Friday, September 30, 2011

Decorations up!

I just spent about half an hour crumpling newspapers to stuff my pumpkin bags that I've had for years now and the new ghost bags I bought just this week at Goodwill.  Below are some photos of these on my porch as well as the lights on the windows that went up last night.  I was glad the first is on a Saturday this year so I could out the stuff up the night before.

A neighbor across the street complimented my display as I was putting the last bags out.
Window lights taken without the flash to look spooky

Another spooky shot done without the flash. 

I balanced some of the pumpkin bags on the railings

See the new ghost bags

Close-up of the ghosts against the large pumpkin bag

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Began decorating today

Lights and other window decorations are up for now.  Tomorrow after work I will get up the outside stuff up.  The last two years I put up the decorations the Sunday before the first of October in order to have them up for all of the month. Both times I had to endure very hot late-September weather as I decorated.  This past Sunday, however, I was too tired and the weather was a little dark, making it undesirable to want to do any decorating.  Besides, since October 1 is on a Saturday this year, putting the stuff up tomorrow seemed like good plan, since I will be off that day. Unfortunately, though I normally have Sunday off, I have to work this Sunday :-(  I also have to do laundry this weekend and go to the grocery store.  Looks like a busy weekend ahead.

I pulled out my jack-o-lantern bags and my new ghost bags in order  to set them up tomorrow afternoon.  I fill these with crumpled newspaper.  This gets my hands quite black and I have to wash them many times.

Another shot from another angle. 
A neighbor's window decoration
For the last few years I have been one of the first, if not THE first, to decorate for Halloween. However, this year, one of my neighbors in my mobile home park has already put up decorations, at least in their windows. I noticed it about a week ago when I was leaving early in the morning for work. The lights were turned on since it was still a bit dark. However, I was only able to photograph them during daylight one day this week.  As far as others in the park and decorating goes, I have not seen any others as of yet but I have yet to look.

Will be getting pictures of my decorations on my blog once they are complete.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Getting the blog ready

for the Halloween Countdown.  I have redesigned the page to look spooky for the occasion. I am planning to get up my decorations on Friday, since the first of October is on Saturday.  I was off today, but had other things to do and little time to get started.

California Girl Adult Costume
On Monday at lunch time, I went into the Spirit Store to buy the Katy Perry California Gurls dress.  I haven't yet decided which wig to get, the blue one or the lavender one, both of which are available at the store.

Also today, I found some decorations at the Goodwill, some ghost bags to add to my pumpkin bags I have had for several years now. I will be crumpling newspapers to stuff the bags with.

Can't wait for the countdown!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gonna Feel Like 1994 Again

Tonight I will be seeing the re-release of Disney's "The Lion King" in 3D. I missed in the theaters the first go-round, but saw it on VHS then.  I have yet to see it on DVD, as it only has the green "Save" button on Netflix.  Seeing it in 3D should be especially fun.   Our cinema only ran the 2D version one time each day.  I knew I had to go see it tonight since it was re-released last week and it would only last for two weeks.  No work tomorrow, so tonight is perfect.  Will be leaving in an hour.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Already Christmas Stuff Out...

It's still the end of September and since late last month, stores have been stocking Halloween items.  But now Christmas is starting to pour in.  I haven't even begun my Halloween countdown on my blog yet (will start on the first), but wanted to write about Christmas coming after Home Goods began Christmas items  last week while still getting Halloween items, which we began getting in August.  And now other stores are following suit.  Here is some Christmas stuff that I spotted today at Kmart.

These artificial Christmas trees have been going up at Kmart for at least two days now, in an area where they always display seasonal items such as these.  Over the summer, this area was filled with barbecue grills and pool items as well as  school supplies, which they began phasing out about a month ago to make room for Halloween. Some of their pool items remain on a nearby shelf  as seen above.

The Halloween stuff is hanging on some of the back walls and in aisles near the trees.  In the photo above the trees are being placed near the displays of bagged candy and Halloween-themed books for kids.  And  Halloween decorations are hung on the wall in the background.

I didn't have a chance to get any pictures, but Target is also getting Christmas too. I saw some there today on a back wall behind the Halloween costume display.  They'd begun phasing out their school items about a month ago for Halloween and placing the discounted school supplies on the back walls.

Is anyone even thinking of Christmas now?  We just got over summer and are getting used to fall, which began last Friday, with--in my area at least--hot, summer-like weather, which has seemed to cooled down, at least for now.

As I said, I'm still not ready to start getting ready for Halloween, but I plan to get my decorations up before the first, next Saturday.  The last two years, when the first was on a Thursday one year, and a Friday the next, I put up my decorations the previous Sunday so they they would be up for all of October.  And both those years, it was 90-degree weather in late September, something not happening today.  I endured the heat those two years to get my stuff up, but don't feel like doing it now, despite no heat.  I have Wednesday off so I might start then, and if not that day, then definitely on Friday.

I have already begun preparing for the countdown by taking some pictures.  Still trying to decide what to post, but I have some ideas in mind.  Can't wait for that.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten Years Ago

What were you doing on September 11, 2001 when you got the news of the attacks?

