Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year

Things usually wind down for me blog wise this time of year. The coldest days are upon us and I have lots of planning to do. I don't do New Years resolutions because I try to live up to my expectations every day, even though I fail a lot. I have a lot of things in the hopper that will probably show up here at some time.

I've been really inspired by a lot of the Krampus posts I saw this year and hope to make a Krampus style demon for the haunt. The first thing I told Kyle was that I wanted to make something with red glowing eyes, and I think that a demon with goat like legs and gnarly horns would be great for that application.

I have lots of sewing plans that I've accumulated and am learning more and more every day about the great craft of making one's own clothing. It so so cool to add four inches of length to a shirt so I go from looking looking like an ill fitted giant to a tall, well dressed woman.  I will get to that body image post one of these days. I am still working through it.

I really would like to make a post about estranged decedents and how that is a topic I struggle with personally every week.

Suicide deaths are also fascinating and so taboo, but maybe I could craft up a post about that one day that touches on the personal side of it and how to work with those left behind, and oh geez, don't even get me going on the Hemlock Society (way taboo, but I actually respect them).

Lastly, but not least important, we have so many seeds that we saved last year, plus the catalogs are piling up in the mail. I have so many choices to make about tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squash, beans, flowers, and who knows what else. 

I hope the new year finds you contented and well. 

-The photo is from Lassen park in California, where I spent 3 seasons camping in the late to off season hiking miles through roadless and trailess terrain looking for archaeological sites. We always had to end the season at the first snowfall because they closed down the roads then. The last day always involved a partially snow blinded hike on slippery volcanic rock back to a cold wet campsite with me not wanting the work season to end quite yet, not knowing what I would come home to. I would take down my temporary home of campsite, tent, and pack me and the dog into the car for a long drive back to Idaho. This photo seemed significant to me me as a reminder of the closing of the year. I bet this is what Lassen looked like the last time I left it after a big snow and they roads were shut down until it cleared in the spring.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Winter Solstice 2011

Tonight is the longest night of the year. I meant to put out some luminaries, but I had to work tonight and frankly I am dead tired. I love the feeling of this night of nights. The outside is so cold, dark, and asleep while we crazy humans in this climate, somehow, survive. We decorate, drink, dine, and celebrate in the face of old man winter. We put out bright colored lights this time of year to provide some glow of light and color on these dark dark days. I love that my neighbors leave their holiday lights on 'till dawn so that when I wake up at 0600 Mountain time and leave for work at 0645, there is some sort of light in the dark frigid air. 

I read a meteorologist's blog tonight about how tomorrow's light will be a bit longer than today's. It will happen in small increments until we reach the zenith at summer solstice with sunlight until practically 2200 hrs. 

We have no snow here in Boise this solstice, so things seem especially bleak, dead, and frozen.  I will relish in the festive lights in the neighborhoods after dusk while people who are lucky have homes in which can keep cozy and warm.

Like a little kid (which I am ever at heart) I am still dreaming of the white insulating blanket of snow to compliment all those little lights. I am missing the sparkles of snow in the moonlight.

Feed The Wards (Do They Know It's Christmas Time?)

Terry Gilliam - The Christmas Card

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Flashmob at Colonie Center

This is Debbie5's work at a mall in NY. I LOVE this! She is a hauntforum member extraordinaire. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Krampuslauf Graz 2010

I'm sure everyone has seen this, but I just wanted to comment on the beautiful work done on these costumes. I might have to start working on a Krampus-like demon for next year's haunt.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Crime Scene Photography

From the New York Times
A New Perspective on Crime Scenes
Published: November 18, 2011
Using a camera called the Panoscan, the New York City Police Department creates 360-degree panoramic images of crime scenes.

Click:360 Degree Crime Scene Photography

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving!
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;) Have a great holiday and be safe!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different, uh, again

This is my favorite Monty Python sketch.

