I went to Ghost of Uncle Joe’s 2020 on Saturday evening and it…was fun. That’s all I really have to say about it as I 100% dropped the ball on taking notes. I didn’t even get any acceptable photos.
What a nightmare.
The event itself wasn’t a nightmare. Just my handling of it as a classically trained journalist. Even thought blogs aren’t journalism and no one should ever believe they are.
UNLESS YOU MEAN LIKE A SPOOKY HALLOWEEEEEN NIGHTMAREEE?!
Because it WAS that.
If you would like more in-depth, researched, and professional coverage of Ghost of Uncle Joe’s as a whole please see my post from last year.
As for this year I will say: I loved the Jimmy Eat World cover band. Like give me Jimmy Eat World in any capacity and I will be fully satisfied.
I also loved the cool backdrops to take photos in front of. I should have tried harder to get good photos but I didn’t and that’s on me. The backdrops provided were fantastic and I could have probably gotten some fun stuff.
The event was BYOB which I also loved but maybe that contributed to me not taking good notes or photos. I did drink like three homemade iced Irish coffees and no less than 26 Michelob Ultras.
Finally, they had a fun little cartoon ghost mascot wearing a leather jacket this year and OBVIOUSLY I’m obsessed with his cute little cartoon ass so I got a tote bag with him on it. And that was a victory.
In my mind nothing can really top last year’s Ms. Frizzle costume. But this year I had some fun making a peacock costume.
Halloween is different this year! Everything is different this year! We have to do the best we can! Overall, Halloween was a welcome distraction from all of the lame crap going on: COVID, the election, the end of the world as we know it.
I decided on a peacock costume for three reasons:
I’m obsessed with birds.
I’ve been really into a blue and green color palette lately.
I thought it would be relatively easy to create a peacock costume on my own. “Easy” as in high reward with not much effort.
My interpretation of a peacock required the following materials:
Blue Bodysuit – I selected a bodysuit with long legs and sleeves because it’s going to be incredibly freezing today.
Blue Wig – Wigs are really fun to wear and I wanted an excuse to wear one, even though peacocks don’t technically wear blue wigs or really have any blue features on their heads at all.
Blue Ribbon – I was afraid I didn’t get enough and in the end I actually really didn’t get enough and would get way more if I ever do this or something like this again.
Peacock Fan – I thought this would be a fun way to mimic the “tail” and also give me the opportunity to carry around and use a prop. I LOVE A PROP. This fan can also be used for other future fun fancy events! If it doesn’t get lost in the graveyard tonight. TBD.
Blue/Green Glitter – It has been a year since I got this glitter on sale at Target and it has been floating around in my Caboodle and getting in my way this whole time. Very excited to finally use it. And yes that link is to the pink/purple version. They’re out of blue I guess. Not my problem.
I constructed the costume last night and as I predicted it required minimal effort. There was only one part of it that required construction, the feathery part.
I just cut the ribbon to make a “belt” and then cut more pieces of ribbon to tie peacock feathers onto the “belt.”
Essentially making a peacock “tail.”
Keep in mind this is technically the “tail” of a male peacock so in a way this is peacock drag. Dude birds are just prettier and therefore better to model costumes after. It’s not my fault.
Perhaps a hot glue gun would have been more effective but I got the wrong size glues for mine last year and then never got the right size glues. I’m no craft master and never claimed to be one, you guys.
That’s it! Not going to post the finished product until later. So get excited. Or something.
Just a quick little tribute to Gail’s Pumpkin Patch.
GAIL’S GLORIOUS PUMPKIN PATCH!
Gail is a KuneKune pig that used to belong to my sister.
She’s great! But she kept escaping her pen and roaming around and causing a disturbance and my sister felt she’d be better off on a larger farm with more space and perhaps more of her Suidae kind so she gave Gail to a farmer who promised to never…”harvest” her.
Even though Gail is gone, her pigpen is still here and she left behind a full-on garden that sprouted from the seeds of foods she was fed combined with natural fertilizer. And that’s all I’m going to say about the fertilizer.
Over the summer there were tomatoes! And at the end of the summer pumpkins started to appear!
These pumpkins, of course, were ready for picking. So yesterday we braved the pouring rain and went outside to pick them.
