Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Working for a living

By about 9:30 each Monday through Friday this is what I am thinking.....

make the stupid stop
see more crazy cat pics

It may be a different person, but the stupid part is sadly consistant. :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The best thing about the snow day

even better than work being closed, was....

after I spent the morning getting our closure out to all the news channels and on our website, I laid on the couch with a comfy blanket to watch the morning news (truly a happening for me) to make sure our closure was listed...I fell asleep and woke up to find my little gray kitty sound asleep on my shoulder.

Since I didn't have to go to work, I didn't wake her. I petted her little head and we both took a long winter's nap. :)

That will go down as one of my favorite days.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Under all that snow

are some of the tombstones I set out on Saturday.

Be careful what you wish for.

....I still think Beloved would have looked fantastic in the, I am not bitter, I don't harbor grudges.....husband is just going to have to sleep on the couch.

A pumpkin update

I am sure you are dying to know how is my pumpkin holding up in all the snow.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Part of the graveyard

is now up in the backyard.

It is supposed to snow all weekend. I want some picture of the tombstones in snow.

Husband officially thinks I am crazy - again.

Not happy. He would not help me haul out the angel or beloved....they would have looked awesome, but I cannot move them by myself.


Pictures to come.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ringing in the new holidays

My cell phone rings.

It plays the theme to Halloween (of course.)

Someone says "Isn't that a little out of season?" .


You were not expecting my phone to play "Jingle Bells" were you?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Where the Frog Queen goes

for her Earl Gray tea.

The last snow post

for now :)

Here is my beloved Green Man fountain in the snow.

I have always been drawn to the symbolism of the Green Man. I have a small collection of them. I try not to tell that to too many people, because, yeah, because of what happened with the......the many, many.....frogs.

One insane collection is enough for the red head girl.
Traveling in the UK I have taken several Green Man pictures from different churches. They are commonly found outside of churches, a bit of a bridge from the pagan to Christian. One of the first things I do when we visit a church is look for the Green Man.

Most of my pictures are too fuzzy or very hard to make out, so I won't bore you with them.

Of course, the famous Green Man from Roslin Chapel (thanks Mr. Brown, quite little chapel now has a gift shop larger than the chapel :)

I believe husband took this one...that is why it is not a blurry blob.

One of my favorites is the Green Man from the deconsecrated church outside of Darsie Castle. (St. Mary's Church ) I remember it so well because it was just on the left side of the church by the front doors. They usually hide them in a corner somewhere.
Wish I could find the photo. I probably got disgusted with my terrible photo skills and deleted it :(
Then it is not a big suprise that one of my favorite XTC songs is "Green Man" - it is perfect!

Hats in the snow

Theme happening here as you can see.

We decorated the hats that we wear with our Halloween costume/uniform for an umbrella parade in our fair/small town. Since I really don't do bright and festive, the only way I was going is if I could take my skull hat.

Some people gasped, some chuckled....I overheard a lot of people say "it is the graveyard people" - (big smile)

Got to wear them that same night to a good friends 50th birthday party. We were quite popular.

Anyway, we decided to put them out when it was snowing and get a picture for our Christmas card. Aren't they lovely?

Happy Holidays from the Frog Queen.

Not a frog

...just snow on the pumpkin :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow on the scarecrow

A Chris Folly that was only half completed by October, so it has been shelved, until next year.

Or in this case, leaned up against the garden arbor, until next year. Cause he is going in my garden when he is finished.

The head is made from burlap and fiberglass, we used an over sized Anatomical Chart skeleton head for a mold.

But that is about as far as I got.

Here is my unfinished scarecrow covered in snow...

Ah, I think this means....

I am not a expert at reading tea leaves, but this reading seems pretty obvious to me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I found out that

the neighbors of my friends not only had blow up decorations for Halloween. But they have even more for Christmas. I guess we should have seen that coming.

Since this traumatic event, they have decided that you should always go house shopping in December, so you can see the how bad it is going to be. Or it should be disclosed somewhere in the listing.

One of you works in real estate, can't you get that going? I know it is too late for you, but think of all the suffering you will save others.

Wait, I know you, and "stopping the suffering of others" is no more motivation for you than it would be for me.

Again, I guess that is why we are friends.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

They used to be my friends

But I am not sure anymore. :(

In my head I have been singing I Would Not Stop for Death by Emily Dickinson poem to tune of The Yellow Rose of Texas for DAYS!

I wasn't even singing, I was holding the camera and I am still tainted!

And I thought I was crazy before.

Thanks guys. I promise to return the favor :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

As you have guessed, I am a sucker for

ghost tours. They are one of my favorite things to do.

