NMC089 Round Rock Halloween

Daphine Mbithuka


Subject: Celebrating Halloween on land!

We all look forward to celebrating the holidays, whether Halloween or Thanksgiving. But what makes a holiday special? It could be the ability to gather with friends and family. It could be the keeping of traditions. It could be the sumptuous meals. It could be just breaking out of the norm.

For Rosa Linda Román and her family, celebrating Halloween on land is one of the reasons Halloween felt special and different, she admits. In this episode of New Mexi-Castaways, she delves deeper into some of the reasons why it felt special. Reasons which include, one, the accessibility to the things needed, e.g costumes and props for the day. Two, having both family and neighbors who could join in the celebration. And lastly, how easy it is to plan for holidays on land. Again, what makes holidays stand out for you? Leave your thoughts in the comments even as you listen to this episode. Enjoy!

P.S. If you liked this episode check out our most recent episode:

NMC088 Meeting Sailing Totem Crew

Recorded: November 02, 2018

Location: Round Rock, Texas

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Episode Transcript:

Rosa Linda Román (00:28): Hello and welcome to New Mexi-Castaways. I'm Rosa Linda Román and I am talking to you from Round Rock, Texas, which is where my family has been living for the past almost three months now. And we live in a neighborhood which is a far cry from where we had been living on a sailing catamaran called the Dawn Treader. That may be how you found me through some of the various things I post about those adventures, living aboard the Dawn Treader. We are landlocked right now and it's been an interesting time. I've enjoyed it a lot actually. I did not expect to. I expected to be pretty miserable being off the boat. And that is not to say that I do not miss it tremendously, because I do. But I'm trying to make the most of living in this neighborhood. Now, if you haven't followed my channel for very long, you may not know our story, but basically, my family moved onto a sailing catamaran called the Dawn Treader when we left New Mexico, which is where our family, basically, had a pretty normal life except that we lived up in the mountain. Rosa Linda Román (01:35): So, it was a little, maybe, a traditional, because we didn't have a neighborhood, but we did have friends, and my kids went to public school, and my husband traveled a lot for work. And then, we decided we wanted to have time with the kids while they were still young enough to enjoy us or want to be with us as much as we would like to be with them. And so, we moved on to the Dawn Treader. Now, this wasn't the first time that we lived on a boat. We had also when we just had two kids. At that time we lived on the sailing catamaran called Hakuna Matata. Now, that boat was a smaller boat, it was a Manta 42, I believe. And the Dawn Treader was Lagoon 450 which means it's 45 feet long and I think it was 26 feet beam, which is the width of it. Rosa Linda Román (02:26): And by the way, I'm going to warn you, if you are new to my channel, usually, when I'm recording these, it is because I'm cleaning the house or running errands in the car. And so, it is not going to be super crisp clean, somebody just sitting at a microphone in a sound studio kind of recording. I am happy to report that I did get some new microphones for my birthday, yay. I actually got some really great things. So, by the way, I gave you that warning, because I'm putting my coffee in the microwave, which is something I do multiple times a day. But I got new microphones for my birthday, a Rode VideoMic Me, which I am not using right now, but is a wonderful little mic. And then the Rode smartLav and that's what I'm using right now. The Rode smartLav, I believe it's called. Rosa Linda Román (03:14): Yep, the smartLav. And it's a lavalier mic that plugs right into my phone and I did some tests. It seems like it was a pretty good crisp recording. I tried the Rode VideoMic Me, which is a really cool little mic. And that would've been without the Wire because it plugs directly into the port of the phone. But it's more of a mic I can use for when I'm interviewing people and holding my phone like as a recording device interviewing someone. It's really not for this kind of recording that I'm doing right now. So, at some point in the future, hopefully, you'll hear some great interviews that I will share there with that microphone. But for now, the smartLav, it is. I hope you're enjoying better sound than I've had because if you have been with me for a while, you know I have had a wild range of recordings, quality, lots of noise, lots of movement. Rosa Linda Román (04:09): But that was the point when we