A grand monster mash! Plus, GRAND Social No. 277 link party for grandparents

A grand monster mash! Plus, GRAND Social No. 277 link party for grandparents

Hooray for Halloween! And for Halloween fun courtesy JibJab!

Do you make JibJab videos featuring your grandkiddos? I made a fun one for Halloween and hoped to embed it here for all to see. Alas, JibJab no longer allows users to download their videos for embedding (boo!), so here are a few screenshots of my creation.

I'd love for ya'll to see the silliness in full, though, so if you have a sec, click on over to my grand monster mash mixup for ghoulishly goofy Happy Halloween wishes from...

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Saturday movie brief: Boogie men

Saturday movie brief: Boogie men

Halloween puts me, like many folks, in the mood for scary movies. With Tuesday being Halloween, this weekend is the perfect time for feasting on frightful flicks.

Thing is, it's so horrifically hard to find scary movies that don't make me want to puke because of the gore or hide away in a country compound built just for my family and me because the sickos on screen are too close to some real-life psychos — or the possibility of such — in our current society.

I've yet to come up with a horror flick to enjoy with my husband this Halloween weekend, one with a fair share of scare but not so much I have to flick on every light in the house as I head to bed — or dive onto the bed when I reach it so a boogie man doesn't grab me from beneath. (I'm not the only who still does that, am I?)

I did, though, find this fun montage of old-time boogey men, from...

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Halloween candy stats by state, plus GRAND Social No. 276 link party for grandparents

Halloween candy stats by state, plus GRAND Social No. 276 link party for grandparents

We're one week out from trick-or-treat time. Have you stocked up on candy yet?

I recently received an interesting graphic from CandyStore.com on the top treats by state. Scroll over the interactive map for a closer look at the sweet stats.

What's tops in your state? I was surprised to see that M&Ms weren't tops in Colorado, where apparently Milky Ways are king, considering how many pounds of the plain or peanut goodies my husband...

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The Halloween Edition: GRAND Social No. 229 link party for grandparents

Happy Halloween!

Time for some goblins and ghouls. And skeletons — Silly Symphonies style:


Does anyone else remember being delightfully spooked by such shiver-inducing shenanigans? Those were the days, right? Far more fun than freaky clowns terrifying towns and...

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Grandma's colorful, creepy crowd

Halloween has gotten far more colorful since I became a grandma.

A little more creepy, too, I must admit.

Proof lies in my seasonal pics from the past seven years:

halloween costumes 

Oh, how I love my creepy, colorful...

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Saturday movie review: 'The Awakening'

Come the Halloween season, I crave a spooky movie. Not a scary-as-all-get-out movie, you know, the sort so evil one fears they've surely opened the gates of hell simply by watching it. And not the violent, gory, bloody yuck fests, either. And definitely not the poorly written, poorly acted scream fests featuring babbling blondes running from madmen in masks.

No, I like a good old-fashioned, suspense-filled ghost story. One with just the right amount of startles and chills yet one that allows me to afterward walk — not run! — up the two flights of stairs to my bedroom without having to turn on every light along the way or jump onto my bed in fear of what may be underneath it.

The Awakening

Such quality creepy films are hard to find. So each Halloween season for several years I've...

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When editors decorate for Halloween

I once was an editor. I worked at the newspaper. I had an office of my own. And I had a desk upon which I could place holiday tchotchkes of my choosing.

One Halloween season I was delighted to find a very special treat jar at the drugstore. I bought it, edited it, filled...

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18 things I love about October

Leaves dancing in the street.

Snow on Pikes Peak.

Taking the sunshades down from my kitchen skylights.

Pumpkin-flavored anything and everything. (Except pumpkin-flavored macaroni and cheese. Which I have tried...and didn't like.)

The anticipation and excitement of little ones looking forward to Halloween. Not just my grandsons but even those I hear in stores, chattering away to Mom about the costumes they want, what their friends plan to be, the candy they love.

Lady in White, which I watch this time of year every year.

Sweater weather.

Sock and slipper weather, too.

Kids in Halloween costumes. Especially when they look like this:

Or this:

(Megan will surely one day pay for the cuteness she foisted upon her boys.)

Indian Summer. Far less hot and harsh than regular summer.

No more watering or worrying about the flowers and more in the front yard, back yard, side yard.

No more fans scattered about the house.

Snuggling once again with my cat Abby, who was continually pushed away during hot weather.

Blankets back on the beds. And curling up under them for my nightly read.

The first wafts of smoke from wood burning in a neighbor's fireplace. (We typically wait til November to burn a fire in ours.)

Caramel apple taffy.

