Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hallo It Be Thy Ween

Goodbye October. Goodbye. The nor'easter took you out in fiery-lion fashion, and ushered in a little lamb of November. Oh, she's sweet and lemony today except for the shaded corner of the deck where, on the edge of the rooftop, the storm's evaporating snowy surplus hits the wood planks in a fury. We were powerless at the endhad, even, to temporarily move to Mother's place when temperatures dropped suddenly during the weekend's electrical outage. Monday morning I returned home to a chugging furnace and well lit kitchen. We were lucky, others still remain powerless.

Mother's is always a treat. She has Enrico Caruso 33 1/3 rpm vinyls stored in their original accordion case. But the children... well the children had to plug laptops and printers into real live sizzling outlets and crank out end-of-quarter schoolwork. Kids don't write longhand any longer, you know. Teachers prefer the typed word, which is an impossible endeavor in a candlelit house.  So we clanked the night away at Mother's. 

(I'll be back to Mother's for Caruso.)

I imagined that the kids would be too old for trick-or-treating this year, but there's the candy. There's the neighborhood where Tedy Bruschi lives (with real candy bars!), there's peer pressure and teen-All-Hallows-Eve worshippers who are in no way ready or willing to give up the quest. There's being on the streets, in the dark, void of parental oversight. 

Doors will be slammed in your faces! I said.

Ha, Mom, they love us!, the monsters replied.

Who loves you? I don't want to see six-foot tall teens at my door. Don't come to my door!

Besides, they hadn't costumesI refused to buy them, refused to give in to the high commercialism of holidays and hallow days. Refused to believe that my little Lulu was too old for handmade costumes!

(And this is no way to depreciate the value of my two-year-old sewing machine.)

Mama, observed Lu, this isn't about store-bought costumes or me growing up. It's about you wanting to make another oversized ugly doll or an ice cream cone, isn't it?

The Ice Cream Cone 2010

The Ugly Doll 2009
Actually, my favorite was the floppy-eared hound dog with her litter. Come on, it's tradition, Lu.

All right, well maybe it is more about me and the machine and wizardry. But look, I do have to make my Singer Confidence pay for itself.

Last night, the monsters managed to piece together suitable outfits for the spooky occasion. Both came home with giant sacks of goodies. No one slammed doors in faces.

After school today, Lu announced that she'd reached her maximum fill of chocolate for the day (she'd snuck handfuls into her backpack), so I promised that I'd remind her of the same throughout the evening, that perhaps we should take the bonbon trough out of her room. Don't worry, Mom, she responded. It's NOT a temptation! It's under my bed and it's not like I'm going to get up in the middle of the night to eat a candy bar.

... Not a temptation.

... Not eating candy bars in the middle of the night.

Of course not. Mama shouldn't worry in the least.

I'm packing up the glow pumpkins, Draculas and rubber bats. Halloween has closed for another year, but its remnant confections shall remind us of the night for some time to come. At least they'd better.

Maybe it's time to start sewing up something for Christmas. (Poor, poor forgotten Thanksgiving.)

Lu & Max -- Halloween 2008


  1. We got kids in all sizes and ages ringing on our door bell, from 3-year old (companied by mothers) to university students in the early 20s (we live very close to the campus). An I handed out candy to all of them, with a smile >:)

    Cold As Heaven

  2. Oh I was all about the hand made costumes too. I only ever bought one costume for my two throughout their halloween years and that was a skeleton because I just didn't have the energy to cut out and sew on all those bones. If I didn't make it then they had to scrounge around and come up with something.

  3. I did not have one trick or treater but I love that ugly doll. Will you make me one? :)

    OH and I have several 78rpm records.
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  4. Interesting post Jayne - that doll freaks me out

  5. Cold- You're a better man than I. ;)

    I love the way the little ones carefully select their candy from the bowl. But I think mid teens (or earlier!) is probably a respectable time to hand the holiday over to the youngsters. Those big guys grab mounds of candy!

  6. Ellen- Same thing for me! I bought Max a cheap skeleton outfit one year only. He recycled it in various forms the next couple of years. When he was much younger he didn't mind handmade outfits, but as he got older, of course, he liked putting his own "found" outfit together.

    I think It's more fun to create your own ghoul. :)

  7. Jules- What's going on in Kentucky?! Halloween night absent little bucket carrying goblins must be, in a way, even spookier. Well, at least you get to keep the goods.

    I'll make you anything you want, Jules. ;)
    (I turned that ugly doll costume into a giant stuffed ugly doll, too. So now it's useful for resting one's back on--especially propped against the couch.)

  8. David- You should see that doll now. Stuffed legs and all. (Actually, there's a photo of it somewhere here, I think another "Halloween" labeled post.)

