Tips, Tricks, and Little Known Halloween Facts…

Hey kids, it’s been quite a while since I did a whole big resource post but Halloween is always a fun  holiday,  so let the tips and tricks begin.

The facts

  • Halloween has its origins in Celtic, Wiccan and even Catholic traditions and celebrations. Most of which were meant to celebrate the end of the growing season, the coming of winters and the thin line between the living and the dead.
  • The celebration was a blend of All Saints Day, the Celtic celebration of Samhain, and the Roman festival Feralia.
  • The custom of putting lights in carved vegetables came from the pre-Christian Druids in northern Celtic lands. Before and during Druidic ceremonies practitioners hung a carved and lighted turnip around their necks as a “spirit guide” to get them safely through the dangerous procedures, which sometimes included human sacrifice.
  • By the 19th century, most of the religious aspects of the Halloween celebration were gone and became mostly a secular holiday that was more about dressing up in costume for fun and entertainment than confusing the dead and warding off spirits.
  • The tradition of ‘trick or treating’ in America is believed to have originated with Irish immigrants who brought with them the Halloween tradition of going door to door looking for sweets and other treats.
  • Many believed (perhaps still do) that Halloween is a pagan celebration of witchcraft. Among the traditions that seemed ‘witch like’ are –
    • Young women could determine her future spouse by staring into a mirror in a darkened room or by peeling an apple in one long strip and then casting the peel over her shoulder.
    • Baking small coins, trinkets, and a single, plain ring into a type of fruit cake that would be shared among the neighbors. If you got a trinket in your piece – that was your fate for the coming year, with the person who got the ring destined to wed.
  • Some Christian faiths still maintain that Halloween encourages witchcraft and hold “Hell Houses” meant to scare children and young adults away from the traditions and to lead them back to the church. Some even go so far as to hand out pamphlets on Halloween night to be found when kids go through their candy.

Halloween Safety Tips


Dressing up in costume is one of the more fun aspects of the holidays but some costumes can be problematic. The following tips might help prevent costume malfunction:

  1. With kids’ costumes you want to avoid choking hazards. Look over the outfit and accessories for anything that can be pried off or favored as a teething toy for a baby. Details such as buttons, beads, sequins, or other baubles meant to be decorations may need to be removed or given a couple extra stitches to ensure they remain intact.
  2. Make sure costumes don’t obstruct your view, including peripheral vision.
  3. Dragging hemlines can cause tripping and be caught in machinery, fences, gates and car doors. Hem costumes so your child won’t trip herself or others.
  4. Also check tags to see what kind of fabric is used. You or your child may have an allergic reaction to synthetic fabrics, or they may cause chafing if fabric is rough and your child does a significant amount of walking in it.
  5. Always ensure that the fabric of your costume is proofed against catching fire.
  1. Make sure youngsters have flashlights and/or some sort of reflective tape adhered to their costume when going door to door.
  2. Make sure they are wearing appropriate footwear for walking and weather conditions.
  3. Organize it so that children travel in groups, and have a buddy system in place. Do not move from one house to the next until all kids are accounted for.
  4. Be extra careful crossing the streets, though drivers may be trying to be careful the streets will have more than usual foot traffic and accidents still happen.
  5. If you are driving on Halloween during trick or treating hours, be extra vigilant and keep your eyes on the road. If you need to break up an argument between your kids over whose candy is whose, pull over and work it out rather than looking away from the road.
  6. Never let the kids consume any of the candy from their bags until an inspection has been done. Check to ensure that wrappers and packaging is still sealed properly, wash and cut fruit such as apples before consumption, and check baked good as well. If you are in doubt about any item it is better to throw it away than take a chance.

 Halloween Recipes

Meringue bones and skulls

Easy roasted pumkin seed recipe

Watch this vid to see how to make “dirt pudding”

Halloween Laughs

If you’re in the mood for something punny – check this site for some groan worthy jokes

Halloween Games

Need some games for your Halloween party?

