November 30, 2006

Sunday Scribblings: In the Last Hour

  • In the last hour I have presided over bathtime and books.
  • I have avoided the laundry, the dishes, and our bills.
  • I have changed into play clothes and cursed the slow-draining tub.
  • I have wished for better radio reception.
  • I have been happy for Miss Amy getting air time on Kids Corner!
  • I have been sad for C, who lost her job.
  • I have been outraged that anyone, even someone who mostly works online, could be fired by email.
  • I have been pleased to think about Grammy and Grampy being back online again.
  • I have put lotion on my hands, which have been handling paper all day.
  • I have called my sweetie, to urge her to head on home.
  • I have dreamed of buying a few books online before my coupon expires.
  • I have wondered if I could write an entry without using the word "I" once.
  • And I have planned unearthing our Advent Calendar. While simultaneously looking forward to Leslie's.
(Thanks to the fun women of Sunday Scribblings
for their continuing inspiration.)

Likely Edward Gorey Death

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?

Apparently, my fate is to be sucked dry by a leech. I should stay away from swimming holes, and stick to good old cement. Even if it does hurt like hell when my toe scrapes the bottom. But I LOVE swimming holes!
Take this quiz!

Poetry Thursday: Blue Walls

Blue Walls

The last thing we did
before he was born
was to cut down a huge tree
that was in decline.
Old life making way
for new.
The room burst wide
with sunshine.

When he was born
sleep became a dance.
He led; we followed.
We tried having him sleep
in the room with us,
but I woke with
every hiccup, every movement,
So across the hall he went.

My back still remembers
the leaning in,
the careful laying down
of our small bundle of boy in his crib.
We brushed the blue walls of his room
with a yellow night light
and delighted in the new lullabye
of his deep steady breaths.


One day when I was seven
I suddenly noticed
that my bedroom walls
were pink. The next day
we went to the paint store.
Maybe someday soon
he’ll notice that his walls
are blue.

We’ll explain that we chose
blue not for boy
but for wide open sky,
for a view newly freed
of an old growth tree.
But he might ask
to head off to the paint store
(Many thanks to the women of Poetry Thursday
for their continuing inspiration.)

November 29, 2006

Today's Reuters Iraq News

I am led to bear witness today. US military engagement in Iraq has now overtaken the length of America's involvement in World War II. The pain of this endless stream of broken hearts and families is difficult to comprehend or describe. We must wage peace. Emphases below are mine.

SAMARRA - Six policemen were killed and four wounded when a car bomb exploded near a police station in a town near Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad. Militants briefly occupied the building. A daylight curfew was imposed.

ANBAR PROVINCE - A U.S. Marine died from wounds sustained in combat while operating in western Anbar province, the U.S. military said.

BAGHDAD - A suicide car bomber targeting a police patrol killed a policeman and wounded seven people, including three policemen, in southwestern Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said.

BAGHDAD - A suicide car bomber exploded near a police patrol, killing a policeman and wounding five civilians in al-Nidhal street in central Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said.

MOSUL - A suicide car bomber targeting a police station killed one civilian and wounded 23 in the northern city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD - A U.S. soldier was killed and another wounded on Tuesday when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle in Salahaddin province, the U.S. military said.

BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol killed two policemen and wounded seven people, including two policemen, in Baghdad's al-Nahdha area, an Interior Ministry source said.

NEAR BAQUBA - The U.S. military said its forces killed eight insurgents and two women in an early morning ground assault supported by an air strike on a village near Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad. Iraqi police said a U.S.-Iraqi force killed eight civilians. Police said the dead were a man and his three sons and a neighbouring couple, their son and daughter.

DIWANIYA - Police said they found the body of a teacher with gunshot wounds in Diwaniya, 180 km (112 miles) south of Baghdad. Gunmen had kidnapped him on Tuesday.

November 28, 2006

Thanksgiving - Extended Dance Mix

I am thankful for our little house, with its modest demands on our time and its sturdy promise of warmth and shelter at day's end.

I am thankful for my health. D & T are both sick at the moment, but they'll get better, and I'm thankful for that, too.

I am thankful for new easy recipes that make me feel like a culinary wizard. (This year Chez Alice removed Carrot Ginger Soup from their holiday catering menu, and I was so disappointed that I decided to try to make my own. I don't think I'll ever need to have it catered again.)

I am thankful for shelves of poetry, there when I need it.