Odd, because I am a big skeptic and don't actually believe in ghosts. (I know, gasp!)

But they are entertaining. Especially the UK tours where you also get a history lesson. And I do enjoy historical lessons that involve graveyards and ghost stories.

In London we have visited many haunted places, one of the most famous being the Tower of London. You can hear this story on the regular Tower tour, not officially a ghost tour, but with so many beheadings and murders inside those walls, might as well be.

All nicely in contrast around some very big diamonds (this is also where the Royal Jewels are kept - the sparkly ones...I believe the Queen and Camilla have Charles'.)

Ghosts of people executed in the tower walls include:

Thomas Moore
Anne Boleyn
Jane Boleyn (sister)
Lady Jane Gray

Ghosts of people murdered in the tower walls:

Henry VI (stabbed to death while he was praying, that is low)

The sons of King Edward IV went "missing: after their father died in 1483. The bodies of two boys were found under the a staircase in the white tower during an excavation in 1674 are believed to be theirs.

So, who is haunting where?

Anne Boleyn has got the White Tower covered (and the chapel where she is buried)

Lady Jane Gray - probably the most famous ghost, is often seen in the Tower Green.

The sons of Edward IV haunt the "Bloody" Tower, named so for their murder.

Thomas Moore, I believe is in Utopia and has no need for haunting. (I know, I know, that was terrible and I apologize :)

And there are ghost tours aplenty in London. Then there is the graveyard tours of London, old graveyards, plague pits, churches full of tombs and memorials - endlessly entertaining.

Then there are the MANY and I do mean many Jack the Ripper tours. Not all that "ghostly" but definitely creepy running around the Whitechapel area at night - not a bad neighborhood (any longer) but anything is creepy with a guide telling you murder stories.

There are ENDLESS and I mean endless theory books about who Jack the Ripper was. Every guide for any tour we have been on, has written a book, seems to be a pattern.

I know I have pictures at home, I will see if I can find some tonight to post later.

I need more tea (cause they will not let me have wine with lunch at work :)....we will save Edinburgh, Scotland (and it's many, many tours) for another day.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I have visited

the City of the Dead, ghost tour in Scotland.

My favorite ghost tour in Edinburgh. That is saying something, because there are a LOT of them.

Oh, I have been on ALL of them, at least twice, per visit. :) Over all the trips, it is embarrassing to admit how many tours I have taken :)

I would go to one every night I was in town if husband would go. Some nights he wants to see plays or other things :)

The trip before my last one I went on the City of the Dead Graveyard Tour 4 nights in a row, I traded off with different people in the group to go with me different nights, that took care of three of them. The forth one I pulled the "it's my birthday" card for that one and made everyone go with me, and buy me drinks!

So for my birthday we ate dinner at in the Secret Garden at The Witchery (reportedly haunted) and then a ghost tour - that was my second best birthday. (Best birthday - I will save that for another blog entry, it involves ghosts too!)

The City of the Dead graveyard tour is one of my favorites because it visits the Coventers Prison where the world famous McKenzie poltergeist is rumored to be. By many accounts it is one of the most haunted places in the world.

I am not sure if it is the energy of all the people crowded in the mausoleum while the story is told or if there is actually something going on. Either way - one of my favorite things.

I prefer this one over the Mary Kings Close or Vault tours, precisely because most of the tour is in graveyards. The City of the Dead tour office is in a house in the cemetery. I want an office in a cemetery! How great would that be :)

The bulk of (the most interesting bit) takes place in Grayfriar's cemetery. Here are some pictures of it during the day.

There are many mason graves in this small cemetery, you can note them by the skull and bones symbol on the walls of the mausoleums and the tombstones.

The story that is told for why the area is so haunted is that years ago the tomb of "Bloody"Mackenzie was desecrated and some people took his skull. I believe it is back now, but I guess it was too late, he is pissed and has taken to haunting to pass away the rest of eternity. (You know, if I was going to break into a tomb, if someone has the nickname "bloody" - I pass it over and pick the one next to it. :)

In life he was responsible for the death of some of the Jacobite up risers (those loyal to the Scottish Tutor rule of Britain) He kept many of them locked up in an area of the graveyard, where the Black Mausoleum resides. He left them there in winter with little food or water....and to make a long story short (which is hard to do with a Scot, trust me:) he eventually had many of them shot. You can read the whole story here if you are interested.

Here is his tomb, very impressive, I would enjoy recreating it, but as you can see, it quite large, and my yard is not. Mackenzie’s tomb (not the place that is haunted) the gravesite of the specter that haunts the black mausoleum - which around corner in the old coventers prison.

