Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween and Other Spooky Fun

We had a lot of fun trick-or-treating last night. The weather was perfect--in the 70s--and it was great being out in the neighborhood with friendly neighbors handing out candy and glowing pumpkins and all the Halloweenishness of the evening. My daughter got so much candy that she tired of carrying her bag and enlisted my help, which I feel gives me proprietary rights over her candy. 

I was a trick-or-treating pro in my day; some of my happiest childhood memories are of trick-or-treating with my older sister. Part of me still wants to be that kid—to experience the exquisite excitement of Halloween day as I waited for evening to arrive, the thrill of racing from house to house with my sister, then going home to dump out our candy and sort it into piles by candy type (that was always an important part of the evening). While I was out with my kids last night, I texted my sister, saying I wished she were there. We could have gathered twice as much candy as my kids; we're just that good. Of course, if we'd gathered twice as much candy as my kids acquired last night, we would have needed hiking backpacks or possibly a pickup truck to carry it all; people give out a lot more candy than they did when we were kids. 

The kids’ costumes this year were very easy, which was nice, and I only had two kids to outfit. My older son didn't need a costume, and my two older daughters are off at college, so they're on their own if they want to get festive. I asked my second daughter if she was going to party for Halloween and she said yes, if by party I meant "take a chem midterm." Bummer. But they did have fun: they had a dinner of Bloody Bones soup (Lipton noodle soup mixed with tomato juice), watched “Disturbia,” and displayed a very artistic pumpkin they and a roommate had carved with the likeness of BYU president Cecil Samuelson. Apparently, we need to kick our pumpkin carving up a notch: we just made circles and triangles and such here at home.

My youngest daughter dressed as a cat (I ordered the costume from Amazon, so very easy. I like easy, especially because I don’t like sewing and have few skills in that direction). My younger son, Techno-Boy, was trickier. He's very picky when it comes to costumes. I thought he’d be great as a mad scientist, but he didn’t like that idea. I took him to the costume store, and the conversation went much like this:

Me: "How about a ninja?"
Him: "No."
Me: "How about a pirate?"
Him: "No." 
Me: "How about a vampire?"
Him: "No."

And so on. He wasn't giving me anything to work with (you can't do much with a flat "no") and I got frustrated and said let's go home and you make a list of some ideas, because this is a waste of time. On the ride home, I made a suggestion and--hooray!--he latched on to it, and the costume problem was solved. Forget the zombies and Grim Reapers; he decided to go as something truly terrifying—an IRS agent. He wore a suit and tie and carried a bag labeled “Taxes.” I asked him if he wanted my sister to design a badge for him, a suggestion that offended him. “Do you know who you’re dealing with?” he asked, and designed himself a badge using the IRS logo that he found online. 

And now Halloween is over and we have a great deal of candy in the house. This will ensure that my motivation to exercise stays high, so I can keep sampling it. Mmm . . . Halloween candy. You know what's awesome? The smell of Halloween candy all mixed together. That's a uniquely Halloween smell. Just take a sniff of your kids' candy bags. 

In other spooky-related news, Rearview Mirror has received some great reviews. I’m very excited about that. Here are some links: 

Tristan at Based on a True Story

Lori at Books are My Friends

Donna at Weaving a Tale or Two

Julie at Julie Coulter Bellon (LDS Writer Mom)

Thank you for the reviews!


  1. It's easy to give a great review when you write a great book.

    “Do you know who you’re dealing with?”


  2. I don't have fond memories of Halloween as a kid, but better ones as an adult. Halloween parties can be a blast, or dances. As I've gotten older (read: crotchety) I enjoy it less. I had one very polite trick-or-treater last night and that sort of redeemed the holiday.

    Also, cute babies dressed up as Superman and Batman. (Can you believe, not one piece of candy brought home for me!)

  3. Thank you, Donna! I'm delighted that you enjoyed it!

    Jon, my sister throws great Halloween parties and I'm thinking maybe next year I'll work up my courage to throw one . . . Aww, cute babies in costume!

  4. An IRS agent is truly scary! I hope you took a picture. :)

    Can't wait to read your latest book.

    I tried to leave a comment here last week, but couldn't. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can today.

  5. Haha! I love your son's costume! Those are the kinds that I a) love the best and b) can never think of on my own.

  6. We found the IRS agent idea on some costume-suggestion website a few years back. They have all kinds of ideas for costumes (the trick is finding one my kids like . . . )

  7. Sounds like a blast :) IRS agent...that's very original! I love it :)

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)