Carving Contest


"You keep going on that ... I'll just take a couple of photos real quick ..."
We used to have alot of pudgy little boy hands 'helping' with the carving. Now our Almost-Men were either on their way to the party (if we're lucky), or carving their own entry with a sweet girl   friend (not necessarily a girlfriend, no space), or abstaining (which is similar to disdaining).
So My Man and I were on our own this year. He might say he was on his own this year, judging from the photo below. 

(more) beauty and design in the goop


What a nice crowd of pumpkins we had at the family pumpkin carving contest! Lots of effort and thought went into these, especially MWH's and mine (far left), but we still didn't win.  Dang! And the prize was a bag of real-looking plastic cockroaches, too! 
Or tooth-black ... that went to the chili-cook off winner.

 Check out that bottom left one - we all mocked it in the daylight. The carver spent time trying to explain how the face was supposed to look. Said he thought he must've botched it, somehow. But when the candles were lit --- AMAZING! 
Makes me think of the man in the moon!
Can you guess which one was the winner?


Mum Failure

I'm a Mum Failure. 
Love them, buy them, but they aren't perennial for me. Pansies don't do it for me as a fall flower --- that seems like an Easter bloom. I used to plant a few every winter, 'Polar Pansies', and hopehopehope that they'd make it out of the snow first in the spring, but I haven't done that in a few years. Used to plant lots of bulbs in the fall, too, but quit that as the bulbs, tulips, seemed to stay on vacation instead of coming back to do their work in May. 

Instead, my garden shows beauty in the elderly stages of its summer members. There is beauty in age, sometimes -
Pink Diamond Hydrangea, living up to its name.

Hardy Begonia - not sure of its real name. It was shared by a dear friend, traveling home in a grocery bag. Great fall blooms, though! 
Thanks, Jayne!

Japanese Anemone, Honorine Jorbet - great name! 
(Good description of it here. Got this on the clearance rack at a home store for a buck.)
This is the first year that Black Hateful Beetles have not chewed them to bits in the late summer. 

More Anemone, 'Alice' here, a little shorter semi-double. Finding these links, I learned that this plant is can also be called thimble flower or wind flower - much nicer names!


He's on the Move

It's almost time for Halloween - not my favorite holiday, but it's somewhere to begin. 
Frankie is hanging out in funny places around our house these days...
After leaving the (vacation) fridge, he moved to our Middle Son's room, proudly in place on top of the TV cabinet. 
I soon found him lying, devastated looking, after being tossed down the stairs. Tossed in somewhat of a snit, I believe.
 "Mom! Stop hiding this thing!" 
Now Frankie is peering from a corner in the sunroom ... but not for long, I think...
He's on the move!


Why Rake?

You have to ask questions with lots of care when they get taller than you. You might only have a one-question / one-answer window! I've used these in attempting conversation with my more taciturn sons:
"What do you like about fall?" 
"What are some things you remember about fall when you were little (hahaha)?" 
"What are you looking forward to when fall comes this year?"

I scored big on this answer from one of my guys: 
"I like to see a golden carpet of leaves covering the grass."

And he'll get to see that this year, too, since we don't rake around here until the last leaf has fallen.  Usually the leaves get mown for mulch, and if the rake does comes out, it's only for making a jumping pile. Although there's not many Almost Men who will risk their  (fragile) dignity for a romp in the leaves anymore. 

Maybe if no one else is looking...


Museum Skills

We took another art museum field trip.  We tried to steer away from the nudes, but you know you can only do so well at that.  In taking My Youngest, my only remaining student At Home, I noticed some changes in his museum skills from the last time we went.  Last time, there was marked astonishment at the lack of modesty - something we always advocate, modesty that is, not the lack of it. Especially during NFL games. 
Victoria's Secret is the worst offender - please don't come to the games, Vicky! 

Anyway, what might demand a channel change on TV is a little less than you'd see on a stroll through a renaissance gallery on any given Tuesday. Instead of astonished shock from My Big Little Boy, he became casually oblivious.  I watched as his eye glanced only barely over multiple topless Virgin Marys 
(why???  were there  really so many people who wanted to see Baby Jesus nursing???) 
to finally rest on some safer art - he favored the weapons, of course. 
It was an interesting trip.

True beauty from one of the very early churches - 
This fresco is so impressive, spilling out natural light. You have to wonder about the ancient, believing eyes that gazed on this same window.

This (below) is just one small panel in a huge altar depicting various religious scenes, done in the 1400's.  I have to say, this one tickled me a little bit. I don't want to be irreverent about the ascension, but check out how the artist, I believe it was Hans Melming, painted the Lord's toes.  Big toes pointed straight up on the way to heaven. 
And as always, the faces in the crowd are fascinating. Some looking at the ground prayerfully (how could you not watch?), a few seeming quite surprised at what is happening, and others watching thoughtfully. Makes you wonder, doesn't it - what would your reaction have been?  Certainly none of them thought this was going to happen. 
And probably none of them were considering His toes. 

(except maybe that upward-looking guy on the far left edge of the piece...)


Baby Indigo

I've babied three seedlings along all summer!  They've not grown very tall or wide, but they're still increasing a tiny bit at a time.
 The biggest one pictured below.
Thanks, Kate, for the seeds! 
I'm hoping for a great stand of dark purple false indigo someday!

Hanging Out

I've got a few gourds out there, and it's almost time to pick them!  
At least I think it is. 
Mildew got these vines, but the gourds are still just  hanging there, waiting.


It's Crowded

Sitting out on the patio feels a little crowded these days. The bees are busy and noisy!
They're enjoying this purple salvia.  They have been all summer, but right now they're almost frantic with activity. And the few that have buzzed around this season have called their friends! There's nearly a SWARM out there, buzzing in and out of those purple spikes.
Do they know that their time is running out? They're filling every sunshiney minute with hectic activity, because their time is almost up! They'll need to hibernate soon, and a long, dark, sleepy winter is ahead for them. 
That doesn't sound so bad, does it?


Got Me - Again

You got me!
Yes, you seasonal souls who decorate even your vehicles for Halloween - you ALWAYS get me with those dangling, smashed and bloody body parts! I am that shocked person with her hand over her mouth, gasping in  horror that someone got smashed in a car door/trunk/hood. Even if the scare lasts only part of a second, I'm sure you'll be gratified to know - 
Ya Got Me!

Just like every year, I'll be glad when Halloween is over. 

And to the 
Person Who Decorated Their Entire Yard In Orange Lights And Graveyard Gore
I'm NOT looking, no, not even a glance!

(Photo taken by My Youngest, who wrestled the phone from my hand. He belongs to 'Children Preventing Automobile Accidents'. He's going to bring holiday driving hazards up at the next meeting of CPAA.)