Do you like the wrapping paper? I ordered it on clearance after last Christmas from Current. The ornaments are vintage family orbs. And of course the books are mine. Will have them at the Henry Community Health Bazaar all day Friday as their last official "outing" of 2016. Stop by, say hi, and if you want, we can put a wrap on a book.
I hope there are more hurrahs before the calendar flips, but when it comes to my hobby / job as a bookseller, the last one of 2016 is this Friday, Dec. 2 with the Holiday Marketplace Bazaar at the newly branded Henry Community Health, formerly known as Henry County Hospital.
It’s 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the conference rooms at 1000 N. 16th St., New Castle. I know! That’s a long day. But the nice thing is that it’s planned with various shifts of employees in mind so they get some shopping time. I always have a stash of some sort of work to do on the side and even so, generally find that I’m too busy visiting with folks to get it done.
If you are dropping by because you remember how wonderful hospital bazaars were in the past, (they’ve brought the tradition back this year) then make it a two-fer by heading over to Foursquare Gospel Church on the far southeast end of South 14th St. for the bazaar also going on.
My friend, new author Sandy Moore will be at Foursquare with her new children’s book. There are a few other bazaars on tap this weekend. It seems that this weekend, too, is nearly the last hurrah for those. Every season of the year has its pleasures and bazaars are part of this season’s, for sure.
I get nostalgic about endings. Hinsey-Brown hosted a beautiful luncheon on my behalf to kick of the new book's arrival. I’ve had the pleasure of five book clubs featuring one of my books this year and inviting me for the discussion with included meals or desserts and a lot of great conversation. These have taken me to Connersville, Springport, Pendleton, Fishers and Centerville.
I spoke at two mother-daughter banquets in May, at several service and women’s clubs, including a writers’ organization in Muncie, did some author fairs in Tipton and Upland, a pumpkin festival, and addressed an entire student body, parents and teachers at a back-to-school night on recognizing and encouraging a child’s giftedness. I did bazaars, a few library programs and portrayed a Union County pioneer woman at Founders Day where I read Riley poetry and spoke about Little Orphant Annie’s origins in my fair county.
I challenged a quilt guild to seek out their bucket lists and through it all, I was the one entertained by all the opportunities I was blessed to receive.
Most of it has been documented on Home Row. It’s ALL been a blessing and a joy. I am so grateful that God allowed me to have this book season in my life, and thankful to all who have been and continue to be so very kind and supportive of my efforts. Most of all, I cherish the people connections made.
I suppose the entrepreneur in me would be remiss if I didn’t mention that if you want to give the books as Christmas gifts, well, please do. In addition to availability at the bazaar, they are for sale at The Courier-Times, 201 S. 14th St., New Castle, Indiana, at Sugar Creek Books in Pendleton, and from me via mail or in person. I am delighted to sign them for your gift giving (or for yourself).
Email me for how to connect or get them mailed and I’ll fill you in on the particulars. I would also be happy to wrap them for you. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would rather, the books are available in both print and Kindle versions on Amazon.com. My books are: Sweetland of Liberty Bed & Breakfast and the follow-up, That Sweet Place: At Home in the Heartland.
If our paths or emails don’t cross again this year, maybe they will in the next. And along those lines, keep me in mind for your programming needs. We always have a good time, and I can personalize a program to suit your needs.
I might even bring pie.
On Black Friday, while some of my dear ones are out there getting amazing bargains, making their way through traffic and crowds, I’m going nowhere. I’m perfectly content at home digging in the Christmas closet and festooning the house for the holidays. It's a kind of chaos, in its own way, only confined to our four walls.
Our nine-foot tree takes the longest to dress -- not my favorite to deck out. What I like best is putting up wreaths. Lots of them. Show me a door or even a doorknob on a cabinet, and I’ll show you a wreath to adorn it.
I became interested in wreaths when grapevine became the material of choice in the late 1970s. Grapevine wreaths were ideal because not only did I love country decorating (now we have more sophisticated terms for it: farmhouse, cottage, or rural rustic), I also required cheap adornments. With an early-marriage budget and both of us working on college degrees, money was tight. Ah, but my parents had a farm with woods and fence rows. I could gather as many free grapevines as my heart desired.
When we moved to a Fountain County farmhouse, I could find the vines along any number of fences on country roads. I made up a bunch of plain wreaths and on a whim, waltzed into the Veedersburg florist unannounced and asked if she wanted to buy some. She did! My entire stock, in fact. A dozen in all.
