Sunday, October 27, 2013

Six Halloween Memories


For the five short years of my childhood that I actually lived under the same roof of my much older brother, BJ, I always remember him as being a prankster. Once I sat with him and his friend at our kitchen table at our small house in St. Louis, where he was able to lie so convincingly, that he tricked his friend into eating a fake, plastic grape from the centerpiece on the table. My brother also enjoyed chasing me around the house in his most terrifying of Halloween masks. One Halloween he took me trick or treating, where we posed together in our costumes, him as a grotesque monster and me as a pretty, pretty princess.

I spent most Halloweens when I was young, tricking or treating in my life long friend, Amanda's neighborhood. Her neighborhood had so many kids, what seemed like hundreds at the time. They would pile out of their houses in droves for trick or treating (or to chase down the ice cream truck). One of her neighbors had decorations so scary it was intimidating to walk to the front door. I loved trick or treating with Amanda, because I was painfully shy and couldn't even bring myself to say trick or treat. So I got to hide behind her, let her do all the talking, and could still reap the spoils. When we returned, we would sort out our loot, making trades and bartering with each other.

The year the lion king was released my mom had me a custom lion costume made. It was adorable, but by the time I finished trick or treating, I had lost the tail. My mom always uses this incident as an example of my clumsiness and my penchant for losing things.

When I was in middle school, I ended up hanging out with two friends on Halloween, who I didn't usually hang out with, and I can't remember how. One was an acquaintance of mine from school. He was a kind, albeit small for his age boy. Sometimes when I would walk to the library after school, I would end up playing soccer with him in his front yard. I had a slight crush on him in the way you have a crush on any boy you spend any amount of time with at the age, when you are just starting to be interested in the opposite sex. Somehow we ended up at a Haunted House on Halloween night. I had limited experience with Haunted Houses, due to being a big old scardy cat. Once my mom paid for me to visit a Haunted House at our local mall, and before she could sit down and relax, I ran out the entrance terrified. But at this haunted house with my crush, I was bound and determined not to look like a wussy. With my heart pounding, we entered the house. And I did look like the brave one as my companion was squealing like a girl, and hanging on to me through out the entire experience, until we were finally chased out with chainsaws.

When I was a seventeen year old senior in high school, my friends and I went for a last trick or treating hoorah, even though we were most definitely way too old.  We dressed up, I was a Black Eyed Pea. An easy enough costume, you just blacken your eye with eye shadow, and put on a shirt with the letter P. The neighbors got a kick out of our age, and we opened one door to the chorus of, "Man, forget the candy, do you guys want a beer?"

The best haunted house experience I ever had involved the Haunted House that took place in the basement (a.k.a laundry room) of my freshmen dorm, Callaway Hall. Only because that basement has always been plagued with rumors of being haunted. Callaway Hall was used in the civil war as a hospital for wounded soldiers. The basement  supposedly being the morgue. Even my own friends, have claimed to hear a ghost whistling Dixie late one night when they were washing their clothes.  The basements darkness and decoration made it disorientating, and knowing the history made it terrifying. All my friends and I really were happy to make it out without losing control of our bladders.

And in an  non-haunted  moment, I about lost my mind once in that basement when a black cat unexpectedly jumped down from the rafters, while I was waiting for the elevator,  scaring the bejeezes out of me.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pumpkin Carving & Halloween Decor

Sunday morning, after we got up, we decided to carve the pumpkin we had picked at the pumpkin patch the day before.  I really wanted to do something creative and different than just a face (not that I'm knocking it, I've made a lot of silly faced jack o'lanterns in my day). But I've been seeing all these pumpkin carving patterns on pinterest, and I wanted to give it a whirl. So Adam and I decided on a simple little ghost! And I just love how it turned out. 

Now that it is darker in the evenings when I'm driving home from work, Adam has usually lit the pumpkin already, and it always makes me happy when I pull up to the apartment and see it burning.

This year I decided to really start a decorating for the holidays tradition in our home. My mom always went overboard to the point of absurdity when decorating for the holidays when I was growing up. And I would always tease her about it, but it really did make the holidays happier.  

Both Adam and I were a little down over the summer when we couldn't quite afford a house like we had planned, and at times, staying in the apartment another year seemed like a dismal prospect. It is funny how our mindset has changed since moving to Alabama. I mean in California we were living in a shoebox with no prospect of ever buying a house! Now we have to wait a few extra months and we are all, "Woe is Us."

