Mother Nature Has the Best Box of Crayons

Around our area this year, it seems the leaves have been turning colors a bit slower than usual.

Not that I want the cold weather to hit, but now that Halloween is over, and it’s already November, well, I guess it’s time. After all, November in our household marks the beginning of Christmas decorating. And since we have a total of 12 trees, it does take a bit of time.

But once the leaves start changing, and the fall flowers arrive at the garden shops, it’s time to start looking at and appreciating Mother Nature’s fall box of crayons.

And what an array of colors we find!

We tend to think of fall colors as just leaves turning colors on trees in varying shades of orange. But there are other colors as well.

And that’s certainly a big part of it.

But there are also pumpkins. And they’re not just orange. They’re white, yellow, speckled, and even blue! The first time I saw a blue pumpkin I thought it was fake. My husband didn’t like it at all, but I thought it was great. And so did the squirrels who decided to chew on it since we put it on our front steps with the other pumpkins. And don’t forget the decorative gourds which come in the most original and unusual shapes.

And then there’s the Indian corn. In a huge array of colors from orange to white to varying shades of blue and purple! Last year we also bought several ears of this colorful corn to put outside with our pumpkins. The squirrels enjoyed them as well.

This year we didn’t put out real pumpkins or corn.

But leaves and pumpkins aren’t nature’s only colors of fall. There are also stunning fall flowers. In beautiful shades of yellow, purple and orange. Pansies are one of my favorite flowers and I already have several pots of them on our deck. Mums are very popular as well, and are my husband’s favorite, but they don’t last as long as I’d like, even though I’m very careful to water them daily.

And don’t forget the fall apples. They’re available in all kinds of varieties and colors. And they’re all delicious, and can be found in luscious pies and apple dumplings!

Yes, Mother Nature has a box of crayons that are incomparable to anything we can come up with in a lab or by mixing paint on a palette. The beauty of nature and the majesty of the Creator continues to amaze us on a daily basis. 

We could never put together a box of crayons that could compete with these.

Don’t you agree?

Crafting Fall Pumpkins

Over forty years ago, there were colorful painted pumpkins in our family’s Halloween decorations. That was back when it was commonplace for us all to carve pumpkins for our Halloween decor without being told we were celebrating the devil’s holiday because we dared to decorate our homes and porches with pumpkins with carved faces and a candle inside them.

My uncle, who was a talented hobby artist, was obviously ahead of his time, and he decided one year to paint faces on the pumpkins rather than carve, so they’d last longer. They were colorful, and extremely creative. Unfortunately I have no pictures of them, because “back then” we didn’t memorialize such things.

I am fairly certain that if my uncle had lived to retirement age, he would have spent those golden years painting all sorts of wonderful things, as well as pumpkins, along with his hobby of bird carving.

Fast forward to now. 

It seems like every year Halloween decorations come out earlier and earlier. This year they were out by the end of August! And along with the truly Halloween decor are the pumpkins. Now we can get not only real ones, but craft pumpkins that we can decorate with all manner of designs, and even better, we can keep them from year to year to use over again in different displays. 

And as a crafter, I really do appreciate that. If I have to succumb to fall and all of its decor styles, then I can at least do something creative and fun with it. Here are two I made a couple of years ago.

It seems like all kinds of things can be used now. Flowers, chalk paint, feathers, glitter on stems, acrylic paint, decals, glue-on jewels, even nail polish that’s mixed with water to produce colorful swirls.

Or try a unicorn birthday cake topper for two little girls’ special pumpkins?

How about a headband with gold deer antlers, deer ears and leaves for the top of a very special little boy’s first Halloween pumpkin?

And another mermaid cake decorating set for a mermaid pumpkin for two special granddaughters in their mermaid bedroom at Grandma and Papa’s house?

Two years ago we gave our granddaughters their own little pumpkins to decorate themselves. They had a really good time. And they were very proud of their creations!  (So were Grandmom and Papa!)

Yes, if I have to go into the fall season, and let’s face it, what choice do I have, at least I can use some creativity to make it a bit more fun.

What fall decor have you done this year?

Pumpkins and Craziness Are Here Again!

It’s that time of year once again. The time when there’s that little nip of coolness in the air, especially the first thing in the morning. Even the sunlight seems crisper, giving us a hint of the chill that’s soon to follow. Yes, it’s that time of year that shuffles in the true end of summer. And shuffle is a good term, because I always go into it dragging my feet, kicking and screaming, because as I’ve said many times, I’m a spring/summer/flip flop type of girl!

And yes, I’m complaining about it again! Just like I do every year.

We can feel the chill in the air every morning, even though it sometimes warms up in the afternoon. The trees turn into a palette of new colors; bright oranges and yellows and vibrant reds. And all those leaves begin to fall all over the yard, getting raked into piles of crisp color that we adults are just a bit tempted to jump into it when no one is looking, like we did when we were children! Or, in our case, they fall in the pool and my husband has to keep scooping them out.


Yes, I will admit, the colors are really pretty, and can be breathtaking, depending on where you go to see them. My husband likes to drive over to the mountains and enjoy the spectacular views. And they are pretty. But if it’s up to me, I’ll look at other people’s pictures online and think how pretty they are, and then dream about how long it’ll be until it gets warm again.

Then there are the pumpkins. Everywhere. In store and even restaurant displays, and piled along those roadside stands. Some even have carved faces already, and yes, I’ve been tempted to buy a couple of them to carve, but our son-in-law does that for the grandkids now, so we let him have all the fun.  But you can also buy craft pumpkins now that you can carve as well. No mess. But not nearly as fun. I remember when I was growing up and my uncle making the most beautiful jack-o’-lanterns. Over fifty years ago, he was painting faces and other designs on the pumpkins rather than carving them, because they’d last longer. He was certainly ahead of his time, and if he were still here today, I’m sure he’d still be doing it, only much more elaborate.

And speaking of pumpkins, don’t you think the pumpkin craze is getting a bit out of hand now? I do like pumpkin pie, but pumpkin spiced coffee? Pumpkin glazed donuts? Pumpkin flavored pop tarts? Pumpkin flavored Oreos? Please, no……I like pumpkin pie, but all the different pumpkin flavored stuff…no. Pumpkin ice cream is making its appearance now, and pumpkin flavored potato chips and pretzels. Then there are pumpkin dipped dog biscuits… Just please. No. I just can’t. And now I just heard that a local restaurant has created a pumpkin pizza! I’m not going there.

However. There are a few things that I can appreciate about this time of year.

candy_0For one, there is a LOT of candy on sale right now. And I do like to keep my candy bowl on my desk filled with all kinds of wonderful chocolate candy bars, miniature ones of course, just in case I get an urge during the day for a quick pick-me-up! Even though I’m now working from home, I still have that bowl. Chocolate can give you a pick-me-up, thank goodness, and on certain days I really need that. And I’m sure many of you reading this are like us, and buy your supply of Halloween candy based on what YOU like to eat, and not necessarily what the kids are going to want, so you can enjoy the leftovers! Is there any other way to buy it?

And I have to admit I did enjoy seeing the costumes the kids were wearing when they came to our door to get their candy. The little ones were always adorable, but now we’re not home on Halloween night, because we go to our daughter and son-in-law’s neighborhood with the grandkids and help them collect the candy! Their development goes all out, with almost everyone decorating their yards, with many of the families sitting out in their driveways with portable firepits and candy, and yes, some adult beverages. It’s one big party. Almost everyone rents a golf cart and drives around the neighborhood (they live on a golf course), and of course the golf carts are always decorated for the occasion.

And this year, our daughter will actually be wearing a Halloween costume, or her version of one. Here she is modeling it with our granddaughters who are looking forward to becoming big sisters in early January!!Expecting Halloween Costume

pauline-and-fowler-halloween1951When I was growing up, most of us dressed up for Halloween, but very seldom in anything scary or spooky. My hometown had an annual Halloween parade, with several of the main streets blocked off so the participants could march around our little business district and the county courthouse. Children and adults paraded around streets in costumes and competed for prizes, and the streets were filled with onlookers. My aunt and uncle actually won first prize in the adult division one year, dressed as Raggedy Ann and Andy. Weren’t they looking sharp? (How many of you know who Raggedy Ann and Andy are?) And if memory serves me correctly, I think some of the local churches sponsored the parade and contributed the prizes!

I can’t remember the last time I saw a Halloween parade. But they were a lot of fun! At least to us kids, and the adults who still acted like kids. It was just a fun time to enjoy ourselves, and get candy, of course!

So once again I guess I’m sort of stuck with it being fall. I can’t change it, so I have to make the most of it. I can wear my jeans and sweaters with my boots, enjoy our toasty fireplace with a glass of wine, and count the days until Thanksgiving and Christmas.

And I can remember that spring is, sort of, just around the corner!

José Guadalupe Posada