Friday, October 30, 2009

Look What's Rising In Kathleen's Garden

This was my raised bed garden back when all that was planted in it was alive and well.



















This is my raised bed garden with everything mostly dead and nearly buried.












Both of these projects were orchestrated by my grandchildren, and they've been thrilled to show them off to visitors. They love reading the grave markers aloud and setting the bones to their satisfaction. The little ghosts hanging on the potting bench were last year's kid craft--styrofoam balls, pipe cleaners and cheesecloth, which is best stuff for Halloween decor. We draped the Amish rocker in it. The ghosts that replaced the hanging flower were easy--white wire hangers make the frames. The big spider web was purchased, but the kids made the spiders from pipe cleaners and puff balls (or whatever the craft store calls them) with pony beads for eyes. We bought a couple of big, hairy spiders to attach to the screen, which has to be replaced come spring anyway. It's been raining like cats and dogs lately--perfect weather for ghoul gardening.


















I do love to watch the holidays come alive in the eyes of children. Christie's costumes are fantastic. Did anyone see "Mad Men" on Sunday? The Halloween scenes brought back memories. The little girl comes out in a costume we Boomers remember well. "Do I look like a gypsy, Daddy?" And the boy is a hobo a la Red Skelton. We didn't put up decorations back in the day, but we put together our costumes from the trunk in the attic or the "rag bag."

And we got to wear makeup! In "Mad Men" the kids are told that those costumes you got in boxes at Woolworth's were "cheap." Mama's words exactly. Cheap meant poorly made, not inexpensive. Store-bought costumes are big business nowadays, and they may be cheap, but they're not inexpensive. Ah, but they're made well enough to provide hours of dress-up fun over the winter. And we do love to play dress-up, don't we, girls?

What's your best Halloween memory or party treat or decor trick? Ever been room mother for the kids' class party? How did it go? I'm helping out in kindergarten tomorrow, and I'm in charge of the cookie decorating station. Wish me luck. Oh, and it's not a Halloween party. It's Harvest. Don't get me started.

Trick me with a comment, I might treat you with an autographed copy of IN CARE OF SAM BEAUDRY. I'll draw the names of 2 commenters tonight. Sam's brother Zach's story comes out around December 1.

21 comments:

Terry Odell said...

We were talking about costumes yesterday. If anyone's still interested, I found some of those Halloween pictures I'd mentioned in my comment, and they're on my blog today.

I always got a jump start into Halloween because my girls' birthday was Oct. 23 (still is, actually) and that's when the shift into holiday mood began. With my son and hubby's birthdays two days apart in mid-November, we were always baking or decorating or celebrating something.

Helen Brenna said...

What a fun project for your grandkids, Kathy!

We did something similar with a chocolate cake some years back. Used crumbled Oreos for dirt, ladyfinger cookies for gravestones. That kind of thing. My kids had fun with it. So did I!

Keri Ford said...

what fun! I was wanting to do a big ghost cake (recently gotten into cake decorating), but I have no where to send it!

I used to decorate my grandparent's store. One year I hung a witch from the ceiling and had her a cauldron set out. was a lot of fun. Times like this is when I wished I lived in a neighborhood. Hard to drag all this stuff out for no one but me and eight other people to see. (course, this assuming it would stop raining for a day to put it up!)

Kathleen Eagle said...

Helen, I'm taking crushed Oreos to the party today as one of the decorative choices for the sugar cookies. Figured they'd go nicely with gummy worms.

Did you know they make ghost mini marshmallows?

Keri, we don't get many kids, and we live in a cozy little neighborhood.

I'm with you on the rain. Enough already.

Christie Ridgway said...

Prepare yourself for lots of frosting and goop on those cookies, Kathleen. My kids would make them so gloppy that no one could bear more than a bite.

Love your bone garden!

Christie Ridgway said...

