Saturday, October 22, 2011

Straws of Ingenuity

Scarecrow Trail at the Ruth Bowling Nichols Arboretum
This First Annual Scarecrow Trail is sponsored by the Cherokee County Master Gardeners Association.

"The degree of creativity shown by area residents with these scarecrows is inspiring! With names like Ol’ Money Bags, and Cirque du Scarecrow, these are not your run of the mill scarecrows," Co-Chair Kathy Moak said.

I do believe this is an event that not only demonstrated the creativity in the participants, but inspired the viewers as well. My mother and I visited the Scarecrow Trail this afternoon and we had a great time There were small booths located at the front of the trail that sold pumpkins and candy. I wish I would have brought some cash because these items were priced right - a dollar for each item. They also had face painting. So if you do check out this local gem, bring a couple of dollars.
The scarecrows were most definitely unique! Not only were there different motifs, but every scarecrow received its own original award... one award read, "Brightest gloves", while another received "Best use of bamboo".
Inside the woods, there was a small garden. I noticed jalapenos and cacti, just to name a couple of the many variety of plants.It reminded me of a secret garden, which brought up great childhood memories of mine.
Overall, the people were friendly and the day was bright and cheery. Not only were the scarecrows fun to look at, the trail itself was very nice. I will definitely return to the Scarecrow Trail next year.

The Arboretum is located at the Texas Forest Service, 1015 SE Loop 456 in Jacksonville.
Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday – Friday.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Review: Haunts of Four Winds

"Join us on the haunted fourwinds grounds for our spooky halloween festivities. Ride down the haunted roads of Four Winds village on the haunted hay ride.
Trek through the creepy trails of the Dark Forest, and tour the ghost infested halls of Le Chateau Du Morte, if you dare!"

This taunting message is on their website along with the very artistic poster (shown above). So of course with a great website, I had a few expectations:
1. Scary (but not too scary)
2. Entertaining
3. Long lines

We arrived at the Faire a few minutes past 7 p.m. I told my husband, "We have to be there early so we don't have to wait in the long lines!" He told me that there wouldn't be lines due to all of the high school football games. I didn't believe him; he was right. Here in East Texas, high school football is king. All three of us were unsure where to go due to no staff at the doors (or noticeable signs). After we found the ticket booth, we decided to head to the Black Forest Trail first. We probably should have waited a bit longer due to the fact that it wasn't quite dark yet... lesson learned.

Black Forest Trail was by far the best attraction at the Faire. It was spooky, there were plenty of screams and laughs. I won't say what happens in the Forest (what happens in the Forest, stays in the Forest), but we had a blast. We should have waited like I said before because I could see the actors coming (well about 70% of the time). I also think the Forest is a bit too close to the road. We could see and hear the car pass by. Luckily it was only one, but I think on a busy night, it would completely ruin the Forest.
Overall grade: B+

Entrance to the Black Forest Trail
The haunted hayride was well.. let's just say, it was great for kids. There were a few jumpy spots, but overall it wasn't very good. The trailer scared me the most (it continually squeaked like my big behind was going to make it collapse). Overall grade: C

The Haunted Chateau was very small and honestly, not very scary either. I suppose I should have known when an 8-year old informed me so before I even entered. There was a small surprise at the ending, but I will let you find out for yourself. Overall grade: D-

Here is a list of Pros and Cons:

1. Horse guy (he came out of nowhere - beautiful horse though.. we were informed that he was a jousting horse in training by one of our fellow haunted hay riders).
2. Chainsaw Guy
3. Creepy woman (or man.. not sure).
4. Creepy drive to the Faire.
5. Actors were enthusiastic

1. Unorganized entrance - we weren't the only guests of the park to get confused as to where to go and purchase tickets, or where the amusements were.
2. Lack of crowd - this will be the first time I'll ever admit this.
3. NASTY and I mean nasty bathrooms... I refused to do my "business" there.
4. Riding with guests that already knew everything, the actors, etc.
5. The road (for vehicles) was too close to the Black Forest.
6. Haunted Chateau was smaller than my house (it was probably the size of my kitchen and living room).
7. Some bad timing and cheap costumes. My husband said that the chainsaw guy was a mixture of Halloween's Michael Myers and Chainsaw Massacre's leatherface.

Overall I think this place is a good haunt for kids.

The Faire is located on Hwy 110 in Troup, Texas.
It is open Friday, Saturday & Sunday nights from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Macula's Free Paper Toys

Just 9 Days Left!
paper toy zombieIcky IggyRaw Gums Paper Toy

I thought these were absolutely ghastly, but adorable! They have many more to choose from and they are all free. Just print, follow the directions and you have yourself a little treat. I think these would be great as small party favors, or table decor.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Historical Cemeteries

I'm dying to go to our two local cemeteries (figuratively, not literally). Oakwood and Barron Cemetery both have some of the oldest grave sites in Tyler. I'm going to visit both of them sometime this week or next and will post about it when I do.
I wanted to share some photos my husband took while on a fishing trip in Jefferson, TX (also on my wish list of places to see).

