i was looking through the

Christmas candy at Walmart the other day.  I probably should have picked up a few of these.

I think I'll need the sugar rush in a couple of hours... or minutes.  I've started prepping the sides for tomorrow.  Broccoli and rice casserole is in the refrigerator, sweet potato casserole is in the oven now and I've got plenty more to do.  I think I might do the pecan pie next but sheesh, it's going to be hard to keep my hands off of it.  In the past I've done pecan pie squares.  The good thing about the squares is that by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, nobody can tell that I've been eating them for a couple of days.  I'm just in the mood for the crusty goodness of an actual pie though and it'd be embarrassing to have everyone show up and only have half a pecan pie left.  I could do the dressing next.  That'll be easy for me to stay away from.  The Honey Baked Ham that's sitting in the refrigerator is another story.  I almost starting eating it as soon as I got it home.  As soon as I walked into the shop that smell got me.  I instantly saw myself picking off and munching on the sugary crust on the drive home.  YUM.  I didn't do that but I did have a brief conversation with myself about taking off and sampling a few slices.  Would anyone notice?  Maybe not but then maybe they would.  I decided to wait.  Oh my gosh.  The sweet potato casserole is smelling awesome.

I'm ready for lunch tomorrow.

it's time for online

shopping.  I wanted a new desk for Eric's room.  I didn't want anything fancy or expensive because I don't know how long we plan on keeping it there.  Honestly, it's just a desk for the iMac and all of Cosme's flight simulator gadgets.  I basically just needed a flat surface with no drawers or frills.  That's what I got and I also got a great deal on it.

I saved $0.99. Beat that.  I love sales.

I was looking up Christmas present options on Amazon.  This one probably won't make it in time.

I also had to pick our new insurance plan yesterday.  I got to the vision section and was comparing two different plans.  I can't decide which one is better.

Should I pick the one that's 20% off?  Or the one where I only pay 80%?

They both seem like decent deals...

And so I won't leave anyone hanging, I think I picked another one and I don't even know what the percent off was referring to.  I think it was lens stuff.

I probably won't get any online shopping done today.  I've already started making cornbread for dressing.  This will be my first time to do homemade.  I mentioned Twomama's recipe to Cosme the other day and that I'd try to do it.  I pulled out the recipe and was totally confused.  It calls for 1 quart of biscuits (or 20), 1 quart of toasted white bread (8 slices) and 1 quart of corn bread mix (3 packages of yellow Martha White).  That's sounded crazy.  I was pretty sure Cindy makes it every year and I really couldn't see her baking all those biscuits.  I asked her about the recipe and she has basically the same recipe but Myra told her to just use 6 packets of Martha White white cornbread mix the day before making the dressing.  I couldn't find Martha White white packets but I did find Gladiola From the makers of Martha White.  Instead of 6 packets though, I'm making 3.  Well, 4 just to be safe.  So yeah, that's what's happening this morning.  I'm prepping Cindy's take on Myra's version of Twomama's dressing.  It might sound a little confusing but not near as confusing as a "quart of biscuits"... or, as a vision plan might word it, use either 4 cups or 1 quart.

this monday has me starting off

a little cranky.  I looked on fb.  Big mistake.  I read an article about a man in California being inspired by a mass shooting to destroy one of his prized possessions, an AR-15.  He is quoted in KPRC's article, "I can't do it.  I can't have something in my house that so easily could become a part of another situation like that, and I'm not going to be desensitized to it...".  This tells me he made the right choice.  Was he having violent urges?  Did he just admit to easily being capable of going on a shooting spree?  That's what it sounds like to me.  Anyway, that irritated me.

Then I scrolled down and read another article, this one about Jerry Jones.  The NFL owners are accusing him of damaging the NFL and acting against their best interest.  Stop. Right. There.  I know there are people who are boycotting the NFL and it has nothing to do with Jerry Jones.  The NFL was damaging itself but now the other owners wants to blame Jones?  It sounded to me like Jones was acting in the best interest of the NFL but then it all goes back to that witch hunt.  Whatever.

I'm done.  I'm done hearing about current events.  It only annoys me.

And all of a sudden does it seem like 2017 is trying to meet its death quota?  It's celebrities and nobody I know (thank goodness) but still. 

Enough of that talk.