were living on the boat, to share those experiences. And I continue to work on curating the content from our live board life. It is my husband's birthday today, November 2nd. And so, I'm working around the house to prepare everything for a little social gathering we're having here at our cul-de-sac tonight. And let me just tell you, having the benefits of a neighborhood like this have been… there's a lot of really good things and I have really enjoyed that. And one of those things came from just the other day was Halloween and the experiences of that. So, actually, I just misspoke and said I was going to talk about something else, but I'm actually going to use this broadcast to talk about Halloween. But because I'm working around the house, I'm hoping to record a few episodes. And if I do get to that, I'll give you a little preview. Rosa Linda Román (05:01): I want to talk about some of the things that I'm doing to kind of keep myself focused, and motivated, and on track, and feeling successful throughout my life here since I moved to Austin. It's a very different way of living and moving through time, if you will, through our day, because I don't have, like, when we were on the boat I would say, okay, you know, Tuesday we're going to, or sometime this week we're going to try to get to the Exumas. And so, we planned and all of my energy would be toward making sure the kids were getting the appropriate schooling and making sure that whatever we needed to prepare to go to that next island, whether it was provisioning or you know, making sure we knew what maps or what limitations there were and dealing with weather or any systems that needed to be fixed. Rosa Linda Román (05:52): So, it gave me kind of a clear purpose, and all the while I recorded audio, and video, and photos of these experiences. So, that was basically enough and that kept me busy. But I tend to be someone who always wants to push myself and become better. I don't like to just stay at the same place as you've probably gathered. And so, I listen to a lot of motivational speakers, which I've talked about a lot before. And I love podcasts when I'm running with my son to school and our dog, Nala, who you remember, had grown up on the sailing catamaran also. Anyway, so the preview of what is going to be coming is I've been using kind of… I've been listening to Tony Robbins and he always does these like, I don't think affirmation's the right word, maybe a mantra. You do this thing with your fingers where like when you're, whether you're running or walking, you tap your four fingers with your thumb and as you do that, it kind of, and you say something with each tap. Rosa Linda Román (06:55): So, his example was every day in every way I'm getting stronger and stronger, and you're tapping your fingers as you're doing this. So, I created a mantra for my life here in Austin, or let's just call it my land-based life right now, to keep me focused on the things that I want to be working on. And those four things, because with each tap I'm saying the following four things, body, book, broadcast, brains. So, as I'm running for example, I'll tap my fingers and I'll go body, book, broadcast, brains and I check in with myself to see, you know, where I am on each of those four things. Now, what do those mean? I will explain those in the next episode. I want to just talk about where we are in our life right now. And I think the perfect way to talk about that is with the example of Halloween, because that's a big deal in our house. Rosa Linda Román (07:51): We have a blast with it anywhere we are. And even when we were at remote island, away from everybody, we still made Halloween super fun. So, I'm going to talk about that. I'm going to take a little break, because I got a few errands I have to run for my husband's birthday. I stored some things at a neighbor's house so that he didn't see them. So, I'm going to run over, get that, and when I come back I will share with you some of our Halloween experiences here in a real neighborhood. And I'll compare, of course, what's different about that between a neighborhood and being on a boat. So, I will talk to you in a minute. Rosa Linda Román (08:34): Okay, I'm back and a bunch of time has passed since I went to go handle the things that I was doing because my daughter finally got up and I wanted to kind of give you a heads up, because she is, I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I homeschool our two daughters. There's that creaky door that I need to WD-40 and I'm going to have her here while I'm working around the house. So, you may hear interactions with her. Her name is Ahava, she's 13 and right now she is in eighth grade. And right now she's out back with Nala. But she's going to come in any minute now and I asked her to let me just kind of continue the recording, but sometimes she may interject, and so, just know that if you hear a voice, it belongs to my 13-year-old daughter Ahava. But let me bring it back to what I was talking about Rosa Linda Román (09:26): Okay, so as I'm recording this, I want to… working on putting away Halloween stuff and trying to get things ready for Nathan's birthday. It's kind of funny because I just got a call from Ziva, my other daughter who is at Nathan's work with him today doing schoolwork, because they seem to get a lot more done sometimes at daddy's work because it's kind of a focused place and they don't have all the distractions at home. So, when he's able, he brings the one or the other girl to work with him. So, she calls me in a panic and said, "Daddy took the rest of the day off. He's got like one meeting and then he's taking the rest of the day off, and then he's going to be home." And I'm like, "No, the house looks like a bomb hit." Number one." Rosa Linda Román (10:10): And number two, part of my plan for his birthday today is to bring cake and balloons to his work because, and this flows right into the subject matter. And that is that he's in a regular, like, traditional office and he has work friends who really, I think, they really like him and he enjoys being there at that office. And so, since we have access and we are a part of something, and in this case talking about, you know, he's a part of a work environment, I wanted to go bring cake and celebrate with people that he knows and likes because normally we're kind of like our own little island unto ourselves, our little family. Because even in New Mexico, our home was up in the mountains, away from everybody. And so, you know, you didn't just drop in or have an impromptu get together, everything had to be planned and you had to drive, you know, 20 minutes to get to whatever you wanted to get to. Rosa Linda Román (11:06): So, I wanted to take cake and balloons to his work, and I arranged it with his coworkers, and they're all looking forward to it, but he doesn't know. And so, he thinks, "Oh, I'll just go home and, you know, take my birthday off." Well, he's not allowed to take his birthday off because we already have a plan for him. So, I told ZIva to tell him, because they'll be going to lunch and I told her to tell him when he, you know, says, "Okay, we're done, let's go home." Have her say, "Oh daddy, I'm getting so much done school-wise here at work, could we go back to your work for another hour or so." So that I can get a little bit more done? So, she said to me, actually that won't be a lie because she is getting a lot done, and so, that will be great. Rosa Linda Román (11:48): So, she's going to hopefully get him to go back to the office so we can surprise him with some balloons and cake. So, now that I'm here, let me real quickly, I'm folding things, and putting things away. Let me real quickly say hi to Ahava. Good morning. Ahava (12:03): Hi. Rosa Linda Román (12:04): Say hello to the people. Ahava (12:05): Hello to the people. Rosa Linda Román (12:06): And what are you working on today? Ahava (12:08): Civics. Well, no I'm working on school. Rosa Linda Román (12:11): School in general. Ahava (12:12): School, but right now I'm working on civics. Rosa Linda Román (12:14): Excellent. Okay, well, have a good time. Just know that I'm going to be recording around you and you are welcome to interject if something relates to you or if you just feel like talking, but just know that if you're working over there, she's in the dining room right now. It'll be off-mic so… Ahava (12:29): That's fine. Rosa Linda Román (12:29): They may not be able to hear you. Okay, so what I'm looking at right now is a pile of costumes and it looks like someone threw up at an animation factory. We have the entire Incredibles family in front of me. That is what we wore two years ago as a family. We like to do family costumes together. And so, we were The Incredibles two years ago and this year our theme was pretty incredible. Also, it was something that Ziva came up with and I have to admit, we were hesitant because it seems so abstract that we couldn't figure out like how are we going to make this actually work. But the more that we started to piece it together, the more it came together. And that is, we were movies, animated movies. Each of us represented a different animated movie. And so, instead of being Alice of Alice in Wonderland, Ziva was Alice in Wonderland, the movie. Rosa Linda Román (13:26): And instead of being like Peter Pan, or Tinkerbell, or Captain Hook, Ahava was the entire movie, Peter Pan. So, she had the crocodile, she had the hook, she had Captain Hook's outfit, but Tinker Bell's wings and Peter Pan's hat. And so, it was a really cute, in my opinion, ensemble, all of them turned out really well. Samuel's was the most simple. He was Monsters Incorporated, Monsters Inc. And he was Sully but his, which is the big blue monster, if you don't know, he was Sully and his treat basket that he carried around was Mike Wazowski and it was pretty cute, because that's his like sidekick. So, and then I was Toy Story, so my lower half was Bo Peep, which is like the Little Bow Beep character. My top half was a mix of Buzz Lightyear and Woody. And then, the very top was Jessie the Cowgirl. So, that was really fun. Rosa Linda Román (14:26): We went around and we had a great Halloween. But what I wanted to talk about is the difference between this Halloween experience and Halloweens that we have had on the boat and holidays in general require a certain level of planning, extra planning when you're going to be on a boat because you don't have access to things. So, the nice thing about it is you really have to get creative, but we like to get creative anyway, so it makes it a lot harder when you're on a remote island or somewhere where you don't have access to things. So, your kids might say, "Well, I want to be Wonder Woman." But you have nothing related to Wonder Woman on your boat. So, either you got to make it out of like whatever materials you might have on hand or what you can find at that island. Rosa Linda Román (15:14): And a lot of the islands don't have a lot of options. I mean if you're in a place like Nassau, you usually can get what you need for pretty much anything with a little extra creativity. But if you're in a place like, let's see, like Eleuthera, you may or may not have access to everything that you envision. And that's kind of what is on my mind today, working around the house and just kind of having the after-effects of Halloween, which was super fun being here, is that we got an idea, and it was a wild idea, and we just ran with it, and we started piecing things together. And when, for example, Ahava's costume, she didn't have anything of Peter Pan. She wanted to be Peter Pan, the movie. She had nothing of Peter Pan until I looked on Facebook Messenger and found a local person who was selling Peter Pan costume. Rosa Linda Román (16:09): It was a grown man's Peter Pan costume. So, it wasn't exactly what she had in mind, but we were able to piece that together and it was, you know, maybe like a 25-minute drive from my house. But the fact that we could envision this creative thing and find all of the pieces that we needed for all of these costumes within, you know, a half an hour radius, that's crazy. And that's a big, big difference between our experience here in a neighborhood and being, obviously, on a boat. But the other part of it is being a part of something more than just your immediate family, because we've had a Halloween, our very first Halloween on Hakuna Matata. Like, it was just us, our family, which at the time only had two kids and we had a nanny on board at that time, Miss Melissa. Rosa Linda Román (17:03): And so, basically, we set it up so that I thought ahead of time I knew we were going to be there for Halloween. So, I prepared ahead of time and brought candy on board, and like what we would need to make caramel apples, and some pumpkins, and what else? Some like orange and black paper so we could make some little pumpkins, and you know, just like lots of things that we could use to make it fun for the kids. And so, we did crafts, and I think we carved the pump. We must have carved the pumpkins. Ahava did we carve pumpkins for that Halloween on Hakuna matata? Ahava (17:40): Yeah. Rosa Linda Román (17:40): Yeah. Ahava (17:41): Pictures of it. Rosa Linda Román (17:42): Okay. Yeah, so we carved the pumpkins that I had brought from Florida and because then we sailed from Florida to The Bahamas, and we were at this island, I want to say Powell Cay or something like that. But we were at this remote island on Halloween. And so, the kids dressed up. We brought some costumes with us. And the three adults dressed up and we had a dog on board, Tova was our dog at that time, also a German shepherd. And we took up positions in different corners of the boat. So, I was in one area, then Miss Melissa was in another, and the girls would go trick-or-treating. You know, they'd come up and say, "Trick or treat." And I'd fill their bags with candy and then Miss Melissa would do the same. When they got to the forward deck where Nathan was dressed as Spock, Nala and… I think it was Ziva that started crying right? Ahava (18:34): About who? Rosa Linda Román (18:35): About Spock. You don't remember, she was only four at the time. Ahava (18:39): No, I do. It was like, I don't know, I think we both like just [indiscernible 18:42]. Rosa Linda