29 September 2010

a killer shoot.

This past weekend, Rob Miracle and I set out for the North Carolina mountains for some photographic therapy with three fantastic models, Lindsey Jane, Mary Ashley Knight, and Logan, and the fun and talented make-up artist, Moira Hassler.

They were each killer shoots... and we had a devilish good time!

devilish smile., originally uploaded by Luna Soledad

"I hate flowers -- I paint them because they're cheaper than models and they don't move."

...Georgia O'Keeffe

23 September 2010


Originally uploaded by Luna Soledad
I'm not a member of the National Audubon Society nor have I ever been out bird-watching for the sole purpose of watching birds, and unless it's a Parakeet, Cardinal, Robin, Crow, Blue Jay, or some sort of farm foul, well I couldn't tell you what is what. But I do like birds.

As a little country girl, when I wasn't helping Grandma in the gardens, I could usually be found out exploring the vast acreage and wilderness that was my grandparents' farm. I often found stray animal and reptilian babies who had lost their way or fallen from their nest, and they all came home with me: dogs, cats, possums, turtles, snakes, frogs, squirrels, and birds... lots of birds.

Once I even found a bird egg toppled from it's nest and despite my mother insisting that it wouldn't hatch, I brought it in, made a bed for it in a paper cup, and kept it warm... Not only did it hatch, but the tiny naked creature grew and thrived and eventually, fully feathered, would fly around the house following me on command until the day we finally set him (or her) free.

I remember going to visit my Aunt Buella and Uncle Zinnie (yep, those were their real names) who raised Peacocks. There was nothing more beautiful to me than to see those magical birds spread their magnificent plumes. --Besides the big brass spittoon that sat between their chairs, the only memories I have of my great aunt and uncle are their wonderful birds.

So yes, I do like birds. --If there is such a thing as reincarnation, I think it wouldn't be such a bad thing to come back as a bird... to soar above the world and taste the sky...

A recent addition to my growing (ebay) art collection are these three mixed-media paintings from the uber-talented Jenny Berry which now adorn my wall. I especially like the bird on the telephone pole; that particular painting is like a memory captured. Her stuff is amazing to me and makes me smile inside... and isn't that what art is all about?

"Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them?"

...Rose Kennedy

21 September 2010

birfday weekend.

the NEW Super Friends., Originally uploaded by Luna Soledad
The weekend, jammed packed with all kinds of birthday fun and surprises, was a huge success! Liam is now officially a FOUR-year-old... and I am still exhausted. I need a weekend just to recover from the weekend. Whew!

Saturday, Grand Master Jun and Master Kim of Champion Jun's Taekwondo Academy hosted Liam's super-cool Taekwondo party for the birthday boy and his preschool friends... We arrived to find the studio completely decorated with balloons and banners; Liam was over the moon. --The bouncy house went up, the awesome Spiderman cake was delivered, friends began to trickle in and the bouncing began... And Liam got to be a Black Belt for a day! Wow! Could the day get any better?

After bouncing their little heads off, the kids all got a Taekwondo lesson where they did exercises, ran relays, jumped hurdles, and even broke their own boards! They each did so well and enjoyed themselves immensely! --I've always been so impressed at how well the Masters work with small children; especially Master Jun. I swear, it's like he's a "child whisperer." Kids just magically follow along and do as he instructs eager for his approval and praise, which he showers upon them liberally because they all do their very best for Master Jun. He just exudes that kind of energy. And in return for sharing his vast knowledge and experience in TKD, they make him laugh. Yes, the two-time world champion and 7th degree black belt has a big ole soft spot, and that soft spot is children.

And then, who should appear, but SPIDERMAN! =)

Now, I have to say, as Spidermen go, this wasn't the best costume ever, but then again, didn't Peter Parker make his own suit in the movie? Irregardless, it was all very exciting to the little people. One by one the children trotted, skipped, and ran over to the 'webbed ranger' to show Spidey the boards they had broken, at which the super hero "Oooh'ed" and "Aaah'ed" and told them how strong they were.

Next, using my recently acquired background stand, I had set up a "photo booth" in the corner of the studio where I took photos of each child with Spiderman and with their friends.

Then it was time for cake!

let them eat Cake!, originally uploaded by Luna Soledad.
What an awesomely delicious cake it was (made by April Florence of Raleigh)! A layer of vanilla on top, chocolate (my fav!) on the bottom, edible buildings, and cupcakes too. We sang the obligatory birthday song, ate buildings, blew out four candles, and then Master Jun helped Liam cut his cake with a Korean sword.

It was a really cool party if I do say so myself and I do so hope that Liam will always remember what a great, fun-filled, and all-around happy day he had with his friends... and if by chance he doesn't, well, I have plenty of photographs!

Speaking of photos...

look ma, no hands!, originally uploaded by Luna Soledad.
At my house, I have an annual tradition: each year I do a birthday photo shoot for my kiddos on or about their respective birthdays, and being that Sunday was Liam's, we turned the back deck into a photo studio and let Liam put on a fashion show of sorts (and Bella too, though she wasn't as enthusiastic about all the hoopla as her brother). Kevin was in charge of "wardrobe" much to his chagrin.

You see, I just love dressing my little ones up in various outfits, costumes, and ethic garb from around the globe -- and this year's line-up included western attire (with his first Levi's and first real cowboy boots), silk Chinese pajamas (from Hong Kong, Thanks Aunt Martha!), a beaded and embroidered Pakistani salwar kameez, authentic German lederhosen (a gift from Dr. Kerry Orsingher and possibly the last time his big-boy self will be able to wear them), and his Spiderman boxers posed on his Schwinn trike. --At each change of clothes, he would ask if he could wear the outfit when we were done?

"It's your birthday baby," I told him, "when we're done, you can wear anything you want for the rest of the day."

Later in the afternoon, we grilled out with a few of our favorite peeps and Grannie and Papaw. Gathered around the dinner table, Aunt Martha was inquiring about the exciting surprise visit from Spiderman at his Taekwondo birthday party and wow, how cool, etc. when Liam matter-of-fact-ly informs her, "He wasn't the real Spiderman, he was a man wearing suit like Spiderman because Spiderman is real busy and has a lot of people working for him." --Though this was news to me, I can't say I was surprised. That kid misses nothing.

Liam showed off his birthday loot and added more to his spoils. Among his favorite gifts, was a blue ceramic piggy bank with his name on it made by his sister (with help from Miss Kim)... He loved, loved, loved it! and immediately began depositing quarters he'd previously swindled from Papaw while Bella grinned and beamed and giggled as everyone clapped and told her what a great job she did. --Those are the little moments that just make my heart beat. ...And of course, we did cake again, this time with sparklers and trick candles, though Liam was not nearly as amused as we were. I think it is safe to say that once again, a good time was had by all... just grillin' and chillin' and watching one little boy have the best birthday weekend of his life - all four years of it.

And true to my word, when we were done with photos, I allowed him to wear whatever he wanted for the rest of the day... SO, he spent the entire afternoon dressed in his multi-color Spiderman comic strip boxers, brown/black leather Justin cowboy boots, and his favorite brown/yellow/orange Jimi Hendrix T-shirt (and if you ask him, he'll tell you, "Jimi Hendrix was the greatest guitar player EVER!")... He was a site to be sure, but after all, he was the birthday boy.

Life was good. =)
"There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million."

...Walt Streightiff

18 September 2010

4 years ago.

the last shot.
Originally uploaded by Luna Soledad
Four years ago, I was as big as a whale and counting down the miserable seconds until I would have my body back again and the yet unnamed alien being housed within my stretched-to-the-max belly would be unleashed upon the world and take his first breath...

It's almost impossible to image now and seems so foreign to remember a time before Liam.

My first pregnancy crept up on me like a quiet thief. Like many first-time unintentional breeders, I was clueless as to my condition until I was entering my second trimester. I had been told by a couple of different docs that I would likely never conceive as my uterus is basically somewhere up in Egypt.

Well, I sure showed them.

1997-98: I had a typically healthy pregnancy, was 5 months along before I graduated to maternity clothes, progressed well, gained only 20 pounds or so altogether, ate well, slept a lot, had crazy dreams, kept Tums in business, and drank more milk than I had in the entire rest of my life put together... and I hated every moment of being pregnant. --Besides being bitchy and miserable from inconvenience and heart burn however, I gradually got over myself and was able to wrap my mind around the idea of being a mother before I was due to pop -- and secretly even began to look forward to the whole mommie/baby experience.

Then came Isabel.

No one enters parenthood for the first time fully prepared for what is in store. But absolutely nothing could have prepared me for the journey of having a child with special needs...

