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Archive for October, 2005

Halloween Finale

parade

The afternoon started with a par-tay and parade (above). I love this parade tradition that LG’s school has. Almost 1000 costumed kids stand in a circle around the soccer field, while the Vice Principal uses a bull-horn to call out, “Sports figures!” “Rock stars!” etc., and each group called leaves the circle and parades around the inside perimeter so that everyone gets a good look at everyone.

headless

Headless Arwen and a couple of friends. The little girl on the right had my favorite costume of the day — she’s a hurricane. Specifically, Hurricane Nina, and she is right in the eye — isn’t the shirt appropriate for an “eye?” In the “wind” around her are houses, trees, cars . . . isn’t that clever?! Other favorites, which I did not get a picture of, but which tickled me no end, were little boys as Napolean Dynamite, with curly red wigs, eyeglasses and “Vote for Pedro” T-shirts. Funny.

ketchup

Within each grade, the teachers dress in some theme. Fourth grade teachers were condiments this year, with little white caps and labels. LG’s teacher was ketchup.

whoopee

My last image from the school celebration: Jacob has placed a Halloween whoopee cushion on Paul’s chair! Shhh! Don’t tell Paul. Giggle, giggle, giggle.

Then it’s off to Nana and Pop Pop’s, where I can pretend to be Oprah Winfrey giving out automobiles. Except I give out GIANT HERSHEY BARS!

hershey's

You know what trick-or-treaters say when you whip out one of these bad boys? They say, “WOO-HOO!”

candy!

While I played Oprah, LG went out to work the neighborhood. Not too shabby, eh?

LG as Arwen

And finally, one last look at the Arwen costume. LG must get to bed, she’s looking a little pale! Thank you all for indulging me in showing off my kid and her costume. Hope you have had a lovely day, too. Oh, and one more “thank you” to Easy Writer for sewing Arwen’s dress.

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arwen 1

Today, in the school Halloween parade, LG will debut her Arwen costume. Summer and Bucky are the winning guessers, and I guess they should get some sort of prize for their efforts. I’ll have to think of something. Arwen is an Elven Princess from Lord of the Rings. LG is a LOTR fanatic. She’s read all the books and seen all the DVDs, multiple times. She was warned that many of her classmates may not recognize her costume, but that matters not to her. Oh, and the necklace displayed in the prior post is Arwen’s signature “Evenstar” necklace. The REAL one, honest.

Thanks to our friend, Easy Writer, for sewing the magnificent garment that you all will see MUCH more of, probably tonight.

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ghosts

Sunday Post ~ “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.” — Ray Parker, Jr., and Raydio

II Timothy 1:7

file under: &Sunday Post

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Halloweens Past

babybop

This is LG at age 1. This photo has been on my fridge(s) all these years. I love Halloween, mostly because I love to put together LG’s costumes. Sometimes I make them, with a little or a lot of help from my friends (wait ’til you see THIS year’s!), and sometimes I buy them, but if I do, I accessorize them masterfully. Still trying to stick to my “no recognizable photos” rule, I’m not really showing the best of the best, here, but I love them all.

madeline2

madeline

In an old house in Paris, all covered with vines,
Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.
The smallest one was Madeline.

I loved LG as Madeline. She was 2 1/2, and this was the year she had an undiscovered ear infection. We could not figure out why she was such a grumposaurus, on such a happy night. She ended up trick-or-treating at Nana and Pop Pop’s front door, then at their back door, and that was that. Next day we discovered she was ill! Good mama :0

jessie

At age 4, she was Jessie from Toy Story. Nice chaps.

fifties

Just a couple of years ago, a fifties cutie with her booty. Today’s SPF is all about Halloween, including decorations. Our Halloween decorations are minimal because we don’t stay home on Halloween night. When LG was younger, the street we lived on wasn’t safe for trick-or-treating, too much traffic, not enough sidewalks. Now, the neighborhood is fine, but we continue the tradition of going to Nana and Pop Pop’s neighborhood, having dinner together, then Jif and Pop Pop take LG trick-or-treating while Nana and I hand out candy at home. It is a delightful evening. I pretend to be Oprah. Not that I’m in costume, I’m not. It’s just that Nana gives out full-size Hershey bars, and the kids, especially the older ones, are SO excited and grateful that last year I said to Nana, “Now I know how Oprah feels, giving out all those cars!” It’s a good thing.

