55 to go!

Just a quick note today, Labor Day activities are tugging away, its 55 days to Halloween and if you haven’t yet, it’s probably a good time to start looking through the garage, sheds, closets, under the bed, all those places we store our goodies for the big night.  Also, for the long season – can’t wait to get everything up and going, lights, action, and smoke and mirrors! My best to you all and Happy Haunting!!

Fun with Shadows

My dearly Beloved was doing some shopping for me today and came home with this from our local Crate and Barrel.  It’s a drink dispenser holder and carafe and I’ve decided to use it as a candle luminary for the shadows! Apparently, though these are available online, the stores aren’t to put them out yet and so the kind folks at C&B dug these out of boxes just cause he asked, he came home with a set of glasses that match too.  Couldn’t wait to post the pic.  Enjoy.

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(Click pic to link to site.)

Nothing grim about this…

Rogers Gardens has announced their annual Halloween Boutique Opening “Grimm Tales” will debut on Friday, September 2nd @ 9:00am!  Visiting this amazing boutique yearly has become a favorite for me and I hope you find time to stop by, it will not disappoint.

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“…and the Storyteller paused…
and it was as if the wonders he retold had cast a spell upon him…”-A.E.

“The forest is dark and enchanted…branches creak and leaves rustle as trees close in, obscuring the path home.  Wander deep into the shadows and you’ll find frightful folklores, fantastical stories and chilling tales.  These bedtime stories will give you nightmares, and you’ll discover that not all fairy tales end happily-ever-after.” –Rogers Gardens

 

Rogers Gardens

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I have attended the first day opening of the Rogers Gardens Halloween Event for the past few years and I will be there early to enjoy it this year as it looks to be especially creepy.  The four rooms they usually design/decorate traverse beautiful to bizarre, worth the stop if you are near Corona del Mar, Ca.  See you there? Click pic to link to site.

Arsenic & Old Lace a reminder against overindulgence

The day after Thanksgiving you may feel yourself in need of savory sustenance of a different variety,  I can recommend Arsenic & Old Lace as a lovely alternative to raiding the fridge.  The classic Frank Capra film starring Cary Grant, Peter Lorre, Raymond Massey and Priscilla Lane is a favorite to watch while waiting for the waistline to return to its usual proportion.  Instead of posting the usual shots of the movie, I present you with some fun visuals in the form of playbills. Enjoy and don’t forget overindulgence can be deadly – or at least really uncomfortable.

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Click each image for its source.

Mirth and Musings Part 7

The weather here on the west coast is definitely Fall-like at last, chill temperatures and brisk gusts of wind remind me of why I prefer this time of year.  Time to break out the scarves and mittens, flannels and fuzzy slippers.  Just to make cozying up that much more enjoyable.  The approaching Thanksgiving holiday makes me pause and reflect, as I still see pumpkins decorating porches and sills and tabletops.  We always save one or two from October to enjoy through November – a bright orange reminder – it’s interesting how the pumpkin, the idea of it, transitions from the herald of giving treats to the herald of giving thanks.  Many of us will close the holiday with that slice of spicy sweetness.  It’s a fitting way to bookend Autumn. Enjoy this New Yorker cover from 1973, a house simply celebrating the season.

New Yorker Magazine, Stevenson, 1973

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Boo

Standing on the step to receive them was an old woman, neatly dressed in black silk, with a white cap and apron. This was Mrs. Umney, the housekeeper, whom Mrs. Otis, at Lady Canterville’s earnest request, had consented to keep on in her former position. She made them each a low curtsey as they alighted, and said in a quaint, old-fashioned manner, “I bid you welcome to Canterville Chase.” Following her, they passed through the fine Tudor hall into the library, a long, low room, panelled in black oak, at the end of which was a large stained-glass window. Here they found tea laid out for them, and, after taking off their wraps, they sat down and began to look round, while Mrs. Umney waited on them.

