The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley

Archive for the ‘halloween’ Category

What do these three things have in common?
Spitty, lipsticky kisses on the lips from Great Aunt Martha.
The biology test you completely forgot to study for…and it’s today.
Not being able to remember if you logged out of Facebook before your mom borrowed your laptop…and you may or may not have said a bad word or two.  About her.
The thing they all have in common?  They are all things that make you frightened, or in the case of Great Aunt Martha, a little bit skeeved out.
If you like being scared, however, you must love the onset of Halloween and all that entails…like haunted houses, anyone?
Ok, this one looks fun.  I like the spider and the witch.
There are several in the Rockford area.  First, the Karnival of Karnage…forever a frightening favorite.   Days they’re in operation:  October 26th and 27th from 7pm to midnight, and the 28th from 7-10pm.  Held at the Boone County Fairgrounds.
Second, in case you haven’t gone completely hoarse, there’s the Screamatorium.  They’re available to scare you from October 24th through the 31st from 7 to 11 pm and located in Popular Grove.  I believe certain male children of mine (I’m not mentioning any names, but you know who you are because I only have one male child) had weak jelly knees during this quaint little tour of terror. 
Next up, the Fear Asylum.  Although why anyone would willingly go to a place where you know you’re going to be chased by chainsaw wielding clowns, or be startled into screaming by something in the dark grabbing your ankle…well, no way.   If you’re up for it, though, their hours are: 7 to 11 pm, October 24 to 31st.   
And of course, there’s the oldie but goodie, the Fright Fest at Six Flags Great America.  What a fun place to be.  Recently my sister took her newly minted teenagers to Fright Fest, and the 13 year old (rhymes with Smidget) was chased by a zombie.  I’m sure she’s still checking under beds and carrying nunchuks.
If you’re even thinking about going to one of these places, perhaps you need a cat scan of some sort.  I’m not saying, I’m just saying.  If I’m ever in the mood to be scared, I check prices on heartworm medication for the dog or open the electric bill or count how many days until Christmas.  That usually does the trick for me and I’m breathing into a paper bag in no time.
However, I’m a little bit (a lotta bit) older than the kids who like to frequent haunted houses, so kids…go for it and have fun.
Happy Halloween!

spoiler alert…(don’t read if you don’t want to know who was voted off.)

Joe and I have been looking forward to this day for quite some time.

It’s the day the 25th season of Survivor starts!!!

We look forward to a lot of other shows, but those are a post for another day, because tonight was all about one show.  Survivor.

We had beer–Michelob Ultra, 95 calories, 2.6 carbs.  We got two pizzas from Papa Murphy’s–cowboy pizza, it was delicious, so don’t ask about the calories or carbs.  It’s the night Survivor starts, dammit.   We did skip the cookies, however.  Only because there aren’t any.  We’re not saints.

We selected the exact place on the couch we should park ourselves for maximum viewing pleasure…and then of course the dog had to go out, three times.  The pizza was delicious, the beer refreshing, the dog aggravating, the show interesting.

We marveled over how well you get to know the players now as opposed to other seasons, where the players were all nameless rabble until the final 10 or so.  Then you got to know them really well.

Not this season.  We got to see the good, the bad, and the ugly tonight, right off the bat.  I discovered that Jonathan, one of the medical evacuees who was allowed to return, sounds exactly like Alan Alda.  We like the petite brunette with the short hair who is a sex therapist.  We did not like the blond in the yellow bikini (a student, who ran track, and was miss former teen whatsit) or the brunette in the yellow bikini (a know-it-all investment banker, lying that she’s an executive assistant.)   They’re too giggly and have no idea what this show Survivor is all about…and didn’t even recognize Lisa Welchel, who played Blair on Facts of Life. 

They probably weren’t even born when that show was on.

Russell, another evacuee bought back, said he refused to take the leadership role, all the while forcing himself down the throat of his fellow campmates as…their leader.

No one else really stuck out, except for Zane, whom I we pretty much hated on sight. 

Jeff, welcome back to our humble living room.  Where you belong.