And if you happen to be staying home tonight with no particular plans, check out this movie trailer. Who knew Helen Mirren could be so scary? LOL!

Have a ghoulish good Halloween and don’t forget to save me some candy. Caramels and Hershey’s Chocolate, please. 😉


10 Things to do With a Dead Spouse


Okay, so last week I did a post about posts I never did. Still with me? Good. Well, I did a little re-thinking and with a little encouragement decided to actually take up one of the topics. Now, contrary to popular opinion, I did indeed, once have a spouse. So I know of what I speak. Obviously it didn’t work out – no chemistry. None of that stuff that keeps you with a person despite all the many things that drive you nuts about them and prevents you from killing them.

I bring this up only because in order to know what one can do with a dead spouse, logic dictates one would have had to have had a live spouse, once…right?

Here are my ten suggestions of what to do with a dead spouse:

1. Fertilizer: This is pretty obvious – once you have the dead spouse there is always the issue of smell. Hence the whole concept of organic gardening comes into play. It gives a new meaning to the phrase, ‘I love you so much I could eat you with a spoon,’ doesn’t it? Tip: Mix 50/50 with steer manure which helps to mask the sweet smell and has plenty of nitrogen for good green growth.

2. Coat Rack: I don’t know about you, but I’m short on closet space. However, I do have an empty corner near the door. Tip: Position arms before the set in of rigor mortis, then wrap in gauze dipped in embalming fluid to discourage insect infestation. Alternate tip: Research taxidermy before endeavoring to do this project.

3. Unique Christmas Tree: Nothing warms the heart more that spending the holidays with loved ones. Especially when they are decked out in sparkly garland and plastic santas. Tip: Spray paint dead spouse with either silver or gold – it enhances the shine & sparkle, especially if you have a roaring fire going.

4. One-of-a-kind Coffee Table: Have your dearly departed hermetically sealed in a pine box with glass top. You can paint the box or use danish oil to seal in a natural finish. It is a non-stop conversation piece and because of it’s size can comfortably facilitate a dinner party of eight. Tip: Have body clothed before installation or the conversation will get out of hand.

5. Fed-Ex Him Back to His Mother: Nothing makes a mother happier than to learn that the tramp her son married no longer wants him. Plus, moms don’t mind dusting or hand feeding and have an endless supply of air freshners. Tip: Check with Fed-Ex for custom sized boxes – may require a special releases and waiver form.

6. Soylent Green: Don’t know what I’m talking about? Rent the movie.

7. Cat Scratcher: Why have your pampered feline scratch up your furniture when you have a perfectly good dead spouse for them to use. Tip: Using this option before going onto option #1 could be a winning combo.

8. Fix Them up With Paris Hilton: She’ll never know the difference and I hear she enjoys really edgy guys. Tip: Attach castors to bottom of feet, to make moving and posing a snap.

9. Trellis for Tomato Plants: I don’t know about you but I can never find a trellis strong enough to hold the beefsteak tomatoes. The vines cover and climb nicely and pests will opt for them, not your tomatoes. Tip: Dress dead spouse in plaid shirt and blue jeans so he will blend in with your garden motif.

10. Put in Green Trash Bin and Let Somebody Else do the Heavy Lifting: We all must do our part to save the planet and recyle and repurpose our waste, so this is a win-win situation. You will probably also get some extra carbon credits for this and your tax dollars will finally be doing something for you. Tip: If dead spouse is over 4 1/2 feet tall, you will  have to fold before putting into bin.

Okay, those are my suggestions – what are yours?

PS: Yes, I know I’m a sick, sick individual.

Snappy Office Come-backs!


Hey – ever get a little tongue-tied at work? You know, somebody chaps your hide and you just sit there like a kid with an IQ of 30 or something? Then about 15 minutes later your mind kicks in again and  you think of all manner of things you should have said? Well here’s a little list you can keep under your keyboard for those very occasions – you can even laminate it so coffee spills won’t hurt it. Good luck and hope it helps.  

