Yikes! It’s almost Halloween!

caillou-mummyOctober has been flying by so quickly. I thought I had all kinds of time to decorate for Halloween and then we had a couple of rowing events, a hurricane and a visit from my sister this weekend. The month is gone. I have tried.

I do love pulling out holiday decorations. But, this year, Halloween decorations seemed a bit lame. I found this little guy at the Dollar Tree. (Guess what he cost?) There was something about his face that made me want to spend that dollar. I just couldn’t figure out what it was.

And, then it hit me. (I’m not up to date on little kid television so I might be dating myself.) This dumb little mummy makes me think that Caillou’s mommy finally snapped and duct-taped him. Color me bitter but this little mummy (aka a silent Caillou) makes me unreasonably happy.

Nothing else really. Just sharing the weird things that make me happy. I have more weird pictures but this will have to do for now. Now, I must go find a song to put into my head before I sleep that is not the Caillou song. Any song. (Gah! He’s still whining/singing in my head.)



And another Halloween gone . . .

I have pictures, but they’re in my phone. Tim was supposed to show me how to set the pictures free, but he left.  I know, he left ME for a party.  The surprises never end.  

This is my first year without having any kid in a costume.  Andy considered it but blew his chances and spent the night with me and Mike.  A 13-year-old’s dream-come-true.  He was a lot of fun tonight.  For the first time in years and years, I did not walk around the neighborhood with the parents of kids that are still cute in their costumes. Weird. 

Instead, I spent the night feeling weepy and cleaning and emptying the porch and then moving furniture around the porch.  I’m so glad there is chocolate left. 

Ian made it to Prague.   I wonder what he’s eating? Dan made it to a second interview for a PAID summer intership! Excellent news.  But (there’s always a but) it’s local.  After two-plus years mostly away, Dan will likely be home full time this summer – that could be interesting.  Upside? He should be able to save a lot of money. 

And, now it’s Nov 1 and I should be starting a novel. And here I am. :::sigh::: I just need a hint of an idea and I’ll get going. In the meantime, I’m going to have the cleanest house on the planet.

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween! 

Happy Halloween!

And there goes another Halloween! I was talking with my neighbor and we were marveling at the fact this is ninth year that Andy and her son, Paul, have been trick or treating together.  Most likely, this was the last year. ::::sniff::::  

This year, Paul and Andy went off on their own. Their “third musketeer,” Connor, is now 14 and 6′ tall.  He opted to stay home. He was missed. He did come by post trick-or-treat to help *ahem* sort candy. That boy is a giver. 😉  Mike and I are lost with no little kids so, we trailed around the neighborhood with Paul’s little brother, Preston, and his parents. It was fun to trick or treat without having to actually pay attention! And, Preston’s group of kids was comprised of the 7 and under group so we were home by 8:00.  Nice. 

You can’t really see it, but Preston is a wolf. I made a similar costume for Andy when he was younger.  Multiple stuffed animals were sacrificed  (in a decent, respectful way) for this costume.  Notice his feet – I managed to keep the claws on!  It was cool here, but not cold enough for the scarf. The scarf tied it all together – pun intended. Oh well.  It was fun to make a little  kid costume again. Who needs costumes next year?

Sorry to be gone so long. Every time I think about posting, I realize that what I feel like typing is mean or grumpy or both. I’m going to work harder on that in November. Less mean and grumpy, more whatever it is I normally am. 

I hope you’re all doing well. Sending hugs and lots of sympathy for those of you in the northeast that were hit by Sandy. We’ve had a few LONG power outages here from hurricanes. It sucks to be hot, but nothing’s worse, in my opinion, than being cold. I hope you all have fires or generators or neighbors with one or the other who are willing to share.


Well, this was most definitely a transitional Halloween for me.  Dan, of course, spent the holiday in Tallahassee.  (sniff – I sent him a bag of candy, an ugly-Mrs-Weasley-scarf and some soap), Tim and Ian went to a concert of some local bands.  It was just me, Andy and Mike.  In the 13 years we’ve lived here, trick-or-treating has been a group activity.  In the past, we’ve banded together with some other parents and kids and marched around the neighborhood.  Often the parents would dress up as well.  This year … not so much.  Parents are working different and/or more hours.  Girl children want to t-o-t with other girl children (not many of those on our street). 

As it worked out, a bunch of us assembled.  Quickly, the older boys (wah – Andy is now an OLDER boy) set off on their own trek for treasure.  The rest of us kept walking, slowly as we were basically herding cats.  We’d gone about 20 yards when it occurred to me that not ONE of the kids in our group was mine. WHY was I even there????  I’m now the creepy old neighbor.  Waaahhh.  I couldn’t figure out a graceful exit so I stuck with the group.  But, really????  I no longer have to dress up as the Keeper-of-the-Crypt, I AM the Keeper of the Crypt!!!!!  

