Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Marvelous Weekend

It was a busy, yet fun filled, weekend. My apologies for the delay in my posting. Here's a brief recap of what has gone on:

It's musical time again! This fall, the VACT is performing "Something's Afoot"; a murder mystery musical that spoofs Agatha Christie's 'Ten Little Indians'. One of the opening numbers is an appropriate title for this blog post. For this show, the orchestra is on stage and behind the scenery. It makes for some interesting acoustics, but it's fun to see and engage with the actors/actresses in between scenes. The first weekend's performances went very well. Next Thursday through Saturday are the final performances. If you're interested in seeing it, ticket information can be found here. For those who have already seen the show, thanks for coming and I hope you've enjoyed it.

Happy Birthday, Grandpa Ted! We hope you had a special day. Since it falls on Halloween, how better to celebrate it than with a 'Happy Birthday Pumpkin'?

Now, when Noah hears the rumblings of a little engine whiz past our house, he'll look at us straight in the eye and in all seriousness mention 'melmeln'. We finally caught on that he was trying to tell us that this was the 'mail man' driving by. Sometimes, during the middle of dinner he'll think he heard the 'melmeln' again and inform us, just in case we wanted to check. We think he uses this term for other meanings as well that we're still trying to figure out. If you recall one of our earlier posts, you'd most likely understand.

As you've seen in her recent post, Jen has been knitting up a storm. I'm not sure if I've seen her without knitting needles and yarn in her hands for some time now. I can't even keep up with everything she's done. She's like a machine: she knit me a hat, she knit herself a hat, she knit a friend a baby hat, and now she's working on some mittens. She's just so gosh darn talented.

Daylight savings time happened. It's getting close to the time where I'll go to work when it's dark and then return home when it's dark. If I'm in my office for most of the day, there may be a good chance that I won't see the sun. It's definitely a sign that 'ol man winter is on his way. I will mention, however, that I did enjoy that extra hour of sleep--very rejuvenating. With all that has been going on, that one additional hour made all of the difference.

Finally, it was the weekend of Halloween, one of my favorite times of the year. Maybe it's because it's one of the more creative holidays. I really enjoy seeing the kids dress up in their ingenious costumes as well as turning pumpkins into my own artwork. For those of you that aren't aware, I go a little crazy with pumpkin carving. We go and pick out the pumpkins at a local farm and then I use basic carving tools to sculpt a design. It's a tedious, delicate process, but I love the challenge involved. I always like to carve things that the kids can relate to as they visit our home for trick-or-treating. It's also fun to make the parents of the trick-or-treaters think about how the carvings could be done. In previous years, I've commonly done a number of movie characters, including action heroes (Batman, Spiderman) and cartoon (Shrek, Nemo). This year, I thought I'd go with a theme to help celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Movie The Wizard of Oz and the 100th Anniversary of Frank L. Baum's book Wizard of Oz.

It was a full two day process to complete the designs, empty out, and then carve the pumpkins. Noah was a good supervisor to make sure I was staying on track.

Following the storyline of the film, Dorothy Gale, who lives on a Kansas farm, dreams of a better place "somewhere over the rainbow." After a tornado strikes her unconscious, Dorothy dreams that she, her dog Toto and the farmhouse are transported to the magical Land of Oz.

There, Dorothy is told by the Good Witch of the North, Glinda, to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City and meet the Wizard of Oz, who can help her return to her home back in Kansas. Along the way, she meets a Scarecrow who would feel much happier if he only had a brain.

Later on, they meet a Tin Man, who wishes he could have a heart.

Further on down the road, they come across a Cowardly Lion, hoping to ask the wizard for courage. This one was the most challenging carving, partially due to the pumpkin's size. The Cowardly Lion took 2.5 hours to complete.

Throughout their journey to the Emerald City, they try to avoid the Wicked Witch of the West and her attempt to retrieve her sister's ruby slippers from Dorothy.

I was pretty pleased as to how everything turned out. Usually, when carving such intricate designs, the pumpkins only last for about a day and a half to two days. Despite the short lifespan of these carvings, I still think it's worth it. I found that my witch shrivels up rather than melts.

We thought that it might be fun this year to dress Noah up for Halloween again. We were coming down to the wire without fully deciding what he should wear. As we strolled through the local Target's Halloween clearance section, Noah smiled, pointed, and said, "DUCK!" The decision was made.

He wasn't too thrilled to walk around outside. He was having more fun watching the trick-or-treaters from the windows and then helping me hand out candy. After he understood that kids came to the door with every doorbell ring, he started signing to me 'more, please', as if I had some control as to when the trick-or-treaters came to the door. He tolerated the costume for just under two hours. It was pretty funny watching him waddle around as a duck.

Maybe next weekend will be a little more laid back. : )

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