Sunday, October 31

Our Halloween Weekend...

Naya and Sodie surprised us with an overnight visit from college just to celebrate Halloween!

-photo by Mado
Earlier this summer, when we were in the hospital with Toucie for so many weeks, our lawn got majorly overgrown. We noticed some strange "volunteer" plants had cropped up...they turned out to be pumpkins! We've been watching them all this time hoping they'd be big enough (and orange enough!) to carve into jack-o-lanterns by Halloween...

...well, you have to work with what you got...

...unique, to say the least!

Naya and Sodie dressed up as Star Trek ensigns -photo by Mado

Mado's gorgeous monster self-portrait (holding the Waldorf doll she made in 7th grade...which is dressed in a holey sock for Halloween),

and Toucie was a mama-made dragon :)

We made skeleton gingerbread cookies like those I've been seeing around.

And had Pumpkin Soup for dinner!

We played "Pin the Wart on the Witch" using a big, beautiful witch that Toucie drew for us and stickers for the warts. (even though none of the witches we know have any warts at all) -photo by Mado

Sodie and Naya know the choreography to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and tried to teach it to that is entertainment. -photo by Mado

Later, Naya and Sodie had to go back to school, but the rest of us went off to a night of trick-or-treating:

-photo by Mado

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 22

October moon...

A big, round Shepherd's Pie for dinner...

...and a big, round Apple Pie for dessert :)

We texted this toast to Naya and Sodie away at college...cheers!

...and went for a night-hike through the fields with these two "monsters"...

...and enjoyed this favorite book, The Rainbabies, by Laura Krauss Melmed, to cap our evening.

Beautiful, luminous illustrations by Jim LaMarche....happy moon!

Monday, October 18

29th annual Tennessee State Pow Wow

This is an intertribal celebration, competition, and gathering and although it is a reunion of Native Americans, everyone in the community is invited to witness and become involved.

 Authentic foods, beautiful crafts and jewelry, elaborate celebration garments, games and storytelling...and oh, the dancing and drumming!! Here are some moments from the competition dancing rounds (all the beautiful shots are ones that Mado took):

There was alot to see...while the dancers were competing, the drummers who were drumming for them were also in competition.

This beautiful woman shone among the singers...

And there were many dances open to the community where we danced slowly around a big circle...Mado and I joined in and so did Daddy and Toucie :)

Some of the folks were spending the nights in their tipis and let us look inside.

Lots of beautiful jewelry and handcrafts to look at...Daddy bought an amazing turquoise bead for Mado and a whistle made of buffalo horn for Toucie.

Lots of good things to eat, like fry bread...

...and pork and hominy stew.
But we mostly loved the people-watching :)

I have to mention that this was a very unseasonably hot day and that by the end of it, Toucie had worked up a fever and we had to take her to the ER. (She is all better now and feeling fine!) But even that did not take away from our experience at the Pow Wow... always grateful for another beautiful day.

Saturday, October 16

Fall Festival

The Music and Molasses Festival

Old-time music to jig to!

The sugar shack where sorghum sap is reduced to molasses.

The mule that works the mill that crushes the sorghum cane to release the sap.

Toucie thinks raw sorghum cane tastes better than molasses

Chatting up the Longhunters in their encampment.

There was plenty of living history demonstration...candlemaking, spinning, weaving, churning, etc...the soapmaker let Toucie do some of her laundry.

Mado...professional apple bobber

An area where children could gather eggs, shuck corn, hang out laundry, paint a barn (with water), weigh produce...and saddle up a "horse"

Beautiful day