October 30th

Good morning everyone. I hope today finds everyone safe and well. My prayers are with all of those touched by “Sandy”.

Today in Idaho once again is a beautiful day and it looks like those trick -or –treaters will have a good night to go out without having to worry about bundling up with winter coats. This is the first in a long time.

Parents some safety tips for a fun Halloween:

1. Dress your children so they can be seen

2. Flashlights and reflective tape is helpful

3. Go in groups supervised by parents

4. Make-up should not be left on faces, moisturize the skin

5. Masks that don’t interfere with their vision

6. No candles where clothing can catch on fire

7. Set time limits and have children check their candy with parents before eating.

8. Don’t go to dark houses

9. Economy is tough respect those who can’t afford to give candy out

10. Attend Church and neighborhood, school, functions.

11. Teach your children to only cross at crosswalks or intersections.


 Halloween is a tradition that was brought over from Europe.

It was believed that this was the one night that the departed loved ones could reach out to family, friends, and enemies.

Families use to leave plates of fruits, and fresh food at the cemeteries in honor of their loved ones.

Then they started placing it on their doorsteps. Later on it became a tradition to give Candy to the children.

It is now an American Holiday celebrated in communities through the United States. However, other countries have different names, dates and ways of celebrating the dead.

Many superstitions are involved such as a black cat is bad luck, don’t walk under a ladder, etc.

If you are superstitious this may not be the holiday for you. However, if you like to have good clean fun and be out doors enjoy it but be safe.

Here is some of my memories of my childhood Halloween from my book Growing Up in the Rockies.

 Halloween always came at the end of October, and it was one of the most fun-filled holidays I knew growing up in Butte. Churches had parties, and everyone in town participated. Stores and Saloons gave out huge candy bars. It was the only time I was allowed to walk into a “neighborhood bar.” Even though my father told me not to go in there, but I did anyway, he always understood. Those big candy bars were just too tempting. My father always knew the minute he saw the candy bars. I would get a warning until next year, but he always forgave me knowing we were safe, and that was the only time of year that I dared to do it.

There were also Haunted houses set up by different organizations, many in private homes, but I liked to go trick or treating. I preferred to walk the neighborhoods with my friends and enjoy the night air. I use to love to walk for hours, and this was the night I could do it. We would walk as far as our legs would carry us and get as much candy as we possibly could. We had learned the best neighborhoods to go to and which houses gave the most candy. We also knew where the friendliest people were. We did this every year. It was the one time I was given my independence and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the walking and the independence more than the candy.

My mother frequently made our Halloween costume. We never knew what we were going to be until she did it. One year I was a Dutch Girl, another year a black cat, I was always surprised by the costumes she designed, of course costumes were also handed down year to year. Sometimes we would use our dance costumes from our recitals for the Hallow Costumes if they still fit.

The tradition at our house was for mom to always make popcorn balls. She made the most delicious ones around. Mom would buy a little candy, but she gave out mostly popcorn balls, especially to the neighborhood kids. We would take pillowcases, which held a lot more than today’s sacks or baskets and go through the neighborhood, or where ever we wanted to go, as long as we could walk there.

My sister was four years older and took me out, but she usually got tired. After the first trip back home we would empty our goodies and I would go back out with the neighbors. My parents would let me stay out if the weather was good until nine o’clock. It was the one night of the school year when I could go out and stay out on a school night. We went out in large groups returning home when our pillowcases were too full, then we’d go out again. Friends, sisters and cousins would go together and everyone would have fun. Between all of us we knew the best places to go where they either gave the most candy, or the biggest candy bars. Sometimes we received pennies, apples, and homemade cookies in addition to the candy.

There was no keeping the candy to oneself. When you brought it home, you were expected to share with the entire family. That was okay, as there was plenty, so you didn’t have a reason not to. I enjoyed watching my parents dig through the candy looking for their favorites. Everything was emptied into the big mixing bowl. My mother would then separate by suckers, gum, candy bars, and the money we put in our banks. The suckers and gum were put in the drawer in the kitchen. It lasted till the following Halloween. We could have one everyday after school. We were allowed to eat a couple of candy bars that night and then my mom would put it up.

