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Summer’s End

Halloween is almost upon us. In our house, we’re attempting to avoid the temptation of those itsy-bites of delicious Halloween chocolate bars. Instead our time is filled work and family…but what else is new? 🙂

Fall arrived, and with it, Mom came home from the hospital. Her arrival home coincided with a visit from our European cousins who spent the first two weeks of their Canadian vacation cruising through the mountains, and arrived at our house for the September long weekend. After they left, it snowed, and they got caught in Calgary in about six inches of snow.

Obviously they didn’t believe me when I told them that our late August, early September weather could be rather unpredictable. Here’s a picture from the kitchen of our youngest son’s house.

Surprise snowfall

Fortunately for us, the snow melted, the temperatures climbed, and we’ve been alternating between summer-like weather and the coolness of fall. Our trees have dropped most of their leaves by now, with only a few stubborn ones hanging to the branches.

Here’s a gorgeous picture of the mountain ash tree in our front yard.

Sheila's mountain ash

And a picture of the boy’s yard and the piles of leaves we’ve gathered there.

Raking leaves

My mom is recovering beautifully from her knee operation. We’ve finally figured out where the boy inherited his ramjet personality from. She’s determined to do almost everything herself, but with her knee still healing, at least she’s resisted the urge to climb the tree in her backyard.

I hope you’ve all had as an amazing fall in your part of the world. I also hope our fall weather continues well into the winter months.

An early happy Halloween to you all!

A New Halloween


As I’m writing this post it’s 2:30 in the afternoon on Halloween, and I’m truly depressed. Tonight will be the first time in 19 years that my husband and I won’t be trick-or-treating with one of our kids. I could cry. Or, better yet, I’ll cry later so I don’t get the keyboard wet!

Our son is 19 years old and I recall he was 9 months old on his first Halloween. Money was tight and I sewed his first outfit. He was a ghost. I took an old sheet and ironed on various goblins and ghosts and pumpkins, cut a hole in the top for his head, and voila’ – his first costume.  Four years later his sister came along and I think by then we’d graduated to buying their costumes at Party Warehouse.

When my son turned 15 he started walking around with his “bros” on Halloween but we still had our daughter. We’d walk around with another couple whose daughter was our daughter’s best friend. We always had a good time talking and laughing. By the time we got home it was always too late to hand out candy.

This year we’ll have plenty of time to hand out treats but I’m not in the mood to see other little kids in their costumes at my door. My daughter will be going to a party with her friends around the corner and my husband and I will be home alone.

I’m going to walk around (with or without the hubby) so I can see all the kids and the crazily decorated houses. If I don’t leave the house I know I’ll succumb to tears.

Why I’m PC No More–And I Don’t Mean Computers!

Happy Halloween!

As we prepare for this evening’s festivities, be it helping our kids dress in costume, donning our own costumes for ghoulish fun, or just passing out candy to others, I wanted to share a quick story. My daughter and I recently spent the weekend in New York City with some other moms and daughters. It was a whirlwind three days filled with sightseeing, a show, and even a limo ride. I feel confident the girls and their moms will never forget our time together.

One of the most memorable details about the trip is probably the most politically incorrect. While waiting for a table at Serendipity 3 (a staggering two hours), our ragtag group walked to Dylan’s Candy Bar and let the girls look around. Over an hour later after visiting three floors of candy, we walked back to check on our table (still not ready). One of the adults had purchased one of my favorite candies for the girls and passed them out on the walk back. I’d seen them at the store, remembered the hours of fun my sister and I had had with them when I was little, and still didn’t buy them.

Luckily, our friend didn’t have my ‘does this send the right message’ concerns and bought a pack of candy cigarettes for each of the girls. Over the course of the next two days, we laughed and snapped pictures and had more fun with those candy cigarettes than I ever dreamed possible. No, they’re not gum anymore and they don’t puff out sugar, but they’re made with chocolate and look very real (just ask our husbands who received an alarming number of picture texts featuring their eleven-year old daughters smoking).

Did “smoking” candy cigarettes teach our daughters to smoke? No, from the moment they cracked open their boxes they knew just what to do. Will they seek out real cigarettes because they remind them of the fun we had in NYC? Probably not, because real cigarettes taste nothing like chocolate (thank heavens). But we sure had fun pretending.

I learned an important lesson that day, a lesson that is celebrated each and every year on Halloween. No matter how politically incorrect—fun, imagination and candy cigarettes will never go out of style. Be safe!

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