Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Ode to October and a Giveaway

You know what drives me bonkers? (I mean besides the careless misuse of homonyms such as "your" and "you're"?)  When people- other people- go on and on about how much they love October.  Listen up: No one loves October more than me.  I discovered October, just like I discovered Mumford and Sons.  October has been my favorite month since before Starbucks introduced the pumpkin spice latte and J.Crew declared tweed blazers fashionable.  So don't tell me all about the amazing time you just had at the Mumford and Sons concert at the Barclays Center, in your fedora hat and ironic overalls.  I saw them two years ago when they were a bunch of banjo-strumming nobodies playing Webster Hall.  I love October and I love Mumford and Sons more than anyone else.  Got it?

For me, October is a month-long festival that I observe with several hallowed rituals.  
Below are my 31 favorite.  All month on the blog I will be sharing pictures, stories, and recipes from our October celebration.

1. Go to a local apple orchard and pick apples;

2. Make homemade apple sauce.  (Minnow's nursery school class recently made apple sauce, and each child brought some home in a baby food jar.  Minnow and I ate it after dinner one night for dessert and it was delicious.  Minnow wanted to know why Daddy wasn't having any, and I didn't have the heart to tell her that Daddy doesn't care for boogers in his apple sauce.);

3. Bring home a jug of apple cider;

4. Warm the cider in a saucepan with one or two cinnamon sticks and enjoy on a chilly fall evening;

5. Throw in some bourbon and make it a hot toddy;

6. I like my cider or toddy with some Sweetzel's spice wafers.  If you're from Philly you know exactly what I'm talking about;

7. Go pumpkin picking at a local farm;

8. Take a hay ride and enjoy the sensation of straw poking your body through layers of flannel, corduroy and tweed;

9. Carve pumpkins and put them on your doorstep for the squirrels to get to;

10. Toast the pumpkin seeds and make pumpkin seed granola because, sadly for your children, you're that kind of mom, and not the kind that makes pumpkin muffins;

11. Feel bad about the pumpkin muffins and make it up to your kids by making yummy squash muffins.  They taste just as good, I swear;

12. Speaking of squash, make homemade butternut squash soup;

13. Decorate your home with plenty of gourds and mums;

14. Build a bonfire and toast some marshmallows for s'mores.  Or toast them over your gas burner in the kitchen, either way;

15. Drink a pumpkin spice latte.  I really try to hold out for October for this, but Starbucks makes it increasingly difficult each year.  This year pumpkin spice was available the day after Labor Day.  There is something inherently wrong with an iced pumpkin spice latte;

16. Drink a Sam Adam's Octoberfest.  Even though I grew up on Yuengling and it feels like cheating, I allow myself one Sam Adams Octoberfest each fall;

17. Drink pumpkin ale.  Pumking by Southern Tier Brewing Company, NY is my favorite;

18.  What are you drinking to?  Minnow's birthday is in October and this year we are celebrating with a  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse themed birthday bonanza.  Mama will definitely be tossing down the toddies that day;

19. Look, the trees are changing colors!  Load the kids in the car and take a Sunday drive to marvel at the radiant reds, fiery oranges, and vibrant yellows;

20. Collect leaves and make leaf prints by placing them under white paper and rubbing the flat end of a crayon over them;

21. Rake leaves into a large neat pile, then jump in and destroy it;

22. Okay, now rake them up again and stuff them into oversize pumpkin trash bags to decorate your lawn for Halloween;

23. Speaking of Halloween, it is never too early to start thinking about costumes.  Minnow will likely be trick-or-treating in her Minnie Mouse costume from last year because a) it still fits;  b) she is currently going through a Disney phase; and c) we didn't get to use it last year because of Super Storm Sandy. Peanut, like most babies her age, will be going as a pumpkin;

24. It is also never too early to start thinking about Halloween candy.  Don't be that house handing out Tootsie Rolls.  Tootsie Rolls automatically get tossed in the trash, along with every other piece of candy your mom suspects may have been poisoned, drugged, or inserted with tiny razor blades;

25. Don't forget to get an extra-large bag of candy corn for yourself;

26. And to burn off all that sugar, you may want to consider going for a long, brisk run at dusk;

27. Or run a marathon!  My husband and I are hoping to run the Chicago Marathon together next October;

28. Or if you're not the running type, you could do a scary movie marathon.  My scary movie pick is It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  That's as much scary as I can handle;

29. Watch fall sports.  October is the only month I actually care about baseball.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy attending the occasional baseball game in the summer (mostly for the ice cream served in tiny batter helmets) but what's the point in fretting over standings in June or July?  It's a long season (and it seems to get longer every year, sort of like summer itself);

30. Go to a college football game.  Even though I'm several years out of college, I still enjoy going to homecoming on the years I don't happen to have a wedding, which has been most years now that wedding season, like baseball, stretches into late fall;

31. Paint your nails pink and observe Breast Cancer Awareness month by making a donation to a reputable breast-cancer research foundation, like Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  

If you're like me and you love October (although, clearly, not with the same intensity), I have a giveaway for you.  All month long I invite you to share your favorite October rituals on Instagram with hashtag #athloctober.  Each tagged photo will be entered to win a $25 iTunes gift card. (Perfect for discovering the next Mumford and Sons!)  I will draw the winner at random on November 1, 2013.  I can't wait to see how you're celebrating the best month of the year.  Good luck!

No comments:

Post a Comment