Anna Marries Her Best Friend


 *      *      *

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Season’s Bounties


On the road to Stone Lake
and its annual Cranberry Festival

Leaves turning

Ancient ruins

Farms a-cropping

Cornstalks a-shimmying

 Scenery a-whizzing

Steve a-drivin’

Barb a-storytellin’

Breakfast a-stoppin’

Horses a-cloppin’

Berries a-poppin’

Steve a-shoppin’

Pooches a-boppin’

Pumpkins a-whopping

 

Barb a-hmmm’ing

 

Rocks a-teetering

 

 

Strangers a-gazing

 

 

*     *     *

 Before the first snow,
an emergency plumbing job
interrupts Mr. Rooter’s weekend.

with kids in tow

“Wingardium Leviosa!”

Leviosa-ing

Secretly impressed sibling

Tackled on the one yard line

Dad’s “If I’d-have-known-it-was-rebar-reinforced concrete” moment. . .

*     *     *

The Delight and Freakiness
of Snowless Days

 

 

*     *     *

Lunching at Minnehaha

Surveying the Falls

Stopping at Bridgeman’s
for toasted almond chocolate chip


Marching back along the Parkway

*     *     *

Dog Park

 

Giddy gallumphing

 

Jingles’ unseemly pursuit of object of affection

 

 

  

 Missing the fun and action
cause sometimes size does matter

 

*    *    *

 

Bonfire Night
The Tale of a Near Torched Tail

  

 

Pyromaniac on the right

 

 

 Permit-approved Yule log

 

Shortly before swishy tail alights

 

Recipient of a shibba-shibba-shirrup,
Tail smothered, crisis averted.

*    *    *

Silverwood

Spotting crazies on the barely frozen lake

 

 

*     *     *

 

 

Spatially-uninhibited visitor

 

 A brief visit from Winter

 

When snow was afoot

And snowbunnies abounded

 

Welcoming holiday visitors

 

 *     *     *

 

Bonfire Night Sunset

 

 

*    *    *

Meanwhile, Sari and Josh’s
undercover Pet-Cam coughs up
a shocking little secret

 

Tobie indulging in el Cubano

 

Love, peace, and a Happy New Year

The Unbearable Lightness of Paskas


 

It’s that time of year again. . .
the pressure to produce a yeast bread
for the traditional Easter basket blessing…

Our recipe calls for two packets of active dry yeast.

To test if the yeast has survived in its dry state,
it’s good to “proof” the yeast in water.

However, because yeast is a living microscopic single-cell organism,
too hot or cold temps will kill the little guy dead in the water,
leaving him unable to reproduce cells, as it were.

To even attempt an Easter paska,
one must have on hand roughly 7 dozen eggs,
24 tons of all-purpose flour, one stick of butter,
and enough zest to dam up the Panama Canal. . .

And did I mention having a lot of time, patience, forbearance,
and two willing sisters to tackle most of the nitty gritty?

 Soaking in a comfortable bath of 105-115 degrees Fahrenheit,
the yeast is a happy thriving camper thank you very much.

 

Gradually add 4 cups of flour to the “active” yeast mixture.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs senseless with softened butter.

Repeat after me:  There’s no place like home.
And there is no such thing as excessive zest.

Slide the yeast proof into the eggy butter batter.

Incorporate the orange and lemon zest.

Add more flour to the often too-sticky dough.

Here’s where it’s entirely possible to have added
42 cups of flour by the end of the kneading process . . .

Punching the stuffing out of the dough can be cathartic.

It’s impossible to over-massage the dough,
all that pummeling is to achieve a “silky” texture.

However, it is entirely possible to wimp-out

 

Needless to say, the kneader’s stamina
cannot be overemphasized…

 

Tasha stops by to observe the action

Win-win:  H’s aggression finds outlet
and silky dough benefits

 

“Com’on up for the risin’ “

The dusty chaos of baking hath no charm for Tash,
while the eagle eye views the proceedings…

 

Thanks to H’s 4G Thunderbolt,
Grandma enjoys a high-def view of the eagles
and reports witnessing a sibling fracas in the nest!