Visits with my grandsons. We always visit in October. This year I'm fortunate to have two visits planned—one at the end of this week, another at the end of the month. An extra-special reason to love this October in particular.

Today's question:

What do you love about October?

Oh, the horrors: Movies most scary...to me

Happy Halloween!

In honor of the holiday, I thought I'd share with you the movies that have most scared me over the years (in approximate order of viewing):

The Birds (1963) — I remember watching this in the house we lived in when I was born, so I was likely under the age of 5. I recall it being around Christmas time, as there were homemade ornaments hanging in the pass-thru from kitchen to family room (or wherever the TV was) and without explanation, the ornaments fell during one of the more intense moments. I've been frightened of huge flocks of black birds and egg-carton ornaments ever since.

The Child Molester (1964) — This incredibly grisly "educational" film was shown at school during my early years and I will never, ever forget the bloody shoe floating down the stream. (And my girls wonder why I was such a paranoid mother.) I looked for the name of this movie for this post and found the whole scary thing posted HERE. Beware: You'll never again look at children's shoes the same way.

Chamber of Horrors (1966) — How could anyone, especially a youngster, not be afraid when the Fear Flasher and Horror Horn made it oh-so clear that it was the only appropriate response for what was to come?

House of Wax (1953) — My introduction to Vincent Price. Likely one of the "Creature Double Feature" flicks on Saturday nights spent with older cousins in Wisconsin.

Crowhaven Farm (1970) — I told you in this post how the sound of rocks being stacked scare the cuss out of me because they sound like the ones stacked by the coven of witches in Crowhaven Farm. I think of this one often, as we have lots of rocks on our property...and seem to stack them on a fairly regular basis, for some unknown reason.

Sisters (1973) — Siamese twins and Brian de Palma were forever linked in my head after this. Oh, along with putting on panty hose, just like the crazy sister in the barn loft. Gah...!

Picture Mommy Dead (1970) — For this post I finally figured out the name of a movie that has haunted me for years and years, especially every time I heard "the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, in through your stomach and out your mouth." Imagine my surprise when I realized Zsa Zsa Gabor was part of the horror. Yep, it's true. And still scary to me.

The Exorcist (1973) — I was often sick as a child. I remember being quite ill with pneumonia at the time this movie came out. Up in my room in the old farm house, I'd be falling asleep to the sound of the radio when—AH!—the commercial for The Exorcist, with its chilling music, would come on and make me want to run downstairs or scream, but I couldn't do either because I was so freakin' sick. Years later I actually watched the movie...and had my fears validated.

Audrey Rose (1977) — Anthony Hopkins, reincarnation, burning alive. Need I say more? Okay, I'll say a little more. Not too long ago, I watched this with Jim and my then teen daughters. They've made fun of me ever since for recommending as "one of the scariest movies ever" this campy Exorcist rip-off. It really was scary the first time. Honest. At least when you're young...and a big chicken.

Carrie (1976) — Yes, it was truly scary. And I'm not the only one who thought so. And not just the first time you watch it. Honest. I still think of it often...and actually just last week told Jim as he was leaving for work one day, "They're all gonna laugh at you." (Yep, that's the kind of joy involved in being my spouse.)

The Shining (1980) — I have twin siblings, and the creepy twins at the end of the hallway were just a small part of it. Supposedly having happened in my home state was a big part of it. Funny thing, I've now been to the hotel that inspired the story—The Stanley Hotel—many times, including when they were remaking the film into a TV series and for two ghost tours.

The Entity (1982) — I was a brand-new mommy who spent a lot of time alone with my baby as Jim worked his butt off to support us and the idea that the story of a malevolent spirit beating and raping a woman was supposedly true was more horrific than my hormones could bear at the time. I used to bring Brianna, in her infant seat, into the bathroom with me while I showered just so I wasn't alone.

Blair Witch Project (1999) — I didn't watch that many scary movies between the one above and this as being a mother of three daughters was frightening enough. But the year this came out, I took my teen daughters to see it one afternoon during spring break. It was more nausea inducing than scary. Until a week or so later: I was out on our deck in the middle of the night watching for shooting stars when I scared myself by thinking of the movie. I set out to run back into the dining room through the open screen door...only the screen door wasn't open and I mangled it as I dashed through anyway, determined to escape whatever may have lurked in the dark.

There were other horror flicks throughout the years, but these have been the most memorably scary for me.

I do still enjoy watching scary movies. Scary ones, though, not disgustingly grisly and twisted ones like the "Saw" movies and such. For the most part, I don't get as scared by them as I used to.

I just no longer go out on the deck in the middle of the night by myself anymore.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Today's question:

What movies were most scary to you?