If even I’m testy, I guess we could all use a break. No politics, please. That’s a please with a hard F bomb.
The rain has been pretty good to the nearest wildlife preserve and runoff pond. I managed to hurt my ribs trying to move the seat of the leg curl machine. Story of my fitness life. Injuries from lifting? Nope. Injuries from bumping into equipment or trying to adjust equipment? Tons. The upside is rediscovering the local greenbelt paths since rib injuries hurt, y’all! 0/10, would not recommend. But I would recommend talking a nice walk in your local green spaces. They’re ours, take advantage of them.
It was another solo holiday at Chez Mara. But since I usually hang out with my friends at their house where we eat, give out candy and watch Nightmare Before Christmas, I decided to make them a dessert. That’s Honeynut Squash, because Pumpkin is for soup. Came out pretty good, had way too much leftover filling so I added an egg, poured it into a graham cracker crust and made a dense little cheesecake for my housemate. Kids are pretty polite, you know. They don’t grab a ton of candy. They take just enough and that’s it. Unfortunately, that means I got a lot of candy left. I set up a little Dia de Los Muertos to reflect on my mom and all those lost this year. Felt a little necessary.
Obligatory cat pics. Proof of living their best lives. How was your Hallow’s?
A very solo holiday for me as well: I have had trick or treaters exactly once, in all the 23 years I’ve been in this house, and that was when I first moved in. So, 20+ years of no trick or treaters.
As I do every year, I had a little bit of candy on hand, because the year I have none whatsoever is the year a few kids will show up. Somehow.
Your kitties are gorgeous.
Major Major Major Major
Kitties!! What a couple of floofsters.
I went as Waldo for Halloween, was fun. I very rarely dress up so this was a lot for me lol. https://twitter.com/tynanpants/status/1454296673912598530?s=21
I also have a short story out in a magazine this month. I’ll do a post on it once it’s also available free on their website. I had to reread it to make sure it was good and I’m pleased to report it is! One of the other ones in that issue is a great read too.
Where is your North Pond?
Thank you for this.
We had leftover candy too, but not as much as usual (thank goodness!). Our pooch Ellie loves Halloween – she snuffles around on the walk, finding dropped candy. I had to dig a Jolly Rancher lollypop our of her mouth yesterday… ;-)
You’ve been missed. Post more often, please.
I’m living on my parents’ horse ranch. The house is down a long driveway with trees and bushes to obfuscate the view. We didn’t have a kid the entire night. Well, unless you count my nephews. The candy is pretty much so Grandma can spoil them. And oh does she ever!
EDIT: I am NOT going to post the obvious song. Nope. Not me. Nahgunnahappen.
Made about two gallons of chili, fire pit in the driveway, bunch of kids, hot chocolate with Calvados poured in it. What’s not to like?
I discovered a nature park on one of my walks earlier this year.
It’s off of a major street here in Chicago, but if you’re far enough into the paved perimeter path, you can’t hear the traffic. It’s got a bunch of native (I think) grasses, a pond, ducks, geese, deer roam in sometimes. There are a few sitting areas on and off the pond shore.
Good birding too. I’ve seen a guy there a few times with a long lens camera pointed at the trees.
West Ridge Nature Park (Ardmore and Western)
What, this one or something else?
A friend a few miles from here said he had 100 trick or treaters! And he’s not the type to exaggerate. I guess he lives on the same block as one of the well known super-decorator houses. Also obviously a neighborhood that is popular with young families. It’s a sweet part of town.
We did the scurrilous dark-house thing. Our little townhouse community is all retired people except for maybe two or three people (my partner being one of the working). The neighborhood is also older folks for the most part. And our shared driveway is tucked off the side of a not-busy street.
If I bought candy, even stuff I like (which, admittedly, is a fairly broad range of tasty treats) I’d worry that I’d eat most of it. If my partner’s church was doing in-person stuff, we could always give the excess for their Sunday School program, but that’s more or less on hiatus too
Next year, maybe we’ll give it a try – or go to a party. This wasn’t the year for us. S’okay.
Zero trick or treaters in our 55 plus community. I did give my 90-year-old neighbor Henry a Basil Hayden on the rocks after we met at the mailboxes. I love old Henry, he calls me “son”. My wife decorates for every holiday, Henry liked her hand-painted pumpkins and her ghost trio. Had a good discussion with our gardeners, they told me how they celebrated their ancestors on the ‘Day of the Dead. Ernesto even got a little teary after he told about his conversation with his grandma in Mexico. He and his partner are good people.
