Abbott’s Candies all Danced in Their Heads

In a small town in Indiana, there is a magical place where children’s sweet dreams are awakened and adults’ are relived. A place where wondrous creations can be watched as they are being born. It is a small factory, tucked away on a side street, called Abbott’s Candies. My family members have had their hand in making the Christmas rush of orders and the factory has been around longer than I have existed (since 1890, to be exact — now that is something to be proud of.)

Melt-in-your-mouth caramels from Abbott’s have had a far reaching reputation and are much coveted. The greatest compliment to a non-factory, hand made batch of caramels was to tell the beaming cook “these are as smooth as Abbott’s!”

Photo taken from website:

I remember going into the store to buy a box of caramels for my Mother for Christmas. It was a solemn and very important occasion. A box of those sugary delights were the holy grail of Christmas candy and were treated with great respect.

This is why discovering that the company had been purchased brought both chills and thrills all in the same instance. Yay that our small town was retaining a precious tradition and heritage, but fears of change couldn’t help but seep into the joy. Come to find out, the new owners had been selling Abbott’s candies for nearly 10 years, so they already understood the appeal.

In reading the local paper, it appears they will not only be keeping tradition, the new owners are going to bring back old favorites that had been retired. What an exceptional marketing plan! And they will continue to offer them online and at their current stores.

By the way, my favorites are the plain or the cream puffs, if anyone is taking notes.

Picture of the Palladium Item – Richmond IN

Excerpt from the Palladium Item news article:

…So they bought the factory and store in Hagerstown and went to work, renovating some of the display cases inside the Hagerstown shop and learning all they could about the candy. They even encouraged employees — more than 20 work at the factory — to bring suggestions for new candy ideas.

Click for the full article from the Palladium Item.

Weekly Travel Theme: Animals

Yesterday was World Animal Day. My bad, I had no idea!

Let’s celebrate with a set of captionable photos taken during an outing at the Indy Zoo. I don’t know about you, but for me it is really hard not to attribute human thoughts and comments to some of these!

This post is a weekly contribution to – feel free to click the link and join the fun.

If you choose to join in… post a link on my comments also! The more the merrier.

Keep the Wonder

We had all walked to the next exhibit leaving Simeon still fascinated with the sea lions. When this big guy came floating by he stood there in awe. Seconds later he flipped out, all excited, and started squealing as he looked for someone to tell.

It was a rare privilege to be there for that moment.

How would you caption this? Mine is “Keep the Wonder”.

Indianapolis Zoo sea lion and child

Photo taken at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Farmer’s Market Surprises

Our local Farmer’s Market occasionally has a visiting llama, chickens, dogs, and sundry other livestock. My personal favorite is this fluffy Angora rabbit. Plucking the “wool” directly off it’s back as she spins, the weaver has created an efficient little system.

The bunny also doubles as an all natural lap warmer on these cool Fall mornings.

This bunny comes from A Li’l Bit Of Heaven Farm in Central Indiana, which also sells alpacas and alpaca products such as yarns.


Born to Herd

Like a spring on a tight coil, as indicated by her alert ears, the Border Collie, Pee Wee, goes into a “down” in a strategic maneuver delivered by a whistle from her handler.

Within seconds another whistle sends her circling the flock, herding them in the proper direction.

Kris, a young trainee, looks on with eager anticipation vibrating in every fiber. The Border Collies competed at the AKC sheep herding trials during the 2012 Scottish Festival in Columbus Indiana.

Don’t blink – Lapel, Indiana

Only hinting at the forgotten dreams of founders long gone, small towns guard their gifts from the casual masses – those frenzied motorists passing through in high speed metal, growling at the single stoplight that checks their headlong rush to nowhere.

These unpretentious jewels in the Heartland lie waiting for the observant and the few.

Slowing, we turned off the state road and bumped over the railroad tracks. As our car slipped through the sleepy town, the items lining the sidewalk first caught our attention, peaking latent curiosity. We almost missed it. Behind a brick and mortar storefront quietly labored an artist whose heart over filled the building from the floor to the high ceiling.

“I ran out of nails,” a white haired gentleman explained, sitting in his chair in no hurry to get up. Looking around, we began asking questions.

Willing to talk and feeling our interest, he became eager to give us something personal. He showed us his handiwork and expounded upon his love of natural wood and added a perch to the birdhouse we chose.

For a brief moment in time we caught his fervor and entered into his passion for the lowly discarded fencing and fallen branches soon to be re-purposed into rustic usability.

There was a relaxed atmosphere pervading the air around us as the car slid slowly through the intersection. Soon a wren house will be hung on the fence in the back yard, and with that wren house hang memories of a quiet moment shared with an artisan because we slowed down in a small town.