Thursday, September 24, 2020

Monthly Musings: Fall and Halloween

 Today, I am linking up with Holly over at Pink Lady for Monthly Musings . It's my first time, so be gentle with me.

Favorite Fall Tradition

When our kids were small, we made a point of creating traditions around every season and every holiday. Fall traditions were some of my very favorites, and, as the kids grew up and on, it turns out that they were some of their favorites, too. When they can, they join us for our annual visit to the local pumpkin patch and corn maze. When they can't, they find something local to them and they re-create the tradition with friends. This is harder for the Man-Cub, who attends college in Hawaii, presently.

Favorite Halloween Tradition

Oh, where to begin? Halloween is my jam! Hugh and I have gone BIG every year since we met, way back in 1992. That has included haunting the porch for the kids and their friends, jack-o-lantern carving, caramel apple dipping, costume parties, yard displays, and a fully decorated house. It's hard to pick a favorite; I love it all.

But. If I did have to pick just one, it would be this:

Every year, from the time the kids were toddlers until they were too old to Trick-or-Treat, Jana and I would dress the five of them up and take them out. If I close my eyes, I can still hear their little voices begging the neighbors for candy. I can smell the smoke from wood burning stoves and fireplaces, carried on the crisp, autumn air. I can feel the crunch of fallen leaves under our feet as we walked the neighborhood, and I can taste the hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps that Jana and I poured into thermoses to keep ourselves warm while the kids darted from porch to porch.  I am sad about not having kids to take Trick-or-Treating anymore, truth be told.

Ghost of Elvis? Favorite kid costume, ever!

What Will Halloween Look Like This Year

Hugh and I fully intend to forge ahead with our annual skeleton yard display. I've been planning the theme since last Halloween and I will not be denied! Besides, the neighborhood kids have come to expect the display, and, God knows, they've had to give up a lot this year, already. We are also tinkering with the idea of hosting a costume party on the porch; that way, we can still hand out candy to any Trick-or-Treaters who thumb their noses at the governor's suggestion that Halloween be cancelled this year (seriously, Gov? They're outside! In masks!).

Share Your Favorite Fall Recipe

This is an easy one! Hands down, it's my butternut squash soup. I make a huge pot of it every fall, then, I freeze it in individual serving containers and we eat it occasionally throughout the winter.

Favorite Fall Fashion Staples

Fall is one of my favorite seasons for fashion. I love boots and cardigans and plaid button down shirts and layers. I love the colors of the fashions this time of year, maroon, gold, sage, navy, mulberry, hunter green, and rust. Graphic t-shirts with flannel button-downs are a favorite look.

Favorite Halloween Costume

The year Hugh and I were married, we worked at a haunted house fundraiser. I went to a thrift store and found everything I needed for a dead prom queen costume that was, to this very day, my favorite costume. And, folks, I've had a lot of costumes.

Favorite Halloween Candy

This is a tough one. I mean, I hate to discriminate against any candy. If I'm forced to choose, I guess I would say miniature candy bars, especially Almond Joy, which, is weird, because Halloween is pretty much the only time of year that I even think about Almond Joys.

Favorite Family Halloween Movie

Duh! Hocus Pocus! I mean, isn't that every family's favorite?

I wasn't kidding when I said I have a LOT of costumes!

Scary Movies, Yes or No?

Yes. A thousand times, yes. But, I draw the line at gory and/or unnecessarily violent.

Favorite Fall Beverage

Perhaps, surprisingly, this is not where I wax poetic about Starbucks pumpkin spice. Bleh. I'm more of a hot cider gal.

Well, this was fun! Fall is my favorite season and Halloween is my favorite holiday, so, this was actually the perfect link-up for me! Thanks, Holly!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

A Cub is a Cub is a Cub, Forever

You know those posts about someone's kid that nobody ever wants to read, but that they find themselves reading out of boredom or curiosity or whatever, anyway? If you happen to be one of those bored people, welcome! I'm about to wax poetic about my youngest, who, turns twenty-two today!

That's right, twenty-two years ago, this happened (his birth story is one of my favorite stories to tell; I especially like the part about him practically crawling out of my vagina, because, who doesn't love a story like that?).

We lovingly refer to him as the Man-Cub, a nickname he came by due to the shock of jet-black hair that stood straight up on top of his head, as well as for the long, gangly limbs that were evident from birth. Because he had reflux, he struggled to gain weight for the first four months of his life, and, those skinny long legs sticking out of his diaper cemented the nickname, firmly.

Despite the fact that he didn't sleep through the night for a solid year, spit up constantly for the first six months of his life (leaving everything we both wore damp and reeking of sour milk), became a frequent flyer in both the emergency room and principal's office, and chose a college thousands of miles and an ocean away from his Momma; we still kinda like him.

And, today he is twenty-two.

He's a handsome devil, quick to laugh, loyal to his family and friends, sensitive and strong at the same time. I could write volumes about him and, I have (search the archives every September since 2006 if you don't believe me). We are so very proud of this young man and cannot wait to see where life takes him.

One thing I know for certain though; wherever he may go, whatever he might do, whomever he becomes, he will always be my Man-Cub.

And, today he is twenty-two.

I'm done, now. You'll have to find something else to kill time reading. Thanks for hanging in there, though!

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Birthday Fiesta in a Box: Care Package #1,265,673 (Kidding!)

 The Man-Cub turns 22 tomorrow.



That's....crazy. I mean, he was born just yesterday...

...and, I digress.

