In our own Backyard

Story last updated at 10:38 AM on Wednesday, October 26, 2011

'Tis the season for costumes, treats and tricks

In our own backyard

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer


Photo by McKibben Jackinsky

A swarm of bees is attracted to Birth 2 Three's costume party Tuesday. From left: daycare provider Nikki Melkomukov, Lukas Renner, Thea James and Jai Badajos.

A lot of costumes have come out of my sewing machine over the years. From Snow White for my daughter Jennifer, made between the time she went to bed and the time she got up the next morning, to a French fry with ketchup on the top for my grandson Colby, I've been challenged to think outside the box.

Actually, that's not entirely true. The basis for the French fry was a box, with a fabric shape made to fit over it. Colby's head stuck through the top of the box and I crafted a red beret-type hat that was supposed to be a dab of ketchup. To be honest, I'd have been hard-pressed to guess what he was if I hadn't made the costume, but I was amazed when other people pointed to him and shouted, "French fry with ketchup."

Coming up with treats has been just as much fun. For instance, there was the time Colby and I found a recipe for a kitty-litter cake. The "litter" was made by crumbling up a yellow cake and mixing it with green food coloring. The contributions a cat would have made, were it the real thing, were made from Tootsie Rolls we warmed up in the microwave and Colby, laughing all the while, shaped appropriately and scattered through the "litter." It was served from a real, honest-to-goodness litter box, one we had purchased for the occasion. We used an also-new litter scoop for measuring out portions. It was the perfect combination of the treat and trick.

Speaking of tricks, I remember one year when my daughters were in kindergarten and first grade and my mom and I took them trick-or-treating. It was no small task in Ninilchik when all our friends lived so far apart, most of them at the end of rough and narrow dirt roads. Nevertheless, off we went, costumes made to fit over jackets, hats and boots so the girls would stay warm as they darted from the warmth of our car to the front door of friends' cabins.

When we arrived at one cabin and discovered the people who lived there weren't home, Mom and I looked at each other and got the same idea. We immediately began grabbing items from the porch and piling them in front of the door. My daughters' eyes grew bigger as they watched us frantically dash around.

"This," I said, "is the 'trick' part of trick-or-treating."

With their help, we added pieces of wood from the nearby woodpile. Tools. Tires. Whatever we found and could pick up went into covering the entrance of the little home.

This year my grandkids have come up with ideas for Halloween that don't include their grandma's creative genius

That doesn't mean, however, that I'm sitting out this holiday. Not with all Homer has to offer. There are costumes to enjoy. Treats to eat. Nonprofits to help. And who knows. I might even come up with a way to pull some tricks on unsuspecting friends and neighbors.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at


Photo by McKibben Jackinsky

A spot of sun on a rainy day, 7-month-old Kaylee Kvasnikoff enjoys the Birth2Three costume party Tuesday with her mom, Megan Smith.

Pumpkin carving contest

Cash prizes, food and fun; donations accepted for Homer Boys & Girls Club


Oct. 27 • 5 p.m., with judging at 5:30 p.m., Bay Realty

"Frankenstein," with Boris Karloff

$5 admission benefits the Homer Broomball League


Oct. 27 • 7 p.m., Homer Theatre

Fall Carnival

When/Where: Oct. 28 • 4-7 p.m., McNeil Canyon Elementary School

Haunted Hickory

When/Where: Oct. 28

Mild fright beginning 4 p.m.; more frightening 7-11 p.m.

USCGC Hickory (End of the Homer Spit)

Admission: Two items for the Homer Community Food Pantry

Halloween Carnival


Oct. 28 • 6-8 p.m. Chapman School

Halloween pictures

Get your picture taken in your costume; enter to win a one-night stay at the Bidarka Inn Best Western; kids under 21 must be accompanied by adult.

When/Where: Oct. 29-31 Otter Room

Monster Mashup

Costumes, dancing, $5 admission benefits Homer Broomball League

When/Where: Oct. 29 • 9 p.m. Alice's Champagne Palace

Costume contest

When/Where: Oct. 29 AJ's Oldtown Steakhouse and Tavern

Happy Halloween Open House

When/Where: Oct. 30 • 1-4 p.m. Homer Animal Friends

Costume Parade

When/Where: Oct. 31 • 12:30 p.m. Paul Banks Elementary School

Costume Parade

When/Where: Oct. 31 • 1 p.m. West Homer Elementary School

"Under the Deep Dark Sea" Halloween Bash Music by Holy Santos Gang

When/Where: Oct. 31


Halloween Party

When/Where: Oct. 31

Salty Dawg Saloon