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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Party Oct 31st

Skeletons of souls,
We are in the mist,
Satan has devoured that flesh to the bones... Upon your bed you sleep in pain
for nightmares whirl within your brain.
You waken with a fearful start
as horror grips your heart. You sense a presence standing there,
then all at once it meets your stare.
It waits within your room
and with it dwells your doom... They’re coming to get you, do you know who?
They’re white and bony just like you.
Noisy, rattling, very thick.
They’re long and skinny just like a stick.
Under your bed you have to go.
The skeletons are coming, you know. But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch's high estate.
(Ah, let us mourn!—for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him desolate !)
And round about his home the glory
That blushed and bloomed,
Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed. There the traveller meets aghast
Sheeted Memories of the past—
Shrouded forms that start and sigh
As they pass the wanderer by—
White-robed forms of friends long given,
In agony, to the Earth—and Heaven.

Click to watch the slideshow of the build.

Last day to comment to be entered in the draw for your own hollowed out pumpkin.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Party Oct 30

Are you just about ready? Only one more sleep to go Here's a bit of trivia for you:

86% of Americans decorate their homes at Halloween.
Upwards of $1.5 billion is spent on Halloween costumes annually and more than $2.5 billion on other Halloween paraphernalia, such as decorations, crafts, etc. More than $100,000 of that is said to be spent online.Halloween is the third biggest party day of the year behind New Year’s and Super Bowl Sunday, respectively.
Approximately 82% of children and 67% of adults take part in Halloween festivities every year.
Haunted houses are creepy fun, but also big business. The haunted house industry rakes in $300 million to $500 million dollars each year.

How about costumes?
From earliest times people wore masks when droughts or other disasters struck. They believed that the demons who had brought their misfortune upon them would become frightened off by the hideous masks. Even after the festival of Samhain had merged with Halloween, Europeans felt uneasy at this time of the year. Food was stored in preparation for the winter and the house was snug and warm. The cold, envious ghosts were outside, and people who went out after dark often wore masks to keep from being recognised.

The name Halloween dates from the 16th century.
Halloween is the 8th largest card sending holiday. The first Halloween greeting is dated back to early 1900 and today consumers spend around $50 million dollars on Halloween cards each year.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the first official citywide Halloween celebration in the United States happened in Anoka, Minnesota, in 1921.

Candy anyone?
Candy corn was revolutionary when it was first created for the simple fact that it was tri-colored.With an estimated $ 1.93 billion in candy sales, Halloween is the sweetest holiday of the year, beating out Easter, Valentine's Day, and Christmas. In fact, one quarter of all the candy sold each year is purchased between September 15 and November 10 making it the sweetest holiday of the year.

Trick or Treating:
The first incidence of the word “trick-or-treating” appearing in print comes from Chicago in 1927.
Kids have been walking door to door in costumes on Halloween night for centuries, but it’s only in the past few generations that they’ve shouted “Trick or Treat!” when doing it.
The custom probably has several origins. During Samhain, the Druids believed that the dead would play tricks on mankind and cause panic and destruction. They had to be appeased, so country folk would give the Druids food as they visited their homes.
An old Irish peasant practice called for going door to door to collect money, breadcake, cheese, eggs, butter, apples, etc., in preparation for the festival of St. Columb Kill.
Also a ninth-century European custom called souling. On November 2, All Souls Day, early Christians would walk from village to village begging for "soul cakes" made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and that prayer, even by strangers, could expedite a soul's passage to heaven.
A traditional food eaten on Halloween was barnbrack, a kind of fruitcake that can be bought in stores or baked at home. A muslin-wrapped treat is baked inside the cake that, it is said, can foretell the eater's future. If a ring is found, it means that the person will soon be wed; a piece of straw means that a prosperous year is on its way.

Bobbing for Apples:
Apples were the sacred fruit of the goddess, Pomona, goddess of the harvest, and many games of divination involving them entered the Samhain customs.
Bobbing for apples began as a Celtic fertility rite. Unmarried people would try to bite into an apple floating in water. The first person to bite into the apple would be the next one to marry.

The Witch, her broomstick and black cats:
The witch is one of the central symbols of Halloween. The name comes from the Saxon wica, meaning wise one. When setting out for a Sabbath, witches rubbed a sacred ointment onto their skin. This gave them a feeling of flying, and if they had been fasting they felt even giddier. Some witches rode on horseback, but poor witches went on foot and carried a broom or a pole to aid in vaulting over streams. In England when new witches were initiated they were often blindfolded, smeared with flying ointment and placed on a broomstick. The ointment would confuse the mind, speed up the pulse and numb the feet. When they were told "You are flying over land and sea," the witch took their word for it.
They kept a black cat as their familiar to help protect their powers from harm.

