Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Holiday Porch

For about 3 days this week, we had 3 holidays on our front porch. The Sunday before Halloween, while visiting my husband's parents, they gave us two HUGE pumpkins that had grown under their fence from the neighbor's yard (he said they could keep them). We brought them home and then worried about how to carve such massive pumpkins. Sometimes when a gourd gets that big, the meat of it is really thick. We didn't really want to exert the brute force it would take to carve out even just the traditional triangles and a smile. As my husband and I looked them over, our boys asked if we were going to paint our pumpkins again this year. Oh, yeah! Last year, all the cousins got together and painted pumpkins at my mom's house. We decided this was the safer route and the kids got to be more 'hands on' about it. So, they painted the pumpkins and they were placed on the front porch.

About a week into November, I remembered a pair of wooden pilgrims that I had painted about 7 years ago. So, I retrieved them from the crawl space and they took their post next to the front door. I looked at the pumpkins and decided that they were comfortable where they were. (Did I mention the massive size of those things?)

The Monday after Thanksgiving, I decided I wanted to hang the Christmas lights on the house while it was still moderately nice weather and the ice was not yet a threat. I had spent a good couple hours and a blood blister on my thumb getting the burned out lights all changed and good to go on Saturday. So, it was time. I went with the limited ladder approach this year, just wrapping them around the porch and the two window awnings instead of across the eaves of the roof.

And then, for three days, our porch celebrated Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all at the same time. I'd have left it longer, but today was garbage day, and my husband wanted to toss them, rather than have them get all slimy over the next week or 3. So, we took the kids out to the porch, had them sit by their own pumpkin and we got a shot. It doesn't show the lights very much, but if you look at the edges of the picture, the lights are wrapped around the porch railings.
Our Holiday Porch. Happy Hallow-Thanks-Mas!

And, since we are talking about Halloween, here is a bit of sew and tell that I didn't get to share yet. I love to make my boy's Halloween costumes, and they love to be involved with all the details. Here is what we had this year.

A Mad Scientist

I made the jacket pattern using a robe that my sister made and passed to us when her son grew out of it. I just eliminated the hood and sash and added a collar and buttons. My son picked out these huge toy buttons. He saved that flourescent yellow shirt all month so it was clean for his costume. He made his name tag that says, "Hello. My name is Mad Scientist." Clever. One day, he is going to be a scientist, I just hope he doesn't really go mad.

A Bat

This guy's bat ears just wouldn't stand up straight. But he never complained once. His favorite part of the costume was that the wings had handles that he could grab for flight. When he was busy with other bat things, he simply let go and the wings hung quietly behind him. I must note that the bat head and vest are made with fleece because bats have fur. But the wings are just cotton, because bat wings are not furry.

And of course, a spooky Lindsey Stirling video that would have been posted with these pics on Halloween, had I sat down and actually posted when I thought of it. Nothing like fighting off zombies with a stringed instrument and a few good dance moves. Please enjoy.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Queen of Mystery

It's funny how so much can happen in such a short amount of time. And then when you turn around, you find out that it has actually been a much longer time than you thought. I think of things all the time to post on this blog. But those ideas tend to stay unwritten, because I never seem to make it to the keyboard.

The shower is a great idea place. It's a quiet time, no real distractions, just you, hot water, and your thoughts. I often write really brilliant posts while I'm washing my hair. Unfortunately, as soon as I've got the towel in my hair, reality seems to hit the 'play' button again, and that post just gets washed down the drain.

It seems to be too much work to back track much of my recent reading. So, instead, here is what I've got my bookmark in lately, and an invitation to read along and come back and Book Club with me later.

A few months back, my husband brought up from the basement a selection of novels to choose from. In them was Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. The timing was really great. I had just finished reading a murder mystery that was just terrible. The plot was so-so, the characters were thin, and the dialog was painful at best. But here was a novel that claimed to be written by the 'Queen of Mystery.' It looked to be just the cure for the damage such a terrible piece of writing did to me. I enjoyed Murder on the Orient Express so thoroughly that I wanted to start reading it again from the beginning and loan it to my mom to read at the same time. (How? I'm not sure. But it is such a great read!)

I told my husband that I had a new favorite author and that I wanted to own ALL that Agatha Christie has written. He then informed me that doing so would not be financially sound because of the large volume of novels she has written. But, for our recent anniversary, he bought me two more: Crooked House, which I am currently reading, and And Then There Were None, which I intend to pick up next.

On the back of each of these books is a list of Christie's ten favorites (these 3 are on it). So, since her complete collection is too large to own without nearly taking out another wing in the house (which we certainly cannot do), I think that I will strive to collect at least these ten. If they are her favorites, then they must be worth reading.

SO, if you have read Murder on the Orient Express, and care to comment, please do so. I'd love to hear what you have to say. Who did you think did it? What did you think of the ending? Did you see it when Poirot did, or were you completely shocked when all was revealed? (I was surprised!!)

And, if you care to Book Club with me, I will post on Crooked House first, and then on And Then There Were None in the weeks following that. I'd love you to join me and discuss!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Our family has found another musician on youtube that we really enjoy. Her name is Lindsey Stirling. I will let the video speak for itself.
Please enjoy.