Sunday, October 31, 2010

That's a Nice Story, Grandma: Halloween Edition

My dad. This would be my first Halloween. I am a little less than a month old. Awww...

I have always loved Halloween. It's not like it was when I was a kid though.  I loved going to school and anticipating all day that when lunch time came, mom would be there to pick me up and take me home to eat and change into my costume.  Then back to school and the rest of the day would be a party.  Chubbuck Elementary knows how to do Halloween right (and from what I understand they are the *only* elementary in the district that still allows Halloween parties. Sad).  We would have individual classroom parties with things like cookie decorating or bobbing for apples. I think one year we carved pumpkins and I'm pretty sure that's where I memorized the movie "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."

My sister Valeri is the clown. I'm the poor gingerbread man.

Throughout the day the grades would take turns parading through the school around to all the other classrooms to show off costumes.  I loved watching what costumes other people came up with. I always thought the kids who wore plastic store bought costumes were cheating. Mine were all homemade (hand-me-downs yes, but still homemade) For the longest time I was always a witch. My mom made a black nightgown-y costume for my oldest sister and it got passed down through all the girls and finally to me. I wore it at least three or four times. There was also a clown costume that got passed around the family and the little kids wore a gingerbread man suit.  In fourth grade I dressed up like a Cabbage Patch doll. My mom made me a yarn wig and a dress to match my homemade Cabbage Patch baby.  One year the sixth graders turned their "team" classroom into a haunted house.  They had different booths where you would put your hand in and feel something gross. One thing was like, peeled grapes and they called them eyeballs- or cooked spaghetti noodles and said it was brains. Eeeew.... The next year I was in sixth grade and we did it again. My job was to jump out and scare kids.

After school we'd get home to the house smelling of awful homemade chili (sorry mom).  It was tradition in our house to eat chili on Halloween and we could not go trick or treating until we ate some.  To this day I am not a fan of Chili (but I ate some today- canned- just for tradition sake).

Dressed appropriatly, no?

It was/is usually cold this time of year in Idaho- so more often than not we had to wear a coat while trick or treating.  *Had* to. The choice was "wear a coat, or don't go." No one wanted to cover their costume, so we'd wear our coats under our costumes. I was always a skinny kid- but on Halloween night I turned into a very fat little witch.

We would take pillowcases and head out with Dad to do the neighborhood rounds.  None of this Trunk or Treat, or trick or treating at the mall crap- Halloween was an actual community event. If the porch light wasn't on- then we knew not to go to that house. But everyone else was fair game.  It was awesome when the Fosters moved into town because they gave away full size candy bars. SCORE! When our Pillowcases were about... oh... half full (these are standard size pillowcases, people, not those lame little pumpkins they use these days) we'd go home.  We'd pick a corner and spread our loot out on the floor. Mom got first dibs at the Bit o Honeys (which was no loss in my book), those gross peanut butter nougat-y thingies that are wrapped in black and orange paper (do they still make those? bleh)  and the Tootsie Rolls (we had to negotiate those ones).  Then we would barter amongst ourselves. "I'll give you two Pixie Stix for a Kit Kat."  Then we'd put our stuff in a bowl and usually mine would end up "hidden" under my bed where it would stay till Christmas then get pulled out to share with everyone else.

Dad always took us trick or treating. I remember the first year he couldn't. He was sick.  We came home at the end of the night and he was sitting on the porch with a bowl of candy and a headband of bobbly stars on his head looking more forlorn than I've ever seen. It was sad. Honestly.
Move over, Elphaba. Here I come!

I have many more Halloween memories, but I should have started recounting them earlier. I'm weird about celebrating holidays that are past. Now it's time to start thinking of Thanksgiving stories.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

You Can't Take It With You

I had a scare tonight.  It's Halloween time, you'd expect that, right? Well, different kind of scare. I don't like to think of myself as materialistic, but maybe I am.  Five years ago while I was in England I purchased a few jewelry pieces. I wear them allllll the time. There is one set I particularly love.  They are a shimmery brown stone. I have no idea what they are- but they're awesome. It's a necklace and earring set. 

Tonight while surfing the web in my rocking chair, I happened to glance at the spot the jewelry was precariously laid (I've been telling myself for a month to put them away).  I noticed one of the earrings was missing.  There was also an el cheap-o set I bought at Claire's sitting with them.   It  couldn't have been the replaceable cheap earring that was missing, but one of my favorite because-I-bought-them-in-England-not-because-they're-worth-anything earrings was gone. I scoured the floor, shook out clothes that were lying nearby. The trash can was close so I emptied it of it's few tissues to see if it was in the bottom.  No dice.  I remembered that just last week I emptied my trash into the larger bin. I mentally crossed my fingers and toes hoping that my dad hadn't taken out the trash yet.

I emptied out the full size trash bin looking for my earring.  Candy wrappers, empty Sonic cups, used Q-tips, you name it, I rooted through it.  I pulled everything out because I knew if it was there it would have fallen to the very bottom. Ridiculously, I prayed I would find it.  But still trying to tell myself- in case it wasn't findable- that "You can't take it with you when you go." "You can't keep everything forever." "It's just an earring. Don't get upset."

