“Fezzes are cool”

Fezzes are cool

(The last Halloween post for 2015 – I promise. It’s a Halloween wrap, one could say.  This post is not as long as it appears to be – there are a good number of pictures because, you know…. it’s Halloween and I have no restraint)

As costumes go, this year was really not all that difficult.

  • He chose costumes that actually existed.
  • We were able to find all of his requests in his size.
  • The two that I did have to buy in pieces to make up the costumes were not all that difficult to put together because the pieces actually exist.

It was a relatively easy year.

Yes, we had the whole “Jim Dear” bump in the road but luckily and unexpectedly it worked out  so – Jim Dear will be counted and included in his “costume parade” this year and of course included in his annual Halloween book that he receives for Christmas each year.

Various 207

– We do take this holiday very seriously.

We may be a little bit over the top, but he loves it and I am perfectly happy to encourage and go with it!

Onward….. his first second choice – the costume that he wore to his Work/Day Program Halloween Dance and the reason (well partially the reason) he was so excited when I brought out that nightmarish pair of glass slippers….

Prince Charming – the REAL Costume this time.

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He even had the opportunity to escort a real princess to the dance. We were not allowed to call her a princess, she is the “Zombie Prom QUEEN!” But to DC, she was a princess – just don’t tell *Salli. Her costume must and should always be identified properly using the official name. Never a Princess!

A few days later we were going to the Haunted Miniature Golf Course to work at a table to support DC’s summer camp. Wearing a costume was not something I had thought about, believe it or not. When I realized the day before I ventured into my costume closet to see if there was something in there for him to wear at the last minute.

The Costume Closet: Let’s talk about the costume closet. DC and I live in a very small duplex. There is no storage and really nowhere to put anything, but still I have an entire closet devoted to Halloween Costumes (Priorities, people!). This closet is beyond ridiculous. I really can not find anything. I don’t even know everything that is in there at this point, but I was hopeful. The other issue with pulling out an old costume is that many of them will not fit him any longer. DC is a big boy.

I saw something with a black cape. I was able to get at it without the rest of the closet caving in on me. It was a Jack the Ripper costume. The only reason that I can think of for having a Jack the Ripper costume is that I must have thought I could use all or part of it for one of DC’s requests for a costume that did not exist. I don’t recall ever using it though. It had a black vest, a black cape and a top hat. It was trimmed in red. I showed it to him and asked if he would like to wear it to the golf course. I got an emphatic “Yes”. The boy just loves a cape. We tried it on. I was worried about the vest but it fit – PHEW. He went to look at himself in the mirror.

I asked: “DC who are you?”

“Captain Von Trapp”

????!!!!?????

I have no idea why he thought he looked like Captain Von Trapp unless there is some obscure scene in the Sound of Music where either Christopher Plummer or Stephen Moyer is wearing a cape. If DC thinks so, then there probably is.

Only because I was still a bit confused about the Captain Von Trapp thing, I asked him again who he thought he looked like. This time the answer was “Doc Terminus” (Jim Dale from Pete’s Dragon for those of you that have not seen every Disney movie ever made). That actually made perfect sense. He did look like him, more than he looked like Captain Von Trapp, anyway.

IMG_1648Of course we did have a mustache on hand to complete the look.

We were scheduled to man the table a second day and fortunately I did not have to venture into the dreaded closet again. I remembered his Grease garb from a Grease Sing-A-Long that we attended a few years ago that was hanging in his own closet – SCORE!  It had a jacket which was perfect as it can get mighty cold out there and there is nothing worse than having to wear a coat or jacket over one’s Halloween costume.

Nothing… Seriously… Look it up..it is just not done!

The second best part was that it was easy and recognizable……

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except that everyone called him “Elvis” – everyone.

His camp party came just two days after the golf course. His choice……. “Hook” but not the Disney Captain Hook (yay!)- Captain Hook from the television show “Once Upon a Time” (yay, again). I was happy with this choice. It is a popular character on a current TV show. Other than the Big Bang Theory last year, he really never chooses or has any interest in anything current, so usually No One Knows What He Is Supposed To Be. 

HookPirates UNITE!

He even ran into another pirate at the party.

Fortunately no swords were drawn – it was all very amicable.

Moving on to my very favorite costume of the season!  This one for the Best Buddies Halloween party.

Dr. Who – the 10th Dr.! (DC’s favorite DR (mine as well)  and the greatest challenge of the season – David Tennant’s hair.

  • Two ruined wigs
  • DC loosing his stuff over the hair clippings – everywhere.
  • DC loosing his stuff over the hair glue (extra strength mouse, but I really think it IS glue) everywhere.

I finally had to give it up or the costume that he was so excited about would turn into something he did not want to wear or hear about – ever again. I think we still made the point even with the rather ridiculous hairdo.

bb halloween 008

One could truly say the was “The Madman with a box.”

DC and his Best Buddy

DC and his Best Buddy

Traveling in his “Big” (very, very big) Blue Box through space and time to somewhere in New England – coordinates set for October 31, 2015 and regeneration complete…….

comes…….The 11th Doctor.

Fezzes are very cool

Although David Tennant, the 10th Dr. is DC’s favorite – He would not pass up the opportunity to wear a FEZ.

But seriously……Who could??

“Fezzes are cool”

Happy Halloween!

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Gorn? No…… October reruns #TBT

So we’ve come to the end of the line – the last Halloween/Spooky/TBT/FBF post for October 2015. Never fear,  there will be just one more Halloween post in early November – I know you were worried 🙂

Recently, after writing “Leave the Shoe; take the chocolate” I commented to the only two people that “got it” that this was usually the case – I am sitting here just cracking myself up…… alone.

The last costume in the following post is another one of those times when I just thought I was being so clever and hilarious and no one got it. Part of the reason that no one “got it” was because there was actually a Star Trek species called Gorn, lizard-like aliens that I did not even remember until people brought it up. (My bad – Defeated again)

So here’s some hints for the very last costume:

  • Big Bang
  • Game
  • Stones – document – cutting instrument – reptile – Leonard Nimoy…

Trust me….. it’s hilarious (but you do have my permission to just humor me)

but….. no one will know what you are supposed to be

In the event that it still isn’t apparent to everyone…….. I LOVE HALLOWEEN, and I couldn’t be happier that DC loves it as much as I do!

