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The Haunted Bowl of Candy- mstrust's #8

This is a continuation of the topic mstrust #7- Kon Tiki BBC.

This topic was continued by I Think This Place Is Haunted-mstrust's #9- Halloween pt. 2.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Sep 8, 2018, 4:58pm Top

Lost in the woods? Alone? At night?
There's only one thing you can do- keep wandering deeper into the pitch black forest and hope you find The BBC. We're the Halloweeniest place to celebrate all things Autumn.

It's a mystery why we got this place so cheap. Cold drafts, slamming doors, flying knives, bleeding walls and wonderful views of the graveyard next door, it has everything!
The BBC Autumn thread starts out happily enough with a celebration of the season. We have food,cocktails, music, decorations and lots of fun. And as the nights grow longer and we stumble towards Halloween, things get spookier. Last year I debuted the Scare Scale(TM) to use as a guide for choosing your own holiday reads. Here's how it works:
SS1.-Not scary at all, and maybe not intended to be. Like watching a Scooby Doo cartoon, a "1" isn't going to keep you awake.
SS2.- A little tension, maybe a jump scare or two. Like watching an episode of Goosebumps or eating a bran muffin before a meeting.
SS3- Scary. You'll wish you weren't in the house alone. Think The Others or The Haunting of Hill House.
SS4- Leatherface is chasing you with a chainsaw. Expect to be crying.

Oh, and the haunted bowl of candy? Every time I walk past, some of it disappears.

So, are you afraid of the dark?

Sep 6, 2018, 12:36am Top

Come in!

Sep 6, 2018, 12:49am Top

Ooh, scary place. Maybe I took the wrong turn somewhere.

Sep 6, 2018, 12:59am Top

Sep 6, 2018, 1:02am Top

>6 Berly: Exactly!

Sep 6, 2018, 4:35am Top

Happy new one, Jennifer. I still enjoy the colouful part of autumn.

Sep 6, 2018, 5:15am Top

Happy new thread, Jennifer.
>1 mstrust: Oh, and the haunted bowl of candy? Every time I walk past, some of it disappears.
This is a very powerful spell, I have this phenomenon all year long.

>8 Ameise1: Yes the colours of autumn are marvelous.

Sep 6, 2018, 8:15am Top

Happy new thread! The BBC's new digs look wonderful! Well, I'll be darn, the candy phenomenon happens at my house too! and it's already begun!! Where have all my miniature snicker bars gone?! In honor of the grand opening I will treat myself to a spiced latte from Starbucks :0)
I loved Slade House hope it give you a thrill too. Somewhat mild IMO.
I plan on reading Edith Warton's Ghosts and if I can squeeze it in Fingersmith.

Sep 6, 2018, 10:16am Top

>5 Familyhistorian: Awww, things won't get scary for a while. But as my first guest, you might get a little extra protection from your prize:

>6 Berly: Terrified already? O.k. everybody, just know that when stuff goes down, you need to outrun Kim!

>8 Ameise1: Thank you, and I also love Autumn in general. I think it's when nature is at its most beautiful.

>9 SirThomas: Thanks, Thomas, glad you made it. Oh no, you mean the haunted candy is happening to you too?

>10 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda! This candy spell seems to be spreading like wildfire and has afflicted my house for over 24 hours now. I've seen our big bowl of Reese's pumpkins disappearing before my eyes. Who's doing it?!
I'm looking forward to Slade House, but I wasn't sure just how scary it would be. I think Julie will be fine with it. I love Wharton, but Ghosts is one I haven't read yet, though I've read just one or two of her supernatural stories.

Sep 6, 2018, 10:30am Top

Just here to correct the touchstone for The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton :0)

Edited: Sep 7, 2018, 2:32pm Top

73. The Vermont Country Store Cookbook by Ellen Ogden, Andrea Diehl and The Orton Family. A big, heavy hardcover of everything pertaining to the famous Vermont general store, written with five members of the Orton family. This includes the beginnings of the store by husband and wife Vrest and Mildred Orton in the 1940s, its first products, their way of doing business, and goes all the way to present day being run by the Orton's son and grandchildren. There are plenty of pictures of the store, employees and products throughout the years, and stories. Also, lots of good recipes for things like ginger molasses cookies, maple bonbons, maple and molasses baked beans, and venison apple chili. And with the beautiful food and landscape photos, this is a good choice for Autumn. 5 stars
S.S.- 1

See, that wasn't so scary!

I've added more possibilities to Witch Mountain.

Edited: Sep 6, 2018, 10:53am Top

And here's our first entry. If you hate pumpkin spice, you won't be interested. I love pumpkin spice (almost) everything, and with all the food tasting videos out there, I picked one that features a lot of the food I've tried too, and bonus, for some reason these two tasters don't annoy me. It's from earlier this year, so there will be many more new pumpkin spice foods out soon.


Sep 6, 2018, 8:53pm Top

Happy new thread, Jennifer! Looking forward to the autumnal antics!

Sep 6, 2018, 9:14pm Top

Happy new thread!!

Sep 7, 2018, 8:41am Top

Happy new thread! I *love* scary places!

Sep 7, 2018, 9:40am Top

>15 harrygbutler: Hi Harry, good to see you here!

>16 figsfromthistle: Thank you!

>17 drneutron: Then you found the right place! Welcome, Jim!

Edited: Sep 7, 2018, 9:49am Top

The public library in Concord, Ma.

Roger's Gardens is a home goods and landscaping emporium in Southern California that does higher end things than a Home Depot. Each Halloween they come up with exclusive products and have a general theme. No matter how macabre, it always turns out gorgeous. This year's collection is magical.

Sep 7, 2018, 10:17am Top

>2 mstrust: I love your new thread and that cover! I hope you can get your 50 cents refunded! LOL.

Sep 7, 2018, 11:08am Top

>19 mstrust: That is a lovely photo. Exactly where I would love to wander on a fall day.

Sep 7, 2018, 12:20pm Top

>20 PaperbackPirate: Hey, Nicole! Thanks, good to see you. And wouldn't that be great if Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine honored it? I'm guessing anyone who could be held accountable for that offer is dead now.

>21 Oberon: It is such a beautiful picture. I'd love for that to be my library. I just know that when you walk in they offer fresh apple cider in the foyer and the librarians solve local murders.

Sep 7, 2018, 1:21pm Top

Happy new thread, Jennifer!

>19 mstrust: I am not good with scary, but I do love autumn pictures :-)

Sep 7, 2018, 1:33pm Top

>11 mstrust: Thanks for the protection. Sounds like I will need it!

Sep 7, 2018, 2:17pm Top

>23 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! There are plenty of Autumn pics and stuff coming up, so you'll enjoy at least some of my thread!

>24 Familyhistorian: You're welcome! That garlic may help you be the "final girl".

Sep 7, 2018, 2:30pm Top

74. Give Yourself Goosebumps: #7 Under the Magician's Spell by R.L. Stine. You have plans to hang out with your best friend Sid at the mall, but you mom makes you take along your nine year old sister, who always gets into trouble. You find her in a magic shop, where she steals a book of spells. The magician who owns the shop is truly magical and he's really angry too. The three of you make a series of choices that either saves you or gets all three of you eaten by a monster.
Fun book, and a Stine series I'd never heard of.
3 stars
S.S.- 1.5

Edited: Sep 8, 2018, 12:18pm Top

Just a bit of Halloweenish information- filming has just begun on a movie of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark children's book series by Alvin Schwartz. So definitely not out this Halloween, but maybe next year.

Oh, I love me a giant pumpkin. Here's a great time lapse video of the sprouting and growth of a pumpkin that ended up weighing 1223 pounds.

