Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pumpkin Carving Part Two

Isaac and I were invited to another pumpkin carving party with a bunch of our friends. We had food and wine and we put on Halloween movies and carved pumpkins!

One of the movies we watched was Sleepy Hollow, an old favorite of mine. This led to tons of head puns, which was exceedingly entertaining! There may have been a little competition going on. Some were very clever, some were kind of lame, but had to be said, and a few were just terrible. "Looks like he will never get a-head in life." "Don't let it go to your head." "He was head-ed in a bad direction."

Isaac and I shared a pumpkin again. We wanted to stay with our magical places theme (we did a Hogwarts pumpkin a couple weeks ago). So we carved this:
Mordor!
Here are all of our pumpkins lit up:
Fun pumpkins!

It doesn't quite look like Mordor, but that's OK.
We love pumpkin carving around here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Story of Zombies

Despite my love of Halloween, I can't stand zombies. The blood and gore is disgusting and sometimes zombies scare me and give me nightmares.

I have never seen a zombie movie or show, though I have caught glimpses. I see people dressed up as zombies and many people are very into zombies and it always makes me feel faintly nauseous.

The only zombie stories I read were the Sabriel books, which are horrifying, but also beautifully written (I actually am in love with the Abhorsen necromancer bells... That's probably the main reason I read them). The first time I read Sabriel, I really struggled with some of the dead monsters though.

One book, "The Tower of Ravens" by Kate Forsyth, deals with a necromantic lord who is so obsessed with returning his family to life that he captures children from the villages, kills them, and brings them back to a semblance of life. The zombie children are not even evil or our for blood/brains, but return to their villages at night to cry for their parents.

Besides making me cry, this book also gave me such horrible zombie dreams that I put it down for over a year before going back to finish it. Sadly, that is a normal relationship for me and this series. I started the second book in that series two years ago and got to page 35 before I stopped because it made me anxious. She's a great writer and I love her first series--one day I will finish this one!

Anyway, I have a rough time with zombies. And then a friend from Starbucks invited me to a skating party (she was a derby girl, so she goes to these events). I had been wanting to go for ages and never could because I worked so early, so I jumped at the chance. Except that the theme was zombie night. Ugh.

I am not one for passing up an opportunity to dress up, however, so I did some research and went to a thrift store.

I came out with leggings, a slightly stained and used-to-be-nice tunic top and faded-looking jean jacket.

When I got home, I cut holes in all my clothes and tore the hems of the shirt:
Leggings, holes not included (like my fuzzy slippers?)
The top was a sort of jersey cotton type material that was easy to tear. I didn't need scissors for this. I did cut holes in the top as well.
The top came with a tie which I promptly cut like so before tying it on.
I actually dusted my shelves with the shirt, too. It helped make it look dirty and helped my shelves at the same time!

The jean jacket already looked faded, but I took a razor blade to the edges to try and make it look more ragged:
The jean material was a little tougher to work with. And it will be a cute jacket just to wear on its own.
I did my hair up in an approximation of a nice hair style that got messed up while in the grave. 

I didn't have any good makeup for a zombie, so I did what I could, but Ashley made me up like a true zombie! She's very artistic and she did an AWESOME job (though it kind of grossed me out, too). I hope this picture does her work justice:
It doesn't do her work justice... She did that nasty, vein-y bruise on my neck and made my eyes look gross.
So there you have it: zombie Samara. On the plus side, I now have a zombie costume in case I ever need one again...

I threw all of this together in a couple of hours. I would recommend more time, but zombies are pretty easy.

And the skating party was super fun! I had my roller blades, and my friends had or rented roller skates. And we just skate around! It was lots of fun!

Monday, October 27, 2014

And Then There Were None

Today my little Remus died. It was very sudden and unexpected. He had been doing really well and acting normally. His appetite was still good and he was still lively and playful. I am not sure if it was a seizure, heart attack, stroke, or what, but it was fast and a little scary. But it was over quickly.
I took this picture of him today, shortly before his episode. I was telling him that he was going to be my witch's familiar for Halloween. He looked unimpressed.

The attack or whatever happened very quickly, but I called the vet to tell them we were coming in because he was having trouble breathing right after. He had stopped breathing by the time my shoes were on, but I ran him to the vet anyway. There was nothing they could do. I was able to say goodbye to him and he will be sent to be cremated.
Such an unhappy, wet rat. But cute.
It's so sad that such great little creatures live so short a time. Despite that, I love little animals and I hope that I will be able to have more rats again one day. It's hard not to fall in love and become a rat person.
video
Sometimes Remus just wanted to be with me.

I think I will miss talking to Remus the most, followed shortly by cuddling with him (though he was not always much of a cuddler), and sharing my food. Who will I share my food with now? I always give him a little tortilla in the mornings and a little bread when I make sandwiches. I always share my fruit and veggies with him and I loved it when he climbed all over me to try to get to my food.
video

It was so surprising that I think it will take a while to sink in. Everything was sudden and fast. I am so sad and heartbroken. The first thing I said when he was fading was, "I'm not ready." But I guess that's silly--who is ready to lose someone? I just thought I had more time with him.
I hope my boys are reunited, at least.
What I wouldn't give to share my food with him again. I miss my rats so much. Love you, little Remus.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pumpkin Carving

"I wouldn't change places
With anyone tonight
We'll carve pumpkin faces
And watch the witches flight"
~"Anything Can Happen on Halloween" by Tim Curry

We had some lovely family members (Liz and Peter--I'm talking about you) invite Isaac and I over to carve pumpkins. They went to a local pumpkin patch and got several (mostly very large) pumpkins. We went over and had pumpkin pie and warm cider, both appropriate choices.
We had lots of fun fighting through the thick walls of our pumpkins and looking at carving ideas online. Some people do amazing things with pumpkins!

