Happy Howl-o-ween!

Is that Blackbeard?, originally uploaded by Cracker and Cheese.

The Pirate Queen, Kuma, commands her ship with an iron paw. Don’t look for mercy from her or her first mate, Alexander, when she captures your ship.

But all is not lost, simply withhold her treats and she will beg for parlay.

Fall Festivities

Saturday was a crazy day full of friends, movies, pumpkins, corn and even a llama to boot. Bob and I started off the day with Kim and Katie for a viewing of Michael Clayton, a great movie, I definitely recommend it. After having lunch at California Pizza Kitchen (I love the Greek Pizza and the Thai Pizza), we headed over to Thies Farm, off of Creve Coeur Mill Road, for some pumpkins. This is our favorite place to get pumpkins and we get to support a local farm as well.

Now, how fun does that look? Of course, we didn’t go in there because there were swarms of children (and you had to pay), but we did go into the petting zoo where I made a new friend.

I think I will name him Sparkles. Kuma would love to have a llama as a brother, right?

Once we got our pumpkins, we went home and proceeded to create works of art.

“I’ve got a big head and little arms!” How adorable is this pumpkin? This one was carved by Kim (one of three).

This is the second of Kim’s pumpkins, using a “punch-out” technique, from her Disney Princesses pumpkin carving kit. She even bedazzled it.

The last contribution by Kim. She wanted something a little non-traditional and came up with a modern take on pumpkin carving. We have imprisoned the candle for attempted arson.

That is definitely a goofy looking pumpkin, just like his creator, Bob. Because he was too lazy to clean out the pumpkin properly, it looks like it’s smiling with his mouth full or it’s ready to vomit all over you.

This is my pumpkin. Ever since I’ve discovered pumpkin carving kits, I love them! It just makes them look so awesome!

Katie took advantage of the Disney Princess carving kit and chose Cinderella. It turned out beautifully.

This is Katie’s last pumpkin. You can’t see, but she had attached leaves on to the pumpkin to make it look like a mask. That is a great effect with the pumpkin top sticking up like that, a neat detail.

And here is the group photo:

Don’t they look great? We are all fantastic pumpkin carvers, if I do say so myself.

After carving so many pumpkins, we worked up an appetite so we all had beef stew, homemade bread (from Katie’s kitchen) and a side salad. Yao and Sheena punked out of the pumpkin carving portion of the day but did come over for dinner. And Sheena had some beef stew, which was unbelievable because she is one of the pickiest eaters on the planet.

Once we had all filled our bellies of comfort food, we all piled into the Explorer (Yao had to sit in the way back, so we made sure we didn’t roll the car) and drove to Godfrey, IL for the Great Godfrey Maze. I wasn’t really as impressed this year with the maze, probably because it was so trampled (kids cutting through the corn, stupid cheaters) and the corn maze wasn’t as thick as years past. I was very disappointed with the “haunted” part of the maze because the “haunters” were either on break or just hanging out in big clumps, not giving a rat’s ass about the people coming through. And, it only went in one direction, you couldn’t get lost. Now, where’s the challenge in that? To be scared silly by people jumping out at you while you’re freaking out about how to get out of the maze, that gives it a whole new level of scariness.

And what’s the best way to end an awesome day? FRITZ’S. Oh, man, I got the Jack-o-Lantern concrete and it was so good! I’m craving it just by talking about it! It was such a fun day, I hope everyone else had as much fun as I did.

View the rest of the pictures here.

Dyson Sucks.

But that’s the point of the world’s most awesome vacuum. Last weekend, Jen’s sister called us from Kohl’s. We had talked previously about wanting a Dyson Animal to help control the dog hair in the house. Plus, we like expensive high tech thingies and Chris was looking for a new vacuum for her house. She devised the plan where she and her mother would buy a Dyson for Jen and I for our combined birthday and Christmas presents and we could hand-me-down our existing Dirt Devil and called us to make sure we thought that was a good idea. Of course, we thought that was a great idea. They brought over our new toy and after assembling it and figuring out the instructions, I gave it a test spin.

Now, bear in mind that we had vacuumed the living room not even 16 hours earlier because Brandon and Paul were coming over for the hockey game. It was a cursory vacuuming, but then so was the initial test run with the Dyson. We didn’t even get back into Kuma’s corner, but the results were astonishing:

The spoils of Dyson.


That was just the living room! That was in our carpet and we were completely oblivious.


Of course, Kuma is just thrilled to have a new vacuum in the house. Even though the Dyson is much quieter than the Dirt Devil, she’s still a little spooked. In fact, just thinking about vacuums makes her tired.

Kuma is tired of vacuuming.