Merry October!

UPDATE – scroll down for photos of Halloween fun in our Alexandria neighborhood!

I scanned this very old photograph of a long-ago jack-o-lantern I carved for the boys.

I scanned this very old photograph of a long-ago jack-o-lantern I carved for the boys.

“October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins…. Merry October!” — Rainbow Rowell

I can’t remember what year it was when I carved the jack-o-lantern pictured above, but it’s probably representative of what they all looked like before my kids were grown and I quit decorating for Halloween.ย  My skill with a knife never matched my father’s, but the design is copied from myย  memories of the deliciously fiery grins on the ones he carved for his own children for so many years.

For you and your family or neighborhood children, I wish a safe and Merry Halloween!

And treat yourself to some laughs – thanks to Eric for sharing this hilarious video:

Here are some shots of the Halloween fun in our neighborhood:



  1. Sheila

    Happy Halloween! ๐Ÿ™‚ Julia, I hope your pockets will be filled with chocolate-coated candy corn! What a fun blog you have given us today. Thank you for such an adorable video! I have shared it with family and friends this morning. I have a decoration in our lobby that you might like. The epitaph on the tombstone reads: SHE ALWAYS SAID HER FEET WERE KILLING HER BUT NO ONE BELIEVED HER. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sheila, I love that decoration! I wish I could give my mother a copy of that, as she’s had so much pain in her feet all these years she’s walked with basically one good leg (polio in her early childhood). So happy you liked the canine trick or treaters! If Pasha could have figured out that racket, he’d have been all in!

      • Sheila

        Let’s pretend they’re Pasha and Salty in disguise! I’ll send you a photo of that tombstone.

        • Definitely! I will enjoy the photo ๐Ÿ™‚ and will send a copy on to my Mom.

  2. Raynard

    Never did the “carve up the punkin like a “thanksgiving turkey thing. Getting ready to watch Charlie Brow’s halloween special( thank you ABC TV( DISNEY owned) Am I the only one who never liked”Mounds or Almond Joy candy? I digress Julia, I got some trivia for you. 1968 a TV Show was on NBC calle d’My world and welcome to it. Lead Actor William Windom played writer for a newspaper. Drew cartoons that came to life. Next NBC and it was produced by Hanna – Barbera. Wait till your father gets home. came on after Laugh i I think. Voice of the dad Harry was the dad on Happy Days , Tom Bosley. Remember Rhoda? (spin off of Mary tyler Moore? Rhoda’s never seen doorman Carlton is the guy who does the voice for Garfield the cat., and Rhoda’s sister on the show is the voice of Marge Simpson Julie Kavner.( and yes I stop watching “Mission Impossible movies when Tom Cruise messed them up… lol

    • I remember all of those shows, though I never watched any of them but maybe once or twice. I am so old I remember when the Flintstones were prime-time TV viewing for the whole family! Here’s a really obscure one: Mr. Terrific (who took the magic power pill “that sent him soaring through the skies, fighting foes and fighting spies”). Isn’t all this more than a little bit scary to think we remember the TV shows as much or more than what we learned in school? BTW if you remember Peyton Place — Elliot Carson was played by my Daddy’s old navy buddy, Tim O’ Connor (who we all called “T.J.” because that is what Daddy called him). Many years later he was Dr. Huer on Buck Rogers. Considering how much TV I watched as a kid, it’s strange to think I never watch it anymore. But maybe it used to be better. And no, I never did like Mounds or Almond Joy. Coconut isn’t my thing. Those were what you had to trade.

      • Rene

        Love Mounds, never liked Almond Joy; finally figured out it was the dark chocolate.

        • Wow, maybe I should give Almond Joy another chance since I love dark chocolate much better than milk chocolate, and love almonds too. Do they even make that candy bar anymore, or has it gone the way of the Three Musketeers bar?

  3. Stephen and I were never much good at pumpkin carving but in the last few years they were coming out with patterns and tools. Even in high school the kids enjoyed doing it. I kind of miss that. Aaron always wanted me to bake the seeds. Took me a few years but I finally got where they were edible. I love the video. Don’t show Wrecker. He does not need any help getting into mischief. Love you and Happy Halloween.

    • How is Wrecker? Bless his heart, I have wanted to see him since he got sick. Hope all is well now. I never did bake any pumpkin seeds although I can remember my Daddy calling them pepitas and giving me some to eat that were delicious! I don’t miss pumpkin carving too much, because I have fun enjoying other people’s designs so much. I’d rather leave the work to others. Sort of like having grandchildren! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I would love to live in your neighbourhood ! I haven’t seen that many kids around in years. We didn’t have a single one tonight. All cute as can be.

    I laughed at each one of Parker and Daisy’s get ups. They are so deadpan with their little pails, ha. Neither broke character even once. That was so darn clever and fun. Thanks for sharing it tonight.

    The wind howled like mad today and only 4 C tonight, so any little ones that got out would have had to bundle up but it sure looked nice in your neighbourhood. BTW, that is one giant blow up yard decor. I’ve never seen a coach and Reaperโ€ฆ.eeeeeek!

    • Yes, we get lots of trick-or-treaters no matter which home we’re at on Halloween, because we have tons of kids in either neighborhood. But there are more in Alexandria because it’s so densely populated and easy to go door to door since they’re all townhomes. Everyone comes out and sits at the end of their walkways to make it even easier for the tiny ones. I wish I could have photographed all of them, there were at least ten times as many as I got photos of. Maybe more. That haunted coach was so awesome because it was made of lightweight silk and every time the wind blew, the horses would rare up. I thought it had some sort of motorized thing inside that was making it move, but our neighbors (it is owned by the people who live at the end of our building) said that it’s just the wind. Inside there is somes sort of mechanism that makes the ghost sit up in his casket and look out the window! I should have caught that. Halloween is like a giant block party and all the neighbors get to visit, something that we usually don’t do as a big group.

      I loved Parker and Daisy, I will have to catch more of their videos. That Parker won me over in the very beginning when he looked up so plaintively at the first door, that silly ax on his head– like he was hoping for another treat– so FUNNY and cute!

      • Your neighbourhood sounds great and what a treat for the kids. Lots of goodies without leaving the neighbourhood! I know someone who would flip out over that silk coach. Val of Nikitaland goes crazy all-out for the night. The ghost sitting up would be awesome. Have a wonderful weekend Julia!

        • My neighbors told me they got that coach at Sam’s Club but have not seen one there before or since. He said it’s super easy to put up and only takes about 30 minutes. I know he’s right because I saw him just getting started on it when I returned from my walk that afternoon!

  5. Rene

    I came here to say thanks for adding the pictures. I know resolve to keep Halloween much better than I have been.

    • Thanks so much! I am happy to share photos of kids (and adults) enjoying the fun and festivity of a nationwide costume party to which ALL are invited!


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