Do you remember me telling you about the tradition of ghosting or booing someone? You gather a few treats, secretly place them on your neighbor’s doorstep, ring the bell and run like mad. We’ve been taking part for years.
While we were away choosing pumpkins on Sunday, something magical happened. Our wonderful neighbor ‘booed’ the fairy garden! You can’t imagine the grin on my face when I saw it. Two tiny pumpkins and an inquisitive ghost planted firmly in the soil, with a tiny tree trunk sign saying ‘You’ve been booed.’
Fairy Garden Boo!
I can’t think of a sweeter treat to ring in Hallow’s Eve. Though I’m not supposed to know my secret giver, the girl next door tipped me off. That made me chuckle. She also voiced her disappointment that she hadn’t been booed, so I made quick work of a basket and the tradition carries on. I think I might be aging backwards.
Fairy Garden Haunting
Do you think the witch will head down the chimney?
I added a few spooky touches to the fairy garden this afternoon. I caught a whisper in the wind about a midnight Halloween gathering. There are plenty of tombstones for hiding and one sinister looking tree, courtesy of my son. We did Halloween crafts together for years, but all those creative treasures are now cast offs. The tree was destined for the trash last year, before I spirited it away.
Tomorrow is Halloween! Thank you for counting down with me this month. I’m feeling energized and more in control and happy to be candy-free. Just one more day and I’ll have met my goal.
Pumpkins on Parade:
I’m closing out the month with one of the miniature, late-season pumpkins. She’s busy brewing up a magic potion designed to keep squash bugs at bay. If it works, I’ll let you know. She’s looking confident and happy so I remain hopeful.
October isn’t over yet, but my skeletal doppelgänger is putting her feet up for a spell. That gnarly pumpkin is the perfect foot rest for her bone-weary feet. Check out that gorgeous gardening apron, beautifully hand-made and gifted via Gjeometry’s Pay it Forward last year. Her seamstress skills are legendary along with her famous cat.
The original skeleton’s head is long gone, so I improvised with a plush pumpkin. A guest brought it to our boys Halloween party one year. Isn’t it a dream?
Ms. Doppelganger is holding a carrot that is just a few weeks shy of its one year anniversary. Somehow it escaped harvest, continued to grow, bloomed and just now went to seed. I’m amazed by nature’s gifts every day.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve been reading about my (mostly) green thumb. Here is a never-before-seen picture of the green thumb at rest. Are you suitably impressed?
My Green Thumb
We’ve left the rocking chair available for drop-in guests. If you’re feeling weary, please stop by, pull up a pumpkin and sit a spell. I’ll press a cup of steaming hot tea in your hand and we can shoot the breeze.
Please put your feet up and sit a spell
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Candy is sweet
But my resolve is too.
October 29th, still candy-free.
Pumpkins on Parade:
I’ve never seen the iconic movie Napoleon Dynamite, but it was one of the suggestions for this month’s pumpkin dress up. I’ve done a frightful job creating this one. The darn wig refused to stay put. It was fun crafting a pair of glasses from a scrap of wire found in the garage. That said, I better stick to my day job.
It’s taken us longer than usual to decorate for Halloween this year, in part due to the weather. Early October was too darn hot. Now that the temps are dropping, we’ve put in a bit more effort. I call it sweater weather.
My family’s taste in decorating run the gamut. I’ve always enjoyed using pumpkins, fall leaves and the occasional prop outdoors. My husband is all about the lights and the carving. My youngest son is a huge fan of inflatable lawn decorations. He loved balloons as a little boy, and that love transferred to anything he can inflate.
The lawn inflatables are pretty over the top as decorations go, but they bring him such joy. He was happy to use his Christmas money over the years to buy them. He learned a lot about saving, price comparisons and finding things on sale, so lessons garnered along the way.
This year one of the fans broke so he spent time sorting out an alternative way to inflate it. He tried two smaller fans, then hooked up a tube from a larger fan and improvised with items from his room. He found joy in the process. I was equally joyful seeing him set aside his iPhone while he problem-solved. Eventually he and his dad found a replacement fan on-line and the Halloween globe is back in business. Is it silly of me to say that I’m glad it broke, if only to get a glimpse at his unique creativity?
It’s the week of Halloween, meaning the candy-pushers have stepped up their game. There was a bucket of candy on the optometrist’s counter yesterday, candy on the end-caps at Target and candy on my mind. One of the best things about tracking what you don’t eat is the awareness and clarity. Candy seems like a special reward or indulgence, but it also feels like an addiction. I don’t know if I can indulge casually or if I need to give it up for good. It’s food for thought.
Pumpkins on Parade:
Getting back to sweater weather, today’s pumpkin is toasty warm in a Jack ‘o Lantern knit. They’re all the rage this year. Pumpkins are thick-skinned so itching isn’t a problem. One size fits most.
Saturday night kicked off the first of three Halloween parties. Hosted at a salon, the under-the-sea theme of this first party inspired our costumes. Party goers dressed as mermaids and pirates and at least one turtle and a fish. My favorite costumes of the night: a pair of deep-sea divers with treasure chests strapped to their waists. Clever!
