Friday, October 30, 2009

You Gutless Pumpkins

This morning I did what I had been dreading for days. I gutted the pumpkins. This is my least favorite aspect of Halloween. I am the designated Pumpkin Disemboweler for the household--neither kid is really old enough and Rich just doesn't have the time. This has been my job for years, and I don't really enjoy it. In fact, I dislike it so much that for then past few years I no longer choose and carve a pumpkin a pumpkin of my own--figuring that cuts down on the pumpkin scooping I have to do by 25%, right? Passive-aggressive mom that I am, last year, when I was working, I did not remind anyone that Halloween was coming and that we should carve the pumpkins soon. Halloween arrived and we had no Jack O Lantern, other than the pottery one Mom gave us several years ago. And the sky did not fall, it was not the end of the world. I got out of pumpkin scooping for one year, which was not a bad thing....

But this year, because of the lack of carving last year, Rich and the kids have been talking about it for weeks. Gotta remember to get pumpkins, we can't forget like last year. And so, this morning, I cracked out the big scary knife and the other pumpkin carving implements of destruction and I went at 'em. I was afraid I'd be out of practice, but I did great. 3 pumpkins, thoroughly scooped in about 30 minutes. It may be a new speed record for me. Tonight they carve; I sit. My part is done.

In keeping with the theme for today, I am making Spicy Pumpkin and Apple Soup for Dinner, and I have Harvest Bread going in the breadmaker. I am rocking on with my bad homemaker self today. Word.

In other news, look what Rich just got:
It was the last one at Lowe's and it was half-price, and it unfortunately came without a manual. Rich and Mathboy are going to figure out how to use it so we can tell the lawn service to take their $230 per month in lawn-cutting charges elsewhere. Now if they only figure out how to get it started....

Seriously. Anyone have any tips? We had to push it into the garage.

Knitting: I have had serious startitis this month, starting no less than 3 socks. Maybe 4. There are toes everywhere. Here's the nicest thing I have going:
Midsummer's Night Socks
Midsummer Night's Dream socks from the latest Knitty, in Shibuiknits yarn. I totally love these. The yarn is great and the pattern is so much fun. I am already halfway down the foot on the second sock.

I also have a plain sock going for World Series knitting, the kind you can do without looking or concentrating, a second sock for catgirl, and the toe of another sock I started just because I really wanted to try the yarn. Goodness. And I have about 6 inches done on a wool baby blanket for Afghans for Afghans. Somehow I don't think I am going to make the deadline for the blanket. Well, I can always save it for their next campaign, right? (she said hopefully).

Did I show y'all this?
Colonnade Shawl 1
Colonnade, also from the latest Knitty, in Mmmmmmmalabrigo. I love it, although, if I could do it over, I would do the brown inside and the pinky-red for the lacy outside. This took, like, a week. Super-quick.

And I close with...
The Birthday Girl fresh from the shower and snuggling by the fire with a few of her favorite gifts. The Justice snuggie, Garfield book, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid were from friends; Rich and I got the Yeti in Disney and sneaked it home in one of the suitcases.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

You know they're growing up when...

1. Their clothes won't stay on the kid-sized hangers anymore. I just had to buy 5 packs of adult-sized hangers at Target to keep all Mathboy's shirts (and some of Catgirl's as well) from ending up in a pile on the floor. Of course, it's not that he minds them in a pile on the floor, but, um, I do.

2. They aren't that excited to have their picture taken anymore, even to show the blog-nation how cute they look in a tie.

3. They actually know how to tie a tie. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Letting the Sleeping Cat Lie

Not that I could have awakened him if I wanted to.

Isn't he cute?

Monday, October 05, 2009

October Miscellany

Well, we made it through September. Every year, our ability to just survive September becomes more and more amazing. There's is just so much to do. It's ridiculous. Once school begins, all the activities begin, the Back to School nights, the Back to School Socials, the homework, and various meetings and appointments. As Rich said last Wednesday--when we were supposed to have a soccer game, choir practice, karate, and Back to School night--"It's relentless."

As it happened, last Wednesday ended up being pretty light because of that common September Monkey Wrench, the kind that trumps all the activities and sports and appointments: illness. Yes, Catgirl was sick. All week. And I mean, all week. It was a seven-day'er. Last Monday, the school nurse called me at lunch: Catgirls was developing a fever, would I come pick her up? She had been totally fine that morning when we had to run for the bus, but was now miserable. She pretty much stayed that way until Sunday morning, yesterday, when she woke up fever-free and feeling good. It was just the flu, according to the doctor, which is the worst because there is so little you can do for it. But at least she's better now, just in time for October and her birthday.

October is so much better than September. I can tell just from looking at my calendar--there's only half as many things scheduled, for one thing. Wahoo!

I finished this scarf:
Pictures can't do it justice. It's is splendidly squooshy, and destined for someone for Christmas, not sure who yet. Any requests?

I started a vest for Rich, in the same pattern that I used for one for Mathboy this spring:
I've got a good way to go on this one!

I ordered our Disney Photobook from a website called blurb, using their free software to design the pages. Their software gave me a lot more layout options than Ofoto or Kodak offered. I'm actually a little frightened at how affordable it was. It should come next week. I hope it looks good so we can bore all our friends with it over the holidays!

The Phillies managed to make it to the playoffs again! Yay!

Holiday Insanity Begins! This morning I drove Catgirl to school because, after being out for a week, she had too many books to carry on the bus. She also needed her flute and music stand for today, and there was a school project that was due Friday. I think we had about 100 pounds of stuff we needed to get to school. There was no way she could take the bus.

After I dropped her off, I went to Target, and figured I would get the Halloween candy while I was there. I was roaming the Halloween aisles, enduring the recorded screams and cackles from the weird animatronic witch and cauldron display, when I happened to glance around. Our Target apparently has decided to get a jump on the Christmas season, and they have already filled many aisles in the holiday area with Christmas cards and decroations. The candy aisles were side by side with displays of boxed Christmas cards. I took a closer look at the cackling witch-robot-thingie, and saw that she was surrounded by a display of Christmas lights. No, they were not Halloween lights--a ridiculous invention that a few people in our area hang--they were honest to goodness Christmas lights. Once I noticed it, it looked truly bizarre. And to have the screaming witch sound effects playing loudly as I looked at Christmas stuff was just ... wrong.

I am sure that, as the candy and the Halloween costumes sell, the Target staff will fill in the empty spaces with more Christmas stuff from the back. It will be a slowly morphing holiday season, from Halloween directly to Christmas (forget about Thanksgiving, there's not enough to market in that holiday). Hallo-Christmas? Whatever, it made me very unconfortable. I hurried to find the Mike and Ikes the kids had requested so I could get out of there (by the way, why do they care what candy we buy to give away? They're not getting any.).