Another week (or two) has passed and another week in review is here…
We have had encounters with pumpkins, a theft, illness in the family, a concert, and a holiday.
October has come and gone and today is November.
The month that gives us turkey and the birth of Gigi.
Who was the devil for Halloween.
Halloween was yesterday.
The day that we dress our children (and sometimes our adult selves) into costumes and we pretend to be someone else and ask strangers for candy.
So many parents these days seem afraid to let their kids go trick or treating.
There are organized events in community centers or church parking lots.
We don’t go that route.
We march around in a neighborhood that we drive our kids to (cause we don’t have neighbors and therefore can’t trick or treat around our own home) and our kids knock on strangers’ doors and get free candy.
The same neighborhood that I begged for candy in.
This is the first year that we (the parents) did not walk around with the kids.
Zoe is waaaaaay to old to have her parents hang out behind her on the sidewalk as she parades around the neighborhood.
We parked at the end of the street to be begged on and sat in the car waiting for the she-devil and Dr. John Watson to return with some loot.
Then we drove to the next street.
Sat and waited.
My kids have not had their first rock concert experience.
And it seems, my husband hasn’t either.
He’s lived a deprived life…it’s book worthy.
I have had plenty of concert experiences in my life.
It started when I was very young and my parents took my brother and I to see The Beach Boys.
I cannot listen to The Beach Boys to this day.
We also saw Captain and Tennille.
But that was just once.
Most of my early concert experiences occurred at the Illinois State Fair.
INXS with Michael Hutchence
The Psychedelic Furs
In college at Illinois State I saw Pearl Jam, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Smashing Pumpkins, Lenny Kravitz, and Tom Petty.
When I moved to Chicago concerts continued for me and I saw artists ranging from Fishbone to Lyle Lovett.
Music has always been a very big part of my life.
My dad collects record albums and The Beatles and Bob Dylan have been large influencers in my life.
I regularly have music playing in my house and prefer to have some song playing softly in the background than complete silence.
Man-Farmer was not raised with music.
He often has the house in silence.
The silence freaks me out a bit.
My girls love music as much as I do.
We listen to Adele, Lady Gaga, Queen, and everything in between.
So when I saw that Katy Perry was going to be in concert in the Midwest, I looked to see where she would be touring.
Chicago on a Tuesday and Wednesday.
School nights in a city that is 3 1/2 hours away.
On a Sunday?!
And I can get tickets for $27.50?
Are you shitting me?!
4 seats please!
Yes, I realize that our seats are in the third to last row of the arena.
At least my kids will be able to see her (from afar) and hear her (they use big speakers, right?).
I bought the tickets and asked my dad to come down that evening to lock up the chickens and the ducks and feed the horse and goats their dinner.
It was a 7pm show and we would be driving home afterwards.
St Louis is exactly two hours from our house.
That’s doable for me on a school night.
The kids can sleep in the car on the way home as mom and dad keep each other awake by chatting about people we hate.
It’s all good.
So we got dressed up in our finest Katy Perry concert attire.
Headed south and found our seats in the third to last row of the Scottrade Center.
We were right across from the stage.
They were good seats.
The souvenir stand was packed when we got into the building.
So we bought some big stadium pretzels and a bag of cotton candy and chilled out waiting for the first act to start.
Noah Cyrus…Miley Cryus’s little sister…was going to be the opening gig.
After eating the food and before the show had started, I suggested that Man-Farmer and the girls go downstairs to see if the line at the t-shirt stand was any shorter.
They weren’t gone for very long when Chad come running back telling me to come with him.
Plans had changed.
A security guard at the escalator had swapped our four tickets in the third to last row with four tickets on the main floor.
In the 8th row!
So, the girls (and their dad) got real close to the star for their first concert.
We sang loudly!
We hooted and screamed!
I felt like I was 20 years old again.
Katy Perry put on a great show.
She was very interactive with the audience and I didn’t need to use the zoom on my camera to see her.
Thanks Katy Perry!
Our extended family has had some health scares in October.
A cousin had a stroke.
She’s in her early 70s and it came out of the blue (as all strokes do) and while every stroke is bad, her stroke could have been much worse than it turned out to be.
She has the use of her arms and legs.
She can talk.
They think her heart went into A-Fibrillation and that caused the stroke.
Can happen to anyone and it’s hard to detect.
And then my cute little great-nephew in Houston was hospitalized for three days because he got RSV.
A respiratory virus.
He turned a year old during the summer.
He goes to day-care while his parents go off to work…a police officer and a therapist.
I wish he could hang out with me all day long instead of going to day-care.
It’s always scary to watch your child be hospitalized.
He’s doing a lot better now.
On day three he was climbing the walls of his hospital room (as was his dad) because he was feeling better.
I was very proud of my nephew…he stayed at the hospital through it all keeping a close eye on his boy.
Reminded me of our days sleeping in the hospital room when Zoe had cancer.
We never left her alone.
One of us was always there and sometimes ALL of us were there.
Gigi was almost two years old at her sister’s diagnosis and spent many days wandering the hospital floors while her sister was hooked up to IVs in a bed.
You’re uncomfortable. Bored. Hungry. Restless.
And you get through it.
And you become stronger.
As a family.
Both of these instances remind me that life can change in an instant.
Our life changed in an instant 7 years ago.
And we overcame.
October around here means pumpkin patches and decorating.
Many years ago I found an idea for a large wooden witch to display outside from the magazine Martha Stewart Living.
If you really know me, you know that Martha has been a big influence in my adult life.
Baking and decorating ideas from her magazine have graced my home for years.
So, when I saw a template for a six foot tall witch I was stoked.
I printed the template.
We bought a piece of plywood.
Traced the witch onto it and my dad used his jig-saw to cut it out.
I painted her green.
We still have this original witch who is about 9 years old.
But she was made with thin plywood so we made another one about 5 years ago with a thicker piece of plywood.
And I painted this one black.
And she has stood proudly in our front yard next to a black cat and tombstone.
But, now she’s gone.
Last visible sighting was on October 14th.
It was very windy that evening and we thought she had just fallen over into a bush when we didn’t spot her on the 15th.
Usually if it’s really windy, she does fall over and just lays there on her back in the yard.
But, she was gone.
And the green witch (that had been nailed to a tree because she’s so thin and easily topples over in a gust of wind) was literally ripped in half.
Her skirt wasn’t nailed down and we believe that someone had tried to take her but instead ripped her bottom half off in a theft attempt.
Because her counterpart, black witch, was gone.
Her broom was NOT a real witch’s broom so she didn’t fly off on her own.
I posted about it on Facebook and sent a message to our local Sheriff’s Department.
They shared it on their FB page (with the hashtag #stopstealinghalloweendecorations), but we haven’t seen her since.
We will not be defeated.
We will build again.
The witch will be back next Halloween.
I hope the thieves got the curse I attached to the witch if anyone were to ever steal her.
The next curse will be even stronger.