Yes, the red head standing there is the Frog Queen. And she has an unhappy look on her face, because she is FREEEEZING. And scary, but mostly freeeeezing.


a favorite tombstone

This is from the graveyard that was the Cathedral at St. Andrews. The church is very long gone, so the inside of the ruins are a graveyard.

Although this is not one of the older tombstones in the graveyard, it is based on older designs ans it is a family plot tombstone. Something that I have not done in my yard yet.

But I am going to this year.

Halloween in December

Saw a play on Friday with our good friends Jason and Becky, that was written by a couple of friends of ours called Holidazed. Very funny, entertaining and touching. We had a great time, as we knew we would.

It takes place between Halloween and Christmas.

So I was in heaven sitting in a theater with a set full of Halloween decorations listening to Halloween songs......I would have sat down earlier if I had known. : ) I wish I would have taken pictures!!!! Trust me it was cool!

Heart warming to hear a play sticking up for my pagan holidays - but if you are from my work and you are reading this blog (which I hope you are not - for many reasons :) - I didn't meant that "my"pagan thing :)

Anyway, Had a great time. If you are in the Portland area. Go see it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

the year of 14-0848

according to Pantone that is. Is this information important to anyone? Seriously, sometimes they amaze me and I do this for a living.

"Pantone, which provides color standards to design industries, specifically cites mimosa, a vibrant shade illustrated by the flowers of the mimosa tree as well as the brunch-favorite cocktail, as its top shade of the new year, but the company, in general, believes the public will embrace many tones of optimistic yellow."

Now you know everything.

So the purpose of Pantone besides costing me (and every other designer) about $125 a for a new set of color swatches each year they have to find ways to put market "color"

There are about 20+ (last time I checked) different Pantone guides, I use three on a regular basis, formula, uncoated and coated.

Why do I need them? My boss asks me that each time I have to approve a new set in my budget.

Without the books in front of you, it is hard to show, but you would be surprised how different 4516 PMS (Pantone Matching System - yeah, I know what some of you were thinking) looks on matte paper verses printing with a shiny coat (I like shiny). Worthless information, I know, I am full of it.

Then there is process and spot. Spot color - this is when the color I choose actually comes back from the printer matching my pantone deck :) More expensive, very cool. Hardly ever use.

Process, well mixing CMYK, and you get "close enough" - I work in this world most of the time :)

Now that I have bored you to tears, go check your closet to make sure you have the appropriate amount of yellow clothing so you are hip for 2009.....yes, they do have a fashion Pantone guide - would I make that up?

(thanks banshee for reminding me of this, I get an email from them each week full of fabulous information like the color of the year, I read one in 10 :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What could be worse

than 3 dentist appointments in three days?

AND getting your annual review at work?

The chance of a fourth dentist appointment tomorrow (four in four days) for a root canal.

On top of getting called for Jury duty.

Yeah, it may be sunny outside (odd for the Northwest in December) but there is a cloud following me around.

I am going to go dig through my graveyard pictures for new posts, that should cheer me up :)

BTW - when the dentist told me to think of of happy thoughts to keep my blood pressure down (I don't do well with doctors) - I was thinking about ghosts walks in Edinburgh. :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

She scares me

I got these as part of a birthday present from a friend. Someone I have know for years.

I kid you not.

Me, the frog queen, the sarcastic, Halloween obsessed person, got these.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stirling Castle Graveyard

There are few places in the UK that I will visit over and over, no matter how many times I have been, and towards the top of the list is Stirling Castle in Scotland. It is similar to Edinburgh Castle, sitting on the top of the city as a castle fortress.

Many battles and ghost stories here....but , for this audience, I will focus on to the graveyard.

Below the castle is an very old (in US terms) graveyard full of incredible tombstones.

For the front yard I plan to create something close to these monuments - definitely Chris Follies :)

Completely unrelated....
For those of you going there or have been here in the last 8 years.....I have to agree with almost every local that I have talked to. The limewash on the Great Hall looks out of place. I know they restored the great hall to its original look, but it just looks like they put stucco on the building....:(

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Graveyard ideas

Besides the full Davis Graveyard. There are other graveyard ideas I would like to try in other parts of the yard. These are displays that will not likely be seen, so they would all be "Chris Follies"

I thought about recreating famous grave markers. HP Lovecraft, Poe, Vincent Price, Boris Karloff or just other notable figures (the very tall Celtic cross for Flora McDonald would be on the top of my list!) I have done a bit of work on it, I have seen the actual graves of some people I would like to recreate - but most of them are monuments and are massive in scale. So I would need to research actual graves (not just the monument) and see if they exist and create the "Famous Graveyard"

I recently finished "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman. Throughout the book he mentions 12 - 20 gravestones and a ghouls gate. I am a fan of his work and graveyards, so it is an exciting idea to me to actually create the graveyard from the book. I could ask permission, but I won't.

