Monday, October 10, 2016

Pumpkin Season!

Our weekend effectively began on Friday, with my wife arising at 3:30 in the morning to fly back home to us from Maryland. Elij and I picked her up about 10:30 and we stopped for brunch at the Moonlight Diner. The view of the snow-capped mountains was lovely! Our food was very good. Jeannene chose banana walnut pancakes and I opted for a traditional fried egg/hash brown/sausage/toast combo, which was great, while Elijah enjoyed scrambled eggs and bites of our meals. The diner itself was fun, with all kinds of Halloween decorations to add a little seasonal fun to the vintage soda shop type decorations all around us.

From there, we stopped by her office and a couple other places for a brief time before heading home. When we got home, we hung out and watched some t.v. and played with Elijah's new blocks, his souvenir from Maryland. I love them---traditional wood blocks with uppercase & lowercase letters, sign language, numbers, and pictures of things starting with those letters.

By the time dinnertime rolled around, neither of us felt like cooking or going back out, but we figured going out would be the easiest. Jeannene expressed a preference for something Asian, with tofu. I started checking out what's available---and available for delivery---and discovered that one of the local Vietnamese places delivers. So, we got scrumptious noodle dishes and some really great hot & sour soup and Vietnamese pork egg rolls. We were in bed by 9 or so.

Saturday morning, I woke up hungry for pumpkin bread and hot apple cider. I decided to make a loaf of bread, along with the chocolate bark I was going to make to take to our neighbor's house. We'd been invited to dinner and wanted to contribute something. However, we ended up deciding it'd be fun to go to a pumpkin patch and scrapped the bark idea, as it entailed a trip to the grocery. I quietly hoped the pumpkin patch would also have pumpkin bread.

We headed out to Rock Creek Farm and had a really good time checking out the pumpkins in one of their fields. Elijah wasn't too sure about the whole thing. He tends to get very, very serious when in new circumstances and it was certainly different to be on a farm! He was really interested, however, in the pumpkins and, especially, the vines. We got some cute pictures, too. We chose two pumpkins and headed to the area with booths to pay---and see what kinds of baked goods they had. Elij got to sit on some hay bales and have more pictures taken while he played with a gourd. He was fascinated by the shape. I picked a caramel apple, a loaf of pumpkin bread for our hostess, and a fabulous pumpkin bar with cream cheese icing and festive sprinkles. Jeannene opted for a couple of jack o'lantern cookies---one to share with Elijah and one to take home. Lunch was a concession stand hot dog and some of the best spiced hot apple cider I've had in years.

We walked around, enjoying looking at the activities for bigger kids. We met another little boy named Elijah, also 11 months, who adorable, with light caramel skin and ridiculously long eyelashes. We had a nice chat with his folks at the pig pen before moving on to let Elijah get cow snot on his hands. After strolling around some more, we headed for Michael's with our trunk full of farm loot.

It turned out they were having a huge "doorbuster" sale at Michael's and we got a fun trick or treat wreath, a bunch of craft supplies, and a cool birdcage. Then, we had to rush home and get ready to go next door for dinner. Gloria is the neighbor who showed up with a loaf of zucchini bread when we first moved into the house. It was so lovely to be invited to dinner. Gloria had expressed concern that Elijah might be afraid of the Halloween decorations in her house, but he was actually enchanted by the hanging witches and glowing ghosties. Me, I loved the murder of paper crows parading up her staircase. Jeannene and I were both really impressed with the beautiful murals she'd had painted, as well.

We started the evening with drinks outside. One of the men was a baby whisperer and took a great liking to Elijah, who spent much of the evening exploring the yard and house with him and playing. Gloria also very graciously offered him a seat in her grandkids' exersaucer, which he completely loved. After a meal of baked ziti, salad, and garlic bread, we all sat and talked for a long time over dessert. We got home at 10:30 and went right to bed.

In the morning, Jeannene got up early to greet the guy who built our custom baby gates. He'd asked if he could install them at 8 Sunday morning, which seemed like a weird hour to me. We're usually either asleep or getting ready for church then. But, we'd been waiting for the gates for awhile and definitely needed them, as Elijah has become incredibly proficient at stair-climbing and is sad when a mom isn't available to chaperone his upward trips. The guy and his cousin didn't arrive until almost 10, which was frustrating. We'd hoped to get the gates installed quickly and check out one of the area churches. Ah, well, we definitely needed them. Shortly after lunch, Jeannene took a nap while Elijah and I unpacked boxes. When he was ready for his nap, I settled him in on me and watched "Cujo" while he dozed. Jeannene joined me for the last part of it.

After that, we headed into Denver and picked up my cousin Lisa's husband, Alan, for dinner. He's in town for a work trip and we were excited finally to meet him! He turned out to be really nice---I would expect nothing less of Lisa's choice for a life partner---and we had a great time talking with him over pizza, calzone, & salad at The Mellow Mushroom.

When we got home, it was time to program the coffee and head to bed, another weekend in the books, another debate avoided.

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