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Thursday, November 01, 2007

What does this have to do with homesteading?

We had a good Halloween night. We went into the city and took the boys trick or treating in an area known to be hippy and artsy. SCORE! Full sized candy bars and heaping handfuls of mixed candies.What'd he give you

The youngest was a bat.
Bat boy lives!

Some of you remember that I can't sew. I learned how to make pillows back in the home ec days, but once my sewing partner caught a sewing machine needle straight through his thumb, I was done with the scene. I did sew these wings. It took 4 hours for me to do it by hand. The skeleton of the wings are wire hanger {ah ha, re purposing in action!} and the cloth is from the lining of a wood pulp lace dress that the mice ate the wood pulp. Poor guy, kept getting hung up on railing and me.

Our middle son decided to be the Invisible Man.The Invisible man returns His was easy, dress him up all spiffy, throw on a hat, some gloves, sunglasses and an ace bandage. It was too dark to wear the glasses. The kids had no clue what he was suppose to be, they kept asking the parents. The grown-ups knew who he was, thought it was pretty cool. Probably because we didn't spend $100 on a custom, and it was an old school monster. Some days I am so glad my kids love the classic movies.

The oldest had to be a character from his favorite book, for school. He chose to be Eragon. Eragon takes bat boy hostageSimple, or so I thought. My oldest can be a perfectionist, and creating his costume was worse then usual. I ended up making the pack Eragon wears in the beginning of the book. Eragon's packSticks and burlap, oh my! I had to use a screw driver to sew up the side, I didn't have a needle big enough.

Even though I am not the greatest when it comes to sewing, I decide to make the costumes, not to be frugal {though that is a good reason} but to be part of the celebration. Oh believe me, if it wouldn't look to odd I would be out there begging for candy myself. There is a strange joy in the act of begging for the treats. Not to mention a great way to meet your neighbors. Last night at my mother's house, a man on tv kept ranting about how Halloween was a liberals holiday to teach there children how to beg and get things for free. I am more liberal than Conservative, it just depends on the subject, but his words were rather offensive. With thoughts like these, and the thinking that Halloween is evil, we miss out on a celebratory community. As a kid, we use to parade around our small town in large packs. Just about every house had the porch light on, welcoming and inviting the children of the community to come over and meet them. Homemade rice crispy treats, Carmel apples and trail mix where handed out. The adults knew the children by name, and would play the role of the terrified villager. I miss those days, and it saddens me that my children do not get to feel that type of community. Now it seems that adults go out of their way to ignore the children of a community. They can not tell you the child that live a block down, name. More lights are off, then on. I regret to inform you that this is why we do not trick or treat in the Conservative neighborhoods. The younger, recently on their own, the old school goth kids with their children, the hippies and the artists, the great grandmother's, these are the ones that I see in my community that understand the value of a celebratory neighborhood. Of course their are exceptions, there always is, but this is just what I see as more of a norm in my area.


Anonymous said...

We don't do Halloween in our house. Not yet anyway. My husbands of the mind that we never should. Nor should we "lie" to our children about santa or the tooth fairy. I imagine when my children are older I'll work something out to accomidate their allergies. Some parents of anaphylactic children let their kids trick or treat, and then "trade" bags with them. They give their kids bags of safe goodies and they take the unsafe ones. Maybe I'll try that. With the kids not really understanding yet, and crying when you have to take something away they really want (like candy bars)is the understandable norm. Hopefully someday I'll find a way to make it a happy and safe tradition for the kids. Glad you all had a good time! The kids look great, and congrats on the sewing!!

Given55 said...

Hey, I'm a conservative & that was my neighborhood. I'm a conservative, hippie artist. Uh, what? The kids looked great. You worked hard & as usual you did a great job.

Phelan said...

I am sorry to hear about your children's allergies. Must make all kinds of things difficult. I like you, and don't won't to offend you or make strife. So I am trying to word this so you don't misunderstand my meaning. I find the "lieing" to the kids part very interesting. Lets call it the fantasy writer in me. There is a point in life where a child becomes cynical. My oldest is at that point. I don't feel that Santa, or the toothfairy is an out right lie, it is more of a tradition. There really was a St. Nicholas, he did wonderful things for children. ith the creation of Santa, we are memorilizing what he had done, and what we should be. Yes, it has now become commercialized, but there are ways to keep Santa in your life without it being so. Last Christmas I did a post about my husband's childhood. Santa became important to him because of the life he had at the time. Santa is important here because of those same reasons. The act of giving annonomously, in the guise of Santa, helps teach the benifits of giving without the assumption or expectation of recieving.

In time, the child realizes that Santa is not real, but the act of Santa stays with them, that is if it has been done correctly and Santa has been shown to overindulge the already overindulged child.

I look forward to hearing about how you make halloween a wonderful tradition for your children. Maybe something that doesn't involve them actually trick or treating, something they can help you create to bring a terrifying joy to the area kids?

