Happy Halloween!

The traditional European festivals of Hallowe’en, Samhain, the Feast of the Dead and All Soul’s Eve’ are celebrated on or around October 31st in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, this is the seasonal equivalent of our May Day. Samhain, the hallowed eve’ (or Halloween) marks the true end of Summer and the beginning of Winter’s quarter of the year, the portion of the year dedicated to the night forces. Persephone assumes her role as Queen in the underworld and according to tradition, this is when the dead walk among us and return to their homes.

Celebrations honoring the dead, both departed loved ones and scary ghosts, are found as far back as ancient Egypt and within as varied cultural groups as the Iroquois and Huron in the New World, and the Celts, Romans,  Britons in the Old.  I haven’t found any evidence that Central American countries celebrated this holiday until after the Spanish Conquest but they’ve made up for lost time with their three day El Dias de los Muertas. All of these festivals take place between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice, although the Huron festival was only celebrated every fifteenth year or when the tribe made a major geographical move, leaving behind the bones of the departed.

This year’s Day of the Dead festival will end with a total Solar Eclipse on November 3. It will be visible from the South Eastern part of the US. Check it out on Time and Date.com

Commemorate this time by listening to Mozart’s Requiem and lighting a candle to honor your ancestors, your teachers, those explorers who have gone before and who walk among us this night.  Watch some movies dealing with the supernatural: The Wizard of Oz, The Gift, Sixth Sense, Stir of Echoes, or Dead Again are some of my favorites.

Click here to read some great articles about Halloween, curses and zombies from Archeology Magazine.

Click here for local events from the Seattle PI.

So Mozart’s Requiem Mass is one of my favorite pieces of music in the whole world. Below is the complete Karl Bohm version from YouTube and it is beautiful, very lyrical and grand. We have several versions and the one of Peter Shreier conducting the Leipzig Radio Chorus from 1983 is actually the one I would recommend over this one so if you are looking to add it to your collection, get that one. I have listened to it hundreds of times and it still both gives me goosebumps and brings me to tears. I just looked it up on Amazon for you and … Interesting, I’m glad I’m not completely off base, it is considered good by much better informed listeners than I. Click here to read about the Schreier Requiem.


Milk_DudsHow many children have been killed by poisoned Halloween candy?

Answer: There have only been two confirmed cases of children being killed by poisoned Halloween candy, and in both cases, they were killed intentionally by one of their parents. With those two exceptions, no child has been killed or seriously injured by Halloween candy.

Did you trick or treat? Did a parent check your candy?

My dad used to insist on checking my candy but I was sure it was so he could get first dibs on any Milk Duds I may have gotten! 😉

Click here for more debunked Halloween “facts”

For you: The All-Purpose Holiday Card

I received this picture years ago and have no idea where it is from any more. I tried finding it on Google but didn’t have any luck. If you know where it is from, let me know and I’ll give proper credit.

Anyway Happy Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.

What is All Saints’ Day?

Confused about All Saint’s Day?

My favorite annual, The Old Farmer’s Almanac says:

This is the day when all the saints are honored, especially those who do not have a day of their own. The idea probably began in the fourth century as a way to honor Christian martyrs whose names were unknown. In an attempt to replace the popular pagan festival of the dead (Samhain), the church moved the celebration of All Saints to November 1. The day was formerly known as Allhallowmas, hallow meaning “holy” or “holy person.” All Saints Day is known in England as All Hallows Day, and the evening before is All Hallows Even, the origin of the American word Halloween.

via Calendar for November 1st, 2012.

Click here to read what is the difference between All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day?

A Rainy Halloween


It’s Halloween 2012

Here is my Halloween treat for you. It is a recording called Halloween Pickles and it is about two brothers who dress up as the scariest  things they can think of for trick-or-treat. What do they pick? One dresses as a nun and the other as a Choctaw warrior. Scott and I heard this on NPR years ago and it has become a Halloween tradition for us. Check it out here: Halloween Pickles.

