Tag Archives: starbucks

Halloween Hangover Memories — Linda Knight Seccaspina

<strong>Halloween Hangover Memories</strong> — Linda Knight Seccaspina

Halloween Hangover Memories– Linda Knight Seccaspina

In the 50s and 60s when I grew up in Cowansville, Quebec socks were darned, baths shared, kids roamed wild, and we licked the cream off the paper tops of milk bottles. As a kid, my mother and I spent the entire month of October, being excited for Halloween and costumes were planned. There was happiness in the air Halloween night with lots of “thank you,” and “please come again” as doorbells rang and the words “Trick or Treat” were heard in the air.

I don’t think in those days that we got that much candy at home so the biggest pillowcases we had came out for the anticipated haul. Our neighbourhood was full of families up and down Albert Street, so we would get apples, Tootsie Roll pops and some paper bags full of candy. Most of the kids that lived on Albert Street climbed the big hill to William Street first. Word on the street was “the best candy in town” was located there. It was the first place I ever saw treat-size chocolate bars, and you could barely move because there were so many children.

My grandmother Mary Louise Deller Knight was not like anyone else. She would have what was called: The Halloween Buffet. She had trays of marshmallow cookies and all sorts of things that parents would advise about taking these days. She would fawn her hands over the table almost like a Price is Right model to all the trick and treaters on South Street.

In 1962 I officially became a Beatnik at the age of 11. There were no official notices, no immediate black clothing; I just got up one morning and started to write bad poetry, and that was that. The primary inspiration was the fact that my father said that Jack Kerouac was a bad influence on young people, and that was enough for me.

That year my Halloween costume was a green wool mohair sweater that barely covered my derriere, thick red tights, and a red beret. Yes, I was dressed as part of the Beat Generation. As one of my friends said it was Halloween and everyone was entitled to one good scare– and I was it he said. It was that time of year that there was a great chill in the air and sometimes it rained, and other times snow challenged us. However, most of us wore a coat over our costume, but I remember never wearing a coat with that Beatnick costume. If I remember it was basically just a sweater, tights and no pants. It was definitely the costume without dignity.

High school came and it was now that part of my life where I wanted to be accepted. Unfortunately fitting in on Halloween included toilet paper, soap and shaving cream. We teepeed quite a few houses with one ply and eggs were thrown. I knew repenting later would not cure mischief, so I declined to participate after that. Thankfully nowadays, deer destroy the carved pumpkins, and eggs are hopefully being celebrated as part of a local food drive.

Nowadays kids seldom know the past joys of trick or treating we enjoyed. Along with non-flammable costumes they only accept gluten free, non GMO, and locally sourced candy. There’s no “App” for the past to portray the scary plastic costumes of witches, vampires or ghouls of days gone by. 

When I was attending Cowansville High School we would get a free morning pass to attend All Saints Day services at our local churches the day after. The reality of it all was a lot of us were tired from Halloween the night before, and it was a good way to be “out of focus” for an hour or two. While the drone of the minister’s voice carried through Trinity Anglican Church, there were some of us fast asleep in the back pews.

It took a long time to go through that bag of Halloween candy. By the end of November there was nothing left except those hard taffy kisses wrapped in orange and black wax paper. I can’t remember anything like the Pumpkin Spice flavour to keep the memories of October alive. Now I hear we might even have Pumpkin Spice Xanax for your seasonal anxiety.

Once upon a time, when Halloween came it seemed a great excuse to watch horror movies and eat candy. Now, as the last leaves fall we watch Pumpkin Spice say its last goodbyes and say hello to Eggnog and Gingerbread Lattes and the latest scare fest on Netflix. Gone may be the memories of tomorrow but never stop be-leafing. Don’t forget to turn your clocks back soon– I’m actually changing mine back to when I was 11 and the era of no pants. I’ve heard your pants won’t get too tight if you don’t wear any.

Happy November!

