Monday, November 30, 2009


Feeling gratitude isn't my strong point, so it's nice to be reminded to do so once a year. Growing up, Thanksgiving was about creating the perfect meal served at exactly 2 p.m. at my grandmother's dining room table, with her jumping up every five seconds, followed by the male members of the family retiring to watch football and the females (who spent two days cooking the meal) retiring to the kitchen to wash dishes (by hand of course, since leaded crystal and Grandma's china couldn't go in the dishwasher). Usually someone had a big meltdown at the dinner table, thanks to all of the built-up holiday stress. At least once it was me.

So I am very thankful that we spent Thanksgiving with friends--a more relaxing and pleasant holiday would be hard to imagine.

I'm thankful for the little woodland-to-ocean walk (this is our friends' neighborhood!!) we took the boys on the next day :

(E and Z loved this little "gnome throne" cut from a tree stump)

and for boys who love to dig in sand, even when it's misting and their mama is freezing,

I'm thankful for cute little stores with fantastic finds (these are from Under the Dogwood Tree and Lilac Lily, both in Southwest Harbor):

Although I'm not thankful that I lost my Noro spiral hat (instant Karma, I suppose, for participating in Black Friday and only buying stuff for me).

I'm thankful for going to a wonderful yoga class Friday night that resulted in my shoulder not hurting for the first time in months (followed by fondue for dinner--yum!).
I'm thankful for a little knitting time, both with my friend and on the drive home that allowed me to make one silly gnome hat (two more to go!)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Key Hooks

I've been wanting to do this "woodworking" project from The Playgroup Handbook for some time, but had kind of forgotten about it until the Family Art Coat Hooks project from Handmade Home reminded me. We don't need coat hooks in our home (at least we don't have wall space for any more coat hooks), but I did need a place to keep my car key which I am always losing.

We got to work last week. C cut some of his vast collection of scrap wood into appropriate sizes, and I set the boys up with sandpaper.

When it came down to painting, it became a bit of a struggle--I had a certain outcome in mind, which the boys were not privy to (I had no photograph to show them) and Z really protested painting his block of wood only one color. I felt kind of witchy for sticking to my guns, but I did not want just a mud-colored block of wood hanging on my wall.

They then drew pictures on paper and I Mod Podged them onto the wood while the kids were outside (just to make that part go more smoothly). I would recommend using crayons rather than colored pencils, which smeared and faded a bit from the glue.

It took me a few days to get to the hardware store to buy cup hooks. When I finally had them in hand, I screwed them in and backed them out before handing them over to the boys, so they would have the satisfaction of doing it themselves.

The Handmade Home recommends looking around your home and making things you actually need. I needed a key holder, but only one key holder (I only have one key--C leaves his in his car). But now I have two. Here's E's hanging in the mudroom by the front door:

Z's (which I haven't hung up yet because I only had one picture hanger for the back) will go in the sunroom by the back door. I'll have to think of something to hang from it!
Despite the power struggles over artistic license, E and Z had a lot of fun making these and now have plans to make one for almost everyone they know. I guess I better get to the hardware store for more hooks and picture hangers!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mice and Big Life Changes

We have a mouse. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a friend whose old farm house had become infested with mice while they were on vacation and had said, "Oh NO, we would NEVER get mice. Our house is too TIGHT!" I wish I could learn to keep my ginormous mouth shut, because the VERY NEXT DAY, no joke, I found little piles of sunflower seed shells on a Rubbermaid container in the basement. One of the boys had left the basement door open all night on two occasions last month (I guess we're lucky a moose or bobcat didn't move in). I hoped that the rodent came in one night and left the second night. I held firm to that belief until yesterday when I was vacuuming the kitchen and saw the little bugger scamper from underneath the blue hutch and under the fridge. After a bit of barely-suppressed shrieking and whimpering, E and I tried to chase it out from under the refrigerator so I could trap it in a plastic container (I actually thought this would work). Finally we gave up because the space under the fridge is so small, and the mouse is very wily. Instead I went in search of our live trap, which I found outside with at least one mummified rodent corpse in residence, along with a shed snake skin (no snake). I extracted the corpse (while clinging to the hope that it was just a wad of rotten leaves), filled the trap with bird seed and cheese (hoping to mask the smell of DEATH) and set it near the refrigerator, hoping to hear it go off any second so I could ferry the mouse as far away from the house as possible, set it free and move on. No such luck (yet!)

