Trick or treaters, the changing of the deco guard, and some inches lost

Another Saturday, with more and more rain. The backyard was positively spongey when I was out there taking pics for the bottom of this post.

At least yesterday morning it was beautiful and sunny for the hour I was out for my walk… then within a few minutes of me getting home, it got dark and it started to pour again.

Speaking of dark skies, we’re done with bullshit er, daylight savings time for another year, but I wrote a whole rant about that for tomorrow’s blog post, so we’ll skip that for now.

So… Samhain/Halloween last Sunday and I had 75 kids at my door, which is a bit more than half what I had in 2019, and I think double what I had last year, so I think that means things are slowly returning to normal.

I almost ran out of candy and turned the porch light off around 8pm, but then I tend to just grab a fistful for each kid rather than screwing around grabbing only one or two pieces when there’s a line-up at the door.

I mean, I would have had enough for 3 or 4 more kids, but the problem is in my neighborhood they usually come in groups of 7 or 8 at a time.

Basically I went through 4 boxes, not counting the stuff that got held back for my private stash or which was eaten before Halloween.

Jewish folk say “next year in Jerusalem!” at their Passover dinner, my motto is “next year in Los Angeles!” for my Halloween candy hand-out.

I guess when I sell I should advise the new owners that there’s now a 3 year trend of handing out fistfuls of candy, lol…

Aside from the number of trick or treaters trending upwards towards normalcy, the amount of fireworks was off the charts. Which I love.

I tried to get some photos, but of course I didn’t have my real camera ready, just my iPhone, and that’s always a gong show with fireworks so this is the best photo I’ve got:

A day or two after Samhain and I started taking down the Lemax and the Halloween tree. It’s all done now, save for two large animated Lemax Spooky Town pieces that I need to box up and return to their storage spots under my bed and the autumn wreath on the front door.

The side door already has its Christmas wreath, which I figure could pass for poppies to make it appropriate pre-Remembrance Day, and due to the red I leave it up til just after Valentine’s:

The wreath I have for the front door for Christmas will wait til after Remembrance Day, same as the Christmas lights.

I have started with the indoor Christmas decor, but thus far only have the kitchen sideboard done up:

This is “Forest Snowfall” by Country Cottage Needleworks… which I got a 2nd place ribbon for at the 2019 Cowichan Exhibition.

The rest of the Christmas Lemax will be set up over the next week, then I’ll get the outside lights done, then the trees set up and slowly decorated and in the midst of that process I intend to do a first round purge out of Christmas decorations (second round in January as I put things away).

I did do a second round of Halloween purging earlier this week. I went from having 5 tubs full of Halloween decor plus a few giant shopping tote bags of overflow containing stuff I couldn’t fit in those tubs like the decorations for the Halloween tree to 4 tubs including all the Halloween tree stuff. (Not counting the Lemax boxes and the small Halloween tree in its box.)

So… I guess I cleared out the equivalent of two rubbermaid bins. Not bad. I have twice as much Christmas as Halloween, so I’m hoping to purge 4 rubbermaid bins’ worth, plus there’s a bunch of extra stuff that was never in the rubbermaid bins that needs to go.

Then come January when the remaining Christmas stuff comes down and goes back into storage, I will have a few empty bins that I can use for packing away other stuff.

Anyway, so I’m making progress on decluttering. I still sense a storage unit in my future after I move to the US, lol…

Speaking of getting rid of shit I don’t need, I’m now officially 50 pounds lighter than at the start of July 2020 when I started keeping track of my weight and my measurements and trying to lose the excess weight I’d put on (and 70 pounds down from Halloween 2018, when I was at not my highest ever because that was in early 1999 with at least 20 pounds more than this time, but my highest ever in this century).

As of yesterday morning, I am down:

  • 1″ off my neck
  • 1 3/4″ off my calves
  • 2″ off my biceps
  • 4 1/4″ off my belly (I measure around my belly button, a couple inches below my waist)
  • 4 3/8” off my thighs
  • 4 1/2” off my ribs (!!!)
  • 6″ off my bust
  • 6 1/4” off my waist
  • and 6 1/2″ off my hips

It’s always funny to try to correspond the pounds dropped in a given month or two with inches lost. This time I was down 5 pounds but most of my measurements were the same as a couple months ago or just a quarter-inch down… but my rib cage measurement shrunk by 3/4″… and of course there’s spots in between where I measure that look slimmer and don’t get caught by the measuring tape.

Funnily enough, I’m at the point where I’m almost wondering if I’m measuring my waist at the wrong location. I mean, I’m measuring in the same spot each time (both with my stomach sucked in as hard as I can and in the same spot fully relaxed and I record both), where I have a bit of a marked indentation from waistbands or whatever, and it does seem to be where I get the smallest circumference, a couple inches above my navel… but looking in the mirror, the smallest visual spot is like 3″ higher… except that measurement is a couple inches bigger than the sucked-in waist measurement and also it can’t actually be my proper waist because it’s over my lowest ribs.

Anyway, I’m not changing where I take the waist measurement, because that would fuck up the spreadsheet I keep, but it’s just kinda funny how it visually shifts in the process of dropping pounds. It’ll correct itself in time.

So, I’m about halfway to my goal weight, which I haven’t seen since 1996/1997 when I put on a bit more than the freshman 15 and then blew up like a blimp in the late 90s… and ever since, I’ve had trouble with my weight, swinging from average American woman size or just under to way worse.

But this time I’m not doing any stupid drastic changes that I can’t maintain long-term, just a lot of smaller sustainable changes adding up to bigger changes. And I’m currently at “average American woman” size and working my way down.

So… progress.

And now to wrap up with some garden pics:

‘Never Alone’ rose, still sorta blooming
I forget what kind of yarrow this is, but it has fresh blooms
Calendulas, still not dead from the light frost we had on Halloween
If these are anything like other snapdragons I’ve had, they will still be here in the spring.
“Tropicana” rose with a small new bud
I finally got around to “harvesting” these cayenne peppers (read: yanking the whole thing out of the raised bed and tugging some of the peppers off). Some of these are already squishy, but a few are still nice and firm and yes, I should have harvested properly like a month ago.
Some leaves from the Japanese maple up front, which still isn’t all that red on the actual tree, like they color up just as they decide to fall off or something.