SUNDAY REFLECTIONS: When That Rough God Goes Riding

Harper Lee was once asked why she never wrote another book after To Kill A Mockingbird. She said, “I have already said everything I wanted to say.” Poignant, no doubt.

In this same way, another writer and musician said almost everything I’ve ever wanted to say to the pharmaceutical companies, their executives, their lawyers, their consciences (if any of them even has one, that he must be ignoring). . .

In. One. B-side. Song.

Best listened to with headphones, and the words in front of you, not the video, IMHO.

From Van Morrison’s 1997’s album, The Healing Game . . .

“Rough God”

Van Morrison

Oh the mud splattered victims
Have to pay out all along the ancient highway
Torn between half truth and victimisation
Fighting back with counter attacks

It’s when that rough God goes riding
When the rough God goes gliding
And that rough God goes riding
Riding on in

I was flabbergasted by the headlines
People in glasshouses throwing stones
Gaping wounds that will never heal
Now they’re moaning like a dog in a manger

It’s when that rough God goes riding
And that rough God goes gliding
There’ll be nobody hiding
When that rough God goes riding on in

And it’s a matter of survival
When you’re born with your back against the wall
Won’t somebody hand me a Bible
Won’t you give me that number to call

When that rough God goes riding
And then that rough God goes gliding
They’ll be nobody hiding
When that rough God goes riding on in
Riding on in

When that rough God goes riding
When that rough God goes gliding
There’ll be nobody hiding
When that rough God goes riding on in
Riding on in

There’ll be no more heroes
They’ll be reduced to zero
When that rough God goes riding
Riding on in
Riding on in
Riding on in
Riding on in

 

 

 

 

April Fools

Hello Warriors;

I haven’t written to you in some time. Suffice it to say that the daily demands of life are sometimes overwhelming.

7-8-14-AaronHorton00389 (1)

Anyway, I have missed you, and I’d like to take the liberty, this April Fool’s Day, to remind people about who the real FOOLS are. MESH IS NO JOKE – not the commercials, not the litigation, and certainly not the deeply personal injuries. You all know that, but it’s my hope that our community’s message still presses into new audiences, into the mainstream discussion among media, and around the proverbial water cooler at work. Any person with even the faintest bit of familiarity about the realities and mind-blowing chain of harm in the conception, manufacture, and implant of mesh knows the physical damage that mesh causes, and the destruction and havoc it wreaks upon the physical body.

But what about ALL THE REST. The SO MUCH MORE. The WHEN WILL IT STOP PART?

What about the reality that still exists when the commercial ends, after the trial or settlement, after all the surgeries than can be done have been done, and all the doctors who can be consulted, have been consulted? Does the general public really understand what’s left of us after all of that unspeakable harm?

I think not.

MeshEndsNowInjury by mesh is a physically and sexually violent assault. And, it’s an assault that reoccurs, for some women and men; it’s a daily assault, the experience of being reinjured time and again. As with any assault, the injury is not limited to a physical injury.

Mesh is a violent tormentor. It assaults the emotions, the intellect, the heart, the soul, and marches right on to damage families, friendships, jobs, hobbies, and pretty much anything of value in life. It’s damned ruthless and relentless.

Mesh is a cruel teacher. In our daily living and experiences with mesh, we learn who to trust, and who not to trust. Through a mesh-colored-lens, the true character of the people in our lives is revealed. Those we thought to be stalwarts of strength crumble; those we thought to be our closest comforters, suddenly vanish; those we thought were “in our corner” have turned against us; those whom we, ourselves, have helped through life’s harsh realities, are somehow unable or unwilling to reciprocate when the roles are reversed, and this time, we have drawn the short straw.

This experience is paradoxical and surreal.

We also discover those we thought watched us struggle in silence now appear as angels of help and hope. Those we thought to be meek are now our greatest advocates. Those we would not have met, but for this mesh, and the family of chance borne from our shared experience in its grips, have become our most trusted confidants. And in some ways, our family of chance has now become our family of choice.

Mesh is a crucible. By severe test and trial, unlikely heroes emerge, as do inconceivable villains. This improbable combination of elements and characters has become a white hot furnace, from which only the purest substance of the soul emerges. A soul, refined and laid bare by force, leaves only a remnant of its most fundamental quality.

