Archive for October, 2009


October 16, 2009
Ian, Ben, Nick, Aaron and Neil

Ian, Ben, Nick, Aaron and Neil

Beware … Halloween is near! This is a photo of our sons and friends at a neighborhood Halloween party back in 1993. They had congregated at our house and thrown together costumes using stuff from our Halloween box, which still sits in a cobwebby corner of our basement.

Hey! Halloween falls on a Saturday night this year – WOO-O-O-O-HOO-O-O-O! – and maybe you oughtta be thinking about your costume! I have given mine some thought: Depending on my mood, I will either be a ‘slug,’ ‘vegetable,’ ‘bag lady,’ ‘witch,’ ‘pampered wife,’ … one of these (check it out), or, ‘Queen Josephine.’

I’ll be home Halloween evening with my husband who, in meshing with my mood, and/or costume, might be a ‘couch potato,’ ‘bookworm,’ ‘remote control operator,’ ‘hobo,’ ‘millionaire,’ ‘King David,’ or … ‘James Bond.’ ‘Prince Charming’ would work magnanimously well, especially, if, for some obvious, or inexplicable reason, I am a ‘witch.’

Anyway, our daughter, Megan, has been invited to a Halloween party and she needs a costume. What to be for Halloween? Our box in the basement is still crammed with stuff that should have gone to Goodwill long ago, because I doubt Megan or I ever again will be a Ninja Turtle, a gigantic M&M, Zorro, a six-year-old Pirate, Mad scientist (with those goofy, coke-bottle, headache-inducing glasses), wear an aligator nose, or drape discarded white sheets, reeking of ‘basement’ over our heads, with two cut-out holes for the eyes that never stay put so the flesh of your nose is sticking out of your ghost-face and you bump yourself senseless getting out the door, into the night, after the loot.

So Megan and I started brainstorming costume ideas – ‘witch’ and ‘hippie’ were ‘out’ for her, she said, as was ‘angel,’ ‘fairy,’ or ‘cat.’ Geez!, there had to be something half-way original! So I checked out the Internet. Now, I don’t know, the last time I searched online the costumes seemed more … innocent, or certainly, reflective of a less complicated time. Step aside, ‘starlets’, ‘Star Wars characters’ and ‘Spiderman!’ – and make way for … ‘Octomom?’ (Check it out!)

Hey! I’m all over this costume! It’s simple, and I don’t want to drag our Halloween box out of storage, if I can prevent it. For your ‘Octomom’ costume you wear your t-shirt, flip-flops and jeans and just add lips (big ones), long black hair, and eight baby dolls. You could probably get the dolls at the dollar store, except one aspiring ‘Octomom’ would likely clean them out of babies — unless they’ve ordered hundreds of them, in anticipation of Halloween Octomom’s popularity. Oh, and you’ll need some duct tape or a bag or some way to tote your babies – Octopus tentacles???

Admittedly, it’s not the most comely costume … Might look appropriate on grandmothers, since so many are raising their grandkids, anyway. Young girls dressed as ‘Octomom’ wouldn’t come off as wholesome and inspiring as, say, young ‘Amelia Erharts,’ although hauling eight bald-headed babies around for the duration of your Saturday-Halloween-Night-Party-Extravaganza might prove a strong and thoughtful deterrent to stopping in the graveyard on the way home to cuddle with Dracula…

I never plan too far ahead for Halloween on account of one never knows what the weather is going to do. Last year it turned out to be nice – and two days before Halloween I finally did acknowlege its coming, dug out the Halloween box, scattered a few decorations about, carved a pumpkin with Megan, and bought some candy for the trick-or-treaters. Except, I hid the candy from myself and didn’t find it again until three weeks later, stuffed into a basement shelf.

Megan still hasn’t decided on a costume. She is totally not amused by ‘Octomom.’ She was a ‘witch’ last year. This year she could be a ‘rock star,’ or an ‘orphan,’ or a ‘sack,’ or ‘Pippi Longstocking,’ or a ‘Princess’…

I just hope between, say, October 28 and October 31 nature doesn’t come trick-or-treating at our door as the ‘Abominable Snowman.’ Well, if that does happen, then we’ll all just dress up like Laplanders.

