succulent pumpkins

November 8, 2013 § 1 Comment


I’m not a crafty gal. I envy people who amass DIY projects and execute them with precision. I’m the improvising sort: I treat all recipes as blueprints and am practically incapable of following directions. For example, I once  assembled an IKEA table of which I was quite proud. Christopher waited a few hours to show me that the legs were screwed on backwards, exposing protruding bolts.

But, I think there may be hope, if only because I have such fond memories of elementary school art class. Guess what our teacher’s name was? Art! It really was. And we got to call her that, because it was Montessori school. But even as a grown up–perhaps especially as a grown up–it’s a wonderful experience to get lost in a project: time goes by  quickly and you almost always feel rewarded at the end. As a general rule, I think, people like the way their own art looks. You know, the way men like to smell their own farts or kids like to play musical instruments. These things may be (ob)noxious to others, but we tend to like our own productions.

Wedding cards

Back in September, around the time that I realized it was insane for me to plan a trip to Nantucket in my 9th month of pregnancy, I went to visit my dear friend Kinnon in Boston. As it began to dawn on me that I wouldn’t be able to attend her wedding on November 2nd, I told her I wished we could do something together to celebrate. To which she replied, “We can make place cards!” So, we spent a lovely afternoon penning and stamping and tying gift bags with string. It was so peaceful. It made me wish I were a craftier gal.

These little succulent pumpkins seem like a thing I can do to pass a fall afternoon. They’re also low-maintenance Thanksgiving decoration that can turn into something else for the rest of the year when the pumpkins rot and a new pot beckons (maybe gold-leafed terra-cotta pots…double craftiness!!) And I love the idea of getting dirty to make something lovely at the end.

Special thanks to Lauren at LuxHappens for letting me use her photo.

happy halloween!

October 31, 2013 § Leave a comment


Halloweens past

A favorite: Dressing up as a witch at age 5. I was nearly apoplectic in my fear of witches, but it passed after this particular Oct 31. Remarkably, becoming the thing I was most afraid of took all of my anxiety away. Ah! What a metaphor.

Another favorite: Dressing up as a bride at age 6. It rained that night and I was disappointed because so few people would get to see my special gown. This, too, proved a valuable life lesson: it rained on my grown-up wedding day. I had to dig deep to that 6-year old memory and remind myself that this wasn’t God’s special punishment.

A not-so-favorite: realizing during my Freshman year in high school that I would never dress up again. And also feeling deeply embarrassed that I wanted to.

A favorite: Ah sweet deliverance! Discovering during Freshman year in college that not dressing up was the height of lameness. I went as yesterday’s news and taped the Oct. 30th 2002 paper all over my black pants and white shirt. Sadly, my concept costume required a little too much imagination for the beer-buzzed IQ.

A not-so-favorite: Later that night, when I realized that 90% of girls were using the holiday as an excuse to dress up as a slutty____. Popular favorites include the slutty nurse, the slutty cat, the slutty maid, the slutty rabbit. One girl simply wore a black bra and underpants with high healed shoes and fishnets. Remarkably, she had no name for this persona. (…the slutty slut?)

Halloween present

I had intended to copy one of my favorite mommy bloggers Jess Garvin and paint my belly as a pumpkin, but then I realized that I am not going to be able to do the job myself. Alas, Christopher is leaving town tonight to attend our dear friends’ wedding on Nantucket. (Bed rest be damned!)

Also, I’ve decided against it in general protest. When I told Christopher my plans he suggested that, not only could I go as a single pumpkin, but I could be a whole patch… Three on the front, one in the back. I was not amused. My ears perked up when he suggested Santa Clause, though. I must make use of this bulbous state while I can.

My sister, Lily, will come entertain me the trick or treating kids this evening and we have big plans to watch silly Halloween movies, bake root vegetables and roast a chicken. I’m guessing that heating the oven to 400 degrees while wearing a Santa suit will make me feel like a bit of a roast bird myself.

Halloweens future

What am I looking forward to most?

Watching a little person discover the thrill of freedom that Halloween brings: freedom to be someone you are not, freedom to eat more candy than your pancreas should handle, and the freedom of making the rounds on your own for the first time–no parents!

Oh my, oh my, I will have a hard time with that one. Because I know that trick or treating alone is the gateway to all sorts of adolescent things–kissing in the woods, TP’ing the neighbor’s trees, riding in cars you’re not allowed in. Then high school, college, marriage, oh my.

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