Halloween, the holiday that excuses our need to become someone we aren’t or let our true selves shine through, just for a little while. I don’t dress up or go to big kid parties anymore and have to admit, I am harassed unmercifully for it. Lucky for me I am past the age where peer pressure works on me, or I would end up impersonating a miserable human being with a ludicrous smiley face mask on at them all. Maybe it’s because there really is no one else I would like to be right now. I am finally comfortable in my own skin, and as crazy and complicated as my life has become, I don’t want to change it. And that’s the curmudgeon’s side.
I do like the carving of pumpkins, even pulling the guts out. I am a seed sorter and roaster, so before the insides are tossed on the vegetable garden, I grab the seeds and set them aside. When it comes to carving, we are pretty basic. We have tried the kits and I know some people who end up with incredible pumpkins from them, (check out Pink Peppermint’s pumpkins), but with kids waiting impatiently to attack the pumpkins with their carving tools, basic works best. The frenzy of Halloween is a good prep course for the next two months and the Christmas build-up, with a healthy dose of sticking pumpkins and gooey slop for fun.
Notice JMumbo hard at work as I finish gutting his pumpkin.
Last night we had a crew at our house.
Living on a short cul-de-sac, we know all the neighbors and don’t have to check the candy they give out to our kids. We also never get too many trick-or-treaters and can count on filling our plastic pumpkins within these houses because it’s just the neighborhood kids and a few others who have discovered Bountiful Lane. The kids can tear up and down the street, zig-zagging from house to house without fear of cars. I have to admit, it sounds a little bit like Mayfair and it probably is, but we like it that way.
After Dinner in a Pumpkin (click on the name for the recipe), Coach started popping popcorn and I made some fizzy worm juice for the kids. They’ll drink anything with gummy worms in it served in a fancy glass. The moms walked the neighborhood and the kids ran it. Everyone smiled and had fun even the disgruntled teenager, and I felt like I had eaten 10 Milky Way bars. It’s that mom joy that is so hard to describe, but beats any adrenaline rush out there. I almost lost the rush when Coach mentioned JMumbo would outgrow this soon, and maybe we should have another, but I ate 5 more candy bars and passed it off as a hallucination.
I grew up with homemade costumes. I don’t remember ever buying one, even when I was at college. Of course back then it was a choice of costume cost vs libations and libations always won. My kids don’t enjoy the bought costumes as much either. I made JMumbo an entire Peter Pan costume out of fleece one year. And the prodigal daughter talked her grandma into sewing a kimono for her Mulan costume another year. I’m teaching them to be resourceful so when they go to college and have to make the costume vs. libation choice, they spend the money on costume supplies. (A mom can only hope.)
JMumbo is currently fascinated with Lord of the Rings, (Thank you Wii games) and we were teasing him that he could be Joedo the Hobbit for Halloween. He latched right on to the idea and Mom spent an afternoon scouring Goodwill for a vest, cape, and some sort of fur for his feet. Thank goodness I had my friend Lynne along, she found the perfect velour type, brown, three button coat. I pulled the sleeves inside the lining, sewed up the armholes and cut off two buttons. Voila! A hobbit cape. Some fake fur glued on a pair of old slide on shoes, and we had furry feet.
I was pretty impressed with the final product.
Some of the other critters that visited us:
Even the prodigal daughter seemed to have a good time.