Halloween 2017: It’s a Wrap

pumpkin penduncles

Three pumpkins, three unique peduncles

In a flurry of activity, Halloween came and went. October 31st landed on a Tuesday this year, but trick-or-treating children continued to ring the bell until 8:30 that night. There were fewer than last year, but we still had about 300 costumed little ones at the door.

costumed children

Our driveway at the height of the evening

Passing out Halloween candy

Mike passing out candy at the door

Baby in pumpkin costume

Ray and Sara’s darling “pumpkin” stopped by for a visit and a photo-op

Mike took the day off of work so he would have time to carve pumpkins. It’s become a yearly tradition. We ended up with six pumpkins this year. I planted three from Bonnie Plant starters, and the squirrels planted three more. One of the pumpkins rotted in the week leading up to Halloween, but the others were hale and hearty.
The pumpkins went from this

To this

and finally this: I’ve had as much fun watching the squirrels “clean up” as I did when the pumpkins were whole and carved.

Mike came up with our costume idea this year. We dressed as “aging” (ha) black and white screen stars. We rented costumes from a local place called Natasha’s Attic. I bought a black wig but Mike’s hair is naturally dark so he just had to wear a hat. We applied grey theatrical makeup to any exposed skin, then used black mascara and white makeup for highlight and shadows.  If you follow this link, you’ll see the stunning example we worked from. We’re makeup novices, but we made do with our limited skills and had fun.

I helped my sister pull together her costume again this year. We’ve always enjoyed dressing up for Halloween. Sharon has MS and relies on a motorized scooter to get around so her costume has to be easy to put on and off.

Last year I bought a small, decorative cat from my friend Lexi’s Etsy shop. I knew Sharon would love it, and could use it to decorate the front of her scooter. That cute little cat inspired this year’s costume!  She decided to dress up like the little cat.

I made a small tulle apron to match the one on the kitty, and I used one of my soft pumpkins for her wrist. I added a scrap of green ribbon, then sewed the pumpkin to a hair tie. I picked up the cute glasses at a paper store of all places. If you follow this link to Kelly’s blog, you’ll see the two of us sporting a pair. Sharon popped out the lenses, then wore the kitty glasses over her own.  The small skeleton came from a shop in Willow Glen, and Sharon bought the faux fur scarf online. She’s always cold, so she really liked the warmth it provided.  I think she’s adorable.

At long last, we’re enjoying autumn-like weather. Halloween, 2017, is a wrap.

49 thoughts on “Halloween 2017: It’s a Wrap

  1. Sharon’s costume was darling! We understand the challenge of working around a wheeled conveyance. I fret over Robert’s costume every year but he’s always happy and the neighbors recognize who he has dressed as….this year it was a giraffe….not my best effort…but there is always next year!


  2. Glad you had a fun halloween Alys! Your costumes are fabulous – you look gorgeous! And Sharon looked really good too. 😉 Your hubby is an artist – those pumpkins are works of art! And the front of your house looks wonderful all decorated as well. Enjoy your autumn weather now Alys, and ‘chill’ out a little! 🙂 xx


    • Hello Cathy and thank you for all your kind words. Mike does an amazing job and I agree, they are works of art. I’m always glad to get good photos, knowing they’ll be mush in short order. Off to the compost bins, after the squirrels have scraped away the last of the seeds.

      Autumn is here at last. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! You really go for it over there don’t you? That looks like a school trip on your drive – 300 children in one evening 😮 I think I’d have to arrange to be ‘out’. Is there a Halloween equivalent to Scrooge? I could say ‘Bah Pumpkin’.
    Having said that, I’m glad you enjoyed yourself and you and Mike look fantastic (as does your sister).


    • Thank you for your kind words, Lynn. We do have fun and as you can see, a lot of little ones do, too. The Scrooge equivalent is simply keeping your lights off. Many people do. Children don’t bother knocking or ringing the bell, and the family is free to be home without any fuss. In fact, I think it’s more likely that families with small children celebrate and others don’t. Never mind that my boys are 17 and 20. 😉


  4. I think your sister looks adorable too! I couldn’t find the link to see what you were working from, but with your black wig, you remind me a bit of Angelica Huston; you all look great! I wish we had room to grow pumpkins, but I’m sure my husband would have me so busy making pumpkin pies (his favourite) that I wouldn’t have time to carve them 🙂


    • Thank you, Sherri. It’s really quite remarkable to behold all those families going door to door. We took turns answering the bell for awhile so we could eat a sandwich in between rings. We walked outside later and chatted with neighbors. Our weather has been so mild. I hope you had fun on Halloween. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. WHAT FUN!! Next year I’m bringing Julia and Matt and we’re coming to your place for Tricks and Treats. How great. I love it all. You did a wonderful job on your sisters costume. You and Mike look fantastic. I can’t believe all those children. I am so glad you had a good time. I love that the squirrels are getting the leftovers. Hope your November is staying cool. We are hot and humid. Unbelievable. I am so tired of bugs. YUCK!! Oh well. Still counting my blessings.