There were 5 pumpkins and they were all pretty big, so that was exciting. Especially because they had just grown on their own without any amount of human effort or consideration. Just Gail living her life caused them to grow so large and beautiful.
I have to Google this but I also think because they were fresh off the vine they were more…moist…and therefore heavier. Also they had some kind of weird clear slime that came out of them when we carved them. I’ve never seen that in all my years of pumpkin carving.
My sister and I both carved what I call a “Classic Jack” and it was funny to me that we both carved almost the exact same thing without discussing it or looking at the other’s pumpkin while carving. I guess our style of “Classic Jack” is ingrained in our Pop brains from childhood.
After we carved we also baked the seeds and the were INCREDIBLE.
Carving pumpkins and baking the seeds is one of my favorite things EVER so I was really excited to use these special backyard/Gail’s Pumpkin Patch pumpkins this year. It really made me very glad.
My sister said she was going to throw the guts and some seeds back into the pigpen so there can be a Gail’s Pumpkin Patch Revival next year!
This past weekend we had an outdoor baby shower for my lil sis. The same lil sis we had a virtual bridal brunch for back in April.
We really wanted to have a gathering with actual people that were actually physically together. It felt important.
Of course we followed all the social distancing rules. Like why wouldn’t we? But that meant we had to have the shower NOW while it’s still warm enough for people to hang out in the outdoors and before there is a huge fall spike in COVID cases, as predicted.
So we had to have the shower a bit early. My sister is due at the end of February, and usually a shower for that would happen in like…December? I don’t really know. But I do know it would happen a little later because most people look very pregnant in their shower pics. That’s really all I have to go off of.
My sister only looks kinda pregnant. Like you can tell she is but she’s not waddling around yet. That’s the usual shower look. BUT NOT AT THIS SHOWER BECAUSE WE HAD TO GET THAT SUCKER DONE BEFORE THE WORLD PRESUMABLY SHUTS DOWN AGAIN.
MAKE HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES AS THE GREAT LAURA INGALLS WILDER SAID, OR MAYBE IT WAS HER DAD, AND I WORE MY COWBOY BOOTS DAMMIT.
So we planned it out, and by “we” I mean my mom and my sister’s mother in law, and I think we did okay. I THINK WE DID GREAT.
These things are always difficult and complex to wrangle, even when you’re not in the midst of a global pandemic. There are just so many moving parts. At one point I thought I’d be good at this shit because I spent so many years “producing”…aka literally orchestrating other people’s lives like they were my own personal marionettes.
But it’s still hard. It’s a lot of planning! And plotting! And pondering! JEEZUZ I AM EXHAUSTED.
Anyway here’s what we did.
The baby is a girl, so as far as decorations we had some pink things like plates, tablecloths, and balloons. Beyond that it wasn’t overly cutesy.
The shower was held at my sister’s mother in law’s house (my mother in law, in law?) and she did an awesome job of decorating with hay and pumpkins and scarecrows.
It was seasonally appropriate! And adorable! I enjoyed walking around and looking at all the little scarecrow babies.
There were also pumpkins there that they grew in their own backyard and as you can imagine I was PUMPED AF about that. Pumpkins in their own backyard?! Wahooo!!!!
Okay I’m going to be honest about this. No one likes games. No one wants to play games at a baby shower or at any shower or party overall across the universe.
I’m sorry I had to be that direct. But no one likes games. I personally despise games but I made an effort to infuse some games into the party and was met with a flaming pile of disinterest.
We did play one game where people get an ice cube with a tiny plastic baby bottle inside and the first person whose ice melts screams, “My water broke!” and then they win a prize. Luckily one of the kids present won the game and the prize.
BECAUSE GAMES ARE FOR KIDS.
Do kids even like them?
Anyway after one game I decided we wouldn’t do the second game because no one showed much interest in the first one.
I was proud of my ability to read the (outdoor) room and pivot on a moment’s notice.
THERE WERE SO MANY FOODS AT THIS PARTY.
Our mom made stromboli, which is my most favorite thing that she ever makes. I ate like 5 pieces. I’m sorry.
