Martha Bowman
Martha Bowman

November Style Picks

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.27.4″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]I’m on a mission to save Thanksgiving decor. It’s sandwiched in between Halloween & Christmas and doesn’t get the “thanks” it deserves. I love the no-pressure feeling of Thanksgiving…there are no gifts involved, and to me this holiday has always had a more laid-back attitude. And there’s just something about putting leopard and orange together that makes me happy. Grab a few of these feel-good items and don’t forget to “gobble” before you “ho ho ho”!

Orange Table Runner

Home Sweet Home Welcome Mat

Decorative Pumpkins

Leopard Poncho

Yankee Candle-Spiced Pumpkin

Gobble Gobble Napkins

Thanksgiving Cups

Thankful Tray

Leopard Mask

Get Cozy Pillow

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!


The Lynwood Theater

A Halloween Tale

It doesn’t take much to scare a child (or me!). When you look back on it sometimes the stories are downright funny. Cousin Cody is back with a little tale mixed with fright, nostalgia and childhood.

Cody, circa late 1970s. I mean, how cute was he!?!

“I’ve always said I come from a long line of fat, crazy women, just because it sounds like a good Greek comedy.
And even though my mom isn’t fat, she definitely did a few crazy/funny things as I was growing up.
For some odd reason she thought it was a good idea to take me to see the slasher flick Halloween on its release date in 1978…when I was eight. I had never seen a scary movie before even though my mom never really censored what I watched, except for Saturday Night Fever. The scene where John Travolta goes to the topless bar. That promptly got a hand over
my eyes and a quick exit from the Lynwood Theatre in Grundy, Virginia.

The Lynwood Theater

The Lynwood in her hayday, in 1950s small-town Grundy, Virginia

The Lynwood was a special place. Adele worked the ticket booth and she knew everyone in town on a first name basis. Grundy is a little like Mayberry in that sense. The theatre had the best popcorn you ever put in your mouth..real butter, none of that butter-flavored grease. They had vanilla and cherry Cokes, fresh-squeezed lemonade, hand-dipped ice cream and
milkshakes. I ALWAYS got popcorn, a vanilla Coke, and my favorite candy, a Chunky Bar.
Chunkys, for those not in the know, are chocolate with peanuts and raisins. YUMMY!

Downtown Grundy Virginia

Downtown Grundy with the Lynwood marquee

Anyway, Halloween (the movie and the evening) was a traumatizing experience. From the opening scene where Michael Myers, aged six, chops up his sister like an Asian chef at Benihana to the end where he disappears after being pumped full of lead (what kind of psychiatrist carries a gun???). It was SO traumatizing that I’ve never seen any of the sequels nor have I ever watched the original again, until last night. I’ve never seen a Jason movie, a Freddy Krueger movie, not even Jaws (I’m not getting in any lake or ocean anyway…it’s just a big toilet for fish. Give me a pool with enough chlorine to kill a T-Rex any day.). The cavernous feel of the Lynwood itself didn’t help much.

Hitchcock is more my style. Give me Rope or Rear Window any day over a slasher flick. After the movie, Mom and I went home. At that time we lived in this old, four-story house in the Cowtown section of Grundy (a “suburb” of downtown…like a mile away). It was big and dark and always scared the heck out of me. So we get home and Mom tells me to get out and turn on this outside light we had in the back of the house. I immediately told her she could get out andturn “the darn light on herself”. She did, sheepishly. Then she opened the door to the house which had NO lights on. She told me to go on in and my response was “un-unh, you first.” She pushed me in and I screamed like I too was a Benihana victim which made her go jump back in the car!

So much for protective parents!

My mom finally came into the house and turned on the lights. It was the same old house and it was safe. No Michael Myers, no Freddy or Jason. But you better believe I locked my bedroom door that night and checked all the other doors and windows to make sure they were locked and I left a light on in the closet, just to be sure.

Lynwood Theater

The Lynwood may be shuttered, but her memories live on. 

Now I really want a vanilla coke!


Clothespin Halloween Bats

4 Halloween Crafts for Your Goblins

It doesn’t matter the holiday, kids always want to do crafts. So do I. Your goblins will love these 4 easy and oh-so-spooky Halloween projects!

1. Haunted Popsicle Stick House

Popsicle Stick Haunted House

Happily Ever After



1. Roof: To start, line up 20 popsicle sticks and glue five sticks in perpendicular fashion to
provide support. Repeat to make the other side of the roof. Support beams may be placed for
added decoration.

2. Front: To make the front of the house use ten popsicle sticks with two glued in perpendicular
fashion to provide support. Cut another ten sticks to size to allow space for a doorway. (I
recommend using heavy duty scissors because you’d likely break your regular scissors.) Two
sticks can be used for door framing.

3. Back: Similarly to make the back use ten popsicle sticks. cut the sticks to size to make the
window. to provide support use three sticks (two at the edges and one in the middle) glued in
perpendicular fashion. Add small popsicle sticks (or you can cut regular popsicle sticks) to make
the frame of the window.

4. Sides: Use ten uncut regular length popsicle sticks and glue two in perpendicular fashion to
provide support. if you prefer sides with windows, cut the middle four popsicle sticks to
desired window size. As above, add small popsicle sticks (or you can cut regular popsicle sticks)
to make the frame of the window.

