Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween 2016



Yes, I will be my obligatory Sugar Skull Girl by Tonight since The G-Kid Force would have it no other way than Gramma participating and not just being a spectator when it comes to Costume.  Grandpa no longer dresses up, I miss that, he used to, he's Content to just hand out candy as himself nowadays.




The Young Prince will do some kind of Face Make-Up and Home-Made Costume as usual.  He's been experimenting in recent days since his Performances at the Competitions have required a Holiday Themed Make-Up and Look as his School goes to the State Finals now and does their 'Phobias' Routine in Color Guard.




He had sweat most of it off when he got Home late Saturday Night after a fierce Competition... they did well, they are definitely going to State Finals.  I had to capture his less than Pristine Make-Up since they apply it at the Colleges they're Performing at and I haven't been able to attend any.  I Wish I could, I've gone in the Past, alas this year they're too far away and too expensive to bring the whole Family.




And of coarse you might remember the mock-up we did previously for The Cheerless Leader.   We will have full on Face Make-Up I'm sure and I Hope she has not misplaced those striped Pumps since no other shoes match and you know how she is about that!  *LOL*




I am Glad that I shall be here to take her Trick-Or-Treating though since her Grandpa can't, he can't walk far and gets anxious if he's in unfamiliar surroundings and feels lost... and she didn't want her Big Brother to since she claims he's too Bossy.  And lets face it, there can be only one Boss... and that would be HER, right?!?   I would definitely miss not taking her since this could be the last year, she's thinking that next year when she turns 12 she'll be too Adult to Trick-Or-Treat?!?  Is that the Official Expiration Date of Childhood... these seem to think so!?!  *LOL*




I know I'll always Decorate for the Season and Celebrate it, even long after there are no more Children in the household to participate in every aspect of it.  I'm definitely a Child at Heart when it comes to the Holiday Seasons and I Confess that I might even Enjoy it more than they do at times!  *Smiles*




With the exception of putting some Decor out in front of the house near the Front Courtyard where The Man will be handing out candy to the Kids we're done Decorating now.   I don't do much on the outside, imagine that!  *Gasp!*




I used to, but it was off-putting to Trick-Or-Treaters since we're already the Scary Family *Winks* and Lord knows we don't need to eat all this Candy we bought!  So Mister Medical Cadaver will join The Man at the Bistro Table and some Whimsical Vintage Halloween Wooden Props will be moved outside near the faux Pumpkin Patch in a non-threatening Harvest Themed Villa.




You know, as a Family, we've always been more inclined to Decorate and Style on the inside of our Home for ourselves, rather than go all out on exterior Decor for the Holidays to impress others.   I thoroughly Enjoy seeing those that do both, or go Hog Wild on Exterior Decor for Holidays and Share it with everyone, but it's not been our Family Tradition nor Ritual to necessarily do so.




Mostly because we have so much we DO during the Holiday Seasons for Family Time and to Celebrate.  We have so many Personal Traditions and Rituals that I don't want to tie up too much of that precious time doing external Decorations in front of the house, it's not a high enough priority for our Holidays to feel complete.




Lavish Decor inside where we all Enjoy it every day just makes more sense to us... both during Halloween and Christmastime.   So you won't see our Home festooned with Lights, Buzzers, Bells and Whistles depicting our Celebrations.  Unless you're Invited into our World you probably will think we're Low Key and Simple folks when it comes to Holiday Celebrations, which couldn't be further from the Truth!  *Bwahahahaha!*




Okay, so I don't Suspect anyone whose actually glimpsed us in the Flesh would actually ever assume that... come to think about it.  *Winks*  Low Key and Simple Folks probably aren't Words ever used to describe any of us actually.  But if you come to visit here in the Land of Blog you've had a behind the scenes Invitation to join us in how we really Celebrate the Seasons and Life in general.




You actually know that this Season really is kinda like a pre-curser to Christmas for us and we actually Decorate more Elaborately for it.  Since we can get Wilder and more Weird and Wonderful about Styling for Halloween and Dia de los Muertos than we do for Christmas.   The Reason for the Season at Christmas takes more precedence for us than the Styling or Decor does... so this Season unleashes our Imagination more with no boundaries whatsoever.




Along with the Tricks of coarse are the Treats... so I spent some time debating which Treats we'll have on our Halloween Buffet Spread.   And which Stores had the best selection of Autumn and Holiday Inspired Confections?




