Tag Archive: halloween


Halloween has become my favorite time of year.

The weather is not too hot and the snow hasn’t started yet, most years. This year we had a snowstorm on Halloween day with high winds later in the night. Some towns in my area put off Halloween trick or treating to Friday or Saturday.

I chose to celebrate with a little house decorating. Better homes and Garden showed a cute way to decorate the house using a thick hemp rope and big bulb lights. I had orange thin nylon rope and orange lights. Nor do I have the Grape vine balls they used and didn’t really show up in the picture. I might head to the thrift stores and see if I can find any to add to my porchscape.

Front Porch Halloween 2019

But I did find three ghosties at the dollar store to hang on the garland of rope and lights. Plus I had a fun sign to put on my pitchfork tines. I felt very halloween-y.

Now Halloween is over. The wind is blowing more. Time change has come and it was inky dark by 5:30. I m not ready to go full Christmas. Which was OK because the BH&G issue showed how to make this ready for thanksgiving.

 

Front porch post halloween 2019

 

I removed the ghosties and other Halloween elements. The pumpkins can stay till they are eaten or become too mushy to live on the steps. I need a new sign to hang on the tines, something in the order of “Give Thanks” or “Welcome Friends.” The orange lights get to stay until the Christmas lights go up.

Maybe I need a big fat turkey.

Gobble, Gobble.

Blair Witch Project

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

In this final week of the Halloween season, I know people are watching their favorite horror movies and getting ready for the Halloween night.

Blair Witch Project Stick FigureOne thing that has fascinated me is the rise of Trunk-or-Treat events. I remember about five years ago seeing a handful of these events and thinking what a great idea that would be. It is a good time for kids to wear their costume again and each trunk can have a different theme with or without a game.

It adds to the fun and festive atmosphere of the season.

I know some people love this aspect. But others love exploring the scary part, the possibility of ghosts and the evil that resides in the human heart. My favorite movies, the ones that I’ve watched once, are filled with scary moments, some ‘gotcha’ moments, and never a sight of the actually villain until near the end if at all.

Blair_Witch_Project PosterPerhaps that explains the popularity of The Blair Witch Project. Released in 1999, the movie purports to be the lost footage of three young filmmakers who go into the woods near a small town in Maryland. They went into the woods purposely to explore the legend of a witch and to see if they can record anything.

Heather, Josh, and Michael are trying to follow a map while searching for signs of this legendary ghost. And what they find are creepy piles of rocks, gooey substances covering their personal items, and stick doll figures. They are followed by strange sounds, lights in the distances, and happenings that cannot be explained.

Because we are seeing ‘found’ footage, it is grainy with a lot of shaky movement. It is a difficult movie to see in the theater. Many people had feelings of nausea while watching the movie. Luckily this does not happen when the movie is watched on a television.

Most of the fear we are watching is tangible, it feels real, it feels as if this is something that could be happening. And that is what makes this movie one of the best in this style to watch. The actors never let us down in their emotional levels – the excitement, the fear, the anger, the resignation. This movie has high ratings along with having been nominated for a Razzie (award for worst movie of the year) which might make a person confused. Is it good? Is it bad?

blair witch posterThe answer is yes to both questions. There are parts that are good, we believe every moment, we believe in the three filmmakers’ fear. And yet, in the after thoughts you wonder why you were scared by what seemed like close to nothing. After all, the person causing all of the fear and terror is never seen. Be aware that there is a lot of swearing and use of the F word. If you are sensitive to this word usage, this might not be the movie for you.

I will never forget what Richard Roeper said about this movie. He suggested that if you want to know if this movie is scary or not, watch it sometime during a dark night, all by yourself in the house.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Halloween This Way Comes

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

Halloween approaches.

For whatever reasons, summer has left us all too early and fall barely started before becoming colder than desired.

I love fall weather. I like being able to run around in a tee-shirt and a sweater. Because my body temperature tends to run high, I love that time of year when a jacket is all you need to get by. I even love it when my car is hotter on the inside and I am taking off my jacket because it is too warm.