1. Never give me work in the morning. Always wait until 4:00 and then bring
it to me. The challenge of a deadline is refreshing.
2. If it’s really a rush job, run in and interrupt me every 10 minutes to inquire how it’s going. That helps. Even better, hover behind me, and advise me at every keystroke.
3. Always leave without telling anyone where you’re going. It gives me a chance to be creative when  someone asks where you are.
4. If my arms are full of papers, boxes, books, or supplies,  don’t open the door for me. I need to learn how to function as a paraplegic and opening doors with no arms is good training in case I should ever  be injured and lose all use of my limbs.
5. If you give me more than one job to do, don’t tell me which is priority. I am psychic.
6. Do your best to keep me late. I adore this office and really have nowhere to go or anything to do. I have no life beyond work.
7. If a job I do pleases you, keep it a secret. If that gets out,it could mean a promotion.
8. If you don’t like my work, tell everyone. I like my name to be popular in conversations. I was born to be whipped.
9. If you have special instructions for a job, don’t write them down. In fact, save them until the job is almost done. No use confusing me with useful information.
10. Never introduce me to the people you’re with. I have no right to know anything. In the corporate food chain, I am plankton. When you refer to them later, my shrewd deductions will identify them.
11. Be nice to me only when the job I’m doing for you could really change
your life and send you straight to manager’s hell
12. Tell me all your little problems. No one else has any and it’s nice to know someone is less fortunate. I especially like the story about having to pay so many taxes on the bonus check you received for being such a good manager.
13. Wait until my yearly review and THEN tell me what my goals SHOULD have been. Give me a mediocre performance rating with a cost of living increase. I’m not here for the money anyway 

Feel free to add any to the list that I’ve overlooked. 😉

(PS: HT to A-Mum for the list – come back soon Moe)

Bargain Bitches

I don’t know about you guys but I love to shop. Not just shop but bargain hunt. Consequently, I spend time in not just regular stores in shopping malls but in consignment shops, thrift stores, second hand shops, Goodwill, outlets and so on.

I know that turns a lot of people off. Buying other people’s castoffs- doesn’t necessarily conjure up pleasant pictures. But then again, that’s what dry cleaners and laundramats were made for – you know? For example, there are some things like an Audrey Hepburn Chanel suit that you aren’t going to be able to get anywhere but a vintage shop. If you like vintage or retro clothing you aren’t going to get it at Macy’s. If you want fantastic Italian leather shoes for a fraction of their typical cost you will either have to go to Italy or find an outlet (Gerry Pillar’s out in my neck of the woods) and spend the time going through the stacks to see if you can find that gem.

I suppose it’s really a matter of preference or perspective. Some people think that shopping is a time consuming task that is best gotten through as quickly as possible. I, on the other hand, think of it as ‘the hunt.’ For me, it’s hunting season all year long. And believe me, you better be willing to come with weaponry and ammunition because those other bargain bitches mean business.

Like today, I decided to visit one of my favorite haunts for a couple of things. They didn’t have what I was looking for but I thought I’d hit the racks anyway because I knew I could always use another shirt or blouse. There must be a special shopping pheramone (sp) because I’ve noticed whenever I hit a rack and there is no one around for miles and I’m just flying through, all of a sudden other bb’s show up sniffing around. They position their carts so I can’t get by or they start right ahead of me or right behind me – doing the bargain stalk – hoping to spook me and get me to leave. But I don’t fall for that crap any more. If some bb knocks me with her cart, I knock her right back and act as if it was an act of God. If some bb tries to push ahead of me I stick my fat ass in her path. If another bb tries to reach over me I give her the ‘I’m a gonna kill ye’ look and she backs off.

This is serious business and if you think you can waltz into some bargain establishment and just patty cake your way through it you are sadly mistaken. You must go with a kickass attitude, a grimace on your face and a look that makes people wonder just what kind of weaponry you carry in that bigass purse slung over your shoulder. But I digress….