Sep 8, 2018, 1:20pm Top

>19 mstrust: Okay. Posting that was just unfair. I want to put all my Halloween decorations out NOW!!! Sigh. I usually wait until October 1st. But I did buy two new hadn towells for the bathroom. That made me happy. I think I have to go get a pumpkin spice latte now.

Sep 8, 2018, 1:40pm Top

>27 mstrust: I loved that time lapse, thank you for sharing! Makes me want to go to the fair.

Edited: Sep 8, 2018, 2:40pm Top

>28 Berly: I know, Roger's is so beautiful that it makes me want to re-decorate too. I've got most of my general Autumn stuff out, plus the recent Halloween stuff I've bought and don't want to spend time in the hot garage putting them away. I have a rotting leg just sitting in the library waiting.
But I do have my Autumn scented candles out and I've been using them for about a week now. I have a pumpkins and apple one and a new sugared cinnamon one. Oh, and mom is so sweet, because she sent me a Starbuck's gift card "because I know you like their pumpkin stuff".

>29 PaperbackPirate: It's pretty cool. What an enormous amount of care went into growing that humongous thing. I'd love to attend a giant pumpkin competition.

I've been getting my Autumn-ish manicure this morning. Just a sienna colored flat polish with an overlay of fine gold sparkle. Of course, now I can't do any housework today.

Sep 8, 2018, 2:59pm Top

>19 mstrust: I'm in! Holy cow, I'd buy one of everything.

Sep 8, 2018, 3:07pm Top

Hey, there's Larry!
Roger's should do Halloween sleep-overs in October, like the natural history museums. Just take our money and lock us in for ten hours so we can play with all the stuff.

Sep 8, 2018, 3:21pm Top

Hi Jennifer! I am finally catching up with all the activity over here - I have missed so much - like the coconut donuts! (Where the heck did the summer go?) Loving the autumn / pumpkin theme that has been happening on this and the last thread, but did I miss the list of baking to be entered in their year's fair, or are you still deciding?

Sep 8, 2018, 4:17pm Top

To add to the seasonal spirit, I present you with the eternal question: which is better, candy corn or mellowcreme pumpkins?



I am delighted to discover that this vital question is receiving the correct amount of attention. Essays were written!

Sep 8, 2018, 5:13pm Top

>33 lkernagh: Hiya, Lori! You have missed alot- and yes, I did decide what I'm taking to the fair. Spiced chocolate walnut cookies, spiced applesauce cake and pumpkin pie snaps.
But right now I have a crockpot of chicken thighs with red potatoes and onions, garlic and lemon juice cooking. The herbs will be thrown in about four hours into their cooking. And tomorrow I'll make my annual batch of cheese and black pepper coffin crackers.

>34 RidgewayGirl: Yes, it is right that we debate over this topic. Thanks for the links.
Well, I have to say that I prefer the mellowcreme pumpkins over Brach's candy corn. The pumpkins taste like firm frosting to me, and the candy corn, at least Brach's has an overpowering fake butter taste. I've never heard anyone else describe it that way so it may just be me that thinks so. I prefer the Sprout's organic candy corn, made with actual honey, or CVS' Spooky Village candy corn, which tastes of vanilla. So I hope that pumpkin in the pic wins.

Sep 8, 2018, 9:24pm Top

>35 mstrust: - YUM on all counts!

Sep 9, 2018, 10:10am Top

I hope the judges feel the same way. And the chicken turned out very well too!

Sep 9, 2018, 10:17am Top

What fool gave the mellocreme pumpkin a knife?!

Edited: Sep 9, 2018, 10:19am Top

It's about time we had some food around here. One of the easiest Fall desserts is a crockpot of cinnamon apples. Makes a good breakfast too!

Sep 9, 2018, 10:19am Top

>38 SomeGuyInVirginia: He isn't that mellow, is he?

Edited: Sep 9, 2018, 10:43am Top

This is my last holdover from Summer:
75. The Expendable Man by Dorothy B. Hughes. While driving from L.A. to Phoenix for a family wedding, young Dr. Hugh Densmore stops when he sees a young girl sitting alone on the road. Because she's a teen and alone, he offers her a ride, which he soon regrets. Iris is filthy, rude and demanding, so Hugh stops along the way, gets himself a room and buys her a bus ticket, thinking that this is the only way to get rid of her. But Iris is someone who won't let the doctor and his white Cadillac get away. She, and whoever she was coming to Phoenix to meet, search the town until they find Hugh, but he refuses to have anything further to do with Iris. When the newspaper carries stories about the young blonde found in the canal, Hugh knows he's in trouble.
Published in 1963, this is a story of race, with the reveal 50-something pages in that Hugh is black and may be charged with the murder, even with all his education and well-connected family. It's also a mystery, as Hugh decides the only way to clear himself, as he's the prime suspect, is to find the real killer himself. 4.2 stars

Sep 9, 2018, 12:57pm Top

I'm a little late to the Halloween party but I came prepared for a good look around:

Now bring on the pumpkins, ghosts, colored leaves and most importantly the autumn themed foods!

Sep 9, 2018, 6:26pm Top

>42 DeltaQueen50: Oooh, you so creepy! Who's scaring who here? Yet an excellent make-up job.
Hi, Judy, you'll find plenty of all things Autumn in my spooky thread. Now tell the truth, are you wearing false eyelashes?

Sep 9, 2018, 11:06pm Top

>30 mstrust: "I have a rotting leg just sitting in the library waiting." Only you!! LOL

>42 DeltaQueen50: Payback is the best. ; )

Sep 10, 2018, 8:06am Top

>41 mstrust: Congratulations on reaching 75, Jennifer!

Edited: Sep 10, 2018, 8:25am Top

Congratulations on #75, Jennifer!

I'm liking the autumnal pictures, and the time-lapse of the giant pumpkin was a cool little video.

We don't have baked apples quite as often as we should, given how easy and tasty they are.

My Halloweenish discovery over the weekend is the #Bonebox from Skulls Unlimited: https://www.skullsunlimited.com/pages/bonebox

"The PERFECT gift for bone collectors!"

Sep 10, 2018, 9:27am Top


(pause for breath)


Edited: Sep 10, 2018, 11:11am Top

Here's a site with all kinds of unusual Halloween and Autumn merchandise. My sister found it, and told me to have a look, because if you don't care for the whole frilly "Victorian" look, they also have lots of stuff that looks like early 20th C. Americana. But how cool is that "enter if you dare" doormat?

Edited: Sep 10, 2018, 11:26am Top

>44 Berly: That's probably true, ha!

>45 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita, and here's a little something for being the first to notice:

>46 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry! I'm glad you like it here, maybe getting some ideas. I love baked apples, it's just being organized enough to get dessert together a few hours before you'll need it. Thanks for the link, I'll check it out in a few minutes.
Update: Good Lord, that Bonebox is quite literal!

>47 SomeGuyInVirginia: Did you pass out?

Sep 10, 2018, 2:23pm Top

I was able to force a little Autumn into yesterday. In the morning I made the dough for one of my seasonal staples, cheese crackers. The dough needs to chill to be rolled out and cut, so we went out and had lunch. We were seated next to a window, and right over Mike's shoulder was a big "Halloween City" banner, so of course, I dragged him in afterwards. They were still setting up, and it's definitely a cheaper cousin to Spirit, but I was happy to see things like an animated Regan from The Exorcist* whose nightgown is covered in green vomit.
That was followed by Trader Joe's, which didn't have the pumpkin products yet, other than the pumpkin body butter and loaves of pumpkin bread. The regular grocery store had a Halloween aisle though, and yes, we bought bags of candy that will never see Halloween. Also several cans of pumpkin puree.
Late in the afternoon, as Mike slept on the couch because he's sick, I made my crackers. Dang, I just keep making them better and better! This time I used 1/2 cup of cheddar and 1/2 cup of smoked Gouda, plus maybe a 1/4 tsp. of African cayenne, the stuff I had ground fresh in Seattle. That stuff is so potent that I have to be very careful. It turned out to be the best batch yet.

