Wednesday, October 31, 2012

250 Pieces of Candy Later...

Hugh's annual haunted porch was an unparalleled success. I say that because, when we ran out of candy, no one seemed to mind. The Trick-or-Treaters were just as happy to go through the haunted porch sans Tootsie Rolls, and, when we actually allowed them to go through more than once; they were beside themselves.

Friends of The Teenager and Man-Cub came out in full force to help with the haunting and all it cost me was a huge pot of chili, a pan of cornbread, two gallons of lemonade and a bag of Kit Kats, making them, officially, the cheapest labor force in town.

I think they had fun, too.

Jana and Co. joined us for the fun, too. And, you know I always have fun when I am with Jana. Plus, the haunted porch kept us all busy which, in turn, kept us all off the streets. That's a public service, when you think about it.

And, by "us", you know I mean the teenagers, right?

Of course you do.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Great Pumpkin Goes Under the Knife

Our perfect pumpkins turned out to be even more perfect Jack-o-Lanterns.

The actual carving of the pumpkins took several hours during which we also watched a show on AMC. The show detailed the life of a number of people who make Halloween a priority, and, by priority, I mean; those people are batshit crazy about Halloween.

Seriously, I thought Hugh and I got carried away; the people on that show made us look like total amateurs. On the other hand, my children don't feel the need to validate my love of haunted houses by explaining how I was raised by religious fanatics who refused to let me celebrate a holiday that "encourages Satanism" , so; there's that.

Anyway, while Hugh and the kids were carving, I was rinsing and roasting three large cookie sheets of pumpkin seeds. Have I ever mentioned that I don't like pumpkin seeds? Like, at all? Yeah...I don't. But, my family does, so, I took one for the team. Just like I do every year.

And, really, a few seeds are a small price to pay for true works of art. I mean, am I right or am I right?

Monday, October 29, 2012

In Search of The Great Pumpkin

Yesterday, as planned, we hit the pumpkin patch to pick this year's sacrifice to the Jack-o-Lantern gods. We could not have asked for a more beautiful day for the excursion nor could we have hoped to have found pumpkins more perfect than the four we chose.

We thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon together and, as often happens, I was reminded how grateful I am to have the opportunities that I do to create traditions for my kids. I hope, one day, they are fortunate enough to have a chance to do these things with their own children and I really hope that their children are kind enough to indulge them without too much eye rolling and deep sighing.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Children of the Corn

Hugh and the Man-Cub crapped out in the quest for fresh meat, yesterday, despite spending almost twelve hours traipsing through the woods in search of Bambi's father. They were a bit bummed.

We helped them get over their disappointment by making them traipse through a dark corn field for another hour because we are sweet like that.

The firemen were haunting the local  corn maze as a fund raiser, as they do every year, and we decided that we just couldn't miss it. The Teenager was entertaining Not The Boyfriend, who was visiting from college and he was up for the challenge of another scaring, despite having been adequately scared at the haunted house the night before, which, did I not mention that Not The Boyfriend accompanied us to the haunted house on Friday night? No? My bad.

I always say there is strength in numbers, so, I saw having an extra body as a benefit. Well, that and the fact that Not The Boyfriend is a big 'ol chicken who screams like a girl at the slightest scary thing, which, cracks me up, every time. He is especially freaked out by the noise made by a chainsaw, which every haunted house, cornfield, forest, etc. is contractually obligated to provide, and; his shrill girl-shrieking when the chainsaw started up last night was the thing that legends are made of.

Speaking of the chainsaw, although he claimed total exhaustion from his hunting trip, Hugh had no problem sprinting through the corn rows once the chainsaw-wielding maniac fired up his Husqvarna and commenced with chasing us.

Seriously, he sprinted.

This taught me that my husband of nineteen years would, in all likelihood, drop me like a bad habit in order to make a faster getaway from a serial killer. This is good information to have when the Zombie Apocalypse occurs and I am feeling guilty about using his body as a human shield.

Ooooh, speaking of zombies; our satellite service finally brought back AMC so The Teenager will get to watch The Walking Dead after all. This has made her most happy.

And, speaking of The Teenager; her  historical (and, pathological) fear of clowns is always ramped up around Halloween and, I am happy to report: the corn maze did not disappoint in the scary clown category.