Later in the day, I finally gave up on cleaning and E and Z and I went to the neighbor's field, where we played Nature Quest for a little while (this actually proved more do-able than I expected, for a little while) and the boys ran around on the grass, kicking a little basket ball around. I sad on the hill in the sun, feeling a profound sadness. Things are about to change in our lives and our cozy little routine--effectively my time home with the boys will be cut in half in a couple of weeks and it's breaking my heart. I so often feel like I missed out on M's four-year-old year because of having twinfants, and then he was off to school and becoming his own person--there was no going back. I dread cutting off our cuddly couch mornings and lazy jammie days and missing out on watching them running around in a field. I dread replacing all that with two more days of get up, get moving, hurry, hurry, hurry. But it's a move that I hope will make me happier and more satisfied professionally, and maybe some of that will translate to home.

I wish I could craft some kind of metaphor with the mouse under the fridge and the end of the world as we know it, but nothing's coming to me just now. The mouse is just looking for a cozy place out of the elements with all the free crumbs it can eat. I just want it all.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Kid Art

Several months ago, I bought three blank canvasses in the hopes that my kids would create some fabulous artwork to adorn my walls. I got the idea from the speech pathologist who evaluated the twins (twice). Her whole office was decorated with canvasses painted by the kids in her clientelle, and they looked really cool.

I finally got around to this one afternoon a couple of weeks ago after M came home from school. It was warm and sunny out, and E and Z were sitting at their little picnic table on the deck drawing in their notebooks. Since everyone was already focused on art, I thought it would be a good time to introduce this project. I gathered the supplies, carefully choosing paints in the palette I wanted, finding old T-shirts to cover their clothes (and covering myself and the entire kitchen in blue paint when I squeezed too hard and a plug of dried paint burst out followed by half the paint tube--I had neglected to cover myself in an old T-shirt, and to put the paint on trays outside!).

M quickly dashed off an airplane--the only thing in his artistic repertoire at this time. E came over and joined us, applying beautiful swirls of color, until he got tired, or annoyed with me moving the canvas around to keep his sleeves out, and smeared together the colors at the end. Z came in at this time, swirled all the paints together from the start and made a muddy blob on the canvas (the irony is that I had just been watching him very intently copy a pair of airplanes that M had drawn, and thought to myself that he might be an artistic prodigy...thank you my little Zen master for setting me straight!)

So I'm ashamed to admit I was a little disappointed in the results, and left the canvasses piled on a corner of our counter for a few weeks, until last week I noticed C was piling things on top of them and they were going to get wrecked. I took another look at them and decided that I really did love them after all. Picassos? No. Rembrant? Un-uh. Not even Jackson Pollocks. But they are colorful, fabulous bits of NOW in my children's lives. And they have a new home.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Feeling Novembrish

November has traditionally not been my favorite month, but this year it's been so mild and sunny, it's really starting to endear itself to me.

We've been busy doing all those Novembery kind of things one does:

Saying adios to Halloween (that would be our compost bin; and those wreaths? Ghosts of Christmas past...we like to hang onto our holiday memories):

Raking leaves. Even though we live right in the woods, we don't get a lot of leaves on our "lawn." The only tree we have in the lawn is an oak, which hangs onto its leaves until the end of the season. It's grown quite a bit since M was small and I remember raking a tiny pile of leaves about 2 ft. by 3 ft. and maybe six inches deep, and he tried to jump in it and bury himself in the leaves. It was really quite pathetic (I never did get the leaves loaded into the wheelbarrow and moved to the compost bin, so I'm sure they'll have redistributed themselves around the yard by the time I get home Sunday). I remember raking the leaves of the elderly couple who lived next door to us when I was a kid (my parents would send us over, but Mrs. Lambert usually rewarded us with a dollar or a candy cane--from last Christmas). Our neighbors have tractor-pulled leaf vacuum, so my kids won't ever have this experience (I'm sure they're relieved since the neighbors have about 30 acres).

