Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

October’s End

It seems that it’s over before I got a chance to enjoy it. One day it was October first then overnight it’s the thirty-first.

Halloween piñata after the kids had their way with it.

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If we were having coffee today, Halloween 205, I would tell you it’s best to keep your distance. I’ve been sick with a yucky cold and sore throat for four days. I had hoped it would be gone by today but no such luck! So be warned, there are cold germs all over here.

Sneeze! Cough! Nose blowing!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week was a good one, sickness and all. On Tuesday we all went along with Anderson’s kindergarten class to the pumpkin patch. We went in our car; they went on the bus. Spencer got to go through and pick his pumpkin before the bus even got there. He loved running from one to the other and of course, being the little dynamo that he is, he wanted to pick up the biggest and heaviest of the pumpkins. Nope. Not happening. He got a small one, just right for him to carry to the scale to weight and pay for it. Then there was a hayride and a corn maze and eating lunch with Anderson’s class. Lots of fun was had by one and all.

The rest of the week was a student-free week at his school for conferences. So I kept him entertained here at my house. He even slept over three of the last four nights! We painted a tooth fairy box because he has a couple of loose teeth already! He painted it dark blue the modge podged it, then glitter. He’s all set for his teeth to come out now! We painted a jack-o-lantern t-shirt for him to wear, too. He also decorated little pumpkins made from foam sheets. We’ve watched a gazillion Halloween animated specials, too. Last night we carved his pumpkin and roasted the seeds.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am participating in NaNoWriMo again this year. This is my ninth year doing it! I am also doing NaBloPoMo and posting on my blog every day of the month. This year I’ve joined the team at NaBloPoblano for that endeavor. You’ll see more of that in the next day or two if I don’t drop dead from this cold. Ahhhchoo!

Pssst! Want to know a secret? Well it’s sort of not a secret. I’ve known for a couple of months but was sworn to secrecy. This was the hardest secret I’ve had to keep, ever! The word is I will be nana to grandchild number three come next May!  Yay! The tough part is that this one will be in Seattle, not right in the same mobile home park like the other two. Which leads me to secret number two…

My daughter and I will be going to Omaha at the beginning of December to check it out…as in we may move there. Yeah. That’s a big secret. And that will make that Seattle baby so much further away. I don’t like that. However, as you may remember, I did tell you that as of next May I will have zero income. That doesn’t leave me a lot of choices. My daughter wants to move away from here because the cost of living has really increased here (my rent, just for the space here because I own the house, went up from $325 in 2008 to $600 seven years later) and the traffic is getting horrible. There aren’t a lot of jobs here, either. They want me to go with them wherever they go and that’s a good thing otherwise I would have no place to go and I don’t want to be so far from my boys. I don’t think I could stand that. We’re used to them calling me and saying that the boys want to go come over and at the drop of a hat, they are here. I go by their house and stop to invite the boys to go with me to the store or for coffee or even just a drive. They are so much a part of my every day life that I could not be far from them so it’s a good thing they’ve included me. We’ll see if we end up in Omaha or Lincoln or who knows where!

Sneeze! Cough. Cough. Cough.

Well, I have a gazillion things to do. I am determined to put up an altar for dia de los muertos this year and I have to get that set up. Everything is ready to be put together. I also have to write a lot of posts for this blog so I can have something handy to post on days I don’t have time to write something. Prepare to see some picture posts, too.

Before I go, tell me about you. Are you managing to stay healthy? What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods? We’re supposed to have another bad storm drop up to a couple of inches of rain today which is not good news for trick-or-treaters!  Books? I’ve not read a lot this week. Not enough time and my eyes hurt because of my cold. Movies? I didn’t get to watch all the horror movies I wanted to because Anderson has been here overnight three times this week and stayed here until bedtime two other nights! I can’t watch horror movies with him in the house. I have to have the volume way up and he would hear it!