    • Thank you, Amy. We do have fun around here on Halloween, and how amazing it would be to have the three of you at our door, or at the door handing out candy with us.

      The squirrels are so much fun this time of year. I actually had one climb on the back of the wicker rocking chair on the deck and peer right in at me through the window. Of course he had no interest in waiting around for a photo op. It’s all about the seeds: hand ’em out or move along I guess. I can’t believe you’re getting hot and humid so late into the year. I hope that passes soon. Yuck is right. Thanks for all your kind words.


  6. Mike’s carving has just gotten more and more intricate over the years – these are truly works of art. And he does it in just one day!! And you two in your grey makeup – definitely a look of ‘ghoul’ – but not ‘aged’ at all 🙂 I look forward to seeing Sharon’s costume every year, she’s usually scary and it is so nice to see ‘cute’. Sharon as kitty is definitely cute!!

    My door got knocked on once this year. As we are on summer time it was still broad daylight and, as Siddy barked at the knock, the three kids had retreated to the corner of the house where they said from a distance ‘Trick or treat’. With no sign of a costume to them and clearly no understanding of the occasion…… I thought of you and wished I could magic them off to San Jose so they could experience the real thing. But they might have gotten lost in that crowd milling about on your drive way. What an event!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Pauline! Mike loves carving pumpkins, something I would never have the patience for. It’s been so mild, that he was able to do all the carving in the back garden. It’s just now cooling down to a seasonal normal.

      Sharon always prefers scary, but then this idea came to her as we were decorating her scooter and it seemed perfect.

      How funny to hear trick or treat at your door, only to find un-costumed children. It’s really extraordinary the number of children that show up on our little street each year. Our neighbor Greg builds a haunted hallway on his driveway and that surely attracts people. Some of my friends have five to ten children or none at all, and others opt out entirely. I certainly did when I lived alone in an apartment.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. What a fantastic celebration, especially after all the downers of this year. Neither bushfires nor Trump were going to get in the way of your Halloween! You look great and good to see the big smile on your face. Mike’s pumpkins are sensational and even the squirrels get to join the celebrations. However, I am still a bit stuck on 300 children ~ 300 (!?!). You must have had a mountain of lollies to give out.


    • Thank you, Anne. It was a nice respite indeed from all the trauma in the world. The kids are adorable, all very polite and many were quite complimentary about the pumpkins and the decorations. As for the candy, we’re able to buy it in bulk with 140 pieces per bag. It’s the only way to go when you have this volume of visitors. I will pass on your kind words to Mike. He really enjoys carving and it shows. xo


  8. You really got into it, and what fun! I think we look like complete duds next to you and Mike! LOL! Our street is kind of hidden…we had maybe 6 doorbell rings! It makes for an easy evening, but your festivities are very special. And the pumpkins are amazing. 🙂


    • Thank you, Debra. It sounds mysterious living on a hidden street. That probably cuts down on all the fliers one gets at the door, too. Mike does an amazing job with the pumpkins year after year. They really add to the evening’s charm.


  9. Your costumes were all MAGNIFICENT!!! Just brilliant ideas! Sharon was adorable and you and Mike look like you just stepped out of an old film. I think Mike has a latent artistic lean to him that is just lightly as yet been tapped. We had nice weather but no kids at all. It was darn cold here today with wind. When I first saw the pumpkins the one on the right looked like the stem has a wee frog on it and the one in the center a bit of a fairy. Poor eyesight makes things so much more fun. 🙂


    • Oh funny, I was just asking you about Halloween in another comment thread. Sorry to hear it was a bust. It sounds like your deep into fall weather now. We’re still hoping for the elusive rain. They keep readjusting the forecast. It’s much cooler here too in the mornings (48) but it’s still warming into the high sixties. Thanks for your kind words on our costumes. Mike used to make model airplanes and model cars as a kid. I think carving the pumpkins has a similar appeal. I love that you spotted a fairy and a frog. I’ll go have a second look. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I always get such a kick out of your enthusiasm for Halloween–you really know how to do it up! You both looked amazing, and your sister, too, and the jack o’lanterns are incredible! I like that the squirrels recycle them.


