Entries categorized "Hallowe'en" Feed

Sunday Stealing: Halloween

Hello, all you ghosts and goblins - or is that your kids and grandkids and nieces and nephews this weekend?

My three kids want to go trick-or-treating this year, all as ghosts. Mind you, they are 16, 18, and 20 years old! I'm hands-off on this one. Other things to worry about and stuff. Actually I'm pretty happy that they're getting along enough to do that together at their ages!

Let's get to it.

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Welcome to Sunday Stealing, with our host Bev Sykes of the blog "Funny the World."
 
Here, we will steal all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere, with hopes that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. Link up here if you're playing along today! Cheers to all of us thieves!
 
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Stolen from madame writer blog

 1) Have you ever played with a Ouija Board?

30 Hilarious Letterboard Quotes | The Funny Beaver | Message board quotes,  Letter board, Lettering

I have been present when one has been used/played with. I don't recall be2ing part of the game or whatever you call it.


2) Favorite horror monster or villain?

660 Edward Scissorhands Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images

I'm going to flip it on you a little bit, I think, and say Edward Scissorhands.


3) If you were dared to spend the night in a “haunted house”, would you do it?

Haunted House ~ Silly Bunt

 

No, I don't take dares. Like, ever. If I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it anyway and don't need a dare to propel. The converse is also true.

4) Are you superstitious?

Funny Superstition Quotes. QuotesGram

Nah, not really. I'll knock wood, but it's more as a habit than any particular belief system that it's going to do anything.

5) Do you ever see figures in your peripheral vision?

What does this question have to do to with anything?

6) Ever made a potion of any sort?

Pin on Bergamont

I mean, when I was in my full-on Young Living days, I made what I called potions and concoctions all the time. But nothing like what I imagine this is referring to.

7) Do you get scared easily?

Shirley Davis Says, "Let's Define CPTSD" - 501c3.buzz

Oh, yeah. Scream, jump, the whole nine.

8) Have you ever played Bloody Mary?

No. I'd never even heard of that until my daughter Chloë, the one who is now 20, came home from Kindergarten or First or Second grade (sorry I can't remember precisely, honey!) at 6 or 7 years old (?), completely traumatized by it. And she still is to this day, even hearing the name of it. So I don't ever mention it.

9) Would you ever go to a graveyard at night?

Istanbul is expensive even after death | Daily Sabah

Sure, and I have. I find them peaceful and restful. Not this one, though; I believe it's in Istanbul. (Hubs has been in Turkey, but I have not!)

10) Would you rather go to a Halloween party or go trick or treating?

30 Best Wheelchair Costumes 2021 - Adaptive Halloween Costumes for Kids

If Rob could rig up this costume for me in my wheelchair, I'd totally go around the neighborhood. Shoot, what time is it???

11) Whilst watching scary movies, are you the person who yells at the characters, the person with their eyes covered the whole time, or the person who falls asleep?

I don't know, I told you I refuse to watch 'em!

12) Favorite scary book?

Why Kubrick's The Shining Wasn't as Scary as Its Marketing Campaign |  IndieWire

I remember in college, I started to read The Shining. But when I realized I was closing my eyes at all the really scary parts, I tossed it aside. I've never picked up it (or watched it) since. I did read a lot of Dean Koontz back in the day. Best I can do, I think.

13) How old were you when you saw your first horror movie?

Heh. Well.

Yentl (1983) - IMDb

The last movie I saw with my mother before she died was Yentl, at the theater, just the two of us. Mama passed away in April 1984, when I was a little girl. Not too scary, right?

Movie Review – Children of the Corn (1984) – The Revenant Review

Shortly after Mom died, within a month, Dad put Children of the Corn on HBO one night, for the three of us (my big sister, too) to watch during whatever dinner was. I couldn't leave. I had no choice but to sit there and try not to watch and just keep my head down while I ate. I was seven and sufficiently horrified.

How a Cat Inspired Freddy Krueger From 'A Nightmare on Elm Street'

And then... well, let me back up and say that if you told me my dad waited two full months after my mom was put in the ground to start dating, I probably wouldn't believe you. So by the time the first Nightmare on Elm Street came out in July or August 1984, he was already dating his 3rd or 4th woman at least - and the one who unfortunately would become my stepmother. So her two daughters (my future older stepsisters) and my sister and I were sent to the theater to watch Freddy do his thing. I was still seven, mind you. I think that was the movie where Mindy (my oldest future stepsis) put her arm in front of my face for the whole movie, or gave me her hoodie, or something, knowing I was terrified. (See, this is all one big reason why I choose not to scare myself on purpose.)

Porky's II: The Next Day (1983) - YouTube

Okay, I know Porky's II isn't a horror movie (or is it?), but hear me out. Same year. I'm still seven. (!!!) Steps are over at our house. Everyone wants pizza except my father, so that's ordered, and then future stepma starts the process of making him fried chicken. Then they queue up Porky's II on HBO because, again, watching age-appropriate television was totally a huge value for my dad. So they go back and forth between dinner prep and Porky's II. Eventually, they become completely transfixed by Porky's and forget to go back to chicken. Soon, a grease fire starts. Pro tip: If you ever have a grease fire, you should throw baking soda on it, NOT flour. Dad threw a ton of flour on it, which blew it up into huge flames. 

Seeing those flames licking the kitchen cabinets and the ceiling (right above which was my bed, my room), Dad panicked and grabbed that pan to take it outside. Instead of sanely going out the front door, he went through the garage side door, to go out through the garage. But the pan handle started to get too hot for him to hold, and he was afraid that if he dropped it, he might get some of that burning hot grease on his precious classic cars in that garage. So what did Dad do? He turned around and came back in. He made it about three steps before the handle became unbearably hot for him, and then he dropped it. Right where Mindy and I were sitting. (The other two girls managed to escape the worst of it.)

I'll skip the rest of that story for now except to say that I still have the scars from that night. Some are physical.


14) What was your first Halloween costume?

Girls Little Old Lady Costume | Party City

I'm pretty sure I was an old lady. With the curlers. And maybe a cane.

15) If you could have a spooky Halloween pet (black cat, owl, bat, rat, wolf), what would you pick?

 
248384209_385844803152684_2082300175706472697_n
I already do! Okay, so technically this little lady, Sugarplum Yogurt Fairy, belongs to 16yo Sophia, but we all love her to pieces! She's full of nonsense, whimsy, troublemaking and mischief, but not spook. And she's soft as a motherfluffer!
 
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Look at that, y'all - I did Saturday 9 and Sunday Stealing in the same weekend! I haven't done that in ages. Shouldn't there be some kind of prize? 😆😆😆
 
I hope you all have a delightful Sunday and just the kind of Hallowe'en you're hoping for. Cheerio!
 
Fin.

Saturday 9: Werewolves Of London

Warren Zevon - Werewolves Of London (Official Music Video) - YouTube

 

Hello, hello, meme-blogging fam! Every time I can't join you guys, I miss you all, and I feel like I am missing out (especially on Crazy Sam's expert questioning) -- but trust me, it's not for lack of trying or desire to play!

So, although I'm late, let me join. You too, right here:

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Saturday 9: Werewolves of London (1978)
 
Unfamiliar with this week's featured song? Hear it here.
 
 
1) In this song, Warren Zevon sees a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand. He wanted beef chow mein. If we Saturday 9ers got together for Chinese, what would you likely order?

I would probably order vegetable lo mein and a spring roll or two. I don't know. If it's a more upscale-type restauarant with more authentic food, I'd want to have a good look at their menu and see what they had that was vegan, or at least vegetarian. Now I want Chinese.
 
2) He also says the werewolf's hair was perfect. Are you having a good hair day?
 
Not yet! I haven't showered yet. I really don't know if I'm going to, but I might, so I can fiddle around with this flower headband and figure out how I want to get it where I am happy with things.
 
 
3) Linda Ronstadt was a big Warren Zevon fan and recorded several of his songs. Do you have a favorite Linda Ronstadt song?
 
Oh, I love a lot of Linda Rondstadt recordings and performances - despite (and also because of) her being a favorite of my (&%$^ stepmother - but I think my favorite was when she joined up with Aaron Neville to perform Don't Know Much in 1989. An immediately close-behind second, though, would be the theme to "An American Tail," teamed up with James Ingram.
 

 
Oh, and I sang that one with my junior high choir.

4) Warren Zevon admitted being afraid of doctors and avoided check ups. Are you scared when you go to the doctor or dentist for a routine visit?
 
Not anymore. I grew up being "allowed" to see a dentist regularly, and being "allowed" to get visual exams and wear glasses and/or contacts, but I never saw a medical doctor in my entire childhood until a week before I turned 18, was away at college, and became very ill. That was kind of... A. Big. Deal. Picture an ER doctor having to beg some kid's parents to give permission for their own kid to be treated. I didn't even remember getting to the hospital, nor did I know how it happened!
 
So my point is, I guess, that that could go lots of different ways for people in adulthood. Instead of being afraid, I guess I flipped into the extreme opposite and was like, here I am, do all the things!
 
5) In 1935, the movie Werewolf of London was released. Do you enjoy being frightened by scary movies?
 
No. Not at all. No.
 
No.
 
6) In your younger days, did you ever trick or treat while dressed as a monster?
 
I don't remember a monster. I usually kept it pretty girly, I think!
 
7) When you were a kid, what sweet treats were you happiest to receive?

Hershey's - Whatchamacallit Candy Nutrition Facts Clipart (#4192259) -  PinClipart
 
Oh, I have had quite the lifelong sweet tooth, so there wasn't much I didn't look forward to! Mostly I was into Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Whatchamacallits. I got my daughter Chloë obsessesed with the latter when we lived in Miami, too. Now we've just found out about Whozeewhatzits. Now we're dying to try those, too!
 
8) Can you see any Halloween decorations as you answer these 9 questions?
 
10022021 Front Door Wreath
 
Since we're largely still living out of boxes, there really aren't many. But we do have this Autumn wreath I recently made hanging on the front door, just below.

9) Halloween is most popular in the United States and Canada, and isn't really celebrated at all in Japan or South Korea. How would you explain our Halloween customs to a visitor from another land?
 
Halloween-Facts-for-Kids-630x350
In these cases, I prefer not to reinvent the wheel. Also, I was taught to teach such concepts to people as though they were five years old. So I like to rely on sites like this one to help me explain all the ins and outs of Halloween in America.
 
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And that is it, folks! Thanks, Sam & thanks to y'all who visit, too! I'm hoping to hop around later this evening but for now I'm working on some cards for kids of my fellow Mama Dragons, who are needing support.
 
Fin.
 
 

Saturday 9: The Addams Family

Image result for The Addams Family Gif

BOO!

Howdy, everybody! Welcome back to another fun edition of Saturday 9, brought to us by the wonderful Crazy Sam. Since Hallowe'en was last night, this week's question center around the theme song to the deliciously creepy show, The Addams Family. Fun!

Link up here if you're playing along today!

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The Addams Family (1964)
Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.
 
1) One of TV's spookiest families was inspired by a series of New Yorker cartoons. What's the last magazine you flipped through?

Image result for laura dern magazine cover

When I received the latest issue of Town & Country magazine in the mail the other day, I noticed down there on the bottom right where Laura Dern was quoted as saying, "I will NOT be rich!" But, umm... after I flipped through 20-some pages of Cartier diamonds and the like, I finally found the article. She is wealthy beyond measure compared to most of us, along with talented and famous. I still can't figure out that quote.

2) The Addams' butler, Lurch, was originally conceived as a mute. But then actor Ted Cassidy ad libbed the line, "You rang?" and Lurch had a voice, and a catchphrase. Can you think of another catchphrase connected to a TV character?

Image result for joey lawrence blossom whoa gif

I had a crush on Joey Lawrence way back on first his days on Gimme a Break! and then Blossom. He was so hot! (He still is, but I think now he's so careful with his grooming that it turns me off.) Anyway, I haven't thought of this in a while, so it amused me when my first thought was his "Whoa!" catchphrase from Blossom

3) Now here's the most important question of the week: Do you prefer The Addams Family or The Munsters?

Image result for The Munsters gif

Oh, that's just not fair! But by a slim margin, I think I lean toward The Munsters. I love them both!

4) What's the scariest movie you've ever seen?

Image result for Children of the corn gif

I'm not a fan of the horror movie genre, so I don't watch many of them. I was forced to watch many as a kid, and I still have nightmares. Right after my mother died, my dad forced me to sit through Children of the Corn on HBO. I was seven. I was terrified. This entertained him. Bastard.

5) Thursday was Halloween. What goodies did you give the trick or treaters?

Related image

Hubs bought Reese's peanut butter cups and Kit-Kats, along with Dum-Dums and fun pencils so we didn't leave out the TPP kiddos.

6) Are you attending/have you attended any Halloween parties this year?

Image result for Halloween party funny gif

No, not this year. Hardly ever, really.

7) Did you carve a jack o'lantern this year?

Image result for funny jackolantern

Oh, my God! With everything we had going on last month, I completely forgot!