I usually use my coffin shaped cookie cutter for these, but I have new pumpkin and acorn cutters.

And I'm watching a 1999 version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow this morning that is pretty good. Low budget, I believe from Hallmark movies, but the low budget really works well for something that is meant to be in the woods from 200 years ago. Brent Carver as Ichabod, it's available on Amazon Prime.
*I was really surprised and bummed to hear that The Exorcist tv show was cancelled. It was well-written, full of good actors, and truly scary.

Sep 10, 2018, 2:36pm Top

Congrats on hitting 75!

Sep 10, 2018, 3:05pm Top

Thanks, Jim!

Sep 10, 2018, 5:29pm Top

Those crackers look amazing.

Sep 10, 2018, 7:04pm Top

Thanks, Kay. I had to pack some up and send them to work with Mike just so I wouldn't eat the whole batch myself. 'Cause I would.

Sep 10, 2018, 7:05pm Top

>43 mstrust: Now tell the truth, are you wearing false eyelashes?

Which eye?

By the way, I watched the most recent Fear the Walking Dead last night and it's getting so good. I loved how they are putting different members of the core group together. Strang and Dorie were a great twosome - complete opposites!

Sep 10, 2018, 9:14pm Top

>49 mstrust: Did you pass out?

I wish! Lordy, if I could make myself pass out I'd never have to leave home again.

Those crackers really do look amazing.

Sep 10, 2018, 10:28pm Top

>50 mstrust: Those crackers look delicious!!

Edited: Sep 11, 2018, 12:16am Top

>55 DeltaQueen50: I watched FTWD today, and I like the direction they're headed. I agree Dorie and Strang are a good combo, one so optimistic, the other has given up. And Morgan has bounced back too, by being given a mission. Same thing that pulled Abraham back from suicide on TWD.
Btw, did you catch the "kaleidoscope" trailer for TWD during FTWD?

>56 SomeGuyInVirginia: You'd certainly get a lot of rest. ;-)
I should put up the recipe for the crackers. I'll do that tomorrow.

>57 rabbitprincess: Thanks! Yes, I'll post the recipe so we can all share the deliciousness.

Edited: Sep 11, 2018, 12:36am Top

It's Spice Day! Autumn is when we break out the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and more to spice up cakes, cocktails and coffee. Here are just a few new things to try:
1. an apple and gin Autumn cocktail- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTIjdZPdMME
2. an easy Autumn Sangria- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsg0OayIWlk
3. pumpkin spice rice krispy treats!- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKHWfTHSAK0

Like your spice without the pumpkin? Well, you're wrong, but you're not alone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jv8agWUP7Kw

Edited: Sep 11, 2018, 10:54am Top

I'm glad I checked before typing the whole thing out- someone has put up the exact recipe, even with the same photo, that I've been using for maybe three years now. I tore the page out of the magazine, but I'd guess it was either Martha Stewart or Real Simple.

I've experimented with different cheeses and spices, so it really does adapt well to your own taste.

The Halloween Baking Championship on The Food Network starts Sept. 24th.

And here's your last chance to vote, because PBS' The Great American Read results start tonight: https://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/vote/#telescope-widget

Edited: Sep 11, 2018, 11:05am Top

76. One Bloody Thing After Another: The World's Gruesome History by Jacob F. Field. These accounts may be one paragraph or a few pages, but they are true tales of the worst of humanity: wars, earthquakes, famine, cruel rulers and torture. I knew about Elizabeth Bathory, but I was surprised to find that there were a couple of other female nutjobs who took it out on their subjects. There are few happy endings here, and reading a whole book about all the most horrible things in history one right after another turns out to be a bit disturbing. Who knew?
4 stars
S.S.- 2.5

Sep 12, 2018, 2:16am Top

>11 mstrust: Yes - and I set out to find the cause.
My search led me to the basement. The cellar became bigger and bigger and I got lost.
When I huddled together in a corner, completely exhausted and desperate, I had a vision:
An ugly mean gnome stood at my bowl and stuffed himself with candy.
Somehow he looked familiar to me - I took a closer look - IT WAS ME!
I don't know how I escaped horror anymore, but I just hope it doesn't grow into a worldwide epidemic.

>41 mstrust: Congratulations on reaching the magic 75, Jennifer!

Sep 12, 2018, 12:06pm Top

Thanks, Thomas!
That sounds horrible! I thought I'd made the cage strong enough I don't know what that thing was, but glad you lived to tell.

Edited: Sep 12, 2018, 12:46pm Top

Ha, now it's got you!

Here's a tour through the flagship Spirit Halloween store. You get to see just about each and every animatronic they're selling this year.

And here's the Halloween stuff at Pottery Barn: https://www.potterybarn.com/shop/holiday-decor/holiday-decor-halloween/holiday-a...

I'll be watching The Great American Read today, hope you were able to catch it. And dang it, Mike gave me bronchitis again.

Sep 12, 2018, 12:32pm Top

Oh, and I meant to mention that yesterday morning started with a bowl of homemade pumpkin spice refrigerator oatmeal, and ended with pumpkin whip for dessert that night.

Edited: Sep 12, 2018, 4:05pm Top

Ugh, bronchitis is the worst. Any decent doctor will give you antibiotics for that, there are so many concomitant infections. Have you been?

I have 11 gallons of water in my apartment.* Why? Because the news told me to buy some to prep for hurricane Florence. Admittedly I went a little coocoo when I finally found water for sale and bought as much as I could fit on my cart all the while shouting 'I am the greatest hunter and provider of all time!' to the waterless shlubs I passed coming in on my way out of Costco. I lugged everything upstairs and unloaded it between 7:30pm when WTOP assured me that everybody was going to drown and 8:30pm when they interrupted their regular broadcast to assured me that, thankfully, they were mistaken and DC would only get light showers. The sillies!

*I also have canned beans to last for 8 days, a yooge bag of chocolate chip cookies, 5 pounds of honey (I don't know why, either, except that it's 5 pounds worth,) a fifth of Bulleiit bourbon, a pile of canned tuna, and a bag of Hershey's nuggets because it fell into my cart when I ran it into the display. Not the first time, but eventually.

Sep 12, 2018, 4:53pm Top

I hope you feel better soon, Jennifer. I did see the trailer for TWD and man, it looks like they really spent some money making that. I have also seen a trailer that is encouraging the viewer to watch how it ends for Rick (boo hoo). That Spirit trailer was fun, I particularly like the fellow with the pitchfork through his head and I always find clowns and spiders scarey!

We may have to mount a rescue mission for >66 SomeGuyInVirginia: after he eats all that food and washes it down with the bourbon!

Sep 12, 2018, 5:37pm Top

>66 SomeGuyInVirginia: I used to go to the doctor for the first few years I got bronchitis, but I've been treating myself with Breathe Easy tea, Zicam and a Neti pot. I should have been smart enough to start the second Mike was showing symptoms because he always gives it to me. Last night I asked him, "Why do you always get me sick?" Ha!
I'm so glad you got all your supplies, and even more glad that you won't need them. Let's see...bourbon, tuna and a lot of canned beans...you'd be a delight to be locked up with ;-D

>67 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy. A bottle of Crabbie's ginger beer with a slice of lemon may have helped disinfect my insides.
I know, they're not even being coy about Rick's upcoming demise. Like "tune in and watch how we kill'im!"
I'm glad you enjoyed the Spirit tour, and it's cool to see how much more technically sophisticated their stuff gets every year.
I'm all for rescuing Larry, but he may be having a great time. At least he had enough forethought to realize he needed chocolate to survive.