Bolstered by entrepreneurial success, I got up the nerve to go big and ask The Apple House owner in Terre Haute if he was interested. He told me if I could make 100, he would buy them. He only bought in bulk. I thought it over and decided that while I could probably find materials for 10 or 15, (I'd alread moved a dozen!) 100 might be pushing it hard. So I didn’t take the job.
But I’ve never stopped loving the humble, and not-so-humble, wreath – grapevine or otherwise.
This holiday season, my first-ever square wreath, made of realistic-looking magnolia leaves, graces our front door. I added a red cloth bow. I wanted something different from the round evergreen wreaths with red bows I put on the outdoor windows every year.
When the holidays are over, I may remove the bow and use the wreath as a substitute for art in our bedroom. Or leave it up all winter on the door. It was affordable, unlike some high-end versions I have seen, if you can even find them. Too cool to store away.
Over the kitchen sink I have another new wreath this year. It was made by Kelly Finch of Liberty and contains small oranges with greenery and real rose-hips add a 3-D effect. Alongside the wreath are two red lanterns with the battery-powered “candles” inside. I found the lanterns in Kroger with the store’s holiday merchandise.
On the kitchen table, a white-berry wreath I’ve had for years contains one of three glass-encased wire-brush Christmas trees and the other two flank it. I found those from Donna Finch at the Union County Extension Homemakers Bazaar.
There’s a red berry wreath on the closet door, a deer wreath from Nancy Huntington, made by her friend, on the china closet door (I added the two feathers for even more of a rustic look), and there’s another Kelly wreath in service as a candle ring in the family room.
If it holds still, I’ll put a ring on it.
What is your favorite holiday decorating task?
For the past couple of years, I’ve sworn off Pinterest.
I’m back! At least for the holidays.
Like many women, I enjoy browsing the incredibly popular and unique website and its boards. I can lose myself in the crafts, cooking, clothing, scenery, rural landscapes, home improvements, books, and decorating boards on that website.
In fact, it’s because I enjoy them so much, I had to leave them behind for a while as I took the time to finish my second book, and then work on the programs for various presentations.
It felt safer that way. It wasn’t only the leisurely looks at clever ideas or a solution to a decorating problem or a great new recipe. It was the fact that I can become easily distracted and if I happened on something that intrigued or inspired, I might scrap revising a chapter or recording a week’s worth of mileage in favor of booking it to the store and picking up spray paint or pinecone picks for an inspired project.
Sunday was my catch-up day. The guys were at the Colts game and I had the house to myself where I moved through a week-long to-do list that didn’t get to-done, including messaging someone something I should have done a week ago, and I even cooked a homemade supper for when Brian got home.
At the Union County Extension Bazaar, I bought a square wreath made of looks-like-real magnolia leaves. I had seen some like this in upscale magazines. I was delighted to find one for myself at a price I could manage. But how to doctor it up a bit?
I have another project I’m hoping to complete this weekend. That is to fill my outdoor urns with winter greens and pinecones.
Yes, I can hardly wait to get started with the annual Christmas decorating projects. I’ve got a lot of plans along those lines and will no doubt be sharing some scenes in the blogs ahead.
Tomorrow, company is dropping by on the way to their family Thanksgiving and my friend is picking up several copies of my latest book for gifts. I’m so grateful for that show of support.
I’m thankful for so many things. Faith. Church. Family. Friends. Work. Opportunities. And I’m thankful for YOU, my readers. Several of you mentioned over the past few days that you read this blog. I thank you.
Now go get those Thanksgiving preps in order! There’s much to be done. Enjoy.
If you would like information about getting signed copies of either of my books for your own gift-giving needs this holiday season, email me at email@example.com.
Opportunities are interesting birds. And sometimes they come all at once.
This week, there are four. Two are libraries situated on the National Road, U.S. 40. Two others are Christmas bazaars, one on the National Road, and one in my hometown of Liberty.
As I write this late Thursday, I wonder if I can keep all the pies in the air from this busy week long enough to make it to Sunday. For on that day, after this multi-task-oriented stretch, I plan to do very little.
My thanks to Pat McDaniel for recommending my first book to her Centerville Public Library Book Club, and to staff and patrons for reading it and having me in Wednesday for the discussion. They asked some interesting questions as we unpacked Sweetland of Liberty Bed & Breakfast.
