Here we are - expecting a flurry of changes in family Halloween activities. Cancellations. Postponements. Thus, goes life.

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
Here we are - expecting a flurry of changes in family Halloween activities. Cancellations. Postponements. Thus, goes life.
All of these changes don't really affect my life, but lots of families have had to change their schedules around in order for their children to participate. Big pillowcases and jack-o-lantern buckets will be filled to overflowing with cotton candy, caramels, chocolates, gummies, candy bars - ya know, all of the important stuff. If I'm inclined, I just may root through my grandkids' candy to find that elusive regular size Snickers bar!
October is now over, and I have to say mine was less than spectacular. It was actually disappointing in many ways. But, I've finished my pity party I wrote about last week. It did last for about a week, though. I had to just work through it...take my time to feel sorry for myself.
I'm so done with that. October and the pity party. It's been a long time since I have felt that way, and it took me a little while to gather up some gumption and stand back up. No more time for all of that. There is too much to do.
The next two months of my life, like many others out there, are packed with holidays, family gatherings, shopping, decorating, baking, cleaning, and so much more.
With all of that on my plate, I will also be busy with lots of Whiskers events - fundraisers for Whiskers animal rescue in Westernport. This is the time of year when Whiskers does the biggest bulk of their fundraising in order to get ready for the following year's kitten season.
Whiskers is a nonprofit 501c3 organization, with all donations being tax-deductible. Donations for tax purposes can be mailed to PO Box 99, Westernport, MD 21562, and if a receipt is needed, please request one.
Upcoming events are as follows:
* Fellas With Kitties 2020 Kalendar Sale (recruiting fellas right now by emailing whiskersanimalrescue@gmail.com by Nov. 9). Orders/payments for kalendars will be accepted just prior to Thanksgiving. Cost is $20, and these kalendars are limited edition. The board of directors will be selecting the 12 fellas featured in the kalendars, as well as choosing the fellas who will be featured on the front cover. Once selections are made, all 13 fellas will attend a photo shoot on either Nov 16 or 17.
* Soup's On! Every Friday at Baughman Street White House. Made from scratch by me with homemade bread or rolls. I take up to five orders per week, and cost is a donation to Whiskers. Stay tuned to my Facebook page for the announcement. So far, I have done loaded baked potato soup, chicken rice soup, and chili with stuffed rolls with peanut butter and bacon crumbles. Next Friday - Beef Barley.
* Tattoo Raffle ($350 value at In The Skin, Main Street, Keyser; $10 each or 3 for $25; tickets available at the shop or on Whiskers, Inc. Facebook page through PayPal. Drawing Date: Dec. 7.)
* Guest Chef at Candlewyck Inn, Keyser - Nov. 9; 10 percent of all sales for the day are donated to Whiskers. As president of Whiskers, I will be holding down duty as Guest Chef, with assistance from board members. Yummy vittles will be served!!
* Third annual Dinner & Auction, sponsored by WEPCO Federal Credit Union, Dec. 7 starting at noon. Location in Keyser still to be confirmed. Silent auction, live auction with auctioneer, raffles, table snack trays for sale, $10 admission (includes auction paddle and dinner at 4:30 p.m.), 50/50, lottery boards, tip jars, food and litter collection.)
* Lunch With The Clauses on Dec. 16 from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., McCoole VFW, $5 for children, adults free. Photos with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus; holiday music and decorations; grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, tater tots, beverages, homemade cookies and other treats.
* Renewal and purchase of 100 Club tickets. All those who pay $100 per ticket by Dec. 31 will be entered into a special raffle basket to be awarded on Dec 31. This payment covers the holders' ticket(s) for the entire year of 2020 - with a chance to win $100 on the final day of every month.
Another nonprofit 501c3 organization I am involved with is Embassy Theatre, located on the pedestrian mall in historic downtown Cumberland at 49 Baltimore St. There are two big events coming up:
* CTF Provides Funding for Free Admission to Junie B. Jones Production
A grant from the Community Trust Foundation (CTF) will provide children, under the age of 12 years old, free admission to a local theatre production of "Junie B. is Not a Crook.” Funding to Embassy Theatre was made possible by the Iris & Peter Halmos Community Fund and the Developing Vibrant Community Fund.
Based on the beloved children’s book character, Junie B. Jones, this play is sure to delight young and old alike. The show will run Nov. 16, 17, 23, and 24 at 2 p.m., and Nov. 16 and 23 at 7 p.m. Tim Bambara will direct the show.
Admission is free with reservations for children 12 and under accompanied by an adult. Adults with children (max of two per party) are $5 each, all other adults $16, and seniors & students over the age of 12 are $14. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Make your reservations by calling 240-362-7183.
Children 12 and under will receive goodie bags, complimentary refreshments, and chances to win Junie B raffle baskets at every performance.
Community Trust Foundation (CTF) is the community foundation serving Allegany, Garrett and Mineral counties. CTF connects philanthropy with community good to support local organizations working to build a stronger region in the areas of Arts & Historical Preservation, Health & Wellness, Vibrant Communities & Thriving Environment, and Education & Youth Leadership.
For more information or to learn how you can support your community through the foundation, please contact CTF at 301-876-9172 or ctf@ctfinc.org.
* You, a guest and any children you may have are invited to celebrate the Christmas holiday season with us at Embassy Theatre on Dec. 8 for our Christmas Party from 6-8 p.m. Board member Danise Whitlock will be chairing this event.
Bring a covered dish, and we'll have dinner together...enjoying the beautiful Christmas ambiance and holiday spread.
RSVP to 240-362-7183 to let us know whether or not you can attend. If you plan to attend, please let us know how many in your party will be coming, as well as what kind of food you plan to bring.
RSVP by no later than Nov. 30.
All events and activities are supported in part by Maryland State Arts Council, The Allegany Arts Council and the City of Cumberland.
#wherestarsshine #yourembassytheatre
Then, of course, there is the getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner. Again this year, my family will be attending dinner at my sister Jenny's in Cumberland. I'm doing the turkeys, dressing balls, gravy, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, coleslaw, cranberry salad, Courtin' Fudge and a specialty cake - other family members are doing other sides and desserts. It will be a feast - with football, of course!
I've been working on my Christmas lists for about two months, and almost all shopping will be done online. Not much time for store browsing and buying.
There are a little bit of interior renovations going on at the same time, so coordination of everything will have to be spot-on. Painting, upgraded downstairs bathroom, and new rec room walls and curtains are on the agenda. And, I plan to get a new and better Christmas tree this year - LONG overdue.
I hope to be able to do a good bit of baking this holiday season, but that is going to depend on my pain level and if I can get my surgery in before the end of the year. My fingers are crossed that I can get on the OR schedule.
I'm in the market for new health insurance and upgraded life insurance, and will be getting a new car. Lots of changes, especially after the new year. Things older women like me need to start thinking about, and doing something about.
Before then, gotta cut the grass one more time, clear out the gardens, trim down perennials, put away all thoughts of flowers, butterflies and rocks and stones. And then, get the snow shovels, ice melt, gloves and car scrapers ready. Snow and ice will be coming! According to the Farmer's Almanac and the "woolies" - this winter will be one to remember!
As for the driveway paving, the brick wall removal and new one put in, there's always next year.
I do have quiet plans made for January and February, but those are my secrets for now. Thanks for reading!
Bring it on, November. I am ready.