Summer 2015 in Brackets

Williams 14

 

This spring, just as the trees were budding, later than normal, Sandy and I walked the Williams Nature Trail near Minneopa State Park. It has a paved path that allows her to use her walker.

In the middle of the summer we hit the MinnesotaLandscape 2015-06-01 22.21.03Arboretum at the peak of color.

Now, in this quick autumn season, out the window above my computer I  see the last bright colors hanging on.SEat

My grandson, Mr. Tuxedo was here Saturday and wished he had brought a book to read sitting out in the ravine beyond that tree.

WindowThen we went out to buy him and his sister their pumpkins to carve this week. Halloween, it seems to me, is the exclamation point to summer.

Are you a pumpkin carver?

63 thoughts on “Summer 2015 in Brackets”

  1. Not really.

    The s&h went to a car ibg party at a friend’s 2 weeks ago. Given all the warm weather since then, the interior has become truly yucky and I suspect there is a cure for cancer in there if I dared to look.

    The host mom raised several levels in my mind as she sent each kid home with a container of roasted seeds, which I love.

    I love fall and the process of gathering in and tidying up, maybe in a couple years I can do that again. This year I just try to not get overtaken and flattened.

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  2. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    Great topic, Clyde. I also went to the Arboretum Scarecrow exhibit–what fun!

    We used to carve pumpkins, but not any more with the children growing up and all. I just never did enjoy it all that much! I also love the roasted pumpkin seeds.

    Ditto to MIG’s comments about fall, et al. Autumn here is a wonder that I marvel at every year. A red maple tree, a burgundy oak, smatterings of acorns are all things to live for.

    OT–yesterday was a miserable day that fit all the requirements of “Alexander’s Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day.” It included the memorial service of a neighbor who passed on last week, which was a poignant good-bye. The service allowed neighbors and friends to glimpse their lovely family’s service to their parents. Coming and going, cycles of life which emotionally was just too much yesterday.

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  3. We are pumpkin carvers, though we (oh the heresy!) throw out the seeds. No one here is a big fan of roasted pumpkin seeds. Tradition has been that each of us gets our own pumpkin to design and carve, so we wind up with three on the steps. We haven’t bought ours yet as Daughter has been gone for the last three days and we didn’t want squirrels to get them before we could put our intentional holes in them. Not sure yet how many years we have for pumpkin carving with Miss S – she can be a traditionalist, so this could continue well into college years (including the option for, “you have to carve them even if I’m not home – it’s tradition!”).

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  4. No I do not carve pumpkins but I do ingest them. Once I had a spouse but could not retain her company. I wish I had been able to find a pumpkin large enough to form a jail cell for her to occupy. That would have been satisfactory.

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  5. No I do not carve pumpkins but I do ingest them. Once I had a spouse but could not retain her company. I wish I had been able to find a pumpkin large enough to form a jail cell for her to occupy. That would have been satisfactory.

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  6. Yes, though I usually leave the carving to the Roommate, and I roast the seeds. This year we’ll be lucky to have it carved before Halloween itself, but so long as there’s pepitas what do I care?

    The old name for this holiday, Samhain (SAH-win or SOW-in– pronounced like a female pig–not sam-hayn) probably means “summer’s end” in Old Irish. So for me, Halloween is less an exclamation point and more a full stop. November 1, winter begins.

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  7. My family ignored most holidays (there is a post coming about that) when I was young. Like so many other things, I tumbled to the joys of special days when my daughter was growing up. I have a photo of us sitting barefoot on the kitchen floor, scraping out the goopy guts of a pumpkin with an ice cream scoop. We reenacted that scene Sunday night with Liam. He designed a face that he firmly believes is scary. The expression of his jack o’ lantern looks to me like the astonished face of someone who has just been goosed, but I knew better than to say so. We will work on “scary” next year. Or, god willing, the year after that.