From the crucible that is Mesh Hell can come all kinds of souls. Which words you choose to describe the phenomenon matters not. Anyway you slice it, you’ll find three

An Overwhelming Beauty. . . a soul who rises or has been risen above the hate somehow;

A Tepid Vapidity. . . a soul who’s lost its way in this life, or

A Destructive Odiom, a soul who can’t resist the siren call temporary relief that a vengeful mindset can provide. So shiny is the lure, we forget its hidden hook.

None of us had a choice as to how mesh harmed us and our loved ones, but we each do have the choice to emerge from this pile of ashes as a BEAUTY, though wounded; as VAPID AND NUMB; or seeking to repay evil for evil, falling so far that we, ourselves, have become MALICIOUS.

What will be left of us after the commercials and the trials are long forgotten? What will we have become? It is a difficult question to consider. It is an extremely painful question to consider at all.

We have every reason to be angry to our very core; to lash out in our pain. We have every reason to seek recompense, restitution and AN APOLOGY; every reason to expect those people to pay up, shut up, and go away. We have every rightful reason to hold disdain for these oppressors; the fat-cats who wouldn’t let their wives or daughters go near a mesh product, while they stand in court and so eloquently sing praises to the most holy mesh or stand in a surgery room and implant this ruinous tupperware into another human being, despite knowing there is even the slightest chance of harm. We and our loved ones are permanently injured. We have the right and the choice to be permanently bitter, furious, and set our minds on revenge for the rest of our lives. Who would blame us? Who could? No one.

BUT

There is a different option.

What if we chose – no what if we determined to set our thoughts and actions towards living our lives with joy despite the pain, chose to recognize the beautiful, chose to accept whatever grace, help, and mercy comes our way. What if we chose to be grateful that it isn’t worse; grateful to have had mesh removal; grateful even to have the knowledge that this implant is what has harmed our loved ones and our families? What if we chose to be beacons of hope, and a representation of the indomitable human spirit? What if we chose to joyfully seek occasion to meet others when at all possible, and share our stories to save someone else from harm? What if we became a generation of betrayed and harmed families who refuse to be forgotten; who refuse to go quietly into the night, who refuse to allow our voices to be silenced amidst the clanging noise of the lies, the money, the greed, the inhumane that surrounds us.

And what if we did all these things just to spite them, by reminding them that we are still here.

We are not going anywhere.

We wake up each morning with a clear conscience instead of a Mercedes.

What if our captors are the reason some of us will become great heroes and helpers; the voices that will stop the harm of future generations. What if our joy becomes the bane of their existence, while their baleful existence becomes the instrument of their own demise?

Who would be the fools then?

 

It really isn’t so unrealistic, unattainable, or impossible – not if we all believe, with an unshakeable knowing that we are here on this planet, not to be ravished, destroyed, and wasted; but to be uplifted and to exemplify the best of humanity, the best of human souls. What if we are the next GREATEST GENERATION, right now? The Greatest Generation didn’t know they would be remembered as such. They simply chose with their wills, with their hearts, and with their minds – they chose to do the right thing, and under tremendous adversity. We remember them for their qualities or fortitude, courage, bravery, persistence, sacrifice, frugality, self respect; love of country and family ; and a deep sense of pride in doing right. We cherish and revere them, and we wish there were more people like them. We mourn that so few remain. We mourn that our values are dying out with every death of one great soul, counted among America’s Greatest Generation.

What if we ARE the people like them. Mesh might be a new kind of evil to enter into the history of the world, but adversity and triumph over evil are as old as time itself.

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Sunday Reflections – October 4: Fake Plastic Trees

Almost invariably, I wake up each morning with some song rolling around in my mind. This morning I woke up with Radiohead’sFake Plastic Trees,” in full-on live streaming mode.

This band and song was one of my favorites, back in the day, when pop culture began to be defined by the “Grunge” movement: flannel shirts, ripped jeans and broody-moody song lyrics as musicians returned to a rock sound with their grungy, gritty, back-to-the-roots of rock-n-roll aspirations. Bands like Pearl Jam, The Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana and Metallica were the sounds that defined my young adult years, a time when most all of us – no matter the generation – begin to relate to music more deeply as we individuate and become more of the person we will be as an adult.

Fake Plastic Trees,” got me to thinking about plastic in general and when we, as a society, decided it was the wonder substance, to be used for everything under the sun. Plastic, as we obviously know, has real limitations. Certainly VERY REAL to all of us in the mesh community. How did our society go from deciding that glass Gatorade bottles were the enemy of our children’s basketball and volleyball courts (OH MY GOSH! The bottle could possibly break, and then could possibly hurt someone!) to “Plastic – It’s the NEW glass!” Where is the societal OUTRAGE over the ways plastic has hurt, maimed, killed, and sickened so many individual people?

The media whipped everyone into a frenzy several years ago over the ubiquitous use of BPA (Bisphenol A), just ONE type of plastic. The pace has slowed, but the use of BPA is still a hot news topic.

BPAbpa_freeRecent Studies State Chemical In Plastic Liquid Containers Contain Tox

“We can’t have our water bottles made with BPA,” they say. “Don’t store food inside BPA-containing tupperware, and don’t you dare commit the unpardonable sin of heating your food in the microwave in these plastic containers with BPA! Down, down with BPA! Kill the enemy!”

Oh, and, by the way, “SAVE THE PLANET! BPA is going to KILL THE PLANET!”

Hysteria ensued, and early-adopting consumers decided they would not go near a plastic product made with a single molecule of BPA. We began to see the marketers respond – labels on everything – “BPA-Free!” they said. We didn’t know what BPA was; we just knew it was REALLY, REALLY BAD, and it was becoming socially unacceptable to be seen in public – with our kids in tow – carrying the ostracizing, made in China, “Non-BPA free” reusable sports bottles.

The social pressure of early adopters changed the social norm of what was the acceptable use of this plastic and what was not.

Now, most every food-grade plastic is “BPA-free,” and the “theys” tell us, THIS PLASTIC (every other plastic polymer, especially Plastic #1, PET or Polyethylene terephthalate) is safe for your baby’s sippy cup, safe for you to drink from during your “Power Yoga” class, safe for the lining of metal cans that house baked beens, baby food and beauty products. But the truth is that BPA and PET are simply two canaries in the coal mine, warning us that plastic isn’t the world’s greatest invention since sliced bread.

Notice in the chart below, BPA is plastic #7 – the most dangerous of plastics – which can interrupt our endocrine systems and attack our balance of hormones, causing all manner of discomfort and illness. Since I found this chart, (unknown source) I’ve seen #9 inside the friendly triangle shape – a black plastic container holding cupcakes I bought. Now, all plastics must be labeled with its commensurate triangular icon and grade/number of plastic. No, the familiar, triangular arrow DOES NOT mean “recyclable.” Usually imprinted on the bottom of any given container, this triangular symbol tells you what kind of plastic you are recycling, eating from, or what kind of plastic is implanted in your body. I bet you didn’t get to turn over the mesh product placed in your body to look at which kind of plastic was being used, or even THAT plastic was being used in your “safe” medical implant at all.

The mesh community’s ENEMY #1 is Plastic #5 – Polypropylene.

Johnson and Johnson, Boston Scientific, Endo/AMS and other medical device manufactures put Plastic #5 – Polypropylene – in the bodies of millions of people for the repair of SUI, POP and/or hernia.

Polypropylene #5 is just two meager steps away from the source of our nationwide outrage – BPA, #7.

BPA - Just the worst off the worst.

BPA – Just the worst of the worst.

HEAR THIS: The PLANET will survive plastic; it is the human beings who live on the planet who will not.

CAN WE UNITE UNDER THAT CREDO?

Can we join forces under a shared goal – environmentalists, politicos of the anti-oil sort, advocates for quality in consumer products, and advocates for quality in medical-grade materials? The oceans and the Earth will adapt and survive. Apparently, it’s the most powerful human institutions that will not adapt, and the humans under their tyranny who will not survive. But in understanding how the social environment and its BPA frenzy CHANGED the socially accepted uses of BPA, we have a blueprint.

We have a more common shared enemy: the misuse of plastic.

All plastic is a petrochemical waste product that became a gold mine for all types of industry.

From toy makers – Remember wooden toys? What was so wrong with them?

To the manufacturers of food storage containers – Remember RUBBERmaid containers and Ball Jars? Rubber and glass are natural substances.

To manufacturers of food and beverage – Remember when Gatorade bottles were glass?

To clothing manufacturers – Our clothing is now largely made from plastic polymers or polymer blends (polyester, acetate, nylon and spandex being some of the most well known). Cotton, wool and denim were working fine, weren’t they? Try to find a pair of pure-denim jeans these days. Good luck, and bring your savings account.

Plastic works well for some uses. After all, it’s durable. It’ll be here for tens of thousands of years according to scientists. Plastic is convenient, disposable and inexpensive, right?

Or is it?

Polypropylene plastic mesh has not been convenient, disposable OR inexpensive for mesh-injured patients. The expense of the use of polypropylene mesh could never even be quantified. The precious injured ones and their families are PRICELESS. The financial and human losses of dignity, freedom, and quality of life FAR exceed even the most attractive legal awards ($73.5M, Salazar v. Boston Scientific).

Maybe our voices will be elevated to BPA-hysteria levels if we can connect with environmentalists; political ideologues, who loathe the oil-producing industry for so many reasons; and hovercraft, Soccer Moms who just want to make sure their children are not being poisoned.

Think about it.

Maybe we’re on to something. Maybe our cause and cries are more similar to those of Beth Terry at My Plastic Free Life than with those of anyone else.

If the healthcare industry and the FDA won’t listen to us, maybe the truly consumer-based industries will listen to us – when we stop giving them permission to make poison with our hard-earned dollars.

fake_plastic_trees

“Fake Plastic Trees”

Her green plastic watering can
For her fake Chinese rubber plant
In the fake plastic earth
That she bought from a rubber man
In a town full of rubber plans
To get rid of itself

It wears her out, it wears her out
It wears her out, it wears her out

She lives with a broken man
A cracked polystyrene man
Who just crumbles and burns
He used to do surgery
For girls in the eighties
But gravity always wins

It wears him out, it wears him out
It wears him out, it wears him out

She looks like the real thing
She tastes like the real thing
My fake plastic love
But I can’t help the feeling
I could blow through the ceiling
If I just turn and run

It wears me out, it wears me out
It wears me out, it wears me out

If I could be who you wanted
If I could be who you wanted all the time

All the time…
All the time…

 More about BPA:

The Baltimore Sun – October 4, 2015

ScienceAlert.com – September 29, 2015

Scientific American – September 25, 2015

Stanford University News – September 23, 2015

TIME Magazine – June 3, 2015

Make Lemonade from Lemons. Make MUSE-ery from INJURY. . . . What pain taught me this Halloween!

So, I tripped. On some rocks. On Halloween night. No substance abuse. No costume. It was the curiosity that killed this proverbial cat. So here begins. . . . MESH TAKEBAKES… duh, duh, DUH!!!!  INJURY to MUSE-ery!

HALLOWEEN INJURY (No make-up needed, swollen, blue and disfigured – perfectly naturally!):

OUCH! DISLOCATED TIBIA HEAD.

OUCH! DISLOCATED TIBIA HEAD.

turned into…

MUSE-ery when “COOLNESS FACTOR” of wearing planned costume dropped by 98.4% automatically with totally inappropriate shoe choice and wince of pain on painted face.

But, I was not to be defeated… so, if you can’t beat ’em, draw ’em – right? Whatever! You get the point. Let your pain be a teacher. This is my fourth drawing EVER. I didn’t even know I COULD draw until it hurt too much to do anything else! Thanks pain for teaching me how to draw missed opportunities! She’s a Catrina. She’s’ already dead, she’ll be waiting for me next year!

CAN'T WEAR THE COSUME, SO I'LL DRAW IT. MY VISION OF A BEAUTIFUL MESH-INJURED "LA CATRINA." FOR DIA DE LOS MUERTOS.

CAN’T WEAR THE COSUME, SO I’LL DRAW IT. MY VISION OF A BEAUTIFUL MESH-INJURED “LA CATRINA.” FOR DIA DE LOS MUERTOS.