I am thankful for the family dealt to me, and for the family I have chosen.

I am thankful for the excitement of imagining presents carefully chosen and joyfully received.

I am thankful for cold evenings and covers to burrow into.

I am thankful for you, reader who shares a little warmth with me here in this new world we create with our words and imagination.

I am thankful for a good night's rest.

November 27, 2006

Haiku - Legacy

Towel on shoulder,
sink steam rising as you work:
third generation.

My favorite kinds of legacies are the ones you don't realize you're leaving. When my mom is working in the kitchen, she almost always has a dish towel hanging over her shoulder. To me, it signals readiness to create. At some point in my adult life, I realized that I, too, drape a towel over my shoulder while cooking. Whether I make use of it or not, I feel incomplete without it. This past week, in the run-up to Thanksgiving, D requested a towel for his shoulder as he stood on a chair by the sink helping with the dishes.

None of us planned this. It just happened. And we couldn't be happier.

(Thanks as always to the women of One Deep Breath
for their continuing inspiration.)

November 26, 2006

Sunday Scribblings: Arch-Enemy

The line pictured above is the work of my nemesis.

It's a line of people waiting to buy the new XBox game system. Last year, I think, or whenever the latest version was.

My nemesis is the mindlessly consumerist culture we live in here in the US.

I fight it every day. And the battle intensifies for the month leading up to Christmas.

Gotta get my game on. And I don't mean XBox.

(For more arch-enemy action,
head on over to Sunday Scribblings.)

November 25, 2006

Insider's Guide to Our Thanksgiving

All 40 RSVP's actually showed up. And a few brought a friend. We had one non-Princetonian, one US resident, and a whole bunch of grateful and hungry undergrads.

We didn't go out. (Except to snag some last minute provisions this morning.)

Instead, we spent our whole day inside, opening our home to as many international Princeton undergrads as we could possibly squeeze in.

Early on, it seemed as if Princeton maybe hadn't gone co-ed after all...

But soon enough, there were boys. And more girls. And standing room only.

In any given year, about ten percent of Princeton's freshman class comes from someplace other than the continental US. Because Princeton's financial aid policies are so incredibly generous, it is sometimes the case that these students come from families of very modest means. A ticket home for a holiday that is a non-event in their home country may well be an unaffordable indulgence. And what IS Thanksgiving, anyway? Not having grown up celebrating this particular holiday, the students who are left on campus are left pressing their noses up against the metaphorical windows of American abundance and excess.

In what has become our Thanksgiving tradition, we tuck them under our wing and try to offer them a "traditional" American Thanksgiving, while at the same time explaining to them how we've tweaked it to include them and a whole bunch of side dishes neither of us ever had growing up in upstate New York.

And the pressure is totally off. They're so happy and grateful, if I mess something up, we just laugh it off and make a note for next year. Ran out of ice cream. Could have skipped the crudites.

D has never known any other Thanksgiving. And his list of helper duties gets longer every year. Last year, washing the potatoes. This year, washing and MASHING!

There's not much left. But if the doorbell rang right now, I'd be the first one to invite whoever was standing on the stoop inside. There's still a little pie.

(Thanks to the women of Mama Says Om
for their continuing inspiration.)

November 24, 2006

Helping Hands

(Pie making, 20 lb. turkey, shoulder towel, recycling)

As of this writing, the RSVP's are clocking in at 40 people from about 20 countries.

Every year for the past six or so years, we have invited international Princeton students, who are often too far from home to get back there, over here for a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner. It started out with a small gesture towards a few students T found headed for the Wawa on the day after Thanksgiving. It has become something quite a bit larger.

Our house is on the small side. (Unless you live in Manhattan, in which case we live in relatively palatial decadence.)

Some folks who have been here and who have just now read that RSVP number are, I can reliably report, thinking, "Are they insane?"

We think every year about not doing it. For a few minutes. And then we get an email from a senior who's been here every year and hopes to make it "four for four." Or from a tentative freshman wondering if there might be the possibility of pumpkin pie for dessert.

Like many people, our Thanksgiving tradition has become an "all hands on deck" kind of event. And it gives us great joy to be able to include D in the work, something which he, too, is excited about.

He remembers scrubbing the potatoes last year and this morning eagerly asked if he could have that job again. You betcha, kiddo.

November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Haiku

Now come to the feast!
Such vast abundance requires
elastic waistbands.