H confirms:  “Yeah, they were peckin’ each other’s heads.”

 

 

Auntie shows the little yeasty micro-organisms who’s boss. . . .

Someone was inspired to soak the raisins in rum,
just to plump ’em up you see, no other reason, mmmkay?

The dueling bakers were happy to add drunken raisins to the mix.

The dough has twice been allowed to rise,
and been smacked down for each of those efforts.
It’s time to divide the batter into the baking containers. . .

The buttering of the coffee cans. . .

(with parchment lining)

The fantastic plastic working bowl.

The sacred lowering-of-the-dough

 

Fill the can about half-way. . .
Any more, and you’re just asking for it . . .

After the dough’s last rising,
before the containers are daintily shoved in the oven. . .

. . . brush the tops liberally with egg wash.

Tash has been, truth be told . . .

. . . somewhat obstructive during the process.

Yeah you !

Irene transports the first-born out with the caution of a bomb squad tech.

Speaking of bomb squads, we almost needed one, maybe several, when Grandma’s crazy oven started smoking after like ten bloody minutes !  Turned out one of the paskas was too close to the oven wall, but still !   And the coffee can ones started rising way too fast, almost touching the gas line inside of the stove !  A short panic ensued, followed by a quick solution – maneuvering a square of foil over the towering paskas.  The other little guys were okay, no possibility of over-inflation there.

The (near) Towering Inferno Paska.
A bit on the blonde side.

Irene treats the specimens with reverence.

 

After the goods have cooled,
we slice a piece for Grandma
and await her review.

“It’s good,” she says phlegmatically…

Comin’ from her, that’s high praise.

 

By the time we’d sampled the paska, night had fallen on the city.
The two towering coffee can versions went in the freezer
to await basket blessing day on Easter Saturday.

Irene’s verdict:  “It’s good, but I would use more eggs next time.”
H is shocked, shocked to hear this pronouncement.
Paska preference is such a personal thing.

While we sleep and eagles snooze, Minneapolis’ flour mills continue to churn out pulverized flour, so processed, so white, so nutritionally deficient it’s insane.  But what are ya gonna do?  It’s tricky to tweak this high-cholesterol Easter standard.  Not like, say, Grandma’s famed holobchis – the stuffed cabbages which we figured out how to actually improve, taste-wise as well as health-wise.  Then again…why can’t we try dickering with the Paska??   hmmm?  What’s that you say?  Tradition and what?  Penalty of torture upon variation??   M-kay..  Never mind…

Sniffy McBandit comes snooping.

 

Dramarama at Gramma’s



“I arise in the morning torn
between a desire to improve the world
and a desire to enjoy the world.
This makes it hard to plan the day.”

–   E. B. White

Grandma had an awesome birthday.  That is,
awesome if you minus the moment Auntie Irene fainted
in front of her at 4 a.m. in the bleedin’ morning!


Turns out Irene passed out from inadequate hydration. . .
translating to one tiny cup of tea and glass of milk in a 24-hour period. . .



In fact, when Irene slumped to the floor,
and a panicked Gramma tried to call a neighbor,
it was Dr. Tongue who came to the rescue
with a well-placed resuscitating lick across Irene’s mug.

. . . reviving the gal like nobody’s bidness. . .

Grandma praises Tasha’s unexpected EMT skills.

Meanwhile, as the drama unfolded at Grandma’s,
139 miles south in Decorah, Iowa, above the babbling Trout River,
a live webcam with infrared vision illuminated a cozy scene.

Eyrie:  An eagle’s nest.  Pronounced ‘air-ee’ or ‘eye-ree’


Mama and her nesting brood
peacefully snoozing in their half-ton, 6-foot wide eyrie.


With Pops safeguarding the perimeter,
Mama and babies were safe and snug,
gently undulating in the cool night air.

Let’s not blow smoke up anyone’s feathers,
Pops probably took a snooze now and then, too. . .


That afternoon, following Irene’s recovery,

. . .she and Gramma enjoyed Jon’s homage to Glenn Beck’s none-too-soon departure . . .

