Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Weekend Screamer

That's what they're calling it.  Who comes up with these names, anyway? They just get more and more ridiculous. Remember Snowmageddon? Feh.

So, yeah, we had a late-October Nor'Easter during which the temperature dropped low enough to produce snow and ice.

Now, I know this is seriously unimpressive compared with the 12 inches+ that other parts of the Northeast are digging out of, but for us, it's unheard of.  First an earthquake, then a hurricane and now this.  What's next?  Avalanche?  Dust storm?  Volcanic eruption?

So, obviously, snow was not a problem for us.  We got some ice (seen forming on the clothesline up there) and enough snow to be rather pretty and make us all giddy for about 24 hours (we love snow, you see) but the biggest problems were the uncomfortable cold and miserable sleet.

I was amused by the juxtaposition of the flip-flops, left outside from just a week or so, sheltered by the ice encrusted table above them.  And I also like using the word, "juxtaposition".

Since everything was shut down and cancelled (including field hockey--BONUS), we hunkered down with a steadily blazing fire and forged ahead with our Halloween weekend festivities.  Dutch Blitz was not originally part of those plans but it was a nice addition to the pot roast, pumpkin scones, old Disney Halloween specials (on VHS no less), and Sleepy Hollow.

We ended the evening staring semi-conscious in front of the fire.  It was one of the most relaxing days I've had since the last blizzard.  I was feeling so mellow I decided to unearth my knitting needles and go through a stash of yarn and needles my aunt had given me at least three years ago.

I felt like Ma Ingalls, sitting by the fire, sorting through yarn and knitting.  I spent quite a bit of time refreshing my memory as it's been quite a while since I last clicked a pair of needles.  I found that casting on and knitting came back to me like riding a bike.  Purling was another matter.  I had to look online for a tutorial before I finally remembered it.  Then I spent another long chunk of time just experimenting with stitches, yarn and needles.  What happens when I knit every stitch in every row?  What if I knit a row, purl a row?  What does a 2 x 2 rib look like?  What if I use this rather fluffy, bulky yarn or this thin, feathery stuff?  What kind of difference do these tiny needles make as opposed to those thick, chunky ones?  It was really fun and rather therapeutic even though I have nothing tangible to show for my work.

This, my friends, is a Scotch Egg.  They were our favorite snack in England. 

I apologize for the poor quality of these photos.  Honestly, sometimes I think that should be the title of this blog.  We were in a darkened chip shop and I could not figure out which setting to use on my camera!  Anyway, last night Redheaded Snippet, Daria, a friend (who famously appeared as Lady Marmalade during our Clue Halloween party two years ago) and I went to a Harry Potter Quizzo at our favorite British chip shop (called, funnily enough, "The British Chip Shop,")!

Lovely Lady Marmalade and her Ploughman's Lunch

We were The Blast-Ended Manky Old Skanks' Boots and we tied for first place!  And then we got robbed of first prize when the "sorting hat" determined the winner by putting both teams' names into...himself...and pulled out the other team's name as the winners.  Boo Hiss.

Redheaded Snippet daring to try some Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans

The "winners" got free brunch for four and we got $20 in gift cards to our other favorite British shop,
The English Gardener, a mug filled with yummy British sweets, and two boxes of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans.

We had a lot of fun with the Bertie Bott's, even though we've had them dozens of times.  It's like jelly bean roulette.  Hmmm...what's this dark grey one?  Licorice?  Dirt?

Mmm...definitely not licorice...

Ugh, and I don't think it's dirt either...

*GASP* It's pepper!  Redheaded Snippet also got the vomit-flavored and rotten egg ones but saved the earwax one for Calvin.  Somehow, I got the earthworm one TWICE!  Dis-GUSTING!  And I don't want to know how they tested that one for accuracy!

I'd say the Harry Potter Quizzo was the perfect way to spend Mischief Night, the perfect preview to Halloween!  And now there is nothing left to do but start the annual Halloween beef stew in the crockpot, get Calvin into his costume and trudge all over Mom's neighborhood in his wake!

Happy Halloween!

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