When I was a kid, it never failed but Halloween would be a frigid, rainy day. Whatever costume you had and were so incredibly proud to show off would be hidden beneath your winter coat, scarf, hat and mittens, only to be shared at the school party or local community costume party. This was before all such events were considered pagan or religious and banned from schools. Halloween parties were the best, because unlike the Valentine or Christmas parties, no gifts or cards were exchanged and no one felt left out if they didn’t get a card or gift from their “special” friend. Rarely were costumes purchased, either, so it was a creative collaboration between parent and child to come up with a suitable costume. Even the ever-popular-oh-so-simple bed sheet ghost was accepted with as much glee as the neighborhood vampire.

My favorite costume for several years was a gypsy getup that my grandmother had given me. It consisted of a gauzy rust orange colored skirt, a billowy yellow shirt, long deep red sash, and huge hoop earrings – made for non-pierced little girls’ ears. I wore that costume for several years in a row until if finally, literally, fell apart. Many years later I would find an old picture of my mother (the one who died when I was three) wearing the same costume. I often wondered if she loved it as much as I did. She seemed pretty happy in the picture.

I remember my father being a stickler for the “trick” before the “treat”. Kids better not come to our house unprepared, for they would never receive a treat just for showing up. Even a badly told joke was better than nothing and would get its just reward. That, of course, worked in reverse. I must not leave the house without a properly rehearsed joke (Have I mentioned I have a mental block about jokes? I love them, but can never remember one – even one I’ve just been told. I must write it down if I expect to relay it.) or, in my case, a song. It was just a little ditty that I think we learned in school, but it was something I could remember and warble out in passable fashion.

These, too, were the days before you had to be suspicious of everything in your candy sack. X-raying of the goodies was still far into the future and the razor blades / pins / poisons were all happening “somewhere else”. The homemade treats were always the best – the hand wrapped brownies, popcorn balls, and caramel apples beat out the “fun size” candy every time. (I don’t remember it being called “fun size” at the time, though. Can’t remember what they did call it… hmmm… The memory, she is a-goin’.)

Then, of course, there was the inevitable candy inspection when you got home. Although no one was looking for razor blades or pins, it was a known fact that Dad must have his cut of the loot. Seems to me my children had to go through the same thing. I guess there are some things that never change, huh?

I was in the yard last night near dusk and the combine was going through the field right outside our house. There was the faint aroma of burning leaves in the air. The rustle of the dry corn husks and the leaves that have started turning and falling all joined to flash me back to those Halloweens long ago… have I mentioned I love fall?

Today’s the Day

This is what I feel like most days. No, I’m not quite this overweight, but am getting there. Today I started my day with a personal trainer at the local gym. I have two more appointments next week with her, too, and after that I’m counting on the support of my daughter and my daughter-in-law-2b to help get my fat ass out of bed and into the gym at least three times a week. That’s my goal.

I want to lose weight. I want to tone. I want to be healthier so the next time I see the doctor they aren’t telling me the only alternative they see is going on insulin. This is my last chance. Keep your fingers crossed, ‘kay?

Oh… and as a reward? If I reach my goals, then I’m going to take those piano lessons.

Fingers In The Pointing Position

Ya know… before you start pointing fingers at my husband, your eldest son, and warming up to send him on a guilt trip because he didn’t drive to Minnesota on Friday to the funeral of his 80-something-year-old-uncle-by-marriage that he’s maybe only seen eight times his entire life and wasn’t close to at all… you might want to turn that fickle finger of fate around and point it at yourself, missy… you who didn’t fly home from Ireland when your own mother died.

All I’m sayin’.

Give Me a G…R…U..

M..P…Y…! What does it spell? Yeah. Exactly. I’m going to rename this blog the “weather window”. In case you didn’t know it, farmers are obsessed with weather. To be honest, it does have a great deal to do with:

a.) how the crop grows
b.) if the crop can be planted and/or harvested and
c.) what are we gonna do today

Remember back when I was complaining about it being dry? The faucet has been turned on now and it seems to have a leak. Another 80% chance of rain today, tomorrow, and through the weekend. One of the big forecasters has us in another 2-3″ range. Plus, the big OH SHIT at this time of the year, wind. We’re supposed to have 45+ winds along with this system.

