Wednesday, October 31, 2007

TRICK-OR-TREAT!!

Oh what a night! Firstly, we don't have Elvis' costume pics up yet, because we got back a tad late and Aaron's tired and Elvis was upset that we left him so long, so rather than stress him out more, we'll just do that tomorrow. We did get started a little late, but the costumes came together really nicely. (They're in the album, you know where to find it) We left for Morgan's Point to help the kids put on their costumes and do their makeup. As soon as we got there, my mom called. Elvis and Onyx had run out of the house!! I knew Elvis would be fine, but Onyx (for those of you who don't know) is a black cat and I really don't like her getting out on Halloween. Fucking sickos out there. So I was outside talking to her and as soon as I hung up I looked up and petitioned Bast to please watch my kitty. Rather than dwell on it (you have to have faith, if you dwell you defeat your purpose) I went in and helped finish up the kids. They were just too adorable, the pics don't really do them justice. We hooked up with some friends of Autumn and Frankie and their little girl and went trolling the neighborhood for candy. Autumn was upset because 2 years ago lots of houses were done up and just about everyone was handing out candy. This year it was so sparse. Maybe 7 houses really done up (2 we didn't get close to, but you could see the lights) and around 10 with candy. It's okay, though, cuz the kids got tired of walking and it was great for us to actually get to spend our anniversary with people doing something! Also, they're great company, so it was doubly good. ^_^ We got back, hung out a bit, and went to hang out at Nates. I called my mom and she managed to get Elvis back in. Apparently as soon as it got dark he started whining at the door to be let in. Still no Onyx. I told myself she'd be fine and we hung out for a while just bullshitting. We got home and who was on the ramp ready to go in? Onyx. *phew* So I took my lavendar oil out to my special corner of the yard and thanked Bast for watching her. After that I went into the bathroom to pee and take off my tights and I heard purring. I thought it would be Onyx expecting some attention, but none of the cats were near the door. Between that and the woman from yesterday, I think this was the most spiritually fulfilling Samhain for me. I usually celebrate Samhain (pronounced "sow-in") spiritually on November 1st (some traditions do), so it was nice for me to have that on the 31st.

Neopets was great. Aaron and I each got 6 goodie bags with neat stuff inside. I customized my pets since there were wearable items in some of the bags. ^_^ In about 50 minutes I get to try and unlock the Haunted Woods site theme for him. I hope I can get it!! That would be something great for him to wake up to.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween Eve

I'll get costume pics (ours and Elvis') up tomorrow. I'm doing this early so we're not dressed up yet. Just had to share an interesting experience we had last night. Aaron and I went to HEB to pick up sodas and some last minute goodies for the goodie bags we're taking for the kids. We were in the Halloween section, sparse as it was, and ran into just the nicest pagan woman I've ever met . . . in person. ^_^ We talked for a long time about Halloween and marriage and kids and more Halloween. *giggles* It was a very ethereal experience, what with the timing of it and all.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Lake: After The Flood

Aaron, Nate and I went out to the lake the other day. It was such a nice day and we got tons of pictures. Okay, 56, but that's still a lot. Filled up the camera. ^_^ The water level has gone down 40 feet since the last lake pics I took, so we could actually get down to the island area. We still had to walk a ways, cuz the gate was closed, but it was a nice day. Anyway, here's some pics. For the rest of them click here. The giant building in the woods is a bathroom pavillion that floated up from the beach area. In one pic you can see a lightbulb that was not busted. lol

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Samhain Poem

Twas the evening of Samhain, and all through the place
Were pagans preparing the ritual space.
The candles were set in the corners with care,
In hopes that the Watchtowers soon would be there.
We all had our robes on (as is habitual)
And had just settled down and were starting our ritual
When out on the porch there arose such a chorus
That we went to the door, and waiting there for us
Were children in costumes of various kinds
With visions of chocolate bright in their minds.
In all of our workings, we'd almost forgot,
But we had purchased candy (we'd purchased a LOT),
And so, as they flocked from all over the street,
They all got some chocolate or something else sweet.
We didn't think twice of delaying our rite,
Kids just don't have this much fun every night.
For hours they came, with the time-honored schtick
Of giving a choice: a treat or a trick.
As is proper, the parents were there for the games,
Watching the children and calling their names.
"On Vader, On Leia,
On Dexter and DeeDee,
On Xena, on Buffy,
Casper and Tweety!
To the block of apartments
On the neighboring road;
You'll get so much candy,
You'll have to be TOWED!"
The volume of children eventually dropped,
And as it grew darker, it finally stopped.
But as we prepared to return to our rite,
One child more stepped out of the night.
She couldn't have been more than twelve or thirteen.
Her hair was deep red, and her robe, forest green
With a simple gold cord tying off at the waist.
She'd a staff in her hand and a smile on her face.
No make-up, nor mask, or accompanying kitsch,
So we asked who she was; she replied "I'm a witch.
And no, I don't fly through the sky on my broom;
I only use that thing for cleaning my room.
My magical powers aren't really that neat,
But I won't threaten tricks; I just ask for a treat."
We found it refreshing, so we gave incense cones,
A candle, a crystal, a few other stones,
And the rest of the candy (which might fill a van).
She turned to her father (a man dressed as Pan)
And laughed, "Yes, I know, Dad, it's past time for bed,"
And started to leave, but she first turned and said
"I'm sorry for further delaying your rite.
Blessed Samhain to all, and a magical night."
Written by Cather Steincamp