Don't get me wrong, life with Bell has left me with no regrets and I love her more than I ever imagined, but Holland is much, much different than Italy after all.

I never dreamed I would have another child. But nine years later the reality slapped me across the face like a frozen ham. I knew instantly. Before the pee-stick would even collaborate. And I was terrified.

My first call wasn't to my doctor nor to an OBGYN. My first call was to the UNC Genetics Clinic... I was over five months along (and showing) before I even told my family, friends, and coworkers. Five months along before our fears were finally laid to rest and I learned that I was carrying a healthy baby boy.

In retrospect, I can only guess that those around me must have thought I was really packing on the pounds because, unlike my first pregnancy, well, let's just say I was a healthy as a horse, and quickly grew to the size of one as well. --My God, by the time I hit my third trimester, I had no knees.

I craved red meat like there was no tomorrow and let me tell you, there were quite a few life-or-death steak emergencies. Kevin jokes that no hooven beast was safe around me, but it was nearly that bad. And Tums, yes... I devoured them by the handful around the clock. I drank ridiculous amounts of milk and Oreos never tasted so good.

To this day, probably the ugliest fight Kev and I have ever had involved my midnight Oreo craving and finding the empty cookie bag left atop the refrigerator. But I digress...

2006: Because of the difficulties in my first labor, I was scheduled for a second cesarean (which was perfectly fine by me!) I remember joking with the anesthesiologist as my beautiful, wonderful surgeon made her first incision.

"You doing okay?" he asked.

"Yeah, why?"

He indicated that they had begun and I let out a loud, "Oww!"

My doctor overheard and nearly had a heart attack... I'm not sure she forgave me for that one. Oops. =)

After what seemed like an eternity, I heard Dr. Jackie Newlin exclaim, "Well hello handsome!" and I knew that he was here.

I can still hear his incredibly pissed siren newborn wail in the recesses of my mind... and it still makes my heart flutter to replay it.

1st photo., originally uploaded by Luna Soledad.

Four years ago tomorrow, I became a first-time mom all over again.
...And every day it blows my mind. =)

Happy Birthday baby boy!

"When I was a young man, I didn't think about having a family. My wife and I were too poor to have babies. Then all of a sudden, one came along and scared the hell out of us because we had no money. Once the baby arrives, you make do somehow. You fall in love with the baby and life adjusts itself. You find you don't need as much money as you thought. When that happens, you can ask the questions that should have come before the baby."

...Ray Bradbury

16 September 2010

my funny boy.

everyone loves a clown., originally uploaded by Luna Soledad.

Today produced more fine "Liamisms." --I've always loved a man who could make me laugh and truthfully none have conquered my funny bone (nor my heart!) so completely as my son. He is truly the funniest little person I know and tickles my soul on a daily basis.

Good thing for him too, because his gift for provoking laughter often prevents me from wringing his little neck at times.

Today Daddy took Liam to preschool. Upon arrival, the sweet smell of cinnamon wafted through the center... the yummy fragrance of french toast sticks. Kevin walks Liam into his room and spying the kids' breakfast says, "Wow, french toast sticks! Mmmm. I might have to stay and have breakfast. Can I stay and have some french toast sticks with you?"

Liam promptly responds, "You'll have to go to your own class Daddy. This is MY class."

Fast-forward to the afternoon:

I fetch the child and we're heading out to the car when Liam stops to chat up the director.

"Are you going home?"

Liam nods.

"What are you having for dinner tonight?"

"I don't know," Liam replies shrugging his little shoulders.

"Do you want some suggestions for dinner?" she asks.

"No," he says, "we don't have any of that at home."

"Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh."

...W. H. Auden

double tired.

child safety.
Originally uploaded by Luna Soledad
Yesterday afternoon, I picked Liam up from preschool. He was happy to see me, which is always nice, as opposed to the days when he's so engrossed in his Lego's or such that he cannot be bothered to fain excitement when he lays eyes on the woman who gave birth to him.

We say our goodbyes to our friends and walk out to the car. Liam opened his door and climbed into his car seat.

"Put on your seat belt and buckle yourself in," I tell him.

Usually this is not an issue as he insists upon doing it himself, big boy that he is and all, especially when we're running late as we are prone to do. But this particular day he tells me he doesn't want to. He's tired he says.

