Thursday, October 18, 2012

Halloween Blessings

Greetings!  It's no big secret how much I love Fall.....I love every single thing about this time of year.  From the falling leaves and the beauty of the changing colors to the cooler temperatures and the cooking of savory comfort food, what's not to love?  I also love Halloween.  Our church, which is wonderful and one that I fundamentally trust and believe in, isn't necessarily a big Halloween advocate.  In fact, we will be at Confirmation Classes on the 31st and there will be no Trick-or-Treating for my two youngest.  Of course, at 12 and 14, they are probably a bit old for TorT'ing.  At any rate, church discussions about this interesting holiday gave me pause and I started wondering why Halloween is so special to me.  And then, I remembered.  My mother absolutely loved Halloween.  She loved decorating for the holiday - nothing scary, just lots of pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns and maybe a funny witch or ghost.  When I was in elementary school, mom reveled in helping me find a great costume.  We had very little money, so I was an adult before I owned a store-bought costume, but mom would find things around the house and her imagination was unlimited in what she could devise from things like coffee grounds (a beard for the bum costume), construction paper (a witch's hat) or her very own make-up from Mary Kay (clown face make-up).  One year, we discovered that the dress on my almost life-sized Raggedy Ann doll fit me perfectly.  Mom carefully, removed the doll's orange yarn hair for my own head, I wore the dress and took 2nd place in the costume contest at school.  Not a penny was spent!

Not every holiday was like this.  My mother suffered her entire life from deep, saddening depression.  Most Thanksgivings, mom would cook a huge meal and then spend the rest of the day in her room with the door closed.  Christmas was especially hard her.  Many years, there were no gifts, some years, no Christmas tree.  Mom spent much of the holidays alone in her room, in a dark place, I can't even begin to imagine now and certainly didn't understand at the time.  For some strange reason, Halloween was different and because of the blessings we always had during this time of year, Halloween will always be a special holiday for me.

At any rate!  I am busy, busy, busy trying to finish up a variety of projects for 3 Craft Shows that are just around the corner.  But, I had, just had, to take some time out to decorate for Halloween and to finish up a couple of projects that I started last year for me.  I had such fun stitching up this adorable stitchery (this is not my design) and even more fun adding the wool circles to make the whole thing look very primitive. 

I also started and all but finished this adorable stitchery last year, so early this week, I finished the second letter "e" and the "n", added a few borders and voila!
Sorry for the poor quality photo, it is still dark out this morning!  I quilted in between the stitching lines and am happy with how "HALLOWEEN" really pops.
We are pretty decked out this year but I wanted to share just a few of my all time favorites, including this great Pumpkin Man, made by Miss Karen Greenfield of Omaha.
I try to buy at least one of Karen's creations each year but this one (along with her little woollen spider) will always be special to me.  Karen's work is fabulous and the details she adds are really and truly like no other.
Next to Pumpkin Man is one of my needle punch, love this spooky house.  This is also not my design, but it is just so cool.

Michael's Craft Store had all of their Halloween stuff 50% off yesterday (it's only October 18th, right??) and so Maddie and I picked up these neat-o Martha Stewart crows.  Maddie promptly came home and flocked our home.
She added this guy, and I think he looks great atop a lighted block.
Maddie's cat thought she had to get in on the action, too.
Can you see Bitsy's new little black and orange collar?  She jingles when she walks now, so we can always hear her coming.  She spent a good portion of the afternoon attacking the crows....I'm still not sure she realized they are not real.

While Maddie was flocking, I whipped up these "Itty Bitty Nutella Cakes", with a quick and easy recipe from the Pioneer Woman's blog.  Check it out, there are simple, quick and absolutely mouth-watering!  By the way, we added thin mint chips to garnish the top and my-oh-my......
Another thing that gets me about this time of year is how fast things change.  When we left for school yesterday morning, there were a few leaves in our yard and a light rain falling.  By the time I returned, just 30 minutes later, the yard, the hostas and mums had disappeared.....completely covered by yellow leaves.
As the day went on and the wind blew, the leaves continued to fall.  I love how it looks!

I know that Halloween can be considered a dark arts inspired holiday.  I know that some people do bad things on Halloween.  But for me, Halloween was a blessing that God gave my mother, a time when she could be creative and happy.  It was a time for her to spend with me and for just a short time, she had a reprieve from the grips of grief and depression.   I love Halloween and always will.  For me, it will always be a blessing from above.

Until next time,


  1. Ah Kathleen, now I'm all choked up! I had no idea. Your house looks fantastic, and I'll bet your Mom is smiling down on you right now!

  2. That is a great reason to love Halloween and I'm glad you have it. It is definitely a fun holiday with little pressure - no presents to buy or big meals to cook. Also, your house looks awesome! The only decorations I have are your pumpkins I bought last year. I'll need to start collecting if I'm going to be as fun of a mom as you!