Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Halloween! And All Saints Day!

Well, this post is past due, but better late than never, right?

We celebrated All Saints Day before Halloween this year, since our church's ASD party was on the Sunday before Halloween. It was very similar to last year's format -- family folk dancing followed by a potluck and "guess the saint" costume contest -- so I won't repeat all of that here. This year, Mouse went as St. Elizabeth of Portugal, Bear went as St, Paul Miki, and Jaybird went as St. Julia Billiart. Another girl went as St. Julia the fourth century martyr, which took her by surprise. Mudpuppy went as Juan Diego, except he refused to wear the tilma that Starling made for him.

The girls made their own pumpkins, by themselves, this year.
 Halloween was little weird. We visited the Kensington again; that is my favorite part of the whole night. The residents dress up and sit behind tables in the dining room; the kids go along from table to table collecting treats while the residents smile and say nice things about them, always urging them to take more candy. I love seeing how happy it makes the residents when the kids visit. They especially liked little Mudpuppy, who went along in his little pumpkin costume, cautiously taking the candy -- and then trying to put it into the basket held out by the next resident in line, or taking more than one piece, not out of greed but because they're pretty. He was getting into the swing of it by the end!

We promised to stop by the Catholic Worker for dinner, but before we did, we swung by the parish rectory at the invitation of Fr. Jim, who loves M&Ms.

Yeah, this picture isn't the greatest, due to the dim light and
excited kids.
Then we headed over to the Catholic Worker, where we shared in sweet potato soup and black beans and rice, all of which the kids barely touched. That was weird because we ended up being the only guests (besides one other guest living in the house).

Then Jaybird wanted to stay for the Halloween party, so we left her at the Bethany House (the other house, where the party was -- not the house that we had dinner in). Several of the former live-in volunteers said they'd watch her. She carved pumpkins with one of her friends (a guest at the family house and a classmate from school), had lots of cake and brownies and cookies, and watched "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" on the front porch. She actually preferred that to trick-or-treating.

Jaybird with her friend at the party
That left Mouse and I to go around the neighborhood; Bear is "too old" at age eleven, so he stayed home and answered the door, and Mudpuppy had had it anyway. As usual, trick-or-treating in our neighborhood is part moveable block party -- a great way to reconnect with people we haven't seen since June (at the actual block party) as well as our older shut-ins. This year, Mouse went as a Snow Princess, which she had to explain to everyone, since she was wearing a long, blue gown. Also, she carried a ball that had a floating eyeball in it, and that lit up when you bounced it. She was very talkative with the neighbors, stopping to chat with everyone.

Our pumpkins. I especially
like the one on its side. Sadly,
they were nibbled on by
squirrels before we even lit them.

Despite working alone, Mouse managed to bring back quite a haul. At three pieces a day, they're still only halfway through it!