My blog dress and header has changed! As a newlywed, I am excited to present a whole new theme.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween! Home made costumes

Happy Halloween! I have seen so many cute homemade costumes that blogging friends have posted. As a single mother, often financially challenged, I found ways to come up with some fun costumes. I also don't sew so these had to be easy to put together too.

The first is a picture of my boys when they were about 4 and 8 years old. They were going to a church sponsored Harvest Party and could dress as anything from the Bible. Well, that includes all of Noah's ark! My oldest boy wanted to be a tiger and we decided to make the other one a cow (though he kind of looks like a puppy).

Aren't they just too darn cute! To make the tiger, I bought a yard of fabric at Walmart on sale for $2 or $3. I got a piece of cording to make a tail and wrapped fabric around it. I had cut another square away from the fabric and wrapped it around a hat, duct taping part of it. I bought face paint for both him and his brother. For the cow, I found just the hat at Walmart and since the rest of the costume wasn't there, they sold it to me for $4. I bought a pair of black sweat pants, and a white long sleeve sweat shirt. To add the spots, I took some contact paper that I already had, cut out an oval and slapped it on the front. Dorky solution, I know, but it worked! I made the bell out of a small flower pot which cost me about a quarter. My little cow came home with the Cutest prize.

A few years later, I was at a loss to figure out how to dress my son Jared (formerly the little cow). I went online and oh how I wish I still had the link! I found this fabulous idea for a headless man! Here he is with my brother as McGruff, the Safety Pup. This was a costume that literally stopped traffic as we were walking downtown for the parade and contest! It was the best costume of the night, and he won first place in his category with $25 and several other prizes!

To make this costume, I unscrewed a mop handle from the mop, duct taped it around his waist (it went over a shirt, not on his skin!), taped a hanger to the top of the mop handle, and hung one of his dad's old coats on it. I stuffed the sleeves and part of the chest with newspaper and stuffed old rubber gloves and taped them to the sleeves, with moderate success. For the neck, I took an old t-shirt he had outgrown, and drizzled fake blood over it. It was still needing something that looked like a neck. I have one of those egg crate type foam mattress covers between my box springs and mattress to keep it from slipping, but there was enough that I snipped some from the end, and wrapped it around the top of the pole. Then Jared unbuttoned the coat near the waist and put his head through, laying on top of the fake hands. He looked pretty dead with some face paint.

It was going to be hard to top the Headless Man costume. Again, I went online to search for a really cool homemade costume. I found the Swamp Monster idea! This was so easy to do, and since the judges couldn't see his face, they didn't realize he had won the year before, and he won again! Hey, there were no rules about winning twice in a row, so all was fair! And he really did deserve it. Doesn't he look scary?

What was so cool is that we had the exact same mask from a previous Halloween that was pictured in the instructions. I bought some very inexpensive towels on sale at Wally World, $2 a piece. I think I bought six towels. Then I got some dark green Rit dye. The only problem is that the towels came out a lovely shade of soft green! It was too late to change it because I was so last minute on this costume. I ripped the towels into one inch strips, leaving about two inches at the top so that I could pin one towel to the mask, and looped and pinned the other towels to his dark green sweatsuit that he wonder underneath. The monster hands were on sale so we added those too. He had so much fun! Until a pin popped. OUCH! We fixed that while he was out trick or treating.

These costumes were so easy to make, and so much fun!

Have a Happy Halloween and don't be too spooked by all the ghosties and goblins!

P.S. John McCain came to my town today for a rally. I'll post about that on Sunday.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Batty Story

How many of you have ever seen a bat up close? Im talking eye to eye here? I never had until I moved into a rental home about 19 years ago. My first encounter with a bat scared the living shit out of me. Seriously.

I don't know what it is about moving, but for two consecutive house moves, I came down with a wonderful case of intestinal flu. Oh joy. Imagine yourself in your new home, only the third night there, still not knowing where things are. You have just moved into a home with pocket doors to the living room (very cool, I might add), where your one year old son is sleeping peacefully in his crib until you find a better place to put him. There is another door to the bathroom. I was really glad that there was a door to the bathroom, because my guts were in a severe state of distress. Well, here it was, nighttime and I am in bed, getting up because my intestinal contents are about to explode. As I step out of bed, I see something run past my foot! I scream, my bowels empty....oh dear Lord. When I say that I had the shit scared out of me, I meant that literally too.

