Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

It is alive

Gentle Reader…hello.

I was at a friend’s house recently for a home demo party. And to my great surprise, someone there was a reader of my little blog. It was lovely to be told that he missed reading new posts. It was lovely to know that this little blog gave someone joy, or something to think about, or whatever the response might have been.

A lot has happened since I last posted, obviously.

It’s funny, isn’t it? A pandemic, ample time to do things since there was no where to go, yet the time was filled quite easily with living in a new normal. I despise that phrase. I don’t even know what my new normal really is. I do know that I have been trying to be less worried (not great at it still), I have been decluttering…not just stuff, but my mind and silliness that I held onto for way too long. I am getting better at that.

We moved…so I’ve been learning a new house and working on setting that up. It’s fun. It’s funny that the first two or three months we lived here, I cried almost everyday. I missed our old house so much. It was the only house my sons had lived in. That hubby and I had lived in as husband and wife. The memories kept calling me back. Even as we approached Halloween, I was still sad. My cousins were up from New Orleans (it was during Ida) and we started decorating for Halloween. But every decoration only had a place at the old house. So I barely decorated, and that is not me.

Then day by day…routines started establishing themselves, I got used to walking down five steps and up three steps to get to the bathroom, I grew to recognize the noises and sounds of the new house, and we settled into a new home.

And here I am in September again…time to decorate for Halloween. Having just finished touching up the downstairs bathroom, I was looking for one more piece of decor for the wall. Knowing there was a space on the bathroom for a Halloween decoration, I picked up a new one today. I suspect it won’t just be for Halloween, but just be the last piece of decor. But most rooms of our home have a touch of Halloween year round anyway.

Ah, it feels good to write again.

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Oldest son does not want to touch the crickets when feeding his lizard.  Only told me this after we bought the lizard and the crickets.  Tyrann, the lizard, did enjoy some mealworms this evening.  Younger son lost a darkling beetle while spending time with them.  Only told me about that as he was being tucked into bed.  I hope the little guy enjoys his adventure in the room tonight.  Youngest son was so worried about telling me.  I reminded him about the time older son let all of the beetles out in his room.  We found them, we’ll find this guy.

Tomorrow night we have the school dance party.  Oldest son is going to ask a girl to go with him.  It’s a big step and face it, if she’s already planning to go, she may say she’ll meet him there.  The boys have several people who have RSVP’d for their Halloween party so they are VERY excited.

All I have to do now is finish younger son’s costume.  I just can’t seem to find the extra orange broadcloth.  I’m sure it’s somewhere in this house.  For now, I’ll attach the slinkies and he can try it without the fabric covering.  He looks good in the Jack o’ lantern costume.  I still am not sure what I’m going to be for Halloween.  I can always be a pirate…but I’d like to be scary this year.  Hmmmm…what should I be?

I love Halloween.  It’s such a fun time of year.

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From the moment I woke up, about every 10 minutes, younger son asked me if I wanted to put up Halloween decorations.  This boy loves Halloween.  The house is now decorated.  Witches, Jack o’ lanterns, skeletons, and skulls are lovingly placed on every available space in the house.  The boys decorated the yard the other day.  Older son really likes Halloween, but younger son has a strong passion about it.

There was a time when he was about three that younger son wore a pumpkin shirt every day.  He had about five of them and we just had to keep them in a solid rotation schedule with the laundry.  He still has a deep affinity for pumpkins.  All things Halloween, really.  In an acrostic poem at school, for the letter “N” he wrote “Never brings skeletons back from the dead.”  He really does have an Addams Family vibe about him.

Today the boys decided they want to have a Halloween party.  Sure, it’s two weeks away.  We can plan that!  Actually, the house is already decorated and I have plenty of Halloween games at my disposal.  We’ll sending the invites out at school on Monday.  I’ll use beloved facebook to invite some other friends (yes, KH, faithful reader, check your facebook soon!)

