Halloween Totem Poles


What do you do to celebrate Autumn? dscn2334Take trips to the apple orchard for cider and warm donuts? Go on hay rides at the pumpkin patch? Do you break out your Uggs and hoodies?

Yep, me too!

Being a camping enthusiast, I also celebrate Autumn at the Fall Festival weekend at Sleepy Hollow State Park.galaxy-s4-2453 Sadly, I know that as we arrive and begin to set up the tent, this will be our last camping trip until spring  but,  Sleepy Hollow State Park’s Fall Festival weekend is a great way to rock out this year’s camping season in style. It is so much fun!

We call it Halloween camp because although it is only the first weekend in October, the whole campground is decorated for Halloween.

One of the ways that Sleepy Hollow State Park decorates is with totem poles that are made, for the most part, with   plastic pumpkin heads.

This year, my friend and I decided to make our own.

Months ago, Denise (yes, there are 2 of us!) and I started shopping for  Halloween decorations at Good Will and Salvation Army, and other thrift stores. We  had  fun building our Halloween decorating stash. We would send each other pictures of our latest finds. We are just  big kids when it comes to Halloween!

These totem poles are so inexpensive and easy to make that I wanted to share this DIY Halloween  decoration with all of you.

I started with  old broom handles from my garage and glued lights on them.

I used Christmas tree stands ( again from the thrift store) to hold the broom handles upright.

One of my best finds was a 2′ plastic ghost for $2.99. I used it as the bottom of my  first totem pole.dscn6529

After cutting the bottom out of my pumpkin heads, I started stacking them on top of the ghost.

I used Gorilla Glue to hold the pumpkin heads in place.

I topped this one off   with a plastic skull.

How cute is this?

dscn6534I am happy with how my second totem pole turned out also!dscn6637

My friend, Denise T., used PVC pipe for  her totems.14222275_10205891104271687_29536737169047486_n 14344059_10205936175038428_2907847541065033449_n

I love this!!!14183882_10205890456775500_2215159130948949389_n

They are adorable!

So, there you go. A fun and inexpensive DIY Halloween craft.

Can you imagine these on your front porch? Better yet, next to your tent or RV at a fall festival camping weekend?

If you make Halloween totem poles for yourself, send me pictures.


Happy Camping,



”  Some people are born for Halloween, and some are just counting the days until Christmas.”

Stephan Graham Jones

My Photos

  • The featured photo was taken near Traverse City in 2012
  • View from a rest area on I 75, 2014
  • Me at Halloween camp, 2014
  • 3 pictures of my Halloween totem poles
  • 3 pictures of Denise’s Halloween totem poles
  • Me carving pumpkins with my family, 2013

Campground Etiquette

Teach Your Children Well

I love camping! I enjoy seeing the kiddos on their bikes riding all over the campground, children bikeshearing the laughter of families playing together, sitting around the campfire at night, and I love sleeping in tents.

Some campgrounds are roomier than others and campers have more privacy, but, even in the smaller campgrounds, when the campsites are close together, being a good neighbor is easy, if you follow a few simple rules. 

Respect the quiet time rule.

Most campgrounds have a quiet time starting at 10:00 p.m.night time camp Stay up and enjoy your campfire, by all means, I do, but, turn the music and the voice levels down so that your neighbors can go to sleep if they wish.

I admit that I was guilty of breaking this rule while camping this summer. My friend and I, along with our 8 grandchildren, collectively, were sitting by the fire  one night, being silly  with the kids and laughing.  We were having so much fun that we didn’t realize how loud we were until the park rangers stopped on their walk through camp and reminded us that it was quiet time.


We all need to be courteous and quiet after 10:00.

Arriving Late

If you arrive at your campsite late at night, try to set up your camp quietly.  Use flashlights not headlights.

Be Understanding

If your neighbors arrive and set up late, offer them a couple of pieces of your firewood and some kindling so they can relax by the fire or cook a meal.

Don’t cut through other people’s campsites.