8) Do you eat candy corn all year around ... only at Halloween ... or never?

Image result for candy corn funny

N. E. V. E. R.

9) In 1964, when The Addams Family premiered, one of the most popular store-bought Halloween costumes was Bambi. It came with a plastic mask held on by a thin elastic band. Tell us about a memorable Halloween costume from your childhood.

Image result for ballerina halloween costume

I was a dancer until I was 15, so a lot of times when Halloween rolled around, if I hadn't come up with a costume yet I just wore something from the last recital!

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Snow in Mountain Home 10262019

I hope y'all had a spookily fun night on Halloween. Now, onward - happy November! We've already had snow here in Idaho, as of one week ago. (And at least once more since. Have you?!)

I am not ready.

Cheers,

Fin.


Saturday 9: Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Image result for alfred hitchcock silhouette

Welcome back, S9ers!

Looks like we'll have a fun time this month. Link up  here if you want to play along with us!

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Saturday 9: "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" Theme

This week's song was chosen because this is the last Saturday 9 before Halloween. Are you unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.



1) The Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, was born in England. Name another pop culture contribution England has made.
 
Related image
 
I got stuck on the Beatles, of course, and my brain wouldn't let go of that thought to let me think of anyone else. But then I jumped to Sir Elton John, and I had to go with him. Boy George, George Michael... I could (now) go on and on.

2) This week's song is recognized as the theme to Hitchcock's long-running TV show, but "Funeral March for a Marionette" is a classic piece written for piano in the late 1870s by Charles Gounod. Do you often listen to classical music?
 
♪♫♪♫♪♫... I've put that on right now. I listen to classical every chance I get. I usually put it on YouTube on my phone and then ChromeCast it to the TV in order to annoy a certain three teenagers. Of course, to annoy is not my point. I learned in 9th grade Biology that playing classical music during any kind of thinking time for students helps encourage broader and higher levels of thought processing in the brain, so I put it on when I feel the kids will least object. I prefer Vivaldi's Four Seasons the best, but lately they've wanted more Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart. And they still always complain. (Now we have Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata playing.)

3) Janet Leigh's shower scene in Hitchcock's Psycho is considered one of the scariest sequences ever filmed. What's the most frightening movie you've ever seen?
 
Image result for children of the corn
 
When I was seven years old, in April, my mother died. My father lost all the parenting sense he probably never had and basically forced me to watch Children of the Corn. That same month, I think if not that week! And later, all the Freddy Krueger movies. And after that, Silence of the Lambs. And more. I do not enjoy that stuff. I have had plenty of scary things happen to me in the dark. I do not like purposefully subjecting myself to more.

4) Hitchcock admitted that he "never trusted birds," and he took that fear and turned it into the movie, The Birds. Is there a member of the animal kingdom that just gives you "the creeps?"
 
Image result for people saving Earth
 
Yeah. Home sapiens. Too damn many of us, making too damn many horrible decisions. Soon, we're going to be using up more Earths than Earth has left to give us. It's scary, and not enough people care.

5) Halloween will soon be upon us. Will you carve a jack o'lantern this year?
Related image
 
Yeah, but we probably won't even get our pumpkins until Halloween itself this year. I want to do something like this skull one!!
 
 
6) What candy will trick or treaters get at your house? 

Image result for full-size candy bars
 
I haven't decided yet. I give out good candy, not like apples or pennies - I got a lot of those as a kid and was not a fan! Ha. Hallowe'en, to me, is (partly) a day for kids to just let loose, have some fun, and eat a shit ton of stuff that's bad for them. Rob and Chloë say we got fewer than a dozen last year, so I really want to give out full-size candy bars this year. In Virginia Beach we got hordes of kids every year and sometimes had to put out a sign that we'd run out. And I bought a LOT of candy to prepare. That's more more fun to me.
 
7)  When you went trick or treating, did you prefer fantasy costumes (like a storybook character) or scary ones (like a monster)?
 
Whatever people wear, I prefer interesting costumes.
 
8)  Which candy was your favorite? Which one were you disappointed to find in your trick or treat bag?
 
Image result for reese's pieces cups
 
Let's just say, if Reese's Pieces Cups had been a thing when I was a kid, I'd be in serious trouble with diabetes right now. I never liked finding pennies and apples, as mentioned above, and I hate(d) Milky Way and 3Musketeers bars. Gross.

9) Which do you find scarier -- cemeteries or haunted houses?
 
Image result for peaceful cemetery
 
I've always found graveyards to be beautiful and peaceful. I never mined being in them. Haunted houses, on the other hand, I don't even like now. I don't like bad things coming out of the dark and grabbing me. It's terrifying to me.
 
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And now I think we might watch Children of the Corn. Just to get that memory out of the shadows and out of my worries for good.
 
Fin.

Sunday Stealing: Halloween 2018

Hey, guys. Welcome back! The kids are out back cleaning out the chicken coop and letting the 19 surviving chicks (we've lost two of the this batch) free-range in the yard and forage for mealworm treats for the first time. I'm going to knock this one out, hopefully, before they're done. At that time, we need to check all their leg bands for tightness, reband if needed, and take pictures of our growing birdies. They're all changing so fast! <<sniff>>

Let's begin!

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Halloween Questions

 

Stolen from Something Stirring


1. The smell of pumpkin guts or rotting leaves?
 
Image result for pumpkin guts meme
 
I much prefer the former. I can't wait to roast my seeds!

2. Sweet or salty pumpkin seeds?
 
Image result for pumpkin seeds meme
 
salty for me

3. Store bought or pumpkin patch pumpkins?
 
Image result for pumpkin patch meme
 
It's a family tradition to go to the pumpkin patch and pick out our pumpkins each year. This year, I told the kids it might be the very last day of the month before we could afford to go. For the first time, the two oldest (15 and 17) told me that not only did it matter to them if we went or not, but they didn't even care if we carved pumpkins at all. What is this growing up bullshit?!!
 
4. Wool or knit sweaters?
 
Image result for beautiful fair-isle knit wool sweater
 
Um, I completely fail to understand this question, given that the two are not only not mutually exclusive, they are often combined to produce maybe (??) a majority of the more beautiful sweaters. Wool is a material fiber, and knitting is a technique, after all.

5. Halloween party or exploring haunted places?
 
Related image
 
I'd rather go to the party. Halloween is fun, and I enjoy it - but I truly don't like being scared on purpose.

6. Candy corn or mellowcreme pumpkins?
 
Image result for mellowcreme pumpkin meme
 
I had to look up mellowcreme pumpkins; I had no idea what they even were. But my answer remains: neither. I pretty much don't eat anything made by Brach's.

7. Apple cider donuts or pumpkin donuts?
 
Image result for halloween donuts meme
 
Since I didn't want either of the last question, I'm taking both this time. I love doughnuts!

8. Apple pie or pumpkin pie?
 
Image result for beautiful apple pie
 
I think most of my family prefers pumpkin, but I love apple pie the most.

9. Scary costume or something silly?
 
Image result for funny t-rex costume gif
 
Silly, please!

10. Still, silent nights or rainy, windblown ones?
 
Image result for driving in the rain meme
 
I'm fine with either, depending on what I'm doing. I'd rather not drive in the rain, though.

11. Hocus Pocus or Halloweentown?
 
Image result for hocus pocus meme
 
You know, I don't think I've ever sat and watched either one all the way through. I'm thinking we might have to have a Hocus Pocus screening tonight!

12. Witches or ghosts?
 
Image result for ghosts witches meme
Did I tell you guys Sophia (aged 13) wants to go as a plain white ghost this year? That's right, my girl is goin' retro. I dig it.

13. Raking leaves or climbing trees?
 
Image result for climbing trees meme
 
I've done my fair share of leaf-raking. I still feel like I've left some trees unclimbed.

14. Ouija boards or ghost stories around a campfire?
 
Image result for sitting around a campfire gif
 
I'm not a fan of either, but no ouija board for me! Ever.

15. Frankenweenie or The Corpse Bride?
 
Image result for i'm dumb meme
 
I just... don't know. I don't really think I've seen either of these, either. I'm so lame.

16. October or November?
 
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This Winona Ryder meme is everything. Also, what's wrong with September??

17. Black cats or owls?
 
 
I like both! This is our (well, Sophia's) black cat, Sugarplum Yogurt (yes, that's her real name). Before she was spayed, that is. Now she's got a big booty!

18. Fireplace or candlelight?
 
Related image
 
I love both! I'm out of candles right now, though. I really need to stock up! (Update: Chloë found the bag of tea lights that I knew we still had! It's candle time!)

19. Monster movies or their classic novels?
 
Image result for monster movie funny
 
I'm not really into that genre. According to this chart, using my maiden name, my movie would be Terror of the Disco Sock Puppets. I would totally watch that!

20. Carve or paint pumpkins?
 
Image result for beautiful pumpkins  Related image   
Image result for gilded pumpkins
 
Hm. Carved or painted... I think both are beautiful, but really, I think gilded is the best. I'll have to try that next time!
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
That was fun! Time to band chicken legs. 
♥ y'all!
 
Fin.

Sunday Stealing: Monster Mash

Hey, y'all, link up here if you wish to play along this weekend!

ghost: what would you like on your tombstone?

 

 Actually, I don't want a tombstone. Bury me at sea!

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   dracula: are you afraid of aging? or death?

Image result for not afraid of death gif

That about sums it up. I never expected to live past 33, so the past 8 years have been considered "bonus time." I never pictured myself aging. It's totally surreal - and it's cool that I'm here, but the actual physical aging part completely sucks!

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  nosferatu: what, as a child, did you imagine went bump in the night?

Image result for freddy krueger

Actually, I did not have to imagine. Plenty of real things went bump in my nights.

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    godzilla: what do you do when you are angry? are you ever destructive?

Image result for throwing plates gif

I can be. I truly like to throw shit. But when I am super pissed, I tend to yell and say a lot of bad words, until I'm able collect myself enough to go give myself a time-out in my room.

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the blob: do you collect anything? if so, what & why?

Related image

[The above photo is not mine. Most of mine are in storage right now.] I like to travel, so I collect shot glasses from wherever I go. I have about three display cases full now and will continue. Sometimes, we even get to use them! ;)

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zombie: when was the last time you trusted your gut? was it successful?

Lucky Peak Beach 007

[This photo is mine: Lucky Peak Beach in Boise, Idaho.] The last time I truly had to trust my gut was when we decided it was a good idea to uproot our family, once again, and move cross-country from Miami, Florida, to Boise, Idaho. Three teens/tween, two dogs, four cats, two gerbils, and a guinea pig, plus us parents, hauled ass for four long event-filled days to get here, and it has paid off. It is beautiful here. The people are lovely. And our kids are so much happier. Whew!

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mothra: what is something dangerous that attracts or fascinates you?

Image result for beautiful sharks

You can take the girl away from the sea, but you can't take the sea out of the girl! I will always consider myself a marine biologist, no matter how far removed from that life I have gotten. Sharks. I love them, will always love them, even I shit my dive suit when I encounter a big'un like these. I'm all in.

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king kong: what are some questionable choices you've made lately?

Image result for beautiful rebirth gif

On the contrary, I think my choices lately have improved. I've jettisoned some childhood baggage from which I have finally released myself, and relied more on my husband and family to provide my Here and Now. I've asked for help, and gotten it. Things are better. Much, much better...

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alien: what is your strangest feature?

Image result for flaring nostrils gif

I'll keep it clean and stick to my flaring nostrils. I can flare them on demand. I can also wriggle my nose like a bunny. Not too fabulous, but at least it's not NSFW! ;)

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cthulhu: do you like the ocean? why or why not?

Image result for beautiful ocean gif

Clearly, I do, and I do not quite understand folks who do not. I am almost mystically drawn to it, and I would give up everything to be a mermaid. Maybe. ;)

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nessie: have you ever felt invisible to people -- the feeling of not existing?

Self.

Oh, absolutely! When I looked like this, at 340+ lbs, I was definitely invisible. Some people, of course, looked at me with disgust and loathing, but for the most part, I was ignored. People shut doors in my face instead of holding them open, no one looked me in the eyes, let alone smiled at me... but all that changed when I lost the weight. It was almost surreal.

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    mutant spider: what is one of your biggest fears?

Image result for angel baby gif

I've already lost one of my children. It would kill me if it happened again.

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werewolf: if you could change into any nonhuman animal and back at will, what animal would you change into and why?

Image result for flying albatross gif

I think I would be an albatross, or some other large sea bird. I could spend my days in flight and draw my life from the sea. It sounds amazing.

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golem: if you could make up an imaginary friend, what would they be like and why?

Image result for the perfect friend funny

They would be someone I could laugh hysterically with over the weirdest and strangest shit, someone who "gets" me and all my quirks and neuroses, and accepts me for who I am. Someone I can get into trouble with and have fun, but not any  kind of trouble that harms anyone else! (Wait, this sounds like I'm describing my husband.)

