Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Halloween and Reformation - Reprint From October 31, 2017 and a 2023 Update

Reprint from October 31, 2017...

Here we are! October 31st! The last day of October! Today marks the the final day of Crystal Stine's Write 31 Days writing challenge, and this will be the final post in my 31 Days of the Joys of Autumn series

It is also Halloween. 

And it is also Reformation Day. In fact, today marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. It was on October 31, 1517 that Martin Luther nailed the 95 Thesis to the door of the church at Wittenberg, sparking the Reformation and forever changing the course of church history.

I grew up celebrating Halloween. My dad wasn't real keen on it and his mother, my grandmother, Maudie, was totally against it, but, my mother always interceded on my behalf and made sure that I didn't miss out on the fun of dressing up, attending Halloween parties, and going trick-or-treating with my friends. Halloween was one of my favorite holidays.

As a teenager, I would come up with elaborate costumes, attend more sophisticated Halloween parties, and tour haunted houses with friends.

When I was 18, being on the rebound from someone else, I met and married a satanic priest. I didn't know that he was a satanic priest when I married him, but I did find out shortly afterwards, and that's when the dark side of the spirit world became very real and very scary. That marriage didn't last long, but, with a little more caution than before (and being a lot more aware of the dark side of things than I was before), I still continued to choose to participate in and celebrate Halloween.

In fact, as a family, we celebrated Halloween whole-heartedly until 1988. That was the last year that we embraced and celebrated Halloween. By that point the Lord was really dealing with us about it and when, after the biggest and most elaborate Halloween party that we had ever had, when our children said, "Do we HAVE to do this???" That's when my husband and I knew that it was time to stop. We said, "No, we don't have to do this!" And we didn't from that time forward.

After that we went through a series of other things though. The truth is, we didn't know how to deal with October 31st at all. For the first two or three years out we focused on having a backyard autumn festival of sorts for the children with fun activities that didn't revolve around anything even remotely connected to Halloween. 

Later on, when my husband and I became active in our church, we decided to turn the front porch light on and use Halloween as an opportunity for ministry. We handed out gospel tracts, along with the candy that we gave to trick-or-treaters. We enjoyed doing this very much!

Then, we learned about the Protestant Reformation...which was a wonderful thing! Up to that point only the hierarchy of the Catholic Church was allowed to read and study the Holy Scriptures. Then they would interpret and relate it to the people however they chose (or chose not) to. The Protestant Reformation resulted in the Bible being translated into many languages and being put into the hands of the common people to read and study for themselves. What a wonderful, wonderful privilege it is to have the Bible...God's Holy Word...written in our own language...being able to hold it in our own hands...free to read and study it for ourselves. Can you imagine living in a time when that was not allowed? If caught doing so, the penalty was often death.

So...okay...we learned about the Reformation and off went the porch light again. Instead of spreading light on the darkest night of the year, we chose, instead, to turn in to ourselves and study the great reformers...which in and of itself is not a bad thing at all...but there was no balance. We would spend weeks learning about a specific reformer and, then, on October 31st, we would gather together with others to celebrate Reformation Day...which, again...is NOT a bad thing AT ALL! In fact, more Christians should take the time to study and learn about church history (it's soooo important!)...BUT...just because we were learning about the Reformation didn't mean that we had to ignore the opportunity to be a light in the darkness.

So...now...here we are...October 31, 2017. I can, in no way,  embrace or celebrate Halloween. I know way too much about it to do so in good conscience. BUT I can't ignore it, either. It's out there. And I'd be lying if I told you that it no longer had a pull on me, because it does. I have way too much Celtic (and most likely Druid) blood in me for it not to. But it's a great time to continue moving forward in overcoming the flesh and it's a great time to minister to and share with others, which is exactly how we plan to spend our evening.

And, despite the fact that we've gone from ditch-to-ditch (and every where in between) in trying to find the Lord's will in all of this, this time of year continues to be a personal challenge and one of the many joys of autumn for me, individually, and for us, as a family.