What a great library! Modern and unique on the inside, one would never guess that the building is repurposed from a brick government building from many decades' past. While I am through Centerville fairly often, I never seem to make it that far east on Main Street to see this wonder.
This was my first book event in Centerville and I hope it isn't my last. As I told those who attended the discussion, my maternal grandparents hailed from Centerville. My maternal grandmother, Edith Fender Jarrett lived on Main / The National Road pretty much across the street from Gov. Oliver P. Morton's former home; maybe even at the same time, but she probably came a bit later. My maternal grandfather, Jessie Jarrett, grew up on the next farm south of the old Abington School. His family sold some property for the purpose of building that school.
My mother, who would be 103 on Dec. 2, had fond memories of visiting her grandparents' farm during summers of her youth, and the threshing dinners that took place on the grounds. In all my growing-up years, if we went to Centerville, we had to drive v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y past the property to look it over. For the past quarter century, it has been rehabbed and looks fantastic! It's even for sale.
But I digress.
On Thursday, I gave a program and had a signing at the tiny Dublin Library on the National Road a bit farther west. I appreciated those who showed up and enjoyed providing the sugar cream pies for refreshments. I made those Sunday and froze them until Thursday.
While this tiny library is nothing like its much bigger Wayne County sister in Centerville, it's a delight on its own. It serves this community well and there is a warm, happy feeling within its walls.
I've met some new folks this week, visited with some who aren't so new, and enjoyed another week in sandals. The "fall" book tour ended Thursday. Tonight and tomorrow, the table decorations at two bazaars are all-out Christmas.
Join me at The Gathering on the east side of Lewisville,, 902 E. Main St. tonight for the Flatrock Mercantile Christmas Bazaar from 6 to 8 p.m. with early buying privileges. It's $3 for the preview tonight, and is free the rest of the weekend. Trust me: you'll like what you see.
It's a bountiful weekend for bazaars and I can't miss the Union County Extension Homemakers Christmas Bazaar in Liberty at the Middle School Saturday. I'm bunking with the talented and oh-so-kind Kelly Finch. This is a highly regarded bazaar regionally for its high quality of offerings. It's 9-4 Saturday at 488 E State Road 44.
Just as my marketing season is changing from fall to Christmas, the weather is changing tonight too. No more sandals. No more sun and mild temps tomorrow. But that's OK. It is November after all.
Confession. I mixed up this batch of words late Saturday night after returning from the beautiful wedding of our former neighbor, Ben McCray, and his lovely bride Jess, in Coldwater, Ohio. It was a perfect day and a fine time to transition from the drama of election week to this one, when we start, I hope, to count the abundance of our blessings as we head toward Thanksgiving day. The Lord remains on His throne.
Meanwhile, because I'm on the road a whole bunch this week, I wanted to have this post ready to go. With the glow of a fine wedding on my mind, I decided write up and share with you now my November specialty, Blessings Mix.
It's really not my recipe, though. It was, however, shared with the public several few years ago by Pam Stigall, who was an educator with the Purdue Henry County Extension Service. Pam put the recipe in the monthly extension newsletter. I've used it every November since.
This is a snack similar to the classic Chex Mix. With this concoction, however, each ingredient has a meaning relating to Thanksgiving. So here you go. I'm sure you may have some ideas for tinkering with it and making it your own. For one thing, I see that Bugles have out a caramel-flavored version. Those would fit well with this dish. But I am content with the salty-sweet mix as it is.
Assemble the following; loosely mix. Store in tightly sealed container.
1bag Bugles Corn Snacks
1 bag small round pretzels
1 bag candy corn
1-2 cups raisins or other dried fruit
1-2 cups peanuts or sunflower seeds
1-2 cups M & Ms (in fall colors if you can find them)
1 bag Hershey Kisses (in fall wrappings if you can find them)
Bugles represent cornucopias or horns of plenty; symbolic of abundance.
Pretzels appear as arms folded in prayer, a free expression of faith.
Candy corn is for the Native Americans' gift of corn that allowed Pilgrims to survive that first winter and prosper thereafter with these precious kernels.
Dried fruitand seeds are for the successful harvests from our bountiful land.
M & Ms are the moments and memories we hold dear.
Hershey's Kisses are for the love of family and friends who sweeten our lives.
Author Rachael Phillips, left, with a couple of her popular Amish-themed books. But the book that captured my interest last Saturday was her "Kissing Bridges" novel, set in Parke County, Indiana. Thank you, Barb Dixon, for inviting me and for your interest in my projects. If I lived closer, we'd be pals.
