Trick with a Variation on the Treat

I’ve noticed an occasional teal pumpkin this month, and since teal is one of my favorite colors, I’ve paid attention. I’ve incorporated purple into my traditional orange and black Halloween décor, but never teal, and if there’s a teal trend happening, I want to know about it! Well, there is a teal trend, but it’s not aimed at me and my color crush.

Teal pumpkins are the mascot of a national awareness campaign launched last year by Food Allergy Research and Education to promote safety and inclusion on Halloween to children with food allergies or for whom sugar is not an option. I can hardly think of one thing sadder than a kid who can’t trick-or-treat on Halloween, so I went searching as to how I might get involved. Turns out, it’s wonderfully simple to participate. First, take The Teal Pumpkin Project pledge on FARE’s website, where you’ll also find lots of information about the project. Next, in addition to your regular yummy goodies, stock up on non-food treats, like glow sticks, art supplies, bubbles, books, etc. that can be offered as a choice instead of candy. Then paint a pumpkin teal and display it in front of your home, along with a free printable sign from FARE indicating that you have non-food treats available.

Teal Pumpkin Project Logo via foodallergy.org

It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness for food allergies, since everyone is going to comment on your teal pumpkin and you’ll have some explaining to do! And the information you provide at sign-up is used to create a crowd-sourced map, so you can see who else in your neighborhood might be participating. FARE’s website boasts that 100,000 residences have pledged to join in so far this year.

A Day at the Junkyard

To some folks, it might be the junkyard, but to us, it’s mistitled and should be named the treasure yard. Check out the squirrel hanging above our heads—clearly a treasure for someone. He made a good mascot for our excursion.

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Looking for inspiration for new projects for both the magazine and our Sisterhood newsletter, Kristi, Cassi, and I decided to venture to the local salvage/treasure yard. I also ought to introduce these two officially. Cassi is our new Marketing Assistant, but really, she’s family, as she started out as our nanny years ago. We’re just happy we snagged her again when she graduated this past spring. And Kristi’s official title is Editor’s Assistant. What that really means is Kristi is my right hand farm hand. We work hand-in-hand on most projects, and there isn’t anyone I’d rather do it with.

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Our local salvage yard is acres of goodies. We searched high and low for a few tin-man parts (watch for him in an upcoming magazine issue).

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And for your own inspiration, here are few piles I couldn’t help but take a quick snapshot of. I’m sure we can come up with something to create from these treasures.

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In fact, I already have a plan that requires a pile of springs … every farmgirl needs a pile of springs!

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For the Love of Leaves

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

That’s a quote from Anne of Green Gables, and it’s resounding in my mind. Fall is hands-down my favorite time of year. We’re finished with harvest and wildfires around here, and thanks to a couple of good soaking rains, the ground is somewhat moist and the air is clean. The neighborhood porches are sporting a pumpkin or two, and I’ve spied more than a few busy squirrels. The month of October also begins with my birthday and ends with my most favorite celebration of all, Halloween. But in addition to all of these great attributes …

October has leaves!

So many crispy, crunchy, drifting, tumbling, brilliantly colored leaves. On a recent walk, we witnessed the glory of a maple tree that we swear was the definition of neon fuchsia! It is literally raining leaves right now, and I can hear them gently tapping against my window as they fall.

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How do the leaves know to fall in October? My curiosity sent me to Google, where I learned that trees possess an inner clock that is triggered by the length of daylight. The tree closes the water and nutrient routes to the leaves in preparation for winter, which causes sugar to build up. Sugar, coupled with a stop in chlorophyll production, is the sign a tree needs to make the pigment anthocyanin, responsible for all the brilliant reds of autumn. A succession of warm, sunny days and cool, crisp nights above freezing tend to bring on the most spectacular color displays.

 

Need an embroidery project?

Family business and embroidery are kind of our thing here at MaryJanesFarm. Or at least, they’re mine—either one always piques my interest and both together most certainly do!

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So when we stumbled across the beautiful embroidery work of Sassy Spurs, I wanted to make sure to share. The Sassy Spurs team, consisting of mother Juli, daughter Lindsey, and like-a-family-member Robin, all share a fondness for post-World War II state pillows (as well as a 92-year-old aunt’s treasured embroidery lessons). They channeled that passion into an Etsy shop that opened in November of 2010.

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And although each gal has a “real” job in addition to running the shop, they all dream of being sassy full-time someday. After much research, they’ve recently finished patterns for all 50 states, almost always including the state’s flower and bird as part of the design. They offer each state pillow pattern with a corresponding color palette suggestion, too.

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So if you’re feeling sassy and looking for an embroidery project, maybe for some holiday gift-giving, take a look. I think these ladies are on to something lovely! Although, I think I might sneak my hometown onto Idaho’s embroidered piece.

Our Little Farmers

We took our Tabitha out again. On the way home, we stopped to stretch our legs in the middle of Washington state farmland.

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The gravel surrounding the silos was a perfect spot for a quick game of tag, but when I came around the side of the camper, I found Stella hunched over the dog’s water bowl with a handful of the stray wheat berries …

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… planting wheat, of course.

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And Mia, being a tad younger, was around the other side of the truck planting hers in the gravel, no water needed. Ha!