Posts Tagged ‘Halloween 2019’

Thursday, 31 October 2019

4:16 in the afternoon and we were ready.

ghost to the right is a piece of cloth with an apple inside


one of Judy and Larry’s ghosts
not very successful potting soil bag ghost

Note to self: Next year, cover that back garage window with some orange Halloween window film.

in back, one of Judy and Larry’s tomato cage ghosts

Note to self: Hide blue water bin with black landscape fabric.

treasure chest
and another treasure chest

In the woodland grotto (garage):

Must make the back door spookier.  Will paint it black this summer!


Allan’s mom’s Halloween creatures
candy supply table

Our grown up guests loved all the scary books, and I was told that children looked very closely at the treasure chests.

Joey Ramone (Allan’s photo) before he got put in the cat cage

In its own nook sat the Halloween grey cat art that Judy made in memory of my best friend, Smoky, who died and left me heartbroken two years ago at Halloween.

Allan’s photo

Here come the trick or treaters!

Willa and Jessika from next door (Allan’s photo)
Allan’s photo
Tony, Teresa, Patty, and Scott and Rudy arrive! (Allan’s photo)
Patty in our back garden (Tony’s photo)
Maddy, Jacob and Quincy (Tony’s photo)

MaryBeth, Marlene, Matt, Sarah, Larry, Marilyn, Shelly

in the grotto (Tony’s photo)
Tony’s photo
I had peanut M&Ms in abundance, Scott’s favorite (Tony’s photo)
Tony’s photo
Tony’s photo
Sarah brought organic spuds!
me, J9, Teresa, Marlene, Larry, Shelly, Judy, Cathy, Captain Bob
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

Patty, right, and Teresa H-L handing out candy
Jeff, Sarah and her dogs, Cathy and Captain Bob (Captain Bob’s Chowder)

In the house, we had a table of sweets…

…and a table of savories, with mini corn dogs made on the spot by Scott and Tony, Halloween popcorn made by Scott (with candy corn in it!), hummus made by J9, and assorted cheeses and crackers, Allan’s pumpkin pie, wine from Shelly and Jeff, and hot cider.

Allan’s photo
me, J9, Marlene, MaryBeth, Teresa
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

When Seaview Sarah and Matt arrived, he took on the main candy post.

To the right, a tally is being kept.

I had the pleasure of hearing a teenager say, “It’s like going into the woods!”  Yes!

far right, Lezlie and Winston!
Allan, back from a long walkabout, and Judy

Harry Potter!

Mark, Joseph, and Bella came down from north Ocean Park.

Tony’s photo


Agent Carter (Tony’s photo)

Tony’s photo

One child delivered this note to every household.

Scott, Teresa, and a young dragon
Matt, Lezlie, Tony (Allan’s photo)
Terran (BeeKissed Gardening) came by with two of her dogs (Tony’s photo)

Terran’s dogs loved drinking from our fountain.

Tony’s photo
Tony’s photo
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
Marlene and Teresa taking a break (Allan’s photo)
Tony’s photo
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo
Allan’s photo

Toward the end, Jenna (Queen La De Da) came by with a Halloween Spirit certificate for us.

me, Tony, Patty, Judy, Jenna, Allan, Scott, Rudy

Lucy Dagger, the pirate four doors east, was the winner of the top accolade. You will see why in tomorrow’s post.

As the evening drew to a close, a winged creature whirled by and Allan managed to capture her on film.

By nine o clock, our guests had gone…

…except for Judy and Larry, who stayed till we got enough clean up done to be able to close the garage doors.  A few straggling trick or treaters came by as we dismantled some of Halloween.

Our tally came to 585…

…but our tally sheet had been passed around a lot, and in consulting with neighbours within a block of us, we learned that over 700 was their (more organized and precise) count.  So we are going to say we had at least 600 and surely more like the 700 plus that their household four doors east counted.

Next year, Halloween will be on a Saturday night (with a full moon, or so I hear) and we want to have ONE THOUSAND.  Lucy Dagger and I are already planning how to make that happen.

Allan and I both went on Halloween walkabouts of the town (mine short, his long).  You can see that adventure tomorrow.


