“Trick Or Treat” Halloween Approaches Once Again

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Yes, it is that time of year again folks; time to prepare for greeting all the ghosts and ghouls at your door looking for candy and various other treats.

Hubby and I were in WalMart the other day and couldn’t help but stare at the shelves upon shelves of the calorie-laden, pricey and very large variety of candies being offered for sale.

The most expensive of these being those with chocolate involved. Cases of fun sized chocolate bars for around $10.00 Canadian. Yikes! In some neighborhoods, you would need several cases.

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These candy displays have been set up for weeks now and I have ranted about stores pushing the holidays on us earlier and earlier every year in another post some nine months ago.

In case you missed it you can read that one here (link opens in a new window)  Commercialism Of Holidays Has To Stop!

The other day when we were in the store we noticed the scrum of people eagerly dumping boxes and bags into their shopping carts; like they were hoarding in anticipation of a  coming apocalypse.

I am a parent of two sons and I remember the years when they were young taking them out to do trick or treating in the neighborhood. Some years it rained and some years there was snow!

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When we lived in the country I had to drive them to the closest city in order to find enough houses in one place to make it worthwhile. A quick 15 minute trip in the car got us there in no time.

I would arm them with plastic pumpkins with handles when they were really young and later when they were in grade 4 or 5 and on we used pillowcases. You could really collect a haul with pillow cases.

I still remember them climbing into the back seat when they were done, their faces beaming with happiness. Their masks discarded on the seat beside them or the floor.

Excited chatter erupted from the back seat on the drive home as they rummaged through their loot exclaiming things like, “I got cans of pop!” or “Trade you three of these for that bag of chips”.

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One year we attended a Halloween party held at the local community center where prizes were given for best homemade costume.

I am pleased to report that both of my sons won that year for being a clown and Freddy Kruger. It was worth the time spent making the costumes when I saw how happy they were to have won.

The prizes were free movie rentals and a bag of snacks of their choice along with a bottle of pop of their choice at the corner store.

My sons are both grown men now and my eldest son has a son of his own with whom he walks around their neighborhood to continue the tradition.

Last year my grandson was a Jedi from Star Wars at 1 year old. Yes, he was adorable in his costume. See! 🙂

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My son dressed up in similar garb to accompany him and introduced him as his padawan.  I haven’t heard yet what this year’s choice will be.

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Out here in the country, we do not have to stock up on candy or worry about answering the door for trick or treaters as children in the area will likely be going into the town just like I did with my children back in the day.

The best part of Halloween for me is the candy sales in stores afterward. This year it will be the day after. Halloween, October 31, lands on a Monday so any Halloween specific candy or treats will be at a discounted price come Tuesday.

My best friend Trish and I used to raid the stores the day after the holiday and stock up. We would throw the lot into a huge bowl and set it on the table along with our drinks; tea  I believe it was.

We would then play cards, after the boys were in bed, well into the night; laughing, talking and munching on candy. Oh, those were the days, when I got to spend a lot of time with one of my best friends.

This year will be quiet in comparison. My husband and I will likely treat it like any other night. Our celebration days are past us now that our children are grown.

I am thankful that I had those years and that excitement with my sons when they were young but I am just as thankful now for the peace and solitude of the country.

My wish is that all who celebrate by dressing up and going door to door have a safe and fun evening. To those who are opening their doors to receive them in their various costumes; I hope you have a great time as well.

Before I post this I wanted to add one more interesting development. I wonder if you have seen this in the past couple of years. It is called the Teal Pumpkin Project.

By placing a pumpkin outside your door  that has been painted in a teal color you signify that your house will provide non-allergenic treats to the trick or treaters who are allergic.

These allergies are to peanuts, gluten, milk and all manner of other sensitivities. What they do is provide non-candy treats from somewhere like the dollar store in lieu of candy.

I think this is marvelous so that all can celebrate Halloween. This was never an issue back in the day but it seems allergies are abundant now.

The end of October is upon us already. It will soon be time to start thinking about and decorating for Christmas. November comes first though not that the stores are going to acknowledge that. LOL. 😉

Thank you for visiting my blog once again my friends. Tell me, do you have plans for Monday night? If you are going to dress up; what is your costume going to be?

Please leave your comment or question in the comment section below and I try to get to each and every one I receive. Happy Halloween one and all! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Do You Believe In Ghosts?