In my back yard I have a large weeping willow - which I love and hate (that will be another blog entry) that is perfect for a graveyard. A friend of mine (who knows these things) informed me that willows on gravestones are usually used for the death of children. Creepy and sad.
I think this area would be a great place to take the idea very seriously and create a very old graveyard and monument wall in the backyard.
I have a vision in my mind of a cross between the graveyard at the ruined abbey in St. Andrews (top) and the Greyfriars graveyard/kirk (bottom), Edinburgh (both in Scotland). I love the tall moss covered (ruins/cemetery walls) that are covered with monument plaques that are almost unreadable from age. This graveyard would have no "clever" tombstones. I want this one to look "real."

I was also equally inspiredby the graveyards at both Stirling Castle and a small graveyard outside Roslin Chapel on the way down to the castle ruins, and one of the most memberable things I ever saw was a graveyard, walled off in the middle of a sheep field on the Isle of Skye, oh, and then there is New Orleans.....but those are for another day.
:) As if I have the time.

I have seen the enemy

I know where it lives.

Bring your pellet guns and follow me.

The Enemy

October 31, 2009

I know, it is only November, but I am already thinking about Halloween 2009.

Right now I am going through photos from this year's haunt and for the book and continue to put away decorations both in the house and in the shop. This has given me a bit of time to really look at things.

I know that each year when we start to set up that I have to let a lot of ideas and standards go. Just not enough time and resources. Each year I think I get a bit closer until I look at the pictures.

They pictures are fantastic - the props, well, some of them, not so much so.

On a whole, it is an impressive display. I mean the yard is 120' wide - that is a lot of props! (There are over 60 tombstones alone. And I still need more to fill up the empty spaces!) So, for years, although I have made an effort not to do "crap" stuff and almost nothing store bought, some of it is just not what I would like it to be - but I live with it because I need to.

Favorite example - the spider - ugh! Can someone explain to me why the prop you hate, people like? I get a dozen or so comment cards a year telling me it was their favorite thing. Really? Have you looked at it? You must be seeing it at night. Actually, that doesn't help much, it looks horrible in the dark too. Whenever I see it in a picture or on video - I cringe. Then there is the whole webbing issue - which, when I bring up, husband crawls under the desk to hide.

That is just one.

Not to being negative, some of the props I am happy with, the mausoleum and her ghost are close to perfection.

So, in 2009 I want to improve the props that look like shit (and work my way back from there). And make only a few new props. I want the days of saying "it's good enough" behind me and start making things that I can take out of the yard on its own and still be impressed.

Which has always been a bit of a dilemma, creating things that look creepy in both daylight and darkness. I have talked to several haunt owners about their fantastic props and they always say to paint it in the light that it will be viewed in. When I tell them that I have the range from day to night.....they smile, wish me luck and ask me to share how I did it if I ever pull it off.

Then there is in the inside for the party...making the small attempt that I did this year was good. But it brought into sharp focus, how much farther I need to go.

Like my sister and I joked years ago when we came up with our fourth version of the tombstones (current) - that by version 5 or 6 we should be happy.

Crap! That means I got to make more tombstones!

Now I am going to go hide under the desk!

Who am I today?

We have to wear name tags for work when we are out in the community representing our splendid company. I have a habit of forgetting mine often or have been known to trade with other workmates to see if anyone notices.

One of my workmates had two custom tags made for me for Christmas. I wish I could wear them in public (without getting fired) :(

They are magnetic, so I am currently using them to hold up frog pictures in my office.

Look, there is another

real frog on a pumpkin!

This is Yoda on a pumpkin.

A workmate of mine's son has frog, and, being the Frog Queen that I am, I get updates and occasional pictures of Yoda. This one is my favorite. (big surprise :)

I think that Yoda is a perfect name for a frog.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

He is right, he does not sleep

I am at home sick yesterday, perfect opportunity to catch up (as if) on my reading. As always the nonfiction pile is much larger than the fiction pile at my house so I thought I would tackle the bigger problem.

I am feeling a bit lost and a bit more out of control when it comes to my life at the moment so the book "Write it Down" sounded good. I remember picking it up, longer ago than I would like to admit, thinking that it was a good plan for the lost red head girl.

