Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Come and Gone

Given the forecast (high 33, 20's for the evening) I'd planned ahead and just before 5:00 (t-or-t was 5:00 to 8:00 here) put the Cauldron O' Treats on the front walk with a "Help Yourself" sign. It was way too cold to be outside in a costume (or bundled up in a winter coat for that matter). I'd intended to use my Wicked Witch outfit from a few years back but a witch in mittens, woolen scarf and insulated boots wasn't the look I was striving for.

I was surprised at the number of trick-or-treaters, assuming the cold would keep many of them home. The cauldron had 200 suckers in it (the sign said "Take 2") and when I brought it in at 8:30 there were maybe 50 or 60 left. Some kids may have had a liberal interpretation of "2," I grant you.

I'm glad they were out and hope they enjoyed themselves. The day was a disappointment for me; I wanted to be out there, too, but I've had a lingering cold/flu much of October and didn't want to chance it getting worse. So I didn't do much decorating this year with a view to a much easier pack-up later this week when I take down what little I did.

Hoping your Hallowe'en was eerie, mysterious, and wonderful!

It's always good for the soul to have something to look forward to. October 31st of 2018 will be better.

Punkin Pie

There's punkin pie for Hallowe'en.
The worstest slop you've ever seen.
It's not for real, it's Sara Lee.
We're going to heave, just wait and see.

We shouldn't have eaten all those treats.
We're feelin' green down to our feets.
Bring Pepto for the tummy-ache,
And make it quick, for pity's sake.


Monday, October 30, 2017

The Incense of October Evenings

Leaf Smoke

There are sound reasons for not burning leaves. Their smoke adds to the urban smog, their smoldering flames create a fire hazard, and unburned leaves make good mulch and compost. Burning them is both wasteful and hazardous, so nowadays enlightened folk either compost autumn leaves or let the trash men haul them away.

But now and then some suburbanite or villager forgets all these good reasons, or ignores them, and rakes a pile of leaves into some safe place and burns them, for his own good reasons. When he does, other nostalgic people sniff the evening air and remember forgotten autumns when leaf smoke was the incense of October evenings, uninterrupted by television, unhurried by the delusion of protracted daylight saving time.

It isn't only the leaf smoke, pungent as it is. It is all the other remembered fragrances of the season, the spiced aroma from the pickling kettle in the rural kitchen, the acrid scent of walnut hulls, the smell of roasting chestnuts, the beady tang of apple cider, the savory simmer of mincemeat in the making, the tantalizing smell of pumpkin pie in the oven. It is frosty mornings and Indian summer days, and the hearthside smell of wood smoke curling from an evening chimney.

It is wasteful, unwise, in some places illegal leaf smoke. And yet it is October and autumn evenings and remembered years. If you are middle-aged, don't allow yourself to smell it or you may wonder what happened to those years.

(Hal Borland's Twelve Moons of the Year, Knopf, 1979)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Ho, ho, ho, Hallowe'en

Superman and Zorro, Christmas 1958 and '59 (get a load of our spiffy B & W TV set!). In them thar days the Christmas catalogues from the likes of Montgomery Ward and J. C. Penney offered these "play suits." They were better quality than Hallowe'en costumes, heavier fabric, etc. Months later I'd have worn these for trick-or-treat. My penchant for "dressing up" is still with me all these years later and one of the joys of October 31st for me is to become, however briefly, someone I'm not.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Country Graveyard

Took a ride out to the boonies today to see the fall colors. This crumbling family plot in a country cemetery looks to be a good site for me to put a jack-o'lantern as part of the Great Pumpkin Project.

Note the drapery at the top of the lady's monument: "The veil, which in funerary art usually looks more like a curtain, is a symbol of the passage from one type of existence to another. Veils are meant to protect as well as conceal." (Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography, Douglas Keister).

Monday, September 25, 2017

They're Here!

Arrived today from Pulp Novelties. Fantastic sculpture and painting. Nosferatu is particularly creepy, a close second being the ghost.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Etsy Shout-Outs

Thanks to Mark Ledenbach's site found out about PulpNovelties by Milwaukee artist Timothy Ramzyk. Here are two examples of his work. I have coming the ghost, witch, Nosferatu and skull and can hardly wait to see them!

And Fiona at RoyalHouseofWhimsy makes wonderful witch (and many other kinds) hats. She can do custom sizing for people like me with big noggins! This is her Wicked Witch of the West model.