Tag Archives: autumn

Jackie and the Giant Pumpkin

27 Sep

Hey.  Happy Lollipop Tuesday, folks.

You know, I don’t have a whole heck of a lot to say this week.  Mostly because my hands are sad, cramped little things that are wondering why I submitted them to this torture.  And also because I’m kind of in shock that after years and years of wanting to do this, I finally sat down and had the patience to properly carve a pumpkin without hacking it to little bits.

Because up until this year, that’s really all that happened.

But alas, I have a blog now.  And I’m slowly acquiring patience like a disease.  Lest we forget, last week I did a Rubik’s Cube.  A Rubik’s Cube! And so this week I wanted to see if I could hang in there for 4 hours and celebrate fall with a big rearended pumpkin with holes cut in it in celebration of falling leaves.  I even carved little teeth.  TEETH! I carved them and skinned them  and shouted with glee.

But before I celebrate fully, allow me to mock the stupid instruction manual that came with my “carving kit”.  Which, by the way, I got at the grocery store.  Not the best bet for quality squash mutilation.  Indulge me so much as to allow a direct quotation:

Step #1: Choose a favorite Stencil & detach the black perforated areas.
Step #2: Attach Stencil with tape.
Step#3: Outline the Stencil with a black marker, Poker, or Tracer.
Step#4: Carve your pumpkin with the Carving Tools.
Step #5: It was so easy with this Stencil Kit.

I’m sorry, what?!  I’ll go ahead and ignore the fact that I paid $5.99 for a bunch of crappy plastic “tools” that couldn’t be bothered to label what each is and what it’s best used for.  And hey, I’ll even completely overlook the fact that a truly helpful kit (with book attached) might take a little more time spreading out the action in Step #4 with a few tips or tricks for the beginner.  

But what on God’s green and wonderful earth is Step #5?  Not a step.  The answer is that it’s not a step.


That’s a reflection.  That’s an opinion.  That’s a narrative for a little cartoon of a child carving a pumpkin.  It might be a nice final frame without the term Step#5 attached to it.  

I shouldn’t have even bought the kit out of principle.  

Anyway, after I came down off my angry box and got out my tools, I took lots of deep breaths and continued to do so for about 4 hours until I produced this:


Which, I have to tell ya, is better than any darn pumpkin I’ve ever attempted in the past.  I’ve always wanted to sit down and take the time to make a cool pumpkin that I see on the Interwebz but I give up after cutting the top off and throw it far away from me so I don’t have to look at its enraging orange skin anymore.    But this year is the year that changed it all and I can finally die knowing that I’ve given a pumpkin a fair chance at being super cool.

As many of you know, Dave shares in my Lollipop Tuesday adventures, and I’d just like to take a moment to give you a juxtaposition of our two artworks:

He’s so much more laid back than me.  Look: his even has a tongue.  It’s adorably happy.  

Any by the way, I know I’m jumping the gun a bit on the Halloween fun, but we’re really given such a short amount of time to embrace such a fantastic holiday that I don’t feel even a tinge of remorse.  In fact, you should carve a pumpkin too.

Happy Fall ya’ll.  

The Scarecrow Conspiracy

19 Sep

I’m in a silent war with my neighbors.

Last weekend I spread autumn cheer all over my house and let a little of it leak out into the hallway in the form of a small, smiling scarecrow. I placed it just outside my door, facing the stairway that leads to the entrance of the building so that everyone who comes up the stairs will be sure to notice the cheery autumn greeting. 

The conflict


A few days later I left my apartment to find my little scarecrow turned around entirely, facing the corner as if he was being punished.   I thought it slightly amusing, turned him back around, and placed him up against the wall facing the hallway instead of the stairs.  I suspected that someone got creeped out by it staring at them (perhaps someone battling a fear of dolls or perhaps a crow battling a fear of scarecrows) and figured that changing the hallway coordinates of my autumn cheer would be helpful.

The next day I came out to find him exactly where I left him – but turned around.

It’s difficult to find the motivation.  Perhaps it’s really scaring the bejeezus out of someone.  Perhaps it’s just an impish little child playing with my mind.  Maybe it’s the girls in Apartment 19 upset because the girly scarecrow decoration solidified their hunch that hunky, charming Dave has a girlfriend.  

Mission complete.

Or maybe the entire building is conspiring against me.  Maybe they hate that I jumped the gun on fall decorations and they’re all working together to exhaust me of the scarecrow.  

I should go to the craft store, buy a bunch of autumn dolls, and stick them outside every single door in our apartment building.  The ones that are gone in a week are suspects.  I’ll start an investigative search and find the perpetrator.  And when I have him in my grasp, I will ask him whether it’s a fear of dolls or a fear of early decorating that has them at such odds with me.  

If it’s the latter, the punishment should be certain death.

No one who doesn’t appreciate autumn should be allows to live.  It’s the most glorious season of the year.

In Praise of Autumn

7 Sep
I was cold yesterday.
Like, genuinely cold.  Cold enough to put on another layer.  Cold enough to consider socks.  Cold enough, my friends, to entertain the idea of a scarf.
Autumn is coming and I’m so excited I could just pee myself.  Just one big puddle of pee around me, all the time.
Fall brings all the super awesome things to my life.  It brings delicious food and seasonal specialties (don’t pretend you don’t look forward to a pumpkin spice something-or-other all year long, because you do).  It’s the perfect season for clothes because I can sport my summer clothes in layers with my winter clothes.  For one beautiful moment in the year, nothing in my wardrobe is off limits.   I can wear makeup without it melting off ten minutes later.  I can do my hair without it falling apart into a humid, hot mess.  I can go for walks and be excited just to breathe autumn air.  I can – holy cow – step foot outside my apartment without my armpits instantly turning into marshlands.
Mmm.  Armpit swamp.
Road trips are fantastic because they’re chock full of beautiful, vibrant arrangements of leaves.  The air has a slight sense of musk and wetness to it that makes me want to cuddle up with a blanket or a book or a great bowl of something warm and delicious.  I dream about going out to a cabin somewhere and starting a fire where I can hang by its warmth with no one to bother me.
The autumn months hint at holiday cheer without bogging me down with the stress of it all.  I can happily browse for a thoughtful gift here or there without the pressure of knowing I have to have it all done right away.  I can dream of all the paid time off I’m going to take from work without actually taking it yet.  Just the thought of it is enough to get me through two months without even thinking of taking an extra day off.
Work begins to lighten up because folks are cashing in on vacation time before the holiday galas and events start calling them somewhere new every other evening.  People are making big, wonderful plans for the season that keeps them hopeful enough to stay in a good mood.  And the idea that holiday cheer is slowly encroaching upon them manages to turn some of the sourest sourpusses into decent fake smilers.
Everything is lovely when the leaves are changing.
I don’t think I can make it to the 23rd of this month before giving in to my excitement.  I’m already lighting a pumpkin candle every evening and dreaming about how I’ll arrange the fall decorations this year.  I’m placing blankets on every sitting surface just so I can nuzzle them later.  I’m flipping through magazines looking at amusing food to make for the season.
My favorite so far is tiny hot dogs wrapped up in croissants like mummies and given faces with mustard.
Well, that settles it.  This weekend will be spent baking, hanging decorations, and wrapping tiny wieners in bread.   I hear the forecast calls for thunderstorms.
Perhaps even some puddle splashing is in order. ♣
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