Saturday, October 31, 2020

Halloween greetings!

Happy Halloween! I'll be spending the day tidying the house, running a couple of errands, and then settling in to light the candles, stream some spooky movies, and wait on trick or treaters. Even though we have some new little ones in the neighborhood, I doubt we see any except for my friends' kids. Carsen and Little P. are supposed to stop by so that will be at least two. Our new neighbor Heather (the dog foster lady) texted me yesterday to tell me she would be giving out candy and plans to dress up to do it. (She also said that because of Covid she might "stand back 10 feet and throw it to them" hahaha!) So P and C can go over there and get some candy from her, too. I love giving out candy although I've unfortunately never lived in a neighborhood that got very many trick or treaters. The few who do turn up get handfuls.

So I'm off, but I wanted to leave you with some Halloween funnies. I hope you all have a good time tonight if you celebrate Halloween, and if you don't then I hope you have a good weekend instead!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Traditional Halloween fun

Carving pumpkins with an 8 year old is an activity I can highly recommend. My little buddy was beside himself with excitement when I showed up on his doorstep with a pizza and plans to make Jack o'lanterns with him and his mom! Here's how they turned out:

Little P's's the Flash symbol!!

That's one of his favorite superheroes so I found the template for it online and printed it out. With only a little bit of guidance he carved most of this himself. I think he did a fantastic job! Especially for an 8 year old kid. He was so proud of it!

Next up, the one his momma made:


And last but not least, the super quick, mostly freehand ghost carving that I chose.

All together now.....

And finally, one very happy, very excited little boy.

We had such a good time!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Wednesday miscellany

 One reason that I decided to miss last Wednesday's book club meeting was because I had a very small, very careful social gathering planned at my house Saturday night. Doing both would have seemed like too much socializing in one week during a pandemic. Marla and Martina came over for food and drinks to celebrate Marla's birthday (which was actually Monday). Since it was a birthday celebration, I made a lot of food, all of our particular favorites: ham and cream cheese pinwheels, grape jelly meatballs, crudites with sour cream dip, and for sweets I made two desserts: a pumpkin spice bundt cake and double fudge brownies. And of course, there was plenty of wine. Not only did I have a couple of bottles, but Martina brought two more to share and Marla brought hard apple cider. We had a really good time.

I'm very lucky to have such good friends in my life that I can count on. Especially considering what my blood relatives are like! 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Gloomy Wednesday

 Later tonight my book club is meeting for the first time since February, but I won't be joining them. Despite the fact that they're meeting outdoors, and it's going to be "bring your own drink and snacks" and masks will be worn, I found out that Gregg was really uncomfortable with the idea because of our rising Covid infection rates. It seemed wrong to go if it caused him anxiety so I canceled. He's probably right, but I sure hate not going. Those women are so important to me and I look to them for support, and I miss them. Sigh.

I'm feeling sad a lot these days. My estrangement from my parents (my dad sent me a message apologizing for how he spoke to me, but my mom has doubled down on cutting me out of her life), missing Ginger (it's still so hard), Covid restrictions, the upcoming election and political situation, it's just....a lot. Stress is contributing to some physical ailments, too--stomach/digestive issues, major eczema flares. Taken together, every day I just feel down in the dumps.

 I try not to complain because I know how lucky I am in many ways but almost everything feels "off" lately. I hate the fact that the days are so much shorter, too. After the time change it's going to be dark right after I get home from work and I dread that. Then the other night we saw where some experts are saying the next 6-12 weeks are going to be the worst of the pandemic. Who knows how all that will play out, but I know for sure that the holidays aren't going to be the best this year. I'm dreading those, too.

Also, lucky me--I leave in half an hour to go to the dentist. It's just a routine cleaning and checkup but I've had so many bad experiences at the dentist (although not my current one) that my anxiety almost gets the better of me when I have to go in for anything. I can't keep putting the appointment off though because I was originally supposed to go the week that Ginger died. When the nice girl called me the day before to remind me I burst into tears on the phone and explained that I couldn't possibly go, because my dog was dying. The poor girl felt so sorry for me and I was embarrassed. So the appointment has already been delayed since August. I might as well get it over with.

How's your week going? Better than mine, I hope!

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Kids and Halloween

My little friend P is ready for Halloween. He keeps changing his mind about the costume he wants to wear for trick or treating. At first, he planned to be a superhero that I'd never heard of (the Flash?) but since then he spotted a Ninja costume for sale somewhere and that's what his heart is set on. At least for now, anyway. His mom reports that he's also obsessed with the idea of carving a pumpkin this year. She's never carved a pumpkin in her life (oh the horror!) so she had no idea where to even begin. When I told her that I've carved plenty of pumpkins in my time, we hatched a plan to surprise little P a couple of nights before Halloween. Mom invited me over for a little pumpkin carving party....she's supplying the pumpkins, I'll bring along some safe carving tools and the knowledge of how to proceed. Oh, and candles. There's something magical about lighting a candle and putting it inside of a jack o' lantern to glow! I'm also planning to pick up a pizza on the way over to share. Little P. is going to be so surprised when I show up at his house to carve pumpkins with him and his momma! 