Care to share some details?
Went to my parents’ for Halloween. Fair amount of treat or treaters.
We had Calypso shrimp and vegetable spring rolls for dinner, and watched Psycho on TCM.
I stayed up and watched Cat People early in the morning.
You had a birthday a few days ago, and I failed to acknowledge it on the day. Hope it was a good one, with the coming year better than any that have preceded it!
Not a single trick or treater here for the second year in a row. There are lots of kids in my neighborhood and we used to get between a handful and a few dozen of the little miscreants, but now they go to the few fashionable neighborhoods that go all out on decorations and treats instead of staying local. I got candy, but stuck to kinds I like since I figure it will all eventually be stuck to me.
Ruemara, that recipe sounds divine and I actually have on hand everything shown in the picture. I always stock up on TJ’s puff pastry when they have it for the holidays. I used it to make cheese and blueberry danishes this past weekend. Sorry about your mom. It’s hard.
I dig this tune.
It’s raining, I’m groovin’.
@SiubhanDuinne: I managed to not be in the hospital for the second time* on my birthday so that was a plus. Not to mention I would have possibly been 45+ miles away in Walla Walla if they had accepted me. Was not meant to be. I got overruled in eating at the Filipino restaurant (we have a recovering puppy** who can’t be left alone at the house) so we got a whole mess of Chinese takeaway from our usual spot. I got an ice cream cake. Wasn’t bad at all.
And thank you! I didn’t make too much of a fuss about it on here mostly on purpose. I did mention it in a thread or two but I didn’t really want too much attention.
* First time was in 2005 when they were trying to get my immune system from attacking my spine. So. Many. Steroids.
** Poor pupper got run over. He had to be taken to the nearest vet school (which is also my alma mater) for surgery on his leg. Fortunately the way it broke it could be pinned back together rather neatly. But he needs to be restricted on his movement for four weeks after. My birthday was six days after his surgery.
Major Major Major Major
@Yutsano: well happy belated and unannounced birthday!
Well, congratulations on not being hospitalised! I once had surgery on December 31, and even though I
am not a fan ofhate NY Eve, I felt surprisingly resentful at being incarcerated with tubes and bland food on a holiday.
Poor puppeh. I hope his recovery is smooth, rapid, and complete.
Our Dia de los Muertos party would have been tomorrow night, but we’ve had to cancel it for another year because still way too much ‘Rona circulating and our house would have been a petri dish. I did set up a very small offrenda and lit candles and had a quiet, somber remembrance. Next year….hopefully, come what may.
@Yutsano: Happy belated birthday! And even happier not-in-the-hospital birthday! So sorry to hear about the pup. Good luck keeping him from doing puppy things, and best wishes for a swift and complete recovery.
Make it up as I go along, but this iteration was as I recall – literally in this case, this is off the top of my head:
I use a 10 quart stockpot, ymmv.
2 lb ground chuck
1 lb chorizo
4 (or was it 5?) 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
2 green bell peppers diced
1 red bell pepper diced
2 medium spanish onions diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 40 oz can chili hot beans
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Brown ground chuck and chorizo in separate skillet, set aside to drain.
Add diced tomatoes to stockpot, add all spices. (NOT the minced garlic, you numpties!) Set on medium low.
Add browned ground chuck and chorizo to stockpot.
Saute peppers, onion and minced garlic until onion is translucent, add to stockpot.
Cover and simmer one hour.
Add chili hot beans and for FSSM’s sake don’t forget to stir them in. Cover and simmer another hour. Simmer in my instance means getting the lot to barely bubbling once it’s thoroughly heated, going from maybe 3 when tomatoes are first heating to Low after everything is in on an electric range. Speaking of heat, this will warm you up, one way or another.
@danielx: Nice! Thanks!
I’m worried I’m gonna miss out on another Xmas with my friends, and that sucks too.
I did edit the post a little about temps and such, but that’s it. Got four big freezer containers for cold lazy nights.
@danielx: Cool. I’ll have to see how big my stock pot is.
Haven’t made a big batch of chili or stew in a couple years.
@HumboldtBlue: What a wonderful song and video…
Groovin’ (even if me, the most foul-mouthed fuck around) could do without the fuck, it’s the piano and keyboards that kill it…
@HumboldtBlue: Just so easy on the ears.
I had over 100 kids on Sunday and ran out of candy. NO leftovers! Had to turn off the lights and hide upstairs after about 7:15p.
