friday feast: trick-or-treat by debbie leppanen and tad carpenter



So nice of you to wear your monster mask for today’s post. Like me, you’re probably already feeling that Fall chill in the air, especially at night. The leaves will start turning in the blink of your good eye, the winds will howl, and come October, you’ll have an actual excuse to wear your green scaly costume in public. 🙂

While you’re gnawing on that leg bone in anticipation, thought I’d share three poems from Trick-or-Treat: A Happy Haunter’s Halloween by Debbie Leppanen and Tad Carpenter (Beach Lane, 2013).

This mixed bag of 15 rhymes is perfect for munchkins and short grown-ups who like their scariness served up with a good side of humor. A group of trick-or-treaters and iconic Halloween regulars (skeletons, mummies, ghouls, witches, black cats, monsters) are all out on the prowl for a spooktacularly good time. We follow them to a dark alley, a graveyard, a Halloween party, and into the homes of mummies and vampires. One of my favorite poems, “Mummy Dearest,” mentions eerie edibles:

She fixes my breakfast: worms on toast.
I like the juicy ones the most.

She tears my clothes all to shreds.
(On the bus, it sure turns heads.)

She packs me spider eggs for lunch.
Mmm . . . the way they snap and crunch!

*picks spider legs from teeth*

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we have 4 spooktacular winners!


Goth Greetings to all ye goodly ghosts and goblins!

Where did October go? How time flies when you’re having fun! We thoroughly enjoyed hosting all our special guests and thank everyone for reading and commenting on the interviews.

Today, we’re pleased to announce the winners of the giveaways for these three books:

  • Apple by Nikki McClure
  • The Goodbye Cancer Garden by Janna Matthies and Kristi Valiant
  • The Power of Poppy Pendle by Natasha Lowe.

Naturally, we wouldn’t dream of asking anyone other than the ever reliable, extremely flirtatious intelligent numerical genius Monsieur Random Integer Generator to help us pick the winners.

As you can well imagine, Monsieur Generator’s services are in constant demand. Such a busy, busy boy. We had to utilize state-of-the-art vampire bat echolocation to determine his exact whereabouts. We tracked him from the balmy Promenade des Anglais in Nice to the hills of San Miniato in Tuscany, where he was sniffing out white truffles before proceeding to London’s West End, where he will star in a new production of “The Count of Monte Crisco,” part of a new campaign to imprison those who promote trans fats in the human diet.

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a little spook show

Thought you might like to see some of the decorations from this amazing Halloween party we attended in our neighborhood. The hosts are diehard Halloween junkies who transformed their house and yard into all that is weird, scary, and macabre.  Rattles, screams, creaks, billows of smoke, chain clanking and a lot of mmmmwwaahahahahahahaha’s!

Inside, an incredible spread complete with meatballs, fried shrimp, little pizzas, chili casserole and a cool treats table where you could scoop up candied popcorn, lollies, candy corn, gummy worms, and chocolate eyeballs. Popeye and Olive Oyl, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, a Jaw Breaker Machine, beautiful princesses and adorable Owlettes wearing striped neckties were in attendance. Enjoy!

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Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

carlyle house cauldron tea and tour

Happy Almost Halloween! 

‘Tis the season to practice your cackles, dust up your brooms, and sip strange brews.

Is he hiding a biscuit in his vest?

This past Sunday, Len and I headed out to the historic Carlyle House in Old Town Alexandria to attend a Cauldron Tea. I’m always happy to steep myself in the fun of a seasonal tea and this one came with the chance to tour the beautifully restored 18th century Palladian-style home of one of Alexandria’s founders, John Carlyle, a wealthy merchant who apparently knew how to invest his shillings and have a really good time.

We arrived a little early, so we strolled around the lovely 3/4 acre garden, which showcases plant materials available to Carlyle during the time of his residency. We were greeted by the chitter chatter of hundreds of birds, no doubt exchanging Sunday pleasantries and engaging in mini-debates (we are a swing state after all). I’d been to Old Town countless times, but never knew this sweet little haven was here. Perfect spot for a tête-à-tête!

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it’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

*Guest post by Cornelius

It happens every year. Right around Halloween, the Green Hand gets restless. Goes off in search of adventure. Some folks are afraid of him. But not me!

Come along if you dare!

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