Tuesday, December 31, 2013

...loading 2014


I don't have an elaborate post planned with lists of happenings from 2013, or countdowns full of photos and all that jazz.

I do have random bloggy stats!
This is my 104th post here in 2013.
I've posted 73 times over at Tales from the Love Shaque
I've posted 111 times over at ...Slow & Steady

X is for Xtreme makeup  from the A-Z Challenge got 131 pageviews
H is for Hearse from the A-Z Challenge got 103 pageviews
Skeleton Comparison got 100 pageviews.
My all-time highest # of hits (that are still happening!!) is my post about Highgate Cemetery in the 2012 Countdown to Halloween.  2367 hits!

All the rest of my posts look to average around 40 views.   It's funny that on the other blogs, I have no idea why some of my posts such high # of hits, but these are pretty self explanatory!

I'm pretty happy with how 2013 went, with my Halloween display.  I got my fence and it looked great!  I'm starting to figure out lighting.  I can't complain at all!

Here's to another successful year to come!  Health, peace & prosperity to you all!





Saturday, December 28, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Thought I'd pop in for a minute to say "Heyyyyyyy".

Did you have a great Christmas?  Mine was fairly good.  Way too much time with my family!  Last weekend, we met my brother in Lima, OH since it's been a couple years since we've seen him.  My sister had this crazy idea Lima is halfway between us and his house in Dayton.  Pppft.  So there were the 3 of us, sister Laurie, niece Lisa, Mom, sister Linda, BIL Dave and brother Terry all in a hotel for the weekend.   Christmas Eve, we were all at Laurie's house, minus Terry, but add in nephew Jamie.  Then Christmas Day, I tried to get us out of driving 60+ minutes to Frankemuth for a mediocre chicken dinner with Mom, Laurie & Lisa - to the point of falling on the floor and claiming (as the dog tried to give kisses) that he was eating my face off.  Sigh, no luck there. 

I can't wait til next year when we go to Arkansas for 10 days!  Randy's mom is so much less drama!

Anyhoo.  My nutcracker collection has grown significantly.  I don't know the exact count, but it's somewhere around 80. I'll find out for sure when I put them away.  On the plus side, I did send 3 of the 8 inch ones to my MIL as a gift.  She said she really liked them!  My sisters can't believe I think dolls are creepy, but I have an army of these guys.

These guys were Christmas gifts.  I ordered the Rockette Toy Solider for myself, but I had the girl wrap it for me.  So I never got to see it other than on the website.  Laurie got me the farmer.  It was funny that it was in the Tractor Supply ad last weekend, so she got to gauge my reaction to it beforehand! And Angel got me the zebra guy.  It's very blingy.  She has this thing for zebra print, which is OK!

I got these at JoAnn Fabric the day after Christmas.  The biggest one is missing half his mustache, but I can repair that.  They were 70% off, then another 30% off that!  I was entertained to get 2 in the same day wearing kilts, with bagpipes! 

 I got these at Walgreen's on my way into work on the day after Christmas.  The one in the middle is very Austin Powers with his red velvet suit and lace instead of a beard and the leopard print guy is just so fabulous!!

I got these at Joann Fabrics probably 1 1/2 weeks ago.  They were already 70% off then, and I had a 25% off your entire purchase coupon.  Angel was entertained with the ballerina & I really like the gold one, since he's made to look like solid gold. 

Other than that, I got a 6 month membership to a gym, which I am totally tickled about.  Most women would be pissed, but I had told Randy this is what I wanted and even sent him the link to the webpage, so he could see the info.  I went yesterday for my fitness consultation and first workout. I did 'the circuit' 3 times, 10 minutes on the elliptical and 15 minutes on the treadmill.  I surprisingly wasn't dead today!  I was stiff earlier, but only for a couple hours.  It'll probably hit me tomorrow. 

Tomorrow I'm going to start putting the Christmas blowmolds away.  I had thought to wait until after New Year's but it is supposed to be in the mid 40s again, which is downright balmy!  But then it's calling for like 12* on Monday.  I'd rather not be out in that!  Granted, blowmolds take a lot less effort to take down than a whole cemetery & stuff, but cold is cold! 