  Tasha wonders about strange human drinking habits,
including sometimes actually forgetting to drink. . .


Not to mention the curiousities of high-tea etiquette . . .


*     *     *

Far above Decorah’s fish hatchery,
Papa dramatically swooped in and dropped off
some take-out for Mum and kiddies



Two cameras are positioned 4-5 feet above the nest.
One is automated and trained on the nest.
The other can be panned, tilted and zoomed.
As darkness falls, the cam switches
to infrared night-view (invisible to the nest’s occupants!)

*     *     *

On Saturday, while on the way to Silverwood,
Tash and I met a chocolate-point Siamese kitty .

While we stood there staring. . .

the kitty slowly, casually padded towards us. . .

As she and her sapphire eyes came closer and closer. . .

I could not believe the moxie of that little cat
fearlessly coming in within one foot of Tasha . . .

Just as I couldn’t believe Tasha wasn’t trying to pounce on her . . .

To paraphrase Bogie –
“Kitty, I think this is going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. . .”

To paraphrase Captain Renault: “Harrumph.”


In Montana, Tobie is undergoing
major exploration of his delicate leg bones.
His case is a troubling one, mystifying local vets. . .
and setting Sari’s teeth on edge about his seller’s practices. . .

Good luck little Tobie.

And no, this is not a pic of Tobie on hallucinogenics,
just Sari messing with her “CamWow” on her “iPhone.”

Dr. Tongue surveys her lakefront property
for any potential rescuees to practice her CPR skills on.


The Vita Mix master blender Ireney invested in has paid off big time. . .

On Grandma’s b-day she whipped up a cauliflower cream soup, fresh salad dressing,
a very berry smoothie, and home made ice cream from a previous whirring incident.
Even wheat berries were pulverized on behalf of ridiculously fresh whole wheat bread.

Na zdorovlya !

When it came to politics, Dad often quoted Teddy Roosevelt:
“Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

And give it a good chew now and then
just to get yer ya-ya’s out.

Er, I’m not sure T.R. said that last part.

Sigh.

Columbia Dog Park attracts a variety of neighboring pooches. . .

A miniature Penny for your thoughts

“Watchoo want, Chica?”
Wary of strangers?  Definitely, but Penny’s poise
and patience was AKC award-worthy.

Penny throws a smoldering Mata Hari look

For tiny Penny to visit a park filled with significantly bigger peers,
well, the reasons for her wary nature become clearer.

Teja

Penny checks out the alarming mob accumulating behind her.

*     *     *

Comedic chaos starring Jon and Stephen,
a wonderful day viewing Iowa’s eaglets . . .

 and, of course, the vigilance of
alternative-medicine proponent, Dr. Tongue,
culminated in a wonderful day with Grandma. . .


Waking in the middle of the night,
Grandma gravitates to the computer room.


There she stood, transfixed, raptly gazing at the raptors. . .

Thank you beautiful Decorah eagles. . .
for providing a wonderful peek into your lives.

And thank you Raptor Resource Project,
who are live-streaming this amazing spectacle.

http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles

Happy Birthday Gramma,   xoxo

Across town, Ripple drinks in the view from East Bethel . . .

Happy BirthDroid to You. . .


Oh my, our adventurous Sis has taken the plunge and brought the first 4G Android Smart-Ass Phone into our Midwest family circle.  (not counting Josh’s coup in the mountain range).  Of course, even as H was buying it, a newer version was superseding her “Thunderbolt” – namely, the “Bionic.”  Apparently, it’s smart factor may allow it to re-program humans and communicate with life outside the universe.  As we await H’s assessment of the beast, I’m secretly wondering if the Thunderbolt will have graduated to the Terminator by the time my service plan is up . . .

So far, the Thunderbolt lives up to its name – outsmarting all of us and leaving seared knuckles from its use.  H undergoes initial smartphone phobia, but the big test will be on her upcoming train trip to Chicago.  Should be exciting !  She has 30 days to decide if she wants to keep Thunderbolt or throw in the cyber towel, so to speak, and perhaps lower her bandwidth expectations. . .

