Saturday, September 26, 2015

... *THIS* is Halloween/ The Center of the Universe all dressed up...

“To work magic 
is to weave the unseen forces into form; 
to soar beyond sight;

to explore the uncharted dream realm 
of the hidden reality”
This morning I went out walking in the rain. It wasn’t supposed to rain until this afternoon but by 8AM, it had already started. But, I don’t mind the rain. I wanted to see the amazing corn stalks that were placed in downtown Ashland aka The Center of the Universe this week.

 BORROWED this picture from his Facebook Page! :-O
Local artist and the man I have come to consider our local Pumpkin King, Arthur Brill, had a vision of transforming the town into the kind of town that I want to live in. He wanted to decorate the town of Ashland for Halloween. Not only that, he wanted to involve the entire town, businesses and townspeople, in a Spooktacular Event. And it has begun! 

He worked with some locals to convince town officials and Virginia Power to allow the poles and lampposts in town to be decorated. Working with a Lloyd Family Farms, a local farm who is doing a haunted corn maze this Halloween season, he collected corn stalks and put them up in town this week. A few of the businesses have already started decorating the cornstalks making them their very own.
More and more town stores are creating window displays and the town really feels like it’s transforming into Halloween-Town!

Tonight my fella and I will be going to see the Bowman Body at the Ashland Theater.  

In a few weeks I’ll have my group of vampires together to participate in a "Monster Walk" which will also include a Haunted Car Show.  

I’ve even convinced my fella to participate with me in the Harvest Run and Pumpkin Walk later in the month.

There are just so many exciting things happening for a spooky girl who lives in the Center of the Universe!

...Halloween Gift Swap & Magic...

“I'm so glad I live in a world
where there are Octobers.”
~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

We’re not quite in October yet but the quote makes me think about how glad I am to live in a world with Halloween.

First, I want to write how grateful I am to Katarina at Ms. Misantropia for having the idea of putting together an International Autumn/ Halloween Swap. I had as much fun putting together a package as I did receiving one.

Part of the surprise was not knowing where one’s gift was hailing. My gift came all the way from Sweden and arrived on the first day of Autumn. My swap gift was from the beautiful and talented Linnea-Maria at She also runs where she shares amazing recipes and gardening tips, and she even runs which I stalk for the pictures of nature close to her home, including a beautifully eerie spider web.
When I opened the package, I was so happy that I felt like crying! It was a hard commuter week with Pope Francis visiting Washington, D.C. The university shuttle bus didn’t run a normal schedule; trains were delayed. Everything took a little extra time that day but it was a beautiful day and walking to and from the train station and my university was quite pleasant. But, it was the perfect day to receive a surprise.

“A little magic can take you a long way.”
~ Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach

My fella keeps talking about how magical it was to watch me open the package. In many ways for him and for me, it’s a confirmation that we can find our people and our friends who don’t necessarily live in the same city, state, country, or even on the same continent.  

It was way past my bedtime (8:30ish PM) when I first opened the gift. The first thing that I discovered was this gorgeous handmade box with three bats on the cover. I gently opened each item while Halloween confetti fell everywhere. If any of my family members read this they’ll laugh because I went through a phase where I put confetti in every birthday and holiday card and delighted in that I placed it in a way that the confetti would fall out of the card as it was opened. My brother used to open his cards from me over a trashcan. I LOVE confetti! I have saved it all, along with the crinkly package filler, and I’m going to display it in shadow box it or something. Somehow I want to box this experience.

Everything is handmade and absolutely gorgeous! Even better, everything comes with a story. Linnea-Maria explained what was included in the items and why they’re special. She made ornaments transforming items like light bulbs and vintage bake forms; she made earrings using vintage crystals and clock hands; she made a brooch/ hair bow with a glittery spider; she made a candle from all recycled materials and added an antique crystal prism. There is a beautiful banner that I immediately hung on my grandfather’s handmade corner cabinet; she included some gift bags, paper cards, and a personal card that is not only beautiful but heartfelt.

There are so many details that I could describe but it’s the overall feeling that I get when I look at this gift. This woman really went to the effort and spent serious time and energy to send magic in a package.  I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it.

Thank you again Blogosphere for bringing us all together.

Friday, September 25, 2015

... a great pumpkin and a cute vampire in Target...

This time of year I really just want to go into stores to *be* with the Halloween products. I had to write that I have no place in my life for Halloween Airblown Pumpkin Scarecrow. We just don't have the yard and I'm pretty sure our Homeowners Association would give me more than the stink eye for having this guy.

The Halloween Lil Sisal Vampire is much more my size but I feel like he would be better for a covered porch instead of sitting out in the elements.

Ah, alas, one day I will have a great yard with insane yard art. Until then, I will walk among the products and dream ;)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

... farewell Summer! You've been a friend...

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Kids, we officially have a fourth pumpkin! It’s the size of a golf ball and while I believed the bloom would fall off, well, we have the kind of bees who apparently encourage life. So three healthy pumpkins just hanging out growing plumper and darker in their hues… and now we have a wee newbie who doesn’t quite understand that autumn is upon us. 

What will happen to the little guy? Time will tell. The days have been quite warm and while it is cooler we’re still reaching the high 80s. He might end up being a little one and that is perfectly alright with us. Hasn’t nature given us enough? Really, three pumpkins was more than I expected or even hoped!
Today is the last day of summer. While I’m excited about fall, I can’t help but mourn Summer 2015. We’re going into the end-of-the-year homestretch and I am so grateful for this year and the friends I’ve made; I’m so grateful for this blogosphere and you fine readers. 

It’s a time to sit and reflect. It’s time to enjoy what summer provided and what fall will continue to share. It’s been a very good year. 

Maybe it’s tonight’s wine or the warm baked apples for dinner, or maybe it was just nice having Connie from Hartwood Roses surprise me with a little gift at the train station today. Whatever the reason, I’m feeling relaxed and happy tonight as I get ready for tomorrow’s commuting chaos. Between Pope Francis taking over Washington D.C. and the UCI bike race taking over Richmond, this is going to be a hectic getting’-around week.  

... Holy Batty Moly! Bath & Body Works has a second version of the new bat hand sanitizer holders!...

Ghost, New Bat, Newer Bat hand sanitizers
In August, I purchased the new bat hand-sanitizer holder along with some Vampire Blood because it is the best scent ever! This weekend right before venturing into Sur La Table, I did some damage in Bath & Body Works and discovered that there is actually a SECOND NEW version of the bat hand-sanitizer holder which comes with a gift set. This one doesn’t light up which doesn’t affect me either way. 

He does happen to have longer and more pointed ears which completely makes me GWEEEE!

So here’s a look at some of the products. We’re sort of candle-over-kill at my house right now but my fella even lights candles and he picked up the sweet cinnamon pumpkin candle along with the Jack-O-Lantern candle holder because he liked the big mouth and said that I needed to buy these for our home :D Well, he didn’t need to ask me twice.
I’m usually not a ghosty girl but I really like that the Bath & Body Works ghosts have fangs… because y’all know I love me so vampires!

I even bought a plug in which I normally don’t use but I liked the juxtaposition of the bat (Me), the owl (so my fella) and the cat (my step-daughter!). It’s like our little family although this little house is much cooler :p