Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Ghosts of Halloweens past

Well, it's officially October, and that means the gloves can come off, and I can yak about Halloween 'til the cows come home! :) These pictures are from Halloweens past. I have lots of great memories of helping my kids into their costumes and taking them trick-or-treating. Reminding them to say 'thank you!'. :) Carrying their pumpkins when they got tired. This year, my daughter is trying to talk me into a Halloween party at home (EEEK!). We'll see. Teenagers in costumes. OY!

I love October, because the weather begins to change. I can wear sweaters and jeans (the ultimate cammo!). But I love October best because of Halloween. It's our chance to be someone else: someone lovely, wicked, fantastic or scary (like the lovely photo of my daughter and her boyfriend as dead zombie people). For me, Halloween means walking through our neighborhood on a chilly night, watching kids darting in and out of the yards, flashlights in hand. Voices floating across hedges as kids compare their loot. It's coming home and watching the kids dump their candy treasures on the carpet and begin to sort. And me getting to 'taste' and make sure everything is safe (wink, wink). Halloween is literally stepping out into the darkness - and getting that first feel for independence. Now that my kids are older, it's a chance for us to get together, and for one night, pretend and celebrate all things spooky.

P.S. I would be uploading lots more pics, including WIPs, and thanking Becca for the lovely blog award (and I will Becca, I promise!) but something is wrong with our stinkin' internet upload speed. Like glaciers move more quickly. I wish I was kidding.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Frederick County Fair...

Yesterday, after I got my youngest out the door for school, the hub and I went to Frederick to wander around the fairgrounds. I wanted to take some pictures on the midway before it opened. I was very sad to see that the sideshows from years past have disappeared. It's not because I think sideshows are a good thing, I just happen to love the art on them.
(BTW, I have a lot more pics than these, but in the interest of keeping you awake, I'll just post a few. )

The Nightmare Castle had wonderful beat up panels with air-brushed (and slightly risque!) art.

The kids rides are always great to look at. I love this little sun.
We walked over to the animal buildings. They had something there called a 'Birthing Center'. It's kind of a cool idea. They bring pregnant farm animals into the building, and you can literally watch them give birth (if you happen to be there).

This cow had given birth two hours before we got there.

And this sow had 14 piglets. FOURTEEN!! Yikes.

These two pictures are for Chickory - I TRIED to take decent pictures, but they were gunning for me - all twitchy and hopping around and only one sat still. :)

Here is a little farmland humor.

And I love these signs. I wonder how long these will be at fairs? They are so charming, I would love to have one. These were kid-sized. I tried to get the DH to stick his head through one, but it didn't fit (haha!). I just love 'fair art', and old circus art. I have more pics, but you might all be asleep by now so I'll save them for later. Have a great weekend, all!

Monday, September 21, 2009

A WIP, an apple orchard and a tired kid...

Well, I finally got this feeling I always get this time of year, it's the feeling that a train is coming, full speed, down the tracks, headed right for me. I like to think of this feeling as "Manic Holiday Disorder" (MHD). Gone is that relaxed 'it's almost fall' glow I had a week ago. It's been replaced with a nibbling anxiety that I will, yet again, fail to keep up. After all, I still have Halloween decorations in boxes sitting next to my half-decorated (but very lovely!) tree. My esty shop is calling my name (Paaaa-yam??? Where are you?). There are really cool Fall recipes I want to try (must go apple picking this year, the orchard is literally in our back yard). The County Fair is here, but only for a few more days (oooooh, kettle corn, and funnel cakes). I really should take the family and drive to the Shenandoah Valley when the leaves begin to turn...since it's only supposed to be amazing. Then there is the Renaissance Fair...and a few craft fairs...all within a two week period of time. Let's not forget Halloween night!

Oh, unrealistic holiday expectations, how do I love thee? Not so much, really. I think Lucas has the right idea.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I've lost a friend I've never met...

How can the passing of someone you've never met touch you so deeply? Because that person's spirit reached out through the words of his loving aunt and tapped me on the heart. His strength and courage in facing his end moved me beyond all words. He was all that is good in this world: courageous, funny, and kind. Strange as it may seem, I will miss my friend that I've never met, that I have never talked to, or even seen. Rest in peace, dear Sheldon.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Getting used to the grind...

School is in full swing. And by swing, I mean it's like getting hit in the head with a baseball bat. 6th grade orientation, High School back-to-school night, then middle school orientation, high school orientation, orientation orientation. And all these events are for the parents, not the kids.

I have a terrible confession. I skipped it. Cut class. Bagged. Ditched. I did go to Lucas' back-to-school-orientation-whatever, because I wanted him to remember I went ONCE. But I've been to so many of these things, beginning in pre-school (and even in college!) that I just zone out. So I figure, if I'm just gonna zone, why go? Of course, if my children use this logic, they will never go to school again, so please don't mention it to them. If they ask, I've been to every orientation ever organized by any school or PTA. Love 'em. Can't wait for the next one!

Between you and me, I spent the time making things. After all, play is good for the soul. I even had a couple of conversations with my kids. A little Smallcomb Family Orientation.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Halloween...

Yes, we have a Halloween tree this year. First time, ever. Lucas and the DH went into the woods and dragged some likely candidates out to the lawn. This one won because it arches nicely (spooky tree fingers!). So far, we've sprinkled some lights in it, and hung a couple of ghosts. But I haven't officially gotten my 5,000 boxes of Halloween decorations out of the attic yet. More pics to come! I am officially in the Halloween spirit!

You'll be happy to know that I finished some pieces. My little skelly painting reminds me of St. Frances of Assisi (of the skelly world). The Frida Matruska doll was so fun to make, I'm thinking I need to make another one.

The pumpkin dude is called Pumpty Dumpty. Most of these guys are headed to Spooky Time Jingles (the 13th of the month), but some of the ornies are going to be sold in a small photography museum in Pittsburg.

I saw this cake in a bakery yesterday while I was having coffee with my two pals, Jim and Laura, and I was really, really tempted to grab it and run, but I just took a picture instead.

So no excuses, go outside and pick up some dead branches, put them in your Christmas tree stand, and get to decorating! Then gather around and sing those Halloween carols! "Oh Halloween tree, Oh Halloween tree! How spooky are thy branches!". I love Fall. :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I have WIPS coming out my ears

I've been busy starting things. Little wispy beginnings of stories. Half-sewn Halloween ornaments, partial Day of the Dead dolls, little paintings. Finishing things seems to be my Achilles' heel. But I remembered something, when I was a kid, I was always the 'crunch time' gal. If there was a book report due, I read the book right away. I love reading. Reading was never homework. But the 'writing the report' part? I waited until the very last minute and cranked it out. I think I'm still that way. I leave some things until the last minute, and then work through the night. Maybe that's the way I am. I start fifty things, and then when I need to, I finish a few. Why should I feel bad about that? The fact of the matter is, I love everything I am doing. Really love it. I love writing, I love making things. I love trying to keep up with my family (LOL!). But I still feel this clock ticking "hurry...hurry...hurry". It's like I KNOW I need to smell the roses, and every single thing I do is a rose to me, so I want to do MORE.

The other day I got so stressed out thinking about all the things I hadn't finished, that I walked out of the house. Sophie and I toured the yard, and checked on things together. The Japanese anemones are blooming, and the zinnias are giving one last show of color. It helped to calm me down. Some my projects will get done soon, some won't. And some of my stories won't ever be finished. I'm guessing the world will keep revolving. :)