Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pumpkin Palooza!

Last week a friend had tipped my off about Trader Joe's Pumpkin Body Butter.
It sounded so wonderful I decided to drive downtown to get some and at the same time check out how fall was doing in city.
Autumn arrives later downtown in the valley so when the fall colors in the mountains and canyons peter out, an autumn encore presentation can be found among the cityscape.
Camera beside me in the car I arrived at Trader's Joe and discovered an unexpected autumn treat:
Now I have noticed over the past decade or two that pumpkin options have increase beyond the standard pumpkin style of my childhood, the orangy-yellow things that Linus sat amongst in the sincere pumpkin patch while he awaited the arrival of the Great Pumpkin.
I think it was Martha Stewart who first touted the decorating possibilities of the new-to-me white pumpkins, back in the 90's was it?
Mini pumpkins also appeared.
Then "Cinderella" pumpkins, of French origin I was told, showed up in the markets while I lived in Houston.
The buff colored hazy skinned beauties did look like the pumpkins of fairy tales. 

I must have not been watching pumpkin experimentation/cultivation very closely (or truthfully, not at all...) over the last five years or so.
The Pumpkin varieties now being offered for sale in front of Trader Joe's absolutely blew my mind.
I quickly went inside the store, purchased some Pumpkin Body Butter jars, returned to my car and grabbed my camera.

Are these not the wildest, most amazing and beautiful pumpkins that you have ever seen?
I wasn't the only one in awe. 
People were stopping and gawking and exclaiming all around me as I snapped away.

I got a few pumpkin close-ups...

Marveled that this isn't a cracked pumpkin but rather the way it naturally grows with crackle like seams.
I was looking closely at it as the store's produce manager walked by.
He stopped to talk with me about it.
So interesting!

Now I had seen warty looking gourds my whole life.
Still, seeing them nestled in amongst the new squashes, I enjoyed them anew.

The big red orange ones with deep green and then lighter orange seemed like a ceramic painting experiment gone awry.
They were actually perfect...they just grow that way.

Someone charged with arranging the pumpkin palooza had cleverly gathered all the white pumpkins in one space.
Looking at them was like a visual palate cleanser between mad cap colors courses.

The pumpkin in the upper left corner is one of the French Cinderella style pumpkins.
They really don't look real.
The first time I saw one I touched it thinking it was a seasonal decoration that would have a sticker reading "Made in China" on it somewhere!

The bumpy green pumpkin...ooohhh!
(Several of us wondered how these things would taste cooked up.)

Even the mini pumpkins were dappled and speckled, unlike the solid orange way that I had always seen them sold before.

That butterscotch/gold/orange pumpkin...
So elegant and rustic at the same time.

A rainbow of colors pumpkin!

Blue greyish green pumpkins....
The hazy skinned ones apparently go shiny as they mature.

Now could anyone decide if one could only have one of theses little jewels?
(Yes, I would like the whole bushel please.)

Actually I would like the whole palooza delivered to my place please.

The almost black green and orange and cream of this pumpkins: who developed this one?

And the one that looks like dark chocolate was poured over it?
Oh how I wish Trader Joe's had put up something explaining which university or farmer had done the development of these pumpkin strains or who had found heritage seeds or ??? or ???
Are crazy new pumpkins showing up where you live?
Any Pumpkin Paloozas going on in your neck of the woods?
Do tell!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dog walker

A happy unexpected moment seen by chance this past Monday afternoon:

Mom and I were sitting in my car in the Neff's Canyon's parking lot when this woman walked around to the back of her vehicle and popped opened the back window.
A tail wagging crowd was inside that car!

Orderly patience was seen among the dogs as each lead was attached to the eager dog.

Then dogs began to flood out of the car.

We tried to count them.

The dogs kept coming.
We think in the end there were nine dogs.

And then the walk began.

Nice job you got there lady!
And excellent views from your out door's office window!

Our government goes back to work today.
Stop gap measures agreed upon merely postpone more shut downs later on.
I am glad that my Dad, with his Honor Flight due to visit the WWII memorial this weekend, will not be barricaded away from seeing his service monument.

