From pumpkin to puree...to pie and bread.

 The last few weekends were filled will fall fun; Halloween Parades, pumpkin picking (at Walmart 🙂 ) and of course baking. I did get some pretty nice size pumpkins for a good price. And between festivities I was carving and baking – not jack-o-lanterns but baking pumpkin into puree for breads, butters, pies, seeds and soup. This tradition (or fascination) started many years ago. I have been making pies, rolls, breads and now butter and soup out of fresh field pumpkins ever since. The fresh puree makes for a very moist bread and yummy pies. And these little pumpkin treasures and treats last very little time in my house or anywhere else for that matter. I enjoy it immensely, they are very easy to grow see Happenings,  Happenings II and Happenings III for the full details on the pumpkin “patch” in my yard. Unfortunately, my homegrown treasures didn’t make it to puree or pie. But is was amazing to see how fast and big the vine grew over the summer.

Yummy, yummy pumpkin nut bread

Puzzle mania...

These perfectly pleasing pumpkin tasks inspired another family project and favorite past time of my mother’s – puzzles. She broke out her 500 piece puzzle collection and we went at it. Frustrating at first – since we had to turn over all the pieces and “organize” them by color and assume where they belonged. We managed to get the border done that night and most of the top. The days that followed were challenging as it takes such a  long time to group together just a few pieces. And it has been bonding as well. And with more pumpkins to carve and ready for thanksgiving our puzzle is almost complete.

Puzzle on the way to completion....

The challenge and the frustration has turned to relaxation, concentration, cheer and pride. Simple projects and pleasures can bring a busy family together it is so nice.

What are some of your family projects? How have they helped the busyness of the season? Drop me a line….

All the best & Happy Fall,

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And then there was one....

 Well it looks like the farm has closed for the season. The past few months has been so busy and hot! I was called to an ice cream craze earlier this summer and when I woke up this morning I wondered…”Where has the summer gone?” In hindsight I can say at this very moment it has been the worst summer ever. Only now am I feeling inspired and content to just accept it all.  

Things have not turned out the way I had expected at all. Earlier this summer we had a unexpected growth in the yard, which turned into a joyous blossoming pumpkin vine. But now I see things are not at all what I expected.  

The heat has just dried up the vine and the grass and soil will need to be turned if we plan to grow anything else again.  I embraced this vine with open arms and a confused mind. I had visions of having a pumpkin table during the Emmaus Halloween Parade. But that won’t be happening I guess. Maybe next year will bring a better crop.  With a lot on my plate; working two jobs, carrying household expenses and wanting to write and create with my three plus blogs I had little time to tend to this little pumpkin patch. All in all it was quite a learning experience and with our one little pumpkin we will have a delicious pie I just know it!  

Not all was lost on our venture we did yield some yummy tomatoes:  

Topsy turvey. I recommend cherry tomatoes for this...

A pot of tomatoes

Still growing and blooming...

Yummy garden tomatoes 🙂

I am grateful that I can share the smallest of blessing with you all! I am trying hard to keep that positive attitude. I am glad that my one lonely little pumpkin will make a yummy treat for Thanksgiving. And I love tomatoes…there is nothing like a garden tomato. Focusing on what we have is so important. Since I threw that pumpkin in the yard and took it for granted. This coming year maybe I will redo this pumpkin patch the right way, time management needs to become part of a list of priorities, and use this learning experience to an advantage. I am still very blessed and ready to embrace life’s changes and unexpected situations.

So a few weeks back, on Sunday Sentiments, I brought you an unexpected bloom amongst the household here in Emmaus, PA. 🙂

Yes, by default/accidently-on purpose I ended up with a small pumpkin patch at the edge of my patio — yes literally the edge :-).

So the past few weeks have gone on and I have watched this little patch turn into an amazing vine. This vine is thick with rough prickly, stalks, plump pumpkin buds and curly vines for just that added touch. We really just thought that we’d see some pumpkins around the end of August or so but we ended up with triplets and now quads, it seems — whatever the case we definately have multiples, pumpkins that is.

Pumpkin bulb or bud. You can see the withered flower on top.

