Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cast A Magic Spell

There's been a cooling trend in the last few days.  Refreshingly crisp in the morning, heating up to a tolerable 80 degrees in the afternoon.  Good thing too because the A/C sounded it's death rattle on Sunday afternoon.  We had just come back from a 14 mile bike ride and were just settling in to watch the last session of our church conference from Salt Lake City.  As soon as it was over I heard a loud noise - kind of like a power tool.  At first I thought the lady next door was having some work done in her house again, but on a Sunday?  The noise sounded again and I opened a window to determine where it was coming from.  Seemed to be either our air conditioning unit or the neighbors... but hard to tell.  It sounded again, and this time I smelled smoke.  I yelled for L to turn off the air (in case it was us) and got ready to run next door to the neighbor's house (in case it was her).  L said the smokey smell was coming from ours... of course...
We called cousin Jeff, and he said he would come in the next couple of days.  Today was the day, and the sad news is that the condenser is toast (the loud noise I heard) and there's another part that burned up because of that (the smokey smell).  Additionally, we have a freon leak, which probably was the cause of the whole darn thing.  So YAY - we probably get to buy a whole new unit!  How awesome.  But I have to say a little thank you to the poor dead unit for holding on until the heat wave was over.  I can survive without A/C for a few days while we figure out what we need. 

 I was planning a trip to Texas over the Thanksgiving weekend.  With this sweet surprise, I'm not sure if that's still in the works.  We'll have to see what the damage is in a couple of days.  *pouty face*  I cheered myself up getting out the Halloween decorations.  Skeleton pirate, skull fence, and pumpkins that spell out "BOO."  

If I'm really nice to L, maybe he'll put up the spooky arch with the orange and purple lights.  It's a major pain, but it looks amazing at night.  This year, I've gone a little nuts inside too.  I decked out the living room mantle with black branches in a mercury glass vase, blinged up a little black pumpkin, and got an apothecary-ish looking glass container to hold my little skulls, with a large black crow to stand guard.  I love it.  Oh - and little spiders crawling everywhere.  Martha Stewart would be so proud.

I still have more plans: shredded cheesecloth evoking tattered drapes in a haunted house, and trying my hand at some spooky treats.  I saw fingers with almond fingernails made from one of two things: pretzel dough or shortbread cookie dough.  Pretzel dough is more trouble, but shortbread is fragile and hard to work with sometimes.  I saw that Williams Sonoma also made them from shortbread cookie dough.  Maybe I'll just buy them, and have them sent to my little goblins in other states.

I'd like to try them myself, though - just to say that I did.  They just scream... Halloween.

My sweet Lexi called me yesterday to ask if I'd make a donation to her school.  She had run 29 laps in the Mammoth Run to earn money.  29 LAPS!!  She's 6 years old and ran that many laps AND kept track of them as well.  Mema was mightily impressed.  She was asking for $10.  I sent $30.  I am so proud of her for having the desire to do service for her school and for carrying through.

Matthew flew off his bike and creamed his face.  Luckily he's fine.  No broken bones or teeth.  Mia likewise flew off her scooter while riding downhill and got a nasty bump on her forehead.  Again, no serious harm done, although she was upset because her forehead wasn't "plain" like everyone else's.  These children need to stop scaring Mema like this.  It's hard to see the pictures when I'm so far away from them.  But they're tough and will live to ride again.

I hope you're all enjoying some cooler weather.  I even ordered a sweater or two in honor of impending fall weather.  It's my favorite time of year, I think - even more than summer, I think.  Of course, in California there's not much of a difference, except in the evening when the air turns crisp and brisk in the fall.  If we're lucky we have some cool days, when sweaters and boots come out to play, but it's not unusual to have an 80 degree Christmas Day.  Whatever your days, enjoy them.  The holidays are coming, and I plan to enjoy them.  All of the kids are elsewhere out of state, so they will be very different for us this year.  We'll have to get creative, I suppose, and dream our  dreams of less expensive travel times after the holidays when we can fly off to our longed for destinations of Boston, Denver, Austin, NYC, Provo...

I'm feeling a bit better these days.  It's always a little bit cyclical.  Comes and goes.  The goal is for it to go as often as possible.  I've been taking care of myself, eating better, making sure I'm exercising - everything you're supposed to do, and it's working.  Yay...  Dad is having a tough time.  Week 4 of chemotherapy just passed and he's experiencing swelling and discomfort.  Loss of appetite.  He's discouraged, understandably so.  I want to help, but how?... what?  It's a helpless feeling for me, so I can only imagine how my mother is feeling.  The cost of everything is frightening to them.  It's horrifically expensive to take life saving measures.  But expensive though it is, I am grateful they have the opportunity to choose their method of treatment.  Choice is good, and my dad's doctor seems to be a good one, as well as a good human being.  I'm grateful for that as well.

