December 31, 2014

Happy New Year !!!

I'll be back in a few days with some neat Arkansas cemetery posts - until then.....stay safe and have a great celebration!

December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas !!

Merry Christmas from all of us at The Love Shaque (aka Maple Grove Manor)!!

Merry Christmas from the family

December 13, 2014

13th day - spooky reads

I make annual trips to local craft shows every November with Mom & the sisters, last year there was an author at one of them.  I love to read stories about Michigan, so this one called Michigan Monsters caught my attention.

Granted these are geared towards younger kids - tweens, I guess.  But they are entertaining for something quick & easy to read when you have a few minutes.  

 Autographed, too!

I just checked the website and they now have California Creatures and Undead Uprising and the Zombie King.  Definitely not Stephen King, but you have to start somewhere!

December 12, 2014

12th day - hangin' with Scooter

We haven't checked in with Scooter this year!  
Let's see what shenanigans he's been up to!

Chillin' on the table scarf....

Smelling the flowers - do Christmas cacti have a scent??

Checking out the girls!

Watch out for the antlers!

Taking after the cat's bad example....

Oooo, Shellhawk ornaments!!

Me Like Hockey!

Napping in Dad's stocking.

December 11, 2014

11th day - fun musical offerings

Fun Christmas Songs!

Gretchen Wilson "Nuttin' for Christmas"

Joe Diffie "Leroy the Redneck Reindeer"

Bob Rivers "Walking 'Round in Women's Underwear"

Da Yoopers "Rusty Chevrolet"

December 10, 2014

10th day - metal carols

Why is it Twisted Sister has the best Christmas carols??? 
 You wouldn't think of an 80's hair band to be able to come up with anything decent, but they indeed have! 

Of course, this came out in 2006, so it's probably old news to some, but I still enjoy hearing A Twisted Christmas every year!

O Come All Ye Faithful

This is my current favorite.....
Heavy Metal Christmas
On my heavy metal Christmas my true love gave to me, 
12 silver crosses 
11 black mascaras 
10 pairs of platforms 
9 tattered t-shirts 
8 pentagrams 
7 leather jackets 
6 cans of hairspray 
5 skull earrings 
4 quarts of Jack 
3 studded belts 
2 pairs of spandex pants 
and a tattoo of Ozzy!

December 09, 2014

9th day - ugly sweaters

I did see one ugly sweater that I might even wear, but do you think I can find the darn thing now???  It's been in ads all over FB and now that I WANT to see it, it's gone!  GRRRRRR.

Note - all images found on Google. 

December 08, 2014

8th day - Pagan roots

This isn't spooky at all, but pretty interesting. A lot of Christmas symbols & traditions have Pagan roots! 
I had no idea! Let's explore.

Winter Solstice - The shortest day of the year. The triumph of life over death. The beginning of longer / warmer days. Also known as Yule or Saturnalia. The festival Saturnalia began the week prior to December 25th. The festival was characterized by gift-giving, feasting, singing and downright debauchery, as the priests of Saturn carried wreaths of evergreen boughs in procession throughout the Roman temples. 

Evergreen boughs - symbolize eternal life because they are ever-green. The Vikings thought that the evergreen represented their sun god, Balder. 

Many of the plants used at Christmas are symbols of fertility. Mainly, the holly, the ivy, and the mistletoe. 

Holly, with its pricking leaves, white flowers, and red berries symbolizes the male reproductive urge. The Romans thought holly was the special plant of their agricultural god, Saturn.

Ivy, holly's mate, in ancient Grecian rites took its name from the girl who danced with such abandon and joy before Dionysius that she fell dead at his feet. The pagan god was moved by her dance and turned her into the ivy that she might entwine whatever is near. 

Mistletoe was especially sacred to the Druids who offered it in prayer to the gods. It has been regarded as mysterious and sacred, the symbol of the sun, bestower of life, an aphrodisiac, and protector against disease and poison. 

The Druids came up with the Yule log to illuminate darkness and banish evil spirits. Fire was an important element of most solstice festivities, this explains that string of lights around your tree and candles in the windows.