I've been making more Mama Bags for gift-giving:

Which is one reason why I have stacks and stacks of "to-be-read" that I can't seem to get to:

Maybe I should put a freeze on my Interlibrary Loans for the months of November and December:

Trying to figure out ways to use winter produce. We're down to apples and cranberries for fresh fruits (I do buy bananas in the winter, and the occasional pomegranate and of course citrus later on, but generally try to stay as local as reasonable). I made a single head of cabbage into: four cole slaws (two with mayo; two with balsamic vinaigrette); braised cabbage; Russian cabbage soup. With leftovers of everything.

I added this little Indian doll, which I have from my own childhood, to our nature table--probably not the right kind of Indian for Thanksgiving (looks kind of Plains to me...and also came from Hallmark, so probably not terribly authentic no matter what), but I don't have much in the way of Thanksgiving decorations.

Our Christmas cactus is blooming ahead of schedule. Its blooms aren't exactly autumnal, but it's pretty and this year I actually thought to bring it into the house instead of leaving it out in the sunroom where we wouldn't notice it as much. The tablecloth is one of two autumney cloths I bought at TJ Maxx last month for super cheap.

Best of all, I'm getting away for the weekend for what has become an annual late-fall trek to Western Mass to visit dear friends. And I'm feeling immense gratitude that my husband is not a deer hunter so that I don't spend my Saturdays in November as a hunting widow. Thanks C!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Easy Cheesy

I switched over from making Annie's Macaroni and Cheese from the box to making homemade baked macaroni and cheese a couple of years ago--because it just tastes better, wastes less packaging and is possibly less expensive (I haven't actually done the math). It took making it a few rounds before the kids would actually eat it (the bread crumbs on the bottom were particularly offensive), but now M eats it every time, though E and Z sometimes moan that they want "macaroni like so-and-so makes it" (a.k.a. Kraft). I usually use either the Apples for Jam recipe or the Better Homes and Gardens one, depending on my mood, and I started using brown rice macaroni because my kids would get crabby about the whole wheat macaroni (though they're fine with whole wheat spaghetti--go figure) and I figured brown rice must be more nutritious than white flour. I prefer the brown rice elbows to the spirals, which cook unevenly and end up mushy/falling apart on the outside and tough on the inside.

There are still times, however, when I want to make mac & cheese for lunch and don't want to spend an hour making bechamel sauce and baking the damn casserole, so I devised this method, which is almost as fast as the boxed kind, but is deliciously cheesy good. I never measure anything when I make it, so the measurements are vague, and in some cases made up...but I think it would be difficult to mess this up...give it a try:

Cook a couple of handfuls of macaroni in the usual way (I always get this part wrong and end up with either too much or too little)

Drain in a colander and return the pan to the burner, over low heat.

Melt a blop of butter.

Stir in a heaping spoonful of flour until it soaks up all the butter.

Add a few splashes of milk.

Stir till thick and bubbly.

Stir in a couple handfuls of grated cheese until melted.

Remove from heat.

Return macaroni to pot; stir to coat; eat and enjoy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Boggles the Mind

Saturday afternoon E found Boggle in our game drawer and tried putting all of the letters in alphabetical order, only he couldn't get past I because J is on the same cube as B. He was starting to get frustrated, and C brought out some other games--Cootie and Don't Break The Ice. I took a break from making dinner to rummage in M's closet for the Boggle Junior game I thought might be up there--we have several games geared toward the 4-5-year-old set that we rarely if ever played when M was little because we had two babies for goodness sake. I handed the game to C and soon he had E and Z lining up letters to match the words on the cards and spelling/reading them out loud. I swear that man has never been happier--he's wanted to do flashcards with M since about the moment he was born, and has had to suffer a wife who wants to let kids learn at their own pace, and who thinks flashcards are a punishment (which they were--for me, because I couldn't do math!) When I left them Sunday morning they were again happily spelling Boggle Junior words.

