Sunday, November 30, 2008


I have 2 pecan trees and a couple of limbs from my next door neighbor's tree in my yard. So far I have picked up 2 grocery sacks of pecans and given away a lot and there's still some on the trees.
Here's a little recipe that I love that works with all types of nuts...don't be scared of this one, it's really really easy!

Sugared Nuts

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

2 cups raw unsalted nut (any kind will do, walnuts are great too)

Heat sugar and water in nonstick skillet over medium high heat until sugar is fully dissolved and starts to boil. Place nuts in skillet and stir constantly until nuts are completely crystalized and water has evaporated. Place in glass baking dish and allow to cool. Sprinkle with salt, cinnamon or any other spice you might like if desired.

Flavored nuts...prepare as above except right before putting nuts in, add 1 teaspoon orange, lemon or any other extract you might like and cook as directed. Wonderful on mandarin orange salads or just as a snack (although as addictive as crack!). Give as gifts wrapped in little cellophane bags to those people that you don't really know or like but need to give a gift to because it's expected of you!

Some fun stuff I've done over the years...

This is a little model of see sawing skeletons that I made for my dearest friend Mel for either birthday or Christmas. They slowly see-saw on the tombstone via a small motor, knees bending as well as ankles. The tombstone as well as the ground is beach sand and Elmers glue, the tombstone painted. Bushes are reindeer moss and I got the pumpkins from Studio 56; they light up too. A creepy and cute present that she still has.


My spouse won't let me decorate for Christmas, at least the way I want to...I put skeletons on my tree one Christmas looking like they were decorating it.
I personally thought they were cute.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I so want children

Well, I really want children to mess with their minds...The demon pancakes are going to get you if you're not a good little boy!

ONLY in the South

Where else in the world can you find a store who boasts this? But alas, it is long gone, both the store and the slogan on the side of the building...sad, so sad.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Saw this on Pumpkinrot's blog, nearly wet myself. Happy Thanksgiving, ya'll!
Via Flicker

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Southern Macabre

I'm from the South, have lived here all my life in the buckle of the Bible belt. Southerners are naturally macabre, it's in our blood, or heritage so to speak. When you refer to someone that has no redeeming qualities as 'needing killing', you are probably south of the Mason/Dixon line.
I love the southern custom of Decoration Day, the first or second Sunday in May. Most country churches still adamantly practice this. The day before, you go to the graveyard and clean it up then Sunday after service, you go to the graveyard, decorate the graves with flowers and have dinner in the cemetery (on the ground as it is sometimes called) and sometimes if you're lucky, a hymn singing.

Then there's sitting up with the dead. This is still practiced in some rural communities, however is fading fast due to funeral homes and state regulation. If someone died, you didn't have a funeral home to handle all the arrangements, you did it yourself. The body and the casket would be in your home for viewing and people would bring food (the food thing still goes on, you always bring food to the bereaved so they don't have to cook)and someone stays with the body until they are buried. I have Googled it and historically it could be from keeping rodents from eating the body (gag!)to the days when the person may have not really have been dead and shouldn't have been buried...yet at least. I haven't personally witnessed this but my mother has.

Southerners are for the most part macabre. Polite but macabre. My grandfather was a railroad foreman and an independent travelling Baptist preacher. You didn't screw around with him, he kept a 357 magnum Trooper pistol with him usually at all times. He and my grandmother, (I was her favorite) treated ghosts as casually as one might talk about a recipe; they were a fact of life. I heard about death lights; balls of light over a location that foretold an immenent death, how to address a ghost/haint (ask it what it wants, it will usually leave), just loads of stuff that would scare you if you weren't used to it. They supposedly saw ghosts, and heard them. If you don't have at least one haint at your house, then it just isn't a home.

And yes, we have had haints, both at my folks' house and the one I live in right now, with pictures, but that's a post for a different day.

