"I am alive and kicking"

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Begone sickness! Bring on the soup, and writing

Chicken noodle soup is not my favorite.
In fact, I don't really like soup.
But, it tasted so good yesterday when I could finally eat after not being able to open my mouth or swallow very well for 36 hours or more.
Mmm ... chicken soup is delicious when it's the
only thing you can get into your mouth.

I have strep throat. Yippee. And I fought it for three days before going to the doctor.
I am dumb.
And I'll probably do it the next time too.
I digress.
My absence from here began with my poor kiddo being sick for three days. His problem was just a bad cold with sore throat and an upset tummy.
Then my sore throat kicked in and a runny nose. I started taking cold medicine and prayed it would work.
God hates me.
Instead, the cold medicine did NOTHING.
And I once again developed a swollen tonsil, making it very difficult to swallow and almost impossible to talk. I didn't sleep for three days.
And I ignored pleas from friends to just go to the doctor.
"Nah, I'll be fine."
Seriously, I'm so dumb.
Finally, in tears on Sunday morning, I dragged myself into the urgent care and the doctor/PLN/PA lady who took care of me said my throat was the worst she'd seen in a long time.
Got an antibiotic shot. My kiddo watched that happen and laughed. I later reminded him he still needs his flu shot -- and when that happens, I'll laugh at him.
"Noooo, Mom! I don't want a flu shot!"
"Too bad, monkey. And I'm gonna laugh!"
So I got antibiotics and steroids, and went home around noon.
By 9 p.m. I was finally able to eat chicken noodle soup.
God bless the person who thought up this tasty meal.
My favorite part? The carrots. Nice squishy carrots. When you can barely chew, they really are the best.
So, now my week will be spent playing catch up with a writing challenge -- and housework.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Uffda! I hate sore throats and colds

Just a short update. My kiddo was under the weather for three days and now I have caught the vicious bug.
Please excuse me until next week.
If I'm lucky, I will be back on track next week with lots of makeup work to do.
Hoping I can get decorating for Halloween this weekend. If so, pictures will follow.
In the meantime, wash your hands, use tissues or your elbow when you sneeze and if you feel like garbage be smarter than me and stay at home.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

From horse heads to store-bought costumes

The history of Halloween costumes


Freddie Krueger.
Jason. 
Pennywise.
Disney characters.
All terrifying costumes many wear on Halloween. 
But why do we dress up in costume on the spooky holiday? 
Well, according to History.com, the Celts wore masks - usually made of animals heads - when they went out on Oct. 31 to blend in with spirits wandering the Earth. 
Remember, many believe the veil between the spirit world and our world is thin on Oct. 31. 
As time wore on, people attended masquerades and dressed in fancy costumes to hide their identities. 
In searching old photos on the Internet of Halloween costumes, many masks were homemade (possibly from plaster or paper mache) and were quite terrifying.


Like these guys. Um. Yikes.

These children are terrifying. Are the goggled
ones herding the two in the middle?

It wasn't until the 20th century that people began wearing more commercialized costumes. 
According to trueghosttales.com, the first store-bought costumes weren't available until the 1930's.
But even today, many create their own Halloween costumes. 
Personally, my Halloween costumes were typically thrown together at home. One year I was Morticia from the Addams Family. Of course, the costume was a bit lumpy as it went over my winter coat and snow pants. It snowed heavily that Halloween and we tromped through about two feet of snow that night trick-or-treating. 
Hollywood stars like Lon Chaney and Bela Lugosi made the creepy tradition of Halloween costumes that much more entertaining. Werewolves, vampires, witches, goblins and more. 
Hollywood continues to have that impact. 
Look at the rush to be zombies or zombie killers because of The Walking Dead. 
What do you plan to dress up as? If you weren't thinking of it, what was your favorite costume you once wore? 
Whatever you dress up as this Halloween, let it be entertaining and in good fun. I have a few ideas in mind for our trick-or-treaters this year. 
There might just be a werewolf lurking in our yard, and a superhero to save would-be victims.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Celebrate Halloween at a party, not the bar

As I mentioned in my previous post, Halloween parties used to be awesome.
Now it seems most people just go to the bar, dress like tramps and get drunk.
I would love a good Halloween party with a required original costume -- nothing from a department store. Perhaps, along with your costume, you'd be required to do some research and get into character.
Games would be a must, including some of the basics like bobbing for apples.
Another could be Blind Man's Bluff in the dark outside so the players couldn't see the blind man either. How spooky.
Anyway, I could come up with a million ideas.
But here are a few websites to inspire you for your own Halloween party that doesn't take place at a bar.