Okay, I’m done. I want another cup of coffee so you go ahead and talk to me. I’ll sit quietly and listen, smile, and nod!  Don’t forget to go visit Diana at Part Time Monster to join in the #WeekendCoffeeShare fun! Stay safe and dry tonight! Save me a chocolate from your treats, too!

My new BIG coffee mug!

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Eclectic Alli is talking Halloween costumes over on her blog. It made me think about some of my favorite costumes.

First I’ll tell you about the first Halloween costume I wore when I was a couple of months shy of two years old. I actually remember the night. My mom had made me a black cat costume. She doesn’t sew. The costume was made of black crepe paper and something or other for the tail. My face was painted into a kitty cat with whiskers.  For trick-or-treating, I ran around from house to house keeping up with the older brothers and sister. I clearly remember the running, yes running not walking, from one house to the next. People made a big fuss over me because I was so little. At one point, the tail got in my way so I just yanked it off and kept running, not caring that the tail I yanked off also pulled off the costume so I was left in a black shirt and black tights. I just kept going from house to house. When I was asked to say “trick-or-treat” before being given a treat (I don’t like when people do that!) I couldn’t say it so I would say “meow” instead. That got enough smiles so they didn’t care what I said! I still got candy.

When I got older I started to really like witch costumes. I don’t know why but given a choice, I would go dressed as a witch every year. It doesn’t have to be a fancy pre-made costume. Just black clothes and a witch’s hat. Anything else is a plus. And if you have a pretty witch’s hat, like the white with sparkly gold stars I once had, you can wear white or gold instead of black and carry a magic wand to be a good witch!

My second favorite costume is a gypsy costume. My freshman year at college I was in a street theater group (teatro). One of our “actos” (short play/skit) had me as a fortune teller. I pulled together the costume with a white peasant top, a red and white full tiered skirt, lots of “gold” jewelry: rings, bracelets, necklaces. I had my hear pulled back with a bandanna and carried my Tarot cards.  It was such a success in the teatro group that I dressed the same for Halloween several times. It was a fun costume to wear. We also performed that acto several times, including once in Delano, California at a UFWOC meeting!

Those are my favorites.  What are yours?

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If we were having coffee today, we would be indoors. It’s a bit chilly out and we are in the middle of a rainy day…rains a bit, stops, rains some more.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it was a good week. I didn’t do a lot of running around; I mostly stayed home. I did have one day that was stressful.  I had to get Anderson after school on  Wednesday because he takes an after school class put on by the Y. I also had to drop off an envelope for the PTO Jog-a-thon chair. So I went early. As I sat waiting for Anderson just outside the cafeteria (where his class is) I had a very good view of what was going on. It was not cooking like they were supposed to be doing. There was absolutely no supervision. The kids were racing each other up and down the cafeteria; chasing one another; and dragging each other on the floor. The teachers had their backs turned to the kids the entire time. I was upset but I kept my cool. I told the kids not to run because they could get hurt. When several of them left the cafeteria I ushered them back in.  Does this go on every week? The kids are not safe. I tried to tell the school but was told to call the Y because the school is not affiliated with the program, they only use the school facilities. Now I’ve written a long letter to the Y Director, attached photos I took of the chaos, and am waiting for an appointment to go see them on Monday. I don’t like to make trouble for anyone but I really feel the kids were in danger that day and will continue to be in danger if nothing is done about it. That was my “excitement” for the week.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I read a book this week that, at first I was disappointed because it wasn’t what I thought it would be but as I read on, I loved it!  It is called Life And Other Near Death Experiences by Camille Pagan. It won’t be released until November 1 but it is one of this month’s Kindle Firsts selections so I got it for free! Kindle Firsts, for those who don’t know, allow Amazon Prime members to select one free book (out of a selection of four) as a pre-release a month before they are available anywhere. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you should be checking it out.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am doing a bit of research for another guest blog post for Part Time Monster. I already know all of it but I want to brush up on it and get names and dates right. At first, I had a lot of trouble with the reading because of my eyesight. Then it hit me that I could, through the Send To Amazon extension on my browser, send the web pages to my e-reader. As soon as I did that, I was able to read all the pages much, much easier. The absence of the back light on the monitors and the fact that I can increase the font size, makes reading a lot more accessible for me.  Do you have a Kindle? If you do, you should also get the Send To Kindle extension. It’s a great way to take web pages with you and make them more readable.  I now am also sending some blog posts to the Kindle so that I can read it easier and it also allows me to read blog posts when I am away from the internet.  You should try it!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that there is not a lot coming up this week.  Other than the Monday meeting at the Y, a Wednesday lunch meet up with some NaNoWriMo people, and Thursday volunteering in Anderson’s class, I will just be at home working on my copyediting class, my guest blog post for the following week, and NaNoWriMo prep.  It looks like it will be an easy week.

