Do you love Halloween? I love Halloween. Except: I’m not really sure why. I’m not into gory or scary things – I’ve never liked a scare for the heck of it. Mostly I just love the chance to be a little silly, to carve pumpkins, and to welcome a different time of year. Halloween is the first of the Big Three holidays for me, followed by Vegan Thanksgiving and Christmas. October first marks the beginning of three months of Looking Forward To Things. And I do so love anticipation.

As with other special events, I have a way of celebrating a single day over the course of several. It’s not about a day – it’s about the spirit, and that can last as long as it likes! Nate and I started our Halloween celebration on Saturday at Dough Bakery’s holiday party. Here are some of the treats they had available:

Mummy cupcakes

Zebra cake

Tasty tombstones

The most dreadful ghastly ghoulish cookie: Witches’ Fingers (almond shortbread cookie)

The weekly sandwich special: Buffalo Ranch Hoagie. I recommend getting your seitan sliced. It was just too tough in the little chunks.

After late lunch/early dinner we drove up to Northwest Georgia to my Aunt Mary’s house for a Halloween Party. Since Perl was still on antibiotics and painkillers and we intended to stay the night, we took her with us! She was a total doll about it, didn’t complain in the slightest.

I was so happy my silly momma joined us in her feathery butterfly costume.

Great picture of Nate and my pretty momma.

I carved my first pumpkin of the season!

Aunt Mary did her best with a fun template while I made short work of a big gourd.

Pumpkin head!

My pumpkin.

We took Perl home after the party. She was excited by all the new smells! The arrow denotes part of my childhood Roald Dahl collection.

This is my momma’s cat GeorgeAnna. She is usually afraid of everyone all the time, but something had her chilled out tonight. Mom’s other little cat, Ginger, is always hidden somewhere. I can’t remember the last time I saw little Ginger.

The next morning we got up and went to mom’s church for the Annual Blessing of the Animals. Here she is playing the piano as the Pastor sings in the Fellowship Hall.

We had a great time and I got a bunch of fantastic pictures with Perl, who behaved beautifully through the service and the blessing. I’d post more photos, but this one is already pretty full!

Sunday afternoon was perfectly relaxing. We finished the last of the double batch of borscht I had made earlier in the week. Of course, Lua wanted to check it out.

Our table. Borscht, onion bialys, an array of carving implements, two pumpkins, pumpkin spice rooibos, Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, a pumpkin spice candle. Toast. So grateful to my sweet Nate who set everything up while I heated up soup and made toast and tea. Not only did he do all the set up, but when we were all finished and the table and floor were covered in pumpkin guts, he happily cleaned everything while humming “Once Upon a Dream” from Sleeping Beauty. A prince, that one, a prince.

Little Miss Lua, unsure.

Or is she?

They eventually made friends. Well… sorta. She kept trying to eat it.

Unix was basically uninterested.

Our pumpkins!

Later that night we went out in search of books to give away at Halloween. We didn’t find any good ones, but we did stop at Aldi. Sometimes when we’re in new/unfamiliar stores we just start reading labels, looking for some novelty that’s accidentally vegan. Turns out, these soft chocolate covered German gingerbread cookies just happened to be vegan! We ate most of the box with cold soymilk and Pero grain coffee later that night. Oops?

It’s chilled off in Georgia which means everyone wants to cuddle in the bed. Here’s Miss Perl giving Lua another bath as Rar sits nearby.

Sleeping with one eye open.

The cat cuddle pile. The closest they’ve all ever been together!

The closest Rar has ever been to Lua! To Lua’s credit, Rar swiped at her a few times, but she stood firm.

Lua kitten and Unix (Rar).

If you stopped by our house on Halloween, here’s what you’d see on the front porch: two carved pumpkins, a couple of mugs of Pero, Revolution Doughnuts themed treats, a bowl of candy, and a stack of books to give away to trick-or-treaters.

Some of the books we gave away. The kids were so thrilled with the books. They were even more excited about the books than the candy!

Dinner was light – just tofu scramble – because giant doughnuts followed.

A few kids were greeted with this little kitty pile-on. No one could believe Perl’s size! “Is that her baby?” they asked. She wishes.

Happy Halloween 2012!