(Sometimes I just need to poke fun
at my wanna be profundity.)

November 21, 2006

Your Mission

Got an email the other day from Damali Ayo, an artist whose work I am grateful for.

She says:

your mission, should you choose to accept it, is:

send me your list (note: Damali's email is damali (at) of:

1) five things white people can do to combat (eliminate) racism/improve our current racial dynamics

2) five things people of color can do to combat (eliminate) racism/improve our current racial dynamics

i'm going to review, and compile these and send them to the list, post them on my web site, and make them a part of my presentations to schools and communities. (if anyone has an "in" with a billboard company, please let me know- i've always wanted to do a billboard project, and this would be perfect.)


because people are always asking me to tell them "what to do?!?!" and to come up with solutions to the problems i illuminate. and i firmly believe that the more of us who are involved in creating those solutions, the better chance they have of working for all of us.

so have your voice heard, and disseminated, ayo-style.
a now-art project will follow to help disseminate these solutions, and there may be t-shirts, and interviews. maybe we can start a movement....


Okay, this is Shelley again. Here are the five things I sent to Damali as my ideas for what we white folks can do:

1) make a conscious decision to consider racism "your problem"
2) spend some time in situations in which you are seriously in the minority and reflect on your experiences
3) commit to confronting racism when you see, hear, read, or experience it
4) actively seek out the perspectives and insights of those who are doing "the heavy lifting" with regards to fighting (eliminating) racism
5) if a friend shares their experience of racism with you, LISTEN. Resist any urge to jump in and minimize or excuse their feelings.

Wanna help?

November 20, 2006

Senses Haiku

The warm smell of bread,
a dark room lit by laughter:
thigh becomes pillow.

(Thanks to the women of One Deep Breath
for their continuing inspiration.
And, if you're up for a silly haiku-style suggestion for tonight's dinner,
pop on over to Bill Keagy's What's For Dinner site.)

November 19, 2006

Fire is Primal

The "we beat Harvard and Yale" bonfire was originally scheduled for Thursday night, but Thursday night brought heavy rain and tornado warnings, so Princeton wisely went with the Friday night option.

The bonfire was slated to start at 6pm, so D and I joined T on campus after school. He was worn out, as he so often is on Friday evening, but absolutely determined not to miss the fire, which we'd explained to him is an unpredictable and rare occurrance.

The pyre was huge; the flames shot higher than the tallest trees surrounding Cannon Green. We stood in the shadow of West College, and could still feel the heat.

Doesn't he look a bit devilish? Mwah ha ha hah...

November 18, 2006

Sunday Scribblings - Heroes

I wrote a pretty extensive "Heroes" entry for Mama Says Om back on November 5th. I figured I would probably need to skip this Sunday Scribblings on account of what else would I have to say?

I figured wrong.

Here's the one thing more I have to say. The thing that really gets to me about heroes? Is that they rarely think of themselves that way. And that they usually don't go out looking for anything like attention or glory or accolades. They just stay where they are and act on their truth. Because the Earth matters. Because some people can't speak up for themselves. Because they need to sit down. Or stand up.

I think you might need to be the hero of your own life before you can be the hero of anyone else's.

(More thoughts on heroes at Sunday Scribblings.)

November 17, 2006

In Search Of

(ill.the fabulous Richard Bell)

The problem with reading incessantly is that I forget where I saw things.

Sometimes, I have the presence of mind in the moment to realize that something is making enough of an impact on me that I should make a little note about where to find it again.

But it is more often the case that something makes a deep impression on me slowly, sinking down into my consciousness and percolating until I finally realize that it's here to stay.

Except for now I don't know where it came from.

Here are a few of the things that are bubbling up that I wish I could find:
  • What book of Cornelius Eady's includes the poem "The Wrong Street"?
  • What book (fiction) includes the concept of social "ascendency," the idea that we are always striving to assess ourselves in relation to others with regards to dominance?
  • What book (utopian fiction) includes the idea that we had evolved to the point that people were selecting their cultural affiliations, independently of their families of origin? (This is hard to explain, but was explained beautifully and appealingly in some book I read.)
Got anything you're trying to find again? Got any leads on "my" stuff?

November 16, 2006

Poetry Thursday - They Lie


These shoes said they'd never give me blisters.

My backpack swears there's a working pen in here somewhere.

This paper plate claims to be made from 100% recycled paper.