However, on Halloween night when I would go back home after hours of walking, I had the best popcorn balls in the world to eat. My mother made them every year, especially for the neighborhood kids. The neighbors would come from everywhere for my mother’s popcorn balls, as she knew just how to make the syrup right so it never got hard. We always ate mom’s popcorn balls first, because they were fresh. The candy we could save to fill in when we wanted something. One year when I was in college mom even sent me a popcorn ball the size of a pumpkin. She mailed it to the dorm for my friends and I to share. That was a lot of fun. It took us a week to eat it all. Even our dog Heidi loved popcorn balls, and she would steal them right out of your hand. Heidi was a very well-behaved cocker spaniel, but when it came to popcorn balls she couldn’t control herself. Oh how I miss mom’s popcorn balls.

After Halloween was over, mom became the candy police. She would make sure we were given some daily, but she didn’t want us to get sick or rot our teeth. She kept control over it and no one questioned that.

Everyday she would put a couple in our lunches and try to ration them out as long as possible. We were allowed to help ourselves to the suckers and bubble gum daily, especially when we came home from school, before dinner. Mom also gave us each a small paper bag of candy that we could eat when we wanted to, as long as we didn’t spoil our dinner. We didn’t have to share it with anyone, but we knew that we had better make it last awhile. That prevented us from fighting over candy. However, we never fought over candy because if we did we lost all of it, my mother would hide it. Besides, there was no reason to fight over it when we had plenty.

The candy bars were for the entire family and usually in the evenings after dinner, mom would put a bowl on the dinning room table so everyone could help themselves. We were given a limit of two usually; it was the same in our lunch.

On Halloween we always had to be prepared for the changing of weather, it was nothing for a storm to blow in on Halloween. For that reason most of the time we didn’t wear our costumes out trick or treating. Halloween was often cold and you had to wear your thermal underwear, winter coat, and gloves, so costumes were worn over everything. Masks were the black eye masks only; unless you had a homemade hat or hood.  We counted our blessings if the weather held until Halloween was over. Sometimes we trick or treated in snow and knew that would be an early night in. However, we enjoyed Halloween no matter what. We always knew after Halloween the beginning of a long winter would be here. Once winter set in there would be little sunshine and a long time until summer.

Halloween was always a fun time at school because you could wear your costumes to school and bring treats. Many parents would make special treats like cupcakes, popcorn, and candy bags. There would be candy brought and past out by many of the students. Teachers had fun art projects for Halloween and all had a good time.  Sometimes we even did plays like “Hansel and Gretel” or other plays about witches, goblins etc. No one was ever offended by Halloween; it was just a fun time of the year.

I grew up in a town where I never felt that it was dangerous to go walking alone, night or day. Everyone was friendly and waved whether they knew you or not. I truly miss that feeling of friendliness and safety.

@copyrighted 2011 Janice N. Richards “Growing Up in the Rockies” no part of this may be copied or used without permission of the author.

I wish everyone a wonderful and safe Halloween today and tonight. May you enjoy this day and make your own memories like I did. So until next time 🙂


April 29th

Once again here in Idaho it is a beautiful sunny day and I pray for everyone’s well-being on this day.

My heart is saddened by the horrific storm that is hitting the East Coast. I watch the news of Sandy and I see the destruction on television. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live there.

However, my religious up bringing reminds me that when man no longer can follow the ways of God, and continues to break the ten commandments and the golden rule that the earth would be destroyed once more by fire, water, and pestilence.

I fear that time has now come upon us. We have fought like spoiled children. We have been unwilling to share what we have. We have disrespected our parents. We have abandoned the teachings of our ancestors. We have shown no regard for civilization, or nature. We hurt the creatures that roam the earth freely not bothering anyone only for greed. Now we will pay the ultimate price.

As a child growing up I never could understand the saying in the bible “The sins of thy father shall be cast down on they children and there children for generations to come.”

However, after my divorce from my children’s father I was for myself what that meant. Everyone is touched by the sins of those close to them. Everyone is a sinner.

What is important is to recognize your misgivings and correct them before it is too late.

I watch the elections campaign and I see the bickering like school children and it saddens me.

I see the disclaimer about the teachers union and it angers me. After all it is the corporations who don’t want unions.

When we had unions we had fairer wages, and you couldn’t be let go from a job without a reason.  Seniority meant for something.

Our country has been stripped of everything generations worked so hard to put in place for fair employment, fair pay, and fair hours.

The worst thing that has every happened to our country is the right to work states.  That means there are no rights.

It is time to go back to the old ways of respecting everyone. A decent days pay for a decent days work.

It is time to stop arguing over differences in colors and races and pay attention to values and morals.