I've used that headline before. The post from a few days ago with the same headline turned into something very meaningful to me. This blog started with gardening, then I added haunt and some work anecdotes. The readership has grown, modestly, and probably mostly due to Pumpkinrot's links and my activity on haunt forum. But the reason I changed the name of the blog was to encompass me and my life more. Please don't be turned off if I one day soon put up a post about something most people deal with every day but gets little attention. I'm writing about body image. I know guys, cringe all you want, but it is something I think most of us  have issues with, be it overly zealous about a perfect figure to self hatred. I'd like to point out some realizations I've made recently about my own self image and I would like to share some of my findings on this blog. 

I am not changing the theme of the blog because I have deemed it my blog and I can do what ever the hell I want with it. Trust me there are many gardening, haunting, cooking, and macabre topics to be covered in the future. I'm sure you hard core fans of one or a few of those topics may have dealt with this one and I'd love to see some feedback on this uncharted water I'd like to dip my toes into. 

Pumpkin Pie

Our rouge vif d'etampes cured and are going to be slow roasted in the oven to prep them for some Thanksgiving pies. I hope they taste O.K. We had a small yield with one that got run over and scarred by the dog and one that never grew very large.
When cut, they smell almost melon like. I tasted a bit and it was very mild and sweet.
This project is obviously a multi-day one, so I'll post more later.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different

Kyle helped me set up the guest room into a bit of a workspace for me. Tonight we will embark on making a DIY dress form out of water activated packaging tape and Moi! The machine on the left is the new one from Costco. I know its a beginner model, but for the price, I couldn't resist. The dress form will go on the old haunt monster support that is in the left corner. Its a tight space, but with my work hours we use the room at least once a week so I can get a good nights sleep before my 14 hour shift. 

No, we aren't responsible for the paint job of the room. Believe it or not, that's the way it came when we moved in. Its a rental so I don't mind.

Friday, November 18, 2011

No Coment

There is an execution scheduled in my state that will have happened before I get up in the morning. The crimes took place years before I set foot in Idaho. I will have no participation in the event. Here are some news stories about it.

This movie made me not like the death sentence, you'd have to watch the entire thing to get it.

I'm just commenting on the idea of a death sentence, it just happens to be one of two carried out during my lifetime. Here is the other one I am aware of:

Monday, November 7, 2011


Photo by Pumpkinrot

Don’t you ever laugh as the hearse goes by,
For you may be the next to die.
They wrap you up in a big white sheet
From your head down to your feet.
They put you in a big black box
And cover you with dirt and rocks.
All goes well for about a week,
Until your coffin begins to leak.
The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
The worms play pinochle on your snout.
They eat your eyes, they eat your nose,
The eat the jelly between your toes.
A big green worm with rolling eyes
Crawls in your stomach and out your eyes.
Your stomach turns a slimy green,
And pus pours out like whipping cream.
You spread it on a piece of bread
And that’s what you eat when you are dead.

Poem shared by a coworker

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Too Griswald?

Even though I didn't go as far as Kim K and her recent mockery of the "institution" of marriage, some might find that I went a bit Griswald with the light show thing. Ms. K recently claimed that she got caught up in the magic of her wedding, enough so, that she lost sight of what was happening. I sorta did the same thing and realized that I was going for more of an ambient effect with the 2011 haunt, that I never made a good ambient sequence in the first place. We ended up on the big night playing the only 4 song sequences that I did "complete" so it would be more fun for the TOTs. Next year, I don't plan on making many changes with the props, but I do want to flesh out some good ambient spooky "soundtrack" and some effective slowly changing lighting effects to reflect the mood of the soundscape. I'm thinking green for creepy sinister, blues for ghostly sounds, reds for the basso nefarious sounds, etc... 

