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Archive for October, 2021

I am having the most fang-tastic weekend, dear reader! The play I am performing in, The House on Haunted Hill as Mrs. Eleanor Slides, opened on Friday night. And, I am having the time of my life. My dear, bootiful friend Kelsi attended last night’s show with her boyfriend Paul. They drove all the way from Harahan to inky black Louisiana to see me perform. We were able to chat for a few minutes after the show.

My good friend and co-worker Debbie and her husband Jerry also attended the show last night. Debbie and Jerry snuck out after the performance since Jerry had to work early this morning, so I didn’t get the chance to see them afterwards. However, I received a sweet text from her this morning. Everyone enjoyed the spooky production. I am super appreciative of my friends’ support. What a happiness boost!

This morning, I finished the most spooktacular book. My Best Friend’s Exorcism is the first novel that I have read by Grady Hendrix, but it will not be the last. Kelsi recommended it to me ages ago, so I chose it for one of the prompts on our Halloween Readathon. It is AWESOME! Anyone who grew up in the 80s or enjoy 80s nostalgia will enjoy this book. While it is a horror novel, friendship is at the heart of the story. If you have ever had a best friend who will stick by your side until the end, this book was written for you.

Today happens to be Halloween which is my absolute favorite holiday of the year. I have a bunch of activities planned for the day that will extend well into the evening hours. The first activity on my Halloween agenda is to bake an Autumn Pumpkin Cake. While the cake is baking, I will read one of the two remaining selections on my Halloween Readathon (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Widow’s Broom). I’ll read the other one while the cake cools.

I will be handing out treats tonight with the help of Andrew and my hubby, sporting my new Halloween themed t-shirt that my hubby bought for me last week. There are only three movies left to watch on my Halloween Movie Marathon list. I am planning to watch two of them throughout the day and saving one for after the trick-or-treaters have departed our neighborhood for the evening. My Halloween Fun List must be completed by midnight tonight. Kelsi and I will be scheduling a few chats very soon to discuss our Halloween season festivities, books, and movies.

In the meantime, dear reader, enjoy the spookiness of Halloween. And, if you are in the area and have a couple of hours to kill, consider attending a performance of The House on Haunted Hill. It will be running for two more weekends on Friday and Saturday nights (November 05, 06, and 12, 13) at the Columbia Theatre in Hammond. It’s a party like no other. Happiness!

“Don’t let the ghosts and ghouls disturb you, love.” ~ Frederick Loren, The House on Haunted Hill

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Tomorrow begins a “season of sacrifice” in my life that will last for the next few weeks. It is not the first time that I have gone through a period like this, and it surely will not be the last time. Everything gets busier this week with rehearsal requiring more time, leading into an intense tech week (next week) and opening weekend.

My focus for the next two weeks and the next four weekends will mainly be on the play, The House on Haunted Hill. Being in a play is not only thrilling, invigorating, and fulfilling, but also extremely time-consuming. Therefore, many of the tasks or activities that I had planned for this period of time have either been cancelled or put on the back burner until the dust settles and my schedule opens up again. In fact, my hubby and I are no longer entertaining the idea of participating in the Zombie Run in New Orleans on Saturday morning. However, we are still planning to attend The Psychedelic Furs concert at Tipitina’s on Saturday evening. I must practice daily self-care, which includes eating well, walking at least 20 minutes per day, reading, getting enough sleep, and incorporating spiritual practice throughout the day.

This week is also October’s full moon or the Hunter’s Moon. This would be the perfect week, dear reader, to read Stephen King’s Cycle of the Werewolf or watch its movie adaptation, Silver Bullet. Kelsi and I recently chatted about both the book and movie which you can check out below or on Kelsi’s YouTube channel. We also discussed how we are both doing with our Halloween Fun Lists since hanging out together earlier in the month.