Suddenly Mrs. Otis caught sight of a dull red stain on the floor just by the fireplace and, quite unconscious of what it really signified, said to Mrs. Umney, “I am afraid something has been spilt there.”
“Yes, madam,” replied the old housekeeper in a low voice, “blood has been spilt on that spot.”
“How horrid,” cried Mrs. Otis; “I don’t at all care for bloodstains in a sitting-room. It must be removed at once.”

The old woman smiled, and answered in the same low, mysterious voice, “It is the blood of Lady Eleanore de Canterville, who was murdered on that very spot by her own husband, Sir Simon de Canterville, in 1575. Sir Simon survived her nine years, and disappeared suddenly under very mysterious circumstances. His body has never been discovered, but his guilty spirit still haunts the Chase. The bloodstain has been much admired by tourists and others, and cannot be removed.

Oscar Wilde
The Canterville Ghost, 1887

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A window seat, a cup of tea, and thou…

“God will punish her. He might strike her dead in the midst of her tantrums, and then where would she go?  Come, Bessie, let us leave her.  Say your prayers, Miss Eyre, for if you don’t repent, something bad might come down the chimney and fetch you away.”  They left, shutting the door, and locking it behind them. 

The red-room was one of the largest and grandest bedrooms in the mansion, yet very seldom slept in. The bed rested on massive pillars of mahogany and was hung with heavy red curtains. The two large windows had blinds that were always drawn down; the carpet was red; the walls were a soft pink. A cushiony easy chair was white, like a pale throne.  The room was chilly because it seldom had a fire; it was silent, because it was remote from the rest of the house; it was solemn, because it was so seldom entered.  The secret of the red-room, the spell which kept it so lonely in spite of its grandeur, was this – here, in this chamber, my uncle, Mr. Reed, breathed his last breath.  Here his coffin was carried by the undertakers’ men.   And since that day, nine years ago, a sense of dreary respect had kept visitors away.  My seat, to which Bessie and the bitter Miss Abbot had left me riveted, was a low ottoman near the marble fireplace. I was not quite sure whether they had locked the door.  When I dared to move, I got up and went to see.  Alas, yes. No jail was ever more secure.

Returning to my seat, I passed by the mirror. I glanced at it, and the strange little girl gazing back at me, with a white face and arms and glittering eyes of fear, had the effect of a real ghost. It was like one of the tiny phantoms, half-fairy, half-imp, that Bessie’s evening stories described as coming out of the moors. I returned to my stool.

Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre, 1847

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Halloween isn’t just for children…but we start there

…Inside the house lived a malevolent phantom. People said he existed, but Jem and I had never seen him. People said he went out at night when the moon was down, and peeped in windows. When people’s azaleas froze in a cold snap, it was because he had breathed on them. Any stealthy small crimes committed in Maycomb were his work. Once the town was terrorized by a series of morbid nocturnal events: people’s chickens and household pets were found mutilated; although the culprit was Crazy Addie, who eventually drowned himself in Barker’s Eddy, people still looked at the Radley place, unwilling to discard their initial suspicions…

…The weather was unusully warm for the last day of October.  We didn’t even need jackets.  The wind was growing stronger, and Jem said it might be raining before we got home.  There was no moon.
The street light on the corner cast sharp shadows on the Radley house. I heard Jem laugh softly. “Bet nobody bothers them tonight,” he said. Jem was carrying my ham costume, rather awkwardly, as it was hard to hold. I thought it gallant of him to do so.
“It is a scary place though, ain’t it?” I said. “Boo doesn’t mean anybody any harm, but I’m right glad you’re along.”
“You know Atticus wouldn’t let you go to the schoolhouse by yourself,” Jem said.
“Don’t see why, it’s just around the corner and across the yard.”
“That yard’s a mighty long place for little girls to cross at night,” Jem teased. “Ain’t you scared of haints?”
We laughed. Haints, Hot Steams, incantations, secret signs, had vanished with our years as mist with sunrise…

Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960

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