Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Ghosts of Halloween Past


Halloween has never been my favorite holiday.

Don’t get me wrong: I love candy. Like, a lot.

I’ve just never been too excited when it comes to dressing up. Maybe it’s because I appreciate a well-thought-out costume, not one that consists of very little fabric and/or has some dirty connotation. I’m all about things that make you go, “Huh. Nice costume,” with just a hint of jealousy behind it.

Not that my personally-homemade costumes have ever been something to be jealous of.


Hey, there's not much I won't do for free food.

Rae as a burrito from Chipotle.

This was from my good-ole’ college days (like they were so long ago). My roommate and I heard that if you dressed up as a burrito that you’d get a free one for lunch.

$$$ of roll of aluminum foil <  $$$ of 2 Chipotle burritos

We were sold.

Turns out, you really only needed to have some sort of tinfoil on your body. Creativity was not appreciated.

But we ate well that day regardless.


We're off to see the wizard. And by wizard, I mean cafeteria lady.

Here we are, freshman year, newly off to college and excited about the Halloween party hosted by the school. I was Dorothy, of course, because of my hair mostly resembling the character’s locks. Luckily, my roommate’s aunt happened to have these costumes just laying around the house.

Except for Jenni‘s:

I will never live this down. Ever.

Hers was a simple blend of aluminum foil and duct tape, which apparently can get pretty warm when you’re covered in it.

Weird. I would have never guessed.

This was also one of the last times she came to visit me at school. (Not really, but maybe it should have been, for her own safety’s sake.)

But we won first place in the costume contest, which is really all that matters.



I wish my mom still made my costumes. It would make live so much easier.

Now, this picture isn’t to show you an embarrassing costume. It is to show you the cool costumes that my mom made for us as kids. This is me and the older-younger brother I have on my grandma’s porch.

We’re pretty darn cute.

And my costumes that I come up with just can’t live up to these.

Although I was  Detroit Lion one year, complete with jersey, cleats, ears, and tail. Still pretty proud of that one…and I probably wouldn’t get laughed at so hard these days for wearing it around.

That’s right, Vikings fans. The Lions finally don’t completely suck. Ha!


Some of the Wizard crew all grown up. Sort of.

Here is a roommate picture, circa the age where we can enjoy in a few adult beverages in public. Themed again: good angel (not pictured), bad angel, the devil, and a pirate. Not sure how the pirate fit into the theme, but it didn’t require buying a whole new costume, so she was clearly the smartest one of the evening.

Can I just comment on my waist in this picture? It looks so small.

Oh, to be like that again. Now I just use a huge cube to hide that area…(see below)


I hope none of the neighbor dogs see this...

That’s right.

I dressed up my dog.


For about 3 minutes before I realized she was frozen solid in shear fear. And it was a mailman costume, so I simply could not resist.

Poor Feta.

Okay, one more, for good measure.

This is getting really old really fast, human.



The ultimate nerdy couple costume that we could come up with on short notice: the nerd and a Rubik’s cube. The craftsmanship that went into that cube is unprecedented, which should be a dead give away that I had nothing to do with its construction. But I did cut out the squares and glue them on, so that should count for something.

What have I gotten myself into?

There was also talk of making the top of the cube move, which made me quite nervous. The last thing I need is to go to the ER because some body part getting stuck in a giant Rubik’s cube. That would be quite the story to add to my medical record, right next to the time when I accidentally hit The Beast with my hand while playing Wii and was positive that I had broken a small bone when the swelling didn’t go down for 4 days (even though it wasn’t really broken).

True story.

Bonus: when I got sick of wearing a giant cube and not being able to enjoy snacks at the party we went to this weekend, I was able to slip off the cube and instantly become a ninja. So, watch what you say about my costume…you never know where I’ll be hiding.

(And I realize now that my cropping makes me look much larger than Steve, which is not accurate. How unfortunate.)

All in all, as long as I get some candy and don’t have to watch any scary movies, I consider Halloween a positive holiday in my book.


How to liven up a Tuesday.


I had a variety of different titles that I contemplated using for this post:

  • And the Wife of the Year Award goes to…
  • Wife deserts Husband. Inflammation ensues.
  • Oh, my achin’ appendix!

I settled with the current title because it doesn’t make me seem like the bad person that I am. It just took a surgery and hospital stay to make me realize this about myself.


Our story starts on a Monday evening, with the lovely young couple at home watching their routine television shows while being howled at by The Beast.

Steve was mildly complaining of some stomach pain, like he had done the week before. He hadn’t really eaten anything unusual, so these pain were quite intriguing.

Steve: Oh wait. I ate some flax seed. Do you think that’s it?

I googled flax seed side effects.

Rae: Possibly. I bet you’re just backed-up.

We retreated for the evening, only to be awoken at 1:30 AM to increased pain accompanied by Steve emptying the contents of his stomach.

Then, just as we had settled back down, the heaving starts again 30 minutes later.

This pattern continued on until 8:00 AM, when the decision was made that Steve needed to go to urgent care. Trying to drive himself there, I felt like the most sympathetic and helpful wife by offering to drop him off at urgent care on my way to work. There were a few appointments that I had to go to and I’d have someone else cover the rest. I would leave work early to pick him up and he’d have the laptop with him to keep him occupied while he waited. He was just having some minor intestinal issues. It’s not like it was anything serious…

So, I dropped Steve off and hurried off to work. Throughout the next hour, Steve kept me posted on the happenings of urgent care.

“Long wait. Erg”

“IV drip. Ultrasound soon. Maybe catscan. Maybe appendectomy?”

These messages made me a little nervous, but I knew that everything would be okay. It was just the flax seed rearing its ugly head.