When Upland, Indiana Librarian Barb Dixon invited me in for a signing paired with a favorite author from her area, Rachael Phillips, I wondered how that would go.
Rachael has several books in print, including an Amish-fiction series, and she gets contracts for them, besides. Yes, she’s solidly a part of that kind of rare-air territory that we indies dream about.
Last Saturday was the day, and three additional authors joined in for a small author fair. Right away, the people started showing up. Clearly, it was Rachael who was the attraction! I was seated next to her as the fans came to chat, visit, and buy her books.
But the nice (and surprising) thing about the three hours was that after fans had their time with Rachael, they glanced my way and several of them asked about what I write, or they picked up my books and flipped them to the back. This is always a good sign. I sold several – more than I thought I would, actually.
Two highs from the day: Rachael spoke about covered bridges and Parke County, Indiana, and I quickly learned that she wrote a small paperback called Kissing Bridges. The book is set in Parke County and she mentions real landmarks throughout the novel.
What delighted me about that is that my in-laws lived in Rockville and I have spent a large amount of time there through the years. Not only am I familiar with Parke County, the town of Rockville specifically, and the annual Covered Bridge Festival, but with other aspects of the county as well.
So of course I picked up a few of these to share with some family members who might appreciate them. I have no idea if these family members read my blog, but Linda, Karen and Dick and Carol, I picked you up signed copies, just for fun.
The second high was that a young man in college hung out around all five of the authors present for the three hours and asked us questions and learned a few things about writing and publishing from a variety of viewpoints. He said he wants to be a writer or editor himself.
I was fascinated that someone in his early 20s would take the time and interest to hang out with five writers who are each clearly on the far side of 50 … and to seem amused and engaged while he was there.
Right before the signing ended, he selected two books out of the 10 titles or so available that day and said he wanted to buy them. One of his selections was my second novel, and he said it would be a Christmas gift for his mother.
I told him that it meant a lot that he bought my book, him being a college kid and all. He is not my usual demographic, for sure, and I am honored that he put his hard-earned cash down on my book. I sure hope his mom enjoys it.
Tomorrow, my crazy-busy stretch begins. I’m heading to a wedding in Ohio and come Sunday, I’m on the communications desk at church early, and my life group is meeting Sunday night. I'm boxing up an Operation Christmas Child pacjage to turn in then, the deadline, I do believe.
The week ahead is the busiest of the entire fall regarding book promotions. Not counting my work schedule and Bible Study Fellowship, here’s what’s going on:
Wednesday, Nov. 16, I’ll be in the Centerville Library at 1:30 p.m. for a book-club discussion.
Thursday, Nov. 17, after work I head to Dublin for a 6 p.m. book talk at one of the cutest little libraries you’ll ever see. I'll bring the second book's signature pie, and need to find the time to make a couple of those babies!
On Friday, Nov. 18, from 6-8 p.m. I’m a vendor at the Flatrock Christmas Bazaar at The Gathering in Lewisville.
Saturday, Nov. 19, I’ll be in Liberty at the Extension Homemaker Bazaar in the Union County Middle School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Two libraries, two bazaars. Maybe I’ll see you next week at one thing or the other. I will say that both of the bazaars are quite stellar, and exceed whatever your expectations might be for small-town events such as those. I imagine I’ll be doing some retail damage myself.
Have a great week, everyone! I'll pop in again with a midweek post. Email me if you have any questions about any of the gigs: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I grew up in the boonies,” I told Brian Sunday, as we meandered along our back-road route to Brownsville, Indiana, located not far from the farm where I grew up.
Of course my words didn't make for a news flash, and as we roll from U.S. 40 to Abington to Brownsville on this gorgeous November morning, we’re reminded that this area is still the boonies. Even so, imagine how much more so it would have been in 1806.
That was the year on our minds, the same year that the Methodist Church became a presence in tiny Brownsville. We were headed there to celebrate the occasion with not only members of the current Brownsville United Methodist Church, but with visitors, with the Greenwood Church Methodists, and with Liberty's Edwards United Methodist Church choir.
My lifelong friend, musician Karen Parks Bunch, was there to sing and play piano, accompanying church organist Charlotte Telker. Karen provided the special music along with her husband, the Liberty church’s choir director Kevin Bunch -- and with the choir. As I did, Karen grew up in that little Brownsville church.
