Monday, November 03, 2014

A few October moments, part 1

It was, of course, a beautiful month, like October so often is.
 
A few highlights:
My parents came and visited for a couple of days.
Calvin fell asleep on Mom's lap.
Luke learned to say Great Grandma Dustin and Great Grandpa Dustin,  greeting them both with glee.
The weather was unusually warm, in the 80s which was quite a nice temperature for a visit.

Calvin is now 4 months old.

His smiles are sweet.

He got his first pumpkin patch photo taken by me.
Actually I took pictures of him in several pumpkin patches trying to get just the right look.
This one was probably one of the best ones.

I took him out in a stroller with a pumpkin hat on.
(Doesn't he look like he is humoring me?)

His expressions cracked me up.

Inside the grocery store a bag of salad amused him greatly.

Shoppers were amused by seeing him.
Sweet simple times together.

Trick or Treat time: The boys were dragon brothers this year.

Their house has a yellow orange front door that looks especially great this time of year.

What do dragons say?
"Roarrrrrh!"

Other dragons don't say much at all.

What a cute little dragon.
Or maybe he is actually a garden lizard?

He laughed at that thought.

Bernie and I were able to join in on this evening, Luke's first real Trick or Treat adventure.
For a two and a half year old he seemed pretty confident as he marched over to the neighbor's house with all of us trailing behind.

He knocked, spouted out "Trick or Treat" and remembered to say thank you.
Atta boy!

Cal...well, he had a good thing going with his mom.

That little face under the dragon's face.
This year's picture as a dragon is being added to the ones of him as a Tiger and Puppy to create a  collage.
His annual pumpkin patch photos will also be made into a collage.
I wonder how many years such photo ops will be permitted?
Eight?
Nine?
Ten?
I have a feeling the years are going to rush by.

A cuddly dragon baby.

I wonder if the boys will be costumed in matching outfits ever again.

As we walked the warm neighborhood (with shorts and flip flops on parents!) the sky darkened behind the glowing fall colored trees.

As a child I dreamed of autumn colored trees like this one.
Trick or Treating beneath palm trees near the beach lacked certain traditional elements like scurrying leaves and smoky scents.
Now I look around and smile that everything is traditional picture perfect.

Luke smiles at each house.
He knocks confidently and when the door is opened he just blows right past the person and into the house to check things out.
The neighbors know him and we are right there too.
His bold entry is greeted with laughter.

One neighbor's house.
The spooky trimming did not bother Luke a bit.
At the corner of the lawn there was a patch of marigolds guarded by a friendly looking scarecrow.
I was told that during one neighborhood walk Luke had busily checked out the flowers then froze when he looked up and saw the scarecrow.
Funny what may or may not frighten a two year old!

Each stop took a bit as neighbors spent a few minutes visiting and catching up with each other.
I stepped back and caught the sunset lighting up the clouds.

And noted the half moon rising in a misty cloud cover.

One house had a cereal killer...
(ha!)

The sky colored beautifully, and glimpses of the rosy hues peeked between trees as we walked.

Beneath our feet fall leaves crunched.
It was almost a pity to step on the piled up beauty.

Some trees still were fully leaved while others had shed their colors and become ink sketches against the sky.

 

Moon glowing through the bare branches...just like a Hallmark card scene.

Yes, he was allowed to have candy.

And allowed his Daddy to carry him when his little legs got a bit tired of walking.

Around the corner from their house was the house known as "The Spooky House".
The title was well earned!

In the driveway a life sized witch mounted on a Roomba was swirling around.

Almost everything had lights, motion and sound.
Pretty impressive.

The biggest surprise?
After the children had received their treats, all grown ups were presented with a tray full of Jello shots.
Various cocktail flavors were offered: Lime green margaritas, strawberry margaritas and some yellow drink.
The shots were powerful.
Who would have ever guessed this was the way Trick or Treat was served up in Utah?

Yes there was something creepy inside the casket...

I am guessing that was the family's name?

Ever seen a bubble fogger?
Bubbles float out from the machine, then pop releasing a wispy fog.

Was any of this scary to the tykes?
Check out that grin.
Apparently not!

The men folk carried and pushed the boys home.

One last picture of our big dragon before bedtime.

We had been "booked" to watch the dragons and to put them to bed after the Trick or Treating.
The dragon's parents were scooting off to an adult party.
Jeff dressed as "The Great White Hunter". 
Thank heaven it was so warm that wearing white Bermuda shorts was still quite comfortable.

Costume was completed with rifle...
His prey?
A lion...Rachel's costume, which I some how missed getting a picture of.
She was adorable.
And she returned home later unscathed by the mighty hunter.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ahoy Ye Pumpkins!

Saturday's newspaper had a notice of the 4th Annual Pumpkin Regatta that was to be held in our nearby Sugar House Park.
I imagined pumpkins would be floated in the park's duck pond, with some kind of contest related to the floating pumpkins.
I had NO idea that people were going to racing in pumpkin boats!
 

The Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers apparently bring some of their monster sized pumpkins to the pond each year. The pumpkins are hollowed out and folks paddle them through a race course track between buoys.
 After the race (which I missed...) folks were welcomed to take a turn at paddling around the pond inside the various pumpkins.
There were folks in waders at the ready to assist with any capsized squash.
Next year I think I will go to the event in my own waders and take my own turn at pumpkin boating.
 
Full sized adults were paddling around the pond with ease.
I would love to see our grands taking a turn in a year or so.

A beautiful setting...a fun annual event that was held last year in a downpour.
(The orange buoy was part of the waterway course.)

Gosh the pumpkins were beautiful and huge!

A prize was given to the largest pumpkin grown and brought to the event.
My jaws dropped when the winning grower explained that the pumpkin seed germinated and the pumpkin was harvested in a 45 day span, and it weighed 1,744 pounds.
How is that sort of growth even possible?

I would think if you stared at the pumpkin you would have been able to see it actually grow at that rate.

Fun costumes...and good (if not especially clean) fun for all.

This was just one of three events hosted by the UGPG.
Next weekend there will be a giant pumpkin drop.
Apparently the giant pumpkins are dropped cars, pianos, and other objects for March of Dimes.
If only the two grandsons were a little older...what boy (or girl, at age 60 for instance) could resist wanting to see that sort of gory and mayhem happen?
Then later in November on Thanksgiving Day any pumpkin that was grown weighing over 200 pounds can be donated to the local Hogle Zoo for the elephants to have for their Thanksgiving Day meal.
Check out a video of the Feast:
Pretty neat pumpkin fun options around here, huh?