Sep 12, 2018, 5:54pm Top

>64 mstrust: Ha! I would do that. But I would wait until everyone else was out of the house and I would not film it. I mean, how could you not just try with your tongue to see what happened?

>66 SomeGuyInVirginia: You can drop that water off at my house, since the forecast has suddenly shifted and now we're in the direct path. So happy to live at the top of an inconvenient hill. I have purchased cat food, since the cats will start in on us if they even suspect they might run out of kibble. And my husband came home last night with a bottle of blue curaçao. So we should be fine. Except that the 93 lb dog is terrified of storms. That'll be fun.

Sep 12, 2018, 6:00pm Top

Sorry to hear about the bronchitis, Jennifer! Get well soon (ditto for Mike)!

>64 mstrust: I don't mind feeding plants and animals, but I refuse to feed them me! :-)

Sep 13, 2018, 1:41am Top

>63 mstrust: Thank you - it was hard, but with the experience from countless read books I succeeded ;-)

Bronchitis is bad, I hope you and Mike get well soon.

Edited: Sep 13, 2018, 10:50am Top

>69 RidgewayGirl: I just imagine the plant thinking, "My biggest catch yet!"
I hope everything is okay with you and that Florence does a U-turn. Poor doggie!

>70 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry, I'll live but I'm so sick of bronchitis. How I long to get just a regular cold that consists of a little sneezing and done.
Well, we must draw the line somewhere! Notice that we don't see that man getting his tongue back.

>71 SirThomas: Thanks, Thomas! I'm doing my part for mankind by not going to my library shift today to spread it around.

The new season of American Horror Story started last night. I haven't watched yet, but I know that Kathy Bates has returned, and Joan Collins is new.
I pretty much spent yesterday on the couch, 'cause that's what sickies do, and watched several episodes of Netflix's version of The Great British Baking Show" and a Danish zombie movie called What We Become.

Edited: Sep 13, 2018, 10:25am Top

The wonderful seasonal site Autumn Cozy is back. Full of beautiful photos, gifs and videos, this is where to go when you want some Autumn warmth: http://autumncozy.tumblr.com/

Sep 13, 2018, 10:36am Top

77. The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight by R.L. Stine. Siblings Jodie and Mark arrive for their yearly visit at their grandparent's farm, but this year, the slow-witted farmhand Stanley is carrying around a strange book that he keeps mumbling over. The kids' grandparents are clearly doing whatever Stanley wants, like cooking his favorite foods rather than what their grandkids like, and it gets weirder when the kids notice that the farm has way more scarecrows than ever before. 3.5 stars
S.S.: 1.5

Sep 13, 2018, 2:27pm Top

Fall should be spectacular in Virginia, since we've gotten so much rain this summer. I can't wait to go look at the leaves in the Valley.

>69 RidgewayGirl: I wish I could send the water to you. Even downgraded, it's still a big megilla.

Sep 13, 2018, 4:12pm Top

I hope you'll take some pictures. Nothing is prettier than New England in the fall.
How's the storm?

Sep 13, 2018, 4:45pm Top

DC will totally dodge the storm. We'll have scattered thunderstorms through Sunday, which we would have had anyway, turning sunny on Monday and staying that way for most of the week.

Is there a baked beans/tuna recipe that you can recommend?

Edited: Sep 14, 2018, 12:15am Top

Cinderella's carriage made from real pumpkins.

A Painful Separation

"I don't want this," you plead,
"I still want to be with you."
Your mind races
wondering what you've done wrong
because this is so unexpected.
Have you been neglectful?
You were so involved,
and proved it
by hacking into your co-worker's e-mails.
Were you playing office politics?
That doesn't sound like you,
in fact,
you asked everyone to bring you their discarded hair
when they had a cut.
That isn't "disturbing", it's company loyalty.
And discovering where your supervisor lives
all on your own
displays resourcefulness that is "unheard of" in this company?
Well, it shouldn't be.
"Just tell me what you want", you beg.
They want you to get your things.
Security is on the way.

Little Poems About Horrible Things by Wednesday Atoms.

They have a brick and mortar store in NYC, but you can buy your Halloween supplies (and lots of other cool stuff) from the Oriental Trading Company: http://www.orientaltrading.com/

Edited: Sep 14, 2018, 10:07pm Top

I don't know why, but a blue pumpkin seems like an impossibly beautiful idea.

I had lunch with the director of the National Air and Space Museum today for work. She's not a lot older than I am. And now I have to go stick my head in an oven.

Sep 14, 2018, 11:08pm Top

Ooo, Ellen Stefan? I worked with her on a proposal to NASA a few years ago.

Sep 15, 2018, 10:42am Top

>79 SomeGuyInVirginia: They are pretty. The variety in that picture may be Jarrahdale, an Australian heirloom variety that's been in a lot of magazine photo shoots the last couple of years. To me, it looks like it would be the pumpkin of choice for French interior designers because it's so elegant rather than festive.

>80 drneutron: If it's the same person, now you two can gossip!

Edited: Sep 15, 2018, 10:51am Top

I really like "People of Earth", the TBS show about a therapy group of people who believe they were abducted by aliens when they were children. To the rest of the town, they're a group of crackpots, but it turns out that they were right. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN522MtFOA4
(But the surprise was when I went looking for clips from the show, the first things that came up were on people who really do believe in Reptilians and an alien invasion. Sort of nice to know they're out there.)

Edited: Sep 15, 2018, 11:43am Top

78. History's Worst: Jack the Ripper by Michael Burgan. Now this is an odd book. It's the true facts, all of them, of the case of serial killer Jack the Ripper, written for ages 8-12. You may ask yourself, as I did, why an eight year-old would need a book about these notorious murders. Why have a third grader asking their parent to explain words such as "alcoholism" and "prostitution"? This book could be a real eye-opener. There are very grisly accounts of the victims lives, before and after meeting The Ripper, and it includes a list of suspects. There are interesting sidebars about police work at the time, literary characters in horror, mental illness and such, all combined to make a very interesting book for adults. This was published in 2017 and the author includes some recent information that I'd never read before. But no kid's book for elementary ages should include the phrase "sexual element". I'm rating this for it's information as an adult reader and hoping it never reaches its intended audience.
3.5 stars
S.S.- 2

Now then, I do enjoy the Jack the Ripper case and have read several books on the subject, watched the documentaries too. Here's the place for Ripperoligists to read about or research the case. This is really an amazing site owned by Richard Jones, one of the first Ripper walking tour guides: https://www.jack-the-ripper.org/

Edited: Sep 16, 2018, 12:39pm Top

. .

I'm compiling my list of Autumn products for 2018. The stores around here have been a little slow in getting the stuff out. But, (heee!) today we'll be picking up a box of custom made doughnuts of pumpkin and apple cake doughnuts with maple icing. They'll go in the freezer until I can taste and smell again. I wasn't asked when I wanted them, the shop owners called Mike and said to come get them today, but I'm not complaining.

And I saw my first Halloween commercial this morning, for Kit Kat bars.

I wanted to get Pierre Faucher in this year, as he's probably the most famous maple producer in the world. His sugar shack, La Sucrerie de la Montagne, is located in Quebec and includes a dining hall where they serve huge meals of meats cooked with maple. This is just a few minutes of seeing the work they do here.

Sep 17, 2018, 9:33am Top

Why do they call them broccoli spears? Shouldn't they be broccoli clubs or broccoli darts? Is there a government agency or Reddit subfeed where I can get an answer? Had this been memed? If not, why not? When was the first instance of it being so, or not?

I cannot brain today.

Sep 17, 2018, 12:28pm Top

Oh dear, Larry. Have a little pumpkin spice Advil and rest ;-)

Sep 17, 2018, 12:36pm Top

Sep 17, 2018, 5:23pm Top

Noooo.... you're sick??? Poor you. Hope you are feeling better soon.