2023 Update...

To be honest, for the past several years (since COVID), there have been very few, if any, trick-or-treaters on this side of town. I think most of them go to area trunk-or-treat events or to events taking place in bigger towns. I will have gospel tracts and candy available tonight, but will focus on finishing up our six-week Reformation study with food, fellowship, and a viewing of Luther with Joseph Fiennes. 

How will you and your family be spending the last evening of October 2023?

Until next time...

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (John 1:5).

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Master To-Do List and Menu Plan Monday - October 30, 2023

Monday, October 30, 2023

Master To-Do List and Menu Plan Monday - October 30, 2023

After getting the first hard freeze of the season last night, it's a cool and frosty morning here on the tallgrass prairie. 

We did get some much-needed rain over the weekend, which is good, but this morning the sun is shining and it promises to be a beautiful Monday! 

What's the weather like where you're at? Back home (in the Kansas City area...two hours north of my current location), Amanda and her family were picking apples in the snow yesterday afternoon! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ Crazy!!!  

Speaking of Amanda...she and her girls surprised me at work Saturday afternoon, just in time for 'Nature Bingo', but, the even bigger surprise was, they had rode down with my cousin, Tara, and her girls!

Ohmygoodness! I couldn't believe it! This was Tara's first trip down...ever! And it was such a surprise!!! 

After work I met up with them again at Patrick and Amber's where we all, along with Tony and Nicole and their family, had supper together. Amber made a big pot of chicken chowder and Audrey baked a big pan of Good Earth Rolls and made homemade brownies. Everything was so good! Perfect for a cold, wet, and rainy Saturday evening! It was wonderful getting to see everyone and get in a good visit with everyone, too! 

In looking back further over the past week, Tuesday's library program went well. The children enjoyed learning about spiders and their webs.

I called the local repairman about my dryer and he came over and took a look at it Tuesday evening. I was thinking that the heating element was going out, but, it turns out that the fan center was worn and it wasn't turning (that's why it was taking two or three rounds to get anything dry) and there were some clips or something that needed replaced. Like, I said last week, I hardly use the dryer anymore, since purchasing a drying rack, but, when I do need to use it (especially for bedding), I want it to be as energy efficiant as possible. Anyway, the parts are in and the needed repairs should be made by tonight.

I could go on, but the day is getting away from me. Let's get on with this week's post...shall we?

This week's master to-do list...

- Clean house
- Do laundry
- Set an appointment to get my vehicle serviced (oil change and over-all check-up before winter)
- Celebrate Reformation Day
- Pet sit for a friend
- Work
- Celebrate National Bison Day
- Set the clocks back

This week's menu plan...

Monday - Texas style beef and beans
Tuesday - French onion soup and baguette
Wednesday - Corn chowder and grilled cheese sandwich
Thursday - Italian sausage with cabbage and baked potato
Friday - Leftovers beef and beans or soup and sandwich
Saturday - Bison chili
Sunday - Leftovers 

Well, that's it for today! I hope your Monday is going well and that your week is off to a great start! 

Until next time...

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Monday, October 23, 2023

Master To-Do List and Menu Plan Monday - October 23, 2023

It's a beautiful, warm, and windy afternoon here in southwest Missouri with plenty of sunshine and an expected high of 83 degrees. 

Monarch on Zinnia
October 2023

I'm taking advantage of the nice weather and above-normal temps to get outside work and weatherization done before temperatures take a tumble by week's end.

How are you? How was your weekend?

My weekend here was good! I worked on Saturday and was able to get in a good hike on the autumnal prairie. 

Spent Native Thistle and Splashes of Color
Mark the Tallgrass Prairie in Autumn

Yesterday morning was church and, in the afternoon, I enjoyed watching 'Night at the Museum' with Ben Stiller. I hadn't seen that movie in years and forgot how funny it really is!

In the late afternoon/early evening I made a mad dash to Butler with family to pick up a Facebook Marketplace purchase, then we enjoyed supper out at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

Picture of the Fam Celebrating Birthdays
@ Tu Casa Back in January

Now, today, here I am...getting ready to have Tu Casa leftovers for lunch and trying to make sense of my world. Ha!