He was an idiot from the beginning, making alliances within the first 40 seconds with every single girl on the island.  Then making other alliances with other people.  And telling everyone everything.  Every time he got a shot at being on camera alone, he crowed about how he owned the game.  Apparently he’s never seen Survivor, because everyone who’s ever said he “owned the game” in fact did NOT own the game and were quickly sent home.

Zane was no different.  Bye Bye, Zane! 

Stay tuned for next week, when there will be a different delicious dinner, a new episode of Survivor, perhaps a new and unique place to sit on the couch but most importantly, we’ll be one week closer to Halloween! 

And I’ll be waiting.  AAAaarrrgghh, Maytee!

Soooooo ready for Halloween.  11 more days til D-Day…Decoration Day.

Sometimes, I hear conversations and/or phrasing that make me laugh, or things I think are interesting, or far fetched, or ghastly, and I write them down immediately, because I’m always thinking of YOU, dear reader, and how to entertain YOU. 

I just reread this and realize I should be honest.  I’m not writing things down for you.  No, I write them down because I’m on the downside of 45 and forget EVERYTHING.

Case in point.  Last night, my daughter told me that she was going to be working 12-6 today, Friday.  Around 5:00 pm, I begin to freak out because I have called her twice with no answer, and there is no response to my texts.  I have completely forgotten that she is working until I get her text which says, and I quote, “I’m working LOL.”  I quickly called off the search parties.  In less than 24 hours, I managed to not only have a conversation with her about her hours for today, but turn around and panic when I don’t hear back from her, because I didn’t remember she was safely at work, ignoring her phone, because she’s working.  At her job.

Yes, I’m getting old.

However, here are some of the things that have happened lately that I have managed to write down and remember for yens:

so. beautiful.  so. hard. to. take. a. good. picture.

 1)  The moon last Friday night.  It was awesome.  This was taken right after we got home from seeing the Bodeans at the “On the Waterfront”, around midnight. 


2)  An argument between my two oldest children.  Those arguments used to be over toys, or tattling, or the TV station they were watching. 

Argument 12 years ago:

    “Mom, he took my Barbie.” 
    “Mom, she’s watched this already, can’t I watch my channel?”

Argument now:

Oldest child (son, 23) tiredly makes his way up the basement stairs.  My husband and I and my daughter (21), are sitting on the couch.

    Boy:  My knees are so sore.

    Girl:  Maybe if you weren’t on them so much they wouldn’t hurt.

    Boy:  (long pause) I can’t think of a comeback right now, but when I do, it’s going to be f*****g epic. (bedroom door slams)

Still trying to think of something f*****g epic.  It’s going to take a while.


3)  This unbelievably thoughtful gift my husband got me.  He recently discovered ‘the Ebay’.  We set him up a Paypal account and I slid a pamphlet on computer addictions under his pillow. 

But look!  Look!  A poster of one of my most favorite movies about witches!  In a beautiful frame we bought on a shopping trip together!

“Fall in love whenever you can.” – Sally Owens
Oh, I will, Sally.  I will.

 To go along with that, I also have a shrine area where I have that paperback and also an adorable beanie baby, a black cat, wearing a witch hat. 

I know!

Possibly the finest literature ever.  And a cat.  On my nightstand.  Before I took this picture, I removed all of the used Kleenexes, cough drop wrappers, and dog hair-y earplugs.  You’re welcome.


4) Sunday I made a lovely bean and pasta soup, recipe courtesy of my sister.  I took a picture of the soup but it looked too much like barf so I left that off.  Better luck next time.


5)  I am pretty sure I have a story that’s going to be in a book coming out the end of next month.  Stay tuned for more details, like when I actually know for SURE.  However, I made it through the first round and now they’re going to send it to me for editing, so…keep your fingers crossed for me.  I’ll know more in a few weeks.


I think there were a few more things that I wrote down so I would remember. 

However, I forgot my notebook out in the car and the garage door is already shut, so that’s that.

I’ll have to start a new list of things to remember.  Number One will be to get my notebook out of the car.

Years ago, it was a popular myth that the average person swallows eight spiders in their lifetime, all while sleeping.
Eight. Spiders.
Although, I’d like to think you’d wake up before swallowing this.

