Come in for a Spell

Song of the Day:   Thriller – Michael Jackson –  click here for music link


I am sorry to say that I have become one of those people who hide inside on Halloween… know those cheap miserly souls who turn off the lights and pretend they’re not home.   Only last year the three little girls from across the street came pounding on the door while it was still daylight, and I do mean pounding (the idea of someone not celebrating Halloween being foreign to them), so I managed to scrape up some change for I had not sunk so low as to have resorted to giving out apples.   I used to do Halloween – I used to buy 120 bags of Cool Ranch Doritos or Cheetos, and the same number of chocolate bars when there were lots of kids in my neighbourhood, but they have all grown up.   Then when my mother moved off the farm to a subdivision loaded with kids, I did Halloween there, until her hip surgery when she could no longer get to the door, and I started working evening shifts.   I remember it being fun, checking out all the different costumes.   I have an old box of costumes in the basement somewhere, pirates and witches and gypsy things, but none of that is in style anymore.  I should throw them out, but for some reason whenever I clean up the furnace room, back in they go.   The kids were always excited to get something other than stale bags of chips, but the chocolate bars got smaller and smaller over the years – I am sure by now they must have disappeared entirely and all you get is the wrapper.   

Usually Halloween would be cold and rainy, but wasn’t that part of the fun, walking around the neighbourhood with your friends at a time you would not normally be out.   It was such a miserable windy night two years ago that looking out the upstairs den window periodically I saw exactly one spook the whole evening.  I always worry when only one spook shows up at the door – wouldn’t it be lonely or scary to go alone?   Do parents even let their kids go out on Halloween anymore, or is it safer at the mall or at a class party?  When I grew up in the country, my mother drove us up and down the line to the neighbouring farms, where we went inside and made them guess who we were, and sometimes even if they had guessed right we would solemnly shake our heads no.   Then we were treated to popcorn balls and fudge and all manner of delightful homemade treats.   The only year we begged our mother to take us into town afterwards (we had heard you got more candy in town), we got the dreaded apples – the saviour of those who have run out.  Our costumes were home-assembled, ghosts and witches and tramps, since everyone knew everyone anyway, but with those hot plastic masks which made it difficult to breathe, we thought we were well disguised.  Occasionally someone along the line (blamed on the older boys) would push over an old outhouse or shed, but other than that there was no vandalism, just a bit of nighttime mischief.   We ate our Halloween candy too – the best first, then portioning out the rest over the next few weeks, saving those awful molasses Halloween Kisses for last.  I wonder if they still make those?   What do parents do with all that stale candy now that kids aren’t allowed to eat candy?

If I’m going to do Halloween properly this year I will need some new decorations.  I don’t have much in the way of decorations – an ugly rat I used one year to scare my assistant – I put it on top of her computer terminal and she jumped sky high.   

A sign that caught my eye at Winner’s one year – Come Inside For A Spell.   My mother painted a witch picture for me so these will help decorate the front door.

Witch on Broom – 2017

She also did Ghost Barn which is currently in a juried art show and they liked it so much they asked to keep it on display over the winter.

Ghost Barn - AMc

Ghost Barn

    Recently I saw a black candy bowl with a bony arm that reached for you when you took the candy and a battery operated scary voice – but it was $25 and might scare the little ones.    I once had a Count Dracula that spewed bubbles out of its mouth when you walked past it and that was a great hit, but the battery died after a few years.   My little 5 year old neighbour advised me that the dollar store is the best place for decorations, so I bought a ghost to hang in the birch tree (best on a windy night),

Ghost in the wind

Ghost in the wind

and a black spider web for the front door.  

One of my fondest memories of trick or treating in the country was getting homemade treats, so I think Rice Crispy squares will be just the thing for those three little spooks from across the street, along with their Cheetos and Doritos….and maybe some microwave fudge…   

PS.   They say that on All Hallow’s Eve the veil between this world and the spirit world is very thin.   Speaking of spirits, my first WordPress follower, Janowrite has a blog on ghost stories and the paranormal.  Here’s a link to her website and her books.    Please pay her site a visit as I am sure this must be a favourite time of year for her.   I found it kind of uncanny that my very first follower would deal with the paranormal as I had only made the blog public a week previous and was feeling kind of discouraged and thinking I might give up.  (In truth it was more time consuming than I had thought).   Then last month at a craft show, I had an interesting conversation with two ladies who had a psychic booth.  They were selling crystals and stones and I had stopped to look at their jewelry, and picking up their business card, asked if they did housecleaning too.  (I did not have my glasses on).   They laughed and said they did clearing, as in helping people who had died get to the afterlife if they were having difficulty, kind of like an escort service for stuck souls.   Then the other day, a picture of my dad’s tombstone randomly showed up at the top of my picture file, a picture I had not seen for over ten years.   I wondered if it was a sign from the afterlife that I should continue?  If you’ve had three signs, you should pay attention.   Happy Halloween and may the only Ghosts you see be kindly spirits.

If you are looking for something to read in between handing out treats the book, I See You, is highly recommended.  

 I See YouI See You by Clare Mackintosh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A murder mystery thriller perfect for reading on Halloween night in those lulls between handing out the candy…..ok maybe not such a good idea.  Guaranteed to have you double checking all the locks before you go to bed, and I personally ended up deleting all personal pictures from social media. I liked the fact that the characters were flawed, which made the ending so much more delicious – a real treat.