The dance music had us up and moving. As planned, we had a big salad for dinner with the goal of curbing extra-curricular eating. It mostly worked, though I dipped into a few crispy treats. Hopefully the dancing helped balance things out. Our host set up a photo taking area so I had fun posing for and taking lots of pictures.
Under the sea costumes
Aqualicious from my head to my toes (Petals made me say that)
My headdress stayed in place all night and the costume itself was quite comfortable. Mike was a bit hot after dancing with his rubberized pecs, but otherwise, he was comfortable as well. Watching several women trying to maneuver in a mermaid costume helped me appreciate the beauty of a pull-on dress.
Guardian of the Sea
Gardener of the Sea
It’s easier to avoid eating candy when it’s not giving you that come-hither look. I faced temptation twice this weekend, once on Friday and again at the party.
My brother-in-law came to town bearing gifts: a pound of my favorite See’s Chocolates. Oh boy.
I thanked him for the gift, opened the box for sharing, and everyone sat around the table, including my boys, politely abstaining. The site and smell of chocolate had my mouth watering. Once he left, I told my boys it was theirs to share and they made quick work of most of it, consumed out of my sight.
Further temptation sat on a table at the party table: a freshly opened tub of red vines, a childhood favorite. The power of accountability kept me strong.
I’ve read that the more you resist temptation, the more you strengthen your resolve. This week really put me to the test.
So, October 27th, still candy-free
Red Vines on the party table
Pumpkins on Parade:
A certain someone I know is dressing up this year as Amy Farrah Fowler, the hilarious scientist girlfriend on The Big Bang Theory. She also suggested a nerdy pumpkin. My version below includes Amy’s signature hair barrette and glasses, and her traditional cardigan and printed blouse. Amy didn’t mind the squishy pumpkin. The three small ones from the garden are limping their way through this final week of October.
Amy Farrah Fowler Pumpkin from The Big Bang Theory
Spina Farms Pumpkin Patch
I put on my best pout but it was all for naught. I couldn’t entice the teenagers to join me at the patch. Mike is always a good sport, so we enjoyed the car time, but the patch was a zoo. I don’t know what I was expecting the Sunday before Halloween but found it a bit overwhelming. Virtually all of the typical carving pumpkins were gone. The ones remaining we’re extra-large in girth and thickness. We went around a second time and decided on three ‘warts and all’ pumpkins instead. They’re surprisingly light in weight, so it will be interesting to see them inside.
Resident carver picks his pumpkins
Mike really enjoys carving pumpkins each year, and when possible, he takes the day off of work. You can see some of his past masterpieces on my page Passionate About Pumpkins. He’s really good.
Dance Like No One is Watching:
Dressing up brings out my inner goofball. a sixteen-second clip of me dancing with a skeleton prop.
Have you ever popped in to a craft store to get one thing? Then you pay for one thing and you’re quickly on your way?
That’s never happened to me either.
So it goes with my decision to make a handful of Halloween-themed cards. Scrapbook Island is one of those places that holds you in its grasp. You zig and zag, cooing at the beautiful paper and then you end up chatting with one of the creative women on staff. Then someone pops in to buy a spider web stencil, changes her mind, and before you know it, that stencil ends up in your hand basket. Wait a minute. When did I pick up a hand basket? Wasn’t I in here for one thing?
Like a kid in a candy shop, if you’ll pardon the expression, my eyes are bigger than my actual time available. I don’t do much scrapbooking anymore, as my boys now eschew all motherly attention and heaven forbid, photographs. I’m lucky to get a couple of candid shots on Christmas day. Thanks, however, to the talented influence of my sister Sharon and my crafty friends Boomdee, Kristi and Stephanie, I’ve caught the card-making bug.
So on a hot day in late September, I sat near the window and made cards.
I listened to Pandora Radio’s Halloween Party station to get into the right mood. I used my new stencil, old book pages from a vintage shop, and ribbon from the Island. I bought plenty of black paper that day, and a few yards of silky ribbon. After some brief instruction on the virtues of different inks, a small bottle or two came home as well. In the end, I made seven cards and a big ‘ol mess but oh what fun, what fun!
Envelopes and stamps
The post office doesn’t sell Halloween stamps, so I settled on Ray Charles in a bright orange shirt and assorted farmer’s market stamps. No sense making a card and a fancy envelope, only to settle for dull and boring postage. Now to address those cards and get them in the mail.
I’m candy-free, 23 days and counting! We can talk about my paper habit in another post.
Pumpkins on Parade:
Or in other words, a parade of pumpkins. Can you believe it?
Pumpkins on Parade
I ran out of daylight, so I harvested these in the dark. Now that the nights are cooler, the plant is closing down. The leaves are turning to brown in some places, powdery with mildew in others.
My mystery plant grew over the edges of the box, while at the same time producing eight pumpkinesque pieces of fruit. Did I mention that it grew without a trace of water at the roots. No signs of squash bugs either. One of my readers suggested a possible hybrid. I wonder if there is a way to find out? Unlike the vines I’m used to, all the fruit formed close to the soil line on short stems. The plant just started to send out vines in the last few weeks. This fruit is hard as a rock and heavy too. I’m just tickled to pieces to see so many of them turn orange. I’m leaving them outside to harden for a few days, unless we get that promised rain.