“But, no one will know what you are supposed to be”, is something I have been told quite often on Halloween over the years. I sometimes have a very odd sense of what is funny or what, I’m sure other people will get. They don’t always ‘get it’ but I am cracking myself up so no one else needs to join in.

DC and I begin planning Halloween in August. He must have a costume for every event he attends and me, being me, just LOVES this!

As I can always come up with the odd costume, again, thinking I am just totally hilarious, more often DC will come up with a costume that is not a costume at all, just a character wearing regular clothes or worse, a costume that does not exist or that no one has ever heard of except for DC – who is watching very old or obscure musicals or Disney movies.

There was the year that he wanted nothing more than to be “Charlie Bucket” for Halloween……..

Basically, Charlie Bucket is a boy with blonde hair.

Charlie Bucket - Photo Credit - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Alrighty, then…….

In my mind Charlie’s birthday scarf was red – it wasn’t,  but I think I duplicated the jacket (doesn’t show up well in the photo, but it was very close), the hair and hat as closely as I could. I added a Golden Ticket to his trick-or-treat bag, for added recognize-ability  and I think I came pretty close to turning DC into “Charlie Bucket”.

and ……on a side note, the bag must always match the costume….

Even with the addition of  Willy Wonka and an Ooompa Loompa , people who did not know DC personally had no idea he was in a costume..

Then there was the year that DC wanted to be “Daddy Warbucks” from one of his favorite musicals,  Annie. I had planned to dress as Annie, but I broke my toe – the first in a very long line of toe-breaking incidents – so I could not walk around the neighborhood with him. Still,  I assumed that most people would know who Daddy Warbucks was even without Annie by his side………They didn’t.

Even with the addition of Sandy the dog to his trick-trick-or-treat bag, most people thought he was Mr. Six.

(Mr. Six was one of his choices a few years later and yes, everyone “got it”)

Photo Credit - Six Flags Amusement Park and *Al (at work) - Graphic Artist who works magic with my Halloween Pics every year.

I always do try to embrace his costume requests especially when he does come up with a character from a TV show or movie that is more age-appropriate than his usual choices. Generally when he does actually choose something or someone from a television show, it is usually a show that has not been on the air for years. He tends to discover favorite TV shows long after they are out of the public eye, but progress is progress and I will take it.

This year, he surprised me.

DC’s first costume of the 2014 Halloween season was “The Doppler Effect” (Sheldon – The Big Bang Theory) – He loves the Big Bang Theory and as I said,  I will go out of my way to encourage anything he might like that is more age-appropriate than the TV shows and movies he normally gravitates to. Obviously, he did not say “I want to be the ‘Dopper Inact’ (DC-speak)” but he did want to be Sheldon, which would have been easy to do,  as he has worn his Bazinga shirt to death, so we went for the Doppler Effect.

Sheldon, The Doppler Effect - photo credit teamliquid.net

No, not everyone knew who he was “supposed to be”, but he didn’t know or care. It was funny to the people that did “get it” and that is good enough for me.

Our next party costume was one that, not only did I think no one would have any idea about, but it was really difficult to find a photo on-line to copy from – The Timekeeper from “Spy Kids, All the Time in the World” – and yes, we are required to say the full title of the movie every time it is mentioned.

Timekeeper - Spy Kids All the Time in the World - Photo Credit: Disney - Spykids

Fortunately, I found some “Bag O’ Gears” on Amazon along with goggles that looked close enough even before gluing said gears all over them. The costume, of course was not exact, it really wasn’t even close, but gears were added, a pocket watch and a flask with a compass, looking close enough to a clock to fit the theme. I thought it made the point and more importantly, DC loved it. As it turned out a few people other than DC  had actually seen this movie and knew right away who he “was supposed to be”.

The Timekeeper, the challenge of our Halloween season, “nailed”, according to a few reviews, we moved on to our final party before Halloween night.
The Beast…. because of course, there must be at least one Disney animated character in the mix.
This was not DC’s first Halloween as the Beast, but years ago, it was much more difficult to find a Beast costume, so again, we had to go “makeshift” and put random pieces together to get the effect. A friend of mine happened to have a mask, so that really helped.

This year, he had the real thing, straight from the Beast’s wardrobe – because, as you know, the Beast is no longer a Beast, he is a handsome Prince, he has no need of this outfit anymore.

The one costume that continues to make the list from the time DC was very young and still to this day is “Jim Dear” from Lady and the Tramp.

(sigh….)  A man in a suit…..

Not my idea of a Halloween costume, but – this is not about me….

……not ALL about be, anyway.

This year, while purchasing a 40’s style hat for DC to wear to an event we attended, I came across and purchased a derby type hat as well.
Next year I will give in to his request for a  “Jim Dear” costume. I suppose I will be shopping for a stuffed Lady and Tramp, and whatever else I can come up with to make “Jim Dear” recognizable. I have 10 months to think about it.

I began writing this post almost two weeks ago after DC attended his first party of the season, holding off publishing until the last costume of our season ‘dropped’ – on Halloween night.

The following is a combination of my encouragement of DC’s affection for something popular, age appropriate, something he actually thinks is funny, and me thinking myself quite hilarious.

Lizard Spock

Alright already…….. Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock – come on… that’s funny (you’re humoring me, remember?)

and even more Short Stories

or…. Short Stories; the Threequel… (or… “Fluff” because it’s been a busy month)

Below are some “short stories” (statuses) that have been posted on my own and my public Facebook pages (Instagram too) – too short to qualify for a blog post, although many have turned out to be the inspiration for an official blog post. You may have seen a few of these before, probably not all though.

San Francisco 168

Should have landed home  at 12:35 pm Thursday. 13 Hours later, we made it! “There’s no place like home”.

Publication1

Just watched DC trying to get on the bus w/out smashing 5 bouquets of flowers for his teachers – we’ll see if they make it…….not one of my better ideas.
…..
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Even though we were in the blazing sun – he couldn’t get past those dark clouds – we didn’t get very far….

…..

BB and DC testing the Bertie Bot flavors on the way home from Salem.

…..

birdie

Taking DC to NY tomorrow to see “Bye Bye Birdie” (one of his favs) and the bonus…….. “Uncle Jessie” (John Stamos from another of his favorites, Full House) is in it. He is very excited! Doug, on the other hand, is attending under protest; already practicing and perfecting the eye rolling, heavy sighs…….