So why do I like Hallowe'en, isn't it obvious, I don't have a choice! I'm a Southerner and proud of it.

Do Northerners have any macabre customs? Does anyone know of any others that would make a person not used to Southern customs cringe in terror? I love folklore and customs.

And remember this, when we say "Bless their heart", that's Southernese for "What an idiot!". We are polite folk after all...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fearless Vampire Killers

If you haven't seen The Fearless Vampire Killers or Pardon Me But Your Teeth Are In My Neck, you've missed a treat. It's an old movie, 1967, but the sets are really detailed and the ballroom scene is, well, lush. The costumes, makeup (although they didn't extend the makeup down the actor's necks!) and setting makes for a lot of macabre eye candy.
Netflix it next time, they have it!


My elderly next door neighbor asked me if she could pay me to pick up her leaves with my riding lawnmower. I said no, but I would do it for free but I wouldn't do it for money. 20+ bags later I go get a bite to eat and come back to the very back back of her yard where she had raked the leaves out so I could bag them easier and something catches my eye...a small skull, in very good shape and very clean. I have suspicion that it is one of my cats that dissappeared long ago, when a cat is sick and knows it's about to die, it goes off to do it alone and I suspect this is either Elvis, Little Bit, Trouble, Serena or Samantha. All have dissappeared and haven't come back, but whoever it is, they will always have a warm place in my room from now on.

Crap, I'm tearing up and have a lump in my throat.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Before and After...

I grew up near a cemetery, which could explain a lot of why I am the way I am. I used to go walking in it, looking at the tombstones and wonder who these people were. Imagine my delight when I stumble across a forgotten cemetery near my house with graves dating back to the 1700's. The founders of the city are buried here as well as many of the first settlers and confederate soldiers. The whole place was overgrown, vines tangled around fences, trees grew wild above the graves and the leaves were ankle deep. There was talk that this place was haunted. Anyhow, I took pictures and enjoyed my visits. A mixed blessing has occurred, the historical society received a grant to restore the cemetery and repair the damage from decades of neglect. I am glad to see it repaired, the people there deserve better but I will miss the forgotten, haunted look that it had.

What do you do with that great piece of Hallowe'en fabric?

Why, you make pillows of course! I have shirts out of each of the fabrics and I always make it a habit to buy one extra yard or so for whatever. Whatever became pillows. Pillows are really easy to make, cheap and are great for chairs, beds and sofas that need a little Hallowe'ening up.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Clarification

When I said 'good lookin' man'...I was being all ironical and stuff. I'm not really a narcissic person at all. Just a little clarification in case someone might be put off by a self-centered egomaniac.

I WILL admit to be evilly diabolical though...

Monday, November 17, 2008

For those who like Thomas Kincaid

...then this post isn't for you. Meet Lewis Barrett Lehrman, self described painter of dark here at the Haunted Studio. I personally have several of his reproductions and love them, very high quality printing and paper.

Let's try again

I'm going to give linking another try, Bones told me how to do it...Click here for the desecration of Hummel and Precious Moments stuff...

Huzzah! It worked! Thanks Bones, I appreciate it!

Good Lookin' Man

Don't mean to brag on myself but some of you might want to see what a good lookin' man I am. Yep, that's me, what a stud!

First of all, I do NOT advocate doing what I did to get these X-rays of myself (yep, that's indeed me), but I DID pay for them through my insurance and my co-payments so I figure that they're mine. Whether or not that's true, I got them nonetheless, besides, the receptionist was NOT very nice to me, saying rather sharply 'we're going to need those back as soon as your done'...uh huh, sure, I might have 'accidentally' lost them if they called looking for them, which they never did. I just said I was getting another opinion on having sinus surgery (which I honestly did although the doctor said he could cure me with nonsteriodal daily nasal spray and never even wanted to look at them) and wanted to take my x-rays. I recently took them to my chiropractor's office and took pictures of them on his light box, which is what you see here.

