Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Battle of the Old Ladies...

And who ARE the old ladies, you ask? Well, that would be my female cat, Ashley, who is 15...and me!

It is funny how you plan your day and it turns out differently than you expected...

Yesterday, after spending hours working on the living room Christmas tree, I bought some groceries and was ready to relax a little before Eric came home. I had just sat down at the computer, when Ashley, next to me on the little 3-foot kitty pedestal, started kicking around and acting weird. I thought she had snagged her claw and was panicking. Then she fell off the pedestal and was still kicking around. Then I realized...she was having a huge seizure. It seemed endless, but probably lasted a minute. I felt very helpless and she just kept looking at me. When it was over, she was dazed and breathing heavily. Poor kitty!

I called our vet, who is wonderful, and she took us as soon as we got to the animal clinic. There were no obvious reasons why this happened, except Ashley's age. She wants to do a whole panel of blood tests, which are pri--cey! Upon hearing other people's experiences with their cats and seizures, I think the best thing to do is wait and monitor her for a few days. I don't want to make a rash decision and don't want her to suffer either. I'll just keep an eye on her for a while. Today she's her old self.

Well, MY old 40-year old self was walking up the steps to a friend's house this morning for a nice get-together, when my legs went flying out from under me as they hit the slippery wooden deck. You know how things go in slow motion at the same time as they're going fast? That is what this fall was like. Then I landed nice and hard on my right bum cheek, my purse and keys flying in different directions, and my white sweater and grey sweats getting coated with a line of muddy yuckiosity. My friend apologized profusely and put down a rug for future guests, all of whom made it inside unscathed. The hot chocolate, homemade cinnamon rolls, and lovely company were great buffers for what happened.

The stains have almost all come out, but I did have a headache for most of the day and have been generally achy all over. Mostly it was my pride that got bruised.

No matter how much I convince myself that youth is a state of mind, my body reminded me differently today. And I have a sudden urge to sing a verse of "The ol' grey mare just ain't what she used to be..."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

3 Unrelated Things to Share...

THING 1: Thanksgiving!I hope that everyone reading this had a good Thanksgiving. Ours was very nice. We ended up having 6 people at our dinner: Eric, me, his mom, his dad, his nephew, and niece.

His family arrived around 4 and we ate at 4:30. This year we wanted to try making a ham, and what a success it was! There was also turkey, stuffing, mashed taters and gravy, cranberry sauce, salad, and green bean casserole. Nummy! And, of course, pie!

Everyone stayed until about 8:30 and it was nice and relaxing.

The next day, we invited Eric's nephew over for a few hours. He adores Eric and never gets enough time with him. We played UNO, made spaghetti, did karaoke, and watched Finding Nemo.

THING 2: Unbroken
I have to take a moment and give a plug for the book I'm reading--Unbroken--by Laura Hillenbrand (author of Seabiscuit.) Can I just say WOW, WOW, WOW.

It is the true story of Olympic runner Louie Zamperini and his POW experience after being captured by the Japanese during WWII.

The book is amazing. I can certainly see why it was #1 on so many lists for so many weeks.

It is readable and just detailed enough to make you feel like you're living the experiences right along with him.

I've been wanting to read this book for months, but didn't want to buy it. Then when Kindle library loans became available I quickly put this in my queue. It took a month to become available (I think I was 36th in line) and completely worth the wait.

I don't know if it is because I'm not working and have the time and energy to devote to a book, or if it is just written better than Seabiscuit, or if it is the subject (WWII has always fascinated me,) but I'm having a hard time putting this book down.

Everyone.....EVERYONE...should put this on their list of books to read. Everything about it is so powerful.

THING 3: Black Friday

Am I the only one completely appalled at the behavior on this day? I'm all for grabbing a good bargain, but more often than not this day seems to bring out the worst in people.

I'd rather pay a little more and be able to look at myself in the mirror knowing that I didn't deck some poor old lady in the attempt to snag that last $200 laptop.

I won't say any more about Black Friday except to say that I'm a proud BF boycotter. In my mind, it just isn't worth it.