@mrmoshpotato: Thanks for the reninder about stew. Now that it is cold again I need to make some.
Yeah, no trick or treaters at my place either. I think the city trick or treat day might have been Saturday, and we had them at the market. I bought two bags of the mini KitKats just in case, and will pass them on to a friend instead of eating them myself.
@Another Scott: Agree, Rumara! Wish you posted more.
@Yutsano: Belated Happy Birthday! You and the pup get better soon!
I’ve been rediscovering the wonderful English pop band that was Prefab Sprout. The ‘Steve McQueen’ album is a near masterpiece of 1980s English pop music. Check ’em out. Next up on my list, 1980s Australian pop masters, Go-Betweens.
Getting ready for winter here, we are already in our 4 months of short days or as I call it The Dark. I have 5 cords of firewood with one more coming so that will be more than enough to get me and Bella through until spring.
I don’t get trick or treaters here because I have a steep dark sketchy driveway and it’s 5 miles from town, the kids know better and stick closer to town.
I am very thankful for having a roof over our heads and to be able to live in a beautiful place.
No costumed visitors this year because we did not put up the usual decorations and turned off the outside lights to hunker down in the living room. My wife did make a Halloween gift bag of candy for each of the young kids who live next door. We exchanged the candy for donuts with them in the morning.
We will, however, be hosting Thanksgiving for a total of seven or eight members of the fam. Preparations have already started. My daughter’s family doesn’t want turkey and are in charge of bringing steak and other protein (our ten year old granddaughter is vegetarian) but I just may do a small bird anyway. The last couple of years, I made Alton Brown’s turkey recipe to rave reviews.
Foodwise, I baked then grilled some St. Louis style ribs two days ago. My wife, who is becoming less carnivorous these days, said they were the best I ever made but I am too modest to agree. The meat is long gone but the pup is enjoying the bones.
Halloween story: the great Eric Boehlert, political commentator, had 1,200 kids come by. He had video of the steady stream. Must cost a fortune. We don’t celebrate it here,but it does seem to be becoming international.
We had a robust trick-or-treat crowd this year–maybe not the biggest we’ve had, but they kept coming through the city’s designated two-hour period. I was wondering if there would be pent-up demand since they canceled official trick or treat last year, or if people would be reluctant to come out. Turned out kind of typical in volume.
Usually it’s more front-loaded, but usually we hold it on the closest Saturday so we’re not competing with towns that do it on Halloween proper. This year, Saturday was rained out so they actually did move it to Sunday, and I think some kids were getting shuttled into our neighborhood after hitting others.
I didn’t keep count but we often get around 100 kids showing up, so that’s what I buy for.
I was dithering about precisely how to manage the candy distribution but ultimately decided to just put a mask on and hand out candy on the front stoop as usual.
I moved 4 miles last year. Used to get tons of kids. Even in buildings with >1 unit, people (including me) would sit out front and hand out candy. Lots of casual socializing between kids and adults.
In my new neighborhood, despite having quite a few kids, I had no trick or treaters. The entire street was dead all evening and night. Turns out you have to sign up on a neighborhood Facebook group or Nextdoor saying you’re going to give out candy. Wtf? People don’t just give out candy as a matter of course? And I’m not on Facebook nor will I join Nextdoor since as a POC in a neighborhood with its share of “We support our law enforcement officers” signs, I don’t want to deal.
Consequently, I have way too much leftover candy and I’m a little depressed about my new neighborhood.
J R in WV
So last fall Wife was in the rock garden dealing with weedy volunteers, lost her balance, sat down hard, broke two ribs! Was miserable, doc felt her back, said, “Yep, these two are borken, go to the imaging center to be sure. Nothing to do for it but sit up straight and don’t do anything, otherwise lay flat in bed.”
They don’t wrap broken ribs any more, it can cause pneumonia, which with borked ribs would be agony!
J R in WV
We live in the way out country and the farm road up into the woods where our house is is like nearly 1/2 a mile long, you can’t see the house from the county road. Since we moved out here, even whenw e still lived in the old farmhouse right on the road, never a trick-or-treater.
We used to go to ‘Eve parties, sometimes did dress up, those parties people were like pro level costumes! But that was in the long ago and far away times.
One guy came as a dog one year, deep into his role, late that night when the cops came (they always did, it was noisy but harmless) he actually went out to the cruiser on all fours and pee’d on the rear wheel. The cops were a mix of awed by the role playing and grossed out, left then, never came back, we beat them with play acting! ;-)