Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkin Love

So, funny story about our pumpkins this year ... We always buy our pumpkins from St. Paul's, the Lutheran church just up the street. Now me being me, we usually buy our pumpkins a day or two before Halloween, and usually the nice folks at the pumpkin stand give us a sweet deal, since at that late date they're just hoping to get rid of what they have left.

This year, for reasons I can't quite recollect, possibly having something to do with Will having his birthday sleepover on the 24th, we got our pumpkins early (for us).  I took Jack and Will over to St. Paul's after school last Tuesday and said they could each pick a pumpkin. The only criteria was they had to choose pumpkins they could carry. Mostly, I was thinking of my own back, but I also thought that would keep our purchase in a reasonable price range.

Little did I know that years of P.E. are finally paying off for Jack. He picked the biggest pumpkin on the lot and carried it to the checkout table as though it were a loaf of Wonder Bread. Will picked up a robust, but much more modest-sized pumpkin, and I pulled out my wallet.

Guess how much Jack's pumpkin cost? Thirty bucks! Thirty buckaroos! It's got to weigh around thirty pounds, maybe more. It's huge, it's beautiful, but who on earth charges thirty dollars for a pumpkin?

Those dang Lutherans!

Of course, I thought briefly about saying "no can do," but I stopped myself. First of all, we've been getting bargain basement prices from these people for years. Second, the money goes to missions, so it's lining Jesus's pockets, not some fly-by-night pumpkin merchant's. Finally, when your teenage son actually exhibits enthusiasm about something and it's safe, legal and not wearing hot pants, you don't kill his buzz.

But, man oh man. Thirty bucks for a pumpkin. What will they think of next?


Speaking of Jack, he stayed after school on Monday to work out at the gym. This is a first. Jack is not athletic, hasn't played a team sport since second grade, and the only physical activity he seems to enjoy is the occasional bike ride. I will say he's always liked using the treadmill and stationary bike at my parents' house. So his wanting to work out isn't entirely unprecedented, but it was definitely unexpected.

And when I picked him up, shock number two: He was sitting at a table full of girls. Girls! What is the world coming to?


Pantry sorted and organized? Check.

Lazy Susan cabinet weeded and vacuumed (yes, vacuumed, but not literally weeded, though if I'd waited much longer, there might in fact have been weeds growing in there)? Check.

Deep freeze relieved of a year's supply (that year being 2011) of frozen fig jam? Check.

Christmas cookie dough made? Check.

I'm on the path to a stress-free Christmas, girls! Yesterday, I ordered holiday stamps for my Christmas cards and did a little online perusing for gifts ideas for my MIL. I will resist buying wrapping paper at Target today, because although I'm trying to get a jump on the holidays, I do still resent stores decorating for Christmas in mid-October.

I won't be decorating until mid-December. No Christmas carols until December 1st, and then only in the car when I drive to the boys to school until the week before Christmas, when we will go hog wild with the Christmas carols.

Nonetheless, my children are mocking me for my early Christmas prep. They think I'm changing my tune. They are wrong. I'm just trying to keep my sanity in tact. That's all.

By the way, if you want to get totally, wildly, perhaps even inappropriately organized for Christmas, this is a good website:  I'm vaguely following their six-week plan.


Halloween quilt!

And Jody, since you asked about the quilting, here is a close-up of one of the blocks. The color is distorted because of the camera flash, and I couldn't figure out how to flip the photo, so this is a sideways view of my little quilted pumpkins:


Nancy McCarroll said...

Nice quilt.

THIRTY bucks?? Danged Lutherans.

You have a real gift for writing. I love your posts.

Heather said...

I love your quilt! I've been wanting to make a Christmas quilt, but I don't think I'll be able to finish it in time.

I stopped going to pumpkin patches after I learned that I can get huge pumpkins at the grocery store for 4 dollars. Maybe it is not exactly the idyllic Halloween tradition that my kids will forever keep in their hearts, but it keeps their momma happy.

I get it, though, about the $30 dollars going to a good cause. It is kind of like those horrible school fundraising catalogs my kids bring home. They want you to spend millions of dollars on stuff you could buy at the dollar store. I always buy something, though, because I know it is a good cause. I'd rather they just ask for donations.

wayside wanderer said...

Girl, you have been busy! I now feel like a slug.

Love love love the close up of your quilt. There is MUCH to see. Beautiful!

You made me laugh out loud about the Lutherans. You have a good attitude. I buy our pumpkins at Aldi's for $3 and they are the biggest I've seen. Of course children in our 'hood will smash them if I put them out front. The turkeys. If I paid $30 I would at least need the pleasure of throwing it at them.

wayside wanderer said...

I liked 7, too, and am impressed with the authors gutsyness and ability to stick with it mostly. I will be passing through her hometown this weekend. :) The gluten free thing (just as an experiement) is probably as close to 7 as I will get. I cannot imagine eating only 7 foods all month. That sounds like hell to me.

magsmcc said...

Oh my word. This has definitely made me decide to go upstairs and lie down in a dark (cold) room. I am overwhelmed enough to think of looking at this site of marvels. But I'll have to get over the pumpkin first. Conkers are free.

Jo said...

Dear Frances, now all I can think of is how much I really, really want to meet a fly-by-night pumpkin merchant..

GretchenJoanna said...

What sort of cookies did you already make the dough for? That is too wonderful....

Pumpkins...I had paid several dollars for my doorstep pumpkin, a warty and colorful thing of average size. Then I added a cheap little gourd and a little white punkin to the display. And a few days before Halloween, as I mentioned elsewhere in Blogland, they disappeared. Pilfered!

Lo and behold, I spied them on my neighbors' porch, the young jazz students. I suspect it was a guest at the party they had held, who did the I walked over and took them back, in time for the trick-or-treaters to see them.

I'm glad I don't have children around anymore, with the pressure there is nowadays to go to all these pumpkin farms and corn mazes and such that are springing up around here, new ones every year. I'm glad your investment went to a good cause!

Gumbo Lily said...

You always make me laugh, or at least snicker, as I read! Your story about the pumpkins and the Lutherans made me think of Lake Woebegone (Garrison Keillor).

Thank you for the closeup of the Halloween Quilt. Love those stitched pumpkins. You do great work.

My daughter just stenciled "Give Thanks" onto her biggest pumpkins. They look so nice.

I love your thoughts on Christmas. Organized but not hurried or pushed. Well done!

Tracy said...

Working my way back through your post - beautiful, beautiful quilts. What a blessing for whoever it is that receives one!!

Jack and girls? Really? That means Mr Busy must be close to it. Nooooo!!! We have to navigate our way through a possible ADHD diagnosis before I can handle any more growing up on his part.

Knew there was a reason I avoided Halloween....a $30 pumpkin?? Whoa! Having said that I am thinking I might bend my we-don't-adopt-other-cultural-traditions stance to take on Thanksgiving. Doesn't matter where you live that seems worthwhile to me.