I get to chapter two....wait a second,...she is telling a story about a guy named "Marc Acito"
You have got to be kidding me. Really? Honestly, felt kind of strange...don't know why. Small world. :)

He was talking about "The Artists Way". That book is haunting me, I have picked it up at least two times a year for at least 5 year, We have even talked about it ....I just cannot seem to get past the first few pages. Hummmm, I am beginning to believe the universe is out to get me on this one.

I might have found the answer. I will write it down as one of my things to do :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

The winner of

my birthday card contest is from my sister.

I got a lot of very funny cards this it was tough. Thanks to everyone for participating :)

This is so perfect for me. Aren't we all glad I don't have any offspring? :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I got a banned book

for my birthday! My friends know me so well. :)

The Book of Bunny Suicides

LOL! You gotta read these! Thanks Babbling Banshee!

The soundtrack

to revamping the living room consisted of:

Tom Waits - all 123 tracks on my iPod

to break it up (while husband was helping)

The soundtrack to Wicked
Kate Bush - Hounds of Love (always Kate in there somewhere)
Liam Finn - I'll Be Lightning

and of course Dr. Horrible (that is my soundtrack for the year, of course.)

If you love something set it free

I do love this birthday card. It is inspired. This one is literally pulled out of thin air :)

I was so proud of myself when I found it, I knew exactly who I was giving it to :)

I gave it to him, he loved it, but secretly ....I was sad to see it go.

But it came back to me for my birthday!

Funny, the friend that gave it to me said "I was so proud of myself when I found it!"


I found the coolest present for Lex

but I can't post it on the blog, cause her dad reads it......she might accidently see it. But trust me. It is so cool. I am sooooo happy!!!

I hope she gets to keep it, her dad may steal it from her.....crap, I knew I should have gotten two!

"See, I am not really a wino"

she said as she took the empty glass that she requested and proceeded to pour half of her white into a the glass and then fill the rest with water. (My jaw dropped)

Husband and I look at each other. Did that really just happen?


I dislike white wine as much as the next person :), but I would not even add water!! That is just alcohol abuse!

I finished my pinot noir "water free" thank you very much. I guess I am a wino - but you all knew that. :)

They are following me

and I am scared.

It appears that there was a Lutheran Teacher's Convention in Seaside. We happened to be there just as they were breaking out for lunch. We ran for cover in a "Funarcade" hoping they were not going to play video games (BTW- I need a Lord of the Rings Pinball game :)

When we got out, they were all safely back in the convention hall (in Seaside, really, they have a convention center, yes we were surprised too!)- we made a break for the car and headed back to Cannon Beach.

.....then... a few days later...

we were having lunch in Cannon Beach near our hotel, and there they were again! A crew of them sat down next to us!

When they started counting seats in the restaurant to make sure they had room for the bus load that was on its way......yikes! I ate fast. :)

You know, the christians didn't used to scare me ...but after prop 8 passed in California, I have completely lost heart :(...I find myself avoiding them so that I do not burst out screaming! :)

Must think of happy thoughts....graveyards, kitties, pumpkins, skeletons......ah, yes, I am much better now :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Of course

the cobweb mantle cover and the skulls go back up, and stay up all year. Why do you ask?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why, why, why?

both the cats and husband ask...."why do we have to disrubt our lives! The room looks fine."

Listen, you all know the drill, if you all want to continue to live here than you will bow to the Frog Queens will.

You fuzz balls, get your paws out of the paint tray and quit bugging me. Seriously, I am not buying that "I'm starving" stare....go away, there is dry food in your dishes.

Yes, husband, the ceiling needs a second coat of paint. I am not saying that to make you crazy, It is a fact.

Listen everyone, the sooner we get this done, the sooner we can all get back to normal.

I bribed husband with a new TV to get him to help, I think the cats want caviar.

See what I have to work with!

If I must

sleep on the plastic, then I will, but I won't like it, it is not very comforta . . . . zzzzzz

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I am on vacation

....but when I think of work, this is the image that comes to mind.

They say that money corrupts, I am willing to give it a try, because, this working for a living sucks!!!

"Man, your embarassing us...

you gotta cut down on the nip, buddy."

This was the look I got from Dorie and Hal as they were looking at me and then at Mason rolling around on the floor like he we was possessed, in a pile of catnip.

As you can see, I spent the first day of vacation torturing my cats. Looks like I am off to a good start :)

That cats are saying "WTF?"

We are repainting and decorating our living room, it has been about 17 years, I think we are due :)

Anyway, took all the furniture out and paper covered the wood floors, so the cats are completely confused.

All the comfy couches are in the middle of the room so they might as well be brand new to explore! The big bonus is that the music room is now a cool labyrinth of stuff from the living room....they are going to sleep good tonight.