Yum on the homemade cheese crackers!

>84 mstrust: - No to spam, period, and I am horrified that someone thought pumpkin spice spam would be appealing. On the other hand, I would never say no to pumpkin and apple cake doughnuts with maple icing.

Sep 17, 2018, 6:39pm Top

Thanks, Lori, but I'm still dealing with it. Yesterday I lost my senses of scent and taste and they still haven't come back, so I took advantage and ate a kale salad and some habanero sauce.
Well, the good news is that pumpkin spice Spam doesn't actually exist, but the doughnuts do. What a wonderful world!

Edited: Sep 18, 2018, 10:11am Top

>80 drneutron: Doh! Sorry, yes Ellen Stofan. Tiny woman, blond hair, no BS about her. Wow, you WORKED with her?!?! I had lunch with her and got distracted by the shiny, shiny fork.

Do tell.

Edited: Sep 18, 2018, 12:11pm Top

>90 SomeGuyInVirginia: Yea, it's a match!

I'm just going to mention that I'm set, coffee wise, for the next several months. I purchased a 96 k-pod box of Victor Allen's four seasonal flavors: pumpkin spice, pecan pie, apple crumb and cinnamon bun. I feel secure.
And our temps are projected to drop to 98 tomorrow and hover around there for the next week, so Fall has arrived.

Here's a site devoted to Alvin Schwartz. You can read many of the short stories that were in his Scary Stories books and see the truly creepy illustrations by Stephen Gammell. And finally, I found the story I mentioned last year, the one I'd had in my memory since I was a kid about the bride who wouldn't remove her choker, it's listed as "Green Ribbon" and also "Red Ribbon". http://www.scaryforkids.com/stories-to-tell/

Sep 18, 2018, 12:10pm Top

79. More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Scwartz. Full of short, creepy stories and horrifying illustrations. My favorites were "One Sunday Morning", about a woman who arrives at church too early and meets an unfriendly congregation, "The Bed by the Window" about the importance of waiting your turn, and "The Brown Suit", which has a life hack ending. 4 stars

Sep 18, 2018, 1:41pm Top

>90 SomeGuyInVirginia: She was principal investigator on a proposal I worked on called TiME - Titan Mare Explorer. The idea was to fly a lander to Titan, one of Saturn's more interesting moons, and land it in a methane sea and float around a while making atmospheric and oceanic measurements. Unfortunately, the proposal didn't win the competition. She was pretty good to work with - as you say, no BS. 😀

Sep 18, 2018, 2:05pm Top

Just read an email from the subscription service Nocturnal Reader's Box to their subscribers. Very angry, saying that they are done. I had placed my subscription on hold around January or February due to the fact that I was receiving more horror books than I could keep up with, though I always loved getting my box and seeing all the unusual things they came up with like blood red bath bombs and book themed scented candles. But it seems they'd been having trouble getting the boxes out on time for a few months and there were accusations from subscribers... perhaps things will work out and they will continue.

Edited: Sep 18, 2018, 3:19pm Top

>93 drneutron: ... thought Titan was where the Marvel Eternals live?...

What proposal did win the competition? Yours sounds pretty good to me.

//Right, I remember her saying she was a planetary geologist. Hey! I got a minor in Geology!//

Sep 18, 2018, 6:56pm Top

>94 mstrust: Too bad about the box subscription service, and I hope the problems are indeed able to be worked out. But I can sympathize with your plight — I cannot keep up with the flood of reprints of classic mysteries from the British Library, the Collins Crime Club, and others.

>91 mstrust: I missed the mention of the story last year, but I thought I knew from the title you shared what the story would be ... and I was right! :-)

Sep 19, 2018, 7:10am Top

Has anyone heard from >69 RidgewayGirl:? I hope she's come through Florence ok.

Edited: Sep 19, 2018, 9:01am Top

>87 mstrust: Ooooh, handsome, sexy, as well as delectable! Ooo lala!

Congrats on 75!

Sorry you're suffering with bronchitis! No smell, no taste?!! Egads, and at this spicy time of year!!! IT IS NOT FAIR!!

Weather forecasts drive me crazy! Ohio was to be 100% precipitation on Monday so drove son back to college on Sunday. Wouldn't cha know we had a sprinkle on Monday. Why didn't they specify 100% chance of sprinkles?!

Sep 19, 2018, 9:29am Top

>97 SomeGuyInVirginia: I'm fine. I did all the things they said to do and spent the day before lugging pots and patio furniture into the screen porch, stocked up on water, eating all the food in the freezer in case the power went out and all that happened was two days of rain. Poor eastern NC, though. They really took the brunt of it all.

>94 mstrust: Yes, that Nocturnal Reader's Box blowup has turned into quite the kerfuffle.

Sep 19, 2018, 10:27am Top

>95 SomeGuyInVirginia: NASA opens up a competition, then selects two or three for further development. They then downselect to one project to actually build. TiME made it to the selection round, but NASA decided to fund a comet rendezvous mission instead. Biggest issue with our proposal was the level of risk associated with it. Bold idea, but needed more development and needed a better story on getting data back to Earth. So now we've morphed it into flying a drone on Titan!

Sep 19, 2018, 10:48am Top

>96 harrygbutler: I'm hoping they pull through too. I think it turned out to be too popular for just two people to handle, and then it sounds like they had trouble with a publisher when they were trying to make their own editions of the books. I couldn't keep up with all the books I was getting, so I expected to just put my subscription on hold until I caught up, but it seems like soon after I stopped, the sheets hit the fan.
I should has guessed that story would have been a Schwartz.

>97 SomeGuyInVirginia: I'd been on her thread and glad to see she's come through it. Hooray for survival!

>98 Carmenere: Hard to turn down, huh Lynda? Thanks, and I seem to be slowly getting over the bronchitis. I did notice that I lost my taste and smell for just the two days I took Tylenol Severe Cold and Flu pills. So didn't take them yesterday and suddenly I can taste. Mike had no problems with the same medication, but I tend to get all the weird side effects. I'm back to enjoying pumpkin spice coffee and apple spice doughnuts.
We're suppose to get a little rain and a big drop in temps today.

>99 RidgewayGirl: You were prepared for it, so the storm decided you wouldn't be much fun. Yes, poor NC!
I'm not on FB, so I just get the reports they send me themselves, but even that sounds like it's a battle.

Sep 19, 2018, 10:56am Top

Edited: Sep 19, 2018, 11:10am Top

>102 weird_O: Now fly that up to someone's second story window and permanently scar the children.

I feel a little better than I did yesterday, which is a good thing because Mike wants to go look at a house this morning. We're meeting the realtor there who sold us this house 15 years ago. After, Target to check out their Halloween stuff.

Here's a site I keep up with as it's up year round. It's the friendlier side of a Halloween obsession and has lots of fun things to see and make.

Edited: Sep 19, 2018, 3:12pm Top

80. Finders Keepers by Stephen King. The story of two young men who grew up in the same house, divided by more than 30 years. In 1978, Morris is in his early twenties and obsessed with the works of John Rothstein, the author of a trilogy that is iconic in American literature. Morris is a dangerous young man, and upon hearing that Rothstein has continued writing, while not publishing, Morris gathers a couple of friends and breaks into Rothstein secluded home, killing the author and stealing money and notebooks of writing. Morris quickly hides everything, and is soon doing life in prison.
Peter is thirteen years old in 2009 when he finds Morris' hiding spot. With his father out of work and big medical bills, Peter's family is falling apart due to the strain, but the cash Peter finds makes an enormous difference. Years later, when all the money is gone, Peter decides it's time to see if he can sell Rothstein's notebooks. His attempt to find a buyer coincides with Morris' release from prison.