P.S. ...
Because I want to end on a positive note, not focusing on bargain-crazy shoppers, I'll finish by adding a link to the Unbroken site (which, apparently, just had the movie rights sold.) You can visit it HERE, although I don't feel like the excerpt does the book justice. But once you start the book, you will be hooked. It is a POW account like none I've ever read, and it makes the horrors of war very real (without being overly graphic, just realistic...) If the link doesn't take you directly there, click on "About Unbroken" from the top menu. I just want to tell everyone about this book, because when you come across a story that's this amazing, you want to spread the word!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas Can Can...

As in.... CAN put up your tree now. CAN start your Christmas shopping (if you haven't already!) CAN play Christmas music (directed at those eager radio stations.) CAN hunt for those great deals (as long as no one gets hurt in the process...)

Straight No Chaser "Christmas Can Can"

But, you SHOULD remember the real reason for the holiday season. As long as we don't lose sight of that, the accompanying stress will be put into perspective.

Tis the season! Let the merriment begin!

P.S. Be sure to pause the music in the player at the bottom of the page before listening to the video.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Eve!

Yep, I thought that was clever...

So, in an attempt to maintain the spirit of gratitude this Thanksgiving, I am trying to not over- stress, over-freak, and over-clean. We are hosting Eric's family tomorrow afternoon--thank goodness we are sharing the food responsibilities--and I have to remind myself that no one is going to be checking the dust level on the dresser in the guest room or wonder why the dining room chairs aren't polished. I have a tendency to focus on details that no one cares about when we are having company when the really important thing is to just Calm...Down. Oh, and also to just enjoy the day.

If I don't spend hours cleaning and preparing, I actually enjoy myself better once the company arrives. It isn't that I'm over-the-top OCD, but I do put more pressure on myself than anyone else puts on me. (I won't go into great detail about how I went in circles for over half an hour at Fred Meyer last night trying to put together a suitable centerpiece. But after multiple combinations with candles, real flowers, fake flowers, wreaths, and other objects, I ended up buying only one decorative candle with a glass hurricane covering and some little pebbles to scatter around it.)

Today being the day before the holiday, I have to prioritize and decide where to best put my energy in preparation for tomorrow. I was raised that you use your best china, utensils and linens for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, so that is something I do not skimp on. The Waterford wedding china and stemware will come out (only 8 place settings will be necessary, which I know Eric will give me a hard time about because I insisted on getting 10,) the gold chargers, my grandma's silver, and the extensions for the dining room table. And yes, I will set the table 1 day before. My grandma was a great example of this...although she didn't have 3 very curious cats who like to sniff, investigate, and possibly walk on the newly set table.

We are also getting our chimney inspected today--yay! We have 2 fireplaces, one upstairs and one downstairs, which share a chimney, and Eric thought we shouldn't burn any fires until we know the shape they are in. Probably a sound decision, and I do love a fire in the fireplace when there is company. It makes the house feel more homey.

Then there are the other tediums, like cleaning the bathrooms, getting the wrinkles out of the tablecloth, and general house upkeep. Not easy tasks when Eric is sleeping off graveyard shifts until tomorrow and sleeps until about 2pm.

OK, now that I read this I see that even at the minimum, there is still a lot to do today. Better get busy!


It is now 7:35pm, Thanksgiving Eve. The table is set and I think I've done pretty good at pacing myself and not overdoing it. Although tomorrow's group has already shrunk to 6, possibly 5 of us! That's OK. The important thing for those of us who will be here is to enjoy each other's company and count our blessings. Oh, and to eat!

I love using our wedding china!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bee Grateful...

Lately I've seen lots of people put their "30 Days of Gratitude" items on Facebook. Well, I don't want to be bound to thinking of 30 things, but it did get me thinking about the many things I am grateful for.

On this rainy Saturday afternoon, with Eric in bed fighting a cold, I'm in a quiet house with my laptop moved to the kitchen table thinking about my blessings. There are a lot. I'm sure if I thought hard I could think of much more than 30, but these are the ones that stand out the most, in no particular order:

1. My Husband: Meeting my husband, Eric, in January 2009, kicked off an incredible chain of events I never would've predicted. Who would've thought that a simple "hello" message on MySpace would lead to a wonderful friendship, then a short courtship, then a wedding, then an interstate move, and life with the man I know I was meant to be married to? He is a gem and a blessing. He is my best friend, he accepts and loves me fully with all of my flaws, he tells me he loves me many times a day, and he makes me laugh all the time. I feel loved, valued, respected, and protected. I cannot imagine my life without him.

