Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Haunted Humpday III - The Halloween Hunt

It's time for Haunted Humpday III! Burt and Ivy are joining Marfi at Incipient Wings for a bit of scary fun leading up to Halloween. Hopefully, the skeleton crew will make it all the way to the end!

This week it's time for some serious Halloween shopping! Since it was a beautiful day Burt and Ivy decided to go to the farmers' market and then check out the latest displays of Halloween decorations before they are pulled off the shelves and replaced with Christmas ornaments!

 The first stop was the garden center where they found a good selection of pumpkins.

Just as they were thinking about how retailers seem to devote much less time and effort into Halloween they ran into quite a group of old friends, but they didn't want to hang around too long . . . 

so they went back outside to check out this a giant witch jack o' lantern chiminea . . . 

. . . as well as lots of cool purple flowers and some cute ghosts.

 Big decorations are all well and good but sometimes it's the little things that are the most fun.
It's hard to pass up a pumpkin scented candle, especially when there's a good pun on the label.

Burt decided this Trick or Treat banner that lights up was a necessity for the front door, plus there's a black cat riding on the Witch's broom so it was destined to be added to the collection. 

He also spied this miniature version of himself so it had to come home, too.


After all that shopping a stop at the liquor store was inevitable and they found some tequila with the most fabulous labels. It was too hard to decide which one they liked best so they got both!

Cheers to Halloween shopping and a Happy Haunted Humpday to all!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Haunted Humpday II (Friday Edition) Happy Birthday Stephen King and a Possessed Kitchen Tale

Wednesday was Stephen King's 69th birthday so Burt picked three sunflowers in his honor. As you might expect, Bag of Bones is Burt's favorite novel and there's a creepy reference to sunflowers in it. Unlike the flowers in the story, Burt's are obviously not the size of searchlights and just in case anyone happens to be wondering, these didn't grow up through the floorboards of our porch either.

A sunflower did grow up and bloom in a rain gutter at my parents house once. 
That was scary in so many, many ways.

I had to admire it's tenacity! 

Ivy is also a big fan of Stephen King and thought the flowers were a terrific way to commemorate the horror master. It is her favorite book but she only indulges in frightening literature during the  daylight hours of the summer, preferably at the beach with lots of people around.

I have a sort of, eerie tale to tell about my own house, specifically our possessed kitchen.

Many years ago just after we moved to town, we found this cute little home for sale.

The kitchen was terrible, the appliances were vintage 70's

 and the cupboards and sink had been there since it was built in 1929, but

since it needed to be completely redone we could do whatever we wanted.

It also needed some paint and a few repairs but the price was right so we bought it.

As it turned out, there were lots of things that needed immediate attention,

way more than we had first imagined so it took a few years

before we finally got around to remodeling the kitchen.

The temperature had soared to the mid 90's that day in early May

when the designer came to measure our kitchen for it's big makeover,

and we were very surprised to discover that our furnace had turned itself on

and was blasting away yet more heat into an already stifling situation.

No matter how hard we tried we couldn't get it turned off.

Eventually a repairman got it under control by shutting off the gas to the whole house.

So the kitchen went on hold while the furnace and air conditioner were replaced.

 A year went by and on the day we were going to approve the plans and choose new cabinets,

two tiles fell off the upstairs bathroom wall just above the bathtub faucet

and water started streaming out.

 Again the kitchen plans were shelved while we attended to the bathroom.

I came home from work one day during the renovation to find two bathtubs in the dining room,

a 4'x6' hole in the kitchen wall, half of the pantry ceiling gone

and plaster dust covering every surface on both floors.

I had just missed the two bats that flew out of the bathroom wall

when they opened it up to work on the plumbing.

A couple months after the bathroom was finished we were more determined than ever

to get back to work on the kitchen since it was now in even worse shape than before. 

We made an appointment with the designer but had to cancel

because we had been awakened at 4:30 am when the smoke detectors went off 

because our house was on fire.

Luckily, it was confined to our sunroom and we all got out alive, including our pets,

but smoke goes everywhere and gets into everything, makes a really horrible mess

that smells awful and takes nearly a year to fix. 

When our house inexplicably caught on fire everyone blamed us,

especially our insurance adjuster, who kept asking us why the fire started in our sunroom.

He finally gave up accusing us of setting it deliberately 

(in the middle of the night when we were all asleep in the house)

when I flatly stated that if we were going to set a room on fire it would be the kitchen.

He took a good look at the kitchen and was very helpful from then on.

It seemed like every time we started to work on the kitchen

something else would come up that was more urgent.

That's when I got the notion that maybe the kitchen didn't want to be remodeled,

maybe it didn't want to be expanded and shiny and improved. Was it cursed?

Or maybe, it was possessed.

So I gave up on installing shiny new gleaming white cabinets and came up with a plan

to keep most of the original ones and have new ones made to match the old. 

I didn't want to make it angry, maybe it just wanted to be accepted for itself.

We decided to just refinish the original floor (an impractical decision),

junk the ancient appliances and spend a small fortune on a new sink that looked old.

I wondered if we should get a priest in to perform an exorcism

but settled on buying a new broom and sweeping the floor. 

Did that break the curse? Drive out the evil? 

Nope. The first day work started on the kitchen a pipe broke

which led to the discovery that all of our plumbing needed to be replaced

and eventually the electrical wiring, too. The whole process was plagued with problems, 

it took nearly six months (over the winter) and cost three times the original estimate.

So when anyone asks me if my house is haunted I say no but

my kitchen is definitely possessed.

As a postscript to my possessed kitchen tale I should say that we had a few peaceful years

with our kitchen until a month ago when the dishwasher had to be replaced. Then

at the start of the Labor Day holiday the hot water heater sprung a leak, here we go again!

A belated Happy Haunted Humpday to everyone and thanks for stopping by! 

So what's your favorite Stephen King novel?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A Peach Pie and Habaneros?

Last year I missed out on participating in Haunted Humpdays at Incipient Wings, so his year I was determined to join in the fun! Late last night I was overjoyed to discover that the party was indeed happening again but I didn't have the vaguest idea about a topic for a post I could do on such short notice.  My halloween decorations are still packed up in the closet and there don't seem to be any pumpkins anywhere for sale! Eeek! There was nowhere to turn, I had to ask Burt for help.

 So he went out into the garden in search of anything Halloweenish and found orange habaneros.

Yup, guaranteed to make you scream in pain just by carelessly handling them.
Ok, so maybe vegetables are not the most fear inducing things to anyone over twelve.  

So then he asked His Madness if he could think of anything scary (besides his t-shirt) and he said, "how about sticking your hand in boiling water and then pulling the peel off some peaches?"

Of course Burt said, "I'm in!"

He appeared to especially enjoy removing the slimy skin! Yuck.

In no time at all there was a not very frightening but definitely peachy colored pie. . .

. . . carefully decorated with all sorts of pastry cats and stars. Guaranteed not to make anyone run away screaming in terror, although I can't say I'm looking forward to doing the laundry.

As for those habaneros, they're destined to be sacrificed on the chopping block!

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to checkout
Haunted Humpday at Incipient Wings!