The Fun Side of Pumpkins

I’m not a huge fan of Halloween in general and never have been. The whole scary costume thing and gory decorations isn’t something I embrace. Scary movies? Not me!

Enchanted Pumpkin Garden Carefree Arizona

My tastes fall along the lines of cute and funny. I enjoy seeing little kids dressed up as princesses or cartoon characters. Keeping things light and funny is much more to my liking. Throw in some fall colors, the smell of apple cider and cinnamon, pumpkin carvings and there ya have it … I’m all in … fall fun!

In my last post, I already shared photos from my visit to an engaging pumpkin exhibit, but since it’s Halloween, I felt compelled to share even more images from the pumpkin event.

Pumpkin Carvings

Visiting the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden in Carefree, Arizona, was my kind of autumn entertainment. These pumpkin displays are a delight for people of all ages, but especially for those of us on the mature side. To compliment the amusing display is an equally humorous newspaper.

Check out the Stem Enhancement Clinic

And even a coupon for stem enhancement in the newspaper …. This is too funny!

(To enlarge photos in a gallery, click on any photo. To return to the post, click on the x at the top. To read the newspaper articles, you may have to zoom in via your internet settings. Sorry, I tried my best scanning the newspaper.)

The jail exhibit was comedic. While the sheriff bends over to pick up money on the ground, a mouse on a stick is lowered down to grab the jail keys from the sheriffs hip. Someone is trying to escape from jail with the help of his buddies!

I had the opportunity to visit the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden on three different occasions, and during each visit, I noticed more pumpkins carved and a few changes here and there in the scenes. Talk about creative, imaginative, and talented!

I really appreciate all the hard work that goes into putting on such an entertaining exhibit. The show ran from October 19-28 and every evening the pumpkins are collected by the local fire department and floated in the fountain pool¬†… 1. to keep the carved pumpkins hydrated and 2. to keep them out of reach of javelinas.

Near the end of the exhibit, rumor has it, the night guard fell asleep in his truck and javelinas started noshing on the 693 pound pumpkin that the sculptors had yet to complete carving.

You can see where the javelinas started eating this 693 pound winning size pumpkin, bottom left.

Every morning, the pumpkins are returned to their display/scene. The sculpted ones are sprayed with water periodically throughout the day to help keep them from dehydrating, but many do not last for the entire show. Thus, new pumpkins are carved regularly. Yep, it takes a lot of talented people to provide us with this free entertainment.

And a few more photos just for fun …

Happy Halloween everyone …. hope you enjoy YOUR kind of day!

(affiliate links)
Too Many PumpkinsLEGO Seasonal Set Thanksgiving Feast


Harmonic enlightenment, and then some

I glanced down at the open book of Hymns on my lap and pondered the fact that I’m clueless when it comes to music.¬† Oh, I¬†quite enjoy¬†listening to it, but I’m oblivious¬†when it comes to¬†the understanding¬†of notes, composition, tune, rhythm, etc.

It wasn’t my intention to¬†attend church services that morning.¬† I’m not normally a church goer, but I do occasionally get drawn in by architecture and every now and then the need for a little spiritual enlightenment.¬† It was a lovely morning, and¬†I was out and about visiting a local historical landmark.¬† The Lamar, Texas, cemetery¬†has gravestones dating back to the Civil War and all the local tourist¬†brochures listed this as a site to¬†visit.

So, there I was on a Sunday morning strolling through a cemetery when I realized the¬†neighboring little Catholic Church’s’ doors were open.¬† My curiosity was such, that I found myself entering the¬†Stella Maris Chapel¬†and taking a seat in the second to the last row of pews.¬† I was a little¬†music_clipart_notesearly and only the fifth person to arrive.¬† I glanced around taking in my surroundings and noting the Hymn numbers posted.¬† I turned to the appropriate page to glance at the first song to be sung.¬† I already knew I wouldn’t be singing out loud…..