So, what do you get when you turn 22 and you live on an island thousands of miles away from the woman who gave you life? That's right; party in a box!

This particular party has a Mexican theme, inspired by this tiny little personal-sized taco pinata. True story. I saw it in the birthday party section at the Hellmouth and it was all downhill from there.

Also included in the box is just about everything the Cub will need to throw himself a little fiesta. Or, to make himself some burritos. When you are a broke college student, they are one and the same.

In the Box:

-Personal Taco Pinata, filled with candy, because, of course!

-Taco Bell T-shirt

-XBox Charging Station, for party games

-Apple watch band

-Tiny Buzz Lightyear keychain, because I love him infinity and beyond, naturally

-Bluetooth Speaker, cleverly disguised as a bottle of Bud Light, because every party needs music

-Bean Dip

-Refried Beans, tortillas, hot sauce, spray cheese

-Birthday cake in a mug

-Cheetos Flammin' Hot Mac'n'Cheese

-Cheetos Cheesy Jalepeno Mac'n'Cheese

-Musical card, stuffed with cash, because broke college student.

The box is finished off with a fun pom-pom garland that I am just sure the Cub will use to decorate his bachelor pad; after all, can't have a party without the decorations!

Party on, Cub!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Weekend Highs and Lows

High: Saturday morning, I met Kortni, Kristi, and Erin at a little diner here in Petticoat Junction. We were celebrating Kortni's birthday, which happened earlier in the week, and, as it had been ages and ages since we had all been together, we were stoked. 

Low: Three of us ordered the biscuits and gravy, and, all three of us were sadly disappointed.

High: The conversation was lively and long; two hours spent laughing and catching up. The coffee flowed freely, and we quickly got over the less-than-stellar meal.

Low: The news that Pickin' at the Pea has been cancelled due to the 'rona. The sale is one of the things that the four of us typically do together each October, and it sucks that we won't have the opportunity.

High: After breakfast, Kristi, Erin, and I spent the rest of the day hunting treasure at yard sales and shopping in Hooterville (Kortni had other plans and wasn't able to join us). 

Low: I am still not quite able to enjoy shopping the way that I once did. Marshalls used to be my happy place, now, shopping there is fraught with anxiety as I struggle to breathe through my mask.

High: The Lesbians left me with more of their home-grown eggs at the end of the day. They gifted me the cutest egg carton as a bonus.

Low: Hot flashes continue to plague my sleep.

High: Sunday afternoon, Queen B and I ran out to Jana's so that Queen B could try on the dress that she will be wearing when she stands up for Kaley in January. It fit almost perfectly and will only require minimal alterations. Plus, she looks beautiful in it. Plus, I got to see Jana.

Low: The Man-Cub called to let me know that his roommate is going to be leaving school, which means that he will have to find someone to take over his portion of the lease. I am concerned that he will leave the Cub holding the bag, although the Cub assures me that won't be the case. I am also concerned that, if he does find someone to take the room, the Cub won't gel with them. Basically, I have a lot of concerns. I'm really trying to give it over to God. I'm trying to do that with a lot of stuff.

High: Hugh started on the build for my Halloween skeleton display. It's going to be awesome. I need some awesome right now.

Low: I have to go to work in 45 minutes.

High: Only five days to go until the weekend.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Everything's Coming Up Roses

My rose bushes are in their final bloom of the season and they are putting on quite a show. I wish I made more time to smell them, but, you know, life.

Soon, it will be time to say goodbye to the roses, which means it will be time to close up the porch until next year. The thought of that makes my face look exactly like Boomer's when he realizes that we aren't going to get off our asses to throw the ball for him for the millionth time...

...sad, so, so very sad.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Well, This is Crappy, Like, Literally

Hugh spent all day in Neighboring City, digging up the sewer lines in Queen B's backyard. He gets to go back tomorrow to dig even more. I have no words for how much I admire his ability to deal with the crappy stuff that home ownership throws at us, because, there is no way in hell that I would be able to deal with raw sewage spewing into the shower the way that man did.

Speaking of raw sewage, guess what we recently discovered is one of Boomer's favorite treats?

Cat poop. 

Now, I may not be up to trenching sewer lines, but I can most definitely handle a crisis of this minuscule size, I mean, right? Right!

So, the litter box now resides in a gated community, where the dog is (hypothetically) barred from scavenging it for fecal treats. 

Wow. There's a sentence I never pictured myself typing.

Problem (theoretically) solved! 


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Fall Home Tour 2020

 I haven't done a home tour since last Christmas, which, considering the glacial pace of this year, feels like forever ago, so; when I purchased some items that will go into this year's awesome Halloween yard display later this month, it occurred to me that I might just want to document the fact that I did, indeed decorate for the current season.

Makes sense, right?

So, without further preamble, I bring you Casa de Chelle, Autumn Edition.

We'll start on the porch, where the traditional autumn palette of burnished oranges, yellows, and golds, has been replaced by muted hues including peach, aqua, and cream. It's totally on trend, and I'm not hating it, despite having literally three totes full of more traditional decor in the attic (Hugh just sighed the sigh of a million small deaths).

I carried the trendy palette into the house, as well, but, will replace it with traditional colors once Thanksgiving rolls around (You know,  just as soon as the last of the Halloween decorations are returned to their proper storage space. And, again, Hugh sighs).

I changed out my seasonal chalkboard, too. It's not my best work, but, I'm keeping it  (Because I'm lazy).

As you can see, I didn't get too carried away this year. I blame that on my recent lack of energy and I can't even feel bad about it.

I'm saving myself for Halloween.