We don’t usually go overboard decorating for Halloween…
Well……Not compared to Christmas, anyway.
The flowerbeds are usually dried up in October, so we fill them with pumpkins.
The neighbors are trimming their trees, so I use the branches for a garland around the door.
It just kinda happens……… organically.
But this project I planned out. I wanted a spider web……with a big, fat spider in it.
I started with a handful of things I already had in the garage;
And had the perfect empty space on the front porch between 2 posts.
Although, I added a 2X4, stained to match the rest of the wood trim, between them.
It was a matter of simply stapling the cotton clothes line from top to bottom, and again from side to side….
Then a piece from each corner….
Then a few more in the empty spaces between….
The center of my web was a little ……..off-center.
So I used the twine to tie everything together.
Then I worked my way out of the center with the twine, stopping to tightly wrap a piece every few cords or so.
I love the way it was turning out.
As I wound my way farther from the center, I wrapped the twine around every cord.
‘Till it looked like this.
Now, here’s the part where I make the spider.
You know, out of a beach ball, Styrofoam pool noodles and black spray paint. Can’t ya just picture it?
So could I…..until I saw one at Target that looked just fine.
Pretty Spooky? Right?
Only 30 bones.
(As long as every one of y’all knows that I could have made one)
I just love her hovering over the cacti……
She adds some whimsy to the whole porch.
Kinda diggin’ the orange lights we trimmed the house with……..
They look especially cool at twilight.
Happy Halloween from the orange house on Cavender with the big spider.
Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, and Peter Cushing;
The trio combined made over 400 movies – most in the horror genre.
Each of these 3 genuinely charming character actors brought their own flavor to their roles;
Price played the sinister, revengeful villain….in movies like The Fly, The House of Wax, and Theater of Blood….although, I like him best as the kindly old inventor in Edward Scissorhands. His voice-over work was used by Alice Cooper and Michael Jackson on his song Thriller. He even recorded his own remake of The Monster Mash.
Cushing was the icy, menacing figure portraying Victor Frankenstein, Van Helsing, and Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars. (Because his costume boots hurt his feet, George Lucas allowed him to film the movie in his slippers.)
Lee, always the deadly charmer, played Dracula (in 9 films, no less), Rasputin, Frankenstein’s monster, and even the Mummy. Lee also contributed his talents to Star Wars movies, as Count Dooku, and the Lord of the Rings as the wizard Saruman.
Although the 3 were great friends, and almost share the exact birthday – Price and Lee were born May 27, Cushing; May 26 – It’s hard to believe that they only made one movie together; The House of the Long Shadow.
The Bat Pack may be gone from this earth now, but the screen legacy of these brilliant actors will continue to chill…….
Still riding the Crazy Mouse at the State Fair of Texas. (My second favorite State Fair tradition)
We always buy the picture….The one they take just as the car is about to drop.
Sometimes we ride it alone;
Sometimes a friend or 2 will join us; like the Pecks…
Or our friend, Leslie…..
Or even my brother Ben,
But this year…..
…..the carney insisted on shoving a lonely little boy in between us,
Don’t think he enjoyed it as much as we did.
(Interesting way to see how much weight we have each gained/lost over the years……I’m down about 25 pounds, and Jamie has lost just over 50. Zoom up to the fourth and fifth pictures. It doesn’t look like anyone else would fit in that cart with us)
In Texas we have 5 seasons:
Christmas, Spring, Summer, Still Summer, and State Fair
We are currently starting our second favorite time of year.
There’s lots of reasons to go to the Texas State Fair; Rides, Midway Games, Pig Races, People Watching (of course)……But we go for the food. Hands Down.
The freakin’ nasty, deep fried, not-even-slightly-healthy, food? Yeah, there’s a crazy amount of deep fried stuff; Oreo’s, bubble gum, Coke, bacon, peaches & cream, peanut butter and banana sandwiches, guacamole, buffalo chicken in a flapjack, and Thanksgiving dinner (mashed into a ball)….Ummmmm. I have to admit that we’ve tried all of those.
So many choices, but we always start at Fletcher’s for corny dogs in front of Big Tex.