After poking around on the internet for a while, where every single thing you read is true, I ran across the snopes website where it debunks that theory.  In fact, most of the information that I read said that it is very unlikely, nay, HIGHLY unlikely, that you would ever swallow a spider while asleep. 
Sweet dreams.  Or not? 
Just because you may not swallow one doesn’t mean one couldn’t crawl in your ear and take up residence there, thinking it a wonderful, dark, comfortable cave that he and he alone discovered. 
This actually happened, and it probably wasn’t the first time this happened to someone.
A few days ago I ran across this very story complete with a picture of the offending spider peeking out of a woman’s ear canal.  This woman in China went to the doctor after having an itch in her ear for five days.  The doctor who treated her was probably delirious with happiness.  After looking into thousands of ears, this finally wasn’t a routine ear infection…something COOL was actually in there!  Luckily (for us) they were able to grab the camera and take a picture of the gentle little creature, who was just minding his own business, thank you very much.
I will never sleep again.
Recently I was in our bathroom at home when I felt a tickle on my thigh.  I thought it was a stray hair and idly brushed it away.  A few seconds later, I felt that same tickle and when I looked down, there was a wicked looking black spider ON MY LEG.  Probably waiting to see if I needed a new roll of tissue paper. 
True fact:  if a spider is going to scare the crap out of you, the bathroom is the place to be.
Outside our house, however, is up for grabs, spider wise.  We have spiders near our house in the bushes that make a cool, tunneled web.  When I see these, I think of when I was lots younger and my brother and I would make an afternoon of good times out of finding ants and throwing them into the lucky spider’s web.  You’re welcome, Mr. Spider! 
At my office, we get daddy longlegs, which I carefully coach into climbing onto a pad of paper and then throw them outside where they will live to grow even longer legs.  Recently, our IT guy saved all of us from certain death when he killed a huge, hideous spider, after declaring… you know what…this spider looks like a biter.  He was probably right.
I’m sure spiders serve some purpose, killing other bugs and whatnot, but I only like to run into them around Halloween.
Sometimes, toning up the ol’ bod might find you in some weird situations.  Like getting caught by the pizza guy out in the garage jumping rope.  (true story.) Falling down five or six times in the Peace Lutheran Church parking lot while rollerblading (true story, possible concussion, kids had to help me up.)  Forgetting the steps at Zumba class.  (big fat lie.  I’ve never done that.)

One thing I have done in the past (until quite recently, actually) to work on toning and fitness was to take belly dancing lessons.  I took lessons for a while when I was about 15; quite enjoyable.  Plus, I got a coin belt and zils (finger cymbals).  Not too many other 15 year old girls had those. 

Now that I think of it, they were probably busy with actual friends and fun plans because they weren’t complete teenage disasters who took belly dancing lessons.

Socially backward = me at 15.

We needed music to listen to and practice with at home, and a friendly (read:  creepy) sales guy at Recordland rang up my purchase of a belly dancing album, winking at me lasciviously the entire time.  (uh, I’m 15, dude.)
uh…this is SO not me.*
We took lessons until the teacher said that our class (consisting of me and my mom) had gone as far as she could take us, and that the next step would be to perform in front of judges and we’d get a certificate. 

Belly dance?  In front of people?  Are you frigging kidding me?    

A few years passed, but I still remembered how to do the “camel walk” and after the birth of three children ten years later, it sort of turned into an actual “camel walk.”  I needed a little more walk and a lot less camel.    

The next attempt at belly dancing for fitness was a class my sisters and I took at Joliet Junior College.  We drove to the campus, full of dreams of how we’d soon be snake-arming and shimmying with the best of them.  

Arriving at class, there was a woman sitting on the floor with her back to us, long dark hair, tanned, fit and toned.  Ah, we told ourselves, this must be our teacher.  Well, what an inspiration to take lessons from her, with herself being all skinny and cute and stuff.