When I picked this up, I had no idea it was part of a trilogy, and I also expected a spooky King. This is not a Halloween scary book in the style of Carrie or Pet Semetary, so that was a little disappointing. Look at the cover, it's creepy, looking like a coffin stuck in a dead tree (it's actually a steamer trunk). It's still a good story with some disturbing action, so I enjoyed both the story and the writing. 4.2 stars

Sep 19, 2018, 3:32pm Top

>13 mstrust: Years ago when a student got married, she had a small wedding held at a Vermont bed and breakfast. The leaves were at their height. The pre wedding reception on Friday night was held on the lawn of the inn. With a backdrop of a full moon, shining brightly, it was spectacular!

We stayed after the wedding to do some sight seeing We found the Vermont Country Inn. I could have browsed in there for days. Most special was the shelves of old fashioned candy.

Sep 19, 2018, 4:01pm Top

I spent a couple of days in Vermont around mid-September once, so not at the height of the foliage, but still very pretty. I didn't know about the Vermont Country Store then, but we did go to the maple museum. Here's a coincidence: a woman I grew up, my older sister's lifelong friend, has a daughter who has worked for the store for several years, I believe in their office, and she sometimes models for their catalog.

Sep 19, 2018, 4:18pm Top

Yes, the Bill Hodges trilogy starts as classic detective novel and slowly morphs into his more usual horror. Not being a huge horror fan, but liking both crime fiction and Stephen King's writing style, I thought the trilogy was wonderful.

Sep 19, 2018, 11:47pm Top

It did seem like the ending of Finders Keepers would pick up Brady's story and become more eerie than this one. I enjoyed his writing a lot. You might want to drop in here on Friday, King's birthday.

Edited: Sep 19, 2018, 11:57pm Top

Here's AMC's Halloween Fear Fest schedule, in case you were worried about missing every in the "Halloween" franchise.

And here's TCM's Bloody Disgusting Halloween Line-up. They've got some good ones: https://bloody-disgusting.com/tv/3521003/heres-turner-classic-movies-halloween-p...

This is Freeform's 31 Nights of Halloween schedule: https://freeform.go.com/31-nights-of-halloween/news/the-official-31-nights-of-ha...

Sep 20, 2018, 12:06am Top

I'm doing the Halloween card exchange again this year!
Like last year, if you'd like to send and receive a seasonal card with me, PM me with your mailing address. Last year was fun and I had a good number of participants, but please, be realistic about your "follow through" abilities ;-). And sorry to leave anyone out, but I need to keep this to American LTers due to postage.
If you want to take me up on it, have your message to me by Saturday the 29th. Cards will go out in the first days of October.

Sep 21, 2018, 12:24am Top

I'm a bit late to the party but congratulations on reaching 75. Those baked apples look amazing.
>83 mstrust: Ooh, I should have known you are a Ripperologist too. Thanks for the link.

Hope you feel better soon.

Sep 21, 2018, 12:24pm Top

Thankyouthankyou! I hope you have fun with the Ripper site, there's so much to dig through there.

Edited: Sep 21, 2018, 12:39pm Top

Guess who's having a birthday? Stephen King! He's turning 71 today, and he's been one of the most famous living authors for over 40 years now. No dips in readership, just steadily popular and terrifying for decades, and that's remarkable.
Here's an interesting article that ranks King's books: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/every-single-stephen-king-book-ranked/
A couple of fans went to Bangor, Maine to see King's house, and it is so appropriate for a horror icon. Don't use this for stalker purposes no matter how disappointed you were in one of his endings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=229V_XD4I7s

Happy Birthday! Here's your clown!

Sep 21, 2018, 4:31pm Top

Happy Birf-Dee Stephen!

Edited: Sep 23, 2018, 1:43am Top

Just catching up on all things Halloween and Pumpkin Spice...

Thanks for the Stephen King list and house links!

Sep 23, 2018, 9:53am Top

>114 SomeGuyInVirginia: I'll bet he still knows how to celebrate. Little cake, little chasing the family...

>115 Berly: You're welcome! I read somewhere that the King family puts ads in the local paper around Halloween saying that they won't be home for the holiday, to keep people from bothering them. They have a house in Florida, and no doubt that's where he looks around and gets so many scary characters for the books. ;-)

Edited: Sep 23, 2018, 10:58am Top

It's finally here! And now I'm just a normal person celebrating the season!

Food Network Halloween
Here are a couple of shows to look out for:
Halloween Baking Championship- Sept. 24th
Road to Halloween Wars, Halloween Wars and Halloween Wars: Even More Monstrous Scares- Sept. 30th
Haunted Gingerbread Showdown- Oct. 7th. Elvira guesting.
Halloween Cake-Off- Oct. 8th
Trisha's Halloween Spooktacular- Oct. 15th

Also, he he, now things will take a more Halloweenie turn around here. That's what we were all waiting for, isn't it? So let's start things off with a scary story, "Sunbleached" by Nathan Ballingrud. It's about a 15 minute read, and well worth it: http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/sunbleached/

Edited: Sep 23, 2018, 10:27am Top

81. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? by Henry Farrell. Two sisters, both famous at one time, trapped together in a Hollywood mansion. Blanche was a big movie star in the 30's, but after a car accident left her in a wheelchair, her life has been spent in a second story bedroom being cared for by her awful older sister. Jane was a famous child performer in vaudeville, but her fame disappeared, she lived in her sister's shadow for years, and now she's been forgotten. Jane is the resentful caregiver, but when she learns that Blanche is selling the house, her mental illness flares and Jane becomes even more horrible.
This edition also has three addition stories, including "What Ever Happened to Cousin Charlotte?", which was the basis for the movie Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte. I had no idea that the same author wrote both Baby Jane and Charlotte, though I should have as they're sort of linked in my mind with the time period and Bette Davis and crazy spinsters.
"Baby Jane" is so tense, even if you've seen the movie and know how it ends. Jane is a nightmare, and this is a really well-written scary story, highly recommended. 5 stars-
scare scale: 3

Sep 23, 2018, 3:10pm Top

Oooo, I’ve never read that one! Needs to go on this year’s scary list!

Sep 23, 2018, 4:07pm Top

Grocery shopping today and immediately thought of you when I saw these in the cookie aisle:

I love their lemon creme cookies (and the maple ones). Resisted purchasing the new cookies because I really don't need the temptation in the house! ;-)

Sep 23, 2018, 5:13pm Top

>119 drneutron: It's nice and frightening, so I hope you like it as much as I did!

>120 lkernagh: Thank you, it's such a compliment to be associated with pumpkin spice cookies. I happen to have a batch of black pepper and chocolate cookies in the oven right now.
I've had the Dare brand of maple cookies and liked them, they're just so dang thick!

Sep 24, 2018, 9:20am Top

Pumpkin spice and everything nice. Normal is the second best thing to be. Well, up there in the top 5, anyway.

Cooling my heels at home waiting for a new a/c unit. I couldn't sleep so I got up at 3:45am to do laundry. My life is jam packed and fun filled!

Sep 24, 2018, 9:29am Top

>81 mstrust: Happy autumn, Jennifer! We've gotten some seasonal weather here.

I watched the third and final season of Ash vs. Evil Dead, since the library system had gotten it on DVD, and I found it a good conclusion to the series.

Sep 24, 2018, 9:48am Top

Just dropping in to wish you a great start to the week. Also, to indulge in all the pumpkin spice.

Sep 24, 2018, 11:33am Top

>122 SomeGuyInVirginia: That's a rough day you're having! I hope your new a/c works great and you can crank it down and watch a scary movie in comfort. Or just have a really nice nap. :-D

>123 harrygbutler: Happy Autumn, Harry! I wish I could say the same for our weather, but's nice to know that Autumn is happening somewhere.
We're still on the second season, I think around ep. 8. I haven't checked to see if Netflix has the third season available, and I'm sorry it didn't go on longer. What a fun show! I've gotten hooked on AMC's Lodge 49, and I was surprised to see Bruce Campbell show up there last week.

