It’s that time of the year again!

Holiday meal at Disney's Vero Beach resort

And, no, I don’t mean the time of Peace and Goodwill towards men (or women, if they mattered.)

No, the time of the year I refer to is the semi-annual appearance of my TigerMom doppelganger. Without being too Three Faces of Eve about it, I must admit that occasionally I suffer from a sort of evil possession that turns me into the Type A person I was raised to be, before extensive therapy made me almost suitable for human contact.

This cat does not live here. However, cats don't care.

At those times I become like River, from Serenity, except not adorable or waifish and without a supportive brother. Lethal, crazy, and not all there.

The most recent occasion was our run-up to Standardized Testing. The 2 high-schoolers are taking the ACT in December. So we’re doing pre-tests, and writing exercises, and, in general, turning our curriculum upside-down to give the kids an opportunity to experience success in what I believe to be a stupid exercise. See? I’m conflicted.

Because, while part of me wants to walk away from the whole pointless business

( because a three hour test that assesses, what? Your “academic potential?” Β Writing an essay on “What personal character trait has the potential to be most negative?” in 25 minutes tells us something important about how someone will manage themselves in college?}

the other part of me wants the Payoff. I was a class A, named, lab rat in the school system. I KNOW what’s on the other side of that maze. Goodies. Lots of easy goodies. So, let me show you about that maze….

Internal Conflicts like this are the sort of opening TigerMom loves. While I’m in a schitzophrenic Quaker meeting, trying to assemble a consensus, she starts whacking grammar books on the desk and hollering, “WRITE THE ESSAY! JUST WRITE IT! NO ONE HAS A BLADDER THAT SMALL! YOU CAN HOLD IT!”

Ah, yes. Not pretty.

Look at that woman. She's clearly unwell.

I’m just betting on the notion that a young adult without any major parental conflicts to complain about will be mocked and derided by his or her peers. :p

Halloween Costumes

The kids were ridiculously inspired this year for Halloween. They all had specific ideas, we went to the Goodwill for some basic items, and to JoAnn fabrics for what I needed to sew. There are no pictures of this project, mostly, because I EITHER have time to do sewing or time to take pictures of it, but I thought you might like the results, with a few short descriptions of the content.

Rapunzel, from Tangled Youngest one wanted a Rapunzel dress. I took an adult purple dress from Goodwill (still with tags on) folded the top down inside. Put a panel of brocade up the front, ran elastic around the waist, Bingo, Finished skirt.The top is a little more complicated, because I make bodices for Ren Faires and ballet tutus. I made a large brocade vest, attached ribbon loops to midpoint up the front to create the crossed ties, but they work. Puffed sleeves at the top, with purple ribbon for the stripes. Found JUST the matching embroidered ribbon for where the sleeves meet the undersleeve, which is just a tube of gauze.

Her finishing items are a beanbag lizard sewed onto a ribbon to represent Pascal (worn as a bracelet) and a styrofoam and duct-tape frying pan, with some little silk flowers in her braid.

Since this isn’t at ALL suitable for the weather we’ve got, she also has a velvet cape. Yes, we have spare velvet capes in the attic. Yes, I’ll blame that on being a costumer. :p

A Sith Lord... he has his own story God bless those Star Wars designers. 30 years of Halloween costumes based on robes, and counting. This one is wearing warm turtleneck and pants, covered by a robe made of black fleece, with a hood that turns into a cape. Without Force Push, hard to fight in a hood. It's held closed by a belt. When fancy belts are in, I wait for season change and pick them up on clearance, for just such occasions.He elected to wear his fingerless gloves, but might consider fingers, for Trick or Treating tonight

A Yeti. I said, creative.This costume is suitable for the weather. He's wearing long white underwear as a first layer, and this costume made of fake fur. The costume was a piece of fabric folded double at the top, with a hole cut in the middle. seamed up the sides to slightly over waist high. He goes in through that side gap. The sleeves are just tubes of fur attached to gloves from the dollar store. The head was built over a bucket from the dollar store, padded on top with a towel, for height. Inside it has a band of elastic for the top of his head, and a chin strap. The face screen is the gauze of his sister's sleeves, dyed pink.It's not attached at the bottom, so he can eat in it. The teeth are cardboard.

A Russian Spy

This all started with the boots, which we bought on mad sale and she had nowhere to wear. Turtleneck and leggings, from stock, coat, purse and belt from Goodwill, hat from the attic. Ridiculous eyelashes, bought after LAST Halloween.

She was like 11 feet tall, but warm. James Bond, watch out.

Harry Potter, of course.

Never be afraid to exploit a resemblance. Glasses, scar, wand, check. πŸ˜€

The Weasley parents

Of course, movie stars need no costume. πŸ˜‰

Happy Halloween.

Wordless Wednesday 5

Sugar Ray was playing at Epcot tonight. Mark McGrath w/cowbell

One of the wonderful things about Disney is the number of times you walk into something not previously an idea. Like a free concert by Sugar Ray. Where Mark McGrath played cowbell and gave a shout-out to, of course, Christopher Walken.

EPIC.

Countdown to Beach Club Villas

We are only a few days away from our next trip to Disney World!

Which means, everyone is VERY excited, except for those of us trying to tie up loose ends before. πŸ˜‰ {Okay, maybe we’re excited, too.}

The Expedition Everest ride from our favorite Animal Kingdom lunch spot

We’re going to celebrate the birthday of middle son, 14,

This international program CM taught him a Mancala game

but we’ll land during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, which has its nice elements. And we’re staying at the entirely awesome Beach Club Villas, part of the Yacht and Beach resort complex.

Disney World, for those who haven’t been, recently, is darned enormous. We go a couple of times a year, but usually without park tickets. I recommend that.

book, novel, beach chair, check!

painting china. Disney World resorts rock!

If Disney service and theming was available closer, I’d go more often… even without Mickey Mouse and Splash Mountain. But we DO have park tickets this year, so we’ll have to split our time between the many amenities of the resort, our favorite activities at OTHER resorts, and a few excursions into the parks.

And we do it cheaply…

Think I should post about that? πŸ˜‰

End of day, by the castle