But wait…then the real teacher walked in.  She was approximately 75 years old and had brutally dyed dark hair.  Nice enough lady, to be sure, but our dreams of following around our skinny, tanned hip-shaking inspiration were dashed and replaced by a pale, frail brunette of advanced years who confided somewhat naughtily that sometimes she danced for her husband. 

Someone had the audacity to ask her for an example, and she shot back that it was private. To her credit, despite the unbelievably audacious question, she never broke stride while leading us in a large, jerky sashaying circle while working her blue-lined, spaghetti-like limbs high in the air demonstrating.  Like this, she’d say.  Like picking cherries. 

It’s an arm movement, supposedly sinuous and sexy.  I just looked like I was actually picking cherries or replacing a light bulb.  Or being chased by real snakes.

Worse, the classes took place in the cafeteria of the JJC campus.  The doors were closed, so other students couldn’t get in while the classes were going on.  However, this did not deter them from pressing nosy-noses against the glass to snort gleefully at the thirty or so women parading in a big circle, somewhat like a sad cattle drive, practicing arm movements that we would only use later in life for grabbing a bag from the drive through at McDonalds.

To add insult to injury, we found out that our entire dance class was on security camera, which was playing on a TV outside the cafeteria for the growing crowd’s viewing pleasure.  Our mortification was complete.

We didn’t go back.

Moving to Rockford several years later, I figured that I could start over with a new class and a new teacher.  I did.  I attended faithfully and omi’d the best I could, but what she considered “constructive criticism” I perceived as “picking on.”  (maybe, maybe not.  Also, I found out that she had danced for my husband many years ago at his birthday party when he turned 30 and I was all like, “oh-no-you-di’int, he’s mine, beeyotch” and stopped attending.)

I’m cool and confident like that.

I found a wonderful new teacher.  Her class times worked well with work schedules, her gentle but effective instruction was pleasing and confidence-building, and she truly encouraged students.  Plus, she was about 40 years younger, all fit and toned.  She knew what the hell she was doing and did it well.

However, sadly, I am a hell of a lot older than 15 now.  Joints that once moved fluidly now feel like they’re filled with broken glass, especially after a long day at work.  Shimmying, hip drops, snake arms…the day after a class, I would have to painfully crawl down the hall toward the copier.  All the cool coin belts and zils in the world can’t make up for actually being able to lift my thigh and operate the clutch on my stick shift without excruciating pain.  I have reluctantly put classes on hiatus.

For now, I’m making do with plodding on the treadmill.  However, belly dancing is always there, lurking and swaying seductively in the background.  Perhaps I’ll practice and bide my time until I have my sweet moves down pat.  Then I’ll show you.

Look out, YouTube.

(Beautiful Belly Dancer In Rich Costume by photostock,
As many of you know I have a torrid love affair with Halloween.  I’m not quite sure what the allure is, although the colors orange, black, green, and purple have a lot to do with it.  Spiders (not live ones, of course…the immobile and plastic variety) ghosts, pumpkins, witches…I could go on but I have a feeling you get my drift.
It could be that October 31 is about one week after my birthday, and I’ve come to enjoy one as much as the other.  The anticipation practically kills me every year, I get that excited.
We decorate the second the clock strikes midnight on September 30th, and actually on November 8th of this year, the inside Halloween decorations are still up.  My helpful hubby has taken down the ones outside when he marathon raked the other day.
My sister points out that I have more decorations to celebrate Halloween, a day of spirits and ghosts and evil, than I have of decorations to celebrate “the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(between you and me, I’m pretty sure that even God likes the decorations and colors of Halloween.  After all, duh, He created them.  I wish I could trick or treat at His house. He probably has full sized candy bars.)

At any rate, my husband and I host a Halloween party every October.  This years’ party was a success, and following are the pictures to prove it…

Happy Halloween!!!!!!

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  • Mary Fran Says: Thank you for contributing to Sweeps Week! We make a great team. Maybe we'll collaborate in our next lives? SISTERS! lol :)
  • Mary Fran Says: What's better than a Baby Shower aka Early Baby Birthday Party? Baby's FIRST Birthday Party! (Although it's hard to call them "baby" by one! They grow
  • Ann Jones: I'll have to check it out, thanks for the heads up!