October 30, 2014

the first four

Four pumpkins from this year's crop of eight have been carved. But none by me; instead, these were done by my children and their friends. Not sure yet what I'll do with the remaining four. Looks like it's going down to the wire.

October 29, 2014

countdown to halloween: ghosts of halloween past

I remember it well. The year we began stealing our children's Halloween candy after they had gone to bed. This marked the beginning of many glorious years of Halloween indulgence. And after all, too much junk food really isn't healthy for small children, is it?

Sadly, it all came to an end as their treat-counting skills improved.

October 27, 2014

countdown to halloween: ghosts of halloween past

Of course he's not afraid of a vampire. He's Superman.

If only my children were always so relaxed about Halloween spookiness when they encountered it outside our home. Sometimes, I had to go to a neighbour's door, get the treats and deliver them as my children waited at a safe distance.

October 26, 2014

countdown to halloween: ghosts of halloween past

Another Halloween. Another Sylvester appearance. This time in Toronto. In a neighbourhood graveyard.

October 25, 2014

October 23, 2014

countdown to halloween: ghosts of halloween past

Another Halloween. Another Sylvester appearance. No creepier than the last. What was wrong with me back then?

October 22, 2014

countdown to halloween: ghosts of halloween past

My Halloween sensibilities today tend to verge on vintage/creepy.

But such was not always the case. There was a time when my Halloween persona was somewhat . . . cuter. Once upon a time I had a room-mate with sewing skills. And she was willing to sew costumes for not just for herself but for me and my boyfriend and various other assorted friends. I don't recall what led me to choose Sylvester as a Halloween costume. It's a choice I would never make today. But it obviously seemed like a good idea at the time.

As it turned out, the costume was sturdy and very warm (an important feature in Canada) and it served as my costume of choice for not just that first Halloween, but for several Halloweens after. This was Year One.

October 21, 2014

countdown to halloween: ghosts of halloween past

Battening down the hatches for three days of wind and rain. It could be worse. I could wake up to find my pumpkins looking like this:

Here's to temperatures staying above zero.

October 20, 2014


So while I'm relieved that my outdoor props came through the season's first storm mostly unscathed, I know that this is only the beginning. It wouldn't be October in Nova Scotia without multiple wind/rain events and, true to form, the next one is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday and stick around until Friday morning. Which means I'll be waiting until Saturday before setting up anything else.

Otherwise, they might end up like this poor little guy. Spotted him lying in a nearby driveway on my evening walk.

Hope he recovers before the next storm.

October 19, 2014

countdown to halloween: ghosts of halloween past

As I prepare to go out and purchase this year's Halloween treats (the ones I've already bought and eaten don't count!) I thought a little reflection on treats-of-the-past might be appropriate.

The genius in this photograph was not in those sturdy costumes displaying a picture of the wearer's intended identity (as helpful as that might be). Nor was it in the nature of the treats themselves. No, the genius was in selling miniature bags of potato chips in large plastic bags that then doubled as trick-or-treating bags.  Brilliant. Today's large cardboard boxes simply don't have the same versatility.

October 18, 2014


First pre-Halloween wind/rain storm survived with only minor prop damage. Good to see I've learned something over the years.

October 17, 2014

new candy strategy

I like molasses kisses.  Not "love".  Just "like".  In a "take 'em or leave 'em", "eat them if there's nothing else" kind of way.  So I'm hoping that my strategy of filling the candy dish with these instead of with miniature chocolate bars results in a slower rate of pre-Halloween candy consumption.

They can't possibly disappear faster than the miniature chocolate bars did.

October 15, 2014

countdown to halloween: ghosts of halloween past

As I gradually put the pieces in place for this year's yard haunt, I sometimes reflect on yard haunts past.  I believe this photograph captures my very first "yard haunt". Where it all began. Twenty years ago. And as incredible as it seems now, I recall being immensely proud of my "pumpkin scarecrow".

My daughter seems less impressed.

October 14, 2014

countdown to halloween: ghosts of halloween past

This was an unusual Thanksgiving long weekend in that I spent it quietly at home. Most years, the holiday is an excuse for a road trip, several of which have taken me to Salem for the city's Halloween celebrations. The photograph below was taken on my most recent trip and has me thinking about a return visit next year.

Wonder if this guy will show up again.

October 13, 2014

October 12, 2014

countdown to halloween: ghosts of halloween past

It's the Thanksgiving long weekend. Traditionally, this is the weekend I do one of two things: leave town on a road trip or get caught up on Halloween preparations. This year, it's the latter. My goal this year has been to create a yard haunt without buying any new materials. Instead, I'm trying to use up all the junk/leftovers/odds and ends that have been accumulating in my shed and in my basement over the last several Halloweens.

It's got me thinking about simplicity. Sometimes the simplest creations are the most effective. Like this guy from a few years back.

Just a basic styrofoam wig head. Facial features deepened. Covered with a layer of paint. Creepiest guy in the yard that year. My neighbour thought it was my son. Not sure if he should be flattered.

October 11, 2014

it's back

After years of drought, my local liquor store is selling my favourite pumpkin ale. The best pumpkin beer I have ever had. One that actually tastes like pumpkin beer, unlike so many others (too numerous to mention here).  I feared this day would never come again.

The time for rejoicing is at hand!