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  8. Morning all. I am a carver as well – if the timing works out right. Due to the terrorizing squirrel/chipmunk population in my neighborhood, you can’t put out carved pumpkins before trick or treating or they get ravaged. If they sit inside for too long they get wrinkly, so the best scenario for our household is when Halloween falls on a Saturday or Sunday. I have a few ideas for this year!

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  9. In Monday I slapped this together to plug any holes that popped up this week. It took until only today foe the hole to appear. So perhaps if you have one to slap together . . . .

    My hands have been throbbing all week, right when I have three short stories I really like going. So I am writing out in long hand hoping the day comes when I can type them in. Point of mentioning the hands is to say, I would not dare carve a pumpkin.

    Mr. Tuxedo found the best pumpkin I have seen in a long time. Should have photographed it for here.

    Sandy has 2 appt.’a today, one a.m., one p.m.

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  10. Thanks for this piece Clyde! I love every season change, but I especially love Halloween; I think it’s because it’s more “fun” than most of the other holidays, with lots of opportunities to play (which I think most of us don’t do enough of!)

    Young Adult asked that I make Graveyard Pudding this year (cream cheese and pudding base and crushed Oreos on top and Milano cookies as gravestones. And I have veggie dogs and crescent dough in the fridge so I’ll probably make Mummie Dogs on Saturday as well.

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  11. No pumpkins at my house. I think my sister and I carved some with parental help maybe once in childhood. I found pumpkin shell to be a difficult medium to work in, and have never been particularly tempted to try it again.

    A sign at an East Side auto repair shop gave me a chuckle last week:
    IT’S BACK!
    PUMPKIN SPICE
    OIL CHANGE!

    Liked by 6 people

  12. Good morning. I usually help one of my Granddaughters carved a pumpkin. The youngest one is now old enough to do most or all of the carving herself. I think I might help a little with pumpkin carving at a family gathering that is taking place soon. I didn’t grow any pumpkins this year. In some other years I grew the pumpkins that my Granddaughters carved.

    In our neighborhood you should keep any pumpkins that you have carved inside. Pumpkins left outside will be destroyed by squirrels. That is what happen to pumpkins placed outside our house and those placed outside other houses in our neighborhood.

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    1. We have tried growing pumpkins. Not quite sure why we get blossoms but no fruit. Frustrating. Maybe it’s the only-mostly-but-not-entirely-full-sun. 😦

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  13. Odd re the rodents eating pumpkins. I have lived in three places here infested with them and never had a pumpkin touched. Maybe I will put one out as feed on the edge of my ravine and see what happens.

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      1. The squirrels around here seem to be unusually pesky. They have damaged several things that I have never before seen damaged squirrels. Maybe, somehow there is an excessive number of them and they are going after things they would leave alone there weren’t so many of them crowed together. In the past I have left some bird feed out for the squirrels to keep them from going after the feed in my bird feeder. I don’t do this now because I don’t want to do anything to help them, Of course, they have found a way to get into my bird feeder which is hung in a place that you would think they couldn’t reach.

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        1. I think South Minneapolis squirrels have been bred to be destructive to a high degree. Anyone who thinks they are “cute” should have their head examined, in my opinion.

          This gives me an idea for a guest post…let’s see if I can get that whipped off today.

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        2. My neighbor trapped a large number of squirrels and released them on the other side of the Mississippi in St.Paul. One might think that someone in St. Paul catch them all and returned them because there was no dent in the number found here after he got rid of the ones he caught by taking them to St. Paul.

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    1. I go a step further with the fake jack-o-lantern. I just have to plug it in and flip a switch.
      Thinking back, I was probably horrified by wusband’s purchase of this bit of decoration (because real, traditional and natural are my bywords) but it is handy now. I can buy candy at the last minute or not and signal the presence of candy or not.

      However this discussion and pictures of creatively carved pumpkins have made me think that MAYBE I should break out the carving knives.

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      1. I have a faux pumpkin, too, from my days of Lots of Theater. Never had time to carve if I was working on a show, but I love seeing the neighborhood kiddos so it was nice to have that to put out as a beacon.