Recently, I have been thinking about my future self, specifically my future self at the start of 2022. Regrettably, I realized that I had not reflected on the third quarter of the year which is due in large part to Hurricane Ida. Briefly scanning my 21 for 2021 list, I must acknowledge that I have abandoned many of the items that I had good intentions of completing this year. We are now in the fourth quarter of 2021, and I cannot see myself completing, much less even attempting to complete, the majority of the items on my list. Therefore, I am letting my list go until I am finished with the play (November 13th). At that time, I will evaluate my list to see if any of the tasks can be completed by mid-December, moved to my 22 for 2022 list, or tossed completely. Then, I will do a year-end review of what I accomplished throughout 2021 and start planning for 2022. I feel this is realistic, and my future self will thank me. In addition, I purchased some whimsical journals (Don’t Break the Chain Habit Tracker, Know Yourself Better Journal, One-Sentence Journal) for my future self this morning from Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project that I want to use in 2022.

I have a great deal going on in my life right now, dear reader. If all goes well, I should have a new roof on my house by the first week of November. Completing the roof allows us to start repairing Andrew’s bedroom. My hope is Andrew will be back home before Christmas, our backyard will be cleared of all tree debris by the end of the year, and we can finally put Hurricane Ida behind us. Despite a hectic schedule and experiencing some overwhelming moments, I remain grateful and hopeful. My wrist seems to be healing with daily medication and wearing the brace. Having Fridays off has made a huge difference for my well-being. And, I was given the opportunity to participate in a show that allows me to explore my creative side. I may be in a “season of sacrifice,” but it is temporary, and I will navigate through it with grace and a grateful attitude. Happiness!

“Gratitude is an antidote to negative emotions, a neutralizer of envy, hostility, worry, and irritation. It is savoring, it is not taking things for granted, it is present-oriented.” ~ Sonja Lyubomirsky

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I have amazing news to share with you, dear reader! I have accepted the role of Eleanor Slides in the play, The House on Haunted Hill, which will be opening Halloween weekend at the Columbia Theatre in downtown Hammond.

As many of you know, I auditioned for this play back in August for the audition experience and the opportunity to meet the artistic director of the theatre, Jim Winter. I knew going into the audition that I did not have a chance of being cast because the weekend of the second show, my hubby and I would be attending The Psychedelic Furs concert at Tipitina’s in New Orleans. Then, I got a callback. My first thought was they didn’t see I have a conflict. I went to the callback, confirmed that they knew about my conflict (they knew), and did not get cast which was not a surprise. However, my goal was achieved plus more. I not only auditioned for the play and met Jim, but I also got a callback which exceeded all of my expectations.

So, I went back to living my life. As far as the play was concerned, it was an eerie extra on my Halloween Fun List. I was hoping to attend one of the shows, preferably the Friday night performance (opening night) on Halloween weekend. Yes, the dates for the play had changed due to Hurricane Ida. In addition to the show being pushed back, another weekend of shows had been added since the performance hall of the theatre sustained damage, and the play would now be held in the Conference Center of the theatre (a smaller, more intimate venue).

Out of the blue, last Sunday afternoon around 1:00, I received a text from Katy, the stage manager for the play. Since the play had been pushed back because of the hurricane, and they needed to replace a cast member, she asked me if I would be interested in joining the cast as Mrs. Slides. My conflict on the weekend of October 22nd was no longer an issue. Of course, I said YES! Last Monday was my first night of rehearsal. I am so happy I went to the audition and thrilled to have this opportunity. The cast, Katy, Jim, and Jade (the costumer) have all been super nice and supportive. I am grateful for this wonderful opportunity. The play is going to be spooky, creepy, and a great deal of fun which is right up my alley.

You never know where the universe will lead you, dear reader, if you are open to exploring the possibilities for your life and willing to accept the opportunities when they present themselves. Being a part of The House on Haunted Hill is definitely feeding my creative soul. In three weeks, I will take the stage with an incredible cast, and I cannot wait. Happiness!

