Thursday, October 18, 2012


This past week, we took a much-needed vacation from all the work we've been doing over the past three months to spend time with friends in Duck on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  We go every year in October, but our group this year was bigger than ever--six couples ranging in age from late 20s to mid-60s.

My friend Jennie's son Steven, who is 27 and joined us for the trip with his wife Lauren, says that at the Outer Banks everyone is in 8th grade.  Judging by the level of humor at the dinner table and around the fireplace in the living room, I think he's right.

So, in the spirit of 8th graders (maybe 3rd grade would be more accurate), we had a pumpkin decorating contest last night.

Jennie, Lauren, and another one of the women in the group bought six pumpkins at the local market and three large bags of goodies from Dollar Tree--glitter glue, crepe paper, plastic spiders and flies, cotton "spider webs," garland, paint, marshmallows, makeup, votive candles, and carving kits.

Each couple went "shopping" from the supplies, which were all laid out on the coffee table, and then had an hour to produce their creation.

The finished pumpkins ranged from G-rated Santa Claus and "The Count" from Sesame Street to a bloody Julius Caesar, a cannibalistic pumpkin eating its young, and an X-rated creation that was quite artistic but falls into the category of "what happens in North Carolina stays in North Carolina" and therefore is not pictured here:

Even Martin's cousin and her husband, who were visiting from Germany and had no clue about how to make a jack-o-lantern, joined in the fun with a traditional happy-face with purple pompoms for ears.

We were going to vote on the best one, but we decided we just couldn't choose--they were all good in different ways.  The carved ones looked better lit up at night, while the decorated ones looked better in the house with all the lights on.

We even made trick-or-treat bags for everyone:

And Steven, who was responsible for Porno Pumpkin, didn't use any of the supplies for the contest but couldn't resist decorating himself:

Eighth grade for sure....

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