How about you? Are you into Halloween? Do you watch spooky movies for it? Do you dress up in costume? Read horror novels? Or do you not do much for it?  I watched a scary movie the other night.  I don’t usually but I did.  I watched The Omen (the version with Julia Stiles). I thought it was comparable to the earlier version with Gregory Peck and Lee Remick, which is the version I was looking for when I came across the newer one. This week I want to see if I can find the original Carrie and the Amityville movies. I don’t really like horror movies but I do like the ones that are more psychological horror movies, although I hadn’t watched one in years until the other night.

Okay, I’ll stop rambling and let you go! I’m sure you have other blogs to visit for coffee.  I know I do!  But do tell me what is going on with you!


#WeekendCoffeeShare posts are a weekly blog hop hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster.  Hop over there to check out her blog post and then click here for links to other #WeekendCoffeeShare posts!

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I drive my grandson to pre-school and back every Monday thru Thursday, unless my daughter has a day off that falls on one of those days.  When I pick him up, he never wants to go to his “home”.  He always asks to go to “Nana’s home”.  As we approach their driveway (we live in the same mobile home park) he holds his breath until we pass it up and head for my driveway.  Sometimes we stop and get him a snack or run an errand or if the weather is nice and I’m not exhausted, we stop at a playground so he can play.

Yesterday, he wanted to go to the Dollar Tree to get more Halloween decorations so we went.  He picked out a plastic door decoration, one of those full door pictures, with skeletons trying to escape a locked crate.  He also picked a 3 1/2 foot plastic glow in the dark skeleton and some bubbles in an “eye” bottle.  I also picked up some construction paper so we could make some bats and jack-o-lanterns.  We headed home and he wanted me to make some bats for the walls.  As I cut out the bats, he opened the package with the big skeleton and started playing with it. For the next four hours, he played and played with that skeleton and at one point he brought it to me and said, “Nana, this is my new best friend.”  He shared his snack (a can of olives which he absolutely loves) and his hot chocolate with his best friend.  He went down the hall to his room (the guest room in my house is “his room”  with bed and toys and all) and was so quiet I had to go investigate.  When I got near the room, he stood at the open door and put his finger up to his lips.  I asked him if he needed me to put the light on for him and he shook his head and smiled and said, “Shh.  My best friend is sleeping.”  He pointed to the bed and sure enough, the skeleton was under the covers and not only was the light off but the night light had been turned on and the noise machine turned on, just like when I put Anderson to sleep.

After a bit, he said his best friend had to go pee and he went and got the skeleton up and took it to the bathroom with him.  They stayed in the bedroom and I could hear him talking and carrying on a conversation with the skeleton.  He brought it to the living room because the skeleton wanted to watch Caillou.  It went on and on all evening.  When his mom and dad came to pick him up, he wanted to take the skeleton home, saying, “but he’s my best friend; he wants to go home with me.”  But no, his parents didn’t want another skeleton in the house (or any more spiders or ghosts) so he reluctantly went home without it.

It was the cutest thing.  I’ve never seen him play like that for more than about five minutes.  He was so focused on interacting with his best friend.  We’ll have to see if he does it again when he comes over next time.  Today I was not well so he didn’t come but we’ll see about tomorrow.