I made something the other day.  I've seen things like it around, for sale and on Pinterest.  Anyway, I've had a frame sitting around that was Dodo's that had an old family picture in it.  I don't really want to display the picture because one of the people isn't even in our family any more.  (Would a person sitting for the camera be a poser?)  So I've had this frame and decided to make it into one of the things I've seen to hang old pictures on.  By old pictures, I mean pictures of grandparents.

I grabbed a can of spray paint but wasn't happy with it.  I went to Walmart and got a different color, along with tiny clothes pins.  I attached chicken wire once the paint dried and pinned the pictures on.

This is it.  It'll go on the wall in Eric's room.

This is a close up of a tiny clothes pin.  They're cute.

Today I'm going to take the pictures off and paint the chicken wire to match the frame.  I think I'd like it better that way.  I forgot to add that to my to-do list.  It's a long one.

Makes me think about Saturday afternoon when we just had El Toro, Cosme was watching tennis, Strat wasn't and I decided to take a nap.

Sounds awesome right now.  Unfortunately, there's no time for that.  Time to conquer that to-do list.

it was simple when I just

had to put peanut butter on the Trifexis (after airing it out for a couple of days) for the dogs to eat it.  Now that they won't eat peanut butter anymore, I have a new way of getting it down.  Last month a sample of wet dog food came in the mail and I got the pills down with that.  I broke the pills into pieces and let them have it in bites of wet food.  They still like it because that's what happened yesterday.

I picked up some filet mignon from Kroger to try it out.

Of course, when I first brought it out, they were way too hyper.  Who wouldn't be?  A few seconds later they caught on that they had to take turns if they wanted the good stuff, and they definitely wanted the good stuff.

Maggie always has scratches on her nose.  I think it's probably from sticking it under the fence to watch the neighbors.

After a few times of going back and forth, the Trifexis was down, the filet mignon was gone and Maggie looked heartbroken.

 It almost makes me wish it was time for another round, almost.

spring cleaning has hit

and it's only a few months late.  Wait.  Did it hit me in the spring?  Probably.  It's hit again.  All I want to do is get rid of clutter.  Yesterday I put five bags out for recycling.  A couple of those bags were from emptying old 12-packs of soft drinks from the garage.  I don't normally throw out soft drinks but I know some of them had been sitting there for a year... at least.  Once Eric started drinking soft drinks again he was on Sprite Zero.  That lasted a while and then he moved on to Sprite.  Now he's on Dr. Pepper.  I threw out Sprite Zero yesterday.  I also threw out Diet Coke that Mom said didn't taste right the last time she was here.  Was that July?  There are a few more 12-packs out there that need to be thrown out but I'm thinking about just putting them next to the garbage can today. 

Oh, I'm also supposed to be cleaning out the freezers right now, according to my planner.  I have to get ready for Thanksgiving.  That and Kroger has Blue Bell on sale.  We've been trying to eat better so maybe we don't need both containers of Blue Bell.  Or maybe we do.  It's not like we've eliminated ice cream but the quest for the perfect milkshake hasn't been happening.  I did need a snack last night.

I'm calling this picture "When good people make poor choices".

So, back to that spring cleaning bug.  I told Eric (for the who knows how many times since August of 2016) that I SERIOUSLY need him to come clean and organize his corner of the garage and to not just reply with "Okay".  That's all I've heard for the last 15 months.  He replied.  "You got it."  I explained that I have no room.  On top of already being short on space and a mess out there, the city is issuing new garbage cans.  Instead of my two normal sized trash cans, we already have one 95 gallon can for garbage and are getting another for recycling.  That's fine.  The pain in my butt comes in the form of deed restrictions.  Our trash cans have to be out of sight so these two monster cans have to be stored in the garage.  Eric said he'll probably be here Friday to work on his stuff.  You see, I need his corner straightened up because I have more tubs of his stuff that need to stacked over there.  Oh, another thing on the planner for today is to clear off his bulletin board so it can go out there too. 

Crap.  The sun's up.  I'm already behind schedule.  It's time to take advantage of the spring cleaning bug bite.  Hopefully it'll leave a mark (on the house, not me).

there was a time when

cleaning and organization videos had me going to Dollar Tree, looking for the next fabulous container to use.  I made myself stop.  I was buying bins and containers that I really didn't have any need for.  The other day I started watching Christmas decorating videos.  Sure enough, there were a few people who had gone to Dollar Tree for decorations but I didn't take the bait.  Fast forward to us getting the tree up.  I got it decorated and then there were a few ornaments I'd bought last year from Dollar Tree that I'd never used.  What the heck.  I went ahead and used them this year.  There was one in particular that I loved and I had two of them so I hung them.  Every time I saw them hanging there in their cheap, sequined glory, I wished I had more.

Yesterday morning I did it.  I went to Dollar Tree to see if they had more.  I knew the chances were slim.  I figured and told myself that was from last year and don't get upset when there aren't more.  No biggie.

There they were, lots of red and several other colors as well.  I bought more.  Don't forget this was Dollar Tree so everything in the store is always $1.00 (or less).  Guess what.  These come in 2-packs.  How could I pass up two red sequined ornaments for a mere dollar?  I couldn't.

Then I bought a gold sparkly reindeer.

I had to.  He matches the two I bought last year but never put up.

And I also got a mirrored gold thing.  I don't always go for bling but when I do, it's for the Christmas tree.

And then I made myself stop.

Then I went to Walmart and bought a strappy velcro brace thing because my back was hurting (and it still is).  On my way home I was thinking about the tree finally being finished.  Then I remembered I have clip-on flowers in the tub that still need to be put on.  I'll do that today and THEN the tree will be finished.

TCB level: beast mode.

i switched from iPhone to

Samsung about a year ago.  My iPhone got to the point where it would barely hold a charge.  Also, I had almost no storage left and on more than one occasion, couldn't even take a picture because of the lack of memory.  For the most part, I've been happy with Samsung.  The image quality is a lot better than iPhone.  One thing I can't stand, like I've mentioned before, is Samsung's autocorrect.  I hate it.  I hate typing on Samsung, especially if I'm in a hurry.

When you type something that Samsung doesn't recognize, it'll give you a few options to replace.  Most of the time my phone just says "screw you. I'm replacing it anyway".  The other day I was trying to do my photo challenge and the word was brown.  Brown.  For some reason I couldn't type it.  Like so many times, my fingers kept hitting the next letter over.  Instead of brown, I kept typing nrown.  Now I understand that the Samsung dictionary might not recognize the hashtag with fms_ that comes before the topic, but it was giving me options to replace nrown.

I typed: #fms_nrown

Here's what Samsung suggested and my take on the reasoning:

1. nrown - Did you really mean to type nrown, Melanie?
2. round - I'm not sure what that word is, Melanie, but it sounds a lot like round.
3. green - ...

Green, Samsung?  GREEN??  Then I remembered the old prank call we did as kids:

Victim: Hello?
Caller: Hello. Could I please speak to Mr. Brown?
Victim: You've got the wrong number.  This is the Green residence.
Caller:  I'm sorry, I must be color blind.

That's when it hit me.  Maybe Samsung has a sense of humor and is trying to be funny.

I tested my theory.

First let's try misspelling a word.  Hamburger.  Seems like an obvious typo to me.

But not to Samsung.

Let's try something simple and using the next letter over.

Okay.  That's better.

What about colors?

 Nope.  It's not a color thing.

What if I try a word starting with B and use N, like with nrown?

Nalloon instead of Balloon, with the photo hashtag.

 Then I noticed that adding the N to the end of the word gave me another word selection.

 Let's just try it plain and simple.  B words with N, no photo hashtag.

Clearly there's no problem.

Conclusion:  My phone is a smartarse, trying to be funny.
And I really do want breakfast.

Now keep scrolling for an added bonus.


because I just realized I never hit publish yesterday.

The Christmas tree finally made its way into the house.  It's up and 95% fluffed out and in place.  It all comes back to bringing the ladder in.  I'll have to haul the ladder in to finish so while I have the ladder in for that, I'll go ahead and decorate... and change any light bulbs that are out.  That will happen in a little bit.  First I'll work on getting regular chores out of the way.

I'm about to show you something.  Do you know what a good boy looks like?  I'll show you.

This.  This is what a good boy looks like.

Sure, he has his moments but Archer has turned out to be a good boy.  I doubted things in the beginning.  We couldn't give him much alone time because of Maggie and I thought he'd be a bad one who needs attention, like kids who act out.  The other day, once again, there was something on the other side of the fence (probably the neighbor's dog) and they wanted it.  I opened the door and Archer came running in and sat in the cage.  Maggie eventually ran to the door, only to turn around and go back to the fence.  I was standing at the door focusing on getting her in and left Archer like this.  He can be trusted for a few minutes to stay in the cage with the door open and not take off through the house.  It's like base for him.  He always turns to the cage.  Coming in from an outing and don't want to go back to the yard?  Archer logic: head to the cage.  Back door opens?  Archer logic: head to the cage.  Now, so that I'm not jinxing myself, I will add a side note.  *At this moment in time, this is what a good boy looked like.  This scenario happens quite a bit, though.  It's not that Maggie is bad, she's just stubborn and strong willed.  More and more lately, she hasn't wanted to come in but instead wants to continue whatever mission she's on out in the yard.  When she's on one of these missions though, nothing else exists.  She doesn't hear anyone calling her.  She is focused on whatever it is that has her attention.  One thing Maggie doesn't lack is focus.  When she's in the zone, I usually just leave Archer in the cage and shut the back door.  Once she realizes she's out there alone and Archer is probably doing something cool, the mission becomes less interesting and she'll come inside with him.  Now.  If I find out Archer is the one who keeps digging a hole by the porch, slinging dirt all at the back door, his picture might be replaced and I'll show you what a good girl looks like.

Speaking of missions, remember I ran out of oatmeal last week or so?  I went to Kroger.  They didn't have any.  They didn't even have their version of it.  I didn't make it to Walmart, where they used to have their own better version but I did make it to HEB.  Still though, no Quaker Cinnamon & Spice but they did have their version of it.  Not wanting to make a trip to Walmart, I got the HEB brand.  The next morning I tried it and this might be the most awesome cinnamon oatmeal EVER.  It tastes so good (assuming my taste buds weren't just amped up from the nastiness of the gingerbread, leaving them jonesing for cinnamon & spice oatmeal.)  It is seriously some good cinnamon oatmeal.  The texture is a little different, more like homemade oatmeal.  Some might say that's a good thing but I'm just used to the instant packets where it's clearly NOT a bowl of fresh made oats.  (Like ballpark nacho cheese, you know it's not really chile con queso or anything but sometimes you just like it).  I might have a more definite answer today, after I have another bowl of it. [insert several minutes]  Well, since I had to get up and fix a bowl, I have an answer.  Yes, it's still delicious and the texture is still different.  Today, what the texture seems like is maybe while it is like regular oatmeal, it's like regular oatmeal that might need a little more time to cook.  This is my official stance on the HEB Cinnamon & Spice oatmeal, until it changes.

Now I'll go get started on chores since the sun is coming up way too early these days.  (We all know how I like to accomplish as much as possible before the sun comes up.)  Also, if I keep going, I might get into a rant on my official stance on all the witch hunts going on: sexual abuse/harassment, guns, the Dallas Cowboys...  It's too early for all that.  In the meantime, let's focus on Archer being a good boy.

around here, when your birthday

is in December, this is a common thing.

This year, around here, this will be a common thing even if your birthday is April, June and August too.  I add April to the list because I honestly can't tell you if I sent anything up for Lauren's birthday.  I don't feel bad about not remembering because she doesn't either... unless she's lying and just wants another gift.  But I did see her in June at the beach.  Did I give her something then?  I just don't remember.  Anyway, there will also be labels with other winter creatures labeled "Mothers Day" and "Fathers Day".  Yes, I could wrap everything with the appropriate paper and tags but I need it all to match.  You know, to go under that tree THAT IS STILL IN THE GARAGE.

Fail.  I even went to the chiropractor yesterday morning to stay one step ahead and told him I was probably putting the tree up.  Oh well, so I let myself down.  I did get out and get some stuff done though.  (See the picture above.)

I went shopping to finish off a present for John.  While shopping I saw this map that I think might look awesome hanging above Eric's bed.

That means the print I bought at the art market a while back would have to go somewhere else.  I guess it's a good thing I haven't had it framed yet.  That might need to go above the piano now.

I'm also wishing I hadn't bought the gold monocle dog because as much as I love the gold monocle dog, I also found pilot dog.  I think I might get it anyway. 

Considering that would be the THIRD dog bust I would own, I might need to pass one along... or realize I have a dog bust addiction.  I'll probably just come to accept my addiction and call it that.  Most women buy shoes and make up.  I buy dog busts.  Hello, my name is Melanie and I'm an addict.

I also saw these while out shopping.  

I DEFINITELY passed.  How could they go and ruin a perfectly good Hostess Cupcake with candy corn?  That's disgusting.  I'm appalled.  Oh, and that red box of Twinkies next to the Cupcakes?  Peppermint flavored.  I wasn't as shocked with those since I accidentally bought peppermint flavored Little Debbies last year.  That's one of the bad things about this time of year, they have to go and ruin everything with nasty flavors.  Leave the peppermint flavoring in my candy.  Leave the candy corn flavoring in someone else's candy.  Sure, it doesn't affect me because I just have to simply not buy it... unless I buy it by mistake... like the Little Debbies from last year or the pumpkin Kit Kats I almost bought this year.  BLGH.  I guess though, if I'm allowed to go crazy with dog busts or getting my tree up early (or at least thinking about it), Hostess has the right to go crazy and ruin their food.

Now, about that map and the dog pilot.  I've convinced myself that I need both.  The new plan for today: I will make a trip to Hobby Lobby first thing this morning, just before I put the tree up.

that gingerbread oatmeal was so

bad, imagine the horror when I went to grab a packet of my favorite Cinnamon & Spice and...

At first I thought I disliked the gingerbread SO much that I would rather go without.  Then the more I thought about oatmeal, the more I thought the gingerbread could be tweaked.  Now I'm sitting here eating toast because the gingerbread couldn't be tweaked enough for me to want to finish.  Maybe it's the nutmeg, I don't know.  I just can't fix it.  The only thing that will fix it is going to Kroger and picking up another box of Cinnamon & Spice oatmeal.  Add that to the to-do list.

It took everything in me to not start putting the Christmas tree up yesterday.  As soon as I felt like hauling in a section of the tree, I'd find something else to do.  I'd go find something to organize or clean when the urge hit.  I've been getting presents here and there and wrapping and it's all so tempting.  Today will have a different outcome, I'd bet money on the bottom few sections of the tree being up by 4:00.  The only thing that will keep me from putting it up would be getting sidetracked.  I would like to run over to Lake Jackson so I can pick something up to finish off a gift so there is that.  That could distract me and possibly burn off some of that Christmas energy.  I really doubt it though.  Today could be the day.  I couldn't get distracted if I get the tree up now, before the stores open.  Just saying.

Yeah, I think I need to go uh, do laundry or something.  Yeah, do laundry.  That's what I'm about to do.

remember that chicken sheet pan

meal I tried?  I talked about it the other day.  It's called 15 Minute Healthy Roasted Chicken and Veggies.  I didn't get a picture of it because my bowl was empty before I thought about a picture.  I made it again.  And didn't get a picture before I ate it all.  I made some rice yesterday and heated the leftovers up for lunch.  I ate it before I could get a picture... again.  I'm not exaggerating when I tell you how depressing and unsatisfying I thought this would be the first time I made it.  It's just not me.  I'm not the chicken and vegetables type of person, well, maybe the chicken fried chicken with baked potato type of chicken and vegetables person.

Proof.  This is the meal ready for the oven.  Could this look more un-Melanie?  Let me answer that.  No.  It couldn't.

For somebody who really appreciates comfort food or southern cuisine, I was already thinking about what I could have afterwards to make up for everything I'd be missing here.

Another batch and several servings later, it's like I can't quit.

The first time I pulled it out of the oven I sat and picked at the vegetables until it was time to eat.  They were really good.  I went ahead and made some rice because who doesn't love rice?  After I made another pot of rice yesterday, and after I finished my lunch, I decided I'd at least get a picture of the container of leftovers.

We have one serving left.  Cosme has had lunch from it twice and there's one more container in the fridge for him to take tomorrow... assuming I don't eat it today.  I really think this has become a thing in this house.  It's fast, easy, healthy and good.

And then there's this.

I saw this on the shelf and had to get it.  It's what's for breakfast this morning.  Since it's a limited edition thing I'll probably end up loving it.  That's usually how it works.  And in case it sucks, I also picked up a package of gingerbread cookies so I can still get my fix.  That's me.  Always thinking ahead.