Santa and his reindeer also have roots in pagan tradition. According to Norse mythology, Thor flew through the sky in a chariot pulled by magical flying goats named Gnasher and Cracker. Scandinavian Father-god Odin also rode through the sky, but on an eight-legged horse. Odin was also believed to have left special gifts under the evergreen tree during Yuletide. 

Most people assume Santa was actually the Catholic St. Nicholas, a bishop in the 4th century. He is portrayed as a tall, dignified, white-haired & bearded old man, but with an odd habit of riding thru the skies on a white horse, followed by his Dark Helper. 

In Germany, Saint Nicholas' Dark Helper is a frightening little man, swarthy & horned. He is known by many names: Knecht Ruprecht (servant Ruprecht), or in Bavaria, Pelz Nickel, meaning 'fur-clad Nick.' In Tyrol, the picture is even clearer; there the Dark Helper is Kllaubau, a scarier version of the British Herne the Hunter, a chained, furry, black-faced horned creature".  Sounds like Krampus to me!

There are a lot more sources out there that dig deep into the Bible and have come to conclusions that December 25 isn't even close to Jesus's birthdate. It was chosen because in order to get people to convert to Christianity, they'd use a time when big celebrations are already happening and people would be more likely to change their ways. 


source 2 (warning - this site comes off as very fanatical!) 

December 06, 2014

6th day - invasion


The nutcrackers have begun to populate the Maple Grove Manor!!

Miss Maddie with the big guys. 

This guy is special - he's just the right size to carry this year's Tim Horton's ornament! 
...and he looks pretty darn happy about it, too!

December 05, 2014

5th day - ooops

(ooops - let's just say this is SCARY - something ate my post!!)

December 04, 2014

4th day - something you don't see everyday

Nothing says "cheer" like the outline of a coffin in front of your snowmen & Santa!

December 03, 2014

3rd day - creepy nutcrackers

Boy, I'm having a hard time with the 13 days this year! 
My mind is drawing a blank for ideas!

The girl & I put up the tree tonight with lights & garland, but the ornaments haven't come out of storage yet.  I did, however, start populating the Maple Grove Manor in nutcrackers!!  I confess to having over 100 of them and the Manor is very they'll be EVERYWHERE!  I have 2 huge totes still out in the garage (teenage kid sized - we tried!) that are full, so the 22 that came in tonight are either new-to-me or were in another totes since they didn't fit in with the rest. Think I need intervention? 

I am becoming slightly pickier when it comes to purchasing new one, tho.  They have to be pretty unique.  

But have you ever looked closely at their faces??  Some are pretty damn creepy!  

I haven't slept in 42 years!

Not looking at you!!

I feel his name should be Hadji or Habib. But his hair is so soft!!! 
I may or may not have petted him for a while. 

Some sort of demented taxi driver?


December 02, 2014

2nd day - death gets a gift

Post by Funny Christmas.

(click on the word "POST" - not sure how to embed videos off FaceBook so they actually show up).

December 01, 2014

1st day - flea market finds

Wow!  December creeped right up on me!  I'm not ready for this!!!

This past weekend, after the gluttony of Thanksgiving was finished, we (Mom, sister, hubby, kid & me) all went to this store called Past Tense that sister (Laurie) told me about and I wanted to see.  One building was an antique store / tea room, another a cider mill / restaurant and the other a 'country' store.  The antique store part was pretty cool, it's in a beautiful old farmhouse that's supposedly haunted.  They had very creepy old vintage items, especially the dolls - and some handmade items.  I didn't have any cider or donuts, but the hubby & daughter both agree they were very good.  The country store part is what I am using as my post today.  They had a lot of home decor items, a faux floral section, garden decor, and of course a Christmas section etc, etc, etc.  

But venture upstairs & there's all sorts of Halloween goodies!!  Right above the stairs was a smallish Victorian coffin with the glass panel over where the deceased's face would be. Wish I would have gotten a picture of that!  But there were security cameras everywhere.  They had all sorts of neat vignettes set up - a Halloween village, a Big Top section with a lot of clown & alien stuff, a creepy kitchen section with bizarre old machines, jars of body parts, rats, a fortune teller area, a Day of the Dead area and my favorite...the rock band!

and I was really surprised to see this window!