Friday, October 31, 2014

The Judge starring Robert Downey, Jr. & Robert Duvall ~ A Movie Review


The Judge starring Robert Downey, Jr & Robert Duvall - A Movie Review
A Highly Recommended, Must See Movie! 

Rarely do I go to the theater to see a movie and come away feeling like I actually saw a movie worth viewing. It is especially rare for both my husband and myself to equally rave over a movie. 

I didn't expect to really like The Judge. I was mostly going to be with my husband and The Judge is the movie he had selected. I should have known with a cast that included Robert Downey, Jr., Robert Duvall, Vincent D'Onofrio and Billy Bob Thornton, that the movie would be outstanding. 

It was actually better than outstanding, and I can highly recommend it. 



The Characters in The Judge

Hank Palmer (Robert Downey, Jr.) is a tough, hard-hitting successful defense attorney who is known for defending criminals and winning. When his mother dies, he has to go back home for the funeral for the first time in years where he almost immediately comes face to face with the past and a father, Judge Joseph Palmer (Robert Duvall), who seemed to always be disappointed in his middle son. 

By GabboT [CC-BY-SA-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


The oldest son, Glen, masterfully played by Vincent D'Onofrio, never moved away from their home town. He is married with children, owns a auto tire shop and has spent his life being a dependable, respectable, basically good guy. 

There is also a younger brother, Dale, who is mentally handicapped and is obsessed with making home videos. Another character who is very easy to like. 


Brief Synopsis of the Movie, The Judge

On the evening of their mother's funeral, a once convicted murderer who was sentenced by Judge Palmer, is killed. Judge Palmer is accused and charged with the murder. As it becomes abundantly clear that the "nice" defense attorney Judge Palmer has hired is no match for Dwight Dickham (Billy Bob Thornton), the Judge has no choice but to rely on his son, Hank, to defend him. 

The Judge actually makes defending him very difficult for Hank because his wants to preserve his reputation and insure that the decisions he has made in the cases he has presided over will not be challenged.





Review of the Movie, The Judge 

So many movies today are very surface. They are all about the blood and gore, sex or sensationalism. 

That is simply not the case with The Judge. The movie has a real, "old fashioned" plot! 

As a viewer, you feel like you actually get to know the characters. Each of these men do such a superb job of playing their roles, that you forget that they are actors on a screen and cry, scream or rant right alone with them. 

There are several touching, revealing scenes in this movie. Almost like real life. You think you know someone and what makes them tick, only to find out that you were mistaken about their motivation. Why they made certain decisions and judgements. How simply reminding a person of someone we know, can alter the way we treat an individual. That is amazingly realistic. 





Conclusion 

If you are looking for a movie that has a real story line that may even make you question your own judgement, you will love this movie too. Personally, I always enjoy a movie that makes me introspective, one that causes me to seriously think, not just sit back and be visually stimulated. 

In my opinion, "The Judge" is a 5 star, must see movie! 

5 out of 5 stars





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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Keep Your Camera Handy for Unexpected Moments

Have you ever been some place and saw something that would make a perfect photo and you were caught without your camera handy or with your batteries dead.  I know with today's camera phones that doesn't happen as often as it use too, but still I sometimes find myself wishing for my camera.

In early October we were on a cruise ship returning from a wonderful 10 day cruise and I had all of my bags packed and ready to leave the cruise the next day.  For some reason I decided to leave my camera sit out on the dresser and I was glad I did. 

When I went to bed I left the drapes open on the window so I could see the lights when we arrived in New York City early the next morning.  I woke up at about 5 am and we were still out at sea so I went back to bed but I now lay facing the window.  At 6 am I opened my eyes to the glorious sight below.  Lady Liberty was standing there right outside my window.  I jumped up, grabbed my camera and stepped out onto our balcony.  I was able to get off about 10 shots before this beautiful sight was out of view.

I found it quite moving to be that close to the Statue of Liberty.  It is an iconic symbol of freedom in America and over the years has welcomed many immigrants to the United States.  I can imagine my Grandfather coming here as a young boy and seeing her in New York's harbor.



As the ship moved on into the harbor I was able to photograph the lights of New York in the minutes before sunrise.  This was one time that I was sure glad I had my camera ready and waiting!