Pumpkin Facts
In 1584, after French explorer Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence region of North America, he reported finding "gros melons." The name was translated into English as "pompions," which has since evolved into the modern "pumpkin."
Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years and are indigenous here.
They are fruits. A pumpkin is a type of squash and is a member of the gourd family (Cucurbitacae), which include squash, cucumbers, gherkins, and melons.
Of the pumpkins marketed domestically, 99% of them are used as Jack-o-lanterns at Halloween. The carved pumpkin is perhaps the most famous icon of the holiday.

See you tomorrow for our last party day.
Remember to comment to be entered in the draw for your own hollowed out pumpkin.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Does anyone know how to network my blog on Facebook & add a widget?

Halloween Party Oct 29

A dark Cave. In the middle, a Cauldron boiling..
. . .Thunder. . .

WITCH #1: Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.
WITCH #2: Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin’d.
WITCH #3: Harpier cries:—’tis time! ’tis time!
WITCH #1: Round about the caldron go;In the poison’d entrails throw.—
Toad, that under cold stone,
Days and nights has thirty-one;
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot!

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

WITCH #2: Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

WITCH #3: Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;
Witches’ mummy; maw and gulf
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark;
Root of hemlock digg’d i the dark;
Liver of blaspheming Jew;
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse;
Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips;
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,—
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingrediants of our caldron.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

WITCH #2:Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.
These lovely ladies and their steaming soup kettle were made for me by the very talented Sans in response to a Halloween swap a few years back.

Remember to comment to be entered in the draw for your own hollowed out pumpkin.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I have now officially resigned from the Luddites!
I've done something I thought I'd never do...
....I am on Facebook.


Arantxa's First Give-away

Don't anyone enter!! I have the water jug to the set she's giving away & I really want to win!

Halloween Party Oct 28

Help yourselves... hope you brought an appetite; there's lots to go round. I ordered a couple of jars of leeches from the Slash & Hack Drug Co or you could have some slices of pickled hearts. Over at the corner are some toadstools; I understand the red capped ones are especially good tasting. We could start with some finger food... Is this the first time food ever gave you the finger?
Aren't these great! Edible worms! The recipe is at the bottom in case you want to make some. Oh and I also have a crusty booger balls recipe ...but no photo!

Remember to comment to be entered in the draw for your own hollowed out pumpkin.
Yield: 100 worms
1 (6 ounce) package raspberry gelatin powder or 1 (6 ounce) package grape flavor gelatin
3 (1/4 ounce) envelopes unflavored gelatin
3 cups boiling water
100 flexible plastic straws
1 tall slender 4 cup container (same height as extended straws)
3/4 cup whipping cream
12 -15 1/16 drops green food coloring

Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
1 In a bowl, combine gelatins.
2 Add boiling water; stir until gelatins completely dissolve. Chill until lukewarm, about 20 minutes.
3 Meanwhile, gently pull straws to extend to full length; place in tall container.
4 Blend cream and food coloring with the lukewarm gelatin mixture. Pour into container, filling straws.
5 Chill until gelatin is firm, at least 8 hours, or cover and chill up to 2 days.
6 Pull straws from container (if using a carton, tear carton away from straws). Pull straws apart; run hot tap water for about 2 seconds over 3 to 4 straws at a time. Starting at the empty ends, push worms from straws with rolling pin, or use your fingers; lay worms on waxed paper-lined baking sheets.
7 Cover and chill until ready to use, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
8 Worms will hold at room temperature up to 2 hours.
Crusty Booger Balls
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
14 ounces flaked coconut
1 (8 ounce) package lime gelatin
1 cup ground, blanched almonds
1 teaspoon almond extract

Prep Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
1 In a large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, coconut, 1/3 cup of the unprepared gelatin, almonds, and almond extract.
2 Mix well with a large mixing spoon or rubber spatula.
3 Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for about an hour or until mixture is firm enough to mold in your hands.
4 Scoop by ½ teaspoonfuls and shape into various-sized booger balls.
5 Place them on a baking sheet, lined with a sheet of waxed paper.
6 Make sure they are all slightly different, just as each and every booger is unique and special.
7 Place a second sheet of waxed paper on your work surface and pour remaining unprepared lime gelatin on the center of the waxed paper.
8 Roll each ball in gelatin to coat well and create a thin outer layer.
9 Then place back on the baking sheet.
10 Return boogers to the refrigerator for and hour before serving, and store any extras in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Party Oct 27

