Wednesday, September 18, 2013


This is Kevin.

Not the girl.  The girl is Small Daughter.  Kevin is the pumpkin.  He's in a seatbelt, because, well, she didn't want him to get injured in case of an accident.  Must keep Kevin safe.  
Why is he called Kevin, you ask?  No idea.  That's his name.
We found Kevin at the grocery.  It seemed he needed to come home with us.  At least according to Small Daughter, and she knows.  You see, according to Small Daughter, Kevin was attacked by an evil wizard (I am not making this up) and he removed Kevin's face.  Gone.  Wiped out.  And, it turns out, Small Daughter is the Faerie Queen and is the only person who can restore Kevin's face.  So, we brought Kevin home so that Small Daughter/Faerie Queen could restore Kevin's face.  Not only was Kevin's face wiped out, but before it happened, he ate WAY too many pumpkin seeds and he wasn't able to digest them, so she was going to have to do surgery to remove the pumpkin seeds before she could even start on the face.  As we were leaving the grocery, I told Small Daughter to hustle.  She climbed out of the car cart, then dragged Kevin out after her.  She turned to me and said, "Sorry, mamma, he's a bit of a slow poke as he hasn't any legs."  
"Oh, well, will the Faerie Queen be restoring those as well?"
"No.  They got chopped off.  I can only fix magic problems."

I took pictures of the restoration and surger process, it's quite fascinating.

The first thing she did was draw a new face on Kevin.  It wasn't quite up to snuff, so she drew a new one.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of that, because it was awesome.
Here she is beginning the removal of the excess seeds from Kevin's insides.

This bit is kind of hilarious, because she really hates pumpkin guts.  They gross her out.  This is actually the first time she has been willing to remove any of the guts herself.  Usually I have to do it, which ends up with me flinging pumpkin guts at her just to amuse myself.

She removed the guts, then separated the seeds from said guts, because although Kevin was unable to digest them, she didn't think she would have that problem herself.  After she removed them, I took them in the house to wash and roast them for her.  Then she moved on to the most important step.  Restoring Kevin's face.
She started out the restoration with a proper pumpkin carving saw-thingy, but broke that rather quickly, at which point she came into the kitchen, showed me the two pieces that were the result of her zealous work and said, "Well, I guess I'll have to use the dangerous one, then."  And took the knife outside with her.
Here on the left, you can see her checking the eyeholes.
And, finally, on the right, the restored Kevin.  He was extremely grateful.  In case you wondered.

After the process was finished, she decided to paint a portrait of Kevin with his parents.
In case you are wondering what the spots are underneath them, they are the various stages of mold that a pumpkin goes through before we push it off the wall into the garden.  
From the top down they are:
Slightly moldy
Kind of moldy
Really moldy

And lastly, the fruits of her labors.  If you notice that she looks kind of sad, well she is.  Look closely at the arm holding the white bowl and you may see the bandaid at her elbow bend.  In her desire for pumpkin seeds, she disregarded the Queen Mother and got herself nicely burned on the seed pan.  First burn, which really, isn't too bad for a girl who's been cooking since she was three.

And there you have it.  The Faerie Queen's restoration of Kevin.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Third Time's a Charm

I keep trying to write a post, but they keep coming out muddled and far too raw.  I don't mind a certain level of exposure here, obviously, since I blog, but I'm having a hard time keeping that level down.

I turn 39 tomorrow.  I'm old.  Ask any 19 year old.  I don't feel old, really.  I don't feel as old as 39 was when I was 19. Part of that is probably my young daughter.  I'm old enough to have an adult child, but I don't.  I have a very young one.  My BFF is a couple of years older than me and her kids are younger even than mine.  And, I don't think we act our age when we are together...We've been friends since I was 19 and I don't think the dynamic between us has changed much since then.  How can I possibly be nearly 40 when I still stay up too late with her, howling with laughter the same way we did 20 years ago?

At 19, I thought 39 would be vastly different.  I thought I would be solidly married,  2 or 3 kids, nice house, part time job doing wedding gowns in my own studio, husband earning a solid living.  Instead I am divorced (nearly), 1 child, no house of my own, working full time at a job that doesn't pay enough.  Sigh. Being a grown up sucks sometimes, I admit.  It has it's ups, but it some hella bad downs, too.

So, since I can't manage to say it myself, this says it for me.

After a while you learn
The subtle difference between
Holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't always mean security.

And you begin to learn
That kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman
Not the grief of a child

And you learn
To build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow's ground is
Too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way
Of falling down in mid-flight

After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers

And you learn
That you really can endure
That you are really strong
And that you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
With every goodbye you learn

Veronica A.Shoffstall

So, yeah.  Happy Birthday to me.