With all due humility, WE TOTALLY ROCK!

'What's that?' 'That's a bulb.' 'What's that?' 'That's a bulb.' 'What's that?' 'That's a bulb.'
In a triumph of new-ish parents over the constraints of dull reality (time, energy, nap schedules, etc.), Kate and I made a “fairy ring” around the magnolia tree in our back yard this weekend: we dug an eight-by-eight inch trench around the tree, mixed the soil with peat moss, then planted several hundred(!) spring bulbs at staggered depths in the trench. We then added a mix of soil and peat moss, packed it down, and watered. If all goes well, we’ll now forget all about it until March, when a ring of nasturtiums, jessamum, and horned calamine (I’m a little foggy on the actual plant names) will pop up, and spread a little further out every year. Kate and I are both amazed and grateful that we managed to actually finish one of those “hey, why don’t we…” garden projects. And all without coming to blows on which roots we could sever, and which we should leave alone. On top of that, Kate weeded, raked, and generally cleaned up the front garden. Fortune is smiling on us, assuming our new fairy ring isn’t attacked by squirrels too badly. Oh, and Kate turned the compost too. And made a big pot of vegetable stew. O femina fortissime!

Kate’s brother Matt and his friend Kristen came down from New York on Saturday for a visit to Highland Orchards. The program for Highland Orchards is, you feed the goats, ride the tractor out to the pumpkin fields, choose your pumpkin, then fill up on apple cider doughnuts and roll home groaning. Me, I become Photographer Dad Spaz because there are so many cute moments.

Kate's, Matt's, and Kristen's jack-o-lanterns
Kate, Matt, and Kristen were all finished their pumpkins by the time I was well underway; I wanted to experiment with the… well, I shouldn’t pussy-foot around this admission: the Martha Stewart pumpkin portrait technique. We’re showing Beetlejuice at the Guerilla Drive-In next week, and I wanted to put the jack-o-lanterns around the screen, so I made a “Che in 3D glasses” pumpkin.

Steps to making the Che pumpkin

  1. I converted the GDI logo to grayscale, put it in a Word file, printed it out, and taped it to the pumpkin.
  2. I punched a hole through the lines on the template and into the pumpkin’s skin with a nail at about eighth-inch intervals, then pulled off the template and carved away the skin with an X-acto knife.
  3. To make Che’s 3D glasses lighter than the rest of him, I scraped down deeper through the pumpkin’s wall with the handle of a teaspoon.
  4. Ta-da! The whole thing took about three hours, which is a l-o-o-ong time for a jack-o-lantern, I guess.

Reading this blog, I am aware of just how lucky we were this weekend. Kate and I did some fall cleanup, started and finished a garden project, had a fun pastoral junket, and did craft projects that came out well. (Kate also knit socks, but she’ll talk about that on her blog when she’s done enough to post pictures.) I do not want to be all “aw, shucks, this old thing?” about this — we worked really hard, and we were very lucky that it all came together, and I had a wonderful time. Sometimes it all just works out well, and I’m really grateful that it did!

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