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Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

My first Jack-o-lantern!

I have a love-hate feeling about this holiday. There is only one thing I hate, but it is major. WHY oh WHY do people insist on thinking of spiders as “decoration?” My arachnophobia is on high alert at this time of year because those creepy things are looking to move into the house because it’s getting colder anyway. Giant arachnids on people lawns are NOT decoration! To me, they are paralyzing sight. If I had young kids that I went with when they trick or treated, they would not stop at giant spider houses. Yick!

I go so far as to refuse to download halloween scrapbook kits if they have spiders in them, even if they are free, even if I PAID for them. I don’t buy from displays that have the little plastic spiders on them and David has to get the bags of hershey’s halloween candy because they have spiders on the boxes.

I’m really not THAT bad, except at this time of year. There are so many of those things everywhere that it creeps me out to the point of sheer terror. I killed a real one in the house last week and was actually trembling for about 15 minutes after. David keeps threatening me with getting me cured, but the psychologist’s cure is to make the victim...I mean patient, face their fear and look at huge ones and even touch them! I can tell you from how I react at this time of year, that won’t work with me, it’ll make it worse, it does every October!

But other than a heightened sensitivity of my phobia, I love everything else about Halloween!

Last night I carved the pumpkin. It’s our first jack-o-lantern! We are such amateurs! Next year, we’ll be more careful to select a pumpkin with a flat bottom and a longer stem on top for taking the lid off to put in the candle! But, it looks okay. I’ll want to be sure to get a picture of the house with the pumpkin on the porch!

Another first for me, I roasted the pumpkin seeds! I ate about half of them too! I’d commented to David that I seemed to remember more seeds from a pumpkin when I was a kid. I suggested it might be the ozone layer, that global warming was responsible for a lower yield of seeds. Nah, it’s another case of my grown up brain reading a file my childhood brain created. It seems the mental notes in crayon were not drawn in actual size. The pictures of Dave and me building a snowman with Dad show a lot smaller snowman than I remembered too. I know those snowmen were usually as tall as DAD, not ME!

Tuesday I packed up the candy bags. Each bag has a fun-size chocolate bar, Snickers, Nestle Wafer or a choice from the assorted Hershey bag, either a mini pack of sweet tarts or Smarties and three tootsie roll midgies. I made 45 bags, in accordance with the number we had last year. I made 40 bags last year, but we had 5 more kids. (who got candy from the overflow bowl!) We make sure to have extras so we also have extra fun size bars and tootsie rolls if we go over last year’s count. We don’t have kids, so not having the expense of raising them, we can give a little extra for Halloween! It’s the one time of year that you can spoil a stranger’s kids without them wanting to look you up on the Internet for a record!

Last year I greeted visitors with my batty tiara. The kids who came to the door got a kick out of that. We actually had a great bunch of kids last year. Friendly and most of them even said “thank you! I commend the awesome parents in Toledo!! I even got that politeness from kids who were traveling with no parents, just other kids.

Trick or treating is from 6PM-8PM in Toledo, so with Halloween being on a Friday, adults can still have their parties after the kids are done. This year David and I will be attending a party that one of his coworkers is hosting after begging is over, so I’ll be in costume during the kids’ time. They’ll be greeted by a giant Mounds bar and if all goes well for David getting out a little early to help me, that Mounds bar will be sitting on the porch with a giant Almond Joy! We’re going to reprise our costumes from 2005, since it will be a new group of people seeing my costume handiwork!

I’ll be sure to get some pictures to scrap a few fun pages. Unfortunately, my memory will have to remember my favorite costumes like last year. It’s not cool to take pictures of other people’s kids on Halloween, but they are all so darned cute! I wish I could have taken video of our first trick or treater last year, both inside and outside the house!

I don’t know if it was just Halloween excitement or if she saw the two cats in the doorway, but our first trick or treater last year was about four or five, an adorable ladybug, who got to the the sidewalk in front of the door and just took off across the grass for the porch. Kaline and Baggle made a mad scramble up the stairs, Baggle first, then Kaline on top of him, it was like watching fleeing cartoon cats. I could hardly stop laughing! The little ladybug’s Mom caught up with her as I was opening the door.

The little ladybug had twinkling eyes and the most excited smile on her face as I put the candy bag in her pumpkin bucket. With wide eyes she said “Oh Boy!”

Her Mom reminded her, “What do you say?”

“Trick or treat!” a pause, “thank you!!”

Yeah, after so many years in a neighborhood where we didn’t have ANY trick or treaters, I was so excited to give out candy that I didn’t wait for the “trick or treat.” But with the exception of terrorized cats, the rest of the night went smoothly.

I can’t wait until tonight! Happy Halloween!!

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