Sunday, October 30, 2011

Have a cookie and get your candle lit....

 I made sugar cookies yesterday and invited the neighbors to come and help frost and decorate them.  We had such fun.  See these woolly (coconut) sheep?  Well, the cookie cutter was a cow, but I didn't have enough flour in the dough so they puffed up into sheep when I baked them.  I'm glad. 
I did add in some more flour to the cookie dough and tried the cow cutter again.  Hooray!  We had a few cows along with our sheep, pumpkins, and leaves.  
Peach decided this cow was going to be a bull.  After all, our bulls sport orange ear tags.  Isn't she an observant child?  Yes, she is!  And smart too!

Now for one of my favorite poems for Halloween by John Ciardi.  He's one of my favorite poets and you must not miss The Man Who Sang The Sillies, a collection of his poems with illustrations by Edward Gorey who is such fun!  The Stranger in the Pumpkin reminds me that we all need to "get our candles are LIT!"   I was just reading from my Bible that we all need to be filled with Light, if not, the darkness is very dark indeed!  (Matt 6:21-23)  When the kids were at home, we always recited and read aloud Halloween poems.  In fact, just this morning one of my sons told me that he could still recite his favorite, scary Halloween poem and he planned to share it with some of his friends.  I wonder what they'll think of that?  Well now, on with my poem.

The Stranger in the Pumpkin
The stranger in the pumpkin said:
"It's all dark inside your head.
What a dullard you must be!
Without light how can you see?
Don't you know that heads should shine
From deep inside themselves--like mine?
Well, don't stand there in a pout
With that dark dome sticking out--
It makes me sick to look at it!
Go and get your candle lit!"

~John Ciardi

And now for the scary poem that S. likes. 
Read it in your scariest voice, slowly. Very slowly.
The Broomstick Train (or) Return of the Witches

LOOK out! Look out, boys! Clear the track!
The witches are here! They've all come back!
They hanged them high,--No use! No use!
What cares a witch for a hangman's noose?
They buried them deep, but they wouldn't lie still,
For cats and witches are hard to kill;
They swore they shouldn't and wouldn't die,--
Books said they did, but they lie! they lie!
(to read more of this long, long, long poem, click here.)
~Oliver Wendell Holmes
One more poem, this one is another favorite of mine.  
(I can't help it, I like a very little scare)

by: James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916)
      To all the little children: -- The happy ones; and sad ones;
      The sober and the silent ones; the boisterous and glad ones;
      The good ones -- Yes, the good ones, too; and all the lovely bad ones.
      ITTLE Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
      An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
      An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
      An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep;
      An' all us other childern, when the supper-things is done,
      We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun
      A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about,
      An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you
      Ef you
      Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn't say his prayers,--
      An' when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
      His Mammy heerd him holler, an' his Daddy heerd him bawl,
      An' when they turn't the kivvers down, he wuzn't there at all!
      An' they seeked him in the rafter-room, an' cubby-hole, an' press,
      An' seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an' ever'-wheres, I guess;
      But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an' roundabout:--
      An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
      Ef you
      An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin,
      An' make fun of ever' one, an' all her blood-an'-kin;
      An' wunst, when they was "company," an' ole folks wuz there,
      She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, an' said she didn't care!
      An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide,
      They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin' by her side,
      An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she knowed what she's about!
      An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
      Ef you
      An' little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
      An' the lamp-wick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-oo!
      An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is gray,
      An' the lightnin'-bugs in dew is all squenched away,--
      You better mind yer parunts, an' yer teachurs fond an' dear,
      An' churish them 'at loves you, an' dry the orphant's tear,
      An' he'p the pore an' needy ones 'at clusters all about,
      Er the Gobble-uns 'll git you
      Ef you
(so glad I didn't have to type this one out!  Thank goodness for the internet and copy/paste!)

Do you have a favorite Halloween poem or tradition?
  How about a favorite poetry collection?
Do share!


  1. What a lovely time. I wish I could tell you but the only tradition we have is my husband watches Princess Bride. It is his favorite movie and not mine. :) But I can recite almost the whole movie.
    When the kids were small he started watching it on Halloween and it has been our tradition ever since.

  2. Love the cows that turned into sheep!
    Inquiring minds want to you ever get Trick or Treaters at your door?
    Here's a song from my Elementary teaching days that I enjoyed...
    Don't you know it's that time of year
    When the witches and ghosts appear,
    They come at night when there's no more light
    Halloween is almost here.
    If you look very carefully
    There's a goblin behind that tree.
    But don't you see
    that it might be me.

    I forgot a couple lines!

    Have a fun Halloween Jody!

  3. So fun to share your baking with the neighbors! Enjoyed your poems, also, especially Little Orphant Annie

  4. Cookies and poems! Perfect!
    HP IS observant!

  5. Farm Girl,
    I like Princess Bride! Sometimes we watch a mildly scary movie like Signs or Sixth Sense.

    We usually don't get trick-or-treaters, but our grandkids live next door so we will this year! We always took our kids to town to TOT and we celebrated with some friends year after year. Fun memories.

    I like your poem very much.


  6. I enjoyed your post, especially the poem about keeping your candle lit. I live in the town in Indiana that is James Whitcom Riley's birth place. I used to be a guide in the museum they made of his home and heard many stories about him as a child from the older ladies that worked there. He was very mischievous and quite the proper poet for a Halloween post!

  7. PC not impressed with my getting my candle lit- returned from friends to find it happily shining away in the dining room- thankfully all by itself and not taking the rest of the house with it. Hmm.

  8. I love the cookies! And the poems too! My Peach learned a song about witches when she was in Kindergarten. I wonder if she remembers it...


  9. G'day. Love the cookies, they are so cute and those poems had me enthralled. Wonderful. Take care. Liz...

  10. I love Little Orphan Annie. Such a good old fashioned poem. Don't you love the vernacular accent of James Whitcomb Riley; just plain talk. Love the sheep cookies. This was a fun Halloween tradition in my family as I was growing up. We made sugar cookies three times a year; at Christmas, at Halloween, and on Valentine's Day.

  11. Oh, cute cookies. I would love one with coffee right about now. The coconutty sheep would do nicely.

  12. Love the cookies--and the poems, too.

    Our tradition for many years is to take the boys to a friend's neighborhood where the trick or treating scene is much more happening than in our own, where many of our neighbors are retirees who turn out their lights come 5:30 or so ... But this year was Jack's last year--we told him he had to stop after 7th grade--so it will be interesting to see what new traditions we start next year.


  13. What fun sheep-cow cookies! ;-) Cute poems... gobbleuns and lit heads... I agree, let the light shine.

  14. PS- Yes I have enjoyed the watching the moon on these clear nights.

  15. Lots of fun Jody :) my big children still love to ice cookies. You have a fun collection of cutters. I enjoyed the poems. Thanks x

  16. There is something quite charming about those cookies.

  17. So sweet. Jody I picture you in a few years surrounded by grandbabies decorating cookies xox Clarice

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