Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Happy Halloween!

No more crossing off days on the calendar. No more sleepless nights of excitement. No more driving my mom batty (her word, not mine...pretty good, right?) and no more PLANNING for the big day. It's here.


I am practically vibrating with excitement.

Mom is packing my sister and I a very special lunch—probably sandwiches in the shape of Jack-O-Lanterns—and I've already filled my backpack with treats for everyone in my class. Plus, there's the PARTY this afternoon, followed by trick-or-treating around the neighbourhood.

Speaking of that...I finally decided what to be for Halloween. I gave it a lot of thought, but I didn't fully decide until my cousin Parker came over last night and told me he was being Spiderman. It got me thinking about Superheroes again...and how know what they call me...

That's right. I am going as SUPERMAN.

I know, you're not really surprised.

Well, I gotta jet—but I hope you've enjoyed my Halloween Countdown. I'll be back tomorrow to kick off NaNoWriMo...will you be joining me for National Novel Writing Month? My story ideas have been percolating ALL month.

Have a spooktacular Halloween! And stay safe out there.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: Happy Candy Corn Day!

I don't know what it's like in your house, but in my family, opinions are split right down the middle about candy corn. Mom and Amelia do not like it at all—my sister says even the sight of it makes her shudder with disgust. (She's so dramatic!)

But Dad and I could eat it by the bucket loads. Same with Grandma, even though Grandpa thinks it's disgusting. (Which isn't a bad thing since he can't eat too much sugar—he's diabetic.)

With today being National Candy Corn Day—and the DAY BEFORE Halloween!—I thought I'd share some fun facts about one of my favourite treats.

Like, did you know that candy corn has been around for a very long time? The Wunderle Candy Company began making it in the 1880's—and the recipe has remained virtually unchanged. Honey, sugar, and corn starch in three distinct colours!

Along with Hershey's chocolates and Snickers bars (yum!) candy corn makes the top 10 list of most popular Halloween candies year after year—even if half the population is in the "leave em" camp.

About nine billion pieces of candy corn will be produced this year. That's 9 BILLION. I probably eat less than a hundred kernels of it a year! Apparently in an eight-hour shift, Jelly Belly (the company that now makes candy corn) produces about 28,000 pounds of the candy. (I'd love to tour that place!)

Sure, it's not the healthiest food—what candy is?—but candy corn is fat free!

And probably my favourite fun fact...did you know that if you stack kernels of candy corn a certain way, it looks like corn on the cob? Check it out!

Mom is sending me to school with a whole bag of candy corn, and I'll be sure to share. Especially when my "committee" meets to iron out some last-minute Halloween party plans. One more sleep! I can't believe it's almost time.

Gotta jet! Have a spooktacular day.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Monday, 29 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: Catching Up!

Whoops! It looks like my scheduled blog posts for the past three days of my Halloween Countdown didn't upload! Thanks for all of you who sent me messages over the weekend checking in (even though I didn't get them until late last night), and I'm sorry if you were waiting for those posts.

Just because my blog posts didn't go up doesn't mean I wasn't counting down the days, though. This weekend was PACKED, and with only two more sleeps until the big day, I thought it best I just give you a run down of my awesome weekend.

You already know I carved my pumpkin. Here is mine:

Spooky, right?

And I've decided on a Halloween costume, but I won't share that yet. It's a surprise that I'll reveal on Wednesday morning!

Our family had our spooktacular Halloween party on Saturday. Here are some of the foods we made. Well, mostly Mom and Dad, but my sister and I helped out. (If you want any of the recipes, email me and I'll send them to you.

Last night, my family went to GOOSEBUMPS, which was AWESOME. Even better than the first movie. R.L. Stine is one of my favourite writers, and I'm so glad his books have made it to the theatre. I hear his other series—Fear Street—is ALSO being made into a film. Creeptastic!

Today I am spending my lunch hour with a few friends and our teacher planning out the remaining details of our Halloween party in the classroom, and tonight, I think my dad is taking my sister and I to the corn maze. I can't wait.

Sorry again for the missed posts. Sometimes technology isn't as great as we think. What did you do this weekend? Any Halloween fun? Share in the comments for a chance to WIN a copy of Beneath the SOIL, the most spooktacular book in the Superman Duffy series of educational graphic novels.

Gotta jet! Have a creeptastic day!