As Irene tentatively chats up Verizon’s rep,
H fearlessly fondles the powerful technology in her hot little hand.

Reflect on the shock and awe, and aww, let’s face it,
the school-girl delight of a 5-minute crash training course

You put your right foot in, and then your left foot out . . .

. . . take it home and stare fixedly at the machine as it insidiously takes over your life.
Meanwhile, in the background, Grandma pops her legally-prescribed meds.

Back in Montana, Josh has been incredibly cozy with his Droid Incredible for some time.  Sure, he complained about the rapid battery drain, but he now seems quite content to routinely slay the juice-draining apps with his App-Killer program, like every hour or so . . .

Yeah, that’s a lot of constant killing of constantly re-generating apps . .

It’s no secret Sari despises the Android, so unshakeable is her loyalty to her Appletini iPhone …  so much so that when her Mum went the Droid route (lured by the midnight ride and cries of “The 4G is here!  The 4G is here!” by Auntie Ireney), Sari was said to have muttered, “Mom didn’t even try the iPhone !!!”

Shortly after H set off to Chicago, we noticed that the HTC Thunderbolt has some “buggy issues” specifically, with 3G connectivity in non-4G areas . . .

Oy!

Meanwhile, back at Grandma’s, when the Droid was still fresh and new and full of possibilities, H took the time to join Grandma in slurping the savory soup so frightfully delicious, courtesy of new Head Chef, Ireney, and her trusty sous chef, “Vita-Mix Vitale.”

Grandma and Tasha are least impressed with all the Droid noise. . .

~         ~          ~

The verdict won’t be in for a while, as H’s train clickety-clacks into Chicago. . . But she texts a frustrated message that her “internets” have been persona non grata since last night.  Perhaps the buggy issue resides with Amtrak and its select Wi-Fi broadband internet service on Acela express trains only?

 

The day after her birthday, H popped downtown for a “Jewel of India” lunch experience,

. . . before tooling off to visit Macy’s “Towers of Flowers.”

Some towers were more familiar than others.

And no, the show didn’t feature flowered cellular towers . . .

Basically, when it comes to the perfect cell phone, most peeps don’t know what they’re looking for. . . or sometimes, even what they’re looking at.

Most times you just have to take your chances
and steer down into that long unknown road. . .

Thanks H – for being the Lewis & Clark of the Clan.

A Very Sari Christmas a/k/a the Terribly Delicious Cheesecake


Often simple things bring the greatest joy. . .

 

  

 

And sometimes seasonal excess does it for others. . .

 

 

A bit of nog might bring relief from the excess . .

 

especially when your Mum plays you and your siblings like a Steinway piano . . .

 

which is remarkable cause she doesn’t even play the piano

 

 

. . . it’s just to ensure she gets her pain pill

 

**       **       **

 

Hobbled by serious abdominal pain, Josh never made it to Minneapolis or Minot to meet Sari.   When we Skyped with him at Grandma’s, we were shocked at how gaunt and weak he looked.  I’ve never been sick before, he noted calmly, still days before his diagnosis.  He had lost over 30 pounds in two months and doctors were frustratingly slow in discovering what was tearing at his insides.  It’s terrifying because he was just fine the last time we saw him.

Finally, in between tests, Josh ended up in the ER, where doctors began aggressively treating his dehydrated condition.  A scan revealed a blockage in the large intestine which began to suggest Crohn’s Disease – something we’re all suddenly, anxiously trying to read and learn about.  With Josh in a Billings hospital awaiting a diagnosis and Sari stranded in Minot because of a snowstorm, no extra drama is needed from family and friends.

 

 

During our week off, H and I took a trip downtown to pick up a theater ticket for Sari and grab a quick lunch.  While we were out, Grandma panicked everyone by calling Irene at work declaring, “The heat’s not working!”  compelling H to cut our outing short and skedaddle quickly back to Grandma’s.  Of course, when H arrived back at the house, the heat wasn’t out at all . . .  With Grandma’s incessant mom-who-cried-wolf shenanigans, we can never be sure. . .