Well, it didn't disappoint me; The Teenager could have done without it, I assure you.

After the corn maze, we returned home for hot chocolate and a viewing of Hocus Pocus. Today, we are heading back to the corn maze, to procure our pumpkins for carving later tonight. We would have picked out the pumpkins last night, but; it's really hard to choose the best pumpkins when one is running for one's life from chainsaw-wielding maniacs and murderous clowns.

Not that I ran.

After all, there were no zombies and we all know that they are the only real threat.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Haunting We Will Go

We just got back from visiting a haunted house in Neighboring City. As haunted houses go, this one was ok. Not great, but, a solid seven on a scale from one to ten. The fact that we didn't have to wait in line for hours prior to entering the house was a huge plus as was the distinct-and notable-lack of chainsaw exhaust fumes. Oh, there was a chainsaw, of course; there just weren't nearly as many fumes as were present in last year's haunted house. My head appreciated the absence.

Tomorrow, Hugh and the Man-Cub are going hunting. When they return, however, we are planning to visit the corn maze and pumpkin patch located just down the road from us. This excursion will come not a moment too soon since we really need to get jack-o-lanterns carved before next Wednesday.

In surprisingly related news, the daisies on my front porch finally succumbed to the frost last night. Today they are blackened and withered, which, honestly, adds to the creep factor on the front porch, so, I'm not complaining. And, really, those flowers lasted a long, long time; it was time for them to give up the ghost.

Get it? Ghost? Bringing it full circle because that's how I roll.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

There's One In Every Class

I finished the last day of a four-day training, today. The content of the training was interesting and informative and the instructor is top in his field (literally), so, his time management of the class was super-efficient; efficient enough, in fact, to wrap things up almost an hour earlier than we had expected.

Which, would have been great, had it not been for the woman who raised her hand when the instructor asked the class if there were any parting questions. You know this woman, I know you do; she's been in one (or all) of the classes that you have taken.

She's the one who has a comment for every statement. The one who asks questions that require long explanations that she has a really, really hard time grasping. The one who asks for clarification of every direction and who launches into long, drawn-out stories when the instructor asks for brief examples from the class.

Yeah, her.

So. Instead of leaving the training an hour early, we left half an hour early. And, yes, that's still earlier than we had expected to leave but come on.

Just once I want to go to a class and not have to deal with that woman. Or, that man, because, let's be honest; sometimes, that person is a man.

In the end, though, I guess the best that we can do is to try never to be that person. Or, that if we are that person, that our fellow classmates will grant us some patience and not mentally roast us over an open fire with an apple in our mouths.

Not that I do that.

I'm just saying.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's Been a Long, Loooong Day

This morning, mere seconds before I left the house for work, I happened to glance in the hallway mirror where I noticed a rather large coffee stain on the front of my white blouse. Apparently, my genius has now reached the level wherein I fail to notice hot beverages as they spill down the center of my cleavage.   
Alert MENSA.
Happily, the rest of my day went quite well (following a wardrobe change, I mean, obviously). I accomplished all of my morning work duties in record time and was able to attend my women’s club meeting, after which I conducted a Holiday Party Committee meeting to plan our upcoming holiday party (you know, as opposed to conducting a Holiday Party Committee to plan a bloody coup). The fact that I managed to stay within my allotted lunch hour was a surprise as well as a happy bonus.
After work I attended the Man-Cub's basketball game which turned out to be a re-match against the team that we had beaten at the tournament this past weekend. To say that the boys on that team were on a mission to destroy us would be an understatement; to say that they succeeded in their mission would be a fabrication, because, our boys beat them again. By two points this time. In the last 38 seconds of the game, once again causing my heart to race like Lance Armstrong on steroids (too soon?).
Now, I am ready for a nice long soak in the tub followed by a good night's sleep.
Oh, who am I kidding? I'm skipping right to the sleeping part.

Monday, October 22, 2012

We Will Also Need a Bulbous Red Nose to Complete the Ensemble

Apparently, when a teen aged boy grows three inches taller in what seems like mere nano-seconds, he not only outgrows his pants, but, his shoes as well.

Don't ask me why this comes as such a surprise.