Decisions... decisions... decisions!!!   Anything not too Sweet and with Fresh Fruit is always a forerunner with our Family so it will be something like that I'm sure and this Morning I'll be heading to our Favorite Bakeries to pick it up.




Last Night I made the last Candy Run to fill up bowls for The Family and for the Trick-Or-Treaters, of which we have an abundance of in this new neighborhood.  I like that, where a good ole' Traditional Halloween takes place and loads of Kids in Costume come by for their Treats.  In some neighborhoods it has sadly all but died out as a Tradition of going door to door in Costume!  So unfortunate... though some Communities do the Trunk Or Treat at various Churches and some Retailers also hand out Candies or do Harvest Festivals and Haunted Attractions.




So there are numerous Pre-Celebrations and ways to Celebrate effectively, but I am still Old School enough to still Enjoy handing out Candy and seeing all the Children in their Costumes going door to door having Fun in their neighborhoods.




I Hope it never quite dies out completely so that Future Generations can Enjoy it as much as we always have, and especially when we were Children doing it ourselves and coming Home with enough Candy to put us in a Sugar Coma or Blaze thru November and beyond!  *Smiles*




Since November won't have a lot going on in the way of Decorating and Celebrations except on Thanksgiving Day and you've all seen what Food looks like, right?  *Winks*   I'll continue some Posts thru the early part of November Sharing what we did thru this Holiday Season in October.




And Hoping that yours were Fun, Festive and Memorable as well my Friends?  If not, it's Okay,  you can Live Vicariously thru ours here in The Land Of Blog, we're Happy to have you join us!




You are always Welcome at The Villa Boheme'... Blessings and Happy Halloween from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian


Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Day Before Halloween



The Day Before Halloween is always a flurry of activity at our house and this year could be no exception despite our recent profound loss, the Show must go on.  All thoughts of Pumpkin Carving were on the Minds and Hearts of The G-Kid Force when they awoke this Morning and I could hold them back no longer from carving out their Jack-O-Lanterns.

  


We've been having record 100 degree temps for this late in the Season, latest triple digit recordings since the 1800's actually so our Pumpkins, if carved, could have the countenance of this one!




Of being roasted over an open pit and lasting about a minute and a half before decay, rot and bacteria set in!  We need our Jack-O-Lanterns to last til Tomorrow Night at least and even with a diluted bleach wash it will be dicey!?




Hell, we've been feeling like we're roasting over an open pit since this time of year is more humid than Summertime, so unseasonably high temps so late into Autumn can heat you up even if you're used to Desert Heat.




But I still had to banish them to the back Patio since Pumpkin Guts were flying all over my Kitchen and once they broke out the Food Coloring too... well, a little sweating won't hurt 'em, they're Arizona Natives after all!  *LOL*  Besides, they now have sharp instruments, both of them... and I'm rather fond of my Gorgeous Granite Kitchen Island without gouges or cracks and nothing else getting impaled!




And I know a Manic look in the Eye when I see one... he's been Obsessed with the Work of Ray Villafane, and after talking with Ray about this year's Vision for his own Jack-O-Lantern, he's on a Mission... kinda like the Blue's Brothers were! *Smiles*  There is Food Coloring Bruises and Food Coloring Blood, a realistic Colored Tongue, this is gonna be one Epic Creepy Jack-O-Lantern!  




Yeah, it's like this with him once he's Fixated upon something and right now it's carving Jack-O-Lanterns and there's no Reasoning about The Process, so just step aside.   Fortunately for me he's adept at Sculpture and Creates his Art at the speed of Light... so this wasn't gonna take long.




In less than 10 minutes of Pumpkin Guts and shards of Pumpkin flying, Food Dying accents all over him and said Jack-O-Lantern... the carving part of his Jack-O-Lantern was complete.   See, it's not that he can't get things done, he just has to be dialed into and engaged with whatever he's doing and then it gets done in record time.




Footnote: His IEP went splendidly this year, first time ever, I was Impressed this year with his panel of Teachers, all Men, and they seemed genuine and Sincere about tapping into his abilities rather than fixating upon his disabilities and being critical.  *Whew*  They want to try to work with us in keeping him in a Regular High School setting.  *Yay!*




It helped that though he's Failing everyone's Classes, I could tell them everything about what he'd told me he was learning in their classes in great detail.  They are amazed that he IS absorbing the knowledge so thoroughly even though he seems not to often be on Planet Earth, but off in his own little World and disengaged.  He Aces verbal Quizzes and Tests 100% of the time when he does them, it just doesn't translate to his Grades.