BTW - thanks to Preston for helping us move the big stuff into the garage. :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

I am just two loads away

from having all my laundry done and put away for the first time in 2 months. No more getting dressed in the basement! Funny the things that get put off for Halloween.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Things not everyone knows

about the Davis Graveyard.

Beside creating and installing a display the Davis Graveyard hosts:

The Milwaukie High School Dance Team - they perform a "Thriller" type number in the driveway. Yes, we stole that idea right from Rocky Pointe, thank you Cydney, I hope you are enjoying your retirement :) We raise money for them through donations and events.

Community Open House - we invite people to spend the afternoon in the yard asking us questions and looking at yard from behind the scenes. We have a crew that comes in and helps us handle the crowds. The dance team performs, takes donations, and sells treats to raise money.

Fundraiser - Bane of the whole season for me! After two years, I cannot seem to get this one off the ground. :( Lot of work and money for not a lot of return. We made several props and tombstones - even got a friend to make a custom tombstone. We did get a few donations and some good deals on supplies, but if we did not pay for everything ourselves for the event, it would make no money. In fact it costs me more to have the event than we raise, or very close. Not likely to return next year. At least that is what I am saying today.

Raffle(s) - We make a prop, this year, a large monk figure that is auctioned for charity. We make it, take it to the venue, and then deliver it to the winner. We also sell tickets at our location too. This year we purchased a Bucky (human sized) skeleton, aged it and sold tickets for the dance team at our events.

Make Props for The Bishop Cemetery - We over extended ourselves this year in helping our fellow haunters (we trade with them), but their yard looked fantastic. We took some of the props we made for the book and expanded from there....a bit too much. I don't think I will do that many props for someone else again, unless we scale down our own haunt :)

Coffin Cruiser Hearse Club - This year we partnered with the local hearse club to visit our events. This is a great opportunity to work with like minded people in our community. They are the greatest group to work with. (Special thanks to Dan for making all the custom tombstones!)

TV, print and radio - I send out about four press releases during the season to let people know about the graveyard and our fundraising efforts. Jeff and I take turns at the PR thing. Husband works at home and handles the bulk of the contacts.

Hosting on the weekends - we run the display on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We are out there each night making sure everything is running and answering questions - along with selling raffle tickets for the dance team.

Halloween Party - Host our own party - FUN!!!

Close the Street - for Halloween we close the street with the generous help of the Milwaukie Police Department. The cadets come help so that they can get the hours they need for their training, we get safety for the thousands of visitors/trick-or-treaters. Win, win for all of us!

When I started typing this I thought I would be far more impressed with the scope. Hummmm, guess that when it is happening, it seems like more work than I have listed :) I am just a "sissy" as my friend has said.

And . . . .this year, we held a tombstone workshop, helped host and presented at FrightFest Northwest, attended and presented at Hauntcon, worked with a local film maker for a graveyard scene, received a grant from The Clackamas County Cultural Trust, attended and presented at the Rocky Mountain Haunters convention, sponsored the Haunt X Awards and worked on our book.

It takes Husband and I and about 12 family/friends (that are family at this point) to make this happen. I would be dead half way through without them :)

I wouldn't have it any other way! Happy Halloween!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Have I missed any trick or treaters?

I say that throught the gate into the larger crowd of people in front of the gate, looking for children in costumes to come forward with their bags to say "trick or treat!" It is a large crowd and not everyone knows that we are handing out candy. I found that announcements to the crowd worked well.

And I get a few that make there way to the front of the line. I hand them some candy and keep an eye out for more.

"If you have a three musketter bar, I will take one of those." comes from the lady standing in front of me (by herself, no kids.)

I think, "you will, will you?"

For good PR reasons only I look through the bin for some candy, this goal is distracting me from all the things that I want to say out loud to her, but I can't because there is a crowd of mostly civil people and they should not all have to pay for her rudeness.

I had her the candy and she takes off - no thanks, nothing. I bet she did not even leave a donation.

I didn't die

I finally got around to sending my perfect play list to 94.7 a few weeks ago, and the ultra charming Gustav had me come in on Halloween to share. No big deal? Well, . . . . .

#1 - it was Halloween evening, I should be at the yard helping set up. So husband had to do it all on his own*. :(

#2 - Don't care for public speaking. I can do it, you know, on the small office presentation basis, but knowing that there are a LOT of people (well, I might be flattering myself a bit there) listening, scary!
This is because I have to be nice and say nice things....not the first words that come to mind. Filter must be installed AND working!

I was sure I was going to die.