At the moment, since what I saw was so near to the floor and went under the door that led to the bathroom, I thought I had seen a mouse! I was none to pleased about having a mousey in the housey, but I could handle that. I proceeded to the potty to finish the job. I was sitting there minding my "business" (after cleaning up thoroughly, I might add), and while I was in no position to move (except for my bowels), what do I spy flapping in through the other bathroom door that led from the kitchen?

Oh my goodness! That was no mouse!!! That was a BAT!!!! Screaming resumed with a vengeance. My poor achey belly loosened up yet again!

Have you ever seen these things flying through a house? They look like freaking condors!

Anyhow, my husband (now the ex-husband) came running, and I told him I saw a bat. As soon as I was able, I dashed from the throne to the bed. My hubby was searching for a broom. Oh heavens, where did we put that thing? He finally found it at about the same time I saw the loathesome critter swooping over my dear baby's crib!

Of course, I screamed yet again, this time telling him to "save my baby! Save my baby!" He grabbed the tot, handed him off to me, shut the pocket doors, and the now crying sweetie and I hunkered under the covers and waited for Daddy to save the day.

I have to chuckle at the memory because all I would hear was a man-scream followed by a thud several times over. Finally my hero of the day said he thought he got it. I ventured out into the kitchen where he showed me the wee dead critter in my dust pan.

"Is this it, honey?" he asked. Uh, duh!!! Not like I thought to ask the creature from hell his name before he interrupted my bathroom activities! I told him that it sure looked like a bat to me, and to please before I have to look at it any more take the damn thing outside!

Over the years, we were visited by bats several other times. One summer we had three! Yikes! I would never go down to the basement after dark, because sometimes I would see them down there. To this day, I am none too fond of basements.

Why oh why can't they be cute little stinkers like the bats pictured below? Aren't these almost adorable?

I know, cuteness. Unfortunately, if one of them ends up in my home, he will be dead meat.

By the way, none of these pics are mine. I found them all on Google Images.

Happy Halloween! And this season, may you only encounter the fake bats!

I've Been Boo'ed!

A little ghostie named Shelia who smelled all of sweetness and pumpkin pie snuck up on me and BOO'ED me! Then a little while later, another little ghostie full of teddy bear cuddliness snuck up behind me and I got BOO'ED yet again!

So go ahead and share the scare! BOO someone and frighten the pants off of them! Well not literally you know. Just sayin'.

P.S. I'm not finding too many people that haven't already been boo'ed, so if you want to share in the fun, let me say "BOOOOOO!" and you can post this on your blog too!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Won a Giveaway!

Not long ago I participated in a giveaway at Elizabeth's blog, Thoughts from an Evil Overload. She was having a giveaway in honor of the second anniversary of her receiving a bone marrow transplant, and there were several prize packages! It was such a fun giveaway because you had to work a little in order to be in the drawing. Each day for a week, she would ask a question, and you had to find the right answer! A couple times, you had to give your own input into something, like your own story of how cancer has affected your life or someone you love, or what did you like about the books she reviewed. My favorite was when she asked us to name her oncologist. I swear, I read every post on her blog and couldn't get a clue. Finally, thought to click on the picture that she posted of her doctor, and low and behold, it was a link to his name! Clever, clever! This giveaway was to help bring awareness to bone marrow donation. Please do visit Elizabeth's wonderful blog!

Ok, on to the prizes! I absolutely adore this snowman tote bag! This was a gift from Elizabeth herself. To paraphrase Dot from Picket Fences, I squealed like a sissy girl when my greedy little hands got the box open and I saw all my new goodies!

Here is a close up of the sweet little snowman.

This box of chocolate sure caught my attention! I LOVE Dove chocolates! Yes, I know I am diabetic, but I am allowed one of these once in a blue moon. I really can and do control myself regarding my chocolate intake!

