Pumpkins to Jack O’Lanterns

Tomorrow’s the big day.  My husband, Mike, our resident pumpkin carver is taking the afternoon off to create magic. By noon he’ll be up to his elbows in pumpkin flesh, meticulously carving Jack O’Lanterns for Halloween. He has his work cut out for him.  We had an impressive harvest this year, ten pumpkins in all.  I love the way the house smells once he guts the pumpkins. It takes me back to the excitement of my childhood Halloween.

4 great pumpkins

Our 4 Great Pumpkins

Each year Mike carves a few of his past favorites, in addition to trying something new.  Last year he carved a few small pumpkins to look like computer emoticons. They were so unexpected. When my son was small, he asked his dad to carve Max, the bunny from Rosemary Wells Max and Ruby series.  He pulled it off beautifully.

Max and Ruby Pumpkin

Max and Ruby Pumpkin

One of his personal favorites is Deadly Diva.  She gets plenty of comments from passersby, so he’s carved her more than once.

Deadly Diva

Deadly Diva, a favorite since 2006

Halloween is a big deal on our suburban block.  We average 150 children at our door.  I’m on my feet for nearly three hours non-stop handing out candy.  My youngest son heads out with his dad and some friends for his own candy haul.   It’s a night of mystery and fun, followed by the realities of a regular school and work day.  Just like Cinderella, we all turned back into mortals by November 1st.

carved cat pumpkin

Cat Pumpkin

The After Pumpkin

While Mike is carving, I gather and rinse the seeds, then spread them out on wax paper to dry.  I store them in a labeled lunch bag for planting the following year.  We roasted pumpkin seeds in the oven as kids, but for some reason that tradition didn’t survive.  We have more fun planting the seeds the following year.

Now that my compost bins are under way, I’ll be able to turn the discarded rinds into rich compost for next year.  You’ve gotta love the cycle of life.

When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.

~The Quote Garden, Author Unknown

Halloween Countdown

Costume Accessory Pumpkin

Costume Accessories Pumpkin

17 thoughts on “Pumpkins to Jack O’Lanterns

  1. Will you miss your pumpkin vinettes once they find their way into the compost? I bought some stuff to do a winter porch, but it’s too cold out to get it done, that must be an oxymoron. Mikes sure going to have his work cut out for him, no pun intended. Are both boys going out? They’re probably pretty wired for the main event. What will they dress as? Happy Carving day Alys and Happy Birthday Betsy!

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    • Thanks, Boomdee!

      Mac’s best buddy is coming over after school so they can make a haunted front porch. The two of them will go out or the candy haul together and then his friend is spending the night.

      Chris has never enjoyed the festivities, but he does like handing out candy so we do that together.

      The schools no longer allow dress up like they did when we were kids.

      Also god news: the forecasted rain is delayed by one day so they’ll have a dry evening. I feel so bad for the millions of folks on the east coast that will struggle for days and weeks to come. I suppose trick or treating is the least of their concerns. Good to county your lucky stars as my mom used to say.

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      • Wasn’t that some storm? We just watched the National news and they’ve reported high winds as far west as Toronto. Up rooted trees, downed Hydro lines and lots of rain. It would have been really bad if it was snow. Glad you’ll have a dry event, so much more fun for Mac and his buddies. I know you and Chris will have just as much fun at the door with all the little cute munchins popping by. It snowed here today and made the roads all slick. I was due at my Aunties for a Hen party (she gets her nails done at her house), so it was super slow going.

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        • I’m glad you made it there safe. It must be stressful driving in the snow with slick roads and poor visibility.

          Yes, the eastern storms are awful. Over 35 people killed, mostly from falling trees.

          It is great fun at the door. Lots of energy, and cute little kids in costumes. Loads of fun.

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  3. I really enjoyed your blog! The pumkins are fantastic! Craig grows ours in the cemetery each year! Very Halloweeny. Can’t wait to see your garden in real life someday. Your costumes were fantastic btw!!

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    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Paige. What a great place to grow your pumpkins! Do you have photos of them growing at the cemetery?

      I would love to have you down for a visit. The garden is at it’s prettiest in the spring and summer, but you are welcome any time.

      Thanks for the kudos on the costumes. We had great fun coming up with the ideas.

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    • It’s crazy the way the candy flies out the door. The first year in this house we had no idea. We ran out of candy in half an hour. The following year we bought more and still ran out. That’s when I decided to do a tally. Right after 9/11 things dropped by half (sad), but within a few years it was back to it’s crazy norm.

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  5. Pingback: How to save your pumpkin seeds (and eat them, too)! « Flowery Prose

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