Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Stroke of Genius

You win some. You lose some.

You take one for the team every now and then.

Let me explain.

About two weeks ago (the first weekend end in October), we had an amazing fall day as a family! We woke up, had breakfast, geared up in our fall attire for the first time this year. It was a splendid Saturday! Beautiful weather, sunshine, blue skies. We headed to the Fruit and Berry Patch in Halls with our next door neighbors and some friends from church. We had such a great time picking pumpkins, finding some gourds, and taking photos of the kids enjoying it all. After we paid for our pickings, we had a picnic lunch on the grounds of the farm. It was such a great time!

After the pumpkin patch, we came home and took some long naps. Even the kids cooperated so Jonathan and I could get some Saturday afternoon rest. When we woke up, I got to work preparing some steaks and potatoes for the grill while Jonathan sat down to make history as the pumpkin carver extraordinaire! He found these Disney stencils online to make the cutest pumpkin carvings. We bought 5 pumpkins and he had printed out 5 of Nora's favorite Disney characters to carve into the pumpkins. I mean, our expectations were high!

So he began this adventure by taking the guts out of the first pumpkin. That didn't take but a few moments, so he soon started tracing the stencil onto the pumpkin using the instructions and technique suggested. This whole process is just up Jonathan's alley. As a dentist, he loves working with his hands and does tedious, detailed work like this on people all the time. Now, he was practically performing surgery on a pumpkin and was having a blast. About two hours later, the FIRST pumpkin was done.

We had five pumpkins.


Did I mention that while Jonathan was busy working away on the first pumpkin, that I, in a moment of sheer genius decided to de-gut the other four pumpkins? I thought the whole pumpkin-carving thing took like 20 minutes per pumpkin, tops! I had a lightbulb go off in my head that it would be so fun and domestic to take the insides out of the pumpkins and make roasted pumpkin seeds for the first time. So, instead of realizing that it was the first weekend in October and that you shouldn't necessarily cut open and dissect the pumpkins you want to last for the remainder of the month to be put on display in the front of your home, I went ahead and cleaned those puppies out! Doodly doo. Busy working away.

I did have a great time experimenting with roasting pumpkin seeds. I tried several different recipes, and the ones I loved the most were the sweet and spicy ones! Curry pumpkins seeds=disgusting. Don't try it. Nora was so sweet and helped me sort through the pumpkin guts to dig out the seeds. We had five pumpkins worth!

It wasn't until early Sunday morning while I was getting ready for church that I realized that since Jonathan had worked a total of 5 hours to carve 2 pumpkins, that we probably weren't going to go through with carving all of them. Then, it dawned on me that my pumpkins were going to start rotting real soon. Rotting and stinking. I was so mad at myself, then asked Jonathan why he didn't stop me the day before. He was like, "Well, I thought it didn't make sense, but I figured you knew what you were doing." Whatever. I'll take the heat for this one. I think he was just as excited about our new family tradition of pumpkin picking and carving and didn't realize the ramification of our actions either.

On Monday, I moved our pumpkin collection to the front yard and so proudly displayed our Mickey Mouse and Goofy pumpkins along with the other de-gutted, yet uncarved pumpkins and my lovely, bumpy, ugly gourds. I had quite the little fall festivity going on.

Then came the rain.

It's been two weeks, and it's still raining.

Cut open, carved pumpkins and water don't mix well. First come the bugs and flies. Then the worms. Then the mold. Then the pumpkins start to get mushy. Then when you decide that the display is so disgusting that you need to just throw the pumpkins away, they fall apart in your hands as you are trying to run from the patio to the garbage can without wearing pumpkin mush. Yesterday was a sad day for all pumpkins.

So, I have learned my lesson. You live and learn. I have learned to not be so over-zealous. This has been a lesson in patience for me. Next year, I will be better stewards of my pumpkins. Atleast I have my gourds.

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