…..

 

horse

Just lost another 10 years of my life; DC fell off the horse. He’s okay, I may never be.

 

 

 

……

TAPS

DC had a great time “Ghost Hunting” at the “shemitury” (DC speak) with BB tonight (both in full TAPS gear)

…..

waiting

Lost power at 4am (Mr. “No Storm Today” knew the instant it went off), it just came back. Long morning driving him around until it came back on – Before resorting to driving him around I did try for a couple of hours to get him back to sleep but who can sleep  with “Waiting!” being yelled at you continuously. When I told him to please stop yelling, he moved on to spelling it. When that didn’t work  he moved on to sign language (yes, it is quieter, but of course he had to poke me each time so I could see him signing)!

….

halloween

Yes, it’s June but DC has already picked his Halloween Costume and it is on order. A little ahead of schedule this year, we usually wait until August 🙂 . We LOVE Halloween, in case that isn’t apparent to you all.

 

 

…..

“Pretty Maids All In A Row”

Pretty Maids All In A Row

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…..

Because no is allowed to sit in his chair in the kitchen (even if he is not in it) or his “spot” on the couch, I thought we’d make it official #BigBang

my spot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…..

STOP THE PRESSES! DC is at an Arc activity with his “Arc Friends” and he is eating Lasagna!

lasagna

…..

Sitting in the waiting room for DC’s scheduled DR. Appointment this morning and watching Disney Jr. Mickey Mouse Club House to be exact. We were called in before the dreaded “Hot Dog, Hot Dog, Hot Diggity Dog” song came on and yet it is still stuck in my head…… Now it’s stuck in yours. You are welcome.

 

 

…..

Waitress: how do you want your burger?
DC: Good!

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…..

Poor deprived boy, they don’t have wings. He’ll have to settle for ribs…. Sigh

wings none

 

 

 

 

 

…..

After losing his computer/DVD privileges last weekend, he is preparing his list for this Friday. “Movie Adventures” is what he is calling his upcoming Friday night (yes, I am still sick and sound like a man)

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Still trying to get to watch the first episode of The Walking Dead, but I have it on good authority that Rick and DC may share the same Band-aide obsession.

zombie bandaids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

….

Robin Hood found himself a princess. He was excited….. for awhile. She dragged him around the dance floor for quite some time. DC apparently not wanting to hurt her feelings (or needing Mom to fight his battles) yelled to me “Mom! My arm is bothering you” (translation – She is holding my arm and it is bothering me) each time they passed by. I guess having a princess on one’s arm can get old, even for DC.

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And forever my favorite……..

 

“Mom, I look ‘Dora-bull’ ” -(no lack of confidence there)

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October reruns – “Scary Stuff”

scary stuff

This week’s installment of my October/Halloween/Spooky/#TBT (or #FBF) theme – Not to worry, October will be over soon – is a story from 2 years ago about a vacation we took to Lake George quite a few years ago when DC was little. There was a debacle every step of the way but it all worked out well in the end…..

I may be confused about the name of a park and the train may have been at an entirely different park – my memory is not all that it used to be, but it all happened…..

Cinderella, Santa, Haunted Houses and other “Scary Stuff” (or: Vacation debacles that worked out somehow)

A few years back…. well, probably more than just a few, we took a trip to Lake George. I remember going there as a kid. I remember Story Town, which we discovered when we arrived was now just a small part of The Great Escape Amusement Park. I remembered the North Pole that was quite a drive from Lake George, but worth the trip. Specifically I remembered that in Story Town there was a Cinderella’s Pumpkin Carriage ride. My son was a Cinderella fanatic. He was obsessed, still is at 22. “Citronelle” was one of his very first words.

We arrived at the Great Escape and at the entrance was a sign listing all of the rides that were not operating that day. You guessed it…. Cinderella’s Carriage was on the list! Well, he got to SEE the carriage anyway and since there was also a castle (sort of, it was just a Prop) he got over the carriage ride a little more easily that I thought he would.

carriage

We had a good time at the park anyway.  I think I was more disappointed than DC was. I was just so looking forward to him being able to ride in the carriage. He would have been thrilled.

The next day we were heading to the North Pole. This would definitely make up for the missed carriage ride! I checked the local paper the day before and found an ad that stated it was open daily and listed the hours of operation.  It took quite a long time to get there – about an hour and a half, if I remember correctly. When we arrived at the park we found it “Closed for Construction” for the next few MONTHS!  Now I had to explain to him that the park was closed and we would not be seeing Santa today. That went well…………..(not!)

On the way back to Lake George, we happened upon another very small park called “The Magic Forest”. The park was small, cute but very run down and old. DC didn’t care.  He made me walk through a dusty, beat up “Princess House (cave)” 20 times or more. The Princess house cave was filled with dirty mannequins with peeling paint with cobwebs everywhere, but he LOVED it!

20 trips through the Princess House

We took a ride on the train that got stuck on the way up a hill and the employees had to get out and push, but he still loved it.

There was also a SANTA!  So the second day of our trip was saved!

Santa Saves the Day!

The next day we decided to walk though the town. I remembered a pretty cool wax museum which, surprisingly was still there. We also came upon a Haunted House. DC loves all things Halloween and loves Haunted Houses; always did, even when he was very young.

He wanted to go in. After only two minutes inside, I began to realize that this was a mistake. He was terrified. He put both arms around my waist and I had to keep both of my arms around his neck/head; and this was the way we walked through the rest of the house, with DC walking sideways facing my side, with both arms around me and both my arms around his neck. All the way thorough, all I could think was “What have I done? This child is terrified! I’ve scarred him for life”. I felt so bad that he was so frightened. I kept telling him that he was okay and it was all make-believe. We finally made it out and he seemed all right, but I still felt awful. It WAS really, really scary.

We continued down the street. I continued to ask him if he was okay and told him to remember that it was all just make believe. He seemed fine.

As we were walking DC stopped, pointed and said “Go In”. I looked over and he was pointing at another haunted house. I tried to explain to him that this was a “Scary House” just like the last one and I really didn’t think he wanted to go in. DC kept pointing and saying “Go in” and was now dragging me toward the line. All the while I was trying to explain that this is scary just like the last one. He got me to the line that I had no intention of getting in, and he proceeded to wrap both arms around my waist and had me put my arms around his neck/head and got “into position” to “Go in”.

