Greetings! It's no big secret how much I love Fall.....I love every single thing about this time of year. From the falling leaves and the beauty of the changing colors to the cooler temperatures and the cooking of savory comfort food, what's not to love? I also love Halloween. Our church, which is wonderful and one that I fundamentally trust and believe in, isn't necessarily a big Halloween advocate. In fact, we will be at Confirmation Classes on the 31st and there will be no Trick-or-Treating for my two youngest. Of course, at 12 and 14, they are probably a bit old for TorT'ing. At any rate, church discussions about this interesting holiday gave me pause and I started wondering why Halloween is so special to me. And then, I remembered. My mother absolutely loved Halloween. She loved decorating for the holiday - nothing scary, just lots of pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns and maybe a funny witch or ghost. When I was in elementary school, mom reveled in helping me find a great costume. We had very little money, so I was an adult before I owned a store-bought costume, but mom would find things around the house and her imagination was unlimited in what she could devise from things like coffee grounds (a beard for the bum costume), construction paper (a witch's hat) or her very own make-up from Mary Kay (clown face make-up). One year, we discovered that the dress on my almost life-sized Raggedy Ann doll fit me perfectly. Mom carefully, removed the doll's orange yarn hair for my own head, I wore the dress and took 2nd place in the costume contest at school. Not a penny was spent!
Not every holiday was like this. My mother suffered her entire life from deep, saddening depression. Most Thanksgivings, mom would cook a huge meal and then spend the rest of the day in her room with the door closed. Christmas was especially hard her. Many years, there were no gifts, some years, no Christmas tree. Mom spent much of the holidays alone in her room, in a dark place, I can't even begin to imagine now and certainly didn't understand at the time. For some strange reason, Halloween was different and because of the blessings we always had during this time of year, Halloween will always be a special holiday for me.
I also started and all but finished this adorable stitchery last year, so early this week, I finished the second letter "e" and the "n", added a few borders and voila!
Michael's Craft Store had all of their Halloween stuff 50% off yesterday (it's only October 18th, right??) and so Maddie and I picked up these neat-o Martha Stewart crows. Maddie promptly came home and flocked our home.
Maddie's cat thought she had to get in on the action, too.
Can you see Bitsy's new little black and orange collar? She jingles when she walks now, so we can always hear her coming. She spent a good portion of the afternoon attacking the crows....I'm still not sure she realized they are not real.
While Maddie was flocking, I whipped up these "Itty Bitty Nutella Cakes", with a quick and easy recipe from the Pioneer Woman's blog. http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/page/2/ Check it out, there are simple, quick and absolutely mouth-watering! By the way, we added thin mint chips to garnish the top and my-oh-my......
I know that Halloween can be considered a dark arts inspired holiday. I know that some people do bad things on Halloween. But for me, Halloween was a blessing that God gave my mother, a time when she could be creative and happy. It was a time for her to spend with me and for just a short time, she had a reprieve from the grips of grief and depression. I love Halloween and always will. For me, it will always be a blessing from above.
Until next time,