Monthly Archives: October 2007

Preparing for Halloween

When I was in elementary school, we used to sing a Halloween song that went something like:

H A DOUBLE L O W DOUBLE E N — Spells Halloween!

Val thinks I’m crazy and says she remembers learning that song but instead of spelling Halloween it spelled something like Harrison or Harrigan. The World Wide Web allowed me to learn that the real Halloween song I remember is called Halloween by Wade Denning & Kay Lande. I still use that song pretty much every time I need to spell the word Halloween.

Val got into the holiday spirit by decorating the house and knitting a pumpkin.

Knit Pumpkin

You should check out Val’s other knitting projects in the Knitting Corner, although she’s been spending much of her posting-online-about-knitting time on The good news is she’s been posting many knitting images on Flickr for use on

When shopping for something in Target, we came across the Halloween section. This holiday probably being Val’s favorite (think: dressing up and eating candy), we had to explore! She didn’t go crazy in the candy department, but did get a few Halloween things for the house (like a Halloween face towel).

Then we saw it.

A chicken hat costume for a cat!

We brought it to Val’s family who recently got a new cat (Nera? I just call her cat) and proceeded to prep her for Halloween.

Chicken Cat

Yes! The cat is a chicken!

More recently we continued our Halloween fun by getting a pair of pumpkins to carve.

Val Carving Pumpkin
Val carving her pumpkin

Ian Carving Pumpkin
Ian (me) carving his pumpkin
Val went with a classic jack-o-lantern done quite nicely.

Val Pumpkin

I decided to attempt to be creative and try something new. A bat!

Ian Pumpkin Design

And I tried doing it with new techniques that I’ve never tried before (my typical jack-o-lantern is like Val’s except more basic!).

Ian Pumpkin

Not bad for my first time doing something like this, although I have some ideas on how I can improve upon it.

Let’s see them lit up!

Ian Pumpkin Lit

Well…pretty cool. It did work like I envisioned it, but like I said, I have some ideas for improving it (or doing over for next time). For a design like this I made sure to make a chimney in the back.

Val’s pumpkin looks pretty great lit up…

Val Pumpkin Lit

Ooohh…Happy Halloween!

Maize Maze

On Saturday we celebrated the birthday of our friend Rachel by joining her and some other of her friends at Davis’ Farm for their corn maze. I’ve never been in a corn maze before! We entered the Lost Vegas maze and were led into a small wooden green box where we were played an introductory video.

The video was funny in a silly lame-on-purpose type of way. The employee girl who talked to us was funny in a I’m-silly-in-a-sorta-high kind of way. After the introduction, we started wandering through the maze. There was corn everywhere!

Here’s a picture of Gyodi wandering through the maze.

Gyodi in corn maze

Gyodi is a stranger, but she seemed nice and I carried some apples for her. All of Rachel’s other friends (including the many other Rachels) were fun to hang around with. Liz taught us all how to do a bumble bee dance.

Eventually we got to a bridge so we could look around from above.

Corn Maze

Wow! That’s corn!

Eventually we found our way out. And by found our way out I mean after two hours we asked for help and took a shortcut out of the crazy corn entanglement.

After the maze we weren’t done with the farm. Slow down!

Whoa! Stop!

“Saddle-up folks ride safely” — I didn’t know that saddle-up folks ride safely. To tell you the truth I don’t even know what a saddle-up folk is. Anyways, we went apple picking (remember I carried Gyodi’s apples?).

After Davis’ farm we went back to Rachel’s and had some chips, dips, fajitas and homemade ice cream. We also watched sticky-animal things race down the wall.

Sticky things race

I wonder which won! They never actually moved from the spot I threw them on.

The food was good and it was a fun time. One of the Rachels was another Brandeis Rachel we know (gasp! Another Rachel from Brandeis?!?).

Rachel Allen


Billy Bragg

Val and I drove all the way to Northampton (aka NoHo) to see Billy Bragg in concert. Before the concert we hung around downtown. Val was thrilled because she got to visit a big yarn store called Webs. I was impressed by it because this store actually has the domain name!

Webs was also pretty big. It had different sections of yarn and yarn accessories as well as books. But, that wasn’t all! They also have a large “warehouse” area in the back where you can look at the shelves of infinite yarn.

Val at Webs

Okay, Val like yarn. Get it? Okay.

After yarn shopping we had time to grab a bite to eat. Not knowing where to go (although I’m sure we could have picked something) we thought it would be fun to be like Rachel Ray and ask a local what’s good. We chose the cashier, who suggested Fitz Willy’s. Ehhh….it was OK. My “tip” to the waitress said it all:

  • Nice waitress
  • Decent food
  • Long wait for food

Don’t worry, don’t worry — I also gave a monetary tip. I just like leaving notes on receipts. The service was really slow though and it wasn’t the waitresses fault. She even came over and apologized saying that the kitchen was crazy. No harm done though and like I said, the food was alright.

We then walked a short ways over to the Calvin Theater got our tickets from will call and found our seats. Certainly not up close, but not too far back either. The opener was a guy named David Berkeley. He was kind of funny and had some good songs and a few sleepy ones. After the show I bought his album “After the wrecking ships” (I picked that one because I asked the artist which I should get if I’m only getting one!).

Billy Bragg puts on a good show and we were happy we came to check him out. Played some songs, told some stories — it was fun. He doesn’t come around all that often, so it was cool to get to see him. We saw him once before a few years ago in Sommerville.

Billy Bragg
[Cell phones don't make good cameras, esp. at concerts.]

That was our Thursday night. Got back late, but it was fine because we both decided to start our weekend early!

King Richard’s Faire (again)

Yesterday we went to King Richard’s Faire for a second/last time for the season. If you recall the last time we went it was too hot for Val to even dress up. Yesterday it was cool outside — around 60 degrees Fahrenheit when we got there.

Val and I went with her sister, her brother, and her brother’s girlfriend. We all dressed up!

King Richard's Faire Group Shot

Ooh, my outfit/costume, you ask? Where’d that come from? I bought it at a fancy store called Val. Yes…Val made it! She bought a pattern for like $2 then spent some money on fabric, but she measured me, cut it out and sewed it all together. Pretty cool! The gold trim she added around the edges really helps the look come together. She did have some help from one of her co-workers that regularly does sewing.
Val dressed up at KRF
Isn’t Val cute? :)

Pretty much once we arrive Ali happened to stumble upon someone she knew who lived in the area. She spent some time with us, then went wandering around the forest with her hooligans.

Ali and Friends at KRF

Luckily Chris and Ellen did hang out with us. They looked good in their costumes. Elly put together much of her outfit, which is pretty neat.
Chris and Elly at KRF

And Chris looked much better than he did last year!

Chris last year!

We wandered through the shops, ate food, and took part in an archery competition. Chris FTW!