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Today’s post is  brought to you by the one word Daily Prompt  Ghost

This subject tends to divide people into one group or another, that is if they discuss the topic at all. There are three basic groups. I thought I would explore the idea and fill you in on my experiences with ghosts. That’s right, I am in the believer group.

There are the believers who swear by the existence of ghosts, most have a story to tell or a television show they saw showing the actions of a poltergeist (that’s a ghost who can move objects). Then there are all the mediums who can speak to the dearly departed, at least they say they can.

Okay, now, the other group are the skeptics. These people poo-poo the idea that ghosts even exist. Not only have they not had any experiences with ghosts their faith tells them that it is just not possible. You either go to Heaven or Hell and there is no middle ground where you hang around to haunt the living.

The third and final group of people are the undecided.These people have not made a decision one way or the other. Their minds are open to the possibility that ghosts could be real but have not yet found absolute proof that would allow them to claim belief in these earthbound spirits. This also means that with no absolute proof they exist also means that they have also not found any absolute proof that they don’t exist. Hmm, what is a person to do? Why one needs to sit on the fence about the subject of course! LOL

Alright, finally we are at the part where I tell you of my experiences with ghosts. Yes, that’s right, ghosts…plural. I will relate to you two separate incidences where I came face to face with undeniable proof that this is real. I was extremely close to my maternal Grandmother. I just adored her – her manner of speaking and the compassion she showed me when my Grandfather (her husband) teased me just for fun being just two of the reasons I loved her.

Anyway, I digress, when she passed on about a week after her funeral I woke up one night and sat straight up in bed. I could smell her perfume and I felt her presence in the room with me. I was missing her terribly and believe she had come to visit me to reassure me she was okay and was still with me.

I hear you…you are saying that I was just overcome with grief and I dreamt all this in order to comfort myself. Well, years and years later I was visiting my best friend’s house in another city and was curious to see this new house of hers because she claimed it was haunted. After the experience with my Grandmother’s spirit, I was open to another encounter with the other side.

My first night of the three I spent with her that long weekend there was a loud crashing noise that brought everyone out to the living room. There were noises coming from the kitchen as well, that sounded like dishes rattling in the cupboard.

In the living room, we discovered several of my friends CD cases on the floor a few feet from the shelving they were on prior to going to bed that night. As we stood there staring at the mess on the floor more CDs launched off the shelves flew through the air and landed on top of the pile in the middle of the floor.

We all backed out of the room and went down the hallway to the kitchen to find the cupboard doors open and all the cups, plates and bowls shoved to the back wall of the cupboards. One cup lay smashed on the countertop. This was without a doubt a poltergeist. Proof positive to me anyway.

Please tell me in the comment section if you have ever had any experiences with ghosts or poltergeists. I would be really interested to know. Or, are you someone who is a skeptic – can you tell me why? I would be really interested to hear about that too.

Thank you for stopping by my blog to read my thoughts and questions once again my friends. Have a wonderful day/night and I shall be talking to you again in my next post. =)

 

Two Heads Are Better Than One

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Have you ever heard of that saying up there? Yes, the title of this post, that saying. It is true, you know, two heads are often better than one and sometimes more than two heads are ideal. I am talking about all kinds of situations where you really do need more input or information than what is rattling around in your own brain.

There are times in this life where another person’s viewpoint has value like when you are struggling with a decision or trying to figure out how to handle a situation. Those other heads I am talking about can be the ones on all kinds of people. They can be close to you such as family or friends or they could be from a much broader sampling of people like a poll on the internet, or they could be a professional such as a therapist, doctor or psychiatrist.

Sometimes you don’t require an answer from them at all. Sometimes you just need a sounding board, hearing yourself tell someone the problem you’re facing is often enough to allow you to work out the solution for yourself. Again, that could be anyone from a close friend you can trust and confide in to a professional therapist who can give you the guidance you need at that moment or in that situation.

You must carefully consider who to seek out when you want to share something that is troubling you. Is the problem benign, like trying to decide on what to have for dinner? A friend or dinner companion is the perfect choice to consult for this type of problem. If the problem is of a more emotional and heavy sort, like trying to figure out how to go on when you lose a significant relationship or if you are having a hard time dealing with the death of someone close to you…well, for that you really should seek professional counsel. Your friends may be too close to the situation or not know what to say, how to best help you.

