Friday, October 16, 2015

Shake them bones!

In this post I will share a little bit of Pagan history and hopefully amuse you with a bunch of funny photos in our row-home. Our Halloween theme this year is skeletons. But first congratulations go to Penny White of Angelsdoor you have won my French giveaway from my last post. Please email me your address and the movie, music and cookies will be sent to you wrapped in my signature gift wrap for you to enjoy.

My disclaimer right up front is that even with all my seriousness in explaining celebrations this will hopefully turn into a fun Halloween post. I will share October 31st my poem I wrote for this post followed by a 1929 Disney short film that’s one of my Halloween favorites.

A felt handmade skeleton face pillow and Dammit Doll (a gag gift from my Grand Gabrielle).

Halloween is believed to be when the veil between the Worlds is at its thinnest between Earth and the other side. Ask people what is All Hallows’ eve and many will just say Halloween is when kids go out knock on doors and shout trick or treat for candy. There are 3 days of celebrations that occur between October 31 to November 2. Halloween is referred to as All Hallows’ Eve meaning hallowed evening. 

November 1 is a festival in Christian churches with prayers dedicated to remembering the dead, which includes Saints (Hallows). November 2 is All Souls’ Day. A festival in Christian churches with prayers for the Souls’ of the decreased. Both All Saints day and All Souls’ Day have Pagan roots. Where people attend services and light candles on the graves of the dead.

Photo credit Randal Sheppard

In Mexican tradition the celebration of the Day of the Dead begins on the evening of October 31 and ends on November 2nd. A celebration born over 3000 years ago with pagan Aztec roots. Day of the Dead is known as Dia de los Muertos. Prayer and remembrance of friends and family members who have died and it runs parallel with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. See it’s just not about gathering candy during trick or treat. Although I simply adore a fresh “Almond Joy” on Halloween.  

I love the exuberance in the festivities during the celebration of Dia de los Muertos and do hope to one day participate in its celebrations in Mexico. I guess it too has been added to my “bucket list”.

(Kah Tequila hand painted Day of the Dead skull bottles in Blanco and Ańejo on our dining room bar cart)

Were you aware that in Mexico Marigolds are sometimes referred to as “flowers of the dead”. Personally Marigolds are not favored by me, although Mom always told me they help keep bugs away, especially fly's and ants. In Portugal and Spain ofrenda’s (offerings) are made in honor of the deceased. But ofrenda’s and celebrations are also held in Peru, Guatemala, Bolivia, El Salvador and Brazil.

I do find comfort in all the prayers and remembrances worldwide because my son Chris passed on November 2, 2013 and I truly believe there is much healing power in prayer. 

This couple snuggles on my French sofa upstairs in our sitting room and I swear I hear much laughter out of the two. Sure maybe it’s my overactive imagination but I do believe in - a love so strong, forever together is where they belong. 

Not my jokes - I googled them

On the way upstairs I often in my imagination see this. The guy telling jokes and she’s laughing in absolute delight.

(Mark Parisi - October 2015)
I enjoyed this and thought I’d share.

Marcel the French Bulldog jumped up on our bed ready to take a little snooze. Imagine his surprise when Bones tried introducing himself.

Sniffing each other and quickly becoming friends. We purchased Bones 8 years ago at Target. He’s a battery operated motion activated skeleton dog who says a few rude things. Every year on Halloween night we sit out on our stoop giving out candy to over 200 kids. Most kids get a kick out of Bones and will wave their hands to hear all he has to say. But then there are those few who are afraid of him and we have to walk down the steps to hand them their candy.

Well I’ll admit in the dark with glowing eyes saying things like “Hey what did you wake me up for? I was having the best nightmare - all the cats in the world were turned into Zombies and were eating their own litter”! Bones can frighten.

Max -->^..^< joined in (he was curious about what I was doing upstairs).

Friends it seems, guarding the street.

Skeleton rats on top of my Edgar Allan Poe book in our living room.

While I was setting up the 3 rats to photograph them for this post Simon >^_^< checked him out.

On steps 9 and 10. A share - when my brother Kevin saw the numbers I painted on the basement steps his comment was ... “Don’t you think they are a bit Adrian Monkish, Vera?” What can I say Kevin is a psychologist and one of his favorite old shows was “Monk” who had OCD.

An attack ensured, I guess you can never trust a dirty rat. Below is my poem October 31st I wrote for this post, followed by sources and then a short Disney film from 1929. Enjoy your Halloween celebration, it falls on a Saturday this year. See you soon.