For those non-farm folk, this means the corn stalks that are all dried down and ripe for the combine to snap them off as it goes through the field… well, it’s perfect for a high wind to snap off, too, and leave the ears on the ground. Not a good situation. Hubs has to go round up a different head for his combine today – one that is better at raking those downed ears into it. A lot of ears will still be lost, though. Plus the cost of the new head. Yes, crop insurance (which we pay through the nose for) will cover part of the grain loss, but it makes harvest that much harder, longer, and more stressful.

Is it any wonder I’ve had stomach pains for the past week? What does an ulcer feel like?…

Update: I added the radar map. This is what it looks like as of 2:25 p.m. cst – we live near Ames, right in the middle. Fun, fun, huh?

Frost on the Pumpkin

Yup. You heard me. We got frost last night. That, along with the combine going into the field yesterday means fall has “officially” begun.

There is an 80% chance of 2″ rain coming in tonight and tomorrow along with high winds. Please keep your fingers crossed this doesn’t happen. Corn blown down to the ground is very hard to combine. Plus, it makes for a very grumpy husband.

I’m tired. How about you?

Monday Mutterings

We won’t talk about the football game. I SAID…we won’t talk about the football game. *sigh* Other than that, Saturday was fun. Missed the girl, who had to work, but the rest of the gang made it and we had a great visit with everyone.

As usual, I didn’t get near the stuff done I’d planned.

When I let the pups out at 5 a.m. today, I could see my breath! Do you know what this means? Yes…it’s friggin’ cold out! I can’t believe the change in the weather. A high today of 57… and all week is supposed to be like this. Brrr! I noticed some trees in town starting to change, too. Of course, we got another 1-1/2 of rain over the weekend and the creek is full again and the fields are full of ponds and mud. I hope it dries out enough for harvest to be muck-free, but don’t see that happening.

I don’t have much for you now. Come back later. Maybe I’ll be awake. Have a good Monday.

Talkin’ To Myself

One of those days when I got nothin’… and yet, I open my mind and things come out!

Remember the No Good Very Bad Day? Would you believe since that morning I have seen four deer crossing the road while on my way to work. Four different deer, four different times. Yes, I’ve been far enough away to stop. Yes, I still love deer. Still? Every single time this happens my stomach leaps into my throat and threatens to come out my eyeballs. My heart starts racing and I break out in a cold sweat. Yup, they scare the shit out of me every single time. You would think I’d get over this pretty soon. I mean, really…

Lukas? Fuck. Triple Fuck. Yeah, that’s exactly what came out of my mouth as I watched the big finale on “Rockstar: Supernova” Wednesday night. It was a strange night when youngest son and his girlfriend stopped by and we ended up having pizza and watching this mind-fuck happen. I sat there in total disbelief, then chided myself for watching the whole train wreck in the first place. How many hours did I waste on this? So… was anyone else as surprised as I was? I was sure it would either be Toby or Dilena. I guess I’m showing my age, ’cause I just didn’t think that guy had it. Oh, yeah, he looked the part, but I didn’t think his voice was near as strong or as good as the others…

I’ve already mentioned the big game. Eldest son and his girlfriend will be coming. Youngest son and his girlfriend may be coming. Haven’t gotten in touch with eldest daughter yet to know what she’s got going, and youngest daughter has to work. After work today will be filled with a grocery store trip to stock up on munchies, then a bit of cleaning. No, not “vistors are coming” cleaning… geez… this is family. They only get the “I’m making it livable” cleaning.

Hubs read my post about guilt. He doesn’t comment in the posts, preferring to comment “to my face”… I got the whole “you shouldn’t feel guilty” speech. Yes, honey. I know. That’s the whole point of the post. I really don’t know why I’ve got it. Maybe, as 3t says, it’s a mom-guilt-thing. God knows I have enough of those! Then again, I rather like Sizzle’s comment about having enough hangups to fill a walk-in closet! Got me there, Siz! I’m still not doing very well at responding to comments, but trust me, I read every single one. More than once, usually. Yeah, I’m a little obsessive.