For now though, time to start that water boiling.  I'll report back tomorrow.

like i mentioned

yesterday, we didn't go to the Astro's victory parade on Friday.  I wanted to, I really really wanted to but it just kind of sounded like it would be 10 minutes of excitement and three hours of misery.  It honestly had nothing to do with me scanning the radio stations on the way up to Houston with Tragedy by the Bee Gees playing or the next song I came across called Day I Die.  It also didn't have anything to do with the Metallica song I settled on.  Okay, I might have been creeped out a little when I listened to the lyrics, "see our mother put to death see our mother die", seriously though, it had nothing to do with that.  So, not knowing for sure that we weren't going, I told Cosme that they should get a snack because we won't have time to stop for lunch if we go to the parade.  We met at Eric's and they had their Whataburger and we decided not to go.  The city predicted a crowd of 750,000 people.  I should also mention that a lot of the parking is still out of commission from Harvey.  Anyway, we didn't go and I was bummed.  I got some lunch (after complaining about being the only hungry one), we watched an episode of Stranger Things and then we headed home.  Still bummed and feeling sorry for myself, I asked Cosme if he wanted to ride out to Brazos Bend with me for pictures.  We got there.

Thanks, Harvey.  They let us know the park would open on Tuesday... today.  We left.  I laughed because, of course the other thing I wanted to do didn't happen either.  We drove out to the wildlife refuge and I took a few pictures out there but nothing great.

We got there a little after 5:30 and they close at sunset so...  We made a trip through and left.

We went for seafood afterwards at The Red Snapper Inn.  Cosme was going to have a beer and asked if I was going to have a drink.  They have beer and wine, neither being one of my top choices.  I went with iced tea.  Then I caved and said screw it.  I ordered wine.

Dinner was good.  I had broiled shrimp with a baked potato (and brussels sprouts that I didn't touch) while Cosme had snapper in a Greek sauce over rice (and brussels sprouts that he didn't touch).  After dinner we came home and I looked on fb and saw all the complaining and pictures shared by people who'd gone to the parade.  Not only was it packed but people were standing on parked cars to see, breaking windshields and leaving dents.  So yeah, ends up I'm glad we didn't go.  As for Brazos Bend, if they'd been open, we wouldn't have ended up at the beach having seafood so I guess it all worked out.  I should also mention here that after we got home, I wanted to continue on with the next episode of Stranger Things.  Netflix had other plans.  It couldn't play that episode.  Whatever.

Now I need to figure out if I can get by without going anywhere today.  If I leave, I'll have to stop for an inspection and registration sticker.  I'm two days late... seven if you count the grace period.  If I have something in the pantry that can go with chicken, I can get by with putting it off another day.  Also, if I put it off until tomorrow, it might be raining.  Do they still not do inspections if it's raining?  Maybe I'd be better off doing it today and just getting it over with.  Ugh.  I shouldn't have to do either but that's a rant for another day.

I will share one thing because I don't know if I shared it before.  I thought I did but when I went to look for the pic I couldn't find it.  I searched everywhere and found it buried deep in my computer.  This was taken in October of 2015 as we were driving by the fairgrounds.

That has absolutely nothing to do with anything but just thought I'd put it out there before I lose the image again.

Now I'm off to ponder.  To leave or not to leave?

we ended up not going

to the parade on Friday but that's a longer story so I'll save that for tomorrow because the dryer is tumbling for the second time and I don't have much time before it finishes and those clothes need to be folded.

I just wanted to share a few things.  The people who came up with the cotton candy grapes have new ones.  Gum drop grapes.

I bought some, even though I don't like gum drops.  They were okay, except for the dark ones.  The dark ones were really strong.

Once again, Samsung was getting carried away.  I was trying to tell Eric about something that was white.

Whoa, there.  Calm down, Samsung.

I tried a new recipe I found on Pinterest, minus the mushrooms because by the time I got around to making it, my mushrooms were ready for the garbage.  I made THIS recipe.  Oh, I also used flat iron steak.
Sheet Pan Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches.

We liked it.  Sometimes provolone can be a little too much for me so I went easy on the cheese.  It's definitely something I'd make again.  I also tried another sheet pan recipe over the weekend.  I didn't get any pictures because it's kind of healthy and looked depressing but it was actually pretty good.  I'll probably make it again this week since I put all the leftovers in a container but accidentally left the container on the counter all night.  It was fast, easy, healthy and it didn't taste near as depressing as it looked.

