Pumpkin Surprise


Remember those rogue pumpkins that Hadley planted along the deck? Well, this afternoon — while I was clattering away on my laptop — those gourds yielded an impromptu activity and a tasty snack.

Want to give it a whirl? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • pumpkins
  • children
  • baseball bat
  • salt
  • butter
  • garlic powder
  • Worcestershire

Directions: Allows kids to beat the pumpkins to smithereens on a mud-free surface. Any club or bat will do; our kids prefer an Easton model.


Next: Should one kid salvage any pumpkin shards… extract seeds, then rinse and boil in salty water. Finally, drench the seeds in a butter/garlic powder/Worcestershire concoction, and bake for 10 to 50 minutes… depending on oven volatility.

I never thought there’d be anything salvageable from the pumpkin carnage I witnessed today.

But the seeds were pretty tasty.

Aside from a little driveway grit.


Photo Op: In Training

This fall, Hadley is participating in a junior foxhunting program. At monthly meetings, the kids learn about history and traditions, land conservation and other aspects of the sport. In addition, each junior is assigned a puppy; they learn to handle and lead them.

At the end of the last meeting I caught a bit of Hadley’s session with her hound, “Kennedy.”


The goal: to encourage Kennedy to listen to her.


To pay attention and behave.


And to walk on a leash.


It’s a work in progress.

But neither Had nor hound seemed too concerned about the outcome.

Sometimes, companionship and attention are enough.


Creature Comforts

Here are the facts:

  • The boiler, which drives steam into the radiators to heat the house, is kaput. Rusted out.
  • Replacement is neither simple nor cheap.
  • The house is very cold at night.
  • The dog sleeps in a 6- by 8-foot mudroom. With a space heater.
  • The dog is very happy.


(Sorry,¬†no image of dog-in-mudroom due to the graphic nature — i.e., cluttered mess. It’s just too grungy to photograph.)