stumpkins pumpkins, etc

First, a confession. I have a pumpkin/squash/melon addiction. There are at least eight different varieties on my porch right now, and autumn’s not over!

Second, what a pleasant and interesting weekend we had! We had planned to be in Chicago celebrating Dave’s grandparents’ 64th wedding anniversary/family reunion. Then Crazytown caught a nasty cold at daycare and shared it with Sweetboy and me. We were too sick to travel on Thursday but feeling stir-crazy enough to get out of the house a bit this weekend. We were seriously bummed to not make it to the party, but we had a little family fun anyway.

So, Stumpkins Pumpkins. Dave heard about a pumpkin patch from someone at work. The last pumpkin patch we visited was Eckert’s outside of St. Louis, and we headed out the other day expecting to find acres of pumpkins, bumpy hayrides, cups of steaming cider, and family-friendly games. We followed some hand painted signs down a winding road and pulled into a driveway…in front of a house…in a neighborhood. We found a yard full of pumpkins, a deserted tractor, an “honor system” money jar, and a chicken coop. We were literally the only people there. It was certainly not what we expected, but we had a great time! We just made ourselves at home and enjoyed the little homestead.

Sweetboy enjoyed picture time with the pumpkins, and Crazytown would have stayed on this lawnmower all afternoon.

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We talked to the donkeys, tramped through the crusty corn maze, and pretended to go on a hayride.

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I did feel disappointed by the absence of autumnal snacks, so we made our way to Sweet Frog for some frozen yogurt.

Yay for family adventures!

Yesterday we made our weekly trip to the farmer’s market and the produce stand. The farmer’s market was a sad sight, with only two farmer’s selling their produce. It seems to be dwindling down, and I will miss it over the winter! I did buy some rhubarb and chestnuts on a whim, simply because I’d never cooked with them before. (The rhubarb, and all its glory, deserves its own blog post. Stay tuned…)

But then we got to the produce stand and found a fall festival in progress! This place had everything: ice sculptures, winos, Germfs – German smurfs – a Teddy Ruxpin wearing mascara, an old lady wearing Kid ‘N Play hair, and none other than DJ Baby Bok Choy. Oh wait, I’m getting it confused with New York’s hottest club, TasteThis place had face painting, pumpkin painting, live Gospel/bluegrass music, autumnal snacks (!), pumpkins for sale (!!!), and most of our groceries for the week. Dave gathered and purchased our produce while Crazytown ran around like a heathen and I tried to keep Sweetboy from choking on the banana he was eating/smearing all over me. Then we ate cookies and listened to the “I Saw the Light.”

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Today I managed to let go of my typical wonder-how-much-I-can-accomplish-today attitude and rested. Our church nursery prefers that snotty kids stay home (totally awesome when you’re the non-snotty ones), so we read The Jesus Storybook Bible over cold pie (Did I mention rhubarb?) and coffee instead. Dave carved a pumpkin, and we sat on the porch for a while, enjoying the overcast day and watching Crazytown run around with the neighbor girls. Sometimes it’s nice to just be.

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P.S. Dave took most of these great pictures.

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