So while our apartment is a perfectly nice place to live, it just wasn't where we pictured ourselves living for more than a year. But we have come to accept that we are going to be here a year longer, and I thought why not decorate this year and make it a little homier?   Decorations don't require home ownership, and it sure has made the place warmer and more festive. And I love turning on my little pumpkin lights every night!  I can't wait to add to our collection, and pull these out year after year!

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Day at the Pumpkin Patch

This weekend Adam and I spent almost all day Saturday at the pumpkin patch, Lyon's Family Farm in Taft, Tennessee, to be exact. I really love pumpkin patches, growing up it was always one of the best things about Fall. So even though we don't have any children yet, we always try to visit the pumpkin patch yearly.  And you know what my number one judge of a pumpkin patch's' quality is? Their corn maze.

I love corn mazes. I remember the first one I ever got lost in as a little girl. I was alone, and it was slightly terrifying.  But I loved it! And I have been chasing that dragon of a corn maze high ever since, I have never found one that was that awesome. I have only found the mazes that are either too small or the stalks are too short. But not this weekend my friends, no this weekend I found one that was taller than us and huge! 

See check out the aerial view!

We spent an hour and ten minutes in that maze and only found 11 of the 12 markers. Finally, Adam made us leave, and the maze defeated me! But Lyon's Family Farm is definitely my favorite pumpkin patch ever, and we will be returning next year! And that maze will be conquered!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

An Online Link Love Book VIII

My Microsoft Paint creations are nothing next to the brilliant artwork of a 97 year old man who uses Paint to create works of art.

Did you know the people of Indonesia have a word for a joke told so poorly and so unfunny that you just can't help but laugh? Here are more beautiful and untranslatable Words from other cultures.

27 reasons the movie Hocus Pocus should be a musical.

I have always had a soft spot for hermit crabs, and I used to have one. I love that this Hermit Crab made a Lego shell his new home.

I'm dying to try this recipe for a Spiked Apple Cider Whiskey Float.

And I thought I loved Disney! This Disney Loving Couple designed their wedding around the movie The Little Mermaid.

This man drove across America, while taking a picture every 5 seconds, and created this awesome video. This link also lists a great route for driving across America, allowing you to hit most of the important landmarks and cities.

I would seriously love to try these meals from a dinner party, where real chefs transformed Mcdonald's menu items, and made them into seriously Gourmet Meals.

My favorite board game is Monopoly, this post explores the real locations the spaces are named after.

Recently, I read the best book, The Fault in Our Stars, that book is still on my mind, and I loved this interview with the book's author.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Of Christmas Card Making & Illness

I went to work today, as I do every Monday, and I only report this to say I went to work while still recovering from bronchitis. Sure, I've been on anti-biotics for a few days now, and I doubt I'm contagious. But today I sat across from a great grandmother of advanced age in my small office, and I thought, "Oh no, I'm going to give her bronchitis, and I'm going to kill her." And if you think that thought process is dramatic, you are right. Because I am a dramatic person, and I worry about these things.

I also want to report that I have discovered my new super power, going from 0 to full on bronchitis in 2.0 days! Because Wednesday night, I had a slight tickle in my throat, and by Friday I couldn't breathe. Which also sucks because I have a fear of coughing, ever since a coughing fit I had last year caused me to faint and bust open my head on our coffee table.  So every time I'm about to cough, I'm seized with panic!

But you know what else I did when I had bronchitis? I went to a Christmas card making class. Because that is what you do when your sick, you give into an overwhelming motivation to make Christmas cards! Plus, I had already promised my mother I would attend the class with her. Although, I felt somewhat tricked into it, because it was only after I agreed, she told me she was going to pick me up at 8:30 a.m on a Saturday! Who gets up at that time on a Saturday? Those career Christmas card making people must be made of heartier stock than me.

I'm not the craftiest of people, and I definitely made a lot of mistakes on the cards, but I think they are cute. I would love to make all my own Christmas Cards this year, but if I took the same amount of time it took me to make 6, I might be making cards till after Valentine's day.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Neon Vibe 5k

A few months ago, when I was in the throws of sciatica, I found out the Neon Vibe 5k was coming to Huntsville. I guess it was a little wishful thinking that I would be all better by October, but alas I'm not. But I wanted to do the 5k anyway. I had no idea how it would go, I haven't ran in months, and I'm back to walking at a snail's pace. 

