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Trick-or-Treat

A Friday post? Gosh, I haven’t seen one of those roll through in a long time.

But, it is a special occasion.

Ah!  A ghost!  A Charlie Brown ghost.

Ah! A ghost! A Charlie Brown ghost.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Avril Lavigne.  Best part is they are all my own clothes...

Avril Lavigne. Best part is they are all my own clothes…

And if everything is going according to plan, which it never does, I should be leaving work early and heading home right about now.

I think he might be a little scared...

I think he might be a little scared…

The weather forecast in Michigan could not be worse for Trick-or-Treating. There will be rain, wind, cold temperatures, and maybe snow.

...of my custom Mr. Ugly-Man pumpkin.

…of my custom Mr. Ugly-Man pumpkin.

Have a safe, fun night. I know I will be ending mine with a nice, hot pizza.

What I Learned This Week – 10/20/13

This week I learned that my asbestos friend was writing a post about an issue dear to her heart. This made me realize that maybe I should do the same as well. I believe our veterans (of all branches) are the truest heroes that we have in our nation. I took this opportunity to finally get out my credit card and donate to Honor Flight Network, which has been on my to do list for years.

Honor Flight Network (which can be found at www.honorflight.org) “is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. We transport our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.”

You might think that your donation just goes to cover the cost of a plane ticket. But priority is given to the veterans in the worst physical shape, as they literally may not live long enough to catch the next Honor Flight. Your money goes to purchase everything for these veterans while on their trip, including food, wheel-chair assessable transportation, oxygen while they are in Washington D.C., and coordinating people to push and assist them to get around.

Have you ever taken your grandma who doesn’t get around so good to Walmart? Ya, it is sort of like that, times a whole airplane full!

But this is a great cause. WWII was the biggest conflict in our recent history. More of these veterans die everyday. Think about it. If they were 18 when Pearl Harbor was bombed, then they would be 90 years old today!

Why didn’t they go visit their memorial sooner, when they were young and spry? Because we didn’t complete it until 2004! The question should really be, what did we wait so long for? (Local Trivia: World War II veteran Roger Durbin introduced the idea to U.S. Representative to start the process. Roger Durbin’s son was an English teacher as my high school.)

Most of all, this is important to me because my dad served in WWII. He was an ambulance driver with the medical corps in Germany. He was there when they liberated a concentration camp. He saw some bad stuff. Sorry I don’t know which camp. I only know what my mother told me. See, my dad died in 1975 of a heart attack. He never got to see his memorial. He never knew that they built one. He never even got to meet me. My mom always said the biggest thing he did in his whole life was his time in the Army. That is why I sort of think of Memorial Day as a family holiday, and I feel closest to him on that day.

So, I will add Honor Flight Network to my “What I Support” page. But not today. I have to head to work in a little bit.

But before I head out, I also learned a little something about pumpkins.

This is a picture of our pumpkin.

Our pumpkins

Our pumpkins

I am really into white pumpkins the last few years. And none of the orange ones fancied us, so we picked out this unusual one that looks like a ghost. If you tilt your head. And squint.

The lady we bought it from at Carpenter Farms (cool place, check it out sometime) asked us, “Do you know what this is?”

We replied, “A ghost pumpkin.” Obviously!

She asked, “I mean, this stuff on the pumpkin, do you know what it is?”

“Um, fungus?”

“That is deer damage. We had a lot of deer damage this year,” she explained.

I am not sure I would count it as damage if we still shelled out $3 for the pumpkin!

The great thing is, there is no carving required.

(I have been very leery of pumpkin carving since I required 5 stitches in my hand;)

The Bounty of My Garden

Most people garden and grow a plentiful bounty of vegetables that make their way onto their dinner tables and into their stomachs.

Our garden? Eh, not so much.

Gourd collection on the front steps


We got gourds. Lots of ’em. And they are large too. I, personally, don’t know anyone who eats a gourd. But they are pretty. And it saves us money on Halloween decorations. Did I mention we have a few small white pumpkins as well?

This started last fall. After Halloween last year, when the decorative fruit started to get squishy, my husband threw our white pumpkins and gourds into the corner of the backyard we call our garden.

We call it the garden, but no matter how many times he rototills the ground, grass insists on growing there. Which is super humorous, because we can’t get grass to grow in the rest of our yard at all!

This spring my husband planted sweet corn. But, surprisingly, the gourds came up as well. My husband almost mowed off the vines, but I knew what they were from having unsuccessfully tried to grow pumpkins year after year growing up.

Our Garden


So, the corn grew and the gourds grew. We called it my husband’s garden and I left it up to him to care for it. But as it became clear that we are in a drought, I took pity and watered it when I remembered to. He forgot to thin out the corn. And he forgot to harvest it, or rather, kept waiting for the ears to get bigger. (They never did.)

Meanwhile the vines for the gourds and the white pumpkins crept through the chain link fence and tried to climb the neighbors’ tree–multiple times. It grew out through the chain link fence toward the street. It grew every which way in our backyard, increasing the size of our garden by three-fold. It was like something out of The Great Green Turkey Creek Monster.

We started harvesting the fruits of our labor last month. We got most of them to shelter before a freak hailstorm hit. Only a few were damaged. What do you do with a butt-ton of gourds? A few years ago when we grew them (similar seeding process), we tried to sell them. (I think my mother-in-law may have been the only customer, bless her heart.) This year I gave a couple to my mom. The rest, well, we will use them to decorate.

More gourds


And re-seed for next year.

Now, to get rid of those corn stalks. Ooo! Maybe I could get my husband to bundle them up for decoration as well!

Yes, we have a very bountiful garden. What do we grow? Oh, exterior harvest decorations, of course!

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