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        1. Just realized, I have tickets to see Sweeny Todd on Saturday. And husband doesn’t enjoy trick-or-treaters at all, so I’ll have to give all the candy bars I’ve bought to neighbors to hand out.

          OT – We just picked up George, and I’m absolutely amazed at how quickly he seems to have settled in. He is adorable. Martha is perched high atop her favorite perch so she can watch what’s going on without being in any danger of direct interaction. The next few days will be interesting. Fingers crossed that they’ll become buddies.

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        2. I have a great ceramic pumpkin that a friend of mine made for me years ago. The mouth spells out Carters and it lights up from the inside. That goes on the front porch table – too precious to sit outside on the steps!

          Liked by 3 people

  14. Son and DIL are carvers. We used to but no more now that the children are gone. I don’t care for pumpkin seeds. Do ohter baboons think it is true that we will have a canned pumpkin shortage due to crop failures in Illinois? Libby is recommending stocking up now as there isn’t any being canned by them until next year’s crop is in.

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    1. When I first saw the pumpkin shortage news a few weeks back, I thought it was just some marketing ploy, but I’ve seen a couple other stories about it since then. So when I saw pumpkin on sale at Rainbow a couple of weeks ago, I purchased six cans, which is about what I use. Hopefully that kind of hoarding behavior on my part won’t make the situation worse!

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  15. See that fourth picture, they view out my window as I type. Today I watched most of the leaves blow away.
    Just had to cancel Sandy’s second appointment for today.

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  16. I’m not much of a pumpkin carver. I buy pie pumpkins, aka sugar pumpkins, at the farmers market and cook them up, but don’t carve any pumpkins any more.

    I saw a video someone posted on facebook the other day – she carved a pumpkin while her 2-year-old helped with scooping out the seeds and calmly watched the carving. If anyone tried to do that with the 2-year-old twins in this household, they would be scooping out the seeds and throwing them on the floor and smearing the stuff in their hair and on their faces and clothes. And they would definitely want to carve the pumpkin themselves, trying to grab the knife and screaming when told No. So, no carving in this house!

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    1. I second this. I have a picture of Young Adult when she was about four; she and her best friend had taken the “scoop out the seeds” instructions to heart. What a mess! Glad I hadn’t given them any sharp implements.

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  17. Having not grown up with pumpkins, and having never had kids, my attempts at pumpkin carving having been sporadic and mostly pitiful.

    I have carved many a sugar beet, though. Does that count?

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      1. Not if you had the right tools, Renee. Our tradition with the sugar beets, being from the prime sugar beet growing part of Denmark, started with us kids waiting along the country roads for the trucks full of sugar beets to come by, hoping that some would bounce off when the truck hit some rough spots. This was not something that occurred on a particular date, rather it was a seasonal phenomenon.

        We’d gather up the beets and take them home. Beets, unlike pumpkins, have solid cores and no seeds, so we’d have to excavate as much of that core as we could, but leave a sturdy enough bottom and shell for the whole thing not to collapse. We’d carve menacing faces, and make handles out of wire coat hangers so that we could carry the beet. A stump of a used candle would be secured in the bottom, and we would carry these lanterns from house to house and hold them up against the windows. The wind blowing through the holes carved in the beets would create an eerie sound. Of course, everyone knew what was going on, so we didn’t scare anyone, but no soliciting of candy went on on this occasion. That was reserved for Fastelavn at the beginning of lent.

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        1. I don’t know how much of that I’d attribute to a motivation to create art, Renee. At the time, at least, it was more of a desire to find some legitimate excuse to be out after dark, and do something spooky. Of course, the tradition of “roelygter” is an old agrarian one; we kids didn’t invent it.

          I’m sad to say that it’s a tradition that is disappearing; it’s being replaced with the regalia of the American Halloween. I can see the allure of the much more colorful pumpkin (sugar beets are pretty dull), but it seems a pity that another rural Danish, non-commercial tradition, is being overtaken by adopting an American commercial enterprise.

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