Saturday, July 22, 2017

The July Itch.

Call it inevitable, but every July I am literally yearning for October. It's that time again.

As somebody who is not a home haunter (on any large scale), and as somebody who has other favorite holidays,too, I still yearn for Halloween more than any other holiday. I yearn for October and the Fall and for everything that comes with it.

It starts the middle of July every year. When the newness of summer has worn off and the heat is at it's worst (well, almost at it's worst) and you are just screaming inside for a break. For me, I start to hum the Halloween soundtrack. It comes while I drive. It comes while I do the dishes and look out my window into my open yard. I imagine Michael standing there staring, behind the clothesline. I start to look for Candy Corn at the store. Yeah, it's gross, but it's also nostalgic. Along with Tootsie Rolls and Smarties. That combo is Halloween night to me. I start to fill my Amazon Cart with fun things for Halloween. Never pressing buy, of course. Chickening out and moving them to Save For Later.

I ask my kids what they plan to be for Halloween and we relive past Halloweens while we drive, talking about future ones,too. My daughter wants to make sure she can be several things for Halloween, while my oldest son makes sure his costume will be unique and thought-out. My youngest wants the simple, classic Ghost, Bat, or Ghoulie.

I've also started to enjoy the tastes of the season early. I usually like to wait until October, but seriously if you know me at all you will know that I'm extremely impatient. So, something that has been in our house for the past several months now has brought me much autumnal joy:

I found it at Grocery Outlet. That's a store here on the West Coast that buys overstock from other stores. I had high hopes for it and man, did it deliver! I must say it's the best Pumpkin Spice-flavored K-Cup I've tried. It barely needs sugar/cream and it's aroma is magical. The best part (because I'm cheap) is that there was a ton of it in the store and it was only a few bucks for a box of 18. I bought several boxes. They are fresh,too. This little thing is making the heat a bit more bearable and the countdown a bit more exciting. 

I even started to spot Fall decor in Hobby Lobby and at local gift shops. It's coming. Now, if you'll excuse me. I need to go steal away for a bit, put Wolfman on repeat, check out for some Halloween-themed treats, and dream of October. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

It's A Dead Man's Party

I heard this gem on the radio the other day and I was transported. I actually hear it quite frequently. But only in LA. So Oingo Boingo an LA thing? Ok, ok, go listen and then let's chat.

Ok so I know they aren't solely an LA thing, but they did originate here. I mean at least I think so? I know they created the wildly popular song, "Weird Science". The band was also the start of Danny Elfman's fame.

To me, this band and this song is SO LA and SO Halloween at the same time. I love that they play it a lot here on the radio (usually during 80's lunch break hours on popular stations). When I was a young lass, I went to school with the bassist's daughter. She was a few grades younger than me. I distinctly remember when we had to sell chocolate to raise money for our school and the prizes for the most sold varied from a trip to Disneyland all the way to a sucker from Disneyland (which, LOL!). In between the trip and the sucker were various things like t-shirts, etc. One year they were giving as a prize an autographed shirt from Oingo Boingo. I laughed at the time and thought, "Who?" Kinda kicking myself for not working harder to sell more chocolate that year.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Christmas Time Is Here....

I'm SO addicted to the Charlie Brown Christmas album. That is pretty much the soundtrack to my life right now. Just the right amount of melancholy.

As it has been for many, 2016 has been difficult for our family in a lot of ways. After Thanksgiving we headed to Central California to visit my folks and to "get away" from regular old life.  It's always soothing to breath in the Eucalyptus-filled air and spend time with the ones you love.

We took a trip further north to Cambria that weekend (home of the filming of the movie Arachnophobia!!!Love that) and enjoyed their Festival of Lights. I was delighted (much to my daughter's chagrin) to see a Krampus display set up. She pretty much freaked out. My 8 year old loved it.

LOL! Now that it is displayed in X-Large picture fashion, it's pretty bad, isn't it? My point is that I was delighted to see Halloween anything in this kind of environment:

Fun, right? Cambria hills in the background.

So I'm plugging along over here in chilly but sunny so Cal getting ready for Christmas. I do love Christmas.... 

We are looking forward to 2017, looking forward to more memories being made and looking forward to next Halloween! Hey, only 10 months away.....

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Last Week

So Halloween has come and gone. For me, it was in a whirlwind fashion. As my little family expands, I find it harder to slowly enjoy any holiday. My kids were asking to decorate for Halloween in August. It was a steady, daily asking of the question, "When can we decorate?" We held out until the second week in October. And although I am NOT a haunter, as I have come to affectionately know many in the haunt circle, I LOVE Halloween and I LOVE to decorate for it. I guess I decorate, I don't haunt? Hah! I don't know, that sounds like an argument waiting to happen. Decorators vs. Haunters. Like knitters vs. crocheters, right? (Crochet all the way, baby!) Before my tangent dives even deeper into weird town, here's our jackos:

 And a ghoul hanging out....

I know they aren't the best pictures. I don't know how to take good pictures. I guess this is just to prove that Halloween 2016 did happen at our house! If that wasn't convincing, I offer you the cutest freaking Dopey EVER:

I can't even. My youngest steals my heart every time. His ears!!!!! My daughter was Snow White and my son was a crazy prospector! Hah! I love that my son chose that costume because as strange as it sounds, he really is! He's obsessed with rocks, and geodes, and mining. Hehe. 

