Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pumpkins, Presents, Pad Thai, Pathetic Pictures, Presidents, and Pecan Pie

The day before Halloween and the day of, Parker spent most of his time outside carving pumpkins. Our neighbor Margie had a great collection of pumpkins and she let Parker carve them. He had a great time. I was impressed with his dedication to the job. The yellow house in the background is not ours, but I mention it because it has come a long way in the last year. If you go back to this post, you will see the transformation from a house where they were shoveling out garbage out of the attic into a truck to haul it to the dump (the previous owner) to this yellow beauty which people stop and admire.
The weather was beautiful and leaves are finally colorful and falling. It was a great way to spend the day. The boys would play, Parker would carve, they would chat with Margie and other neighbors, they hung out on Margie's porch and arranged the pumpkins, Parker would carve some more, Josie would watch the guys and swing, etc.
Dema carved the little one to the left (it had a lot of "eyes" and three mouths, but mostly Dema liked poking little holes in it). Once in a while one of Parker's neighbor buddies would come out to the park and watch him carve. I think in the end Parker carved (and cleaned...that is the part I don't like) ten pumpkins. I didn't get a picture of them lit up since they weren't at our house. Margie offered for Parker to bring some of the pumpkins home, but he was happy to leave his creations at her house.This one is winking. Parker did everything freehand with the little pumpkin carving "knives" Karen brought over. He would finish a pumpkin and then make a face to me and say "this is what the next one will look like". Then he would take a picture with my iPhone when he was done. The squirrels were crazy on our porch and started eating our pumpkin as soon as Parker set it on the porch. Margie has cats so the squirrels weren't quite so bold and seemed to leave her pumpkins alone.The kids kept going back and forth about what they wanted to be for Halloween. We just started doing the costume thing last year (before that the boys were happy just to hand out vegan candy and look at all the costumes from our porch). This year some friends made it easy on us. Margie gave Dema this kangaroo costume and our friend Charity gave Parker the Boba Fett costume. Rob took all the kids out (Josie wasn't in costume, but rode in the Ergo on his back) while I stayed behind to hand out candy to the droves of trick or treaters we have come to the house (between 150 and 200 people each year since we've lived here). They had fun trick or treating with the neighbor kids for an hour. Several very thoughtful neighbors had some special organic, fair trade, vegan candy for our kids when they came trick or treating. One neighbor offered Dema an apple he was so happy! They left out all their candy, except for the special candy from the neighbors, for the Halloween Sprite and the Great Pumpkin brought them Barefoot books, wooden trains, and cooperative games from Tribal Life (my store...Parker did comment that the Great Pumpkin shopped at our house this year pretty much exclusively).We had fun the day after Halloween celebrating the Day of the Dead. It was nice to have Rob along this year since it fell on a Saturday. Last year was our first time celebrating and now we look forward to it...the kids have been talking about eating pad thai and taking some to grandma's grave for a days. We went to Thara Thai for the pad thai this year since The Y Eatery is only open during the week days. The weather was perfect so we placed the rose and pad thai on her grave and talked about her and then we all took in the day and sat in the grass and looked at the sky. It was quite nice. We were the only ones in the cemetery until we were about to leave and a woman drove up and got out of her car with a flower arrangement and walked 30 feet to a grave and replaced the old flowers with the new ones and got back in her car. No big deal and not strange except for the fact that she looked at this strange family in the grass looking up at the clouds and pushed the lock button on her keys. It just struck me as insanely funny that she locked her car in a cemetery when she was out of it for less then 120 seconds and was at the most 30 feet from her car. What did she think was going to happen to her car or the contents in a cemetery which was pretty much deserted except for a family of five? It made it even more ironic when I noticed that I knew her. She wouldn't recognize me as an adult, but she lives in my childhood neighborhood and her son (now was his grave she was visiting) was a good friend of my brother's growing up and they went to our church.

Next year I hope to do more to remember Rob's mother. I asked Rob what she really liked to eat and he said she made a shrimp curry so now I have a year to find out the recipe and veganize it for next year's celebration.

Just a comment to say, I know my pictures are more pathetic than usual, but I still am down to my iPhone for pictures with the other cameras out of commission so I'll try to rectify this situation soon.

Lastly, we went to our friends Ricky and Catharine's to watch the election results last night. It was so nice to watch with friends who also have a Kucinich bumper sticker on their car. It was also nice to be with Ricky who is from Mississippi and see his sister call from the southern state elated that Obama won. Rob was so happy to see his home state look like it might (I haven't heard the final results) have gone for Obama. Dema fell asleep on our way over (Rob got off work late) and Josie was pretty mellow and eventually fell asleep (Parker was the late night man staying awake until we left after midnight). I can't really add anything to what everyone has already is awesome to have our first African American president elect and it is about time! It gives me some hope for this country and this planet. I know politicians are mortals so I don't think Obama is the cure for everything which is ailing us, but it is a step...a small baby step in the right direction. The second highlight of the night was Ricky's pecan pie. I need the recipe. Parker was talking about it all day today and Dema was sad he slept through it. I don't think I've ever made pecan pie before so if anyone out there has a great vegan recipe, send it my way.


Susan said...

Pumpkins: Those are the best Jack-O-Lanterns I have ever seen! Your boys did a great job.

Josie: I feel for Josie - being the only girl and trying to keep up with the boys. I have a really adorable Polaroid where Brian and Curt are reading me a bed time story and I am surrounded by stuffed animals and wearing PJ's with feet. I don't know about your boys but my brothers teased and taunted me but took excellent care of me at the same time.

Deloris: I think the way your honoring your mother is really inspiring. She left us too soon but I love how you are keeping her spirit alive.

Election: I was in Raleigh, NC for the election. What a crazy place to be. There was so much energy surrounding the possibility of Obama.

VeganLinda said...

Hey Susan!

The Jack-O-Lanterns are better than I could have done, that is for sure. :-)

I was just commenting to your mom the other day that we have the same gender order (boy, boy, girl) that you have in your family. You seem pretty close to your brothers and I hope my kids are close when they are adults. That sounds like a cute picture/memory! So far my boys are pretty sweet to their little sister, but it is still early. I'm sure we'll have our sweet moments and our tough ones. Parker wants to live with her when they get older...we'll see how that goes. I would be super thrilled if Josie turned out something like you!

I miss mom so much. She was my best friend, but I miss her even more for my kids. I want them to have a part of her even if they don't have her with them. The enjoy hearing stories about mom and celebrating her memory.

Raleigh is an interesting place. I was so happy NC went blue this time. It made Rob feel better being from NC.