Apparently, he did understand that this was another haunted house and as much as I thought he was terrified, he wasn’t – he loved it and he was “Going in!”

So, no…… Not scarred for life at all.

DC did get to ride in Cinderella’s Carriage a few years later at another park in New Hampshire.

He still loves Haunted Houses, but you would never know this as he’s going though them.

Leave the shoe; take the chocolate…..

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I am sure at this point it is very clear to everyone that DC is a big fan of Halloween as am I. How great is it that he loves something that I do just as much as I do? How often does that happen?

When he was young, he’d wear his costume and we would drive to the houses of family members and friends, only time for 4 or 5 stops, but it was enough for him. When he was a little bit older we added Trick-Or-Treating at a few houses close by to our evening. He always had a hard time trying to figure out why we were going to the door and ringing the doorbell but we weren’t going inside. I had to stop him at every door from trying to walk right into people’s houses.

When he got older still, we stopped driving to friends and family because that could take all night and just began trick-or-treating around our own neighborhood. He did finally get passed trying to walk in to every house.

DC loves Halloween, he loves wearing a costume and of course he loves getting the candy – he just really didn’t want to have to walk for it. So our trick-or-treating around the neighborhood usually consisted of 3 or four houses willingly and then I would push him to do just a few more.

He was not very old at all when he realized that my costume ideas were always in theme (yes, I know, I am really hard to put up with at Halloween). When he was old enough to make the costume decisions himself, he always chose his, mine and Doug’s (this was before Doug decided he’d had enough of Halloween – BOO!)

With DC at the helm, the costumes as one would imagine were almost always from Disney. I have dressed as quite a few Disney characters, very many of them princesses. I did have to put my foot down at Princess Ariel, but otherwise we were usually able to pull off the theme. DC is very particular about his princesses. He had to make sure I wore lipstick (the one and only day of the year that I would) and he always had to approve the shoes. I could not get away with anything but the proper princess shoes. In most cases I was able to find those glittery shoe covers that went with the costume, so heels or pumps were not always required – PHEW!

Then came the year that he decided that we had to be Cinderella and Prince Charming. I really wondered what took him so long to pick that pair. I really thought that Cinderella, being his all-time favorite princess would have been his request much earlier on.

Under DC’s watchful eye, I was able to find a blue Cinderella ball gown and of course a blonde Cinderella wig. Although we had a hard time finding a “Prince Charming” costume back then – we were able to find a “Handsome Prince”. It was not the same but it would do.

Of course I must have glass slippers. I knew I was not going to get away with shoe covers this time around; this was CINDERELLA – this was serious! It is really a good thing that we make our Halloween costume selections in August every year because these slippers were not easy to find. I did finally find a pair. They were THE most uncomfortable shoes I have ever worn but I figured that it would be fine because he would only make me walk to 4 or 5 houses, tops.

<insert buzzer here> I was wrong, so very wrong……

Whether it was just the fact that it finally kicked in that the more houses he went to, the more candy he would get or just the over the top excitement for the glass slippers or both – he did not walk, but ran from house to house. The only time he stopped or slowed down was to check my feet for the shoes or randomly grab my dress and lift it up to show people my shoes.

I don’t think he cared that he did not look like Prince Charming at all. I had a crown for him to wear but he insisted on wearing the hat that came with the costume – a more casual Prince, we’ll call it. This Halloween was all about the shoes. We did our street and then some. Afterwards I limped home with DC grabbing at my gown the whole way.

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I do believe he had these shoes on display in his room for quite some time before I put them away. He got awfully excited when I took them out last week to take a photo of them. He did not realize that I still had them. The excitement was due to one of the costumes he had chosen for this Halloween Season – I think he may have thought I was going to pull out the gown again.

No way! Not happening!

I am now quite sure that Cinderella did not leave her shoe behind accidentally. Given the chance to do it all over again, I am positive she would have left the shoes (both of them) and just opted for some chocolate.

 

IMG_1377

I know exactly what she was mumbling under her breath when that darn prince returned that stinkin’ shoe…….

Forget the shoe, forget the Prince… just hand over the chocolate.

In the merry old land of OZ – October reruns #FBF

October = Halloween, you get it by now. We love it.

Another thing that DC loves as much as Halloween and Disney is the Wizard of OZ.

Halloween 1997

Halloween 1997

All of OZ (get it?) 2009

All of OZ (get it?) 2009

2013 - Witches Guard and Flying Monkey

2013 – Witches Guard and Flying Monkey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I were to write an “Everything is Related – Oz Edition” it would probably not be much different than what I have written below.

In keeping with my #TBT / #FBF / Halloween Themed / or Halloween Trip / October reruns; below is a post from our visit to the Mountain of Oz in October 2014. It is not as long of a post as it appears to be – there are just a LOT of pictures – A visual tour one might  say.

I really just found it difficult to control myself.

Because, Because, Because, Because….BEEEE CAUSE

Autumn In OZ

Right up there on DC’s ‘fandom’ meter with all things Disney is the Wizard of Oz. I can not really put my finger on how, when or where this fixation developed as it is not a Disney production, but it certainly did. DC owns every version of every book, movie and soundtrack of The Wizard of Oz.

There is nothing that would make him happier than a visit to OZ.

As I mentioned in Part One of this post (Hello Dolly)

I discovered a festival in Kansas called, you guessed it – The OZ Fest. The OZ fest is held in late September, not October, but still close enough to count as our Halloween trip. The OZ fest was the plan for this year’s Halloween get-away. That WAS the plan….. until we calculated the cost of the flights, rental car and hotel for the weekend and realized that it was almost equivalent to booking a cruise for a week.

Plan discarded…………… (for now)

But now I had OZ on the brain and I was not going to give up the notion of getting DC to OZ. I remembered seeing photos that my sister-in-law posted from an OZ event that they had attended a few years back. It was at  Beech Mountain, North Carolina. I facebooked her to get more details. She told me that this event was very popular, but only open for ONE  weekend each year; this year on October 3, 4 and 5. Tickets had to be purchased in advance. and I was told that it sold out very quickly.