It is pretty awesome to watch this burst of learning and development, but I do worry that it comes too soon/too fast, and wonder if we're encouraging right brain development and equal amount. Coincidentally, C and I watched Spell Bound Saturday night, the documentary about eight kids who are in the National Spelling Bee, and I have to admit I had a little bit of, "I bet M could do that" kind of thoughts (after all, his spelling lists now--which he creates himself--contain words like Geomorphology and Ecosystem and Metamorphosis), then I started imagining myself quizzing him from the dictionary...yikes, scary thought. But C, who had a traumatic spelling bee experience, would totally get into grooming M as Spelling Bee material (perhaps not to the extent of the dad who hired French, Spanish and German tutors for his kids). Please stop me before I start wearing black and yellow striped sweaters.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Treating Myself

It seems I went a long time this past year without any "me" time...and now it seems I'm making up for it in spades. Last week I had Monday to myself (good family friends came by to hang with the boys) and I went to Bath where I picked up some knitting and felting supplies and got a little ridiculously excited about dishcloths and unbleached mini muffin cups at a cooking store. I even did some writing! Thursday night I spent at a friend's knitting/craft evening. Saturday I met a friend at the fantastic fine craft show they hold every November at the State Library/Museum. I bought myself this gorgeous necklace from Atlantic Art Glass:

I was having a hard time deciding between a necklace with the single orange bead, and one with the green, the purple and a red. Linda Perrin, amazing glass blower, very sweetly offered to switch the red bead out for the orange one and I got all my favorite colors on one piece.

I also bought this stone vase for our nature table (note the Halloween decorations still out):

Then Sunday I spent the day with a good friend in Belfast, halfway between our respective homes. We had a great time browsing the stores and I got a few items out of the way for Christmas (trying to ignore the fact that my bank account is woefully empty) and went for a brisk walk in the incredibly (for November) balmy afternoon. And next weekend, I'm getting away for the whole weekend!

I would be tempted to feel guilty about this time away, but I am sooo much happier to be with my boys when I've had a little time away (absence makes the heart grow fonder, and all that....)

Monday, November 9, 2009

First Snow--Army Woes

It snowed lightly throughout the day Thursday and continued into the night so that Friday morning we were greeted with a good four inches of wet and heavy, which was surprising to say the least (while in Colorado, where I grew up, you can get a foot or more anytime between Labor Day and Mother's Day--which usually melts in 70 degree weather in a day or two--here our snow usually doesn't fall until Thanksgiving or Christmas, but sticks around--or is turned to ice --until Earth day).

E and Z were soooo excited to see the snow when they woke up, that I couldn't possibly feel negative toward the snow, even if I were inclined to. Z kept saying "It's so exciting!" and E couldn't wait to get outside and start shoveling. M, on the other hand, started crying as soon as I woke him up with the news. He had plans, you see, and snow didn't fit in with those plans. He had a sleepover scheduled at his buddy's house after school, with lots of cammo-clad army action on tap (and not snow-cammo). I'd had great hopes that he'd moved on from the army obsession after he dressed all week in a striped t-shirt and jeans, being Joe Hardy, as portrayed by Tommy Kirk on the original Micky Mouse Club Hardy Boys, which we'd checked out from the library. Apparently obsessions do not fade so easily.

In an effort to cheer him up (and get him out of bed and ready for school), I pulled a book off the shelf called The Last Ridge, about the 10th Mountain Division--the ski troops of WWII--(which I own because I went to a writing workshop a few years ago at which the writer was one of the instructors, which is a funny story in itself that I need to blog about sometime). It did the trick and restored M's good humor. I thought he'd look at the pictures, become convinced of the snowiness of army battles, then return it to the shelf, however it's become his home reading for school, despite being an inch and a half thick (and despite the fact that I only made it halfway through it myself). I'm not sure if I really want him to get into the nitty gritty of this particular element of the war--if I recall correctly, the 10th Mountain Division, made up of Olympic-caliber skiers and other bright, talented young men, were basically sent to the slaughter on the slopes of the Italian Alps, at a time when the war was effectively over, but no one had sent these boys the memo. Likely he won't get that far into the book, but in the meantime, I can claim responsibility for shattering some of the eight-year-old innocence that he should possess.

