Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Friday Five: Celebrating Halloween

This week the Friday Five is about celebrating Halloween.

1. How did you celebrate this time of year when you were a child? When I was a little girl we weren't home for a lot of Halloweens. My dad managed the LA branch of what was then the Lutheran Church Supply Store. Later it became Fortress and now Augsburg Fortress. Every year for eight years we went to the Lutheran Church Women's annual convention held near Monterey at the Asilomar Retreat Center. It was much better than trick or treating! We got off from school for the week. Hundreds of "ladies" watched my sisters and I grow up. They brought us treats, took our picture and generally fussed over us. One memorable year Papa Joe asked us to each read a book. Then he put us on stools on a stage (see below) in front of hundreds of women and interviewed us. We gave our book reviews and of course, Dad sold out of those three books in a flash.

I think if you asked my sisters we would gladly trade a big bag of candy for a week at Asilomar any time.

2. Do you and/or your family “celebrate” Halloween? Why or why not? And if you do, has it changed from what you used to do? We don't overly fuss. There's way too much candy and decorations are usually to a minimum. Soda Chicky still wants to dress up. "It's free candy, Mom!"

When I was in the parish there was always a night of youth ministry that required dressing up. I kind of miss it.

2 again... Candy apples: Do you prefer red cinnamon or caramel covered? Or something else? I would rather not eat it if it's red cinnamon. Caramel by all means and if it has salted nuts and chocolate- even better!

3. Do you do Jack O'Lanterns? Any other ideas what to do with them? Sometimes... One year when I was in seminary and feeling very "Less is More" I cut up the pumpkin after Halloween and froze the pulp. We had pumpkin soup and later a fresh frozen pumpkin pie. I prefer the canned to the real stuff.

4. Do you decorate your home for fall or Halloween? If so, what do you do? Bonus points for pictures. Nothing worth taking pictures of.

5. Do you like pretending to be something different? Does a costume bring out an alternate personality? I love dress up! Always have. Dressing up tends to bring out the comic actress that lies somewhere beneath the skin.

Bonus: Share your favorite recipe for an autumn food, particularly apple or pumpkin ones. I love your basic Betty Crocker apple crisp with some pecans thrown in for fun. Then serve it with really expensive vanilla ice cream and the richest caramel sauce you can come up with.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Just Curious, I Guess...

I haven't had anything in particular to say in the last few days. (My family would find this odd.) But there are a few things I am just curious about.

I saw an elderly woman crossing the street yesterday using a sponge mop as a cane. Was this her normal walking stick? Or was it just convenient as she needed to take the mop somewhere? And if it's option two, where on earth would she need to take this used mop? She had no bucket....

Why do people persist in thinking that Pseudo Grandbaby's dad, the Scarecrow, is babysitting? He's not babysitting, he's parenting. Nobody ever asks me if I'm babysitting for PG. When will people finally figure out that fathers are parenting and not providing some sort of unusual service for their spouse?

Why are shows like Entertainment Tonight spending so much air time on the fact that Marie Osmond fainted on Dancing With the Stars? And why does the Bug Man find these stupid shows so entertaining? If we had learned that Marie was seriously ill- well that might be a news story. But the woman is simply tired. She's doing this physically draining show, touring on the weekends, she just got divorced and she's got eight kids. No wonder she passed out! She needed a nap!

Why are Kristin Chenowith, Swoozie Kurtz and Ellen Greene co-starring on ABC's Pushing Up Daisies? These are three extremely talented stage actresses. Award winning, acclaimed and all that jazz. I suppose time will tell if this was a good choice for these three. It just seems a little strange is all.

Chenowith plays Olive Snook, a waitress at the Pie Hole, as well as Ned's neighbor, Olive is a tenacious sprite. Her can do attitude can do anything, except win the heart of the Pie Maker. She must settle for the company and affection of Digby, who relishes her caring touch. (BTW, Ned is the lead character, bakery/restaurant owner, who can bring people back from the dead by touching them.)

Kurtz is Lily Charles, formerly one half of the renowned synchronized swimming duo the Darling Mermaid Darlings, Chuck's aunt is now a one eyed shut in with a glib, grim outlook on life. After Chuck's father died, Lily and her sister Vivian moved into Chuck's house to take care of her. Lily and her sister share matching social anxieties and a love for fine cheese. (BTW, Chuck is a girl and the Pieman loves her. Oh and she used to be dead.)

And Ellen Greene portrays Vivian Charles. The other half of the renowned Darling Mermaid Darlings, gentle and moony Vivian does not enjoy being touched. The more "artistic" of the sisters, she and Lily share a love of fine cheese and a fear of the outside world.