As you, know, I've gotten away from the 'Master To-Do List and Menu Plan Monday' posts in recent months and, to be honest, I think I've paid for it. I thought, since living alone and cooking for one, it didn't make sense to go to such lengths, but I'm finding that, even when things didn't go the way that I originally thought they might, at least, having time each week to think and plan helped me to focus and recenter more than I realized.

I know that part of it is still just trying to find out what works for me since my husband passed away, and I don't know that anything will ever be "normal" again, but, for today, let's give this a try and take a look at the week ahead...shall we? 

New England Asters Blooming in My Back Yard

This week's master to-do list...

- Clean house ๐Ÿก
- Do laundry ๐Ÿ‘•
- See about getting my dryer fixed. It works, but it takes longer to dry a load than it should. Since purchasing a drying rack I hardly use it, but, whenever I do use it, I would like for it to be as energy efficient as possible. 
- Finish winterizing
- Prepare for and present tomorrow's 'Spider Web Wonders' program at the local library ๐Ÿ•ธ
- Finish up our six-week 'Reformation' study (this week we're studying reformer, William Tyndale) 
- Wish granddaughter, Kayla, a 'Happy Birthday' ๐ŸŽ‚
- Work

Sunrise Over Our Town
October 21, 2023

This week's menu plan...

This week I want to focus on using up fresh items on-hand and, since I want to use up older canned, boxed, and frozen items first, I will probably do a food inventory at some point. I've not done one in over a year. 

Foods that I know need used up right away include: two apples, a green pepper, two bags of baby carrots, a box of spring mix greens, cottage cheese, potatoes, and onions. 

The apples will be eaten as snacks with the last of some caramel dip leftover after Bible study last week.

The cottage cheese will also be used as snacks...either by itself sprinkled with tumeric and black pepper or blended up in the Magic Bullet with frozen blueberries and stevia for a real THM treat!

The spring mix will be doled out throughout the week sauteed with egg whites for breakfast and the baby carrots eaten daily with lunch or for snacks with French onion dip or ranch dressing.

The green pepper, along with an onion and a potato, will be sauteed on the griddle and served with either a turkey Italian sausage, a turkey breakfast sausage, or a turkey burger for supper tonight.

Other meal ideas for this week include broiled salmon with baked potato and a vegetable, turkey Italian sausage oven-roasted with potatoes and fried cabbage, homemade pizza, and THM's 'Hearty Red Soup.' 

Well, that's it for today! I hope your week is off to a great start and that all is well with you and yours!

Until next time...

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Friday, October 20, 2023

Five on Friday - Catching Up

Wow! It's mid-October and, here I am...once again time has totally eluded me! 

It's been a very busy and active two-and-a-half weeks since our last visit. Since I have a rare Friday off, I thought I'd give you a quick update in a 'Five on Friday (or More)' post.

Here is some of what's been happening in my world...

On October 5th I attended Missouri State Park's, first-ever, 'Living History Academy' at the Nathan and Olive Boone State Historic Site in Ash Grove...

I learned new skills...

and taught corn husk doll-making...

On the 6th of October I became a great-grandmother when my first great-grandbaby, Cooper Haze, was born. He's so precious! 

Cooper Haze
7 lbs. 13 oz. - 21" long

On October 7th several family members got together to enjoy Missouri Town 1855's '47th Annual Festival of Arts, Crafts, and Music'...

Last week...

I had the pleasure of getting together with the grandgirls for lunch...

...lead several school groups on hikes and teach them about life on the prairie...

...and do a Friday program on 'Spider Web Wonders'...

On the 14th granddaughter, Audrey, and I worked the Native American Heritage Celebration in Springfield, Missouri...

We had a great time and met some awesome people!

In addition to all that I spent time with friends and family visiting from out of town, celebrated several birthdays, attended a baptism, and more. Thus far, it's been a very busy, but enjoyable season!

How about you? What's been going on in your sphere of influence this month? 