Recently I had the honor of helping my sister figure out a certain problem. Let me tell you, it is very satisfying when you can help someone put their mind at ease and make a decision that they feel good about. Most of this post has been from the viewpoint of being the person with the issue but I wanted to show this process from the other side as well. If you can be one of those other heads that someone needs be it a sounding board or fellow brainstormer it is indeed an honor. It means they value your opinion and feel open enough to share their dilemma with you. Never be afraid to suggest seeking out a professional if you feel unequipped to deal with what they are telling you. This can be life saving, life altering advice when it is necessary.

Thanks for visiting my blog my friends. I value each and every one of your heads and would love to hear what you are thinking. Please feel free to leave a comment or question for me. I try to get to each and every one I receive. If you know someone who needs to see this please share it with them. Thanks as well to my sister, Karen, for suggesting I write a post on this subject…turns out I had a lot to say about it after all. LOL =)

Happy Birthday Mom =)

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I am proud to say that the wonderful, beautiful, woman pictured above is my mother. Cheers Mom! In the picture, she is celebrating her special day with a chocolate martini….mmmm. Yesterday was her birthday and I so wish I could have been with her to celebrate this milestone birthday. I had to settle for a card and a phone call to let her know how I feel about her. My sister, who lives with Mom, is seeing to it that she is celebrating not only on her birthday but the whole week. So thank you, Karen, for that. I am glad you are able to pamper Mom like she deserves.

As I mentioned this year is a milestone for her…drumroll please, she turned 80 years old yesterday. I know, right, she doesn’t look like she is that old! I really hope that those genes passed down to me and I look as great as she does when I get to be that age. Heck, I just hope I get to be 80.  My Mom is following my blog so I know she is reading this too and I want to say I hope this coming year is your best yet Mom.

My Mom has spent her entire life focussing on doing so much for others and I would like to see her be as kind and thoughtful to herself as she is to everyone else.   My Mom used to be the secretary at the schools I attended when I grew up and it was comforting to know that she was right there. When I became a mother myself, my two sons were lucky enough to have the best Grandma ever. They wanted for nothing and made lots of great memories every time they saw her. I am so glad my sons had the chance to spend time with both of my parents and my sister.

This post is going to be shorter than usual but I just wanted to let everybody know how much of a treasure my Mom is. Thanks for stopping by to read my blog again folks, I do appreciate it. If you would like to leave a question or comment below, please do. I try to get to each and every response I get. Have a wonderful day/night…whatever it happens to be when you read this. =)

Moving Day Is FINALLY Almost Here-YAY!!

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Finally!! We are counting down the days to moving day and those numbers are now in the single digits. We just have to make it through tonight, tomorrow and Monday – I just can’t wait! This apartment is now starting to echo. There is very little left here because we have now taken 19 car loads down the highway to our new apartment. Our new landlords are totally awesome and have allowed us to move our stuff in little by little over the month. He unlocks the door for us each time and locks up when we are done. We don’t get any keys in our hot little hands until we pay our first month’s rent. No biggy…we are just so thankful that they are allowing us to move in slowly.

Where we are sitting now Tuesday morning will find us anxious to move and only needing to load our friends truck with our stove, fridge, washer, dryer, bed, dining room table and two captain’s chairs and our dressers. In the final carload, will be our clothes in bags, whatever food is left in the kitchen, the oven racks and glass shelves from our fridge and of course our computers! All that is left to do here is cleaning all the rooms so that we don’t need to come back here for anything once we leave with our stuff. I want to load the truck and car , hand the keys back to the landlord and leave. Period. Full stop. 

The weather here is turning really warm and it is only coming to the end of May. I can just imagine what the summer holds. The great thing is our new apartment is a basement apartment but it is a ground level entry apartment so it looks and feels like a big open living space and not a downstairs dungeon with little windows. We took load number 19 down to the new place today and it was hot and sunny. After offloading the car we sat around the patio table to relax in the sunshine and it was hot. Once we stepped back inside the apartment it was instant coolness. Aaahhhh…. I think we are going to love living there full time. Well, that is all the news I have to share tonight I will write again after we have settled into our new home.  Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. I do appreciate the support. =)

 

My How Times Change!