 

The weather was getting nasty that day too.  No big deal for Grandma.  If  “Pain Pill” isn’t in your sentence, she can’t be bothered.  But if you want to see her move faster than Lance Armstrong, tell her you have her Pain Pill and/or a french fry waiting at the kitchen table.  Not sure which she’ll spring for quicker.

 

**        **        **

 

Back at the office, a week before Christmas, the Pentagon sent Marlin a “Counter-terrorism” desk calendar.

Focusing on state-sponsored terrorists, it’s a “Know-your-Terrorist” day-by-day desk calendar.  Completely surreal yet mind-numbingly fascinating.  Not surprisingly, M squirreled it away in his lair like some office Gutenberg.

 

 

**       **       **

Speaking of terrorists, during intermission at the Woolly Mammoth’s “Barack All Stars” production last summer, just as I exited the women’s room, Rahm “WTF” Emanuel was speedily turning a corner out of the men’s room.   I blinked, double-blinked. 

In the lobby, after deftly stalking the man, I brazenly asked his wife to take a photo of us with my cell.  She was happy and accommodating, clearly enjoying the evening.  When she got his attention, he looked me up and down like a specimen in a petrie dish, briefly waited for me to say something, and upon realizing I was a mute, slid his finger-less arm around me while his wife cheerily snapped the pic.  Sputtering my thanks, I slinked off to show SLF a photo of the President’s then-chief-of-staff.  “Who?” SLF asked, underwhelmed.  When she saw my photo she realized he was the same guy she’d seen laughing just a few rows ahead of her, especially at the “Tiny Terror Rahm” segments. 

In the photo his wife had snapped of me and Rahm, his haunting, spooky mobster-eyes were closed !  Oy!  No!

**       **       **


On Sari’s first day in town, we rumbled up to Albertville, famed for the third largest outlet in the US, and where some really ugly stuff can suddenly, disturbingly begin to appear beautiful, due to some wierd chic outlet hypnosis.  Possibly due to dehydration and resulting temporary dizziness.

 

The polar fleece sweater Josh nixed due to its “moss green” color.  “I’ll never wear it,” he texted frankly to Sari, who had carefully picked it out with her love of neutrals.  After inadvertently insulting her color sense, Josh texted back, “I’d rather you returned it and got your  money back.”   “He has no clue what’s a good color,” she carped, as she tromped back to Eddie Bauer’s …

S negotiates a secret deal with H.

Food, drink and general sustenance did not seem to be
a consideration in the creation of the sprawling Albertville outlet…
Adding to the dehydration and dizziness

 

 

With a few Dog Whisperer strokes, Tasha dissolves into “sleep mode”…

 

 

On Xmas Eve, H holds up a spectacular Afghani bread from Holy Land Bakeries.
“Hurry up,” she snarled, “People are looking at me.”

 

 

The random series of numbers that garnered 500 clams for H. . .
and briefly sent her into hyperventilation. . .

 

John gifted us four tickets for Billy Elliott on Xmas Day.  Since H had already seen the Chicago production, and someone had to stay with Grandma, we had an extra ticket.  Outside the theater, a homeless young man with a beautiful voice was singing a capella, shilling for change.  We should give him our extra ticket, Sari says.  After a bit of encouragement, she went out and handed it to him.   He gave her a beautiful smile, but we suspected he might not show up in case he tried to sell the ticket.  But just before the curtain rose, he slid into the seat next to Sari, doffed his cap and watched the over-heated Elton John production with us.  During intermission, he told us he had just lost his job and was living down the block at the Salvation Army.  He also ran out during intermission to sing to some of the smokers, and after the show to take advantage of the crowd spilling out.

During Sari’s visit, we endured yet another obscene amount of snowfall . . .

 

 

. . . which Tasha appreciated.

To be honest, T-Bone’s extreme snowball obsession was starting to frighten child and beast alike.  With a little help from Sari’s calm and assertive tossing technique tips, Tasha’s delirium tremens visibly mellowed and the snow ball catches became a bit of zen funness for both tosser and tossee !

 

The snow that had no more place to go –
other than trucking the excess over to Wisconsin. . .