Here's my story:  During the previous week (on the day before Labor Day), I'd gotten fired from a kitchen job at a restaurant where I'd been working since 1999, by the new owner who had taken over in the spring of 2001.  I was without a job, needless to say, but it would not be for long.  I went to the movies twice that week and began looking for another job.  Then I went to my cousin's wedding the Saturday before the attacks.  And the next day I was glad to not have to be up early on Sunday (since I'd worked on the weekends at 7AM).  The last thing I remember doing the night of September 10, 2001 was watching TV before going to bed that night, as I almost always do. Not having a job, I had no idea was I was going to be doing each day during that week, and would wake up at whatever time I desired.   Then my mom called me the next morning and asked if I heard about an attack on the news. I turned on the TV and there was news of the World Trade Center bombing, an incident thereafter known as 9/11.  Here is a clip of the news on NBC's Today Show:

Trying to watch the news of the attacks was difficult, but there was nothing else on because every station was covering the attack.  Even though I felt I was ignoring something important, I just could not sit around all day trying to keep up, as long as I got the gist of the story. Besides, I knew that with an incident of this magnitude there would be more news to come in the days that followed.

So then I decided it was time to get out the house for a while, and took a drive around town.  Along the way, I saw some tables set up in front of an empty building that had once housed a local drug and variety store.  I saw the the Dollar Tree was opening in my town and because I was in need of job I decide to apply and was quickly hired.  I had hated the new restaurant owner and was looking for new work, including the Goodwill store that had also come to my town in 2001 (I'd gone to an interview for the Goodwill in August then, but heard nothing back).  The two stores are next door to each other and opened around the same time in September 2001.  So something good came of that day. I could not wait to begin, and my training began the following Monday.  Some stores closed that day because of the attacks. I went to the next town over to go to Walmart as I would sometimes do that if I was bored often on Mondays and Tuesdays, since the restaurant where I was working was closed on those days.  I then drove over the outlet center near Walmart and saw that the stores had closed that day because of the attacks.  Meanwhile, there was still more news of the attacks the rest of that day, as well as in the days that followed.

Forward to 2011.  Earlier this year, I read the book "Homer's Oddyssey," about a blind cat named Homer.  In one chapter, Homer and his owner's other two cats are trapped in her New York City apartment during the attacks as she is away from home when the bombings take place.  While reading this part of the book,  I then remembered that this year will be the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

And of course now everyone seeing memorials of the attacks on TV and in the papers as well as on the Internet.  All this makes me glad to still be alive as well as sad for those who lost loved ones during the attacks.   This the sort of event that most people will always know they were doing the day it occurred.
Do you remember what you were doing?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Holiday confusion?

Well not really, since Goodwill always sells leftover holiday items after that holiday.  But it's still very weird seeing these Valentine candies nearly seven months after that holiday.  Are these things still edible? Goodwill should start getting Halloween stuff soon  and I shudder to imagine them mixing these leftover Valentine candies with Halloween candy and somehow throwing the bags of candy in with tea lights, feather boas, baseball caps, Halloween cards and the other stuff that gets placed on the tables,  alongside racks of marked-down costumes from Target along with old graduation robes and used ninja costumes without the swords.   These should all be up soon.  I hope not to see these leftover Valentines candies mixed with whatever Halloween candy the Goodwill sells, and I hope no one tries to pass out Valentines candies on Halloween night.  Will the kids go for such a thing?  Or do they even notice or care about such things?

And come December they will be selling leftover Halloween candy as customers await the Christmas season. I've seen this happen in seasons past.   Are people going to buy the Halloween candy then, two months later or ten months early, depending on how you choose to see it.   I don't even understand why some stores begin stocking Halloween candy at the end of August, before all other Halloween items.  Is anyone going to buy it that early if it's not for their own consumption?  Can you really keep it safe until the end of October? Can you hide things from yourself?   I can't even buy Halloween candy a week earlier without feeling to eat any or all of it myself before the event.  It just doesn't seem to make sense to get the candy in stock so soon before decorations and costumes and other non-edible items.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Etsy shop up!

After pondering whether to try to sell on Etsy, I finally got a shop set up.  I'd considered doing so a year ago, but never got around to doing so.  I plan on selling some papier mache stuff and perhaps items created other ways.  Right now I'm selling decorations for Halloween, including ghosts and pumpkins made from papier mache strips pasted over small paper bags.  Pictured are few of the items.

My shop is called Papier Mache 'n' Things.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Countdown to Halloween

Once again I will be participating in the Countdown to Halloween starting next month.  If you are interested, please visit the link provided.

Is it really the end of summer?

Sure didn't feel like summer around here. and now it's nearly over.    If last year was any indication, it's going start feeling like summer this weekend.  But the calendar just switched to September and that means fall is upon us.  Then again, it can still be warm well into September in my neck of the woods.  I'm still not ready to put my shorts and short-sleeved shirts away just yet.  This is definitely California weather.