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November 30, 2007

Being Alive

I can't believe this is the last day of NaBloPoMo. I was thinking of doing the Holidailies as well this year. And, I very well may do, but I will have to take the next few days off, what with the moving and all.

I am sitting here in the cold, about to go upstairs and finish off a bit of packing before we head to the pub to have a drink with the landlord and landlady who have been so awesome and so kind to us and I'm thinking about how things have worked out. And, two things that pop into my mind. The first is a quote from the movie Ratatouille. Of course, its not in the memorable quotes, so this is a paraphrase. The main character says, when asked, "Where are you going?" and answers, "With any luck, forward."

And, the second thing that keeps popping into my head is the song from Stephen Sondheim's Company "Being Alive".

I feel like I should say something pithy and meaningful here, but I have nothing. I think I've done the best that I could with what I've been given. And, while I may not be happy with each and every individual outcome, I am happy with the whole. With any luck, I'm moving forward. And, with that same luck I'm doing so with people I have to let in, whose feelings I spare, who want me to share my experiences with them. Its just one of those days, I guess.

November 29, 2007


One of the world's least exciting and simultaneously most annoying activities has got to be packing. I hate it. I don't mind the Stalinistic purging so much. Its that once you've decided what has to be packed and what can be binned or given away, you then have to do those things. And, I don't know why I find that to be tiresome and redundant, but I do.

Things are moving on at a good pace. I am hoping to have everything absolutely sorted out tonight (and I'm not going to bed until its done) so that I can spend my last few days in Cardiff just hanging out and having a good time.

Its hard to say good bye to a place. But, you have to do the hard things, sometimes.

I am also hoping to get one more Cardiff podcast squeezed in before I head back to the States. I have a plan for the next four episodes (that I won't describe here) but, suffice it to say I think its interesting and I look forward to putting the episodes together.

November 28, 2007

Nap Time

We've gone Christmas shopping. Its been cold and rainy and I'm packing and watching Harry Potter.

Its been a really nice Wednesday.

November 27, 2007


Today was my last day at work, followed by a going-away party hosted by the Royal George Pound a Pint Appreciation Society.

I am so touched that so many people turned up. Thank you, everyone!

And, I got to teach someone about Emily Dickinson's poems all being singable. Awesome.

November 26, 2007


Happiness is one of those elusive things that you just have to go with when it happens. Take today for example. I'm working and its been slow so I'm bored to tears. My feet hurt. This is a turn and burn shift, so when I'm done at ten I have to run to catch the bus so that I don't have to wait until quarter to 11 for the next bus so that I can get home, so I can shower and unwind and go to sleep because I have to be here at 8:15 tomorrow morning. Yet, while I've been working this monstrously long and dull shift, I've had an idea for the podcast that I'm very pleased with, so I've been making notes on how make this idea a worth-listening-to show. (Although, to be fair, I'm not exactly sure if anyone is listening to the show.) This has been pleasing and that makes me happy. So, even though my feet hurt and I'm trapped at work I'm smiling and humming to myself and having a more or less good time.

Life is weird like that sometimes.

November 25, 2007


For the third time now we've attempted to go and see Beowulf and for the third time it hasn't happened. This isn't because of the popularity of Beowulf, but rather because we've been doing other things.

Hi, John. You are right, I am a cheeky fucker.

Also, I can't wait to be done working my retail job here. Its true. I like who I work with and its not that the job is bad... its just that I'm done with it.

November 24, 2007

Too Much Baggage

I've been napping a lot lately. And, in these naps I've been having the worst dreams. In the last one, I rode my bike through the city centre of Cardiff to go to the local grocery back home and on the way I was harrassed by protesters wanting to know, "Where is your ethnic minority!" Apparently, they wanted the world to be aware of diversity and so had gotten some people to buddy up and hang out all day with someone of a different race than they were.

So, then I get to the store and I have chain everything up to my bike before I go in. I had to mail some things in addition to getting some food. The process required two different bits of chain. And, then someone told me I had too many things to mail, they would have to wait while R Kelly sang me a song.

I think I may be stressing about the amount of stuff I have and the number of things (like making sure transcripts get mailed, etc) that have to be in the mail.

I could do without the weird dreams, though.

