It's a Contest

There was a pumpkin carving contest last weekend.
 The word 'contest' makes it all matter SOOOOO much more for those of us 
who lean toward the more competitive edge of life. 
It must be so difficult to live over there!
You would imagine that setting your pumpkin aflame with 
blue fire would make you the sure winner.
You would be wrong.
 It might seem like an easy YES vote on the Mummy Pumpkin with the realistic blue eyes.
Wrong again.
Here they all are - which one would you have voted for?


Deer Hunting

Can you find the deer in this photo?
I was actually trying to get a morning photo of those beautiful leaves
 ( = delaying treadmill as long as possible) 
when the deer moved and I could see it, right there in the viewfinder!
It went on to run crazily across the yard, almost jump the fence into our backyard, slow traffic on a blind curve, thrill a busload of schoolchildren ("A Deer!") and finally cross the road into a field and safety.
That deer leads an exciting life!


Dahlia Devotion

Hydrangeas  are my Garden True Love.
But I've almost lost my heart to something else -  DAHLIAS
Oh. My. Word.
The crazy luxuriousness of this fistful of blooms! 
And the name woos me, too - Galileo's Compass.
I'm going to dig the tubers up before they freeze and have them again next year.
I am I am I am I am I am I am I am I am I am I am I am
Maybe I can convince myself to actually save a plant from the freeze - one that requires digging up!
Never have managed it before, though.
Oh, I can yank geraniums out of their pots, beat their bottoms on the ground to get the dirt off and ram them in a paper bag for over wintering, 
but to get out there with shovel, hose and knife???
I find I don't have much heart for that sort of thing here at the end of October. 

Watched this short video and learned exactly what to do. 
Looks like I can get MORE of this plant for free by dividing!
And FREE is my favorite, so maybe I actually will do it...


Savoring the Sun

My Husband says it's Indian Summer for a few days.
Temps reaching as high as 80 today and tomorrow!
School books are being spread out on picnic tables in the early afternoon sun -
one of the truly great pleasures of home schooling.
We're not the only ones soaking up those rays and frantically savoring the warmth!

This tiny, perfectly white butterfly reminds me of fairy stories I used to read as a little girl.
That would probably make the bumblebee a wicked villain... 



Twenty Years Ago I became a mother.
It was a long day. 
We got to the hospital at about 7 a.m. and our first son didn't show up until almost midnight.

Lots of transforming incidents during those hours: 
* an enema witnessed by the brother-in-law who shouldn't have
* 1960's baby photos flung about by well-meaning grandmothers
* a gathering at the foot of my bed attended by 'everyone on the 
floor who hasn't seen your bottom yet
* drowning labor pains followed by blissful epidural numbness
* learning that operating rooms are very, very cold
* seeing my husband dressed in scrubs

Memorable Quotes:
- "Is it time for my epidural yet? Now? How about now?"
 "Is it supposed to hurt this bad?"
"I think everyone in the maternity unit has seen my bottom!"
"Let's not strap my arms down ..."
"He's so beautiful!"
  - "There are tears in my ears."
 - "It's his birthday! Everybody bring presents!"
"He looks just like his dad!"


In the Barn

If you live in a golfing community, do you have photos through the generations of your family 'on the links', posing by a golf cart,  ... teeing off?
If you live on the coast, does your family treasure photos through the years of couples posing near the cliffs, children perched on rocks or grandparents under striped beach umbrellas?
If your family owns a shop in the downtown of a city what would be the recurring backdrop then? Front or back stoops? The window with the best afternoon light streaming into an apartment? Under the shop awning holding a broom and wearing the styles of the decade?
Growing up in Kentucky, I've noticed that we have lots of BARN photos. 
I won't throw them all out here for you, but LOTS of barn photos - even though we don't even have a barn! 
Not only in my collection, but in those of my parents, cousins, aunts and uncles also.

hanging tobacco or taking it down
tinkering and talking while huddled around tractors 
laying in wait to catch a wily barn kitten for taming
bottle feeding calves (and feeling sorry for them)
peeking out of the barn loft, having climbed up there alone for the first time

This barn photo is out of focus - I'm so clumsy with low light and moving figures!
But, really, it's a very fitting portrayal. 
Sons move fast! 
So soon and they're looking taller than their dad, and they're trying to get a hold on him, 
wrestling as though to win their own strength by conquering his.
Sons move so fast!