    • Thank you, Kerry. I’m not sure how Halloween got to be such a big deal around here but we always have fun. It’s a great time of year to express my creativity and my love of costumes. Growing our own pumpkins and watching Mike turn them into works of art is rewarding too. And yes, squirrels!


  11. Excellent carved pumpkins! And wonderful costumes too, all the way around. I miss being able to more fully participate in Halloween festivities. Can’t even open the door to trick or treaters due to the fumes they have on their persons. You must spend a small fortune on candy to hand out!


    • I’m sorry to hear that your festivities are so curtailed. That must be hard for you, yet you remain upbeat. We’ve learned to buy candy in bulk so that we don’t break the bank. That helps keep the costs under control.


  12. Thanks for sharing, Alys. I really enjoyed the show – get felt almost as though I joined you for Halloween (though belatedly!). Loved your fancy dress. How great that you can celebrate with your husband. The carvings are brilliant.


  13. Your enthusiasm for Halloween comes through so brightly in this post that I feel as though I am one of the 300 arriving at your place to see the pumpkins and to line up for candy. Wonderful.


  14. Gah, I read this a while back and thought sure I’d left a message….anywho, it all looked fabulous! The Yard, your costumes, the carved pumpkins! You really relish the occasion and it’s so fun to watch. Halloween evening here was quite cool. It’d snowed in the AM and throughout the day some. There were maybe 150 kids at our door. A lot by some standards but fewer than the year before when it was mild and no snow.

    Mike’s carving skills are to be admired! Wowie! of course I love the kitty-cat 😀 Great penduncles on those pumpkins too. One of mine had a nice penduncle, but I had to practically climb into the giant bin to reach it. I suppose that’s why it was still there, no one else wanted to show off their knickers….LOL, cept me..snort!

    Sharon’s costume was a riot! Those glasses are so funny 😀 Good idea punching out the lenses too. Clever girls! The mitts are cute, man I’d be sweating big time. It’s awesome that you could help with the pink tulle apron, cute cute!

    On to thanksgiving I suppose for you then Christmas…..then the BIG event! LOL xo K


    • It’s so nice of you to come back and comment. Thanks for the plethora of compliments and well wishes. Mike has so much skill and patience with those pumpkins. Just today I had to toss the last one. After a light rain it had a puddle of moldy soup in the bottom. It’s now rotting in the garden and will make wonderful compost next season.

      150 kids is a great turnout, especially given the snow you had that day. As I remember it, we would have begged to go out for free candy, even if it was snowing. I can only remember a little bit of one Canadian Halloween. I must have been five or six, since we moved just after my seventh birthday. So long ago.

      You crack me up! I’m glad you were willing to bare all for the perfect peduncle. That’s my girl! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  15. What an amazing, spook-tacular Halloween, Alys! Wow! You and Mike looked so great in your costumes. Sharon’s costume was really sweet, too! Mike is definitely a pumpkin artiste! It’s such fun that you can enjoy ‘October anticipation’ for months by growing your own pumpkins. 🙂 I wonder if your squirrels might already have planted next year’s pumpkin crop (in unexpected places!)?

    Our Halloween was such a cold night. We only had about 20 tiny visitors. They were all bundled up, so we had to ask them about the costumes hidden under their winter jackets. There is still a bowl of Halloween chocolate bars left over… which can be a dangerous thing! *wink* ♡


    • Thank you, Dawn! We really enjoy growing pumpkins, and I’m sure you’re right about next year’s crop as well. Mike does such a masterful job with his carvings. It’s a shame they don’t last more than a few days, but he doesn’t seem to mind.

      I’m sorry to hear about your frigid weather. I can remember having to wear a coat over our costume when we went out on Halloween night in Ontario, Canada. It was so disappointing working on a costume, only to cover it up. LOL. My poor mom. Here in San Jose, people are still out in shorts on Halloween most years. We’re quite spoiled. I hope your Christmas projects and plans are well under way. Hugs, dear one.

      Liked by 1 person

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