Román (18:42): Yeah, they were scared. And I know Tova started, h that's right, you kept her back. Ahava (18:48): I kept her back and then she saw him and then like screamed and [indiscernible 18:50]. Rosa Linda Román (18:51): Yeah. And so our dog, Tova- Ahava (18:54): [crosstalk 18:54] him and then I saw his ears, and I'm like, "Wait, that's not daddy." Rosa Linda Román (18:57): That's not daddy. So, that was a successful costume. Our dog Tova was barking at the strange man on deck. And so, it was funny, but we remember it very fondly. It was a great Halloween, and we made the most of it even though we didn't have all these extravagant options nearby. Granted the kids were younger then, so costumes-wise we could get away with a lot less. They were cute and they didn't need a lot. And part of it is I made the fatal mistake of having one really great homemade costume one year when we had moved off that first boat, moved back to New Mexico, and went through, and tried to figure out something that we could do creatively. And I made Ziva into an island and it was the island of Hope town and she had, like, the lower part of her was like a skirt that represented the ocean, and then there was the sand in the middle, and palm tree coming out of her head and she had little beanie babies all over that were like fish, and starfish and over her shoulder was like a parrot. It was a really cute costume, I do have to say. Rosa Linda Román (20:06): It's funny because back then she didn't want to wear it and she was like, "No, this is dumb. I don't want to". But now everybody remembers it fondly and that's kind of what I always try to remind them. Like, a lot of times the things that you resist now are the things you're going to remember fondly later. So, if we could just cut out the resistance, that would be way better for me. But anyway, so that's what we've been doing, working on Halloween costumes, we had a lot of fun. The other part of the neighborhood factor that is very different for us is just being kind of in the middle of it all where people get together. Tonight we're going to have a kind of a happy hour where we set up a table in our driveway and all of our friends from the cul-de-sac are going to come, and you know, sing Happy birthday, and have a few drinks with my husband to celebrate his birthday. Rosa Linda Román (20:55): And that is so different. I mean even in New Mexico where we lived up, you know, in the forest, basically, on 75 acres, nobody, you know, we didn't have neighbors. We had one neighbor who could potentially come up the hill. But as far as having like an impromptu gathering where we all just get together, and we talk, and we're just enjoying each other without having to make it like this big planned thing. I mean, it's planned tonight, obviously, because it's his birthday. But you know, we basically, two or three nights a week at least, we just step out our front door, and we'll, you know, sit there and chat with the neighbors, and hang out and it's really, really nice to have that. Now, that is actually more like being on the boat. I mean, being in New Mexico, because when we were on the boat we had anchored nearby. There were other people, usually, boats with kids, at least one or two. Rosa Linda Román (21:49): And so, we would just take our dinghy and go to the one, you know, the next boat over, and before you know, or everybody would meet and they'd all end up on the beach right there and playing together. So, there was a lot more social opportunity on the boat than there was up in New Mexico where our land is, you know, kind of set away from everybody. So, yeah, they even threw me here at this little cul-de-sac. They threw me a surprise birthday party and we were pretty new still in the neighborhood, but they had a little party for me and it was very nice. The other thing that is nice about being in a neighborhood is we don't have a lot of stuff really. I mean, right now I look at my house and it looks like we have way too much stuff, but coming off of the boat there is a lot that we didn't have. Rosa Linda Román (22:35): So, all of our furniture is rented in this house and we don't know, yet, we don't know what we're going to do next, right? Kind of left that ambiguous and open. We know we're going to be here through Ahava's gymnastics season, which is through March and it's the beginning of November right now. So, other than that, we really don't know. And because of that we don't want to accumulate a bunch of stuff, not to mention we just don't want to accumulate a bunch of stuff, but we do want to have, you know, some of the things that we need for the comforts of home. So, part of it is being in a neighborhood you can borrow like the, what do you call it? The sidewalk edger for the grass, which by the way, having grass sparks so much joy for my husband. He gets to mow the lawn. We've never had that before. Rosa Linda Román (23:22): And he borrows the neighbor's edger thing and he edges the sidewalk, and I mean, it's just a project and he loves it because it's not like a boat project, which, you know, if he doesn't handle it right now, all is lost. He likes the fact that when he wants to, he can go mow the lawn, and it's very casual, and you can visually see that it's got done, and it looks good, and all that. But anyway, so the other thing is I joined this group on an app called Nextdoor, I think it is. And people will post, and that's actually where I found a used thing for Samuel's birthday coming up, because right after Nathan's birthday Samuel's birthday is Veteran's Day, so like nine days from now is Samuel's birthday. So, I found this whole set for PlayStation 3, which is the game system we are using right now for Samuel of something called Skylander. And he'll be thrilled once we reveal that to him. Rosa Linda Román (24:18): And I found that through this Nextdoor app. Basically, you find people in your neighborhood to connect with and they talk about different issues and anything that is important in the neighborhood. Like, the other… not the other day, a couple weeks ago, few weeks ago, someone had found a dog, and they brought it over here, and they posted it in the app, and eventually, they found us and we returned the dog who was a German Shepherd and was a man's serviced animal. He was actually a veteran with PTSD. So, that was really a good thing about being in a neighborhood is, you know, you can help each other. And so, one thing that happened for my husband's birthday that he doesn't know yet is I was going to buy him a grill and this all relates together, I'll wrap it together in a second. Rosa Linda Román (25:07): So, as I said, we don't have a lot of stuff. We don't want to accumulate a lot of stuff, but we have certain things that we want just for comfort while we're here. And one of them is we used to… being on the boat, we always grilled. We'd always grill hotdogs and the grill was kind of our go-to because you don't want to heat up the cabin, the main cabin when it's a hot day. So, you grill off the back of the boat. Well, we don't have a grill here, so I was going to buy Nathan a grill for his birthday, but then like, literally, the day I was going to go get him a grill, I checked that Nextdoor app and there was a guy who had posted a grill, "Hey, there's a grill, my grill, I'm giving it away for free. You know, it's old but it works and it's just sitting at the curb if you want it." Rosa Linda Román (25:51): I was like, "Seriously?" So, I went and I got his neighbor to help me put it in my car, and I brought it home, and then my other neighbor lent me their power washer, which I used to wash the heck out of it. It has some rust on some non-critical parts, basically, the back of it that doesn't ever touch food. The grill itself is perfectly clean and looks great. And so, I'm giving it to Nathan, which is hilarious as part of his birthday gift, is that I'm giving him this grill, this used grill that I got for free. And part of his gift is that I didn't have to spend the $200 that I would've spent if I had bought the grill myself. So, there you go, another thing of being in a neighborhood. Now, the flip side, the negatives, if you ask Nathan or Ziva in particular, they both are like, "We're too close to people. There's too many people here." Rosa Linda Román (26:43): And being in a neighborhood, you know, everybody's always in each other's business, and you know, if you see it that way, it definitely could be seen as a negative, but of course, I don't see it that way, because I love people and I love social. So, for me, it's been great, but I'm looking at the time and all that I have to do. And so, I think it's going to be time for me to wrap this up. And I was going to tell you, I did write an article about Halloween, and why I love it, and how much I love it. And I'm going to put a link to that in the show notes so you can find it. If you want to see some of these costumes and some of the things that we did for Halloween, you can join our New Mexi-Castaways crew. That's basically a Facebook group where I share and I also have a private Google Photo album where I share some of these videos and photos and things that you can see. Just join the group and you'll find information all about that. That is facebook.com/newmexicast. All right, well thank you for listening to New Mexi-Castaways. I hope you have a wonderful fall or whatever season you're listening to this and I hope you have a great day. Take care. I'm Rosa Linda Román.

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