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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Prep and Hodge Podge

I spent time yesterday with my hands on other than my keyboard. I got the first 50 Halloween bags done. David is going to pick up another box of snack-size Zip-Locs tonight. I have 100 more to go! We had 158 kids last year and I’m doing 150 bags for this year. I always make up bags to cover last year’s count and I have an “overflow bowl” that is a couple treats for me while I do door-duty and extra candy for if/when I run out of bags. My counting system is that when I get to the overflow bowl, I put one piece of candy in another bowl for every kid I give to after the bags are gone., Then I count those pieces after the door is closed to add to the number of bags for my total.

This is all an important count to me and seeing the number rise each year is a big issue of accomplishment for me too. You see, I love kids. Just because I didn’t want the “mom” job title doesn’t mean that I don’t just adore kids! Since we don’t have to pay for braces, school clothes and eventual car insurance or prom dresses, we can spoil a little more on the night where you can give a bunch of candy to kids you don’t know without anyone looking you up on an offenders register! I love the cute and creative costumes and the happy kids. I usually find that most of those kids are sweetly polite and I hear “thank you” much more often than not.

Halloween was such a disappointment for me in Michigan. After my own trick or treat years passed, I looked forward to being the one at the door passing out candy. When we were still going out in our small neighborhood, it was mostly just the neighborhood kids that went there, so there were usually large bags full of candy or full size candy bars. There were even homemade cookies and caramel apples for the neighborhood kids the homeowner knew. I was excited to be the giver the first year that I was no longer one of the beggars. That year we had a grand total of about 10 after I’d made up generous bags for 20. The number went down each year until there had been 2 years in a row with no knocks on the door and no happy screams of “trick or treat!”

I was so excited in 2007 when I got to host my first Halloween Door in a city neighborhood! David said he and Vanessa were home and had done treats once or twice. I asked if he remembered an approximate count and he said it was maybe 35. I was so happy! That number already topped the high point of my giving in Michigan. I made up 30 bags with an overflow bowl. I went through those 30 and gave out from the overflow bowl and had a happy, happy night; Over 40 kids! 2008 was a warm Saturday night and David and I dressed up in our Mounds and Almond Joy costumes and sat on the porch. We lost count of the overflow after our 45 bags after 15. In 2009 I did 80 bags and had 12 more kids after that. I liked the trend! I did 100 in 2010 and last year 150. I’m sticking with the 150 this year since we weren’t that much over last year. I can’t be happier than to see the number of kids at our door jump from 45 to 158 in just 5 years! Giving out candy is my absolute favorite part of Halloween; keep the grown-up parties, I’d rather treat the kids.

So, it’s Wednesday, let’s join Joyce at From This Side of the Pond for the Hodge Podge!

1. So, do you like beer?

Yes, but I’m picky about beer and I have to be in the right mood to drink it. I finally drank my last Pumpkin Spice Ale from the 6-pack David brought me last year. It’s good beer and I’ll drink it again; the last beer lived in the fridge a year and was still good! I like Canadian beer, my favorites being Blue Light or Molson Ice. Honey Brown made in New York is a personal favorite of mine. I like a darker beer with a sweet edge to it and I love trying the samplers with a taste of several beers in Microbreweries. I’m not likely to chug a 6-pack, like in my early 20s, but when I do have a beer it will be a Nani-rated GOOD beer.

2. What's your least favorite repetitive task?

Refilling prescriptions

3. When was the last time you rode a bus? Where was it headed?

I have a face to face interview to be accepted in the local Paratransit program next month, then on to vocational rehab and hopefully I’ll be using a bus daily to get to and from work.

The last time I was on a bus was…probably in Metro Atlanta in the mid-90s taking the Park-N-Ride from the Mall in Cobb County to downtown Atlanta.

4. What song from your childhood or from your own children's childhood could make a parent's nerves stand on end?

Well, my own nieces when they were with me. The Curly Lasagna tapes used to make my Dad a little nuts, but we loved to listen to them together.

“And the cow goes MOO. MOO. MOO-MOO-MOO!”

5. The US Presidential election cycle is drawing to a close (can I get an AMEN??), and the third and final debate was held last night...what was the last thing you 'debated about'?

My greatest debates lately have been internal.

6. Can a person make too much money? How much is too much?

It totally depends on the person. There are those who do good things for their family members and charity while enjoying some luxuries for themselves with great sums of money earned providing goods or services that have filled a great need or convenience to people and they treat the employees who made their success possible with respect. (I also consider entertainment to be a quality of life need) Those people don’t have too much. I think of Steve Jobs (was) and Bill Gates (is) as people who don’t have too much.

What I call obscenely wealthy people indeed have too much. They make money providing a good or services that have no measurable value or do more harm than good and don’t treat the employees doing all of their work well. They only give to charity in as much as they need to for tax shelters. They lavish themselves but even family members are only rewarded for the things done that boost their ego. (Drug dealers and unscrupulous businessmen fall into this category) These people have WAY too much. I’m thinking of a former employer who was arranging for scalper tickets to the Super Bowl while I was training the guy in India over the phone who would be doing my job by May as an example of “too much.”

