This Halloween season is almost at an end but we have plenty of reasons to celebrate. One reason, this is the 50-year anniversary celebration of the Alfred Hitchcock filming of Psycho and it's the 35th year anniversary of Young Frankenstein.
I love scary movies and I love comedy - and these are two classics that are still watched today. I've never liked gore but most scary movies nowadays are filled with gore. I guess, the truth is, I really enjoy suspense.
What is it you enjoy watching, especially at the holidays (like Halloween) - I mean, what types of movies?
Okay I want us all to GO Green for Halloween - not White - as in toilet paper!!! So, don't give the kids something silly instead of candy.
I know, I know, we might not think kids need any more sweets than they already get in their soda and treats but if you hand out something less than flavorful - the kids will never forget and you just might end up getting papered - and I don't mean in a nice way.
You might end up picking toilet paper out of little cracks and crevices for months to come and it won't be off your body. You might find tiny bits and pieces thrown up into your trees and up over your house. Kids love to heave those rolls, like little footballs and watch them lob their way into unimaginable locations.
So, remember, we can all encourage going green for Halloween - just remember kids still expect to find a treat in their bag when they leave your doorstep. If they take a quick peek, and don't find something delicious, you just might end up getting tricked - in a very bad way.
Maybe you don't remember this little ditty from back in the day - but I do:
Trick or treat, Smell my feet Give me something good to eat 'cuz if you don't I don't care I'll pull down your underwear!
So, have a green Halloween - just make sure it isn't white.
You probably already know all of these but just in case you don't, here are a few helpful hints that you can tack up and get used to. I'll add more every now and then so you have time to learn them all:
Delete Word Back - Ctrl+backspace Delete Word - Ctrl + del Change Case - Shift +F3 Doc Close - Ctrl + W Paragraph Down - Ctrl + Down Repeat - F4 Undo - Ctrl Z
Decorating the house is EZ-smeezy. Everyone does that. We carve pumpkins and hand out candy to short passersby on October 31st but I like to do a little bit more. I even like to decorate my fingers and toes.
I don't have beautiful nails 'cuz I don't usually worry about painting anything. But, at the holidays, I love to have my hands dripping with art - even if it is stickable nail art.
But the scariest thing I see about this is the dirt hiding under the nails. YIKES. . . Now, THAT'S what I call scary!
So is there anything you do to go the extra mile-um-I mean inch? Any silly things you like to do at Halloween to add a little oomph into your celebration? Please share.
Treats don't last long around our house and, you can tell, just look at us. Heck, we don't believe in snackrificing good taste especially around the holidays. Just check out these caramel apples. I couldn't even get them off the silpat before we were slicing into them.
And they are soooo fun to make. Of course you can create your own caramel by melting sugar and butter on the stove until it turns to caramel. I do this when I'm making caramel corn but . . . it's a lot of work and your timing has to be pretty perfect for it to turn out "just right". I tend to like my caramel a little well done - my kids prefer it "under done" in my opinion. So I usually make a couple batches: one for all of them and one for, yep, you guessed it: me.
Anyway, there's a very easy way to make caramel - just buy a couple bags of the candy squares, add about a half cup of water and melt it in the microwave in a skinny bowl - that makes the apple dipping so much easier - and less waste. I'm always about saving money. Then set your apples out on a silpat or wax paper to set. Then put them in the refrigerator for fifteen minutes to stiffen. Take the apples out of the refrigerator - let sit for five minutes (if you can) and then munch on those crispy critters. You can see we add a few of our own critters to treats. I always like having a wormy apple to crunch on. :)
Sometimes I wish we could go back in time - and not just when I look in the mirror and try to figure out what wrinkle cream might actually work.
I get that longing for days gone by when I think back to the way Mom and Dad raised their house full of kids, the one I grew up in.
Dad worked in a paper mill, as a laborer, so they never had a lot of money - especially not since they took those words to heart to "go forth and multiply". Some times I wish they would have thought it meant to go sit in a corner and work out a few math problems instead of having nine kids.
But Mom taught me more than I could learn on my own about conserving, consolidating and re-crafting.
I still try to be green - especially at Halloween. And, we can all share a few simple ideas.
Instead of spending lots of money on commercial treats, why not have a homemade Halloween? Plan a party for the kids in your neighborhood. You can invite the kids to come over and bob for apples, make caramel apples and popcorn balls. Let the kids come in costume. It will be a fun-filled day the kids will remember for years.
We had these parties in our house, back when the kids were young.
We would buy pinatas and let the kids pound them to smithereens!
Let me know if you have a Homemade Halloween party. I'd love to hear all about it.
I traced these little mice out on thin foam sheets and then cut them out. Then I glued little wiggly eyes on and used poster gum to put them up all around the house.
I even put them out on the stairs and porch outside. Last year I cut them out of black construction paper but the rain ruined them. The foam will work well in Portland, Oregon's wet weather-I hope. There was only one problem with my plan, Sasha (my puppy) went around the house eating the little rodents. She didn't understand that they weren't real. Oh well, at least I'll never have to worry about being over-run by rodents - not with Sasha on guard.
