Ode to a Giant Pumpkin?

Alas, it finally had to happen. Frost hit the pumpkin patch while I was away at the FogLit Festival in New Brunswick last weekend Maybe I should have mentioned this in the last post, but I couldn’t bring myself to write about it. I needed time. To his credit, Hubby did his best to try and save her, he really did. He covered her lovingly with blankets but her vines were too massive. It went down to -1 that night. I feared the worst. There was a crispness in the air when days before we were waking to +18 or more degrees. I’d been hoping for a few more weeks of growth as the son’s urban pumpkin has been granted. But nights are generally cooler in East Dalhousie.

And so you can’t lament forever. There will come another year and, hopefully, we’ve learned a bit about growing giant pumpkins and can apply that knowledge to next year’s crop. We are pleased with our first-time effort. It’s the largest pumpkin this garden has ever seen. But there comes a problem with growing big pumpkins, the kind of problem no one warns you about back in the beginning. How the heck do you move it? Too big to roll.

Now, here’s how you move a really big pumpkin East Dalhousie style.

While we were moving this monster, there came a new development from the urban pumpkin camp, something we weren’t prepared for. The son is really out to win this. First this came; chocolate face and all.

Then this: Things were getting serious.

I mean how can two middle-aged pumpkin growers complete with this? So we countered in the only way we could. Not quite so cute, but the son’s not getting away that easily, thinking weren’t not going to notice the size of the pumpkin with all that cuteness sitting on top of it.

Of course our pumpkin looks smaller. Look how much bigger we are then the twins! This seems totally unfair to me–just saying.

So how much does the Country Pumpkin weigh? To the best of our calculation she’s tipping the scale at 235lbs.  As for the Urban Pumpkin that has yet to be determined as I’m sure the son delights in the fact that his urban garden has thus far avoided the frost. The competition continues….

I will report the final weight of the Urban Pumpkin once the frost finally settles in Lower Sackville.

Have a happy Thanksgiving weekend, everyone!

Writing Out the Crap

I know, I know, I know. It’s been awhile since I’ve written a post. Or maybe you didn’t notice, which is okay. I still love you. Why wouldn’t I? You’re my people!

All week long I’ve been mulling over ideas of what to write. The ideas seemed to ebb and flow with my moods as disappointment and challenges kicked in during the week. Some days I was ready to  dig in my heels and write an uplifting post, still other days I wanted to get up on my soapbox and spout off a little. You see, I have a real problem with all the unfairness in the world, of people behaving badly, or simply not having a thoughtful bone in their body. It bugs me and, honestly, sometimes makes me want to retreat from the world and pull the blanket up over my head.

But I have a secret weapon, one that allows me to work through the crap in my life. Yeah, you’ve got it—writing. I know that’s what you’d expect me to say—me being a writer and all—but I believe that we all need to give voice to some of the things that are troubling us from time to time. Some people are verbal and can articulate what’s on their mind very well. Other people are verbal and well…Maybe they need to give writing a try because it just gets a little messy otherwise.. You don’t have to be a fiction writer and make up stories, just writing down the everyday can often help. I don’t mean the I did this and went here and did that’s. I mean really, you’ve got to get into the meat of things, the stuff that bugs you, the people who ticked you off, the ones who broke your trust or were mean or simply haven’t got time for you.

I mentioned this to a teacher friend recently, this writing out the crap thing that I do from time to time. It helps, really it does. It frees me to come to a clean page and start a fresh new writing session when I’ve got things bugging me that I just can’t shake. I mean, how can you allow the words to flow when you’ve got a swell of emotions damned up inside you? Many times we keep churning that crap around in our heads all day. Some people do it at night. Some people do it all day and night. For me, there’s something powerful about writing out what I’m feeling when I’m encountering life’s disappointing times. And since no one is ever going to read it, I can whine and complain and lament to my heart’s content. Because seriously, if you live in the world, you’re going to experience some crap in your life. I don’t care who you are. Even if you appear to be the most happy, bubbly person in the world. And remember, when crap happens in your life you can have a secret weapon too! Try writing out that crap and see how you feel.

While I think of it, I love the lyrics to the song “Bleed Red” by Ronnie Dunn.  I’ve added them below. It reminds me to keep other people in mind as I go through my day, good or bad, and that I’m not the only person who’s having a crappy day. “We all bleed red–the words get stuck in my head from time to time when I’ve got things on my mind. I hope they resonate with you in some way, too.
 