"Well Mommie is tired too and you're a big boy. Put your seat belt on please."

He huffs. "I don't wanna put my seat belt on. All day long I'm putting my seat belt on. I'm tired of putting my seat belt on all day long!"

What? Where did all this griping come from?!! And not even four years old yet. Good grief.

"Liam, you're a big boy. Mommie has to put on her seat belt too and then I have to put on yours, and that makes me doubly tired," I mindlessly blabber as I give up and buckle him in.

Not to be outdone, he replies, "Well I'm a whole lot of doubly tired."

"It goes without saying that you should never have more children than you have car windows."

...Erma Bombeck

14 September 2010

Miracle League.

high five? maybe., originally uploaded by Luna Soledad.
Saturday was Bella's first baseball game... Yep, that's right: baseball, the favorite all-American pastime. Or so they say.

Frankly, I hate baseball - and (American) football. Most especially football. --How Kevin and I ever got together in spite of this ginormous clash is truly a mystery to me?

I mean, this man o' mine could sit and watch football for days, possibly weeks, on end smoking his big ole stinky cigars - and during football season, it seems to me that that is exactly what he does, although he will beg to differ citing that Tevo recordings and distracting babysitting and domestic errand breaks don't count. But hell, one game lasts a minimum of four long-ass, grueling hours of huge, sweaty slabs of beef playing human bumper cars back and forth across a big patch of expensively manicured grass while listening to the non-stop, irritating chatter of the meat-head commentators yucking on and on about utter nonsense because after the weather, there really isn't much of substance to discuss regarding football. But that's just me.

Sure I've attending football games before -- I called it "tailgating" and that was the whole point. After an hour or two partaking of parking lot beverages, I would happily stand up and cheer or do the wave when prompted by my surrounding college patrons, but I didn't have a clue what was going on nor did I care. I still don't.

Baseball I mostly detest because it's a freaking hot season and the unbearable torture of baking in the stands really distracts me from caring about anything else other than putting an end to my misery and finding the nearest air-conditioner.

I'm not all anti-sports however. Kev and I have managed to find some common sporting ground much to his delight, albeit small. --I enjoy college basketball occasionally, depending on who is playing (UNC and/or NC State); World Cup Soccer (I pull for Deutschland - yes, even against the US); and Ice Hockey (Go Canes!), but, what's not to like about ice hockey? A bunch of guys skating gracefully around a rink and clubbing one another with sticks... that's entertainment! --Oh, we also discovered on a fluke, that we both derive much amusement from watching sumo wrestling. =)

And while my husband will watch just about anything in the way of competitive sporting events from football to squirrel wrestling (Thank God he's not into NASCAR), that's pretty much it for me...

Until recently, when our son began taking Tae Kwon Do and our daughter joined the Miracle League of the Triangle...

Established in 2006, the Miracle League of the Triangle, is an amazing non-profit organization orchestrated by an extraordinary group of dedicated volunteers whose goal is simply to provide children with special needs an opportunity to play baseball.

There are numerous teams each with their own jerseys, hats, and coaches. There are bats and mitts, concession stands, a real ball field, bleachers, and dugouts... just like in baseball. There is even a proper baseball announcer and coolest of all, every child has their own "walk out" song.

Kevin and I had a lot of fun picking out songs for Bella to choose from for her walk out song; "Hells Bells" being the first to pop into my mind, followed by "Rebel Yell," "Brown Eyed Girl," and "Rebel Rebel"... However, Bell chose Eddie Murphy's rendition of "I'm a Believer" from the original Shrek soundtrack.

Watching the faces of all the kids out there playing ball... some smiles couldn't be missed and some wore theirs on the inside... some ran their hearts out around the bases, some walked slowly with braces and had to be carried to home, some made it on wheels, and one kid rounding second that just decided to sit down and take a load off mid-game (yep, that would've been MY child)... But no one struck out and everybody won... because they each were a part of something bigger than themselves, something fun and spirited and above all, something that included them, counted them, and recognized them... cheered for and acknowledged them and for an hour, gave each child a sense of normalcy within their own diverse community of teammates, coaches, buddies, parents, friends, and even strangers where no one stared, no one ignored them and pretended that they weren't there... and everyone celebrated the fact that they were.

So as it turns out, I'm a baseball fan after all. =)

“Being disabled should not mean being disqualified from having access to every aspect of life."

