Sunday, October 31, 2010

And They Just Kept on Coming....

Oh. My. Gosh.

I was already running behind due to the rain and/or wind for 3 days running this week, not to mention the handyman (who was also here 3 days this week!), so the last 48 hours I've been trying to play massive catch-up.  The canopy tent went up Thurs. afternoon, despite a beginning wind, and the walls went up on Friday.  This morning my little neighbor and I hung black sheets inside the tent, put out the casket, mummy parts, and skeleton groundbreaker, and assembled the firepit for tonight's party.

Then I came in and damp mopped the floors, threw one of the cake mixes for Kitty Litter cake into the oven, sent Jack to the ABC store, picked up what I could and threw white sheets over everything else, and grabbed a shower.  The party was to start at 5. It was 6pm before anyone came, and then a couple more families came.  All of a sudden the doorbell started ringing off the wall.

Trick-or-Treaters were out in full force tonight.  I have to confess, I was taken completely by surprise.  I thought we might have a dozen or so due to Hallowe'en falling on a Sunday night, here in the upper edge of the Bible Belt, but I was not prepared for the influx we had tonight.  At one point the kids were lined up down my steps, my sidewalk and into my driveway!  There were at least 30 of them. I have never had this many kids at one time in all the years I've been giving out candy. I don't think most of them live in this neighborhood, even.  There were only 2-3 I recognized.

I think what happened is, downtown Hendersonville had their "festival" on Main Street tonight, (with a headless horsemand and carriage, no less) and  when it was over, about 7pm or so, some neighborhood native said, " I know--let's go out to ______; there's a Hallowe'en nut lives in that place." It was a darned parade!

And the thing is, the yard haunt isn't finished yet!  I didn't get the dry ice into the casket, I haven't carved the first jack o'lantern, there are still more ghosts and creepies to put up, I haven't even tested the fogger, the witch jars aren't ready to hang, and the cobwebs are still in the bags. And the tent is dark. My light sources weren't even in there and neither was I.    But you know, as I went out there to show my next door neighbors more of the almost-finished product, I didn't see a single thing vandalized or even missing. I really appreciate everyone respecting our property.

Poor Tandi is on sensory overload.  There were 3 kiddos in the house, including a 2-year-old, who could crawl under the table where Tandi was trying to take refuge, and at one point he even crawled into her crate.  Between that and the almost constant ring of the doorbell , she was freaking out, despite the doggy Prozac I gave her this afternoon. There was no safe place for her, so she finally lost it and snapped at the little boy.  At that point, I put her in the crate and pulled the sheet down.  The poor baby needed a break, and I didn't want her to hurt anyone.  Next year, she'll spend party time at the boarder's place.  This was the whole point in putting up the tent--to re-route all the ToTs away from the doorbell so she wouldn't go psycho on me.  Who knew there would be so many tonight?

Tomorrow I will need to make another run to the grocery store for more candy, as I have about 1/3 left, and will be putting out the last of the props.  I have to say, even for an amateur, they look pretty good--especially in the dark.  If I weren't so doggone tired I'd go take pictures now, while it's quiet. 

So another pictureless post for now.  Crystal Dragonfly, if you're reading this, I have to tell you the casket is a hit! Thanks for passing it (and more) on to me via Craigslist.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'm Not Paranoid. They Really ARE Out to Get Me.

I have taken several nights off, as usual for this time of year, hoping to finish up the yard haunt and inside preps for the party.  I had it all set up.

Mon: Sears man to deliver the new flat screen TV hubby and I bought ourselves on Friday for our anniversary last month.

Problem 1: We didn't buy a table for it at Sears, because Jack said he'd seen some inexpensive ones at Wal-Mart.  When will I remember there are always big gaps in his stories?  He saw some wooden cabinets he thought might work, but won't hold the size we're buying. 

Solution 1: So Saturday I spent a valuable hour searching online at Wal-Mart, Sears, Best Buy, Lowe's and Home Depot before I found one that had good reviews, looked nice, fit a 55" TV and was in stock. With Best Buy, I could pay for it online, then hubby could drive over while I slept, and have them load it in the car.  The plan was to put it together after I got home on Monday. We won't even talk about the fact that the one at Sears was on sale and about $70.00 cheaper.