But Gustav was patient (like he had dealt with nervous people before :) and we got through it. He helped me promote the Davis Graveyard so we could get the people out there and raise money for the dance team and share our creation with the masses.

Oh, and let me play a few songs. I got to play Kayleigh by Marillion! Fish is one of my favorite songwriters!! (Sugar Mice is my all time favorite!)

Afterwards, I know, most of my friends were saying...."Really, a Kate Bush song, only one? Really?" ;)

Even though I made it through the broadcast, I totally blew it because some friends of mine were in the building on another station talking.....a voice in my head said "It's Friday, you should ask the receptionist if Marc is here".....nah, that would be silly....and I really should be going. Given another opportunity, I would have likely said "fuck" on the air - or something as hugely embarrassing.

I drive away and turn on the radio....yeah, he was there, I could have crashed their party too :)

*BTW - Things have been working great all season....until Halloween night - we had to change out a projector for the talking head and the graveyard ghost blew her amp!!! So by the time I got home....Jeff was missing me :)

Chris folly #1

I had several Chris follies this year. :)

Since I seem to have started a tradition of reading H.P. Lovecraft around Halloween, I thought it would be only fitting that he had a tombstone.....and a small monument.

It was not enough to carve a skull with a candle on some books on the tombstone, I had to over do it by creating a stack of books and with a skull and have candle light mounted on top (that hooked into the custom 3 volt lighting system for all my candles :)

This is not part of the tombstone but an actual monument that sits on the ground next to it. A Chris folly.

When we were taking the yard down this weekend a friend would not let me put it away, he said it was too cool and needed to stay out all year.

That is why he is my friend :)

I know, I know

...but this one made me laugh outloud!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

My favorite haunts

Most of you know that I love Halloween - a lot, a whole lot.

I know that most of you love the yard and think how can anyone do better? Well, for the record, many people do. Better, different, creepier, bloodier....I really don't want to compete, takes all the fun out of the process.

Here are some of my favorite yard haunts from around the country. They are a constant source of inspiration. I have exchanged email and personally met a few of them (and hope to meet the rest) and am lucky enough to call a few of them friends. They all seem to be lovely, creative, creepy souls with the same disease that I have.

Darkwing Manor
DC Cemetery
Fear Inc.
Haunt 31
The Haunted Mansion - Northside
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Mitchell Mausoleum
Pumpkin Rot
Raven Manor
Region of Terror
Skull and Bone

Happy Halloween!


I knew it was going to happen when I looked up the stairs and saw her. And cause I am nice, I wanted Husband to be aware of the impending doom.

"Husband, come look at Dorie"

Peers up the stairs to see her sleeping in a shoe box.

In the the box from my new cute shoes, up at the top of the stairs with about a quarter of the box hanging over the side of the top step. From this vantage point, if she moves just right, the box has fantastic sledding potential.

She blinks at us and goes back to sleep.

Now, we could be nice and walk to the top of the stairs and push the box back a few inches back on to the landing.

Instead, we sit on the couch to watch a movie. Suddenly.....

{Claws in carpet sounds}

and then the sound of shoe box hitting wood floor....

We don't have to get up, we know what just happened.

Those shoes were worth every penny.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Can you read that aloud?

(In my head, and I am sure it showed on my face, I am thinking, you really don't want me to do that.)

It was a memo with rules to a game we had to play. I had read them on Friday, and that is why I knew I did not want to read them aloud.

Seriously, (because it was early Monday and my filter had not woken up yet) I said "Do you want me to correct the grammar while I am reading?"

Silence - apparently no one's sense of humor was up yet either. we go.

Well, I thought about sharing some of it here....but I can't bear to do that. No one else should suffer from that memo. I am going to shred it now.

On a positive note. I did wear my new cute shoes today - and that distracted me (and a few teammates) from the confusing team building exercise :)

I am happy to

apologize, to all the people that I said NEVER come to our fundraisers.

I jinxed myself when I said never, because the guest list this past Friday night at the fundraiser consisted of primarily Davis Graveyard fans that saw the link on the website. Besides the PCS staff that attended and one other person - I believe the rest of the attendees were all just visitors to the website.

I have to say, that this time, I am happy to be wrong :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Look, a real

Frog on a Pumpkin!

Did I also mention that I get emailed frog pictures - all the time :)

Of course this one did not end up in the deleted items folder. He goes on my blog!