peaces

I told you I’d let you know what Jif and I decided to wear to the Halloween Party. We wussed out and fell back on the old reliable “’60s hippies” get-up. We looked pretty good, though, and got a lot of compliments. One very nice 20-something even wanted to hang out with us because, as she said, “Now, there are some people [geezers] who know how to have fun!” Speaking of the ’60s, one of my favorite Halloween memories probably happened in the late ’60s, possibly early ’70s:

There was a man in my neighborhood named “Edsel.” That horrid name was probably a big part of what made him such a grumpy pants. He was a 20-something or 30-something OLD MAN. He didn’t allow anyone to take a shortcut across his lawn, and if one of our balls, kites, pets, whatever, ended up in his yard, it was never seen again. He was married with a small child. Edsel worked nights, probably at a car factory, and every Mischief Night, his wife and child left for who-knows-where. Of course, their house was a target. Until ol’ Edsel taught us a lesson that I, for one, have not forgotten.

The usual suspects were out, armed with toilet paper, etc., but this year we were most excited about a new-fangled invention called Silly String. We planned to Silly String all of Edsel’s doors and windows. We approached the dark, still house, laughing and joking — no need to be quiet, they were never home. As I took out my Silly String and went to work on the front door, I heard a strange, scraping sound on the roof above me. Before I could even step back, I heard more strange sounds, and looking up, I was hit in the face with full-hose-force cold water, followed by the strangest sound of all, that none of us had ever heard — Edsel was laughing. Lying on his stomach on the roof, where he had lain in wait with the garden hose, just looking over the edge now at us, and cracking up. He soaked us, but we were laughing so hard we couldn’t even run out of the yard, just stumbled against each other as we slowly made our way back to my house for warm, dry clothes. I’m pretty sure we yelled back things like, “Good one, Edsel!” and “You’re hard, man!” (“Hard” used to mean something akin to “cool.”)

Edsel was nicer after that.

And now, the costume that we in this household are SO excited about!!!!:

2005 costume

Can you tell by the necklace who LG is going to be? Tune in next week to see if you’re right . . . 🙂

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Checking in on Wednesday for motif Monday (and that’s only possible because enough of my clients cancelled tonight!) with my “worst date” story. Hands-down, no brainer, it was the Junior Prom.

In my junior year, I went to the prom with a senior named David. He and I had had a couple of dates throughout the year, and had sporadic, somewhat intense “crushes” on each other, although the timing of these crushes was never mutual. I remember David as extremely intelligent, breezed through physics and calculus and such. I recently came across our prom picture. I swear I’d show you if I could, but it’s so dark that photographing it wouldn’t work, and I’m scannerless at the moment. I promise I’ll deliver as soon as the technology is available. David wore a light brown or tan or beigey sort of tux. He had brown hair and a sort of a fu-man-chu facial thing going on. I thought I was ALL that because my friend Liz and I had decided to be unconventional and buy our dresses at a thrift store. It was a peach chiffon gown with a matching shawl/wrap that tied under the bust. In the photograph, it looks like I’d been caught in a downpour, although I don’t recall the weather that night. Oh, completing my $3 ensemble was a large white hat. Shut up, it was 1977! I must wonder, in retrospect, if the outfit had its own karma that guided the night’s events. (And, I might add, Liz chickened out and did not actually wear her thrift store purchase, but borrowed my prom dress from the previous year.)

The prom itself was OK, as I recall. I loved to dance, so probably had a good time. The best part, I’m sure, was near the end of the prom, when David proclaimed that he was going to give me the moon (because I know my blogging audience, I KNOW where you are going with that, but STOP, it wasn’t like that). There was a large — 5 or 6′ tall — plywood quarter moon suspended from the ceiling of the high school gym, part of the evening’s decoration. David and a couple of his friends hung from the moon, swinging until the invisible wires released it, and then David presented it to me. It was orange with gold glitter (the ’70s, remember?), and I loved it. I thought this was about the most romantic thing anyone had ever done for me. Some boys helped David put it in his pale blue Mustang, and we left for the after-prom party at another boys’ house.

At the party, David disappeared. This didn’t bother me, particularly, because I knew lots of people there, and I stayed busy and entertained. Toward the wee hours of the morning, one of David’s friends, Neal, found me and said that he brought a message and an apology from David who apparently remained somewhere in the mysterious deep bowels of the house. It seemed that David was too “messed up” to drive me home. I don’t know whether David was drunk, or drugged, or both, but I was furious. Definitely a woman scorned. Truthfully, and at the risk of sounding lacking in humility, I was not lacking for boyfriends and I was stunned that this *#%^#$ would put me in that position. I remember thinking, “Who does he think he’s dealing with?” and, ever the lover of words, “Hey, this must be what ‘incredulous’ feels like!”