Now, if you will excuse me, I am off to purchase new basketball shoes for my son. I'm seriously considering looking in the clown-shoe department just to find a pair large enough to allow for the growth that we are certain to see again by this time next week.

Wait, scratch that; I'm not even sure that clowns' feet grow that big.

Perhaps I should just invest in a really rad pair of skis.

Le sigh.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Still Jugglin'

I feel like I have accomplished a lot so far this weekend; I still have a lot left to do, but, I am going to hold on to that feeling of acomplishment with every ounce of strength that I have left.

For the record? It's probably less than an ounce, but, who's counting, right?

Friday morning I reported to work, ready to put in four hard hours at my desk. Luckily for me, my office mate was there to remind me that we had an out-of-office training, otherwise, I would have missed it, completely. I'm smart like that.

After work, I took Guinness to the new vet to see why his eye was so irritated and why he was squeaking and wheezing more than usual. As an aside, when you have a cat that is normally quite squeaky and wheezy; it's really hard to tell when he is squeakier than normal. The ookey eye was the dead giveaway.

Anyway, the new vet diagnosed an upper respiratory tract infection and she gave me the option of twice-a-day oral antibiotics that I would have to chase Guinn down for, or, a long-lasting antibiotic shot that she could administer right that second with no need for me to further traumatize a cat who has been, let's face it, rather slow to socialize.

I chose Door Number 2.


And, today, Guinness is running around like a mad man, chasing Finnigan, and, rolling onto his back at our feet, begging for a belly tickle.

Door Number 2 was the clear winner.

Saturday morning we were up before the sun to see The Teenager off on her last (Thank ya Lord Jeebus!) volleyball trip of the season. She texted us later to let us know that the team had won their game and that she had played extra well, finally garnering a grudging compliment from her coach (About mother-effen time).

While she was away, we were in Hooterville watching the Man-Cub and the rest of the Fearsome Foursome play in their first basketball tournament of the season. The boys won the first game, handily. The second game was a come-from-behind-win-by-one-point-on-a-free-throw-nail-biter that left me with bloody stubs for fingernails. I love watching my boys play together but I don't know if my heart can take another game like that.

Who says white boys can't jump?

Half of the Fearsome Foursome.

After the basketball games, Hugh, the Cub and I headed home for hours of yard work that included finally cleaning out the vegetable garden, cleaning out my flower beds, planting eighty tulip, crocus, and daffodil bulbs, cleaning out and organizing the garage, and, finally, raking an enormous pile of leaves.

You know who likes enormous piles of leaves?


And, dogs.

The yard looks amazing, now. I wish I could say the same for the house, but, that will come later today. If I have the energy.

Speaking of energy, last night we had planned to go to Jana's house to watch the Orionid meteor shower and, guess who punked out because she was too tired?

Raking leaves takes a lot out of a girl.

So does having her heart rate increased at a Middle School basketball game.

Actually, today is looking more and more like a day that I need to spend on the couch with a glass of wine and a trashy magazine.

You know, for my health.

Friday, October 19, 2012

At This Rate, We'll Be Broke By Christmas

I bought two pairs of jeans for the Man-Cub last month. They were Levi's and they were not cheap. I bought them a little long and a little loose because I assumed the Cub would grow a bit.


Yesterday, when the Cub pulled on a pair of the jeans, he flashed a solid inch and a half of white tube sock. An inch and a half! Were it a mere half inch or, in all honesty, even just one small inch; I would have told him to suck it up and wear them to school, but, even I am not so heartless as to send my son to school channeling the spirit of Urkel.

It doesn't take a fortune teller to see another trip to the department store in my immediate future.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Karma Is a Boomerang. I Hope

We are in the volleyball home-stretch; the last home game is tomorrow and the last road trip is Saturday. I am looking forward to the end of the season for a number of reasons, most having to do with the fact that I am drowning on the blood caused by biting my tongue in an effort not to tell The Teenager's coach exactly how I feel about her "coaching".

The Teenager is looking forward to the end of the season for much the same reason and I am hoping that, once the season is over, she will return to her normal, cheerful self and leave the weeping and gnashing of teeth behind in time to actually enjoy what is left of her Junior year.