20 Years From Now and 20 Years Ago

20 Years From Now and 20 Years Ago







By Edgar A. Guest

Twenty years from now they’ll say:

Twenty years ago

People used to act that way;

My, but they were slow!

Curious were the customs then,

Parties used to start at ten.

“Motor cars were all the style,

Aeroplanes rather new;

Mothers fretted all the while

If their children flew

In that very distant age

Talking pictures were the rage!

“I remember as a child Father’s radio.

Static used to drive him wild

Twenty years ago.

Television wasn’t known;

All they GOT back then was tone.”

Twenty years from now

We’ll be Old and out of date,

Little that we proudly see

Will be counted great

Youngsters then will want to know

What amused us years ago.



20 years or so ago……

1. Toy Story, the first entirely computer-animated film, hit theaters.

Yup — Buzz, Woody, and the gang are turning 20 this November. Unreal.

2. The final “Calvin and Hobbes” comic strip was printed.

Leaving kids confused as to what to read over their morning bowl of Trix.

3. Beanie Babies stole the hearts of kids everywhere.

And simultaneously drove their parents insane.

4. Starbucks started selling frappuccinos.

Thus starting the coffee addictions of Americans everywhere.


5. The hit rock band Grateful Dead broke up.

… which was sparked by the death of Jerry Garcia, the band’s lead guitarist and main songwriter.


6. A little dating website known as Match.com was launched.

Aka: Tinder’s great-grandmother.

7. Pogs covered the playroom floors of kids everywhere.

If anyone can remember the actual point of this game, leave us a comment.

8. Sony released PlayStation.

which sold for $299 — a steal compared to the Sega Saturn.

9. The final episode of Full House aired.

And families struggled to adjust to life without Uncle Jesse on their TV screens.




Edgar Guest

  • Guest wrote a poem a day seven days a week for thirty years.
  • He lived in a mansion “staffed with servants, fine automobiles, the so-handy golf club [and] the big summer place at the Pointe.”
  • He had radio, motion picture, and television contracts.
  • At one point, when his verse was syndicated to 250 newspapers, it was estimated that his poems had a circulation of about 10,000,000.
  • At one point, probably after World War II, Guest reported an annual income of $128,000—the inflation-adjusted equivalent of $1.6 million.
  • Guest’s first two books (Home Rhymes and Just Glad Things) were self-published and printed by Guest’s brother Harry in editions of 800 and 1,500 respectively, and on the basis of those books and his newspaper verse, Guest started getting wooed by the agents of Harper, Scribner, and William Randolph Hearst. Eventually, his publisher Reilly & Britton would print his books in editions of 100,000.
  • Guest couldn’t go out on the streets of Detroit without getting hailed down by enthusiastic readers.
  • Guest was good friends with Henry Ford, who regularly gave the poet cars, beginning with a Model T and, many years later, a Lincoln.
  • Guest was pegged as a possible replacement for Will Rogers and even set up in Hollywood for $3,500 per week while studios tried to figure out how to use him.
  • A copy of Guest’s poem “America” once sold for $50,000 as part of a war-bond fundraising event in 1942.

Is Jesus Now Rethinking his Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte?



An Arizona-based evangelist, Joshua Feuerstein, and “social media personality,” according to his website, had a plan. Feuerstein, who carries a gun, is outraged by his perception that a blank coffee cup is forcing him to “bend his knee” whilst he forces coffee shop employees to write Christmas messages on his cups.

Now, coffee maker Starbucks, has come under fire from some Christians who say the company isn’t repping hard enough for Jesus on its recent understated holiday cups. The problem? Political correctness, according to one evangelical. Good grief, it is Starbucks, a coffee shop, what the hell do they have to do with Christmas? Does anyone with a degree of sanity really care what Starbucks does at Christmas, or any other time of the year, and if you do, why?