I thought it was particularly interesting what the caption of the photo said about this image of a frog at the Bronx Zoo.
Apparently they were not just shooting this frog photo for my blog (as I assumed they had) but the actually give pumpkins to the zoo residents. :)

"Besides being a Halloween icon, pumpkins are given to zoo residents for behavioral enrichment: with the goal of stimulating animals both mentally and physically." :) This idea has the full endorsement of the Frog Queen.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What is that sound

it is 4:00 a.m. and my alarm clock is going off. Actually it was the one on husband's side of the bed, because we both know from experience that I cannot be trusted with an alarm clock.

4:00 a.m - in THE MORNING.

The cats are even still asleep.

Now, don't get me wrong, I have seen 4:00 a.m. on the clock before a couple times....because I was still up. But if I remember correctly, there was less of a loud buzzing sound much, because I was probably drinking the other times :)

The news crew will be here shortly.....must get out of bed, put on some clothes on, and find some Red Bull - in that order.

After this, I have to go to my day job and sleep on my desk.

Why do I do this Halloween thing again?

This is our final plea for the fundraiser tomorrow.....we are going for that 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. "getting the kids to school moms". You never know :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

If you would have told

me when I was 8 that there would be a day when I would dye my hair to keep it orange, I would have called you crazy.

I match my hair color now to that of a picture I remember of me and my sister with bright orange hair in our green and white polka dot dresses smiling in the sun. (I lived in California as a child, they have sun down there.)

For the record at that time, I would have given every toy I owned (and likely the life of my fellow orange haired sibling) for blonde hair.

Why do you collect frogs?

I get that a lot, especially when someone visits my office. I have 100's of frogs. Or more, I lost count. And that is just at home, well, they are everywhere.

It started with my sister actually, she pointed out a page in one of the Sandman comics where Delirium was making frogs while in a waiting room.

We both liked it and thought how inspired.

I bought her a frog doll.

She bought me one. I took it to work.

Next time Neil was signing in our area, I had him sign that page of the comic and hung it in my office.

More frogs appeared at work from friends and co-workers. If I did a favor for someone, or it was my birthday, I got a frog. Despite what I am told, I must have been real nice to a lot of people, because I have an impressive amount of frogs (no, not that old - thank you.)

During my obsessed days my sister and I made origami frogs for both Neil and Tori when they were in town (Delirium looked like Tori in a few issues, and they are friends.) We even brought a stuffed frog to one of the Tori shows that Steve her guitar player at the time propped up on the guitar stand during the encore. Excellent!

I get frog pictures from peoples gardens, frog shot glasses, frog labeled wine (Actually, Frogs Leap is rather tasty, I can't say that for any of the others I have tried) frog candy, frog pasta, I have a copy of the Weekly World News with a front page article about "Frog Baby" (really who needs that?) and other frogs too numerous to mention.

I often hear "I thought of you the other day when.....(insert frog story here.)"

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy it. I do love frogs - real ones too. But I don't own them (although some well meaning person did buy me one is long gone) anything more maintenance than a cat is a problem for me. I don't even have house plants.

I am going to stick with the fake frogs.

Frogs and Halloween - my favorites. Frog on the Pumpkin.

Oh, and to Mr. Gaiman (cause I know he is reading this blog - not!) - more Sandman stories please :)

This is the last one

No more fundraisers at the Graveyard. Thanks goodness. They have turned out to be a whole lot of work for nothing.

I thought I knew how to do this. I work on several large fundraisers for work and in my community. "I have this down", I thought. I was wrong, again :)

Reflecting on the current event, there are several reasons (that I can use for an excuse) for low attendance, but really, I have lost my taste for the whole thing. I do not need to add the time and expense of a fundraiser to my already insanely busy October.

And the terrible feeling I get from not raising any money for someone when I said I could. I am going to need more PeptoBismal :)

I cannot tell you how many people have begged us to come to a party at the graveyard and then when we tell them we do this fundraiser and how much it is, they are "Great, I will be there! Thanks for doing this and supporting our community!"

They never sign up. Never. Not one person that says they will sign up does.

Not really surprised, just disappointed. And to be honest, a bit relieved to be done with the idea.

Go to just stick to donations and raffle tickets for charity.

More time for sleep!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Not until February

will the Adobe CS4 Master Collection be mine. And, I will likely need a new computer.


I really like your hair

"Did you have it done recently? It is looking a bit on the blonde side. I like it."

Now she is saying this to the back of my head as I am working at my computer. Because I was busy/rude, I did not turn around , just smiled over my shoulder.

Blonde, did she say blonde! (My eyes as wide a saucers!)

I have an emergency hair appointment for 6:30 tomorrow :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

He called up

and gave me the news.

"This is too important to say in an email. There is an inflatable across the street"

*gasp* as I almost drop the phone.

What do you say when something like this happens to someone you care about?

"Oh man, I am soooooo sorry."

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