Dollywood the day before worked out so, so much better than expected (with the exception of the ‘Mommy-Meltdown’) – so we were excited to get to “the Mountain of Oz’ – as DC calls it. I was still a bit apprehensive about the bus ride to the top, but I realized quickly that most of the mountain drive was by car.

I didn’t realize that DC had packed his watch and was wearing it in the car. I only did realize when we started getting minute by minute updates from the back seat:

“Mom, it is Eight-‘Firty’- Seven, we have to find Uncle ‘Liar’ –

“Mom, it is Eight-‘Firty’ – eight, we have to find Uncle ‘Liar’ –

and so on……….

DC has a difficult time pronouncing most of my brothers’ names. Uncle Larry, is ‘Uncle Lally’ (he can pronounce “Harry” and “Mary” but for some reason “Larry” is impossible for him). Uncle Lyle is ‘Uncle Liar’.  He always could pronounce Ted and Skip – or so I thought. He does pronounce “Ted” correctly, but at one point  I realized that all this time, he was really calling Skip,  Uncle ‘Scamp’ – it sounded so much like ‘Skip’ all of the times that he’s said it that I didn’t realize he was actually calling him ‘Scamp’ until he wrote it down one day.

We arrived at the sky-resort where we were to catch the bus. We met “Uncle ‘Liar’, my sister-in-law and my niece in the parking lot. IT WAS COLD!!!!! My brother was disappointed that we were not in costume (they were not, but he knows me well). My title of “Queen of the Costume” was now tarnished, forever!

(Did I mention that it was COLD!!!???)

– I have to give props to the “Autumn at Oz” people for sending out more than one e-mail to let ticket holders know just how cold it was excepted to be. This would not have occurred to me and thanks to them, we were prepared – But still….. IT WAS COLD!!!

We had a little time after we checking in to have some hot chocolate and coffee. There were a couple of  buildings open for us to go and get warm while we waited.

Needless to say the Italian Ice vendor outside did not do very well on this day. Hopefully he did better on Sunday.

After our hot chocolate/coffee/heat break, we went out to board the bus. We were first in line for our bus, which means we would be seated all the way in the back. My sister in law gets a bit of motion sickness, made worse by riding in the back. She and my brother were allowed to take the front seat, while DC and I took one seat in the back and my niece and Doug took the other, a decision my niece would soon regret.

The Wizard of Oz soundtrack was playing on the bus on our way up the mountain; Doug, being Doug, decided, out of nowhere,  to just belt out “If I were the king of the Foreeeeest”

I will never be able to describe the look on my niece’s face, ever. I told Doug that he was embarrassing her, but that is what he lives for. The look on her face was priceless and although I felt sorry for her, I just could not stop laughing. She was just mortified. Not being able to stop laughing actually distracted me from the ride that I had been so apprehensive about. I will never forget that face and even now as I’m writing, I am laughing.

Exiting the bus;  we soon ran into Dorothy and Toto sitting near a fountain. I have to hand it to these characters, it was so cold but they never let on, one would never know by looking at them that they were freezing.

 (It was never my intention to turn this post into a visual tour, but I can not help myself. It was impressive.)

We followed the path and came upon Professor Marvel. He warned us all about the storm that was predicted to come through at any time!

We continued on the path to Kansas and where we would hopefully find shelter from the oncoming twister.

We found the Gale farm. While waiting to get into the house, Dorothy saw DC waving to her through the crowd. She walked into the crowd to greet DC and launched into the whole spiel – She was very nervous. Miss Gulch tried to take Toto for chasing her cat. She needed to find Auntie Em to protect her and Toto from Miss Gulch.

“If you see Auntie Em, please tell her I need help”

DC ate it up. He felt as if he was a part of the story.

Heading into Dorothy’s house, the Ruby Slippers were on display and a band played on the front porch.

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Once inside we found Auntie Em and DC relayed the message from Dorothy. Auntie Em was thankful and told DC that if he saw her again,  please tell Dorothy to come home.

But we had to hurry to the cellar……. the storm was fast approaching!

Oh NO! It's a Twister!

 “The house began to pitch. The kitchen took a slitch*. … “

Half way down the stairs on the way to the storm cellar and partially through the ‘twister’ DC said, “I am getting very nervous about this” but he continued through the dark through the storm. When the storm was over, we found the house a mess and the floors topsy turvy – it was hard to stand up straight.

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We walked outside to hear the Mayor declaring the Wicked Old Witch, dead!

The Witch Is DEAD!

 “It landed on the Wicked Witch in the middle of a ditch, Which was not a healthy situation for the Wicked Witch”*

Ding Dong!

DC was happy to be out of the house and excited as he was now realizing that the journey we were on  was moving in order, right along with the story. The Yellow Brick road would be coming into view shortly.
We rounded the corner and there we met Glinda. Glinda, in DC’s eyes is equivalent to a Princess. She has “princess status” in his world. He is always happy when Glinda appears, and now he would be meeting her in person!

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Onward through Munchkin Land .

Leaving Munchkin Land, the munchkins told us that we had to “Follow The Yellow Brick Road*” – and so we did.

– Along the way we came across every character that resides in the Land of Oz – good and evil.
I can’t say enough about the actors that played these characters. I am told that they are all volunteers. These people were impressive. They were definitely “Disney-Caliber”. Not only were they out there all day, in costume, in the cold, but they never broke character. A few even burst into song.

Let me tell you, if DC decides to throw a line at you, you better be able to respond, in character and correctly. Believe me, his interaction with the Oz characters was no different that his conversations with ‘his’ Disney Princesses. They all had the proper response or song to whatever DC decided to discuss with them and we all know that DC can come up with the rather obscure reference. One HAS to know the movie inside and out to pass the DC realism test. Each and every one of them passed with flying colors.

Once we walked a little bit of the way down the Yellow Brick Road, the wind seemed to die down and we were in direct sunlight; the hats and gloves came off – jackets were still needed but it was really, really nice there.

The Scarecrow sang when DC asked him about his brain and then he pointed us in the direction of the Emerald City – although he could not seem to make up his mind.

DC could not resist knocking on the Tin Man’s chest
just checking for a heart

                                                                                             “Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh my!”*
The Cowardly Lion……
– and yes, Doug showed great restraint in not belting out the ‘King of the Forest’ tune again.

We were now getting closer and closer to the Wicked Witch!