So if you don't find any rock show in next year's haunt. that's O.K. with me. I'd like to start with some low candlelight that slowly builds to something creepy, eerie, and sinister. 
This is as close as I got and is the ONLY video of that sort of lighting for 2011:

Halloween 2011

I tried YouTube's video editor and used the "I'm feeling lucky" tool. It brightened it up a bit more even though the thumbnail looks worse than the original. For a free quick fix, it was well worth the time and price. Now, if they could only edit out the cars in the background.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

Family Portrait

I just packed up the haunt and we got everything up in the rafters and all the storage places we could find. I took down the Halloween wreath and put up the Thanksgiving one. I even changed the porch light from black light to warm white. We saved two of the corn stalk bundles and put them up on either side of the porch. All signs of yard haunt 2011 are gone. 

We didn't get as many TOTs this year as last, but we aren't in a very enthusiastic neighborhood either. We did have a lot of people stop by during the weekend and got lots of great compliments. I got to take some photos and really tried hard at video, but I don't have the right equipment for that. Maybe next year. I met almost all of my deadlines, but there are always a few that time won't allow for. I now have 364 days to get more lighting sequences done, an next year will have a proper Halloween tree. I almost did too much this year and got pretty stressed with the pressure to finish. But the end result was amazing. My photos don't give justice to the real thing. Since the lighting changed regularly, I'll post a lot of photos here to get an idea of the breadth of atmosphere the lighting had. 

I hope everyone had a great night and were as luck as I was to get so many visitors for this year's haunt. See you on the web!


Here is the main inspiration: Pumpkinrot's 2007 Haunt

Monday, October 31, 2011

Rough Cut

Here's a rough video from last night. I'll try to get better video tonight.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Quick Photo Post

Here is a still from last night. It isn't the best shot but I'd spent about 20 hours just doing the set up. There are almost 600 feet of wire hidden under those leaves. We had a lot of cars stop by last night and the light show ran perfectly. I'll try to get some video of the light show up tonight or tomorrow. I got so many thank yous yesterday, it really made all the back straining work worth it. Oh and for all those who have used a fog machine and chiller- last night was the best night for fog that ever was. It was a beautiful thing. Happy Haunting!
click the photo for a large version

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween 2011 Almost Finished

Click the pic below for a full sized photo.
After 8 hours of painting and pounding a million rebars into the lawn (you're welcome Kyle for me free lawn aeration) I have everything in place. Tomorrow I will finish the fence, dress the skeleghosts, and add the finishing touches that no one will notice but me, and other home haunters. Time for a tasty beverage. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

New Light

This is the large Catalpa tree in front of the house. Since I made new LED spotlights we set up the old par 38 cans to illuminate this wonderful tree. I hope to hang some Jack O Lanterns from the limbs on the big night.
Here is a quick shot of some gravestones with the new lights. The lights were on a random changing routine with warm white, green, blue and reds. I can't wait to see how it all looks with the fogger going and the corn stalks up. We are about at 1/2 of the way set up.These are all props from last year, this year's will be added this coming weekend. 
Here they are with the blue and greens on. I love my little camera.
Here are the three lovely witches doing their thing.
Here they are in dazzling technicolor. I don't know how well the video will work with the song routines, I'll try to take some at dusk. These were taken with a slow shutter speed, and a tripod, of course. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Before I got home from a long, fairly stressful 14 hour work day Kyle overheard a group of boys walking through the neighborhood when one exclaimed "That's the house with the witches!". His rendition of that story made my entire day. 
Thank goodness I have a new cauldron this year.

Ohio sheriff says it appears owner of exotic animal farm let animals loose, killed self

Ohio sheriff says it appears owner of exotic animal farm let animals loose, killed self

Holy sh*%, I'm glad I don't work in Ohio.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

In the News

This is just a local news link for haunted houses and displays. If you visit it at the link, it will keep it at the top of the page. Yes I am asking you to click the link to keep my "ad" near the top. That is all for my cheaply asking you to promote my little haunt. This isn't for a contest, money, or any gain, I just want people to be able to see my ad so more TOTs get to see it this year. We don't live in a very active TOT area in town, but the small coverage I got last year was impressive. I'd love to get more. Click the photo to go to the link. Yes I am aware there is a typo and I've already written them about it.