    Nightmares. ;)

  9. I'm glad to hear you've got your power back.
    I would definitely trick-or-treat if I could! Last year, we walked around town just to take in the excitement. The figures darting around in the dark, crisp fallen leaves, children's shouts and squeals, haunted house noises, flashlight beams, I love it all! And I still enjoy the haul of candy being dumped on the kitchen table- every piece being different!

  10. Yeah that doll thing gives me the booboojeebees as well....turn it offfff...make it go awaaaaayyyyy...
    reminds me of some stephen king telemovie i watched when i was an impressionable teenager.
    we saw nowt of halloween here...i figure in this neighbourhood you dont go knocking on strangers doors...
    anyway that reminds me of ween...i always thought the song 'push the little daisies (and make grow up)' was 'push the little babies (and make em throw up)' ....strange...sorry...i kinda rambled on a bit here..hmmm...good post!!

  11. Leonora- I'm the Halloween Grinch aren't I? Oh, but I do love the little trick-or-treaters, and I loved walking my kids around a howling neighborhood when they were younger. But the kids are older and don't want me in the way (my daughter went to a friend's in another town this year, and someone has to man the door. ;)

    The candy... I have trouble with that. (It may have more to do with my own self control and scary dentist memories.) I don't like lingering candy. There's just too much of it!

  12. Dan- The doll is stuffed head to toe now, and she's a sweet thing... but ya, she was a little creepy at one time.

    I didn't see any creepy looking kids this year. Everyone had, um, wholesome? costumes. Sheesh, where's the blood and gore gone?! It's Halloween people, don't we want to see Stephen King characters?

    Ah... and I can't believe you mentioned Ween! I was wishing we'd had a Friday Halloween so I could throw Ween out there on the FNF--they were on my mind when I wrote this. I may do that soon, anyway.

    (Oh, I'll bet your neighborhood's a gas.) ;)

  13. Oh, just love that image of your kids clanking away on their laptops - though depressing that nothing is hadnwritten anymore. We're still at the stage where they boys are learning to actually write, but with their new DSs, I know the computer stuff will always be preferred.
    Glad you enjoyed my hair story! I'm behind on blogging with one kid then the other home sick for school, going on two solid weeks in the house. I need some AIR!

  14. i was in charge of handing out candy so pulled all the peanut butter cups and reeses pieces aside and now have a desk drawer full of candy. i bought some more tuesday morning at half price. life is good right now.

  15. Jayne, I believe that there is a little kid inside each of us that longs to prowl the moon-lit streets for sugary treats.
    I spent Halloween handing out treats in MA. Thankfully the power had been restored. I noticed a few over sized monsters awkwardly begging at our door. I took pity and fed them;)
    So, you write, you sing, AND you sew?!! C'mon Jayne...you're killing me!!

  16. Sandra- Schools these days seem to take the kids to about fifth grade cursive writing skills and then kill the art of handwriting from thereon in. This makes me a bit nostalgic for the handwritten essay, but I do understand that it's much easier to read typed (or processed) essays, reports, etc.

    Kind of sad that this day and age all we need to write in cursive is our signature. And even that is sure to be widely digitized, as well.

    My kids are so busy with word processing everything that I had to go out and purchase another printer yesterday! Well, the others are a bit old and slow. ;)

  17. Billy- What, no Jujubes?! Oh, I'll bet you picked up plenty the day after.

    I've got quite a stash in my freezer (not the dangerous Jujubes). ;)

  18. Leah- Ha! Oh yes, prowl the moonlit streets, all right!
    Well, your return home was delayed but at least you once again got the chance to celebrate All Hallows Eve back in your own haunting grounds. Now that's a treat!

    Ok, I have a secret. When I was a girl I spent nearly every Saturday at the Y. The YWCA. I think my mother would have gone bonkers if I'd been home all weekend. The Y, now that I think of it, was the perfect training ground for many a girl's thing. And I loved being there. One whole Saturday consisted of gymnastics, sewing lessons, cooking, art, journaling, crafting, music and song. (Jeez, I really ought to send my daughter there.) So, I had the opportunity to develop many skills during, I'd say, at least four years of those weekends. (I also come from a line of seamstresses.) I even made some of my prom dresses. Lulu saw one at my Mother's last weekend and she marveled. "Wow, you made this Mom!" I could see the wheels spinning--but back then, it was actually cheaper to sew clothing than to purchase it off the rack. Fabric is expensive now!

    However, this doesn't mean that I do any of these things very well. (I don't think I could whip up a smock with interfacing any longer.) I just refuse to give them up! Ya, I'm killing myself. ;)