A True Tale of Horror: The Clown

For Halloween, a story from the creepiest summer of my life, the summer of 1992.

One day in July, my parents went gone down to Victoria for the day leaving me in charge of my sister Zoe (14) and my brother Owen (11) at our house in the country. Zoe and I shared a bedroom upstairs. It was a huge room, about 25 feet wide and fifty feet long. The east wall had four big windows and the south wall had one, which was right by my bed. The door was also at this end of the room. The south window looked out over our driveway and the house next door, belonging to this fisherman named Tony. Being a fisherman Tony was often away for weeks at a time, and happened to be away then.

It was a Saturday and we were supposed to clean our rooms, so at around one o’clock I was lugging the vacuum cleaner up and when I went into the room I happened to glance out the window and that’s when I saw THE CLOWN. He was standing on Tony’s patio, a man in black boots, black pants, black turtleneck and black gloves, topped by a creepy clown mask- a big white rubber face with red tufty hair, red nose and a huge freaky grin. He looked like Pennywise and he was LOOKING RIGHT AT ME.


I immediately dropped to the floor and called my sister over from her end of the room- I made her walk along the west wall (no windows) and drop next to me. We peeked around the edge of the curtain and there he was, THE CLOWN, LOOKING RIGHT AT US. We were like HOLY SHIT WHAT THE FUCK. We ran downstairs and locked all the doors and grabbed my little brother, making him come back upstairs with us. I guess we should have called the police but instead we spent the rest of the afternoon up in the bedroom, staying away from the windows. We didn’t see the clown again and when my parents got home (before dark, thank god) and we told them what we’d seen, they went over to Tony’s house but didn’t find any signs of forced entry, and when he came home a few weeks later he never said anything about a break in. Our parents thought Zoe and I had imagined the whole thing but we know THE CLOWN was real.

Mini Doughnut Party/Pumpkin Time

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cursed bones edition

These doughnuts (or should I say bonenuts lol no, that was terrible) were a total disaster to make! The batter was easy enough to mix- just a 1/4 box of chocolate cake mix, some Dr Pepper (I KNOW, I HAVE A PROBLEM) and some black food colouring to spookify it a little. But when I went to scoop it into the pastry bag, disaster! I’d used a heavy Pyrex bowl and it was hard to hold up and I sort of half-dropped it onto the pastry bag (which was propped up in a cup). Batter went everywhere and I had to call Taylor over to help me.

Then, while I was piping the first batch into my mini doughnut machine, the end of the pastry bag BLEW OUT. The coupler burst right out of the bag and again, batter went everywhere! I was able to finish filling the machine with spoonfuls of batter (albeit sloppily) and while it was cooking I scooped the remaining batter from the burst pastry bag into a smaller one. However, I don’t have any tips for the small bag with a big enough opening so I had to use a fancy decorating tip, which dispensed weirdly and I overfilled the machine, which made another mess.

HOWEVER. In the end it was all worth it, because look at how they turned out.

The Cursed Bonenuts

ARE YOU KIDDING THESE ARE GREAT! The bone sprinkles are from a spooky Halloween decorating set I bought in September and I FINALLY made a successful glaze! The trick is to use EIGHT TONS of icing sugar and just a teeny bit of milk, plus some white food colouring to make it more opaque. Perfecto! Too bad I wasted so much batter with all my mess-making and disasters because I only got twelve doughnuts out of all my work.

My regular doughnut tester was being recalcitrant about having her picture taken (quelle surprise) so I enlisted Taylor’s help. His verdict?

Taylor Tests the Cursed Bonenuts

Super delicious!

Recently I found myself in a Halloween funk. I didn’t put up any decorations or carve any pumpkins, I didn’t have any Halloween plans and I put off making my costume until the night before I had to wear it. Earlier this week I decided it was time to GET OUT of my funk, so on the advice of my e-friend Brooke, last night I invited some friends over to carve jack o’lanterns, eat Halloween treats and watch Hocus Pocus.


Taylor picked up four pumpkins after he got home from work at 1:30 and I spent the afternoon making an awesome three and a half hour long spooky music playlist.

Dogs Love Jenn
as soon as Jenn arrived all the dogs swarmed her

Taylor and Jenn scooped and scraped out all the pumpkins since Sym, Rich and I find it too disgusting. Four pumpkins hold a lot of guts! I carved mine, and I also ended up carving Taylor’s for him since he was delirious from being up for 30 hours and I was worried he was going to cut his thumb off/smash his pumpkin with a hammer. Jenn and Sym teamed up, and Rich did his with a cordless drill!