...Emma Thompson

last week.

Originally uploaded by Luna Soledad
So last week, after the "long weekend" (I'm of the mind that weekends are only long if one doesn't have to spend them with small children), our office server crashed first thing Tuesday morning.

Crashed as in died, bit the dust, kicked the bucked, pushed up daisies, croaked, expired, passed away - or to barrow a phrase from HBO's kick-ass hit series, True Blood - "met the true death."

Without having ran its back-up of course.

To be fair, to say we knew that we were pushing our luck with this temperamental, archaic Windows piece-of-shit is putting it mildly. The truth is, we'd been operating on borrowed time for a while now. And although it came as no big surprise, being "dead in the water" was a huge, inconvenient pain-in-the-ass nonetheless.

The week went downhill from there, needless to say. Yippee!

"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."

...Pablo Picasso

Tae Kwon Do!, etc.

Tae Kwon Do!, originally uploaded by Luna Soledad.
Friday, September 3rd, Liam was awarded the rank of 10th Gup in Taekwondo and was received his "High Yellow Belt" from Champion Jun's Taekwondo Academy, as well as a certificate and his very first trophy.

Yay Liam! =)

After the belt presentation while packing the offspring and camera gear into the car, I promptly knocked my camera to the ground (again) and damaged my favorite lens (again). Grrr... At least the D200 survived.

So, the following week, the hubs takes the lens to our friendly neighborhood camera store... The helpful fellows in the store take the lens and begin to mount it on another body saying, "Well, maybe it's something we can fix; let's take a look... what happened?"

"Uhm, she dropped it on the asphalt."

"Oh," was the only response as the guy quickly set the body down and began wrapping the lens to ship back to Nikon for repair (again).

Hey, when I screw something up, I do it well!

So then I had to rent a replacement lens.

It's nearly impossible for me to walk into Southeastern Camera (and sometimes Peace - if Geoff is working) without buying something... Dangerous. --This time I found a nice used background stand that managed to find its way home with me despite my husband's famous last words, "Don't buy anything."

"But it was a trade," I argued (which never works when you're married to a man who argues for a living).

"And what did you trade for it?"

"Uhm, money."

"That's buying."

Sheepish grin.

And then (bless his heart) he helped me set it up on the back deck for an impromptu shoot of the kids in bad late-day lighting with the lens I had just rented... The lens which I used all weekend and now simply MUST have.

And lighting... I could really use some lighting equipment too!

"Giving a camera to Diane Arbus is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child."

...Norman Mailer

08 September 2010

cowgirl diva.

One Spot.
Originally uploaded by Luna Soledad
So this weekend I was eating out with the family unit when I noticed a young teen-ish girl sitting near us who clearly did not want to be misclassified as a city girl...

She was decked out in cowboy boots, a pair of Wranglers with that sharp blue "back-to-school new jeans" look to them, leather belt complete with her named tooled on the back and large western buckle, and a camouflaged hunting T that read "Southern Cowgirl" on the back adorned with a rebel flag. The only thing missing was a hat and some chew.

Now I have nothing against western attire; heck, I admit that I have owned my share of cowboy boots... that's the thing about boots, they're classic, stylish, and fun, and come with their very own attitude when you put them on and seem to magically transform your gait into a swagger with the timeless, unmistakable rhythm of well worn heals clomping across a wood floor -- not to mention they protect from snake bites and keep your feet and calves clean when wading through rivers of cow poop and such while working the farm.

But unless you're working a farm or are on the rodeo circuit, I'm thinking a superficial statement of self-expression like this is a wee bit over the top if it's not authentic... and while your french-manicured acrylic nails looked very nice and all, they gave you away.

This farm girl could not help but be amused. =)

"There are only three things that can kill a farmer: lightning, rolling over in a tractor, and old age."

...Bill Bryson

04 September 2010

legal curiosities.

This past week, I had a fellow phone up to inquire as to the classification of the crime "Common Law Robbery" because it popped up on his employment background check many years after the fact as a now responsible adult.

It seems that many years ago as a foolish teenager, the guy was hangin' with his peeps when they happened upon a pizza guy and thought it would be funny to rough-up the pizza man and steal his pizza.

The much older and wiser man wanted to know if it was a felony or a misdemeanor? Well, as the boys were both out of the office and I am not an attorney, I had not a clue.

