Halloween haunts on the lake trail….mwahahaha!

Back in 2015 I posted Lake photos in winter from the small lake in my community. I intended to go back and take pictures again sometime, perhaps in a different season, but so far I haven’t. However, there’s something in particular I want to show from there now (and I’ll throw in a few photos of the lake too).

This small community lake has a wide unpaved trail that encircles it, about 1.25 miles. Alongside one shore is a street with some of the nicer houses in town, higher priced ones that overlook the trail and lake. One of these houses is known for having A LOT of various decorations in its yard, many of which are seasonal. In fact, there are things lots of things going on in this yard year-round. I believe some of the neighbors aren’t that keen for these displays but they’ve been there for years – and only increase – so I doubt they’re going anywhere. I’m not always so crazy about what I see in this yard throughout the year either but I have to admit that if I was a kid, I’d likely be fascinated.

Recently I walked the trail and saw the Halloween set-up, which I don’t think I’ve had occasion to see for many years (I remember once seeing Halloween AND Christmas decorations at the same time and that was a bit odd, so I didn’t typically make a point to check it out). Now there are things in the yard I’ve never seen and many were right up on next to the public trail (the whole thing is definitely intended for the view of the many users of the trail). The novelty is the unexpectedness of this display in someone’s yard. This past Sunday I went back to get photos.

C’mon, let’s take a little tour of the highlights.

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I could see a few people looking at the displays and taking pictures as I approached.

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There to welcome me…

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Ground creatures

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This VERY tall fellow growled and moved. His eyes lit up too. He definitely gave passerby a start. I think if I went by at night he’d unnerve me for sure.

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This creepy one moved too.

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The sign suggests you help yourself to a treat from the bowl….would you? Mwahaha.

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SHE is the reason I went back to take pictures. I was totally smitten with her. What a likeness! Spot-on Margaret Hamilton, Wicked Witch of the West. She plays her “theme” music and says a couple classic lines.

 

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Isn’t she fabulous?! She had a few leaves & small debris stuck in her hair so I picked them out. (I stopped short of taking out a comb or otherwise trying to fix her up.)

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Different people had stopped to look after I was done. Very popular display! People seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. Me too.

Since I was at the lake I took nature photos too just so you could see. Signs of fall are just starting. I DO appreciate this lake but taking photos renews my appreciation; it makes me focus.

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The tree on the right has a cage to keep beavers from chewing it down. This is an ongoing project around the lake.

 

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Look carefully and you’ll see a heron in the middle of this picture.

 

NOTE: I love my commenters; please forgive any delay in responding.

 

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My Hair “tricks and pics” 2017

Last October I posted My Hair “tricks and pics” 2016. I’d let my hair grow most of the year and during the summer had gone back to doing hairstyles I’d done years prior when my hair was long, plus created new ones. I’ve continued to let my hair grow this year – if it looks good I figure why not? It has to be in decent condition and flatter me; simply being long isn’t enough. These pictures help keep me honest since we often forget how other people see our hair which is from all sides; not just what we see when we face a mirror.

I kept doing the styles pictured last year but here’s a few new ones from this year too. Forgive the photo quality; these were taken in the mirror. And — the hair color(s) you see are all mine (I get asked this regularly). The lighting makes it look different from one shot to the next – my hair is very light on top (crown) and a lot darker beneath. If you remember (or look at) last year’s post, it is decidedly longer now. I’ve been having a lot of fun doing my hair this year.

As I am writing this post I’m at the library and realized I failed to take a picture of my hair as it is this moment, which is one of the ways I wear it most often, so I managed to get a picture now, by turning my head for a selfie.

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There’s a barrette under this

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French twist. Metal comb.

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Side view French twist.

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Bun on top, ponytail on bottom. Metal pin.

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Two braids, top one twisted into bun.

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Single braid twisted into bun.

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This starts with a simple ponytail. I pulled the ends of my hair back up through the elastic band & fanned it out.

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High ponytail. This requires long, one-length hair or it won’t all stay in the elastic band.

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High ponytail seen from side.

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Two braids, one atop the other. Metal pin.

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This was an experiment with chopsticks; I merely guessed how they’re supposed to be used in hair (must remember to google).

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Side view of previous shot

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Side view of previous shot with hair clip.

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A very recent “invention” I did which is not as tricky as it looks (but would be tricky to explain in words!) As with the others pictured, that’s a regular pin, the kind you’d use on clothing.

