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This is Part 2 of the movies I watched during the spooky season. I liked most of the films in this second part, especially the two found footage films, Creep and The Houses October Built. I cannot go into much detail about either film without spoiling them. Creep is about a videographer who answers an online ad to film a day in the life of a dying man. It is weird, creepy, cringey, and one of my favorite films on this list. The Houses October Built documents five friends taking a road trip across America to visit haunted house attractions, but they soon discover that not all haunted houses are make-believe and harmless fun. I highly recommend both films for a creepy good time.

Two other films I recommend are both Netflix Originals, 1922 and A Classic Horror Story. 1922 is based on a short story written by Stephen King. It is about a farmer who slowly descends into madness and faces dire consequences after making a dark and deadly decision. A Classic Horror Story is an Italian horror film that appears to be something familiar to horror movie fans, but turns out to be something altogether different. Again, I cannot share much about this film without spoiling the gruesome details.

Other films worth checking out include Aftermath (partly based on a true story), Pulse, the Japanese horror film (goosebumps guaranteed from the eerie encounter with the ghost woman), Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (atmospheric and eerie), The Brood (directed by David Cronenberg and contains disturbing body horror), Dark Was the Night (beast in the woods wreaks havoc on a sleepy little town), and Malevolent (pretending to see something you don’t can backfire).

There were two movies on my list that I deem duds. The ultra-low budget film, Driller Killer, is at the bottom of the movie barrel and is the worst movie I have watched for any of my marathons. Driller Killer is the absurd tale about an artist who goes insane and decides to trade his paintbrush for a power drill. Not too far behind is the boring film, Session 9. It takes place in an insane asylum where an asbestos removal crew has been hired to clean up the place, but uncovers a mysterious presence in the process. Surprisingly, both films have gained a cult following.

You can hear more of my thoughts about the movies that I watched in common with Kelsi, along with her thoughts, in our Halloween Horror Movie Marathon Wrap Up Part 2. In addition to a more in-depth commentary on these films, this chat also includes a discussion about acting and what makes a movie seem dated or not, and we both reveal our Top 10 Favorite Watches From the Halloween Marathon. It is another long video, but Kelsi again does a terrific job of including time stamps in the description section. As always, we hope you enjoy it and appreciate you taking the time to watch our video. Please consider giving us a thumbs up if you like it, and share it with a friend who likes listening to chats about horror movies.

That’s a wrap on the movies I watched during the spooky season, dear reader. It was a wickedly good time. I have one final post to publish recapping my Halloween Fun List, and then I’ll be switching gears and focusing on Christmas and the winter season. Happiness!

“I sit here and can’t believe that it happened. And yet I have to believe it. Dreams or nightmares? Madness or sanity? I don’t know which is which.” ~Jessica (Zohra Lampert), Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971)

Thanksgiving this year looked a little different from years past. We were missing a couple of people around the table, and the hubster and I went with a nontraditional Thanksgiving meal. We were striving for simple. Normally, Barry fries a turkey, and it is usually joined by cranberry sauce, a green veggie, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and a pecan or pumpkin pie. Since it would only be the four of us gathered around the table on Thursday, our menu consisted of turkey burgers, broccoli casserole, spinach artichoke dip, and cheesecake for dessert (courtesy of Rouse’s). Thankfully, I married a man who likes to cook. Everything on my plate was delicious. Of course, Mrs. Billie baked cookies. Chocolate chip cookies to be exact. My Daddy and Son #1 spent Thanksgiving in Atlanta with my sister Rachel, my brother-in-law Lee, and my beautiful niece Emma. According to my Daddy, their menu consisted of “ham, green bean casserole, and of course, dessert.”