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Break From Halloween

Quick break, then back to Halloween goodies. ^_^ Over the past couple of days I've been working on a new project. *teehee* Making my own folder icons! You know, when you're going through your computer files and you put them in folders and you click on the picture of the folder. Yeah. I'm making my own. I was looking for some, and found a few that I liked, but I really like ones that look like dressed up folders instead of just random pictures. I couldn't find enough of a variety of folder lookin' ones, so I downloaded a program to make my own! Check 'em out:
The backgrounds are supposed to be invisible. They are on the icons, but these are gifs so you can see what they look like. Anyway, that's what they look like. lol You can probably tell the difference between the first few I did and the most recent. I've gotten more of a hang on the shading and playing with shapes. The program I'm using is only a trial version, but I think I may have found a similar freeware program. I just wish I could find one where I could make the .gifs with invisible backgrounds and if I'm really lucky I'll be able to find one where I can make little animated gifs with invisible backgrounds. Oh the dream. lol

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pumpkin Carving Stencils

I think these stencils would be just a tad big for the traditional turnip carving, so go ahead and pick out a good pumpkin. "They" say you should pick a nice, round pumpkin with a flat bottom for stability, a smooth surface and if one side happens to be flattish, all the better for stencils my dear. Me? I say pick whichever one calls to you. I like lumpy, off-center pumpkins with most of the stem still intact. They have more character. If you want to try your hand at pumpkin stenceling, it's not that hard. There are some really simple designs that come out really cool looking. (After this I'm going to upload this year's first jack-o pic in the Halloween album, so you can check there for an example of simple) Anyway, here's a handful of links to some free pumpkin carving stencils. Just print 'em out, tape one to the face of your pumpkin, use a thumbtack to go around the design, pull off the paper, and carve out your punch-marked areas. Easy peasy.
Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hauntings

You may have heard this, you may not have. Some years ago (mid-1990s) I had two ghost experiences of my own. The first was perhaps the most disturbing. It was around 3 or 4 in the morning and I had woken up and gone to the kitchen to get something to drink. The moonlight was coming in through the kitchen window and I saw what I thought was my mom in there making a sandwich. What I saw, in fact, was a woman standing at the counter. She disappeared when I turned on the light.

The second I usually get fought on, but if you had been to the house on Carrollton, you know how the front porch area was set up, with the hedges and the big brick flower box. Anywho, I was sitting in the living room and I heard footsteps crunching on the dried leaves. I looked out the window and saw what appeared to be some kind of salesmen coming up the stairs. He was wearing a brown tweed jacket and a hat of some kind. Probably a fedora. I sat there waiting for him to ring the doorbell so I could tell him we weren't interested, or see the no soliciting sign and leave on his own, but he never did! No figure passed back by the window and no leaves crunched. The only other way he could have gotten out would be by vaulting over the 3 foot flower box and the hedge on the other side.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pumpkin Cookie Recipe

Yum. When Autumn rolls around and pumpkins are plentiful, there are few things more delicious than home-made pumpkin cookies!! *drools* I prefer fresh pumpkin, but if you want to try these with canned pumpkin pie filling, make sure to check the label to see which of the spices are already in there. Otherwise you end up with nasty cookies.

To get the pumpkin ready for mixing/baking, you have to cook it first. Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out all the innards, butter the cut edge and place it face down on a cookie sheet. Toss into a 300 degree oven and check on it every half hour until it's done. You'll know it's done when you can easily stick a fork in it. Then it's mushy enough to puree. Pull it out, let it cool, peel the skin off and run through a food processor or blender until it's mushy but not liquified. We used to use a food mill and it took hours, but you already know that story from my other cookie recipe. ^_^ Now, on to the cookies!

You will need:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup pumpkin
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
3) Set aside.
4) In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar, add pumpkin, egg and vanilla.
5) Mix wet and dry ingredients together until well blended
6) Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet.
7) Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes (watch them and take them out when they are light brown in color).

