Halloween Hangover

Day 6 of 7 days. 7 Black and White Photos of your life. No people or explanation.
Thanks A Momma’s View for nominating me for this challenge!


So my belly doesn’t ache and I’m not hungover from Halloween or in a diabetic coma from all the sugar (not to worry, I’m not diabetic, either). Thankfully, trick-or-treating was a success this year. Last year? Bang made it, literally, three houses up the street and was ready to come home. If you don’t remember, seriously, go read it. It was an extreme trial in patience. It was so extreme it should make it into the X-Games next year.

This year’s buzz topic was on an age restriction for trick-or-treaters. I was so happy to hear of neighbors who passed out candy to the high school kids who had donned costumes and were out begging for free candy. The best argument I heard was,

At least they’re not causing trouble!

The buzz topic I kept hearing and reading in the media was more about offensive costumes. Many people think that using cultural costumes is a no-no. I was going to write a satirical piece where all the animals found Human’s costumes offensive, but I either didn’t have the time or didn’t remember. I forget which.

We had an alien and a skeleton. They collected quite a haul, too. We were pleased to see the dentist was giving out toothbrushes and toothpaste. Just like last year, I’m envoking a pretty stiff “Dad Tax”, too. They will be taxed without representation. Should you see all their candy floating in Boston Harbor, you’ll know their revolt has begun. However, they like their chocolate and chips so much that they are willing to give me some of it in order to save the rest. Bang has even given his away to other people (the school custodians and a parent we always see at the ice rink).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some tax collecting to do while we catch up on a few shows (The Good Doctor and This Is Us and Gold Rush)

Alien, Skeleton, and Nanny

Alien, Skeleton, and Nanny…

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The Dad Tax

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I’ll just start you off with the two best pictures of yesterday. They were so hyped up on excitement and Halloween that this is the best we got.

We drove to a few friends houses who don’t live withing walking distance (on kids legs on trick or treating night). Then we walked. Nanny lives just 3 houses up the road.

Literally.

No joke.

3 houses.

That’s when Bang started complaining that his legs were tired. We made it up the rest of the street, though he was none too happy about it. He was still saying “trick or treat” and thank you politely. He would even throw in, “Zombies in the full moon” after receiving his treat. Crash never really caught on how it worked. He’d knock, say trick or treat, get his treat, say thank you, then just stand there. I’m not sure if he was expecting to be invited inside for tea or coffee or what. Instead of getting off the porch to make room for others, he’d just stand there in Lalaland.

Anyway, Bang only made it a bit further. At his last house he became belligerent and rudely told a gentleman thank you. So I tried to talk to him, tried to reason with him. I would have had better luck reasoning with the lamp post we were standing under. I tried to tell him he need to be polite, not mean. Especially to the people who were giving him treats. He didn’t care. His only goal was to get home.

So home we went.

Crash, his mother, his friend, and his friend’s mother continued on. At the end of the street there is a couple who do up their house as a haunted house. It’s always great fun to see. We usually just trick-or-treat to that house then return home. Bang and I didn’t get to that house this year.

Next year, I think Bang will stay home and hand out treats to the dozen or so kids who show up at our place.

Hope everyone had a happy Halloween! Enjoy the taxation without representation. It tastes soooo good!

All Hallows Eve

Today’s tradition has it’s origins roughly 2,000 years ago during the time of Celts who celebrated their New Year on November 1st. The celebration was known as Samhain. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred.  They would extinguish their woodstoves, light huge bonfires, and burn crops and animals as sacrifices. They would don costumes and masks – which were often animal heads. After the celebration they would relight their woodstoves from the sacred bonfire to protect them through the dark, cold winter.

By 43 A.D.  the Romans had conquered most of the Celtic territory and began incorporating their own celebrations. They would celebrate the passing of the dead in late October. On May 13, 609 A.D., Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome in honor of all Christian martyrs, and the Catholic feast of All Martyrs Day was established in the Western church. Pope Gregory III opened the celebration to honor all saints as well as martyrs and moved it from May 13 to November 1. All Saints Day was also known as All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day). The night before it, the traditional Celtic celebration, became known as All Hallows Eve. Which is where we get today’s name of Halloween.