“Acting is not about being famous. It’s about exploring the human soul.” ~ Annette Bening

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On the first Saturday of October, Kelsi and I spent the entire day together (which spilled over into the evening) hanging out and participating in many Halloween-related activities.

We created a vlog of our jam-packed day, and I want to share it with you today, dear reader. It includes us enjoying a scrumptious lunch at La Madeleine: French Bakery and Cafe, shopping for Halloween decor, baking cookies, and so much more.

Kelsi and I are collaborating on a few more Halloween activities. In fact, tomorrow, 09 October at 3:00 p.m. Central Time, we will be having a LIVE CHAT on Kelsi’s YouTube channel. Our discussion will be about Stephen King’s book, Cycle of the Werewolf and a review of its movie adaptation, Silver Bullet. Of course, we will also sprinkle in all things related to Halloween. I’ve included the link to remind you to join us. It should be a lively discussion.

I am having an awesome time vlogging. I loved working in television, and vlogging is a wonderful opportunity to incorporate my television knowledge and skills in creating content. One of my goals in the near future is to get editing software, so I can edit my own vlogs. Kelsi has been sweet enough to help me out with the ones I have done solo which I am extremely grateful; however, she is super busy between her day job, Halloween-related activities, and creating content for her YouTube channel. It is the logical next step in my creative journey.

As I am wrapping up, a special shout out to Simon, mon frere, who is having a birthday today. He and I have been friends since the 10th grade. What a blessing he is to me! And, later this weekend, I will reveal some exciting news. No, I am not pregnant. Yes, it has something to do with my creative journey. Enjoy your weekend, dear reader. Happiness!

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” ~ Anthony J. D’Angelo

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The weekend is winding down, and I am ready to nestle all snug in my bed with a good book and read awhile. Despite getting diagnosed on Friday morning with tendonitis (inflammation of the tendon), I had a pretty wonderful weekend. I have been dealing with a pain in my right wrist, which has progressively gotten worse, since the first week of August. I had every intention of seeing a doctor at the beginning of September since my home remedies were not working; however, Hurricane Ida sort of complicated the matter. In any case, for the next few weeks, I will be taking a daily oral anti-inflammatory medication and wearing a brace to give my wrist a break. Icing the affected area may also help. I am praying this all works; otherwise, the next step is a shot. After the doctor visit, I had lunch with my friend Roxanne. We had a terrific time catching up and enjoying a delicious meal at Our Mom’s in downtown Hammond. Afterwards, I stopped at The Rind, a local cheese shop, to buy some cheesy goodness (goat cheese with honey and a chicken salad snack pack).

On Saturday, I spent the entire day with Kelsi doing Halloween-related activities, and we had a spook-tacular time. I plan to write a post later this week about our day together. Then, today I basically puttered around the house since the internet went out (got it back sporadically late Thursday evening) and I could not work on my blog post this morning. I cannot wait until the internet is fully restored. I guess some service is better than no service. Later in the day, I did venture out to Books-a-Million and Target for about an hour with Andrew. I was looking for a copy of The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury at the bookstore with no success. Thankfully, I was more successful obtaining the items that I needed at Target. Anyhow, Andrew ordered my book for me from Amazon, so it should arrive in a few days. Additionally, I received some unexpected but neat news today that I will share later in the week. I want to see how things play out over the next few days and get more details before I spill the beans.

Meet Ice Cream Bar, dear reader. He is Andrew’s baby Speckled King Snake that he received on 24 September. He is only two months old. Personally, I think he is a delightfully handsome fellow. Since Andrew is staying with his grandmother while his room is being repaired, I am babysitting him. Andrew does check on him regularly, and he is in charge of feeding him.

Ice Cream Bar shed on Friday morning, and ate successfully on Saturday morning. This is a big deal because it was the first shed and meal since Andrew became his poppa. He really is a beautiful little snake. I am sure you are wondering why he is named Ice Cream Bar, especially since Andrew’s last snake was named George. Well, Andrew and Ailegh (Andrew’s girlfriend) were discussing names, and Aileigh jokingly suggested Ice Cream Bar which Andrew initially thought was ridiculous. However, after some consideration, Andrew decided he liked the name. I think the name adds a bit of whimsy.