~ Chase Superman Duffy 

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: Nom Nom Nom

Good morning! Just SIX sleeps—I repeat, SIX SLEEPS, until Halloween and my parents are really getting into the spirit. Today, Mom put mandarin oranges in our lunch—but drew Jack-O-Lantern faces on them first!

It was such a simple ways to celebrate the holiday, which got me thinking about other easy-to-make foods that are so delicious, you'll only be able to muffle "Happy Halloween" when you eat them. Tonight, my parents are creating some delightful snacks for our family Halloween party, most of which are way too hard for my sister and I to make.

So I started looking for some easier snacks...a way for Amelia and I to help out in the kitchen this Saturday before the party starts. Check these snacks out!

So, which ones are YOU going to make? I really love those Deviled Eggs using olive pieces to make a spider. Got any others I should be thinking about?

Gotta jet! After school Mom is taking us to look at Halloween costumes. I can't wait.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: The Root Of It All

Halloween may seem like it's all about the costumes and candy, but did you know that the holiday has its roots in pagan beliefs? Dating back about 2,000 years, Halloween once marked the Celtic New Year and was originally called Samhain, which translates to "summer's end" in Gaelic. I don't know where you are in the province, but it sure feels like "summer's end" to me! (Even though the snow has melted and the afternoons are a bit warmer.)

Today on my Halloween Countdown, I thought I'd share the meaning behind five creeptastic Halloween staples. Are you ready to be spooked?

Black Cats: It's believed that if one walks in front of you, you're in for some bad luck, but the history of this superstition dates back to the Dark Ages when witch hunts were common. Cats were accused of being the "familiars" of witches—pets that had been given to them by the devil. Thankfully, people don't really think cats are bad luck (or evil animals). In Ireland, Scotland and England, for instance, it's considered good luck for a black cat to cross your path. I'm more of a dog person, but I wouldn't turn down a black cat. <hint hint, Mom>

Bats: Medieval folklore also suggests that bats are familiars for witches, and seeing a bat on Halloween was considered an ominous sign. If you're not a fan of rodents, I can see why bats might be creepy, but I promise, if one flies into your house, it doesn't mean your home is haunted. Sometimes at night, I like to watch them swoop between the trees. From a distance, of course.

Spiders: Okay, I admit, I'm not a fan of spiders. (Not even the ones in the Superman Duffy graphic novel AMELIA XERCES DUFFY...) But even I know that if I spot a spider on Halloween, it doesn't mean a deceased loved one is watching over me—it means it's fall, and they're (sadly) everywhere.

Trick or Treating: In olden times, it was believed that during Samhain, the veil between our world and the spirit world was thinnest, and that the ghosts of the deceased could mingle with the living. The superstition was that the visiting ghosts could disguise themselves in human form, such as a beggar, and knock on your door during Samhain asking for money or food. If you turned them away empty-handed, you risked receiving the wrath of the spirit and being cursed or haunted. I wonder if the lady at the end of my street knows that—she never hands out candy!

Halloween Colours: Ever wonder why everything is black and orange this month? The traditional Halloween colours of orange and black actually stem from the pagan celebration of autumn and the harvest, with orange symbolizing the colours of the crops and turning leaves, while black marks the "death" of summer and the changing season.

Pretty neat, right?

Gotta jet! See you tomorrow! Right?

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: Films Worth Watching

It's still a few days to the weekend (which promises to be another busy one) but at breakfast this morning, Dad asked which movie we'd like to watch tonight.


We usually don't watch Halloween movies until the weekend before the big day, but I guess Mom is working late tonight, so Dad says we'll make some popcorn, curl up on the couch, and turn on one of MY favourite movies.

(I think he's rewarding me for the excellent mark I got on my math test last week!)

There's just one little catch. I can't decide which movie to watch! Help? Here are the five choices—all very good selections, in my humble opinion.

Gah. How am I supposed to choose?

Dad says I have until when he gets home from work to make a selection or else he'll give picking privileges to my sister, Amelia. I already know which one she would choose—"It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown." It's a good movie for sure...but I think I'm in the mood for something just a little bit spookier.

Which movie would YOU choose?

Gotta jet! Have a spooktacular day! #9sleeps

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Monday, 22 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: You've Been Slimed!

I had my hands in a lot of "pumpkin slime" this weekend. Not only did I have to gut my pumpkin for carving, I also scooped out my sister's, and my mom's.