 

Tasha looks for Sky, a sweet Golden Retriever neighbor, whom she loves to taunt

 

 

H sprays T-Bone with some record-breaking snowfall.

 

 

Irene and Tashy head out to visit Joyce, visiting from Texas.
“Yeah, I don’t think it’s me she wants to see,” Irene quips.

 

 

Tasha is clueless about her charms.
Part of her charm

 

 

H and T-Bone share a quiet moment.

 

If you have snowball in hand, Tasha will do anything you ask. . .
Anything. . .  Even a David Blaine magical act . . .

 

 

her jumps near magical . . .

 

In the shadows, Tasha ponders kaleidescopic lights…

 

 

Walking around Huset Park, where some lights kept intriguingly changing colors. . .  Tasha sniffed around awhile until a dog from the lower level of the apartment starting yapping and growling like mad, forcing us to leave.

 

 

Driving downtown to see the Santaland Diaries the next night, I goofed up the time the play started, so Irene sped downtown while H and S drove back from South Minneapolis to meet us, where they had just dug out out our snowed-in driveway.

The actor playing the Macy’s elf  was very likeable.  We kept marveling at how he could remember David Sedaris’ lengthy monologue. . .

The setting was intimate, warm and cozy, I mean really warm, like in fall-asleep-over-one-toddy-kind-of-warm, in your  circular early-Guthrie style seats.

Afterwards we went out to eat, tricky, as a lot of restaurants were losed the day after Christmas.  The Sample Room was open and looked intriguing.  The mugshot of a baby-faced Sinatra posted between the men’s and ladies’ rooms was a little exciting for a Frankophile.

 

With fabulous culinary instinct, H ordered the best thing on the menu — a bleu cheese chicken burger.  So good, Sari quickly ordered herself an additional meal.  In the meantime, I tried my “sample’ plates consisting of a hilariously tiny piece of Rochambeau cheese (one-half ounce of ‘stinky’ cheese with a schmear of cranberry sauce and honey), a tuna carpaccio drenched in a sweetish pond of soy, and a wee dish of roasted root vegetables, all of which combined to give me a sample of stomach cramps. . . .

Irene’s Reuben sandwich, which looked dark and mysterious upon arrival, had so much gristle, she was unable to enjoy or finish it.  Unwilling to bash it when the waiter came by to ask how everything was, she asked the waiter to remove the plate.  When Sari’s burger finally arrived, she split it with Irene.  If you knew Sari’s hormonal feeding frenzies, you’d understand the magnitude of the gesture. . . .

Josh was the unspoken elephant in the room.  Everyone was worried about him.  At the time, we were worrying it was taking so long for him to get checked out and no one seemed to be taking his symptoms seriously.  Not just the doctors, but his boss.

 

Tasha has a natural insatiable curiosity for many things.
Teaches you to appreciate the wisdom of quiet time
and sharpening your observation skills…

 

 

Sari’s visit was highlighted by the made-from-scratch
cheesecake she worked on like a mad scientist.
The kind of cheesecake where like seriously stealthy,
hard-core cheeseheadsare caught stealing tastes
before its ten-hour cooling period is up…

 

 

One night, we watched South Park’s spoof of the Food Network.
Stan’s dad, Randy, gets unnaturally hooked on cooking shows,
and especially on the all-purpose ingredient, “Creme Fraiche. . .”

 

Simultaneously, Randy’s wife gets hooked on the “shake weight”. . .
Hilarious circular genius the way
the South Park boys tie the stories together.

Especially funny to watch
with a Food Network junkie…

 *     *     *

ps:   Speaking of good laughs, check out “Drunk History”
with Will Ferrell and Don Cheadle on youtube
as Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. . .

Choice !

(thanks Firenze)

 

Bonne Annee mon petit chou chous !

 

Feel Better Soon Josh    xoxox

All Hallows’ Eve in the Hood


 

 

Nothing starts a Halloween weekend out. . .

 

. . . like a cordial greeting from your neighbor

 

 

Back at Grandma’s, Auntie skillfully
sketches a scary mug for the jack-o’-lantern

 

And H helps screw Aragon onto Auntie’s noggen
before Dawson, Dee, and Alissa drop by.

