Monday, October 31

Thorns, Trunks, and Tusks

One of the first thoughts that come to my head once I open up the page to write a new post is: Wow. Tumblr really does take up most of your life once you start.

I joined up on my birthday after freeing up quite a bit of my online time by walking away from many FB games. *Rolls eyes* Way to nullify my attempt at being more productive. It's been addicting, fun, and frustrating when the servers or my browser crash. Sigh.

Anyways, what I really wanted to chat about was my attitude lately. I have been going through some very tough times emotionally but I'm on the mend now and my dreary demeanor should steadily improve.

On that note (?) Happy Halloween, everyone! I hope you guys have a fun and safe time celebrating (even if it's on a Monday this year... ugh, next year's going to be even weirder >_<). I really miss dressing up and walking around the brisk autumn air with my brother and friends around our neighborhood. It was sort of a happening place to be, especially my street, because there were a couple houses in a row that would put some effort into decorating and then a group of the families at the end of the block would work together to create a free haunted house.

It's heartbreaking to watch as neighborhood kids grow up, families move away, and fun community traditions fall to the wayside.

I'm the type of person who dreams of not letting that happen, of traditions only getting stronger, of trying new decorating ideas each season and year, of spreading the knowledge and joy with loved ones that comes with putting in even a little bit of effort into celebrating life and community. I try my best now by learning about how others celebrate, quietly appreciating holiday atmosphere when I find it, and doing little things like trying a new themed recipe, putting up a few decorations, and saving clippings of ideas to try in my own home (once/if that ever happens).

On top of today being Halloween, it was also inspection day for our Fall Bulk Trash Pick-Up Day. Fun fun. That meant that the SO and I worked all day yesterday to clear dead plant matter and trim dead limbs in both the back and front yards. We did have a few small household items to put out but within barely 15 minutes of placing them on the side of the road, scavengers had driven by and snatched them up. It's been amusing and baffling to watch them over the past few days scouring through piles of discarded waste for hidden treasures.

After all of our hard work, we have been rewarded with a much more open yard (expect you can hardly tell what we did/ how much we did without knowing how much was there before/ looking at the pile we made) and sore muscles. I actually have two scratched down my cheek from a dead ocotillo branch that fell on me despite my efforts to have to fall away from me. Again, it reaffirms my belief that nearly everything in the desert wants to kill you. It only bled a little bit but for some reason really stings, lol. I forgot about it when I took a shower last night and scrubbed my dirt-covered face hard. Needless to say, it stung really badly all over again. We're all glad that it missed my eyes. That really would have sucked.

Of course, we have our battle wounds from all of the mesquite we trimmed back or removed as well. There's one large tree right outside of the front door that is somewhat non-native and actually doesn't have thorns. I've shown plenty of pictures of it here already when it's little green leaves come in and that fact just makes me love it even more.

I think we're finally due for some autumn weather again this week. I feel a bit guilty about looking forward to cooler temperatures when there was "Snowtober" over in the New England area. I can't believe how sudden it all happened. All of the pictures of foliage that had barely changed colors being buried alive. I hope everyone has their power restored asap.

I actually have yet to overload myself on candy. Yet. We only had one group of trick-or-treaters come to the house this year and they were actually probably high school aged. We do have some kids in the neighborhood but I guess I don't blame them, it's not the most trek-friendly of areas. Shortly after that, we heard strange noises outside of our metal security door. Wondering why it was taking so long for the next group to come to the door, we got up and looked out. Guess who we saw throughly enjoying the jack-o'- lanterns that FMIL brought home today from school after the students had carved them?

Halloween Javelina. A herd of at least six of them and two babies. They friggin' love jack-o'-lanterns, apparently. I had forgotten that. They were polite enough to leave behind the electric tea lights as they fought over and scarfed down the pumpkins. These were taken by unlocking the metal screen door, cautiously sticking one hand out, snapping a few pictures, yanking my hand back in, and firmly shutting the door before repeating the process. They're like... grizzly bears. Somewhat harmless enough at a distance, but they can decide to charge at you at a moments notice and... well,  be very aggressive once they get to you. This is especially so when babies are involved and understandably so. Dogs and people fear them more than coyotes. They tore those pumpkins up. FMIL fences in the plants that they tend to favor like the yucca. One even took a few bites from the poinsettia that she had placed up a tower of bricks before it decided it didn't taste all that great. Oh, did I mention their unique smell? They are called "musk hogs" for a reason. >_<

Well, on that lovely note, I'm off to start dreaming of sugar plums dancing in my head. What? Too soon? :P

See you soon. <3

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