Bleed Red

Let’s say were sorry, before it’s too late, give forgiveness a chance
Turn the anger into water; let it slip through our hands
We all bleed red, we all taste rain, all fall down, lose our way,
We all say words we regret, we all cry tears, we all bleed red

If we’re fighting, we’re both losing; we’re just wasting our time
Because my scars, they are your scars and your world is mine
You and I, we all bleed red, we all taste rain, all fall down, lose our way
We all say words, we regret, well cry tears, we all bleed red
Sometimes we’re strong, sometimes we’re weak, sometimes we’re hurt and it cuts deep
We live this life, breath to breath, we’re all the same; we all bleed red

Let’s say we’re sorry…
Before it’s too late…

We all bleed red, all taste rain, all fall down, lose our way,
We all say words we regret, we all cry tears we all bleed red,
Sometimes we’re strong, sometimes we’re weak; sometimes we’re hurt
It cuts deep; we live this life breath to breath; we’re all the same
We all bleed r-e-e-e-d-d-d

Oh, and to my Canadian readers, Happy Thanksgiving. If you’d like to share something you’re thankful for in the comments that would be great.

Happy Thanksgiving to My New Best Friend

I’ve been enjoying this past little while with my newly published book. We’re good buds, don’t you know—my new best friend. It’s good company, never talks back, and I can tell it to go get lost anytime I please. It never gets offended. And if I don’t feel like talking it just sits there quietly, patiently waiting to hold my hand if need be. Books are like that. A friend to one and all. A little more so if you’re the author. But that only makes sense. Don’t you agree?

Word on the Street was great fun, the book launch totally terrific, and all the wonderful little notes and comments from folks about the book has been divine to say the least. And through it all, my book has stayed by my side. I’ve got a few interviews and book signings coming up in the next few weeks, a planned literary night in New Germany, which I’ve been invited to participate in, and a local radio station will be hosting a book giveaway (stay tuned I’ll let you know when the contest is on for anyone local and interested in getting a free copy of the book. You can never have too many books. They do make good gifts!)  Busy, busy , busy. But it’s a good busy. One I don’t mind in the least. I have to say people have been most generous and I appreciate it immensely. And so does my book, my new best friend.

Tomorrow we’ll be having a few people in for an early Thanksgiving. Monday isn’t a holiday for everyone so we celebrate a day early. I’d like to say I have so much to be grateful for, and it’s true, regardless of my newly published book. I sometimes think we don’t stop to consider all the simple things in life we have to be grateful for, that we sometimes mistakenly think that we only need to show gratitude for the big things that come our way. But that’s not so. Life is filled with simplistic moments that give us so much to be grateful, and I believe all those little moments add up to so much more in the long run. Am I grateful to have a newly published book? Of course, but there are so many “bigger” things I have to be grateful for, ”bigger” smaller things that can’t be touched or held or read, but need to be felt, and experience with the heart.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Checking Out the Bookstores Because That’s What you Do..Right?

On my way into town on Saturday my daughter called to say she had overheard someone at work mentioning my book. She of course spoke up and said the person who wrote the book was her mom. Although the lady won’t be able to make it to the launch she would like an autographed copy. This prompted me to drop into the local bookstore to see it by chance they had any copies in yet. I immediately headed for the children’s book section and there they were— copies of “Bitter, Sweet” for everyone to see— oh, and buy too. (Mustn’t forget that buying part!) A pretty cool feeling I have to admit! I wasn’t sure if Nimbus had sent any copies out yet but I guess they don’t waste any time and since the folks at the bookstore know me they would have put them out as soon as they arrived.

I also checked the local Coles store and wasn’t at all surprised to see that they didn’t have any copies in yet although I’m sure they’ll eventually get around to it. Hey, they have to go some place. Right? And no, I’m not going to check out all the bookstores from here to BC but if you happen to catch sight of my book by all means let me know.

Sunday we celebrated Thanksgiving as my husband and I both had to work today. I gave copies of the book to two of my three children and mailed one to my oldest daughter who wasn’t able to make it down for the weekend. She won’t get it until later in the week since today was a holiday. I love being able to share this with them. I don’t think I mentioned that my complimentary copies also had a small stack of bookmarks enclosed. As silly as it sounds the bookmarks thrilled me almost (I did say almost) as much as the books. I made sure to give the kids each one as well.

Well I guess there’s no denying it now. I’ve finally have a book published. Do I feel any different? Happy, yes. Satisfied, yes. Thrilled in every way imaginable. But to tell the truth I’m no different now then I was before. Just me, take me or leave me. Having a book published really doesn’t change who you are, although I have to say that I’m totally in awe over the fact that someone (other than family) would want to read my book. How cool is that?

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