Blickenstaff's Traditions, Events

Come see our traditions-in-a-box at The Small Shop Roundup. It’ll be fun.

You are invited! Saturday, September 20th  It’s going to be a party!

Come see our traditions-in-a-box this Saturday at The Small Shop Roundup.

There will be lots of new vendors (and some returning) plus some yummy

food trucks that are all coming just for you!

Small Shop Roundup 2 Flier

Come take a look at us!
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 Here is a list of the talented vendors that will be participating:

Blickenstaff’s Traditions















































Little Sweet Shoppe

Traditions Tidbits

Traditions Tidbits: Collect Rocks Day

“Wow, Brian! Look at this rock!”

I squinted at the ground as Jessica picked up a tiny stone the size of the nail on her index finger.

“It’s perfectly heart-shaped! Isn’t it so cute?”

I couldn’t see what she saw, but I trusted her judgement and agreed with her.

“Do you think you could put it in your backpack, please? I’ve been thinking about starting a collection of something…”

“So you want to collect rocks?”

“Not just any kind of rocks! Heart-shaped rocks. I’ll call it my ‘Heart Rock Collection.’ Anyways, can you carry this for me?”

“Sure. It hardly weighs anything, so it shouldn’t be a problem.”

I tucked the rock into a pocket on my backpack and we started again up the trail.

“So why a heart-rock collection? Why not a stamp collection or a bottle cap collection?”

“Because, Brian, hearts are a symbol for love. What’s more romantic than a collection of heart-rocks on display in our home?”

Jessica and I were married three months ago.

“Well, I guess you don’t know this, but nothing says ‘I love you’ like a good pile of vintage stamps.”

She knew I was kidding, but she scowled at me anyways.

“You’ll see. When I have two hundred heart-rocks in a beautiful glass bowl, the love in our home will be tenfold. Ooh! Brian! Look! Another one!”

I looked down as a heart-rock the size of her palm found its way into her hand.

“Oh, it’s beautiful. I can feel the love growing already. Brian, do you think you could carry this one as well? It’s not too big, and, well, you’re so strong anyways.”

I weighed 135 pounds and hadn’t worked out in four years. But I was determined to prove my manliness, so I packed it in with the other one.

“Now, darling, we’ve got an eight hour hike ahead of us. Let’s be careful with how many rocks are put into my backpack.”

“Got it.”

When we arrived home that evening, I dumped out seventeen heart-rocks of all different sizes. I didn’t weigh them, but if I did, I’m sure they would have amounted to somewhere around thirty pounds.

Jessica ran to the kitchen and grabbed a glass bowl. She smiled as she took the rocks off the floor, washed them in the sink, and placed them in the bowl she put over the mantel. And as I watched her in her work, my own heart grew a little.

Once she had sat on the couch, her rocks arranged in a neat pile, she looked at me, grinned, and said, “Only 183 more to go!”


September 16 is Collect Rocks Day. Whether you are a heart-rock hunter or a shiny-rock searcher, start a rock collection and find how having a collection can provide a unique element of happiness in a home.


Traditions Tidbits

Traditions Tidbits: International Literacy Day

“Tommy, Larry, Lola, Tina, Frank!”

My dad called us downstairs. It was seven o’clock on September 8; and that meant he was going to tell us why we needed to be literate. Except I already knew how to read. And so did Larry, and so did Lola, and so did Tina. And the only reason Frank couldn’t read was because he was 15 months old.

But dad always said, “If he can walk, he can read.” Which made sense why Frank had to attend, but never answered the question of why us four older siblings were required to join the literacy lecture.

At any rate, we sat down on the carpet in front of dad.

“Mary Todd Parker was your fifth great-grandmother — on your mother’s side. She was born in 1706 and was the only person in her quaint countryside town that didn’t know how to read. One day the mayor posted a note on the house of every person in that town. The note said: ‘On September 8, we all leave for America at midnight.” The date on which that note was written was September 7.

“Everyone was in such a panic trying to prepare for the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean — everyone except for your fifth great-grandmother on your mother’s side, that is. She only sat in front of her fireplace and knit socks.”

“Dad, wouldn’t she hear all the townspeople talking about leaving to America? I’m sure it was quite a big deal.”