During her second to last appointment, I received the most worrisome voicemail I have ever heard:

“Rae. It’s Steve. Um, you need to come get me and take me to the hospital. I need to get my appendix.”

Now I am in high-gear, running around to get everything in order so I can jet out and save my poor, abdominally-enflamed husband. All the while, I can’t stop calling myself a moron.

“You know medical things. Why didn’t you pick on this? And who just drops off their husband at urgent care?!?”

Walking through the clinic and hospital’s emergency department, I couldn’t help but feel all of the nurses glaring at me for deserting Steve in his time of need. (Actually everyone was UBER nice. I really couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to be taking care of Steve, especially sine I was a tad bit absent.)

The ride to the hospital was quick and within and hour, his appendix could do no more damage. The surgeon came out to tell me that everything went really well and that he should be out of recovery in an hour. The nurses would call for me at that time.

An hour goes by.

I play Wheel of Fortune on facebook and update the families on the situation.

Another hour goes by.

Okay, now I’m getting nervous.

I ask the desk what Steve’s up to and if he’s out of recovery yet.

“Oh. Oops. We told that other lady that your husband was out of recovery about an hour ago.” Turns out that there were two Steve’s having surgery on that day. At the same time. The lady at the desk felt really bad about it, but I told her not to worry; I kept myself plenty occupied with buying vowels.

What really got me, though, was that the other Steve’s wife never said anything. My Steve that she went upstairs, walked into his room, said “Oops. Wrong Steve.”, and then went back to sit in the waiting room without trying to find this other Steve’s wife at all.

Seriously, lady?

But I was soon reunited with Steve and we watched TV until I had to go home to let The Beast roam the yard. Just like we would have if we were at home.

Prior to the Appendix Fiasco of 2011. Little did we know what would happen in just a few short days.

An open letter to the current occupants of my backyard


To the slithering inhabitants of my lawn:

Moving out to the middle of nowhere has had its perks: less traffic, quieter nights, and all-around peacefulness.

That is, until we invaded your space by building a house you moved in.

For three years I lived in blissful ignorance to your existence, believing that the most terrifying occupants of our property were the occasional wasp or grasshopper. I would walk through the yard without a care in the world, sometimes even barefoot. I considered the overwhelming scent of our dog to be enough repellant for you to not even think about sliding over into our grass.

Silly me.

My utopia came to a crashing halt this summer with the discovery of your thin, discarded shell, laying on the rocks by the front door, serving as a threat to my outdoor afternoons. I refused to go out the door for days without sending out Feta the snake-hunting dog before me. Eventually I worked up the courage to be able to walk through the yard again.

Over Labor Day weekend, my parents came to town for a visit, but only gave me more bad news: my mother had found a home of yours. Next to our house. Luckily Steve promptly filled it and I had a vivid dream that night of you being trapped down there for eternity. I considered our yard cured of you, especially after cutting the grass myself and seeing no sign of you on a hot autumn day.

But then yesterday happened.

The day that I will not soon forget.

Yesterday was the final straw.

It hadn’t been a tough enough week with Steve having surgery and mostly being out of commission. You had to startle all three of us on a leisurely walk through the neighborhood. I found it fitting that you scrambled back into the yard of the most ridiculous neighbors on the street.

But, no, that wasn’t enough for you.

As Feta was grazing in the yard, you slithered through the grass, leaving your scent to intrigue her, luring her to ignore the many attempts to call her inside. Since Steve was passed out from our stroll earlier in the day, this meant that I had to walk into the den of despair known as our backyard.

And then there you were.

Coiled and waiting to scare me and live in my dreams for weeks.

I ran.

And now I refuse to go into my own yard.

Steve tried to find you and bring you to an untimely end with a shovel, but you were no where to be found. I’m sure that you were back in your lair, informing your compadres of the girl who lives in the house and how you don’t even need to move to make her scream.

So, now, garter snakes, I am asking you to leave.

This is your only warning.

If you choose to not heed this warning, you will be found and you will be destroyed.

By my ferocious, reptile-chewing Beast:

On second thought, maybe I’ll just run you over with the lawn mower.

Master of the House


It’s been a busy few weeks here at the casa de Rae and Steve, including weddings and football and working and surgery, but I won’t go into that now.

Instead, for a sunny Sunday morning like this, a story about The Beast seems more fitting.

Without totally giving away the basis of future posts, Steve had a rather unexpected surgery this week which has led to him being sore and needing to rest. He’s been off of work since Tuesday and I’m pretty sure that Feta has gotten used to having him around the house. She now has someone to fill her kongs on demand, someon to open the front door for her, and someone to howl at randomly.

It was on Saturday morning, however, that we truly learned who was the Master of the House.

After an eventful Friday evening of the Tigers game being rained out, bring our record of watching Detroit sporting events to 0-2, the three of us retired for the night, excited for a Saturday full of nothingness and sweatpants.

The morning sunlight cracks through the curtains. The Beast has had enough rest, anxious to find the empty kongs she dreamt of throughout the night.

Feta: HOWWWWLLLLL! HOOOWWWWWLLLLL!!! (Scratches the bedroom door.)

Rae and Steve: (No movement in fear of Feta realizing they’re awake.)

Feta: RRRROOOOOOWWWWRRRR! ROOWR. (Jumps around at the end of the bed.)

Steve: She’s gotta go outside.


Steve: I’ll get up.

Steve: (Gets out of bed. Puts on sweatpants. Opens bedroom door for Feta.)

Feta: (Jumps up and steals Steve’s spot in bed.)

Steve: Seriously?

Feta: (Lifts head, glances at Steve, then puts head back down on pillow and closes eyes.)

This clearly shows who’s in charge, but with a face like this, how can you be mad at her, even when she kicks you out of bed after you’ve had surgery?