 

 

In our attempt to frighten the Bethel
out of our unsuspecting visitors. . .

 

. . .we didn’t figure Dawson might be
fully equipped to scare the Heights out of us. . .

 

We’re still not sure how he did it,
but in one fell swoop,
Dawson had transformed
out of his diabolical scrubs

 

All the better to greet Tasha, who was, let’s say,

 

a bit excited over the gang’s visit. . .

 

Admiring the handiwork . . .

 

Dawson develops an attachment to T
as proud Sis looks on

 

After running Tasha ragged in Grandma’s backyard. . .

 

in his spare time,
Dawson composed and performed
a terrifying tune on Grandma’s piano. . .

Reviews were somewhat mixed. . .

 

Pink Buttercup on the left was the first trick-or-treater
after Dawson, and ironically, was the first to run screaming in terror
back down the walkway without taking any candy !!

What scared her?  Try the big bad Nikon D100 lens pointed at her face !
I asked the whole group, is it okay if I take your picture??
Not thinking for a moment anyone would beg to disagree,
namely in a “Whaaaaa  AAaaaahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  fashion. . . .

“Pardon her,” Buttercup’s mum says a bit sheepishly,
“she’s scared of cameras right now.”

Good thing we didn’t recommend they visit the
House on 37th and its Chilling Canned Goods Charity Drive . . . .

Sheesh

 

A couple of hurly burly characters joined our Halloween haunt . . .

 

Namely Which Witch and, of course, cuddly Demon Dog . . .

 

 

a/k/a “WW”

 

Looking like she’s been rolled in a rubbish bin,
Arachnid Auntie may have assisted in WW’s transformation,
but she’s kinda secretly gettin’ freaked out by it now. . .

 

We all were . . . (except Grandma,
who thought we all looked normal)

 

Making some last minute adjustments to her minions. . .

The same minions that nearly blew away
to kingdom come after the previous week’s freak storms

And who had to be re-positioned for Halloween fright night. . .
Although its butt-freezingness was a bit challenging,
the weather couldn’t have been more crispily creepily calm.

 

T-Bird’s crimson collar and ghostly green oculars
just added to her cache.

One little boy was like, fuhgeddabout the candy,
“I wanna see the doggie . . .”

 


Bored, WW scares herself. . .

 

 

 

Lookit !  Scary lady with Camera. . .
Or is it Scary Camera with Lady. . .
Seriously, what is going on . . .

 

Candy-crazy critters cower on Grandma’s front lawn. . .
while a shifty chaperone skulks on the sidelines

Yikes

 

Irene’s jack-o’-lanterns turned out kinda amazing!

.     .     .

WW’s nose begins to noticeably droop
as the night wore on,
but it’s not like it hadn’t been falling off all night
at the most inconvenient times. . .

Causing WW to morph into
Zombie-Leper Lady every so often. . .

 

Well, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. . .

 

While Irene held the fort at Grandma’s
WW and I ventured out to explore neighboring haunts. . .

 

The most amazing place we visited was on 37th Avenue,
a house H had seen earlier in the day being transformed
with a false front maize and an intriguing cast of characters. . .

 

Greeting guests was a 7-foot Executioner wielding a medieval spike . . .

For a medieval executioner, he was very courteous. . .

 

Behind these ropey vines. . .

 

lay some really scary creatures . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

This scene from “The Ring” really spooked me
it was so effective, with the strobe lights
eerily mimicking the well-dwelling
ghost’s herky-jerky movements

 

Insane Clown Posse was on hand. . . and feet. . .
and toes. . .

 

 

At the end, the casket of canned goods. . .

 

 

. . . plus a thousand-pound pumpkin
(amazingly carved that same day at a nearby home)
were the high points of the night . . .

 

 

Oh by the way, thanks for visiting
before my nose dropped off . . .

 

Tip :

 

If you’re hungry,
make sure you eat BEFORE 
the Made in China face paint
is slapped all over your kisser . . .