On the bright side, tomorrow's game is the annual "Pink Out for Cancer" fundraiser. Usually, several of the girls voluntarily cut their hair for Locks of Love, raising money by auctioning cutting rights to the highest bidder. This year, none of the girls were willing to part with their hair so a raffle has been planned, instead. I'll miss the entertainment of watching the haircuts but I'll buy raffle chances because I believe in supporting the cause.

After all, what goes around, comes around.

Which, if there is justice in this world, includes a world of pain for a certain volleyball coach who has made it her mission to make my kid's life miserable for the past two months.

And, yes, I will be making an additional donation to the cancer fund to make up for wishing that on the coach.

Just in case that really is how karma works.

In Which the Elections Resemble a Sitcom

Anyone remember the South Park episode where the  citizens of South Park were forced to vote for either a Giant Douche or a Turd Sandwich?


That's kind of how I feel about this election.

I wish there was a clear-cut Best Choice for President, but, alas; I think both candidates suck. Oh, not as people, necessarily, but, definitely as politicians and future (or present) world leaders.

This makes me sad.

And, you know, scared shitless for our country.

I'm pretty sure that isn't what our forefathers envisioned when they shed blood to create this nation.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Claws Come Out

Guinness has developed a nasty habit of scratching the carpet between our bedroom and the bathroom door while I am taking a shower. He has also taken a liking to the couch in our upstairs living room, to the recliner in the downstairs living room, and, to the undersides of our box spring mattress. This behavior does not bode well for the future of his claws as it has spurred conversation between Hugh and me; conversations frequently featuring the "D" word.

As in: DECLAW.

In a last-ditch effort to spare the cat a trip to Anesthesiaville, I spent the weekend applying caps to his claws. It took the whole weekend because I am clearly inept at super gluing plastic caps onto a cat's claws without accidentally managing to glue his fur to my fingertips.

Good times.

Also, it now appears as though a strange mutation has caused me to grow ginger-colored fur from my knuckles.

Also, good times.

On the bright side, after much trial and error, I did manage a full set of fake nails on each of Guinness's front paws. They looked awesome. And, they lasted for about two hours before the cat managed to pry them off with his teeth.

I wish I could say it was as easy to pry his fur from my fingers, but, yeah, no such luck.

I am interviewing new vets even as we speak.

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's Raining, It's Pouring, I'd Rather Be Snoring....

Ok, so it isn't pouring, but, there have been a smattering of raindrops on the glass panels of my french doors this morning. The lack of pourage in no way hinders my wish to be snoring; I'm tired, y'all.

Moving into my new office took a lot of energy yesterday, this despite the fact that my new boss did her level best to keep our energy up with judicious applications of muffins, fruit and pizza throughout the day.

Our efforts, while mildly exhausting, produced fabulous results; my co-worker and I love our new space and we look forward to getting down to the business of doing our jobs to the absolute best of our abilities. You know, right after we finish decorating and making the office super-awesomely comfy and unique, so; in the next few weeks or so.


It shouldn't take more than a couple of days.

Three or four at the most.

Once again, kidding.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Witches, Vampires and Zombies, Oh, My!

I am moving into my new office at work today. The office that I have been sharing with three co-workers for the past month (almost) is fairly small, so, the change to a larger office that I will be sharing with just one co-worker is welcome. Also, the co-worker with whom I will share the office is a really funny, sweet and enthusiastic person and I have no doubt that we will cohabitate very well.

Plus, much like myself, she is a fan of all things Halloween which means that discussions of costumes have featured prominently in our recent conversations. For the record, I'm thinking of dressing like a witch while she is undecided.

In other news, Hugh left town for a week of security details early this morning. We will miss him, but, I would be lying if I said that I wasn't looking forward to sole ownership of the remote control, especially since the new season of The Vampire Diaries starts tonight.

Along those lines, our satellite provider recently dropped AMC. The Walking Dead airs on AMC. The Teenager is a huge fan of The Walking Dead. Try to imagine the scene at my house when a hormonally unbalanced teen aged girl discovered that she would no longer have access to her favorite show.

Halloween has come early to my house, is what I'm sayin'.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Cah-Ra-Zee Busy

It's finally getting chilly here in Petticoat Junction. My garden is completely dead thanks to an overnight freeze (no pumpkins for the Thanksgiving pies, son) and I don't have a lot of hope for the daisies on the porch, now.

