Monday, October 8, 2018

Haunted Humpday - On the Road Again

The skeleton crew is joining Marfi at Marfi-topia for some spooky fun leading up to Halloween. For the next couple of weeks Burt and Ivy will be at home, keeping the spirit of the season alive and upsetting the neighbors while HM and I drive to the east coast.

We are delivering a carload of stuff to our son Andy and his wife, Kristin. They bought a house this past summer so now we are taking the opportunity to get rid of a lot of some clutter to pass on a few family heirlooms to them. Since this trip is more about transporting goods than being on vacation, we are trying to convince ourselves we are having fun by calling it our autumnal adventure. 

Of course, no adventure is complete without a skeletal stowaway,
Kibitz believes in getting an early start to the day, whether we like it or not.

Cleveland was on our route so we decided a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was in order.  

Kibitz was ready to rock!

As you can imagine, the museum was filled with lots of stuff, too.

Since it did seem like this might be the kind of place than would really embrace Halloween or at least refer to it but apparently they didn't feel it was necessary. Come on guys, what about Smashing Pumpkins? 

At least there were skeletons everywhere. They showed up on guitars - throwing the horns,

and wearing cowboy hats.

playing a starring role in a psychedelic posters from the 1970's,

and on murals from a former music venue. This one was riding a hybrid airplane/horse while playing a guitar - now that takes coordination!

Then there was this stage costume with a matching cyclops skull bass guitar. I can't remember which band this came from but it was displayed between memorabilia of The Talking Heads and the Ramones. It doesn't seem to fit with either of those groups but he really has a great smile.

There may have not been any signs of the season but at least The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame overlooks Lake Erie. Ok, the name of the lake is spelled differently, but they sound the same. 

So, while it didn't quite live up to our expectations, it was fun place to visit. The early history of rock and roll and how it developed was interesting and it's probably a great place to catch some live music. Unfortunately, we came on the wrong day for that!  It was a little hit or miss with who and what was featured, my guess is that most of the really significant guitars and memorabilia have already been acquired by the Hard Rock Cafe. Maybe as time goes on they will fill in some of the gaps and possibly even include a few women! To be honest, the best part of the museum was the music and it was loud!  Not at concert levels but definitely not dinner music. No one was complaining or maybe I just couldn't hear them, ha!

A late (or early?) Happy Haunted Humpday! 
Thanks for stopping by. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Catching Up - Arrr! There be Pirates and Witches!

The skeleton crew is joining Marfi at Marfi-topia for some spooky fun leading up to Halloween.
This week is sort of a catch-up on last week's celebrating and road trip! 

 Last week, in addition to Stephen King's birthday we also celebrated International Talk Like a Pirate Day. With two parties on the schedule, we had some serious sprucing up to do! Ivy volunteered to sweep up the patio but we knew it was just an excuse so she could sneak off and fly around the neighborhood when we weren't looking. Of course, she returned in time to take part in the festivities.

Burt took charge of the refreshments because we couldn't be pirates without rum!

His Madness led the singing.
There's nothing like a round of sea shanties fueled by an excess of spirits!

 Finally, we moved onto the religious aspect, the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It's great to have a deity you can pay homage to by consuming it! Apart from it being a day to indulge in rum and odd speaking patterns, it was also intended to be a raise money for worthy causes. After all, we don't want to act like pirates, just talk like them. This year we made a donation to the Red Cross Hurricane relief fund with the hope that it will help both North and South Carolina and Puerto Rico, too.

A couple days later we made our way across the state to visit our friends, Laura and Gene. They had just started decorating for Halloween and had recently found this jack-o'-lantern online at Kohl's.

Gene has created quite a number of Santa's in his day but this is his first ever witch! 

This lady definitely has a lot of character but she doesn't seem too wicked.

Neither does her spider, although I swear I've seen that face before. Doesn't she look familiar?

Of course, no self-respecting witch would be seen without a cute, warty toad. Ribbit, ribbit!

Eeek! I'm afraid I'm already really behind in my decorating for Halloween!
Have you started yet?

Hope you had a very Happy Haunted Humpday and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 21, 2018

It's a Haunted Happy Birthday to Stephen King!

