Oh, It’s On

I drove home from work Tuesday.

Tired, ready to relax. Desperately in need of some down time.

Which might have involved wine.


Nothing in a paper bag.

Or box.

Quit with the judging.

I made the final turn into the neighborhood, appreciating the subtle change in colors that defines the Northern California fall.

If you can’t tell the difference between burnt sienna and burnt umber, you should probably enjoy autumn somewhere else.

Also, there’s a difference between a zin and a cab.

So they tell me.

Hey, I like the stuff in the box.

And again with judging.

But relaxing was not to be.

My neighbor down the street had…had…her Halloween decorations out.

And not some tacky Color-Forms ghost in the windows. Not some lame-ass cardboard cutout of a cat in front of a full moon.


That tramp had 32 mini pumpkins lining the roof of her house.

It was perfect.

It was just friggin’ adorable.

Oh, I hate her so.

Himself called me to tell me he was on his way home.

“Hi sweetie. I’m just on the road.”

“That woman has her pumpkins out!”


“Didn’t you hear me?? She has her pumpkins in the roof already!”

“Who? What pumpkins?”

“Those people who painted their house that perfect color! They have all those pumpkins on the roof again!”

“On the roof?”

“YES! Don’t you remember from last year when they put all those pumpkins up along the roof?”

Long pause.

“Sweetie, did you already have a glass of wine?”

“Didn’t you hear me?? PUMPKINS!!! ON THEIR ROOF!!!”

“Uh huh. I see. Am I getting the Halloween decorations down?”

“Damn STRAIGHT you’re getting the decorations down! And you know what else?”

“We’re shopping for pumpkins?”

“WE are shopping for PUMPKINS!”

“I thought maybe.”

There is SO much more to come…


  1. We’re getting our stuff out of the attic this weekend. We have one of those motion sensor witch thing-ys that cackles, says “trick-of-treat” and whatever scary thing she feels like saying to anyone that passes her.
    I always put her on the front porch. My kids hate her, but my 72-year-old dad LOVES her, and will walk back and forth in front of her just to make her speak, chuckling the whole time.

    I love my dad. ; )

    1. That’s a dad to love!

      I’m pretty big on Halloween.

      Although I don’t do the motion sensor things cause the cats would set them off all day.

      And I don’t want to spend Halloween in the sanitarium.

  2. You should really up the ante. I mean, clearly you can’t do pumpkins like SHE did.

    Maybe Edward Cullen hanging corpse dummies dotting all your trees?

    Or! BETTER YET! One great big giant papier mache jack-o-lantern that covers your entire house. Turn your whole dang house into a pumpkin.

    That’ll show her.

    1. I need to be careful about making those suggestions in front of himself, even in jest, cause sometimes he’ll take those sorts of things seriously.

      And next think you know I’m Peter’s wife living in a pumpkin shell.

    1. Umm…


      That’d be a hard thing to score.

      I mean, I celebrate the spirit of the season and all, but…

      1. Hygiene issues, and 2. Everyone KNOWS that dead deer get motion sick on swings.

    1. My rules are:

      No Halloween decor before Oct. 1

      No Christmas decor until after Thanksgiving

      Easter candy may be eaten whenever you find it on sale.

  3. So I guess it would not help my cause to tell you I already have my Halloween/fall decorations out and up? Complete w/a Dept 56 Halloween village?

    #pumpkinbash2010 rules!

    1. LOL…You are not in trouble for this, you have violated my Rules of Decorating.

      BUT, if you put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving? You will be SOOO in a points hole.

      Cause I’ll add it to your early shopping deficit.

  4. I’m wondering if you, me, and all the readers of our blogs should just move into the same neighborhood. That way, Christmas decorations and rotting pumpkins from last halloween won’t be a strange site.

    Oh, and wine in a box? Don’t judge; just drink. As long as I feel different after I take a sip, I don’t much care how that sip tastes.

  5. We turn our front yardninto a huge graveyard and I am constantly on the lookout for an outdoor rated fog machine. Sadly, that’s hard to find.
    We also go all out for Christmas, last year we made the local news. This year I’m aspiring to have the roof covered in lights a la Christmas Vacation. Seriously.

    1. I saw this thing on GrandinRoad.com that makes bubbles filled with fog.

      I WANT THAT.

      Except for the $80 price tag.

      That I don’t need so much.

      But YAY for all-out decorating.

      I love it.

      I just don’t like getting beaten to the punch.

  6. My husband got some dollar store decorations the other day and put them up — like a crepe paper pumpkin for the door and some thigns to hang up. Luckily, nobody around us likes to decorate for holidays! Except the guy beside us who put up his Christmas lights Dec. 27 and took them down Jan. 1.

  7. Okay, were these 32 pumpkins, real pumpkins, carved? or were they plastic? If real carved pumpkins, I’m impressed…if not, meh! I’m sure you can do much better :-)

    1. Hard for me to see, cause they’re on the roof, but they look like real, mini-pumpkins.

      Not carved.