I know it will take him more than four years to get thru High School like most Kids, he's not like most Kids.  And though it doesn't mean I have low expectations I told them, I have Realistic expectations that with his disabling factors, this is going to take more time to work out satisfactorily to earn a Diploma and then get on with Inventing something that will Save the World. *LOL*




Impaling his Jack-O-Lantern with sticks after it was complete gave him a way to work out some frustrations, so he was Gleefully going Macabre.  His Sister on the other hand had told Grandpa she was not using her hands to carve her Pumpkins!  Uh WHAT!??!  When she was in and out of the house heading towards the Bathroom to clean up every five minutes and he said he didn't want Pumpkin mess trailed into the house that was her response, but I'm not using my hands!  New one on us, carving with no hands... LMAO!!!  But with her Germophobia and OCD Hand Washing rituals about dirty hands, Pumpkin Guts weren't getting on this kid, no way! *Smiles*


  

She's very fu-fu like that, The Young Prince said she's being so particular about not getting dirty that he thinks hers is never going to get carved actually... he could be right!?!  He tried to assist but then he got a smidgen of Red Food Coloring from his hands onto the Skin of her Pumpkin and it practically sent her over the edge... so we're taking a Pumpkin carving break to de-escalate things. 




 Grandpa is wound up since his Football Game and Routine has gotten interrupted numerous times already... she's wound up from Obsessive Compulsive Behavior regarding carving hers and spending more time Cleaning  than carving... Young Prince is done and completely disengaged now.   So we just need a little Time to get back to finishing hers, likely with her delegating and me getting dirty.  *Winks*  For now I Need a Break more than they do... Ha Ha Ha!




Hers is probably the Cleanest Pumpkin Carving Station EVER and she's used about a roll of Viva Paper Towels cleaning the work station, her Pumpkin {it must be spotless during the carve and without blemish} and herself.  We will probably use up a bar of Soap in the Bathroom and enormous amounts of Water before this fellow is complete!  *LOL*  He MIGHT be done by the time I Post this, but mebbe not?




As for me I'm simultaneously doing Laundry, Posting this and assisting with Pumpkin Carving since I multi-task so well.  I'll be going to Work later Tonight for a Rest.  *Winks*   But for the Post I want to Share more of Ray Villafane's Fabulous Creations at the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden in Carefree.




We knew that this Weekend would be the Big Pumpkin Festivities out there and everything would be complete so it was always the intention to go back.  But with Mom passing, The Young Prince having State Competitions all Weekend and being gone most of the time, both Princess T and The Man told me they'd be Okay staying Home so I could have some Alone Time this Weekend to Process Grief and have some Meditative Seclusion that I Needed desperately.




You see when you're a Caregiver and running a Household exclusively you don't have much, if any, 'Down Time' regardless of the Issues of Life playing out.  It's not like those that Work at Caregiving in a Group Home or Nursing Home and then they get to go Home at the end of each day or have Vacay Days Earned to take away from their duties.  There are no Staff and Co-Workers to take over when you are Caregiving for your own Loved One(s).




So when shit happens it's not like you can just take as much time off as you might need, go on a binge or something to Escape your Reality *Winks* and recuperate or Grieve exclusively.  So my little Sober Getaway Escapes just have to Do.  *LOL*  Nope, I cannot be like this Guy... Moonshine Scarecrow... though a lil Moonshine might take the Edge off.  No... just kiddin' that stuff is vile... I once had some when our Friend Homer from Tennessee brought back some years ago.  A Teaspoonful almost took my breath away and you could light that stuff on Fire, Blue Flame and all!  *Yikes*




Last thing I Need is to go Blind too, huh?  And BTW: Is this not the Scariest Scarecrow Face EVER!?!   Ray must have been Channeling Children Of The Corn or something when he Created this one... he who walks between the rows, yeah, he could look like this, I'm sure of it!  *Shudder!*

  


All of the Vignettes have such Character and Animation going on though, guess this Ole Boy is making Pumpkin Moonshine and these fellas are trying to Escape too... I Feel 'em!  *LOL*   I've Needed a Crew like this to Break me Out every so often!