It wasn't in the bin.  I washed my hands -thoroughly- and decided to look once more in my room. I crawled on the floor, putting my hands under furniture hoping to high heaven not to meet a spider and found nothing. Then, like the end of all good stories, there was a glint of light in the most unlikely of places: my Q-tip box.  How the earring got in there I'll never know. But after a quick prayer of gratitude, the earring, it's mate and the matching necklace (as well as the cheap-o crap necklace set) is put away and hopefully safe.

Again, not to sound materialistic, what would *you* crawl through a garbage bin to find?

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Like I've said in posts past, the Baker grandchildren have no lack of imagination.  The other day they were playing "Adoption Agency."

I have *no* clue where the got the idea for this game. But it was very serious stuff. There were background checks, and interviews.  This was the official form.

My niecephews are the funniest.  At least it was ten minutes we didn't have to hear about Thomas the Train or Justin Bieber. *shudder*

Monday, October 18, 2010


I looked out the window and what did I see? Not popcorn popping on the apricot tree, that's for sure. I saw what looked to be a ritual pumpkin sacrifice. If I didn't know my niecephews were playing with the pumpkins last night I may have been a tad freaked out.  It looks like the real pumpkins are ganging up on the fake Jack-o-lantern in the middle.

Then I laughed. The way the light was hitting it it looked like a small, orange Stonehenge.

PS- the other night I had a dream that I was an elf, flying around in the summertime with Santa and only one reindeer.  We were discussing how children these days have no imaginations. I don't think this applied to the kids related to me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Last night I came in contact with the man who is quite possibly the hottest guy I've ever seen.  I wish I could say I was witty and funny and made a good impression.  But all I could do was stare.

And I'm pretty sure I drooled a little.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Funny Things

The other day I put gas in my car and I couldn't get the gas to stop pumping. I was freaking out and it flustered me so, that once I got it turned off I apparently forgot to put the gas cap back on and close the cover.  I noticed two days later when I stopped for gas again.  Funny thing: I just commented on a friend's blog and had to write in a code for my comment to appear.  The code word?
HAHAHAHA!!!! How does it know?

I have found myself a new hobby.  I've been practicing cake decorating.  I need occasions to make cakes. It's birthday season in the Baker family- but I don't make my own cake (we don't do cake for my birthday) my brother got a fun football referee cake from me. My sister, Kim doesn't do cake either (we're both birthday pie girls; she's Cherry and I'm French Silk).  The next birthday isn't for a month. I'm dying to make another cake and I'm just looking for a reason... time... and money. I want to get my name out there for people to order cakes, but I'm not confident enough to charge what I think fondant cakes should go for- but I don't want to get hosed on money because though they look simple, fondant cakes are time consuming. Plus I don't think people in this town are willing to pay what a cake like that *should* go for. Are we cheap or frugal? Hmmm...  Funny thing: we don't eat a ton of cake around this place so I can't really make a cake just for the sake of making one.

I actually have almost a year's worth of cakes planned out for my family birthdays. I can't wait to make them! I hope birthdays come fast! I wish we liked cake more. I have several cute ideas for holiday cakes as well- pick holiday, I have a cake to make for it... well, not Columbus day.

Speaking of Columbus Day, Funny thing: did you ever stop to think that we celebrate every year just because a guy got lost and didn't ask for directions? What kind of behavior are we condoning here?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Thank Heaven for Little Boys

I am having the ugliest day ever! I woke up twice last night- once with a splitting-I-wish-I-could-just-die-now headache, and once with an undeserved charlie horse in my left calf. Ugh...

I was showered and dressed but still red eyed and pock marked like a greasy teenager.  Dallin, who is possibly the world's sweetest (although chatterbox-iest) little boy, climbed on my lap and threw his arms around me and said, "Heaboo, you're so pretty."

I love this boy.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Book and the Rose

I saw this short film in between conference sessions today. I loved 99% of it and then the last five minutes made me so mad that I never want to see it again.  Here is the trailer for your enjoyment- It is good, so if you want to watch it without spoilers (though it's pretty predictable) don't continue reading the rest of this post.

The Book and the Rose (Trailer) from Jeff Bemiss on Vimeo.

***Here there be spoilers***

I love the basic romance of the story. Isn't it funny how it seems so romantic to meet someone and fall in love through letters, but people who meet on the internet are totally judged? You'd think it was the same thing, but I think snail mail is soooo much more romantic and if I can't meet someone the organic way, I'd want it to be through letters- not email.

Anyway, the thing that bugged me to no end about this movie- is at the very end, he shows up in the train station and sees a beautiful girl- he assumes it's her- but she's not wearing a rose.  Then he sees a lovely, yet bigger lady wearing the red rose that he's looking for.  He has second thoughts about meeting her. She's not "beautiful" like his imagined and therefore he thinks he can slip away without her knowing. To his credit he decides that no matter what she looks like, he loves her and he approaches the woman.  He finds out she's there to test him.  The woman directs him where to go to meet his pen pal- who is totally gorgeous, skinny and blond.  Fine.  I have nothing against skinny blonds, but why was the big lady used as a test? Who does that skinny freak think she is?  Thinking, "well if he is willing to love a fat lady then he must be a good guy"? That's total crap.  So any guy who is willing to overlook physical appearance is all the sudden worthy of a "more beautiful" woman? He'll be rewarded for his kindness? Nice message. Girls like me don't stand a chance.  We're a consolation prize.