If a spine chilling response is what you feel when things go bump in the night,
I've oftentimes found it turns into an unexpected exhilarating evening delight...

Not trying to cause you anxiety or any heightened deep rooted fear,
I'm just saying All Hallows' eve for me is an enjoyed night of the year.

Halloween is once again upon us with all its ghostly, ghoulish skeletons that on this evening inhabit the earth.
I believe in participating in trick or treat and then observing All Souls' Day and Old Saints day and celebrate for all it's worth.

If the veil is lifted and the past spirits walk amongst us in present time on Halloween eve -
Perhaps the veil is just a filter for insightful perception while we can see what others aren't willing to perceive.

Shrouded in eerie costumes to obscure the otherworldly haunting that permeates the moonlight mist,
Participating in the evenings activities a ghostly encounter could be ignored or quickly dismissed.

I grew up with hearing gruesome urban legends that sent tingles up and down my spine.
Now I believe in my heart and mind a love never dies and I'm always looking for a message or sign.

On November 1st I will celebrate as they do in Mexico the day of the dead, for its an important start ...
To share stories and participate in festivities to honor the dead while holding memories alive in your heart.

© Vera

Rusty metal cross garland - Anita Spero Design - etsy
Skeleton face felt pillow - uneekpillows - etsy
Rat Skeletons -
Marcel the French Bulldog bobble head -
Find Zinc on Instagram at Modern Industrial Farmhouse


  1. WOW, you really did a scary Halloween. Great props and I like them all. My friend has a lot of the same Skeletons and is always on the hunt for some new ones.
    Have fun.....

  2. teeehee......that was cute....the one with the text of the pelvic region HAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAA

    AND I love those skeleton RATS! Tea Rat best not see that or else he will start to feel uneasy! Oh Vera, THE SEASON IS AWESOME, isn't it! I am cold but I don't care; I love this time of year with all the memories of childhood coming back as we adults PLAY and create! Love your décor, and I would imagine in your fabulous old row home, the sense of intrigue and history just oozes out. And congratulations to our PENNY! SHE WON! Yipppe!

    Well, I have been off for two days due to teacher conferences. Back on Monday, but I am milking this weekend for what it's worth. The colors here are spectacular, and I imagine out your way they are too! ENJOY MY FRIEND!

  3. Vera, I am most certian I have never read a post so well thought out for Halloween, I am laughing with you my funny friend on the skeletons pose and know what I am talking about with our email about their pose :)

    Congrats to our sweet Penny! I am so excited she was your GiveAway winner, and I will have to go over and tell her so.

    I love the bar skulls, it is so you and John's personality :)
    I have seen some big CAT skeletons at Walmart you must go check them out they are super cool and super you! I can see it posed with the rat in its mouth with the cat ontop of a Big pumpkin for your Trick or Treaters...or set on a counter for a dinner buffet with friends on a great spooky nite !!

    your poem was intriguingly spook fabulous and belongs in a spooky fun book :)
    I so want to trick or treat at your door my dear.
    see you soon.


  4. Hi Vera,
    Love the poem and your skeleton rats are fabulous. Love the Mr. and Mrs. Bones on the settee up stairs. What a hoot! Love all the whimsy and fun you decorated for Halloween. Special thoughts are with you on November 2nd. I know that is a day for your heart and mind to remember your son and his beautiful soul.

  5. You are having way too much fun, Vera! I think I would have nightmares with all of those skeletons lying around:) Congrats to the winner of your giveaway!!

  6. I bet the neighborhood kids can't wait to get to your house on Halloween, Vera. You get the prizes for most creative and most entertaining Halloween post. I may have nightmares about rats tonight, or I may have a funny dream about skeletons linked together and rolling like a wheel. :)

  7. Dear Vera, I really love and appreciate all of the Halloween humor and fun. Sounds like you really have a lot of trick or treaters, it's always so fun to see little ones dressed up.Your Halloween poem is great! I always look forward to a new one, I admire that gift in others - which I surely don't have - but I enjoy others talents.
    I know that an anniversary of the passing of a loved one is hard and it sounds like you celebrate his life which is so important. I have a angel grand daughter and we celebrate her passing each year with sending balloons into the heavens. Will be thinking of you. Loves, Jo

  8. Cute, cute post! You've really decorated and shared a lot of interesting info. A dear friend of mine is from Mexico and I love their celebration of Dia de los Muertos. It was so much fun when my kids were little and then a blast when Alex & Abby were. I miss those days so much.

