It’s like the movie Groundhog Day, only more orange

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m allergic to change. It doesn’t sit well with me. I like things that I can count on, stuff that stays the same. Familiarity. I count on it. I depend on it. It comforts my soul, much like macaroni and cheese but without as many calories or the ensuing cellulite. No one likes a cottage cheese textured soul.

Routine makes me feel safe.

So don’t go changing the thickness of my paper towels or the thread count of my sheets or the concentrated power of my laundry detergent.

Don’t change the aisles at Wegmans because chances are I don’t want to be grocery shopping in the first place and if the peanut butter is not where it’s supposed to be and I’m staring at toilet paper instead, someone is going to have to get Helena off the bus because I’m going to be busy having one whopper of a hissy fit in aisle three.

And don’t change the menu at my favorite restaurant because chances are I’m starving and if chicken french is no longer an option, worlds will collide and mine will implode all over me, as well as every other diner within a twenty yard radius of my table. Who wants my world in their food?

I also think I’ve mentioned in this blog that the only exception to my routine rule is wall paint. I love to change the colors of our walls and when I say “I” I mean that in the “have Nate do it” sense. Unfortunately, Nate experiences sleep apnea while he’s awake anytime I broach the subject. This makes for some heated discussions and intermittent CPR incidents but I won’t get into that here because I don’t like to air my dirty laundry in public, unless someone is willing to wash it for me.

So, I like to be able to depend on things. And in our household, there is one thing that is so dependable, so familiar, so routine, something I can count on more often than missing a big patch of hair on the back of my legs while shaving or having Zoe break at least one bone per calendar year or having a monsoon flood our yard on the day of my kid’s swim party, leaving me trapped in my living room with eighteen seven year olds armed with pool noodles.

That one thing is Nate’s annual jack-o-lantern.

Here’s his pumpkin for 2003. It kind of looks like it’s a few peas short of a casserole, but in a sweet way, don’t you think? Zoe’s looks happy too. This particular year, I decided to be all sophisticated and snooty and channel Martha Stewart by drilling holes into mine and Helena’s pumpkins, much to the disgust of Nate who believes that a pumpkin without a face is like watching TV without holding the remote. Why bother?

Here are our 2004 versions. Notice that Nate’s bears a striking resemblance to its 2003 counterpart.

As you can tell, we don’t practice Artsy Fartsy and carve beautiful intricate designs into our large fruit. And did you know that pumpkins are actually fruits, but only in a botanical sense? And that they’re vegetables but only in a culinary sense? And that I’m thin but only in a delusional sense?

Do you care? I didn’t think so.

No, we don’t set out to carve art into our pumpkins. We practice the Chamberlain method of pumpkin carving, which can best be described as JUST STICK A KNIFE IN IT AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS AND FOR GOD’S SAKE, DON’T SLICE YOUR FINGER OFF WHILE YOU’RE AT IT.

Zoe always does a pretty good job with her pumpkin although here, hers appears to be in need of an attitude adjustment. I’m not sure what’s going on with Helena’s but maybe we’ll think twice about giving her a machete and turning our back on her for twenty minutes. Mine’s got holes drilled in it again. I could say that Martha’s method really made an impression on me, it spoke to me and I felt it to be a timeless and classic approach to gourd ornamentation. That sounds so much better than admitting I was lazy.

Our 2005 line. If I didn’t know better, I’d say Nate is practicing cryogenics behind my back.

I like Zoe’s pumpkin … it kind of looks like her Great Grandpa Fred, may he rest in peace. Helena had Nate carve hers into a “Mini Me” version of his own except with sharper teeth. They actually look surprisingly alike, almost like father and daughter, don’t they? The pumpkins, that is. Well, to be fair, Helena does look a lot like Nate in real life which really isn’t fair at all because with the exception of a few minutes, I did all the work.

Speaking of pumpkins, no, I wasn’t just lazy with mine. My arms just fell off unexpectedly before I could finish it.

And here’s Nate’s 2003 pumpkin. Nope, 2004. Ummm, I meant 2005. NO, WAIT. It’s 2006. Yes, this is his pumpkin for 2006.ย  I’m going to call it Deja Vu a la Orange.

Zoe decided to carve the French pronunciation for “Z” into her pumpkin, namely “Zed.” Is she French? No. She’s half Greek. But she goes to Canada a lot with her father in the summer to watch him race motorcycles and they hang out with French speaking people who love to call her Zed. Why? I’m not sure and I’m too tired to cross the border and ask them. In any case, I’m just grateful they don’t call her mon petit chรฉrie. She would have been up way past her bedtime.

I wish I had a story behind my pumpkin. Why didn’t anyone yell ENOUGH ALREADY and take the drill out of my hands and knock me over the head with it? And before you start saying I’m exactly like Nate and make my pumpkins look the same every year, I’ll draw your attention to year 2005 to prove that I have not drilled my pumpkin every year. And don’t even bother looking for a gutter in which to toss your mind. This is not that kind of blog.

I do think it’s adorable that Helena wanted to imitate me this year. The one and only time she’s wanted to be like me and I couldn’t work up an ounce of creativity or originality.

The story of my life. Look for it at Barnes & Noble near you this holiday season.

Damn you and your drill bits, Martha.

Last year’s pumpkins. IT DOESN’T CHANGE EXPRESSION. EVER. And I swear it’s following me with its empty eye sockets, like some maniacal squash incarnation of the Mona Lisa with horrid dental work.