>124 figsfromthistle: Thank you, and happy Autumn to you. There's plenty of pumpkin spice around here, I always buy more for sharing.

Edited: Sep 24, 2018, 11:41am Top

Sing it, Sister!

Here's an article on the unusual art of mourning jewelry: https://io9.gizmodo.com/love-after-death-the-beautiful-macabre-world-of-mourn-14...

Sep 24, 2018, 11:40am Top

>118 mstrust: Another one to add to the scary list. Thanks!

>126 mstrust: LOL

Sep 24, 2018, 11:44am Top

I'm very happy to champion What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. Farrell is one of those authors who writes something very famous yet somehow goes unrecognized, and that always seems unfair to me.
>126 mstrust: Isn't she enthusiastic?

Sep 24, 2018, 4:38pm Top

The day's not even close to over and I've squeezed in some Halloweenie stuff. I got a whole stack of Halloween cards today (last day to join in the exchange is Saturday), I've got Halloween magazines to go through, and I came across the most unusual pumpkin product yet, Four Peaks Pumpkin Porter Bratwurst. I had to get it.
And I'm watching scary movies. Or at least, Halloween stuff. What We Become, the second season of American Horror Story, called "Asylum", Supernatural, and I'm juggling both The Monster Squad and Jeepers Creepers as I've never seen either before.

Edited: Sep 25, 2018, 11:48am Top

The many faces of Frankenstein

If you haven't seen Night of the Living Deb, you're in for a treat. Funny, zombies, and the great Ray Wise too:

Edited: Sep 25, 2018, 12:52pm Top

Seasonal Stuff To Try

Here's Part One of the foods and other seasonal stuff I've tried so far:

Trader Joe's Bourbon Aged Maple Syrup- yes, you really can taste a bit of the bourbon in this, and it phenomenal. I've nearly finished the bottle.

Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale- plenty of spice, which makes the clean finish a surprise. This has a very cool label featuring The Headless Horseman.

Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin Ale- cinnamon and habenero peppers make just a tingle of heat on the back of the tongue, at first. The heat builds. I like it, but it seemed like it would make a good summer bbq beer.

Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Wheat- rich wheat flavor with a little pumpkin, a little spice. It won't blow your socks off but it's good and probably the easiest pumpkin beer to find nationwide.

Martha Stewart Magazine, October Issue- sigh, well, what can I say? The corporation that owns this magazine continues to put out October issues that are nary a shadow of what they were when Stewart was in charge. This one looks very much like any other issue inside except for an article about Amish pumpkin auctions (I had no idea the Amish were the likely source for all our supermarket pumpkins).

Family Circle October Issue- big Halloween party food article and the back page is a plug for Dracul by Dacre Stoker.

Hot Tamales Candy in Cinnamon+Apple- I like regular cinnamon Hot Tamales so I snapped up this seasonal twist. The apple flavor tastes exactly like a Jolly Rancher apple candy, while the cinnamon here tasted toned down, not as hot as usual. Not great. I ate a couple to verify that I didn't like them, then tossed it.

Ashland Sugared Cinnamon candle- a rich spiced berry scent. I got the Ashland candles at Michael's. These are big glass containers that rival Yankee Candle.

Ashland Pumpkin Gingersnap candle- lightly spiced, this is a gentle Autumn aroma, nice for smaller rooms.

Trader Joe's Vanilla Pumpkin candle- picture me with Homer Simpson's tongue lolling out. This smells absolutely delicious.

International Delight Pumpkin Spice Creamer- yep, it really does add a little spicy vanilla flavor.

Lakefront Pumpkin Lager- I'm really testing all these beers for you! This one has a good amount of spice, yet a mellow-ish hop flavor.

That's Part One. Part Two in a few weeks.

Sep 26, 2018, 12:04pm Top

82. The Ghost Next Door by R.L. Stine. 29th in the Goosebumps series. Hanna is having a boring summer as her friends have gone to camp and she's left behind. The most exciting thing is that a boy her own age has suddenly moved into a house on the street that's been empty for years. Hanna quickly makes friends with Danny and almost as quickly becomes convinced that he's a ghost.
The ending is an unusual one for Stine.
3.5 stars
S.S.- 1.5

Sep 26, 2018, 2:50pm Top

I listened to an audio version of a Stine story this weekend and it was pretty good, my first intro to him.

Are you really thinking of moving? I bet that's exciting!

Sep 26, 2018, 4:29pm Top

I'm glad you liked your first Stine, which one was it? I believe I read somewhere that there are 150 books in the Goosebumps series, or maybe that was Goosebumps and his other series combined.
We've been looking at houses just for the last two weeks, but yes, it's time to move. I'm looking forward to having a little more space between us and the neighbors. I've been complaining for the last couple of years that I can't open our front door without someone being there to watch me walk out. Our street is just too busy and noisy.
Now, want to read my most recent rant? Since you know something about my writing, and this is a good one. I spent August researching and writing an article about Dorothy B. Hughes for Black Mask Magazine. They do detective, noir and crime, so I queried first and got a very quick yes, they'd like to read it. After a month, (Hughes is difficult to research as there's not a single bio on her and she wasn't interviewed very often) I ended up with an article just under 4000 words that was accepted right away. I was very excited. Black Mask began nearly 100 years ago, and in decades past, published some great pulp writers. Well, they are under new ownership and I found it impossible to find out who I was corresponding with and the circulation numbers. I received messages with just the magazine title as the signature, even though the correspondence was very friendly.
I received their contributor's contract, which made my jaw drop. For a $25 payment (which is a slap in the face all its own) and one copy of the magazine, the owner/manager wants:
"The perpetual, irrevocable, exclusive, royalty-free and fully transferable and sub-licensable right, for the full term of copyright protection available (including renewal terms), to use, reproduce, transmit...publicly perform...license, sub-license, copy... translate, create derivative works based upon, make available, and otherwise exploit, in whole or in part, in all languages, anywhere in the world, by all means, methods, processes, and media formats and channels now known or hereafter devised, in any number of copies and without limit as to time, manner, frequency of use, without further notice to you, with or without attribution, and without the requirement of permission from or payment to you or any other person or entity."
Lower down it states: "Publisher shall also have the right to grant sublicenses of the Collection to third-party distributors." He wants to try and flog it to anyone who will pay him, but the author will never see a penny and may have their name removed from their work.
But that's not all! Further down is:
"Confidentiality: The parties agree to treat as confidential and not to disclose the terms of this Agreement and/or information regarding any dispute arising out out of this Agreement to any third party without the express written consent of the other party, except pursuant to a valid court order." In other words, a gag order because he doesn't want writers to tell other writers about how he's shafted them. I suppose he must come across people so desperate to be published that they actually sign this, but I'm not one of them. I emailed him that I'd read his contract, so I was withdrawing my article and refusing permission for him to publish it. But I feel good about letting people know stuff that he clearly doesn't want to get out.

Sep 26, 2018, 5:06pm Top

>134 mstrust: I can barely believe they offered you only 25 for that article, Jennifer! And those conditions are outrageous...

Edited: Sep 26, 2018, 8:17pm Top

>135 FAMeulstee: I could hardly believe it myself. But there are other avenues, so that publisher can just wait around for some other sucker. ;-)

Here's an article about the Fox Sisters of New York. They were responsible for the rise in popularity of spiritualism in America, as in "Are there any spirits here? Let your presence be known..." Without the Fox Sisters, that talking head in the crystal ball at the Haunted Mansion would have never been.