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leprechaun: what is your "pot of gold" (or white whale, if you'd rather)

Image result for contentment funny

Contentment and relaxation have proven to be elusive for me throughout my adult life. However, with the newest addition of Lithium to my psych cocktail, it's kind of a "forced" relaxation that I'm actually enjoying. And I am learning to be content in the individual moment, which leads to greater happiness overall. At least, for me.

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sharktopus: what is something you've done that was ridiculous or a bad decision?

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One of the worst decisions I've made was when Sophia (my youngest) was entering kindergarten, Jack (now 14) was entering second grade, and Chloë (my oldest) was entering fourth. We decided to homeschool all of the kids that year for the first time - a GREAT decision, but I also let myself be talked into leading a new Girl Scout Daisy troop with far too many girls and way too many demanding, irritating parents. Sophia was in that troop. I was also the Treasurer and the Cookie Mom for that troop and Chloë's Junior troop. I was also involved in Jack's Cub Scout Tiger troop and helping him with selling popcorn. I was also doing a crap-ton of mystery shops, sometimes maxing out at nine or 10 in a day. I was deeply overwhelmed. I lost a lot of sleep and became extremely dependent on caffeine. I still am. It was a horrible number of plates to keep spinning, while attending do my wifely and motherly duties at the same time! I'm still trying to learn to say "no," though. It's hard for me.

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 robot: what is a habit you do without thinking?

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I have fidgeting skillz like the best of them. I am nonstop movement. I don't know if that is why, but I have major muscle spasms in my hands and feet now, and I'm convinced I have a Restless Leg thing going on. I remember when my dad Sperm Donor was my Sunday School teacher, and he was constantly berating me to, "Stop fidgeting, Mellie! Settle down, Mellie-Ann!" I never did, though. I couldn't!

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Oh, we've reached the end! Well that was fun. I have to hop in the shower now. Have a lovely!


Fall Fun At Linder Farms

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So on Tuesday of this week, Team Odette headed out to Linder Farms in Meridian, Idaho, for their fall funness. That's a word, right? We went on Tuesday, because admission was half-priced, and I am all about a good deal. I also bought the kids each an all-day wristband for the rides and attractions at the farm, and $20 worth of tokens (each worth a buck, but you get two extra with that package). The whole deal cost us about $55, which I'm still debating whether it was worth it.

The kids were really looking forward to the Zipline attraction, but honestly it was just about the length and excitement-level of the one at our nearby Terry Day Park, which they can ride for free any day of the week! The only difference was... it was on a farm instead of in a public park. They had a bit of fun, but it became so crowded, we quickly moved on to the next thing.

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Sorry for the tush shots of the girls, but they moved so quickly that my hobbling arse could hardly keep up with them.  They have loved the bouncy houses and similar stuff since they were knee-high to grasshoppers, and yet somehow the novelty has never worn off. They did this for a few turns and then decided they'd had enough.

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All the kids were moving in different directions, so I followed the lady-babies while Rob followed Jack around. That would explain the dearth of Jack pictures around this place, since we usually follow that M.O. I think Jack headed to the swings while the girls came here, to the climbing wall. This was pretty lame in that the other end of the rope supporting the climber was held by a not-very-strong-looking lass who made barely any effort to pull it. Nevertheless, Sophia was able to get about halfway up the climbing wall before losing her footing and flying back down to a soft landing.

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Chloë, meanwhile, couldn't seem to grasp the handholds and footings of the rather poorly-designed rock wall at all, so she never made it past... well, the bottom. Poor chiquiniña!

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After this, we caught back up with the menfolk, and all three kiddos headed up the big pile of hay bales to go through the tube slide at the top. I love this photo so much, because I actually caught Jack freely having fun. Those of us who know my son the best know that he is largely a negative Nancy, so having a genuine smile on his face - while dancing in public, no less! - was quite the capture. It soothes my soul.

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Sophia looking stunned after coming through the tube slide... hee! (She was fine.)

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The giant tires were not much of an attraction at all for the tween/teen set, I guess, because no sooner had they gotten there when they decided just as suddenly to leave again.

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Joy on Chloë's face as she exited the tube slide

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I think everyone in Team Odette knows that my favorite part of a pumpkin farm is the hayride! At this particular farm, the hayride led out to the pumpkin patches, of which there were three separate divisions. At the first one, the giant orange gourds could be found, and all four of the rest of my fam wanted one of these. Jack picked out this one, and he was in the middle of saying something about it being too heavy to carry when I snapped the shot. Well, son, pick a smaller one, then! That did not seem to be an option, so onto the wagon it came with us.

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Sophia was all smiles as she hefted her prized pumpkin onto the haywagon.

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I think Chloë looked completely beautiful as she chose and posed with her pumpkin of the year. It's been 16 years, and I still can't get enough of her curls!

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Rob picked his pumpkin from the first patch, too, but I neglected to take a pic of that monster at the time. You'll see it later... I was holding out for patch #3. Number two held the odd, wart-covered gourds and pumpkins - you know, the novelty type you see at all the stores come Fall.  None of us stopped at this patch. I do love those kind, but I spotted some nicer-looking ones at Fred Meyer for a much lower price per pound, so I may snag some there for our Autumn décor. (P.S. The pumpkins we chose cost us another $37! Yikes.)

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Before we headed out for the night, we had those $22 in tokens to spend. I planned on using them to feed everyone, but first, the chirren jumped into the enormous corn kernel pit for some freewheeling fun. I didn't get a shot of Chloë, though you can be sure many kernels made their way home with us in that mess of curls atop her head! Jack and Sophia had a ton of fun, however, and I was okay with it so long as no one decided to eat any! Eww...

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Sophia having an absolute blast as Jack buried her in corn kernels

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Finally, to spend our tokes, we stopped by the Concessions booth to fill everyone's tummies. We bought a few orders of the mini donuts, which really were quite delicious, some nachos, and an icky-looking chili dog for Rob. They were out of hot apple cider, which was a HUGE bummer for 3/5 of us, because it is so beloved, but we made do with hot chocolate. 

All in all, it was a decent if over-priced evening of fun. There was another choice in farms we were thinking of going to instead, but bad reviews for that one and good reviews for Linder Farms led us to the latter. I'm not sure we'll make the same choice next year, but it's not outside the realm of possibility. We'll just have to see in 12 months' time!

Pumpkins

See my little white pumpkin? Isn't it so cute? I lurve it.

Happy Fall, everyone!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Hey everyone, welcome back to Saturday 9! Link up here if you're playing along today!

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Saturday 9: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
... because Joy recommended it

1) The Beatles recorded this after they had taken a three-month hiatus from working together as a band. Do you find you're sharp after taking time off? Or does it take you a while to get back into the swing of things in your day-to-day life?
 
It usually takes me a while to get back into the swing of things after taking time off. I'm still mentally wherever I just left off.

2) During those three months off, John Lennon made a movie called How I Won the War. What's the last movie you watched? Did you view it at a theater, on TV, or from a device like a computer or tablet?
 
I can't remember the last time I watched anything on our TV. Wait, yes I can. It was the beginning of March, and we still lived in Miami. Anyway... The last movie I "watched" was LEGO Batman last night in the big field at our church. I put that in quotes because I snoozed (and snored, hahaha) through about 3/4 of it. Nowadays, when I get tired, it means I have to lie down right NOW, and that happened at the party/movie last night. So embarrassing, but oh, well. I also just received a pre-release of the movie Unleashed on a disk in the mail to blog about, I guess. I suppose I'll watch that on the laptop tonight. And this was a long answer full of babbling. My bad...
  
3) Paul McCartney and George Harrison both used their time off to make new and different music. Paul composed instrumentals for a movie soundtrack while George studied sitar with Ravi Shankar. Ringo Starr spent those three months with his wife and their two little boys. If you had three months to spend doing anything you wanted, and money was no object, would you try something new (like Paul and George) or just kick back and relax (like Ringo)?
 
I would love to do a mixture of both (why can't I?), but if I absolutely must choose one, I would definitely love to learn something new. Anything! Preferably in a new and exotic location, like somewhere in Asia or Africa. Thailand or Ethiopia, perhaps. Learning an instrument or a new dance, or how to surf (yeah, right), or something. Anything. I love learning.

4) Paul recalls what fun it was to dress up in Edwardian-era costumes for the album cover. When did you last attend a costume party? What did you wear?
 
Image result for half angel half devil costume
 
I've been to exactly ONE costume party, and I went by myself because I couldn't talk Hubs into going with me (as I remember). That was back on Halloween 2012, somewhere around Norfolk or Virginia Beach, Virginia, before we moved to Miami. I dressed as a half-angel/half-devil, with white and one wing and half a halo, and then the other half red with a horn and I don't know, maybe a trident? I don't have a photo on this computer, but this lady wears it better anyway!
 
5) Paul says he came up with the name "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" when Beatle friend Mal Evans told him about this great San Francisco band, Big Brother and the Holding Company. Paul hadn't heard their music yet, but he loved the sound of their six-word band name. Soon everyone would hear of Big Brother. Do you know who Big Brother's famous lead singer was?
 
Nope, never heard of them, but I'm about to Google it! ;) Ahhh, Janis Joplin? Very interesting!

6) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band appeared on the Billboard charts for 175 weeks. Is this album in your collection?
 
WOW! I actually don't. It's from a bit before my time, and I have nothing of the Beatles in my e-collection. Perhaps I should add it?

7) The Beatles are among the top-selling artists of all time in Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. Would you like to visit Africa?
 
Heyyy, speaking of Ethiopia... Yes, I sure would!

8) 50 years ago, when Sgt. Pepper was first released, the average price for gas was 33¢/gallon. When did you last fill up your gas tank? Do you remember how much it cost?
 
I'm going to fill it up today, as soon as Hubs gets back from having his new glasses adjusted at Walmart. It's about $2.49 at the Flying J down the road, and it'll cost me about $35-40 to fill the nearly-empty tank.

9) Random question: Are most of your married friends happily married?
 
I would say about 2/3 are married, and among those, it's difficult to tell who is "happily" so from the outside, don't you think? I mean, in our 16.5 years of marriage, Hubs and I have gone through a lot of turmoil, both between the two of us and just from other things happening like losing our son, etc. From the outside, I honestly wonder what people think of us. From the inside, I can say without hesitation that we are happily married and are both still in love with each other. This is right now. Right now, in this instant. Ask me tomorrow, I don't know. Maybe I won't like his new glasses... Heh. I jest, I jest.
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
Thanks for stopping by, y'all. I'll be back tomorrow, barring my rampant forgetfulness from taking over Ye Olde Braine. Happy weekend to yas!
 
Fin.

 


Sunday Stealing: Halloween Meme

Link up here if you're playing along today, too!

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Halloween Meme

  1. What is the worst treat to get when trick-or-treating?
  2. As a parent, that would probably be going out with my kids to get candy, finding a home with Halloween decorations and lights on, and no one answers the door. I don't mind if the lights are off to signal they have no candy, but lights on means treats! It's a trick to waste my time. Come to think of it, that might be the worst thing for my kiddos, too! ;)

  3. 2. What character from any horror film would you most like to play?
  4. I just simply wouldn't. I don't identify with that genre at all. It doesn't interest me, personally.

  5. 3. Would you rather be a zombie, alien, or psycho? Why?

I guess a psycho, because I was raised by one and know exactly what I would do. Zombies and aliens have no relevance or interest for me.

  1. 4. How many Halloween, Friday the 13th, or Nightmare on Elm Street movies combined do you have on dvd? 
  2. Zero. Sorry, I guess I'm boring this meme... but the kids have seen #1, #2, and #4 of the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Forty years old, and Freddy Kreuger still freaks me out!

  3. 5. What is the scariest movie you have ever seen? 
  4. Right after my mother died when I was 7 years old, my dad thought it was a good idea to have my sister and I to view Children of the Corn. I was terrifed.

  5. 6. Lamest costume you have worn on Halloween? 

  1. That might have been today! LOL... My daughters dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf this year. We went to an amazing party, and my son went as The Hunter, and I went as The Grandma. I dressed as myself, with a sweater on. Lame? Probably!! (My son went as a Stormtrooper. He's not a joiner.)

  2. 7. Favorite Halloween treat?
  3. I'm all about the chocolate, and I guess PB cups are always a favorite.
     8. Friendly-faced jack o’lantern or scary one? 
  4. Either, but I'm not good at carving them. I love looking at other peoples' work, and some people out there are really talented!

  5.  9. Have you ever had nightmares about a scary movie character chasing you? 
  6. Freddy Kreuger was a nightmare-inducer for me as a kid. I used to run and jump from my doorway to my bed as a kid, and heaven forbid I leave any part of me hanging over the bed for him to get. Toe? No way!

  7.  10. Best thing about Halloween?
  8. Now that I'm a mom, I love handing out candy and seeing all the wonderful costumes - especially original, handmade ones. I love seeing the different ideas and creativity the kids come up with!

  9.  11. Strangest Halloween custom you’ve heard of?
  10. Not participating for religious reasons. Um, do some research, look into it, but geez... trick-or-treating is so religiously-benign it's ridiculous. It's just about FUN for the kids! When churches do trunk-or-treating and festivals to celebrate, you know you're getting it wrong if yours does not (hello, born-again evangelists, I'm looking at you). Ugh, it drives me crazy...