The dryer stopped.  Time to TCB.  I'll be back tomorrow.

it was a late night

last night.  I'm not a big baseball fan like a lot of people but in the weeks before the hometown team is headed to the World Series, it comes out a little... maybe not so much the baseball fan but the Houston fan.  You can't grow up in Houston and not cheer on the Astros or Rockets (football is another story).  I never pay much attention to baseball.  The games are so long and there are so many of them but when the Astros were battling it out with the Yankees, I had to watch.  I asked Cosme when I realized it, "Wait.  You mean that the Astros will be going to the World Series if they beat the Yankees?"  That was my hook.  When they beat the Yankees and were playing the Dodgers in the end, definitely watching.  Cosme was dozing off last night and I'd wake him up with updates.  We were both up to watch them win.  It was pretty exciting and I was glad to watch the Astros beat the Dodgers.  I don't know much about baseball but I'm aware of how popular the Dodgers are and to watch Houston take them down, that was pretty cool.

I told Cosme we HAVE to go to the parade.  We got in the car at 11:30 and headed to Academy for shirts.  That place was PACKED.  11:30 at night and Academy's parking lot was full.  That side of the mall's parking lot was full.  People and cars were everywhere.  The line from Academy went out to the mall parking lot and curved around.  It was totally crazy.  I was ready to get in line but Cosme said there was no way he was doing it.  We headed home and he ordered us shirts online on the drive back.  The shirts probably won't be here in time for the parade but oh well.

When we got home, it was hard to wind down.  I put some lavender in the diffuser and hoped for the best.  I guess it worked because I don't remember passing out.  I do remember the first time the alarm went off.  It hurt.  I've been out of bed for a while and it still hurts.  Luckily, I turned on the news.  Part of 288 is down to one lane so we knew ahead of time that Cosme needed to find an alternate route.  It's going to be a rough morning and long day.  Thinking about it hurts as much as that alarm did.  I think I'll go add some peppermint to the diffuser and let it work its magic.

like I had hoped for

yesterday, I'm back with news of no rain and lots of trick-or-treaters.  We had a good night, well, evening and night.  It all started around 5:30 since so many people were wanting to get home to watch the Astros.

We had screaming.  We had crying.  We had running.  And there might have been some chasing/following.  What more can you ask for?  There were also people asking for pictures with us.  I noticed there were quite a few videos made too.  At one point, I accidentally dropped the smoke machine remote into a kid's candy basket.  I noticed after a we handed them candy and their mom requested pictures.  They left and I went to fog up the porch and the remote was gone.  I was able to do it manually but then a little later, the mother came back saying it was in one of the candy bags.  I guess for her to know which house it was, we were the only one with a fog machine going.  We decided to come in around 8:00.  We were hot and tired but I left the lights on.  Cosme went to get in the shower and I was in the kitchen.  The doorbell rang and I could see it was a bunch of older kids.  I snuck up to the door and slung it open honking my horn.  They screamed.  I handed out candy and then Cosme came rushing out in a panic to see what was wrong.  I had no idea what he was talking about.  He said he heard me scream.  Then I let him know it was just me scaring kids.

A few minutes later I was ready to turn out the lights.  One little girl came back to bring two smaller girls.  I gave each of the smaller girls two big handfuls of candy and asked the other girl if she had her bag.  She said she'd already been by and I told her that was fine and I was about to turn off the lights.  She said she didn't bring her bag back with her.  I just handed her my bucket with everything that was left.  I heard them back at their car, "MOM! SHE IS TURNING OFF THE LIGHTS AND GAVE US THE REST OF HER CANDY!" then I heard another kid's voice, "I WANT SOME!!!".

Now it's November 1st and I've got a lot of cleaning to do.  Masks and accessories all have to be boxed up (at least one of the costumes is going in the garbage, maybe the only downside of paper costumes), craft supplies can officially be put away, cords and lights all need to go back to their places, the outside light fixtures need to go back from red to clear...  All that preparation and excitement and when the next morning comes, it all has to be boxed up like it never happened so I can focus on Thanksgiving.

Totally worth it.

today is all about last

minute preparations... and sinus headaches.  I took Benadryl earlier and it knocked me out.  I also had peppermint oil going in the diffuser AND was a couple of hours in on a decongestant.  This weather needs to make up its mind because my head needs a break.

I was out in the yard at 5:30 this morning positioning all the lights for tonight.  I think we're just about set.

We're stocked up on candy.