On Friday evening, Barry and I joined Shelly and Kerry to attend Friendsgiving at my friend Wendy’s house. Shelly and I graduated from Riverdale High School with Wendy. This was my very first Friendsgiving event and Wendy’s first time hosting one. There were about 15 of us, mostly Riverdale graduates. What an absolutely awesome evening! Fantastic food, terrific conversation, and lots of laughter, especially when Wendy, Sharon, and Kristie performed their award-winning dance moves to the song “Heartbeat-It’s a Lovebeat” by the DeFranco Family, a Canadian pop music group from the 70s. Back in the 6th grade, they won the overall prize at their school’s talent show with this performance. Everyone had a wonderful time, so Wendy is planning to make Friendsgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, an annual event. Happiness Boost!

High School Friends: Shannon, Chris, Kat, Jeff, Kristie, Sharon, Michelle, Shelly, Stacey, Kim, Steve, Eddie, and Wendy (holding Millie)

The weekend kept on giving with last night’s Drink Nightsgiving (just made this up to even out the “giving” theme in the title of this post-HA!). Barry and I drove over to the Cyrus’s house to partake in libations with Shelly, Kerry, Mrs. Carol (Shelly’s mom), and Mr. Mike (Shelly’s bonus dad and my Godson). Drink Nights with the Cyruses originated because of COVID restrictions. I am not a big drinker; however, I like trying fancy cocktails. Kerry, who is our official bartender and enjoys mixing fancy cocktails, served us Black Cherry Chocolate Martinis last night. This yummy adult beverage is his very own concoction. To make one marvelous martini, you will need the following ingredients: 1 ounce chocolate vodka; 1 ounce cherry vodka; 2-3 ounces of Just Black Cherry Juice (Knudsen); Hershey’s dark chocolate syrup to taste. According to Kerry, “you can increase vodka amounts if you want it a bit stronger. Or, decrease vodka amounts if it’s too strong.” In addition to our martinis, we nibbled on snacks which included a cheese dip that Mrs. Carol made (shaped like a turkey), a crab rangoon dip that Shelly made, chocolate, and Cape Cod potato chips (provided by me). Another enjoyable evening spent with fabulous friends.

It’s now Sunday, the last day of my vacation. Although it was shortened this year because of Hurricane Ida, I am grateful for the much-needed break from my day job and for spending quality time with my family and friends. Family relationships and friendships are super important to me, and I have been blessed with many wonderful humans who bring so much joy to my life. And, you are also counted among those humans that enrich my life, dear reader. Thank you for being you and reading my content. If you participated in a “giving” activity or have a suggestion for a fancy cocktail, please share in the comments or email me at katloyacano@gmail.com. Enjoy the remainder of your weekend. 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

The Halloween season would not be complete without watching horror movies. I chose 20 films this year for my Halloween Movie Marathon. This post is Part 1 of my movie discussion and only mentions eight of the films that I watched during October. Three of them were kid-friendly Halloween movies and new watches for me. They included The Monster Squad, The Halloween Tree, and Halloweentown. The Monster Squad is campy and a bit more appropriate for teenagers. Of these three movies, it was my least favorite despite featuring the Universal Monsters, a horror movie club run by kids, and a friendship between a precious little girl and Frankenstein. Surprisingly, I adored Halloweentown, a Disney original starring the wonderful Debbie Reynolds. It is a heartwarming story featuring friendly monsters and a young girl who discovers her magical powers as a witch. Another pleasant surprise was the delightful animated film The Halloween Tree narrated by Ray Bradbury, who is the author of the book of the same name. The film is a magical journey through the history of the spooky season. Halloweentown and The Halloween Tree will definitely be rewatches for me in the future during the Halloween season.

There were two more campy movies on my list, House on Haunted Hill and The People Under the Stairs. I chose to watch House on Haunted Hill because of the play I was in at The Columbia Theatre during the spooky season. I enjoyed it immensely for its plot twists, spookiness in addition to its campiness, and Vincent Price. The People Under the Stairs was not one of my favorites on this year’s list. It is supposed to be horror satire and does have a few redeeming qualities. After reading an article about Jordan Peele’s thoughts on the film and potentially spearheading a remake, along with Kelsi’s thoughts in our chat about the movie, I plan to rewatch this film before making any final judgements. I would LOVE to see a remake of this movie, especially if Jordan Peele is at the helm.

Of the 20 movies that I watched, only two were rewatches. Kelsi and I watched Silver Bullet together and had a lively discussion on her YouTube channel comparing it to the novella it is based on, Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King. It was wonderful revisiting this film, and even more wonderful experiencing it with Kelsi as she watched it for the first time. Nightbreed was my other rewatch, but this time around, I watched the director’s cut which was much better than the theatrical version. Admittedly, I was somewhat disappointed with the film after reading Cabal, the novella written by Clive Barker and the basis for the film. Cabal is darker and the characters are more fleshed out than in the film. I would have liked to have seen more of the character, Dr. Decker, also known as the sadistic serial killer Button Face. The critically acclaimed director, David Cronenberg, plays the role of Dr. Decker and nails the dreadfully creepy character. Coincidentally, one of Cronenberg’s films, The Brood, made our movie list for this year’s marathon. One merit of the film was the visually appealing monsters or Nighbreed that reside in Midian. Kelsi and I both agree that Clive Barker is a master of horror; however, if you have not discovered his work, we do not recommend starting with Cabal or Nightbreed. They are enjoyable but not where we suggest you start with exploring the fantastical worlds of Clive Barker. I would recommend The Hellbound Heart, Books of Blood (short stories), or Weaveworld for first reads and Hellraiser for a first watch. You will get a taste of his brillance as a horror writer and want to discover more of his work on the page and in film.

Dear reader, you can hear more of my thoughts about these movies, Kelsi’s thoughts, and our reaction to Art the Clown in the anthology film All Hallows’ Eve in our Halloween Horror Movie Marathon Wrap Up Part 1. Art the clown is still super creepy, and the three frightening short films within an equally frightening film, which crosses the line between reality and the make-believe, make All Hallows’ Eve more terrifying than Terrifier. In addition to a more in-depth commentary on these films, this chat also includes some stats, a few overall thoughts about the marathon, as well as surprises and disappointments. It is a long video, but Kelsi does a terrific job of including time stamps in the description section. Also, like our friend Ray does, you could listen to it like a podcast. We hope you enjoy it, and please consider leaving a comment or two, as well as any suggestions because we do appreciate your feedback.

This is just Part 1 of the movies I watched during the spooky season, dear reader. My post on Part 2 will be published shortly. Feel free to comment on some of the horror movies you enjoy watching, especially during the spooky season. Happiness!

“There’ll be food and drink and ghosts…and perhaps even a few murders. You’re all invited.” ~ Frederick Loren (Vincent Price), House on Haunted Hill (1959)

My Halloween Fun List this year included a thematic ReadaThon which I hosted with Kelsi. The ReadaThon turned out to be a spooky delight. Kelsi and I chose books and short stories focused on attributes of horror movies. Originally, each one of my prompts was assigned its own selection. However, with the unexpected surprise of landing a role in a local play, I had to adjust my original Readathon choices, so I could complete the activity. Basically, I re-shelved all three of the short stories I had selected from Night Shift by Stephen King as well as the novels, Thinner by Richard Bachman, Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh, and Night of the Living Dummy by R. L. Stine.

I kept the other selections from my original list and added “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. While I am not a stranger to the movie, Sleepy Hollow (starring Johnny Depp), or the television show, Sleepy Hollow (starring Tom Mison), I had actually never read the gothic short story. In my opinion, it is the perfect spooky read for an October evening, especially one that is chilly enough to situate you in a comfy chair while reading the mysterious tale near a toasty fire. Ichabod Crane brings you on quite an adventure in the valley of Sleepy Hollow where he encounters the infamous Headless Horseman.