5. Put the sides, the front, and back together one at a time and glue the edges. Hold until the
glue dries. Finally place the roof on and glue in place, and we are done!

There is a lot of room for creativity in this project, by adding all kinds of decorations or even little candy pumpkins. The less perfect it is, the more haunted it looks. Win, win!

Popsicle Stick Haunted House

Happily Ever After

2. Clothespin Button Bats

Clothespin Halloween Bats

I Heart Crafty Things



1. Start by adding a line of tacky glue down the front of your clothespin. Then add buttons onto
the glue. Try not to let the buttons hang over the ends of the clothespin or they won’t be able to
stand up properly.

2. Cut out bat wings from your black cardstock paper. To make my wings I folded by black
cardstock in half and drew half of a wing along the folded edge. Then when I cut it out, I
unfolded my paper and had two full wings.

3. Add a line of glue down the center of your bat wings and glue it onto the back of your
clothespin. Once your glue is dry you can play with your bats.

Idea: These look great (and scary!) hanging from curtains!

3. Bubble Paint Monsters

Bubble Paint Monsters

Made to Be a Momma


1. Add about 2 tablespoons of paint into a small plastic cup with 2 tablespoons of dish soap to
each color. Then add 1/2 cup of water to each color. The measurements don’t have to be exact.

2.Once your paint mixture is completely mixed together, carefully blow into the paint to create
bubbles. You know…the kind of bubbles we all blew in our milk and then got scolded about.
This step is not for small children. Make sure your children know how to properly blow into the
straw without accidentally getting the paint mixture in their mouth. If your children are too
little, you can blow the bubbles for them.

3.If you are using a piece of cardstock you can just lay the piece of paper carefully on top of the bubbles.                                  If you use a canvas, pick up the bubbles with a straw and push them around on the
canvas. Be careful not to move the bubbles around too much. You want to be able to get that
pretty bubble look on your art piece.

4. Once your artwork has completely dried, decorate it! We made our little splashes of color
into friendly monsters. Draw legs and arms and add googly eyes or whatever you have in hand.

Idea: Once Halloween is over you can remove the eyes and have year-round, because it looks like a beautiful water color!

4. Pumpkin Tic Tac Toe

Pumpkin Tic Tac Toe

Project Kid

I saved this one for last because it’s my favorite and the easiest!



1. Wash and dry the pumpkins (if real)

2. On five of the pumpkins, paint “X” with either white or black paint. On the other five, paint
“O” in the other color. You can paint the stem too if there is one! Allow to dry.

3. With painter’s tape (my favorite is Frog Tape), make a Tic Tac Toe board on the floor/counter and have fun!

Have a spooky time making these with your little goblins!

Fly Your Wings to Disney World

My cousin Cody is back, as promised, with a little story about Disney World through our eyes. First, here’s a photo of us so you can get into the decade.


Martha & Cody: Christmas 1972

           “As kids growing up in the small towns of Grundy & Bristol, Virginia, Martha and I were bored a lot. I remember we’d play Disney World in her basement. Now you may ask, “How do you play Disney World?” Well, it takes a lot of imagination, which we both had, since we are both only children. Martha’s favorite ride was the Eastern Airlines “If You Had Wings” and mine was a tie between the “Carousel of Progress” and the “Hall of Presidents” (I was kind of a boring kid myself). Disclaimer: Do not ever confuse Walt Disney World with Disneyland. They just aren’t the same!

Martha & I would take a scooter and turn it backwards so we could push each other around. We added one of those round snow sleds so we had a place to sit. Then we’d push each other through a maze we created to resemble (in our minds) the Eastern Airlines ride. Of course you had to go to Disney enough to know the songs. Back then it was easier to do a trip than it is now and hundreds (maybe even thousands) fewer strollers to contend with. “If you had wings, had wings, had wings.” If you never got to experience this Disney ride here is a video you can watch: Eastern Airlines ride.

Winnie the Pooh & Martha @ Disney circa 1975 (overlook the brush-like pigtails)

Vintage Eastern Airlines/Disney Ad

“Now is the time, now is the best time, now is the best time of your life. Love every day; live every minute. Open your eyes and watch how you win it.” If you’ve seen the Carousel of Progress, that song is etched in the recesses of your mind. Disney used to pass out free copies of the sheet music for the tune if you asked, but Martha and I knew every word and sang it as loud as possible. I’m sure her mom thought we were crazy (and loud!), but now Martha has 4 kids so it’s payback time! Here’s a link to a video of that ride: Carousel ride. Even though the song has changed it’s still a great watch. We’d pretend we were the (slightly creepy) animatronic characters from the ride and sing. It was wonderful!

Martha & friends Angie & Vannessa @ Disney circa 1975

The Tea Cups in 1975

Martha’s fashionable mom stepped into the photo circa 1975

I miss being a kid and having fun with my cousins (although Martha & I were more like brother & sister). I miss not having a care in the world, climbing trees, drinking water from the spring behind my house and trying to stay balanced on a snow disk while Martha pushed that scooter around. Why don’t adults play more? That’s just sad.

Check out these videos and remember being a kid. And play! Now really is the best time.” ~Cody