Until next time...
(#82 in this week's line-up on Grammy's Grid's Unlimited Link Party #134)

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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Autumn Bucket List 2023

Summer has, once again, come and gone and...here we are...in the earliest days of autumn 2023! It came on so fast that I hardly realized that it had even arrived. I'm telling you the past few weeks and months have passed in a complete whirlwind! In my heart and mind I'm still stranded somewhere in late June. I don't know that I have ever been as totally oblivious to the change in seasons as I have been this year! 

Oh, well! Enough of my incredulity! Now that I'm aware that my favorite season has arrived, let's talk fall! ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ 

Autumn on the Tallgrass Prairie

"While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, 
and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day 
and night shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22).

Although I probably won't get to all of them, here is a list of things that I hope to do and accomplish over the course of the autumn season...

My Autumn Bucket List 2023

- Write my autumn bucket list ๐Ÿ
- Post consistently (at least once per week) ✍
- Celebrate autumn birthdays with the grands ๐ŸŽ‚
- Welcome my first great-grandbaby into the world ๐Ÿ‘ถ
Enjoy a cup of Louisburg cider (it's THE best!) ๐Ÿฅƒ
- Enjoy a Louisburg apple cider doughnut (always a real treat!) ๐Ÿฉ
- Enjoy a juicy red apple ๐ŸŽ
- Get lost in a corn maze ๐ŸŒฝ
- Observe the autumnal night sky ⭐๐ŸŒ ๐ŸŒŸ
- Listen to a cricket sing ๐Ÿฆ—
- Swap out summer clothes for winter ๐Ÿงฅ
- Take a walk in the woods ๐Ÿ
- Make a batch of Mini Baked Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts ๐Ÿฉ
- Enjoy a cup of hot tea ☕
- Help with and work the bison at their annual vet checks ๐Ÿƒ
- Enjoy an autumnal full moon (Harvest Moon - September 29th, Hunter's Moon - October 28th, and Beaver Moon - November 27th) ๐ŸŒ•
- Host a wiener roast ๐ŸŒญ
- Enjoy a fall getaway ๐Ÿš—
- Visit a pumpkin patch ๐Ÿงก
- Watch falling leaves ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ
- Observe a flock of migrating birds 
- Enjoy a bonfire ๐Ÿ”ฅ
- Attend the following conferances and classes through work...
    - 2023 AMI (Association of Missouri Interpreters) Conference at Macon, Missouri
    - Living History Academy at the Nathan and Olive Boone Homestead State Historic Site/teach cornhusk doll-making
- Complete the following programs at work...
    - Looking At Leaves (September) ๐Ÿ
    - Spider Web Wonders (October) ๐Ÿ•ธ
    - Terrific Turkeys (November) ๐Ÿฆƒ
- Follow through with a commitment to be a  guest speaker at a local 4-H chapter meeting 
- Light a fall-scented candle ๐Ÿ”ฅ
- Listen to the honking of geese as they fly high overhead 
- Enjoy hot soup and fresh baked bread on a cool day ๐Ÿฅฃ
- Go on a hayride 
- Enjoy a rainy fall day ☔
- Have the propane tank filled
- Make a batch of Pumpkin Streusel Muffins ๐Ÿง
- Listen to a pack of coyotes sing across the prairie ๐Ÿบ
- Celebrate National Bison Day @ work
- Bake a pumpkin pie 
- Lead an impromptu frost flower hike to observe frost flowers in the field ๐Ÿฅพ
- Make a pumpkin roll 
- Set the clocks back when daylight savings time ends ๐Ÿ•‘
- Walk (or dance the equivalent of) 90+ miles ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ
- Complete a six-week study on the Reformation 
- Celebrate Reformation Day
- Weatherize my home before cold weather arrives ❆
- Clean the heating stove
Clean up the yard (cut trees, trim bushes, etc.) ๐Ÿก
- Get my car serviced before winter (oil change, new wiper blades, etc.) ๐Ÿš—
- Do a winter food and supply stock-up ๐Ÿฅซ
- Celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends ๐Ÿฆƒ

That's what's my autumn bucket list! What's on yours?

Until next time...

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