Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

It's a pretty quiet night here at the old homestead. From what I hear, downtown was fair crawling with costumed children happily trick or treating their way from store to store, but out here on this edge of town we hadn't seen any goblins.

Until a few minutes ago, when I heard a rapid fire prattle of Spanish in high excited voices followed by a knock (rather low down on the face of the front door). I grabbed the big bowl of treats and went to see who it was.

Five costumed children, under the age of nine, trailed by two women. One had a baby bundled up in her arms.

'TRICK OR TREAT!' came the chorus. So, I handed out candy and remarked approvingly on all costumes. They were practically vibrating with glee but every one said thank you without prompting. I only had to give Spiderman a little bit of a look to get him to lower his decorated brown paper grocery bag long enough for me to give candy to the two rather small princesses. To his credit, he looked sheepish about it.

As they turned to go, one of the women spoke quietly. And they all turned back around and said as one 'Happy Halloween! Thank you!' before they started to leave. The woman with the baby in her arms looked a little frazzled and tired so I held out two more of the candy bars.

'For you and your friend. It's hard work taking that many children out to go trick or treating.'

She smiled and replied 'Muchas gracias.'

'De nada.' I even made the little hand twitch that so often accompanied the phrase in San Antonio. I had also just used up about one tenth of my rusty Spanish.

She stopped. She thought for a moment and then spoke carefully but clearly.

'Thank you very much. Happy Halloween.'

'You're very welcome. Have a good night.'

Monday, October 22, 2007

Settling In

And after a long blogging break, we're back on the air.

Y'all, moving is a pain in the ass. Seriously. My rule of thumb based on a childhood as a military brat is that four moves equal one house fire.

Very little got broken, all hail the helpful friends who lifted and hauled. In fact, less got broken this time with me packing and Himself and friends loading the truck than got broken on our previous move. Our previous professionally packed and loaded at no small cost move, that would be.

Also, no animals were lost in this move. Oh, the cats were traumatized and refused to come out of the carrier at the new house for over six hours, but that's just cats. And now the cats and the goofy dog are all happy in the new place. Clancy has his very own corner of the living room and two crates in different rooms for his napping and lounging needs.

The month not blogged has been spent slowly unloading boxes and finding that things already unpacked are not in their best places and shifting things around. It's slowly coming together though. We've also been slowly getting artwork on the walls which always makes things feel more homey.

In fact, for me, the art on the walls and the books on the shelves are practically my defintion of homey.

Meanwhile November is bearing down on me like a runaway dray cart. November is Thanksgiving and this year Himself will not be at work or on call so we are off to see the family. Therefore we get to drive the Columbia River Gorge, which I love beyond all reason, and then on to see his folks at their little place in the woods. Since I have The Best InLaws Ever I'm really looking forward to this.

Plus, well, turkey and fixin's is a good thing.

November is also National Novel Writing Month, aka NanoWriMo. nanowrimo.orghas all the gorey details.

Nanowrimo is, for the non-link-clicking among you, the zany idea that writing a novel in a month is a good idea made even better by doing so in the company of thousands of other writers from around the world. This is my sixth year of doing Nano and I always find it enlightening. By enlightening I mean amusing, annoying, exhausting and exhilerating in about equal parts.

Kind of like life its ownself, really.