Problem 1a: The darned thing weighs 83 lbs and I can't get it up the garage stairs into the house, even with a dolly.

Solution 1a: Delay the delivery until Wed. afternoon, and add it to the list of projects for the Handyman Matters guy to do on Tues. morning.

Tues, HM guy was to come over and do some repairs, set up the TV table and install the ceiling fan hubby bought me for my birthday (which was in July), but that I didn't pick out until last week. I also arranged for Tandi to be at the groomer's to minimize trauma for her and protect our ears from her alarmed barking.

Problem 2: The ceiling fan post isn't long enough to clear my slanted cathedral ceiling; the re-caulking and drywall repair of the bathroom was more extensive than originally thought, and it's raining, so he can't replace the facing that blew off the side of the roof until it stops.

Solution 2: Make a quick run to Lowe's for an extension rod for the ceiling fan, and get one for the kitchen fan at the same time, as it wobbles due to poor clearance of said slanted ceiling. Also, schedule return visit for Wed. afternoon to finish the bathroom.

Problem 2a: Extension rod for the kitchen ceiling fan, which are now all standardized, is too large in diameter to fit the 20-year-old fan--discovered after the fan has been taken down from the ceiling.

Problem 2b: Also, rain + wind is predicted to continue through Wed., which may prohibit facing from being attached.

Solution 2a: HM guy thinks he might can find a smaller extension rod through his ex-brother-in-law. 

Solution 2b: Bag it until next week.

Bonus: Ceiling fan is now up in sewing room, and gives off twice as much light as the old fixture.  Hurray!

Bonus 2: TV table is put together!  (no pictures at this time) Of course, it's sitting in front of the monsterous big screen TV, which will have to be moved out to get the new TV in.  And did I mention the carpet cleaner is coming in the morning?

Problem 3: HM left about 2:30 this afternoon, and at 3pm, the groomer called to say Tandi was ready.  Solution 3: That didn't leave much time to do anything but finish the deep cleaning I was giving the kitchen, and dust the living and dining rooms in preparation for the carpet cleaner. I decide to tackle the laundry and start carving jack o'lanterns after a quick supper.

Back home by about 4pm, Tandi freaks a bit at the new thing hanging from the ceiling in Momma's sewing room, the new table in the living room, the rearranged back porch (where I had to put the coffee table) and the scent of a stranger in her house. We haven't shown her the bathroom yet.  Her little heart could only take so much, I'm afraid. Since I only slept 4 hours last night, my butt is dragging, so when I sit down for a few minutes in the recliner, I fall asleep for about half an hour.

Problem 4: Did I mention it's rained all day?  At 5:50 pm, the power goes out. Supper has not yet been started.

Solution 4: Change into a clean shirt (found with the aid of a flashlight) and go to the Firehouse for supper.  Diet be damned. We pass the guys from Duke Power working at the entrance to our neighborhood.  Yay!

Problem 4a: After supper, we drive home through thunder and lightning.  The repairmen are smart enough to get in out of the storm.  The power is still off. Tandi is freaked and her wireless collar is beeping, which usually precedes a sting for venturing outside the boundaries.

Solution 4a: Remove Tandi's collar and let her sit in Jack's lap for a while. Light the oil lamps, and several halloween candles, fish the battery-powered radio out of the closet and listen to Delilah while folding a load of clothes.  Never mind there is still a wet batch in the washer.

Bonus 3: The power comes on at 9:45pm, just in time to turn on the last few minutes of "Dancing With the Stars" and see Audrina and Tony get voted off.  What the heck????? Did her telephone number quit working or something?  KURT needed to go!

Bonus 4:  Tandi and I are going to bed now, because the carpet guy, the Sears guy and the Handyman are all coming over tomorrow. Maybe we could just sleep through it all?

Bonus 5:  Here are some quick photos of the inside of the house (which isn't finished yet, either.)