Again, I don't advocate doing this and this is only for informational and amusement uses only...I just had a ton of x-rays done from my rheumatologist, I might just need a second opinion...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

And now for something completely different...

I read in someone else' blog an entry on Renaissance photoshopped monsters on Worth 1000. While I was in good intentions to pass on this information, I found this...

(sorry, I haven't learned how to make a link yet so you'll have to cut and paste)

Words cannot express how I loathe cute adorable figurines of children so it does my heart good to see anyone with a sick and twisted sense of humor to desecrate them.

Enjoy, and do be sure to look up Halloween in the galleries and look through the contest entries that they have, the Death on vacation series as well as the renaissance series on monsters, superheroes and the like are wonderful

Friday, November 14, 2008

A question...

Am I wasting my time trying to dry these gourds? I bought them from my local farmer's market so they have no wax coating on them and was wanting to see if I could dry them for some sort of next year's Hallowe'en craft. Anybody done this before with any sort of success?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Coming Out Day!

No, not THAT kind of coming I come out of credit card debt. I started 5 years ago with 27,000.00 on credit cards and after a LONG and arduous journey, today I will be totally debt free aside from my home mortgage.

I think I'll celebrate by charging something...just kidding, I have learned my lesson!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Skeletons in my closet...

Some people collect coins. Some people collect stamps. Some people collect cute little clown figurines.

I collect paper skeletons.

I look at the older ones that I have bought from EBay and imagine their past life on a front door of some house somewhere in America, seeing trick or treaters come to the door year after year. Maybe they were in some schoolroom decorating a bulletin board , who knows, but they have a history.

I don't know why I like them, I just do. Most of the older ones have simply Made in U.S.A. on them, no manufacturers name. The Beistle company made the glow in the dark skeleton I have on my door, they are fairly hard to find anymore for some reason. I bought mine 3 or 4 years ago at Hobby Lobby and haven't seen them since; I cleaned them out of all of them and am glad I did. The one in the package is from Publix Grocery, I cleaned them out too. The framed skeleton in the previous post has a glow unlike any of the others, intensely bright but short. Great, it's probably painted with radium, I probably will get radiation poisoning.

Did you know...

Did you know that Billy Graham has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Is that uber cool or what? Saw this somewhere this morning.

Always did like Billy. And Mother Theresa.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Words of Advice

I wake up every morning to National Public Radio on my alarm and lay in bed for a bit to just hear the highlights of what is now a seeming never-ending stream of doom and gloom. I have to watch myself that I don't listen to too much news; it has a tendency to wear on me. Things start spinning around in my head and I get panicked about worrying about all of them with the economy in a tailspin and all. But I have one weapon, and if you haven't seen The Secret, please do because what I'm about to advise comes from it and I can attest it works...

Count your blessings.

I start by lying in bed and try to think of things to be thankful for. I have chronic osteoarthritis and sometimes my joints are so inflamed it is excruciating to walk, but I will be thankful for my limbs that I have and what I can do with them and then be thankful for the creativity I have been given and the people that I have in my life and the computer that I type on to blog with and hopefully entertain others and on and on until before long, worry is replaced by peace and happiness in spite of my losing all of my meager retirement recently. And I can be about as sarcastic and cynical as they come but for some reason, this works. Try it, what do you have to lose? We live in a scary time, and not in the good way. We also have a lot to be thankful for, not just now at Thanksgiving, my other favorite holiday, but all year long.

Ok, I'll quit now. Just wanted to share, I won't get preachy.

Tomorrow...Skeletons in my closet, another of Mr. Macabre's collections that makes his parents wince and wonder where they went wrong...