“I’d turn back if I were you!”*

But we didn’t turn back……. Who’s afraid of a Wicked Old Witch anyway? But, curses, we neglected to bring our buckets of water! We’d have to take our chances.

After DC and my niece both declined the Witch’s offer to join her flying monkey army, we were on our way, fully intact. PHEW!

We approached the poppy field and said one last goodbye to everyone we had met along the way.

DC, of course had to call an impromptu powwow to make sure that each of the characters were absolutely aware of who they were supposed to be….
– Just in case they didn’t know.

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“We’re off to see the Wizard”*

But first……. we had to ask for admittance into the Emerald City.

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I so wish I had thought to take a video of this exchange. DC went through the entire scene – he rang the bell, the door guard yelled at him and slammed the door for ringing said bell. He then followed the new directions, now that the sign was turned to the proper side, and knocked… because of course we know that the bell is “out of order” – he laughed and laughed. I think this may just have been his favorite part of the entire day in Oz.
His cousin really got a kick out of how much he was getting a kick out of all of this.

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Directions followed properly – we were granted permission to enter the Emerald City and given an audience with…..
The Man behind the curtain……. The Wizard.

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Finally DC had the opportunity to recite “There’s no place like home”*.
Wish granted, and we made our way back to the bus, but first we came upon the characters once again, this time from the original book.

I read somewhere that the Emerald City was lost to a fire. It is a shame; based on the quality of the Yellow Brick Road – I have to imagine that the Emerald City must have been magnificent. Even with the loss of the Emerald City, the story was told from beginning to end.

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We were right in time for the bus. I had photos to post so this kept me occupied on the bus ride back down the mountain.

My niece opted not to sit with Doug on the way back down.

I really do not know just what I was expecting at “Autumn at OZ” but I have to say, it was above and beyond anything I could have imagined. It was beautiful, very well maintained and VERY well staffed. It was such a fun day. Yes, it was cold, but we were warned and we were prepared. The trip was well worth it. We had a wonderful time (“terrific time” – ‘terrific’ being DC’s new word).
The whole adventure from the bus stop to the end was very well organized. There was not a long wait for anything.

I would recommend this event to anyone. It is a shame it is only open once a year, but if you are an OZ fan (even if you are not), it is well worth it. DC will never forget his trip to OZ.

I have to talk a little bit about my niece as well. My brother and his family have lived in Tennessee since DC was born. My niece and DC have only actually met each other maybe three times since she was born. So she has not spent much time with DC at all over the years. I have to say I was so impressed with her. She was not afraid of him – you might think that is an odd thing to say as he is her cousin, but believe me – it’s happened, more than I care to think about. She put up with him hugging the stuffing out of her all day. She made attempts at conversation with him, even if the response she got didn’t have anything to do with what she originally said to him. The day went wonderfully and HE is completely enamored with her.

I am so glad we had the opportunity to visit OZ with them – I think we all had a fabulous time.

Even this guy…………

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In the event that anyone may be concerned ……..

after dinner with my brother and his family, we were able to find a bookstore…

Choosing my battles……..

We went away this weekend to NYC and Sleepy Hollow. We try to take a Halloween Weekend every year to somewhere either “Halloweenish”, Spooky, Historical or where costumes are involved. We will be going to a ComicCon the weekend after Halloween (that counts) so we decided to do just a quick overnight to Sleepy Hollow this weekend. Our usual Halloween destination is Salem MA, but we’ve switched it up the past couple of years mainly due to the fact that Doug is <insert colorful metaphors>  of going to Salem – I, on the other hand, never tire of it.

We had already done a weekend in Sleepy Hollow a couple of years back. We did just about everything there was to do with the exception of the BLAZE. I did not know that in order to do anything in Sleepy Hollow in October, tickets must be purchased on-line ahead of time. Fortunately, once I discovered this and by the skin if my teeth, I was able to get tickets for everything else.

This year we thought ahead and got tickets for the BLAZE early. Since that was all we were going to do in Sleepy Hollow, we decided to first spend the day in New York City (DC’s favorite place), check into our room in Sleepy Hollow and go to the BLAZE at 9:30 PM (the only time available when we purchased the tickets).

I had not been feeling well all week and would have opted to skip the whole thing and stay home on the couch, but DC had already been told about the trip and he already added it to the calendar so that meant it was engraved in stone.

Knowing his propensity to over-pack DVD’s for the sole purpose of stacking them next to him while he watches YouTube on his computer, and knowing full well there would be a visit to a bookstore at some point during the trip, I told him that he could only bring 5 DVD’s and 2 books. I said it more than once. I just didn’t want to have to keep track of a bunch of unnecessary stuff and try to carry a bunch of unnecessary stuff. I just wanted to pack light and get this over with. (I did forget my jacket in the room, so I really couldn’t manage to keep track of the necessary stuff – turns out, they don’t ship forgotten things. We have to go back and get it).

5 DVD’s and 2 books.

“Okay Mom!”

He went about packing his laptop, his DVD’s, his books, and pens to edit said books.

“DC, how many DVD’s did you pack?”

“5 DVD’s – 2 books”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, I promise”

When I went to grab the charger for his phone, I found that he already packed that as well. I found THAT to be a bit impressive. He is usually only concerned with his books, DVD’s and laptop.

I told him how proud I was that he remembered his charger by himself. He took that compliment and added that  “I am proud of the 5 DVD’s and 2 books” – he was just pointing out the fact that I forgot to tell him in that sentence that I was proud that he followed the rules.

We spent the day in New York City. We visited all of his favorite places and headed out for Sleepy Hollow about 3 pm. All I wanted to do was sleep for a little while before dinner and the Blaze. In the room I was just telling Doug what a great job DC did packing only what I told him to and remembering his charger, when I noticed a good 15 to 20 DVD’s sitting next to his laptop. Now, this has been an issue before and the celebration over him being sneaky and figuring out that he could just hide them is long over with. I do have to give him props for figuring out if he packed his own charger there would be no reason for me to go into his backpack (a new level of sneakiness), but like Tonya in ‘All the …..small things’, I have to be the mother, even though I knew full well what would be in store for me after reprimanding him.

As soon as he realized that I noticed just how many DVD’s he had with him, it started…..

“I am sorry Mom. I will never lie again!”

“I am so sorry, Mother!”

