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Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

It doesn't look like much- actually, it looks quite beautiful- but don't be fooled.
We are getting hit hard on Long Island, and the storm hasn't even REACHED us yet.
Forty mile an hour winds gust through the trees, ripping at wet leaves and branches
Noises of unseen objects hit against the houses, the electricity flickers precariously,
and the wind. Oh, the furious sound of the wind... it rattles your bones despite
your being safely out of the elements at home. Nature is in a total frenzy out here.

We haven't been doing much inside- Jake, Lola, and I have stayed huddled under the covers
for most of the afternoon, peeking out the window every so often to witness the havoc.
"Huh? There's a hurricane approaching?" Zzzz...
We're prepared with lots of water, candles, a propane stove, and food. Fortunately (and
I emphasis the word FORTUNATELY), we still have electricity, and I truly hope it stays 
that way, although as I stated earlier, the storm technically hasn't even hit us yet. We won't
bear the worst of it until around 7:30 this evening. I took down most of the decorations
outside, except for the gravestones. I've had one casualty so far- Norman Bate's gravestone-
but it can be easily fixed. Yep, things are pretty crazy out here on the island. I've seen pictures
of Martha's Vineyard, and other parts of Massachusetts, and it doesn't look too pretty there either.

To all of my fellow inhabitants of the east coast, please be safe.
I hope you have stocked up on all the necessities like water, canned foods,
some alternative form of cooking device for those with electric stoves, candles...
and of course, the "other" essentials like good books, board games,
 cocoa, and furry pets to cuddle up with when you get a bit nervous.

Hang in there, everyone-
My prayers are with you all.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sleepy Hollow

How's everyone's October going?

Mine's been going along swimmingly! 
from Jack O'Lantern carving (like the one I did above!),
to decorating a new house, to a night of haunted house jumping . . .

This was scary!

. . . It's been quite a SPOOKTACULAR month!
I even went on a little day trip up to Sleepy Hollow, 
New York over the weekend with my boyfriend, Jacob. . .

Jake and I standing on the "Headless Horseman Bridge" ♥

Sleepy Hollow has always been one of the most special places
in my life. I have been going there religiously every October for about seven or
eight years now. I was initially attracted to it because I felt like it had the same
Halloween appeal as the larger-scale Salem, but was much less touristy and had a 
more old fashioned "home town" feel. When I first began coming here, most of their 
Halloween events were geared towards the local crowd; high school haunted hayrides 
that soared through the town, lantern-lit spooky walks through Phillipsburg Manor, 
low-key readings of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" at the Old Dutch Church 
where they'd serve ginger snaps and warm apple cider over the pot belly stove.
It was simply magical, and it kept me coming back year after year...
Of course, things didn't stay the same
I noticed the change a couple of years ago when they officially got rid of Legends Evening 
at Phillipsburg Manor and replaced it with "Horseman's Hollow"- a gimmicky, circus-like 
haunted house with "vampire pirates" and a gruesome Ichabod Crane. Then they changed 
the high school hayride around, replacing the unique and detailed scenes we would drive by
with an overabundance of more "vampire pirates," and forgetting all about the Headless
Horseman that would appear at the end of the ride. They got rid of the original reader
of the Legend at the Old Dutch Church, a theatrical and engaging man who kept you at 
the edge of your seat, to a dumb-downed and overly-kid friendly reader whose voice 
was that of a five year old's, and completely obliterated the atmosphere of the tale.
The swarms of tourists continue to congest the streets more and more every year,
adorned in their "Horseman's Hollow" t-shirts and spoiling the peaceful ambiance
that I once so fondly cherished. You'd be lucky if you can find a ticket to anything
on a Friday or Saturday evening... everything is cluttered... everything is sold out.

All of these things broke my heart as the years progressed, but I kept coming back,
and did so again  this year, because despite all the changes, it still remains an enchanting
and extremely beautiful place. And I wanted more than anything to share it with the man
I love, so I did! This past weekend. And guess what?... We had the best time.

Cute store in town. Howdy back!

Lovely view of the Hudson River

Jake and myself again... Isn't he so cute!

The gift shop at Phillipsburg Manor... See anything you like?

Getting ready for our walking tour of the Old Dutch Burying Ground...

The Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow!

Say cheese!... Bah! The sun was in our eyes!

Sweet little Jack O'Lantern by the door of the church.

Snapping some photos of the cemetery


Taking a walk to the "Headless Horseman Bridge"

(Sorry, couldn't help myself. Too ca-hute.)

Exploring the brook on the way... See the bridge in the background?

King of the Hollow!

Simply beautiful.

Taking it all in...

Lonely gravestone spotted on our walk back.

Silly faces!

I ♥ Autumn ... don't you?

So, even though Sleepy Hollow isn't exactly the Sleepy Hollow I fell in love
with anymore, the heart and soul of it remains... amidst the colorful leaves that go
shushing in the wind, behind the weathered gravestones, underneath the old wooden
bridge, between every kiss and every laugh I shared with the man who holds my heart.
Yes, I just know it's still there.

Friday, October 5, 2012

It's October!

Say hello to my Halloween Cat
(who's turning fourteen on the 28th!)

Anyone who's anyone knows that I love-love-LOVE October...
it's my favorite month in fact. I look forward to it all year long, and 
when it's finally here I barely even know what to do with myself!

I surround myself with Halloween decor as a way to cope

This year has been particularly interesting since I moved for the first time 
since I was a year old- I've been so used to celebrating Halloween at my old
house, with my aunt and cousins who used to live with me... now everything
has changed. There's good and bad points, keep in mind! I truly miss sharing
this time with my extended family who now live a few towns away, and I miss
the home I grew up in, and the friends I left behind. Living at my grandfather's
has been anything but a picnic, as I've told you, and I really miss having a place 
I could truly call "Home." But there have been good changes! For one, I met the
love of my life almost a year ago, and I'm so ecstatic to have someone close to spend
this season with. And another plus is my grandfather's neighborhood and property are
fantastic! There are so many children here, and his front yard is the perfect canvas for decorating.
Don't believe me? Take a look for yourself!:

Pretty cool, huh?

So, see! there are things to be thankful for.

And as an extended thanks to YOU, my followers and friends,
 I'd like to spread the Halloween cheer by sending out some cards
to anyone who would like one! If you're one of them, please send me
an e-mail with your name and mailing address (
... it'll be sure to make your day spooktacular!

- - - - - - - - -

That's all for now!
Wishing you a beautiful fall weekend full of
pumpkins, falling leaves, and maybe a few ghosts here and there!

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