Saturday, October 31, 2020



Revisiting a previous post sharing one of our favorite places.  Sadly, the last time we passed by, the bookstore had permanently closed.

This was our all-time favorite bookstore in Old Town Manassas, not only for the great selection of books they stocked, but for all the wonderful knickknacks filling every corner.
The building is very old and has so much character, from the ceiling tiles to the lighting fixtures, and the tiny rooms that were filled floor to ceiling with yet even more books.
"Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and caldron bubble."
~From Shakespeare's MacBeth~
"I would like, if I may, to take you on a very strange journey."
~The Criminologist, The Rocky Horror Picture Show~
"Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see."
~Edgar Allan Poe~
"When the witches went waltzing."
~Linda Williams~
"The witches fly across the sky, the owls go, Who? Who?  Who?  Scary Halloween to you!"
~Nina Willis Walter~
"Don't make me flip my witch stick."
~Author Unknown~
"May your Jack o' Lantern burn bright through the night."
~Author Unknown~
"Being normal is vastly overrated."
~Aggie Cromwell~
"It's just a bunch of hocus pocus!"
~Max in Hocus Pocus~
"This witch can be bribed with chocolate!"
~Author Unknown~
"I put a spell on you!"
~Jay Hawkins~
"The moon has awoken with the sleep of the sun, the light has been broken; the spell has begun."
~Midgard Morningstar~
"Please park your broom at the door."
~Author Unknown~
"Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen, voices whisper in the trees, "Tonight is Halloween.""
~Dexter Kozen~
"By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes."
~William Shakespeare, MacBeth~
"From ghoulies and ghosties and long leggety beasties and things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us!"
~Scottish Saying~
"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown."
~Lucy Van Pelt~
We will be sharing candy tonight.  Because of the Pandemic most people in our neighborhood will be filling a container and leaving it outside on their front step. The children can help themselves and hopefully take only one piece so that others will be able to have their fair share.  That's what we will do.  Hopefully we won't run out.

If you are celebrating Halloween, please have a happy and safe one, and thanks for stopping by.

Added note 11-1-20: no one came last night.  It poured down with rain.  

Friday, October 30, 2020


Today's post is thanks to our Son who went looking for pumpkins to carve with our Daughter-in-Law.  I will let you see what they did with their pumpkins early next week.
"The Jack O’Lantern chuckled then winked his funny eye, I would rather be a pumpkin-face than be inside a pie!”   
Soon Pumpkin, very soon!
~Author Unknown~
Like his mother, and his grandfather and his great-grandmother, he was drawn to the animals to take photos for mother, so that he could share them with her because he knew they would bring mother a big smile.  And they did.
Thanks Son, you are the best!

I expect many of you are out there preparing too.  

Thursday, October 29, 2020


A mini-road trip into the Virginia countryside brought us to Waterford.  It was originally settled by a man named Amos Janney in 1733, a Quaker from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. You can find out more at their homepage here. My photos were taken several years ago.

There is also a very interesting timeline of the town at this link.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020


I often enjoy playing with the ArtCard app on my iPad.  Below you can see various settings I used to turn a photo into a painting.  Do you have a favorite?  If so which number?  Or do you prefer the original?





A nod to Halloween with graphics from and tweaked in my Paint Shop Pro.

9. you can see the original photo.

Thanks for looking and enjoy your day.

Monday, October 26, 2020


This week's recipe came from Cooking Classy, hosted by Jaclyn.  You can find the original recipe here, along with great tips and enjoyable photos. 

Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots
Servings: 6 

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Calories: 597 per serving 

1 (3 lb) boneless chuck roast
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic , minced
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
3/4 cup dry red wine (optional)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, cleaned then diced into 1 1/2 inch pieces
6 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 1 1/2-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. 

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. 

Season roast all over with salt and pepper, then add roast to the Dutch oven and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side.

Transfer roast to a plate, add onions to your now empty pot, and sauté until they begin to brown, about 4 - 5 minutes, adding garlic during the last minutes. 

Carefully put your roast back into the pot, and pour beef broth and optional red wine over roast. Add thyme, rosemary and bay leaf to broth. Bring to a simmer, then cover with lid and carefully transfer to oven and cook 2 hours.  You notice I say carefully because I worry about these things.  

After the two hours - carefully - remove from oven, add carrots and potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cover pot, return - I don't have to say it any more do I? - to the oven and cook 1 to 1-1/2 hours longer until roast and veggies are tender.

Remove roast and shred or cut into large pieces, while removing fat, then return to pot. Remove bay leaf and herb sprigs. 

Serve warm and enjoy.

A great start to kick off the colder months. It was delicious but we made a few changes.  As we were still trying to get used to the pandemic, there were no trips to the store for leisurely walks up and down the aisles.  We made do with the things we had available.

I didn't have any beef stock, but there was chicken broth which we used instead.  

There were no fresh herbs and I used a teaspoon of dried thyme, and half a teaspoon of dried sage as I didn't have any rosemary.

As there was just the two of us we had 4 more meals to enjoy, and we ate them over the next couple of days.  Leftovers are great and ones which we enjoy for a nice and easy no-fuss-in-the-kitchen meal the next day, or two, and they only seem to get better as the flavors have a chance to develop.  

It was a very rich and delicious broth.  Fortunately I had a bottle of red wine left unopened from a dinner party before we all had to start being careful.  I added it to the ingredients and it was very nice to have a glass with our meal. 

The temperature of the oven is set lower than I normally use (275 deg. F), but the roast was melt-in-the-mouth tender. 

That's all I think.  Thank you for stopping by and enjoy your week.