On Friday evening we went with my daughter and hubby and the grandkids to the Halloween Haunt at Hamlin Park in Shoreline where there were games, stories, hay rides, and trick-or-treating for the little ones:
This is Levi being a Steve from Mine Craft.
People roasting marshmallows and sipping cider by the fire.
Experimenting with night shots of the park with my new little camera. It did surprisingly well I think; even captured a stray orb or too. I get those a LOT. What really pleased me though was the realistic reproduction of the actual light levels there. The flash didn’t wash it out. The twinkle lights didn’t darken it any more than it actually was.
It was a wonderful full moon night and LOOK: I caught the moon. Yeah. It’s that little white spot in the middle there…
This statue kept staring at me and smiling though. Creepy!
I think it’s neat that they included an ancestor altar even if it was more Halloween spoofy macabre than Samhain traditional. Also, the Mist doesn’t belong there, LOL. The spirit of it was still very appealing and still very much honored in the opening invocation/blessings which we all stood hand in hand around the room in a big circle for.
Here’s my smiling Jeb getting blinded by the flash. More orb too. The people on the right there are looking at items placed there for the silent auction: jewelry, some beautiful little cabinets and boxes (for such things as herbs, incense, ceremonial object….), a light up crystal ball, a beautiful Horned One headdress, incense burners, etc. Sorry I didn’t take a picture of those.
There was a nice size dance floor too. After the invocation, everyone lined up for the dinner, which was stunningly sparse considering that it was part of considerable ticket price ($25 a head, YIPES!). It was just Stag Chili and salad. The belly dances from Bella Luna performed while we ate and then the floor was opened for regular dancing – first from a pre-recorded play list which included both 80s pop and some New Age stuff, all appropriate for the season and fun to dance to, and then a live blues band.
Jeb was uncomfortable dancing to blues, so we only danced a few turns before leaving. Despite this, he put a lot of smoothness and energy into those few dances. He looked good.
I’d have happily danced to all of it but… not him. Besides, he was still hungry and that made him a bit cranky and tired.
I wish I had a coven of my own sometimes just so I could put on good parties and do things exactly the way I think they should be done AND have help doing it as this Fife coven did.
What would I do differently? Well…
1. The spooky/fun decorations were perfect though I’d have been a little more serious and less Halloweeny with the ancestor altar. Though I did like it as it was, I’m somehow embarrassed about that.
2. Dinner could have been done a lot better. I’d have used some of the ticket price towards buying a turkey to cook instead of just lots of canned chili. Then I’d have set up a potluck of things to go with it. No matter how many people came, the maximum capacity limit on the hall in addition to that fact that everyone who came brought a side dish or dessert for sharing would ensure not only that everyone got plenty to eat but that there would be sufficient food variety that even the fussiest eaters and Vegans even would find as much to eat as they wanted. And I’d have had a grand excuse to make my famously huge pumpkin cheese cake. I don’t get enough excuses for that. *SIGH*
3. The invocation was really nice. I’d keep that just the way it was.
4. I’d have preferred Rishi’s Egypt over Bella Luna belly dancers any day of the week. I think they’re more seasoned and I like Rishi’s style better. Of course, I’m prejudiced about that having spent these last 7 years learning from Rishi and thinking THAT’s the way it’s supposed to be done.
Oh. And I’d have asked the dancers to specifically perform a candle dance as well as one with veils. That would have been so lovely. Although I have to admit that one called Toxic by Bella Luna that included some really long and dangerous looking gold claws WAS really cool looking too.
Side thought on this is that I almost wore my black velvet and gold belly dance costume to this ball when I realized that it was a black and white ball and that both my black widow and witch costumes would be too warm for dancing in. This one….
…which, in retrospect, would have been VERY bad of me. Not only would I have been showing my less-than-beautiful belly off (which wouldn’t be a good thing) but, despite it, might have been in direct competition with the performers. Jeb says so too. So yeah, it wouldn’t have been polite of me at all. I’m glad I wore a silky black evening gown with my spider jewelry instead.
5. I would have had a spiral dance and then a few mixers after the belly dance performance. The former because it’s witch traditional and not something I could get away with when I host family parties at my home (lacking for space AND having some Born-Again Christian family members to contend with). The latter because it would be a great way to get everyone acquainted that wasn’t already… like Jeb and me.
6. I’d have just done a play-list or DJ accepting requests for the music and not done a live band. Not saying the band was bad. Jeb doesn’t care for that kind of music, but I thought they were very good. Kind of a New Orleans sound. But the trouble with a live band is that their music genre will never appeal to everyone. You get more variety from a play list or DJ. End result is that more people are dancing more regularly and that’s one way of making a dance more fun.
But what do I know? I’ve never held a successful dance since high school. There isn’t the room in my house, or enough gung-ho dancers in my family.
Like I said: there are times like this I wish I had my own coven. Witches LOVE to dance. Even though the dancing was a bit sporadic at this dance from what we saw, whenever a popular song (like Voodoo or Poker Face, eg.) came on, they were all up in a flood of happy energy, taking the floor for all it was worth. I loved it!
On Sunday, we got together with my daughter and her hubby and the grand kiddies again to go to a farm. General aim of corn mazing. There are farms all through the Snohomish River Valley, so finding one required no planning at all. Amy rode in our car while Mikey took the kids and followed us. But the first big farm we came to looked so crowded that we just breezed on past it and then turned around to head toward one we hoped would have less of a crowd at it. Mikey was confused as we smiled and waved, passing him and then pulled off for espresso before finally getting to a farm. This was his WTF? you’re messing-with-me-aren’t-you face…?
The farm we chose had a corn maze, bouncy pillow, giant hamster wheels for the kids, a train, pony rides, and a pumpking patch for the kids. It was great:
…and I can’t believe this is the only picture of it I uploaded last night. Sorry. There are more. I’ll add them when I get home tonight if I think of it. I also have belly dancing tonight so will be home only briefly before I have to leave again, so I might not. You never know.
In other new, my gecko, Tequila died last week. He’d been ailing for some time. Not sure what was wrong with him. Maybe he was just old. But I was in the pet store getting crickets for my other reptiles and amphibians when I found a bearded dragon up for adoption in their surrendered pets section. Held him and fell in love with him. For a reptile, he’s surprising… well… cuddly… and so friendly, calm, and inquisitive. So I brought him home and remade the fireplace terrarium for him.
We named him Pumpkin owing to his unusually orange complexion, but he’s so sweet I forget and call him “Guy,” “Sweetheart,” and “Baby” alternately so he’ll probably be confused about that. Isn’t he beautiful though?
How was your weekend?