November 23, 2007

Putting the Luck in Potluck

Twenty people attended last night's celebration of Thanksgiving. Twenty people! It was awesome. In addition to the traditional things that I made (the pies, a turkey, sweet potato casserole) we also had trifle, a scrumptious pasta salad, pigs in a blanket (of bacon), and the best joint of beef I've had in a very, very long time. Oh, and beer. Lots and lots of beer. And, some wine. The evening was amazing. Everyone was milling about and trying the different things and chatting with different people. It was so very exciting. Two of the chefs (as in people who actually chef as opposed to people who cooked for the event) came late but gave me a present of an American flag. I wore it as a cape for the rest of the evening. And, then when I couldn't party anymore and wanted to go to bed, John wore it as a cape.

I got to explain that it wasn't a holiday about slaughter six or twelve times. I also found out that apparently Canadians from British Columbia don't like the lumberjack song by Monty Python. Apparently, they take it personally that some British guys once joked that there may me crossdressers in the lumberjack population. (And, since they are in the general population and probably more common than most people think it is likely there are lumberjacks that like to secretly wear women's clothing. What? I'm just sayin'....)

All in all, I'd say it was a successful evening.

P.S. Anne-Marie, you were missed.

November 22, 2007

Curiosities Special Edition: Happy Thanksgiving!

Check out the podcast here!

Today's show notes:

Read about Thanksgiving: http://members.aol.com/calebj/thanksgiving.html

Go listen and buy Jonathan Coulton’s music! : http://www.jonathancoulton.com

Check out Voices of Soul: http://www.uiowa.edu/~voices/index.html

Quotes in this episode from:

Marcel Proust and Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dydd Twrci

Happy Thanksgiving to one and to all! I have two pies. I have sausage rolls. I have a turkey that has had all manner of unseemly things done to it in the oven. (By unseemly I mean, its had butter rubbed underneath its skin and had an onion placed gently, yet disturbingly up its kazooie with a couple of cloves of garlic. And, by kazooie I mean its butt.) I've chatted with my "Turkey Coach" Gavin, whose recipe I'm using to keep the turkey from drying out. I've chatted with the fellow who thought the day would be improved by a joint of beef and some "nibbles". He now has exact and specific instructions to the house.

So, now I just have to finish my last minute cleaning and pop the potatoes in the oven and the casseroles that need reheating when the turkey comes out.

Oh, and obviously, I just have to have a good time once people start arriving.

I have a special thanksgiving podcast that I expect to finish within the hour and which should be posted tonight.

I hope that wherever you are today, that you are having a good day and that you are surrounded by good, kind, and loving people. Happy Thanksgiving.

November 21, 2007

Thanks E'en

I'm hoping Bethly is right and that my body is just becoming accustomed to the retail environment. I'm hoping this because when I woke up and started moving about this morning, I discovered that my knees hurt now instead of my ankles. At this pace, I'm expecting inexplicable hip pain tomorrow. Will keep you posted.

With or without hip pain, today has been a day of preparation. I've purchased a few things such as turkey and orange-flesh squash and pecans and I've begun the preparation for tomorrow's holiday feast. On the counter I have a pumpkin pie (technically, its a butternut squash pie. But, it looks the same, smelled the same, and the batter tasted pretty good so I have hope for the pie itself.) I have a pecan pie in the oven. I'm going to get up tomorrow and whip up a sweet potato casserole (to later be reheated) before I pop the turkey in the oven. Our friend Dickie has a joint of beef marinating at his house (as this year's feast will be a potluck and John has taken to explaining Thanksgiving as "Christmas without the presents and hassle". Dickie is apparently incredibly excited about tomorrow as well.) and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's preparations and feasting.

Before we went shopping, we took John's mom's dog out for a walk in the park. He's a crazy dog. John raced him across the park once or twice. I wish I'd had my camera. When you throw the ball for Jack, he generally catches in on the first bounce. Its really quite amazing to watch. Jack also has a thing for going into the creek that rings the park. He threw his own ball into creek and then barked at it for a few minutes the second time before hopping in to retreive it. I'm thinking the water may have been too cold for his liking and he was hoping the ball would retreive itself.

I keep finding myself humming "Over the River". I can't think of any other Thanksgiving songs, it seems. Can you?

November 20, 2007


Its about half eleven on a Tuesday night. I've got my hoodie on and my not-leaving-the-house pants on. I've had dinner and some wine and I'm thinking about taking a bath. I do a turn and burn on Mondays and Tuesdays, if you're familiar with that retail term, so I'm tired and I would probably fall straight to sleep if I went to bed. Instead I'm watching a B-movie on the telly, a horror film, something about ghosts and a machine that recreates the "Eye of Hell". I'm sitting there, trying to will myself off the sofa and into the bath tub because my ankles hurt.