I’m almost done making the boys’ costumes.  Older son’s costume doesn’t require much sewing-it’s more of assembling the materials for his original design.  Younger son is being a jack o’ lantern (again) and I now have the orange slinkies to make arms and legs that “pop out and scare people”.  I just have to make the fabric coverings for them.

Ah, Halloween.  This year I’m thinking of being a pirate instead of a witch.  We’ll see.



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The winds picked up this evening.  The nor’easter winds with their eerie, haunting howls.  The shrieks have been wrapping around the house all night.  The tempests have brought the ghosts in with them.  I’ve heard Mom’s door opening and closing.  Brigs snored at the bottom of the stairs.  A big one that even rattled his collar.  Creepiness is filling my home and I love every minute of it.

October is a magical month.  The leaves die and float to the ground revealing the skeletal arms of the trees.  Soon a walk around the block will echo with the crunch and crackle of the leaves under foot.  The night creeps in earlier and the moon always seems brighter.  Scarecrows adorn the lawns and the straw arms billow from the gales, stretching out to catch a person as he walks by their perch.

Colorful mums sprout from the ground and grow fuller each day.  The color of the leaves on the grass blend with the mums.  Pumpkins and Jack ‘o lanterns burst with color in a graying world.  Ghosts stories float to children’s ears, scaring them a little bit more until they cry out for the storyteller to stop.

In a few weeks. children dressed as cowboys, princesses, and monsters get to willingly approach strangers and ask them for candy.  Witches will cackle flying on their brooms overhead.  Scary moans and laughter, rattling chains, and haunting  music will swirl around and fill the night with spooky noises.

I can remember walking Brigs during October and always being thankful that he was a large dog.  Even though I knew I was perfectly safe, the hairs would stand up on the back of my neck.  Sounds would echo down the street and seem to be surrounding us at the same time.  I could feel eyes watching us.  I was sure of it and so I stuck close to Brigs.  I knew he would protect me.  This is the first autumn without him here to bring me comfort as the nor’easter ghosts settle in for the winter again.

Oh, I love the autumn.  I love ghost stories.  I love the look of the fog and the sounds of the wind and the leaves.  I love the smell of the wood burning in fireplaces to warm the homes with glowing windows as we all settle in for the cold.  A lot of Uncle Stevie to read in the coming months.  Old tales that are good friends that help to keep one warm during the winter months.  And to help keep the ghosts at bay.  Even as the gales blow around the house.

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The sand drips through that hourglass and I realize this year is already nearing the end.  How does that happen?  I need to make Halloween costumes, start Christmas shopping, and thinking of how much weight I’ll gain between Halloween and New Year’s.

Where does the time go?  I have set goals this year, little projects, and not many have been accomplished.  It’s not gnawing at my stomach like it used to and that’s good.  The priorities are clearer than ever in my mind and soul.  I know the important parts of my life.  In certain moments of my days I have to work harder to remember that, but it’s getting easier everyday to remember why I do what I do.

Two of my priorities are my sons (well, duh).  Oldest son is having some issues with recess.  So I’m working on a proposal to add some options to recess since he is not the only one having issues.  Younger son offers many areas of focus.  I picked them up from school the other day.  As younger son came out of the door, I worked very hard at keeping back the tears.  He was clearly very tired because the one tic was non-stop.  It broke my heart.  He and I have talked about the tics.  He is a little self-conscious about them, but says they don’t really bother him.  In so many words he said he doesn’t do them on purpose and has tried to stop them, but they won’t stop.

So I keep reminding myself that as the year draws to a close, I get to spend a Thanksgiving break and Christmas week with my sons.  Plus I took off work on Halloween.  Ah, some lovely breaks to daily life.  A day to sit and watch the hourglass if that’s what we want to do.  Or have an adventure or two.

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When did it get to be November?  I feel like I was eating our traditional New Year’s dinner from Lim Fong only yesterday.  Here it is November.  Halloween is packed away, November’s fall decorations are out, and in no time I’ll be putting out the Christmas decorations.  Many toys are on the boys’ lists.   They work on their lists all year, but it gets intense after Halloween.  The sequence is a brief discussion of what costume they want for next year (which will change at least a dozen times) and then it quickly turns to the toys and presents they simply HAVE TO HAVE.