Sep 26, 2018, 10:19pm Top

>134 mstrust: - I was going to congratulate you on the acceptance of your article, but those terms (and the payment!) are insane! Sadly, the publishers flog this "scoop all" licensing rights language way too often, IMO. Good for you for deciding to say "No" and see if another publisher will offer a better deal.

Sep 27, 2018, 2:07am Top

Well, since thy accepted your article so quickly, hopefully you can find a new publishing venue, one that will pay a decent amount.

I bought Boggle wine today, rather spooky.

Got my card to send to you!

Thinking about my costume....

Sep 27, 2018, 3:29am Top

>126 mstrust: Childhood memories :-)
Sweet Thursday, Jennifer.

Sep 27, 2018, 8:33am Top

>134 mstrust: Wow! Less than a penny per word. I suspect that's less than Black Mask ever paid during the pulp era. Though I know magazine rates haven't exactly climbed in keeping with inflation, it seems very low, even if it has become a semi-pro or amateur magazine — and in such a case I guess I would expect the author to retain all rights except the initial publication and reprints of said publication in other formats. I'm not sure of the twists and turns and relationships, but the relaunch of Black Mask was announced a couple years ago by Altus Press, which has been a pretty good source of reprints of pulp stories; I don't know whether the publisher of those books is also serving in fact as editor and publisher of the magazine. (I also suspect the magazine isn't proving particularly successful; the other two relaunched at the same time appear to have ended after just an issue or two.)

Good luck finding a better venue for the article!

Edited: Sep 27, 2018, 11:16am Top

>137 lkernagh: That was the first time I've ever come across a publisher who expected to actually own my work. I've done First Publication Rights, which then revert back to the author after that initial publication, so as I read this contract I kept saying to Mike, "Listen to this!" It was so skeevy. Mike was a drummer in L.A. and remarked that it was like the nightclub owners who made the bands pay to play in the club, recording every show in case the band became big and the club owner owned the rights to release the tapes.

>138 Berly: Definitely. And I'm actually leaning towards self-publishing at the moment. My article is about the closest thing to a biography, so there are bound to be interested readers who want to know more about her.
That's a spooky label alright! We were at Total Wine and saw The Walking Dead wine, for about $16, I think. Cool label and I would have taken it because I normally drink red wine, but I'm very much in a pumpkin beer phase at the moment. The season is short.
I've got my card for you too. From your comment, I picture you putting on a Halloween costume to go put my card in the mailbox. Don't correct me, just let me have this.

>139 Ameise1: Disney excels at creating childhood memories. Have a good day yourself. :-)

>140 harrygbutler: Ain't that a kick in the teeth? You're right, I'm guessing they had to pay better during the Depression era than now. Yes, I was expecting First Publishing Rights, which is standard, then another contract if they decide to include it somewhere else. The magazine sells for $14 an issue and puts out anthologies for double that, so I did expect a bigger offer than $25 lousy dollars, but I couldn't find a bit of information about their pay scale, just that they do pay. *sarcastic laugh*

Edited: Sep 27, 2018, 5:36pm Top

Now here's a bit of nostalgia, "The Tale of the Gruesome Gourmets". Are you afraid of the dark? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fACr3CGTfw

Sep 28, 2018, 9:57am Top

I guess I missed a whole thread! Shoot!

Sep 28, 2018, 11:12am Top

You've found me just in time for the scary half. Bring a flashlight!

Edited: Sep 28, 2018, 3:00pm Top

Who's at the door?

Last night I made a very Fall-ish dinner in the crockpot of pumpkin porter brats, sliced up with diced sweet potato, onion, apple and cranberries. Seasoned with sage, thyme, fennel seeds, salt, pepper, grapeseed oil and a little bone broth. Cooked on high for two and a half hours, it was fantastic.
Sunday I'll make both my spiced chocolate and pumpkin pie cookie doughs and leave them in the fridge to chill until Monday, when I'll bake them and also the spiced applesauce cake. The fair entries are to be delivered Tuesday morning.

Santa Clarita Diet. In a show full of hilarious scenes, this one still stands out:

Sep 29, 2018, 12:59pm Top

Sounds yummy! You made the mistake of giving me your address so now I'll be popping over for dinner unexpectedly.

Sep 29, 2018, 1:32pm Top

>134 mstrust: Yeah, it's normal for small literary journals to pay solely in copies of the magazine, but they don't keep the rights to the work they publish or insist on a NDA.

Did you go see Sarah Weinman at her signing for The Real Lolita? I'm incensed that I live too far away to see her. Still, a friend went and ended up with a giant list of noir and true crime titles she needs to read right away.

Sep 29, 2018, 5:01pm Top

In a 3rd year college creative writing class, Professor Bell (one of my all-time favs) asked us why writers write? We said 'because we have to', 'we love it and would literally die if we could not', and to 'find the truth of human existence' and other sanctimonious shit. She shook her head throughout. Finally, she cut in and said 'writers write for money'. I felt like a bell than had been lifted and struck, to coin a phrase.

I bought your Halloween card today! I wonder if the USPS has Halloween stamps? They should. Although I think the Bible mentions one of the signs of the apocalypse is the Post Office issuing a serial killers series.

Ermahgerd! They DO have Halloween stamps!

Sep 29, 2018, 7:08pm Top

>146 PaperbackPirate: And you'd be welcome, especially as Mike hates pumpkin, sweet potatoes, cranberries and sage anything, so I have to eat it all myself.
Oh, and your card went out today so you should get it soon!

>147 RidgewayGirl: Right, the literary journals give writers the honor and prestige of being published, so that's why I was contacting a magazine that pays. I've had fiction published for no pay, but I have a stack of non-fiction credits so I don't need to publish in that area for free, and that little bitty pay isn't tempting either. I'm greedy. But things will work out.
I haven't seen Weinman or read her book, but I was reading an article recently about the case, and of course, I can't remember where now. Shocking, isn't it?

>148 SomeGuyInVirginia: And she was a wise teacher! Why shouldn't people be paid for their work?
There's an artist, a British guy who does really great, realistic portraits and posts some of his work on Instagram or Twitter. He also posts the messages he gets from strangers asking him to do their portraits for free. Seriously, all these people sending him their selfies and saying "Will you do my portrait, only I don't have any money, and how fast can you get it done?" His responses are pretty entertaining.
I sent your card out today! I know, I'm a little early but this was my first group of cards to send out. I had more people participate this year, which is great. Yes, jack o' lantern stamps, right? I meant to ask for them yesterday but forgot, so you just have a boring ol' bunch of flowers on your card.

Sep 29, 2018, 7:29pm Top

Sep 30, 2018, 11:34am Top

You'd love Sarah Weinman! She's all about classic noir and true crime. She put together an anthology called Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives that was fantastic from start to finish.

Sep 30, 2018, 2:40pm Top

>134 mstrust: Glad you outed Black Mask magazine and what amounts to daylight robbery! Tell everyone you know.

Sep 30, 2018, 3:01pm Top

>151 RidgewayGirl: I know of Weinman, and in fact I quoted her in my Hughes article, as she's also a fan of Hughes. I still haven't gotten Troubled Daughters though, even though it's been on my WL for about a year. I'm glad to see you're a fan of it, it's practically guaranteed I'll love it.

>152 VivienneR: Ha, I was happy to do it! I know there are plenty of writers on LT, and I emailed about it to another writer friend to let him know. I just wonder if this info wasn't out there because there are people actually signing that contract. It would have saved me a couple of weeks if I'd known.

I've been out getting pumpkin products this morning, and we also took Coral to the park this morning since it's cooled down a little. First time in five months and she was reading the grass like a book.

Okay, so I'm over 150 posts and I think I'm going to make my Halloween a two-parter just to make it manageable, because we've got another full month to go.

Sep 30, 2018, 3:35pm Top

The new, creepier thread is open. Come see if I can scare you!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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