Tuesday, November 1, 2016


This blog's about Hallowe'en and meant to be generally impersonal, But yesterday had some unusual aspects to it I wish to record.

As part of an annual pulmonary check-up (I have COPD) in June a CT scan revealed suspicious "nodules" that resulted in surgical removal of the upper lobe of my left lung in August. Adenocarcinoma was determined after tissue biopsy, lung cancer. This should've come as no surprise since I was a pack-a-day smoker for 46 years and had only quit in May. To kill any cancer cells that may remain, and as a preventive measure, chemotherapy was ordered, and the first session was to be on October 31st! My favorite day of the year! I could've asked to change the day, but you don't f**k with cancer and the oncologists wanted to get going, so I agreed.

I was at the clinic until 4:30 and had to rush home to get the pumpkins out into the yard and into my costume (trick-or-treat was 5:00 to 8:00 here). Of course, I had no idea how'd I'd be feeling; would I spend Hallowe'en with my head in the toilet, puking my guts out? Happily, the anti-nausea meds I'd been given worked a treat, and it was a wonderful evening. We had ca. 70 to 80 trick-or-treaters, the temperature was comfortable for the end of October in Wisconsin, and there was enough of a spooky wind to rattle the dry leaves and those still clinging to their branches.

So Hallowe'en was NOT ruined this year as I feared it might be. Thank-you, God.

Joined this year again by friends Ellen, Bob and Nick.


Bruce (but Ellen drew the mouth)

Bruce, and not at all happy with it.

Ellen did a terrific job on this owl.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Out the Window This Afternoon

The maple in the front yard putting on more an orange and bronze show this year rather than red and yellow. Overcast and damp, temperature higher than usual for us this time of year, and if the forecast holds the trick-or-treaters should be pretty comfortable on Monday ("Aw, Ma, I don't wanna wear a coat over my costume!"). Last year was very chilly.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Inside Shots

Can't see them well in this shot, but the Ephraim Pottery vase has bats. That's a strip of Dennison border crepe on the table.

Print by William Basso on the easel.
Lanterns...I got lanterns...
This bookcase holds my Halloween, ghost stories, paranormal, witchcraft, cemeteries, etc. It looks like this pretty much year round except for the JOLs atop.
Pay no attention to that man reflected in the glass.
Tiffany (repro.) bat lamp far right.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Lurn How Ta Use Yer Danged Camera, Will Ya?

Gosh, I've only had this camera (Kodak EasyShare Z915) for about six years and maybe it's time I tried some of its options (I hate--repeat, hate--reading manuals). These were done in "candlelight" mode, camera mounted on a tripod (no flash). So here are some of this year's decorations.

Taken outdoors from the yard.
Taken indoors, looking out.
From outdoors.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Had to Have It

I'm a sucker for miniature lights, whatever the season. Something about them has fascinated me since I was a kid. It must've been in the early 1960's we got our first set of miniature Christmas tree lights. They were blue with white wiring, and, get this, each little bulb had a threaded base that screwed in to the socket (just as you'd screw in a standard lightbulb into, say, a lamp socket).

Okay, fast forward to yesterday. I'm at Target and I see this "weeping willow" with orange LEDs. It's quite impressive at four feet in height. I hesitate because I need more Halloween decorations like I need cancer (there's a story about that I may share here later) and do I really want to spend sixty bucks on this?

Thought about it overnight, and while out and about today running errands I reminded myself there was only one of these on the shelf yesterday, so if I want it I better get over there pronto. So I did.

 (You're seeing some shadows from the flash here, The branches aren't quite as thick as they may appear.)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Whoa, That Was a Close One

Woke up this morning to rain which continued during much of the day and I was not a happy man. The one day in all the year to which I really look forward and with which capricious Nature can wreak havoc. Though I'm not a terribly religious fella I did say a prayer. It was answered or just coincidence, but by around 4:00 the rain had stopped (Trick-or-Treat was 5:00 to 8:00 here). By 4:30 I had the tiki torches and jack-o'-lanterns out in the yard.

The first hour was rather slow and mostly toddlers with their parents since it was still light out. I was joined by friends Bob and Ellen and their son, Nick. Busiest between 6:00 and 7:00. The youngest didn't appreciate my costume but I do think there should be some frights on Hallowe'en, so there.

By 7:30 the sidewalks were almost deserted, we were all hungry and decided to go for pizza. I put a "Help Yourself" sign on the cauldron holding the treat bags before we left. I had stuffed 80 of them and there were maybe 20 or so remaining at that point. When we got back the cauldron was empty, so I had 20 more during that time or some little bastard got greedy when he saw no one was there supervising. I really didn't care one way or the other.

Around 11:00 I went out to check if the candles in the porch pumpkins needed refreshing (I keep them burning all night), and had a unique Hallowe'en Moment: the moon was rising in the east but at the same time there was thunder and lightning and we had a shower lasting about two minutes (which didn't put out the tiki torches, by the way--they're made of sterner stuff, I guess).

Until late this afternoon I was pretty sure the day would be a bust and am happy to say it was certainly not. Wherever you may be I hope your own was a good one.

The porch pumpkins (upper row are Funkins, bottom row the real thing):

That's me on the left, Nick on the right. My skull mask came from Piratemask's shop on Etsy.