I've been poking around the HalloweenForum and seeing these people who are already working on fantastic ideas.  I have no plans for anything exciting, expect for figuring out a way for for my gargoyle blowmold to sit up on the fence instead of on the ground.  Gargoyles don't sit on the ground!!  And of course a new layout.  I'm finally figuring out my lighting and as much as I love my blowmolds, I have to figure out where to put them where they won't drown out the lights in the cemetery.  This will be the issue. 

So I'm sure I'll be posting again here & there.  Definitely with a final count on the nutcracker army!  
Happy New Year!  Have a great 2014!

edit - Nutcracker Inventory - at that posting I was at 90 nutcrackers!!!!  And I have at least 5 more since.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

 
 Merry Christmas from all of us at the Love Shaque!  Hope you and yours have had a great day and received all that your heart desires!
  
I was happy to get my ornament from Shellhawk's etsy store on Christmas Eve.  How awesome is this??  I have it hanging on the wall, since it's a lot bigger than I expected and I want to be able to see it!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Creepmas 13 - getting & sending cards


Busy, busy, busy!

Oh my!  11 shopping days til Christmas!  
Are you ready for this!



Thursday, December 12, 2013

Creepmas 12 - mailing presents


Sometime Scooter needs to mail presents to people who live out of state 
(OK, because of the Merry Reaper and Ornament Exchange), but it's hard work!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Creepmas 11 - playing in the snow


We are lucky to have just gotten a dusting of snow Sunday night / Monday compared to many parts of the US of A. 

But there was still enough for Scooter to go out & play!

 Making some snow angels....

 Building a snowman....

And finally warming up with a candy cane hot chocolate from Tim Horton's!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Creepmas 10 - spiders


Besides having a lovely Christmas legend about spiders, they make great pets!


Scooter loves his Utica High School / Halloween colored spider named Chief. 


The Legend of the Christmas Spider

An old European legend tells of a poor elderly woman unable to afford elaborate decorations fro her tree. 
The woman decorated her tree as best she could, then she went to be.  A spider that had been watcher her decorate came down to get a closer look.  As the spider climbed in and out of the branches, she left her webs behind. 
The first rays of sunlight on Christmas morning struck the webs and turned them into beautiful silver threads.  When the woman awoke, she found that her tree was covered in shimmering tinsel. 
Ever since that day, the spider and tinsel have become symbols of good fortune. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Creepmas 9 - listening to carols


What better way to enjoy the holiday season than to listen to some Christmas carols?


Scooter loves to hear some "Feliz Navidad" from his own mariachi band!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Creepmas 8 - hanging out with family


Sometimes you have to spend time with family,
 sometimes you spend time with friends!

Either way, Scooter has a good time!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Creepmas 7 - finding the perfect tree


Scooter has his choice of tree selection.  
Which shall he choose?

Live or artificial?
Traditional green or colored?
Glitter or no?

UGH!  Get this skeleton a stick!

A date which will live in infamy...



This is my favorite picture ever.  
The USS Arizona, the USS Missouri and a carrier coming in from behind. 

Look closely - the rails of the carrier are manned
with sailors in their dress whites, 
rendering honors as they pass. 

Never forget. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Creepmas 6 - hockey ?!?!?


Since when does hockey have anything to do with Christmas 
(besides being played in winter)??


Oh yeah, when you live with a trio of Detroit Red Wings fans 
and they have a collection of DRW ornaments!

My personal favorite is the #10 Santa right over Scooter's right shoulder.

~Scooter the Christmas Skeleton

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Creepmas 5 - going for a drive


Around here, even the car gets decorated.  



I think Scooter needs a seatbelt!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Creepmas 4 - decor of the appropriate size


This is more like it!  Scooter-sized decor!


Woohoo!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Creepmas 3 - decking the halls


Trimming the tree is hard work when you're only a foot tall!