Phelan said...

mom, um you would be the exception I was speaking of.

Phelan said...

and Santa has been shown to overindulge the already overindulged child.
this should say
and Santa has been shown NOT to overindulge the already overindulged child.

all the other typo's, well that's what make me special ;)

Queen Whackamole said...

Hooray for homemade costumes! Now that she can drive, Princess Whackamole devised her own costume with thrift store and costume box ingredients.

I always felt so sorry for kids with store-bought costumes (especially those sad ones that are little more than a plastic bib and a flimsy mask).

tory said...

We live in the heart of D.C. and find that Halloween is an incredibly fun night for adults and kids. In our community everyone (including adults) dresses up and at some point or another cruises down the main drag. The kids run a bit wild, but since its all good, no one minds and we have not lost a kid yet!

A group of actors from the Folger decorate up their house and act out blood-curdling scenes on the balcony all night complete with sound system etc. One house always has full-size mannikins dressed up in costume with a witty political/scary movie slant. It is the most fun ever.

And most do home made costumes (not too many t.v. characters -- a typical costume might be someone wearing packets of laundry detergent and monopoly money (dressed as a money-laundering congressman) while another child had a GWB mask on backwards -- explaining he was Geo. Bush going the wrong way on Iraq...)I think the kids are so creative!

mysterylady36 said...

I bet the guy ranting on TV had a "Charlie Brown Halloween" experience as a child and is just bitter that anyone else would enjoy the holiday.

I was disappointed this year that I wasn't able to be home on Halloween. My son is a senior in high school and he had a district soccer game that I went to. I did manage to put together a few treat bags for a few of my favorite kids and delivered them the night before. Not nearly as much fun, but oh well!

Marina said...

Well, I will confess unashamedly that Anthony's two costumes (this year and last) were both store-bought. I hope to be able to put more time and creativity into the event as he gets older and more aware of what all this "walking around in the dark without actually playing with any of these people we're visiting" is about.

I guess I can count as a saving virtue that the store-bought items have or will be passed on to friends' children according to what fits them at the time.

Luckily, Anthony has not become a candy fiend ;)

More about Halloween in our part of the "country" in a bit with a post over on my farm blog...

The Duck Herder said...

Hey there Phelan

congrats on your 6 year homesteading aniversary. Don't suppose anyone gave you a new rooster while you were trick or treating?

It is interesting to read about the whole Halloween thing - I am trying to think of an equivalent cellebration in Australia, but can't really....

the costumes look great and your kids look lovely.

the duck herder.

Stephanie said...

It is a shame that Halloween is just not as great as it use to be. No one trick or treats in our trailer court and I miss passing out candy, so I went to my friends Halloween party and passed out candy to whoever came to the door. Freed her up to be hostess.

Monica said...

Your boys' costumes are really cool! We handed out full-size candy bars this year. The previous owners of our house really gussied up the front of the house over the years at Halloween and also handed out full-size candy bars. We wanted to maintain that neighborhood tradition. A group of three teenage boys, who came trick-or-treating last night, yelled coolest house ever as they left with their candy last night. :)

Anonymous said...

Phelan-I'm not offended. Because they are not my views, they are my husbands. There is some sense in what he says, because I too remember the exact moment my parents came clean with me and the realization that they would trick me in such a way. But I'm not necessarily prepared to let my children grow up santaless either. I don't know, my husband feels very strongly about it. We'll see how we handle it as the kids get older. I have to admit, it's the trickiest issue in our relationship!! I guess I should be grateful that pretty much the only thing we don't agree on is whether or not there is a santa clause!! :)

Phelan said...

QW, we can't knock all the plastic bib costumes. do you remember the ones back in the day withe the inflatable heads? Those rock ;)

Tory, I am glad to hear that some areas still celbrate like this. It sounds wonderful!

mysterylady, ha! guess I should feel sorry for him.

Marina, I bought my boys costumes when they were little. It is a lot easier then trying to sew and fit a toddler. Off to check out your blog in a moment.

TDH, no, no rooster :( Thank you.

Stephanie, I agree. Next year my mother wants to fancify and terrorfy her yard to attract more to her street.

Monica, I always knew you rocked!

Farm mom, glad to hear it. Hope the two of you reach some sort of agreement, and I am glad to hear that this is the only issue you two have.

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

But you MADE the costumes and used your imagination/creativity to the best of your ability. Anyone can buy a mask and flimsy costume at a store.
You brave woman on the bat wings. I really tried to do wings last year but could not get them to look right and settled for a pair in the store.
You did a very impressive job. I would have ooo'ed and awww'd over their costumes if they had come to my door.

Phelan said...

Tami, I saw your wings, you rock! they are better than mine. I need to get a better pic of them, they look more like frilly underwear than wings.

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