Take a gander at this cute keychain! It was created and donated for this prize package by Me and My Sister.

And here is a sweet stocking ornament crafted by Heidi at Foxgloves, Fabric, and Folly. This will be perfect for my family room tree this Christmas!

I really adore these hand knit slippers! They are so warm and cozy! They were handcrafted and donated by Two Crazy Crafters.

Here I am wearing one. They really do stretch to fit! Awesomeness!

I squealed again when I saw this preccious blue gingham apron! I haven't owned an apron since I was a little girl. I love that it has an attached towel because I am always washing and wiping my hands when I am working in the kitchen. It was lovingly made by Confessions of an Apron Queen.

You know, those knit booties and this sweet apron make me think of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz! Ok, they are raspberry in color, not ruby, but it makes me want to bump my heels together while wearing the apron, and saying, "I'm so glad I'm home! I'm so glad I'm home!" Yeah, yeah, I veered a bit off of what Dorothy actually said. It fits.

I loved this pretty bookmark crafted by Decor to Adore.

Very lovingly hand made were these pretty gift tags made by Elizabeth herself! They are so sweet!

They were in this little pouch stapled together. Look what it is inside! A crossword puzzle! I haven't done one of these in forever. Since I solved some of her puzzles to get an entry into this contest, she must know that I love solving things!

These little snowman hankies, called "Swankies" for being so darn cute and swanky, are way to pretty to actually blow boogers into!

I saved one of the best things for last! Just look at this cute purple hat! Elizabeth made it! I like that it doesn't fit real tight on my head and smoosh my hair. I think it is just the cutest knit hat!

Thank you, thank you, Elizabeth! I loved winning this giveaway! Elizabeth is the real winner though for bringing so much awareness to bone marrow donation. It saved her life! You can help give a gift of life in that same way if you are a match. Please visit her blog and learn more about it!

I'll be having a giveaway of my own soon as I am coming up on my 100th post soon. Keep watching my blog!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Blue Monday/ A NOT Blue Dress

Remember this blue dress that I wanted for my daughter's upcoming wedding? Well last week I ordered it. I got a great deal because there was an online coupon for $30 off my order! I was so excited. The dress got here on Saturday.
Well my excitement turned to dismay when I opened the package. The dress didn't photograph well, but take a look at these ribbons that hold the dress on the hanger. Does this look like blue to you?
If anything, it was a periwinkle blue, almost purple. Not a light blue or sky blue. Nothing like the picture online and in the catalog. I was also disappointed in the beadwork on the dress. It looked like it was crystal or white or silvery in the pic. Take a look at this though.
I just thought they looked garish. The dress color doesn't show up well here at all, but the beads are a little too much. I took a pic of my blue shoes to show you what kind of blue I was hoping for. Ironically, my blue shoes photographed as the same periwinkle, purply, even though they are blue.
So the color of the shoe above is about the same color as the dress. The same shoes below show the true color.
I just love those blue shoes, but they do hurt my feet. Not a big problem though as I only spent $6 on them at Walmart a few years ago. I also got a pair in turquoise too, so I'm showing on of them just for shits and giggles. After all, this is supposed to be a blue post.

So anyhow, I am probably going to return the dress. I'm on the hunt for something else dressy and blue. I might even try for something navy blue and silvery.

I might not even need the dress though. If Tara and Mike don't both have jobs soon, they are going to have to hold off on the wedding. My daughter is on a mission though to find work because she wants to be married!

To visit more blue posts, join our hostess Sally at Smiling Sally. The list is growing each week!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pink Saturday/ A Pink Fountain!

This has to be the most unique Pink Saturday post I have ever posted! Have you ever seen pink water in a fountain? This fountain is located in Pontiac Park, one of the parks my son and my friends visited last Sunday.

There was some sort of Race for the Cure event, and I think that they turned the water pink in honor of this occasion. I have also seen the water in shades of blue and shades of green at other times.Look how pink they made the water! I wonder what they put in there to make it do this.
I don't think I'm going to be jumping into that fountain any time soon. I imagine it would dye my clothes pink!Look how pink it is against the blue skies!