I was so suprised to have seen these ‘squash’ blossom at all . It is so amazing just to see something blossom and grow with little care or help from me or anyone. A refreshing shower is nice too and I think the heat has parched this vine a bit. But these plump little pumpkins are still going strong. And this past week, even more unexpectedly, as I check them each day – I saw an amazing growth spurt as I pulled back the massive leaves protecting these little cuties. 🙂

The "twins" they like to 'sit' together.

This “so small” and “insignificant” event in my life is amazing to me. As I go on each day I see more and more of God’s hand in those small things that we/I/you can take for granted. It is a big world out there, and it is a “small” world at times too. God is too big to fit into our small, meager lives – but He holds our entire world in His mighty hand. He shows us His grace, love and miracles in the small things. God is never too far from our grasp and we are never out of His. As I leave you with this stage of the ‘pumpkin developments’ never forget the hand that crafted the smallest of natures creations.

Looks like we are ready for "quads" plus...


All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colours,
He made their tiny wings.

The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them, high or lowly,
And ordered their estate.

The purple-headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset, and the morning,
That brightens up the sky;

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
We gather every day;–

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.
~Cecil Frances Alexander

I suppose that some, may be wondering what all this fuss is about with this plant/vine growing in my yard.

Okay, so it is growing in this side yard thing, not the back yard and we live on a corner so all the passers-by will see it (them) eventually. I know this will be a scattered post — because it makes me think of two things. The unexpected and God. Which could be one in the same if you think about it. Like the saying, I heard recently, ‘a coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous’.

Unexpected and Forgotten
So I have two real loves cake decorating and children’s literature. Well now doesn’t that just make me super-fun the cake lady, preschool teacher, children’s author hopeful. I guess. Anyway months and month ago. I had these two pumpkins sitting out on the driveway for fall, Halloween – dare I say it yes for Halloween. I came home to find it had been smashed all over the street. So I threw it in the yard. Now I did this because I had read it in a children’s book of mine, Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White. I literally forgot about it, until…….

Later on in May, as the heat wafted into the valley. The grass and green weeds started to grow wildly. I noticed something strange in the corner of the yard. Wondering what it was, I zeroed in for a closer look. As I got closer…I looked with wonder. Wondering….hmmm???? Is that the….no way not possible. I could hear my mother’s words from 6 months earlier, “That will never grow, it has to be planted to root properly.” And all I did was cover it with leaves. And here we have what looks like the beginnings of a pumpkin patch.  I mean this was literally unexpected and forgotten about. I never expected this to turn into anything at all. I can remember as a kid the dozens of apple cores and seeds I planted in the back yard. No trees yet—that I know of — I mean come on I am an adult following the advice of a kids’ book. Really? Well anyway we’ll have to see where this patch goes. Will we have pumpkins or not? Only God knows….which brings me to my next point.

 God
Now, I did nothing. I repeat nothing (besides throwing some leaves over a smashed pumpkin) to entice this vine to grow. I mean I am no farmer and we aren’t exactly in the country setting. And this is far, far from The Pumpkin Patch Parable. But this is very unexpected and now I am wondering what should I do? I tend to it, water it and monitor it’s progress. I love pumpkin pie and pumpkin cake so we will see what happens here. But the point is that this majestic vine grew on its own – by God’s hand. I mean I just threw it there, in the hopes that it would maybe root and a pumpkin would grow, and I forgot about it until the green shoots made their presence known. Something unexpected and great has graced my path. It may seem like small beans or squash, if you will, but this is one big plant vine. I mean pumpkins are not small. I wanted pumpkins and God provided pumpkins. God is the true vine and we are the branches. John 15: 1-11

So for this summer we get to enjoy this “BLOSSOMING” vine of nature, enjoy its lush green leaves and bright orange-yellow flowers. As this season continues on we will soon see the ‘fruits’ of this vine grow into nourishment for the body and until then I can rest assured that God’s hand is there to nourish my soul. I know I am blessed (I know I don’t often feel that way, sometimes I often feel cheated out of some of life’s better gifts, talents, and things). I know and see and give all the credit to God for the beauty that surrounds me. I would like to hope that I can some how add to it…