      Just neatly lining her roof-line with charming Halloweeniness.

      Ok, I’m realizing that that is a totally funny word.

      I think I’ll start over-using it now.

      1. Real ones but not carved…hmmm – You could out-pumpkin her by having one big pumpkin carved, then add a real candle inside. That to me is true Halloweeniness (I like that word as well) and way better than 32 tiny ones on the roof (doesn’t she realise the birds are going to peck those? ha ha ha…there will be no pumkins there by the 31st!)

  8. I, myself, am waiting until they come out with wine in a little juicebox-sized box. With a bendy straw. It would fit so cutely in my lunch bag.

    What? I thought we weren’t judging!?!

    1. Must interject here — not about Halloween, but about wine in small boxes…..

      That genius, Francis Ford Coppola, put his champagne in little cans with straws attached, and they sell in a four or six pack.

      I don’t know a damn thing about his cinema, but damn — genius to have bubbly in small v-8 like cans……

      1. Wine is just grape juice with a little extra something something, amirite?

        And now I totally want some of those little champagne cans.

  9. I think you’d be more popular if you spent all that money on pumpkin pies and wrote a nice little hand written note with them as you left them on all your neighbours porches. Or you could actually knock on the door and give it to them so they absolutely know who is the bestest neighbour on the whole street!

    1. *grumble grumble*

      Good manners…*grumble grumble*…do unto others….*grumble grumble*

      I really just wanna drop kick all her pumpkins up and down the neighborhood.

      1. Mother Hen here, saying “Just say no!!!” to pies on porches. The neighbourhood dogs do not need the encouragement to slobber and munch all over peoples’ properties, and where are the Martha points in that?

      2. Oh, of course! HA!

        I knew there was a perfectly good reason I couldn’t be all noble.

        Plus, I don’t pull noble off all that well.

        It’s probably the giggling.

  10. So I shouldn’t put my Colorforms ghosts in the window anymore? Kidding. Never had any. If I put 32 pumpkins on my room, one by one they would slowly slide down the sloped roof and knock out my neighbors one by one. You gotta get a picture so we can see this (just in case I have a neighbor I decide I want to take out).

    1. I may do an illustration as I think it bad form to put pictures of other people’s houses on your website, no matter how careful I am about identifiers on the blog.

      But I have the same problem – she has a flat roofline on the front of her house, and pitched on the sides.

      Mine is pitched on the front and flat on the sides.

      So my neighbor’s garage could have a spiffy view of pumpkin roof if I went that route, but I’m thinking some of the impact is lost.

  11. LOVED THIS! My house, I mean home (it sounds nicer, right?) has been decorated for a week – no thanks to me! I had the nanny do it while the kids were sleeping. If it we’re up to me this year, I’d drink the wine and do the decorating “tomorrow”.

    But when Christmas comes around – look out! We’re having an electrician come out to give us more power… I live in Northern California too, if all goes well, you’ll be able to see the abnoxious glow of my house. ;)

    1. Ohh..I can’t wait! I LOVE major Christmas lights. I will drive around town to find the best displays.

      And how come when I was a nanny I didn’t get any fun jobs like putting up Halloween decorations?

      I had to vacuum.

      I wanna refund!

  12. Just look at it this way she is going to be way unpopular and uncool in oh say two weeks when those pumpkins rot from the heat and start to smell!

    1. I’d like to THINK that’d happen, because it would comfort me.

      But, she did this last year and they managed just fine.

      Damnit damnit damnit.

  13. Bring it, baby….I mean, she’s baiting you, waiting to see how you can up her one.

    Or, she’s patiently waiting to hear how many points she’ll get for this debacle. And it IS a debacle, if not for the pumpkins on the roof, but for the wine that you missed out on.

  14. First. LOVELY pumpkin action. I am actually having a pumpkin carving afternoon with my staff next week. May have to five finger the design…

    Second, I know the feeling, but sadly I only really get it when I’ve been out-shoed.

    And this rarely happens.

    – B x

  15. The decoration war…I know it well. I do not win that war. We have it at Christmas time here too. One year I convinced my loving husband to put up lights, only we ran out and he never finished the job. And they were up till June. Yup. We definitely lost.

  16. There isn’t nearly as much decorating around our neighborhood for Halloween as there is for Christmas. But when December rolls around, the boxing gloves come off and it’s an all out brawl for who has the best looking property.

  17. Oh how I miss suburbia….. okay not really.

    You see if you want my house you drive to the middle of nowhere and take a left. We have 2.5 glorious acres in the middle of the left of nowhere. No neighbors to compete with. No Trick or Treaters. And for the first like 5 years we lived there I could still buy the candy I LIKE and pretend it was for the aforementioned non-existent Trick or treaters which would carry me right through to the stockings I’d fill with the candy I LIKE at Christmas which would carry me right through to the Valentine’s Candy I LIKE and them slide on into the Baskets filled with the candy I LIKE at Easter.

    But I got sidetracked again. And now I want candy.

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