Our Frost-Induced Frenzy Faves

October 6, 2009

impatients photoWe enjoyed an exquisite Indian Summer here in Idaho through September, brimming with bright flowers, sunny breezes and temps that hovered near 80 all month long!

Here you see the impatiens in front of our house on September 29. Oh happy, happy impatiens! It was the following night, on October 1st, when ‘Indian Summer’ abruptly butted heads with ‘Ending-ing Summer.’

“SUMMER HAS HIT THE ROAD!” Nature declared, as she dumped a killing frost on us, ushered in on the tails of a harsh north wind. The temperatures took a thirty-degree dive and stayed there. That first cold always shoots to your marrow, turning your limbs into popcicle sticks, and it taunts you … “Just try to warm up!’ (Okay, so the impatiens didn’t like it either.)

I crawled out of bed on the morning of October 1st, my bones creaking with chill. My lower limbs carried me like sledge hammers as I shuffled, half-consciously, to my closet to don layers of long cotton …

It was here, in front of my closet, that I began my foray into our family’s 5-day frost-enduced frenzy. I started flinging out flip flops and digging for … KNEE SOCKS and sifting through summer clothes which absolutely had to go! Next thing, last spring’s jeans are flying from their hangers, being tried on, one-by-one, sorted, and strewned across our bedroom floor, with me in exclamation, “Yikes! Too tight!” – “Worn!” – “Out of style!” – “Why did I buy these?” – “I need to go shopping!”

There’s nothing like the first spell of cold weather to kick your butt into re-organizing your closets. Which brings me to … coats! Get them out! Oh, you didn’t launder them last spring before stowing them away? Too bad. Wear them anyway, you’ll have to figure that out later…

The cool, light, summer cotton sheets are … too freakin’ freezing and flimsy! Dig out the flannel sheets from the – (Aargh! what a gnarly, crumpled mess that’s in!) – linen closet. Replace the bedding, haul the armloads of dirty sheets to the laundry room where they’ll … sit there staring at you in a messy heap.

Oh, the camper! We haven’t winterized it yet! Better drive out to where it sits in storage and flush out the plumbing before it freezes and bursts – get that taken care of, we wouldn’t want pipes squirting at us come next summer, now, would we?

Hey! Remove the air conditioners from the windows already! Shove them in their winter places, won’t need those again for 9 months! Off with all the screens while we’re at it, ah, geez, the windows are filthy – so glad we can clean all 30 of them now that the screens are off!

Oh oh! The tomatoes! Pick every one – find your recipe for fried green tomatoes! (Yeah, right.) Okay, so they froze already and, my goodness, the gardens are unsightly! Get out there with your 36-gallon trash bags and stuff them full of frozen plants. Rip the black-limbed impatiens carcasses out of their ravaged bed out front and stuff those bags! Oops! Not the perennials! Some need to be transplanted. There’s bulbs to plant too! Now’s the time!

Alas, the grass is tall again, waiting for its last mowing. Cut it way short. But, first! – dig out those dandelions lest they emerge tenfold in number come spring. Mow the lawn! Mulch the gardens with the clippings. Treat the lawn now with fertilizer and broad leaf killer. Drain the hoses and roll them up. WINTERIZE THE SPRINKLERS ASAP, or you’ll be diggin’ holes bigger than crap!

Oh, and you might wanna remove the drinks from the fridge in the garage before they freeze and explode – transform themselves into whirling dervishes that squirt their sticky contents all over the interior of the fridge, you know, like they did last year…

These examples above give you a sampling of our frost-induced frenzy ‘faves’ – our favorite frenetic activities of the past five days.

And now you get to see a photo taken this morning of our front lawn. Well, we did get it mowed …

October 5, 2009

October 5, 2009

I’m gonna go shop now for some new fall faves in clothing attire. For starters, I’ve ditched my summer purse (duh!) and I need to find a suitable winter replacement.

I should maybe also buy a couple of stocking caps, some gloves, large snow shovels and some ‘ice melt’ …