Five Questions Friday: Trunk-or-Treat

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Q: What is your favorite and least favorite Halloween candy?
Eric: First, I want to congratulate you on your 500th post the other day. You didn’t even know until I told you about it! I can’t believe you have posted 500 times already and you weren’t even aware of it.

Now to my answer… My favorites: Twix is #1, Reese’s peanut butter cups is a close second.

For the ones I don’t like, I’ll give you a few I won’t touch: Good & Plenty, Three Musketeers  and most importantly The Charleston Chew since it will pull the fillings right out of your head. 

Q: What do you like about Halloween?
Eric: I like when you are forced to buy a bag of candy because you never know if some trick or treater is going to show up….  and then they don’t. 

QWhat don’t you like about Halloween?
Eric: What I don’t like is having to eat the candy in the dark.
(Okay, I have no idea what that means and I don’t think I want to know why you are eating in the dark…)

Q: Any differences about Halloween in the south?
Eric: Yes. On all the church signs they call it “Trunk-or-Treat.” Not sure what that is all about. They must not like tricks.
(What it means is that the church parking lot will be filled with cars and there will be candy in their cars and the kids go from car to car instead of house to house. Not sure if the candy is in the trunk or if that’s the saying “Do you want a treat or go in the trunk.”  A lot safer I would say, unless you choose to get into some creepy stranger’s trunk. That would not be good). 

QWhat annoyed you this week?
Eric: This week was easy to answer and it’s a tie:  First, is my fantasy football league and the outrageous ‘snack board’ during Thursday night’s football game.  As Commish of five seasons, all I can say is that I now have a few 2-year-olds in my league.

Second, was when you informed me that today is the start of Christmas movies on the  Hallmark channel. Can’t they wait until Thanksgiving? Please! You will be annoying me for weeks!

*** the picture above was taken for Eric’s football league page. Eric carved the pumpkin for  the league’s name, “Brady Gaga” and he decorated a ceramic cheerleader that my godmother made for me when I was a child. And of course I took the shot while the food network was airing their halloween pumpkin carving competition.)

The Basket Bender

Mr. Basketmaker is getting ready for his workshop in Georgia so it’s been a very busy last couple of weeks for him. On the docket today? Bending rims for his Gardener Basket.

First he needs to make the molds that the rims will bend around and dry.

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It’s still so nice that his workshop is in a completely separate building. I still feel grateful for this. When we were back in New Hampshire, we both lived and worked under the same tiny roof. I not only heard all his machines and the banging, but all that sawdust got tracked through the house!

bending-wood-gardener-basket-mold-drillHere he is drilling the holes where the rims will be held in place after they are bent.

Now for the next step… I’m having major Déjà vu! Because he moved his “bending” operation into our kitchen!

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Supposedly, the thickness of the rims for this basket bend better if he gets the water much hotter in the large soaking tray. And the burners in his workshop was not boiling the water as hot as our stove. So in came the 5 foot stainless steel tray across two burners of our stove. And the stack of molds he just produced and all the other materials he needs to complete the whole process.

So the rolling kitchen cutting station becomes his bending table.

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Looks like he has three down. Twenty-five more to go! And these are only the rims! Basketmaking is way too much work. And for him to do this for almost thirty years? That’s dedication!

What I Do With My Down Time

Being self-employed as a freelancer, or as a basketmaker like Eric, is hard work. Sometimes you need to work over holidays, and some years you get no vacation at all, and sometimes you wish you could actually get more than 5 hours sleep in one night.

However, after you pay your dues, you invested the time and put in a lot of hard work, you can relax a little. And that’s where I’m at now. When I get some “down time” I embrace it completely.

So before all the leaves have completely fallen and we move into winter, I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful weather we have been getting in middle Tennessee during the month of October. When we left New Hampshire for Tennessee about one-and-a-half years ago, I thought I would really miss the Fall season in New England. But Tennessee has not let me down. It has an impressive fall color display as well, but it also has a much warmer climate during the days, especially this October.

The perks of being a freelancer is that when there is “down time” I don’t need to pretend “I’m busy” at my desk like I would if working in a corporate atmosphere. Those were always the worst! Instead, I can enjoy myself. So on one of those “slow days” I went out and sat in my Hawaiian Chair Swing (a grateful hand-me-down from basketmaker Joanne Howard).

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So this is what I did on a slow work day in October: I grabbed an art book and went outside to enjoy the scenery before all the leaves fell to the ground and winter moved in.

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Here’s me in my floating chair swing. It is soooo comfortable! (Thanks Joanne H.!) And the dogs love hanging around next to me as I “swing.” The image on the right shows the tree next to us that still has leaves and is providing the shade below. The other tree in the background has lost just about all it’s leaves!

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This tree is next to me when I turn to the left. I love it. The texture is ever changing. And I stare at it quite often. Probably trying to remember the details so I can paint it later, from memory! I love tree textures. chair-swing-up-and-down

Here’s me with the camera pointing down. And then the next image is the camera pointing up. Same spot, just different angle. It’s really a peaceful spot. I love my little humble swing under these two trees.

chair-swing-tree-dogsAnd the dogs appear to agree as well. But Jackson seemed to be annoyed. I kept calling out his name so I could take a picture with him looking at me. But his expression conveyed “Why are you calling my name when you have no treat?” However, Chance, the camera ham of all time, instantly turned and started to smile, revealing the top row of teeth. He just loves the camera!