Halloween Update:  It was a cold night but windy so the ghost was swirling merrily in the tree.  Good costumes but nothing exotic, except for one Donald Trump.   Lots of leftover candy which needs to be donated as it is rapidly being consumed.   I had a helper for the evening as the 9 yr old girl from across the street had both arms in casts, but she could still move her wrists so she helped me hand out candy and we played Go Fish and Crazy Eights in between (funny how those games come back to you).   Later after their rounds, her two sisters came over and they collapsed on the couch in a candy induced coma to watch tv….unfortunately I don’t get the Disney Channel so they went home at nine.  The Rice Krispie squares were all consumed (because our dad knows you won’t poison us), but I didn’t get around to the fudge…..oh well there’s always next year.   

12 thoughts on “Come in for a Spell

  1. janowrite says:

    Thank you so much for the mention and – another great blog post! The three things are a sign is interesting, almost a universal idea in folklore of various places. I always pay attention myself when there are three “clues from the cosmos!” 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. lindasschaub says:

    Funny … I didn’t know Jan was a follower and I was going to share today’s blog post with her. 🙂 I remember Halloween when I was a kid and in Canada we’d call out “Shell Out, Shell Out – the Witches are Out!” Over here in the States, it is strictly “Trick of Treat!” Ah, the good old days. I was not allowed to eat those orange and black peanut butter kisses – my parents said they’d pull my teeth out and I always came home with enough apples for my mom to make an apple pie.

    Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        She is very nice and we’ve chatted a few times as I’ve seen stories about ghosts in the news and forwarded them, as well as some great vintage photos I get from time to time from a client. Jan likes vintage pictures and I’ve had some from the 1800s to pass along. I like her Mob Haiku puns, and sometimes will send one back to her!

        Liked by 1 person

      • thehomeplaceweb says:

        I’m sure you must be a photographer, as your pictures are so good! What kind of camera do you use? I am in need of a new point and shoot, and have been debating between a small $200 Cannon and a more expensive heavier $600. There’s not as much choice now that most people are using cellphones. We have one camera shop in town, but I am hesitant to buy over the internet.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Thank you Joan and you will laugh because this year I did go out and buy a DSLR, my first one. I bought it a week before Father’s Day and it was on sale. But, because we had such a hot and humid Summer, I did not use it as much as I would have liked to as I would be dragging around it, and the camera case. Then we had this annoying rain every weekend, so I am hesitant to take it out. I researched a lot as I did use a 35mm camera years ago when I used to travel and I took photography lessons with it, but have not used it since my last trip in 1983. I spent a lot of time researching sites for a camera that took good pictures and ws easy to use and preferably a Canon as I’ve always had Canons and never had a bit of trouble with them. So, this is what I got and it was a great deal as it was a “kit” and on sale for Father’s Day so about $400.00 I believe, $150.00 off the regular price. I’m not usually that indulgent with myself, but figured it would be a present. Anyway, this is the camera and I got a long lens (73-300 mm lens) with it with made it a terrific deal: Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera. I got it it at Best Buy, but here you can see it at Amazon and it has the tripod, etc.

        I don’t have a smartphone, just a flip phone. I bought a point-and-shoot Canon compact digital camera in 2015. It has 12 X zoom and it takes good pictures and I am very happy with it – sometimes I look at my photos with the big camera, I like the small camera shots much better and I have to learn how to shoot manually – I just use automatic. This is the compact digital camera I use and it was about $125.00 I think and I got it on sale in 2015 (PowerShot ELPH 340 HS).

        Liked by 1 person

      • thehomeplaceweb says:

        Thanks, Linda. The Powershot ELPH was the one I was thinking of getting for a small point and shoot – it is $200 here Cdn. in the camera shop. I have also researched the Rebel, but I wonder if it wouldn’t be too complicated and heavy then I wouldn’t end up using it much. My current digital camera is from 2005 also, but the zoom lens sticks on it sometimes and I think it was only 8X zoom. I fear our outside picture taking days will be done soon anyway, and I am not a fan of winter photography.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Hi Joan. I’ve been really pleased with the Powershot ELPH … it takes great pictures and I’ve actually been more pleased with its pictures than the Rebel, but that’s because I’ve only shot on automatic with the Rebel thus far. As to the Rebel, it is a big camera but I think the body is quite light as it is plastic, compared to how I remember my 35mm camera from years ago. I left it at home on really hot days because it was sickening hot and humid and I was lugging the bag and I just preferred to have the compact camera hanging on my fanny pack rather than a camera strap on my neck. I bought the “Dummies” book from Amazon to teach myself how to use the manual settings but I’ll study it over the Winter when I get more time. I took very few pics of the snow last year with the compact – but we had a massive snowfall and did get some nice shots of what they called “Snowmageddon”. From my research of the Canon, it was rated the easiest camera to transition from a digital compact or a smartphone to a DSLR. For me, easier is better because I’m not using it for portrait photography; I am lucky to get squirrels to pose as I’m feeding them, but for birds or geese, they never stand still long. I was almost swayed by a digital compact with 55X zoom, but it did not get good reviews, so I went with the DSLR. Try to get a kit like I did if they have that because those long lenses are expensive. I lucked out as my promotion was for Father’s Day.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. ruthsoaper says:

    We used to have over a hundred kids show up in costume and it was always a question of who was going to stay home and pass out candy and who was going to take the kids out. I guess all of the kids in the neighborhood grew up as mine did. Now we might see 3-5 kids out, we usually have some treats on hand but don’t sit out on the porch waiting for them anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

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