Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to each of you! Last week we had our annual soup & pumpkin carving party. It is a byop (bring your own pumpkin) gathering. We have two or three different soups and people bring side dishes to share. I make my traditional hot cider, which fills the house with the aroma of cinnamon and apples when people arrive. It tasted especially good this year since the temperatures dropped quickly and we got our first snow of the season that day. Fair warning… it is another picture overload post. I may just give this type of post the acronym “POP.”

We enjoy a casual meal together and then bring out the stencils, knives, candles and pumpkins to create a little Halloween magic. It is fun to see what different designs everyone comes up with. The great thing is that the young, old and in between can participate. My 96-year-old dad even got in on the action. Since he wasn’t up for carving, he decided to draw a smiling face on his pumpkin. (I remember that my mom always wanted him to carve happy pumpkins instead of scary ones.)

What holiday isn’t more fun with kids?

This is where grandkids, or any other children you can find, come in very handy. You get to experience their excitement and imagination, ramp them up on candy and then send them home with their parents. Life is good being a grandparent. We live out in the country, so we don’t get any trick-or-treaters unless they are Harry Potter and a Zombie Cheerleader.

Aside from our darling new granddaughter, we have another new addition to our family. Son #4 got a new puppy, and he is adorable. I love dogs, but we just don’t feel like we want the responsibility for one at this point in our retirement since we still want to do some traveling. So, it works perfectly that our kids have pets; we get our dog fix and then send them home. Kinda like being a grandparent… all of the fun without all of the work and responsibility.

The hit of the evening is when Mr. U, aka “Bops” to the grandkids, pulls out the black cauldron and adds ants’ blood (root beer extract) to stir up a batch of witch’s brew. It is another recipe from our old tried and true recipe book we received when we got married. We used to make it for the boys’ birthday parties when they were little and then when we had grandkids, it evolved into a Halloween tradition. The magic ingredient is the dry ice. Pour the “witch’s brew” over a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream to make root beer floats for dessert afterwards.

This year I found a couple of cute plastic recycle bins at the Dollar Tree. Which, I might add, is a lie because it is now $1.25 for everything. I guess inflation has even hit the dollar store. I had some left-over orange almond bark, so I decided to make a small batch of ghost garbage to fill them and give to the grandkids. The recipe is from a colleague of mine years ago. One Christmas she filled clear bags with it and added a colorful ribbon and tag that said reindeer fodder and gave them out as office gifts.

The actual night of Halloween is pretty uneventful around here, particularly compared to the soup & pumpkin carving party. As I mentioned, we don’t get any trick-or-treaters. However, Mr. U always has to buy a little candy “just in case.” So, on Halloween we usually pop up some popcorn, pull out the trick or treat candy that we did not give out and settle in for a movie. Life is good.

Some of the carvers holding their creations.

4 comments on “Happy Halloween!

  1. Fun! Only one little left in our community to trick-or-treat. She was the cutest little fairy princess with wings which didn’t stop her from doing gymnastic moves off the couch gathering the magnetic letters she had dumped! I still decorate the porch & put out a few Halloween decorations. You take advantage of the seasons & opportunities to celebrate life.

    1. Hi Mona –

      How lovely to have a fairy princess visit your house! We only lived in a neighborhood where we got trick-or-treaters for one year and I loved seeing the kids in all of their unique costumes. I always wonder why I decorate the front porch now when very few people see it, but you are right…it is to enjoy the seasons and celebrate life!

    1. Hi Janie –

      Yes, this is the stuff that makes life wonderful and memorable. Thanks for always sharing them with us.

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