It seems almost impossible that just a week ago it was so warm that I was running around in shorts. I tried to do it on Monday and Tuesday but already the temperature dipped lower than was comfortable. Somehow it makes all of the Halloween decorations I see up throughout town all that more appropriate. Of course, there are pumpkins and cornstalks all over, left from Pumpkin Fest. Left over scarecrows have moved from the light posts of Station Street to the front yards. But more and more skeletons are creeping out of the closets and storerooms. Purple and orange lights brighten the early evening.

Notice the flying bats

Notice the flying bats

It is too early for carved jack-o-lanterns from real pumpkins. I hear if you wash a carved pumpkin with a bleach/water solution or cover the insides with vaseline, the pumpkin will last longer. I am almost willing to try it out.

What I am noticing is an influx of scary movies. But at my house, the most watched horror program is American Horror Story which can be seen on the FX channel. Each season has a different premise, a different storyline. The first season focused n a family that moves into a restored mansion. They slowly discover that the house is haunted by anyone who has ever died there. But what they do not realize is that almost everyone they have contact with in that house is a ghost.

American Horror Story

American Horror Story – First Season from blastr.com

The second season is set in an insane asylum where evil lurks within the heart of nearly every person who works there. The third season followed a girls’ school that is meant for witches while the fourth season takes us to a freak show.

I catch glimpses of the show, partially because I am not a horror genre fan. But what I see are wonderful bits of acting and writing. The tension is palatable. My son says he likes the suspense of the show, that while you might be able to predict what is going to happen next it is the scenes after wards that are not so easy.

I have a friend who has grown attached to this show as well. She says it is addicting and before you know it, you have watched an entire season.

The thing is, this is a show for teens and adults. It is not meant for small kids and I do not allow my ten year old in the room if his older brother is in the middle of a show. The context as much as anything else feels more adult to me and not appropriate for a child in that tween age-range or younger.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Signs of Fall

Wordless Wednesday

Big Halloween Display

Osage Orange or Hedgeapple

 

Hanging Ghost

 

Combine in the Field

 

Bushes made into Ghosts

 

Unloading the Grain Truck into the Silo

 

Spider's Web

 
What signs of fall have you seen?
 
 

Wordless Wednesday

When is it too early to put out Halloween decorations? I am not sure. Some of these were taken last week, others this week. Nevertheless, there is something enjoyable about a good and safe scare.

 
 

Notice the flying bats

 

Notice the Mosquitoe Plant surrounding the ghost

 

Look at the figures in the TreeSpider's Web catches a pumpkin

 

Witchy Display

 

Ghostly Window

 

A display I saw on Sept. 29

 

Our ghoulie

 
  

Opening Act

 

Scary tree

Another flying ghoul farther back

 

Ghoulish gathering

 

Have you seen good home halloween displays yet?

The Cleanup After Halloween

Halloween has been gone for a week now but the candy remains.

Picture by Mensatic

All week the kids have been eating their stash of candy – an impressive haul this year. The chocolates are just about gone and we are down to sweet-tarts and lollipops. What remains are the wrappers.

I find them on the floor, under the coffee table and couches. If I am going up the stairs, looking for laundry in the bedrooms or sweeping up in the kitchen – there they are. The bright colors of red, blue, yellow and green were wonderful when they wrapped chocolate lovelies.

The problem is I am not the only one finding the leftovers of a quick snack. So is our lovable dog, Storm.

This is not good.

Dogs should not have chocolate and Storm always feels the after affects of snitched chocolate. The sweet delight wears him out, loosens the stool and makes life unpleasant for him. He lays about more and farts more but none of that stops him

It makes our walks interesting. As I clean up piles I never know what color of wrapping will appear. What also amazes me is that a dog lives through some of the things that they eat. A candy wrapper or punch ball balloon comes out all in one piece.

All of this has lead to edicts of proper clean up whenever snacking occurs. I enforce wrapper sweeps. When I see wrappers, I make everyone take part in the clean up. When everyone has gotten to bed, I find myself resting my hand under the couch and finding a Snickers or M&M package.

I am not the only one. The dog is going on foraging missions behind the couch, under the couch, behind the dining room table and into the pantry. I have to be armed with the water bottle to make him stop.