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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Handmade Harvest-Time

It's Harvest Time, the time of year crops are traditionally harvested. This coincides with Autumn, the season of colorful leaves, cooler nights, pumpkins and apples, and the holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving.



The term 'Harvest' came from England and was the name for the season between summer and winter until Autumn began to be used in the 16th century. In Britain the season is usually considered to be from August through October and in the United States from September through November. The term 'Autumn' is also interchangeable from 'Fall', used mainly in America. Unlike the other three seasons, there does not seem to be a common word for this season in all the Indo-European languages. Autumn and Harvest-Time are my favorite terms to use.

Autumn Themed  Crafts


Acorns




Custom Crochet Fall Acorn Beanie
Autumn is a favorite time of year for crafters and the Indie-artists in the fields of art and photography because the lovely harvest-related colors of orange, brown, red and yellow lend themselves to beautiful creations. 

Since acorns are plentiful in the Fall, this crochet acorn hat is perfect for the season.  A leaf and a small acorn adorn the top of the hat, and are attached to the stem of the acorn. Made in super soft cotton yarn, the hat is available in sizes from newborn to adult large.

Place your order for an acorn hat with Monica of Costa Mesa, California.  You can find her in her Etsy Shop "Ruffle Stitch Kids." These hats make a great gift for all the 'nuts' on your list and is perfect for those Fall photos. 


Pumpkins


Pumpkin Potholder and Matching Dishcloth
Pumpkins are also perfect for a harvest time decor as seen with this set of pumpkin potholder 
and dishcloth combo.

In addition to sprucing up your Fall home decor, this pumpkin set makes a unique hostess gift when invited out to dinner, especially during the Harvest-Time season.  Or nice for a wedding gift for a Fall wedding. 





More Ideas for Handmade Harvest Time



  • Sylvestermouse shows us a collection of beautiful beaded cross-stitch kits with lovely Thanksgiving designs to stitch up for the most popular 'harvest holiday' – Thanksgiving Day!



  • Wednesday-Elf found some really fun and practical handmade harvest-related designs on Etsy by clever crafters who love to create in Autumn themes.


When you think of 'handmade harvest-time', you may consider crafts as the only field that's considered handmade. Not so, in my opinion.



Pumpkin Muffins by Mary Beth Granger

  • I consider cooking a handmade 'delicious delight', as you can see in this yummy pumpkin muffin recipe by mbgphoto.

  • And 'gardening' gives us all that wonderful homegrown food. You don't need to have a farm or even a large garden plot in your yard. As Dawn Rae shows us, you can also grow and harvest your favorite foods like squash and tomatoes in a simple container garden on your apartment balcony.



Enjoy the colors of the Autumn Leaves as you 'trick or treat' for Halloween and plan your Thanksgiving feast in a multitude of handmade ways from crafting to cooking to planning your next garden for Spring.



Have an Awesome Autumn and Harvest-time.



(c) 12/02/2014 Wednesday Elf




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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Reviewing Easy Pumpkin Carving Pages

Looking for last minute fun things to do for Halloween? How about easy pumpkin carving? The stores are still filled with pumpkins and you certainly have knives in your kitchen that can work great for carving. All you need are ideas for some interesting looks to carve. That's what Review This has for you today.

Pumpkin Carving Stencils


A Creative Desktop came up with some easy and fun printable stencils. All free, of course. Along
with instructions for how to print and use the stencils, this site gives you unlimited access to them. You are free to modify and alter them to suit your own tastes and needs.

Not just 40 different designs, but many funny faces as well. Be sure to click through to Page 2 to see lots more. There are some fun stencils, including a flying witch, a Star Wars Storm Trooper and the Ghostbusters logo. You are sue to find at least a few that you can try your own pumpkin carving talent on.

Carving Fun Pumpkins

More pumpkin carving fun comes from a page out of Better Homes and Garden. A simple trio of cute faces make up this page. All are easy for just about anyone to do. With these designs, the carving did not go all the way through the pumpkin. Instead, you have just the outer skin cut. Be sure to get a little paint to fill in the carving so you can get the bright contrast in color. Just like it shows in the image at the top of this page.

Free Stencils for Pumpkin Carving

Talk about fun and cute designs, Readers Digest online offers us some of those great easy stencils. They include some eerie faces, but also those darling emoticons just for fun.