My Girls

I started collecting pin up witches a few years back and was amazed at the amount that was out there.  These are some that I have that are hanging in my bedroom; I have several more that are waiting to be framed.  Strange thing though, a large percentage of the witches are redheads.  Hmmmmmmm, wonder what that means, accidental, or on decide.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Glimpse Into My Life

These are some items in my bedroom, it stays like this all year round.  I remember some stuff from my childhood, like the plastic popcorn jack-o-lantern that brings back fond memories, it's cheesy, and cheap looking but I bought one in second grade and lost it over the years.  Bob the skeleton stays with me in my room; he looks great in the dark now that he has a coat of glow paint.  The picture of Endora in my bookshelf never ceases to amaze me, Agnes Moorehead had eyes that were unearthly beautiful, what an elegant lady.  The Haunted Mansion tombstones and glowing crystal ball is above my curio cabinet along with the Flying Monkeys sign Sausage Von Trapp bought me last year as a gift.   The framed glow skeleton is just cool, I bought it on Ebay and framed it.  It could very well be my favorite piece. More to come...

Mr. Macabre's Deadly Sinful Cheesecake Recipe

A little background...I was NOT going to publish this recipe because I was going to open a bakery a couple of years back.  Things didn't work out (and looking back, THANKFULLY) and my closely guarded recipe stayed in the Book Of Sin (the name of my big black cookbook where I keep my recipes).  This is selfish of me and I now share my cheesecake recipe...don't be put off because it is involved, it is a bit expensive but it's WELL worth it:

Graham Cracker Crust
1/2 box Graham Crackers or Graham Cracker Crumbs (I use crumbs, I'm lazy)
1 stick melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
Crush crumbs to fine consistancy and add sugar.  Drizzle butter in slowly, stirring just until it gets to where it will hold together, like a sandcastle. Press firmly into the bottom of a springform pan (I used to go up the sides but now I just do the bottom). Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Take out and set aside.  Jack oven up to 450 and place a large dish of hot water on lowest rack...

4 blocks cream cheese (room temperature)
4 eggs (room temperature, beaten)
8 ounces of sour cream (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons flour (doesn't matter what kind, sifted)
1.5 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

In a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer or if you have bigger biceps than me, you can do it by hand) combine cream cheese, sour cream, baking powder, sugar, flour and vanilla and blend until very creamy.  Turn mixer to low and add eggs slowly, mixing JUST until all the yellow from the beaten eggs is fully incorporated.  DON'T OVERMIX!  Pour into springform pan and place in middle of oven.  Set timer to 15 more, no less.  After 15 minutes, turn oven to 200 and bake for 1 hour.  DON'T OPEN DOOR!  After 1 hour check the cheesecake, it should jiggle slightly in the middle.  Take out and let cool.  IF YOUR TOP CRACKS...don't worry about it, they all do, I have seen Paula Deen's cheesecakes crack, it is normal and no big deal!  Take off springform pan and cut into slices, separating them...Next layer of sin...

Chocolate Ganache
1 large package semi sweet chocolate chips
1 small carton heavy whipping cream

Microwave chips and whipping cream, stirring every 20 seconds until fully melted (you don't want to boil, just melt well).  Drizzle over cheesecake slices (fill in those cracks, yum-mee!), let cool and solidify (at least an hour).  Prepare the last layer of sin...

Raspberry Tequila Sauce
1 package frozen raspberries (fully thawed)
juice of 1 lemon (use Real Lemon in the bottle or the little lemon squirter and I swear I will hunt you down, use a genuine lemon)
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar (more if you like)
1 to 2 jiggers tequila

Blend raspberries, lemon juice and sugar in a blender.  Strain out seeds.  Mix in tequila. Serve with cheesecake.  

Store in fridge but believe it or not, it's excellent cold but it tastes a lot better at room temperature.  


More from Hallowe'en night

Here's a few more...Rhyce is a little on the arty side and loves different angles...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Some Hallowe'en Pictures from the Big Night

Well, the night wasn't so big but thinking back, it was really good, I just had post-Hallowe'en malaise.  A dear friend took these for me with her BA camera. More to come...