Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The party's over...

A good solid 9 inches of snow...Halloween is going dormant for awhile.  When I think of this time of year and things that are growing, simmering, moulding, out of sight (not out of mind), I think of peppermint.  Anyone who has grown peppermint or any mint for that matter in their garden will understand this.  Peppermint even in the winter keeps right on creeping underneath the ground.  It sends out shoots, runners to new spots.  In the spring peppermint pops up in the most unusual places.  Halloween is like that in my mind....just keeps creeping around in different directions.  You never know where.....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I do a little tribute in our Halloween display of Pennywise the clown.  We have a water meter cover in the corner of our front yard....and made sense at the time.  So, I've been re-reading "It" by Stephen King.  It's been at least 25 years since I read "It" the first time.  Wow, did I forget a lot, but it's actually a lot of pages worth of reading to forget.  Sorry, Mr. King, but after 25 years it's really hard to remember thousands of pages in detail.

Now, here's the interesting part to me anyway.  After all these years, after being in Maine, in Bangor, in the older Victorian neighborhood in Bangor...I'm getting more out of this book than I did the first time around.  I get a better visual in my mind.  Yeah, I know Derry is the fictional town but I certainly "see" Bangor and Brewer in my mind.  It's given me some ideas to improve or update or correct, if you will, our Halloween display.  Such as the balloons need to be red, yellow, blue, and green.  Although I really like the eyeball balloons we had for a couple of years.  The creepy children at play music we added this year was spot on!  I may need to make a paper boat to tuck under the clown hand...hmmm...what to do, what to do. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lucky lighting...

Nothing special...I just like the light on the coffin and fence.

Cobwebs and dust...

It's so disheartening that ALL of that authentic Halloween dust and all of those authentic cobwebs that spiders have been left alone to build....have absolutely no charm after Halloween!! 

One idea lights a thousand candles...

"One idea lights a thousand candles." 
    --Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, I have a great idea for a new prop for the graveyard 2011.  Ideas come from just the smallest of flickers of thought sometimes.  Ideas come from a big thump on the head other times.  I have a couple of tombstones in our graveyard that mean absolutely nothing to anyone other than me.  This prop might ring true for more than just me...

I see the backs of an older couple walking hand in hand.  Devoted, still deeply in love.  A light snow falling representing the winter of life.  Now, forward to spring.  I see two corpses with their hands clutched around each others throats in a death grip.  My title..."Retirement."

Monday, November 8, 2010

A couple of firsts...

Every year we have a "first" or a couple of "firsts".  Everyone has a moment of, "Man, first time that's happened."  We had a couple of firsts this year too! 

The first "first" was a fellow Halloween enthusiast that came to the door on Halloween night to ask if he could come in to see how the flying crank ghost works.  I invited him in and a friend talked with him while I handed out treats.  Nice man, very interested.  What he was most curious about was how we got the skeleton's jaw to move.  It actually looks like he's talking as he moves his head back and forth.  Uhhh, that was a happy accident.  I wanted to revamp my ghost with a new bucky head but it was too heavy for the motor.  So, we made do with the old styrofoam head and just cut his jaw apart and used plastic ties to "wire" it back together.  My thought was...his jaw will hang open and I'm perfectly happy with that.  The happy accident part is when we turned on the power...his loose jaw bumps up against the wire hanger shoulder part.  Wa-la!  A talking skeleton ghost!!  Yeah us!!

The second "first" was a teen that came knocking on our door the night before Halloween with an URGENT request to use the bathroom.  There was some pleading, some nervous footsteps.  Uhhh, ok, come on in.  He asked if we had a "no shoes rule".  No, we don't.  Yes, I know we should be careful about teens, strangers, etc using your bathroom.  But, hey, how desperate he must have been to knock on OUR door, use our bathroom (now a bat cave), and he did turn on the fan!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Harrison Blvd

Harrison Blvd is a Halloween must-see in Boise.  It's a street of mostly huge, historical homes lined with beautiful old trees.  On Halloween night the street is blocked and a gazillion TOTrs make the journey of a few blocks up one side and down the other.  This is a shot of my favorite......that's a lot of carving!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"October Boy"

So, I just finished reading "Dark Harvest" by Norman Partridge.  It's more like a novella and was published in 2007.  Great Halloween read and now I have a new fixation.  I really want to make an October Boy for our haunt next year.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Taking a breath...