I hope the shameful treatment of our veterans during this past government shut down will be addressed in Congress before the next inevitable Government shut-down.

And isn't it amazing that the Occupy Wall Street gang was allowed to illegally camp (and poop and rape and use drugs) on the National Mall for over 100 days without any interference from the National Park Service and yet NO ONE, including Veterans, were allowed to be on the Mall Memorials from Day One of the government shut down?

See HERE to read the word by word confrontation of the Director of National Park Services by Congressman Trey Gowdy.
I got to hear the audio feed of the confrontation.
I am still shaking at what it all meant and giving thanks for Congressman Gowdy's courage.

Oh wait...
I mis-spoke.

There actually was one group allowed on the National Mall during this past government shut down.

Illegal Aliens also were granted permission to gather on the Mall during the shut down by President Obama.
Nancy Peloski thanked Obama for his permission during that gathering.
Apparently the decision as to who may or may not visit or camp upon (illegally) on the National Mall is up to Obama.
And Park Service claims they have "discretion" as to how they enforce rules.
Obama and the Park Service choices:

Bust the veterans.
Allow illegals and Occupy Wall Street.

Praying for our country and trusting God more than man.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Autumn's Rainbows: Vee's Note Card Party

Be sure to check all the links to note cards on her blog too!
Who can resist a rainbow?
Not me!

Rainbows arched before me up against the wild Autumn brightness in Alaska's Kenai in a post I did in September 2012.

Another time a rainbow danced over the freeway between snowy peaks as I was running errands around town.

A Mother-Daughter Rainbow shone over the Capitol Reef red rock canyon edge during an autumn family camping trip.
I was the one who danced when I saw an autumn rainbow resting on an Alaskan mountain top and then saw it also reflected in the pond below, which I wrote about in the same post as the other Alaskan rainbow.
Oh rainbows!
Most people know about the story in the Bible of the Ark and the flooding and the rainbow that God put into the sky as a sign of covenant that He would never again flood the earth and destroy it in that manner.
A few years back I learned a bit more about rainbows.
I learned that the middle color in a bow is always in  Emerald green.
In heaven there is a rainbow as well.
It is an Emerald bow,  and it arches around God's throne.
Rev. 4:2-3, 5-6.
"And immediately I was in the SPIRIT: and, behold, a THRONE was set in Heaven, and ONE sat on the THRONE. And HE that sat was to look upon like a Jasper and a Sardius stone: and there was a Rainbow round about the THRONE, in sight like unto an Emerald. . . . And out of the THRONE proceeded Lightnings and Thunderings and Voices; and there were Seven Lamps of Fire burning before the THRONE, which are the SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD. And before the THRONE there was a Sea of Glass like unto crystal."It strikes me as interesting that rainbows seen from above the earth are full circles instead of half arches.
The  double rainbow likewise tells a story.
The royal purple is the top color of the top rainbow, and the bottom color is red.
The closer to earth bow tops in red and ends in purple.
The red band...blood red...marks the boundary between the two.
Each person sees a unique rainbow; the rainbow is created by the light being split by raindrops.
Each person's eyes sees the rainbow created from exactly where they stand.
Seven colors make up a rainbow.
Seven days were used to create the world.
One Jewish sage remarked that with the flood, God took aim with His Bow at His Creation to destroy.
When He made a rainbow, He placed the bow arched so that it aimed away from the Earth.
 The emerald bow, a circle, around His Throne, is the ultimate rainbow I really long to see.

(And bonus card: again in Capitol Reef National Park.)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Empty Nest, refilled with Autumn.

My mom and I were driving up East Canyon on Friday, enjoying the scenery and being together when out of the corner of my eye I saw a bird's nest low in a tree.
I pulled over and walked back down the road until I found the nest again.
It wasn't until I stood on tiptoe that I saw that the empty nest had been filled by chance with two beautiful yellow leaves.

Lovely, yes?
I am so glad heeded the impulse to stop and go photograph the nest.

So glad for the time to see the beauty of the season and to be able this time to share it with my Mom.