Some theorise that Halloween lost its appeal to death and ghosts in Protestant, Colonial New England. As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups, as well as the American Indians meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included “play parties,” public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other’s fortunes, dance and sing.

New immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing Ireland’s potato famine of 1846, helped popularize the celebration of Halloween. Combining Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today’s “trick-or-treat” tradition.

As for the history of the Jack-O-Lantern you can read the story of Stingy Jack (it’s a very short one). It was named after the will-o’-the-wisp or a jack o’lantern that is the phenomenon of strange light seen flickering over peat bogs. People hollowed out pumpkins, turnips, or potatoes to imitate this light. Some believed it warded off the evil spirits associated with the celebrations of this time of year.

Therefore, as tradition proclaims, we have carved our pumpkins (their own designs) and will be trick-or-treating this evening. Thor and Captain America will collect treats and Mom and Dad will invoke the “parent tax” and help them eat it.

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I don’t have a picture of Crash and Bang in their costumes yet, but I do have one of my brother and nephew. It’s a classic.

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The Force is strong with them.

On Cookies and Chance Encounters

Nanny gave the boys some Halloween cookies last weekend. They weren’t your normal cookie though; they were undecorated and came with all the tricks to decorate them yourself. 

I divided the cookies. I divided the icing and sprinkles and candy spheres. Then I let them work  play. And play they did. Bang’s spheres were rolling away and Crash laughed when I told Bang to grab his balls.

I wanted to step in and help. 
I wanted to step in and tell Bang that not all of the icing goes right in the middle.
I wanted to step in get him to spread the icing. 
I wanted to step in and make him decorate the cookies in a recognizable way.

These weren’t my cookies. They weren’t mine to decorate. They contained the mess to the cookie sheets so I kept my sound hole shut. They weren’t yelling at each other. They weren’t fighting over stupid, mundane things. They weren’t annoying each other just for the sake of pissing each other off. They weren’t driving their parents absolutely mental.

They were complimenting each other’s decorations. They were speaking kindly to one another. They were asking politely for what they needed from each other. Afterward they even shared their cookies with each other and with their lucky mom and dad. Bang gave away 2 of his own cookies. OF HIS OWN ACCORD! 

These cookies are magic. I need to buy more of these magic cookies. They tasted pretty good, too. Good enough to eat.

On another note…

DW saw a few postings on FB that there was a whale sighting just five minutes down the road from us (the whale was in the strait, not on the road). We grabbed the kids, grabbed the camera, and took off. There were some porposes playing nearby. Many dozens of them. They were a joy to watch, but they were farther off shore and tough to see clearly. However, it was a chance sighting on several other accounts. We have seen whales in this area before, but they were pilot whales, also called blackfish. This time it was a humpback whale. We were thrilled to see his white fin. You can imagine our surprise then when we saw him breach. He would rocket straight up out of the water, flop over and splash a splash equal to that of Bang in the tub. In DW’s nearly 40 years of living here, she’s never see the likes of a whale breaching in this area. It was amazing to watch as he breached 3-4 more times. DW snapped a few shots, but with the humpback being far away, they turned out blurry. However, a gentleman nearby got some great shots.

©Rob Smith

Incredible…

Tricks and Treats Hangover

I hope everyone has fully recovered from trick or treating. Whether you were the one passing out the treats or you were escorting minions to do the tricks, it was a night of fun (mostly).

Sticking to tradition, we traveled to see Crash and Bang’s grandparents (Nanny and Guppie), first. We stopped at some friends houses while we were there. One house was done up as a haunted house. Inside was decorated to look like a church, there was a coffin (with a “dead” person lying in it) at the front, while park benches represented pews. There were zombie nuns sitting in those. We both figured Bang (the four year old) would get scared and not want to go in. We couldn’t have been more wrong. He was leading the way! He was amazed. “Whoa, awesome!” “Sick!” “Awe man! Look at this!” He loved it. Granted, it was still light out. His story may have changed had it been dark. Maybe not.

We returned to town for a quick supper at McDonald’s. In costume. Yes, DW and I were in costume, too. It was a family theme this year. Then we drove to visit a few more friends who lived slightly farther away than walking distance.