I told my best male friend, whom we’ll call Prince (because that makes me laugh right now), what was happening. He immediately offered to take me home. And by immediately, I mean without consulting his date, my friend, Liz. Let’s just say, Liz was not pleased. She had plans for Prince, and they didn’t include me and my moon. I have, over the years, been increasingly appreciative of Prince’s chivalry. Liz had a big crush on Prince, and Liz was known to . . . act on her crushes. The more I know about adolescent boys, the more I appreciate Prince’s sacrifice of that night.

As we prepared to leave the party, I asked Neal to take me to David, which he did. I demanded of David, angrily, “Give me your keys!” He seemed touched, flattered at what he thought was my concern for his welfare. “It’s OK,” he slurred, “I’m not going to drive like this.”

I retorted, “I don’t care whether you drive or not! GIVE ME YOUR KEYS SO I CAN GET MY MOON!!!!” He seemed to sober quickly and handed me his car keys.

Prince and I loaded the moon into his car, partly in the back seat, partly protruding from the hatchback (’70s, remember). Liz refused to sit up front with Prince. She sat in the back with the moon and acted like a martyr. I felt horrible for ruining their date, but very thankful for Prince’s friendship.

That moon hung over my bed for a couple of years, often dusting my hair or skin with gold glitter, which I didn’t bother to remove, because I thought that was kind of cool. Liz eventually forgave me. I don’t think I dated David any more. I did date his best friend.

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Sunday Post ~ “A Prayer for Autumn Days”

God of autumn, the trees are saying goodbye to their green, letting go of what has been. We, too, have our moments of surrender, with all their insecurity and risk. Help us to let go when we need to do so.

God of fallen leaves lying in colored patterns on the ground, our lives have their own patterns. As we see the patterns of our own growth, may we learn from them.

God of harvest wagons and fields of ripened grain, many gifts lie within the season of our surrender. We must wait for harvest in faith and hope. Grant us patience when we do not see the blessings.

God of geese going south for another season, your wisdom enables us to know what needs to be left behind and what needs to be carried into the future. We yearn for insight and vision.

God of flowers touched with frost and windows wearing white designs, may your love keep our hearts from growing cold in the empty seasons. — by Joyce Rupp, in “May I Have this Dance?”


Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

file under: &Sunday Post

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Biscuit Friday ~ Devil Dog

As you might have guessed by my absence in blogworld this week, I’ve been hugely busy. When I have a week like this, I need those nearest and dearest to cooperate with me. Jif and LG have been very supportive. Biscuit has NOT. Sometimes you people comment with things like, “Aw, he’s so cute. How can you say he’s bad?” I’ll tell you how. He almost put me in the nut hut* this week.

Wednesday night, Biscuit had um, gas. Oh, who am I kidding? Is it a day that appears on the calendar? Yea, well, on those days, Biscuit had gas. He farted in our room all night long. I got up yesterday morning early to spend some time, I kid you not, reading the Bible. And to get away from the smell. Problem was, the farther I got away from our bedroom, and away from the source of the odor, the worse the odor became. As I went into the family room, turned on a lamp and sat down with my books, it was overpowering. It had finally happened. I was losing it. I was having olfactory hallucinations. And this is some serious shit, no pun intended. These hallucinations can mean things like psychosis, temporal lobe epilepsy, brain damage! They are a terrible affliction, because the sufferer (that would be me) walks around with the dreaded smell sort of right in their nose all the time! There’s no escaping it. It can drive a person MAD!

Then I turned on another light. And saw the dog poop on the floor not three feet from my chair. About eight different locations of it, actually. INSERT BIG SIGH HERE. So I started cleaning it up, and I was overcome with gratitude. For what, you wonder. For hard dog poop. It all has to be cleaned up, and the hard is far preferable to the liquid. It was about a 50/50 gig I had there. Now what kind of day can you expect to have when you start it out giving thanks for hard dog poop?

I let the very bad dog out into the fenced back yard. And he R-U-N-N-O-F-T. Over the fence, VBD, away! When he returned some 20 minutes later, he looked like this:

Actually, I couldn’t get him to cooperate well enough to get you a decent shot of him. If you could see up close, you would see that he looked just like THIS RIGHT HERE. For more information, google “the remarkable cocklebur.”

*Forgive my use of professional jargon. “Nut hut” is the formal term for a psychiatric treatment facility.

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