Image result for Teal PUmpkin project

A wonderful, newer custom in its third year that I would like to help promote is the Teal Pumpkin Project. The idea is to have something to hand out for the allergic kids who can't eat various nuts and other ingredients in traditional treats. Fun items like pencils, stickers, and anything cool for kids besides food items are welcomed. You just have to paint or otherwise decorate a pumpkin with teal colors so families will know you're participating. Spread the word! More info can be found here.

  1.  12. Person in your family who most likes Halloween (not counting yourself)? 
  2. That would probably be Sophia, my youngest child. She gets the most into it. I think my 15-year-old is getting bored of it (??), and my 13-year-old son really doesn't like, well, anything at this point!

  3.  13. Are you superstitious? If so, name at least one superstition of yours.
  4. Not really. I do it for fun, not true superstitious belief. I'm into "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue" for brides, and 7 years of bad luck for breaking a mirror, but I don't really get into it like mad.

  5.  14. What's your best Halloween memory? 
  6. That would probably be the Virginia Beach years, when we went to Hunt Club Farm and did the hayrides, picked out pumpkins, went on little rides, bought seasonal treats, and the whole nine yards. I miss that. Hopefully, we will find that when we move to Idaho next Spring (see previous post). I really hope we find somewhere with a greater sense of community again.

  7.  15. At what age were you allowed to go trick-or-treating by yourself?

I remember going to my friend Katie's house when I was about 14 and going. That was the first, last, and only year I went without any parental types. We had a lot of fun that year, going in a group of a half-dozen or so of us. Fun times happened outside my home. ;)

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Well, that was fun! I love Halloween, but I don't go all-out like some of my friends. I hope you have the best time this year, as you desire.

Thanks for stopping by!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Tubular Bells

Link up here if you're playing along today!

Saturday 9: Tubular Bells (1973)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here
 
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1) According to Reader's Digest, The Exorcist is the scariest movie of all time. Have you seen it, and if so, did it scare you?
 
Listen, guys and dolls, I'm 40 years old and I'm still scared of Freddy Kreuger. I have not seen The Exorcist, I have no desire to do so now!

2) The Exorcist has been made into a TV series on Fox, premiering last month. Have you become a fan of any of the season's new shows?
 
No, but lately we've been watching Two Broke Girls on reruns at 10 PM, and then Mike and Molly at 11 PM. We're late bloomers, apparently. What should we watch?

3) "Tubular Bells" is a popular ringtone for both Android and iPhone. What's your ringtone?
 
I might have to listen to that, just to see if I know it. I don't have anything exciting for right now. I just got a new phone, a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and I kind of hate it. However, given the price tag, I need to keep it, so... I guess I need to figure out a ringtone!

4) As Halloween approaches, do you watch more scary shows and movies?
 
I guess we do, but mostly kid-friendly things. I am not a fan of the horror genre at all. Can you tell?

5) Do you have any recurring nightmares?
 
Yes, but we don't need to get into that. Mine aren't your average nightmare. They probably only scare me, but these nightmares were real, and so. And so.

6) Have you carved a jack o' lantern this year?
 
Not yet. We''ll probably get the pumpkins on Halloween or the day before, because any sooner than that and they rot! Miami humidity, y'know?

7) Do you like the taste of pumpkin seeds?
 
Yes, they're great! We received a bag of Bob's Red Mill pumpkin seeds as part of a compensation package for some work I did, and they were amazing. I put them in my oatmeal. Even the puppies liked them!

8) What will the trick-or-treaters who knock on your door get?
 
Nada. We don't get too many, so we're switching it up this year and going trunk-or-treating at church. I don't know whether I"m supposed to bring candy to that or not, so we're going to bring four or five bags of Snickers and stuff. You know, standard Halloween fare.

9) A Halloween "let's pretend": Back in the 1950s, a home in your neighborhood was the site of a gruesome murder/suicide. Relatives retained ownership of the house but declined to live there. During the ensuing decades, a legend grew: The tragic couple haunts the halls. Generations of schoolchildren insist they heard strange sounds and saw curtains often move mysteriously. Now the house is about to be demolished. A local charity is raising money by sponsoring a Halloween sleepover. Would you be willing to stay in this haunted house over night?
 
No. Way. In. Hell. That is creepy!
 
~*~*~*~
 
Happy Halloween, y'all!
 
Fin.

Saturday 9 & Sunday Stealing Combo Weekend

I wasn't feeling well Saturday, so I didn't get to post my Sat9 answers. I'll answer them in combo with this week's Sunday Stealing, since so many of you participate in both memes. Link up here if you want to join in Saturday 9 this weekend!

Saturday 9: Thriller (1983)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
  
1) In this video, Michael Jackson is transformed into a "werecat," with fangs, claws, yellow eyes and whiskers. What monster or ghoul frightened you the most?
 
Definitely Freddy Kreuger of the Nightmare on Elm Street series; I was so scared of him that I would jump from my bedroom doorway to my bed without hitting the floor, lest he be hiding underneath. Confession: He still scares me! ;)

2) Michael sings that evil things that will be lurking "close to midnight." Where will you be at midnight tonight?
 
Like I said, I felt crappy, so I passed out on the couch around 6:30 PM. I slept for eight hours, and now it's the middle of the night, so here I am!

3) Horror movie icon Vincent Price does the voice over on "Thriller." What's your favorite scary movie? 
 
I don't really like scary movies, because I'm quite the chickenshit when it comes to that stuff. I can't even read scary stories, because I close my eyes at the bad parts. I do like thrillers, though, so I'll say it's The Silence of the Lambs.

4) Mr. Price's House of Wax, made in 1953, was one of the first 3D movies. What's the most recent 3D movie you saw?
 
I think we saw something in 3D recently, maybe Tomorrowland or Pixels, but I can't remember. Both were great, with the former being very inspiring and the latter being very reminiscent of my 80s childhood. ;)
 
5) Horror fans might be surprised to know that, despite his sinister image, Mr. Price enjoyed very genteel and relaxing hobbies, like cooking, gardening and painting. What would we be surprised to learn about you?
 
Probably very little; I'm an open book. Maybe that with all my neuroses, including OCD, my house is often a disaster! :\
 
6) A Halloween tradition is the jack-o-lantern. Did you carve a pumpkin this year?
 
Le sigh. Noooo... In years past, we would do this early and the pumpkin would be fine, but here in Miami, it rots after a day. I saved it until the last minute, therefore, and we ended up not having time. Bummer.

7) According to Yahoo!, the most popular costume of Halloween 2014 was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Will you be in costume this Halloween? If not, who or what would you most like to dress up as?
 
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Hubs and I dressed up as the Naughty Schoolmaster and his Student this year, but that was for a party last weekend. We were going to dress up for the actual day, but I just wasn't up to it.

8) When you went trick or treating as a kid, did you usually wear a store-bought costume, or was it DIY?
 
Always DIY as a kid! My kids have had about 50/50 DIY and store-bought, thinking back over the 15 Halloweens I've been a mom...
 
9) When trick-or-treaters show up at your door, what candy will they get?

  Candy

They were greeted with this assortment, but we didn't get too kids many this year. I'm trying to refrain from touching it. On the other hand, the Laffy Taffy has done me in this year!

Coming up Sunday Stealing!

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Link up here if you're stealing today, too!

Halloween Meme

Are you scared of bats? 

 

Not at all. When I was in grad school, I found a tiny bat on the verge of death after smashing into my office's window. I tried to nurse him back to health, even contacting my former professor who studied bats, but he didn't make it. :(

When you were a kid, did you go out on Mischief Night? (Mischief Night is an informal holiday on which children and teens engage in pranks and minor vandalism. While its name and date vary from place to place, it is most commonly held near the end of October to coincide with the night before Halloween)

No, I never did anything like that, but we definitely were the recipients of it when I was growing up. Many a smashed pumpkin and some vandalism to some of our cars happened.

What is your favorite trick-or-treat candy? 

Historically, it was chocolate and most notably Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. However, now that Candy Tax is paid to Daddy. Mom is trying to completely refrain. It's weight-gain season for me, and I don't wanna participate this year!

Have you ever seen a ghost? 

No, and I don't believe I ever will.

The most memorable costume you ever wore? 

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Maybe this Angel/Devil costume I wore in 2012 to a concert and party afterward. I got a lot of attention there - not necessarily wanted!

Do you dress up on Halloween? 

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We tried to get into the fun of it, yes!

Any cooking or baking you do for Halloween? 

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I do if I have time, but this year and last year, I have not. These Halloween chocolate cat cookies were from 2013.

 Have you ever been to The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland or Disneyworld? 

Yes! We took the kids to Disneyworld for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in 2006. Of course, we visited the Haunted Mansion during that event. Great fun!

Any element of the season you don’t like? 

I hate rushing from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas so quickly. I've seen Christmas trees and decorations in stores all this month, in October FPS! Sloooooow it down, retailers!

What is your favorite scary movie? 

I do not like scary movies, Sam I Am! I'm too skeeeeered.

 Do you cook the pumpkin seeds from your carved jack-o-lanterns?

 Traditionally, yes, though not when we have done the now-too-commonplace Puking Pumpkin!

 Are you intrigued by vampires? 

Nah. Totally not my thing.

What is your favorite written work of horror fiction? 

No! Just no. I tried to read Stephen King's The Shining when I was in high school, but I just couldn't get through it. I haven't read anything like that since.

What is your favorite work of science fiction/fantasy? 

Fantasy and Sci-Fi are completely out of my wheelhouse, but I am enthralled with The Hunger Games series. I love, love, love it and can't wait for the last movie installment this month. Woo!

Who is your favorite monster? 

Cookie Monster, duh!

What is your favorite Horror movie? 

I've seen all of The Nightmare on Elm Street movies. I don't know if I could call those my favorite, but I don't have a whole lot to go on there.

What horror movie gives you the most chills? 

When I was seven, right after my mother died, my dad had my sister and me watch The Children of the Corn. Um, no. Don't do that. #ParentingFail

What character from any horror film would you most like to play?

 

I wouldn't. Listen, this $#!t scares me! I'm chicken! Bring on the shiny, happy unicorns pooping Skittles and rainbows, okay?!!

Thanks for stopping by, y'all. Happy November!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Get It All Down Meme

 

Cheers to all of us thieves!
 
Get It All Down Meme

Stolen from: My Random Randomness

  • Are you a good dancer?

I'm okay at home, but I have issues dancing in public.

  • Are you a good singer?

I'm all right, but I'm no Streisand.

  • Are you a good cook?

The James Beard Foundation isn't going to come knocking anytime soon, but the rest of Team Odette seems pretty happy with it. When I'm manic, I bake and cook enough for an army. It used to be great when Hubs had an appetite. Now I have to be careful not to be wasteful. 

  • Are you a good artist?

I'm just half-decent, and that's all. Sophia, my 10-year-old, is forever artsing and crafting, though. She does some pretty cool stuff.

  • Are you a good listener?

It's not my finest attribute... :\

  • What's your favorite clean word?

I couldn't think of anything in English, so I'm saying this instead: My husband loves to drink an Arnold Palmer (half-iced tea, half-lemonade). I can't say this man's name to save my life. It's the worst tongue-twister for me EVAHHHH. I can't even say it properly in my head. So when I run to the Racetrac or whatever, and I offer him one and say it right? Major cause for self-praise.

When I'm feeling really emphatic, I like to throw out a whole conglomeration of curse words. George Carlin would've adored me.

  • What's your least favorite word?

Any kind of derogatory term for someone's culture, heritage, race, creed, you get the picture. I hate slurs.

  • What was the last film you saw?

We saw Tomorrowland in the IMAX theater a few weeks ago. It was epic awesomeness. I came away feeling completely inspired. I hope my kids did, too.

  • What football team do you support?

Gotta support the alma mater!

  • Have you ever been bobbing for apples?

Once. I was eight or nine years old, and my step-family's friends had a Halloween party.  I had forgotten about that rare fun moment during that decade of my life.

  • What's your most expensive piece of clothing?

Honestly, the name brands I wear are, like, Crocs and Old Navy. I do have a few designer items like Calvin Klein and DKNY or whatever, but I got them secondhand from thredUP. For what it's worth.

  • What's the last thing you took a picture of?

Sophia Ginger

Sophia begged me to turn her blond hair red. I didn't wanna! Hubs said she could. We discussed. End result: blondie is now a ginger. I it!

  • What's the last thing you drew a picture of?

I don't do a lot of drawing these days, but mostly I doodle botanical things, like ferns and daisies, when I'm on the phone.

  • Have you ever bought anything from eBay?

Oh, yes. Sophia (this is a Sophie-heavy post, huh?) is obsessed with all things Littlest Pet Shop lately, so my latest find was a "rare" (she says, and I did not verify, but awesomely inexpensive) LPS from either Taiwan or Hong Kong, I forget. It took 17 days to get here. She hounded the postal carrier daily for that package. Oh, the squeals, when it finally got here on Thursday!

