Category Archives: creativity

Halloween from the olden days

This newspaper clipping was taken at Ann Rutledge elementary school in Lincoln Estates in the 1960s.

I’m in the big hat in front and to the left of the nun. To the left of me is my friend, Marilyn. John was Little Bo Peep next to the gorilla, far left. Cousin Chris is a scarecrow on the floor to the right.

I believe we dunked for apples, which meant if you weren’t first, a lot of makeup was floating on the water by the time it was your turn.

My sister remembers winning a whistling contest. You had to eat a cracker and then see who could whistle first. Karen Won!

As entertainment, they had a talent show that night. My sister and her friend Janie made up a skit involving what they thought was a pineapple and ended up being a wasp nest.

Since I had on a long dress, for the talent show, I sang Daisy (A Bicycle Built for Two). I did it but was so scared and quiet, no one heard me. I remember hearing people say, “Louder.”

Now, to scare you for Halloween what follows is my current rendition of Daisy which I remember word for word–odd how something sticks in your mind.

Don’t blame me if you can’t sleep tonight after hearing this.


Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Bitten by a bug

This happens to me ever so often. The bug is the craft bug.

I hope you enjoy the aftereffects of the bite that got me back in the 80s.

I have to admit, I’ve been bitten again, but I’m not quite ready to share what my new project is, except it is something I’ve never done before.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

With just a little imagination

I have been a writer/author for over 45 years. I’ve also been a speaker, centering my talks on saving family stories and/or how to use your imagination in fiction writing.

Since, like many writers, I’m an introvert and fear speaking in public. I’ve worked hard over the years to overcome this problem.

This column was written many years ago when I first began speaking.

I’ve learned how humor and fun can take hold of a crowd, no matter their age.

In the future, when the pandemic comes under control, I hope to be able to get out to visit schools and libraries again. I miss the face-to-face interactions.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

One week later!

It wasn’t long ago that I wrote about starting to sprout alfalfa seeds (March 19 blog). I actually had them started a day before posting about this venture.

The first batch is ready to eat and I’m enjoying them. It’s something fresh and green in my diet.

Besides alfalfa sprouts, I’ve also started a mix with clover and another with lentils, peas, mung bean and adzuki bean–whatever that is. These just went into the sprouter yesterday and I already see little shoots starting to pop out today.

Since I’m having so much fun growing these seeds, I went searching for my old sprouter. I remember that two of the plastic levels had broken. Maybe I threw the whole thing out at that time, but maybe I didn’t.

Guess what, I found my original sprouter or at least half of it, and now I’m able to have more seeds going.

The new set up is on the left and the old sprouter is on the right.

I’ve been munching alfalfa sprouts for a couple of days. Finally, I have enough to make a mouthful. If I keep the seeds cycling through the containers, I should have something growing to eat every day.

I bought my packaged seeds online through Amazon, but from the Sprout House (

Yum, alfalfa sprouts.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Official Absentee Ballot

I usually work the election polls, but I bowed out from these duties and asked for a paper absentee ballot.

I received my paper ballot yesterday and only opened the envelope today. It looked as I expected. I was ready to fill it out and send it back to our township clerk. That’s when I stumbled across a problem.

The envelope has highlighted places for signatures. Yes, I said signatures with an S. I was to sign and have someone sign as a witness to my signature.

I was flummoxed. Who would witness my signature? If Bob was around, we would have witnessed each other. Now I only had the dog. Somehow I don’t think his paw print would suffice.

While I was contemplating this dilemma, I got a phone call from daughter Rebecca. I told her about the situation. Rebecca said to take my sealed ballot to the drive-up window at the bank. The clerk at the window can be my witness–they also have notary public services the same way.

Tomorrow I’ll take a drive to Nicolet Bank in Seymour. They know me there and should be able to be my witness.

Thank you, Rebecca.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved