For Halloween/Day of the Dead this year, we decided to add a house-warming element. We invited friends, family, and all the neighbors over to see the place—which meant a furious few days of cleaning—and have snacks and mescal.
The Saturday before Halloween I managed to get home from work before dark (in contrast to the previous Saturday's 12-hour fun-fest) and I spent the time racing out to Paul Giuntoli's pumpkin patch near the Mad River. During the party I pulled out the knives and newspaper and enlisted everyone's help in turning 98 pounds of pumpkin into jack o'lanterns:
You see how green they still are? Hardly any were much bigger than a basketball. Our wet spring and cool summer may have been good for the mushrooms, potatoes, and onions, but they were lousy for pumpkins. So it goes. The display still got a lot of compliments from the steady stream of trick-or-treaters. We also did our standard "Take as much candy as you want" routine. Try it sometime, and watch the faces of the kids and their parents as greedy desire and politeness duke it out.
Our family altar. I think that, wherever the souls of cats go after death, they don't serve very good chow...if you look closely you can see that the dishes holding the cat food are the only ones the spirits ate overnight; the bird treats and human food was seemingly untouched.