Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Its Halloween and also our 14th anniversary....yes we married on Halloween, had a great wedding with all of our friends (mostly in costume), and to us this is the start of the holidays and a very  special day. From now through 2 Jan we are in holiday mode and once 2 Jan hits I will mope until spring.

First of all, we have numerous major projects going on right now, fencing, the sewer going in, we are in the process of widening our driveway, we are getting the shop situated, hunting season is approaching, and we have daughter Jen and Fiance' Steve and #3 son Matt coming for a couple weeks over Thanksgiving. So a couple of days ago we had to go to Springfield to get a 10' stick of 15" culvert and a band to tie into the existing culvert and widen the driveway. One of the things we have been looking for to outfit the shop is an old military steel desk (if you have ever served you know what I mean, it has the rubberized top, weighs a tonne etc) and on the way back Holly saw a sign that said "Free Desk". My first thought was it will be a cheap particle board number but we turned around and voila', the exact desk we have been looking for but haven't found on Craig's List or in the classifieds.

It literally weighs about 100 lbs and had rust etc but virtually no dents, all the drawers worked, and it was perfect.
So, a wash, some sanding, masking, primer, paint and....
We ended up with a great shop desk that was free outside of some labor and materials...and yes I re-painted it in olive drab...makes me feel at home. I still need to refurbish the top but we are pretty happy with it and it is a much needed addition to the shop. We get way more enjoyment out of projects like this where we refurbish something old and give it new life. I have fond memories of desks like this both sitting at one working when I was in the Marine Corps and later the Army and sometimes standing in front of one one getting my butt chewed for some transgression or another. It fits me like an old comfortable pair of shoes.

And the best part is it was made in the USA
But back to Halloween. All the kids are long since grown and on their own but we still like to have fun on the holidays...and decorating is just part of that fun.

The three of us all carved pumpkins (mine is the mean looking one) and then we roast the seeds for a  snack.
And one of my personal favorites we have been doing for about 10 years is that we make a nice pot roast with roasted vegetables so that the whole house smells good when the kids come to the door. I made this with a red wine and red vinegar base along with lots of garlic, onions, fresh Rosemary and Thyme. Halloween kind of marks the point where we transition to hearty winter fare with lots of soups, stews, and roasts.
Mean while Holly roasted a sugar pumpkin along with carrots, potatoes, turnips, onions, and apples and to give continuity to the meal she also used fresh Thyme and Rosemary. This is one of my favorite meals and I look forward to it every year. Maybe its aging but I have come to really appreciate the family traditions we have established over the years and I never tire of them. I think when your younger, at least in my case, you are so busy trying to make your mark in the world that you dont slow down enough to just live in the moment (if that makes any sense) and I am glad I have learned to just enjoy life and all that it offers. 

For our anniversary, Judy made us some redneck wine glasses, two jelly jars that she glued bases to and they are really cool.
We had way more Trick or Treaters this year which we enjoyed. We live kind of far out but we know so many people now that we had a steady stream of kids. One of the things we do is to have a bowl full of canned vegetables and a bowl of candy and offer the veggies to the kids first and we always get a laugh out of it and some of the kids remembered that from last year. Also this year, Holly added a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese to each bag of candy we gave out and the kids loved it, we even had kids come to the door having heard about the Mac and Cheese from other kids that had been here previously. We had a lot of fun with it and really enjoy the kids. Lots of folks talk about how bad kids are now days but we just dont see it that way, the kids were all polite, its was nice to see young parents out with their kids and we would hate to live in a place where Halloween is restricted to kids going to a mall or some other single point like that...I mean, how else are you going to teach kids to interact with people appropriately if you dont let them learn by doing?

So it was a pleasant day with mild weather and lots of friendly people. I hope everyone who reads this had as happy a Halloween as we did here on the farm.

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