Thursday, October 31, 2019

Rut Rho!

Happy Halloween, from the Scooby Gang!

I would write more, but, I have a date with a giant bowl of candy and a hundred or so Trick-or-Treaters!

At least, I hope I do; the temperatures are supposed to plummet along with the sun, so, there may be fewer little ghosties and goblins running about than usual on Halloween night.

Guess we'll see!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

What's Up Wednesday, October 2019 Edition

Tomorrow is Halloween! I would say that it kind of snuck up on me, but that would be an outright lie; I've been preparing for it all month long. In fact, this may very well have been the most Halloweeniest Halloween month that I have had since the kids were small and we had umpteen parties, costume contests, pumpkin carving dates, and other assorted events to attend throughout the month of October. Today, I'm linking up with Sheaffer and Shay to show y'all just how Halloweeny it's been (and, yes, I do know that I made up two completely new words in this paragraph; just go with it).

What We're Eating

I've been making more of a concerted effort to eat healthy foods at home, but, this past weekend, Hugh and I capped off a full day of fall fun at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, and, I am not ashamed to admit that I ate every bite on my plate; it took two days to do it, but, I did. Also, thank goodness for To-Go boxes.

I also discovered some interesting new flavors at this month's Halloween-themed Porch Night; my favorites included a Ghost Pepper Cheddar cheese that was amazing. I also really liked the unique flavor combination of blue cheese and preserved pumpkin; I wouldn't have tried that had Bethany not brought it to the party, and I'm really glad she did. The pumpkin is candied, and, the sweetness, combined with the saltiness of the blue cheese creates a phenomenal flavor. Highly, highly recommended. Not a blue cheese fan? The pumpkin also paired amazingly with smoked Gouda. Just saying.

What I'm Reminiscing About

This time of year never fails to remind me of the times that we took the kids to the haunted houses put on by various nonprofits and service groups. I'm also reminded of the years that we haunted the porch for the kid's friends and the neighborhood kids who came trick-or-treating at our house. Those were fun times and I actually miss having my wits scared out of me by Michael Myers wanna-be's.

What I'm Loving

As I said earlier, I am loving all of the Halloween-themed things going on this month; one of my favorites was the Halloween-themed Porch Night that I hosted for friends and family. Generally, October is a bit too chilly for an evening event on the porch, but, this year, we had really mild evenings early in the month, so, I whipped up a batch of blood red Sangria, and called all my witches to the yard. It was a ton of fun.

Hugh and I also set up our annual skeleton display in the front yard; this year's theme was a no-brainer considering that Hugh will officially retire from law enforcement at the end of the year.

I also decorated the house and the porch, as I do every year, and we've thoroughly enjoyed the decorations. I'm not necessarily enjoying the thought of boxing them all back up, come November 1st, but, I'm also not dreading it or anything.

What I've Been Up To

Hugh and I attended our town's annual Pumpkin Chuckin' event, taking Boomer along for the fun. We hung out in the pumpkin patch, watched pumpkins being shot through the air at speeds that rendered them invisible to the naked eye (kind of defeating the purpose, if you ask me), cheered on our favorite tractor in the tractor-pull competition, wandered about aimlessly in a corn maze, and posed for selfies along the way. This is what our lives have come to, now that the kids are grown and gone; we take our dog to the pumpkin patch. Saints preserve me.

What I'm Dreading

Ok, I lied; I actually am kind of dreading the thought of boxing up all of my Halloween decorations and hauling them back up into the attic.

What I'm Working On

I've had several Senior sessions, as well as an adorable family session, and, I'm booking up for the holidays, so, it's safe to say that, while my side hustle will never take the place of Day Job (my name is Chelle; I'm here for the insurance); it is providing a nice little savings account for the trip that Queen B and I are planning to take next year.

What I'm Excited About

We recently purchased the Man-Cub's return ticket home for Christmas break and I can't wait to see him! Almost two and a half years in and I still require daily Proof of Life, but, there's nothing quite the same as having my babies under my roof, not even a daily call, Snapchat, Facebook post, text message, Facetime session, or post on Instagram.
What I'm Watching

I binge-watched the entire first season of Daybreak on Netflix in two days. It was hysterical and I am really hoping that there will be a second season.

I have also been watching the Hallmark Fall Festival movies on the Hallmark Channel, which, has been a refreshing change from the typical Christmas movies on Hallmark.

Oh, they share similar recycled plots and some of the same actors, but, at least I'm not looking at California scenery impersonating Vermont in December. You all know what I'm talking about.

What I'm Reading

Work has been crazy-busy this month, so I haven't had a lot of time for book reading. However, I have a fondness for seasonal magazines, and, since they make for a quick read, I have indulged in them, instead.

What I'm Listening To

Currently, I'm listening to a pot of chili bubbling away on the stove top. The weather turned ridiculously cold here in Petticoat Junction, and, with record low temperatures predicted for the rest of the week, it's not looking good for the Trick-or-Treaters.

What I'm Wearing

With the advent of cooler weather, you would think that I would be loving the opportunity to bust out my cute fall sweaters and scarves, and, for the most part, you would be right. But, with the onset of hot flashes, caused by my rapid descent into  old age; I am having a hard time wearing heavier items of clothing without wanting to periodically strip them off and run naked through a fan factory. This is frowned upon in polite society, as I'm sure you're aware. Also, I wouldn't know where to find a fan factory,  so, no scarves and heavy sweaters for me at this time. I am still rocking a sleeveless tank top under a lightweight cardigan with cute boots, however, in case you were wondering.