The "kids" still like helping me make popcorn balls. And this is an ancient family recipe I'm sharing with all my blogging buddies. Okay, I know they're a little lopsided but so are my pumpkins :) They're supposed to look like Jack-o-lanterns. Use your imagination . . . POPCORN BALLS
2 and ½ quarts popcorn 1 cup sugar ½ cup water ½ cup white corn syrup ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vinegar ½ teaspoon vanilla (or orange extract) (Food Coloring: 1 teaspoon Red and 2 teaspoons Yellow to create orange)
(OPTIONAL: Chocolate Chips, green gum drops, raisins and red licorice)
Heat water, vinegar, extract and white corn syrup over medium heat, add in food coloring
Slowly add in sugar and salt until sugar is dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil – let boil 3 minutes.
Pour mixture over popcorn – in a metal mixing bowl, stir with metal spoon (mixture will be hot) When cooled a bit, shape into balls and place on wax paper or silpat sheet. Decorate them with green gum drop tops, raisin or chocolate chips for eyes and licorice for the mouth. Or, you can try whatever ideas you come up with.
You can also make ghosts out of the popcorn balls. You just don't use food coloring. These are fun and OH SO YUMMY!
Then she talked about how she finds time to write by getting up early, even on the weekends, and gives up opportunities to watch t.v. and go to movies or parties but she said, "Writing is my passion." And we all find time to do the things we love.
Lisa also threw out candy to the audience: What a great way to spend an afternoon, celebrating a book opening, eating pastry and chocolate and talking with old friends and making new friends. No better way to spend a Sunday.
That's not the kind of "green" I'm talking about. And, sure, I know we can all be a little witchy as the weather turns colder and the skies get darker. But, with a little preparation and thought, we can save some money and maybe help the earth at the same time.
At the holidays, it's easy to be wasteful but, I'm thinking, instead of overspending why not spend more time at home (with the kids) doing crafts and baking? Those are the memories that have stayed with my kids - not the toys I bought them - well, except for maybe a few video games that the "kids" have never forgotten: like Legend of Zelda and Mario Brothers. But this weekend my daughter (who is 21) is going to spend some time with mom (me) making popcorn balls. I'll probably do a post about it-including my own recipe. Plus, we love to decorate them with chocolate chip eyes and candy corn noses. It's a lot of fun, cheap entertainment and oh-so yummy. The only bad side effect is the addition to my waistline. But what the heck, life's short - so, I just choose to eat dessert first.
And, I may not end up looking like My Pretty Glenda but I'll sure be a little sweeter.
And, with the holidays just around the corner, I thought I'd start sharing some links to fun cyberspots. So, here you go. Check out these earth-friendly spots.
Frankenstein stops to say "Hi" Ghosts appear passing by Witches fly through the sky Now it's time to say good-bye
(Painted pumpkins by Shawna Puckett)
Carved pumpkins by Shay and Kara Remember to wash your pumpkin seeds and spread them on a cookie sheet with a little olive oil and salt - bake at 450 for about a half hour and you'll have instant munchies. Hope you have a Happy Halloween.
Between the Portland Nursery Apple Festival, where they gave away free popcorn and had great strudel topped with ice cream, bands playing and even face-painting: Shay was brave enough to volunteer to be the model: The Sauvie Island Pumpkin Patch, the hayride, and the birthday dinner for Luke, it was a weekend filled to the hilt with activity.
Luke came home for the weekend to celebrate the 1st anniversary of his 21st birthday!
We spent the "anniversary" weekend celebrating by doing all the things we've been doing since Luke was just a little guy. And, now, that he's 6'5" and 22 years-old, I think he enjoyed this birthday weekend with all the fun-filled blasts from his past.
Plus, we made caramel apples, ghost and pumpkin cookies--how could anyone not enjoy that sugarfied fun?
We topped off the birthday celebration with a family movie - okay, maybe the horror/comedy Zombieland isn't a movie for most families but . . . we enjoyed it.
And, I don't mind admitting that I was a little irritated with Jacob for trying to ruin my family photos but, if you look at the dinner photo above, you'll see that I was able to PhotoShop him out of there. But here's the way he would have looked - had I left him in.
I hope your weekend was filled with fun, festivals, and feasts!!!
JUNE 1st - SCHMOOZE, 9:30 a.m. - noon ? Vancouver - Clark County Children's Writers and Illustrators Our next schmooze is scheduled for Saturday, June 1st at 9:30 a.m. at the Cascade Park Library ? 600 NE 136th Ave. Vancouver, WA. 98664. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Vicki Lindstrom at email@example.com. ?
June 29, 2013 - MAKING YOUR FIRST PAGES SHINE with Chronicle Editor Melissa Manlove - this Rogue Valley Connection workshop is in Ashland. See website: www.scbwior.com/events for more details.
June 8, 2013 - Our FIRST SE PORTLAND schmooze is scheduled for Saturday, June 8th at 10:30 a.m. at the Holgate Library, a branch of the Multnomah County Libraries. This is your chance to Meet and Greet the Co-RAs, ask them questions, and get acquainted with each other. We will meet in the meeting room at the Holgate Library ? 7905 SE Holgate Blvd, Portland. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Carol Bloemen at firstname.lastname@example.org ?
SCBWI - The Great Critique - July 20th at Tabor Space
Thanks for visiting my site. "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." DC Talk