Our family is comprised of Halloween fanatics. Jeremy in particular is an artist when it comes to Halloween displays and every year grows our display. This year’s display is particularly impressive not only because he’s been working on it since April (yes, April) but because most of what we’ve used to expand our display has all been reclaimed and repurposed. Most of the material was left over garbage from Jeremy’s work that he saved from the land fill.
Here are some pre Halloween night pics:
Jeremy made almost everything you see. He carved all the tombstones himself (any fellow Adventure Time fans should get a kick out of our Some Donkus tombstone) using old foam core he brought home from work. The boarded up windows, crosses, fence, and (not pictured here) coffin were all made out of scrap wood he collected various places. The spider webs and mummified man, while not new, were all home made as well. Of course, we did purchase the lights (almost entirely LED, some CFL, and very little incandescant), and there are a few dollar store, Target, and Spirit Super Store purchases. We are very discerning about our purchased products, for one because they are expensive, but mostly because Jeremy has a vision, and something store bought must fit it perfectly. We frequently shop sales the day after Halloween. We made a Spirit run at 9 this morning.
Here is our Halloween night display:
As you can see, low light photography is not my strongest skill (I also apologize for not taking the time to photoshop), but I think you can still get an idea of how epic our house was this year. We even had a police officer show up on Halloween night to compliment the display. I was sure when he drove up we were going to find there was something illegal about it.
Jeremy’s favorite find for the display was an old buzzer they were throwing away at his work. He set it up so he could press a button to buzz it right when someone walked by the graveyard fence, and sat back and watched with glee as everyone screamed when it went off. Also popular with the little kids is our “Heads Up Harry” pictured there with two of our jackolanterns. That was one of the many pieces that Jeremy aquired before he and I met.
We did have some disappointments this year. It was cold and windy, so the fog machines and our bubble fogger didn’t work very well. Jeremy has built chiller attachments for the fog machines that makes the fog stay close to the ground and roll along very creepily, but that didn’t work because the wind was blowing it away. He also invested in a bubble fogger the second year we were dating, and that’s always been a huge hit in the neighborhood, but this year the bubbles just blew away over our roof or popped right away for the most part. It was a bummer. But since it was so cold, we didn’t get nearly the number of trick or treaters we normally do.
I am the pumpkin carving master in our household. I prefer classic, traditional jackolantern faces on pumpkins, for one because they are easier, but also because I think they give a classic, retro feel that never quite goes out of style. They can be eerie without being overwhelming. I cranked all these pumpkins out in under an hour and a half (if you count out the break I took to nurse Freja). The cyclops pumpkin was the first warty pumpkin I’ve ever carved, and I don’t think I’ll be picking out a warty pumpkin to carve again. It had the hardest shell ever! Truth be told, the whole reason it was a cyclops at all was because it minimized the amount of cutting I had to do. Elijah didn’t want a face on his pumpkin at all. He always wants something impossibly elaborate that would take hours on it’s own to carve. I watched my mother (who is an artist) do that as a child enough and I don’t want to do any pumpkins that can’t be easily freehanded. He and I finally settled on a design that was a grave with a moon behind it. I thought it looked way too boring, so I tried my hand at carving a zombie hand bursting out of the soil in front of the tombstone. I was skeptical but it actually turned out pretty good, I thought.
We get our pumpkins at a very small pumpkin patch only a mile or two from our home. We are lucky enough to live in a part of town where the suburban sprawled into the rural in such a way that small farms still punctuate all the cookie cutter neighborhoods periodically, and there are tons of farm stands a short distance from our home. This pumpkin patch is also a farm stand that is one of my favorite places to shop for produce in the summer if I run out of what I need from my garden (which happens frequently, as my garden is small). They do hay rides and roast hatch peppers and sell local cider. This year we ran into some neighbors there too.
I was very happy to learn that I could call that farm stand any time in the winter if I needed frozen hatch chillies. They gave me their card, but Freja ran off with it. Hopefully I can find it, I might want chilli rellenjos for Winter Solstice dinner.
So that is the bulk of our Halloween this year. Mostly, I’m looking forward to start wigging out over Christmas. Maybe because our Halloween prep went on for so long this year, by the time October came, I was already over it. I’ll end this post with a picture of the treats I made for Elijah’s Halloween party. Rice cripsy treats are a good bet for him, given his allergies. The chocolate on top is Enjoy Life’s soy, dairy, nut, and gluten free chocolate.