Saturday afternoon after returning home from the sleepover, M asked if I had any olive-colored fabric, with which to sew a German Army jacket. He said it needed an iron cross as well, at which point I made it clear that he was under no circumstances going to be allowed to dress as a Nazi, and then, to drive the point home, I gave him the two-minute synopsis of the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime--6 million people murdered, concentration camps, gas chambers, mass graves and all. By the time I was done he had burrowed under the couch cushions, crying. I never intended to alert my third-grader to the horrors of genocide and this dark side of human nature, but I wouldn't want an interest in World War II and the Nazi Regime to lead to identification with that regime, before he really understands what it stood for. Do I really think a youthful fascination with all things war will Neo-Nazi? I doubt it; at least I hope we are raising him with values exactly opposite of Neo Nazis, yet I don't want him to have the impression that there is anything cool or appealing about this part of history. I wonder if I have been wrong to let him explore and express his interest in war...and I wonder if I have made a mistake in trying to impress on him the idea that there are no "good guys" and "bad guys"...while everything about war is terrible to me, certainly there is no doubt that the Nazis were bad guys (however, the point I was trying to make to him, was that the leaders are the bad ones; innocent civilians and 18 year old kids conscripted in the army are not--I believe this is even true of Germany in the 1930s). I feel at a loss as to the best way to deal with the topic. I'm sorry I made him cry (though I'm sure the tears were at least 75% due to staying up too late at a slumber party), and I'm sure I could have introduced the subject in a more careful, gentle manner. What I wish is that he would be completely in the dark about the whole topic until reading Anne Frank in Seventh Grade, but it's too late for that, now, isn't it?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Late Fall Books

I have two conflicting problems. One, I am out of control buying books and two, I don't have enough space to store books. I don't even want to try to count up all the books I bought in the last two months, but I'm sure it's well into the double-digits. Granted, a few of them were or will be gifts, and a number of them were used, but many of them weren't. I was doing so well with getting everything at the library, I'm not sure where this recent book-buying blitz came from (three words: Scholastic, Dover and BetterWorldBooks), but I think I need another Buy Nothing Year before we're overrun with books we don't have time to read and, like I said before, have no space to store.

When I was doing a bit of reorganizing in the kids' room earlier this fall, I emptied a shelf of books to make room for toys and moved the books to milk crates, which I prettied up with Undercover Crates, which make them look somewhat less like college dorm decor (someday I'll be old enough to own real furniture, won't I?), and protect the dust jackets from being snagged in the slats of the crate. As you can see, I still have one more to make:

Three of my recent purchases have been late-autumn books, for when I'm done with reading Franklin's Halloween and the Berenstain Bears Trick-or-Treat for the mazillionth time.

Woody, Hazel and Little Pip for that Waldorf-wannabe obsession of mine, and because my two little ones seem to be growing up soooo fast (I think that's the Older Brother Factor), that I just want to preserve a bit of the magic and wonder of believing in fairies and gnomes as long as possible (although after reading the book we went for a walk and I said, "Watch out for Wood, Hazel and Little Pip hiding under the oak leaves" and E said, "They're not in real life." Awwww...they've never said that about The Children of The Forest, for whom we're always looking for a cozy home). The other two, 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving and Squanto's Journey are for introducing a bit of less-Euro-centric history into the holiday. We haven't read them yet (last year we had checked 1621 out from the library, but only got a bit read before we had to return it--it's much more M's reading/age level, if I could convince him to read something other than The Hardy Boys). 1621 I got used, as a library discard. I can't figure out how libraries decide to eliminate books, but there are so many almost-new books available from libraries it floors me.

To store all our autumn books, and because I've been dying to find a way to use Flower Fairy fabric in a house of boys, I made another Undercover Crate. (You can see I did the embroidery free-hand; next time, perhaps, a ruler will be in order. And there will be a next time; there are Flower Fairies for every season. And perhaps I will measure properly next time--the first two were too short and a bit snug while this one came out quite baggy!):

Previously I kept the seasonal books on one of those preschool bookshelves where the books face out, and I kept our library books in a basket, but we kept forgetting to read the library books, so I moved them to the bookshelf, so that we hopefully will remember to read them, without forgetting to read our seasonal books.