So. . . what did YOU do differently THIS HALLOWEEN. I drew, yup, that’s it. I just drew

Life is so different these days due to my mother’s personal tragedy, and subsequently, our family’s personal tragedy. All my “norms” are “new norms” now, with a lot of new people. I was SO EXCITED to dress up for Dia de Los Muertos this year as “La Catrina.” To some, this iconic figure is a pagan god or just a weird skeleton, but to this beautiful Mexican culture, the significance of the reverent, yet joyful figure and day with its artistic endeavors, celebrates en masse, the life of memorable loved ones.

Stories are told, as if around a campfire, and traditions are fulfilled, not dutifully, but with exuberance for those loved and lost. It’s an annual and national time for grieving loss, with and around others. It’s year-by-year, another inch of healing/understanding and learning more about a loved one in death, than maybe you even knew in life. Americans often don’t understand or respect the nature of this celebratory grief. The traditional day is safe time to grieve in perpetuity; still getting on with life, but knowing there will be a day celebrated by ALL the grieving every year, for continued healing and more funny post-humous stories. That’s pretty special.

La Catrina is the female icon for this celebration, so I bought almost everything for the dressing up . . . and then. . . . I dislocated my ankle ONE DAY BEFORE and couldn’t dress up.

So, I did what I asked YOU ALL to DO: Make a new tradition. Make something bad into something good.

“If I can’t be with my family on Halloween, I’ll do something else to soothe the soul; I’ll dress as La Catrina!”

And then,

“If I can’t wear La Catrina; I’ll do something else to celebrate. I’ll draw her, I said!”

My "La Catrina," the way I would have dressed. She'll be here next year. :)

My “La Catrina,” the way I would have dressed. She’ll be here next year. 🙂

So – I did. Here she is.

She’ll be waiting for me next year.

After all, she never dies. . . . duh.

WHAT DID YOU DO FOR HALLOWEEN that was new this year?

#MESHTAKEBACKS/EPISODE TWO – Free Downloadable Mesh Warrior Foundation Calendars – Take back your family fun!

Hi Angels!

With the help of a free software, I was able to created Fun & Free #TMWF Downloadable and Printable Calendars for yourupcoming and (likely hectic) holiday season! Fun to do with your kids or grandkids, and quite necessary with all of the holiday goings on sneaking up on us already.

The calendars print large enough so they are easy to ready, and they are in a different format that is a bit easier for my brain to manage- vertical days instead of horizontal (you’ll see)!  See what you think and let me know!

THE IMAGES ARE VIEWABLE EXAMPLES ONLY – WINDOW SHOPPING IF YOU WILL! DOWNLOAD THE HIGH RESOLUTION FILES FROM THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST!

SIMPLE BLACK/WHITE FOR INK JET PRINTERS OR LASER PRINTERS WITH LOW TONER! :)

EXAMPLE ONLY – PLEASE DOWNLOAD HIGH RESOLUTION FILES BELOW! THE #TMWF SIMPLE BLACK/SIMPLE WHITE CALENDAR IS FOR FOR INK JET PRINTERS OR LASER PRINTERS WITH LOW TONER! 🙂

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 8.25.05 AM

“THE WHERE’S WALDO” #TMWF CALENDAR – is for engaging smaller kiddos or grand kids! Have them help you spot the #TMWF flowers with you to get started. 🙂

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 8.25.15 AM

The #TMWF EVERYONE LOVES POLKA DOTS CALENDAR!

I

THE #TMWF QUEEN FOR A MONTH! :)

THE #TMWF QUEEN FOR A MONTH! 🙂

FREE, Downloadable Sticker Set! Just use glue or tape. :)

FREE, Downloadable Sticker Set! Just use glue or tape. 🙂


f you’re a techy, use the symbol browser to edit your calendar from Power Point and add symbols like these:

 =family fun day

Ø =rest day for Mom or Dad

=surprise for kids (get little gifts or hide something sweet under pillows for them when they awaken!)

 =(this symbol  is commonly called a “hamburger” in the world of Geeks – use it to denote a day of family cooking or family dinner together at home).

