Delicate Sensibilities

Today a story in the local daily about pink pumpkins caught my imagination. I took the address down and went on the hunt for my pink pumpkin.  I found it nestled among its sisters and brothers–not too big, not too small, plush but not obese —

English: The Giant Pumpkin competition at the ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Goldilocks would most assuredly declare it “just right”. It now adorns my front porch, adding a note of whimsy to my fall decor.  Its delicate colour appeals to my senses.  And the bonus is that part of the price of the pumpkin is going to cancer research. Here, in haiku form is my ode to my pale pumpkin:

Plush pink pumpkin glows

Beside its orange cousins ~

Diaphanous wisp of fall.

Are you a fan of the original orange pumpkins or do you like to mix it up?

Published in: on October 12, 2013 at 7:56 pm  Comments (34)  
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~ Halloween Revisited ~

English: Pumpkin carving - photo taken in dark...

Pumpkin carving – (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My favourite holiday is about to be served up next week, and in preparation I am trying to decide what kind of treats I will hand out to those oh-so-merry revellers at my door. Oh,… you say, it is not my favourite holiday? No carollers and hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies for a song well sung?

What’s that you say? It is my least favourite holiday—Halloween …when the veil between us and the “other” world is thinner and we are subject to visitations from ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties, and things that go bump in the night?

But let me pause here. Perhaps it is I and those in my “not too crazy about Halloween” camp who need some reprogramming. Maybe, just maybe, we should embrace this festive time of year and turn our front yards into cemeteries and our trees into an executioner’s dream with a noose hanging perilously from every branch.

If so many people love Halloween, could we be the ones who need to change? There is a macabre element to Halloween that cannot be denied. But who are we to put a cap on our dark sides? Perhaps we need this day to get it out of our system, to face our fears, and laugh at them. Methinks we take it too seriously. We need to get with the program.

Out of curiosity, I “Googled” why some people do not like Halloween. One of the answers provided was that people who do not enjoy this holiday are lame. The verbatim answer was a little more insulting than that, but that is all I am going to share here. Other reasons given were religion and fear.

I have not always disliked Halloween and cannot really remember when my distaste for it started. Maybe it was the year that some older kids knocked over the jack o’lantern we had outside and almost burned our house down. (I am overstating here—but it did scare me—and we never put a lit jack o’lantern out on the front porch again—live and learn).  Or maybe it was the fact that when I was a kid we lived in the country and after visiting (in the dark with flashlights) the four houses close to us, Halloween was basically over, so it was not much to celebrate. One year though my Dad drove us all over the county – (actually only a few miles from home to houses that were more than a half mile away) and we made out like bandits. That year I liked Halloween.

So, this year, determined to recover from my Grinchy take on Halloween, I am going to make a list of twelve things I like about it as the first step in my recovery:

1. First and foremost, how bad can a festivity be if it features little chocolate bars?

2. I love little kids dressed up as dinosaurs with tails dragging behind them and fairies and Mario and Luigi and whatever else they want to dress up as.

3. I love that all my neighbours turn their front lights on for trick or treaters. It looks so welcoming.

4. I love it when little kids will only take one little chocolate bar when you offer them a bowl of candy and you have to talk them into taking more.

5. I love pumpkins.

Pumpkin Harvest

Pumpkin Harvest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6. I love pumpkins.

7. I love pumpkins.

8. I love Linus’s faith in the Great Pumpkin.

9. I love everyone else’s enthusiasm about Halloween.

10. I love pumpkins.

11. I love turning the front light out at eight o’clock figuring all the little kids have finished trick or treating, and the Halloween festivities are over for me for another year.

12. I love how my youngest son embraces the holiday, and starts to plan his costume months in advance.

Oh, and by the way, did I mention that I love pumpkins?

I am far from cured—but if the antidote is those little chocolate bars, I am willing to take a dose or two.  Wishing you all no tricks, just treats.

How about you–are you a diehard fan of Halloween or someone who is trying to embrace it like me?

Pumpkins at Halloween

Pumpkins at Halloween (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Published in: on October 22, 2012 at 10:02 pm  Comments (60)  
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Late Bloomer

Green and red cubanelle peppers

Green and red cubanelle peppers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have always been a late bloomer. This may explain why, three-quarters of the way through June, our backyard garden is finally planted and right now being watered by an early summer rain. This year we have opted to grow just tomatoes and peppers, and since I am only the occasional weeder and sometimes waterer of the garden, I am not even sure what varieties have been planted. But I know, as sure as Rudolph has a red nose, that most of the peppers are of the hot, hotter and hottest varieties.

The garden is really my eldest son, Adam’s, and he loves to pick the hot peppers, cut them up,  and enjoy them on his hamburgers, hot dogs, and whatever else can use a bit of out of this world heat. He obviously inherited my mother’s green thumb, as I have no claim to any gardening skills. My Impatiens are still on the front porch, awaiting their day in the sun, or more appropriately for these types of Impatiens, the shade—though I play little heed to the directions on the little plastic sticks stuck in the pots. I do know that if I do not plant them soon, they will go the way of their unfortunate cousins, the pansies who never did get planted in May, and are wilting on their little stems. I may be able to save a few.

The garden had been taken over by chives, which had to be moved and given their own half acre. I think we may have to fence the little devils in to keep them tame. There is also some swiss chard growing from last year—we are not sure if we should eat it, but it is a bit of a novelty. I planted a rose-bush in one corner of our little plot, a gift from Mother’s Day 2011, and it is blooming like crazy with very little attention.

We have learned some lessons over the years of growing vegetables, and number one is not to attempt to grow pumpkins or corn. Here is an excerpt from a piece I wrote in 2008 to explain why:

Pumpkins, photographed in Canada.

Pumpkins, photographed in Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No More Pumpkins: 2008

I learn from my mistakes. Eventually. Usually I don’t learn the first or second time, but by the third time I at least get an inkling that I may not be on the right track. I have learned, albeit the hard way, that growing pumpkins in your backyard is not easy. The vines tend to take over. And not only the garden. Last year I had nightmares that they had broken down my back door, and stealthily crept up the stairs to my bedroom to strangle me in my sleep.

So this year, no more pumpkins! I am leaving my favourite orange orbs to the experts. Last year we did realize nine of the lovelies and used them to dress up the front of our house for fall, along with some of the corn stalks we salvaged from the feast the raccoons had in our garden. And to answer a question that was posed a number of times, no, I did not make any pies from the pumpkins. You would not believe the number of people who asked me this question. Obviously this making of pies is not the foreign concept to them as it is to me.


So this year we employed the KISS method—keep it simple stupid. And really, are not tomatoes and peppers two very fine vegetables? (If you want to get technical fruit and vegetable).

Hopefully I will get my bright pink and white Impatiens planted (they are a new colour combo this year—so I am being trendy) soon, and all you real gardeners out there can breathe a sign of relief that they are not going to go the way of my poor pansies!

Published in: on June 22, 2012 at 1:11 am  Comments (38)  
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