Kids and Winter Holidays

bells_icons12Halloween has been one of my all time favourite holidays.  From the time I was about 9 or 10 right up until I had my own kids.  Before then, it was Xmas, and after … yeah, Xmas (Yuletide – all those awesome family holidays through the winter months).  I’m not sure if it is that my kids are really young still, or that Calgary’s autumn is unreliable at best, and tending to disappear without notice, but I don’t get that awesome spooky chill that I used to get as October wears down.

What I do get is a kind of nesting/planning compulsion.  Presents, decorations, lights, new coats, new mitts, where are the best sledding hills in our new neighbourhood?  What sort of desserts, casseroles and stews should I make?  My husband mentioned that Halloween is a 20-something’s holiday.  Trick or treating is going out of style, replaced with harvest parties. Decorative gourds stand in for traditional jack-o-lanterns.

The chill in the air doesn’t whisper of secrets and ghosts anymore. It bites and nips with warnings of harsh temperatures and long, deep freezes on the horizon.  And that kind of feeling makes me wish for warm fires and sparkly lights.

Snow hasn’t come for us yet.  Not to stay anyway.  I think that I will take the kids out today to hunt for acorns (if the squirrels have left us any).  Also, I am going to make a pumpkin spice bundt cake.

Life, Leaving Social Media, NaNo, and the Closing of the Year

MusicalPanties-Stock0000216Life decided that it needed my full attention the last little while, and I finally bit the bullet and closed my facebook account.  Leaving FB for good is a little like your New Year’s resolution shouted to the heavens as the party counts down to midnight.  After six and a half years, I know it won’t be easy to stay away.  My short term goal is to make it until January.

Even if I go back then to check in, I feel like I should have enough distance to not have it become a huge part of my life anymore.  Which is the ultimate goal. I can still be reached on Google+ and on Instagram.  They don’t have enough of a draw to become the time sink that FB was.

In the snippets of time that FB used to fill, I have begun learning French.  I have plans to participate in NaNoWriMo this year after a 4 year hiatus, and I am enrolling in the local university.  It’s a pretty awesome feeling to spend my free time doing something useful … useful, AND not laundry!

I am still knitting, and I have a draft of a custom shawl pattern in the works.  I am pretty excited about that.

It is a bit weird to go back to writing after so long away, I haven’t fully embraced my inner story teller in a long while. I have recently dug out my character creation sheets, and hope to spend some time in October fleshing out my story beyond a vague idea.

Wish me luck!  And if any of you out there are into the insanity that is NaNoWriMo, my user name is phae_talon.