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Today’s post is inspired by the one word daily prompt for April 12th – that word is Bedtime

 

You know, times really do change. Do you remember when you were young or perhaps remembering your children when they were young would be easier to remember? It was always a struggle getting my kids to go to bed. Maybe it was because they had untold amounts of energy and hadn’t expended it all yet. Maybe it was that they feared they would miss out on something, an experience, a treat, a TV show? Whatever the reason was, I think it is a universal phenomenon common to all children.

Do you see adults struggling with that? Well, maybe sometimes if there is a special event planned or if they have a condition such as insomnia. As a general rule though I think full grown adults are so weary from work and responsibilities all day they are all too ready to collapse into bed at the end of the day. Unfortunately, adults only get a brief reprieve before they have to get up and do it all again.

As I have posted in this blog before I am up until the wee hours of the morning and get up around ten a.m. I have a brain on overdrive…you can find that post here –>  Thinking   in case you are not familiar with what I am talking about. Mine is a special case though as I am not living the standard life. I do not have to attend another place for work or punch a time clock since I am self-employed doing YouTube and this blog and other odd jobs to make money. I am referring to the working adult that has a full-time job at XYZ Company Inc. and only gets two precious days off a week. Those are the adults who I think long for bedtime at the end of the day. Those same adults who were once children that rebelled against their parents who were ordering, persuading, pleading with them to go to bed.

As we age we get tired because I think our bodies slow down naturally. Seniors are well known to take naps at some point in the day…heck, even I have been known to nap on occasion. I call them OLN (Old Lady Naps). LOL

I will say it again…my how times change!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and reading my post. If you enjoyed it please consider leaving a like. If this is the first post of mine you have read and you liked it please consider reading a few more and possibly following my blog. I appreciate all the support. =)  Have a good night, folks…and GO TO BED! 😉

Remembering Dad

 

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Ross Gordon MacKenzie Hume

April 5, 1932 – November 24, 2013

 

The day was warm and sunny with a slight breeze as we set up the tables and chairs along with the displays of Dad’s work and accomplishments. Mom (Gerri), my sister (Karen) and I were getting ready to welcome friends to the house for an afternoon of sharing stories and remembering Dad. Our brother Gord was notably absent. He was supposed to be coming from his home down east but at the last minute decided not to grace us with his presence. He had gotten upset over things that were Dad’s that he thought were his by right. There were miscommunications and assumptions made and although he swears to have been so close to Dad and missed him so much he chose not to come and honor the man that was our father.

We ignored Gord’s absence, choosing to celebrate Dad. To that end, only the food and beverages Dad loved were provided to our guests. Known to one and all as a man who scorned salads as rabbit food and who ran from the house at the smell of pizza, no one was surprised when the dining room table held only ham sandwiches, sausage rolls, butter tarts, and candies; the drink cart only tea, coffee, flat Coke, rye and Drambuie. An iPod of his favorite songs played gently in the background; Nana Mouskouri, Kris Kristofferson, several favorite Scottish tunes done by various artists to name a few.

We had lost Dad to vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s on November 24th, 2013 but we were only now gathering to honor him on June 1st, 2014. My mother, Gerri, did not want us all traveling in the bad weather and so close to Christmas for such a sad occasion. I think my Dad would have felt the same way. Still, it had been a long hard road for me from the phone call telling me he had passed away in his sleep back in November just three days after my birthday to early June. No funeral, no ceremony to mark his passing, no closure. Dad had been cremated and there was no formal funeral planned as he would not have liked that either. Mom had planted a mature blue spruce tree on the property with a view to the pond and house. Here, Mom, Karen and I spread Dad’s ashes in a private ceremony the night before the celebration, just the three Hume women saying goodbye. Here I found the closure I so desperately needed and a closer bond with my mother and sister. Dad said that the property was the most beautiful place on earth; it’s rolling hills reminded him of Scotland where he spent his childhood. It is only fitting then that he be part of that beauty for eternity.

June was not so much a memorial as a celebration of his life. That would have made Dad happy – people gathering to talk about his storytelling abilities, wicked sense of humor, and most especially his brilliance and his gritty determination. Dad invented and patented his two-wheeled solar powered car, struggling mightily although unsuccessfully to get it to market before dementia took over. Dad was a smart man, he thrived on complex projects and finding the correct and perfect solution for each one. This man was not afraid of hard work or of using his brain to figure things out, learn new things and master them. In his lifetime he was a master electrician; a Vice President of Engineering even though he’d been too poor to go to university and become an engineer; a millwright, real estate salesman, owner of several small businesses and, above all, an inventor. I remember the wall in his den being covered with plaques and certificates. That is why it hit me so hard when Mom called to tell me that Dad had dementia.

