2 years, 11 months
If only her Nina doll had been in the picture along with her!

Here is Cousin Nina with her Rovilla Doll.
Unfortunately, I don't have a photograph of my 
grandmother as a child with her Nina doll.

However, our family archives include the photo below
of an unnamed neighbor child 
holding Nina, in one of her elaborate dresses!

Nina, close - up.

New discovery: another picture of Nina —
with my grandmother’s niece, Mildred, around 1920!

Some of my mother's dolls:
Ruth Esther ~ Gracie ~ Name Unknown ~ Hortie.
They have been reduced to wearing undies & bathrobes, 
but back in the day my grandmother made clothes for all of them,
using leftover fabric from my mom’s dresses. 
 I loved it when Grandma would show me a photograph of Mom
in one of her girlhood dresses that she had made;
then she would find the leftover fabric (already years old)
and make a similar outfit for Nina or Ruth Esther or even Barbie!

My 1969 Barbie in a vintage ensemble,
created by my grandmother in 1965, based on a skirt and blouse
--  same fabric and similar design --
that she had sewn for my mother in the 1950s. 
Once upon a time, Ruth Esther had a dress from the same fabric.

More comments ~ on facebook

Monday, October 5, 2020


So I want this sweater -- "not sold separately" -- only available along with this sundress that, unfortunately, does nothing for me.
~ $79 ~

A sweet son who says, "Mom, go for it! Who cares if you never wear the dress? It's worth it to get the sweater that you know you like!"
~ Priceless! ~

Going for a walk and losing one (not both!) of your favorite $5-per-pair earrings from Von's.
~ $2.50 ~

Searching the next day: did not find earring but took some pre - autumnal pics along the nature trail.
~ Priceless! ~

Friday, October 2, 2020

Tiny Self Doubts

One of my Favorites

Not all that long ago -- October 2, 1990 -- we were celebrating 40 years with the Peanuts Gang, and now all of a sudden, it has been 70 years! Charlie Brown appears in both the first Peanuts comic strip from October 2, 1950, and the last one from February 13, 2000. A 1950 comic strip, mentions that his birthday is on October 30, but no strips from October 30 in subsequent years make reference to this. I like the idea of Charlie Brown's birthday being so near to Halloween, but it also seems appropriate to observe his creation today, along with the anniverary of the premier of the comic strip. Here are some of my perpetual favorites:

Headache or Stomachache?

Still Hoping

Fun Flannel Sheets!
Perfect for Great Pumpkin Weather!