Pumpkin Quartet
My Star o'Lantern

I did mine with cookie cutters. For the big stars I made an imprint on the pumpkin with the cutter and then cut it out with a small knife, but for the little ones I just pounded the cutter right through with a rubber mallet! So easy.

Taylor's (and my) Droid o'Lantern

Taylor wanted to do the Android logo but he made it too small and it got messed up, so I printed out a bigger one and carved it on another side. I didn’t do a great job (I was a few glasses of wine in at this point) but I think it still turned out okay. I was going to do the eyes with little pieces of pumpkin rind on toothpicks, but then I found these crystal-tipped ~party picks~ in the cupboard so I used them instead.

Jenn & Sym's Cat o'Lantern

Jenn and Sym did a cat and also utilized my crystal-tipped party pick technique for the eyes.

Rich's Matrix o'Lantern

Rich didn’t want to carve a pumpkin because he said he lacks skills. This one would have been nearly impossible to carve traditionally anyway because the rind is like, four inches thick! I had the idea to do a pattern of holes with a drill, and after a couple of test drills I made him take over. He did a series of vertical lines and when one of my LED fake candles is flickering inside it, it kind of looks like the Matrix. Really!

It was really fun, and definitely helped to launch me out of my funk! Today I’m in a great mood- I had the bite on my replacement filling from two weeks ago fixed at 8am and now I’m no longer in horrible pain, I’m going to spend the day making decorations for Sym’s birthday party on Friday and I finally found a bag of my favorite Halloween candy: ROCKETS (I think these have a different name in the US).

two pounds of tongue-dissolving goodness

Every year I eat a billion of these and spend the first half of November with a gross, raw tongue. IT’S WORTH IT THOUGH.

Happy Pre-Halloween!

All (okay, most) of the kids are dressed up today so Georgie and I are as well.

Baby Deers
Baby Deers

The ears aren’t quite right but that’s because I rushed them- I threw both of these together last night with some simple clothes (dress & leggings for me, hoodie for Georgie), felt and double stick tape. I feel EVERY costume dilemma can be solved with these three things. In addition to our fawnstumes I used this technique last year for our family corn suits and the year before, when I was that bus in Alaska where Christopher McCandless died (unfortunately no pictures of this exist).

Mini Doughnut Party

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spooky halloween edition

I made these Halloween doughnuts for Symphony’s class party tomorrow. I used the same recipe as the cinnamon-sugar/lemon glazed doughnuts, just replacing the nutmeg/lemon juice with vanilla. I dipped them in melted butter and black, purple and orange sanding sugar from the EXTENSIVE collection of Halloween sugars and sprinkles I picked up this year.

Halloween Doughnuts

This is my doughnut making set up:

Making Halloween Doughnuts

I work from right to left, so first is the pastry bag of doughnut batter, the mini doughnut maker, the monkey-shaped spoons I use to flip the cooked doughnuts out of the machine, a bowl of melted butter, 3 little bowls of sanding sugar, and last of all the cooling racks. Please ignore the sink overflowing with dirty dishes, I actually washed them all while I was waiting for each batch to cook.

Since one batch of batter makes about a million (okay, 42) doughnuts, I decided to save the last batch for Sym, the daycare kids and myself. For these ones I mixed all the leftover sugars together for a black-orange-purple mix.

Halloween Doughnuts

It just happened to perfectly match the Halloween shirt Sym wore today.

Sym Tries the Halloween Doughnuts
Sym Tries the Halloween Doughnuts

Her verdict: Delicious!

Star Crayons

A few weeks ago Sym cleaned out all her art supplies and gave me tons and tons of brand-new crayons for the daycare kids, which was great because their old crayons were very broken. And chewed. Basically a mess. Instead of tossing them I decided to get crafty and make NEW crayons with them. I found some instructions somewhere online (I lost the link unfortunately) but it’s pretty easy.

First I washed all the crayons to loosen the paper- most of them were peeled already so this wasn’t a big deal.

Washing Crayons

Next I sorted them by colour. It’s a good idea to have a scrap piece of paper nearby since it can be hard to tell black, navy blue and purple apart when they’re paperless.