2. My Mom: My mom, a single mother, provided my brother and me with a very stable childhood, despite the numerous challenges she faced--divorce, financial difficulties, getting her degree, and being a working mom. We never felt like something was missing, she supported us in all we did and does still. She raised us to have high standards in all we do and has shown us a level of trust that I really appreciate. I also appreciate the emphasis she put on education and going to college. When talking about college, it was never "if you go," but "WHEN you go!"

3. My Family: It seems like in the last 5-6 years, my family has gone through a lot of changes. The grandkids are grown up, 4 out of 7 now live out of CA, 4 out of 7 are now married, and we don't all see each other as much as we used to. When both of my mom's parents died in 2008, it was really the end of an era, because so many family gatherings used to be at their house. For most of us, that was the only place we had ever had Christmas Eve. But, even though we have had a lot of changes, those wonderful memories have helped us to adjust and find new ways to carry on and create new traditions. We 7 cousins are still very close, thanks to email and Facebook, even though we are spread across the country from California and Washington to New Jersey and Mississippi. I credit that closeness to the many family gatherings and traditions we built during our younger years.

4. Our House: As a self-professed homebody, the house I live in and the atmosphere in it is very important to me. When it became apparent that Eric and I were going to live in Washington state, not California, we didn't have a lot of chances to look at houses together. In fact, we only saw the inside of 4....a townhouse and a house in Vancouver, a house in a nearby neighborhood, and the house here in Longview where we now live. There just wasn't a lot of time, and the fact that I would be bringing a dog and 3 kitties into the mix didn't make things easier. All of that changed when he showed me the Old West Side neighborhood, which is full of trees and right near Lake Sacajewea and its surrounding park. I had a list of things I required in a house...not a tract home, lots of natural light, good neighborhood, a formal dining room and family room, and all of those things we found in the house we are living in. Sure, it has it's quirks, like the "ski jump" roof, and the very orange kitchen, but I love this house. We have made it our own and look forward to many happy years here.

5. My Ward: When I look back a year ago at this time, I had not started back to church yet, the weather was very dreary, and I had a lot more time on my hands because I was not working and the house was officially furnished and the moving boxes all unpacked. The winter blues and a little bit of loneliness were beginning to settle in, which probably added to the misery I felt during our first Christmas here and my first away from my family. Shortly after Christmas, I began attending church and became more familiar with the members of the Longview 1st Ward, so many of whom confided that I was so lucky to be in that ward because it was the best in the stake. Lack of humility aside, they were right! The people have embraced me and Eric in ways I only could've hoped and I've made lots of wonderful friends these last few months. The leaders are wonderful and the women in Relief Society are some of the more loving and talented ladies I've ever known. My ward family has definitely become my social lifeline since moving up here.

6. Eric's Job: After working full-time for 15 years, it seemed unfathomable to me to be a homemaker. I expected it to be boring and unfulfilling. Now that I'm in my 2nd year in my "new job," I admit I really enjoy it. I'm not into crafts, sewing, scrapbooking and other things like that, but I do enjoy taking care of the house. I don't mind cleaning and doing laundry (which, even with 2 people feels neverending,) and even cooking nightly dinners is something I like doing. I like knowing that Eric comes home to a good meal that I prepared, and it is one way that I feel like I'm taking care of my husband. So in that way, I'm very grateful for Eric's job, which makes it possible for us to be a 1 income family.

7. A Sound Mind: A weird thing to put, I know, but I am very grateful for a healthy and sound mind. I'm grateful for good common sense that has led me to some sound life decisions. I'm grateful to be a person who does not rush into things, for creativity, for the ability to read and absorb information. And I'm grateful that I'm not someone who gets bored and depressed easily. As some wise person said, "Nobody likes a whiner."

8. The Menagerie: And, last but not least....even though they drive me nuts sometimes, I must admit that I'm grateful for my pets, my big black dog, Bailey, and kitties Darcy, Ashley, and Ramius. They give unconditional love, Bailey makes me feel protected when Eric is working at night, and the kitties love to snuggle. They were especially great company for all those years as a single person living alone. And, although we probably won't keep so many pets once the older ones pass away, we'll still have Ramius and (most likely) a dog (the bigger, the better, in my opinion!)

