Monday, October 13, 2008

This Is Halloween!

Ok, I know that a while back when I posted the video of "Mr. Misting Skull" I swore that we weren't going to buy any more Halloween decorations this year, due to the overabundance of cool stuff we already have. Well, as you can see in this photo, this weekend we both fell off the wagon with a resounding thud! It all started Friday after work, when we drove out for our yearly visit to Nobbies to see their incredible selection of Halloween merchandise. Talk about two grown kids in an eye candy shop ... Fernymoss spotted the Demon first and just had to have it, while I wandered around a bit and fell in love with this incredibly realistic (but way big) Toad, who seems to be asking "Where are my lilies?" These two new acquisitions will be joining Grizelda the Witch in the annual porch display, along with one of the misting skulls and various other props we put on the table from which she casts her spells enchanting the trick or treaters every year....

Today we had some items to get at Target so off we went, and of course we couldn't resist checking out what Halloween items they had, but weren't that jazzed up about it because the past few years we've thought they've been fairly lackluster (other than some nice gargoyles) in their selection. Not this year! We were bowled over by the abundance of very cool items they have to offer, and really had to try to temper our enthusiasm to drop some serious cash on some of them ... so I sprang for this really cool resin tombstone (it's heavy!) and Fernymoss just had to get this big gargoyle for our ever expanding collection, and both finds should serve us well for years to come ... we also got this enormous black ceramic skull that we're going to put the treats in (better than the cheesy plastic cauldrons we've used in the past ... those will be for the toys this year). Actually, I was the one who dropped some very serious cash for the candy and treats we will be handing out ... I didn't total it all up but it was at least $50-60 for all that stuff. Yes, we like to treat our beggars well, and they remember us ... the house where you not only get candy, chips and stuff, but toys too! Last year several parents from the neighborhood said their kids always want to come to our place first for the spooky decorations as well as the abundant goodies!

We're definitely getting into the mood to decorate and dress up, and even Queen SkelePepa got into the act, as you can see in this second shot. Last year I got her this rather nice fleecy jacket/costume that she actually seems to enjoy wearing, unlike the Devil Dog and Bumblebee outfits she's worn in the past. She looks pretty impressive in the dark, as the skeleton on her back glows in the dark, and though it has a hoodie, it doesn't quite fit her head, so we just roll it back to expose the spiderweb design on the inside. Last winter when it was really cold (and we had no heat for a while when our furnace died) she wore this for extended periods and it seemed to keep her nice and toasty, though tonight she only sported it for a few hours because it was still pretty warm (in the mid 70's well into the later evening hours), but she definitely was enjoying the spirit of the holiday!
As long time readers already know, there are two times of the year we really go overboard decorating: Halloween and Christmas, so as each approaches, you'll be seeing more posts devoted to the art of skillful kitsch ... after all, what's a garden blogger to do when everything is pretty much dead or dormant outside, but you still want to post regularly? So ... in the spirit of the season I'll conclude by plugging one of our all time seasonal favorites, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. If you still haven't seen this, you really owe it to yourself to indulge in this frightfully innovative and entertaining little film! To say it's a quite unusual musical is a gross understatement, but now that Disney has finally released a cleaned up, remastered new edition (after way too many years of neglect), there's no better time than now to experience it once again --or for the first time! (Click on the image below for details from Amazon.)
If you've seen Nightmare before, you likely recognized that the title of this post refers to one of the more rousing songs in the film that always has me singing along ... but perhaps you might not have known that this song has also been performed by none other than Marilyn Manson! Yep, that one. By no means should anyone infer that I'm a Manson fan (I'm not that familiar with his stuff), but he does a fantastic version of this song, which you can see here, complete with most of the original imagery from the film itself. Don't let the performer put you off, because he delivers a quite competent and entertaining version in this short video! Come on, I know you want to click the link....

We harvested the first two fully orange pumpkins (and the third and biggest is starting to change color) from the garden this weekend, the cornstalks have been cut down and will soon be part of the front garden Halloween display, so look for those coming soon. Oh, and I still have a few more Toad Lily photos to post, so no, the fat lady hasn't sung yet! Stay tuned....


Roses and Lilacs said...

Love the decorations. What fun. Would you believe I get no trick-or-treaters out here in the sticks? I would love it if I did.

I have never seen Nightmare before Christmas. I did enjoy Burton's Beetlejuice. What a mind!


Janet said...

We love Halloween here.

But I'm hearing more and more people are getting "flack" for liking it. I guess it's those political winds ya know. I work in a VERY liberal store in a rather progressive area... and yet we're hearing more and more from customers how they don't "do" halloween. Whatever.

Anyways... Manson isn't bad. He's just another mmisunderstood Bowie/Alice Cooper. Same old thang. :) I love his "rock is dead", I at first thought it was a Bowie tune.

Hey did ya go and see Manegee's Barack-O-Lanter? :)

Whooo Hoooo Halloween!!!

Gail said...

We have never gotten a trick or treater in the 20 plus years here! Even our kid went to another neighborhood. Our street hasn't a sidewalks and is fairly busy! I am going to enjoy your prelude to Halloween and the big costume reveal. You will have one won't you?


Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Marnie,
Just wait to see what we put together in the next couple of weeks ... glad you like what you've seen so far! That's too bad you don't get any kids coming by, but I guess that's one small advantage of living smack in the middle of the city. We've seen the numbers decline somewhat over the years, but our house seems to have a "spooky reputation" so if we have the candy and toys, they will come!

Definitely rent Nightmare for your Halloween delight ... it's a much better film than Beetlejuice and very very entertaining... it will have you singing along!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey there Janet, you babe!
Sorry to hear there are party poopers out your way ... we've seen some of that here too, but as far as I'm concerned, such maroons can just blow it out their a**es! Those are the types who are constantly worrying about the possibility that somewhere, someone might be having fun! Phooey on that!

I didn't know Manson has also done Bowie... I'll have to check that out. I'll have to check out Manny's punkin... thanks for the hat tip!

If you want to do a guest post on your Halloween decorations, email me some photos and we can do a Spooky Town in Portland post! (Just a spur of the moment thought!)

xxoo, Janet!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

That's such a pity you don't get the kids coming by! I know you mentioned that about the busy street and such, that's too bad, because we really look forward to it, lame jokes and all! (There's a weird tradition here in Des Moines that the kids have to tell a joke for a treat ... dates from the 1930's and it still persists.)

You'll see lots more before the big day, trust me. I'm not sure what my costume will morph into, but I did find a cool, bizarro hat over the weekend, though I'm not yet sure how I'll use it. Right now it's between a Norse Viking and a Wagnerian Brunhilde, lol.

Janet said...

Somebody somewhere MIGHT be having a good time! LOL

Manson doesn't do Bowie at least not that I'm aware of. But one of his songs "Rock is Dead" sounded like Bowie to me at first.

We have everything here, from Mozart to Manson. Mostly we have ACTUAL songwriters not that Disney Machine Mulch.

Hey, I'll take some photos when we get set up. My husband takes a perverse delight in getting more Halloween stuff each year because he knows it totally ticks off the End Times Rapturists that are kitty corner of us. With all my Peace stuff and Love for Halloween and my very modest christmas decorations (a tree inside and egads a PEACE wreath)... you know they are fuhreaking out. :)

And I'm just heartbroken about our dear butterfly with the four legs and three wings.

boran2 said...

I love those decorations/ornaments! We've got a few skulls and things and even a string of lights. I'll have to get going putting things up.

And Queen Pepa looks marvelously scary!

Annie in Austin said...

You guys really go nuts with this holiday, don't you IVG!

This will be our 5th Halloween at our present house. I decorate a little and we had as many as 30 kids one year with less than a dozen another year. Wonder if having it fall on the weekend will mean more kids?

Nightmare is cute, but Beetlejuice gets points because Alec Baldwin was so adorable when he was younger.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey Janet,
I'll look forward to seeing some pics from your end of the world, and if you'd like me to feature a post on what you have, just let me know!

I saw Manny's Barack-O-Lantern, and it was very cool! I also went to and looked at what other people were doing. There are some quite impressive punkins out there!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey B2,
Glad you liked our new stuff! We have tons of skulls, skeletons and such as well... way too much! I did get some really cool skull LED lights at Target as well, and those will be joining our other lights out on the porch soon!

Queen SkelePepa sends her thanks and best regards! (She's sacked out right now here on the futon couch looking incredibly cute.)

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Annie!

Yes, it's our favorite decorating holiday (along with Christmas) as you can tell, lol. There's a reason our house has a "reputation," hehe. We only got about 50 last year due to cold and windy weather, but we usually get 60+ on good years. Who knows what this year will bring?

I still say Nightmare is better, but you do have a point that Alec was in his prime back then (was Geena Davis the wife in that one? It's been a long time since I saw that one.) Alec was also very cute back in his Knots Landing days when I first noticed him ... too bad he played such a despicable creep in that show! Abby was my real favorite though, lol.

olivia said...

LOL ... love, love, love that toad. :-)

Can't wait to see the full display.

Any hints on what you're both going to dress up as this year?

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Of course we own "Nightmare Before Christmas," but it's on tape. (Yes, we got it when it first came out.) We have to get the DVD. It's absolutely brilliant. Love Catherine O'Hara & Paul Rubens. We also have "The Corpse Bride." You're not surprised that I'm a huge Tim Burton & Danny Elfman fan? I'm not a Marilyn Manson fan though.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey Olivia,
Isn't he cool? Now you know why I couldn't resist bringing him home, and he may just stay out somewhere all year round, heh.

We're hoping to get started on the porch and front cemetery this weekend, but we just got our first box of bulbs the other day, so we need to start plugging those in too. We ended up skipping the tulips entirely and focused on smaller stuff like Crocuses(130+), Camassia and some new Fritillarias instead.

I have a hat so far. Fernymoss got a cool wizard hat and cape so that pretty much gives that away.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

You owe it to yourself to get the new version of Nightmare! I just gave it to Fernymoss tonight for his birthday and he was thrilled ... we only had it on VHS too, and our tape is so worn out it's not watchable anymore, but we're really psyched about the new cleaned up version. Plus they included Frankenweenie as a bonus (Burton's film school film).

I love anything with Catherine O'Hara (she even made Home Fries tolerable by playing the crazy murderous mother). As for Reubens, I scream real loud! I wonder when he's coming back on Pushing Daisies this year? We just recently got hooked on that one....