No one from any walk of life is better than another it is what they do with their life.

This country was founded on the idea of “One Nation Under God” and we need to put that back where it belongs because when we separate it we separate our values and morals of the country.

We need to teach the youth of today respect and that starts with role modeling. It is time that we stop seeing all the reality shows and bickering on television.

It is time for the Media to stop glamorizing those who break the law and for the paparazzi to allow privacy.

It is time for the truth. If we can’t say something positive than we shouldn’t say anything at all and that includes the media.

It is one thing to report about natural disasters and warn the people. It is another thing to create personal disasters for ratings.

It is time we encourage people to spend time reading and less time on technology games.

After all knowledge and experience are wisdom and wisdom gives you the control and power you need in your life.

It is time to reach out to our neighbors and befriend them. Help someone everyday even if it is just giving them a smile or saying something nice.

If we don’t change the world the world will change us.

The walls of Jerusalem will come tumbling down on all of us. We are running out of time.

Do something about it today. So until next time please stay safe 🙂

October 28th


Hello everyone! October has been a wild and crazy month for me with finishing two books, a book event, dealing with libraries and trying to maintain some home life.

I can’t say I am ready for winter but today it is beautiful. The sun is shining and it is suppose to reach seventy degrees which would be nice.

I laugh as I watch the squirrels scurrying around gathering their winter food stopping to munch here and there.

The magpies have been screeching a lot and I’m sure they are made at the squirrels.

My cats haven’t been happy campers with the change in weather as they like the warm sunshine and the window open. Today I will have to open it for them for a little while.

I am posting the new links to my books today. I am sorry I didn’t get them done when I was suppose to but my body gave out.

I hope everyone remembers books for Christmas presents and starts ordering now. Remember the printers get very busy so order early.


The Rebel Years

This is a sequel to Growing Up in the Rockies

I remember the days when I would have been known as a “Rebel.” I think of my poor mother and father and how difficult it was for them to let me grow up. I was a spirited girl with a seizure disorder, whom they had been able to protect as a child. Now they saw that those days were ending and they feared my growing up. Everyday would become a new challenge and there would be times my mother wouldn’t want to give in and allow me to do what I needed to do. It would be a time that in order for me to survive I would have to rebel. There would be times I would do things without permission and ask for forgiveness later. It was a time when I needed to find myself and know who I was meant to be.

A Parent and Teacher Guide for Early Childhood Learning

The most important part of this book is that the adult and children are able to have fun. Learning should be a fun experience.

Poems are intended for the adult to read to the child setting a language example.

Finger plays are interactive with the adult and child. Repetitive words reinforce language skills. Using the same format for rhymes helps children to develop structural language patterns.

Having the child first hear the adult say the words develops receptive language skills.

Having children repeat back what they hear develops expressive language skills.

The stronger the receptive and expressive language skills are the better their communication skills will be later on in life.

I have included a partial list of monthly celebrations, along with foods for the days. Often times, food experiences enhance the learning process. There are many more national and international days according to history, events of the day, music of the day, births of the day, etc. I narrowed it down to ones that could be incorporated into any environment


( To the song A Hunting We Will Go!)


A haunting we will go,

A haunting we will go,

See a Ghost and scream BOOOOOOOO!

A Haunting we will go!


A haunting we will go,

A haunting we will go,

See a witch and cackle HEHE! HEHE!

A Haunting we will go!


A haunting we will go,

A haunting we will go,

See a black cat and MEEOWW! MEEOOWW
A Haunting we will go.


A haunting we will go,

A haunting we will go,

See a bat and FLAP! FLAP! FLAP!

A haunting we will go.


A haunting we will go,

A haunting we will go,

See a spider and scream EEKK! EEKK!

A haunting we will go.

A haunting we will go,

A haunting we will go,

Scare a trick or treater,


A haunting we will go.


A haunting we will go,

A haunting we will go,

But we’ll take a rest right now,

Until a haunting, we will go.



You can mix these up with other Halloween characters as you choose. You can also add the sounds from the verse before for memory practice keeping the sounds in order. You can assigning certain children characters and only they make the sound. There are many variations that you can do with this fun rhyme. You can also go backwards at the end to repeat before finishing. It depends on how long you want it to last.

You can also move around the room and do actions with it for mobility training. This is a fun one to act out.

A good art project would be to make masks of the different characters before hand and then use them as you say the rhyme.