My idea for this year when the grandgirls arrive for our Halloween fest is to have several different sizes. I'll let them pick out a stencil each, but I want to do this "how me?" goofy face myself.

A full 28 free designs are available for you to download and print. And all are fun and easy to do.



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Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween Countdown Continues 5 days to go!

Halloween is almost here! The ghouls, goblins, witches and princesses,   have all checked to make sure that their costumes are ready for the big night.  After all, this is a one night a year event and it should not be marred by a costume that  is less than perfect!

Review This wants to make sure that along with all the fun the kids are going to have tonight, that they are also seen by all those who may be driving on this Halloween Evening.

We know without a doubt that children get excited and maybe a little careless when they are having fun, but on darkened streets, this could be a recipe for disaster and no one wants that!

So without further hesitation, I am going to suggest a few ways to keep our kids safe and having fun, without any accidents to spoil the fun and turn it into a real "fright" night.

Being seen by cars is the most important part of keeping our kids safe.  Consider sewing or adhereing some glow in the dark reflective tape to their costumes.  These tapes are available in fabric stores or hardware stores or on-line.  Add a few stripes and make it part of the costumes design so that when any light hits it, it will glow with a brightness that everyone will see.  Or another option is to buy some glow in the dark paints and literally paint part of the design of the costume using these paints.

 Glow in the Dark Paints available through Amazon.

If this is not an option for your trick or treater, than might we suggest that a flashlight will be a good alternative.  Not only will it make them seen, they can also use it to light a path to the doorway of the next house that they will be visiting.  No tripping over garden ornaments, or hoses or anything else that would be in their path.   I like this one because you can attach it to their goody bags with the clip, so that their hands are free.  Sometimes the kids would just rather not have anything else to deal with other than their goody bags.


  Clip on Flashlight by Melissa and Doug.

I love the idea of lights and making the children as visible as possible, but still keeping with the spirit of Halloween.  If you have taken the time to construct your costume,  maybe you have thought to add some solar lights to part of your "get up" !

I can picture it now,  Ms. Witch with her hat and long hair just covered in twinkling lights......or a cauldron goody keeper that emits a frightening light....or even cool glow sticks that come in a variety of colors. Share them with friends and the more that are together the better the light will be.



Glow sticks are fun for all the kids, share them with your friends and make sure that they are visible too!

These are just a few of the steps you can take to make sure that your children and their friends are not walking in the dark, possibly not being seen by those around them.

Add some reflective tape to their goody bags and the toes and heels of their shoes.  They will be spooky looking, because their feet will be making tracks before you realize that there are goblins or ghosts on your doorstep.

For everyone to really enjoy Halloween, let's remember to BE Safe and Have a Really Good Time.






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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ghost in this House, One of the Most Haunting Country Songs

Forget About It, by Alison Krausss



Country music isn't always about inspiration and beer drinking fun!


The eerie music and lyrics to
Ghost in This House by Alison Krauss breaks your heart while still sending shivers down your spine.

Listening to this song I can't help but think of my mom in our family home alone now, without my father. However, the lyrics can apply to both a loss from a break-up, or death. 

Alison Krauss possesses a voice that pierces through you as she sings this heartbreak with haunted suffering. The story of loss and loneliness infects you and you're left feeling the anguish that this woman lives with.

(Lyrics) I'm just a ghost in this house
I'm just a shadow upon these walls
As quietly as a mouse I haunt these halls
I'm just a whisper of smoke
I'm all that's left of two hearts on fire
That once burned out of control
You took my body and soul
I'm just a ghost in this house
Since the song has personal meaning for me, I find it hard to listen to. However on the brighter side, if you like to sing, which I spend too much time doing, the key Alison Krauss sings this in works perfectly for me, so it gets played often ... just so I can belt it out and annoy the boys.  The song successfully combines something wonderful with something painful and tragic, making it irresistible.

Ghost in This House goes quite a way back. It was originally recorded and released by Country Group Shenandoah in September of 1990. It was also covered by the Dixie Chicks. Alison Krauss released her cover on her 1999 album Forget About It.

Take a minute to listen below. You won't be disappointed. Free of a grand crescendo, the even keeled musical approach to this spooky tale manages to keep you listening mainly for the story it tells ... that, and the fact that if you like to sing in this key, you're hooked!