Wonderful weekends make me happy, especially when you spend them with family and friends, and a snake named Ice Cream Bar. The week ahead is looking like it will be quite busy for me, so I am signing off to relax and to finish reading the last story in AutumnCrow by Cameron Chaney. Dear reader, I hope you also had a wonderful weekend and have much to look forward to this upcoming week. Be safe, stay well, and enjoy the remainder of the weekend. Happiness!

“Take the time to do what you love to do this weekend.” ~ Catherine Pulsifer

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Ghastly greetings, dear reader! I am pumped because its finally October, the spookiest month of the year, and I am all about spooky. Since last year’s Halloween Fun List was such a spook-tacular success, I decided to create another eerie-sistible list for this year which will include thematic clothing and accessories, fang-tastic food and drink, bone-chilling books, montrous movies, and so much more.

My work wardrobe will be accessorized from head to toe with Halloween/Fall earrings, pins, infinity scarves, and socks. I may even acquire a Halloween t-shirt or two for my creepy collection. Additionally, I will be adding some Halloween decorations in the reading area of my bedroom and on my front porch, mixing them in with the fall decorations already on display. Kelsi and I have planned a couple of days to hang out together, so I am hoping we will conjure up a thrilling treat or two while celebrating this enchanted month.

BOOKS/SHORT STORIES

This Halloween, Kelsi and I are participating in a Readathon that we created together. It is the first time that we are doing this type of reading activity. Our book and short story selections are based on horror movies. I have listed my terrifying TBR choices for the month below.

  • Cabal by Clive Barker
  • Thinner by Richard Bachman
  • Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King
  • My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
  • Night of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine
  • Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh
  • Fear Zone 2 by K.R. Alexander
  • The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg
  • ”The Mangler” by Stephen King (Night Shift)
  • ”Jerusalem’s Lot” by Stephen King (Night Shift)
  • “Sometimes They Come Back” by Stephen King (Night Shift)
  • “The Magic Ball” by Charles J. Finger (A Newbery Halloween)
  • ”The Man of Influence” by Paul Fleishman (A Newbery Halloween)

In addition to the Halloween Readathon, I will be reading The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury which was chosen by the mesmerizing members of the Chills, Thrills, and Kills Book Club (book club that Kelsi and I started back in May 2021). Also, I will be finishing up the spine-tingling short story collection AutumnCrow by Cameron Chaney which I started on the first day of fall.

MOVIES

October would be totally boring if it did not include a few hair-raising movies, so I decided on 20 movies for the Halloween season. A couple will provide lighthearted entertainment while others are guaranteed to raise goosebumps and inspire nightmares. Two of my movie choices are based on books, which will be enjoyable to compare/contrast and to discuss with Kelsi. Nightbreed is based on Cabal by Clive Barker, and Silver Bullet is based on Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King.

EERIE EXTRAS

There are two additional aah-inspiring activities that I would love to include on my list if my schedule allows, weather permits, and COVID restrictions relax. First, I would love to see the play, The House on Haunted Hill, I auditioned for at the Columbia Theatre back in August. Second, Barry and I would enjoy shuffling in the 2021 New Orleans Zombie Run. It is a two-mile run/walk/crawl that begins and ends at Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant on Tchoupitoulas Street. Of course, in the event any other Halloween or fall-related activities are lurking in the shadows this month, I will add them to my already unBOOlieveable list. Lastly, if the weather is pleasant on Halloween night, I will be handing out candy to trick-or-treaters.

There was a certain crispness to the early morning air today, dear reader. October has arrived and is making sure we take notice. What are your plans for the month of October? Whatever you decide, have a howling good time. Happiness!

“There is a child in everyone of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit porch.” ~ Robert Brault 

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