Update: My husband told me the stories about these graves. Don't quote us as they are just heresay.

A Confederate & a Union soldier killed each other while chained together.
And we buried together... forever.

Grave of a baby

List of Cemeteries in Smith County:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Local Haunts

My huband, mother-in-law and myself are attending this fair this Friday (Oct. 21st).

Photo taken from Terror Nights site

I will also give mention to another haunted house located here in East Texas. I heard it was the best and that lines exceeded two hours long to get in. Of course I am most likely not going to go (as I mentioned before in prior posts, I am a chicken). Here is the link if you want to check it out:

Halloween Wars

I absolutely love this show on the Food Network. I found it when searching for Halloween themed shows the other day. I am not sure how many episodes I've missed (hopefully not many). I just viewed the dark fairy tale episode.

R.L. Stine and  Rob Zombie also seem to be fans as well :]

I am so far rooting for the "Bling Bats".. They did an AMAZING job on their dead Sleeping Beauty.  I have the Rob Zombie guest appearance DVR'd so I plan on watching it very soon!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Candy Corn Infused Vodka

So I found this awesome recipe at 102 Wicked Things To Do

It was pretty simple. All you need is vodka (I used Smirnoff), a measuring cup, a sealable jar (I used a mason jar), a strainer, paper towels and a bit of patience (which I'm definitely short on).

I didn't strain it as much as Mizerella did, just because I am lazy and this was a tester. Although I couldn't take a shot (I have a very low tolerance for alcohol), I did take a sip. It is really good! I do believe I am going to make this as a thank-you gift (for a helpful friend), but I will definitely strain it more.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hello my pretties

So this morning I posted some of my favorite books... it had me itching to create some more of my own! I am working on a set of 3 books (attached) and they will be on my mantel after completion.

In the works...

I  also have another project: a witch kit (to hold my crystal ball, tarot cards and other witchy items after All Hallows Eve has passed). And of course when I am finished, I will post pictures :]

Spooktacular Books of Inspiration

There are so many beautiful books, but I wanted to make a list of my favorites. I love the intricate details and the fact that these books have character.. and life. 

Hocus Pocus:

One of my favorite books of all time

Season of the Witch:
Book of Solomon
Season of the Witch Book of Solomon Movie Props
B.O.S. Front

Harry Potter:
The Monster Book of Monsters
The Daily Prophet

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Angry Bird Fans...

Angry Birds Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween 2011 expansion teased

Halloween Poll

Hi all! I just wanted to take a second and ask for everyone's opinion. While I was happy about the outcome of this year's party, I am still a bit bothered about the number that RSVP'd and the number of guests that actually came. So to the point.. what is your favorite type of Halloween party? Kids or no kids? Let me know what you think... I am strongly considering a kid appoved pumpkin carving party next year, but I want some more input. So please check out my poll (it's on the right-hand side, very bottom) and leave a comment under this post if your answer is "other". Thank you for your time! :]

Behind the Scenes

After the Party...
Even they were pooped
Well we all know that glitches come up at every shindig and mine was no exception.
Here's a list of bumps in the road that occurred this evening:

  • I had expected a minimum of 25 people (yep, they RSVP'D). I had prepared enough food to feed a whole army (and most of you know what that's like).It didn't help that I started working on putting everything together at 7 a.m. (thinking I would have a house full) - and I love my sleep! My hubby also loves it because I'm a total jerk without enough Zzz. I had goody bags (I sent one guest home with 7-8 just to get rid of them-- I didn't want/need to eat all of that sugar)! I know that some people had a valid excuse, but everybody?! I know which ones were lying, but that's okay... lesson learned.
  • Timing... Since it was a small party, it cut all the timing by 1/2. By the time we finished the treasure hunt, we still had an HOUR to wait until Joni came. So luckily I remembered another game (Mummy Wrapping) and we had a lot of fun watching everyone! Thank goodness I had extra toilet paper on standby.

  • I didn't make the money to cover the expenses for the charity raffle. I spent $50.00, but only made $40.00. I guess the raffle is out of the picture for the next party.

I will say that although everything didn't go according to plan, the party was a blast. I laughed more tonight than I have in awhile.. of course that's probably because I was under so much stress planning and organizing it! ha! But here are some (not all) of pictures that I promised. Of course I will not post any pictures of guests except one (it's one of my party rules to not "expose" anyone, but since you can't see their faces :) ha).

She was trying to pick her up to put her in the tree... don't ask :]
Treasure Hunt 2011


Anyway, Happy Haunting...

Oh & P.S. ignore the ugly wallpaper.. we just bought the house and that atrocious print came with it.