“First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys.”
― Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes

Here's a piece of Halloween art he made for me at school the other day. His mom said, "See? What did I tell you? He's obsessed with pumpkins this year!" when he presented it to me.

Of course, good manners meant a thank you note and reciprocal gift the next day:

That silly boy sat himself down at my desk one afternoon this week, put my reading glasses on, and said: "I'm MISTER BARLOW. Do not bother me, I am working!" Hahaha. That kid is a riot. The next day he rang the front door buzzer and when I looked at the camera, he was grinning up at it with a fake moustache and sunglasses on. I laughed so hard! Seeing this little guy is often the best part of my workday. I'm sure we'll have a blast carving pumpkins and eating pizza when the night comes!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020


 I got a text yesterday afternoon from one of my neighbors letting me know that several cars in our neighborhood had been broken into the night before. Some items had been stolen, too. 

As soon as I got home from work I texted more  neighbors (the two on either side of us) alerting them to the situation. One is an 80 year old widow and the other is a middle aged single woman who does pet sitting/shelter dog fostering out of her home. 

Both women were alarmed since they live alone, but we all agreed to look out for each other and to be alert to any suspicious activity. 

Heather, the dog foster lady, texted me later in the evening to tell me she was still pretty nervous. She sent along a picture of a note she taped to her car's driver side window. We had a good chuckle over it.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Off my chest

Fair warning: this is going to be a deeply personal post. It's probably not going to be to everyone's taste, so if reading about someone else's family problems at length isn't your cup of tea, feel free to move along now. I'll be back to posting lighter fare next time. 

Here's a cute George picture to enjoy before you go:


He was just back from a joyride with Gregg around the neighborhood in the truck. That's the face of pure, uncomplicated happiness. 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Doing my bit

I had big plans for being politically active this election season. Then the pandemic hit.

I'm a member of a local political action group and have been since 2016, but this year I haven't attended a single meeting or event. Several of my close friends are members of other groups--the League of Women Voters, the local Democratic Party, etc. They're all very politically active and I admire the amount of work they put into the issues near to their hearts. I had hoped that this would be a busy fall for me with the election looming, but with Covid hanging over our heads I just didn't feel comfortable having too much contact with the public (such as working at voter registration drives). Nor has there been any extra money to contribute to campaigns this year. And with all the civil unrest and violence these days my husband is dead set against me attending any marches or rallies. He's afraid something might happen to me and I respect that. Still, I felt guilty about sitting around doing nothing when things are so bad.

But then my friend Karen asked me for help with something I could do--help her address and send out postcards to registered voters in South Carolina for the Jaime Harrison campaign. He's running a surprisingly tight race to unseat our loathsome Senator Lindsey Graham. Karen was willing to have the postcards made and to pay for the postage, but she had hundreds of them to do and was overwhelmed with the work of addressing them all. So our friend Marian and I both volunteered to help her out. I've been working on them for the past two afternoons, adding a quick, personal, and positive note to each and every one of them: 

It's not much, but it's better than nothing at all.

Go Jaime!!

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Month Ten (of the longest year ever)

October is here and 2020 continues it's run of being the craziest year ever. You couldn't make this shit up. I don't have much to say about the POTUS being sick. I'm trying hard to swallow the mean, small part of me that thinks he deserves whatever comes to him. I can't feel too sorry for him as a person, but I will admit that (I guess because of the office he holds) I got a lump in my throat when I saw him getting off the helicopter at Walter Reed. These are precarious times for our country. I can't imagine the resulting chaos if he should happen to die, and I hope that doesn't happen. What I want to see happen is him to get voted out of office in a landslide in November and then just go away. Not to the graveyard, mind you, just away. I can't wait until he's out of our national consciousness and we can hopefully start to heal and move on as a country.

Trying to be a bigger person won't stop me from posting these memes for your enjoyment, though.

On the increasing consensus that the original "super spreader event" was the Rose Garden event at the White House to announce the new nominee to the Supreme Court:

On right-wing hypocrisy:

It's sad that that last one is only funny because it's so true. Anyone who has Trump loving friends on social media know what I'm talking about.

Onto more pleasant topics. Martina dropped off a copy of  Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh that she bought for me yesterday and I finished it this morning. It was funny, just like her first book, but the part where she talks about her health problems and then the sudden death of her younger sister was heart wrenching. I'll do a quick review of this book as well as a few others I've read recently in a later post, but suffice it to say this book was worth the wait.

Today I went bought a larger, prettier planter for the ficus tree on the porch. We're getting ready to bring it back inside for the winter.

And since it is October now, I added to decorative jack o' lanterns to our front porch.

I hope you're all having a good weekend, and that all my American friends are keeping stress and anxiety at bay as well as you can.