This is a pet peeve of mine. beartentWhen people reserve a site in a campground, they are renting that living space  for their vacation. Respect their space and their privacy. I have had kids ride their bikes through my campsite to get to a trail. I have had people cut through my campsite to get to the beach. I have even had people walk up and look into my tent windows to see how it is laid out.

How Rude!

Keep your pets under control.

Most campgrounds have a rule that dogs have to be on a 6-foot leash but, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are being kept under control. The humans still have to use some common sense. Even if, according to you, “its okay, he is friendly,” “he wouldn’t hurt a flea” or, “he will just lick you to death,” not everyone wants to pet or be sniffed by your dog!

Keep your pet at your side.Growling dog

What about barking? Do you  want to camp next to a dog that barks all the time? Neither do I.

Clean up after your pets PLEASE!

scoop poop

Do not wash your dishes in the bathroom sinks.

Trust me, no one wants to wash their face or brush their teeth at the same sink that you just used for your dirty dishes. GROSS!

Leave the campsite cleaner than you found it.

Our camping motto is: “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”cleaning campsite

The last thing we do before we drive away from our campsite is to walk around picking up any tiny bits of trash that we may have overlooked.

Camping is a wonderful way to spend time with family and friends. It is also a great way to make new friends. To make a friend be a friend.

Teach your children well by showing them how to be a good campground neighbor .

Happy Camping,



My Photos:

The featured photo is Tyrone Hills Golf Course, October 2013

Photo of me at Niagara Falls

Freedom without rules doesn’t work. And communities do not work unless they are regulated by etiquette.”

Judith Martin

Making Giant Bubbles

Making Giant Bubbles

Do you want an easy and cheap way to entertain your kids? Keep reading, this is it!

Your kids will love, love, love making giant bubbles!

When we saw a family on the beach making these huge bubbles, I have to admit I was mesmerized.

The  bubbles floated from their wands, into the sunset. DSCN5094 I was happy to sit and take pictures  but, others on the beach wanted to know how the giant bubbles  were made. The family with the bubbles would not give up their secrets.

They did, however, invite the children, who were by then, flocked around them, to dip the wands into the  bucket of solution and watch the bubbles float away.

The kids didn’t care how it was done, they were just thrilled to  be making giant bubbles of their own.DSCN5110

I am not one to be outdone, in the eyes of my grandkids. I knew I would have to figure out how the giant bubbles were made. I turned to my faithful friend who seems to know everything…th


Ah yes! There is a plethora of ways to make giant bubbles.

This is how it is done:

You can use big straws, sticks or, dowels. I happened to have some nice metal dowels from a clothes drying unit that I no longer use.


I tied an old cotton clothes line around the end of one of the dowels.

I measured two feet of line. I put a washer on the line for weight before attaching it to the second dowel.


I measured about 18″ of the remaining line,  attached it  to the  line on the first dowel and cut it.


I tried several of the giant bubble solution recipes that I found online. This is the one that worked the best.

  • 1/2 cup Dawn dish liquid
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon of glycerine
  • 6 Cups of water

Mix it gently so it doesn’t get foamy.

Let it sit at least a couple of hours (I honestly don’t know why I just followed the directions.) Gently stir it before using.

Dip the bubble wands into the solution and walk backwards as you part the wands.

I have been using the same batch of bubble solution all summer. I just keep it tightly covered.


When not using your wands, put them in a plastic bag to keep them clean and they will be ready to make giant bubbles whenever or, wherever you want!


That’s it!!!

Drop me a line and let me know how your giant bubbles turned out.

Happy Camping,



My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be through Earth’s loveliness.”


My Photos:

  • The featured photo is of my grandson making giant bubbles on the beach at Hoffmaster State Park at sunset.
  • A family making giant bubbles on the beach at Hoffmaster State Park
  • The kids making giant bubbles on the beach at Hoffmaster State Park
  • How to make a bubble wand
  • How to weight a bubble wand
  • A finished bubble wand
  • The kids making bubbles at Four Mile Creek State Park
  • The kids making bubbles at Four Mile Creek State Park
  • Me by the Michigan display at the Soo Locks.