My favorite new read for the season is The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury. My book club unanimously voted to read it for October, so I added it to my ReadaThon (helped me double dip on two prompts). What an absolutely delightful piece of literature! It is a wonderful treat filled with beautiful imagery, mesmerizing characters, and a breathtaking journey through the history of Halloween. It is another perfect read for the Halloween season. My friend and fellow blogger Rita wrote an awesome review about the book that aligns with my own feelings about the book.

One of my favorite stories to read in the month of October is The Widow’s Broom by the wonderful Chris Van Allsburg. I adore picture books, and this one is an incredibly enchanting story about a widow who discovers the merits of a magical broom. Van Allsburg’s illustrations are captivating and whimsical. I saved it to read on Halloween night. It inspired me to make mini broom treats with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and pretzel sticks. Yum!

I chose two enjoyable short stories from A Newbery Halloween. This is a charming collection of endearing stories from exceptional Newbery Award-winning authors. The first story, “The Magic Ball” by Charles J. Finger, involves a “cold-eyed witch” who practices strange magic with the help of a magic ball. The second story, “The Man of Influence” by Paul Fleishman, includes a struggling stone carver, an affable apparition, and a surprising twist at the end.

The other books included in my ReadaThon were not October or Halloween related per se, but they fulfilled the remaining prompts on the list and added a spooky element to the season. As I mentioned in a previous post, My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix was wonderful. It was my first book by Hendrix, but it will definitely not be my last. Cabal by Clive Barker reminded me how much I enjoy his writing and swayed my initial feelings for the film adaptation of the novel which goes by the title, Nightbreed. The middle school book, Fear Zone 2 by K. R. Alexander, was a spooky enough sequel to Fear Zone and featured a creepy clown. Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King did not disappoint. It is a short book packed with action and terrific illustrations. Kelsi and I did a livestream chat comparing it to its film adaption, Silver Bullet.

Kelsi and I had an October Reading Wrap Up chat to discuss some of the books and short stories we read for our Halloween Horror Movie Mania ReadaThon. It includes our stats, such as the total number of pages read for the month. Books mentioned in the chat include: Cabal, My Best Friend’s Exorcism, Autumncrow, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Halloween Tree, Cycle of the Werewolf, and more. Additionally, we had our friends Melanie, Melissa, and Rachael weigh in with their thoughts on The Halloween Tree. Please check it out, and let us know what you think about our book selections, our ReadaThon, and our chat in general. We welcome your comments, suggestions, and ideas for future ReadaThons and chats.

Dear reader, I hope you also had an enjoyable spooky season. I plan to publish a few more posts about the other activities I participated in throughout October. I am a tad bit behind with my writing because of performing in The House on Haunted Hill (fabulous reason), recording video chats with Kelsi (always time well-spent), and living life in general (several added commitments that have seriously enriched my life). They have all been wonderful experiences, and I am so grateful for them. And, I am grateful to you, dear reader, for stopping by and reading my blog. Happiness!

“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.” ~ Joyce Carol Oates

It has been two weeks since the dreadful time change took place amidst my current season of sacrifice and the onset of colder temperatures. Not surprisingly, I am riding the struggle bus. Normally, the weekend before Thanksgiving is a time of jubilant celebration since it kicks off a much-needed week-long vacation from my day job. Not so this year, thanks to Ida. It will now begin at 3:20 pm on Tuesday afternoon.

My teacher friends and I have to make up all the days we missed in the wake of Ida’s destruction even though we were definitely not on a vacation. If it sounds like I am grumbling, I am (a little), along with all of my teacher friends, the students, and their parents. I admit, we are somewhat spoiled and love our holiday breaks. But, please, do not misunderstand, I am grateful and appreciate any time off that we do get to stay home. However, this school year we really need our Thanksgiving break after dealing with COVID (still dealing with it), Hurricane Ida (still dealing with it), and the end of Daylight Saving Time (still dealing with it).