~Scooter the Christmas Skeleton

Monday, December 2, 2013

Creepmas 2 - making new friends


There are a bunch of guys (critters?) to hang out with around here.  
They're not a very talkative bunch.

~Scooter the Christmas Skeleton 


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Creepmas 1 - Hi, Scooter!


Hi, My name is Scooter the Christmas Skeleton!   
These 13 days of Creepmas will journal my adventures thru the Christmas season, 
hope you come along for the ride!

Damn, lady!  
Slap a coat of paint on that wall or don't use the flash! 

I'm really thankful that my living human couldn't find the little knit hat & scarf that she got for her wine bottles - they'd fit me just right!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Creepmas is coming!!!


The official word came out today.... Creepmas is coming!

W.T.F. is Creepmas, you may ask?

As posted on the official blog...

CREEPMAS is a good-natured push back at Retail America for trying to force Christmas down our throats as early as July. Something has gone seriously wrong with how holidays are marketed to us in the last 5 years. When you go to a major retail store in mid-October only to find they've gotten rid of all their Halloween merchandise in favor of snowmen & Santas, well, it's time to take action!

Something as utterly ridiculous as Christmas trees in August deserves an equally ridiculous response!

CREEPMAS is for those Halloween lovers and Monster Kids who want to say "enough is enough" - if they're going to put their Christmas into our Halloween, then let's put our Halloween into their Christmas! Tim Burton showed us that it can be done with marvelous results, and we're definitely following his lead.

The 13 Days of Creepmas is an online Celebration of Spookiness from December 1 - 13. The idea is to bring a macabre twist to Christmas and the holidays. Get creative and post it on your blog - share your twisted yule visions with the world!


I've been doing some thinking, too.  
Between the Countdown to Halloween and the fun of the 13 days of Creepmas, 
I'm not going to sign this blog up for the A-Z Challenge in April this year.  
My other 2 blogs will be plenty! 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Maple Grove, North Branch

My sister went on vacation back in October and asked me to horse-sit for her.  Since I happen to love being around the horses, I always help her out when needed.  
This was a lovely fall day.  And since I really didn't have any place to be and I had noone except the dog with me, I decided to go check out another Maple Grove Cemetery.  I mistakenly thought it was much closer than it really was.  I thought it was only 5-10 miles up the road from Laurie's house.  WRONG!  It was about 30.  I stopped at 2 other cemeteries that day, but those are for another post. 

This gorgeous old house was on the corner behind the gas station where I stopped to fill up.  Happily - they had it done up as a haunted house!  Complete with hearse out front. 


 LOL, someone got TP'd! 


 First thing I noticed was all the crazy orange moss. 



 Most of the stones were facing west, but there were a few sitting at an angle.  Not sure why. 




 




 This looks like 2 rows of stones, 
but it is 3 connected stones in one. 
Flora, Charlie & Wallace Hayes, siblings. 






 Close-up of the emblem for the Daughters of the American Revolution.











 Funky moss!

If I had to guess... L to R
Younger son, USMC, Vietnam / older son, US Army, Vietnam (bronze star) / father, USMC, WWII  

Interesting tidbit (I was enlisted Navy and this interests me) .... The Bronze Star Medal is an award presented to United States Armed Forces personnel for bravery, acts of merit or meritorious service. It is the fourth highest combat award of the Armed Forces.


 I like shuffling thru the leaves!

 The flash on the camera lit up the mushrooms growing in this hole. 







War of 1812
I didn't see any other stones for him around. 




Someone needs to replace her stickers!




 This little guy came running over from the house right next door.  He really wanted me to let Jack out of the car, but Jack is a moron and won't listen if he's loose.  So he stayed locked up and I got an escort!  He walked along with me as I explored and stopped when I stopped and just looked at me.  


Hmm, Someone with the last name Smith called Smitty.  
How original! 





 These mosaic stones are pretty neat.  Some have pressed brass name plates & others have cement.  



There was a shallow culvert dividing the much newer back section from the older front.   
Must less populated back there! 



Looking toward the front. 

Overall it was a very nice day to be exploring!