Bonus picture(s): The following is not my hair. I bought this “hair” years ago. To be clear, I’m not sure what it is as it doesn’t have clips. Perhaps it’s an extension meant to be “sewn” in? (I have no experience with hair pieces or extensions having only seen them being used on TV.) Why did I buy it? It was inexpensive (a couple dollars) and color-wise it was a perfect match! I wore it only once many years ago at a public event where I was a vendor. Not one person I knew said a word about it. Funny that. I enjoyed my “hair” and it felt swingy but since it has no clips and I’d kind of jerry-rigged it, I did worry about it falling out. (It didn’t but I bet people would’ve noticed that.) I put it in at home to show you now.

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NOTE:  Likely delays in responding to your comments but I will!

A Dog Tale (of woe)

I was walking a park trail, one that gets lots of use by bikers, walkers and joggers, when I saw a young guy jogging toward me with a dog on a thick chain leash at his side. I was keeping an eye on the dog since it was closest to me and you just never know when a dog might suddenly lunge for a bite (of me). Instead of seeing that, I saw that the dog’s back left foot was injured as he gamely tried to run along beside his master. The two had passed me when I turned and called out, “Your dog is limping!” I saw then that the young man had thick head phones on (oh great) so I picked up my volume, “HELLO? Your dog is hurt!” The guy stopped and looked at me and I began pantomiming the injury. At the exact moment the guy stopped running, his dog promptly keeled over on the ground. (Apparently, given half a chance to quit galloping, the dog took it as he clearly had no more gas left in him.) There may have been a language barrier but the young man, having removed his headphones, definitely understood what I was telling him.

In addition to laying on the ground, the dog now began wheezing loudly. I was several yards from the two,  on my way somewhere, so I did not close the distance between us. “He’s hurt!” I said just to re-emphasize the point. I turned back in the direction I was going but as I did so I continued to look behind me, and heard the guy encouraging his dog to get up! I had no cell phone and figured he was more likely to be carrying one – or could stop another walker for assistance if not – so I continued on my way. There wasn’t anything more I could do here.

 

NOTE: I won’t be able to respond to comments immediately but this is no reflection on my appreciation of them!

Does this look “normal” to you?!

I occasionally walk past the local armory. I’ll be honest, I’m not too clear on what they do there; it’s an old building that doesn’t seem to have much activity around it (or perhaps I’m just passing by at the wrong times). In July I was walking by and noticed this unsettling sign so I took a picture thinking I’d share it on the blog sometime. (I half expected, in these touchy/sensitive times, an armed guard to pop out of somewhere and challenge me but none did.)

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The date was Jul 6. I’ll have to take their word on this high risk business.

As I say the sign was hardly cheering. What’s odd is the peppy font for AMERICA, considering the scary point the sign is meant to convey, although I’ll grant you that eagle looks scary enough. I didn’t feel under any particular threat. (I just now googled “why was July 6, 2017 a high risk day for terrorist attacks” and got nothing.)

I got to wondering if the sign ever changed, given the general look of disuse about the property so yesterday I had another look. Golly! It had changed. Apparently we all should have felt much better about the state of things yesterday.

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If I might make a small suggestion to them, I think they should have varying eagle pictures too so that yesterday the eagle could have been smiling or at least not looking quite so severe. He could be eating fries or something, just to demonstrate that we could all go about our business for the day in a relatively relaxed state. Finally, given the seeming importance of the sign, you’d think it might be in more than one language. After all, who is the sign for? Surely not only those entering the building. If it was why post it outside? So it must be for the public’s benefit. Apparently if you are a non-English speaker you’ll just have to wing it.

So anyway, while I was standing there taking the photo I noticed a dark wasp fly by and didn’t think too much of it as the weather has been oddly warm and flying insects are still roaming about. I can’t tell you what made me look up but when I did I was in for a surprise. Check out that structure below the window!

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Holy moly! Look at THAT!

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GAH!

I’ve never seen a wasp nest like that just sitting out in the open. Maybe that’s because people usually put a stop to it in public spaces, such as on a building. I don’t know but in my personal experience I’ve only seen a nest of this magnitude a few times in wooded areas. Had I thought anybody – well other than the hapless me – would be potentially endangered by the nest, I would have reported it or left a note or some such. But it’s clear by the collection of last years leaves by the door that this entrance doesn’t exactly see a lot of foot traffic. Well, I guess the guy or gal who flips the terrorist risk sign would be about the only person getting close. (Um, how did THAT person or persons miss this thing?!) In the end, I figure those wasps worked awfully hard on constructing their palatial dream home and it would seem a shame, no matter how disgusting/unnerving it might look to me, to knock it down or spray it now. Besides, it’s October. Their happy days are numbered.

 

NOTE: I may not be able to see/respond to comments right away but I always appreciate them!

Creating clothes & accessories storage in my (small) bedroom

Last March (man, that sounds LONG ago now for some reason) I did a post about making my bedroom a cheerful sanctuary. I’ve been steadily improving the space over many years and it keeps getting better. It’s a small room and that forces me to get creative about decorating and storage, without feeling cramped. I want it to be cheerful and organized.

