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Ok, so the blue ox horns are finally finished \o/ For those of you not following along, Jaquelyn announced last month that she and her beau were going the couples Halloween costumes route, with her beau as Paul Bunyon, and her as Babe the Blue Ox. Which necessitated the making of horns. If you go back an entry, you’ll see how this whole thing started, with the spray foam and the carving it down with a box cutter (fun teims!).

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So while I’ve been working on costumes around in real time, WoW has already started the Hallow’s End celebrations in Azeroth. And while I wasn’t that interested in them last year, since I’d already done the achievement for the event, there’s some new stuff this year – including pets!

One of the new pets, the Creepy Crate, you get via quest. Done and done, my friends; I now have a pet crate that eats critters randomly. But then there were two more – the Little Wickerman, and the Feline Familiar, each priced at a modest 150 Tricky Treats. Turns out the Little Wickerman actually isn’t a pet, but rather a toy, but that’s ok, too; I like toys.

So trick-or-treating I went! A LOT of trick-or-treating – each bucket you visit yields 2-3 of the treats. The good news is, now that we have achievements, I had a list of buckets in different regions* – this made things way easier than they could have been.

So! I got my kitty (and the Wickerman too – he’s a fun campfire). And I was delighted to find that the  Feline Familiar is not like the regular cat models** – he’s got glowy eyes, and pointy hat!

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This weekend we purchased: 2 cans of Hilti foam, a 40# pumpkin, some yellow thread, a heavy duty boxcutter, some quilt facing, a 2 garlands of silk leaves,* and an iron.

Man Cub shall be the fallout boy (from his fave video game this week).
I’m working on his shirt – which turned out to be far more complicated than I had originally anticipated. Not my bestest sewing ever, but I think it’ll work out ok. I just need to put the 101 on the back, and he should be good to go in a pair of jeans.

Jaquelyn shall be Babe, as in the Blue Ox. I’m working on her horns. This also was a little more complicated than anticipated. Spray foam FTW! I set them up yesterday, and after a night on the table hardening up, I got to spend a guilt-free day watching Battlestar Galactica episodes and getting crafty \o/

Which yielded this –
They’re not done at all – they need a lot of work still, including a treatment of tissue paper and glue to make them smooth, and a good paint job.** Also, Jaquelyn requested that the horns be tipped n gold,*** which we can totally do. The tricky part is going to be finding some way to affix the horns to her head. I’ll have to pick up a couple of alice bands this week and see what we can come up with.

Easily, this is my favorite part of the year.


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It started with the craving to go apple picking a few weeks ago. Actually, no –  it probably started when we made the pickles. I had never made pickles before, so when I went to get the stuff to do it, I really had no idea what I needed, and I overbought like zomg. Which is to say, I picked up three different sizes of jars, a box each, and then we had a ton of jars left over.* And of course, I was like, We need to do something with these! What goes in a jar??

So when the urge to go pick apples hit, I totally took it up on its business, and we went to Stowe’s. We usually go there once a year, in October, to pick out pumpkins and check out the petting zoo. I think we’ve been doing this every weekend before Halloween since Man Cub was four (three?)** and it’s a really nice afternoon – we buy ice cream cones filled with feed and get mobbed by the goats, we check out the ponies and the chickens, and choose pumpkins to bring home and carve. We almost always come home with an apple pie or a jug of cider. I don’t know why it never occurred to me that we should go apple picking. But this year we did, and it was totally fun. After we’d filled our bushel bag from the tree, and fed groundfalls to the horses across the street, we headed home, where the bag intimidated me for a week.

23 pounds of apples is a lot of apples! I took some to work for lunch, Man Cub took some to school for his. We fed slices to his pet rat. And I made plans to turn them into sauce.

The problem being, I had no idea how to make sauce. I checked out recipes on the interwebs and managed to get confused – everyone has their own recipe, and everyone has a different amount of water they add to the pot. Some people keep the skin. Some people put them through a food mill. Some people add sugar, some don’t. Everyone insists on a particular kind of apple. I forgot what kind of apples we’d picked almost as soon as I was told. Our apples wound up being a variety that’s a little more tart than sweet – good eating apples, but no clue from me how they would do as sauce, right? So I read a bunch more recipes, and decided that I would make stuff up. ‘Cos that’s how I roll.

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There are things I know pretty well about myself, now, at 40 – things I can trust in. For example, I’m an awful romantic. Or that in spite of being a bad romantic, I’m a little bit hippie – I like stuff like baking bread and growing a food garden and home remedies.* I believe in homemade Halloween costumes. Also, I’m a bit of a Marxist – sharing is big on my list of Stuff To Do, and most of the punk rock community ethos from my 20s is still stuck to me like white on rice. But at the same time, I’m happy to report that I still surprise myself from time to time. For example, I recently had a revelation that stunned me for a full thirty minutes.

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October 2011