An elegant fruit, vegetable and cheese platter filled with every shade of violet. Perfect for Halloween!

It's been a few months since my last post. My best laid plans for my annual "Summer of Halloween" never quite got going this year. Not that I don't have pages full of ideas, it's that I've been in somewhat of a slump. My youngest son promoting to middle school has left me feeling sad. The fun days of elementary school age kids and fun easy school days have been replaced with middle school boys who don't like to do any of the fun kid things anymore and homework that's a lot more important and more stressful than before, and the bottom line is that they just don't need me as much. Logically, I know that's the goal of being a mother is to nurture and guide my boys so they become kind, happy, self-sufficient adults. But emotionally, I'm grieving the childhood I've witnessed and been so integrally involved in the last 8 years I've been home with my kids. My boys growing up and moving onto the next stage is normal and expected, so I was surprised that this life change triggered such intense sense of loss. Confusing and crippling enough that I reached out to my therapist for help. The last time I saw my therapist was two years ago when she helped me through a family crisis. This time she helped me identify why I was feeling so crippled by sadness. I realized my feelings of sadness were not only about marking a milestone for my boys, but were wrapped up in my childhood feelings of instability when we moved away from where I felt settled and comfortable. We moved a lot when I was a child, so naturally this comfortable safe home/school environment I built for my kids, was now changing and it triggered a flood of fear, sadness and loss for me. I've done some work to honor these feelings, but I don't have a magic wand to wave over my head and say, "Abracadabra" to make it all disappear. I still have work to do, but I am on the mend. Most days I can see past sadness and see opportunity, in fact, yesterday, I seized the opportunity and played around with a Halloween idea and created this gorgeous violaceous Halloween appetizer. A dish called...Abracadabra Platter!