“Your fifth great-grandmother on your mother’s side was also deaf. So no one could talk to her. Now pay attention.

“On September 8 at nine o’clock, your fifth great-grandmother on your mother’s side went to sleep. She slept peacefully as the other citizens of the town awoke to make preparations for departure. At precisely midnight, the townspeople picked up their bags and walked to the shipyard.”

“But dad, why didn’t anyone wake up Mary Todd Parker?”

“Along with being deaf and illiterate, your fifth great-grandmother on your mother’s side was a notoriously heavy sleeper. Once her house caught on fire in the middle of the night, and had it not been for the neighbors, Mary Todd Parker would have sleepily passed away in the flames. Or another time she slept through an earthquake that shook down every house in the town! Even hers! When the townspeople looked through the rubble the next morning, they found your fifth great-grandmother on your mother’s side sleeping like a baby underneath the logs of her roof. So that’s why none of the townspeople could wake Mary Todd Parker when they left for America.”

“So dad, what happened to Mary Todd Parker?”

“She got left behind! All because she couldn’t read the sign on her home. And that’s the story of how your fifth great-grandmother on your mother’s side paid the price for not knowing how to read.”


September 8 is International Literacy Day. Celebrate the day by reading books, writing stories, or explaining the consequences of illiteracy to your children. Check out the page on International Literacy Day on UNESCO’s website for more information.


Traditions Tidbits

Traditions Tidbits: National Marshmallow Roasting Day

“Okay, class, today is National Marshmallow Toasting Day. To celebrate, we are going on a field trip to the park around the corner! We’ll roast some marshmallows, talk about marshmallows, make marshmallow pizzas, make up scary stories about marshmallow monsters, and even feed marshmallows to my cat, Marshmallow!”

Marshmallow lifted up her head from the bed in the corner, looked around, and fell back asleep.

Ms. Marsh’s hair was white. Her glasses were white. Her clothes were white. Her handbag was white. In all ways imaginable, Ms. Marsh looked like a marshmallow.

Bruno kicked me under the table.

“She’s crazy, you know that?”

It was the second day of the third grade and our teacher was taking us on a marshmallow themed field trip.

“Yeah, I noticed.”

One kid, Isabel, raised her hand.

“Ms. Marsh, where do marshmallows come from?”

“Oh, good question, Isabel! The history of marshmallows is a fascinating one!”

Ms. Marsh squealed as she spoke.

“Class, pack your things, grab your marshmallows and sticks, and line up outside. I will answer Isabel’s question on the way to the park.”

I stood next to Bruno in line.

“Hey, Justin. Ms. Marsh should be called Ms. Marshmallow, right?”

“Yeah, good one, Bruno.”

Ms. Marsh came out of the classroom and started towards the park. We trailed behind her.

“The first person to eat an ancient version of the marshmallow was probably an Egyptian.”

Bruno put his arms up and started to walk like an Egyptian. He laughed and looked at me to see if I was watching.

Ms. Marsh continued our history lesson.

“The Egyptians took out the sap from the mallow plant and mixed it with their nuts and honey. Or so the story goes. But that sap looked much different from the marshmallows you are carrying in your bags.”

I looked at Bruno’s bag. It was empty. Bruno had eaten all of his marshmallows and we weren’t even a block away from the school.

“The modern marshmallow traces its roots back to 19th century France where confectioners hand-whipped the sap from the mallow plant to create a fluffy and chewy new product.”

Bruno grabbed my marshmallow bag and pretended to whip the marshmallows on the inside. He laughed and handed the bag back to me.

“But because this process required so much work, later in the 19th century, the French confectioners started using egg whites and corn starch to skip the process of sap extraction.”

I don’t think Bruno understood this last part because he didn’t make any jokes about it.

“Then, in 1948, a man named Alex Dumak created a new process which gave the marshmallow the shape you see in your bags.”

“Except for me, of course,” Bruno whispered, looking at me. “Because I don’t have any marshmallows in my bag anymore.”

He laughed as Ms. Marsh built a fire in the charcoal grill so we could all toast our marshmallows.

Except for Bruno, of course.


August 30 is National Marshmallow Toasting Day. Celebrate the day by toasting a marshmallow wherever and however you prefer.