These are just some ideas IF YOU NEED TO STAY IN. If you can get out, grab some of those tiny stickers of stars and check marks and turkeys and presents, etc. and build a family calendar together, or OMG – draw!  🙂

Expectations set during the holiday are GOOD, early and often, especially in blended families like mine! Watch your kids learn a new sense of “normal” even within the crazy world of this MESH and the craziness of the holidays. I hope this idea helps in some small way!

Here are some sticker sets which I’m sure Michael’s, Joann’s, Walmart, grocers – any store with school supplies will have!

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 9.07.02 AM

Have fun and let me know if/how it helps set expectations. Make sure you build in days for YOUR NEEDS, YOUR OWN REST and RECUPERATION for the demands of the holidays. It is stressful, but this is a tool, hopefully, to help you manage that stress.


HAVE FUN! MOST IMPORTANTLY, Add #EveryDayLevity to your life!

FREEBIE-Printable-TMWF-Calendar-Posters FREEBIE-Printable-TMWF-Calendar-Posters (PDFs – smaller file; ready to print and plan or email to friends & family)

FREEBIE-Printable-TMWF-Calendar-Posters (Microsoft Power Point Doc – larger file but ready edit from your computer’s Power Point software and/or print as-is)


TAKEBACKS: Episode 1/HALLOWEEN – Take back your Family Fun from the grasp of mesh

Hi Angels & Warriors AND Happy Halloween!

I miss you all when I’m not with you. The paperwork and busywork of getting a 501c(3) up-and-running is no easy task. I’m sure many of you know that from your own endeavors of those of friends. As those pieces are slowly but surely checked off the list, I find myself back to writing to you all, my first love. I love connecting with you, even digitally, and I relish in the times I get to meet you. Those meetings always leave me changed in some profound way. I am always grateful for having met an Angel. Somehow, I come away feeling the one who’s been blessed. It is indeed an embarrassment of riches to be so accepted and loved by you. I always want to give something back to you because you all give me so much, just by being who you are. This post is dedicated to my friend Sherri, who absolutely refuses to allow mesh to steal her joy and her daughter’s joy. Sherri, you inspire me, and this post is especially for you (I expect pictures!).

SO – LET’S ALL TAKEBACK HALLOWEEN FROM THE MESH!

There are two reasons I do what I do as a patient advocate and founder of a nonprofit:

1) For love of my own mother and my own family

2) For love of you

I know, quite personally, the intimate and often intangible moments that mesh steals from our families. Playing in the snow with grandchildren has often become a distant memory, one even painful to try to access. Cooking and gathering around the kitchen to celebrate family traditions like college football gameday, Thanksgiving and so many other special times that are now not possible, and are simple pleasures in life that we see others taking for granted. It can leave us feeling left-out, angry, depressed, envious and simply hopeless on some days.

I understand that feeling, from a family member’s point of view. There are pictures that I come across of my mother and me, those smiling selfies, that were before mesh. I cry. As the holiday season approaches, we are all considering: What do we do NOW? We’ve always done “this” or “that” and now we can’t.

I never ask you to do anything that I am not going to do myself, so I’m asking you to consider the “What ifs?”

What if we did Halloween differently this year, since you maybe can’t take your child door to door candy-hunting?

What if we gave thanks at Thanksgiving in a different way this year? What if we focuses more on thanks and less on turkey?

What if Christmas wasn’t about running a million errands to make sure everything is just perfect (and perfectly stressful)?

WHAT IF OUR FAMILY AND OUR FAMILY TRADITIONS STILL BELONGED TO US AND NOT the mesh?

Trust me when I say; I am not diminishing what YOU, as a mother or father have lost. I’m not diminishing what your family has lost. My family has lost it too.

I’m suggesting that we look reality in the face and say:

“I don’t like you. I’m going to change the parts of life that I can. I will have a NEW NORMAL in the face of the mesh’s continued greed to steal my joy!”

I’ve always gone trick-or-treating with my niece and nephew on Halloween. I have loved it. I love the suburban-ness of it. Families who know one another from sports, school and the local park getting together, basically to celebrate creativity, child-like wonder, and CANDY! I don’t get to do that this year either.