Would Jesus really be offended that he didn’t make this year’s Starbucks cup? Am I thankful that I live in a culture where religious persecution is manifested as a coffee chain using plain red cups instead of cups with snowflakes on them? Show me where previous Starbucks Christmas cups had Christ on it. If Jesus was alive today, he’d have no idea what coffee was and just turn it into wine. Remember, little has been said about his views on the future usual shortages of the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

I was told some years ago that saying “Merry Christmas” wasn’t a good idea. Then I noticed I was writing lots of stories about various organizations either forced to take down Nativity scenes and in some cases Christmas trees. In every case it was because Christmas was decided to be a divisive word.

Wait a minute… Christmas as a word is divisive?

What is everyone smoking? For the love of Huckleberry Hound, be offended by Starbuck’s expensive coffee, not by missing snowflakes. Be offended by world hunger and narrow ideas. Do people lie awake at night dreaming of things to be offended about? What empty, shallow lives they all must lead. You don’t have to give up your own beliefs to accept others, that’s the entire point. Celebrate with your family how you see fit and you will always get my seal of approval.

Last word–for the love of a white chocolate mocha – they’re Winter Solstice cups, and if you haven’t noticed Starbucks is playing the game. It’s about money. It is cheaper to make cups of one solid colour and still give the impression of Christmas– and now they have all this free publicity.

Oh dear, call Chicken Little, this time the sky really is falling..


Are You Getting Creepy Messages on Your Starbucks Coffee Cup?


Today I went into our local Starbucks in Carleton Place and ordered a hot chocolate. I wanted to see if anyone would leave me a funny message on my cup. What did I get? A smile, good service, and answers to my question. No, they do not write anything on the cup except a name, or if asked, a birthday greeting.

A Starbucks barista in the UK attempted to woo a 19-year-old customer with a message on her coffee cup only for his efforts to be branded ‘creepy’ by her unimpressed mother. The amorous coffee company employee had scribbled out part of a warning message on the cup he gave to Laura Roberts, leaving behind the text: ‘Careful you’re extremely hot.’


But his flirtatious message did not win over Miss Roberts’s mother, Alex Blaine, who jokingly shared a picture of the cup online with the caption: ‘Creepy barista writing inappropriate messages on my daughter’s coffee cup. Looks like son-in-law material.  Sadly Miss Roberts, age 19 was taken.

People immediately became outraged on social media…


Oh for God’s sakes! Does no one have a sense of humour any more?’ If coffee baristas wrote friendly messages on cups every day I think it would cheer a lot of us up and make us smile.


This isn’t the first time a Starbucks barista has divulged his feelings about a customer via the coffee cup. It seems to be an international flirting tactic as employees as far away as Philippines are using it to convey their feelings.


Is this is a storm in a coffee cup? I took that question to the folks across the road at Motorhouse Mitsubishi and Carleton Place residents Jess irvine and parts manager Rob Cassell had this to say:


Rob and Anthony on the way to Starbucks across the street

Jess loved it when she went to McMaster University, and the barista wrote many kind and amusing notes on her coffee cup. She said it made her day. When I asked Rob what he would like someone to write on his coffee cup his answer was simple.

“Nice Jeep!”

Should baristas write friendly comments or is  it just a catalyst” for a larger conversation?  I have no problem with anyone writing a happy greeting on my cup– in fact it would make my day. Make mine a Grande!

Other Funny Adventures from MOM and the Motorhouse crew


The Most Terrifying Things Bred Into Existance — A Motorhouse Mitsubishi Story

It’s What My Son Said….

Something Really Spells Funny on Highway 7

The Mystery of My Smelly Car — Seinfeldism

Are You Getting Creepy Messages on Your Starbucks Coffee Cup?

Touring in the Back Seat of a 1973 Buick Electra Limited

Never Let Your Kids Eat Chicken Stuffed Kale Balls

What Have We Become? The Drive-Thru!


Faster and Faster!
We must get our food faster!
Quick! Hurry up! Eat! .

