Tag Archives: Halloween

Halloween Costume Help From Sherlock’s Own Mark Gatiss

I came in from my company’s Halloween costume contest and found a link to this lovely video posted by Sherlockology.  On BBC Four’s A History of Horror, Mark Gatiss shows us how to make authentic 60’s horror movie blood.  Now my day is complete.  I can go come and complete my…whatever my bloody costume will be this year to scare the bejesus out of trick-or-treating children.

Happy Halloween!

Growloween! Lions, Tigers, and Bats!

Did you ever wonder if the big cats liked Halloween?  Well, wonder no more!  Here’s a video of what happens when you mix pumpkins (and some Halloween pinatas) with the big guys.  They do seem to enjoy their treats…and some are just as possessive over them as some of the children I know.  No worries.  It is all yours, sister.

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Why?  Because, today is Monday.

‘Til next time,


Can I get An Update? Random Acts of Kindness 2013

Did you sing the first part of the title?  Awesome!  That was the idea!  Now, if the line “Can I get a witness” is running through your head too, at least I know I’m not alone.  Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for an update.  Random Acts of Kindness 2013 has commenced…well, sort of.  It is a lot of work to get ready to do all this stuff between November 1st and November 11th.  Right!

Catching everyone up…



For my 37th birthday, I’m doing 37 Random Acts of Kindness.  I made a list back in September of things I wanted to do, and I shared it here.  The response I got was amazing!  So many people have offered to help and told me stories about things that they do all the time.  I want to hear your story too!  Jim Stovall has donated an autographed copy of Discovering Joye that I’m giving away in my Be Kind…Win Stuff contest.  All you have to do to enter is fill out the email form with an act of kindness that you’ve done, you’re planning to do, you do all the time…you accidentally did…whatever.  On November 11th, I’ll draw from the entries and mail you an autographed copy of the book.

Have I mentioned I have a hard time accepting help sometimes?  I may be a bit stubborn independent.  The ones who love me most were worried that I’d bit off more than I could chew. (They’ve met me.  I dream big.)  They may have heard that I work full time, decided to take a couple of college level classes “just for fun”, write two blogs, and I’m planning a Halloween(ish) party, and Doctor Who themed birthday party in there too.  There’s all the other everyday life stuff going on too.  (Have I mentioned I don’t do downtime well?)  As proud as I am that I have learned to do some advance tactical work (stop laughing, you know who I’m talking to!).  I was pretty adamant that I wanted to do all the work for this little (big) project all on my lonesome.  My planning phase for this did start in Mid-September after all….right about the time I realized that I had committed to do a lot of stuff by hand.  Have you ever drawn nearly 80 cards?  I hadn’t.  However, I have now! (well, almost 80…there’s some drawing and coloring left to do this week.)  My friends and family kept reaching out and offering to help though, and I finally realized a few of things.

1) Why should I be selfish with all the fun?  These are acts of kindness and if they want to help, I should let them share in doing nice things for people, and the work isn’t hard work (It is coloring!  Maybe some baking, and my mom just donated a quilt top so I have two quilts to donate to Family & Children’s Services!)  My friends and family love this stuff!

2) This is a lot of work, and while I would feel a great sense of accomplishment if I did it on my own…I would also be…well, I wouldn’t be fun to be around while I was doing the work.  The chances of me keeping my cool…let’s just say, I didn’t like those odds.  That kind of negates doing nice things for strangers if you aren’t nice to the people you care about.

3) Work, even fun work, is even more fun when you’re doing it with fun people.  Let’s face it, I don’t spend my time with people who suck.  They’re all pretty awesome.

4) One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to accept help when I need it, and not be so stubborn independent. (I can hear the scoffing from here.)

The great news is that help has been accepted, and major progress has been made!

The road so far…(and some of you never thought I’d get a chance to use that line!)

1) Business Cards have been ordered and they have arrived! They read “You are awesome!  Have a wonderful day.”

2) The message is finished on all the “Thank You” cards for military personnel and “Get Well” cards for the kids in the Children’s Hospital.  There’s still some pictures to be drawn and some coloring to be done.  Thank you friend! (They are all beautiful!  Stop worrying!)  We have a system.  I ink.  She colors.  It works.

3) Laundry detergent and fabric softener purchased to go in the laundromat.

4) Quarters parceled for laundromat and vending machines.  The rest of my loose change has been rolled and will be exchanged for more quarters this week. Thank you other friend!  The coin rolling/Supernatural watching marathon was awesome!  Another conversion (sorry there’s another TV show you can’t watch before bed…or not.) has been made and I discovered that I suck at rolling coin now. (Two years out of the banking industry…or an inability to multi-task when good looking men are on television.)