The phone's blinking light refers to a message that requires no action on my part.

The carpet promises to hide any stain.

The missing shirt button is plotting a prodigal return.

And the calendar proclaims the glory that is Friday.

(For more lies, check out Poetry Thursday.)

November 15, 2006

Real Beauty

This image was taken from Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty. The accompanying video is worth watching... you can just click on the underlined text above.

I'll wait.

I've never really worn makeup. Somehow I instinctively knew, long before figuring out my non-majority sexual orientation, that I was never meant to swim in this particular main stream.
In the beginning, it was less a principled stand than a gut-level aversion.

Now, it's a decades-old decision that enables me to model a counter-cultural option for my nieces, as well as one that saves me time and money.

Although I have to admit that Sassafras Mama's occasional glitter makes a good case for a little self-celebratory flash.

November 14, 2006

Outside and Yes

The days were still long. The light was luscious. And on our way home from school I was remembering some of the best parenting advice I've gotten yet:

Say yes as often as you can.

So as we made ready to drive past the Mercer Oak (actually Son of Mercer Oak, but that's another story), and D asked me if we could stop and play outside, I was primed.

I said yes.

We walked along the fence talking about split rails and the original oak and what people mean when they tie a yellow ribbon and whose shadow is taller and then he asked me if he could climb on the fence.

I said yes.

Outside and yes. A great combination.

(Thanks to the women of Mama Says Om
for their continuing inspiration.)

November 13, 2006

Friends and Companions Renga

The rain slips through our
careful defenses while we
try to hide our skin —

treading this trail into winter,
we are not walking alone

~ Shelley Krause and Cate Kerr

Cate graciously responded to my invitation, and we are both so pleased to be able to start our week with this kind of creative sharing. We've never met, but it scarcely matters; we are still friends and companions.

For extra credit, surf on over here to see a renga I helped birth almost ten years ago (!).

(Thanks as ever to the women of One Deep Breath
for their continuing inspiration, and to Meera Viswanathan,
my teacher from many years ago, who first introduced me to renga.)

Geek Poet Seeks Collaborator

Apologies to those of you who stopped by to see today's haiku... we interrupt to bring you this partial screenshot of the fun free new toy available over at

An incredibly customizable webpage with drag-and-drop functionality, courtesy of the good people at goowy media.

End of geek outburst.

Meanwhile, back at One Deep Breath, the call this week is for a renga, which is a collaborative form of poetry. (See posting for details.)

I have a starting haiku. I have a call out to a friend. But if anyone else out there is feeling brave (Becky? Karen?) send me an email or drop a comment and maybe we can team up, too!

November 12, 2006

Sunday Scribblings - Ackerman

"I don't want to be a passenger in my own life." (Diane Ackerman)

The prompt from Sunday Scribblings this week asks us to respond to this quote.

I decided not to be a passenger in my own life a long time ago, so for me to think about this means remembering those days when I was still in the stage of becoming the captain of my own ship.

When I was falling in love with a woman for the first time, I was young enough that I didn't truly understand what was happening.
This lack of knowledge was both my saving and my downfall. It saved me because it kept me from fully experiencing the fear of what lay ahead. It doomed me because I didn't know enough to be obsessively secretive, and so was soon exposed to the world's condemnation and abuse.

My parents wanted to protect me, but were largely powerless to do so. And some of their ideas about protection would have "protected" me out of what was to become my life.

So I made a decision. Faced with the possible loss of my family of origin, or with the slow erosion of self that denying my identity would cause, I chose to follow my heart forward. Even if it mean losing the family who had been my safe harbor for my entire life leading up to that point.

As it turned out, I was one of the lucky ones. My family's understanding grew along with my own, and I got to keep both my birth family and the family I now make my life with. I have been truly blessed.

The only sense in which I am a passenger is the sense in which we all are. There is one boat, and we are all in it together.

Which leads me to one of my favorite quotes, by Jane Addams of Hull House fame: "The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain – until it is secure for all of us, and incorporated into the common good."

(Thanks to the women of Sunday Scribblings
for their continuing inspiration.)

November 11, 2006

Bonfire, Anyone?

Princeton beat Yale in football today, having already beaten Harvard earlier in the season.

I try not to care too much, but living with two extremely devoted fans makes this a bit of a losing battle.

Besides, according to tradition, this means that there will be a bonfire on Cannon Green Thursday night. And who doesn't love a bonfire?