My first real exposure to the education of music was somewhere around the seventh grade. It was a¬†semester long, daily one-hour class exposing students to all aspects of music including singing.¬† This sounded like a fun class to me, especially since I could sing really well…. or so I thought.¬† After all, what teenager doesn’t like singing¬†along¬†with¬†their favorite artist?

The first day of this new class, the teacher wanted to get to know¬†the students¬†and¬†their abilities.¬† She had the left half of the class sing the first verse of a song and then she had the right half sing it.¬† She’d¬†select different students to sing a line¬†while the rest of us remained silent.¬†¬† Recommendations were made and it was obvious these first few students that had attracted her attention were talented singers.

this little gal sings beautifully
this little gal sings beautifully

This process continued¬†and when¬†the teacher¬†finally called my name, I proudly stood erect thinking she’d want me to sing by myself.¬† Instead, I was told to sing a little softer, which I did, but apparently not soft enough.¬† She stopped our group two more times to tell me to sing a little softer.¬† Once my volume was down to¬†lip-synching level¬†and not one vocal cord in my throat vibrated, I was given a big thumbs up… “That’s perfect, Ingrid.¬† Keep singing at that volume for the rest of class”.

gumby and poky“Seriously”, I thought?¬† “What did she know?”¬† I couldn’t wait to get home and sing my heart out into my little cassette player-recorder, proving that the music teacher didn’t know what she was talking about.¬† And sing I did, and in my head I sounded fantastic!

With a smile on my face and child-like exuberance, I rewound the cassette and hit play to hear my wonderful rendition of I¬†Think I Love You.¬†¬† Come on, who didn’t want to be Susan Day back then?¬† I even played an air piano while singing and had taken an iron to my unfashionable curly hair an hour earlier.

Alone in my room,¬†I listened to the¬†singer on the cassette player.¬† I didn’t recognize the voice, yet I knew it was mine.¬† I continued listening figuring it had to get better, because it couldn’t possibly get any worse.¬† Or could it?¬† My faced flushed with embarrassment at¬†the realization I couldn’t sing…. or rather I shouldn’t sing.

Oh well, I never had any aspirations to be a musical performer, thus I focused on being the best lip singer in class.¬† Ever since discovering my inability to carry a tune, I rarely sing.¬† Even today when we’ve joined friends for karaoke, I won’t sing, but I will gladly get on stage¬†to be¬†a background dancer for a Robert Palmer song!

Vultures can't sing, but they do hiss
Vultures can’t sing, but they do hiss

Back to church….. After a little fire and brimstone which included why parishioners should sing out loud (egad, did the priest imply me?) services were over and I exited the church.¬† I¬†immediately noticed a turkey vulture in¬†a tree.¬† I first became intrigued¬†with these unique birds a couple of years ago during a visit to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.¬† My fascination lead to a series of Google searches to learn about them.¬† Did you know, vultures lack a syrinx and are nearly silent?¬† Their vocalizations are limited to grunts and hisses; no harmonic singing from these birds.

We glance at each other knowing we share a common bond - we can't sing!
We glanced at each other knowing we share a common bond – we can’t sing!

As I approached the tree located between the church and the cemetery, Vivian Vulture hissed at me.¬† I hissed back, “Come on Viv…. we’re kindred spirits…. neither one of us can sing”.vulture

Vultures serve an important role in the circle of life.¬† Some may say they’re ugly.¬† I find them beautiful.¬† I shared my unusual infatuation with these birds before along with¬†some intriguing facts.¬† If you’re interested in¬†reading a few more tidbits about vultures and seeing¬†more photos,¬†you can read¬†my post here.

I may not have felt any spiritual enlightenment from the church sermon, but I did experience a clarity that morning with my encounter with Vivian.¬† I was reminded that we¬†are all created with a¬†distinct purpose and rare beauty; created with special talents or gifts; created with uniqueness¬†that should¬†be embraced.¬† How boring would it be if we were all able to sing like Adele?¬† Or worse, what if we all sang like Cameron Diaz in “My Best Friends Wedding”?¬† Oh¬†yikes, I do ūüėČ

Each of us is a unique strand in the intricate web of life and here to make a contribution – Deepak Chopra