Once done driving around, we dumped the loot they had collected to this point in the living room. We threw on some jackets under the costumes because 6C (42F) is kinda chilly. With empty loot bags, we started hoofing it.

I’m hoping it’s not just my kid. Well, I know there was at least one other – I heard about another on the radio this morning. We walked to the top of our street, had stopped at about 15 or so houses and Crash said he was ready to go home. Huh? One night of the year you get FREE candy and chips (and sometimes pop, juice boxes or bottles of water) and he’s too lazy to walk and go get it? I suppose next year the candy passer outters will deliver to the trick or treaters. You know, so the little tricksters won’t have to do all that walking.

Once he realized we weren’t turning around because we still had more friends to see and more places to stop along the way, he stopped complaining. Of course, when you’re walking with a four year old you have to walk a bit slower. It’s more like the zombie shuffle than actual walking. Finally, we had reached the last house at the end of the street – the house we had visited last weekend for the Halloween party. They, too, like to go all out. they were dressed as pirates. Their house was complete with a fog machine, skeleton sailor, and scary lights. Crash and Bang loved it. Bang wanted to stay and play some more. But we had to walk home, trick or treating the other side of the street on the way back.

This is where Bang got tired of walking. Which is baloney because I’ve seen him walk all day. But it was past his bedtime, so I’ll give him that. Once back home, they each got a small treat, then they were up the stairs, washed off their yellow face paint, brushed teeth, and tucked into bed. The “parent tax” was enforced so we helped ourselves to a bit. There’s so much though, they won’t even notice.

Now to ration it out. Bang was already busted (he ratted himself out, actually) eating four tootsie rolls. He says he gets four because he is four. In that case, I get thirty-nine. Hand ’em over, buddy!

Hope your sugar crash wasn’t as bad as your sugar high!

Minions with Nanny

Minions with Nanny

The Dispicables with Guppie

Friday Fictioneers (or Fiddlehead Swamp)

fiddlehead swamp              Photo Prompt- © Dale Rogerson

They were stuck. In a swamp. And night was quickly approaching. Jack and Annie sat in their car, shocked that both tires had blown, sending them careening off off the road. Jack looked at his phone, but there was no service. Spotting a light in the distance and with nothing else to do, they stepped out. The water ice cold around their ankles, they suddenly heard bubbling, like boiling water. Annie, screamed. Her legs became entwined in hastily growing fiddleheads. Her screams pierced the air as she sank into the murky water. Jack pulled, but could not stop her from submerging. Then silence. Terrified, he ran for the house across the street. Frantically, he knocked. An elderly lady with an unusually long nose answered the door. A black cat circled under feet, smiling.


Here is my attempt at a bit horror. Not exactly gruesome, though hopefully scary enough. Happy Halloween!

This is a story in 100 words (oops, I many have gone a bit over this week) for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle-Wisoff-Fields based on the photo above. Click the blue frog to read more stories inspired by this photo!

Just Another Tuesday

As I sit here staring out the kitchen window wait for whatever it is I’m going to write about today to come through, I see a crow in the bird feeder. Really, it’s a bird bath, but we put food in it for the crows. He didn’t bring me any ideas either. Not even a shiny thing.

Bang had a short playdate with a friend because our cooking class was cancelled due an unforeseen emergency. So a friend came over. Instead of playing with the toys they played with the mop and vacuum. This is my kind of playdate!

We already gathered up the garbage for Kyle and Lewis. They came with their big garbage truck to pick up our garbage. The recycling truck is here now. This is also a big deal. Bang plasters himself to the window to watch. Though, he doesn’t like to get close. He says they’re too loud.

We are currently sitting here watching Justin Time and eating apples. After lunch is finished, we’ll be heading out to take down the trampoline. Time to winterize it by putting it away. While it does open a good bit of space in the backyard, it’s also an easy source of entertainment and exercise.

Halloween is coming up. We’ve received an invite to a Halloween party this weekend. Unfortunately, it’s in Australia. So I think we’ll have to decline this year. We’ll go trick or treating instead. We’ve developed a bit of a Halloween tradition since moving here.