November 10, 2006

Sickbed Haiku

The mold appears first
then sharp edges start to droop:
pumpkins, collapsing.

No one has told them

of their role in our lives. These

bugs are just hungry.

Spent the day at home today trying to ward off some mysterious low-grade fever-inducing bug. Managed to crawl grimly through a few errands in the middle of the day: root vegetables for a stew, taxes paid, bottle of urine to D's doctor (belated portion of his annual checkup... took me this long to overcome his reluctance at sharing something so intensely private). Feel vaguely like Gregor Samsa.

November 09, 2006

Poetry Thursday - Snapshots

"There was a silence with things going on in it." ~ Dorothy Parker

Here is a lovely one of the Grand Canyon.

Here is the space you left for my apology.

And here I am, filling it with a car door slam.

Here you are pounding away at the tent stakes,

And this is me, failing at sleep.

Here is a close-up of a redwood with its heart cut out,

And here we are driving through it.

Here is the same fight with only the words changed,

And here is that road we got lost on.

This one didn't quite come out —

It was supposed to be of the heat

Rising up off the asphalt.

This is where the radio stuttered and died.

Here is a silence with things going on in it.

November 08, 2006

Tanali and the Silver Scissors

Thirteen days ago I started a story at the request of my niece (pictured above; note sword).

Over this past weekend I finished it and printed it using a fabulous shareware application I found to help me make a groovy little booklet.

I can't remember the last time I was this excited about a piece of writing.

My niece got her copy yesterday, and read the whole thing in one sitting. (She's eight, and the story is about 6,400 words long. That's my girl.)

I talked to her tonight, and she reports that some of the big words that the teacher of Personal Illusion uses were a little confusing (art imitates life), and that her favorite part was the part where Tanali uses the enchanted scissors for the first time.

I one very happy auntie. (And if your interest is piqued enough now that you'd like to read the story in full, email me at shelleyq (at) and we'll see what we can do about that.)

In other news:
(image by Brian Topping)

A good day.

PS: Hi, Kim! [waves, grinning] Welcome aboard.

November 07, 2006

Election Day

photo by Doug Mills/ NYT/ 10-30-06

Over 100 US soldiers killed last month alone
18 more in the last six DAYS
Un-numbered Iraqi deaths
Afghanistan spiralling down as well
Stem cell research desperately needed


Find your polling place here.
Voting hours in NJ are from 6am until 8pm.
More info about your voting rights here.

No comments until you've voted, please.

November 06, 2006

Pumpkin Haibun

In the morning, a frantic scrabble of claws on concrete greets us. The squirrels who have dared each other onto the porch launch themselves into the lawn as we open the door. I imagine their tiny hearts pounding even faster than usual.

The real drama, as usual, happens when no one is looking:

Squirrels with pumpkins,
Glee turning to confusion:
This one hollow, too?

How like them I am, lured by the promise of an unearned windfall and forgetting in my churn and flurry that I've known all along where my true sustenance will come from.

November 05, 2006


Sometimes, you come across a piece of music or writing that makes you realize that someone has gotten there before you and said what you would have wanted to say.

In Quaker Meeting, we say, "That Friend speaks my mind."

This is the case with me and the idea of heroes.

Ann Reed's classic song speaks my heart on this subject:

What can I learn from you
In your lifetime, in what you've been through
How'd you keep your head up and hold your pride
In an insane world how'd you keep on tryin'
One life can tell the tale
That if you make the effort, you can not fail
By your life you tell me it can be done
By your life's the courage to carry on

Appear like a friend
To clear a path or light the flame
As time goes by you find you depend
On our heroes to show you the way
What can I learn from you
That I must do the thing I can not do
That you do what's right by your heart and soul
It's the imperfections that make us whole
One life can tell the tale
And if you make the effort you can not fail
By your life you tell me it can be done
By your life's the courage to carry on...

Listen to the song to hear Ann's list... some of my additions would include Margaret Fell, Catherine Roma, Octavia Butler, Virginia Woolf, Sister Helen Prejean, Denise Levertov, Audre Lorde, Ani DiFranco, Becky Birtha, Dorothy Allison, the Indigo Girls, Annie Dillard, my mother, my sister, my partner...

And yes, there are men out there worthy of the title as well, but they are so much more likely to be named so by the world that I'm taking this opportunity to put my thumb on "the distaff side" of the scale.

