All posts tagged: celebration

Pumpkin Meets Drill

A well-rounded and compact head – a good description of a cabbage, but it works for a pumpkin too! This year I used a drill to make almost perfect round holes in my jack-o’-lantern. (Did you know that the term jack-o’-lantern comes from an Irish folktale? Large turnips and potatoes were used by the Irish in Ireland, but they switched to the readily available pumpkins when they came to America.) ‘Jack’ doesn’t look all that handsome in the daylight, but he really ‘shines’ in the dark! When I was looking for a quotation about pumpkins, I found a musing by Alexander McCall Smith. It reminded me of transporting my pumpkins last year.  I secured them in the back seat of the Jeep and briefly thought about what quiet, friendly companions they were. The pumpkin looked delicious—almost perfectly round and deep yellow in colour, it sat on the passenger seat beside her so comfortably as she drove out of the car park, so pleased to be what it was, that she imagined conducting a conversation with …

Cautionary Tales – Falling off the Roof and Securing a Pumpkin

We had two ‘Be Careful!’ events at the Red House this week. The first was when The Car Guy went up on the roof to check the chimneys and see if the gutters needed cleaning. I was truly torn as to whether I would go up there too. I’m okay going up the ladder. The transition from ladder to roof is a bit scary. I’m okay walking around the roof, as long as I stay at the peak. The transition from roof to ladder… that is the really hard part. But, I did it, and really enjoyed looking at the yard below. The second ‘Be Careful’ event was the transportation of the Pumpkins. They had to get from our house to the Family Pumpkin Carving Party, a trip of half an hour. I’d already given the pumpkins a lobotomy and didn’t want them rolling around the back of the JEEP. I also didn’t want them to turn into projectiles if we had to stop suddenly! The Car Guy decided this was the best way to …

Cats and Pumpkins at Halloween – 2012

Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen, Voices whisper in the trees, “Tonight is Halloween!” – Dexter Kozen – At night, if I don’t rein in my imagination, the walk from the road to The Red House is spooky. It is a long winding driveway, lined with tall dark spruce trees and just beyond are thick woods where all the wild animals lie in wait. When I was a kid, I would not have ventured up this driveway on Halloween – unless I knew with absolute certainty that the treats at the door were worth being that scared. It is a forbidding stroll at night. We haven’t had a trick or treater at our door for a long time. There used to be a few children on our rural road, but they have long since grown up. I still decorate for Halloween anyhow and we still buy a few treats just in case. And I will likely walk down to the end of our driveway and back, just to get the adrenalin going. Nothing …

Valentine’s Day Tulips – 2012

I don’t understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine’s Day.  When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon. – Author Unknown – Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you  who live in the countries that celebrate Valentine’s Day – United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark, Italy and Japan! If it was spring time here, I’d shower you with tulips (though red roses are considered the flower of love because the color red stands for strong romantic feelings)!  But it is still snowing, and I don’t grow red roses anyhow, so I’ll just send you this pair of Parrot Tulips from last year. Also left over from last year is my Valentine’s Day Story 2011, which was read by only 18 people. I thought it had some ingenious suggestions for gift giving, but you know that my ideas are sometimes so outside the box that I don’t even know what is in the box. Love is much …

Comments, Halloween and a Blog Birthday – 2011

Comments My post last week, Comments Etiquette – All or Some?, generated more comments than any other post I have written. The majority consensus was that it is just plain polite to reply to every comment on your blog. But it was acknowledged that very popular blogs might generate more comments than it is possible to respond to. As for leaving comments, some bloggers like to push the ‘Like Button’, especially when there are already lots of comments, and they have nothing new to add! Halloween The Car Guy did the shopping for Halloween this year – one box of 125 mini chocolate bars. I wasn’t surprised when we still had 125 mini chocolate bars at the end of the evening… okay, there were 121 bars left. We sampled a few ourselves. Many thanks to all of you who read my Halloween Blog Post from last year. It was called Pumpkin Face, and it explained why I am unhappy with the commercialized, politically correct holiday that has replaced the Halloween of days gone by. Blog …

Easter Dinner – Signage For When the Guests Get Here

Today is our Easter Dinner and we’ve invited lots of people. When the guests arrive, there is always a bit of general confusion and milling about while coats are hung, hugs and handshakes are exchanged and food donations are sorted out. (A dinner party at the Red House is rarely a free lunch…) At recently past functions, very small children have been ushered outside to play, or put into closets if there is a chance they will take a header down over the edge of the stairs where the railing is not yet a railing. Except this year – I’m much more organized than in the past. I have Signage for the parents! The First Sign will make it clear how very small children should be monitored: After dinner, we’ll bring out some treats. There is a sign for that: We like to end things with Coffee. It is the signal to our guests that it is time for them to perk up and get ready for the long drive home. I have a sign …

cartoon heart Valentine

The Market and Valentine’s Day Spending – 2011

The retail industry in America is buzzing with excitement. They believe that Valentine’s Day spending this year will be up about 11% over last year. The National Retail Federation expects $15.7 billion will be spent on traditional Valentine’s gifts – Greeting Cards, an Evening Out, Candy, Flowers, Jewelery etc. Canadians will spend a proportional amount of money too, but we don’t like to brag about it, I guess. I can’t help but think that there are better ways for Americans to spend their $15 billion, given that they are still trying to recover from a recession. For example, did you know that there are about 50 million Americans who go hungry each day, and $15 billion dollars a year would feed them all? About $15 billion a year is needed to replace aging drinking water systems. $15 billion is twice what the National Parks Service needs to bring maintenance of facilities up to date. Somebody needs to figure out how to market these needs and make it easy for people to put money or time …

The Quippery

New Years Day – Thoughts, Not Resolutions

It’s a bit early to predict what 2011 is going to be like. But one thing I know for sure, my New Years Resolutions are not going to fail. I didn’t make any. I did set myself a few tasks, though. The first one is to get my “Big Girl, All Dressed Up” Coat altered. If that proves unfeasible, I’ll send it off to Good Will. It is a nice, simple long black coat with a leather collar. Since I wore it last, a few years ago likely, it has changed. Or at least, the memory I have of the coat has changed. The once moderately padded shoulders now make me look like a football player. I seem as wide as I am tall. I will never be accused of being a fashion maven, but even I could sense that the coat and I no longer belong together. Next – I’m going to be a bit more selective about which blogs I make comments on. Without even stating a preference for one side or the other, I have been …

Why I Support Halloween – 2010

With Halloween just around the corner, this Photo-Quote was a natural. The photo is a pumpkin my granddaughter carved, and the quote comes from Charles Schulz: There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin. – Linus Van Pelt in “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” by Charles Schulz – Halloween will likely elicit the usual Church/State debate about religion. State, in this case, are the schools in Canada (and the United States) that have either renamed or eliminated Halloween. I have been an ardent supporter of Halloween for over 50 years, and I have never thought of it as a religious holiday. When I took my kids out trick or treating, I knew I would be warmly welcomed by the people who knew me, and, by the ones who didn’t. I knew that my neighbours came from all walks of life and practiced all sorts of religions. But on Halloween night, we were one big happy community. Of course, there were always a few houses that didn’t …