  • Have you ever invented a fairly unique meal or drink?

Hubs says I create great, unique meals all the time (drinks, not so much), but I didn't know what he was talking about. He specified the foil meals I mentioned in yesterday's Saturday 9 post! Cooking en papillote is fantastic. (Psst, Country Dew - They're great in the oven as well as the grill, and I swear to you, you can't mess 'em up. I generally use heavy duty foil instead of parchment paper, though.)

  • Do you have any secret family recipes?

I don't think so. My grandmother was a great cook, but she died before I could get any recipes from her. I don't remember my mom's cooking at all, except for two things: Pumpkin pie, which I'm certain was the Libby's can recipe my home-ec teachin' mamacita-in-law swears is the only one to use, and Chicken a la King, which made my sister and I feign many an upset stomach. To this day, I have never eaten that.

I swear by the Nestlé Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe, incidentally.

Welp, that's all for the Smellyann Sophia and Cooking Show for today.

Enjoy your day, all ye dads!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Another Random Meme

 

Link up here, Turtledove, if you're completely awesome and stuff!

RaNdOm Meme

Stolen from: Lots of Questions

1. If you were to attend a costume party tonight, what or whom would you go as? 

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Maybe I'd go in this little number from Halloween 2012, since I still have it in my closet... ;)

2. What are your choice of toppings on a hamburger? 

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Nope. No cowburgers for me. On my veggie burger, I'll take some wilted cheese and sautéed onions. That's good for me!

3. You are chosen to have lunch with the President. The condition is you only get to ask one question. What do you ask? 

Hmm. I'd ask, what up with not making better strides for the Environment and our bass-ackward Education system, Dude?!

4. It’s your first day of vacation, what are you doing? 

Hmm. Since I live pretty much at the beach, maybe I'd go to ... the beach! Haha! Hey, man, love the freakin' ocean, what can I say? But if I'm traveling not near a beach, then definitely exploring off the beaten path, where the locals go and not the tourists.

5. What is your concession stand must-have at the movies? 

A super-dooper-extra-large Diet Coke. Anything else is optional.

6. Which do you dislike more: pop-up ads or spam email? 

My Yahoo email spam filter works pretty well, but so does my pop-up blocker, so... I guess pop-ups. Neither one is a major irritant in my life, though.

7. What do you think Captain Hook’s name was before he had a hook for a hand? 

Eek!! Hmm... Bartholomew. That's my guess.

8. Rock, paper, or scissors? 

What's wrong with Lizard and Spock? I'd choose Lizard, in that case.

9. Let's say a brick fell on your foot, and your kid is standing right next to you, what is your 'cleaned up’ swear word? 

Honey, I'm not of those awesome mommies who doesn't swear in front of the kids. I don't hit them, either, or neglect or otherwise abuse them. So if you think it's bad to swear in front of your kids, and yet you're a smoker (around kids) or do other things that damage or harm them, well, then, fuck you! ;)

10. Which is worse, being in a place that is too loud, or too quiet? 

Too quiet is bad for me. It is actually quite maddening, in fact.

11. What is one quality that you really appreciate in a person? 

I think Loyalty is the one that endears you to me the absolute most.

12. At the good old general store, what particular kind of candy would you expect to be in the big jar at the counter? 

Wax Coke Bottles... but you can actually still get these. I've bought them here in Miami, actually!

13. What is the most distinguishing landmark in your city? 

I would have to say it's the Art Deco district in Miami's South Beach. Trés cool!

14. Everyone hears discussions that they consider boring. What topic can put you to sleep quicker than any other? 

Anything related to finances. Economics. Snoozefest!

15. How many times did it take you to pass your drivers test? 

My dad was shocked I didn't fail, but I didn't! Take that, mofo!

16. If you had to have the same topping on your vanilla ice cream for the rest of your life, what topping would you choose? 

Peanut Butter Sundaes are THE best thing that ever happened to vanilla ice cream, y'all. YUMMO!

17. What food item would need to be removed from the market altogether in order for you to live a healthier, longer life? 

Without question, it's the Coca Dieta. That shit's gonna kill me one day.

18. You are offered an envelope that you know contains $50. You are then told that you may either keep it or exchange it for another envelope that may contain $500 or may be empty. Do you keep the first envelope, or do you take your chances with the second? 

With my luck? I'll keep the fitty bucks.

19. If you had to choose, which would you give up: cable TV, or DSL/cable internet? 

I can and have lived without TV. The internet, perish the thought!!! :O

20. What is your highest level of education? 

I worked on my Ph.D. in the ecological and functional morphology of the feeding mechanism of elasmobranch fishes for two years. I was taking a break from it when I married Rob. 17 or so days later, we found out I was pregnant with Chloë Raine. I have never gone back.

21. How much is a gallon of gas in your city? What was the highest it’s been? 

It's about $2.60/gallon where I fill up. It's been lower, but it's been much, much higher. So I'm good.

22. What kind of lunch box did you have as a kid? 

I had a red Snoopy and Woodstock lunchbox, much like this one. Loved that thing!

23. What would you rather have, a nanny, a housekeeper, a cook, or a chauffeur? 

I have this exact sign hanging up in my house. Take a guess!

24. Would you rather be trapped in an elevator, or stuck in traffic?

I would MUCH rather be stuck in traffic. As annoying as that is, it doesn't freak me the f--- out!!!

And yes, I realize I didn't need to bleep that out after swearing previously in this post. Oh, well.

Thanks for being here!

Fin.


Halloween 2014

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Halloween, 2013: Last year, we got our pumpkins at least a fortnight before the day. And they rotted. And I had to buy new ones. And those rotted.

Halloween, 2014: This year, I decided to play it "smart" and buy them the day before we needed them. Um, not so smart, because everyone was out of them. We went to Publix, Winn Dixie, and Lowes before I finally convinced my terribly disappointed children that these orange and white and green ones would make a really cool display. I wasn't lying; I do think they are cool. The kids disagreed, so I had to put up with lots of grumbling. Hey, I did my best.

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Eventually, they got over their dismay and went to carving. We had a dickens of a time, though. The guts really hung tough!

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Last night was Halloween. I did my best to maintain regular school lessons throughout the day, but I finally had to call "Uncle" and give in to their desires to get into costume! Sophia and Chloe wanted full makeup; here's Sophie posing with my makeup case prior to being gussied up by Yours Truly.

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My three Trick-or-Treaters were, from left, the guy from Scream, a voodoo sorceress, and a witch. I tried to get Chloe to wear an actual witch's hat, but apparently she was not supposed to be that kind of witch? No broom, either.

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"Give me your scariest faces, guys!"

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Jack posed for exactly one individual shot before he took off to wait for darkness and thus, the candy hunt. There was still over a half-hour to kill, so the girls and I decided to do a mini photo shoot:

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Sophie looking pretty in purple

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She's starting to sprout a few freckles of her own, like her siblings. No doubt, baseball has something to do with that.

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A rare serious face for Sophia; this kid is always animated!

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Chloe, ever the perfect poser

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I got those glowy things for about $0.50 at Walgreens last week. Perfect timing, because with the three of them in all black after dark, I would have lost them otherwise!

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These three sillykins really cleaned up for Halloween! The candy trickled in slowly at first, but then toward the end, bam! bam! bam! They got it hand-over-fist and filled up their baskets. I guess people saw the crowd thinning and just wanted to get rid of it?

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Robin, the mother of two of Sophie's baseball friends, invited us to her kids' Halloween party at their school. We went there tonight for Trunk-or-Treat. Lots of fun was had by all.

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That's Robin with the silly orange hair. She's cool; I like her a lot. And they might be moving to Homestead this month! I'm stoked.

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After trunk-or-treating and riding a bouncy-house slide eleventy-billion times, the kids played a mess of games and got even more candy. TOO. MUCH. CANDY!!! (for my fat arse)

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There was a pizza food truck there. I was told that we had to pay with tickets at the front of the party, but then the food truck told me to pay with cash, so I paid with cash. In hindsight, I think someone was scammin' someone, there. :( The pizza was way pricy and not too good, so meh.

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All in all, this was a pretty rad Hollerweenie. Good times, good times...

Thanks for stopping by!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Welcome To My Nightmare

Link up here if you're playing along today!

Saturday 9: Welcome to My Nightmare (1975)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Tell us about a bad dream you've had.

Recently, I woke my kids up when I was screaming in my sleep. They ran out to see if I was okay. I remember the dream vividly: in it, my best friend turned on me and stabbed me to death. That's the short version. It's the first time I've actually died in a dream. I thought you weren't supposed to be able to do that?!

2) Sam is not crazy about spiders. What frightens you, or gives you "the creeps?"

Mustard. Ugh, ick, eww.

3) This week's featured artist, Alice Cooper, has always liked to dress up. Performing as Alice, he wears garish eye makeup. In his first group, he and his bandmates dressed as the Beatles. Will you be wearing a costume this weekend?

I dressed up to go to a kids' Halloween party tonight. I was Urban Smurf: black slouchy hat, black pants, and green shirt. LOL

4) Alice says his makeup was inspired by Bette Davis in his favorite horror movie, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? This Halloween weekend, will you seek out horror movies and scary TV shows, or will you avoid them?

Avoidance is the key for me, unless I want to have more very bad dreams! I am such a chicken about horror movies.

5) Born Vincent Furnier, Alice used to tell reporters that he and his band got the name Alice Cooper from a Oujia board. Have you ever tried a Oujia board?

I think maybe once? I really can't remember. I don't believe in that crap.

6) Alice and his band (also called Alice Cooper) were discovered by music manager Shep Gordon while playing in Venice, California. Have you ever visited Venice, California or Venice, Italy?

We visited Venice, Italy, on our 2008 Mediterranean cruise. I have never been to the California Venice.

7) In 1970s England, a morality campaigner named Mary Whitehouse persuaded the BBC to ban Alice Cooper. The ensuing publicity resulted in such a bump in record sales that Alice sent Ms. Whitehouse flowers. Do you believe in censorship? Or should adults be able to choose to see/hear whatever they wish?

Adults should be able to censor their own media consumption. Except in the case of child pornography. :\

8) Today Alice has a popular syndicated radio show, Nights with Alice Cooper. Listeners all over the United States, Germany, Denmark, New Zealand, and the UK hear him introduced as, "a man for whom even Dr. Phil has no cure." Do you watch Dr. Phil?

I have, a few times, but not lately and not regularly

9) Did you get many trick or treaters this year? What candy did you give them?

We didn't hand out candy this year, and I regret it! We got maybe 2 trick-or-treaters last year, and my kids got all the rest. I didn't want that to happen again... sure enough, there were tons of kids in our neighborhood this year. Of course!

Thanks for stopping by!

Fin.


Random Tuesday: Baseball, #Jamberry Nails, And Pancakes?!

Stacy

This may be only the second or third time I've participated in Random Tuesday with Stacey Uncorked, but I'm feeling it today, so here I am! Link up if you're completely random on a Tuesday, yes?

Shall we?

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IHOP 1

Last week, Sophia and I spent a good 3½ hours at the pediatrician's office to get her bloodwork done. She's completely traumatized by doctors and dentists and especially their needles, so she spent that whole time screaming and carrying on about getting the blood drawn. It was exhausting - for her, for me, for the poor bewildered doctor, for the staff, and maybe even for the next office over, some of the staff of which had to come in and help hold her down to end the whole episode.

I had promised Sophie pancakes at IHOP, having gotten a certificate for a free stack in my email inbox a few days prior, but by the time we got home from the doc's office, she just wanted to go to sleep. I couldn't blame her; so did I! And that we did.

By the time we were both ready to go to IHOP for a short stack of flapjacks, it was about three o'clock in the morning. But we went anyway, and as you can see, the trauma had subsided and she was all about getting her stawberry hotcakes on. 

I don't quite have the heart to tell her she needs more bloodwork and some immunizations in the very near future... :\

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Crafting 2

I've been doing a buttload of planning for this upcoming homeschool year, 2014-2015, and the kids have been kicking around the house kinda bored. I had stocked up on craft supplies for Sophie's birthday party, but we never held it, to her utmost disappointment.

I had also had a ton, give or take a few hundred pounds, of both cardboard and styrofoam egg cartons saved up for a crafty occasion. Actually, I was hoping to Freecycle them to someone who needed them for chickens or what-have-you, but such a person never materialized. Enter Pinterest! I found oodles of egg carton crafts on that wondrous site, and behold, two or three days of crafting were born.

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All three kiddos started out with the supplies, which included pompoms, feathers, glue, patterned crafting tape, paint, and so much more aside from the egg cartons. Jack, my least crafty kid, wanted to join... but he finished with slap-dashery that was hard for me to encourage. And so, in a rare (I hope?) moment of shoddy, discouraging parenting, I asked him why he bothered. Admittedly, that was pretty shitty of me, and we both agreed to have a time-out from each other for the remainder of that afternoon. #MomFail

Chloë is pretty crafty, but I think it's Sophia who is the most talented in this arena. Not that Chloë isn't artistic, because she is; however, she's a complete perfectionist like her mother, and therefore she finds it harder to break loose and just have fun with the process with no perfect goal in mind. The above pompom family was Sophia's creation, with no inspiration form Pinterest or anything else but her own imagination.

