So dear reader, once again I owe you an apology; actually, to be precise, Dell owes it to you as once again, my laptop is a 15″ paperweight. This one is a brand new laptop (as of around six months anyway). All my previous issues have been hard drive / Windows issues, but not this one – this is purely an internal hardware issue, likely the motherboard. Happily, I bought the full warranty when I bought the laptop so no matter the issues, it should be covered. I shipped it out yesterday afternoon and just received an email that they received it today and are commencing troubleshooting and repairs. They estimate a return of Monday….we’ll see….we’ll see.

So that is the primary reason for my lack of a new post – no computer. In the interim I have borrowed back the laptop I renewed for my eldest grandson. He has a brand new tower at home and leaves the laptop here for when he comes over. It is still a really high-end machine and works fine, so I am mostly functional. The one sore spot is that I did not install MS Office back onto this laptop when I renewed it, figuring he didn’t need it as a ten-year old. However, I write all my posts in MS Word and then once content, copy and paste them into WordPress online and publish it. As this post illustrates, I am able to write and publish directly online, but it is just not how I like to work. And beyond that, the way I normally do it I always have a copy of ever word in every post in my Word document; publishing online leaves no copy – if the blog host folds, my posts are all lost. So I will publish this one post but not likely another until my laptop is back and functional once again.

Halloween is rapidly unraveling for me. The governor is limiting “gatherings” to less than 15 (unless you are protesting something in which case, all bets are off and invite as many as you wish without fear of repercussion). So we were down to immediate family: son and his family and daughter and her boyfriend, and my wife’s sister and husband along with their two grandsons, with whom the grandkids always have fun playing. But last night I found out that they are not able to attend so we down to seven people, three kids. Last year I had ten or eleven kids and around thirty adults.

None the less I am forging ahead: I bought the pumpkins yesterday. Last year I bought around twenty pumpkins but this year only nine. And nine looks to be be too many now! And candy? I have bags of candy!! I bought five pounds just for the piƱata alone, never mind the hide and seek candy. I added several hundred dollars worth of new display decorations for the yard, now likely to be seen by almost no one…

Today I set up the cemetery which consists of setting up the fencing, the dozen or so “gravestones”, and the emerging zombies. I also continued to hang outdoor lights – now over a dozen strings scattered throughout. Tomorrow I will carve two big pumpkins for the driveway gates and get them mounted. The final eight or nine hanging animatronics will probably get hung between Friday and Saturday morning, weather depending, for Saturday night’s “party”…. party of five!

I will celebrate this Halloween as intently as any other; more so perhaps. But as hard as I try, this Halloween is diminished by not being able to have the whole extended family over and the looming specter of this virus hanging over us. Expect at least one more post from me before Halloween as my laptop is promised back to me by early next week. Stay well dear reader!

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