For no reason at all.

I think I'm getting old because a new piece of me hurts every day. Today, its my ankles. Both of them. Although I'm super excited about the upcoming holiday and getting to share it with my Welsh friends, I shudder to think which bit of me will hurt after tomorrow.

November 19, 2007

Running in the Rain

So, it was yet another slow, boring Monday night at work. I discovered a new cookbook that I think I need that is just about potatoes. It has some of the most amazing recipes for tarts and dumplings and things. It even has a recipe for potato pizza which looked pretty damn tasty. But, since I'm trying not to collect things at the moment, I have to talk myself out buying it. Although, I could make "potato snowballs" for Thanksgiving.

I am so excited about Thanksgiving this year. This one has been named. Its called, "Christmas 2: Judgement Day a.k.a. Thanksgiving." We're obviously going to be making a few things, but people have been instructed to come with food or drink. It should be a good time.

Sometimes, when you work at night you have to run to catch the bus. Of course, five minutes before then end of my shift just as the store is closing it starts raining. Tonight, we had to run in the rain. There were four of us. We should petition the bus in order to get it to come to that stop five minutes later. Because, if you miss the bus, you have to wait another half hour.

November 18, 2007

Yet Another Lazy Entry...

Sharing the internet with other people is sometimes a difficult thing. Also, its been busy at work and I think I'm getting a cold so I've been wanting to sleep a lot lately. Anyhoo, here's another Jonathan Coulton, World of Warcraft video for your viewing pleasure:

November 17, 2007

Here's another YouTube moment for you....

Its been a busy Saturday. It took me two hours to get home because of the Euro '08 qualifier in town today. Grr.

November 16, 2007

Membership has its privileges

The other day, whilst returning home from mailing stuff to people so that they can mail stuff to other people all in the name of me continuing my formal education I was counting up all the time (and the money that possibly represents) and the money (the actual hard currency I've spent) printing things out, phoning people, buying stamps, making official requests for official documents, etc. and I found myself pricing things out as if my life were a Mastercard commercial.

Now, I was trying not to get too cocky, because there is always the chance that the places I want to go to will look at my application and laugh all the way to the meeting about who to let into the program and who to send lovely letters that say, "We've had a lot of stellar candidates this year. Please consider reapplying next year." (I do have a back up plan if it turns out NO ONE wants me. And, it isn't just sit on my parents sofa and cry.)

So, I was walking myself home thinking:

Postage: 9 quid.
Printing: 6 quid
Application Fees:....

And on and on until I got to:

Possibly getting into the School of my dreams: Priceless.

Some things money can't buy...for everything else there's... Wait. I don't even have a Mastercard.

And, today, I find myself reciting an old AMEX (is it AMEX?) ad: Membership Has Its Privileges. Why? Because I'm a member of a group that periodically gives away free tunes and I just stored a free "workout" mix from that awesome Chi-town band OK GO. You may remember them from this video:

Or, from the MTV Music Video awards performance where they recreated it. They're awesome. And, while you're watching videos on YouTube, you should check out this one as :

So, I'm having this Credit Card Commercial Tag Line Fest ('07) in my brain and I'm thinking, "What's the deal? Why are these things so freaking catchy?!" And, I know the answer to that. They're designed to be catchy. They are designed to be catchy AND they're are used often in all manner of situations so that you pick up on them and remember them. One could get more scientific and technical about it, but why bother. We all know how it works. We all know its manipulative. We all use it every day in all sorts of ways whether we know it or not. (That function of the brain, not its manipulative capabilities. Well.... ) I've even found it amusing lately. That's right, the credit card companies have crawled into my head and I'm amused by it.

Doesn't that seem wrong?

November 15, 2007

Remember the Oregon Trail?

Got a lot of paperwork done today. Might move onto some heavy lifting this evening. Way-Hey!

I was reading Passive-agressive notes earlier today and I came across a website for funny t-shirts that included this one. I giggled with joy. I remember, back in the day we'd have our semi-weekly hour in the computer lab and we'd get to brave the Oregon trail. I think we got extra points for actually making it with the full family alive. We were studying Manifest Destiny and it was an exciting time to be eight.

Or something like that.

November 14, 2007


Our policy is if you're not completely satisfied, I hate you.--Futurama, "War is an H Word"

This guy is reading Dostoyevsky. Well, that guy and some other people are reading Dostoyevsky. For some reason, reading what he has to say about reading the book makes me want to read the book. So, I'm adding it to the long list of things to read once (and if) I ever have spare time again.

I love that list. It makes me happy.

November 13, 2007

Itchin' to get things done

So, due to a lack of uniforms of various sizes at work, they've had to order me a uniform. Now, its tends not to matter since I'll only be working there for about another two weeks except that this means that I'm having to wear the same black pants every time I work. Since I tend to work in five day stretches and then have a "weekend", this means these pants are getting washed then worn then washed then worn and on and on world without end.


This may be a bit of a TMI. This wouldn't be too bad, except I appear to have developed some sort of sensitivity to either the detergent I've been using or the poly-cotton blend of the pants. I have developed a rash. It is killing me. I'm dying to scratch something.

But, so far I've been able to resist and have not scratched. (Except for a little absent-mindedly while I was looking for the British equivalent of Aveeno's oatmeal bath. While it does appear that Aveeno is in the UK, it doesn't appear that they sell their bath additives here. Although it does appear they sell a shower oil. And, the chemist at the shop down the street looked puzzled when I asked her if there was anything else I could put in the bath that might be like it and help stop the itching. So, instead I now have a bottle of calamine lotion chilling in the fridge. And, I figure if I can get it to stop itching, I have some very nice, super hydrating lotion I may try on it (although, maybe not. Last night I used some aloe vera gel on it and I thought I was going to die.)

I couldn't bear to put on my work clothes today. It almost made me cry. So, I called in sick. Instead, I've been organizing bits and bobs that need to go into the mail and lounging around the house panstless and covered in calamine.

November 12, 2007

Faux Pas

Hilary Clinton thinks I'm an idiot!--Dan Rydell, Sports Night (1998-1999)

Mondays are usually good days. They are the only day I work a late, which means that I can get up whenever I want to. (But, since I have to be up at 6 every other day I work, "whenever I want to" tends to be skewed pretty early in the morning.) Today, I had my lie-in, which was lovely. Got to spend some quality time with a certain person (who is currently making us lunch) and got to get started and the things I have listed to do today. One of them included emailing a number of people. The original plan was to just send them all the one email in one big go. But, I figured that would seem impersonal and cheeky. So, I wrote what I wanted to say in a word file and then proceeded to more or less send each of them a cut and paste email that had a few details varied to personalize it.

And, wouldn't you know, I forgot to change the one detail that really mattered. I'm an idiot. The thing I forgot to change? I'm too embarrassed to say. I'm hoping that I was able to rectify it and that people will be understanding and a little forgiving and just assume it was a technology problem.

They probably won't. But, I'm hoping.

I'm such an idiot.

November 11, 2007

arm socks

So, awhile ago I was talking to my friend Jack about various and sundry things and the topic of knitting came up. Jack has a thing for "arm socks" by which I assumed he meant leg warmers for your arms. Or, maybe long fingerless gloves. This is an ideal project for me, as I am frequently cold and am always looking for extra things I can put on to warm up the bits and pieces that make up me. (For example, right now I'm wearing a cuddle duds top, a hoodie, and extra thick socks while I'm wrapped in a duvet because everyone else seems to run 10 degrees warmer (colder?) than me and I'm the only one that realizes that its actually dropped below 50 degrees.) I've had alot of free time standing around at my job when there were no customers around and I'd run out of things to straighten and dust so I've given this some thought. And, I think I can do it. I think I can make "arm socks" with a skull and crossbones on them and a little thumb whole. And, I think they will be awesome. So very awesome that I'll obviously have to make a pair for Jack, too, as he inspired the project. And, then Jack and I can wear our arm socks out and everyone can be envious of how cool we are.

Or, you can be embarrassed that you are out and about with someone who is approaching thirty and wearing leg warmers for your arms. We'll see how it goes.

November 10, 2007


Nic and Aki came down from the Cotswolds last night. It was so good to see them!

November 09, 2007

Words and Codes and Things

Yes, that sequence of words I said made perfect sense.--Professor Farnsworth in the Futurama episode "The Honking" in season 2.

I don't really have a plan of action for this entry. I am sitting here, ticking things off my list and watching Futrama in Itallian with the subtitles on. I love Italian, its a great language. I had a nice conversation with one of my coworkers today about language and communication. Specifically, about people who aren't from 'round these parts not wanting to speak what's spoken here.