DC only gets to use his laptop and DVDs on the weekends. That has been the rule for many years. Losing his computer privileges is the only thing that EVER makes any kind of impression on him.

“DC, you lied to me again. I told you the last time you lied to me that you only had one more chance before your lost your computer for the weekend. This was your last chance, so no computer for the weekend.”

(Seriously, as punishments go, this is really not much of one. It was all ready Saturday night. We would be going out soon and we were leaving the hotel the next morning, but this did not matter to him).

Now, 2 inches from my face……

“I promise to never tell a lie again”

“Mom, I’m sorry!” – those of you that know DC, you know that:

He is sorry for absolutely everything! Partially he believes “I’m sorry” will get him out of anything.  Like a typical man, he thinks that saying “I’m sorry” even if he doesn’t know what he’s sorry about will get him out of anything or at least get me to stop talking. If he really wants to bring it home, he goes to: “I’m ‘ter-bly’  sorry” or “I am soooooo sorry”. He’ll even throw in a “Can you ever forgive me?” (movie line), if he thinks it’s necessary.

He says he’s sorry, WHILE he’s doing something he shouldn’t, and will continue right on doing whatever it is because he’s covered, he already said he was sorry. Or he’ll say he’s sorry when he’s about to do something he knows he’s not supposed to do. He’s covered, he said he was sorry!

I heard this and variations of this throughout the evening all recited 2 inches from my face. I won’t go into the amount of times I explained to him that just because he promises not to do it again does not get him out of the punishment he was already given. I understood that he was sorry and I was proud of him for being sorry…… believe me, it was covered and covered.

*****

We did enjoy the Blaze –

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but every few minutes he reverted back into his “I’m sorry” campaign.

Back in the room, he changed his tactic.

“Mom, thank you for much for the trip”

“Mom, thank you so much for the dolls”

“Mom, you are my queen.”

“I love you Mademoiselle”

“I am being so good!”

I did explain to him as I always do that I never would think or say that he was “bad” – he is not bad; he just did something wrong – on purpose.

We went to sleep (remember, I am still not feeling well). 4 or 5 times during the night, I woke up to find this boy 3 inches from my face telling me that he has “Good Behavior”  and “I promise never to lie again”

There are times when DC really does not understand what he has done wrong and I will speak with him and try to get him to understand – this was not one of those times. He knew exactly what he was doing while he was doing it. I can not just let everything go, even though at this point I really wanted to get some sleep. If I gave in now he’d know that I would give in the next time.

Morning came.

He hadn’t packed any paper to bring on the trip so he resorted to writing me apology notes on the inside of his books.

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As many times as he brought it up, there was an explanation for him. I love him, I always love him. I was not happy with the choice that he made to lie and sneak but I am not angry at him. If he does not do it again he would not lose his computer again.

We left the hotel, looked around Sleepy Hollow a bit, had lunch and headed home.

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Monday was a holiday but the weekend was over, which meant his punishment was over. He double checked that fact with me and was extremely happy to hear that he was correct in his assumption.  We were home all day on Monday and he was quite happy not to use his computer, because Monday is not “the weekend”. But he knew it was ON for the following Friday and I never heard another word about it.

(He understands the word “punishment” from Full House. I originally never used that word – that was all him)

10 WAYS YOU CAN HELP SAVE AUTCRAFT

An Article by Autism Mom

Please read and help if you can…..

*****

Autcraft, the Minecraft server for children on the Autism spectrum, could become a victim of its own success.

In the almost three years since its inception, the Minecraft server has grown from a

handful of players to over 6,000 registered members. 

Recently Stuart Duncan, the creator and administrator of Autcraft, has realized that either Autcraft has to become able to support itself or he may have to close it down.

This could be devastating for the thousands of children on the spectrum and their families who rely on Autcraft as a safe, supportive place for them to play Minecraft, socialize, and grow.

WHAT IS AUTCRAFT?

Created by Duncan (“AutismFather” in the game) who not only has autism himself but also a child with autism, Autcraft was designed to be a safe place for children to play Minecraft online without experiencing bullying and other social unpleasantness that can happen on public Minecraft servers.

The Autcraft server is administrated by Duncan, and part-time by volunteer adults and players that include autistics, parents of autistic children and family members of someone with autism.

WHAT MAKES AUTCRAFT SPECIAL?

Autcraft is unique because it is a closed server – one has to apply to join and whitelist applications are individually reviewed and approved.

Most importantly, Autcraft is closely overseen by Duncan and Autcraft’s volunteer administrators and helpers

  • Bullying, killing, stealing, griefing, etc., is not tolerated
  • Swearing and misbehavior is not tolerated
  • There is an in-game support system so that when a players needs administrator help, they can get it almost right away
  • Players builds are protected using WorldGuard so that no one can damage them by accident or on purpose
  • All blocks placed, blocks broken, items dropped, picked up and more are tracked to see exactly what happens anywhere on the server

Duncan has always refused to charge players fees to join – he doesn’t want any child on the spectrum to be excluded from Autcraft because they don’t have the means to join.

Please continue reading at: 10 WAYS YOU CAN HELP SAVE AUTCRAFT

#TBT……. and they cancelled Halloween (part two)

I re-posted part one last week as a #Tbt when we were in jeopardy of a pretty big storm hitting. It is only fitting to post part two this week.

Here you have it – October re-runs

….and they cancelled Halloween – Part Two

Monday, morning came. It was Halloween and still no power. I regularly take Halloween off from work, so luckily we did not have anywhere to be. DC had his ‘un-toasted’ toast for breakfast. I realized in my fervor to find coffee the day before, I never had anything to eat (“The Storm Diet” was a ‘terrific’ diet while it lasted) – so I joined DC for some ‘untoasted toast’, went to work again on the ‘*RS Room’ and began mapping out a new coffee hunt.

Before we left on our coffee hunt, DC’s Dad showed up. He delivered a contraption that he made from a car battery. This was, in my opinion THE best thing ever! A place to charge phones, plugs for lights or whatever else I needed to plug in, although the coffee pot did not occur to me at the time, lights for DC, did.

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The downside…… he wanted to take DC with him to his house. Now of course I want DC to be somewhere warm, with power, water and without a RS Room, but on the other hand, I don’t ever want DC and I to be separated during any sort of emergency type of situation; I just want him with me, plain and simple.

