Halloween is a big deal at my house. Not for me, not for my kids, but for my husband. Before we met he created a mummy costume with strips of cloth dyed with tea. It required hours of careful wrapping around his super tall and skinny body along with applying extra pieces here and there to “accent”. His costume was amazing and he won 2 round trip plane tickets. Then I entered the picture…on one of our first few dates he had me meet him at a mall where he was standing in front of a salon waving at people. He claims he was getting paid by the store, but now that I know him I wonder if he was just doing this for the fun of it! I didn’t realize that after we were married I would be the one spending hours wrapping to his satisfaction. Even after JellyBean came along and I wanted to take her out trick-or-treating, this was still our Halloween evening ritual. “Ethan, Halloween is for kids!” And his response was and still is, “But I am one of the kids.” When age and weight made his mummy costume not as realistic (mummies don’t have love handles) I thought we had finally moved on. Oh how naïve I was! He designed a new costume with the use of a borrowed Jedi robe and a pair of homemade wooden stilts. He became…an 8 foot tall grim reaper! He scared children so bad that groups of children would literally cross the street before our house and then walk back over after our house. Last year at the end of the evening I found a stuffed Winnie the Pooh toy in our driveway, I told Ethan that he finally scared “The Pooh” out of someone! Again, “Isn’t Halloween for the kids?” “I am one of the kids” is still his response. He would make the post office proud: rain, sleet, snow or even lack of kids won’t bring him in early! I shouldn’t complain too much because that costume won us a year’s worth of Chick-fil-A meals from a radio station and at a different time, 2 round trip airfare tickets to Cancun from his work. The trouble now is that he has to come up with something better each year for his work’s costume contests. Don’t worry, he is always the grim reaper at night, but during the day he has been a 4 foot tall Jawa from Star Wars (he walked around on his knees with tiling knee pads); last year (okay, I must admit, this one was MY idea) he was a TSA Body Scanned Image (he works for a national airline company so his co-workers did find this funny.) This year he is still using stilts and becoming…wait for it….an 8 foot tall clown. He has just re-broken his little piggy toe by running into…get this…his stilts, but that hasn’t stopped him! This week already he has made several children cry at costume parties we have attended. Ethan, isn’t Halloween for the children? Maybe as a costume choice for next year you should at least listen to your child’s suggestion: LouLou says that next year you need to dress up as an 8 foot tall fairy…yep, with the amount of leg and chest hair you have I think that definitely fits in the category of scary!
Hey, Remember...those that are with me for NaJoEntMo...only one more day away until we begin our challenge of: One Journal Entry to be written in the month of November!
I’ll be the first to tell you that my children are the smartest kids around. My dogs however…not so much. When we are roasting marshmallows in our outdoor fire pit, our boxer, Chelsey, will jump up and eat any descending ash. Last time she burned most of her whiskers to stubs. Fine, we giggled, she looked ridiculous, we moved on. The same cannot be said of the most recent dumb behavior of our Great Dane/Rhodesian Ridgdeback puppy, Lizzy. We have had to build a temporary fence around my garden to prevent the dogs from running through, pooping on, or eating of our plethora of vegetables. Who knew dogs liked cucumbers and tomatoes, right? This year due to my great gardening abilities (okay, so maybe I planted and then ignored) my herbs had grown out of control and had been oozing out of the fence. They had grown large enough to be covered in flowers…and bees! Wonderful, bees equate to pollination! Not to Lizzy; bees equate to a snack. The first time she decided to eat a bee she must have snorted it or it’s stinger up her nose as she keep sneezing and by morning her nose had grown three times as large as normal. The second time swelling occurred the family was reading scriptures together. We all giggled as we noticed her right jowl had grown huge and we made lots of “big dumb puppy” comments. The third time, I was home alone and noticed her face starting to swell. I started to giggle at her, until I noticed how the swelling wasn’t stopping. Her face became so large that her eyes were swollen shut, her ears had swollen, she had hives all over her body, she didn’t look at all like the same dog. I became nervous about her breathing as she started hiding (which is always a bad sign in dogs.) After I frantically called Ethan to come home, we called an emergency vet, because like children, animals only need help after hours or on weekends. Based on her weight, we had to give her three Benadryl’s ever four hours. Thanks to the medicine and cold compresses, the swelling in her face had gone down enough in a couple of hours that she could finally open her eyes again. Ah, but the most “bee”rilliant part of my doggy story…the next day while she was still puffed up to an abnormal size she went out and started biting at the bees again! Ahh, I guess we are still secure from dog world domination…
There is a lot going around on the internet about National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for short! For those of you who need enlightenment, I’m here for you: This is a movement for authors and would be authors to sign up on a website saying that you will try to write 50,000 words of a new novel from November 1st – November 30th. On the website you can track your progress daily and try to reach your goal. Earlier this year this sounded like a great idea! I’m writing a historical fiction novel based in England/Scotland. I’ve been researching books, and maps, clothing, food, language, etc. I even forced my brother and sisters and their kids to the Celtic Festival this year (the end result of that was large quantities of swords and dirks brought to each home…sorry guys!) I’ve been really excited to start and complete a rough draft novel by the end of November. But then life came along…So instead, I’m researching parenting a strong willed child, the “Reflections” Program in our school (more details to come), the Double Bass and Webelos Scouting. So, in an effort to still play along, I would like to start something new. For those of us that are having difficulty committing to 50,000 words, let’s work on NaJoEntMo or National Journal Entry Writing Month. Take a deep breath, yes, yes, an entire journal entry! I have my personal Journal (last written in a week after I got married, 15 years ago) and I purchased a journal for each child for me to enter in all of the “cute” and “funny” things. Umm, each child has ONE entry that I put in six years ago after first buying the journals. So to all of you reading this, let’s commit together. Let’s take the plunge and try and write at least ONE JOURNAL entry during the month of November!