I could wrap up this segment of post in numerous ways, but suffice it to say that I learned something about the kids and their different abilities and learning styles, yes, but more about me and how I parent differently to them. Fortunately, I think I grew from the experience!

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Somehow, I managed to lose my entire post and get it back again without having saved it myself. Whew! I tend to give up when that happens. Yay for Autosave features!

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Profile

Another difference between Jack and his sisters is that he does not generally enjoy being photographed, whereas the girls love having a camera lens aimed at them. So when I changed my Facebook profile picture to this, my dad started condemning the lack of Jack, talkin' 'bout how he (my dad) applauds Jack for being a different kid, etc, blah blah, yakkety yak, and I shouldn't exclude him.

Really?

It touched a nerve, as parents and their comments are wont to do. I bend over backward - occasionally literally, even! - to make sure my kids feel recognized for their individuality and their strengths. Rob and I both have abysmal self-esteem, and so it is high on my list of priorities to develop a healthy sense of self in all of my children. Furthermore, I try to spend time with each of them, alone, every single day, and honestly, I do the best I can do be the best mom I can be for them!

I think we're doing all right. So my message for all the grandparents in the world, if you happen to come across this is: Unless you have cause for grave concern, step aside and let your kids do their job with their kids. You raised yours, and now it's our turn to raise ours. Not that input isn't necessary or even desired, but come on. Wait until we ask, if you can, and in the meantime, be as positive and supportive as you can manage.

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Baseball 1

On Saturday, Chloë and I took Sophia over to baseball tryouts at a park in Miami. How cute is she here?! I love this picture of her.

She was "trying out" (which really meant having her skills assessed for placement on the best team for her) at the oldest age group, 9-10 years, in the league we're joining, so really she ended up being one of the very few with no experience playing baseball.

I don't think she cared. She's got confidence to spare, that one!

She was also the only girl we saw on the field, the only one not fully decked out in a uniform from season's path, and from what I could see, the only Southpaw. That didn't stop her! She went up there, swung her bat three times at the pitches, ran around the bases, and practiced catching and throwing with an assistant coach.

She thinks she did poorly because she didn't hit the ball, but that will improve. I think she did fine because she showed up and bravely tried something new!

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After Sophie's try-outs ended, the three of us ran across the park to the playground for some fun. Both of them made friends, as per usual, and they played until we ran out of water and heat exhaustion became a threat. I haven't heard back about the baseball team yet, but I'm sure there will be more on that in future posts. Watch this space!

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Jamberry 0

Apropos of not much, I painted a French manicure on my nails the other day. I'm sharing partly because I just like the picture, and partly as an intro to the current state of my nails (I know you're waiting with baited breath to find out).

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My friend Tiffany sent me this awesome package on Saturday, so that I could experience the Jamberry phenomenon! As a JAFRA Consultant, I haven't had the pleasure of being introduced to Jamberry nail wraps until now. I couldn't wait to get started... but I did until yesterday, because I didn't open the mail until late Sunday night and discovered the treats contained therein!

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How cute is this manicure I did all by little ol' self, with Berries and Gingham? I love it!

Tiffany sent me more "grown-up" adult-sized nail wraps, with these in mind for Sophie and Chlo, but I kinda stole them because I thought my nail beds were too tiny. Luckily, there are still plenty left for the girls, because each sheet comes with enough for several manicures. We'll have to do theirs tomorrow!

A few observations I've made so far about my Jamberry mani:

☼ There's just a very slight learning curve! I did my left hand first, starting with the thumb, and I immediately realized upon application that I could have gone with the larger size and dealt with minimal trimming of the wrap. I did my index finger second, and I accidentally wrinkled the wrap. I'm going to try to use my hair dryer, which is used to soften the wraps to make them easy to manipulate, to smooth that down. ☼

☼ There are SO many designs in the catalog, even for little girls' hands, that I know I'll be getting more in the future. Plenty of mature, adult designs (please, get your minds out of the gutter!), along with lots of whimsical themes. I love them all, and I can't wait until the Collegiate set includes one for my UM 'Canes! ☼

☼ For my oddly-shaped upside-down triangular nail shapes, I realized I could either go to the larger, regular size and trim the decals down easily, or paint my nails to match the wraps before applying them, so the gap's not so obvious. Tiffany assured me the wraps go on just as well over painted nails as bare ones. I'll be trying both methods soon, and you know I'll be reporting on that! ☼

Have you tried Jamberry nails yet? I'd love it if you would check out Tiffany's site and tell me what your favorite design is. Stay tuned for a special offer in the near future!

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Halloween

Finally, we had a bunch of burnt-out light bulbs in the house, so we ran to Lowe's to get a bunch of new ones. What did we spot but this huge Halloween décor display?! Seriously, mid-August is way too soon for that. Do you agree?

Thanks for stopping by!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: The ASK Meme, Part The First

 

Link up here if you're playing along today!

 

The ASK Meme, part one 

1. What’s your favorite candle scent? 

 

I love all the fruity scents, but apple is my favorite!

2. What female celebrity do you wish was your sister? 

 

Parker Posey just seems like she'd be so much fun as a big sister!

3. What male celebrity do you wish was your brother? 

These two questions were hard for me, but I picked Drew Carey. He just seems like a really cool guy.

4. How old do you think you’ll be when you get married? 

 

I was 24... that's about what I figured it would be.

5. Do you know a hoarder? 

Well, no, not really. But since we've downsized into a place about a third as big as our home in Virginia Beach and have only half-finished unpacking, people might think we are!! (We're not. We're getting rid of as much as we can, as fast as we can!)

6. Can you do a split? 

 

I googled "Painful Split" and of course, lots of celebrities who divorced came up... along with, inexplicably. this. Ha! But no, I can't anymore. I used to be able to, but my joints are locked up tight now.

7. How old were you when you learned how to ride a bike? 

 

I was 7 before I got rid of my training wheels. My kids still need them; we can't afford proper bikes for them. I wish we could... :(

8. How many oceans have you swam in? 

 

Two: The Atlantic a million times, and the Pacific, namely Tumon Bay in Guam, like in the picture above. Yep, I was there!

9. How many countries have you been to? 

I've been on several cruises, so that ups my count a lot. Namely: USA, Canada, Mexico, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, {Puerto Rico}, {Guam}, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Panama, Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Greece, Croatia, and I think I'm forgetting one or two in there... But I've lots more to go!

10. Is anyone in your family in the military? 

My husband just retired from 20 years of service in the US Navy. My grandfather served in the Navy in WWII, and my Uncle Chris was also in the Navy. My dad was in the Coast Guard. I don't have anyone in currently, though.

11. Have you named any of your body parts? 

 

A long, long time ago, my boobs were Chip and Dale... lol. But no, I don't do that now.

12. If you had a child today, what would you name him/her? 

 

I'd give anything to have more, but that's impossible. A girl would be Victoria Jane, and a boy would be either Jasper James or Sebastian James. Jasper Sebastian is probably too much!!

13. What’s the worst grade you got on a test? 

 

I've never gotten an F, but I did get a D on an Ichthyology exam that I'd studied my ass off for in graduate school. That killed me!

14. What was your favorite TV show when you were a child? 

 

I used to love this show!!

15. What did you dress up as on Halloween when you were eight? 

 

Who remembers? That was nearly 30 years ago for me...

16. Have you read any of the Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight series? 

Nope, nor seen the movies. It's just not my cup of tea.

17. Would you rather have an American accent or a British accent? 

 

I'd love to have a British accent!

18. Did your mother go to college? 

 

I think, but I'm not positive, that she did a semester or a year at Bronx Community College. Don't quote me on that, though...

19. Are your grandparents still married? 

 

All of my grandparents are gone, now.

20. Have you ever taken karate lessons? 

 

No, but that is something I think it would be fun to do. My parents went to one lesson when I was small, and my mom came running out of the dojo with my dad chasing after her. She'd done a kick and peed her pants! Hahaha...

21. Do you know who Kermit the Frog is? 

 

Sure, doesn't everybody?!

22. What was the first amusement park you’ve been to? 

 

I really can't remember the first one, maybe Disney World?? When I was five, with my grandparents? But I most remember Darien Lake from my childhood, in Western New York.

23. What language, besides your native language, would you like to be fluent in? 

I'd love to be fluent in ALL the languages, but especially Italian. It's so beautiful to the ears, melodious even.

24. Do you spell the color as grey or gray? 

 

GRAY

25. Is your father bald?

 

Yes, and he sports a pretty bad toupee if you ask me... but he refuses to stop wearing it, and that's his prerogative. Whatevs!

Fin.

 


Saturday 9: Twilight Zone

Link up here if you're late to the party like me this week! ;)
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And away we go!
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Unfamiliar with this week's featured song? Hear it here.
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1) This is one of the first songs to see a bump in sales after its video was shown on MTV. Do you ever watch music videos?
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No, but only because we don't have any television service and I have no speakers on my computer right now. Okay, who am I kidding - I probably wouldn't anyway, anymore!
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2) Golden Earring is from the Netherlands. The average life expectancy there is 79 years old. Who is the oldest person you know?
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I don't think she'd like for me to tell you that, so I'm keeping "Mum." ;) Haha!

3) The song's composer says the song and especially the video were inspired by the 1980 book, The Bourne Identity. The espionage thriller was finally made into a movie with Matt Damon in 2002. Do you have a favorite secret agent/spy?
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Not really, although who doesn't love James Bond? My favorite movie is the long-ago Octopussy, but probably only because I remember watching it when my mother was alive.
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4) The song's title comes from The Twilight Zone TV show, which ran from 1959 to 1964. Are there any old shows that you enjoy watching in reruns?
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Sigh... see answer to #1 for that, again. I do miss TV sometimes.
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5) "All guys cheat on their girlfriends, so yeah, I forgive him." Sam heard a young woman say that into her phone as they waited in line at the drugstore. While Sam is always surprised by how much personal information people share in the public, that's not what we're concentrating on this morning. Do you think that it's true? Do all guys cheat on their girlfriends?
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Absolutely not. While I've been cheated on a fair number of times, there are also plenty of times I'm sure that I haven't.
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6) Whenever Sam goes to the grocery store she picks up Snausages  because her dog looks at her with sad eyes when she tries to reward him anything else. What product has your brand loyalty?
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Nutella. I always get a jar (or two) of Nutella when I'm doing a long-haul shopping trip. Because chocolate and hazelnut, duh.
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7) Do you have a piggy bank or a coin jar?
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Sort of. Not in the traditional sense, but when I was graduating high school, my BFF Dr. Lisa wanted to give me a present, and I asked for a globe. She couldn't afford a full-size, standard globe at the time, so she gave me a mini bank one. I still have it, and I use it to store all the international coins I've collected from my (and Hubs') travels over the years. Pretty cool usage there, huh?
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8) Sam knows that she's always supposed to wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days, but she sometimes forgets. What do you know you should do, but sometimes don't?
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Exercise and eat my vegetables. I even have doctor's orders now to do so, to help prevent worsening of my recently-diagnosed glaucoma, but... it's Halloween and candy and lazy-Mel time, you know?! I need to.
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9) Retailers report that sales of Halloween costumes for grown-ups are strong. Since Halloween was earlier this week and there will be parties this weekend ... What's your costume for Halloween 2013?  If you aren't dressing up this year, tell us about one of your favorite outfits from a Halloween gone by.
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I didn't dress up this year, but last year I had both a cavewoman costume, for trick-or-treating with the kids, and a half-devil/half-angel costume that I wore to a Halloween party/concert that I attended. I was skinnier then, so I probably wouldn't have looked as hot in it this year! Must work on that...
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Well that was fun. See ya next week, Sat-9ers! ;)
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Fin.

Halloween 2013: Trick Or Treat?

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Well, hello there, you.

Chloë, my 12-year-old, bought her Cleopatra costume at Wal-Mart with a birthday gift card she received in September. I thought she looked gorgeous, and I could tell she felt pretty, too. It's important.

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Jack, my 10-year-old, decided to be the Grim Reaper instead of using the bloody mask from the Scream movies at the last minute. We were given another Wal-Mart gift card, unexpectedly, so we used it for his costume. For the longest time, he wanted the Scream mask, but at Walmart, we couldn't find one in his size. 

It's kind of cool because up until this year, he didn't really want anything scary and wasn't into that whole part of Hallowe'en. But this year, he was all about screaming and scaring and BOO and ahh! He's TEN, you guys. He's growing up. My God.

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Sophia, well, I guess she wanted to be a little princess-y and a little scary, because this 8-year-old of mine chose the "Bride of Darkness" costume at Wally-world. Only, she refused to wear the headpiece for the actual trick-or-treating session, so it was more bride and less darkness.

We had to wait until almost 7PM to go out, because it was sooo hot and bright and sunny here in the Miami area. It's still 85ºF during the day, so I didn't want them to melt inside their costumes.