Zoe’s looks like it’s pleading for someone to get it the hell away from the freak of nature on its right. Or maybe it’s just got the heebie jeebies from whatever the hell that white thing is sitting directly in front of it. People, if you’re going to take the drill out of my hands, for God’s sake, don’t replace it with a paint brush. And Helena’s poor little pumpkin looks like it totally agrees with me.

Ugh, it’s still watching me.


Introducing our 2008 line-up. Nate’s creation is not giving me the hairy eyeball this year. It’s too busy looking up to the Big Heavenly Pumpkin in the sky, wondering how many times it has to spoil and rot and turn to mush and get dumped in the trash, only to be reincarnated in our kitchen one year later. I wonder that very same thing. What’s up with that, Big Heavenly Pumpkin?

Zoe’s and Helena’s pumpkins look rather cute and very halloweeny. I’m not sure what happened to mine. It was two days ago and I can’t remember that far back. I think I was going for some sort of Asian geometric fusion and then changed personalities as I’m prone to doing and decided to make it look like it had been punched in the face and then switched personalities again and decided to just up and quit already.

I’m not sure if that’s better or worse than going all Martha Stewart on it.

In any case, I’ll meet you back here in a year and show you our 2009 fall line, where I’ll introduce you to Deja Vu a la Orange’s identical twin brother, Been There – Done That.

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29 thoughts on “It’s like the movie Groundhog Day, only more orange”

  1. Avatar

    More post-midnight giggling, snortling, and generally causing my cats to look askance at me. Wayyyy askance. I love the paint one, and the kitty one. Wasn’t that what you were going for?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    This is what we’ll be doing tonight. Yuck. I can’t stand pumpkin carving and unfortunately, I’ve earned a reputation for creative pumpkin carving. Some days I hate being creative, like on days like today.

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    I so needed your blog this morning! And watching your kids grow up in pumpkin pictures was fun! Thank you!!!! (We didn’t carve pumpkins this year, much to my kids dismay. Last year I tripped over and over them on the patio because we live in an apartment and in order for people to see them they have to be right at the opening of the patio. I said, bleh – we’ll carve pumpkins with grandma. Then grandma never carved them. I should go buy some pumpkins shouldn’t I? I’m a bad mom. LOL)

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    I came here from DST and I’m so glad I did, you made my day. I loved reading your pumpkin story and I think it’s so funny that the face stays the same on the pumpkin. I did catch the word Wegmans too, is that a great grocery store or what? I used to shop there weekly, well sometimes 3 times a week when I lived in NY. I was so excited when they opened a few in Virginia, now I can go to a Wegmans when I visit my daughter and stock up on the things that I can’t get here in North Carolina.
    Wonderful blog!!

  5. Avatar

    Great Post. I always love reading your blog for it’s whimsy and light feel. This post was no exception! More than once I broke out laughing…. not necessarily for funniness, but for familiarity of something that sounded so like me! :o)

    Have an awesome Wed.!

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    I have no idea how you come up with something so funny, so often but I laughed my can off all the way through your post- AGAIN. Hey, reading your blog for me is like Pumpkins for Nate- same reaction every time!

    Love the arrows in the last picture. Well, you did say you like to know what to expect. Perhaps you can just take this years pumpkin to a fruitidermist and have it stuffed! It will save Nate some time NEXT year.

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    Maybe you could trip him up next year and get him a small fat pumpkin instead of the usual big long one. It might trigger a desire for change in expression.

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    Visiting from the DST blogtrain.

    OK -you have me ROTFL.

    Take a change girl! C’mon DO IT! Do it and BLOG it. We’ll all help you through the fallout.



    Glad I stopped here – I’ve bookmarked you!

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    That’s hilarious! You should just buy him one of the foam pumpkins at Michael’s and just get it out year after year. Our pumpkins got eaten by the squirrels before we could carve them.

    On a more serious note, I totally agree about Wegman’s and rearranging their shelves. There should be a law against that. I need a strip map just to get through the place on a normal day. If the one near us rearranges my husband will have to send a search party to find me.

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    I have a theory.

    I don’t want to panic you.

    But I think this is a pretty clear cut case of Pumpkin Zombie. It’s clear from the photographic record.

    Maybe you could get on one of the Discovery Channel shows that comes on this time of year about hauntings and creepy happenings and such. Zombie Pumpkin—oh, I’m sorry….Zed-ombie Pumpkin…..


  11. Avatar

    OMG!!!!!!!! You are hilarious. Seriously.

    How does Nate get the pumpkin to look the same every year? Did you cut and paste the pumpkin into each photo? A little tricky wicky? Huh? Huh?

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    The very fact that your husband is willing to carve a pumpkin is amaznig to me. My father’s Halloween tradition was to fix a drink and yell SOMEBODY OPEN THE DOOR! when the bell rang…

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    That is too funny. And, I am drilling holes next year! I carved a pumpkin this year-I don’t think I have done one for a few years now, my husband loves carving-and it was OK, but I still like the driling idea!

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    Okay, first of all, I had to run quickly to the bathroom as I started to pee in my pants from laughing so hard while reading this post. Secondly, how does Nate get his pumpkin to look freakishly identical to the pumpkins from the previous years?? That’s just downright weird!!

    Your kids are so blessed to have you as a mom…if my mom had been as humorous and fun-natured as you are, I might have been more of a “glass is half full” kinda person!!

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    So freakin’ hysterical!! And my dh is just the opposite! This year we carved a Blues Clues pumpkin, a Scooby pumpkin and this weird Frankenstein-ish pumpkin!

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    If there’s such a thing as pumpkinology, the study of what making a jack-o-lantern means about your personality. I’d say your husband is dependable, reliable, trustworthy and was a boy scout as a child. He may also have been a dog in his past life ๐Ÿ˜‰

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