Most of my dear readers know that the next four months will be tough on me. I have to push myself not to surrender to my sofa once the sunlight disappears. The last couple of years I have immersed myself in activities (a play, movie marathons, NaNoWriMo, holiday fun lists, etc.) so as not to succomb to the season of SAD. So far, the only side effect has been going to bed earlier than usual and not getting a good night’s sleep. I do not sleep well in general, so this has been challenging. I find myself relying on Melatonin in the middle of the night to fall back to sleep and an additional cup of coffee to make it through the work day.

On a Brighter Note

My hubby and I went out Friday night with our fabulous friends, Shelly and Kerry. We always have a terrific time together, and this was no exception.

We attended Starry November Night in the middle of Downtown Hammond. The event included live music, train rides, a wine walk, vendors, and local businesses interacting with the community. It was an incredibly enjoyable evening, and exactly what I needed to stave off post-show blues and to avoid the siren call of my couch. The four of us chose to dine at a new restaurant, Son of a Biscuit, to kick off the evening. It is an easygoing establishment featuring a pun-filled menu of eggscellent choices. We were taken care of throughout the meal by a wonderful waitress named Camryn. Of course, our meal would not be complete without first ordering a cocktail. I chose Feeling Peachy, and let’s just say, after consuming it, I definitely felt peachy keen. We skipped appetizers and ordered entrees which was a difficult decision because everything on the menu sounded mouthwatering. I finally decided on Bacon Shrimp Mac N Cheese (homemade mac n cheese topped with grilled imported shrimp and bacon with a biscuit on the side). It was scrumptious! Needless to say, we will all be back in the future.

After dinner, we strolled through Downtown Hammond, enjoying the sights, the sounds, popping in and out of several shops, and stopping by a vendor booth or two. I enjoyed eating a yummy cupcake and topped it off with a deliciously hot Butter Rum Latte from PJ’s Coffee. I encountered so many lovely friends, former co-workers, students, and their parents, many who I have not seen in ages. It was awesome catching up with Ava who I taught a few years back and is currently in college, my super nice friend and former co-worker Angie (also met her husband David), and the sweetest parents, Marie and Robert, who I have known for years. I taught their son Cameron when he was in 2nd grade and in 8th grade. We also made a point of stopping by Wonder Collective Gifts where my friend Tweety, who is an artist, had some of her amazing artwork on display.

While visiting the Hammond Regional Arts Center, I said hello to my sweet friend Tara who I recently shared the stage with in The House on Haunted Hill at the Columbia Theatre. It was the first time seeing her since the show ended its run last weekend. Hopefully, it will not be the last. We both plan to audition at the beginning of December for the play Puffs.

Starry November Night was a wonderful way to start the weekend. I am looking forward to Barry and I getting together with Shelly and Kerry again soon. We already have several outings planned for the upcoming weeks.

Welcome to Night Vale

If you happen to be a fan of podcasts and The X-Files, consider checking out the wonderfully weird, Welcome to Night Vale. Alex, a castmate from The House on Haunted Hill, recently introduced me to this otherwordly podcast that includes a radio show format with cool music for the weather segment. The episode running time is around 30 minutes. I would highly recommend you start at the beginning with the pilot which sets the stage for mysterious malarkey.

I am counting down the hours until Tuesday afternoon, dear reader. I am thrilled to have a few days off to relax, recharge, and regroup. The year is quickly coming to an end, and I need to assess 2021 to look at what worked, what did not work, and how I want to begin the new year. Will I carry over items into 2022? Or, will I start the new year with a clean slate? Those questions and many more will need to be answered by the end of December. As of right now, I will enjoy what remains of this beautiful Sunday, and I hope you will do the same. Happiness!

“The soul that gives thanks can find comfort in everything; the soul that complains can find comfort in nothing.” ~ Hannah Whitall Smith

Hanging out with SWOLEman the Snowman and his little snowman buddy at Downtown Fitness (Starry November Night)

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

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

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

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

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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