Yes, I'm feeling very, very blessed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mail Conspiracy

For whatever reason, Eric and I have had the worst luck with mail and packages lately. The daily set of bills and junk mail appear without fail, but anything extra has been a source of major frustration. Case in point:

1. CA Property Taxes: It is that fun time again, when we get to pay the property taxes on my house in CA. Only glitch? The bill hasn't arrived. When I contacted the CA Property Tax Help Center, they said they mailed it to the house on record, which means my CA house. Maybe the tenants received it. I don't know. I do know we haven't seen it.

2. The EBay Bracelet: After returning a bracelet that wouldn't fit to a seller on eBay, the last 2 weeks have been fraught with dramatic emails from the seller telling me her life story and how putting the bracelet back into the mail was such a hardship for her, despite the fact that she wasn't going to accept my return. I didn't respond, and, after 4 emails that did nothing but make me out to be the bad guy, she finally put the bracelet back into the mail. It has yet to show up.

3. Harry Potter #8 Blu-Ray: In great anticipation of the final Harry Potter movie coming out on DVD and Blu-Ray, I ordered our copy. According to, it was delivered to the doorstep on Friday, shortly after we left for our weekend in Salem, OR. Clearly, someone swiped it. Despite the fact that all they had to do was pop it through the mail slot, neither Amazon nor UPS are taking any responsibility. Thanks, guys.

4. The Mixer: About 3 1/2 weeks ago, Eric ordered a mixer from the local music store for us to use with our karaoke setup downstairs. It was supposed to be here a week later, then was back-ordered (although no one told us this until we went over there,) then promised to be here in another week, and still hasn't arrived.

What is UP??

When I first heard those rumors that the government was thinking about shutting down the US Mail, I was incredulous, but now? Maybe it isn't such a bad idea.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Willamette Weekend

This weekend was "Willamette Weekend!"

In just 2 days, Eric and 5 of his college buddies...former roommates and teammates...put together a reunion after 20 odd years. I told Eric how jealous I was that they could put something like that together in 2 days. When my college roomies put together a reunion, we started planning a year ahead of time! No fair! LOL

One of Eric's friends had flown in from Hawaii, so he really wanted to make an effort to go.

We kenneled Bailey and started packing! It is about a 100 mile drive down to Salem, OR, but the weather was kind and the fall colors are still out in all their glory. We ended up staying at the same hotel as Willamette's opponent for yesterday's game--Pacific Lutheran University. What are the odds?

On Friday night we met up with his friend, Jeff, and his family. We had a great dinner at this little place called The Wooden Nickel, in Sublimity, Oregon. The food was awesome and Eric's friends were very nice. It was great to finally put the names and faces together.

After dinner we ran over to the local mall to find some rain gear. Layers, layers, layers! This is what I keep hearing. One day I'll catch on.

On Saturday we met up with Eric's friends again, including another family, their friend visiting from Hawaii, and two other friends. 6 guys altogether, laughing and reminiscing.

We had a little BBQ in the stadium parking lot and went to the football game. I'm used to big, huge stadiums, like Edwards at BYU and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Willamette is a much smaller school, so the stadium is a fraction of the size, but it sure makes things easier.

After the game we went and had dinner at The Ram, the local sports bar and hangout. Everyone was super nice, the food was great, and the energy was high as the whole room was watching the Oregon State/Berkeley football game on 6 giant screens.

Then we migrated over to the house in Sublimity again, about 12 miles out of Salem. More reminiscing, Jeff's wife hauled out the old photo albums, and everyone laughed at how old we've gotten, yawing at 7pm and passing around the bottle of Tums at the restaurant.

Good times all around!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

More Autumn Beauty!

Last group of pics I'll post of colorful trees. But the sun was out today and I had to take advantage of it. Nature is so awesome.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Beauty of Autumn...

I'm sure my neighbors think I'm weird for walking around with a camera, but there are beautiful autumn colors up here that you rarely see in California.

Here are a few shots of the neighborhood this morning:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Honor the Women Who Fought for Us....VOTE

About 12 years ago I was in my apartment in CA with not much to do on a Sunday afternoon. I turned on the TV, did some channel surfing, and came across a documentary that has had more of an impact on me than any other I have seen before or since.

