In my neck of the woods, we’re calling this month HOT-TOBER, since it’s started off unnaturally hot. Where are those crisp, cool fall days the calendar promises us? They must be a figment of some other universe’s imagination. We’re starting out with temperatures in the 90F+ range, instead of 80F. While our trees are changing color, we think it’s because of the drought and shorter days, more than the cool weather. This doesn’t change our desire to make pumpkin soups or swill Pumpkin Spice Lattes, so we do this in our sandals, rather than our boots. Our first freeze might not be until mid-November, but that doesn’t mean our nights won’t be cool enough to wear a jacket. Football season will still be in full swing, and Halloween will also be an outdoor activity.
For health and food, October has it all: Breast Cancer Awareness Month, National Pasta Month, Italian-American Heritage Month, and Halloween, not to mention the end of the Jewish High Holy Days with Yom Kippur and the harvest festival of the Booths. As the days fly by like so many falling leaves calling us to rake, rake, rake before the in-laws and out-laws come barreling over hill and dale for the annual feast at Thanksgiving next month and we get the urge to decorate our homes for winter, let’s pause and give October its due.
When I was a child, we planned ahead for our costumes for trick or treat night. My brothers wanted to be cowboys or pirates, so they could wrangle their toy cap guns and wear their leather vests. The pirate child had an old bandana tied around his head, ripped jeans and a big hoop earring in one ear, plus a few “scars” drawn on his face. I once went as “Carmen Miranda” complete with a plastic fruit headdress and gaudy, huge earrings. The fruit kept falling off my head, since it wasn’t well secured. This did slow down my journey from house to house, while my wild cowboy and pirate brothers raced on ahead. We finished together, however. The race isn’t always to the swift and we all got the same amount of goodies and treats.
What I remember most is we rarely wore a jacket or sweater when we walked around the block on the last night of October, even sixty years ago. I never took a coat to school my entire senior year in high school either. This is how folks live down South. Montana may have a snowstorm before Freak-Tober, but that’s not happening in the lower latitudes. We close the schools in case of snow since no one knows how to drive in that white mess. Having lived up North, I can attest not many there can drive in it either.
Of course, I’ve also been at the top of Pike’s Peak in the middle of July and seen snow flurries. It’s a sight to behold for flatland tourists, who rarely see the white stuff at home. My dad, who rode old the cog railway up the mountain to its 14,000 foot peak, needed oxygen, which was on hand at the visitor center there. This cog railway was in continuous operation for 127 years, until age required a complete makeover, including the tracks, trains, and passenger cars, since no one makes the old design anymore. It has a 2020 opening date. It’s a great trip.
Every form of pumpkin is in season at your local grocery store now. This is good for Vegetarians, folks who make Homemade Cookies, and those who want to Do Something Nice for Custodial Workers or Bosses or Boyfriends. Also, you can use your pumpkins in crockpot soup recipes, which are good for busy Teachers, Techies, and Mad Hatters. If you want to celebrate National Frappe Day, remember there is NO PUMPKIN in a PSL or anything else named Pumpkin Spice at your local coffee shop. This refers to the spices, not the vegetable. World Mental Health Day is celebrated along with cake days. Most of us would be better off if we put more sweetness in our lives and less sourness. Some folks claim chocolate makes insects palatable. I’m not there yet, so I’m celebrating International Skeptics Day twice in a row.
Mid October brings us the days for World Food, National Grouch, Feral Cats, and National Bosses. I sometimes wonder who puts these lists together. I wouldn’t need a National Dictionary to figure it out, but if I Wear Something Gaudy and Eat Pasta and a Chocolate Cupcake, I’d have a running chance at it. Speaking of attire, October also has Dress Like a Dork day, National Suspenders Day, Boxer Shorts day, and Tube Top day, as well as Count your Buttons Day. If you’re rummaging in your closet, you might find a fun, handmade, and creative Halloween costume.
We wrap up the month with Cranky Co-Workers day and American Beer Day on a Sunday, which must be a pre-Monday loading of angst for the folks who hate their jobs. If they can just hold it together until Monday, they can have Chocolate all day long, spend Tuesday on the Internet watching Cat Videos, Wednesday eating Candy Corn and Pumpkin Bread, and send Fright-Tober out on the 31st with a feast of Halloween Candy and Caramel Apples, while they Carve a Pumpkin. Then TGIF it’s November, and we can put all this silliness behind us.
I’m attaching my recipe for Butternut Squash Soup with Chicken—I enjoyed this dish. It makes three full sized servings or six cup servings (serve with a sandwich).
I hope you all have a great October and get outside in the cooler air. Yes, I know it’s only “relatively” cooler, but after a hot summer, we’ll take anything that walks like Fall or talks like Fall, even if it’s summer in disguise.
Love, joy and peace, Cornie
October 1: World Vegetarian Day, National Homemade Cookie Day, Rosh Hashana (New Year)
October 2: World Farm Animals Day, (International) Walk to School Day,
October 2: Name Your Car Day, National Custodial Workers Recognition Day
October 3: Techies Day, National Boyfriend Day, Captain Kangaroo Day, National Poetry Day
October 4: National Vodka Day, National Taco Day, World Animal Day, International Toot Your Flute Day, National Diversity Day, World Smile Day
October 5: World Teachers’ Day, National Apple Betty Day, Do Something Nice Day, International Observe the Moon Night
October 6: Mad Hatter Day
October 7: Bathtub Day, Child’s Health Day, National Frappe Day
October 8: Tube Top Day, National Pierogi Day, Columbus Day ,Yom Kippur begins at Sundown
October 9 : Fire Prevention Day, Curious Events Day, National Moldy Cheese Day, Yom Kippur ends at Sundown
October 10: National Cake Decorating Day,National Angel Food Cake Day, World Mental Health Day
October 11: National Sausage Pizza Day, National Coming Out Day
October 12: National Gumbo Day
October 13: Silly Sayings Day, No Bra Day, International Skeptics Day
October 14: National Chocolate-Covered Insect Day: Bug Appétit!, National Dessert Day, Be Bald and Be Free Day, National Lowercase Day, Sukkot (Festival of Booths) begins
October 15: National Grouch Day, National Mushroom Day
October 16: National Liqueur Day, World Food Day, National Dictionary Day, National Feral Cat Day, National Boss Day
October 17: National Pasta Day, Spirit Day, Wear Something Gaudy Day
October 18: National Chocolate Cupcake Day, World Menopause Day, National Mammography Day
October 19: Dress Like a Dork Day, Rainforest Day, Sweetest Day
October 20: National Brandied Fruit Day, National Suspenders Day,
October 21: National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day, Reptile Awareness Day, Count Your Buttons Day, International Day of the Nacho
October 22: National Nut Day, International Stuttering Awareness Day, Simchat Torah/end of Sukkot
October 23: iPod Day, National Mole Day (Avrogadro’s Number), TV Talk Show Host Day
October 24: National Bologna Day, Good and Plenty Day, World Polio Day
October 25: National Greasy Foods Day, World Pasta Day, Frankenstein Friday
October 26: Howl at the Moon Night, National Pumpkin Day, National Mule Day, Make a Difference Day
October 27: Cranky Co-Workers Day, American Beer Day, Boxer Shorts Day, Mother-in-Law Day
October 28: National Chocolate Day
October 29: National Cat Day, Internet Day
October 30: National Candy Corn Day, Pumpkin Bread Day, Mischief Night
October 31: Halloween, National Caramel Apple Day, National Knock Knock Jokes Day, Carve a Pumpkin Day