Today the Skeleton Crew is joining Marfi at Marfi-topia to celebrate Stephen King's birthday!

Oh look! Stephen King has a Skeleton Crew, too!
I have to admit to being at a loss for what to do for Marfi's Stephen King's Birthday Blog Party this year. Ever since the election of 2016, if I was looking for a really scary story all I had to do was turn on the news. The other day, in order to distract myself from the latest horrors coming out of the White House, I picked up the Skeleton Crew, one of his books of short stories and started reading "The Mist". Not to give too much away, it's about a government experiment that goes awry creating a mist full of hidden monsters that terrorize a small town and trap shoppers in the grocery store.   

  By anyone's standards it's not really a short story, although maybe not for Stephen King, considering the average length of his novels, ha! The one thing that always seems to make his books so frightening is how he sets them in totally ordinary surroundings. For some strange reason his stories always bring up memories of places from my childhood, no matter where they take place. Hidden by the mist in the photo above is the road that leads from my parents farm where I grew up to a small town where I went to high school. After reading The Mist, will I ever nonchalantly drive through this fog - which is a common occurrence - to pick up milk at the grocery store again?  

 "Children of the Corn" is another short story that's gotten a second read lately. Again, the peace of the countryside is shattered, though in this case it's done by a bunch of homicidal children under the control of a supernatural entity. I think I went to school with those kids.

This field on my parent's farm overlooks the woods. It seems harmless but the leaves on those corn stalks are sharp enough to draw blood and ticks the size of your fist live in the trees. Of course that never stopped us from playing hide and seek in all that lethal vegetation and we did come out with some spectacularly bloody arms and legs. Maybe my childhood really was a Stephen King novel!  

Another place I spent a good deal of time playing around was the graveyard next to our church. We had a game where we used to ride the tombstones as if they were horses. You had to progress from one to another and the winner was the one who got to the church first. Apparently, all the adults were in the church basement drinking coffee. There's those corn fields again. This is totally irrelevant but it's very creepy how agribusiness has managed to stuff corn products into nearly everything we eat. The overproduction of corn is not only harmful to people and the environment but it's also killing off the bees and butterflies along the way. Just saying.   

After a few more short stories I'm looking forward to Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining. There's also a movie in the works, let's hope it's better than it's predecessor. The Shining was the first movie adaptation of a Stephen King novel I ever saw. Although it was frightening and looked really great, it didn't make a lot of sense. I nearly passed on reading the book for that reason. Recently, I ran into an interview with Stephen King where he said he hadn't been happy with the movie and since then has made a point of being in control of the productions. Sounds like a good move. Finally, there's a paperback of Roadwork floating around the house. Burt liked the skull in the hardhat on the cover. 

Stephen King has always been great at leading his readers to assume they know what's coming next before leading them right off a cliff into total darkness. So with that in mind it seemed like a good idea to craft a dark chocolate cake with a bumpy road of walnuts, Whoppers and broken up pirouettes decorating the top. Just like his books, there are parts that are hard to get through but it's definitely worth it in the end.  

His Madness decided to wish Mr. King a happy birthday via his corn phone.
Burt and Ivy dressed up as Children of the Corn but remain ridiculously cheerful because there is no way they can master a menacing look.

That's never a problem for Kibitz, apparently he expected a bigger piece of cake.

Have a very Happy Birthday, Mr. King. Thanks for scaring us half to death!

Thank you for stopping by our party! What have you been reading lately?

Friday, September 14, 2018

Back to the Skeleton Bridge School

Happy Haunted Humpday II!
Today, Burt and Ivy are joining Marfi at Marfitopia for some creepy back to school fun. 

Burt and Ivy have planned a visit to a nearby school.

Burt packed a few essentials for the twelve minute drive.
Wonder who will be snacking on the orange? 

As you might imagine, the school we will be visiting has an interesting address. Driving around I've always noticed highway signs for Skeleton Bridge Road and assumed it got it's name from some type of bridge where you could see all the supporting structure. Sort of like how all the inside workings are visible on a skeleton watch. Nope, I was totally wrong. As it turns out the road was named after a bridge that once crossed Skeleton Creek. The exact origin of the name is unknown but it is rumored that early settlers found human bones along it's banks and just started referring to it as Skeleton Creek. The bridge is long gone and it's now called Daggett's Creek but the road remains. 

