Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween Time Crunch

Sandy Banks wants to know if there is an equivalent "bah, humbug" expression for Halloween. So would I. I hate sugar holidays, especially ones that fall a mere days before Iris' birthday.

Try preparing to throw a kid's birthday party in the week leading up to Halloween. Line up with the crowds of people, trying to enter the party supply stores. Don't say that we should have prepared in advance. You try bugging people to get their the RSVPs in by an early deadline.

Iris pestered me about decorating for Halloween. I told her that maybe we can arrange for her to be adopted by our next door neighbors who decorate for all the holidays. She didn't find it funny.

Store bought costumes are so cheaply made and tacky, despite their inflated prices. Plus, I worry about exploitation. (This is no idle worry as the recent Gap fiasco proved.) This year, I dispensed with all guilt. I bought Iris a flimsy witch costume from a dance supply store in Westwood. I also bought her a long-sleeved black t-shirt to wear underneath it for warmth.

This year, I will live vicariously by reading the blog of a woman who is sewing a fairy costume inspired by Madeleine Vionnet and the book, “In the Realm of the Never Fairies, The Secret World of Pixie Hollow”. She does breathtakingly lovely work. She is hand painting silk petals for the dress! Click next at the bottom of each post. So far, she has written 4 posts in the thread.

Instead of throwing a big party, Iris will go to Disneyland with 3 of her best friends on Sunday. Iris will bring cupcakes to her soccer game on Saturday, her birthday; it was our turn to bring snacks anyway. There will be no goodie bags!

Instead of cupcakes in her classroom, I asked her teacher if she would prefer a visit from Kathy's Critters (aka the Bug Lady). Kathy will bring her insect and reptile zoo to her classroom, point out which ones are native and which are exotic, and discuss characteristics that make natives particularly well-adapted for our locale. There will be no sugar in the classroom and Kathy will wrap up just in time for lunch. I need only write a check for the tax-deductible cost.

(The district has no money for this kind of enrichment activity. In fact, they have no time for science because they spend 3 hours each day drilling for the reading and writing tests and 45 minutes for math. That leaves little time (30-45 minutes per day) and no money for art, music, history, geography, social science, or plain old science. One short weekly music lesson was saved because of the correlation between music and higher math test scores. Art is now a once a month and rushed activity, led by a volunteer docent mom.)

Well, the weekend is a little more hectic than I let on. We are hosting 4 family members in town for Iris' birthday. We will hold some sort of family dinner on Saturday night. Iris has informed us what kind of cake she expects.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I caught the cold going around. That puts me off my drug regimen once again. In addition, I lost my voice. About twice a year, I catch an infection bad enough to set off a cascade of auto-immune symptoms in my throat. It would be laryngitis and a sore throat in a normal person, but I am not normal. It usually takes 3 weeks, 21 days (I keep track), before I can talk again. Once, my throat swelled up so badly that I had to go in for IV fluids, antibiotics and powerful painkillers. The doctor said I was this close from asphyxiation.

That time, they had been watching the situation for a week. They couldn't give me steroids to bring down the inflammation because that would have dragged out the infection. Yet, they couldn't keep me in the hospital because that is a dangerous place for people with compromised immune systems. Medicine is an art, not a science. It was horrible, but I am not sure anyone could have done anything different that would have been better. Well, maybe they could have given me the good painkillers earlier. ;-P

Of course I am on the schedule to speak at an upcoming satellite health meeting in 3 weeks. Gotta rest. On the bright side, silence actually makes me more productive at work.

Today, I kick back in bed with tea with honey and a good book.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry you're ailing, Grace. I hope you'll feel better soon, earlier than your projections.

    Happy birthday to your daughter! It sucks to have a birthday close to *any* holiday. My brother was always sad his birthday is so close to Christmas.

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