Now, obviously I have no problem with people speaking what they speak. I've said it before and I'll say it again, language is a resource that we utilize in order to communicate. We communicate any number of things from what it is we want to eat when we're ordering food in a restaurant to where we are from and to which groups in society we claim membership. And, sometimes you do that by speaking a language that is different from what is particular to that region. However, this coworker and I were dicussing what's commonly referred to as "language of wider communication" or LWC. The LWC for an area is more or less the Lingua Franca. Its what everyone speaks enough of to get by. It just so happens that English qualifies as an LWC in large swathes of the world these days and that I currently reside in an English-speaking country so it would make sense that the LWC here is English. My coworker and I are both not from here but neither of us have a problem with speaking English. Its just what you do here. However, there is this one guy at work who also not from these parts (but speaks English) who actually prefers to speak French (although, he's not French and he's not French Canadian and he's not from French Africa. French is a second language for him). If he can get away with going an entire shift without uttering an English word, he does. I think that's interesting. I've never worked with this particular chap, but the guy I was chatting with does frequently and it drives him bonkers. As I said before, I love Italian. I speak Italian to myself all the time (often when I'm walking up the road by myself and I don't think anyone is watching. This means that there is probably loads of CCTV footage of me muttering to myself like some crazy person.) And, I suppose if I could get away with it, I may do something like the French speaking guy, because I could. But, I'd probably get bored with it. When I'm talking to myself, I'm generally working something out or thinking through a problem. And, when I reach a solution I stop. The point is, I'm communicating in some way. I can't imagine being in a situation in which I can communicate with the people around me but I'm specifically choosing not to by choosing to use a linguistic resource that is not widely available. That just seems counter-productive. Although, maybe when he's speaking French he's talking to himself and trying to solve a problem or work something out. Maybe he's choosing to do it in a way that not everyone understands so that he doesn't have to admit some embarrassing secret or something.

November 08, 2007


My life has been reduced to a series of lists, it seems. But, at least this way, as I tick things off, I have some sense of accomplishment. There is the list of abstracts I have to read in order to finish off my proposal for UK universities. There is the list of things that have to be sent where (GRE, various transcripts, personal statements, etc) for the American applications. There is the list of things that need to be done in order to move home. Today, I've managed to tick "sort out quitting job" off the list. Many things can be said about the store Ikea, but let it never be said that they do not employ caring, focused and helpful people. They have been understanding. They have been helpful, even when they didn't have to be.

I took a minute earlier to compile everything into a master list, One List To Rule Them All. And, on paper I don't really have that much to do. The only thing that is even remotely daunting is getting the transcripts sorted for the American Universities. Its not so much that its a difficult task, its just time consuming and annoying. Each school has its own very special set of policies of how to go about getting transcripts mailed out, so its a matter of remembering which set of policies go with which schools and then getting the addresses that they have to go to right. This is particularly important because a couple of the schools want everything you send to Graduate Admissions CC'ed to the departments (understandable, since the departments are going to be stuck with me for a number of years after they've accepted me.) The good news is that I feel what I have to do is completely manageable and that if I'm diligent about it, I will get it done with time to spare. The bad news is this means that I have to be diligent and keep my energy up and not let myself get bogged down in the emotions generated by the situation I am finding myself in. I suppose the lining on that cloud is that as long as I stick to the lists and remember that my goals are attainable, things will be all right.

Maybe I should add that last thought to the list.

November 07, 2007

Sharing some new to me tunes

My friend Jonathon just sent me these two links on YouTube Joanna Newsom and some more Joanna Newsom.

I love sharing music with people. I love getting to try new things. I found her voice intriquing and I absolutely loved the harp and so I felt that I needed to share this with all of you. DeleteReplyForwardSpamMove...

November 06, 2007


Last night whilst at work, a small child came through my department and played in the swivel chairs. He said to his Mom: "Mum, Glas chair!" I smiled a little to myself and thought, "That chair isn't made of glass, silly." He then said to his Mom: "Coch chair."

Oops. Apparently the little boy was learning colors in Welsh. Sometimes, I'm the silly.

November 05, 2007


Its another cloudy day in the South of Wales. I can hear the seagulls chirping outside, but I have the curtains shut. I don't particularly like it this dark in the room but I'm too lazy to get up and do anything about it. Well, not so much lazy as the light is of low priority at the moment. I have stuff I want to get done before I have to go catch a bus in half an hour. I'm curious as to where the time goes, sometimes.