Best friends are special.  Gotta love them, even if they are glow in the dark skeletons!

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While reading blogs yesterday, I came across this friend’s post which mentioned he had left his pumpkin out in the rain after Halloween and eventually had to pick it up with a shovel and toss it in the trash. It reminded me of my daughter, Susie. Let me preface the story with the fact that Susie comes by her stubbornness honestly. Her father is stubborn and I am even more so.

Two years ago, when Susie was 16, we carved our pumpkins on Halloween afternoon and put them out on the front porch. We always wait til Halloween to carve our pumpkins because, being in California with the warm weather, the pumpkins rot right away if they’re left outside after they’ve been carved. The routine is to buy them a week or so before Halloween, put them outside in the front til Halloween then bring them in and carve them in the afternoon. It also buys time between “after school” and “getting your costume on”. Then they go out and after trick-or-treating is over, we bring them in and I bake them or boil them. In 2006, we had two pumpkins because it was only Susie and I living at the house. In previous years, we had as many as five pumpkins when all three of the kids were home and their father still lived with us but that’s been a long while. That year we had a Mama pumpkin and a Susie pumpkin. She wanted to carve them both so I let her. We put them out in the front, complete with a little candle, to await trick-or-treaters.  Before she put them out, I told her it was her job to bring them in when she got home from her trick-or-treating with her friends.  She agreed.

Fast forward through the evening of Halloween in which I was deluged with over 500 trick-or-treaters! It was a big surprise because it was the first year we lived at that house and we didn’t know that the two churches in the neighborhood each had a Halloween party and people used our street for parking and they trick-or-treated on their way to the church! We got van-loads of kids!

Oops, I said fast forward and instead I paused! Sorry! Let me push “play”.

So when Susie got home, I reminded her she had to bring in the pumpkins. She said she’d do it after she changed out of her ladybug costume. Two hours later I reminded her again. She said she’d do it before she went to sleep. The next morning I reminded her again. She said she’d do it before she left for school. She didn’t do it. Every day I reminded her at least three or four times and every day she’d put me off, saying she’d do it at some point later in the day. I don’t like to yell. I don’t like to threaten. I don’t like to nag her. I also don’t like to do what she is supposed to do just because she is being lazy about it. What will she learn if I do that? So the more stubborn she became about bringing in the pumpkins, the more stubborn I became about not bringing them in for her. I eventually started asking her if she wasn’t embarrassed to have the rotting pumpkins out there. She said she wasn’t and that they looked kind of neat as they transformed from jack-o-lanterns to a moldy pile of mush.

The pumpkins stayed out there for what seemed like forever! They got gross. They got more gross. They started oozing gook from the bottom. Not even flies would go near them.

Then she asked if she could go out with a new boy that I hadn’t met. BINGO! I had her! They could never go out with anyone that I had not met in person at the house. So she had to bring him over to meet me and he had to come in the house and sit down and make small talk for at least ten minutes. This meant she had to clean up the pumpkins before he could come over!!! She agreed.

She went out to assess the situation and asked me how she should clean it all up because they were so gooey that she couldn’t pick them up without her hands going through them and making a mess all over. I suggested she use a box that was out by the trash can as a kind of dust pan. So she had to cut the box apart and bring the trash can to the front porch. She also had to go find a dish towel to tie around her nose and mouth while she did it. It was THAT gross. After she scooped it all up and tossed it in the can and returned the big trash can on rollers to the back yard, she had to get the hose and hose down the mess. Then she had to scrub it with disinfectant (it smelled bad so we had to get the smell out) and hose it down again. The whole process took her well over an hour. She did it all herself. Finally.

I was delighted. It had been very frustrating for me to deal with this through weeks. (I think it was the weekend before Thanksgiving when she finally cleaned it all up.) But at least now I thought she might have learned a lesson about why she shouldn’t put things off for so long.

The following year, the pumpkins came in on Halloween night, after trick-or-treaters were all done.

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