As it turns out, Common Law Robbery is a felony... and cannot be expunged from one's criminal record. So essentially, this poor guy has forever screwed himself due to the fact that he once kicked some pizza guy's ass and made off with a pie. --Not that I am condoning nor defending violence nor thievery but let's face it, just because our country says we're old enough to vote and go to war does not necessarily mean we possess the common sense to make intelligent decisions nor fully understand the consequences of our actions. We're not talking about rape or murder, it was a tussle and a pizza.

But here's the kicker... Had it been merely an assault - say, he kicked the pizza man's keister and did not take the pizza - he would have been charged with Simple Assault, which in North Carolina is a Class 2 Misdemeanor. The difference is the pizza.

For comparison, possession of one and a half ounces of marijuana or less is a Class 3 Misdemeanor, however, possession of the same marijuana and paraphernalia in which to consume/smoke it (i.e. bong, rolling papers, pipe, etc. - though I'm not clear if Brownie mix and baking supplies fall under the legal definition...) would win you a Class 1 Misdemeanor in the great state of NC. (For the record, speeding is a Class 2 Misdemeanor.)

A charge of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) kinda falls into it's own black hole of crime and punishment but I am told by The Husband, Esq that one fairs far better in the courts (and on one's criminal record) to be charged with possession of small amounts of illegal drugs and paraphernalia than driving after having consumed several legal alcoholic beverages. Go figure.

So I suppose the lesson we can derive from this little lecture is this:
  1. If you must partake of the herb, leave your pipe at home, and
  2. if you're gonna kick somebody's ass, don't take anything from them.
  3. And above all else, don't drink and drive.
Seriously, just don't. While driving drunk it may be good business for your local law firm, it's a really dumb thing to do. --Personally, I could care less if you have pot in your car, but the rest of us driving around out there appreciate your sobriety while you're on the road.

A public service message from yours truly. =)

"I've heard that while the show was on there were no reported crimes, or very few. When The Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, even the criminals had a rest for ten minutes."

...George Harrison


Fall palette., originally uploaded by Luna Soledad.

Fall. I can almost taste it. So close, yet so far away... and these 70 degree teasers just before the temperature shoots back up into the '90's are driving me nuts! But I'll take what I can get. At least my glasses no longer fog up from the hellish humidity when I walk out of the house in the mornings.

I love Fall. It's my most favorite time of year. In part thanks to the cool splendor and beautiful Fall palette that slips quietly into our surroundings as summer succumbs to its miserable death and the reign of the mosquito comes to an end... but for me, Fall also makes me giddy with nostalgia for my most treasured memories...

Four-wheeling on country back roads and fields in my old Jeep with the doors off, cruising in my friend Karen's gold LeBaron convertible mooing at cows, sitting in the parking lot of Cup-A-Joe's at 2 am reading poetry, riding motorcycles in the rain, camping at my Grandma's pond with friends and singing songs around a fire, school night visits to NC State and driving back the next day for class wearing the same clothes from the day before, impromptu parties at Sammy's and him coming home in the middle of the night using a flashlight to make his way through the minefield of bodies sleeping on his living room floor, and the oh-so-many adventures at ECU... Oh those were the days!

I remember hanging out at Fort Bragg with my dear friend Trawick and some other army buddies one Friday night bored. We decided on a whim to take off and go somewhere... We ended up camping at Lake Lure in a freshly cleared logging area on a mountain top and sleeping beneath the stars. We sat up all night talking, drinking, and laughing while Maloney ran up and down the steep hill on all fours howling at the full moon and Rosenburger ate cold beans out of a can. --The next day we made our way across a rushing mountain stream and went repelling down a cliff.

One night, my friend George and I followed a big water pipe beneath the town of Smithfield for what seemed like forever until our backs ached to the point we could go no further... Why you ask? No particular reason aside from the fact that we could and it seemed like a good idea at the time.

And Halloween... Long before there was the tedious task of walking around with small children begging for candy from our neighbors, All-Hallows-Eve was a night filled with mischief, costumes, and scaring the crap out of one another.

Oh the memories, and so many I dare not share here.

And then comes Thanksgiving, my most favorite holiday of all and of course that has nothing at all to do with the smorgasbord of delectable food -- honest. ;-)

Yay for Fall!

"Autumn wins you best by this its mute appeal to sympathy for its decay."

...Robert Browning