My sister’s mother in law made meatballs and stuffed cabbage. I meant to try the stuffed cabbage because I’ve never had it! But I didn’t get to. I really blew it. Hopefully she makes it again at a future family function FINGERS CROSSED.
There were a ton of desserts and I ate two of each. I was saving up my full week of dessert consumption, 6 days worth of desserts, for this party. I didn’t feel well afterwards but it was worth it.
Look at these cute little net tents to keep flies off the food! Perfect for an outdoor baby shower, if you ask me. And you’re here, so you did.
notes to baby.
There is all kinds of baby shower stuff online and you can’t do a “baby shower stuff that doesn’t suck” Google search without coming across something like these.
These little lists are cute and give prompts and require minimal effort, a perfect combo! We passed them out to the guests to fill out while it was present opening time so they had something to do besides gawk at my sister and her husband while she opened presents.
As far as present opening during the party, I don’t know that everyone does that anymore? I think it’s your choice but not required. Either way choose your choice and feel good about it. I give you permission.
caramel apple bar.
My mom and I were most excited for the caramel apple bar and I’d like to say my sister also liked it best. She’s usually a big sweets-head like me, but she hasn’t been feeling so great in her first months of pregnancy and moved away from the sweets. Frankly she moved away from most foods overall. But caramel apples still catch her eye and make her glad so that’s why we made the bar!
If you look up “caramel apple bar” online a whole bunch of shit comes up. Go ahead, try it.
Some of the articles/blogs/pins/whatever said to cut them in slices or soak them in vodka or stand on one foot while you dip them in caramel. There are many methods.
Our method was to stick a popsicle stick into an apple and dip it in caramel, then dip it into whatever toppings the recipient wanted. I say “recipient” because I was preparing the apples with gloves on and I was the only person touching the toppings. We tried to keep it COVID safe.
Overall no one was interested in the caramel apples except my sis, sis in law, niece and nephew, my mom, and me.
Whatever, the rest of them don’t know what they’re missing.
Also when I was done making my apple and sat down to eat it my 6 year old nephew told me “Don’t go and take a cute picture with your caramel apple now <eye roll>.” So then I did. He’s not the boss of me.
dudes were there too.
My sister requested that my brother in law’s pals be there too. My dad was there, and some husbands and at least one uncle, my Uncle Tom who gave my Grammie a ride. Some of them said it was the first baby shower they attended and they liked it and I was glad. It’s a party after all, the more the merrier. I mean we were eating and drinking and making merry, baby stuff just happened to be there.
I think it’s a nice move to include the dudes. As an experienced baby shower-holding professional I say go for it.
So that was the outdoor baby shower! It went great! We were all very proud of the turn out and glad to get it done before it gets too cold or the world shuts down again.
I already said that, but the doom is upon us and will arrive eventually and we must prepare ourselves.
Halloween is over. Once Halloween is over it feels like fall is also over and it is suddenly Xmas and winter.
But it is NOT!
Fall is still here! These photos were taken TODAY, November 2, in Frenchtown, NJ.
EVIDENCE OF FALL’S EXISTENCE REMAINS.
IT IS NOT WINTER UNTIL DECEMBER 21st.
The time changes tonight and we “fall behind” and it will be so so dark at like 4:30pm and I will need to bask by my SAD lamp for a minimum of two hours a day and shove vitamin D down my throat until I regain the will to live.
But before that happens, some bits of Halloween are hanging on and those that truly believe will hold them close as long as they can.
Some scarecrows were still standing in Frenchtown on this fine day. And they were weird. It seemed like the kids that made them made up scary background stories about the scarecrows and I guess that’s pretty fun but also creepy. But maybe that was the point!
I only saw about 5, and 4 of them were in a sad state of disrepair. I think after this weekend they’ll probably all be gone. And I will miss them.
I usually come out to my parents’ house in Milford/Frenchtown every couple of weeks to play outside and do other fun country shit, but this year I’ve been super busy in JC or elsewhere every weekend so I didn’t really get to be out here for much fall stuff and I’m pretty sad about it.