One of our late fall/transition to winter books that I got at a library book sale some years ago is Now That Days Are Colder, which appears to have been made as part of a series for schools or something, but which has the coolest illustrations, I love it:

The landscape, plants and animals are very New Englandey, so it's very relevant to what's going on outside our home right now, and the houses in it look just like the Victorians in our old neighborhood in Gardiner. Besides, how awesome are those Very Brady clothes?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hankie Curtain

While digging through some fabric boxes recently I ran across the curtain I had made from brightly colored vintage handkerchiefs for our bedroom in the apartment we lived in when M was a baby. It was somewhat tattered and faded (I had gone through a phase of making curtains from hankies, because they look so lovely, but have finally learned my lesson that UV rays don't do the old fabric any favors). Anyway, it occurred to me that this one had a bit of life left in it, so I washed and ironed it, removed the bottom row of hankies and replaced a damaged one, and affixed it to a length of muslin with buttons along the top. And, voila, now the open cabinet (which was an afterthought and thus never got a door) above our washing machine, where we store our detergent and cleaning stuff, is no longer an eye sore.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tiny Bird, November Light

November has been a real treat so far--two beautiful sunny days in the 60s. I could totally get used to this kind of November.

Sunday morning we all went for a walk down to the river, C forging ahead with his scythe to clear the vegetation that had built up over a summer of disuse (too buggy!); boys in the middle thwacking vegetation with sticks; me bringing up the rear trying to focus on staying in the present moment, enjoying the colors and sounds and light (I didn't even bring my camera--just trying to enjoy the moment!). We had a small picnic by Owl Tree, visited the river, saw some poop (apple-eating coyote? bear?).

On our return, the boys found this poor little Golden Crowned Kinglet dead in front of the house. It had apparently flown into our bedroom window and fallen three stories to the rocks below. I got out my nature journal, for the first time in more than a month and did a little sketch of it (which reminded me to also write down that I had seen a Barred Owl sitting in the middle of our road Thursday night on the way home from knitting group).
E and Z joined me with pen and paper. Their drawing skills are just emerging and they get very frustrated at not being able to draw exactly what they see, but they forged ahead anyway.

Look at the amazing fluorescent orange of the crest feathers. This is when I get annoyed at the term "natural colors" in reference to bland tans and sage greens...any color you could cook up with chemicals in a laboratory has already been done much better by Nature herself.

After we were done drawing, I ignored C and M's suggestions of keeping either the feathers or feet, and E and Z's pleas to add it to the nature table, and laid it to rest on this polypore mushroom growing on a tree just in the woods next to our house. Something will find it there and feast upon it, continuing the cycle of life.

Later that day M and I went to go see Where the Wild Things Are with friends (you can never predict what the weather will be like when you plan something two weeks in advance...oh, and I would totally NOT recommend that movie...monsters with severe neuroses and depression and abusive/codependent behavior...I found the whole thing a bit disturbing, but M seemed to like it OK) and on the drive home the almost-full moon was rising ahead of us, with the sun setting behind. All of the red and yellow and gold and orange leaves have fallen from the trees, leaving the browns and bronzes. The most amazing golden light illuminated hillsides below the moon in a bright, coppery glow. I kept telling M, "look at the moon! Look at those trees!" and he would say, "Mm-hm, I saw them."

Monday, November 2, 2009


This year we carried out our second annual Halloween Hay Ride, by which I mean my father-in-law towed us behind his pickup in a dump trailer decked out in hay bales, which makes hitting our rural "neighborhood" possible without the inconvenience of buckling and unbuckling seatbelts. Still, it took us three hours to hit about 15 houses. Literally. The problem being we know everyone on our route, so each stop involves a five-to-ten minute conversation about costumes and candy and reminiscences about C when he was the little trick-or-treater. It makes it fun and homey too, and since we do know everyone, there are no qualms about snacking on the haul as we go (and as for the haul, since we're probably the only trick-or-treaters most people get out here in the boonies, we get exhortations of "please take only one" being resoundingly ignored by my kids and those passing out the candy). The weather was downright balmy for a hay ride. Next year I think I'll order a pizza ahead of time so that when we stop in to trick-or-treat at the General Store, it will be ready to go, and we'll consume something other than candy and cookies and brownies (did I mention that when you know everyone on your route you can eat baked goods without fear of razor blades or strychnine?)

And it really wouldn't be Halloween without a visit to a chainsaw massacre, now would it?

This year we started a new tradition: C read us a ghost story (called A Ghost Story by Jerome K. Jerome) by candle- and jack-o-lantern-light.

At the end of it all, Z declared, "This was the best Halloween ever!" So he stole the line from "Corduroy's Best Halloween Ever," but the sentiment was right-on.

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