The day after Thanksgiving we will go to the farm and get the office tree.  The boys help us decorate it.  We also pull out the decorations for the waiting room, patient room, and the house.  But upstairs in the living room, there is no tree.  On Christmas Eve, once again, two pajama-clad boys will stand next to their empty stockings.  They will set out cookies and milk using the special “china” .  When they wake up in the morning, there will be a fully decorated tree, filled stockings, and presents all over the floor, spreading out from under the tree.  Santa does an amazing job each year.  He’s really considerate too.  He does the “some assembly required” on the big toys so the boys can start playing with them right away.  Santa doesn’t wrap his presents, just grabs them from his sack.  Mom and Dad do wrap their presents and the boys will tear through the paper, and then try to look excited since Santa gives all the cool presents.

I do love this whole season of holidays…from Halloween through New Year’s.  So wonderfully festive.  But we don’t need the Christmas music yet.  Please…not yet.

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late December back in 63…oh, wait, it’s only late October. Then why is there a snowstorm raging on my birthday? I’m used to the crisp autumn weather on my birthday. The scent of wood burning stoves filling the air, the sound of leaves crunching under your feet, and the glow of jack-o’-lanterns lighting front porches. It’s odd watching scary movies and then looking out the window and seeing snow swirling around the sky.

Ah, birthdays. I’ve always liked my birthday. Always had Halloween themed birthday parties. It’s always festive and everywhere is decorated making for a fun time to get a little older. I don’t mind getting older. As one of my students once told me, I’m not old, I’m cultured. So I’m a bit more cultured today.

Actually, what made me feel a bit more cultured lately is watching the ever-developing relationship of my sons. They were in trouble a week ago or so and as I was talking to them (I’m sure sounding like a grown-up from Charlie Brown), I noticed they were holding hands. A little show of solidarity against the parental figure. Then last night they announced they finally feel like brothers. They said they used to feel 1/4 like brothers, then 1/2, then 1/2 and 1/4 (which I explained was 3/4), but tonight they were full brothers. I can’t say I understand it at all, but they have gotten along beautifully the past couple of days so I’m not questioning it. They did things when I asked them to the first time I asked them. They are using their manners, sharing things without being asked to, and generally being the sweetest boys I’ve ever met.

We played Doodle Dice today and went to a Harvest (Halloween) party at church. We had an awesome day. The full-fledged brothers are enjoying life quite nicely.

As much as I say I don’t understand it, I think I might. They are growing up. They are closer to each other than they each were with me, individually. They used to turn to Mom for stuff, now it makes more sense to turn to brother. They have common memories and experiences that have brought them closer. They have come to realize they share more in common, they know what each other is feeling. They know what each other is going through. I am so happy they are full-fledged brothers. This is a bond I hope they share their entire lives.

My job is clear. Support them, love them, encourage them. All the things I’ve been doing to the best of my ability. And give them their own space and time together. Let them have their secrets, their private conversations, their shared dreams. And enjoy hearing them giggle in bed as they fall asleep.

Greatest birthday gift ever.

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This evening was spent with two of my favorite guys, my sons.  We went to the school’s Halloween Spooktacular!  On Tuesday, when my sons asked to go to it, I realized that I now had three days to make their costumes instead of the ten I thought I had for the Harvest Party we’ll be going to on October 29th.  I stayed up rather late the past few night to make a clown costume and the cape for the Headless Horseman.  Neither was completely finished for this evening, but…I think the costumes turned out pretty good on three nights of work.

The boys had a blast.  They also were not overly embarrassed that I was the only non-volunteer parent in full costume.  Not many more years when that will be the case.