Now feeling very cut off from the world, I began my ‘coffee quest’ alone. The Dunkin Donuts I found the day before was no longer open. I stopped at a nearby hotel – knowing full well that there were no hotel rooms available in the state, but I was there, so I may as well check it out. I felt silly even asking and of course there was nothing available.

Tonya, Coach and I tried to keep tabs on each other during this whole fiasco, but with my phone not really working, it was difficult. Fortunately, Tonya called while I was still out driving. She called to say that another friend, Pat, had just had her power restored. She had invited us all to come for dinner and trick-or-treating in her neighborhood. Our kids trick-or-treating together has become somewhat of a tradition. No matter how many Halloween parties DC attends and no matter how many different costumes he gets to wear before Halloween, he still wants to wear a costume ON Halloween. I, for one was tired of the stares and comments when out trick-or-treating with an 18, 19, 20-year-old alone. Going out in a group just seems to work out better.  I immediately called DC’s Dad and told him he could keep him there for the day, but he needed to be home at 5. He was not going to miss Halloween if I could help it and if Pat had her power back, it wouldn’t be long for us to have our power restored.

I kept myself occupied the rest of the afternoon alternating between working on the RS Room and searching for coffee. Finally DC came home. I got him into his costume while it was still light out. I have to say, we planned this costume well…… “Elf” complete with a snowy background.

DC was happy to see his friends, happy to be celebrating Halloween and happy to be somewhere with power. Pat and her neighbors were happy not to be stuck with all of the Halloween candy they had purchased ahead of time.

 

 

bam bam

 

Elf, “Gabriella Montez” (from High School Musical), Sly Stallone and Pebbles were ready to hit the road for trick-or-treat. Surprisingly, almost every house was ready for this last-minute Halloween. Trick- or- Treating with snow on the ground was an  experience they will not soon forget, I am sure. I will never forget it, for sure.

After covering the neighborhood, carrying full bags of candy, it was time to head home. I was still living under the delusion that this would be over by the time we arrived home that night – it was not. We piled on our “storm wardrobe”,  comforters, blankets, etc. and went to sleep. I had to be back at work on Tuesday and when Tuesday morning arrived I still wasn’t sure that there was power at the office, but off we went. Driving to work, I realized that I was preoccupied with hanging branches. This preoccupation lasted for many months after this storm. Even now, when it is windy or stormy, I find myself watching the trees as I am driving.

There was power at the office and DC was able to sit and watch some movies on his laptop. I was just considering bringing him back there that night to sleep in my office, when my mother called. Her power was back so we made plans to go there.

The next two days went pretty much the same as Tuesday. Work, home, check for power, work on RS Room, pack some things and go to Grandma’s before it got dark.

In the morning –  stop home, check for power, work on RS Room, go to work with DC. I really have to say that for a child so very afraid of storms, lightning, clouds, thunder and the power going out – he was a real trooper. I was proud of him. It was almost as if he was able to put his fears and the behavior that goes along with those fears on hold for the duration of this storm and aftermath.

On Thursday night at about 8pm, I called my landline – another thing I did regularly when we were out of the house, and the machine picked up! We had power!

My mother wanted us to wait until morning to leave but I could not think of anything else but getting the RS Room working and clean. DC was beside himself yelling, “My powers is back!” (DC-speak; his powers)

Home – RS Room fixed and clean – everything went quickly back to normal.

All but one party was rescheduled – our “cancelled Halloween” had become a weeklong event running into the second week of November.

Best Buddies held their party on the following weekend – Pebbles and Bam Bam attended – with “Gabriella Montez”, and Best Buddy, Steve of course.

 

Many of the surrounding towns officially cancelled Halloween and rescheduled it for the following week – our town did not. We did receive a flyer in our mailbox from a neighbor with young children asking that the neighborhood join in for an hour-long  trick-or-treat on Saturday night. DC and I participated and then headed out to the next town over – where Halloween was officially rescheduled – to visit a friend and celebrate “Fake Halloween”.

We just happened to have one more unused costume set on-hand that we could not let go to waste.

“Yes, Captain Hammer’s here, hair blowing in the breeze. The day needs my saving expertise”*

Because “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do” * (and a Mom too)

 

I do understand that others had it much worse. My friend Steve had no power for 11 days. 11 Days!!!!! I would have had to just move away at that point. I hoped that because DC had gotten to the point during this whole ordeal where he seemed to be able to put his fears aside, that this new attitude would carry on through to the next storm – it did not.

School had been cancelled throughout this whole power outage. Between hurricane Irene in August and the Halloween nor’easter, all snow days had been used up for the school year and it was only early November.

On the UP side……….. I did loose 5 pounds on the Halloween nor’easter diet and I did get one of those store-bought contraptions from DC’s dad for Christmas that year.

It does have to be charged every few months and each time it comes out, DC gets nervous.

…….

 *RS Room – Raw Sewage Room

(*Joss Whedon’s “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog – 2008)

 

“No Jim Dear”…. (shhhh… it just may be)

IMG_1282In an earlier post I wrote about the “Jim Dear” derby hat and how after many years of asking to be “Jim Dear” for Halloween, he decided against it – after I had purchased the hat and picked out a few steampunk suit options to surprise him.

Last night we attended the 50th Anniversary Gala for the summer camp that DC attends. DC loves to wear a suit so he was all for it.
After running up the stairs a good 3 to 4 times to “look in the mirror” and admire his handsome self – he came down wearing the “Jim Dear” Hat!

hmmmm…

He ran back up to look in the mirror a few more times and returned with a moustache request. Much like his beloved Band-Aids, stick-on moustaches are another staple in our household.

I tried to talk him out of it but he insisted.

hmmmmm..

All-righty then, the moustache, it is!  I was hoping that he would decide to take it off before we arrived at the party.

He did not.

IMG_1310He wore it a good long time. He received many compliments on his moustache and was very happy with the attention. When we were still at home, he would not tell me who he was supposed to be but as soon as someone at the party asked him if his name was Charlie (Chaplin);  he promptly corrected them “No, Jim Dear!”

with Grandma

with Grandma

He did eventually take it off when it started to get itchy more than halfway through the event.

It is October.

He wore the hat.

He added the moustache.

Jim Dear?……………..Yes, this year.

I guess it just had to be his idea.

Good enough for me.

I will take it!