Storm sitting in a chair, ready for a banquet.

Soon, the Halloween candy will be relegated to one bag of suckers and gumballs. Halloween will give way to the Thanksgiving feast as pumpkins see a better use to be made into pie and other goodies. I will have to be on the lookout for other candy wrappers soon.

While our dog thinks he is human, he has learned how to sit on a chair, he is not allowed to eat from the table. While he tries to find leftovers, the table is his favorite hunting ground. Just because Grandpa likes to feed him tidbits from the table, does not mean he is allowed that privileged year round. 

Should he ever learn to use a fork and spoon, I might relent.

Family Friendly Scares

Family Movie Night

Because of deadlines, the time I write this column is always about a half a week from the time you will read it. So what is foremost in my head is the wonderful concert I went to that featured the high school and grade school bands, performing three numbers separately and together for two numbers.

Picture by Puddleduck

Those of us with children or grandchildren in the grade school band know the excellent program Mr. Smith has created. This was my first concert at the high school and I was very impressed with Mr. Mayden’s work. The second number, Lux Aurumque by Eric Whitacre, was a difficult tune. It seemed to me there would be times that your instrument would sound slightly off when you were doing the correct notes. The students rallied and kept going even when it seemed impossible. It had an eerie yet beautiful quality to it.

So perfect for the season.

One thing that is always troubling about this season is what movies should one watch with the little ones. I mean, I am not showing my kindergartener or 4th grader Halloween or Saw or any number of scary movies that feature blood and gore. But they do make the request for scary movies.

One friend told me her younger daughter stated she was excited to see the scary movies, the ones featured on Disney Channel. That is really the route to go. Plus, there are a few movies that were in theaters only a few years ago that are truly scary and appropriate for the younger crowd. These are what I call the “family friendly scary movies.”

Scooby Doo and the Gang from the live action movie series. Picture from IMDb.com

One of my go-to-scary-movies for kids is anything “Scooby Doo.” I find these movies can be a little scary with Shaggy and Scoob leading the way to shaking in your boots. Thelma, Fred and Daphne show us how the monsters and ghosts are fake. In the few instances when they are not, the gang also displays how to think fast to save the day. Their cunning always wins out over greed.

One spooky movie for the youngest of age groups is The Little Vampire starring Jonathon Lipnicki back when he was a cute little boy. He discovers a family of vampires has moved into his neighborhood when he meets the boy who is his age. The trick becomes figuring out how to save the family. Well, we know kids can do miraculous things if given a chance and this is a cute movie with only small scares to it.

Monster House poster, Picture from IMDb.com

Another movie I would go with is Monster House. The story is about three pre-teens who discover the haunted house on the block does more than just sit there, especially if it thinks someone might try to damage the house. This PG rated flick is perhaps best for 8 years and up. It has some beautiful animation and I enjoy the characters, even more so once I discovered that Mitchel Musso from Hannah Montana plays the best friend.

Have a safe and happy Halloween this weekend!

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Let the world know about your latest pick for Family Movie Night and drop a note below.

Fall and Halloween

Usually about this time I post pictures of my garden and show what is going is going on.

This guy is about six stories tall. Gorgeous!

The problem with that is nothing has really changed in my garden. The pansies are going in full bright yellow and the mums still look great. The cosmos finally, finally have buds on them but I will only take a picture once they bloom.

So today I am sharing pictures of great fall color in the area where I live. Plus I am including a few pictures of cute Halloween designs. I haven’t gotten a picture of my favorite ghost but will put that up later in this post when I do finally get it.

So to start things off this is my favorite tree at this time of year. Luckily, it lives down the street from my house.

Not so shimmery but still a beaut.

Around the corner is another beauty I saw on the way home from work the other day. It shimmered from the western sun that day.

Classic

This is one of the country roads I drive on to get back and forth to work. It is the long way home.

This is along the Iroquois River where some people have  nice homes. We also pass by one of the nurseries here.

Next up are some Halloween decorations.

Ring of Ghosts!

Are you in the spirit yet?

This was too cute not to snap. I will share another ghost picture as soon as I get it.

Tell me how you get ready for Halloween.