BUT. . . . We CAN all celebrate creativity! We CAN all celebrate child-like wonder, and we darn-sure all CAN celebrate with CANDY! No one can steal those feelings and little moments of joy from us, even though we are injured, even though our families are in shambles. So, I thought I’d share some ideas with you to help you see the light in the darkness; maybe establish your own NEW TRADITIONS and NEW NORMAL, a new Muse welcomed in, your creative juices a-flowing, your family sharing memorable moments that have been lost in your journey against mesh.

Think about the parts of your personality you’ve never dwelled in, because maybe you’ve been too busy planning, buying and executing the world’s definition of what these traditions should be. My wish for you and yours (and mine) is that you feel the hope building as you read, feel the excitement of creating “the new” and “the possible” for your family, whether you have children or not. I do not have children, and this year, I won’t be able to spend Halloween with my family or trick-or-treating with my niece and nephew, so I’ll post how I’m taking back Halloween too – how I’m creating a NEW NORMAL too! I hope it will give you some motivation and the good spirits to do the same!

DON’T DO IT BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO; DO IT BECAUSE YOU WANT TO – CREATE LEVITY IN A WORLD THAT LACKS IT.

Love you all! ~ Aaron


∇∇∇

IDEAS FOR YOUR HALLOWEEN TAKEBACK – YOU CAN DO THIS!

Host THE Halloween Block Party – the one where your children get to answer the door all dressed up in goblin gear and feel like the most special boys and ghouls on the block! 🙂 Instead of you running all over God’s green earth to make Halloween fun; call in those favors, and send your Hairy Husbands; your Scary Sisters-in-Law; your Ghostly Girlfriends; your Unnerving Neighbors; and that Bloodcurdling Boyfriend on the Eerie Errands for the All Hallows Eve party-to-be. Here are some ideas for family fun to dress up your host home for nada lotta:

DECORATIONS & AMBIANCE!

Black lights in the lamps near your home’s entrance and in the kitchen makes for a fun and eerie atmosphere! You really don’t have to change anything. Just the lighting makes everything mysterious and melodramatic!

A treat of a table - eating candy under the eerie glow of black lighting!

A treat of a table – eating candy under the eerie glow of black lighting!

Even bath time can be a BOO of a good time! 

Black-lit Bath time!

Black-lit Bath time!

If you’re having an especially bad or painful day, you can just unplug the lamps and show your little ghouls how to put the new bulbs in place and watch as they delight in the transformation of your home! It’s a simple way to create a new memorable moment. Keep your camera in hand! I hope you’ll share pictures if you decide to take this idea and run with it!

Garish Garage Door – This one is so fun and easy to supervise. If you have a metal garage or a wood garage with a sealant, this tip won’t ruin your garage door!  garage_door_art

– Buy a few cans of Aqua Net

  • Again, minimally-supervised, but with supervision, watch your kiddos spray Menacing Messages on the garage! Your black lights will come in handy again here, as the hair-raising messages will only show up when a black light is installed. Ladder may be necessary for this one, so have a helpful friend handy for this project.

-Soap and water easily removes the hair spray, or hey, take the black-light down ad leave the message up for next year!

  • Sit with your grand-ghouls or your candy-craving children, and come up with fun scary phrases. Make it educational by teaching them to rhyme or teaching new definitions of words.

Spider Webs are an easy and affordable way to dress-up your entrance, especially if you exchange your regular porch light bulb for a black light! Here is a picture and where you can buy! Don’t go to those overpriced Halloween stores. Got to your local fabric store, like Joann’s Fabrics or Michael’s and buy the kind of stuffing used for pillows, etc. which is easily pulled apart. A couple of plastic spiders and you’re done!

spider_webs spiderweb_entry spiderwebentry_2

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PLAY SCARY MOVIES ON ALL THE TVs – Hitchcock black/white movies are just as scary with no sound as are the newer (and often inappropriate for young audiences) movies. Sirius/XM or your local radio station will have spooky music you can play instead of the TVs. That way, it’s spooky in every room!

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Alfred Hitchcock Presents!

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The one and only real PSYCHO!

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Janet Leigh in PSYCHO

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James Stewart in VERTIGO

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THE BIRDS

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COOKING – easy recipes for kids!