I discovered another benefit of the Fitbit. Kevin & John were working upstairs all day so I spent the whole day sitting in my studio with Rob & Gracie and only logged 1400 steps.  I decided to get a good long walk in so I messed around for about 15 minutes trying to get an audio file onto my phone and then trotted out into the rain. About halfway through the lecture I was listening to, I stopped to check my fitbit. My belt clip was empty, lanyard still attached to it.

I panicked momentarily and then remembered I had stuck it in its charging cradle while I was messing with the phone… AAAARGH. Discovering that I wasn’t logging any steps really sapped my motivation. Yes, I am externally rather than internally motivated, and it wasn’t until I remembered I could enter an activity by hand that I got my second wind! When I got home I clicked “log an activity” on the Fitbit menu and copied the stats from the last walk onto today’s log. Whew.

Click here to read my earlier post about it: Fitbit Review.

Stay tuned for some kitchen pix once the guys are gone.

Tomorrow is Halloween!

Halloween Checklist:

Halloween Scott kiltCostume?

Scott will be wearing his kilt for work. I probably won’t be leaving the house except for my walk so I am not dressing up. 🙂


We don’t really bother because we have had exactly 4 trick-or-treaters in the 20 years we’ve lived here. The last ones were quite happy with the Lara Bars & Cliff Bars we offered them.

A little creepy decor?

The houseplants that were in the kitchen have died out on the porch, does that count?


We’ve been on a steady diet of X Files and Walking Dead for the last week. So it is time to move along to Betelgeuse and
Young Frankenstein.

Are you ready?

Click here for my Halloween Movie choices and tell me some of yours!

Almost Halloween

It is almost Halloween!Happy Halloween!

The traditional European festivals of Hallowe’en, Samhain, the Feast of the Dead and All Soul’s Eve’ are celebrated on or around October 31st in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, this is the seasonal equivalent of our May Day.

Samhain, the hallowed eve’ (or Halloween) marks the true end of Summer and the beginning of Winter’s quarter of the year, the portion of the year dedicated to the night forces. Continue reading “Almost Halloween”

How do I find Free Halloween Clipart?

halloween-bat-moon-clipartI can see by your searches that you are looking for free Halloween clipart right now.

Here are some of my current favorites.

1. What do you need your clipart for?

Clipart to be used on your website or blog can be in color while the clipart used in printed materials may need to be black and white images. Clipart that was designed to be black and white is generally preferable to printing color images in black and white.

2. Can’t I just use images from other people’s sites?

I know people like to enter search terms and then just click <images> on Google and swipe images but it really is important for you to make sure that you are using your images within the standards of both copyright and polite usage. If you want to use a picture that someone made for their own site, you need to purchase it from them. If you use an image from wikipedia, it will tell you what rights you have to use it. And if you choose an image from  a dedicated clipart site, you need to use it within their parameters.

3. My links:

Microsoft Halloween clipart  Microsoft clipart is available to anyone who owns a copy of Microsoft Word. They have 66 pages of Halloween clipart  that you can use for whatever purposes you wish.

Classroom Clipart is a  site that allows you to download as many pictures as you wish with a free membership. They have an enormous collection of clipart, Classroom Clipart offers pictures that are suitable for children.

Harry Potter Graphics This is a small collection of clipart. The artist requests a link back to the site if you use them. That is usually a good idea anyway.

FG-A Halloween Clipart  has lots of bouncing pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns, but the art is a little cooler than you are used to.

The Kidz Page has some really interesting art that  appears to be three dimensional.

The Great Pumpkin

The Farmer’s Almanac says that Pumpkin carving began with the Irish tradition of carving turnips. They would put candles in them and place them in windows to scare the ghosts away on the Hallowed Evening. When they moved to the US, they discovered the more plentiful, easier to carve pumpkin and the rest is history.

Continue reading “The Great Pumpkin”

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