One of the good things about a holiday being over is the CLEARANCE SHOPPING that comes after! Candy is on sale! Decorations are on sale! Toys and costumes are on sale! You can stock up on all the stuff you’ll need for the next year when the holiday comes around again. Even though you’ll put it somewhere and forget it’s there and have to buy it all again at full price. That’s usually what happens to me.
My 5 year old nephew is the King of Halloween and today we went to visit him and his 3 year old sister and he greeted us with a FULL SPREAD of Halloween fun that he got on sale.
He was super pumped that he got it and that it was Halloween Stuff, but he was ALSO pumped that he got it ON SALE and I was like yes of course, you belong in this family come join us on our sale shopping sprees forever and ever.
He presented us with all of his finds one by one and showed us how everything worked and even had the price and percent off breakdown for some. He is a genius.
The King of Halloween also reported that he has “had his eye on” this particular zombie over the whole last month, every time they went to Party City he checked on it, and he FINALLY got to get it this week because it was ON SALE. And he was glad.
He’s also depressed that Halloween is over I’ve been told, but he seemed okay today! Like he was still having fun. The Spirit (of) Halloween lives on for those that truly believe and it can never die, even in the cold of winter.
Don’t laugh, it’s true.
Are you sad Halloween is over? Did you get any good Halloween stuff ON SALE? What are your plans to enjoy the fall that we still have left?
I regret to inform you that what I hoped would start to be an annual trip to THE BLAZE last night was cancelled due to bullshit rain.
I did go last year, so in the spirit of throwback Thursday I will share that experience with you now.
What is the THE BLAZE? To be more specific what is The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze? WELL. First of all it’s awesome, and better than any other thing you were thinking of taking an hour train ride on the Metro North to do, because it’s all about Halloween.
How do I get to the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze? Good question! As mentioned above it requires a train ride on the Metro North line out of Grand Central Station, the most refined of NYC stations. Actually the only station we’ll admit exists. We try to ignore the other ones and pretend they’re not there. That’s how you get embarrassing ugly things to go away. Duh.
Anyway you take this train up the Hudson to Croton-on-Hudson which is like why would you put hyphens in a town’s name that’s so annoying, and while on this train you probably would like to drink some “adult cider” or eat some “adult candy” or maybe actually eat your dinner because it’s dinner time and when you’re there you should be fully focused on THE BLAZE.
You arrive and you’re in a parking lot next to a train station and you’re confused but look they put up signs! So you follow the signs down a road and then turn right and then stuff starts to get a little bananas and there are cops directing traffic and you see that you have arrived at THE BLAZE.
THE BLAZE is actually at a maaaanor, called Van Cortlandt Maaaanor. What is Van Cordlant Manor, you ask? Probably some rich white dude did a thing. I don’t know but you can Google it I’m just here to talk about THE BLAZE.
It’s a bunch of freaking pumpkins and they’re all hand carved into stuff! It is insane! Some of them are real pumpkins and I can confirm that because I got really close and smelled them and they smelled like pumpkin smell. Not pumpkin spice smell, ladies. Like the smell of actual pumpkins. The insides. Like the goo that gets all over your hands and arms when you carve them. LIKE THAT, OK?
And they’re organized, presented, gathered, etc in so many fun different ways! They’re all over the place! You have to wander around and look into every little single pocket and corner of the path you’re walking along and there is so much detail and they’re all lit up and it’s so beautiful.
They do have cider and adult cider (not adult candy though…NOT YET), and apple cider donuts and some more dinner time type foods if you didn’t already have your dinner time on the Metro North. We got apple cider donuts because in this family in October frankly we need apple cider donuts to meet requirements in our basic hierarchy of needs and therefore survive.
There’s also spoooooky music if you like spoooky music and I do so I really enjoyed that it was spooooky.
How do they carve all the pumpkins at the great jack-o-lantern blaze? Honestly I have no idea I think they just use straight up magical skills and conjure the dark arts and they sold their souls to the headless horseman just for the talents to be able to carve these badass pumpkin pieces of art for the rest of time until the earth explodes and/or caves in on itself because that’s coming pretty soon.
Have you been to THE BLAZE? What are your thoughts? Do you want to go to THE BLAZE? Did your parents take you to THE BLAZE and then you ate adult candy by accident and then you had nightmares for the rest of your life? Let me know thx.