September 21, 2014

the grass is always greener . . .

For many years, I could only watch with envy as others enthused about the plethora of Halloween-themed and/or pumpkin flavoured foods that began appearing on store shelves at this time of year. Sadly, few of these products made it across the border into Canada.

So imagine my excitement when I discovered that new Canadian resident, Target, has begun stocking some of these seasonal delicacies.  Thrilled, I snapped up one of these beautiful packages and rushed home.

Alas, my excitement was short-lived. Where I had anticipated delectable orange-hued chips sprinkled among the chocolate (at best, pumpkin-spiced; at worst, butterscotch) I encountered instead dry, hard-coated orange candies whose bitterness seemed to mirror my own.

Perhaps I'll console myself with a pumpkin spice latte.

September 19, 2014

and so it begins . . .

Purchased the season's first package of miniature chocolate bars today. But not the last. No, definitely not the last . . .

September 16, 2014

soft spooky glitter

Maybe it's just me, but regarding the spooky hands on the left, I think the soft, glittery fur somewhat diminishes the "spooky" factor.

September 13, 2014

September 12, 2014

mmmmmm . . . Snickers

So . . . based on these results, I see that I am not alone in my opinions on Halloween candy. I would fall in with the majority (of Food Network viewers) on all of these, although the "Candy Corn" results seem pretty evenly split. Perhaps I am not the only one out there with a love/hate relationship. I sense a real need for a candy corn support group.

Meanwhile, pass the Snickers.

September 10, 2014

and so it begins . . .

Backyard Turning Leaf Watch 2014 has officially begun.

The green leafy view from my back deck was unmistakably tinged with yellow, red and orange this evening.

September 7, 2014

a little light reading

Admittedly, I have a weakness for magazines at this time of year. And it doesn't take much to reel me in. Just put a pumpkin on the cover and I'm sold! And in addition to my usual purchases, I've recently discovered that Food Network (to which I am also addicted) magazine has some impressive Halloween content.

This year's reading material is already starting to pile up.

September 5, 2014

pumpkin envy

Locally grown pumpkins have begun to appear around the city. Large and bright orange and perfectly shaped. Professional pumpkins. Making me a little envious as I continue to nurture my much smaller future jack-o-lanterns along the road to Halloween night.

I probably shouldn't show them this photo.

September 2, 2014

the underdog

One month ago, the situation was bleak.

I had returned from vacation in late July to a front-yard pumpkin patch of despair. Small plants. Few vines. No flowers. And certainly no fledgling pumpkins. I feared all might be lost. I grasped for a reason. Was it the cold, wet June? The new brand of seed I was trying? The gardener to whom I has assigned the care and feeding of my babies (my daughter assured me she had followed my instructions to the letter).

Assignation of blame was futile. There was nothing to do but break out the fertilizer and hope for the best.

Then suddenly, the tide turned. Flowers appeared and soon after, a couple of small promising pumpkins. Nothing approaching the specimens of recent years, but large enough to hold eyes and an evil grin. I rejoiced. Halloween might be saved after all!

And then I went away again for a long weekend. This time, upon my return, I was greeted not by a pumpkin patch of despair, but by three new growing pumpkins; one of which, a tiny one for whose survival I had feared, has now reached basketball size.  My heart is full.

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

September 1, 2014

brushing away the cobwebs

The rumours were true. Pumpkin Spice latte has arrived early this year.

Time to dust off the blog and start giving more serious consideration to Halloween.

November 1, 2013

the day after the night before

Savouring a quiet moment between groups of trick-or-treaters.

Several good scares. Some jaded ten year-olds. A few kids too frightened to walk up the path and instead, having treats taken to them by my son (in costume), which was apparently also frightening. And only one child who may be traumatized for life. The wind and rain held off until 9 o'clock. Allowing us to pack up the lightweight props. 

Still windy and rainy today. Nothing to do but organize and pack up and eat leftover candy.

October 31, 2013

happy halloween

Candy corn in my breakfast smoothie this morning.

Monster meatloaf (albeit more cheerful looking than I had intended) this evening.

It must be Halloween! Happiest of Halloweens!

October 29, 2013

countdown to halloween: frosty

It's certainly been the coldest Halloween week in recent years.

Woke up this morning to frost on the tombstones.

October 28, 2013

countdown to halloween: signs of life

Finally. Just when hope was all but lost. Scattered signs of Halloween's proximity have begun to appear around my neighbourhood.

This tree witch and her ilk have arrived not a moment too soon.

October 27, 2013

countdown to halloween: fingers crossed

According to the long term weather forecast, today's rain should be the last rain I'll see until Friday.

So I'm hopeful that, between now and Halloween, there'll be no more days spent looking out the windows at wet pumpkins.

October 26, 2013

countdown to halloween: the birds

I have been a Hitchcock fan for most of my life. But one of his movies that I have consistently avoided has been The Birds.

I blame it on my childhood chicken trauma. When I was very young, we kept chickens. And I have nightmare-ish memories of standing near the hen house as they rushed out and surrounded me. Dozens upon dozens of chickens. Heads bobbing. Feathers ruffling. Emitting horrible . . . chicken noises. I trace my lifelong aversion to birds to these early days of horror. So, of course, watching "The Birds" was inconceivable.

In case it might result in an experience like this:

Or this:

But now, more than 40 years later, I felt ready. I was confident that I might now sit and watch birds (even vicious, unpredictable, blood-thirsty birds) on a screen in front of me. Without fear.

So 50 years after the film's release, I made the attempt.

And I'm proud to say that I survived. With no pillow required to hide behind. In fact, the screen birds weren't even especially terrifying. Which is the beauty of a 50-year-old film and those vintage special effects. Real-life birds are still terrifying to me of course, but this experience may have given me the confidence to begin to revisit a variety of childhood traumas. Who knows?  Maybe I can address my childhood insect trauma with a viewing of The Fly (1950's version only).

October 25, 2013

countdown to halloween: jekyll and hyde

A church. A cold, dark night. A silent film version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, with live musical accompaniment provided by the church organist.

 That's all I needed to hear.

Oddly, the tickets and posters advertised the Fredric March version. What we saw was the John Barrymore version. But why quibble?

October 24, 2013

countdown to halloween: october reading

A highlight of last October's trip to Salem was The House of the Seven Gables.

We visited the house, upon which the novel was based, twice during our weekend trip. Once for a daylight tour and once for an evening theatrical presentation focused cleverly upon the story, with the audience moving through various rooms in the house and having the story gradually revealed by an actor within each room.

My enjoyment of the experience was not at all diminished by the fact that I had never read the actual story.

But I was determined to rectify this. So when I stumbled upon a copy of the story at a summer book sale, I bought it to add to my autumn reading. I'm halfway through and the neat thing is that, as I'm reading, I'm visualizing the actors and their presentation of the story. Which I think is a credit to their performance.

Unfortunately, Dusty (the seven gables cat) has yet to make an appearance in the novel.