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Wednesday, 30 October 2019

It had gotten cold enough last night for the ponds to have a skim of ice.

Today’s mission  was to finish the Corridor of Spooky Plants and turn the garage into a forest grotto.  I was so grateful that Judy and Larry drove all the way down from Ocean Park to help out.

They are much craftier than I am.  I had seen some pictures last year of ghosts made from tomato cages.  They figured out how to make it happen.

It wasn’t easy to get the milk jug head (which i would never have thought of!) to stay on.

Larry has skills.

They also figured out how to implement my chipper/shredder idea.

I was worried it was too gory a thought already, so I turned down Larry’s offer of a bottle of ketchup for the finishing touch.

Meanwhile, I was cutting and hauling branches and stalks from back yard to front to turn the garage into a woodland grotto. The weather was like a perfect summer day.

white sanguisorba, before…

and after (too tired to move wheelbarrow)

After Judy and Larry departed, I made one tomato cage ghost from a couple of inside out potting soil bags…

…and only one, as it was not very successful.

A spider who had been disturbed by Allan tying some decor to the fence added herself to the decorations.

He also found what appear to be snail eggs.

A friend, Jan M, stopped by to see our progress.  I got to pet her nice dog.

Allan went out in the afternoon to help Jenna move one last large item.

Jenna’s “wishing arch”

He saw that other households had also been enhancing their decorations.

on Spruce Street

He checked the cosmos at the Port of Ilwaco office; they still looked fine despite the cold night.

Thanks to a wise suggestion from Kilyn, the Steveston Gardener, I had saved several baskets of sphagnum moss to tuck around and in the big pots lining the driveway.

I dumped the baskets out and got to work on that so that Allan could use the baskets to collect more maple leaves from the Ilwaco Community Building parking lot.

nice dry leaves

Allan encountered our friend and neighbour Kevin at the community building.  When Kevin got on Allan’s phone and invited us to join him and his family for dinner, I replied that I normally would say no because of being too busy in the midst of the Halloween frenzy—but because he is being deployed, it was important to say yes.

In the late afternoon, afraid the flowers would get frosted if I waited till tomorrow, I picked bouquets for house and garage.  With two hours till dinnertime, Allan brought two heavy benches from the back garden and got the lights strung along the driveway and inside the garage.

The cat bench will be part of the seating in the grotto.

garage as woodland grotto

A combination of gunnera leaves and landscape fabric hid the buckets from view.

I dumped the leaves throughout the scene.

6 PM

one of Judy and Larry’s ghosts

Last year, just as I had despaired that the would-be grotto looked nothing but tacky, I had the idea of putting the leaves down.  The noise of walking on them makes it magic.

We were far enough along that I had no worries about taking time for dinner.  We met Kevin and Ana and their children at the Lost Roo restaurant in Long Beach.  They had snagged the perfect corner booth, tucked away from the big screen televisions.  (It is a sports viewing restaurant.)

Allan’s new buddy

The dinner and the conversation were the sort that makes good memories.  I was so glad we went.

I am partial to the Roo’s ahi tuna tower.

Allan had steak salad, my second favourite dish.

Across the table, the choice was good old fashioned steak and potatoes.

On the way home, we admired some more Halloween decorations half a block away.

When we got home, Allan made two pumpkin pies for tomorrow’s guests.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

I was glad I had picked flowers yesterday evening; we had frost and ice!

For our final preparation, we thoroughly cleaned the front part of the house where party guests would be.  All the last minute clutter (mostly the boxes Halloween came out of) got stuffed into my room at the back, and some branches put in front of the door so that no one would open it.  We arranged plates and cups and cutlery and flowers.  Finally, after noon, I was able to get outside and string cobwebs.

Allan got the apple ghosts ready to hang up. Each is constructed with an apple and a wire hook.

This year, we hung them above the front fence among the cobwebs.

The cobwebs look so tawdry on any day but Halloween that they will only be up till late this evening.

I had arranged the treasure chests yesterday in the grotto.  With the garage door now open for the event, I moved them into place at the front so that the trick or treaters would see them. We had two little fountains running and the Halloween wreath up on the side of the garage door.