The lyrics featured below haunt me the most; they speak about the ghost that sits in 'your chair' and 'lays his head on your pillow at night'. Mom just recently donated my father's lift chair to someone in need, but that chair has been positioned beside mom's chair for multiple decades (replaced a few times of course) but none-the-less, after dad passed, that chair haunted me, but I still loved it.

We were very torn about letting it go; mom and I both had trouble sleeping the night before the couple came to pick it up. For over a year, when sitting in mom's chair, I would glance at dad's chair and imagine him in it again; it's a feeling that combines pain with beauty. In fact, the feeling is best described in the Dr. Seuss quote, 'Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened'.
 (Lyrics) I don't mind staying in
There's another ghost here
He sits down in your chair
And he shines with your light
And he lays down his head
On your pillow at night
I hope you get to listen to this song without all the associations I've personally attached to it! If you haven't suffered a deep loss and get to listen to it for the pure joy of music, then I'll end this with an appropriate Halloween sentiment, BOO! 

By Barbara Tremblay Cipak
Drageda.com - Country Music Reviewer




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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Halloween Sandwiches: Part IV of Halloween Recipes on Review This!

This year's Halloween celebration will be just a bit different than I normally have. I'm doing a sandwich spread for some of my family. Therefore I needed some good options for great Halloween sandwiches. And did I find some. Children and adults will be included in this event which means recipes appropriate for both.




Finger sandwiches from Pillsbury

Halloween Finger Sandwiches, Literally


Finger sandwiches are always worth doing and at Halloween we have sandwiches that look like fingers. I love this recipe, it's easy and adjustable for any variety of ingredients. Pillsbury came up with idea and uses meats, but I want to do a vegetarian version.

That turned out to be easy, by just replacing the meats with cheeses and vegetables in the sandwich and using triangles of red pepper instead of the pepperoni for the fingernails. Yep, simple.

Coffin Sandwiches


Coffin Sandwiches from Kraft
Kraft Foods came up with a cute idea as well. Coffin sandwiches are prefect for a fun Halloween treat. The easy part is cutting the shapes. Kraft even gives a template for the coffin shape. A sharp bread knife is a must for this. Getting the shape to come out makes a big difference.

The hard part is deciding on the sandwich fillers. Many, many options can work. With the kids involved, peanut butter and jelly will one of the choices, but I also like the idea of fillers such as egg salad and cream cheese spreads (www.whimsicalteapotsandcups.com/recipes/cucumber-dill-spread).

Personally, I love the idea of adding the R. I. P. onto the top of the sandwiches. Kraft suggests using decorating gel, mustard, even ketchup. Be careful about stacking coffin sandwiches with the message. You need to keep those with a message from sitting under another sandwich.

Halloween Sandwich Cutters


When you want to make interesting shaped Halloween sandwiches, you can easily use a cookie cutter. Wilton has a fun set that includes that coffin shape for finger sandwiches. But, I also love the idea of the bat for some fun food additions.



Mummy Pizzas


Let us not forget pizza, one of those family food staples. Mummy pizzas are crazy easy to do. And you can add any and all pizza ingredients that you want. The trick is to layer thin slices of white cheese on top to create the mummy wrappings. Then add two slices of pitted black olives to make the eyes.

Food.com gives us a fun option using English Muffins for the pizza dough. Any crust style that you like will work out perfect for mummy pizzas. This is the time for you to use your favorite crust and your favorite ingredients.


Getting ready for Halloween, whether a big party, or a fun family dinner like mine, Halloween sandwiches make an easy menu option. There's plenty of choices for both kids and grown-ups alike. Review This has more Halloween recipes, too. See our appetizers, desserts and beverages to round out your Halloween menu.



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Friday, October 24, 2014

Halloween Wicked Brews & Beverages - Part III of Halloween Recipes on Review This!

Wicked Brews & Beverages - Part III of Halloween Recipes on Review This
Sometimes we focus so much on the food, that we forget that the Halloween wicked brews and beverages can be just as much fun on a Halloween buffet as the food itself.  From eerie colors to  floating body parts in our punch, one that that is for sure, they all exude the Halloween spirit.

I am going to start with the "mildest" Halloween punch, but do beware!  The further you go in this article, the more wicked the brew.