October is a lovely month, so take it all in - the changing leaves, the brisk air, the hint of holiday in the air.  Buy chocolate for those little trick or treaters (and for yourself!)  It's a whole month of black and orange spooky fun.  Pet a black cat, and dance with a witch, a ghost, or even a princess in the light of a  full moon, drink hot chocolate, cast good magic spells over your favorite little people.  It's Halloween.


  1. BOO to you, dear karen! I love your decorations. You've turned your home into the Addams family mansion. H-ween was my favorite holiday through childhood but by the 1970s I dreaded its annual arrival because of all the stories hitting the news about violence and vandalism, the dangers of child abduction and of mean spirited people inserting razor blades in apples and tainting the candy they handed out to trick-or-treaters. It's never been the same for me since. I'm so sorry to learn that two of your grands got scraped up. Like you I am a constant worrier and I know it isn't easy for you miles away wishing you could hug and comfort them. I pray for your dad's recovery. I hope he follows your example and does whatever it takes to keep fighting back against illness. Medicine alone cannot win the battle. A positive mindset along with the love and support of family are essential. I thank you, karen, for leaving such a nice comment on my blog about Kathleen's latest chapter. We both deeply appreciate your support!

  2. Martha Stewart would be proud! You're good! I haven't pulled out on Halloween decoration and likely won't. With no kids around, not worth it. Niether Splenda nor I care for the holiday.

    Sorry about the A/C - that is a bummer but don't let it take the place of your Texas trip!! You'll feel so much better with a grand fix!

  3. Let's just say your decorations look WAY better than ours!!

  4. I love your decorations. I make the spooky finger cookies every year. They're easy, creepy and delicious. I make the shortbread ones and attach the nails with red gel frosting in the tube. They're amazing.

  5. If you make the nails out of sliced almonds they look even authentic.

  6. I have a finger recipe that's easy and fun and looks great. If you want it I'll email it to you. If you want to see what they look like go to my Oct. 30th..2008 entry..I'll say prayers for your Dad. It has to be so hard for all of you. Love your mantel! Martha would be happy! (the finger recipe is hers BTW)

  7. All of your Halloween stuff looks so cute, Karen. You really have flair.

    Sorry about the A/C, and the fact that your trip may be down the tubes now. Kinda stinks. But you're right, at least it waited till the weather turned.

    We are still in DC. Going home tomorrow. I am ready. And I, too, am looking forward to the holidays!


  8. You Halloween decorations look amazing! LOVE it all and wish we could come trick or treating at your house this year!

  9. It looks and sounds like your Halloween decorating is coming along very well. I'm envious. I really don't do much decoration any more. Actually, we try not to be home any more on Halloween for trick or treating. We go to our friends house that live inside a gated community. They don'g get a single person. It is just getting too expensive. Chocolate is what we always gave them and it has about tripled in price the last year. We have absolutely no children in our neighborhood, but they actually bus them in from somewhere and we have them coming starting at 5 o'clock until about 10:00. The ones that come late are way too old to be trick or treating and the little ones just keep coming, one group after another. Sometimes we will have three groups waiting in line. It just got so that it wasn't fun any more and we used to love it.

    I hope that your did is doing better now. That is just so hard for him. I can sympathize so much. It is just a shame he has to go through this.

    Your symtoms sound just like mine. I have rheumatoid arthritis and I hurt so bad all the time. I can't take pain pills so just have to suffer it. My fingers and hands are so sore right now that I could cry. I am very interested to know what the medication is that you went off. I would like to ask my doctor about it. I surely would like to be able to take something that would ease my pain, even if just slightly.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. You and Julie were the only ones that had the patience to scroll down about a mile before you came to the place where you could click on comments. I don't know why my crazy computer won't space corresctly when I post. Oh well.

  10. Hi Karen,
    I love your decorations and that you're feeling better too. October always flies by for me in a craze of busy-ness. Have a great week:)

  11. wow!! your place looks beautifully festive! good for you!! my orange plastic pumpkins are now looking pretty lame!

  12. Nice Halloween decoration! I am impressed with your 14 mile bike ride. That is twice as much as I do! It takes me about 40 minutes. I guess I could go longer but I'm usually tired by then! Good for you.


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