Why is it that we pick through it, trying to get the "good stuff" before the trick-or-treaters come?  We bought it for the trick-or-treaters.  Also, I go to the store several times a week.  In one of those trips, I could easily pick up a Kit Kat bar.  I'm calling it Halloween Logic... and greed.

Speaking of candy, Lauren said I need this sign hanging in front of one of my spotlights.

I'm waiting for it to dry now.  I probably won't put it out until just before the kids start to come because I checked my weather app and it'll probably rain.  That SUCKS.  If it rains then all of this might just go into a box for next year.  I'm also hoping that if it stays dry, that there are enough people out there who aren't baseball fans.  Seriously.  The Astros only need one win and that game is tonight.  That also sucks.

There is some good news though.  I got the costumes splattered with blood yesterday and

vampire blood's stain doesn't stick around too long.  It's already gone.

Oh, more good news.  I stopped by Chicken Express for a $5 kids meal today.  My total was $1.24.  Also, instead of 1 tender they gave me 3.  That's cool but I still couldn't finish one tender.  Now I have two left.  How's that for some math skills?

Hopefully I'll have more good news tomorrow morning by reporting back that there was no rain, it was a beautiful evening and we scared so many trick-or-treaters.

tomorrow is Halloween and

I'm almost ready.  Plan B after the whole blue light discovery is creepy clowns and so far it's all coming together.  I went to the Halloween store to pick up a couple of masks and wigs.  (I try to do the masks because seriously, trying to scrub off all that makeup at 9:30 when you just want to get in bed isn't any fun... especially for Cosme whose bedtime was an hour earlier.)  Anyway, I found a couple of masks and then started to look for Costumes.  I found one that was meh.  This meh costume (which does come with a mask) was $50.  That's more than I wanted to pay, especially since I needed two.  I found another clown costume but it was $60.  Nope.

Time for arts and crafts.  I started thinking.  What if I got two of the white painters onesies from Home Depot and just splattered them with fake blood?  That was the plan... until I got to HD and realized that if they were suits to repel paint, they'd probably repel fake blood.  I was talking to another customer who overheard me asking the paint guy's opinion.  This customer said he has a few in his "graveyard" but it wasn't the painter's kind.  We looked and couldn't find those so he suggested scuffing them with a steel brush if the blood wouldn't stick.  Done.  I bought the suits.  Afterwards, I decided I'd hot glue felt dots to them for decoration.  I bought a few fuzzy things for fake buttons.

I came home and started cutting felt dots.  Halfway through I wondered if I would have arthritis or carpal tunnel by the time I was done.

My hand was still hurting yesterday with what felt like a possible blister in the making.  After finally finishing the dots, I started gluing.

 Just an idea of where it was headed left me feeling pretty good about my crafty clown suit.

The next dilemma was the clown collar.  I cut the hoods off the suits but they still needed some kind of flair around the neck, whether it be a ruffled collar or big bow tie.  I thought hard and searched and then I saw the tutus in the Halloween store.  I felt like one of those girls when I bought this thing, which was totally embarrassing.  I just wanted to explain to everyone that I was NOT buying this thing to wear as a tutu.

I made it home.  I figured if I couldn't make the costume work with just one tutu, for $12 I'd just go back and get another.  Once I opened the package I realized the tutu wasn't $12 but $21.  I wasn't about to spend another $20 on these costumes so I started cutting and gluing.

The clown suits are just about done.  Here's a preview.

I've already cut the booties off the suits and we'll just wear black boots.  I also have white gloves for us.  Oh, I also bought one of these from Walmart.  (not my video)

Today I'll need to splatter the blood so it can start drying.  If it doesn't work well on the suit, that should give me plenty of time to try to wipe it off.  I guess the gloves will need blood too.  I've never heard of anyone splattered with blood with clean hands.  I guess I also need to come up with a box to keep the candy in, something a crazed clown might carry around.

In the end, I saved a little.  The store bought suits started at $50, not including masks (except for the one I have pictured) and accessories.  My homemade suits ended up costing about $35 each and that includes the package of glue sticks.  They could've been cheaper if I'd gone a different route with the tutu.  Also, I have enough felt dots for another costume but whatever.  I saved and I'm good with that.

I've got to get busy with my to-do list.  I volunteered to make rice krispie treats to drop off at the church tomorrow and it's not like those clown suits are going to get themselves bloody.