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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hot Air Balloon Festival

They are beautiful.

Awe Inspiring.

Floating without sound, except for the odd hiss coming from the burners to keep them afloat.

Imagination runs wild and the child within feels alive and well.  Its nice to know it is still in there buried under layers and layers of adult responsibilities.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Late Afternoon Fix

I almost threw the SUV on its side turning left on short notice when I saw the sign.

The girls and I were on our way home from attending a field trip at a nature museum in the city with fellow kindergartners.  We were tired;  I was unable to buy the beautiful mums at the farmers market found a few blocks down the street because I never carry any cash on me and did I mention we were tired?  We all needed a late afternoon fix and the flowers were not going to happen!

It was agreed we wanted some pumpkin ice cream sold at Trader Joe's!  And only Trader Joe's!  In my opinion they listened way to good to the ads running in between Mozart's Symphony nr. 5 and Grieg's Piano Concerto in a minor.

And what do you know there it was;  like a sign from above.  Did I hear angels sing?

As we roamed the aisles, spiced apple cider, a leg of lamb, some brie and a few other necessities found its way into the cart and finally "Eureka"!  Good thing we came when we did because they were running low and when you take a bite you will understand why!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Signs of Fall

More and more signs of fall are showing up in the neighborhood!

Soon our backyard will be filled with the brightest and most beautiful shades of crimson and golden yellows.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pumpkin Carving

We went back and forth about what we want to do with the pumpkins but ultimately the girls' choice reigned.  They wanted to carve their pumpkins.  And they knew exactly what needs to be done!  "First, we have to take out all the seeds Mommy!"

So I cut the holes in the top of the pumpkins and happily handed it over to them.  "There you go girls!  Have fun!"

I've never heard the words "Eew!" and "Yuck!" as many times as I heard it coming from the deck while they were pulling fistfuls of pulp and seeds from the pumpkins' interiors.  But secretly I think Fudge really liked it.  Squishing that pulpy mush just a little bit longer than needed.  Rubbing her hands together in a weird, gratifying kind of way!   Throwing an "Eew!" or "Yuck!" out there just to look like she's "normal"!  He-he!

Put it this way I would be concerned if she is my surgeon one day;  concerned in a scary "Frankensteinish" kind of way!   She might be rearranging a few other organs while performing a heart transplant thinking "It would be interesting to see what impact this will have on her well being!  Woo-ha-ha!"

They stenciled on the pictures they picked and then the saws were put to work.  This is where daddy started to step in and help a bit; always so concerned his girls are going to cut a finger off or something terrible like that!

But they did a lot of cutting themselves and poked pieces of pumpkin out accompanied by shrill shrieks of excitement as they witnessed their creations take shape.  A few bent and broken saws and drills later........Voila!

When they finally had the opportunity to admire their handiwork on the front porch they became super excited knowing Halloween is just around the corner!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pumpkin Picking & Traditions

Growing up in South Africa, Christmas was slap bam in the middle of our summer holidays.  We had "Christmas at the Beach"!  Evenings were spent barbecuing and walking around the neighborhood enjoying the cool sea breezes at the end of the day.  Our family often congregated at my grandparents home where a feast was waiting every time and it made that time of year just so much sweeter!

It is one of the many places where I learned the value of family, traditions, celebrating who we are and where we come from.

Once we immigrated to the United States we spent the first few years just learning about the culture and holidays they celebrate in the US and when the girls arrived many years later we were eager to introduce them to the values and traditions - old and new - we cherish.

October is a time of year where the focus return to family and traditions.  As temperatures drop people get ready to spend more time indoors but at the same time enjoy as much of the outdoors they can before winter finally sets in.  Crops are harvested and people celebrate the bounty the earth provides them.

This weekend we went on a hayride, we picked pumpkins while enjoying the crisp autumn air and we wandered around a maze of sorghum.

But the highlight of the day for both girls were riding horses around a pen on the farm.  I could see in the way they pat the horses on their backs and necks they were in awe.  Even while pulling around a radio flyer to pick out our pumpkins they pretended being horses pulling their carts.  Once at home they grabbed their stick horses and galloped around the family room neighing and pretend eating apple treats.

So we continue to eagerly fill blank pages with traditions and experiences we share which ultimately culminate in being the story of our life, our family and what we hold dear.   I hope they will cherish these memories even when they are forty years old!  I know I do!

I soak up every little bit of it.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thank Goodness It Is Friday

It's been one busy week at work!

That's why tonight I poured myself a glass of red wine and

put on some Harry Connick Jr. and just smiled!
"What Is the Use of Crying!"

Sunday, October 2, 2011

An Old Fashioned Fall Carnival

It was a crisp autumn day with a cool breeze cutting through two thin layers of clothing.  It was the perfect day to go to an old fashioned Fall Carnival.

With a ferris wheel, roller coasters, high flying swings, candy apples and funnel cakes.

The air was filled with laughter and wafts of tasty treats.  Faces were covered with sticky caramel and ear to ear smiles.  Two little girls were hopping around screaming at the top of their voices "That was AWESOME!"  more times than I could remember.

It made me smile.  It made me happy to see them so happy.  It made me want to be a kid again.