It is by Ken Burns, arguably one of the best documentary filmmakers out there, and it is called Not For Ourselves Alone.

It is the story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, two women who have probably done more for women's rights than anyone else. I'm not talking about bra-burning women's lib, but women's rights, the basic rights that all citizens of this country are entitled, owning land, the right to custody of your children after a divorce, the right to a trial in front of a jury of your peers. None of these things existed when these women were alive, and that wasn't too long ago.

The more I watched, the more I became emotional--partly because of the 50 years these women dedicated to their cause, and partly at the outrage that so few text books acknowledge what they did. At that moment I promised myself that #1 I would always vote as a way to honor their work and #2 that I would teach a suffrage unit to every group of students I had, no matter what their age.

I would say I've kept that promise about 98%. Most of my former students know of these women and their work, and I vote during most elections.

I feel like it is the duty of every woman to continue the work of these brave ladies and their tireless efforts, and of the hundreds of others who carried on their work until the 19th Amendment was finally passed in 1920. Less than 100 years ago! Both Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony never had the opportunity to vote during their lifetimes.

We don't have to demonstrate with banners and rallies. We only have to do one thing.


Election Day is tomorrow. Make them proud and do what they could not.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ladies Night

I would just like to take a moment and recognize the women in my ward. They are awesome.

Last night I had a few ladies over, as I mentioned before, for a Ladies Night at our house. This is the 3rd time I've done this, and every time it turns out different. The first time we watched Tangled and sang karaoke and there were 11 of us! The 2nd time we got a late start and relaxed in front of Emma.

Last night, the plan was to watch Hairspray, but, again, we got a late start. Still, we had a great time singing karaoke and talking, talking, talking. There were 7 of us and we just hung out in the family room around the bar area where the munchies were laid out. Around 11pm there were only 3 of us left, and we ended up collapsing on the sectional and watching about an hour of The Scarlet Pimpernel.

I'm just so impressed with these ladies. They are smart, fun, spiritual and incredible examples of womanhood. I feel like I learn something from each and every one of them. Turia, Pam, Becky, Avey, Spring, Jami--thank you!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Some Things I've Learned This Week...the GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY

I love learning new things! Especially when it is something that has perplexed me for a while. I have learned 3 new things this week. They may not seem like much to some, but they have meant something to me...

Today, after months of looking longingly at sites like The Cutest Blog on the Block with their cute blog headers, I FINALLY learned how to do one myself!

I found a background I liked, which came with a header that you right click and save separately. Then the CBOTB site led me to a site where I could get a free download of "," a much better and high-tech version of the "paint" feature that comes with your computer.

After easily copying and pasting the image into, I added some text and saved it, then uploaded it to the heading area of the blog. Yay! Between my fumbling around and the finished product, it took about half an hour. Next time will be much faster. And, although it isn't as cute as the very personalized ones I made on, it was much MUCH quicker!

Now I just have to work on centering it better.

2 days ago I was walking my dog, Bailey, around the neighborhood. A local high school is on the other side of the nearby lake, and the kids had just let out.

Bailey, being big and black and kind of a nondescript breed, usually gets a lot of attention from kids of all ages. The thing I hear most is "I like your dog" and "Can I pet your dog?" which I allow if the kid is bigger.

But, there are also the "punks." I ran into a little group of them the other day. Maybe it is my detestation for disrespectful kids, maybe it was me putting on my "teacher" hat, but I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut with punks when they decide to act in their punky way.

As Bailey and I were walking, I heard from a short distance, in that arrogant "there are no adults around that I need to behave for" voice: "HEY! I like your mongoose!" The friends of this teen just snickered.

I let that one slide. I just wanted to continue on my walk. It was a gorgeous, crisp, fall day.

Then, "HEY! What is that? A camel?" More chuckles from the rest of the kids in the group, about 4-5 altogether.

Now, as a teacher, I've been told that I can be intimidating and authoritative. I hoped that I could project that as I said, in my best sarcastic voice, "I don't know that they're teaching you in school, but this is a DOG."

The kid was obviously thrown. He sheepishly said back, "Yeah, they teach us lots of stuff," and went on his way with his group, obviously knocked down a couple of pegs on the punk meter.