7. Pop-soda-coke-something else...what's it called where you live?

Where I was born and I think where I live too, it’s “pop.” I call it soda. Worked as hard to make that a habit as the proper pronunciation of “W” and “hundred” when I was in broadcast school; good clean Broadcast English.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I spent a couple of hours Smashing yesterday. Before I get started on the Friendship Books with Kelly, I wanted to get a feel for the rhythm of Smashing, get my supplies organized and get in the creative habit of a few tricks for better smashing. I have my paper things; ticket stubs, cartoons I cut out, receipts I’ve kept and auricles and a few other flat mementos separated into decades. Seriously, I have a huge box and I’ve been going through it and deciding if it’s Smash or Trash stuff. I’d say if I have a couple afternoon hours today, I’ll be ready to assemble my second binder starting with 2005; the year I met David.

The “Archive Smash” books are in simple 3-ring binders done with scrapbook papers and elements. I’m finding that the package of plain velum paper and stickers works great for making pocket for some of the items and I’m also noticing how my taste has changed since 2007 when I switched to digital. It’s so curious to me how many more coffee cups and polka dots I have in digital. I’m really trying to avoid buying them! (Although I did buy the polka dot Smash tape last week…it’s been tempting me more than a pumpkin donut since I first saw it!)

So, Binder 2 will start with the 2005 items and go from there, with the intention that I’m going to start using actual Smash books for 2011 and do a new one for each year from there. We’ll see how the plan works, but so far I love having one fun place for all that ephemera instead of little folders and boxes all over the house. I’ll post some progress pictures in the next week or so.


Rockin My Journey said...

I love trick or treatin and Nani I am heading to your house!!! LOL I wish that was possible, we do not get any treaters either I always have a bowl of candy on the table for my kids when they come over & for us. we have one set of neighbors who have kids down the street that will call and say they are stopping over for candy. The excitement of lil ones begging was always a high point for me also.
Happy Wednesday ~Janice~
changed my blog name :(
it has been sad just like trick or treaters I have lost peeps stopping in on my blog.

jen @ grown in southern ground said...

hmmmmmm so is smashing like scrapbooking?

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Way to go on your candy bags. I make bags for the kids of some of my friends at bowling. Here at home we give our the big candy bars from Costco. Have to still go buy them this week. We get about 70 children. Must be a busy night at your door!

I fill three weeks of pills into my containers and I can't believe how quickly those weeks pass buy.
My precriptions are done buy mail so I get three months supply each time.

Jennifer said...

Hey lady!! Missed reading your posts. I think I'm ready to join the land of the living again!

I loved my first Halloween in my house. At the apartment we never got any trick-or-treaters and I was always so disappointed, but since we've been in the house we get tons and it's so much fun!!

Joyce said...

I've never heard of Smashing.

Hope the interview goes well and works out the way you are hoping!


#2 -great answer I'm thinking to myself..."Why didn't I think in these terms...'cause it IS a not so favorite.

#5....that makes me think I should have typed that too. Seriously, you made me think long and hard on some of your responses.

#6...we agree on that, tho yours is worded better. LOL

And preparing all those T&T bags sounds like a chore!!!

Mrs. Doug said...

Hmmm I guess I must be behind times, but what is "smashing"? Or maybe I should ask why is scrapbooking called "smashing"? I don't keep up with scrapbooking stuff. My daughters are much better at it than I am.

We don't do Halloween in our house, but if we did it would make a "spooktacular" place for a spookwalk. We live at the top of a very steep, very dark driveway out into the woods and for the last two weeks we have had a pack of coy dogs howling out in the woods. We were sitting eating dinner last night and I can honestly say the hair stood up on the back of my neck when I heard them howling and yipping. I thought immediately is our dog inside? The sound of those dogs howling would be enough to send any hardened trick or treater screaming for cover.

Joyce said...

I've never heard of Smashing...sounds interesting. Internal debates are generally the ones that matter : )

Nikki Scatchard said...

Hi, thanks for stopping by ;) Old McDonald also drove me crazy because of the repeated words and also "Wheels on the bus" My niece & nephew are now elementary aged and no longer watch and listen to toddler music.
Yes i do love when players give back to "Stand Up to Cancer" and many other charities. In a way the athletes or celebrities know they're making too much money.

Conny said...

read up on the smashing thing ... interesting - and seems less complicated than actual scrapbooking, maybe??!?!! maybe not! LOL

Well, happy treat-or-treat-making!! :) Take care.

Edna B said...

I, too, have no clue why scrapping is called smashing. I'll have to look it up. As for Halloween, much as I love the trick or treating aspect of it, we haven't had any kids coming around for years. Neighborhoods change, the kids grow up and move away, etc. This year, we are expecting a nasty storm or hurricane the week of Halloween so that might have quite an effect on celebrating. We'll just have to wait and see. I'm at work now, so gotta go. You have a wonderful day. hugs, Edna B.

LynnMarie said...

Good luck on the job interview and I've never heard of "Smashing" either. Interesting,,,,,,We live on a street out in the country that doesn't get ANY trick-or-treaters so we go visit the grand kids for that.