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Friday, October 31, 2014

October's End - Frighteningly Bad

November 1st, 2012
Beach houses knocked off their pilings by Hurricane Sandy - image from morgueFile
Hurricane Sandy-parker2, morguefile
In many areas across the eastern US the end of October turned out to be pretty scary - no, not the Halloween kind of scary. The life-devastating kind of scary. Some areas in the US found themselves tossed upside down by Hurricane Sandy; floods, high winds, demolished homes and even (sadly) some lost lives. That's the saddest part really. "Things" can be replaced, but people can't. In NYC, I read that for the first time ever they cancelled the Halloween parade.


Flooding around Ramara township, near Orillia & Rama. Here, Orillia wasn't affected much by Sandy - but for over a week we've had a lot of rain and constant clouds, with colder than normal weather, but we've been lucky because that's pretty mild compared to some of the States in the US. It was definitely not the the type of weather we usually see, although there have been Halloween's in the past where the kids have gone out with snowsuits under their costumes. When our kids were smaller, we used to plan a costume that would fit over snowsuits, just in case.

A rainy halloween night in a residential neighbourhood.Surprisingly, Halloween came and went, much as it usually does. We had less kids than usual, but still a lot more than I expected to see on such a miserable night. We usually plan for about 300+ kids (and so far have run out every year). This year we bought enough for just over 200 kids, expecting to see very few because of the cold and rain.

A toddler dressed up as a fireman at halloween, trick or treating with him mom and grandmom.So it surprised us a little when we used all but two bags of tootsie-pops. Kids are much more resilient than adults I guess - a little cold and rain didn't seem to bother them much. Most donned their costumes and trooped along from house to house trailing their wet and chilled parents behind them. This year I recognized more of the neighbourhood kids, but that may be because there were less being transported into our neighbourhood from other areas of town, probably because of the weather.

A young girl dressed for halloween as a bag of jelly belly jelly beans.My youngest granddaughter dressed up as a bag of everybody's fave jelly beans: Jelly Belly, and our youngest grandson went out as the Ghost Rider. The older two didn't really plan to go out, but ended up being talked into it and went along with some friends from school. All the kids were weighed down by their bags of treats ... probably because it didn't take long for people to realize there weren't going to be as many as previous years, and like us, they didn't want to get stuck with a lot of leftover candy.

A small black and white Boston Terrier begging for her treats at Halloween.
The weekend before Halloween one of our neighbours across the road invited us (and other neighbours) for a Jiggs Dinner - apparently this is becoming rather trendy lately. It's a "one-pot" dinner of potatoes, cabbage, and salt beef (well, most would know that as corned beef) all cooked in one pot. It smelled delicious, and everyone said it was excellent. Um, no I didn't actually eat any. Not that I was trying purposely to be rude or anything but you see, there's this guy I live with ... my husband. He apparently knew we were invited to dinner but forgot to mention it. By the time he did, I was in my sweat(y) work out clothes with unwashed hair finishing up my dinner. Nice of him to invite me, huh?

Anyway, I did go, but with a full belly, I couldn't eat anything at all ... not even the yummy desserts. It didn't matter though - the evening was a lot of fun and when the neighbours get together, the thing I like most is really just enjoying the company, laughing at silly things and having fun. And we definitely did that. I think we might have to have a pre-Christmas nibble this year and invite the neighbours.

Oh, and there is one more new thing in our little house. Finally, after nearly a year of begging, my husband bought us a Bowflex TreadClimber. I wanted one really badly but I underestimated the thing. It's a lot harder than I expected. The first time I got on I figured I'd walk my usual treadmill speed for maybe 40 minutes and get off feeling pretty good.

 NOT.

 After 5 minutes I was puffing like the little engine that could going up that hill; after 10 minutes ... my butt cheeks hurt (yeah, go figure ... never knew there were actually any muscles back there).

At that point I got off but my legs quivered like jello. Every day since the first (8 days and counting) I've gotten on that monster, but today I'm up to about 22 minutes without the huffing and puffing but I'm starting to wonder when the hurting stops ...


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