And Shed, once again, unless you're using organic eggs (and flour really), you should cook them before eating them. ^_^

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Jack-o-Lanterns


The Irish brought the tradition of the Jack O'Lantern to America. But, the original Jack O'Lantern was not a pumpkin.The Jack O'Lantern legend goes back hundreds of years in Irish History. As the story goes, Stingy Jack was a miserable, old drunk who liked to play tricks on everyone: family, friends, his mother and even the Devil himself. One day, he tricked the Devil into climbing up an apple tree. Once the Devil climbed up the apple tree, Stingy Jack hurriedly placed crosses around the trunk of the tree. The Devil was then unable to get down the tree. Stingy Jack made the Devil promise him not to take his soul when he died. Once the devil promised not to take his soul, Stingy Jack removed the crosses and let the Devil down.
Many years later, when Jack finally died, he went to the pearly gates of Heaven and was told by Saint Peter that he was too mean and too cruel and had led a miserable and worthless life on earth. He was not allowed to enter heaven. He then went down to Hell and the Devil. The Devil kept his promise and would not allow him to enter Hell. Now Jack was scared and had nowhere to go but to wander about forever in the darkness between heaven and hell. He asked the Devil how he could leave as there was no light. The Devil tossed him an ember from the flames of Hell to help him light his way. Jack placed the ember in a hollowed out Turnip, one of his favorite foods which he always carried around with him whenever he could steal one. For that day onward, Stingy Jack roamed the earth without a resting place, lighting his way as he went with his "Jack O'Lantern".
On all Hallow's eve, the Irish hollowed out Turnips, rutabagas, gourds, potatoes and beets. They placed a light in them to ward off evil spirits and keep Stingy Jack away. These were the original Jack O'Lanterns. In the 1800's a couple of waves of Irish immigrants came to America. The Irish immigrants quickly discovered that Pumpkins were bigger and easier to carve out. So they used pumpkins for Jack O'Lanterns.
Courtesy of Pumpkin Nook

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ketchup

I don't have pictures yet, cuz I haven't seen it yet, but apparently in a field by the lake (towards the island, off to the left in the woods) is a huge bathroom pavillion that floated up from the beach during the big flood. According to Aaron (he was out there) there's even a lightbulb in one of the sockets that's completely intact. How wild is that? So, yeah, I gotta get my butt out there to see it. Man, I gotta do something about my nails. They're getting so long it's starting to hurt when I hit the keys.

I'm pretty excited. I got a thing for a thing called "Enhancing Mind, Body, Spirit". I ordered it. lol It's a notebook and they send you the filler pages something like 10 at a time or so. It's got information on herbs, massage, dreams, aromatherapy, crystal work. All kinds of stuff. Figure it'll give me something to look forward to. And if I come to a point where I need time to get the $$ together, I can put a pause on the shipments. Nice.

We got our first jack-o-lantern out. My mom picked it up and picked out the design. The pic is on my camera so you'll have to wait a bit for that, but it's a ghost. Looks like it's got a moon behind it, so the moon is actually cut out and the ghost itself is pumpkin. It looks kewl. We haven't decided what kind of design we're gonna put on ours, but it'll be kewl too. ^_^

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Flying Dreams

When it comes to dreaming, there are different ways of flying. Here's a handy list to help break down what it means. ^_^
Flying Free: You will achieve your ambitions easily.
Sprouting Wings: Visionary meaning. Possible message from "higher up".
Floating/flying at low altitude: You will be successful in your endeavors, but hard work is required.
Trying to take off and failing: Your spirit is bogged down. Current goals may be out of your reach.
Losing altitude: Your ambition is waning, or your goals are too high.
Flying aided: Flying in an airplane means you expect recognition for your efforts. Hanglider means you will have support in reaching your goals.
Flying toward the light: You are reconnecting with your past, or loved ones who have passed.
Becoming hampered in flight: Setbacks or postponement of your goals. Or a lack of confidence in your ability to reach your goals.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

This~n~That

Landlord came by yesterday for the rent. Found out the jackass neighbors who got Darrell taken away just up and left. That happens a lot around here. Also, he's just waiting for a good enough offer on the land here before he sells. On the bright side, if/when that day comes he's got a place to move us in to. lol When ya get people who pay their rent on time every month for 6 years, I guess ya wanna hang on to 'em.

It's been so peaceful around here. I almost don't know what to do with myself not having to take out the trash every day or play scavenger hunt for tp. Almost. Still waiting for word on the job front. Got my feelers out, though. *shrugs* I know things will work out.