I think everybody does,
Traditional corny dog for Jamie. Jalapeno and cheese for me, please…..
This one I couldn’t make up….deep fried chicken skins.
With just a sprinkle of seasoning salt, and a smear of hot sauce…..These were probably one of the best things we ate.
Bar-B-Q brisket egg rolls were actually pretty good.
So were the Cowboy Corn Crunch – Spicy cheese and corn balls.
One of the Finalists in the Big Tex Choice Awards was Pretzel-Crusted Pollo Queso Balls.
Chicken-Cheese-Pretzel Bites, Deep Fried……..they were…….just ok.
In the area of “Adult Beverages”……there was the winner of the Big Tex Choice Awards for Most Creative,
The Smokey Bacon Margarita….
If the bacon bits don’t frighten you…then the day-glow green coloring sure should. (I barely enhanced the color in the pic)
I wasn’t phased, and dove right in.
Sweet….and ahhhh, smokey. The bacon was a little …..chewy. Jamie wouldn’t taste it, and I will probably be able to go the rest of my life without tasting one ever again.
But overall, not bad.
How about Funnel Cake Ale?
Not exactly this kind of funnel cake. (Which we ate as well)
But more an “inspired by”.
With a powder sugar rimmed cup, funnel cake ale is a sweet, wheaty, dessert-type refreshment.
But even better was……Pumpkin Ale,
Dessert? Why of course we still had room.
For sweet potato pie and candied apples……(there’s almost a little nutrition in these)
…AND deep-fried peach cobbler…
We found the Gourmet Funnel Cake stop.
Peanut butter cup, birthday cake…so many choices. We picked red velvet.
Piping hot and smeared with frosting….it was heavenly.
AND, the winner of the Big Tex Choice Awards for Best Tasting, Fernie’s Holy Moly Carrot Cake Roly. (who would have thought there would be vegetables in a State Fair food?)
They might have been deep fried……we couldn’t really tell. But there was 2 different things to dip them into. Both tasted like sugar.
That was enough for us.
Texas sun + gluttonous amounts of fried food/sugar = 2 sick boys
Drove back home, drank Pepto Bismol, and put ourselves to bed.
But, don’t worry about us folks…….
We’ll be ready to do it all over in again next year.
We always do,
These take a little bit longer to make than I usually like during the week. So I make them on the weekend. Luckily we only eat about 2 each at a meal, and the rest freeze just beautifully for lunches during the week.
Did I mention how delish they are? I should really emphasize that part. Because they are.
Start with a box of lasagna noodles.
Boil 12 noodles in salted water for 8 minutes.
After exactly 8 minutes, drain the noodles and toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil to keep them from sticking together.
I’m not a big fan of frozen veggies, but I always have a box of frozen spinach in the freezer just for meals like this.
I thaw it and squeeze out as much water as I possibly can.
OK, here’s the filling:
- 1 10 Oz Package of Chopped Frozen Spinach
- 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Chicken Breast
- 1/2 Cup Grated Mozzarella (Half a Bag)
- 8 Oz Ricotta Cheese
- 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan
- 2 Eggs
- Cracked Pepper
Mix everything well…..(No salt, BTW…..the cheese is plenty salty enough)
Don’t forget a few crushed cloves of garlic….as much as you like. 3 big cloves for these big boys.
By now the noodles have cooled enough to handle.
With a sharp knife, slice each one in half.
Roll the filling into “egg-shaped” balls……
…and lay them out on the edge of each halved noodle.
Roll the noodle from the bottom tightly, and line the rolled noodles, seam side down, in the Pyrex baking dish with half a jar of pasta sauce in it already.
I get 14 fully stuffed rolls. (I know, that’s leaving me extra cooked noodles……I always make a few more than I need just in case some tear)
Pour the other half of the jarred pasta sauce over the top of the rolls and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.
After the 20 minutes, I sprinkle on the remainder of the 8 ounce bag of mozzarella cheese and pop them back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
‘Till they looks like this….
This is one of the dishes that we usually have all the mix-ins for already.
Easy…and OOhhhh Sooo delicious.
Don’t believe me?
Give them a try sometime.