 
Halloween Orange Sherbet Punch

Sherbet punch is one of the easiest and delicious party drinks.  I am going to share my own personal recipe for Halloween Orange Sherbet Punch right here, right now.  No need to go any further to discover an awesome Halloween punch suitable for any party or any age.  I opt for Orange Sherbet, but green or raspberry would be awesome for Halloween too.

Flickr.com cc
Easy Sherbet Punch Recipe Ingredients by Sylvestermouse

  • 1/2 gallon Orange Sherbet
  • 2 Liters Ginger Ale

Instructions


  1. Let Sherbet soften for approximately 45 minutes.
  2. Cut Sherbet into small squares or scoop into round balls. 
  3. Place Sherbet squares / balls in large punch bowl
  4. Slowly add Ginger Ale


Brew-Ha-Ha Punch Recipe

Photo: Ralph Anderson; Styling: Buffy Hargett
The Brew-Ha-Ha Punch recipe is a really neat Halloween punch that is family and kid friendly.   

By mixing a potion of green drink mix (like Kool Aid), pineapple juice & Ginger Ale, you will delight everyone with a cool green punch for Halloween.

Complete Brew-Ha-Ha Recipe can be found here:  MyRecipes.com





Black Halloween Punch

Featured with the recipe at Allrecipes.com
A black Halloween Punch would be totally awesome for any Halloween Party!  

With a mixture of grape and orange drink mixes with ginger ale, you too can easily create this ominous looking Halloween punch.

 Black Halloween Punch Recipe Here:  Allrecipes.com

Create that smoky effect under the punch by pouring water over dry ice in a larger, separate bowl.  

Rules for Using Dry Ice ~ Know the Rules Before You Play with Dry Ice

  1. Wear Gloves!  Never touch dry ice to skin
  2. Never Drink Dry Ice
  3. Never Put Dry Ice directly in a drink or your mouth
  4. Do Not Put Dry Ice in Freezer ~ Use within 24 hrs. of purchase
  5. Keep Dry Ice Away from Children


Halloween Ice Cubes in Any Punch

You can add a touch of Halloween to any punch with shaped ice cube molds.  You can freeze water for traditional ice cubes or you can freeze the actual punch in these molds to avoid watering down your punch.  Either adds the thrill of Halloween to your punch while keeping it cool.






Eyeball Punch

I am featuring this particular Eyeball Punch recipe because of the authors ingenious way of creating the eyeballs.  

She shares her really neat trick with everyone on her blog.  You will need to scroll to the bottom of her post to see her pictorial directions, but it is well worth the visit.

See the Eyeball Punch Recipe by Heidi:  HappinessIsHomemade.net  


Shrunken Heads in Cider

MarthaStewart.com
This Shrunken Heads Cider is fabulously awesome.  My hat's off to Allison DiNatale for creating and sharing this frightfully cool recipe on the Martha Stewart website.

Would you believe those shrunken heads are simply Granny Smith apples?!!!

Very, very cool indeed!

This recipe can be made for children, but she has also included the portion instructions if you care to spice it up with rum.

See the Complete Shrunken Head Cider Recipe by clicking the following link:   MarthaStewart.com




 For Adults Only ~ The Following Recipes Contain Alcohol



Purplicious Potion


In complete honestly, I cannot attest to the taste of this Purplicious Potion.  I simply thought it looked appropriate for Halloween, plus I love the color purple.  

I will need some of my friends to test this "potion" and report back to determine if it tastes as awesome as it looks.

But, I must ask you, isn't that photo spectacular!

Try this Purplicious Potion Recipe.  It can be found at:  FamilySpice.com




Halloween Cocktails


Or, you just might want to give this one a shot!  


Cheers to my "spirited" friends and collegues

Recipe & Photo Jay'sCatering.com




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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Celebrate Fall with a Visit to a Pumpkin Patch and Crafts

Remember when visiting a pumpkin patch meant picking out a pumpkin for Halloween carving?  Well you can still do that, but pumpkin patches have sprung up all over with a wide variety of fall activities for all ages.  I discovered all the fun of a pumpkin patch visit last weekend when we visited Carolyn's Pumpkin Patch in the Kansas City area.
In the photo above my granddaughters Kate and Emily stop so I can take their photo by a pile of pumpkins.  The pumpkin patch had many different photo op spots throughout the area.  There were those cute wood cutouts where kids can stick their heads through the holes and look like a farmer, cowboy or even a pumpkin.  There were also lots of fall decorations with places for the kids to sit while you took their photos. This photo shows the girls running out of a maze made of corn stalks.
The pumpkin patch that we went with our granddaughters also had lots of animals for the girls to feed or pet.  There was a pen of goats and also other enclosures with ducks, rabbits and chickens.  