If you read this Director, thanks for letting me know what happened. I was worried. First the Bunny drops off the radar, then you! Please e-mail me so I can keep in touch with you two… Also, Darrell… d’ya know what’s up with your son’s site? If you talk to him, ask please. I know people leave, for whatever reason, but I hate it unless I have a clue what’s happened. Maybe that’s just my “meddling mama” mode, but it really bothers me when one day they are here and the next they are gone with not a word in-between. In one shocking case I had someone comment on my blog who I’d never heard from before. I went to their link, and in my normal anal fashion, proceeded to go into the archives and read their blog from day one. It took awhile, as they had several years of posts. I felt like I really got to know this person and liked them immensely. At one point, they had to change addresses, but had linked to it so I could follow along. Then… a last post which revealed no hint of it being the last. I searched in vain for another link, thinking they’d had to change it again. Nothing. In desperation, I wrote to a couple of the constant commenters in the hopes they could tell me what happened. Come to find out, he’d died. Suddenly. Without warning. On an operating table. He’d had cancer, which he’d never revealed in all of his posts, and he’d gone in for surgery on the cancer and died of a heart attack on the table. It stunned his family, friends, and people like me… just a person in cyberspace who had “met” him through this media. We don’t realize how much we touch each other with just words. How powerful is that? In related news, Fresh finally revealed what happened in his world. Sounds like he got dooced. Damn. I hate when that happens. It just seems there should be a place in the world where we can get all the things rattling around in our brains out into the universe without being penalized for it. That’s all I’m here for. Basic brain-cleaning 101.

Don’t know if you ever look at my other blogs, but I do occasionally post there.

More blog friends going through stuff. This guy is STILL laid up. Go check him out and give him a hello. He could use the cheering. Nothing like bedrest for weeks on end to make ya grouchy, yet he manages to keep a good sense of humor. Poor Brad. He’s getting the Dad indoctrination by … no, not fire… the same type of ailment that Mama’s little one just went through. She’s all better now, though, thank goodness! I have to say, it’s always worse to have our kids be sick than being sick ourselves…

Remember back in the middle of summer when I begged and pleaded for rain? Yeah, um… well… it’s okay. Enough for now, thank you. We got 5+ inches last weekend and they are saying another inch or so possible this weekend. It needs to dry out a bit before we can harvest… which will be very soon. (Did I mention farmers are never happy? It’s a known fact.) However, gasoline prices are the lowest in the nation here in Iowa. Go figure. Now if diesel would follow down that path… c’mon… pretty please? In related news, the lightening that hit our roof? The hole was fixed right away, but the water that leaked into my shower ceiling dried into a nice crack. Guess nothing’s easy. We have a guy lined up to look at it and probably fix it (he’s the guy who did the drywall when we built) but he’s had a kid end up dehydrated in the hospital with flu, so he’s been delayed. That’s okay, it’ll wait for him. He’s right where he should be. Is there a bunch of stuff going around? You know, without little kids in the house anymore I feel a bit out of the loop… maybe not so much.

So much for now. I feel much better. How about you?

The Superbowl of Iowa

This weekend is the big interstate rivalry between the University of Iowa in Iowa City and Iowa State University in Ames. Seeing as we live less than 10 miles from ISU, have two children who are alums of there, have worked on campus in the past, and like red much better than black… well, you can pretty well figure out who we’ll be rooting for.

A local radio station had callers call in and give them jokes to use. I a couple of them amusing.

Q.What do Reverend Billy Graham and the U of I football players have in common?
A.They can both make a stadium of 50,000 people say “Jesus!”

Q.Why do U of I graduates put their diplomas in their car windows?
A.So they can park in the handicapped spots.

Anyone who knows me knows I love jokes, but have the worst memory for them in the world. I laughed all the way to work, then could only remember these two. Go figure.

Go Cyclones!