The Friday before Halloween our city held it's Fall Fest in their historical downtown district. So fun. Every year for the last 4 we've been and it's wonderful. Everything is free. The food, the games and candy, the old movies shown in an old historical theater. For the last two years we've entered the costume contest and (ahem) won a few medals! I'm pretty proud of that actually! Last year my oldest won Second Place for Spookiest in his age category. This year both him and my daughter took Second Place for their age categories for Most Creative (him) and Spookiest (her). My daughter chose to be a Vampire that night instead of Snow. There were hundreds of AMAZING costumes! Everything from Baby Ghostbusters to the Hatbox Ghost (I think he won first for most creative. His costume was phenomenally done. Wish I had a pic!). It really added to the fun atmosphere. Parents were also dressed up. I usually go as a vintage Halloween party-goer but this year I ran out of steam. My husband usually goes as Frankenstein's Monster but alas, we didn't get it together! I think I joked more than a few times that we were dressed up as Tired Parents.

Halloween night was great. I'm happy to say that MANY of our neighbors got into the spirit of Halloween this year. I had more sidewalk conversations with families or people we knew. There was one neighborhood about a mile away that was super magical. This one house in that neighborhood gave my son a HUGE bag full of goodies. I peeked inside their living room and it was adorned from ceiling to carpet with Halloween decorations. I loved it. They were having such a great time. It was in a poorer part of our neighborhood too. It made me smile. People with much less sometimes know much better how to celebrate life. By the end of the night our own house had a ton of Trick or Treaters. It was a satisfying holiday for sure. And we are STILL wading through bucket loads of candy. Sigh. It's never. Ending.

So this was way wordier than I wanted, so I'm wrapping it up. I plan on posting here throughout the days and weeks ahead because Halloween is always on my mind. Looking forward to next year!

How fun is this find? Thrifted it on a date night with the hubs. It's going to be used year round. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Great Pumpkin Project

Since last year's entry couldn't be topped, I went with something a bit more real.

I left this guy nestled behnd a tombstone in a local cemetary dear to my heart. It was nice to see others had left Halloween goodies for their deceased. Even still, a
 visit to a cemetary is always very sobering. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Monster (Mish) Mash

Things have been very busy around our house as October is spinning to a halt in just a week. Of course our celebrations won't stop next week. Thankfully we have a few Feast Days to take the sting out of the Halloween letdown: All Saint's Day, All Soul's Day, Mommy Steals Candy All Day.

Don't want to get ahead of myself. So, a recap of things we did this month, and the thoughts that went along with them.

We headed to Knott's Spooky Farm for the kiddos early in the month. There was ToT'ing among other fun things for them during the nice and non-scary day time hours. I snapped a pic of this guy. Knott's does a really great job of adding really special details during October. Like this pumpkin scarecrow. Love the bit of gingham sticking out from his chest area. Gotta keep with the Western theme!

To my shock and horror, about two weeks ago I went into Big Lots ready to spend some bucks on a few choice items I had my eyes on from September. They were all gone! In fact, almost all of Halloween was picked over and put away or on clearance. I liked this marque-esque sign above but not enough to buy it. I was really disappointed and kind of panicked that Halloween was getting the boot before it's time!

Fall tradition. At the first sign of these Bad Boys, my husband snatches one up and brings me one after work. He's awesome that way. Fortunately for me, he hates change so I plan on receiving one of these every October until I die. Or until Panera closes it's doors. It's a frosted sugar cookie and if you have never tried them, please do. They are delectable.

October rules for many reasons, but I'm extra fond of it because it's my Birthday Month! A friend and I left the kiddos behind and traveled via Hogwarts Express (ok, ok, it was the 101 Freeway) to Universal Studios this past weekend. Sigh. Dreamy. I adore the books and movies and I'm a big fan. This is Hogwart's Castle above. They did such a phenomenal job with all of the details. We actually spent more than 8 hours there and had a blast. We took the Studio Tram Tour and I haven't done that in ages. I snapped the bottom picture while we toured the backlot.

Krampus House made for the Universal Horror Nights. The Snowmen Pumpkinrot help design (for the movie, not the maze itself) are covered up unfortunately but the thing was pretty impressive in person. I bet it'd be a fun maze!

We visited Amity Island!

The whole tram JUMPED as Jaws came up close and lunged for us. My friend and I got pictures....but they were blurry. LOL.

Hitchcock Bust. We saw his old office,too.

Michael Bust.
These were on display in the most random of random places: The Jurassic Ride Gift Shop. Go fig. The ones below were,too.

And finally, my kiddo's contributions to our porch this October. My son carved his very first pumpkin all by himself. It boggles the mind how quickly time flies. His is the top. The bottom one is my daughter's. We tweaked it a bit to add a pumpkin bow. At her insistence. Other than that, it's a face only a mother can love! Speaking of moms, my mom is visiting and after my daughter's pumpkin losing a few teeth due to shaky carving, she suggested we stick them on with toothpicks. When she said that, childhood memories came flooding back of her helping us in the same way,too. Full circle, baby.

Above right is the coolest decoration from the 80's. Unfortunately it's head is cut off in the picture. It's a witch. She has a motion-sensor and makes a "spooky" wobbling noise when you get near her. My husband owns her and it's his favorite from childhood. It gets displayed every October. 

So three days til Halloween. Wow, that went quick. We are planning on picking up some pumpkins tonight , carving them, and offering them to The Great Pumpkin tomorrow some time. I had a zillion ideas in my head. Hollywood sign, the Beach, Walk of Fame, but in the end I'm keeping it real I think. Excited to show it off before Halloween day. I'll be helped by my brother,of course, and it'll be an awesome way to start the last weekend in October. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Halloween Filming Locations. I'm biased.

My brother finally posted the video I was waiting for. It's an ode to Adam the Woo's filming locations documentary (and most importantly Halloween) and I think it came out pretty darn well. Bravo to my brother. Even if he is a hipster.