Now look at his face from a different angle:

Entrance into the kitchen:

Above the sink to the left:

Above the sink to the right:

Above the Hoosier:

In the darkened hallway beside the garage. The right goes to the master bedroom.

It's a funhouse "mirror", which I had hoped to mount on foam insulation board to prop inside the tent for Halloween night.  It might just be mounted on cardboard instead.

On top of the china cabinet in the dining room:

Sorry for the blurriness; I really need to find my tripod before the weekend. The witch on the right is a new acquisition this year, given to me by a friend at work who no longer decorates for Halloween.  She is sound activated, and rocks back and forth and cackles. She's turned off at the moment because she is VERY sensitive.

And this is above the dining room table:

This little guy is motionless right now, but loud noises make him drop down about a foot before slowly ascending  back to the fan.  By the time I get some cobwebs up, he should be really  impressive.

And that's the end of tonight's show, folks.  There's a little more, but I'll save it until I set up for the party.  Keep your fingers crossed that this crazy warm, wet and windy weather will end on Wednesday.  (Did you like that little bit of alliteration?)

We've been under tornado watches and warnings all evening.
See Problem 4a.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I may just have to remove that countdown banner!

It's making me crazy.

The graveyard is mostly up, but a few key pieces will be waiting until the last couple of days, because the neighborhood kids believe in hands-on learning.  Some of them have been hanging around, offering to help, or giving their opinions on where things should go.  Excuse me?   lol

I finally had to make a Rule:  If I am not out in the yard, you may NOT come play with my toys. All the batteries have now been removed from items and won't be reinstalled until next week, or else they'll die before Halloween ever gets here. Besides, there needs to be a little scare factor left.

Tomorrow I meet a guy from Craigslist  to buy a couple more skeletons.  They're new, 5 feet tall, movable, but not posable, and sturdy.  What's been the most fun is that he and his wife are new at yard haunting, and I had the pleasure of introducing them to some of my favorite internet resources. I might should have waited until after I took possession of the skeletons, because he may decide he needs these two.

I still have potions to make and bottles to label, fabric to sew, pants to hem, walls to build, a firepit to buy and a house to clean.  Oh, and pumpkins to carve.  As soon as I buy them, that is. The inside decorating is mostly done, but there are still items to place.  My plan is to have all the outside done by next Thurs, so I can do a dry run that night, lighting and all.  That way, if there's a glitch or two, I still have Fri. to fix whatever.  Once tonight is over, I have 3 more shifts to work, and then I'm off work for 12 nights! Well, not totally. The last two days will be spent in a certification class, and I have to study after SpookNight is over. But keep your fingers crossed the weather stays mild so things can get set up!

Oh, yeah, and the leaves have turned, too.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Mail Delivery

Fall has arrived!  Heck, it's almost winter at times--tonight's lows will be in the low to mid 30s. Daytime temps usually reach the low to mid 60s, and it takes a long time to get there.

Look what else arrived last week:
Julie of Quilter Behind the Barn Door (formerly Through the Barn Door) celebrated her 175th post with a giveaway and I won the selvages!  I've been slowly collecting them for the past year or so with no particular project in mind yet, and this bag from Julie has probably doubled my collection.

This is how much I had before Julie's giveaway:

And now look how much:
She just recently attended a Quilt Show, and has several posts of eye candy, so you should treat yourself to a look at them. And take a look at her header--she's made some beautiful little autumn pumpkin quilts.

I also won this adorable handmade pumpkin girl from Jeanne, a Halloween Artist:
Is she not exquisite?  She stands about 8 inches tall and the detail is awesome.  Jeanne has  a blog called The Candy Corn Chronicles and has more items on eBay. Even if you're not a Halloween geek yourself, her blog is a feast for the eyes.

Thanks, Julie and Jeanne! You made my week!

I know the Post Office is considering discontinuing Saturday mail delivery due to a decreased volume of snail mail, but they may as well wait until the first of December.  These are the catalogs that came in today only:

Let the shopping begin!