First we go see Nanny and Guppy in the next town over. They love to see the kids and they always put together a wicked treat bag for the kids. We visit a couple friends houses while we’re there. Then it’s back to our town for supper at McDonald’s. Something fast and easy so we can get back to candy collecting. Then we visit Nanny and Pop. Again, another wicked treat bag for the kids. We’ll walk around the block trick or treating. Then drive to a few friends houses.

Back home we consolidate the loot, give the kids one small treat from the pile, then ship them off to bed. We don’t get many trick or treaters where we live. We just leave a bowl of treats on the front porch with a note instructing the treaters to take one or two. Sometime there is still some left when we get home, sometimes it’s gone. Either way works for us.  We enjoy going out more than we do staying home and handing out. It’s a family event for us.

We have some fun costumes this year. It’s the first year we’ve all dressed to the same theme. I won’t give it away until after Halloween, though. Sorry, not sorry. Some have seen it since we were just at a kids Halloween party last weekend. Some parents, including DW and I dressed up as well.

So we’re just hanging out on this regular Tuesday. We have some jobs to do. But mostly we’re just anxiously waiting to go trick-or-treating.

What are you up to today?

My Autumn Bucket List

I read a thorough autumn bucket list on Early Childhood Family Education and thought that since I did a summer bucket list, perhaps I should do a fall list as well. I was successful in completing all but one item from my summer list. The painting never got done. Guess I’ll have to carry that over to the fall list. The first day of fall was last Wednesday and we’re already getting fall temperatures and weather.  Nice and cool at night which makes it perfect for sleeping, though we don’t get much of it (we’re early risers, even if we don’t want to be). So what’s on my list?

Bon Fires
We have a small fire pit in the backyard. More like a large metal bowl that we can put away when we’re not using it. But it’s great to get it out, set up the camp chairs around it and have a powwow. Especially now that cooler weather is here and it’s getting dark earlier. We’ll roast some marshmallows, eat s’mores, drink some drinks and laugh a lot. Perhaps if it’s not raining this weekend?

Get ready for Halloween
We have our costumes picked out. The kids are excited about them. DW is excited about them. I’m excited about them. I want to share now, but it must wait. Only 31 more days. It’s going to be awesome! I’ll also get the house all decorated. We have bats and crows and skeletons and spiders and webs and tons of stickers for the wall. We don’t go all out crazy, but we certainly do have fun with it.

Carve Pumpkins
They’re already sitting on the front porch, not carved yet, of course. Pumpkins last a long time. But once you carve it, it’s only a matter of days before it rots. I’m not sure what we’re going to carve this year. I just know we’re going to have fun digging the guts out. I’m sure Crash will something “Minecraft” carved into his. I can’t even begin to imagine what Bang will want. He’s pretty random sometimes.

Take a hike
This is the time of year when the tress are dressed in their best colors. The temperatures are ideal for walking comfortably. There is a trail near us that leads to a 25 foot waterfall. It takes about a 1/2 hour to hike to it and it’s a beautiful trail with a small bridge or two to cross. Plus the smell is intoxicating. I love it!

Watch Halloween shows
My favorite is “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. I know all the words. I know all the songs. Yes, I’m proud that Crash loves it, too. Did you know it took nearly 110,000 photos and three years to create the stop motion animation? Charlie and the Great Pumpkin Patch and Hocus Pocus are great ones, too.

A Farm
Not just any farm, but a farm that has hay rides and a pumpkin patch and corn maze. Those corn mazes have always intrigued me. Plus, I think the kids would love it. We already have two pumpkins, but there’s something about actually being in the pumpkin patch. The giant box of pumpkins in the grocery store just doesn’t cut it. And since Bang is all about tractors (and everything that has wheels) a hay ride would be right up his alley.

Leaves
I remember raking up a huge pile of leaves to jump and play in when I was a kid (if 13 still counts as a kid). When we lived in Virginia, I raked up small piles for Crash to run through. The piles weren’t nearly big enough to jump in. He had a blast running through them and kicking them into the air. Or throwing them up and letting them rain down on himself. It made for some fun pictures, too. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if we have enough leaves in our backyard to rake up a pile big enough to jump in. Guess we’ll just have to try!

What’s on your list to do this autumn?

october

Thank you Pinterest for this