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A disappointing Halloween

October 31, 2010

Normally I love Halloween. But Halloween didn’t feel like Halloween this year. Probably because the museum I work at threw a “no scare” Halloween event the weekend before Halloween (a.k.a. last weekend). The weather was perfect, small children dressed in freaking ADORABLE costumes ran around and played in the leaves and got their faces painted and jumped around in burlap sacks meant for racing. It was awesome.

This weekend? Yesterday was nice out, and I spent almost none of it outside. Too busy getting ready for a “party” that only two people showed up to. I loved that they showed up, and it was fun having just the four of us, but I spent most of the day prepping for the party when I could have been out and about enjoying the weather with the boy.

Today was of course a typical fall day – cold, overcast, windy as all hell, and damp. And for some reason, depressing. The boy and I went to the mall to get “Army of Darkness,” our one concession to Halloween. The mall was PACKED with kids and parents dressed up, “safely” trick or treating. I don’t know why, but these days large crowds of people freak me out and piss me off. I don’t like being around them for more time than absolutely necessary. They make me crabby and annoyed.

I feel sometimes like time is running faster than it ever used to. Like days just fly by – wasted. I never seem to have time to do the things I want anymore (although I did make time yesterday to bake bread, two pumpkin pies, and Take 5 bars). I find myself daydreaming about farming full-time. About baking bread all day and bartering with other farmers for things we can’t get ourselves – like venison and pork. Of milking our one dairy cow and feeding goats and chickens and ducks. Of stocking freezers and root cellars. Of knitting and sewing and being altogether cozy. Of doing things I love of my own time. Music and books in the evenings. Going to bed at decent hours and waking up with the sun.

Sometimes I feel like I’m crazy. I know farming is hard. Ridiculously so. It takes planning and math and risk and sweat and blood and tears and sore muscles. And that when you farm you often have less time to do the things you love than when you work a “real” job. Doesn’t stop me from longing for it.

I think autumn brings this out in me most. And winter. The full heat of summer doesn’t usually make one long for fields to hoe and gardens to weed or hay to cut. It’s the cold, drizzly, overcast days that do it. And the cool, sunny, breezy ones, too. For some reason the knowledge that winter is nipping at your heels and the feeling that you should be canning and freezing all that gorgeous produce surrounding you when all you want to do is be outside, soaking up those last rays of sunshine makes me wish I could actually do those things.

I know that one can “make” time for things. For instance, instead of ranting and wishing away on the computer, I could be playing music right now, or cuddling the boy, or even, at ten o’clock at night, baking bread.

I think it’s because when I first moved out here to NY I didn’t have a job for several months. It was kind of hard not having a job. I got bored. I felt lazy. But some days I went out and did things, got a lot accomplished. I’d do laundry, fold it all neatly, and put it away. I’d baking and cook. I’d walk to the library, the grocery store, the thrift shop. I’d practice my violin, clean the apartment, knit. If we’d lived in a house and had a garden, I probably would have put quite a bit of effort into gardening, which would have been nice.

Now that I have work and school I feel busy all the time. Too busy. Luckily work should be winding down soon, but it feels like I’ve been in school forever. I’m so sick of night classes and homework, but I still have half the semester and two more semesters after that. I would stop, but I know I’d never start again, and then I wouldn’t have that crucial M.A.

*sigh* This is a really complainy post. And a very wistful one. So I’m going to give you my recipe for Take 5 bars (Take 5 are among my favorite candy bars) and leave you to your own lives.

Take 5 Bars

1 large package peanut butter cookie mix (enough to fill a 9×13″ pan)
1 bag caramels
square pretzel snaps
1 12 oz. package milk chocolate chips

Prepare cookie mix as directed and press into pan. Line crust with evenly spaced caramels. Bake as directly. While still hot, press pretzel snaps, as many as you can evenly fit in one layer. Melt chocolate chips in microwave proof bowl at 30 second intervals until pourable. Pour onto bars and spread to distribute evenly. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Chill in refrigerator until chocolate hardens, then cut into small squares.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2010 8:31 AM

    I relate to this post SO much. Have you read “Radical Homemakers” by Shannon Hayes? This book has me longing to join her movement! Farming is hard but it is rewarding. Very rewarding. I wish I had more time to devote to it.

  2. vintagejenta permalink*
    November 1, 2010 8:51 PM

    I’m going to do my best to start a garden in the spring (still have to put down wet newspaper to kill all the grass in my lone flower bed) – I’ll probably plant herbs (oodles of basil, a little mint, some dill, maybe some sage) and lettuces, mostly. Maybe some zucchini. But life just always feels so crazy. I just want to read vintage cookbooks and cook and bake all the time! Lol. And have dinner parties. And go thrift store shopping for vintage glassware. I don’t even mind housework when I have the time to do it. It’s having to do three loads of laundry at 9 pm and try to find time the next day (or sometimes the next week) to fold it up and put it away that is exhausting.

    I think I just need a job where I work four days a week and get three days in a row off. My current job is only 25-35 hours per week right now, but I rarely get more than two days off in a row. Lately I haven’t even gotten that.

    As for Ms. Hayes, I think I need to buy her book! I’ve longed for homemaking before – alas as a museum professional dating/living with another museum professional, a single-income household is not really a practical reality, especially with today’s career uncertainties and especially not in the region where we live.


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