 I've also been wearing this cute pumpkin t-shirt on repeat; mainly because it's lightweight and doesn't make me sweat like a whore in church on Sunday, but, also because it is cute, and, seasonally appropriate.

What I'm Doing this Weekend

Hugh has an assignment in Wyoming this weekend, so I'll be on my own again. I'll probably spend most of my time taking down the Halloween decorations and decorating for Thanksgiving. The house is also in dire need of a deep cleaning, so, I may get that accomplished as well. Or, I may curl up on the couch with a cup of coffee and the Hallmark Channel. Coin toss!

What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month

My birthday falls on Thanksgiving day this year, and, I'm hosting dinner. I am one of those weird people who actually enjoys rolling out of bed at five a.m. on Thanksgiving day just to assure that the turkey will get done. I also love mixing stuffing (or, dressing, if you prefer), mashing potatoes, simmering homemade cranberry sauce, and watching dinner rolls rise before popping them in the oven. I think it's because I was born on Thanksgiving day. Or, I'm just weird. Either way, my people eat well on Thanksgiving.

And, that's what's up for this month.

Monday, October 28, 2019

How to Spend a Fun Fall Day in Small Town 'Murica

Saturday was an absolutely beautiful day here in Petticoat Junction; the weather was mild, the sky was bright, and, best of all; there was no wind.

Hugh and I took full advantage of it by attending the local Pumpkin Chuckin' contest at a farm just outside of town, because; nothing says “fall fun” like watching giant squash being hurled through space by an air canon.

We hadn't attended the annual event since the kids left home, but, I'm happy to say, not much has changed, and, as you know, I take great comfort in tradition. So, without further adieu, I bring you a step-by-step guide to how to enjoy a good Pumpkin Chuckin', as learned throughout my many years as a Pumpkin Chuckin’ attendee.

Don your best seasonally-appropriate outfit; mine includes an adorable pumpkin-specific t-shirt. Try not to be jealous.

If you have one, bring your fur-baby along; it will give you ample opportunity to pose for selfies together, just like you did back when your children were still young enough to tag along for the fun.

A word of warning, though: beware local friends with cameras; you may find yourself tagged on their Facebook page along with a caption about taking selfies with your dog. Said comment may elicit numerous laughing emojis from your other friends. And family. And, strangers on the internet.

After you've wandered about in the pumpkin patch, head over to the corn maze and pay (generously) for the privilege of getting lost among the stalks. This is also when the fur-baby comes in handy, especially if your fur-baby is talented in sniffing his way out of a corn maze (as an aside, we used to depend on the Man-Cub for this particular purpose, although, he led with a map, not with his nose).

(As another aside, Hugh used to navigate the corn maze with Queen B perched on his back; Boomer Dog, when offered a piggy-back ride, wanted no part in it. I think Hugh was a tad bit disappointed)

Once you've escaped the maze, make time to catch the tractor pulls...

...and, of course, all of the various the pumpkin chucking apparatus (apperati?? What is the plural of apparatus?), which, is why you came to the event to begin with.

Try not to be disappointed when the only pumpkins you actually see go airborne are the ones thrown from the old-school catapult, built by the Boy Scouts; the fire department, producers co-op, and various other groups utilize other-more powerful-methods with which to chuck their pumpkins, and, at best, you will see the explosion at the end of the barrel and not much else.

If you're really invested in spending the day at the farm, you could stay for the haunted corn maze, which is a fundraiser for the local fire department, or, if you're like us, you'll call it a day well before that happens and you'll load the dog back into the car and head for home.

One thing is sure; you'll be happy that you enjoyed such a gorgeous fall day. Especially when you wake up Monday morning to three inches of snow.

Bleh. True story.

Hello, Winter. Go away.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

And To Everything There is a Season

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:  a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;  a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;  a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
 - Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
A time to sweat, a time for chills;  a time to weep, a time to yell;  a time for dry skin, a time for zits;  a time for restless nights, a time for complete exhaustion;  a time for weight gain, a time for inexplicable cravings;  a time for anxiety, anxiousness, and dread, a time for irritability, grouchiness and irrational flashes of rage;  a time for worry and a time for despair.
-Perimenopause 10:2019
Saints preserve me.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Halloween Decorations, 2019 Edition

You know how, every year, I say that I scaled back on the Halloween decorations? Yeah, fuck that; this year, I went all in.

I have no regrets.

I didn't hold back on the porch, either.

I've already posted the pictures of the yard, and, it's safe to say; I didn't show much restraint there, either.

With less than a week to go before Halloween, I am enjoying the decorations as much as possible, sharing with friends on social media and visiting with my local friends, who have stopped in for a quick viewing, complete with a sip of sangria on the porch or a cup of coffee in the kitchen. I also have heard from a number of friends with small children who are looking forward to stopping by for Trick-or-Treating, and I'm very much looking forward to that, as well.

I knew, when the kids grew up and left the nest, that Halloween would look different, and, in many ways, it does. But, I take great comfort-and more than a bit of joy-in the fact that, as much as things have changed, my enthusiasm for the holiday is still the same.

And, as I said, I have no regrets.