I’ve spoken with many of you who long for the days when you could stand (or sit for that matter) long enough to cook with your children. Here are some easy recipes for Halloween that require minimal supervision and are lots of fun for your little goblins.

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Some cashews and a little food coloring go a long way. Enjoy watching your child’s creativity come to life!

Ghost Cookies    

Even cuter in a hollowed-out mini pumpkin!

Even cuter in a hollowed-out mini pumpkin!

-Buy as many packages of Nutter Butters as you can stand!

-Buy white almond bark for melting (over a double boiler)

-Buy a candy fork, as it works best for dipping.

-Buy a package of the mini Hershey’s chocolate chips

-Buy some wax paper

To prepare, heat the white almond bark over a double boiler until melted. Place a cookie sheet coated in wax paper on the cabinet, and get your bowl full of mini chips ready. Use the candy fork to stick into the bottom of your Nutter Butter. Twist the Nutter Butter until it’s fully coated with the white almond bark. Immediately place your coated cookie on top of the wax paper, and while the almond bark is still soft, add two mini chocolate chips for eyes. Voila- Ghost Cookies! Let your kids be creative and make different faces with different candies if you like. 🙂

Halloween Punch that is “hands-on!” Your kiddos will really love this one!  PUNCH

  • Prepare your favorite punch recipe (combining marshmallows and sprite or another soda of your choice will give the foamy, scary look)
  • Buy non-powdered latex gloves, available at your grocer in the aisle where the paper towels, etc. are or sometimes the cleaning supplies aisle.

-Prepare your favorite punch or use Hawaiian Punch or Kool-Aid if you prefer. Put it in a big glass bowl with a ladle or cup for scooping.

  • Fill 4-6 latex gloves with water and freeze them.
  • When you’re ready to serve the punch, remove the frozen “hands” from the freezer. Cut away the latex. Do a quick rinse off, and place the floating hands in the punch bowl!

  • A clear-ish punch using pineapple juice and Sprite means you can make whatever Creepy Colored Punch your little hearts desire!

    A clear-ish punch using pineapple juice and Sprite means you can make whatever Creepy Colored Punch your little hearts desire!

    • As your “ice cold hands” will melt over time, be sure to have back-ups ready, and you may want to make your punch stronger than usual, as the ice will melt and dilute its flavor!

    Dry Ice is usually available during this time at your local adult beverage store, but be sure kids do not touch it. It is very harmful to the skin. If you wish to use it, put it in a second larger bowl, wrapped in a trashbag and cut holes in the trash bag so the magical mist can float out with a safety guard around most of it

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    COSTUMES – Stay away from those costly Halloween Stores!

    For Dan & Mom or Grandpa & Grandma

    – Frankenstein & His Bride – usually easily accomplished with colored hairspray and green makeup! Have fun with it! Or, be interpretive and just buy the t-shirt! There is really no wrong way to do this costume!

    bride-of-frankenstein frankenstein_bride nick-lachey-2-6601

    t-shirt-bride t-shirts_frankenstein


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    Easy, Affordable Costumes for the Kiddos (from age 1-92)

    Pea-sized Peacock – So sweet! A little peacock is easy to make with a turquoise onesie, orange tights and peacock feathers, usually sold at the fabric store or craft store!

    peacock-split-636

    Cowgirl/Cowboy – All the necessary components are easy to find a resale shops, Salvation Army or other shops (I like to call them “junkin” shops!

    Texas, Texas - YEEHAW!

    Texas, Texas – YEEHAW!

    Google Maps! For Mom & Dad or Teen Couples with younger siblings to delight! Easy to make with cardboard, headbands, a color printer, and an old t-shirt. 🙂

    Google Maps - Routes A and B!

    FOR ALL THE TECHIES OUT THERE!

    Pre-teen or Teen girls who like to do EVERYTHING together! Uh, duh, Mom!

    Jelly Bellies!  Pre-teen or Teen girls who like to do EVERYTHING together! Uh, duh, Mom!

    DON’T HAVE FUN BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO; HAVE FUN JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN!

    TEENS LOVE THIS ONE since it's a recent movie and a little edgy. :)

    THE IDENTITY THIEF – TEENS LOVE THIS ONE since it’s a recent movie and a little edgy. 🙂