There was lots to do for the girls including a ride on a train, tractor tricycles to race, and places to climb.
This big rocking chair was a hit with the girls.
After taking plenty of time to let the girls run around we stopped at the donut hut for some delicious pumpkin donuts.  There was also a fudge shop where we purchased some fudge to take home with us.  Of course we couldn't forget to get our pumpkin so before we left we hopped on the wagon for a ride down to the field where all the pumpkins were growing to pick out some special pumpkins to bring home and carve.

The trip to the pumpkin patch was a great success.  It was so much fun watching the girls enjoy the day.  If you are looking for a fun activity for a fall day I would suggest looking for a pumpkin patch to enjoy the treats of the season in the great outdoors.

Fall Crafts

When we got back home from the pumpkin patch it was time for some quiet time so the girls colored some wooden masks that I had gotten from a craft shop.  Here are several links to some fall crafts that would be great for all ages.
Easy Pumpkin Craft
Halloween Crafts
Here are the girls with their newly colored witch masks.




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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Top 5 Not So Scary Halloween Movies

Source: Stux on Pixabay
You are about to enter a terror-free zone. Tales that frighten and ghosts that scream are not allowed. Only friendly zombies are invited to our low-key, fun, and not so scary Halloween movie night.

Halloween isn't a holiday we celebrate in the usual way at our house. We don't go for the horror, the rattling chains, or the mares that terrorize the night. Instead, we have a celebratory party filled with fun, food, and fantastical tales of the bizarre and macabre. Why? Because that's the way, uh-huh uh-huh, we like it, uh-huh uh-huh!

After Halloween dinner is over, we grab a bowl of candy corn, top it with a few popcorn balls, and set up camp in our movie pit. Yes, our favorite way to spend the Halloween evening is curled up on the couch with a not so scary Halloween movie.

Our Top 5 Favorite Halloween Movies That Fright and Delight


There's a stack of movies that we shuffle through for our Halloween movie night entertainment. Movies range from vintage classics to modern mayhem. Here's a short 3 minute clip from our favorite movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas, with Marilyn Manson, as the backup band, singing This Is Halloween.




Here are our five favorite Halloween movies. If you see a movie you like, click on the cover image to be taken to Amazon's website. Here, you can rent the video through Amazon Instant Video. You can also purchase the movie as either a DVD , Blue-ray, or streaming online video with digital download.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

We love Tim Burton's sense of scary humor and think this is one of the best animated feature films created by a computer. The love story between Jack and Sally is so endearing. There's nothing better than a wicked happily ever after.

Purchase - Stream instantly and download to 2 locations.
Rental - 3-day viewing period.
Purchase The Nightmare Before Christmas from Amazon

The Wizard of Oz
(75th Anniversary Edition by L. Frank Baum)

This is a classic that we've watched every year since we were tiny children. There's something about following the Yellow Brick Road with Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow. There's an adventure around every corner. And, when I watch this movie, I dream of owning a pair of ruby red slippers.

Purchase - DVD, Blue-ray, or stream instantly and download to 2 locations.
Rental - 24 hour viewing period.

Buy The Wizard of Oz on Amazon

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
(Remastered Deluxe Edition)

Another classic from our childhood. Every year we wait for the Great Pumpkin and every year we miss him. But Linus is never discouraged and confidently waits for the return of the Great Pumpkin.

Purchase - DVD, Blue-ray, or stream instantly and download to 2 locations.
Get It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown from Amazon

Ghostbusters

Tell us you don't love singing along to the Ghostbusters song by Ray Parker, Jr. Come on, tell us and see what happens. And it's the music that makes this spooky movie so much fun. You'll be toe tapping to a ghostly beat from beginning to end.

Purchase - DVD, Blue-ray, or stream instantly and download to 2 locations.
Rental - 24 day viewing period.
Purchase Ghostbusters from Amazon

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

We love this movie because of The Headless Horseman song which features the voice of Bing Crosby. This song will scare every Ichabod Crane as he makes his lonely ride home on Halloween night. Being chased by the haunting Headless Horseman.