I went to one of my usual haunts and was flipping through the blouses and some grunting, muttering creature sidled right up next to me. She was special. She had this really spooky, grunty, breathy talk to herself thing she did – which immediately conjured up images of Kujo. I didn’t really want a blouse that bad so I moved to another rack. But in short order she was there again. And again and again. Wherever I went she appeared within moments. It freaked me out a little. Though she wasn’t trying to throw me off my game she was doing it anyway. I grabbed a few things and checked out quick.

It’s the kind of thing that can really ruin your bargain hunt experience. After I got in my car, I sat a while, wondering if she would come out and shed her human suit and reveal that she was a werewolverine or something. But no luck. Still, I may have to work hard to get the breathy grunty mutter outta my head.



This is the time of year that we are all supposed to take stock of our lives – at least the most current part of same – and see the errors of our ways, things that can be improved, bad habits that can be shed, reaffirmations of goals forgotten, lost or abandoned. Pretty serious stuff.

I don’t know about you – but I’ve never been very big on New year resolutions. The concept sounds nice in theory – the old clean slate approach. The old year is ending and the new upon us, why not make those changes, improvements, goals in that same spirit? Well logic tells me that if a person wanted to make those changes, lose that 20 pounds, quit smoking, stop dating co-dependent men/women, become more centered, find the peace within themselves, fly to the moon or stop drinking, carousing and/or in any form improve themselves or their lives they’d just do it. I mean cripes, how silly to only give oneself that small window of opportunity to affect a change in their lives.

So, I was thinking that a new trend might be in order. I think at the stroke of midnight in the first minute of the new year we should all sit down and resolve what stupid, idiot, assinine behavior we simply won’t give up. It probably won’t help anything either, but it could be a lot more fun:

On the first minute of the new year of 2007 I resolve:

1. To continue flipping off people who cut me off in traffic. I may add to that a short stint of manical stalking – at least for the next quarter mile.

2. To tell stupid people that they are stupid and they either need to get smart or stop taking up space.

3. To add several more obnoxious patriotic bumper stickers to my car.

4. To spend money I don’t have.

5. To buy frivolous things with the money I don’t have.

6. To find the sourest puss in the grocery store line and to make faces at them til they laugh or leave and get me that much closer to the checkout.

7. To make fun of the Clintons, John Kerry, Jimmy Carter, Imajihad, Lil Kim of Korea, Rosie O’Donnell, Mike Wallace, Maureen Dowd, Brad & Angelina, Rodney the idiot, Al Gore, myself and pretty much anybody I feel like.

8. To squeeze my fat ass into jeans that are too small, whilst taking small, rapid breaths (who knows I could meet someone on the bus).

9. To call AT&T and scream at them for general purposes.

10. To be proud of my big fat ass.

11. To say whatever stupid-ass thing that comes into my head.

12. To refuse to diet.

13. To have more adventures with Zelda and anybody else who has the stomach for it.

14. To pretend I don’t remember what year I was born.

15. To eat ice cream and hot dogs and wave flags on the Fourth of July.

16. To like and admire George W. Bush.

17. To believe that there is a God and no amount of indoctrination will ever change that.

18. To know that most hearts are in the right place but that minds and mouths often aren’t.

19. To have fun even when life sucks.

20. To wear funny socks that so don’t go with my outfit.

21. To not care how I look in the bank television monitor.

22. To watch movies that make me feel good.

23. To write stories that I love.

24. To blog my fricking ass off (hey maybe it will work???)

25. To know that every day is a miracle – even if I have to try very hard to see it.

Those are my resolutions – how’s about you?


How to Tell if Your Christmas Eve Bash is a Success


I’m not really one of those people who throws holiday parties. I’ll definitely do the dinners and cook up a storm, but when it drifts over to the party category I defer to ones better than I at such things. Happily, I have friends (Zelda) who do parties and I’ve been able to get a real observer’s station at same and feel I can pass along a few tips:

Your Christmas Eve bash is a success if:

1. Your guests don’t use the deserts as an ashtray.

2. The gag gifts you pass around don’t actually gag anyone.

3. You have no one by the name of Skip, Muffy or Biff on the guest list.

4. None of your guests notice the wee paw prints left by your several pets in the dip.

5. The groans you hear whilst guests are munching is because of the deliciousness of the food, not because they have broken a tooth.

6. Your choice of music does not prompt your guests to ask why you are playing funeral dirges.

7. The Christmas movie you make especially for the occasion is coherent and possibly causes your guests to chortle with laughter.

8. Guest do not refuse to take home leftover food and deserts when offered.

9. You do not require a first aid kit to have a fun time.

10. You do not invite people who discuss their recent operations around the fondue pot.

11. Your guests are too drunk to notice you have broken out the cheap wine.

12. You remember everyone’s name through-out the entire evening. Or they don’t hear you when you call them buddy.

13. No one shows up in surfer shorts and asks why all the old people are there.

14. The pets do not break through the barricade you have spent the last three days building.

15. You manage to delete and/or photoshop all the pictures of you before they are viewed.

16. You get through the evening without losing a pet or a guest.

17. Everyone leaves before you fall asleep in the family room.

18. The following morning you wake up to discover Santa’s elves have cleaned up the entire mess and you can go back to sleep.

There may be more and perhaps you can add a few – but in the meantime…



Naughty or Nice?


You know that conventional wisdom says that if you’ve been nice you get rewarded for it (presents) and if you’ve been naughty you don’t (coal in the stocking).

So, I thought I’d give you a few tips on how you can score more Christmas bling or coal, depending on your desires:

Naughty: You pull your little sister’s hair and throw the handful of folicle evidence in the trash then line up three of your friends for alibis during the time of said crime.

Nice: You take said handful of hear (whilst swearing it was an accident) and superglu it back to sister’s head and offer her full access to your collection of baseball caps.

Naughty: You play chicken in the shopping mall parking lot with package-ladened shoppers.

Nice: You give package-ladened shoppers an escort to their cars and they thank you by giving them their parking spot.

Naughty: You cram as many cookies and other goodies from the office Christmas party buffet into your pockets and purse, so you can gorge on them later. And make snide remarks about how the company didn’t provide much of a spread.

Nice: You make sure everyone gets their fill of the goodies (even the geeks) by passing the tray and keeping a close watch for gorgers and stuffers.

Naughty: You tell the boss nasty things about your co-workers so you’ll get a bigger bonus and they will get sacked.

Nice: You talk up your co-workers (even the ones who don’t deserve it)  to the boss and tell him they are all deserving of raises.

Naughty: You bitch loud and long about the slow moving lines at the checkout and complain about the incompetence of the Christmas help.

Nice: You let the little old lady cut in line in front of you because she only has a few things compared to your overflowing cart.

Naughty: You re-gift the hideous sweater your Aunt Edna gave you to the loser you drew at the Secret Santa game at work.

Nice: You wear the hideous sweater and thank Aunt Edna profusely for the thoughtfulness of her gift at the family gathering.

Naughty: You heave the snow you’re shoveling from your walk over the fence to the neighbor’s freshly shoveled walk (late at night when no one can see you).

Nice: You send your kid to shovel the elderly neighbor’s walk so they won’t slip and fall.

Naughty: You mutter ‘bah, humbug’ to anyone who chances to wish you a Merry Christmas.

Nice: You wear a Santa hat and wish everyone you encounter a Merry Christmas.

Naughty: You stay up all night so you can prove there is no Santa Claus – then tell your sister that your dad bought her the bike.

Nice: You make sure the little kids don’t go downstairs while dad is putting the bike together and help eat the cookies your little sister left for Santa.

Naughty: You knock down the town Christmas Tree in the square and drag it home for firewood.

Nice: You buy extra ornaments and wrap toys to help decorate the tree and give to the more needy in the community.

Naughty: You ban all Christmas movies from the house and make your spouse go to her friends to watch them.

Nice: You watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the bagillionith time with your wife and agree it’s the best Christmas movie ever.

These a just a few of the things you can do to be naughty or nice. Feel free to add to the list.