Wednesday, October 31, 2012

good reads (and listens) for current celebrations

tonight is the culmination of all of our hallowe'en preparations; we also recognize samhain and will be participating in dia de los muertos activities.

since any time is a good time for reading, and we are always on the lookout for new favorites and love sharing them, here are our most recent additions (scary, spooky, and otherwise):

half minute horrors (a gift to diana for all hallow's read)

spirits, spooks, and other sinister creatures (selected by) helen hoke

witches and witch-hunts: a history of persecution by milton meltzer

the short and bloody history of ghosts by john farman

horrible histories: vile victorians by terry deary

monsterology: fabulous lives of the creepy, the revolting, and the undead by arthur slade

a repeat from last year is halloween abc (poems) by eve merriam (ander adores the alphabet aspect, diana delights in the dark and dangerous ditties)

we read on a windy night by nancy raines day before bed last night. the illustrations are awesome! it may have been too scary for ander, even though it ends reassuringly.

the book fairy picked up two new selections for ander for all hallow's read:

pumpkin eye by denise fleming (she's the author of other favorites in the tall, tall grass and in the small, small pond)

the little old lady who was not afraid of anything by linda williams

i found out about a free download from sparkle stories about a jack o'lantern.  i think it will be just the thing for the whole family to enjoy.

and for those who would like to know more about day of the dead, ander enthusiastically endorses calavera abecedario: a day of the dead alphabet book by jeanette winter.  he reads it all year round.

last year's renditions

this year's initial inspirations
and finally, we all recommend listening to sting's version of "soul cake."  it has a wonderfully shivery feel about it.  plus it leads us gently into the season of winter holidays.

i'm happyer at home because my favorite souls are reunited under one roof for these holidays.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

when you give a girl a piece of sidewalk chalk...

...your house is going to be really ready for hallowe'en.


not sure i believe the directions pointing me to safety.  seems like an awful lot of dangerous, scary things i have to encounter on the way.  plus, the black cloak doesn't exactly inspire...feelings of security, at least for me.  i'll be glad to have sugar to sustain me through samhain.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

what is it about this place?

there's something that keeps us coming back to impossible acres.  more than one something.

for diana, a major draw is the animals, particularly the boneless (aka super-drowsy) kittens and the soft-as-down bunnies.  typically, one is required to be ten years old in order to enter the animal area without an adult (that's the age at which you may volunteer, apparently).  we asked if it would be possible to make an exception for diana, at age nine, because ander did not want to go inside or be in close quarters with the unpredictably talkative, loud sheep and energetic rooster.  we explained that diana had come in before, has responsibility for pets at home, and would be extremely careful.  she was granted access and handled it well.  her confidence and maturity in working with the small animals drew younger children to her, asking for her help, rather than an adult's, in lifting out a kitten.  diana was grateful for the privilege and uses it to her advantage on subsequent visits.

ander adores the hay bale structures of all kinds, which offer him an exciting alternative to traditional playgrounds.  there is a kind of fort with multiple levels and entrance/exits, allowing for impromptu games of hide-and-seek.  another good location for similar play is in the hay bale maze.  just the right size for kids, the mini-labrynth provides all sorts of nooks and crannies to explore.  being out in the open, with fresh air and soft-but-sturdy materials to climb on and jump from, ander seems in his element.

i like how it's a gathering place for our friends.  you never know who might turn up, making the experience all the more enjoyable.

the people know us there, smiling and waving when we arrive.  it's comfortable, familiar, welcoming.  it feels like home.  maybe that's why i'm happyer there.

and yet more pumpkins

we'd been to other patches, but i was craving a visit to bobby dazzler's pumpkin farm.  so many varieties of pumpkins, so much space to explore and room to run and climb.  lovely employees who wanted to make sure we enjoyed ourselves and filled our hearts' desire of pumpkins.  we didn't even need the corn maze, which is a big draw around here, to entertain us.  wonderful way to spend a late afternoon/early evening with my children.

photo by ander
photo by ander