(Thanks for the women of Mama Says Om for this excuse
to reflect on the greatness that has gone before us and keeps us going.)

November 04, 2006

Because Some Have Asked

Here are our Spiderman and battle-ready Native American on our steps and ready to head out.

Sadly, because the full-body cheetah costume was worn by She Who Takes Many Pictures and Blogs, we currently have no photographic evidence of that particular brand of splendor.

You'll just have to imagine.

November 03, 2006


It was a bad one today. [Waves at visiting Scribblers.]

I had a meeting that meant I needed to be out the door by about 7:10am. There's construction on S. Middlebush (AGAIN) that makes it hard to predict how long my ride in will take. D doesn't like having such a short amount of time with me in the morning, and I don't much like it either. Today, he burst into tears as I got ready to go. End of the week, not enough sleep, nothing in reserve. He's only five.

Meanwhile, my partner's been on the road for much of the week and was similarly cashed in this morning.

Not to mention the fact that we've asked someone to come in and help with our cleaning today, which means – you know this – a bunch of late-night running around putting toys where they belong so we'll be able to find them, post-cleaning.

This morning we figured out that we're out of Soft Scrub (cue ominous urgent background music).

Tomorrow morning will be better. D will sleep as long as he pleases and then call to me. I'll scoop him up and bring him into the bathroom and remind him it's Saturday. He'll ask to stay in his jammies for breakfast and playing and I'll say yes. We might go for a challah run. T will sleep as long as she likes while we luxuriate in our newly neatened playspace and figure out which animals to be. Breakfast will happen when our stomachs will no longer take "no" for an answer, and I'll actually have time to do a little reading. Then maybe a trip to the post office to mail some goodies off to friends, as the town fills up with football fans preparing for the big home game. And everywhere, the trees aflame with color.

I know that living in the present is a worthy goal, but sometimes the looking forward is just too good to pass up.

(Thanks to the good women of Sunday Scribblings
for their continuing inspiration.)

November 02, 2006


You know how I always brag about how brave a parent I am, how I'll let D do stuff that other parents are scared to let their kids try, blah blah blah?

I lied.

D was absolutely transported by Hallowe'en this year, and desperate to help carve a pumpkin. As soon as he and the knife and the giant, slippery, hard-to-pierce-even-if-you're-a-grown-up pumpkin were in the same room, I bolted.

"You're going to have to do this with your Tama," I called in from the dining room. "It's too scary for me to think about you maybe hurting yourself, buddy."

He brought me a bucket for me to use "if I felt like throwing up." Which I ended up not needing. Because of course Tama was on the case and all was well.

Still. Scary.

(Thanks as always to the women of
Mama Says Om for their continuing inspiration.)

November 01, 2006

Best. Hallowe'en. Ever.

What made it so great?

Here are the top 10 reasons:

10) D was thrilled with his Grandpa and Nana-procured Spiderman costume and got to wear it to school.

9) JT came over after school to be D's trick-or-treat buddy, officially making this a long-standing tradition.

8) D was totally grooving on our glowing alien hands and went "woooo, woooo'ing" all over the yard in a very creepy fashion. (Well, as creepy as an adorable five year old could be.)

7) After the first large group of visitors left, he came tearing up the sidewalk into the house to proclaim, "I think we're a HIT!"

6) He also insisted on telling folks at each stop along the way that "this is the best candy I've ever had, this is awesome," and when queried about his lavish praise, explained, "It makes people feel really happy!"

5) The beautiful evening brought out the trick-or-treater in everyone and we had a RECORD 81 costumed visitors... almost double the usual number!

4) We orderer Thai take-out for dinner and I wore my full cheetah costume to the restaurant for the pickup, thereby briefly spooking the hell out of the wait staff. S & JT opted to stay over, adding to the festive feel of the night.

3) We managed to get good carving pumpkins, put up the giant spider and fake gravestone, and hang the creepy skeleton thingy from the front door knocker before the first trick-or-treater arrived. (Just.)

2) D treated Miss P to a lovely rendition of "Ghost of Tom," and she showered him with all manner of Hallowe'en treats.

And finally, the number one reason this Hallowe'en totally rocked:

1) At one point early in the evening I heard one kid on the way up our front stairs say to another kid, "Oh, yeah, these guys are AWESOME!"

Coolness and deep satisfaction achieved. And I didn't even TALK about the candy!