The Neon Vibe 5k is really similar to the color run I did, but you just add black lights. I swear I told Adam 3 times or more, that it was a COLOR run. But when I told him he shouldn't wear his polo shirt as we were getting dressed for the race, he acted like he knew no such thing. And then he wanted to go the the race and avoid being bombed at all. And then my whimsical side was all like LIGHTEN UP, and kind of just dumped some color on him. And then it was all good from there.

The race was definitely harder than my past ones due to the no training, and it took me about ten minutes longer than it usually would, but I still felt proud of myself for finishing. I should have took pictures of us post race because we were covered! 

It was a fun race, and I forgot how much fun they are, I'm looking forward to doing more. I just hope beyond hope my leg pain is better by that time!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Fault In Our Stars

"I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.” 

"You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you."

“I told myself – as I’ve told myself before – that the body shuts down when the pain gets too bad, that consciousness is temporary, that this will pass. But just like always, I didn’t slip away. I was left on the shore with the waves washing over me, unable to drown.”

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” 

“You could hear the wind in the leaves, and on that wind traveled the screams of the kids on the playground in the distance, little kids figuring out how to be alive, how to navigate a world that wasn't made for them by navigating a playground that was.” 

“Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.” 

 “Without pain, how could we know joy?' This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.” 

“Girls think they’re only allowed to wear dresses on formal occasions, but I like a woman who says, you know, I’m going over to see a boy who is having a nervous breakdown, a boy whose connection to the sense of sight itself is tenuous, and gosh dang it, I am going to wear a dress for him.” 

“And I wondered if hurdlers ever thought, you know, 'This would go faster if we just got rid of the hurdles.” 

“I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is inprobably biased toward the consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it-or my observation of it-is temporary?”  

“I had a moral opposition to eating before dawn on the grounds that I was not a nineteenth-century Russian peasant fortifying myself for a day in the fields.” 

“The weird thing about houses is that they almost always look like nothing is happening inside of them, even though they contain most of our lives.

“The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we'd done were less real and important than they had been hours before.” 

“There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it.” 

“One swing set, well worn but structurally sound, seeks new home. Make memories with your kid or kids so that someday he or she or they will look into the backyard and feel the ache of sentimentality as desperately as I did this afternoon. It's all fragile and fleeting, dear reader, but with this swing set, your child(ren) will be introduced to the ups and downs of human life gently and safely, and may also learn the most important lesson of all: No matter how hard you kick, no matter how high you get, you can't go all the way around.” 

“But it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he has Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves.' There is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars"

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A W Girls' Weekend & All That Jazz

The weekend before last was so epic, in that I really, really needed some girlfriend time, and that is exactly what I got when two of my college friends (A.K.A, my W. Girls) for the weekend. It's hard to believe I have known these girls so long now. I've been friends with Jana something like 10 years and Anna 8 years. I am so blessed to have these girls in my life. And of course, I had to share with them some of my favorite things to do in Huntsville!

(P.S-Sorry for the picture quality as they were taken with a phone, rather than my fancy smancy camera, and the weird mixture of actual pictures to instagram pics. Some reason the switching back and forth annoys me :).

Yes, I took them to  fondue on Friday night. I'm addicted to fondue, it is a sickness I know. But what goes better with girlfriend time than chocolate, cocktails, and cheese? Nothing! We had some much fun sharing cocktails and laughing about old times. I forgot how crazy some of those dorm nights were!
The next day I had gotten us and the girls' tickets to see the touring musical, Chicago! We were all so excited. I had been listening to the show tunes station on Pandora for weeks, that features Chicago songs pretty frequently. I had previously seen the play on my trip to NYC, and it was sooo good, and I couldn't wait to see it again! And it was just as good as I remember! Also Paige Davis (the host from Trading Spaces) played Roxie Hart, how cool is that? I really just wanted to go back stage and ask her what it was like to work with that crazy, Hildy.

After the play, we had burgers at Cheeburger, Cheeburger, and headed out to do my favorite thing in Huntsville. Drink and Paint! We had a  lot of fun at the studio, the picture on the right is mine. I did not show their paintings, because in my opinion, theirs are better than mine. So if I don't show them, you guys can all fawn over mine and increase my self-esteem!

I can't wait till the next time we can get together, and hopefully even more of us can hang out!