For the kids (and can be for adults):
http://fun.familyeducation.com/slideshow/halloween/33288.html

There are so many ideas on here:
http://www.party411.com/PlanYourParty/Holiday/Halloween.aspx

Don't feel you just have to go to the bar for Halloween. Get some of your friends and acquaintances together for an evening of haunted fun.
Good luck planning your party!

Friday, October 9, 2015

What's the real story behind Halloween?

Halloween has long been my favorite holiday.
Dressing up like someone else, enjoying a bag full of candy (sometimes including full cans of pop!) and attending the annual party at city hall couldn't be beat!
As a child, this was my one night of the year I got to stay out late and roam my hometown. I lived in the country and it was a special treat to stay in town for a party that lasted past midnight.
But what are the origins of Halloween?
We owe our spooky holiday to the Celts of 2,000 years ago, according to History.com.
Each year on Oct. 31, they celebrated Samhain -- an ancient ceremony where Druid priests would burn very large sacred bonfires and people would dress in costumes to ward off evil spirits. The people burned crops and animals as sacrifices to their deities.
Celts believed the veil between Earth and the spirit world was thinner on the evening between Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, allowing spirits to easily move between the two. They also believed the thin veil made it easier for the Druid priests to make predictions about the new year, including the success or demise of the year's crops.
The Celts' new year began on Nov. 1.
To prepare for the events of Oct. 31, the Celts snuffed out their hearth fires and relit them with flames from the Druids' sacred bonfires. They believed this fire protected them during the long winter months and throughout the following year.
The Romans began to change the holiday when they conquered Celtic lands in 43 A.D., according to History.com. Romans incorporated two festivals to the Celts' celebration -- Feralia, commemorating the dead, and Pomona, honoring the goddess of fruit and trees.
About 550 years later, the Christian religion began influencing the Celtic regions and the church instituted All Saints Day on Nov. 1. Eventually, Oct. 31 became known as All Hallows Eve.
Despite the church's attempts to create a different holiday to replace the pagan rituals, All Hallows Eve has transformed into our secular holiday of Halloween.
People around the world still believe in ghosts and spirits, and superstition still has its place. But we no longer wear masks and costumes to blend in with spirits who might want to harm us. We no longer place food outside our doors to distract ghosts that may try to enter or homes, like Celts did 2,000 years ago, according to History.com.
Instead, many of us find Halloween to be a fun holiday for children, a reason for adults to dress up and drink a LOT and for nonprofits to hold fundrasing events, among many other excuses to have some fun.
My personal favorite -- trick-or-treating! Not just for the candy and parties, but for the absolute thrill of scaring others and getting scared.
Whatever you do on Halloween, take a few minutes to appreciate the thousands-of-years-old history of the holiday. It may surprise you.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Annajauhola.com is no longer available!

Good day!
My afternoon has been filled with joy and frustration.
But I am proud and a little nervous to announce, I have a website!
annajauhola.com

I'm trying to work out the kink in the contact form, and I need to spruce up my welcome page, and add some photos.
Other than that, it's ready to go.

Short post today.
Too busy becoming a part of the 21st Century.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Defining myself as a writer

Working on defining myself as a writer is actually working!
I started the 2015 October Platform Challenge on Oct. 1 thinking, "Well this should occupy my time. Maybe I'll get something out of it."
Well, it has been well worth the six days so far.
Although I swore I'd never use Twitter, everything I've read has told me to reconsider.
I'm now a, what, Tweeter? Tweetest? A bird? I'm not sure, but I'm on Twitter - @AnnaJauhola.
I also have a specific Facebook account for myself as an author/writer AND I'm working on setting up an actual website.
What!?
It's just the push I needed to become more motivated and reinvigorated about being a writer.

Right now, I'm focusing on flash fiction and short stories, while I also better acquaint myself with character and plot development for longer stories and possibly a novel.
Thank you to those who have been reading my Halloweeny flash fiction. Hope you are enjoying it as much as I enjoy writing it.