Sorted Crayons

To melt them I used pop cans with the tops cut off in a pan of water on the stove. My pot holds seven cans so when I was only using six colours I put a water-filled can in the middle to stop the others from tipping over (they float a bit). Just be careful that when you’ve taken your water-filled can out and put it on the counter you don’t mistake it for the Dr Pepper-filled can you’re drinking from and try to take a swig of boiling hot water from a heated can. Because that would be stupid.

Making Star Crayons

I cut the cans with heavy-duty kitchen scissors and a super sharp Henkel knife and using the scissors was BY FAR the less nerve-wracking so I would suggest doing that. These are all Dr Pepper cans btw. I have A Problem. The sticks are just cut off bamboo skewers for stirring the wax.

Making Star Crayons

All my crayons are Crayola so they melted pretty evenly, but if you have cheaper crayons or a mix they might melt unevenly.

Be sure to protect your work area, since pouring these can be messy! I used flexible plastic cutting boards since it’s easy to pop any spills/overfills off to remelt, but you could just use newspaper if you were so inclined. I pinched the tops of the cans to make a little spout. You want to handle these by the top since the wax-filled bottoms are uncomfortably hot.

Making Star Crayons

You can pour these into like, muffin tins or ice cube trays but I’m fancy so I bought star-shaped candy molds. I also tried to use a heart-shaped silicone ice cube tray but it didn’t work- the crayons came out weird and the wax was impossible to clean out of the hearts, so I remelted them all and started over.

Once you have your trays filled you can just leave them on the counter to cool or once they’ve solidified a little, put them in the freezer. Once the shapes are hard and just warm to the touch they pop out really easily! I used two or three colours in most of mine, but for some I used five or six.

Star Crayons

While the paper-peeling, crayon-sorting and colour-picking aspects of this activity are fine for any kids past the crayon eating stage, the melting and pouring are NOT, so be sure to do those things yourself!

Symphony Stuff

Symphony & her Dead Bunny

She painted this dead and rotten yet still very cute bunny for the Haunted Hallway at her school this Friday. It is accessorized with a moldy carrot and its own missing eyeball. Basically it’s awesome. She drew and painted it and I did the outlines with a big Sharpie for her.

Tuesday Lunch

Part of her lunch today- turkey sandwich squares, mini-cucumber sticks, and Lime Salt Hearts mini tortilla chips with Sweet Chili Lime Humous from Bean Boy. I think I’m getting pretty good at this cute lunch thing!

Tiny Tortillas

A while ago I bought a package of tortillas to make wraps for lunch or something. I forget. Anyway, tortillas come in packages of TWELVE, which is more than my little family can eat within a reasonable time frame. Instead of wasting the unused ones by letting them turn gross and get thrown away, I decided to make something with them.

Simple homemade tortilla chip instructions I found on ehow.com:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
2. Lay several tortillas on top of each other.
3. Cut the tortillas into eight equal wedges (like cutting a pie).
4. Place the wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet.
5. Lightly season the wedges with salt, and your favorite seasoning, such as chili powder (the chili powder or other seasoning is optional).
6. Bake for about 5 minutes, turn, and bake another 5 minutes.
7. Let cool, then store in an airtight container.

Of course, there’s NO WAY I’m going to cut my tortilla chips into WEDGES. Instead I used my mini heart and star cookie cutters and went crazy while watching some Veronica Mars.

Cutting the Stars

This was a lot of fiddly work, especially when I had to turn them all over. If I was to do this again I’d use larger shapes. Okay no I wouldn’t.

I laid them out on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and sprinkled them with seasoning, in this case chili powder.

Chili Stars

I baked them for 5 minutes on one side and four on the other, and here are the finished Chili Stars:

Chili Stars

… and Cinnamon Sugar Stars:

Cinnamon Sugar Stars

… and Salted Hearts (the bird is the salt shaker I got for my birthday from Rich and Jenn):

Salted Hearts

… and Lime Salt Hearts:

Lime Salt Hearts

… and Pepper Stars (these are darker because I accidentally baked them on the same side twice):

Pepper Stars

Symphony very thoughtfully tested the Lime Salt and Salted Hearts and the Cinnamon Sugar Stars for me.

Official Tortilla Tester

Her verdict? Good, not salty enough and needs more sugar. I think I need to find a way to get the seasoning to stick to the tortillas more before I bake them, the pepper especially. But still, these are going to be perfect for her school lunches and snacks!

Sym Approved