I realize full well that they will not want home-made costumes much longer (in fact, my youngest had a store-bought last year, he really wanted to be the Creature from the Black Lagoon).  I adore making their costumes.  I love that they enjoy coming up with their own ideas and use Halloween as another way to demonstrate their uniqueness.  There was only one clown and one Headless Horseman at the party tonight.  They also did not win the costume contest for their grades.  Store-bought costumes won.  This was not the trend when I was younger, but then again, store-bought costumes weren’t the trend either.

It was a hard lesson for my oldest however he handled it really well.  He didn’t ask to leave right away and he reflected about the experience as I was tucking them into bed.  He said that while he was sad and disappointed that he didn’t win, he still had a really good time.

He also aid I “totally deserve to sleep in tomorrow” after staying up the past few nights.  They do have sweet moments.  I love them so and wish I got to spend the majority of my waking time with them.  Soon I will not be cool.

My youngest didn’t want to Monster Mash with me.  He used to dance with me in public.  They wanted to go trick-or-treating “on their own” but that didn’t float.  I’m seeing each day more and more that they are claiming more and more independence.  It’s bittersweet.  I know they are supposed to do that, but why so soon?

The Spooktacular was spectacular.  We sang “Thriller” together, ate many yummy treats, and enjoyed the festivities.  “These are the days of our lives” (Queen).  The moments that happen…as John Lennon sang “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.  I enjoyed life with my sons tonight.

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Here I am back to reality.  The show is over…Mame was a blast and I miss it terribly already.  The fun part though is that my sons are doing bits from the show every day-walking like Ito, writing in their notepads like Gooch, and singing “Bosom Buddies”, although they only know a few of the lyrics.  They simply repeat those lines over and over.

My sons, as I may have written already, did a wonderful job with the Halloween decorations (yes, I will take pictures tomorrow).  We’re going to the fabric store tomorrow to get the supplies for their costumes.  I’ll drag out the sewing machine and whip up a clown costume and a Headless Horseman cape.  The boys declared this evening that they want to trick or treat with their friends, not Daddy and me.  Whoa, slow down on the growing up stuff!  The compromise will be they can go with their friends while one of us trails behind, one house back, to give them their independence.

Many moons ago I wrote about rediscovering my audacity.  That is still a quest and I am still making progress.  Our little family has a number of our own rules, guidelines, if you will.  Our own way of doing things and that’s perfectly fine by me.  Embracing that each day takes some effort, but when I am self-aware, it happens.  As I work on being my audacious self, I am also working on developing that sense in my sons.  And in my house, which has suffered at the hands of Mame.

But never fear…yard sale weekend is here.  I told the boys simply not to look at the toys I’ll be hauling out because they haven’t asked for them in six months.  I promised them none of the important ones were going on the block.  As their faces showed scenes of Toy Story playing in their mind’s eyes, I reminded them even Andy outgrew his toys.  I also told them they would still have the thousands of toys on the floors to entertain them (yes, probably literally thousands if you count each Lego individually).  Purging the unneeded items out of my attic and shed and backyard, oh my.

And the funniest thing happened today.  I had been in tense, psycho-mode (just ask my hubby) and then work provided me with a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that it had not done in a while.  As usual the details aren’t dreadfully important, but to sum up, I rock at physics.  Sure, I know nothing about the field of physics other than an apple fell on Newton’s head, but physics was fun tonight.  I felt energized when I got home.  We then had our late supper, together, the four of us.  Then the boys and I went over their homework, dinosaurs were played with, fervent debates took place about who likes paleontology more, teeth were brushed, and blankets were tucked.  I still had energy and did some grading, laundry, and cleaning.  Even replaced the light bulb in the bathroom.  Good times, good times.

Finally, here I sit washed over with a feeling of calmness.  Simplicity has been around even amidst the chaos of the past few months.  Grace has been my friend as I’ve needed it.  Okay, I’ve been spazzy about the mess in the house, but I’m getting better.  I’ve realized that I literally say the same things over and over.  Lately, as I begin to say them again, I stop myself and save the energy.  Perhaps that’s how I managed to do so much tonight.

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