To see more pink posts from over 100 other bloggers, please visit Bev at How Sweet the Sound.

Hope are feeling in the pink today!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sunday in the Park, Part 3, A Pretty Pontiac

We set off for one last park, Pontiac Park. This park is right in town, just across the bridge from the downtown area. It also runs along the river. There is a boat launch in this park, but we decided to stroll along the river path.

Pontiac park was named for a famous Indian. The sign says that it was named for an Ottawa Indian chief who was born here in 1742. This was also the site of the largest recorded apple tree.

Here was a garden called the Healing Hearts. The path leading to the bench has small marble stones with the names of children and babies who have died. How sad, but what a lovely memorial and peaceful spot for people to come and remember their loved ones.
Here is a close up of the beautiful angel. She has some bright red flowers at her feet, but not for much longer though as we had our first hard frost last night.
I finally found a tree with red leaves!
This bird bath was so lovely.
I thought the inside of the basin was even more interesting than the bird bath as a whole!
Here is a monument to one of our hometown heroes, Sam Hornish. For race fans, you'll probably recognize the name as the man who won the Indy 500 in 2007. He accepted the trophy here in our town after there was a parade in his honor. He and his wife live in the next town over. Their first child, a daughter, was born in our local hospital a few months ago. His father and other family members own a big trucking business here in town. He switched over to NASCAR though. Not sure yet if that was a mistake or not.
Monica's hubby Jon said that he once raced Sam and won! I told him he was full of it. He said that really he had...but that he beat him on a Big Wheel cycle when they were little boys. I rather doubt that Sam remembers though. Apparently Sam Hornish's grandmother lived right down the street from Jon's family, and they would play together sometimes.

Monica noticed these bright red berries and said she thought they would make a good picture. She was right! At this point, everyone was tired and ready to go home.
That night while I was out grocery shopping, I noticed a beautiful sunset. I was so lucky to still have the camera in my purse!

That's it for our day in the parks! It was so good to be out and about in the sunshine enjoying such a beautiful weekend! I don't know how many more weekends we have left like this! I'm going to savor every last bit of fall before the leaves fall off the trees and it starts getting nipply, I mean NIPPY.

See you Saturday for some pinkness!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sunday in the Park, Part 2, A Dam Good Time

My friends and I still had more of the Independence State Park to explore! There were such lovely sights all around. Fall is in its glory! Just look at these beautiful leaves!
I thought this sycamore tree was rather striking. It had such an interesting shape. My son tried to jump up into it, but couldn't get a good footing. It's higher than you think!

Here is a branch from another sycamore tree that I thought looked interesting. It sort of makes me think of a python hiding in the tree!
I love the contrast between the white tree and the deep blue of the sky, spattered with these colorful fall leaves!
Jon and Monica found another place to take a picture. Here they are with the Maumee River in the background. Did I tell you that the park is between a canal and a river? Not sure how wide the river is at this point, but its a substantial waterway.I just love looking at rivers in the fall with the changing trees framing each side.

My son took this picture of the river with the water looking like glass. I like that he not only got a reflection of the clouds, but he got a great reflection of the sun too. Where does this lead?
A big dam! This is actually called Independence Dam State Park. And did we ever have a dam good time!
Look how still the water seems on one side of the dam, and how it races on the other side! You can't see it well in this shot, but there is a good drop there. In season, you will see fishermen standing in the water fishing for walleye.
I didn't realize when I took this picture that there was a rainbow effect from the water.
Awww, here is my cutie pie son! This is such a good picture of him.
Here is what you find on the other end of the dam. The river is kind of low right now, and there are shallow spots.
Such a pretty scene. What's that up ahead?
Besides the little island and the pretty trees, I think I see something else! What a beautiful bird!
Jared snuck closer with the camera to get a closer shot. Too cool!
Jared also went to the top of the end of the damn to get some good camera shots. Jon and Monica are in the forefront petting fur son Winston. He is such a good puppy!
Looks like Jared got all tuckered out from running and leaping through the park.
He didn't get much of a rest though. After this, we headed to another park on the river, this one right in the city. There were some different things to photograph there!

Come on back tomorrow for more fall fun!