Haunted Trail: Part 1

I am beyond excited about Halloween! For whatever reason this time of year has always been my favorite. I think it’s just October in general. But Halloween is just FUN!! 

I am the PTA Treasurer at my kid’s school. Have been for 4 years now. And every year we have a Fall Festival as a fundraiser. It’s been a tradition at this school for years.

Until a couple of years ago, we didn’t realize there was a hidden jewel literally in our school’s back yard. An outdoor learning center in the woods! It was put in 20+ years ago and had become over grown. We (the PTA) paired up with the local Master Gardeners and made it great again.

It is an awesome area for the kids to learn about nature and to get out of the classroom to explore. It is also open to the local community after school hours and during the summer to come and enjoy the various trails that wind up the hill and through the woods.

The thing I’m most excited about is the fact that it is a PERFECT place for a haunted trail. We have had one the past two years and this year I have volunteered to take over that project. I am going to try my best to put together an awesome one for the students, families, faculty, and local community to enjoy.

My first objective was to get ideas…. Pinterest overload! I am a major DIYer and found so many great ideas. BUT thanks to Vyvanse and Wellbutrin, I am was able to just pick a few managable projects that I can accomplish way before the last minute.

The outdoor learning area has two huge asphalt areas that are divided by a trail head. Then there are several trails that wind up and round in basically a loop right back to the asphalted areas. My plan is to have several “themes” on the asphalt and on a short loop around one of the trails. BUT that’s the idea in my head. I will have to go map it out and narrow things down…or maybe expand. We will see!

So far I’ve broken the trail down into these following themes:

  • The Witch’s Lair
  • The Ghost Trail
  • Clown Town
  • The Valley of the Dolls

My second objective is to collect all my supplies.  I have a budget of $200. Some from the PTA. Some from my pocket as a donation. Facebook is a great place to get some help. I’ve rounded up some good FREE stuff to borrow or keep to use.

I also hit up Craigslist and found some huge, FREE tubes I just couldn’t pass up! I fortunately have an awesome brother who picked them up for me. 

These are going to be tunnels for the kids to crawl through.

These tubes are about 20 inches in diameter and 4 feet long. My plan is to put them together, paint the outside, and put something on the inside to creep out the kiddos if they choose to crawl through! I I’ll keep you updated on the finished product.

Yesterday hit the jackpot at a couple of local thrift stores and stocked up on some creepy-ass dolls. Some of these things I don’t even have to “creepify”. It’s crazy!

The kids and I put the dolls on daddy’s side of the bed. He wasn’t amused.

So now I’m off to collect even more creepy things and to work on some easy and fun DIY projects that are kid friendly…which means I get to use my kids are free labor. 

Haunted Trail: Part 2, coming very soon! 

Slime and more slime

Thanks to YouTube and now Elmer’s smart marketing people, I have spent more money on slime making materials than I am willing to say. Like, this summer was probably more expensive that when we went to the beach….just kidding, I think.

Anyways I wanted to share a discovery I had towards the END of the summer, because, well, I’m an IDIOT. And idiot who RAVES about Amazon Prime, yet chose not to check Amazon for the gallon of Elmer’s glue. Instead she took her kids to Hobby Lobby and spent way more for it….along with 100 other things we didn’t need….because that place sucks you in and spits you out…broke. 

I DID go to Dollar Tree for shaving cream. BOOM!  Because I was being a smart shopper. (Insert Eye-roll here.)

So here it is. Short and sweet. Gallon of Elmer’s glue at Hobby Lobby….$24.99. even with 40% off it isn’t as cheap as Amazon Prime’s $11.99. And that’s got free 2-day shipping…..you’re kids can freakin’ wait….

So here is the link. Be smarter than me!!!

Redneck slip-n-slide

Soooo….. I’m somewhat of  a cheap-ass. I rather DIY most of the time. When it comes to entertaining the kids it’s no different. The cheaper the better. One of their favorite “it’s hot as hell outside”entertainments is the redneck slip-n-slide.

To be truly honest I’ve grown somewhat of a social phobia. (Something else I’ll blog about more in the future.) So the more we do at home or somewhere that doesn’t include a crowd of assholes, the better for my sanity.

One day I went and bought some “waterslides” from “Wal-Maddening” to use in our front yard. To say I was disappointed when I got them out and set up is an understatement. Those damn things didn’t look like they were portraited on the stupid box. Reminded me of a nasty McDoo-Doo hamburger. That crap never looks like it does in their commercials!! That day I said “never again”. And that is when the redneck slip-n-slide became a summer staple at our house.

One thing you should always be able to find on any firetruck is a tarp. We use tarps for a variety of things. Mainly for what we call salvaging….where we cover people’s stuff to reduce water and smoke damage. They are also used when we stage important equipment for rescue operations. Sometimes they are used to make water chutes to divert water.

*The following pics show off a damn good water chute put together by one of my crews on a fire scene. Photo credit goes to Capt W.*

Water chute made by one of my crews to divert water and protect property.

Two pike poles with a huge tarp used to divert water leaking from the floor above.

At our home, tarps are basically used for slip-n-slide and grass killing. Tarps, stakes, a water hose, and some dish soap….BOOM! Hours of entertainment for all the neighborhood kids. The type of entertainment where the adults just take about 15 minutes to set it up and then get a few hours of freedom to drink beer or something…more than one, two, or ten days in a row.

This is the first year I went and bought new tarps and a sprinkler. In years past I just used a knozzle on the hose and set it to where there was just enough pressure to whip it back and forth across the tarp.

I got this awesome sprinkler from Home Depot. It is stationary and has a bunch of water spray patterns. 

Do you have some random items that you seem to have an abundance of? Something that you aren’t sure #1 where they came from and #2 what the heck they are for? Well, I have a supply metal stakes that I have no clue where they came from. Somehow I had about 4 different packs. Perfect for the redneck slip-n-slide!
So here you go….the redneck slip-n-slide.

#1 Find a place that has decent padding. Anywhere with rocky terrain,concrete, or some like traffic is probably NOT a good spot.

#2 Somewhere with an incline is preferable. Anywhere with over about an, ehhh, 86° angle would probably be frowned upon. If you aren’t sure..here is a pic of angles as a reference….

#3 Use some stakes to tack down the first tarp that will be the top of the slide. I’ve been told that running space is necessary to obtain maximum speed…so plan accordingly.

#4 Tuck and tack any other tarp under the one before it….meaning overlap them with the one above being on top. If you don’t understand, sorry. I just confused myself. But I have total confidence that you will figure it out.

#5 Hook up a continuous water supply. No water = tarp burn. 

#6 Throw a bottle of soap out there for them to use. Dollar Store stuff works just fine.

#7 Enjoy some free time to drink some beer or take a nap or whatever.

So there you have it. The redneck slip-n-slide. Hours of unmonitored fun. You’re welcome.