The creative parent or teacher will find many ways to use this.

@copyrighted 2012 Janice N. Richards

28  Mother-In-Law Day – fourth Sunday in October

28 Plush Animal Lover’s Day

28 Wild Foods Day – plants, fruits, and vegetables 

28 National Chocolate Day  

Make today a special day by remembering your Mother- In- Law. Combine it with Plush Animal Lover’s day and give her a Plush animal to remember you by.

Today is also a good day for wild foods such as plants that you can pick fruits and vegetables. Now as harvest is ending and farmer’s markets are closing remember that this is the end of the season and the last chance to pick what is left before winter sets in. So enjoy what you can as the animals scurry around to pick what they can for the winter storage.

Today is national Chocolate Day but everyday is a good day for chocolate so celebrate it with your favorite treat whether it be a candy bar, cookies, cake, ice cream or some special delight topped with chocolate. Today is the day for you chocolate lovers so enjoy it.

I will be adding the links today for my books. I thank everyone for their support of my books and my blog site. I have met many wonderful friends and I am thankful for that.

Please remember to like my books on Amazon.com as that helps move them up in ranking so they are easier to be found. If you feel like you could write a review I can always use that.

Thanks to everyone and have a good day. So until next time 🙂

October 15th

Hello everyone. Boy does time fly. I have been so busy. I just published two more books. “Coming of Ages in the Rockies” The Rebel Years and ” Fun Things to Learn” A guide for teachers and parents for early childhood.

I will post their links on Wednesday as I have to give them time to go live. They would make wonderful Christmas presents along with any of my books.

I am going to start now at getting caught up with my blog site and as time allows I will go back and do the days missed.

Today is overcast and breezy. Winds are expected to move in ranging up to 60 mph. I expect late after noon I will want to hide 🙂


15 White Cane Safety Day

White Cane Safety Day is a national observance in the United States, celebrated on October 15 of each year since 1964. The date is set aside to celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and the important symbol of blindness and tool of independence, the white cane.

On October 6, 1964, a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress, H.R. 753, was signed into law as Pub.L. 88-628, and codified at 36 U.S.C. § 142. This resolution authorized the President of the United States to proclaim October 15 of each year as “White Cane Safety Day”.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the first White Cane Safety Day proclamation within hours of the passage of the joint resolution.

In 2011, White Cane Safety Day was also named Blind Americans Equality Day by President Barack Obama.[1]

for more information go to : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Cane_Safety_Day

According to Sesame Street Magazine, October 15th is National Grouch Day — a day for all Grouches to celebrate their way of life.

A Grouch’s mission in life is to be as miserable and grouchy as possible, and pass that feeling on to everyone else. Only then will a Grouch feel in touch with his or her world and be happy. Yet, even though a Grouch may show happiness at anyone’s misfortune (including his or her own), a Grouch would never admit to being happy. Such is the stability of a Grouch’s life: so balanced, and yet so unbalanced.Grouches1.jpg

for more information go to : http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/National_Grouch_Day


October 15, 2012 is

National Chicken Cacciatore Day

It’s National Chicken Cacciatore Day! Did you know that “cacciatore” means “hunter-style” in Italian? This mouth-watering meal emerged in central Italy during the Renaissance period. It is made with chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, and herbs served over spaghetti.

Make this delicious dish to celebrate National Chicken Cacciatore Day! Serve it with a green salad and a loaf of garlic bread for a scrumptious and hearty meal your family will love!

15 National Roast Pheasant Day

The pheasant is a beautiful and flavorful fowl that is a popular prize for game hunters in North America and Europe. To coincide with the arrival of pheasant hunting season and to suggest but one way to cook the bird, this day has been designated National Roast Pheasant Day. Hunt for your pheasant recipes on CDK today!


No matter what you choose to celebrate today enjoy your day. Remember today is all about equality and good food. The white cane has helped many to find freedom in a difficult world. The Grouch has found a place to fit in to our society.  There is nothing better than chicken or turkey Caccitore which is a recipe my family saves for that left over turkey after the holidays.

There is nothing better than getting out for a days walk and quietly observing a pheasant in its natural habitat and at the end of the day bringing home fresh dinner for the family to share. Be sure to check out the variety of pheasant recipes on-line and find one your family will learn to enjoy for a long time.

So until next time 🙂

October 8th

I am back on line hope everyone is doing well. I will start my blog back up tomorrow. Have a great day 🙂