Hot Pigs

(more Conner Prairie odds and ends)
The pigs seemed so content, just dozing in the warm, pluffy mud.
The smell of happy, hot pigs (and not in a bacon-y way) 
was pretty shocking to our fancified noses.
I tried to power through the stench, but ended up covering my nose too.
I don't think the pigs noticed or were offended at all.
This does look painful, though. 
No wonder they want to just lay in some mud.
I felt a sympathetic shudder - do you?


An Occasional Beating

This is pretty much the only sort of stair tread runner that I find attractive.
Although I think it's also the kind you have to roll up 
and take outside for an occasional good beating.

And that might be therapeutic, actually...


Park Walk

Friday turned out to be a great day for a park walk
This time of year goes so fast. 
A few blinks and a doze or two - and the beautiful fall weather will be over!
As it turned out, the litter on the trails around our local park caused 
My Youngest to decide to write his first letter to an elected official. 
Nature Appreciation AND Community Involvement all in one afternoon - 
a perfect home school day!


The Blow Gun Market

Have I mentioned the Smokey Mountain Knife Works 
or how much of my life I've spent wandering around there, 
trying to make sense of what all those stuffed and mounted animals are trying to say?
Yes, well - if I haven't, then never mind ... except I must say that 
they sell blow (dart) guns there.
 I'll bet you've never considered that someone CAN purchase 
a blow gun ... anywhere, right?
I mean WHO would WANT to?

A thirteen year old boy, that's who.
("Take a picture of this mom! It's soooo cool!")


Hey, Hey, Hey ...

The furnace is on for the first time this season.
It's going to frost soon.
The end is near for all the spiders that dotted the landscape of my summer. 
 California Trapdoor Spider (shudder) found creeping around the foundation of our lake cabin in southern Kentucky.  It met an untimely death inside these plastic bags when bees drilled through and ate him.
I can't say that I was sorry, since I overheard one teenager say to another, 
"We'll take that home and keep it in a tank - great pet!"
This garden spider set up shop among the stems of the Yellowstone daylily in the patio garden.
Even I have to admit that it has a certain ... horrific beauty. Maybe?
If you enlarge the photo, you'll be able to see it even more clearly. It seems to have a hair-do.
I decided to nickname it Barbara, at the risk of cutifying a terror-inducing spider.
And since I really enjoy the show, I let Barbara live to the end of her natural life.



October, you've finally arrived!
It seems a little bit early to go full on with the color show, but I'll get behind it.
Photo was taken at Conner Prairie
I love this place - it's like walking right into history.
And if I can't have Colonial Williamsburg, then I'll have to stay faithful to CP.
Historic persons interacting with you just as 
if you're their favorite nineteenth century neighbor
what more could a gawker like me ask for?
It's a great big, educational game of pretend.

And last Saturday, it was free too!



She knew it was unlikely, but she had to try. 
Being witness to the warping and twisting of her daughter brought pain 
like none she had ever dreamed could exist.
Scraping her resolve together, she shoved faith to the front 
and took the final steps toward the Man.
She knew he was more than a man. 
She had heard of the things that had been happening - MIRACULOUS events, all around! 
But how well she knew who she was - not one of them. 
Would he acknowledge her plea? Even glance her way? 
Everything in her rose up and cried out again over her daughter. 
For her daughter, she would make herself heard. 
To win her daughter's freedom, she would do anything!
"Have mercy on me, O Lord ..."

Matthew 15:21-28

"Dear woman, great is  your faith!"