    I will be thinking of you on Nov 2nd my friend. We lost Abby on 6-21-13 so it's been a short time really for both of us.

    Congrats to Penny!! :)


  9. Hi, Vera. The rat skeletons are amazing. Those are new to me. We use to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, but I don't think I've done it since moving. Preparing favorite foods, lighting candles, displaying photographs, writing notes with special memories. It is a wonderful cultural contribution; it is nice to take a day to remember all our loved ones and friends that have gone before us sometimes too soon. Love the poem, and congratulations to the winner. xoox Su

  10. Hi, Vera...I LOVE your Halloween...just perfect...what fun you must have had, sitting all this up. So so cute.
    Your poem is fabulous...."Congrats, Penny"....a great giveaway.

  11. What a fun, and informative Halloween post, Vera! Love all the images, and your poem was terrific! I enjoyed the old Disney cartoon, as well. You sure know how to make things festive at your house for a holiday. If skeletons are considered festive..LOL.
    Love to you.

  12. I love that you put so much into your decor for each holiday. And, I love that you put so much research into each event.

  13. veraaaaaa this is perfect. you made my day

  14. You're scaring me! lol Yes, it was a fun post.

    Congrats to the winner of your giveaway.

  15. I love your home decor, Vera. We can aAlways something interesting and always something fun.
    Have a very Happy Halloween!

  16. Oh man! That was a blast Vera! I loved your Halloween skeletons and all their friends and jokes! I also loved the poem you wrote and then treated us with that darling Disney film clip...those were the days~~~sigh!
    Thank you for this, I needed a laugh today :)))))
    sending hugs...

  17. Dear Vera,
    Are you kidding me? I am so excited that I won! Fine time for me to be away... I just happen to check the blog roll and noticed your Halloween post... I did not want to miss it...
    A big thank you for the laughs, and I enjoyed your poem. This was such a great post... Love the skeleton rats!
    Oh happy day I won! Thank you so much for the great giveaway!!!
    Love and blessings,
    I will email you my address

  18. What a super cool Halloween decoration and what a great poem! Your skeletons and the rats are so much fun and your Halloween pillows are beautiful. Bones is cute at daylight but gets quite creepy in the dark. Wonderfully halloweeny!

  19. VERAAAAAAA!!!!! Me and my family LOVES you!!!! This is soooo cooool, we laughed so much, thank you for sharing this with us!!! Ah, you are so gorgeous - an Poe-Fan, yesss. Such a blast.
    Huuuuuuuuuuugs from us all!!! And "moooooooore"!
    Love love love, your friend Méa

  20. I am obsessed with that skeleton couple all snuggle up on your couch! How cute is that???? I don't know why but I am not into decorating for Halloween this year. Maybe I will go straight for Christmas. The girls and I do love Halloween and dressing up. They would just adore all of your decorations!

  21. Vera, this was such a delightful post hahaha. Your skeletons are adorning your home! Wow, you have so many of them! I have always like the colorful skeletons from the Mexican tradition. Jess has a friend who is Mexican and has a few of these around her house. I don't usually laugh at jokes that often, but your skeleton jokes had me cracking up hehehehe. You really made the skeleton rats look real with the props and all. Nel has a teddy bear, and I swear when she wiggles it and makes it dance and makes it talks, it looks so real. : )

    I really liked your post today, Vera, and thanks for sharing all your Halloween goodies with us. I've never seen Bones at Target. He is something else.


  22. Hi Vera, So much fun to return home and visit your amazing Halloween post. I love the skeletons and the couple on the sofa are too adorable. Cute jokes!
    Everything you display is filled with inspiration and your incredible creativity.
    Love your poem!!!!
    Yes, I always cry at weddings too and this one was a tear jerker when the brides daughter sang~~~~
    Having fun catching up today.
    Thanks for stopping by. Your visits always bless me!
    Hugs, cm

  23. LOL! Can't wait to share the boner riddle with Magoo! This was such a funny post. Love all the rats. And be still my have Marcel! I have wanted one for so long but couldn't find one. The antique ones are so spendy! I saw one on OKL but was too late to get it. I suppose now I'll have to travel to Philly. ;) Wonderful post, as always. xoxo, T.

  24. What a treat this post is, Vera! I actually stopped by on Friday but I knew I wanted to have time to REALLY read it. I have to say Bones is my fave of your skeleton collection. And the rats. lol!!! I love your quirky sense of humor, lady! The poem is another goody---when are you going to publish?