For not being GIANT pumpkins (they were medium—biggest we could find), they sure had a lot of guts.

Even after I showered, I could still feel the slime under my fingernails. You'd think I'd be sick of it, right?

No way!

In fact, today at school, we're going to make PUMPKIN SLIME and I can hardly wait to get my hands dirty.

Want to make your own?

For today's Halloween Post—nine more sleeps!—I'm sharing the recipe and directions for the ultimate pumpkin slime. Remember to use the ingredients I've specifically indicated for best results—most importantly, Elmer's white glue. (We have about 10 bottles of it lying around our house anyway, but if you don't, you'll want to pick some up.)

Ready to get slimed?

Here's what you need:

1/2 Cup Elmer’s White Glue
Unscented Shaving Cream
Orange Food Coloring
Mason Jar
Black Construction Paper
Saline Solution
Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
Pumpkin Scented Oil (optional)

Here's what you do:

1. Add 1/2 cup of Elmer’s white school glue and 4 cups of shaving cream to a bowl. Mix well and then add in a some drops of your orange food colouring. Stir to mix in the colour. Optional: You can add in a few drops of pumpkin scented oil after you mix in the food colouring—no problem if you don't want to, though. The slime isn't stinky on its own.

2. Next stir in 1/4 tsp of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. Then add contact solution about 1 Tablespoon at a time and mix.

3. Keep adding a little more contact solution and mixing until your slime begins forming into a ball-like form as you mix. You’ll notice this is when it starts to turn into slime and becomes less sticky. It will begin coming off the sides of your container and sticking together.

If your slime is still sticky add some more saline solution by starting small and adding a little as you go and continue to knead it. The slime will take on a fluffy marshmallowy consistency—you'll know because you won't be able to stop touching it. <grin> 

When you’re finished you’ll want to store your slime in an air tight container. 

At school, we'll be creating our own jack-o-lantern jars by cutting out the faces from black construction paper and using some Elmer’s glue to glue their faces to the mason jars. 

I've already started thinking about what kind of "face" I'll be giving my jar of pumpkin slime.

Speaking of faces, I'll show off our family Jack-O-Lantern carvings closer to Halloween—we like to surprise the neighbours with how they turned out, and some of my friends in the area read my blog. 

Did you carve this weekend? Go ahead and share!

Gotta jet! See you tomorrow for more pre-Halloween fun.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: Painting Zombies

Yesterday was so busy!

After gobbling down Mom's delicious pumpkin pancakes, we finished up the outdoor decorations for our creeptastic Halloween display. Well, almost—we still have to set up the fog machine and add a couple more flood lights. But even while setting up, a few kids stopped by to check things out. They'll be back Halloween night for sure.

Then, Dad took us shopping for Halloween candy, and Amelia and I started stuffing rubber gloves with it and tying on the ribbons. Yeah, we give a "handful" of candy away each year. <grin>

We also prepped for pumpkin carving tonight, and THEN, Mom went to the store and came back with six mini cactus plants, some acrylic paint, and small clay pots.

She says that because yesterday was SO busy, today, Amelia and I are going to spend some quiet time making these:

Amazing, right? Mom says we can use them as place settings for when Grandma and Grandpa come over for Halloween feast.

Gotta jet! I'm already scrolling the Internet for some fun zombie pot paint ideas. My grandparents always say they don't know where I get my imagination from...I'm pretty sure they're just joking, though, because Mom comes up with some pretty great ideas!

See you tomorrow. #10sleeps

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Halloween Countdown: The Joke's On You

Good morning! With just 11 sleeps until Halloween my To Do list is piling up BIG time. We're carving pumpkins today, finishing the outdoor decorations, going to the Goosebumps movie, and planning the menu for our annual family Halloween feast — so much to do!

Mom even made Jack-O-Lantern pancakes for breakfast to fuel us up for a busy busy day.

We have so much to do that it could be stressful (not for me, I love it, but maybe the rest of the family), so I dug up some pretty funny cartoons this morning.

Scroll down to see what it would be like in the animal kingdom if animals celebrated Halloween. I dare you not to laugh!

Hilarious, right? That last one made my stomach hurt I laughed so hard! And the bear going as Facebook? <grin> Amazing. 

Well, I've gotta jet. Halloween activities start...NOW! 

~ Chase Superman Duffy