Oh, yeah, and meant to say. Harvest? That so bugs me. Our elementary school still calls it the Halloween Carnival, thank goodness, though many around here don't.

lois greiman said...

You're such a great grandmother, Kathy. I don't know how you make the time. But kudos to you.

Debra Dixon said...

Oh, the rain!! Our city is setting records. I told my nephew this morning, "I'm moving to Seattle. Less rain." LOL!

I love the raised beds as Halloween fodder. Excellent repurposing!

LSUReader said...

I've been a volunteer at many of my kids' elementary school parties and festivals. Be prepared--the crafts stations can get very interesting! Kindergarteners with icing? Bless you!

Playground Monitor said...

Too cute, Kathleen!

I was never a room mother. Baking isn't my cup of tea. Instead, I was the field trip mom. I loved going to places with the kids and even took a week off work once to chaperone a trip to Tremont Institute in the Great Smoky Mountains. I loved it!

I won't get any trick or treaters this year. :-( I moved to an apartment 2 weeks ago and though there are plenty of kids, most parents are reluctant to let their kids go door to door where they don't know everyone. I'd be the same way. The management will, however, hand out candy to the kids this afternoon when they get off the school bus. I think that's really nice and helps promote a sense of community. I'm sure gonna miss seeing all the little ghosts and goblins and princesses coming to my door.

Marilyn

Maureen said...

I remember wanting store-bought costumes but that was not happening in our house but one year my mother made over an old bridesmaid dress so that I could be a princess so that was close to store-bought.

Minna said...

We don't really celebrate Halloween here in Finland. Or, well, past few years the shop keepers have started to sell more and more Halloween stuff and on the other hand, this invasion of Halloween has made some people revive Kekri (the Finnish equivalence of Halloween).

Virginia said...

Great post and I love the photos of the decorations. When we where kids we didn't have costumes so we dress in old clothes and went out as hobo's and such. I went out dress as a baby when I was about twelve and we had a ball. We would come home groceries bags of stuff. Those were the good old days when it was safe.

catslady said...

Love your decorations - especially the spider web EEK.

I miss that my kids aren't small any more. I always voluteered to help out with parties and they paraded around outside on Halloween. I usually helped with the games but the cookie decoration station sounds like fun.

We have a pumpkin carving party every years that's loads of fun. Now that everyone is older the carving gets more intricate and we're all competitive lol.

Michele Hauf said...

Cool decorations! Don't kids just bring out the kid in you? ;-) I'm actually looking forward to grandkids, but it's going to be a looooong wait if I expect one from my daughter. Sigh...

I remember the first year I tried to send homemade cupcakes with my daughter for treats for Halloween. The teacher refused to pass them out because treats should be 'packaged' and not homemade. Ugg! Like they think I'm going to poison them? Or did they not want the other mothers who just shoved a bag of candy bars in their kids' bags to feel bad because they didn't bake?

Kathleen Eagle said...

Back from the party. What a riot those kids were. Some were so meticulous, and others loaded up those cookies with every piece of candy they could fit on there. It was like watching them eat a Dagwood sandwich.

Kathleen Eagle said...

This was the first year they didn't allow costumes at school. Last year the kids did the room-to-room parade. They did have classes a scarecrow contest--each class made a scarecrow, display in the halls.

MaryC said...

Many of the families in my neighborhood bring the family dog along when trick or treating with the children. I make up Halloween treat bags for the dogs and keep a container of biscuits along with the candy bowl. Some of the children ask if they can have a Halloween treat bag for the family dog left at home.

All the dogs are so excited when they get a treat too!

Elizabeth Bradley said...

How fun! I love what you guys did, so spooky! I love Halloween and working with kids. I am lucky enough to live close to my little grandson Ben and he's 2 1/2 and very into Halloween.

Pamela Keener said...

Loved the garden before & after photos.
Love & Hugs,
Pam

Kathleen Eagle said...

Mary, what a great idea--doggie treats! I'm taking out the bowl as we speak.