    I'm not one for watching videos on blogs but I popped yours on. How cool that this old, old film is scarier, in my opinion, than modern day fodder? 1929, the year my mother was born. The cats are a riot. Are they vomiting on each other??!!!

    Thanks so much for a wonderful post and for visiting. I'm slowly making little treat bags for all of our little ghouls. Our neighborhood has had an influx of young couples over the past few years so I really love to do everything a bit more special now. Do you do anything special for the kiddies? It's such a shame we can't do anything homemade. :(

    Jane x

  25. What a fun post, Vera. I always associate Edgar Allen Poe with Halloween. Your poem reminds me of him--and/or something he would write, too.

    Love the walking bone dog. It must freak the kids right out when they see it move. Too funny.

    You can tell your brother that my husband went to school with Tony Shaloub (Monk) and dated his sister. lol Tony has a house on the bay just a bit past our home and spends quite a bit of time there. He is good friends with one of the guys I work with at the VA Clinic It's really a small world, isn't it?

    I will be thinking of you on Nov 2nd (and the days leading up to it) and will say a prayer for peace to fill your heart. xo Diana

  26. Very cool! Love the skeletons Vera! And all the interesting info. I always learn something when I visit. Happy fall... and halloween :)

  27. Good evening Vera,
    Thank you!.. It was a gift for a friend.. She had given me a photo, not the colors you see here.. As I remember the foreground branches were a rust color, and the water was a much deeper color.. She wanted yellows and black, so I did the best I could.
    So happy you enjoyed meeting Ali too!

  28. Dear Vera,

    I have been awaiting this post of yours, but have been extra busy these last few days, and wanted to take my time reading it, as it is filled with so many interesting facts about the history of Halloween, the traditions that began so long ago, and some which are still carried out in many countries around the world, Greece, being one of them. Yes, we have All Souls' Day, which always falls on a Saturday. Candles are lit, prayers are whispered, and hymns are sung, to honour the souls of those who are no longer with us. The Greeks also prepare a ritual food called koliva, made with boiled wheat that is added to almonds, crushed walnuts, raisins and pomegranates, and sometimes parsley and anise, and sweetened with either sugar or honey and spiced with cinnamon. It is the typical offering at memorials, along with other sweets.

    I will be thinking of you, my sweet friend, on November 2nd, and I will say a special prayer from my heart to yours, for the sweet soul of your beloved son.

    Thanks for sharing your intriguing poem, too. I so enjoyed its word play.

    Hugs to you,

  29. Vera you have got to be one of the most clever of all time

  30. Loved learning some of the facts and seeing all the skeletons!

  31. You succeeded, Vera! A very fun, and unique post, with a great poem to cap it off. My thoughts will be with you on November 2.

  32. Vera, you are truly talented in so many ways....Love your theme for Halloween! I had no idea about marigolds and their significance for Dia de los Muertos! So interesting. I enjoyed your poem very much!

    I love the Silly Symphonies. So much fun!

    Happy Halloween!
    Ricki Jill

  33. Good evening Vera.
    I just had to come back to enjoy this post once again..
    Such a fun post!

  34. "A Boner" HA! I about spit my drink all over me! Too funny and your decor is wonderfully creative. Sadly, we don't have any trick or treaters where I live, so I don't go all out anymore, but I would have enjoyed having Bones to greet the kids.

    Happy upcoming Halloween :)


  35. A fun post! You have quite the decorations for this huge holiday. Did you know that Halloween is number 2 on the Favorite holidays list?

  36. Vera your decorations are unique! Where on earth do you find all those amazing skeletons of everything? Even a mouse skeleton! How darling is that? Not long ago I saw a photo somewhere of a skeleton just like the ones on your sofa, that had been spray painted gold. It was an odd look for a skeleton but I liked it! I may try that next year, if I can manage to find skeletons ´round here! In Ecuador Marigolds are also called flowers of the dead (flor de muerto) When we lived in Ecuador I was curious about the name and I once asked someone why they were called that..the person told me that it was because they used to grow wild and abundantly in graveyards.

  37. Vera, your comment on my "this and that" post was so dear to me. Your words touched my heart, and I just wanted you to know I appreciate your friendship.

    Happy November.


  38. Thank you so much for your compliments of my Halloween home. After seeing your skeleton couple, I am now going to have to find a tutu for my girl. It is a fun holiday to decorate for and my kids get to help. Although we do no have trick or treaters come to our house, we do take the kids to a development and it is just like in all the movies. Kids laughing and walking from house to house, it has a great atmosphere. I love the basement stairs and that is one of my things to do too. Great poem too. Have a great weekend.