So what would you name a school on Skeleton Bridge Road?

  Can you imagine putting that on a job application?

 It's not Hogwarts but it is a cute, one-room school that has been restored to it's pre-war state. HM is standing between the utilities. The heating came from the wood burning stove on the left and I assume they made do with the light from the large windows until electricity was invented. A pottery crock, seen on the right, supplied the only indoor source of water. It had to be hand pumped every day from the well outside the front door and carried into the school. Wonder why the outhouses weren't restored, ha! 

Too bad there aren't any students for Burt and Ivy to frighten. However, it looks like the last teacher could have been plenty scary to anyone who didn't behave.

A former teacher and some of her students.

This is Robert Plummer, a former student and the current owner who has restored the school to it's former glory.  He's a talented pianist and after entertaining us with quite a few tunes, gave us a tour of his collection of rare classic cars. Spanning every decade in the 20th century, it includes his very first car, a pink 1957 Ford Thunderbird! Both the school and car collection are free and open to the public on Saturdays in July and August from 10:00 am to noon. Thanks for the tour, Mr. Plummer!

Finally, as long as we were in the neighborhood we couldn't pass up the Bare Bones Brewery. There's nothing like a brewer with a macabre sense of humor!

As if this all wasn't creepy enough, Skeleton Bridge Road actually leads to the village of Butte des Morts, which means Mound of Death in French. (Honestly, I'm not making this stuff up!) It overlooks the lake with the same name and the lake got it's name from a prehistorical burial mound that once stood in the middle of a prairie, about 300 feet in from the shoreline. It was twelve feet tall, sixty feet long and thirty-five feet wide and was thought to be one of the largest in the state. Unbelievably, in 1863 the Northwestern Railway torn it down and used the contents as fill for the railroad bed they were building through the area! You be the judge, is that creepy or just disgusting?
I'm thinking both.

See you next week and thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Happy Haunted Humpday!

Happy Haunted Humpday!

It's getting spooky out there! This sunrise woke me up a few days ago and for a split second I thought the house next door was on fire! It disappeared pretty fast but stuck around long enough for me to grab my camera and take some photos. I'm sure the sky looks like this a lot of the time but I rarely catch the dawn, being more of a night owl than a morning person. Looks like it would definitely be worth it to make more of the effort in the future!

Out in the garden the pumpkins are growing and still flowering. The open blooms always make me wonder if they could have inspired the design of the five-pointed star. So how did this common flower shape end up representing the stars in the sky? Is it possible that we might have ended up singing the Zucchini Spangled Banner?

The flowers are great and it's nice that they keep blooming but it's what they produce that really matters. For some odd reason, this summer, the pumpkin vines seem to prefer to climb up the privet hedge rather than stay on the ground. The pumpkins might need little hammocks to keep from falling off the vines when they get bigger.

This one started out hanging from a branch in the weigela but has slowly reached the ground - without detaching itself from the vine! Hopefully it will get a little bigger.

Burt's pumpkin came from the Farmer's Market. It's good to have backup, even if it's destined for pie.

Meanwhile, in other parts of the garden, this summer's bumper crop of annoying insects have been very busy. Mosquitoes are always abundant here and considered permanent residents but this year's strange weather has brought out a whole variety of new bugs, too. These guys are pretty snazzy with their iridescent emerald, pink and bronze coloring.   

They made swiss cheese out of my roses before I relocated them to my neighbors yard.  

It's currently spider season and those creepy little buggers are particularly abundant this year, too.
This one has even decided to take on the wasps!

They pop up everywhere, this whopper is right next to the screen door of our patio.
She's looking very determined. Eeek!

Here she is fixing her web after I messed it up. A part of it was attached to a strawberry plant that's hanging on the side of the house. I like to know where she is before I start picking the berries but since she's the size of a golf ball, it's pretty easy to spot her.

Thanks for stopping by, see you next week! Stay Spooky!

The skeleton crew and Spencer are joining Marfi at Marfi-topia for Haunted Humpday!