Anyway, we had a fun, laid-back evening. Liz and Peter carved cute faces into their pumpkins.
Liz working on her pumpkin face.

Peter's pumpkin

Isaac and I shared a pumpkin and eventually decided to do a silhouette of the Hogwarts castle on ours. Because we are nerds.
Hogwarts!

Then we had to light them, of course.
Don't they look good?!

Anyone else have fun carvings this year?

Monday, October 13, 2014

One Last NDK 2014 Post

We got out pictures back from our photo shoot! I wanted to share some because this is the first time that we have hired a photographer and because it was silly and fun.

First of all, the photos were taken by Leanne of Shutter Crazy Photos. The link is to their Facebook page. Please let me know if you want more information in order to hire her. She was very fun and silly and (luckily for us) full of photo ideas.

These are just a few of our group pictures. I hope you like them! It was a pretty fabulous group!

We are pretty cute.
Butt shot! But you can see our beautiful bows.
We took several spinning shots. This was one of the few good ones were you can see all of our faces.
Walking like models!
There are more in small groups, individuals, and some derp-y ones. But I wanted to show us all off in all of our silly glory. I hope you enjoyed!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Six Days Into October

Yes, we are only six days into the wonderful month of Halloween.

Yet, I have already finished In the Stone Circle (which I haven't read for years, but it still scared me at parts and I still cried at the end). I have already made a sizable dent in The Graveyard Book. I perused my bookshelf for more potential October reads. Here is what I found:

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, by Josephine Leslie aka R.A. Dick, which is not spooky, but it is still a ghost story.
Practical Magic, by Alice Hoffman, which I started about three years ago and never finished because it scared me. If the book is good enough, I will return to it, even after a few years. I'm odd that way.
Plum Spooky, by Janet Evanovich. It is a Stephanie Plum In Between the Numbers book. It should be silly. I haven't read it before.

If you are interested in following my reading journeys, you can find me on GoodReads. I love that website.

I put all of my Halloween music on my iPod and iPhone and have listened to everything at least once.

Today I babysat my niece and we watched The Addams Family and The Haunted Mansion. These are the first Halloween movies I have watched this season. And my sister lent me The Munsters movies which I haven't actually seen before (or if I have, I don't remember).

And here is an awesome picture of my niece that her mama took:
 Aww! I love this picture. She totally belongs in our family.

I also had to take this:
Aww! Halloween rattie picture! You know I can't resist.

In non-Halloween related news, my sister and I got to go see Cavalia Odesseyo on Saturday (thanks for the tickets, Mom!). Here is their website: Cavalia. It was awesome! I saw it last time it was here, which was four or so years ago, I think. And I remember some of it, but I wasn't in a good place (emotionally and mentally), I think, and I don't remember as much as I should...

Some of my favorite routines didn't involve horses at all. There was one with a carousel that gymnasts danced and performed on. They are so strong! And the carousel went around and some of the poles went around in circles or moved up and down. It was very neat. Another favorite was the gymnasts who swing on and do tricks with the big rings up in the air. They looked like fairies!
One of the gymnasts on the ring. Picture from www.calgaryherald.com
More ring gymnasts. Picture from www.edmontonsun.com
The carousel dancers! Picture from www.rockinmama.net
Kema and I really enjoyed it when the people led the horses (without any tack or halters on). Then they joined up to form larger groups until one person was leading 3 to 4 horses. Despite having many groups out there, the horses stayed with their person. That takes serious training and dedication, I think. And Kema and I decided that we want to have horse shadows, so we each need a couple of horses... but that's beside the point.
One guy leading his four horses. Picture from www.tomonair.com
The point is, that the show was awesome, and we really enjoyed it! Also, their music was all live and absolutely amazing! I kind of want the soundtrack. If you have the chance to see it, I hope you take it!

So far, October has been pretty awesome. And Blood of Olympus comes out tomorrow! Not that I'm excited...

More Halloween and October posts to come!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October is Here!

And we know what that means, right? Halloween time!

I try to put up my Halloween decorations on the fall equinox, but I was a few days late. I got most of them up on September 27th.

This also means that it is time to set aside all of the books I am currently reading in favor of more Halloween-themed books!

Here is what is on my list for this month:
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I always read this one, but I can't have October without it.
My personal copy with my bookmark sticking out the side...
In the Stone Circle by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. This is an old favorite, but it has been many years since I last read it.
It is a little loved around the edges and corners.
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters. This is a new one, also a young adult book, but it sounds good. It is on order and should be here soon.
And I may throw in some Sabriel by Garth Nix because I have it on audiobook. I should have time and it is definitely creepy enough to be a Halloween book.

My only deviation will be Blood of Olympus when that comes out (October 7th). I already have the audiobook on my list to purchase and I absolutely cannot wait for it! It is not Halloween, but it is the last book in the series and I have been eagerly awaiting it since I finished House of Hades last year.

Anyone else have favorite Halloween books?