People’s closets are rather personal spaces and there’s several euphemisms to illustrate as much (“skeletons in the closet”, “coming out of the closet” and so on come to mind) and maybe I wasn’t quite ready to “show you my closet” before this but I must be feeling frisky now, friends.

My closet is 5′ long and 2′ wide. I hang most of my clothes on the over-worked rod, which is especially packed now because 1) in between seasons calls for both warm and cool weather clothes to be on-hand and 2) I bought a bunch of beautiful new-to-me tops this summer when the local church thrift store marked down their summer clothes to $1 apiece, and further marked them down to $3 and then $1 a bag. When things were a $1 I found many tops I liked (somewhere down the line I’d like to share them here on the blog) and now the rod is stuffed. 

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Curtain covers closet

I am unorthodox I expect in that I keep boots on two shelves above the clothes but that has worked best. The closet initially had just one shelf but I’d often peer up into the ceiling area eyeing all that excess space up there just doing nuthin’. With trial and error, I figured that the upper shelf I put in needed to be more shallow than the lower or a) I couldn’t see what the hell was on it and b) I couldn’t get whatever that stuff was down.

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Shoes go on a rack below. It’s pretty packed now too because of the changing season (I’m still wearing “fashion sneakers” but have also begun to wear short boots). You’ll notice the absence of “dress shoes”. My footwear has grown increasingly lower heeled/casual but I am making moves to bring in dressy, low-heeled shoes that aren’t boots (I just bought saddle shoes! Sure to be seen in an future post).

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I make use of two multi-hangers to make more space in the closet.

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I like short black skirts what can I say

I put two large green Dollar Tree fabric bins on a shelf over the closet (that you can see in the first picture above). They hold “overflow”, in this case athletic and warm winter socks in one and my purses in the other. I move things in or out depending on the season.

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I’d like my closet to be prettier inside but I need to figure out how to best do that (wallpaper on the back wall behind the clothes? A runner rug on the floor?)  but at least it’s going the right direction. I did put in a prettier shelf with a nice scalloped edge as well as a new closet rod. I moved/attached that rod up a little higher than normal because I’m tall enough to see it and it gave me more room for the shoes below.

I’ve posted about these tall IKEA cabinets I found early in 2016 and how I use one for clothes storage like socks, jeans, leggings, and scarves. Here’s the one in my room with a couple close-ups. (I took ALL the shelves from both units to use in just this one so I have tons of adjustable shelves.)

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I fold my socks in half to store them.

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Tights

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Thinner dress scarves

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Thicker dress scarves

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Fabric bin for pajamas and “cozy footies”

Last week I found a terrific deal on Amazon for a set of 4 5-drawer small Sterlite plastic drawers. I already had a 3-drawer unit that I keep make-up in (I don’t have a lot of makeup so 3 tiny drawers are fine). There was a crack in one of the new drawers so I got it marked down. Until I saw these 20 drawers, I hadn’t known that was what I wanted but it gave me an idea! I’d put everything small in tiny drawers. Hoo baby, there was no stopping me now!

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I found/painted this shelf unit a few years back. With the shelves removed the Sterlite drawers fit perfectly.

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Thin dress socks

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I got the tiny plastic containers (a 10 pack) from Dollar Tree

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I’m delighted with all these little drawers for storage – I have to SEE what I own or the things cease to exist; that’s something I’ve figured out about myself. It all needs to be visible and accessible.

 

NOTE: still having internet issues and may not respond to any comments right away but I still like them!

Short Thought 191 (self-description)

He said I was pensive, a word no one, not even I, had used to describe me before (or would again) and yet I recognized it as true.  I had thought no one could tell me anything about myself I didn’t already know.

New little touches in the living room

This summer I added two small decorative touches to the living room. I’ve blogged previously about adding ethnic touches  to a simple, high, narrow shelf I made. In the summer I picked up white “icicle” lights at a rummage sale and centered them on the front of the shelf and then linked them to a timer so they’re on from 6:30-10:30pm every night. (I figure if I see them off, I should already be in bed.) I love the effect – and even after a few months, I’m surprised when they pop on “by themselves” every night.

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For some years I’ve had a mix of what I think all initially started life as chandelier glass, that is they hung from a chandelier or fancy lampshade. I remember buying at least a few from a vintage thrift store long ago and taking others from a cast-off lamp by the road. I thought they were beautiful but could never quite settle on the best use for them. Using tacks and dental floss (it’s great for both its strength and relative invisibility) I strung them up at varied heights along the length of a “beam” at the center of the ceiling. I hung them so none will knock me or visitors in the head ahem.  It totally works.

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