Over the next year, McDonald’s will spend over $3 billion to open 1,500 to 1,600 new locations and upgrade 1,000 existing ones. They admit they earn about 70 percent of their sales via the drive-thru. Every day I see the line up at Tim Horton’s and shake my head. Since everyone is in the drive-thru lane, I simply park, walk in, get my order, walk out, and wave to everyone still waiting in the drive-thru lane. Park your car, walk 40 steps, and order inside. You’ll expend 50 calories.

Now if these fast food places would only do something about the people who use the drive-thru to place orders for the whole hockey team that might be nifty. Or how about the office? They pull up, and then start talking to the people back at their office on the phone and relaying their orders.  Maybe making them go inside might help. I feel for these staff that have to deal with the craziness on a daily basis.

Relax. Enjoy life. Take time to smell the roses. And for God’s sake, don’t drive while distracted, trying to balance a hot cup of coffee, with an overflowing pocket of Tim Bits all over your lap. Unless of course, you’re the 8-armed Goddess of Hindu mythology.

Say Hi and Thank You to those hardworking staff doing their jobs as best they can. Again, I just don’t understand the massive long lines. Maybe we need food replicators (ala Star Trek) in our vehicles?:)

Any drive-thru horror stories?

A Steamer is NOT What You Think!


When I first asked people what they thought a Steamer was I have to admit I got some funny answers. Just to be perfectly clear, it has nothing to do with dogs or old men.

Turning a cup of coffee or hot chocolate into a fancy beverage is sometimes accomplished by adding a layer of frothy milk to it. The tool that creates the milk layer is a steamer or frother.

Coffee steamers froth milk through direct pressurized steam injection. When the steam enters the milk, it creates froth or foam. A quick rotation of the tool increases the frothing action and makes more air bubbles. The temperature of the beverage remains constant because the milky topping is hot. A steamer is a hot commodity now in the Toronto and Ottawa coffee bars.

I was introduced to a Steamer at The Palms in Almonte last week and wondered if anyone in Carleton Place carried it. Instead of contacting Tim Horton’s or Starbucks I decided to hit our very own local merchants. BUT, I was reminded by Laura Babineau that Starbucks does do them, and although I consider them a big guy, it still employs many people from Carleton Place. They come in many different flavours but the vanilla one is the best. Thanks Laura for the reminder!

I asked Tiffany at the Ginger Cafe inside our historic train station, and she said they do not have it listed on the menu but she has done it for a few people. So do not be afraid to ask them for a Steamer. Remember they have a Vegetarian buffet, coffee & juice bar offering healthy, homemade food with vegan and gluten free options.

Small coffee –$1.75 plus tax
Large-$2.50 plus tax

When I walked into Read’s Book Shop & Coffee Bar Sarah Evans knew exactly what I was talking about. Don’t forget they also have fresh daily homemade soup and goodies. Just last week they had Potato leek soup today with the option of having a dollop of cream on top! Don’t worry our Vegan/Dairy free friends, they are still keeping it pure for ya!

Small Coffee $2.86 plus tax

Medium-$3.33 plus tax

Large-$3.67 plus tax

Sandra Hurdis Finigan said : Some time you should try a London Fog. Steamed milk, vanilla and Earl Grey tea at Read’s. Wonderful!

So try a steamer this week!

Reads Book Shop & Coffee Bar’s

135 Bridge St.
Carleton Place, Ontario
8:30am – 5:30am


Ginger Cafe

Carleton Place, Ontario
(613) 492-1345
Monday-Wednesday–9:00am – 8:00pm

Thursday-Friday-Saturday–10am – 4pm


Carleton Place- The Happiest Damn Town in Lanark County

For the Facebook Group:

Tilting the Kilt, Vintage Whispers from Carleton Place by Linda Seccaspina is available at Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street, the Carleton Place Beckwith Museum in Carleton Place, Ontario and The Mississippi Valley Textile Mill in Almonte.  available on all Amazon sites (Canada, US, Europe) and Barnes and Noble