I would be bummed about that but, instead, I am looking forward to raking leaves, pulling up my flowerbeds and tucking tulip bulbs into the earth where they will sleep peacefully until spring.

Also, the chilly evenings mean a roaring fire in front of which we can sip hot cocoa, the return of comfy sweaters, and, new boots (Yay!).

Not to mention, Halloween is right around the corner, and; we all know how I feel about Halloween.

I have a lot of plans for this Halloween, I want to take the kids to the pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins for a carving party that I hope to host later in the month. We also want to take the kids to the corn maze on the night that a local nonprofit group "haunts" it. Then, because Halloween is all about being scared; we want to go to the haunted house in Neighboring City for an evening of thrills and chills.

We also have duties to perform; The Teenager, the Man-Cub and I are volunteering to help at the elementary school's annual Fall Carnival as part of our work with my ASTRA club. We also need to help Hugh set up our annual haunted porch and I think there are some costume-required events planned at New Job and at my women's club meeting the week of Halloween.

It's going to be crazy-busy, is what I'm thinking.

At least I won't be bored.

Friday, October 05, 2012

The Little Flowers That Could

When I plucked a flat of half-priced Gerber Daisies from the clearance isle of the Hellmouth in late May, I had no idea whether or not they would survive in my porch pots. Not only did they survive, they flourished.

We have enjoyed a steady stream of colorful blooms since the day that I first planted the daisies and, since I had paid fairly good attention to the varieties that I chose; the flowers have accompanied the colors of my porch decor through three seasons.

Recently, the evenings have gotten quite chilly and I fully expected the daisies to give up the ghost; to whither and die, but, instead, they have surged forward in one last show of blossoms and color.

I am now sold on the idea of planting daisies again next spring. I just hope I get as screaming good of a deal as I got this year.

Oh, I don't expect to, but a girl can hope.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Fearsome Foursome Rides Again

The boys played their last football game this evening. Unfortunately, they lost but, as always, they showed excellent sportsmanship and a love for the game.

I'll miss watching them play together and, since this was their last Middle School football game; I'll admit to being a little bit sad.

On the other hand, basketball practice starts on Monday.

At 6:15 a.m.

Yeah, boys; I'm reallllly happy about that, too.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

I Got the Flu Today

Actually, I got a flu shot. But, since the flu shot is essentially just a small dose of the flu, I totally get to say that I got the flu.

In other news, the Man-Cub made dinner for us tonight. Granted, that dinner consisted of him preheating the oven, opening a box of frozen chicken, placing said chicken on a baking sheet and sticking said baking sheet into the oven, but! I got to come home to less work than I would have, otherwise and my son took responsibility for a chore that he generally prefers to avoid, so; win-win.

Or, winner-winner, chicken dinner, if you will.

And, coincidentally, the flu shot should not be taken by people who are allergic to eggs. Eggs come from chickens. I had the flu shot today and I ate chicken.

Full circle, people.

Full circle.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Patchouli is French For "Makes Me Want To Vomit"

I spent the past two days at a training in a town an hour and a half away. Class started at nine each morning which means that I have awoken at the ungodly hour of 5:30a.m. two days in a row. Me no likee.

I did, however, like the training. Well, with the exception of the first day, when I developed a raging headache thanks to having to breath the putrid stench of patchouli for six hours, straight. That was thanks to a crunchy granola woman with the dreds, bare feet and hairy legs who was so entrenched in the smell that it preceded her into the room and lingered long after she left it.

Not even kidding. Wish that I was.

Anyway, back to the training.

Not only did I learn a lot, but, I got to spend some time getting to know four of the women from my office, including one whom I will be supervising. And, if the term "the blind leading the blind" just entered your mind; we are simpatico souls. Because, yes; I am brand new, not only to this job, but to the field that it is in as well as to every concept included therein, yet: I am about to become a supervisor.

The people who hired me might very well be smoking something that would interest the patchouli-wearing granola chick from yesterday's training.

On the other hand, everything that we covered in today's training seemed ridiculously logical and natural to me, so; maybe they aren't as crazy as I fear.

No way I'm changing my mind about the patchouli, however.