Still, we had good pumpkins.  Mike stayed home and rested his sorry broken toe.  Toes seem like such silly things until one of them stops working.  And, it was fun when Andy got home to hear about his adventures.  He was really excited to have gone off on his own with his friends. I’m glad he had fun.  This is one of those transitional things (at least here it is), but it makes me a little sad. Won’t be too long until I’m complaining about my aching shoulders as I teach him to drive.  

I was really happy when Dan called on Tuesday and Andy was able to fill him in on all the details.  Andy REALLY misses Dan and I think the feeling is mutual.  I love when they get a chance to talk and I love that Dan will listen and have an actual conversation with Andy.  

Adding pictures – Andy is the kid with the burlap sack on his head (yes, I am proud) – he’s a scarecrow and designed his own costume.  The pumpkin is Tim’s creation.  A pumpkin eating an apple carved like a pumpkin vomiting watermelon.  :::sigh:::: I’m glad I took the time when I had it to make their costumes when they were little and cute and willing to wear whatever I pulled over their heads.

Oops . . .

Forgot to blog these past few days.  Well, I didn’t really forget, I just never got to it.  I could use another hour or two in everyday – I think I’d get a lot more done. 
We’ve had wonderful cool weather here since late last week.  THIS is the reason to live in Florida.  Shorts, barefeet and a sweatshirt in the evenings.  Ahhhh . . . The garden is enjoying the weather as well.  There are sprouts of every plant.  Very exciting stuff.  It’s supposed to warm up again tomorrow – 85 I think.  We’ll see how that goes.  Thus far, though, the fall/winter garden is looking promising.
Spent some time on Saturday in the thrift stores.  All of my winter clothes seem to be missing.  I’m thinking Dan is up in Tallahassee with some VERY short jeans.  Mine are all gone.  I found these awesome shoes – never worn — for $3.99.  We’re invited to a wedding in December and I think they’ll be perfect.  Now to find something other than sweat pants to wear with them. 
I don’t think I’ve mentioned Andy’s science with Alton Brown lately.  We really enjoyed “FRYING” week.  We had a lunch of fish and chips, delicious, one afternoon.  A few days later we made pork chops (fried for only a minute on each side and then baked) with a crust of salt and vinegar potato chips.  Go ahead, drool.  They were the best pork chops I’ve ever had.  Andy is doing all of the cooking, so the credit goes to him.  For dessert, we brought on the deep fryer again and fried up some cookie dough.  Yum – but one little piece was more than enough for me.  I’ll stick with fried Twinkies, thank you very much.
Last week, we sauteed.  Andy practiced sauteeing by flipping dried beans in the pan.  He graduated to tortellinis in butter, over actual heat.  The triumph of the week was his “Chicken with Garlic and Leeks.”  My mom came by to eat with us and she loved it too.  And, we love her just a little bit more for bringing pineapple upside down cake for dessert.  This week, we’re studying the art of boiling/poaching.  Not as much fun recipe-wise, but the science side is intriguing.  Friday, we’re going to poach a chicken in wine and stock and eventually turn it into chicken/sausage gumbo.  I’m looking forward to Friday. 
This past weekend was wonderful weather-wise.  It’s awesome to have the windows open again!  On Saturday morning, Mike and Andy were rough-housing and Mike smashed and broke his pinky toe.  Mike spent most of  the weekend in the recliner with ice off and on and a LOT of football and rugby.  I spent a LOT of time outside avoiding A LOT  football and rugby. I like both sport just fine, just not in 12-hour doses.  Mike’s never broken a toe before.  Do women go barefoot more often? Most women I know have broken toes in the past.  I’ve done it several times.  Mike seems to think I’m making my suggestions of taping two toes together, keeping his foot elevated and using Tylenol or whatever as necessary out of the blue.  Oh well, I guess he’ll figure it all out.  Right?????
Andy and I went out and picked up pumpkins tonight.  If you’re near an Aldi’s, all the pumpkins are $3.99.  They had some HUGE pumpkins at ours.  We’re keeping them in the cool house, uncut until Sunday or Monday – pumpkins get moldy fast in Florida.   It felt weird to only buy three pumpkins this year.  We miss you Dan!!!

Happy Halloween!

Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween weekend.  Ours was  fairly tame.  Mike and Danny both have miserable colds and coughs.  The rest of us have been spending all of our time outside avoid them.  
Yesterday was Halloween.  We had a little neighborhood party, snacks and then costumes and trick or treating.  Ian and Tim stayed home and watched scary movies and handed out candy while the sickies slept.  Andy and I trooped around the neighborhood with our little mob.  And now there is candy – so so so much candy.  
Andy’s costume was his idea – I can’t believe we were able to find all the pieces.  I think he looks awesome.  My costume was a last minute Goodwill find.  I hacked the bottom of the dress off and attached that fabric to an old straw hat.  In hindsight, the shoes were not a good choice for trick or treating, but they were sure cute.  I was barefoot after about 15 minutes.  
I don’t have the neighborhood Halloween picture yet, I’ll put it here when I do.  The kids were: dracula, a redneck – complete with a surprisingly life-like mullet, Bart Simpson, a pimp (yes, I don’t know what his dad was thinking either), a lifeguard, a sleepy housewife with curlers and a great robe, and a surfboarder.  The adults:  Disco Stu; Frankenstein, a bartender (he wasn’t dressed up, he simply carried the cooler with adult beverages), an 80’s Material Girl and an awesome tourist.  The kids are all getting older and I am guessing there won’t be too many more Halloweens like this one.  

And, finally, this year’s pumpkins.  The older boys carved them yesterday and they’re already moldy today.  But, they looked awesome last night! Here’s an up close shot of Ian’s pumpkin – Alfred Hitchcock. 

Finally – Andy at Halloween!

I’m so lame. We got no good pictures of Halloween and I haven’t had long enough to talk to my neighbors to get their pictures. Here is Andy’s awesome Halloween costume taken early in the afternoon by my mom. He wore jeans for trick or treating and we secured the head squarely onto the body with wire ties for trick or treating as well. He looked awesome. I would not recommend this costume if the temps are going to be above 80 when you’re trick or treating – Andy nearly melted away.

And . . . we have lift off . . .

Andy has picked a Halloween costume! I can’t tell what it is, but it’s very fun, affordable and I’m pretty sure no one else on the block will be dressed in the same costume!

Mike has found a costume (thanks to me) that does not involve dressing up, makeup or wigs. He’s a happy camper.

Now, I need to figure out a Halloween costume for me. It’s still hot here, so I don’t want too much stuff or makeup. And, while I put the money aside each month to go get contacts again, something always comes up to eat that money. So I need a costume that will accommodate my thick glasses. Maybe I can be Mrs. Beasley? :::sigh::: No big deal, I’ve got the two main costumes figured out. Andy is over the moon with the idea of his costume. Cross your fingers I can figure it out.

The older boys are stacking movies on Netflix – scary movies. They’ll be watching scary movies and handing out candy.

Weekend Update

OK, I’m not Jane Curtain, but this is almost as exciting and I will never call you an ignorant slut (unless you deserve it).

I can’t wait to get out and take pictures of the garden tomorrow. I’m amazed at how much and how quickly things are growing out there! We FINALLY got some cooler weather (it’s a bitter 58 outside right now – compared to the midnight temp of 85 on Wednesday night!) and it seems to have perked up the garden.

In the meantime, it quickly became apparent that I am incapable of building a telegraph machine a al the Great Civil War Projects book. Fortunately, Dan was interested and he stepped in to help. Today Mike and Andy spent a fair bit of the morning perfecting things. We need more wire, but we can now send Morse code to someone in the next chair. It’s pretty cool actually.

I had the boys dig out the Halloween decorations this afternoon. I spent this evening taping together my favorite Halloween book. I think we’ve had it since Dan’s first Halloween. Everyone still gets excited when we take it out. It’s a pop-up book that folds out into a kind of house – it’s so much fun.

I made sure to decorate my computer desk to keep me in the spirit – I love my ghost, light-up pumpkin. Hanging above my screen (no picture, but stay tuned) is my beloved sock-monkey ghost. It’s just the most ridiculous thing ever. Makes me happy.

Zombie-Tim-thing update. Mike and Tim went out last night to shop for queen-sized panty hose. Yes, Mike was delighted and surprised. Here are some pictures of my laundry table. :::sniff::: It’s become the alien autopsy table or something. I’m afraid to go out there alone – y’all should be amazed and impressed by these pictures. It’s not done yet … I am dreading whatever Step Three is . . .

In other news, the three older boys spent the evening at the girl-that-is-a-friend’s house. It’s her birthday and she had a party. Ian made her eclairs as a gift. Yes, you can actually make eclairs – who knew? They were amazing – we taste-tested for Ian. I’m not a fan of coffee, but these had a coffee based cream/butter filling, fluffy dough around it and dark, bittersweet chocolate on top. OH MY. I’m now up waiting for the boys to arrive home safely – I hate that friend-that-is-a-girl lives so far away. No pictures of the eclairs – ummm … we ate them too fast. Trust me, though, they were beautiful.

That’s about it for this post. We’re enjoying wearing clothing with sleeves and long legs and being our weird selves this weekend. (It feels normal to me, but I don’t think a lot of people spend their time this way.)

Oh wait!!!! I got a new mop. I love it! Not only is it pink, it’s washable and it works. I’ve been wrestling with my old mop for months. I’d forgotten how essentially quick and easy mopping the floors can be. (Once again, I’m asking someone, anyone to send me a life!)