Wow, you guys sure wore some great costumes! Costumes probably date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when folks believed that if they disguise themselves as spirits, the restless dead walking the earth would pass them by. It’s only in recent days that the costume repertoire has expanded to include superheros and fairy princesses. Maybe our kids desperately need to ward them off, too?
Between costumes, decorations and trick or treat candy, North Americans spend more than $6 million. Apparently Alice in Wonderland costumes sold out early; next in popularity are Buzz Lightyear and Harry Potter characters this year.
Ken & I are going to hand out treats at my stepdaughter's house so they can both take the kids. Nobody comes to our house; we're too far out in the country. It's so cute watching the littlest ones in their costumes ...oh and speaking of little ones, pet costumes are a big industry that's growing bigger all the time.

OMG a face only a fur baby mother could love!

Is it any wonder there are more dogs biting their owners!

these guys are making me hungry! Why don't you help me bring out the party food....

Remember to comment to be entered in the draw for your own hollowed out pumpkin

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Christmas International Swap

Well it's now official. I'm getting my Christmas gifts from Spain(?)Google translate seemed to have a bit of trouble so I'm not 100% sure if I'm right when I say Spain but they're definitely coming from RosaMaria. Oooooh I just love continental gifts!

And I'll be sending mine to Natalie Frank who lives in Spokane Washington USA. I peeked in at her Scarlet Sails blog. Seems Natalie specializes in needle point. I'm just not sure what her other interests are. Hmmmmm guess that leaves my choices wide open!

I'm going to need 1 Christmas gift, 1 toy and 1 gift representing autumn. Any one have any suggestions?

Just to let you know...

Julia is having a 250 follower give-away. Originally I thought to just show it on the side bar of my blog ....and I have put it there as well.
Julia is the lady who showed up with the wheelbarrow full of pumpkins, all the way from Wales. She & her hubby do the most amazing buildings that are one reason for me following her blog. Congrats on achieving 251 followers, Julia! If you want a chance to own her sampler, click here.

While I was in Nova Scotia, I tried doing a petite point sampler. My grandmother used to do the most incredible embroidery, so I figured "how hard could it be". Well now I know! As soon as I'm ready for more eye strain, I might even finish it so I can show you.

Halloween Party Oct 26

Hello come on in! Oh no, you're not the first to arrive. Janice, Margaret and Chelle are already here; Pammmmmy came all the way from Nova Scotia shhhh don't tell anyone: she's supposed to be working on her castle & I heard she hasn't even unpacked it yet!
Julia sent over a wheelbarrow full of pumpkins. Thank you Julia; they're lovely....just follow the pumpkin trail in the garden. Lori and Ascension can show youWe're just carving some more pumpkins. Did you know that the tradition of using pumpkins started in America because they were cheaper than the traditional Irish turnips? I even heard that some Irish used to carve out potatoes.
Oh yeah....., it all started in Ireland. Apparently there's an Irish legend that tells of a man named Stingy Jack, who invited the Devil to have a drink. When it came time to pay, he convinced the Devil to change into a sixpence, then instead of paying for the drink Jack kept the sixpence and stored it beside a silver cross, which stopped the Devil from changing back.
Old Jack wasn't stupid! He made a deal with the Devil before letting him free so the Devil couldn't harass him. Next Halloween Jack died and was turned away from the Gates of Heaven because of his evil ways.
He went to the Gates of Hell and the Devil told him to go away since Jack had made him promise not to claim his soul. Jack didn't want to leave because it was dark and he couldn't find his way. The Devil tossed Jack a glowing coal and Jack put it inside a turnip, and ever since with this "Jack O' Lantern", Stingy jack's lonely soul has been roaming the faces of this earth.

The other story that I've heard says that October 31st is the day where the curtain separating the dead from the living is thinnest and the light from those candles ward evil spirits away from the houses.
I can't imagine carving out a potato. I have enough trouble working on a pumpkin...When I was a kid, we just hollowed out our pumpkins so we could burn a candle in it. You knew when people ran out of candy to give away because they'd blow the candle in the Jack-o-lantern out.
Now pumpkins really get carved! Wow. ...and he even gives you instructions so you can make your own.

I do have some squash if you want to try carving them...oh and please don't carve the large one. I have other plans for it.

Remember to comment to be entered in the draw for your own hollowed out pumpkin.