Just a quick note regarding Halloween. Ever since Santa retreated into the realm of myth, Halloween has been my favorite holiday. I have this pre-Halloween ritual where I pick a Halloween-appropriate movie (typically The Nightmare Before Christmas or more recently Sleepy Hollow) and carve one or more pumpkins. Maybe it's my lingering gothic sensibility, but I can't enough of the Halloween mood. I wear more black than usual, I listen to gothic music that I haven't touch for months, I tramp through fallen leaves, and I read spooky stories.
This year I was able to really introduce my oldest son to the pleasures of Halloween. He was here for the last two, but was far too young to really appreciate them (even though last year's costume - a little devil - embodied the holiday in a way that seemed more appropriate). In addition to an amazing trip to the pumpkin patch at Cox Farms, we allowed Finley to pick out his own costume. Of course, being absolutely bat-shit horse crazy (thanks to pony rides at the Maryland Renaissance Festival) he picked a horse costume where he is both horse and rider. Cool costume, though way to cumbersome for my tastes. Still it was a big hit and he had a ball trick-or-treating. His brother, appropriately enough, was a cow. Here are some pictures: