Our pumpkin patch fizzled this year. And by fizzled I mean that Brian planted hundreds of seeds and nary a plant nor pumpkin survived. Last year we had great success but this year it succumbed to bugs, weeds, and neglect. We just didn't have the time to put into it this year. So last weekend we attempted to get some outside fall-y family time and headed out to a pumpkin "patch." Except that this patch that I remembered from my youth as a quaint little nostalgic field in the country had turned into a high high high cost tacky pseudo-fair thing. It was disappointing. We ended up leaving pretty quickly after having to tell the boys over and over that each thing was too expensive and we weren't going to pay 12 dollars each for the wrist band that would let them bounce or ride the tractor and then more for food and then get gouged again for the pumpkins themselves. Seriously, $20 each for jack o lantern size pumpins. Eh, no. Not gonna be plopping out my weekly grocery budget for some pumpkins and a few rides, you know?
I just kept thinking the whole time what a sad thing it is that so many families are now used to the prices for things being like this and now both parents feel they have to work if they're going to provide their kids with just a little thing like a trip to the pumpkin patch. But it's this crazy cycle. People are willing to pay it, so they charge it, so people think that's what things cost nowadays, so they work more, so they earn more, so they spend more, so the cost of living and inflation goes up, so they end up really do needing more money for the same things and on and on and on. Meanwhile it gets harder for those who are on one income to make it work when two incomes are the expected norm. Anyhoo, enough of my economics lesson. We were already thinking what a sweet deal this is that you can work hard for about two months out of the year and I bet the owners are able to live off that the rest of the year. I could see the gears in Brian's head turning while we were there. "But," he said "we would make it a place where normal families and people with lots of kids could afford to come and have fun." That's my man.
We ended up trying to find some of the two dollar size pumpkins in the pick your own patch. (We couldn't get to the farther fields because you needed a wristband for the hayride there.) The two dollar pumpkins were smaller than pie pumpkins so the boys scoured the field and all we found these two gourd things. So we got those. And then the sweet old man at the entrance to the field said we could have them for free. I think he felt sorry for us. He must've heard the boys yelling over and over "is this one a two dollar one?"
It was free to watch the cider press so we did that for a little while and it was neat before it got a little slow.
I have to take a moment to commend my boys for being so great about stuff like this. I can see how disappointed they are but they don't complain or beg or throw a fit. They see the other kids doing these super cool looking kid things and I'm sure that's hard for them and it hurts my heart a little that they can't just join in all the time but I know in my head that it's good for them, too. They find something else to do and they make the best of it. I feel so proud of them when it comes to stuff like this even when it's hard.
So we left with our oversize gourds and munched on pretzels and apples in the car. And then on a whim decided to stop at an alpaca farm on the way that was having an open house. Because why not?
They are so incredibly soft! And the owner was happy to show them off. I would love to be able to knit with alpaca yarn but it's pretty pricey.
The owner insisted on taking a family picture of us with the alpaca. It sort of looks like we're the ones in the cage. This year's Christmas card? Blog header? Should I blow it up real big and Mod Podge it onto a canvas and hang it over the mantel?
David would like to show you that alpaca eyeballs are very big.
I love all the colors but I think I can admit that orange, the theme for Theme Thursday, is my least favorite. Unless, of course, it's in nature and especially this time of year. Michael helped me get our fall decorations out a few weeks ago and we added a few things to the living room. When I stepped back I really loved how the touches (or should I be designy and say "splashes?") of orange made the room feel.
I show a picture of my chinese lanterns every year, I'm sorry. I just love how neat they are. These are actually the ones from last year. I never got new ones this year and Blogger is showing them much oranger than they look in my original photo. We did try to save some of the seeds from some of them last year and plant them but alas, another gardening fail for the year.
Get ye there.
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