I went home, first feeling proud of myself, which quickly gave way to shame. I definitely should've kept my mouth shut.

Happy to put Thursday's teen incident behind me, I set my mind yesterday to cleaning house as I get ready to have some friends over tonight. Eric is on graveyard shift and some ladies are coming over for a showing of Hairspray, some karaoke, if there is time, and munchies.

I've been trying to have these every other month. And, as I get to know more ladies, the more I can invite. Fortunately, our basement family room is ginormous and able to accommodate a lot of people. Tonight I've got at least 4 ladies coming over, with a lot of "maybes."

Yesterday afternoon, shortly before Eric left for work, I saw on my iPhone that I had an email. Skimming over it I could see that it was from a seller on eBay from whom I had bought a Coach bracelet a week earlier. I could also tell that this person was really mad at me. Great.

I came over to my laptop to get a better grasp of what was going on. Certain phrases leapt out of the email like "did you mean to be disrespectful?" "A responsible buyer would not behave this way." "You were extremely careless." Very accusatory and a lot of the dreaded "you" statements.

To back up, I had bought a bangle bracelet on eBay. It arrived, I opened it, it didn't fit over my hand, I contacted the seller and informed her I would have to send it back. I sent it back within the 7 day return period.

She would only accept the return if it was sent back unopened. Fine. I understand. At the time I was packaging it up, a friend was over and I was multitasking. I guess I wasn't thinking.

But to be told I was all those unpleasant things when it was not my intention? Not nice. How about a simple "I'm sorry I cannot accept the bracelet returned in this condition because it has been opened." I could've lived with that.

I really didn't want to get into it with this anonymous woman from PA, so I wrote her back a nice note, told her that it was not my intention to be any of the things I was accused of, to send the bracelet back postage due and I would regift it to someone it would fit, and she could keep the money.

I had learned my lesson about running at the mouth the day before. Maybe she could learn hers today.

That is what I have learned this week.

I wish I could be one of those quiet, sweet ladies I see at church. I really do. But I was also taught that you stand up for yourself. Now I just have to remind myself that you can be both.

Hopefully next time.

In the meantime, do you like my new blog header?? :-)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween...the day after

Did everyone have a nice Halloween? I hope so!

We did. This marked the 2nd Halloween in this house and this neighborhood, which is famous for playing host to thousands of trick-or-treaters. I'm used to about 50-100 kids on a really good year, so, last year when the neighbors told us to expect hundreds and hundreds of kids, we were a little blindsided.

We actually used some Target gift cards that were left over from our wedding to buy candy. And we still ran out an hour before lights out! The unwritten rule is to shut off your lights at 8:30. I have to say, the kids are good about not abusing that.

This year we planned ahead. For weeks now, we have been stockpiling candy. In the end we had 7 large bags--the kinds that hold 90-150 pieces.

At 4pm we went across the street, where our neighbors had invited us to a little "pre Halloween night gathering" with soup, stew and bread. By 5pm we didn't see any kids. 5:30--no kids.

As it neared 6pm, the doorbell began to ring.

Last year we had 572 kids. We were flabbergasted at the amount and hoped to match or beat it this year. By 7pm we had about 350 kids and tons of candy left. Had we overshot? Were we going to be left with hundreds of pieces?

At around 7:30, the "floods" began. Hoards and hoards of kids. We would look across the street and see about 20-30 kids with their parents lining up at the neighbors' house and then heading this way. Although, because of the placement of our house, we also saw lots of kids skip our house altogether.

Throughout the evening we saw a lot of zombies: zombie cheerleaders, zombie doctors, etc. Lots of princesses, ladybugs, bumblebees, Batman, monsters, and a very convincing Hermione from Harry Potter.

But my favorite was a girl wearing a big ol' box with a flap in the front. "I'm trying to figure out what you are dressed as..." I said. "A box!" She answered. (Ask a stupid question.....)

We kept a tally all night and the numbers crept higher and higher, not winding down even as 8:30 approached. At 8:40 we shut off our light, taking a cue from the neighbors.

Final tally for this year? 680 trick-or-treaters. Incredible!

P.S. A neighbor told me today that one house on the corner (a gorgeous house facing the lake that puts on a big Halloween show) got over 1,000 kids.