Purchase - Stream instantly and download to 2 locations.
Rental - 3 day viewing period.
Buy the Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad on Amazon

We hope you enjoyed this selection of Halloween movies that will entertain, delight, and not fright your family and friends. What's your favorite not so scary Halloween movie?



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Monday, October 20, 2014

Visit Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

I have many favorite places to visit in the mid-Atlantic, but Harpers Ferry, West Virginia is a special place. I wish I could visit every weekend.  Frankly, I wouldn't mind living in the area.  But so far, I've only taken day trips to the beautiful little town. 

Photographic print by Jeffrey D. Walters
Personally, I go to Harpers Ferry in order to enjoy the scenery and to climb the hill to the Maryland Heights overlook.  Or I spend the day walking around the town among the old buildings.  Occasionally, I stop before I get to the town, and sit at the river's edge and watch the flotilla of humans, enjoying the river in innertubes, kayaks, and canoes. I love the look and feel of this little water community; tucked in at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. Where the states of West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland meet. 

Recommending Harpers Ferry as a place to visit is easy for me since I think everyone can find something they like while there. People who like historical towns, architecture, outdoor recreation, civil war and black history will especially enjoy their visit.  

Hilltop Church Harpers Ferry by Greg Dale
A bit of trivia, Harpers Ferry was originally spelled with an apostrophe (Harper's Ferry) and continues to be found this way in literature. However, It is now correct to spell it without an apostrophe. I don't know what caused the change but I do know that I tend to revert to the apostrophe version frequently.  I am trying to break that habit.  But you will likely see it spelled both ways. 

Outdoor recreation 
Tour the area by raft, zipline, horseback, or bicycle.  There are several different adventures and outfitters to choose from
Indoor recreation (a.k.a shopping)
There is no mall or superstore type of shopping located in this town. Not that I have seen. But there are many little shops offering beautiful items for sale. Shop-a-holics can find great gifts or treats for themselves. 

Appalachian Trail  (AT)
Harpers Ferry is considered the "psychological halfway point" by the AT thru-hikers. Because of the close proximity to the AT trail, Harpers Ferry is also an excellent place for day hikes on the AT

Maryland Heights Trails
The Harper's Ferry National Historical Park is a highly recommended walking park and offers 20 miles of trails. There are riverside paths, battlefield trails, and my favorite Maryland Heights trail.  Maryland Heights is across the Potomac river from town and up that giant hill.  It is miles long and a steep and difficult (for me anyway) trail. But it is well worth the effort when you are able to see the town from the overlook area.  The first photograph in this article shows the breathtaking sight from that area. 

Civil War and Black History 
Abolitionist John Brown Wax Museum Photo by Joel Sartore
I can't even being to share the importance of this town to both civil war history and black history, and history in general.  The John Brown raid precipitated the civil war in Harpers Ferry.  Three civil war battles occurred here. Harpers Ferry was the site for the first academic college for freed slaves (Storer College) as well as the site for the US of the Niagara Movement (which later became the NAACP).  I was aware of the civil war history in the area but only became adequately aware of the importance in shaping history for freed slaves when I accidentally parked in a parking lot between the Storer college buildings in order to get my bearings.  I was there that day to hike, I will return to look more closely at these buildings and the self-guided tour.

Maybe you can begin to understand why Harpers Ferry is one of my favorite places to be.  This is just the smallest peek at what this town has to offer.  

Replica of John Brown's Fort by mamaGeek cc by 3.0
If you go, I have two important bits of advice. Be sure to wear good walking shoes and bring water. Parking in this area is limited because of the layout of the town.  Tourists have several parking lots to use but the closest fills up early.  I have seen days where there is no parking in the park or at the train station. There are shuttles from the more distance parking lots. Also, if you plan to walk or hike, pack plenty of water.  I always walk farther than I meant to.  Being thirsty is not safe or comfortable when you hike. 

If you ever have the chance to visit Harpers Ferry, I hope you take it.  It is a wonderful place to experience.

Written by Dawn Rae
Disclosure: In affiliation with AllPosters.com, Dawn Rae is a blogger and content writer who may earn compensation from the sale of AllPosters products.  



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