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Even then, it was still hot and light out when we got started, and they did melt inside their 'stumes! Sophia gave up a half-hour into the fun, but Jack and Chloë stuck it out until nearly 8PM. They were sweet (no pun intended), though, and shared plenty of their candy with Sophie when we returned home to find her sitting around in undies and watching a DVD!

If you read back, you'll see I made LOADS of packets of candy treats up for our trick-or-treaters, and then we got, like, three. Three kids. I was SO bummed!

Around 8:30, long after we'd given up on getting more kids (and I'd raided the stash for some Peanut M&Ms), the doorbell ring. Oh, my gosh, you guys! There were HORDES of kids outside, waiting for candy! Tha heck?! I guess we'll go out later next year because many houses we hit ourselves were empty or not ready yet, and maybe that's how it works in Miami-land. Dunno, but I was SO glad to unload all that candy on the kids after all.

Whew!

Anyway, when I was taking my three kiddos around the nabe, they did get a Christian-y handout instead of candy (which is fine but misguided, IMHO, because no kid is reading that. Especially mine, since it was in español...) at one house, and another house had the light on but no candy inside. No worries! The owner went inside and brought them each out $2 cash for their buckets. What the what?! I hope he was planning on doing that and/or didn't get too many kids if he wasn't, because yeah. The Odettelettes were stoked, though, of course!

SO, that brings me to Aloha Friday. Link up with A Renaissance Woman if you're playing along. My question for you this week is:

Do you participate in the traditional Halloween festivities?

You don't have to explain why not, if you don't, but you're more than welcome to do so. I know everyone has their own personal reasons!

Link up on 5 Minutes For Mom if you're posting about Halloween today, too!

Fin.


My Latest Addiction And Other Time-Sucks

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I'm terribly embarrassed to be showing you that picture, but accountability may help. That's what my bed looks like right now. My friend C and I had a laundry challenge going on Sunday to see who could tackle our mountainous piles of clothes to fold and put away first. She totally won. I think she got all hers finished AND the rest of her house clean, while I... did not. At all. It's now, what?, three days later, and my bed still looks like that. But by this Sunday, by gummit, I plan on having a bed again. Totally. Promise. Pinky promise, as Sophia would say.

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You see all that candy? (And that's not even all of it, but we gave a bunch away when we "BOO-ed" a couple of our neighbors last week, remember?) Anyway, you probably know that I'm an avid couponer and reader of the blog Hip2Save (Collin Morgan is totes my virtual BFF, you guys) (only she doesn't know it) (anyway!), so as usual, I've been getting tons of deals at the drugstores on candy for Halloween lately. I probably spent a total of three bucks on all of that at candy up there - if that!! 

We live in a neighborhood chock-full of kids now, so I have no earthly idea how much candy we'll need or how many kids we'll get on Thursday night. I've been stocking up big-time. But... I may have overplanned. That's a shit-ton of diabetic coma up there, y'all. What to do, what to do?

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Welp, instead of laundry, I wasted spent Sunday making up 125 (Sophie counted) packets of candy to give out to all the little ghosts and goblins who'll come our way soon. I had tons and tons of scrapbooking paper, ribbons, and other doo-dads from years of crafting stocked up, wasting space, not being used, so it felt good to finally put it to good (?) use. Hopefully someone (besides me) will appreciate the time and effort I put into it, but... I kinda doubt it Whatever. Let's move on.

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I received a free jar of JIF Hazelnut Chocolate Spread in the mail the other day. On its own, it doesn't beat Nutella - not by a long shot - but the jar came with some recipes for treats. I made these delicious cookies with it, and OH, MY WORD, they are OUT of this WORLD. Caps necessary, because they were that good. I'll definitely have to make them again. Or not. I don't want to chub up again, after all!

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Rob brought me home a few pie pumpkins, at my behest, and the kids helped me scoop them out and carve them. I had planned on doing something like I saw in the October issue of Family Fun magazine, stacking the three of them on top and decorating them like my kiddos, but it didn't work out like that. Change of plans!

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They looked pretty cool that first night. But... this being Miami and all, where it's still 80º+ during the day, they rotted by the next day. Dammit! The kids picked out big ol' pumpkins for their Jack-o-lanterns, too, and even though we kept them in the house and not carved, they still rotted, too! Rats.

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On Sunday morning, the kids walked with me to the local drugstores to do my wheelin' and dealin'. They always stop and look out over the water on our walks there, and I thought it was a cool moment. So me being me, I snapped a shot of it.

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I'm grateful for the IKEA shopping tote cart thingy that my friend Jenny From the Block gave me a while back. It's really coming in handy now while we're without a vehicle and still have shopping to do! At least, it was until a cat peed on it. I'm going to murderize those felines, by George. I will!

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Not this cat. Tinkerbell's a good girl. I woke her up from a nap, here. She was startled. Hee.

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And speaking of napping cats, does Muffin look comfortable to you? HA! Sophia and I died laughing at her over this pose... but you probably had to be there.

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But maybe one of these two rascals. Lucky and Hunter are always canoodling in the bathroom sink together. Too funny. But naughty, they are!

Anyhoo. A fellow Hip2Saver turned me onto my latest latest addiction, Listia. CHECK IT OUT!

FOR SALE OCTOBER

It's kind of like eBay, but more like freeBay, because you just give stuff away and in return, you get credits for things to get from other Listians. I'm SO loving it!! I still have a shit-ton of craft stuff I will probably never use, like all these buttons and brads here, so I'm giving them away to get credits for things we will use. I'm hoping to save them up for cool stuff like a new computer for Rob, or maybe a replacement DSLR for my camera that was stolen from our piece of shit house in Portsmouth last year. (I'm still bitter!)

FOR SALE OCTOBER-001

If you're a yarny (or a thready), maybe you can snag some of my stuff on Listia. I'm giving away some pretty cool stuff and have lots more to list... but I'm at my limit for the mo'. So we'll see. If you sign up with my link, you'll get a bunch of free credits to use, too. Cool, right? So let me know if you do!

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I'm even giving away this brandy-new pair of Gymboree shoes on Listia if you need size 12s for your little girl... ;) They don't fit Chloë already - so whatcha gonna do?

Anyway, enough about Listia. I love it. LOVEIT.

(Sign up. Join me. You can't resistttttt....) Heh.

Well, that's about all for now. If I come up with something else of interest before this weekend's Sat9 and SunSteal memes, I'll be back. 

Oh wait, it's Hallowe'en tomorrow night. Of course I'll have more to show you. So come back, won'tcha?!

Fin.


Wordless Wednesday: BOO! #Halloween #Wordless

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I'd heard about "BOO-ing" your neighbors in the past, but this year I was inspired to actually do it.

We've got tons of candy for Halloween from all the great deals I've been getting, and extra pumpkin baskets, too, so we decided to go for it.

We went over here to get the poem and "You've been BOO-ed" print-out, and the kids and I set up the baskets full of treats.

Of course, I had to take a picture of them going "BOO!" before we did the actual, you know, booing.

We picked a nearby neighbor to surprise and did a ding-dong-dash before sneaking away to the shadows for them to open the door and find their surprise.

They exclaimed about the pumpkin filled with treats, yelled, "THANK YOU!" and off we ran, giggling at the fun.

My kids were SO excited, we did it again right away to another neighbor.

Have you ever been "booed" this way? Have you ever "booed" someone else? Share the deets!

Link up here if you're (any degree of) Wordless today!

FIn.


Werther’s Original® Baking Bash MommyParty! #WerthersCaramel

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I was SO excited to be chosen by MommyParties and Werther's Original for a Baking Bash featuring their new Baking Caramels recently. Imagine how thrilling it was to get this box in the mail, full of Werther's Original Baking Caramels to use at the bash, with plenty more to share with my guests. Woot!

My party was supposed to be this past Sunday, only... no one could make it. Big, huge bummer. I had planned baking, fun and games (and even cleaned up my house in preparation, which is momentous in iteself), but my invitees were unable to join me.

So yesterday (Tuesday), Team Odette had the Werther's Original Baking Bash all on our own. I have some Freecycle ladies coming today, and they have been forewarned that they WILL be taking home some caramels and caramel-baked goodness, so I'm still sharing, right?!

Come along, now, and see what this is all about. Here we go!

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Of course, all of the recipes I baked up at our Bash started with the Werther's Original Baking Caramels. These rich and creamy Caramels are great for baking and making delicious caramel apples (hello, first thing you think of in Autumn, right?). Made with real butter and fresh cream, they are perfect for melting and incorporating into your favorite recipes. Did I mention they taste great all on their own, if you can't help but pop one - or, um, three - into your mouth during your unwrapping frenzy?

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Of course, the first recipe I had to try was Caramel Apples. You know, Caramel (and Candy) apples are an October staple in this country, but I don't think I've ever made homemade ones for my family. So I was excited to make these for our continuing Halloween/Autumn parade of treats, and you know the kids were chomping at the bit to try them, too! The recipe, here, calls for scrubbing your apples with some dish soap and drying before starting to melt the caramel, so I did exactly that. Rob always teases me for not following recipes and going off on my own tangential trail - sometimes with great results, sometimes disastrously - but this time, I followed it to a 't.'

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The recipe even called for melting the caramels in a 2-cup glass measuring cup and, voilà, I did that, too! The bag of Caramels itself brags about how easy to unwrap they are, and it's no lie. I had a 20-second timed unwrapping contest with my kids and video-taped the whole thing, but my iPhone ate the videos before I could save them to my camera.

(Okay, I deleted them by accident. iPhone is not at fault here. I lied.)

In the 20 seconds, Sophia managed to unwrap 4½ Caramels! Chloë came in second with three, and Jack did 2½. I coached, cajoled and coaxed them along in that time, and the videos were pretty funny, so I'm bummed not to have them to share with you! Just imagine me being hilarious and the kids being their usual amusing selves, and you're In Like Flynn.

By the way, the recipe, printed on the bag, also calls for adding a tbsp (or two, if ya want) of milk or heavy cream (your preference) to the caramels during the melting phase. Don't be a dummy like me and neglect to read that part. I made the recipe twice, and guess what? It works so much better when you follow the dang directions.

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Because of my milk omission, and I think because of the shape and size of the 2-cup glass measuring cup, it was a little hard for me to coat my apples completely and thoroughly. I did use a spoon, as suggested, but when I later repeated the recipe in a regular FiestaWare cereal bowl, it worked much better. So, my vote is for shallow and wide, rather than tall and narrow, m'kay?

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Sophia was the first taker on a Caramel Apple. She bit into it and deemed it delicious, BUT, full disclosure here, it was too hard to bite into the caramel. We had put them in the fridge to harden the caramel and, well, that worked at little too well. We're having issues with our refrigerator being too cold (or not cold enough, when we attempt to turn it down), so maybe that's the problem. When I put the formerly-chilled apples in the built-in microwave over the constantly-on oven after that, the caramel softened for later eaters to be able to eat it. For Sophie, though, we had to cut up the apple in order for it to be eaten. Still quite tasty, but not quite the same.

End Result: Delicious, Semi-Easy, and Repeatable!

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Next up was Caramel Mocha Hot Chocolate. You can find the recipe here.

Now, this recipe should have been simple, but the recipe forgot to tell me when to add the majority of the chocolate to the saucepot (before adding caramels, by the way), and also, I completely messed it up. It was a comedy of errors:

First of all, there was that omission, and I called my MommyParties contact, Amy, for clarification. Second, it calls for instant coffee, and I had no instant. So like a dummy (and not for the first time in my life), I subbed coffee grounds. Ha! DUH! I forgot that it wouldn't dissolve. Rob solved that problem by running the milk/coffee/sugar combo through his French press after it boiled. Mah Hero! And finally, for whatever reason I can't quite explain, I made a cup of coffee with a K-cup in my Keurig and dumped the whole cup into my post-boiled mixture for more coffee flavor. Even though the recipe only called for 2 tsp of instant... so yeah. It was more Mocha, Less Chocolate, you know?

But that's okay, because Rob liked it so well, he drank two cups! Jack had a cup, too.The girls tried it, as did I, but we weren't big fans of the bitter chocolate I used for garnish. And it was too coffee-ish for the ladies. (Jack loves coffee; go figure.)

End Result: Pretty Good, Kind of Hard for ME, Possibly Repeatable.

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Third on the list was this Caramel Apple Tart. The recipe is here. Oh, my word, y'all. THIS was delicious. Absolutely, completely, totally delicious. It was easy to make, rich and flavorful, and I just can't say enough about it. You have to make this one, you guys!

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Chloë was first to try the Caramel Apple Tart. Sorta. I tasted the mixture after scooping it out of the skillet and just knew it would be a winner. What did Chlo think?

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She loved it. She asked me to make it again. Soon. And I will. Because yum. Every one of us agreed with her, too.

End Result: Insanely Delicious, Easy, MUST Repeat!