The other day I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts (by the way, the next episode of Curiosities will be sorted out this week. Tomorrow night, I'm thinking.) called Cast On and Brenda Dayne, the host, played a song by Jonathan Coulton. She played a tune called "Code Monkey". Previously, I had heard a song by him called "Ikea", so I did some investigating and found some other tracks by him. They make me laugh so hard. Right now I'm listening to a tune called "Re: Your Brains". Its amazing. And, its about zombies! It makes me think that sometimes the gray days aren't so bad.

November 04, 2007

Today, I triumph!

I beat the buses today. I am very proud of myself. The bus that I take to work comes from my end of town goes to the bay. Or, as I have recently discovered, goes from the center (read: centre if you're British) of town, to the bay, back up past where I live to the hospital where it turns around and ends back into town. But, since its not the only bus that goes to the hospital, it doesn't run any earlier than 10:13. That bus doesn't get to my stop until 11:24. This is a bit of a problem if you're shift starts at 11.

I know its a small victory and one that only took checking the bus timetable online and then setting my alarm, getting out of bed, getting ready to go and being at the stop at an appropriate time. Nevertheless, I am proud of myself for firguring out which bus I needed to catch in order to be there (and not too early) to catch the 10:13 so that I could get to work on time. (I actually got to work a half hour early.) Plus, I had about twenty minutes to kill so I was able to get the first gingerbread latte of the season. It was fun this morning, drinking my coffee in the morning light and watching people and buses as they went to and fro.

November 03, 2007

Fun Fact

Today, I was told by a coworker that he suspected I wasn't a real American. His evidence? In the weeks he has known me, he has never once seen me chew gum.

Who knew Americans were known for their gum chewing?

November 02, 2007


There is a bus void by where I work. The buses sometimes go one way and sometimes go the other and if you are not careful and paying attention you can find yourself waiting extra long for a bus. Like today for example, I saw the bus as it was driving down the road and I knew I wasn't going to be able to catch it at the first stop. There was a chance that if I turned around I could catch it at the second stop (if it actually stopped at the second stop) or I could keep going and definitely catch it at the third stop. The thing is, before 8 pm its a different third stop for the bus marked 9A than it is for the bus marked 9. I went to the wrong stop.

This meant I had to wait an extra twenty minutes. Today this wasn't so bad. My friend's aunt works downstairs and she got off work today at the same time (and is in a play this weekend) so I got to talk to her all the way into town about stuff and things (like the play). She's invited me to join the group. They're doing a pantomime in February. Panto is a particularly British thing and its loads of fun to watch and would probably be loads of fun to put on.

I don't mind the bus. There is the occasional smelly old man and sometimes you get a seat mate that wants to have a chat but mostly its pleasant. You get on the bus and don't have to worry about traffic. You get to just ride and hang out and wait for your stop. What I mind about the bus is the waiting. I'm finding more and more that I really am an impatient person. While I may not mind waiting five minutes, anything over ten annoys me. But, there is nothing worse than actually missing the bus. Especially when you round the corner from one street to the next and can see it pulling away in the distance. Perhaps in time I will get better at the subtle art of catching the bus and not having to wait for hours. But I have a feeling that with the bus void at work that it will be awhile before I become a master.

November 01, 2007

Trick or Treaters

So, last night while I was slaughtering a Chinese pumpkin the door bell rang. This was only a small surprise as it was Hallowe'en and there are children in the neighborhood. I had prepared for this possibility by buying a bag of fun size milky way bars. I grabbed my keys and unlocked the door. I was greeted by a small clown and a small skeleton, each no more than four feet tall who yelled, "Trick or Treat!" I gave them their treats and sent them on their way. When I closed the door I realized that this was the first time I've had trick or treaters someplace that wasn't my parents house. This was exciting.

All in all, I had only about fifteen kids stop by the house. There were more skeletons and clowns, a frankenstein, a pirate, some vampires and a little pumpkin or two. There was also a witch or three and a ballerina. But, my favorite costume all night was a little devil. A girl, maybe around 2 years old had on a sequined red dress and a long tail. She had shiny white horns attached to a little hat that was just a little too big for her head. It kept slipping in front of her eyes. She held her candy pail with both hands and leaned back so she can see out the bottom of her hat. Her Mom pulled the hat back out of her face and she looked at me, wide-eyed not sure what to say. I put a piece of candy in her pail and she shouted, "Thank you!". It was the cutest thing.

Meanwhile, the pumpkin slaughtering was messy but the soup has turned out alright. I still have half the pumpkin left. I think I'm going to use it to make some pumpkin bread that I'm going to top with a cream cheese/powdered sugar glaze. I love baking this time of year. There are just so many good things that you can make.