Dad had battled many health problems over the years. A heart attack when he was 51 then many years later blockages in his arteries that resulted in a triple bypass operation. Although bypass surgery is known to give the patient a new lease on life, for my dad it was too late. A number of mini-strokes had already caused vascular dementia that only worsened after surgery. For a man who spent literally thousands of hours at the computer perfecting his inventions, the dementia was particularly cruel, taking away his vision not because he couldn’t see clearly but because his brain no longer knew how to interpret the signals it was receiving. Dad simply bought more powerful magnifying glasses and worked harder. He let nothing hold him back from doing what he wanted to do.

I wasn’t there for some of what I’ve reported. I missed a lot of years with my family that I will never get back but life takes you places that you don’t expect and sometimes there are lessons to be learned before you can reconnect and actually form a stronger connection than would have been possible otherwise. You see, I live about five hours away in a northern Ontario city and could not make it home often to visit. Special occasions like Mom and Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary and a family reunion were the exceptions and I had found a way to be there to reconnect with relatives and friends and to celebrate my parents. I am thankful that before Dad descended into the foggy abyss that is dementia, I was able to repair my relationship with him and enjoy many phone conversations.

Then the phone calls ended. Dad no longer knew who I was and became harder to look after at home. He became paranoid and aggressive; he would wander down the road or out by the pond. Finally, a spot was found at a local extended care home where caring and trained staff could look after Dad 24/7 and relieve the stress and weariness that had become my Mom and sister’s existence. For two years and nine months, to the day, Mom and Karen would visit him in the home. I kept in contact through phone calls and was told of the falls he took, the flu he was exposed to; the laughter and sadness inspired by their visits. My parents were married for 57 years; an achievement I’d long admired and hoped to emulate. How heartbreaking it must have been for my mother to see Dad become a shell of his former self. I am told I should be thankful I don’t remember him in that state, and I am.

I remember a strong, smart man from whom I always sought validation and acceptance…all little girls do that with their fathers, right? I remember a man who could not say the words, “I love you.” The only boy in his family, Dad became an adult at an early age when his father died and he took care of his mother and sisters. I don’t think he heard “I love you” enough when he was growing up, but by his actions Mom and the three of us kids knew that we had his love. He proved it daily by working hard to provide for us, by being there for us when there were problems, by giving his best to us in ways other than those three words. There was a rough patch in my life where I battled with depression and a suicide attempt all while being married to an abusive man. My dad was there for me through it all. He came to the hospital and visited me in the psychiatric hospital and took me for a weekend pass.

As an adult, I repeatedly told my father that I loved him. He would look at me silently and then tell me, “Look, you know I can’t say that Sue.” I would tell him that I know but that doesn’t stop me from saying it. I am so glad Dad knew how I felt about him. It was so important to me that he know.

What a complicated and intricate man my father was but, I would not change a thing. It was all part of who he was and I miss him. Dad’s attitude to life was “Que Sera Sera….what will be, will be.” He said that right before his bypass surgery when I asked him how he could not be scared about what was going to happen. Dad said he believed in taking life as it comes; that there is no sense being scared or struggling against what is; your job is to handle what life hands you as best you can.

I do worry about the future. Is there a gene that was passed on to me, to my sons? Will I eventually lose my mind to dementia? Scary prospects to be sure but all I can focus on right now is to stay as healthy as possible and watch for signs. Ah, the future, I think of all Dad will miss now that my son James and his wife Crystal are about to welcome their first child into the world. It saddens me to think that Dad will never meet his first great grandson, that Mom will have that honor all by herself. But Mom won’t be alone in keeping Dad’s memory alive. We will all be telling the new baby stories about his great grandfather in the years to come. Dad will not be forgotten.

I wrote this article for a chance to have it printed in Chatelaine magazine but it was never published, until now on my blog. I want to acknowledge and thank my sister, Karen, for proofreading my writing and offering suggestions on the wording as well as clarifying some details for me.