Happy Halloween, Darling!

Are you a lover of all things Halloween? I am. It's one of my favorite holidays. It was one of my favorite holidays growing up ~ primarily because my inner actress got the chance to dress up and go out into the neighborhood and let loose her repressed Ingrid Bergman. Or Carol Burnett.

Not surprisingly, I fell in love with and married a man who loved Halloween as much as I did. When it comes to love, I suggest you forget things such as religious affinity...find out whether both of your mothers made ingenious Halloween treats. Or encouraged the baking of pumpkin shaped cookies...or sewed your homemade Halloween costumes!

Now there's a creative and dedicated mom. As an aside, her hair and her posture indicate that she

may be a tad...high strung. And headed for at least one future prescription drug addiction!

A page from a beloved cookbook that lived in my childhood home. I used to dream of this page! And surprisingly they were happy dreams. Despite the fact that these cupcakes were rather maniacal. :)

The front and back of a recipe card I created back in...well, I don't know exactly when. But it was clearly before I had developed my currently crazy amazing scissor skills. Judging by the design of the pumpkin can, I'd say 1970-ish.

i wonder whether I can find this pattern in my current size? Because come January-in-Maine, that poodle suit is going to be looking like a very appealing alternative to a negligee .

Vintage stickers from a sticker booklet. I love these! They remind me of the always magical Five and Ten. (And I believe Five and Ten once referred to the fact that you could purchase things for nickels and dimes. Not fivers and Hamiltons!)

In the early years of our courtship, we delighted in searching for Halloween treasures... and were astonished that we had each found someone with whom we could have sex, and search for vintage goodies! It felt too good to be true.

Naturally, after our children were born, Halloween evolved into one of our most beloved (if not our absolute favorite) of family holidays. For

a couple accomplished in creativity who met one another at an art college, any holiday involving decoration of any sort was a fete not to be taken lightly. We were formidable. Add into the equation our child-like enthusiasm for life in general, our mutual ability to romanticize autumn in New England ~ and my love of the color orange ~ and you have pretty much hit the trifecta of Halloween perfection. The costume designing and sewing and the hand-crafted decorations. The pumpkin picking, the

elaborate pumpkin carving...the toasting of the pumpkin seeds...the home-baked confections...the cider simmering on the stove. Oh, and don't forget Drew's custom-crafted personal mix of spooky and fun and classic Halloween-apropos music.

Later, when we were sans-Drew, I cut back on the actual sewing of costumes (because I wished to avoid anti-anxiety medications!) and stuck to the "homemade" aspect. And our previous Halloween traditions were ramped up with apple cider simmering on the stove in a cast iron pot with mulling spices...bigger bowls of candy and fabulous decorations (homemade and vintage and everything in-between) and an abundance of candles. And then, what was often the best part of Halloween: the children returning home with legions of friends at the end of the evening ~ laughing and sorting candy into mounds on the living room floor. Bouncing off the walls from

a mild to moderate (to sometimes severe) sugar high. And all of it accompanied by The Monster Mash, I Want Candy, et al. The soundtrack to our Halloween happiness.

And even now, with my children "out of the nest" (some having flown farther than others), I have continued to find great pleasure and giddiness in newly discovered Halloween treasures...

If we could have shrunken ourselves down and lived in this "house" we most definitely would have. A few dozen romantic candles inside, some fairy lights and pumpkins on the front porch and it would have been adorable. And a selling price of $5.95 would have meant quite a decrease in our monthly mortgage payments!

A set of Addams Family game cards...circa 1965. Groovy!

Every woman needs this dress! (Also: I never quite understood what she saw in him.)

I hope you enjoy your Halloween, mo matter your age or circumstance. And that you can tap into the child-like sense of fun and excitement still held within your heart. As for me, I purchased a fabulous witch's hat and weird glasses and am putting together an outfit that would make my 9-year-old self proud.

Even if I merely end up wearing it to the movies...or to a home-cooked dinner eaten in my living room. It matters not who else sees it ~ it's the Halloween spirit that counts.

And so, dearest, I bid you a gentle adieu, and wish you candy, love, and more candy. Because a little sweetness (along with, perhaps, a pink wig) is good for the soul. And woman does not live by kale alone.

Sandi xo

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