While our hometown church has been served continuously by Methodist preachers starting with the early circuit riders in 1806, it’s interesting that the current pastor, Shelley Dodson, is the longest continually serving minister in this church’s 210-year history. She’s been there since 2004. One busy reverend, Shelley also serves the Greenwood UMC, and has a day job as interim bursar at Indiana University East in Richmond. Whew!
During the service, Shelley read some key points in the history of this body. The Indiana Territory was organized in 1800, and it didn’t take long for the Methodist Church to bring its Christian influence to this little neck of the woods in what would become Union County, and become the state of Indiana 200 years ago this year.
After a few years of circuit riders’ services in pioneers’ log cabins, the first Brownsville Methodist Church was built of brick in 1814, near the present building. The congregation grew and in 1828, land was deeded for a larger structure. Church history doesn’t record why the building wasn’t ready until 1844.
That building, however, stood for 101 years before it burned down in a Sunday-morning fire in 1945. However, before that bad turn, things got rocky in other ways. In 1860, the nation’s Civil War divided this body and a number of members left to form the Christian Union Church in 1865.
The Methodist Church went into decline to the point where windows were broken, the roof damaged, and doors stood open. In 1871, some members saved it with remodeling the dilapidated 1844 building, and it was re-dedicated in 1873. And so it went for 71 years until the 101-year-old building burned down nine days before Christmas 1945.
The congregation decided right away to rebuild and they got busy with planning and fundraising. To make do, they met for services in the Brownsville School. The new church – the brick limestone that’s there today – opened in 1948. There was a big celebration over it being paid off in 1952.
There was another big celebration on Sunday. It included a sermon about trusting God with the future of the church by the Rev. Mick Miller, assistant district superintendent. And being Methodists, cake and coffee followed. They even broke out the church's white china.
But first came the official bicentennial photo. For that, Brian and I stood behind the pulpit in the same spot where we lit a unity candle 38 years ago on our wedding day, a fine October afternoon not so different from Sunday’s fine November one.
As we stood there, I felt proud to be part of the Brownsville UMC extended family and so glad that we made the effort to attend.
This church. Home. Roots. This church provides a deep sense of belonging. One attendee, the former Janice Parks, whom I’ve seen once in the last 50 years before Sunday, but whom I would know anywhere all the same, even handed me an envelope of old family photos ... photos of my family!
They had been in her father, Gene Parks’ things and she thought I might like them. Where else could I be on the planet where something like that could possibly happen? Where her family would save photos of mine for somewhere around a century? And where a descendant would care enough to give them to me? To even consider that I might be there that morning? Unbelievable! That's home folks for you.
Yes, I’m from the boonies all right. These boonies.
If I could change that fact, change this place on the map that I call home, change this sweet church in the wildwood -- I wouldn’t.
Congratulations to Rev. Shelley Dodson who is the longest-serving pastor of this church in its 210-year history. (Photo provided by Brownsville United Methodist Church) Meanwhile, below is Geneva Floyd, who at 96 works behind the scenes constantly because she loves Jesus and people, and they sure do love her. Right, a look at the sanctuary.
About 16 years ago, some teachers from Fall Creek Elementary School in Fishers formed a book club. The women started meeting monthly in a member’s home to discuss the previous month’s assigned tome.
Because tastes vary, and so that everyone gets a chance to see her favorite genre featured, the club rotates who gets to choose the book. Generally, that falls to the month’s hostess. There are surprises. Sometimes a book is chosen that a member secretly thinks she will hate. Then she loves it! That’s a beauty of literature. (But of course the opposite can be true, as well.)
And so it goes every month for 16 years. The one thing the group has never resolved, however, is an official club name – even after a decade and a half.
So it was my special privilege Wednesday when visiting for the discussion of my second book, That Sweet Place: At Home in the Heartland, to be there when they named their club. I had simply asked them the name of it and they decided that by golly, it’s time to actually give it a name.
So they did! On the spot! I give you …
The Creek Readers Book Club.
The name seemed easy enough to settle on. Maybe they just needed a nudge. The Creek part comes from the women’s connection as either current or retired teachers at Fall Creek Elementary.
The group read my debut, Sweetland of Liberty Bed & Breakfast, two summers ago. As for the first book finding these ladies, I have Mary Malone to thank. And Rita Smith. And I have Kay Marrero to thank for the second.
Mary is a friend from New Castle I’ve known for many years. A retired city councilwoman and director of ICAP Senior Services, Mary also served as one of The Courier-Times recipe contest judges through the years. Her best friend is Rita Smith – founder of The Creek Readers (tee hee, I’m now using their new name like it’s old hat).
Mary read my first book and recommended it to Rita. Rita, in turn suggested it for her book club. The ironic aspect is that since the club is full of Fishers teachers, and Brian spent 26 years in education with Hamilton Southeastern Schools, one would think it was Brian who was the Fishers connection.
Nope, that was Rita. But what’s also interesting is that he had many of the teachers’ kids in his buildings through the years. So that’s pretty neat.
Back to Wednesday night.
The meeting was at Mary Jo Moyer’s new Noblesville home and she prepared Mom’s Chili from the second book. She had never made chili like that, and some of the women mentioned they had never had pasta in theirs. Interesting, because “with macaroni” is the only way I grew up eating it. Then Brian’s mom always put spaghetti in hers.
Ellen King brought Old-Fashioned Macaroni Salad, from the second book, and Kay brought my friend Cheryl’s Mexican Dip from the first book. They filled in with even more snacks, as women are prone to do, finishing with a warm apple pie, ala’ mode.
They told me Hallmark should make movies based on my books. They are too kind and they don’t have a clue how much their interest and remarks mean coming from teachers (whom I love) and avid readers (more love). Attending a book-club discussion about a book I have written is truly an honor. It's ice cream on the pie, in fact.
My gratitude goes to all of you. Have fun reading the classic, Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier for your December read.
They’ll be watching the movie version when they get together for the discussion. And for their holiday exchange? Everyone is to bring a wrapped - wait for it - book. Of course.
Here's my friend Cheryl Bennett's Cheryl's Mexican Dip from my first novel.
Cheryl's Mexican Dip
1 lb. hot or mild sausage, to taste (Cheryl like it hot!)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup hot or mild salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Brown sausage and drain off the grease. Combine sour cream, salsa and cheddar cheese. Stir sour cream mixture in with sausage. Pour into baking dish. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with tortilla chips.
Have you ever seen one of these?
Well, I had not either until a few weeks ago. In fact, the sight sort of freaked me. The first one of these things peeked up through our low-growing landscape greenery.
My first reaction was that somehow, a baby carrot had taken root and started to grow. But why is half of it covered in slimy brown? Ugh!
I looked closer and spotted a tiny opening in the tip. Was it the thing’s mouth, or perhaps an opening on the other end?
Then I thought, wait, maybe this is some sort of creature and that freaked me even more.
The next morning, the brown-tipped-carrot thingy was gone. So that convinced me it was alive and on the move or why would it be gone? And a couple of days later, something that looked just like the first one appeared in another location in the landscaping.
I steered clear of the area and made Brian go have a look. He took a hoe and knocked it over, only to state that it is some sort of fungus. Why did it take me so long to give it a Google? I typed in “fungus that looks like carrot” I learned that what we have is a mutinus caninus, commonly known as a stinkhorn.
There are many references and photos that look just like ours. There’s even a YouTube video about them. It seems I’m not the only one who finds them a bit freaky.
Right now we have several stinkhorns. They come and they go within inches of each other. Apparently the way they come and go is that spores are spread through the brown slime the fungus secretes (probably through that tiny red opening at the top). Insects such as flies apparently find the slime appealing, and tote the spores away where they are spread.
They are supposed to have a foul odor, thus their nickname. I’m not getting close enough to find out!
But the stinkhorns are far from the only orange oddities in the front-porch area of our home. Last night on Halloween I stepped out to find this!
Brian carved the pumpkin on Sunday. Little-known Brian Cronk fact: He loves to carve pumpkins! He always carves at least one. So Sunday evening he asked me if we had duct tape. I found it and he said he didn’t know if he needed it after all. I didn’t think anything about it and didn't inquire further.
Then when I stepped onto the porch on Halloween, I spotted this poor fella with the duct-taped faced. Brian said that yes, he accidentally cut the nose off so the tape held it in place.
“No one will even notice once it gets dark,” he said.
Well, being the supportive wife that I am, of course I texted photos of the pumpkin to the boys and Allison and we all had a good laugh. Allison was by far the most sympathetic of the lot.
But he was right. Once it was dark, the pumpkin shone brightly. And the pumpkin’s make-do facelift wasn’t even noticeable.