Growing up I HATED the garden, it meant work, dirty work. I would try to avoid my gardening expert father (seriously, he grew lemons, and blueberries in Utah—that isn’t supposed to be done!) during the spring and summer to avoid work and his blabbering on and on about what to do with plants, bulbs, bugs, etc. (Although the year he bought beer to feed the slugs was a lot of fun!) Now that I am older, wiser, and let’s face it…cheap…I too have been gardening. I am now kicking myself as My Dad’s dementia has made it so he cannot help me with all of my garden mysteries and problems, but luckily some of my siblings were paying attention to him (and to think I thought Ken wasn’t listening while he was looking for grasshoppers to throw at Angela and myself.) So, let me help you get your Garden ready for fall with what I have gleaned from them OR from what I have learned on my own.
Step One: Remove all vegetation.
Step Two: This one is actually super important. You must add ORGANIC matter back in to your soil. It IS possible to OVER fertilize your soil, but you can NEVER over organic-ize (see how I made up that word there?) Organic matter would include grass clippings or dead leaves. Don’t have any trees? No problem, mention to a friend that you would love THEIR leaves and I’m sure they’ll give you bags full. Heck, I'll even give you some of mine! I find it helpful to use my lawn mower to pick them up so that they are being “mulched” allowing decomposition to move quicker.
Step Three: Add a little fertilizer over the top of the leaves. Even a simple 10-10-10 will work. The reason behind this is that Nitrogen (the first number of the three numbers) is important in speeding along the decomposition of all of those leaves!
Step Four: (This is just for people with hard soil) Add some gypsum on top as well. I also put this on my lawn and flower beds as gypsum helps with soil drainage.
Step Five: Now turn your soil over. Tillers are easiest but shovels and my husband’s strong back work just as well! Some years I only make it through step four and the snow comes, but it’s okay, step five CAN be done in the spring, it just isn’t as beneficial for that year’s crops. And if you get this all done in the Fall, you’ll get a jump on things when it comes to early planting of things in the Spring such as peas, carrots and onions.
You’ll be amazed at how these simple steps will help your garden!
Here is my bonus tip: (Thanks to my brother Ken) Halloween—think vampires, what do they hate: Garlic. Halloween is the PERFECT time to plant your garlic bulbs to have fresh garlic next year!
**I've added new recipes and October's Book and Movie Reviews--Check them out!
This last week with my husband in Florida and I being swamped with a project for the local school, I will admit to being neglectful of my children, including going out to dinner 4 nights in a row (the kids said that they love it when dad is out of town!) Today our church had a conference that could be watched on TV or via the radio. So I decided the kids and I could spend some quality time on a fun ride seeing the fall leaves in the mountains above our house while "listening to church." I got the dogs and water and left around 10:30 A.M. I didn’t worry about packing any snacks or lunch because I intended to be home by noon. We had a great time, stopping occasionally to explore, including a wet trip into a beaver pond. Skyline Drive in our mountains is usually a road that extends into the city of Farmington but was ruined this year due to our extremely wet winter. Have no fear, I saw another road going east and thought it would get us down into the town of Morgan that lies directly east over the mountain from us. Let’s try that! The sign said: This road not intended for passenger vehicles. I was in a 4 wheel drive, not a wussy passenger car! Let’s plow through! It was a lot of fun going over huge rocks, gorges and through huge puddles! I taught my kids what the handles on the sides of the car were really for! We were having a great time until we noticed the clock quickly moving forward and we were still deep in the mountains…we were hopelessly lost! No problem! Bubba picked up my cell phone to call his Dad in Florida to ask him if the GPS—in Florida—could help us find our way home. Good thing we had no reception so Dad didn’t have to lecture me on reckless behavior with the children in tow! We continued on until we turned a corner and there stood the weather towers on Francis Peak! Great all that driving with still no hope of an exit! We turned around. Then began the real fun, being lost, hungry (LouLou asked me to please stop the next campers we saw and ask them for food) we were tired, one of the dogs threw up and It did NOT smell pretty and then that same dog jumped out of the moving vehicle slightly injuring herself. Well, what started up as a leisurely drive ended up being a FIVE HOUR adventure! Of course the kids will forget about me driving them to assorted lessons, helping with homework, volunteering with scouts, making dinners and cookies etc, etc, but I’m sure they’ll remember the time that mom got them lost in the mountains with the puking dog! Ah, the memories!
Iam HILARIOUS...or so I tell my children regularly! I am a horrible cleaning lady, an okay social organizer for all of my 'peeps' activities, but I make AMAZING cookies! I love my family...especially when they all leave to school or work and I'm alone with 2 dogs, 2 box turtles and my own imagination!