October 18, 2011


There is a great quote by French author Albert Camus that says "Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." With just a brief look outside at all of the trees that are beginning to get dressed up in their rusty foliage, it is easy to see just what he meant. There is a special feeling in the air this time of year. To me, this has always been a season of unquestionable beauty.

October brings with it many activities that I look forward to every fall. I started off this month with a mandatory visit to the pumpkin patch. On a balmy Saturday morning, I watched the sun's rays breaking through the sky's few errant clouds as I lugged a wheelbarrow of pumpkins in from the field. I picked up five in all: two tiny ones, two medium-sized, and an extra large one that I will later carve into a Jack 'O Lantern for my front porch. This particular farm also had a corn maze, which I was more than happy to spend $3 for fifteen minutes of walking through the tall stalks. The ground was dewy and soft beneath my shoes which added to the spooky atmosphere that was perfect for this season of the year.

Hallowe'en crafts are always a big part of my October agenda and this year I was able to add a few new hand-made decorations to my front table. My first project was a model spider. After putting all of the parts together, I spent a few hours painting it to resemble a picture of a tarantula that I found in a book. I think it came out quite lifelike. I actually gave myself a startle one evening when I had forgotten that I left the spider sitting on my kitchen counter and I caught a quick glance of it in the dark. Whoa!

Another project that I did was to assemble a foam haunted house kit that I found at the crafts store. This was really fun and it came out looking cute.

This past weekend, I spent a day cooking up an autumnal dinner of pork roast w/gravy, acorn squash, corn, and mulled apple cider. It was a delicious meal and I got to enjoy it in front of the TV while watching the Hallowe'en classic It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. One of those timeless cartoon moments comes when Charlie Brown reaches into his trick-or-treat bag and says "I got a rock." Hilarious!

For a definitive taste of autumn, try this simple recipe:

Cut an acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. In a small bowl, mix together apple sauce, raisins, cinnamon, and honey. Fill the squash halves with the mixture. Top it with a pat of butter and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake it in the oven at 400 degrees until fork tender. About an hour. Yum!

Also, to get myself in a ghoulish mood for Hallowe'en, I started reading a book called "The Gates" by John Connolly. Barring the occasional tongue-in-cheek philosophical, theological, or scientific tangent, the story line of this book is witty and fun. A monstrously enjoyable and lighthearted bit of fiction. Great for October! Boo!

"For I command you today to love the LORD your God,
to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws;
then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you
in the land you are entering to possess."

~Deuteronomy 30:16