Yeah, this Scene made me Smile and that was the whole point of the Outing, to Cheer me up enough to remain Functional and not be going to pieces during this difficult time of Mourning.  Since there is still a lot to do during the Holidays that is Fun and the Kiddos and I look forward to, we couldn't let a Tragedy derail us completely.




So meanwhile back on the Patio, more Cleaning and even some Carving was now going on!  Ssshhhhh...  don't allow her to lose Focus as she Works... we are headed down the Home Stretch of her completing her Masterpiece Jack-O-Lantern for this year's Halloween Vignette Tomorrow Night.  I think that almost empty Viva Towel Roll gives you some idea of just how much Cleaning went on since it had been a brand new roll when we began!?  *Bwahahaha!*

  


Finally!!!  Ta-Da... I got the Word that it was Done!  *Yay!*   Yes, though her Brother's had taken all of about 10 Minutes, hers had taken all of about 2 Hours, give or take... probably longer, since it seemed like an Eternity to the rest of us!




But the fact there were no Tears, Tantrums or Intense Drama... just getting wound up for her and Grandpa... meant both of them is making progress in the right direction when it comes to Coping Skills.  Almost anything that requires Focus and Patience is not going to usually go well with either of them since they don't dial in with quite the Intensity of The Young Prince once he's Down for something and Obsessed about it.




The brief de-escalation did the Trick to get them both re-focused on the Treat of carving the Jack-O-Lanterns and that it's supposed to be FUN and not Stressful.  *Smiles*  Well, yeah, in a Perfect World it is SUPPOSED to be Fun, so I'm told.  *Winks*  End result this Morning, after about two hours of alleged Fun, we're Done and now have two Jack-O-Lanterns in the Front Courtyard waiting to be lit up Tomorrow Night.  *Whew!*




Yeah, after Ray duly Inspiring us all to carve our Pumpkins we did start out Gung Ho I ain't gonna lie.  How can you NOT, right, when you've Witnessed such Fabulousness that CAN be Created from a mere Pumpkin or Gourd!?!  You do get Excited about trying your hand at it and Creating your own Masterpieces!




Since Sculpting is The Young Prince's Favorite Art Form I'm certain that eventually he will reach a pinnacle of Success at Jack-O-Lantern Carving too.  And hey, people are making a tidy Career out of such Artistic Genius now so it's a viable Career Choice for those who possess such Raw Talent.




At the Festival they were giving Instruction on how to Master the Art of Pumpkin Carving and Kids and Adults alike were eating it up!  I'm not at all a Master Sculptor and even I was being Convinced I could do this!  *Ha ha ha*




Along with Ray there were other World Renown Pumpkin Carvers giving Demonstrations daily.  Watching them Create their Masterpieces was so Awesome and Inspiring!  




Seeing the Creations coming to Life gave you an idea of The Process and how time consuming it can actually be even for The Masters.   Every one admitted to failures and mistakes so encouraged everyone to keep at it and don't expect Perfection each and every time.  Practice, practice, practice some more.




Along the Trails were informative Pumpkin Facts like this, which are very Helpful in so many ways, so I was taking Notes!  Not that we need ours preserved for a year mind you, but every preservative measure in Desert Heat environments will Help extend the Life at least thru Halloween Night!




We're wondering how they know how thick the walls of the Pumpkin are in order to give it the proper dimension for each Character?   I would think that would be one of the harder parts, determining depth so you don't carve too deep and break through.




These are just uncanny how much Personality and Life has been infused in each Character that has been Created!   These look REAL, and my Photography does not do them Justice.   This was like looking into the Face of a Living Person!




And each Vignette had so much going on that told a Story!!!  I will probably have to do at least another Post of all this to give you all of the Wonder and Enchantment of it all!  I cannot squeeze it all into this one Post Today... so we'll linger in it all after the Halloween and the Dia de los Muertos Posts and Holidays have passed for a while.




Because tho' I would like to be Fishing instead... I have to go to Work soon at our Antique Mall and finish up some laundry before I leave... and so this particular Post must come to a close and you'll have to wait for the rest.  Good Excuse to come back tho', so I'll be waiting for you in November to finish this Journey together at the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden.




*******

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian



A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl