Where The Pumpkins Are

October 23, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Posted in Bun, Giggles, Lollipop, Photo Tuesday | 18 Comments
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Which one should we choose?

Wearing sandals in October.

Weighty pumpkins.

Wheeeeee!

Wonderstruck.

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” — George Eliot

Are you wedded to autumn like Eliot (and me) or to another season? Have you made your annual pumpkin-patch pilgrimage yet? Are your Halloween costumes ready to go??

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W is for wheeeeee! and wonderstruck and wedded to autumn. See more W’s at Jenny’s.

Jenny Matlock

Hello, Yellow

November 21, 2012 at 12:34 am | Posted in Bun, Giggles, Lollipop, Photo Tuesday | 6 Comments
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“How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun.” — Vincent van Gogh

We celebrated the end of a week of sore throats on Sunday by emptying our pockets of cough-drop wrappers and hanging up our scarves. We headed for a farm about an hour outside of town and spent the afternoon wandering in a corn maze, playing in the sand, climbing hay bales, hula-hooping, and swinging from live oaks. The hours squinting, sweating, and laughing in the Indian-summer sun reminded me why I love this place I’ve called home for a decade. In other ways, I felt a keen yearning for Romania, with its billowing fields and village cottages surrounded by hand-baled haystacks. At the end, I was grateful for a few simple hours with my family, no matter where our dot blinked on the GPS.

Is it sun or scarves where you are? Have you ever navigated a corn maze? And how long can you hula-hoop?

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See more yellow at Beth’s.

Patch Work

October 30, 2012 at 12:12 am | Posted in Bun, Giggles, Lollipop, Photo Tuesday | 15 Comments
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“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.” — William Blake

We visited the neighborhood nursery earlier this week. It was 80-something degrees and so humid I could practically hear monkeys in our urban rainforest. Or maybe it was just my kiddos. They hopped and raced and hollered through the carving pumpkins, the pie pumpkins, the miniature pumpkins, the corn-cob bin, the mums, the petunias, and the rock samples. I hurried after them, clutching my camera strap and trying not to sweat on my lenses. After exactly 27 minutes, I was exhausted. I loaded up the van with my rosy-cheeked lovelies and our carefully chosen fruit — did you know pumpkins were berries? — and counted my blessings. Including air-conditioning.

What blessings are you counting this autumn? Have you made the annual pumpkin-patch pilgrimage yet? And are you still running the AC??

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See more fruits and vegetables at Beth’s.

Say Cheese

October 24, 2012 at 7:02 am | Posted in Bun, Giggles, Lollipop, Photo Tuesday, The Pups | 11 Comments
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“You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.” ― Charlie Chaplin

These pictures have only one thing in common: they all make me smile. They make my heart feel like a big gooey marshmallow sandwiched  between king-size pieces of Hershey bar. And after Monday’s reflections, they are just the simple sweetness I needed.

What is making you smile this week? Have you carved your pumpkin yet? And s’mores: yea or nay?

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See more smiles at Beth’s.

Chilly Chili Bang Bang

October 17, 2012 at 12:02 am | Posted in Bun, Photo Tuesday | 16 Comments
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“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” ― Henry David Thoreau

It’s going to be 90 degrees tomorrow. The only way I know it’s fall is by the sheer number of acorns that tumble out of little pockets during my washing machine’s spin cycle. The sweaters and scarves are waiting, waiting, waiting in blue plastic bins on my bedroom floor. The AC chugs along every day, ready for its annual hiatus.

But there are pumpkins. And candy-laden grocery store aisles. And squirrels feasting under the oaks that stretch their thick, gnarled muscles over my driveway. And, so, we hope. For chili ingredients ready to be crock-potted. For hot showers and hot cocoa. For fuzzy socks. For fall, in all its smoky, crunchy, orange glory.

How do you know it’s fall where you are? What color are your favorite pair of fuzzy socks? And what kind of Halloween candy will you be buying? Trading? Eating??

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See more fall at Beth’s.

Photo Tuesday

November 8, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Posted in Bun, Photo Tuesday, Transylvania | 21 Comments
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“Besides the autumn poets sing,
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the haze.”
— Emily Dickinson

It’s still fall according to the stars, but we’re on the cusp of winter here in Romania. Just this side of the snow. We wake up to frost on the windshield. Sheets come off the drying line smelling like they’ve been hung in a chimney. The crock pot beckons, and the hunt for long underwear continues. Mostly, we shuffle around in our pajamas, pausing on the tile right in front of the kitchen sink, which is magically warmer than all the others. Or we bake for a while at the sunniest window until the heat soaks through our flannel and terry cloth. Every once in a while, we venture out to the playground and come home with our pockets full of walnuts and crunchy, yellow leaves that the washing machine turns into confetti. And we whisper words like “sled” and “carrot nose” to each other, wondering how much longer fall can possibly hold on.

Is it the season it’s supposed to be where you are? Do you have your eye on the sled? And what’s the strangest thing that’s been through your washing machine lately?

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Fluffy Bunnies in Romania:
Read the tales
.
See the photos.

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See more fall photos at Beth’s on Thursday.

Photobucket

Photo Tuesday

October 4, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Posted in Photo Tuesday, Transylvania | 7 Comments
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“Swinging on delicate hinges
the Autumn Leaf
Almost off the stem”
— Jack Kerouac

Fall is here. Honest-to-goodness fall. Sweaters-in-the-morning fall. Hot-tea-for-breakfast fall. Extra-blankets-at-night fall. Leaves-leaves-everywhere fall. I must say, it feels so very surreal. Where we’re from, leaves shrivel from the summer heat and then drop unceremoniously into crunchy heaps in the dark of night. But here, in Romania, there are colors. (Reds! Oranges! Yellows!) There are cool afternoon breezes that blow chestnuts and pine cones right out of the trees. There are birds, actual birds, migrating south. And there are happy kids, prancing from swing to swing and daydreaming of the snow they know is not far off.

What colors have you seen where you are? What signs of fall have appeared? And what’s your favorite hot-tea flavor?

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Fluffy Bunnies in Romania:
Read the tales
.
See the photos.

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Photobucket

Photo Tuesday

September 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Posted in Family, Giggles, Lollipop, Photo Tuesday, Transylvania | 27 Comments
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“The golden-rod is yellow;
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.”
— Helen Hunt Jackson

As summer wanes and the days get shorter and cooler, people in Romania are scurrying around their gardens and kitchens, collecting hodgepodge bounties of this and that, then chopping, boiling, stirring, and scooping into rows and rows and rows of glittering glass jars. Cold is coming. Everyone can feel it, including my own unseasoned family. Just like Hunt’s apple trees, we are bending down, acknowledging the shift in the seasons and the cool air on our shoulders, even as we turn our faces one last time to the sun. We’ve already rifled through our boxes of warm clothes and pulled out jackets, fleece pants, and fuzzy hats. We’ve hammered out a morning routine that will get us up for school and out the door on time, even when it’s still dark. And we’re harvesting a bounty of our own. But instead of fruits and vegetables, ours is filled with crayon drawings, math worksheets, and wrinkly-cornered books. These things — with their bold, bright, wobbly scribbles and accidental creases made by tiny elbows — will sustain us through the cold just as much as the jars in our pantry.

Can you feel the cold coming? How are you acknowledging the end of summer? And do you know how to can stuff??

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Fluffy Bunnies in Romania:
Read the tales
.
See the photos.

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See more apple themes at Beth’s on Thursday.

Photobucket

Trick and Treat

September 13, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Posted in Giggles | 20 Comments
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“Punnnkinnnnn!” “Orange punnnkinnnnn!”

Giggles eased up to me at the kitchen table and grinned. He was holding one of the wooden jack-o-lanterns I had put out the night before as I decked our halls for my favorite season — fall.

“Punnnkinnnnn!” He practically screeched the word, pure and simple happiness coating each syllable like the shellac on a candy corn.

I looked up from the laptop and smiled absentmindedly at him. Then I saw his shining face and his fingers, practically quivering as they gripped the edges of the wooden pumpkin. His glee pulled me from the snare of the glowing screen and into his world, into that moment, into the present.

I felt like a little kid again. So I grinned. And I screeched right back.

“Pummmpkinnnnn!” “Orange pummmpkinnnnn!”

His eyes got big. He looked up at me, shocked. He tilted his head and squeezed one eye shut. Mommy’s using her loud voice? I could see him thinking. But she never uses her loud voice … Is she upset??

He thought about it for a minute. And then he smiled like I’ve never seen, beaming even brighter than the jack-o-lantern he was clutching. The kid was giddy, from the tips of his ears to the tops of his toes.

He laughed and jumped and twirled and screamed. “Punnnkinnnnn!”

And I yelled right back. Over and over, we echoed each other, issuing our loud invitation to all of Halloween’s friendly sprites and spooks: The haunting season is here. Come on in!

But it was also an invitation to me. An invitation to let down my mom-ponytail and play. Really play. To yell, stomp, giggle, and throw caution and quiet to the wind. It was a chance to trick my more dignified self into having a little fun. And to treat my son to a side of his mommy he rarely sees.

It was the mothering yin and yang I so often seek and so rarely find, a trick and a treat, perfect and orange-y tinted …

“Pummmpkinnnnn!”

What (or who) screams fall at your house? What makes your child light up like a jack-o-lantern? Have you ever unleashed your inner child?

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