5) Two batches of homemade chocolate chip cookie dough made, scooped and frozen. There is still dough to be made (peanut butter and oatmeal raisin) and of course everything has to be baked just before delivery to firemen, policemen, and neighbors. (Just say “NO” to stale cookies!) Thank you for scooping while I cleaned the kitchen…next time we can switch?  (Just joking!)

6) Be Kind…Win Stuff contest to give away Discovering Joye…well, you already know that’s up. Thank you to everyone who has already written in.  I love the responses.  Please keep writing!

Jessica's iPhone Pictures 3.25.13 533There is still quite a bit to finish up before I get to go out and give all of this stuff away, but “with a little help from my friends” I’m not worried or stressed.  I’m just having fun…now, I just need to buy a new quilting hoop.  I just remembered that my loving dog ate mine.  He looks so innocent too up there at the top of the page!  Trust me, looks can sometimes be deceiving.
Inspired to do something, but need some help getting there?  One of the things that inspired me was Random Acts, a non-profit that I heard about on a Nerdist podcast with Misha Collins of Supernatural.

Random Acts is a non-profit organization that’s aiming to conquer the world, one random act of kindness at a time. We’re dedicated to funding and inspiring acts of kindness around the world. (www.therandomact.org)


On their site they’ve got videos to inspire you, they’ll create promotional material to help you out, and they can even help fund your project.  There’s always something to be said for dreaming big!

“You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.” Inception 

‘Til next time,


Fall, Halloween and All Hallows Read…Candy Too, Don’t Forget That

October is here!  The air is crisp…okay, so actually it is humid and supposed to be 90 tomorrow, but the weatherman promises a cold front is on the way.  The point is fall has officially arrived, and in addition to being able to purchase pumpkin….everything, the build up to one of my favorite holidays is beginning…Halloween is on its way!


Jack-o-lantern (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have always loved Halloween.  Whether you don a costume and wrap yourself in another persona for the night or partake in the joy of…okay, the joy of frightening people…just a little.  It is a the time of year to let the devilish spirit of the season play a bit. Yes, my house is the one that is usually decorated creepily…and I do have a motion sensor skull that plays the theme song from the movie Halloween hung right next to my door for the trick-or-treat crowd.  (It is high enough that the little ones don’t set it off, but it gets all the teenagers and adults.)  The best part is scaring the parents when that sucker goes off.  Oh, the joy I feel watching a Dad jump three feet in the air when he’s not expecting that creepy music…maybe I am just a tad evil.  Glowing eyes or a dismembered skeleton in the bushes and a graveyard under the tree all make an appearance, and I like to add to my collection each year.  (One day I’m afraid Halloween decorations will posses more square footage than Christmas decorations in the garage.)  Isn’t it grand? It is a great time of year for scaring yourself with a scary movie or book…even a haunted house or two.  Although, living by myself, I don’t indulge too much.  I may or may not get a little…caught up in the story…and when you wake up at 2:00 am, with that what-was-that-noise panic it is usually better if the last thing you read/watched didn’t include…monsters.  Let’s not talk about what happens in haunted houses.  I don’t think my best friend will ever go into another one with me…the bruise took a while to heal.  (The werewolf was going to get me and she wouldn’t go, so I…moved her out of the way.)  Next time (if I ever get one) I’m betting that there is no assuming that I’m rational and remembering that it is all fake.  (Can you say over active imagination?) Yes, I’m also the person who jumped to (mostly) joking that my dishwasher was possessed when it would switch on by itself in the middle of the night.  Nope, no faulty wiring for me…demons. (It really was just a loose wire.)  Thank goodness for level headed, electrically inclined fathers, because how would you exorcise a dishwasher? (Put your best idea, theory or whatever on removing a demon or vengeful spirit from a dishwasher in the comments.  No prizes, but serious kudos will be awarded.  That would be a seriously angry spirit, can you imagine being stuck in a dishwasher for all eternity?) Last year I stumbled upon the mention of All Hallows Read. Hmmm, interesting, very interesting.  It combines All Hallows Eve and reading, and these are a few of my favorite things. (did you sing that in your head?  I did!)  Of course I had to check it out!  That’s when I saw the video.

Yes, more Neil Gaiman.  Is it any wonder I think this man is awesome?  For all of my good intentions, I didn’t give any books last year.  There were a few copies of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven that I handed out, because…well, that just screams Halloween for me.  (The Tell-Tale Heart does too, but that story stays with you, and I don’t want to give kids, or me, nightmares or anything.)  Check out the All Hallows Read site for book recommendations, posters, bookmarks, stickers, cards, and all kinds of wonderfulness.  This year, at least one book is being given…can I keep it a secret?  Hmmm….We shall see. What’s your favorite scary story for adults?  What about chilling tales for kids, do you know any good ones?  Even if they’re totally terrifying or weepingly wimpy, I’m okay with both of those!  I have friends…and possibly relatives…who need both!  Comments are very much appreciated, because all my scariness is in decorations…and suspense novels.

‘Til next time,