Today was just about the perfect day to play a round of golf. My grandpa called out this morning, and he wasn't going to play because his usual group - his brother and a retired firefighter - decided to play at a different club at $50 a round. He asked if I wanted to go with him to his usual club, and since I haven't played in about a year, I happily accepted.
It was about 70 degrees outside, sunny, just windy enough to feel delightful without overly affecting the flight of the ball. Grandpa plays at a course right next to the Kansas River - literally right next, as one of the tee boxes has one side roped off because it ends with a 100 foot cliff going straight down to the water. We took our time and didn't stress about it too much. I was fairly awful on the front nine, but took 13 strokes off the back nine, so I was pretty happy. Grandpa shot the exact same score front and back, because he is very consistent. I wish I could play more often, because I wasn't that bad when I played golf in high school, but unless you get a membership and actually use it on a regular basis, paying for individual rounds can be pretty pricy. It was just frustrating, that no matter how well I actually hit the ball, I couldn't get it much more than 100 yards out. I used to be able to drive it farther, and it's not really a strength issue; I just don't have as much ease with my swing anymore.
My Grandpa can be kind of a bastard, though. I had this one really excellent shot - I chipped it in from about thirty feet away, screamed like Lucille, etc. Once I collected the ball, and we walked back to the cart, he just said, "Accidents happen." He would also helpfully point out the direction of the flag when I invariably sliced off in the direction of the rough. I feel it important to point out, however, how delighted I always am any time my Grandpa does something like that; he's such a nice person, and so generous, that I just find it hilarious. (Much like how the time he told Laura, "Hey, shut up," made me laugh forever.)
Highlight of the day: seeing a blue heron fly in off the river and over the course to drink at the pond in the middle, by the clubhouse. Beautiful.
Over the last two weeks, Laura and I made a Halloween village. You may have seen Halloween and, more commonly, Christmas village houses and other buildings available at crafts stores, WalMart and the like, and even some hardware stores; they're already painted and lit up and most now come with sound effects. There's all kinds of accessories you can buy, as well. Each building is anywhere from 25 to 50 dollars, and each individual accessory can run from a few bucks to 10 dollars. And that's not even getting into all the other things you need to set it up: ground cover, roads, lights, etc.
Needless to say, that's way too much money. Besides, there's a cheap, plastic look to these things that isn't very awesome. Last year, we made a Christmas village (pictures when we put that back up this year), and we thought that a Halloween village was necessary, too.
We bought the Christmas plaster houses, which come unpainted; chipped off the snow and painted them a little more gothic, a little darker, with bittersweet instead of holly. Then Laura took modeling clay and made her own pumpkins and scarecrow, and used plaster of Paris and wire to make fences, corn, a brick path and a stone road. We used twigs for trees and I made little ghosts to hang from the branches. Spanish moss for ground cover, and Laura cut up regular-sized fabric leaves to make scale leaves. The only thing we bought straight-up were the piles of skulls, which I think you will agree are awesome and too difficult to make ourselves.
Click on the thumbnails for full-size.
Here's the wide shot. Unfortunately, the flash robs the village of some of its creepiness and makes all the colors too bright, but when I took photos of the Christmas village last year without flash, you couldn't see a thing. Which is why you haven't seen the Christmas village yet. There are lights under the houses, btw.
Two regular houses, along with the stone road.
The barn, scarecrow, and don't miss the corn.
The church - which actually has a red light inside, though it's hard to tell here, and the iron fences in the back. A little brick path, and a pile of skulls (adorable creepy!).
The cemetery - all headstones made by Laura out of plaster. If you look really close, you can see hand-painted moss. It's awesome.
Television Episodes 347. True Blood - 2x11 - “Frenzy.” 9-2. 348. How I Met Your Mother - 1x15 - “Game Night.” 9-2. 349. How I Met Your Mother - 1x16 - “Cupcake.” 9-2. 350. How I Met Your Mother - 1x17 - “Live Among the Gorillas.” 9-3. 351. How I Met Your Mother - 1x18 - “Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M.” 9-5. 352. How I Met Your Mother - 1x19 - “Mary the Paralegal.” 9-5. 353. How I Met Your Mother - 1x20 - “Best Prom Ever.” 9-7. 354. How I Met Your Mother - 1x21 - “Milk.” 9-7. 355. How I Met Your Mother - 1x22 - “Come On.” 9-7. 356. Father Ted - 1x01 - “”Good Luck, Father Ted.” 9-9. 357. Father Ted - 1x02 - “Entertaining Father Stone.” 9-10. 358. Glee - 1x02 - “Showmance.” 9-11. 359. I, Claudius - E10 - “Hail Who?” 9-13. 360. Father Ted - 1x03 - “The Passion of Saint Tibulus.” 9-13. 361. Father Ted - 1x04 - “Competition Time.” 9-13. 362. Father Ted - 1x05 - “And God Made Woman.” 9-14. 363. Father Ted - 1x06 - “God Grant Him Eternal Rest.” 9-14. 364. Star Trek - 1x22 - “Space Seed.” 9-15. 365. Father Ted - 2x01 - “Hell.” 9-15. 366. Father Ted - 2x02 - “Think Fast, Father Ted.” 9-15. 367. Glee - 1x03 - “Acafellas.” 9-16. 368. Father Ted - 2x03 - “Tentacles of Doom.” 9-17. 369. True Blood - 2x12 - “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’.” 9-18. 370. Father Ted - 2x04 - “Old Grey Whistle Theft.” 9-18. 371. The Office - 6x01 - “Gossip.” 9-19. 372. Star Trek - 1x23 - “A Taste of Armageddon.” 9-19. 373. I, Claudius - E11 - “Fool’s Luck.” 9-20. 374. Father Ted - 2x05 - “A Song For Europe.” 9-20. 375. Star Trek - 1x24 - “This Side of Paradise.” 9-21. 376. Heroes - 4x01 - “Orientation.” 9-21. 377. Heroes - 4x02 - “Jump, Push, Fall.” 9-21. 388. Becker - 5x15 - “Nightmare on Becker Street.” 9-22. 389. Father Ted - 2x06 - “A Christmassy Ted.” 9-22. 390. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 5x15 - “Power Play.” 9-23. 391. Father Ted - 2x07 - “Plague.” 9-23. 392. Father Ted - 2x08 - “Rock-a-Hula Ted.” 9-23. 393. Glee - 1x04 - “Preggers.” 9-23. 394. Dollhouse - 2x01 - “Vows.” 9-25. 395. I, Claudius - E12 - “A God in Colchester.” 9-27. 396. Glee - 1x05 - “The Rhodes Not Taken.” 9-30.
I am consistently amazed at the kinds of shows my library buys. Laura and I started watching Father Ted this month; she'd seen a few episodes on YouTube, but the library bought the whole series. It's written by the same man who does The IT Crowd, and it's hilarious. When we first started I had the flu, and there were a few episodes where I laughed so hard I'd have not just one but two and even three coughing fits an episode.
So far, my favorite bit has been Fathers Ted and Dougal attempting to write a song for the Eurovision contest, and their shared dream music video for said song.