The Walken Dead

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Svengoolie The Killer Shrews Opening

I grew up with this guy and Chicago's version of the late night B movie horror show after my mom would call us in from a good game of ghost in the graveyard. 
His show once had my wonderful crayon drawing of him featured for 0.5 a second. I can't find the proof.

Teaser 2011

I had fun watching a little girl ride her bike around the block over and over again to sneak peeks at the porch and Sadie who shamelessly cried for her attention.


Click on the image for a great tutorial on an easy web casting hot glue gun.
I'm going to get a new glue gun tomorrow and plan to use the technique from this entertaining video to make my own web casting gun. Some great photos to show this effect can be found here at the Frog Queen's Blog. I love the look of the Davis Graveyard and hope to add some webs to our little graveyard. 

Follow Up 10/14/2011:
I made a web caster gun with my hairdryer and a 40 watt glue gun I got with a coupon from Michael's. I simply electric taped the two together using the same idea from the video above and it works really well. I'll just plug the two into an extension cord and shoot the graveyard when I get it set up. The nice thing is that when I'm done, I simply remove the tape and both parts have no damage or sticky residue. This was the easiest project I've ever done. You'll have to wait for photos when I get everything set up. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Willow Manor Ball

I've been invited to the Willow Manor Ball. I had no idea what Tess's post was about at 0600 hrs this morning, but I have figured it out and I love the concept. This is the most wonderful ball in the universe as we know it. Luckily for me it happens to work with my schedule and I love to arrive fashionably late. 

Since this is a fantasy, I will let the love of my life pick his own fantasy date (with my approval). Who will escort me to the ball? I thought it had to be a charming male character from one of my favorite movies. So even though this guy is a fave of mine, I knew he was right out. Sorry Ricky.
This was my idea of the ideal bad boy when I was a girl in the 80's, he was so charming and had such an amazing, um... pirate shirt? But the glorious hair, how could you pass that up. Gosh, now that I think of it I'll bet that was the end of an era where chest hair was sexy on film, although I don't really remember if he had any.  
Looks like yes, or at least they painted some on. Good, I still like chest hair.

These two would be fab on  each side of me, but at 6 feet tall, they'd look pretty tiny and they seem to be way into each other. 

So I hope Kyle decides to go with me. As for my attire. I am all about hoodies so this would suit me fine.
But in black and in pure silk.

I guess I got my style influence from one of my early icons:

Thanks Tess for the invite. This was a really fun post.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Guest Bedroom Headboard from Hell

After you read, click the skeleton photo below for a link to the new video.
The guest bedroom is the testing site for the new LED light show. These are just the 5 skele's with light up eyes doing Thriller by MJ. There will also be 5 singing pumpkins, and 70 different LED spotlights that will also be synchronized with the music. 
The hours of bad soldering have been climbing daily. I am getting better. All this stuff will get put into a nice re-purposed project enclosure made out of an old toolbox.  

Thursday, October 6, 2011


This is from the Bogus Basin website. It snowed last night. My house is at about 2,732' and the summit at Bogus is at 7,582'. The clouds were so low I didn't see the snow in the foothills when I was out and about today. I spent about 3 hours in the garage soldering LED spotlights this evening before my hands got too cold to handle the iron. It has been raining a lot in town, so I hope it passes before the Big Night. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Peter Steele

This will be the last song of 10/31/11 at my haunt. I saw Type O Negative once back in the day. I loved their sense of humor, so twisted. Mr. Steele had an amazing presence, and I still can't get over his voice. This song embodies so much of the teen sense of drama I once had and it still takes me back. even though I work for the dead, some of them really touch my "soul" to me Mr. Steele's story is very tragic. I like to think he'd like what I've done with their song.