The usual time for the very first trick of treaters is around four.  Judy and Larry had arrived before then to help with any last minute arrangements.  At 3:30, I was in the back yard raking up some more of the leaves I’d stashed on the lawn over a week ago, because I did not feel there were quite enough on the grotto floor.

Finally, all was prepared.  The J’s were ready across the street.

Jodie, Jay, and Doug as the Munsters

I checked on Peggy and Robert, three doors down.

They had been carving pumpkins.

Robert’s costume was a foil wrapped “alien protection device” cap.  Which is more dressing up than I did.  Allan dressed as a garden gnome again.

his outfit last year, when our neighbour, Willa, was dressed the same

And finally, it was show time.  We could see the first trick or treaters coming down the next block.

Tomorrow: Halloween at Tangly Cottage.






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Tuesday, 29 October 2019

I was mighty glad we had some days off, because we had much to do.

Next door, Sue, “That Lady with a Tractor”, worked on clearing blackberries from the back yard.  Allan took some photos.

The blackberries did not win the battle.

I have never seen the back of the garage before!

A huge stump from a tree that was cut down years ago, and then had a rock-edged flower bed built around it, had become a haven for blackberries and bindweed. It proved daunting to the tractor…although the rock edge got mostly dismantled, after the willow branches hanging over it were trimmed.

I have my eye on the disintegrating wood for compost and mulch and on the rocks for garden bed edging.  (I have permission to scavenge them.)

By one o clock, I was able to start cutting material from the garden for the Corridor of Spooky Plants.

lily stalks and Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' will be part of it. Lily stalks and Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ will be part of it.

Tomorrow, I will be turning the garage into a woodland grotto, using long branches from the dark-leaved physocarpus.

Callicarpa ‘Profusion’ (beautyberry) will not get cut.

Skooter supervised.

after cutting the lily stalks after cutting the lily stalks

As I scrounged around for plant decor, I found some big branches down from last week’s wind.

That’s why we avoid the bogsy wood on windy days.

In the driveway, the taller stalks and branches got tied to the iron fence and the rebar posts, and the shorter ones got stuffed into pots full of soil.  It took many trips from back yard to front yard.

Jazmin enjoyed the bits of debris.

Skooter observed from next door….

…and later, worn out, napped in the laundry room sink.

In the late afternoon, the Girl Scouts came around from house to house on the Ilwaco flatlands, bringing candy from the Ilwaco candy drive to make sure that we all had enough for the hordes.

Allan’s photos

down the street at Missy’s house
and another house on the next block

I took our candy drive bags to our new neighbors down the block, giving me an opportunity to meet them. I learned that Peggy is an artist.  You can see her beautiful paintings on her blog, here. I am looking foward to a rainy day of perusing all of it, and I look forward to seeing what she paints in Ilwaco.

Peggy and Robert were glad of the extra candy.  Kevin, whose house they are renting, later told us that during his first year in Ilwaco, he had thought the candy drive was cute, because he expected just a few kids.  (We had not met him then to warn him!)  He had run to the little local store three times during that evening to replenish.  The same thing happened to us during our first Halloween in Ilwaco in 2010 (before the candy drive was initiated).  Allan made at least one emergency candy run to the little store. (No one had warned us, either!)

At 5:40 PM, we had gotten as far as we could today with the outdoor decorations.

Last year, I had the pots pulled forward to make a narrower and spookier entryway.  This year, I will let it be wider because we noticed that the costumes are getting bigger every year.

Allan went out at dusk to help Jenna move a load to her Long Beach Mermaid Sandcastle event centre. I turned to setting up the garage with buckets all down the sides, partly filled with water and ready to receive branches and stalks tomorrow.

home after dark (Allan’s photo)

Tomorrow, we have as much if not more to do.  The Corridor of Spooky plants started because we moved to Lake Street in mid-October 2010 and had to pull together some quick Halloween decor. It was a big hit with the trick or treaters of all ages (although some little ones found it almost too spooky.) Last year, because of bad weather, we moved it to the garage driveway instead of the narrow front door entry and learned that we had been missing some of the larger costumes all along. So the garage woodland grotto is now a part of the yearly preparations, because a spooky plant corridor leading to a normal, boring garage simply will not do.



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