When Black Cats Prowl and Pumpkins Gleam

It’s that time again. There are clues everywhere. The sound of cloth dragging through fallen leaves time, a scoot and a crunch. The scent of sugar and burning yard waste on the air. The sight of a cape whipping around a corner. The atmosphere is electric with the promise of chill and suspense.

Halloween!

It is fast approaching as I rush about collecting the last items for costumes and send my children searching out their plastic pumpkins which lie in some forlorn corner of the house, dusty and forgotten since last year.

Halloween holds a special place in our family. We have a LOT of traditions associated with the end of October. We make a new decoration each year, we also have a group costume, we carve pumpkins, we watch spooky movies (Hocus Pocus, anyone?) and we go trick or treating. One thing we do not do however, is encourage our children to go into a sugar coma give our kids a sack full of candy to consume.

We aren’t health nuts, but if you could sum up our parenting style (and lifestyle too, I suppose) it would be: all things in moderation.

The kids bring home at least a pound of candy every year easily. There ain’t nothing moderate about that.

So, rather than allowing them to binge on sugar we have yet another tradition. This tradition’s name is *The Sugar Sprite*.

Rather than being the “bad guys” and having to take away all the sweets we encourage an exchange with a mythical creature. The children are entitled to as many pieces of candy as they are years old, which they choose with the greatest of care. The rest goes into a big bowl placed near the door. In the dead of night the Sugar Sprite swoops in, takes the candy and leaves a small surprise gift for each child.

(Actually, what happens is after bedtime my husband and I invite our friends over to watch a scary movie and to eat all of the candy. Shhhhhhhhh.)

Although, the exchange is voluntary our kids have never opted for the candy and this has been going on for eight years.

The Sugar Sprite usually spends about $20 bucks on two gifts, which is a whole lot less than the copay for two dentists visits to have cavities filled.

Smooth Waters Do Not a Sailor Make

Hi Friend,
This month has been rough. There has been a lot of upheaval, intense shifts and what seems like terrible luck. I know I am not in that boat alone, in fact I feel like this ship is sinking a little due to the sheer number of people who seem to be getting cosmically screwed at the moment. But this is not a missive to place my hand delicately upon my forehead and cry out “Woe is me!” (I save that for my husband). Nope, I’m going to count one of my blessings whilst catching y’all up.

Remember how I was going to be working only 27 hours, leaping lightly into the unknown- forgoing monetary security and all of that? Well, it never happened because the very week I quit my job as a green apron wearing coffee jockey, I started training for a new position at my awesome job.

Let me tell you about my employer. I work for Spoonflower. Yes, the http://www.spoonflower.com. Yes, the one that has opened up the realms of possibility for makers, crafters and artists everywhere. It is based out of my town and I am magically employed there, now full time as a printer.

If you aren’t aware, Spoonflower is a company that custom prints textiles. Fabric, wallpaper, gift wrap can have literally any design on it. You can choose from countless patterns on the site or you can upload your own. It is pretty much the coolest thing ever. I work in the print room, running these machines. It is fun and frustrating, challenging and rhythmic. Like playing Tetris. I love it.

And I get free fabric every month. I go to work feeling like this is happening every single day.

That amazing benefit plus my creativity constantly being sparked from being surrounded with awesome materials and talented people has led me to finally reopen my Etsy shop. There is little in this world as satisfying as imagining something and then creating it.

And the best part is my schedule actually allows me to have more time. More time with my kids, more time to sew, more time to write, run, do yoga and enjoy drinking my coffee.

Eventually, the tides will turn and things will seem to come easily again. Until then, the things that matter are steadfast and wonderful. I have a wonderful, healthy family. I have loyal and helpful friends. I am happy in my work. At the end of the day, it seems ridiculous to ask for anything more.

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