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I saw this recipe for Almond Drizzle Apples and knew I had to try it. My apples didn't turn out anywhere near as pretty as the ones in the recipe, and I had a dickens of a time splotting chocolate drizzle all over them, but the end result was superb. If I could have the sugar, I would absolutely have eaten an entire apple, but I had to refrain. More for the rest of Team Odette!

End Result: Delicious, Hard for ME, Probably Repeatable

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Next on my agenda was this Candy Apple Cheesecake. I probably would sub a regular, 8" pie crust instead of a 9" one next time, but I wouldn't change any other thing. It was simple to make, and I followed the directions and chilled it thoroughly before serving much later in the evening.

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By the time I served this at night, Chloë and I were the only ones left with any kind of appetite, so we dug in. Another "OMG" moment, like the tart. Y'all totes need to stock up on Werther's Baking Caramels and a bunch of apples, because you need to make these recipes. No joke!

End Result: Super Delicious, Very Easy, Must Repeat!

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I love a good popcorn cluster, so I knew these Caramel Popcorn Clusters would be on my list. I can't eat much of it anymore, but the bottom line is, if you like this sort of snack, it's a must. So good; I wish I could eat more!

End Result: Delicious, Easy, Repeatable

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Eating peanut brittle was on Chloë's Bucket List, so I had to make some of this Caramel Peanut Brittle when I saw the recipe online. It came together quickly and simply. My only suggestion to you would be that when you're spreading it out on a cookie sheet for hardening, spray a metal spoon with cooking spray and flatten it with that. Oh, and stick it in the freezer for five minutes for fast hardening before breaking. I did both of those things, and it worked well.

End Result: Crazy Delicious, Very Easy, Repeatable!

* * *

The bottom line is, we had a fabulous time discovering all that can be done with these versatile Baking Caramels, and I still plan to make more recipes later this week, like this Caramel Apple Silk Pie, and this Caramel Spiced Bread, and these Caramel Sticky Buns (probably without the cherries, but we'll see). 

For MORE mouthwatering caramel recipes, baking tutorials, special offers, and even giveaways and sweepstakes, you'll want to join me and sign up here for an awesome Werther's Caramel Community. Let me know if you do - I'm there, too! The community is full of ideas, including amazing recipes submitted by readers and users like you and me, so check it out.

* * *

I hope you've had a good time reading this post. You can go snag a coupon by joining here, so let me know if you try out any of these delicious Baking Caramels treats. I'd love to know how you fared compared to us!

Full Disclosure: I received free Werther's Original products in order to host the Werther's Original sponsored MommyParty. The opinions expressed here are, as always, completely my own.

Fin.


Sundays In My City - Autumn In Miami

Unknown Mami

 

Link up with Unknown Mami here if you want to show us around your town today!

It's been a fortnight since I showed any real pictures around here, so I'll take this opportunity to do just that. We're making the most of October in the Tropics by having fun Halloween-themed snacks and/or crafts every day or so. When last I mentioned it, I had made spidery devilled eggs for the first day of the month. Let's see what else I've been treating the kids with, shall we?

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Another time, I made these mummy dogs for the kids' lunch. And please, don't be impressed; there are no original ideas here. I stole this off the Pillsbury site. (Mine were blind, because my kids had zero interest in mustard eyes. Blech!)

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A few days into the month, we drove up to Dadeland Station in Kendall to go to Target. Wish we had one closer; ours is a half-hour away! I had two mobile coupons from Target for free watches, and I let the Littles pick one each. They were worth about $25 apiece, so it was a sweet deal. Y'all know how I love my coupons! Chloë didn't miss out, either - the coupons required a minimal purchase, so I let her pick out a couple pairs of earrings on clearance. She was happy, and I had several free Target gift cards from the Shopkick App, so the whole deal cost me nothing! Sweet!

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After our shopping trip, we headed down the road to Dadeland Mall to get lunch. I've been chosen as a Chick-fil-A mom, so we indulged in some more goodies courtesy of that restaurant. The kids each got a nugget meal, and Rob and I shared some sandwiches. Well, I lie. We circled the Food Court first, where I filled up on teriyaki chicken samples from the various Asian-themed restaurants, and Oscar (my gastric bypass pouch) was done after that. So Rob had the sammies, while I sat back and rubbed my full belly!

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Another time, we were at the Wal-mart down the road (figures we'd have that and not a Target, right?!), and Sophia spotted these fruits hanging on a tree near Penelope (formerly, our Honda Odyssey). I still haven't quite figured out what they are... my powers of species identification are limited when it comes to plants. Thankfully when I chose biology as a profession in my past life, Botany wasn't one of my preferences!

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Can't remember where I saw these ghost bananas, but aren't they adorbs? The kids got a kick out of them, and I have to admit, I made myself a couple, too! Hey, chocolate and bananas were good enough for Elvis... Oh, wait. That was peanut butter. Whatevs.

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These "Cuties" orange-pumpkins were super simple to make, but I thought they were terribly, well, cute! (I had one of those, too.)

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Another idea, which I did not make up, were these ghost-in-the-graveyard pudding cups. So fun! So junky! Hey, they can't all be nutritious, but they have to be delicious, so they passed muster. I let the kids pig out and eat two apiece, too!

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Now that we're having to walk everywhere [bye-bye, Penelope :'( ], Sophia and I decided to take a trolley trip to downtown Homestead to run a few important errands. I told her we'd wait 20 minutes before giving up, so she hung out on the railings (mostly right-side-up, like here) while we did. Nineteen minutes later, guess what finally showed up?

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We've gotten a bunch of free Redbox rental codes lately, so I let the kids take a break from clearing out toys from their rooms (Christmas is coming, gotta make space!) to have a movie night. And yes, there are still way more toys to go... I don't know if we'll ever dig ourselves out of the girls' room. Sheesh!

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Wrapping up, here's my view of Sophia from this morning, when we walked to Publix and Walgreens to do a little shopping. She loves to mix and match patterns! Does it drive you crazy? I think it's fun, and I don't care about the looks we get!

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go figure out what Halloween-themed treat I'm going to make for today!

See you around...

Fin.


Wordless Wednesday: Halloween Season


I've linked up over on 5 Minutes for Mom - Join in the fun if you're wordless today!

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I promised the kids a little bit of Halloween fun all October long, so these devilled spider eggs are my first entry for the season. Fun!

(and yes, I know the leg count is wrong)

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And, apropos of nothing, I made my first-ever pineapple upside-down cake. It was okay; I'm not a huge fan of cake anyway, so I'm not the best judge!

Fin.


Sundays In My City: From Here To The Everglades

Unknown Mami

Link up with the Unknown Mami if you want to show us around your place today!

It's been a while since I've participated in SimC, but since Rob (Hubs) is back in the hospital as of this morning, for at least a coupla days in the Neuro ICU, I'm sitting at home twiddling my thumbs [read: avoiding housework] and thought I'd catch up. Here goes:

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I'm supposed to be taking a break from knitting doll sweaters for Itsystitch and returning to real-life person sweaters for my friends' son, Vinnie, who's allergic to everything. He can't wear anything but pure wool, cashmere, silk, and ... I forget the fourth thing. But nothing synthetic, no plant fibers, and not very many from Kingdom Animalia, either. He's an expensive kid to dress and feed! So I help Steph out where I can. I found a good deal on yarn, she bought it, and it just arrived. It's really orange and blue, not purple as it looks, and I have bunches of the latter. I'm going to make him a sweater and hat, or socks, or something, and send the remainder to her for another person to make his longies (long pants). I just find that sizing longies isn't my forte, so I'm happy to pass along that job.

Oh, but my point is (and I do have one, to quote Ellen D.), of the billion cajillion needles I have, none will work for this jobby. Suck! I bought a new one, but it's still too long. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate knitting in the round?!

In case you're thinking, well, that's nice and everything, Smelly, but what's that got to do with your city? um, to you I say, there's our front patio. Heh. Moving on...

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We got some real, honest-to-God produce and, for everyone but me, meat in the house recently (food has been scarce 'round here, but we should be fixed up for that now), so Rob stuffed peppers with (what else?) rice and ground cow flesh (sorry) (not really) for himself and Kid3. They actually tried it, to my utmost surprise. I'd rather have given them purty purple and orange and red bells, rather than everyday green, but Wal-Mart seems to be lacking on that front.

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I got a birthday card (only about 2½ weeks late, but I'll take it) with a free drink offer from the Dunkin' Donuts down the road (ah, now we're getting somewhere!), so I took Sophie with me to go do that and run a coupla other errands. (First up was Michael's, the arts & crafts store, where I'm sloooooowly stocking up on supplies for her planned artist-themed birthday shindig in April; I spent a whopping 83¢ on a plastic paint palette, if you're keeping track of our finances...) (and yes, I know I ramble, but at least it's written down, so you can't call it intelligible) (doing it on purpose now) (I know I'm obnoxious) (at least I don't use hashtags on this-here blahg) (where was I? Oh, yeah) So when we got to DD, she figured she'd be getting a doughnut, right? I mean, she is a normal 8-year-old American girl.

Only, Mom had just spent 83¢ out of her last dollar, so doughnuts were not to be had.

She pouted.

It was 7:45 PM, and closing time was 8 PM... meaning, everything made had to be tossed or taken home by employees soon, I'm guessing.

Can you believe, after pouting instead of cheerfully accepting her fate, the shopkeep rewarded her with a bag full of various MunchkinsTM? After telling her that making pouty faces wouldn't get her a doughnut?

She did thank him a billion times and, in return, reward him with huge smiles, but... well, I think I've made my point.

So let's shove off that topic, shall we?

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Speaking of that Sophia, once she got home and divvied up the MunchkinsTM with her siblings, she was, natch, on a sugar high. No sooner did she finish her dinner then she went diving into the cache of Halloween costumes from years past. She doesn't even remember the show JoJo's Circus on The Disney Channel, but you do, right?! So this was her outfit for the evening, wherein she pretended she was being French. Only, she spoke in a British accent. Because French is HARD,  people!!

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Later, she came out wearing my former Mrs. Incredibles costume from back when I was still super-morbidly obese. And the JoJo wig. Ha! This kid, if you could have seen her, would have made you laugh and laugh. She is hysterical. I promise.

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And now, we come to the heart of the matter: We finally visited the Florida Everglades! A mere 10 minutes away (at least, the southern tip), yet we hadn't quite ventured down the ol' South Dixie Highway to get there as a team yet. (I'd been there long ago, with my then-college summer-housemate, Dr. Jasper Lament of The Nature Trust of British Columbia, now, and Ducks Unlimited fame, formerly.) ANYWAY, it was free on Saturday, so we finally made it. Woot!

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We started at out the Ernest Coe Visitor Center way down at our end of Miami-Dade County, where there were lots of neat-o mosquito interactive exhibits, a photo essay on the dangers of the changing climate, and of course, a gift store. We made nary an expenditure there, however (see aforementioned 83-cent splurge).

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That's my super-cute son, Jack, finding our very first (and, so far, last) geocache! We did all kinds of research on Geocaching.com the night before, set up Rob's Garmin GPS, downloaded the free version of the app on my iPhone, yadda yadda, only to have none of the stars align after we found this cache. I brought along a notebook and recorded The Find, did the same in the app, and did a little happy dance with the kiddos before exchanging some swag from the box for a trinket of our own. The exhilaration was shortlived, though, because the app no longer showed us any more hidden cache locations, and Rob couldn't get the GPS to register the lat and long he was inputting. We decided instead to hike some trails, which of course, is not a bad Plan B!

Only, THIS mom fell asleep in the van before we found any trails and was deliriously tired when awakened to join in when one was finally discovered. The 'Glades is a huge park, y'all, and lots of stuff is going on there. I just... didn't see any of it yesterday. No matter. There will be more chances.

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That's me. I know, not city-related either, but I'm here and I'm typing and that's what you get. 

You see, Rob (the Hubs) was feeling quite dizzy again this morning, and the last time that happened, we (meaning his neurosurgeon) discovered a cerebellar hemmorhage (yikes!!), so I called said doctor and was told to delivered him back to the hospital post-haste.

I did that, forgetting to grab my purse along the way. We arrived at the hospital and discovered the omission, which meant I could neither obtain a visitor's pass nor pay for parking. SUCK. I had no choice but to drop Rob off and head back home: a two-hour tour, round-trip.

I've been pretty much sitting here ever since, alternating between putzing around on the computer and playing with Sophia, while Jack and Chloë take extended naps. And that's when I got looking at the hair on my head and thinking it was looking rather shaggy.

Bring on the scissors!

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Yep, I did that. The last time I took a pair of scissors to my head, in November 2012, I ended up bald. No lie, bald. So I think it's pretty awesome that I ended up with this boyish little pixie instead of, you know, a wig and a ballcap like last time, amiright?

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Sophia's reaction was to say, "Why did you DO that? Don't you know long, blond hair is 'in' this season?!!"

She kills me. She makes me die. I die, I die, I die, I'm dead.

(Name that flick.) (Yeah, I paraphrased that, too.)

Fin.

P.S. Thanks for stopping by, and yes, I know, I am weird. Aren't we all?