After a great Halloween I'm taking a huge breath with my feet up and collecting my thoughts.  It's time for what the Lovely Lil (my daughter-in-law, aka Witch #3) calls my performance notes.  I like to make a list of notes, thoughts, suggestions, reminders, ideas for the coming year.  And, for all that performance note taking, list making, reminders...I still forget something or do not get around to getting something finished!  And, yes, I do start the countdown starting on November 1!  WTH!

The first thing on my list is to make notes on where everything was plugged in.  We start each years set-up trying to remember what we did the year before.  The first thing on my list this year was to do a trial run through of fog machines, fog juices, fog scents, etc. to avoid the fog issues of the year before.  Well, we did that........wish I could tell you that was a truly clever idea.  So, I'm putting something else first this year...maybe more wine!

A truly good friend...

A truly good friend sent me a really great gift...thank you!  The Lovely Ann knows my heart...
A Johanna Parker bucket...woo-hoo!

A Bonnie Barrett type black cat on pumpkin...fabulous!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What a night!!

The Lovely Miss Lil as Witch #3

It was amazing!!  As many adults as kids...whew!!  A few Halloween addicts came with questions....way fun...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Halloween...

To: Family and Friends

Wish you were here
Glad you're with us
Stay safe
Good weather
Good haunting
Happy Halloween!

Ready or not....

Being a Stephen King fan for years, of course we have our version of "Pennywise."  We are for the most part ready for Halloween, my friends.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkinrot creatures...

I am obsessed with a blog ~  Those of you who follow the blog understand completely.  Rot is the Oprah of Halloween.  If he writes about a book (October Dreams)...I have to have it.  If he suggests music...I need it.  If he suggests anything...I obsess.  For instance, Pumpkin Pop Tarts.  I don't actually like Pop Tarts.  I haven't had any for oh, I guess 30+ years!  But he's given them a delicious recommendation so I have know the routine.  Point is, he is spot on with his vision of Halloween.  Here's a couple of his Pumpkinrot creatures on our mantel.  They are crafted by Rot and his lovely Bean.


One of our grandsons went with me to shop for TorT candy.  Love getting his input (quality control)!  We should have enough for about 600 TorTr's.  Umm, that's not true.  By the time we finish raiding the stash...maybe enough for 500+.  We usually add  little tubs of Play Dough with the candy.  Hope our forecast for rain doesn't scare anyone away.  I'd hate to eat that all by myself.......

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ooooooh, spooky!

I love a good double take, a shift in your reality, a small unexpected shift.  For example:  when you look at a sign and read something with a different meaning.  Or, think you see one thing but it's something totally different. 

My older brother sent me a package once with a fur mouse toy for Orangecat added to the top of the packing as an afterthought.  Very thoughtful, very benign, until I opened the package.  I saw a "live mouse" and so did Orangecat.  He pounced, I ran.  So did my heartbeat.  My brother could not have planned a better gift to my day. Or Orangecat's day.
Last year I arranged fake spiders on my apothecary book shelves.  They hang on the books, pumpkins, whatever I can get them to sorta stick to.  When we go in and out of the garage door, it bangs and things on that wall shift.  The fake spiders sometimes end up in places I don't expect.  It's a nice little shift in my reality to do a double take and think "oooooh, spooky."  The spiders have not moved since October 1 until this morning.  One ended up several feet away in the living room.  Ooooooh, spooky!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Spooky Fence

For years I've been collecting spooky fencing for our yard haunt.  It's old wood snow fence.  The older and more worn the better I like it.  I started out with just a small amount near the front porch held up by tiki torches.  Now, it surrounds the front and side yards.  It helps keep the ghouls in and the curious out.

It was a beautiful afternoon here in Idaho and the perfect day for the spooky fence and torches to go up!  It's a signal for the neighborhood kids to start their daily scouting journeys.  Each day they're lured into thinking it's not so scary...but on Halloween night, when it's all there, in the dark...not so brave.

Spooky Fence